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Debut Of The Month - Review of The Elites

30 Sep 2013

This is the first month of Debut of the Month here at Bookish Treaures. This is a monthly feature that will focus on a debut author and their novel that is releasing that month through an interview, review etc. To learn more and apply to be Debut Of The Month for November or beyond please visit my Authors/Publishers page.

This month I have chosen Natasha Ngan and The Elites. To read my interview with Natasha Ngan from earlier this month please go here - http://bookishtreasures.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/interview-with-natasha-ngan.html

The Elites by Natasha Ngan



Synopsis

‘There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.’

Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension.

Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.

Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, The Elites is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.


Review

This review was a real struggle for me to write because The Elites is one of those books that is so good it is a struggle to put your thoughts into words.

From the moment I first heard about this book I knew that I just had to read it. The cover was amazing and the concept had me hooked. Over time my excitement grew and so did my expectations to the point where I actually didn’t think the book could live up. You know when your expectations are sky high? So much so that you are prepared for disappointment as you know that the chances of the book being as good as you have built it up to be are very slim. The Elites proved that slim chances don’t mean impossible.
I don’t normally mention the cover in reviews but just look at that beauty! Not only is it stunning to look at but it also matches the feel of the book perfectly. From the girl who is the perfect silver dressed in her Elite gear, to the jungle background with the rain type effect it is simply perfect. I wish I had this cover as a poster so that I could easily stare at it all day.

The Elites draws you in from the very first sentence.
“There is a rumour that the Elites don’t bleed.”

From the start this book promises action, intrigue and a riveting storyline that will leave you unable to stop reading for even the shortest moment and it really does deliver on those promises. Silver is a kick-ass highly trained fighter, an Elite. However she is also Chinese; a “red”, Part of a race that is looked down upon by all in Neo-Babel. This mixture of Silver being both considered scum and yet also one of the “ruling class” adds a very interesting element to the book.
The storyline is great, it has all the typical makings of a YA dystopian novel but with unique aspects that really made it stand out. There isn’t any already published book that this just felt like a retelling of. This book is pretty action packed and there are some very intense moments as Silver discovers what those in charge of Neo-Babel are capable of.

I loved the slight romance in this book and it was refreshing for it to be secondary to the storyline; the book would have felt complete without the romance and what we got just made the book a little extra special.
I really enjoyed how this book is told from several points of view. Not only does it give you a greater insight into the story and character motivation but it also means you get the thrill of knowing what is happening when a character doesn’t. Natasha Ngan also has a beautiful writing style; she could probably make a boring storyline into a good book simply from the quality of her writing. Everything is described and explained so vividly that you can picture what is going on clearly.

This is the best YA book I have read so far this year and the best dystopian novel  I have read since Divergent (and I have read a lot of dystopia’s since then). I couldn’t recommend this book more. I am highly looking forwards to reading more by Natasha Ngan and seeing what she can bring to future stories.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not affected my opinions or rating in any way*
Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Laura

Giveaway


When I went to The Elites launch party I forgot to take my copy of The Elites to get signed so I bought another. Because of this and also because I love this book so much I want other people to read it, I am giving away my original copy (in good condition). Due to postage costs this is open only to people in the UK. My usual rules (on the giveaway page) apply.

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Stacking the Shelves / Showcase Sunday #33

29 Sep 2013
Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky @Books, Biscuits, and Tea and Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and they both give bloggers the opportunity to share the books they have received in the past week.
 
 This week has been unbelievable busy for me as I started my 3rd year of University which included moving back across England into a new house. Because of this my blog was pretty abandoned but will be back to normal from today onwards. I managed to stick to my NetGalley diet this week which makes me pretty proud of myself :P As always if you click on the book cover you will be taken to its Amazon page.
 
Review
 
Ebooks

I received 4 books to review this week though these were all requests I accepted a few weeks ago. I am pretty excited to read them all. Most of these aren't on amazon yet so the links will take you to goodreads instead.
 
Love and Other Games
The Immortal Game
 
 
Adorned
Freebies

I stumbled across several great freebies this week and I think they are all still free so check them out (click on the cover to be taken to the books amazon page).
 
 
Bought
 
Ebooks
 
I bought a few books this week. Purity was a little gift to myself as it is by one of my favourite Sci-Fi romance authors, Hunter Moon was another little treat as it is book 4 in a series and I had put off buying it for ages because of review books. Beauty Queens had been on my wish list for ages and I noticed it was on sale at a massive discount (it still is!) so I had to buy it.
 
