Monday, 29 July 2013

The Testing

The Testing (The Testing, #1)
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
1 August 2013 Templar
I was very excited to read The Testing (thank you so much Templar) as it is marketed as a MUST for Hunger Games fans - a statement that proved to be true. It is a brilliant dystopian YA thriller. Action, adventure, romance - everything is packed into these unputdownable pages!
I was sorry to finish The Testing - its definitely a re-readable book and one of my best books of 2013.
Cia Vale is graduating. More than anything she wants to be chosen for The Testing and win a place at university, like her father, so she can help rebuild the war ravaged world. So when it transpires se has been; through tears and goodbyes, her father tells her the snatches he remembers of his time at The Testing and the nightmares that followed. It's not a lot, but it's all he can do for Cia now and his revelations leave her chilled to the bone.
As she begins The Testing, it soon becomes apparent that a candidate either makes it through or they never make it out alive. The Government must have the strongest, most intelligent practical leaders to re-build the planet. It is an honour to be chosen from your Colony to take part. The process is not optional. Can Cia and her friends survive The Testing?
I could not put this book down, it engaged me on all levels and I felt huge disappointment when I did reach the end - what happens now??? I really can't wait for more. You will adore it.
So, candidates, prepare yourself for The Testing...its coming for YOU 1 August 2013. Remember, attendance is not optional.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

This is What Happy Looks Like

This Is What Happy Looks Like
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
(Proof Copy)
Published 4 April 2013 Headline
Graham is a hot Hollywood actor with the world at his feet. Ellie is a small-town girl serving ice-cream to tourists and dreaming of Harvard. When an e-mail from Graham is sent to Ellie by mistake, two very different worlds collide!
Ellie and Graham are a very cute literary couple but #Happy Looks Like is more than romantic YA fiction. Jennifer E. Smith is (in my eyes) the Queen of romance - proper romance. Her books, her characters are simplistic yet beautifully executed. No flashy trashiness here, the storylines are pure and blissful to read.
I first came across her after reading (in one sitting) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I shall beg, borrow (but not steal 'cause its naughty) anything she writes in future.
This is What Happy Looks Like is utterly charming, simply delicious...I could gush for pages. Read it!
 ***The hugest of thank you's to Headline for sending the proof***

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Villa

The Villa
The Villa by Rosanna Ley
Published 31 May 2012 Quercus
I really enjoyed reading The Villa. The best part? Wonderfully evocative descriptions of Sicily, her people and of course, the food! Bliss. Sicily is definitely on my to-travel-to list.
The Villa is a well-crafted multi-generational tale of family, of the bonds between mother and daughter, and of love.
Switching seamlessly between the past and the present, Sicily and the UK, we are introduced to grandmother Flavia, daughter Tess and granddaughter Ginny. It tells a tale of forbidden love, lost love and grief. Yet amongst this is romance, discovery and hope.
Tess has been bequeathed a villa in Sicily by Edward Westerman - a man she has never met and her mother's former employer. Tess travels to Sicily to see (and fall in love with) the Villa Sirena and finds more than she bargained for...
Tess is a likeable character. Single parent to Ginny she gains gumption. We see her grow as a person as the story develops.
Flavia is a gem! Her wonderful Sicilian recipes are included throughout the story.
Ginny is a typical teen, struggling with who she is and who she wants to be. The only downside I found was Ginny's "jumping jellyfish" and "stuttering sealions" malarkey. I don't know a teen that thinks, let alone says phrases like that - it didn't sit well with me.
The Villa is a perfect Summer read. Think sun-drenched terraces, draping bougainvillea, citrus-scented air, gorgeous Sicilian men.... are you convinced?!