Book Review: All Our Yesterdays

All Our YesterdaysAll Our Yesterdays

by Cristin Terrill

Published: 1 August 2013 by Bloomsbury

Version: Paperback ARC borrowed from Caroline of Big Book Little Book

Rating: 4 sofas

“You have to kill him.” Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Words can not describe how excited I was to read this book! I had heard nothing but AMAZING things. I adore time travel books, and luckily this didn’t disappoint.  To try and convey my excitement and feels without giving too much away! 

In the beginning we are introduced to Em, who is stuck in a cell. She discovers a piece of paper written by herself saying ‘You have to kill him’. From the start I knew I would enjoy the book from all the gushing I had heard from other bloggers. However, as soon as Em found that piece of paper, I was hooked. Who was him? And why does she have kill him? And why were all the previous entries on the list crossed out? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Throughout the book it changes perspective to Em from Marina. Marina lives a fairly normal life, spending time with her best friend (hopefully one day boyfriend), James. In comparison, Em’s life is at the other end of the spectrum. Stuck in a cell all day apart from when the doctor wants information from her, she only has Finn as a companion. Except he is stuck on the other side of the wall in his own cell, and Em has never seen him. 

To be honest, in the beginning I much preferred Marina’s storyline. It was similar to the happy contempories I know and love. Em’s life, on the other hand, was brutally depressing. Alone and tortured, she is obviously quite a fiesty but moody character. However, through the book I came to understand the reasons why her personality was so volatile, and I forgave her a bit more for her moodiness. Marina, on the other hand, becomes a bit too clingy for my liking. 

The best thing about this book is the range of emotions and genres. Happy but depressing, it also incorporates a lot of action that left me frantically flicking pages. Although it did get a bit confusing towards the end, and I wasn’t entirely convinced on their explanation of time travel. And THAT ENDING. My god. I think it was the right ending for the book, but my god was it emotional. 

A time travel book with a plethora of emotions and action, All Our Yesterdays is a thriller with a difference. It left my jaw dropping from the surprises, and my heart aching for both Em and Marina. For fans of time travel, sci fi and emotional reads. All Our Yesterdays definitely does not disappoint! 4 sofas

Until the 2nd August, Caroline is giving away a copy of All Our Yesterdays along with some amazing other books! Hop along to enter and share my reading experience! 

Book Review: The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

Published: April 2013 by Penguin

Version: Ebook from Netgalley and Penguin (all reviews my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Don Tillman, 39, a successful but odd genetics prof, designs a questionnaire for his Wife Project: punctual, non-drinker, non-smoker. Rosie, a spontaneous, outspoken barmaid, smokes, curses, and adjusts his clock when he complains about his schedule. Yet an unlikely partnership blooms when Don agrees to help Rosie find her biological father.

I must admit that the writing style does take some getting used to. At first, I dithered about putting the book aside, as it just didn’t seem to flow properly. But then I learnt that this is what makes this book SO special.

Don is a person who likes things done in a particular way. He has a weekly meal menu, and adheres to his schedule completely. In order to find a partner he creates The Wife Project; a questionnaire designed to find the perfect match. Because of Don’s ‘quirkiness’, he is a hard character to like in the beginning.

But then enters Rosie, fun and carefree, who messes up Don’s scheduling. This makes me smile, because I’m sure we have all experienced the frustration of having plans changed or dropped at the last minute. I know personally this infuriates me sometimes. I think this book kind of accepts that some people are different, and like things done in a certain way. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in Rosie’s and Don’s relationship we can see that compromises can be made.

Their blossoming relationship as they learn to work together in life is just adorable, and is the reason why I just could not put this book down. What is even better is that Don is so oblivious to anything (not that it makes him different from many men!) that Rosie does, it creates some real comedy moments that made me smile and laugh in places. 

The Rosie Project is a book that starts off a bit bizarre but turns into a gem that will make you smile. Heartwarming and funny, I didn’t want it to end. Both characters are lovable in their own way, and I was definitely rooting for them by the end. 4 sofas! 

Debutathon: Wrap-Up

I am a bit late wrapping up this readathon, but I shall nonetheless. For my second readthon, I managed to finish two books. I took part in three minichallenges. Unfortunately I’m not around much on weekends so it kinda fell a bit downhill. Next time I hope to be able to setaside more time to post, and maybe schedule a related review in advance! 

The books I managed to read are Find Me by Romily Bernard and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Both were ebooks, which is good as I am trying to cut down on the amount of ebooks on my TBR pile. They are both 4 sofa ratings, but for very different reasons! 

Find Me was a good thriller with a very on-the-edge-of-your-seat climax. I am looking forward to the sequel (due next year) as I love a good drama. I also adore this cover ❤ 

The Rosie Project was a tough start, but I grew to love it and the main character, Don. I didn’t really want it to end, and for that alone, it deserves 4 sofas.

Thanks Amber for being such a great host! The debutathon was a great idea and I would definitely be up for taking part in another one! 

