Review: “Pushing the Limits,” Katie McGarry

I received this book for free from Harlequin Teen Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Pushing the Limits,” Katie McGarryPushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)
Written by Katie McGarry
Published July, 2012 by Harlequin Teen
376 pages
Provided by Harlequin Teen Australia
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Loss & Grief
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two-stars

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. 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.

I am completely in the minority on disliking this 2012 debut by Katie McGarry. I realise this and unfortunately I can’t change it, no matter how much I wish I could have fallen in love with this book like so many other readers. I didn’t like the characters or the predictable flow of events – and I couldn’t bring myself to invest in the romance between Echo and Noah.

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Review: “Time Between Us,” Tamara Ireland Stone

Review: “Time Between Us,” Tamara Ireland StoneTime Between Us (Time Between Us #1)
Written by Tamara Ireland Stone
Published October, 2012 by DoubleDay
362 pages
Provided by Random House Australia
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Time Travel
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four-stars

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

What I found most charming about Time Between Us was the fact that Tamara Ireland Stone managed to make this book feel like a great little contemporary romance novel. While time travel was a huge part of the book, it WAS easy to forget that time travel wasn’t a normal factor in a relationship.

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Review: “Of Poseidon,” Anna Banks

Review: “Of Poseidon,” Anna BanksOf Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1)
Written by Anna Banks
Published May, 2012 by Egmont
384 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Mermaids, Romance
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two-stars

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

I had high hopes for Of Poseidon: great cover, fresh new author, a surprisingly intriguing blurb… I admit I caved and bought the first two in this series by debut author Anna Banks when I saw them on the shelves, after a long time pining over them and a while away from reading. Of Poseidon disappointed me. While not terrible in it’s entirety, it certainly dashed my hopes of finally finding the YA mermaid series I’ve been searching for.

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Review: “The Selection,” Kiera Cass

Review: “The Selection,” Kiera CassThe Selection (The Selection #1)
Written by Kiera Cass
Published June, 2012 by HarperCollins
327 pages
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
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three-stars

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Initially, I had trouble getting into this one – and I mean A LOT of trouble. Right up until America gets into the palace, this book was dry and hollow. It was almost enough to make me want to put the book down then and there. However, I perservered, and while The Selection isn’t going to win any awards in my imaginary-personal-reading-competition, I was able to finish it and find myself wondering what was going to happen in Book Two.

This book was part of my 2012 Debut Author Challenge

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Review: “Shadow & Bone,” Leigh Bardugo

I received this book for free from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Shadow & Bone,” Leigh BardugoShadow & Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1)
Written by Leigh Bardugo
Published June, 2012 by Indigo
442 pages
Provided by Hachette Australia
Genres: Fantasy
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five-stars

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

It’s hard to put into words just how enthralled by The Gathering Dark I was. Let’s just say that I haven’t been able to read a book of this size in one sitting for over six months, and that was when I was floored by Veronica Rossi’s debut in January. Leigh Bardugo astounds me with her craft for storytelling! I am so very glad I stumbled into the world of the Grisha!

This book was part of my 2012 Debut Author Challenge

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