Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Hi Everyone!

I've decided to start bringing my reviews over from when I was only reviewing on Goodreads, hope you all enjoy! Keep in mind these would be my earliest reviews ;)

Title: Pushing The Limits

Author: Katie McGarry

Publisher: HarlequinTeen Australia

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Goodreads Synopsis:

So wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. 

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. 

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


Sometimes a book completely comes and sweeps you off your feet and that for me was Pushing the Limits. I expected this book to be good but it completely exceeded my expectations. To say I fell in love with Pushing the Limits would be an extreme understatement!

First of all the cover: I LOVE IT! It’s so sexy and real. It completely showcases the chemistry between Echo and Noah we see within the book. The way that they are isolated is like they are in their own world when they are together and everything seems to fade out. Great choice as the cover

Our main character, Echo Emerson, is a traumatized girl. She can’t remember what happened at her visit to her bipolar mother’s house that left her in scars and her mother with a restraining order. With all of this swirling around her, Echo is still grieving for her brother Aires who died while serving in Afghanistan. I felt for Echo so much! Through her points of view in the story I really connected with her and admired her for all the tough decisions she has to make and go through. Katie McGarry really emphasised Echo's journey from being a person who hid behind her scars (that she ultimately covered up) to a person who stood up for herself.

Noah Hutchins is a bad boy; however this isn’t the full picture. Noah is a protective older brother who loves fiercely though not that often. The way he cares for his brothers and his reaction to Echo truly shows the real Noah. He has scars of his own, from the fire that took his parents and also from a foster care parent. All of this combined with his brothers taken from him, no wonder his isn’t the model of perfection! Noah tugged on all my heart strings until they sang. I related to Noah on a strong level because I have a younger brother that I would do absolutely anything for as well. 

Their relationship grew from a bond of trust, to a friendship, which soon blossomed into love. The beautiful glide through each stage showcased Echo and Noah’s similarities and differences whist portraying every reason for why they should be together. The twists and turns due to each characters family/home life strengthened the relationship so far that it seemed like nothing could tear them apart. 

The side characters played such an important role within the story. Isaiah, I have to say I have a bit of a crush on you! Isaiah and Beth helped Noah through all the hard times and proved that water could be every bit as thick as blood! Lila, for me, was Echo’s rock (or at least the main one till Noah came along). She stood up for Echo, comforted her and also gave it to her straight which can sometimes be hard to here. Mrs. Collins is just one of those characters that you can see truly mean well and help everyone they can, one of my favourite side characters!

Pushing The Limits has bumped itself up to be one of my all-time favourite books! I will re-read Echo and Noah’s story forever, along with any other Katie McGarry book to come along! 5 out of 5 stars!

This review copy was provided by HarlequinTEEN, Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Hi Everyone!!

I was beyond excited to see this book in my mailbox yesterday! I was stroking the cover all the way through reading this book.

Title: Ugly Love

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia

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Goodreads Synopsis:
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly

I just finished Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover around half an hour ago. I could have started this review then but I couldn’t really concentrate as I was crying. Ugly crying. Because that is what will happen to you if you read this book. There is no escaping it (unless you are a person who doesn’t find this book sad enough to cry-which is fine, to each their own). I have literally just finished cleaning my glasses which were fogged up and had tear stains on them because I didn’t even have time to take them off before the tears started running down my cheeks…And that wasn’t even the first time I cried because of this book.

Now you are probably thinking, “well does this crazy girl like this book or not?!” and I have to say that  I LOVED this book, in fact loved is not a strong enough word to encompass all my feelings regarding this book. Ugly Love made me feel every emotion possible. I laughed, I grew angry, I was frustrated, I was inspired, I was set on fire because Colleen Hoover knows how to write the sexy situations so damn well, and I was heartbroken in the most excruciating way possible-and yet I still kept reading. Because that is the beauty of this book, you need to read it all to the end, you HAVE to find out what happens in the end because you are so invested in these characters, in their lives.

"When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in."

Colleen Hoover has a way with words that just sucks you right in from the very beginning. I kid you not; this was the very first sentence in my copy of the novel “Somebody stabbed you in the neck, young lady”.  What an opening, right? And it doesn’t let up after that! Also, there is a certain fluidity I have come to expect from a Colleen Hoover book and I feel Ugly Love has blown it all out the water. The lyrical, poetic aspect of this book makes it really shine and sticks with the reader days after they have finished the last page. I know it will be sticking with me.

"Sometimes not speaking says more than all the words in the world."