                             Find Me          The Rosie Project

Book Review: Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil ReturnsRevenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns

by Lauren Weisberger

Published: 20th June 2013 by Harper Collins

Version: Paperback from publisher (all views are my honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Revenge Wears Prada picks up eight years after Andy parted ways with Miranda on bad terms. Andy is now editing The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine around, alongside Emily, her one-timeRunway nemesis turned current BFF. While Andy is planning her own wedding to Max, a handsome media scion, she remains haunted by her impeccably heeled former boss — and the magazine world being as small as it is, it’s only a matter of time before she hears the dreaded syllables “Ahn-dre-ah!” again.

Possible spoiler alert for the first novel, but if you haven’t read it or watched the film adaptation then you must be living in a cave.

One of the great things about this novel is that it is so easy to pick up. I’ve never read the first book (Devil Wears Prada), although I have seen the film numerous times. But I managed to leap straight into it, and it made me wonder why the sequel has been such a long time coming.
Andy is such a likeable character; having finally stood up for herself at the end of the first book, she is the girl next door who got lucky. But she learnt that Miranda isn’t this almighty god to be feared. And yet, just hearing her name still sends Andy into a panic eight years later.
As well as the fear of her old boss, Andy has to deal with lots of other things, such as a business to run with her ex-Runway colleague Emily, a fiancee-come-husband who may be hiding a secret, and a mother in law that hates her.

Full of drama and laughter, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first. Andy, Emily and Miranda are just the same characters that we know and love (or hate). Although it has been so many years since Lauren Weisberg originally wrote Devil Wears Prada, she still has an amazing charm and the story just flows seemlessly. I want to keep reading, and I do.

Having devoured this in a day, the only thing I’m left wondering is why this isn’t a bestselling series already. Witty, romantic and fun, this is a chick fic that stands out from the crowd; something which is insanely hard to do. Lauren’s effortless writing is something which I would love to read more of. Undeniable talent. I know I’m not the only person who will be left yearning for a film adaptation after reading this novel. 4 sofas! 

Book Review: If You Find Me

If You Find Me If You Find Me

by Emily Murdoch

Published: March 2013 by Orion

Rating: 4 sofas

THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN’T LEAVE BEHIND … 

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the “normal” life of school, clothes and boys. 
Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go … a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

I think I kind of passed over this book when it first enter blogger circles, as I didn’t particularly take to the US cover. However, after reading more and more rave reviews about it, I had to read it. Luckily Nina at Orion was kind enough to send me a copy. If You Find Me has over 2000 reviews on Goodreads and still has a rating of more than 4 stars (at time of posting), which is really rare. This is just one statistic to demonstrate how much people are enjoying this book. However, I still went in to it with dubious expectations.

Straight away we are plunged into Carey’s world in the woods, where her mum leaves her and her sister for weeks at a time in their camper in the woods. When they are discovered and returned to their father, we explore what it is like to readjust to ‘normal’ life. I think one of the reasons I was hesitant of reading this book is it sounded similar to the many sad nonfiction abuse books that are out there. I used to read a lot of these as a teenager, but I read one recently and struggled to finish it. My reading tastes have changed, and while I am interested in scenarios like this, I find reading about them terribly depressing. I like to read to escape normal life and this just isn’t something I currently enjoy reading.

That being said, I really enjoyed If You Find Me. Although it is evident from the start Carey has a secret, I found her adjustment to normal life really interesting, especially the descriptions of the hotel and the food when they first emerge from the woods. It is actually so emotional reading them experience a shower for the first time, and really made me think about how much we take for granted. I love the way the book started at ‘the end’; this highlights how much of the book is a journey. I felt for Carey as a main character, and even something tiny such as her remembering to put a ‘g’ on the end of the words such as ‘nothin’ tugged at my heartstrings.

The only thing I will say that was missing from the book was a bit more action. There was a big build up and a lot of mystery surrounding Carey’s secret, but it was actually something I guessed pretty early on so it fell kinda flat for me. However, the way it was presented and the emotional rollercoaster Carey and Nessa go through is worth reading alone. Emily Murdoch is a great storyteller, and this is a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to seeing what else she has planned, and she is definitely an author to watch. 4 sofas! 

Blog Tour: Animate Me

Welcome to my post today for the blog tour for Animate Me by Ruth Clampett!

She seemed far beyond his reach…could love draw them together?
For years shy animator Nathan has carried a torch for Brooke, the beautiful and
dynamic Director of Development at their animation studio, even creating B-Girl,
a comic-book heroine in her likeness. When a new project throws the two of them
together, lovestruck Nathan finally seizes his moment – only to find Arnauld, head of the
animation studio, claiming exclusive rights to Brooke’s affections.

But Nathan, it turns out, is not giving up on his dreams so easily. With inspired
determination, he sets out to be the super hero of wooing his girl. Threatened by his
persistence, Arnauld plays dirty – only to spark an uprising at the studio that unleashes
the sort of havoc only a building full of frustrated animators can create. While Nathan
pulls out all the stops to win his B-girl, Brooke has to choose. Should she pursue the
sparkling career that has taken her years to build…or follow her heart?

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics.

From this colorful background comes Ruth’s first novel, Animate Me, a fun and sexy, unique and engaging contemporary romance.

Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.

Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads  

My Review

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to read it. It is one of the most adorable covers I have ever seen! On a Starbucks cup, no less. This cuteness continues throughout the book in the form of adoration of Brooke, company executive from Nathan, animator and geek. I had an ebook of Animate Me, and it even included little sketches throughout the book. This made the book stand out by far among other contemporary romances. I loved the descriptions of Nathan’s drawings, but seeing them really made them come to life. I couldn’t wait for coffee time every day when Nathan would bring Brooke coffee with his personal sketch added to the cup. I liked that this book talked about the animation world, something we don’t see a lot of in YA/NA novels. The references to classic animations such as Looney Tunes are interwoven into the plotline, and really give depth to the story.  

I adored Nathan in this book. He is so geeky and adorable, that you can’t resist loving him. Just the way that he frets over Brooke, and his lack of self confidence makes him lovable, but his determination to ‘woo’ Brooke stops him from becoming wimpy. 

“…my infatuation went from a wispy shadow on an overcast day to a sharp electrical current surging through me. I did a Google search and Facebooked her. I sat enraptured when she spoke at the monthly meetings. I even searched for satellite pictures of her house, hoping to see her stretched out on the chaise lounge in her back yard…”

The only thing I didn’t particularly enjoy in this novel is the sex scenes. I loved the adorable side of Nathan, and I just kind of felt that the descriptions were a but unneccessary, and as such, made me cringe to read them. It just didn’t seem to flow with the rest of the story, and just kinda felt they were added in to turn the book NA. 

” ‘I have to warn you Nathan, my breasts, especially my nipples are super sensitive. Don’t be alarmed if I get carried away when you touch me.’ “

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was very cute and fun, and should be read for the sketches alone. By the end I skipped over the sex scenes, but if thats your thing then this book has extra brownie points for you. It definitely made me smile in places, and I could really picture Nathan in a movie. 

4 sofas

Giveaway

 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Animate Me & a Signed Illustrated Print by Ruth Clampett.
5 Winners will receive an E-Copy of Animate Me by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card by Ruth Clampett.
1 Winner will receive One poster, and Bookmark  of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.

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Thanks to Book Nerd Tours for a copy of the book to review and for hosting the tour

Blog Tour: Book review of The Clearing (The Outside #2)

Outside (Outside, #1) The future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky. If you’re outside, life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through and murders her sister. 

She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable that she ever imagined.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor’s world is falling apart. This time next 

The Clearing (Outside, #2)

year, civilisation won’t be quite so civilised…

                                           

In the ravaged future, children are disappearing.

Riley lives safely behind her Perimeter Fence, but soon she’ll have to confront the terrible truth of what’s happening outside. An old enemy is approaching. Threatening to extinguish her way of life. 

To save herself, she will have to fight to save another. She must put herself in the last place she ever wanted to be.           

So today I am lucky to be taking part in my first blog tour. When I got sent the info about Shalini Boland’s The Outside series, I knew I had to read it. In the first book, Outside, we immediately leap into the action. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Riley lives inside a perimeter fence, created and guarded by her ancestors. When her sister is killed, she enlists the help of her neighbour, Luc, to track down the killer. This the book follows Riley and Luc on their road trip to find and avenger her sister’s killer. 

This book is told from two point of views: Riley’s and Eleanor’s. I really liked the style of writing, as both POVs had an interesting story to tell. This book is quite similar to Blood Red Road by Moira Young, and that is probably the only niggle I had about the book. I really enjoyed it and loved how the story came together at the end. There was a really good twist, and it gave me high hopes for book 2! 

The Clearing‘ starts where we left Riley as she returns after her road trip. Then it is discovered that soldiers are threatening to invade their perimeter. If the perimeter is destroyed, then their lives will be in imminent danger. Children are being taken to be trained for this supposed army. Thus Riley and Luc have to go undercover to the place where children are taken, to try and rescue Liss and Fred, kids which were taken many years ago. 

Once again there are 2 POV’s: Riley’s and Liss’. I think this really adds to the story, and I’m glad the author has carried this through to the second book. While Liss and Fred were mentioned in the first book, the second is more centrally focussed on them, a direction which I didn’t expect. I think it works really well though, and there are many emotions in this book to play with. Loneliness, anger, action, romance. This book has it all. I actually preferred this novel to the last book; mainly because it was a direction I hadn’t anticipated, and it was different to other books, that I could remember! Once again there are twists and turns which surprised me, and the action kept me on the edge of my seat! 

The only thing I missed in the second book was continuation from the first. Some of the plotlines in the first book were not continued in the second, and I hope that the third book will tie these up nicely. 

I really enjoyed both books in the series, but more so in the second. Thus I hope the third continues this upward slope! 4 sofas to the Clearing. Click on the blog tour button below to follow the other blogs in the tour!