Both Tate Collins (our leading lady) and Miles Archer (our leading male) were such amazing characters to read about. No flaw was left hidden about them, which I thought was fantastic. Tate is a career driven woman who moves in with her older brother Corbin to hopefully be able to concentrate on her studies. She does not, however, expect Miles to be her new neighbor-and a close friends of Corbin’s. I really enjoyed Tate’s character because she wasn’t afraid to take a chance with someone like Miles. She is a very strong-willed character who may have originally shied away from her feelings for Miles (for good reason) she ultimately let herself feel and stood her ground.

"I suppose if a man lived through the ugliest side of love, he might never want to experience it again."

For me it’s Miles who really stole the show in Ugly Love. His chapters were written in the point of view of his eighteen year old self. We were going through his situation as if it was happening at the same time as the rest of the story. I cannot comprehend the amount of pain within certain chapters of this book.  Then in the present day chapters in Tate’s POV we see the Miles now and I just wanted to reach into the book and give him the biggest hug because he needed it. I loved the way Miles’ POV chapters were set out; it was quite different to what I have read before so it was refreshing.

"God gives us the ugliness so we don't take the beautiful things in life for granted."

I have to talk about the side characters here for a second. Corbin was a sweet, yet overprotective brother. But his heart was in the right place so I forgave him for that. The Captain though is one of my favourite characters. His witty one-liners would make such an impact on the story and he was just a fabulous character! (I’m not going to mention the special person from Miles’ past as I feel that I would go into too much detail and spoil something!)

Ugly Love has to be my favourite Colleen Hoover book as of yet. Her writing has grown stronger with each book she has written and now I am anxiously awaiting my next trip to the bookstore (when I have money) to buy myself a copy of Maybe Someday. And I think we should rename this book Ugly Cry, and give out free tissues with every purchase of this book.

I would just like to give a little shout out to the CoHorts group on Facebook, they are truly wonderful fans of Colleen Hoover and it is an honour to be a part of that community!

*Update: I went to bed after writing this (around 10.30pm) but actually couldn’t get to sleep until at least 3am, and then I woke up and immediately thought of Ugly Love again! This book really stays with you.

This book has an off the charts rating from me!

I received a copy of this book from Simon and Schuster Australia in return for my honest review. Thank you!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Hello Everyone!

I apologise in advance that some of my reviews may be shorter than before as university has started again for me so I unfortunately have to spend slightly less time on reviews and more on assignments and studying-boo I know.

Title: Solitaire 

Author: Alice Oseman

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Goodreads Synopsis:

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers

I was lucky enough to win Between the Covers (the YA division of HarperCollins Australia) Book Boyfriend competition (woohoo!) and one of the prizes was a copy of Disruption by Jessica Shirvington but because I already own a copy, I sent an email saying I was happy for the publisher to keep it for another giveaway and BtC was lovely enough to swap it for Solitaire by Alice Oseman. And I am so glad they did because I found this book absolutely fabulous!

First off I have to say I do have a love/hate relationship with the blurb.  I think it’s great in the fact that in no way does it give away any information about the book but not so great when readers pick up a book and don’t know what the story is about, there is no real feel for the story.

Solitaire is written from the point of view of Tori Spring-a pessimist. A girl who is just living, not particularly happy or unhappy with life in general-she is just really going through the motions only caring about the few important people in her life who seem to be her brothers and her best friend Becky. That is until Michael Holden walks into the picture…and also when Solitaire shows up. The plot line of the novel was so intriguing that I never wanted to put the book down!

I really enjoyed reading from Tori’s POV. She is such an honest, unique character and surprisingly witty. Her remarks had my laughing at one point and then honestly hanging to her every word the next. Even when she feels like her life is spinning out of control, Tori is definitely one of the most interesting characters of 2014.

Now Michael Holden is not stereotypical YA guy. He is not the sexiest guy in the school; he is not the bad boy. He is Michael, and he is a little weird, a little different but all around brilliant.  And I am so happy to say that I would be happy to add him to my book boyfriend list because HE CARES. He obviously cares so much about Tori and isn’t put off by what can be perceived as a standoffish demeanor but takes the time to find out more about her and let her learn about him.

I do want to add in that Solitaire is NOT a love story, just as the tag line on the book says.

Now Solitaire (I’m not going to tell you what this is, you’ll have to find out for yourself!) is a different concept. It added another layer to an amazing book. The only problem that I had with Solitaire was that it was predictable. From the halfway point of the book I knew the mystery. However this didn’t take away a lot from the overall book, which is great.

Solitaire is a brilliant YA Contemporary if you are looking for something different-yet absolutely wonderful. Unique characters, witty dialogue and an honest, mysterious plotline, what more could you want?

Solid 4 stars for a wonderful book!