 
So what do you think? Are there any books you have read, plan to read or have just now caught your eye? Feel free to link to your Stacking the Shelves or equivalent post in the comments.

Review of You Are Mine

28 Sep 2013

Synopsis

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.


Review

I really enjoyed You Are Mine. It has a great premise; the world is filled with magical power but only men are taught how to use it, women are seen as second class citizens whose only use is to bring magically powerful baby boys into the world.

This book is filled with characters that you will love to hate but there are also several characters that bring light to the cruel world that they live in. Serena is very strong even in this world that oppresses women so badly. She isn’t the type of person to blindly do what she is told but instead does what she believes to be right even if it will bring her negative consequences. 
Zade is a very interesting character. Despite his people being referred to as barbarians they seem more civil and less barbaric than those from Serena’s country. He has to walk the line between fitting in to a new place with different customs and doing what he believes to be right. Zade is very mysterious and that adds to his appeal.

There are also a few secondary characters that were well developed and a joy to read about. I love it when the author clearly hasn’t ignored all the smaller characters in the book.
Most of what happens is pretty predictable but the book is still very good. I thought the world building and development in this novel was really good. I have read several other books based on a society where women are second class citizens but this still managed to feel fresh and unique.

I think that this story still has so much more to give so I hope that You Are Mine is the first in a series. This world has so much more to be explored and I hope to see Serena grow and her relationship with Zade develop. I would definitely recommend You Are Mine to paranormal and fantasy fans as well as those who love strong and rebellious female characters.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not affected my opinions or rating in any way*
Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Laura

Feature Friday - Interview with Jennifer Kloester

27 Sep 2013
Feature Friday is a brand new item on Bookish Treasures. Every Friday I will be featuring an author through either an interview or a guest post. If you are interested in taking part please send me an email.

This week I am very happy to feature Jennifer Kloester who saved the day with this interview after another author had to reschedule last minute. I am lucky enough to be interning at the publishers of this book doing publicity for this it (Jen actually didn't realised this when she emailed me about an interview, Laura is a common name :P). This book is a perfect YA romance and I'm sure that you will love Jennifer after you read her interview.

The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester



Synopsis

Let the masquerade begin!

Angel Moncoeur has always wanted to be a fashion designer, but without money or connections, it's going to be a challenge. When an opportunity to leave her home in New York and head to Paris appears, Angel grabs it – even if it means masquerading as her best friend Lily. That can't be too hard, can it? But when she falls in love with her very own Prince Charming who thinks she's someone else, Angel embarks on a plan to secure her happily ever after.

THE CINDERELLA MOMENT is a fabulously fun story about high society, mistaken identity, love, betrayal, friendship – and great clothes.


Try the book! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Interview with Jennifer Kloester


Why did you decide to become an author?

Books! I grew up surrounded by them. Their power to take me away into other worlds, other lives, always seemed so magical. I love the power of a good book to absorb me so that I have to keep reading until I get to the end -  I wanted to know what that felt like from the inside.
How do you balance writing with other things in your life?

My attitude has always been that the relationships come first and the writing is my second priority. That's because when I began writing my kids were  young. I used to write in their 'off-hours' - when they were at kindergarten or school or asleep. Once they were home or awake I'd stop writing and focus on them. Now they are older and out of home, it's strange but I actually find it harder to get the balance right – mind you, I suspect that has something to do with the rise of social media and all that that entails!
What is your favourite thing about being an author?

The best thing is when I lose myself in the story and things happen on the page that I'd never consciously thought of. It's probably the closest I will ever come to real-life magic. I find it amazing when I'm writing and  - Boom! -suddenly there will appear on the screen a character or a scene or a conversation that I hadn't planned or plotted! And often it will be something that takes the book in whole new direction, which is an adventure in itself.
What are your favourite books?

All of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels but Venetia, Cotillion and The Grand Sophy in particular, oh, and The Talisman Ring. I love Tolkien, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Agatha Christie, Jasper Fforde, Nancy Mitford, John Green, J. K. Rowling, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips is always fun.
Are there any books/authors that inspired you to write?

All the books from my childhood especially the ones I read over and over like Enid Blyton, the Nancy Drew books and Arthur Ransome's Swallows & Amazons series.  As an adult my biggest influence is undoubtedly Georgette Heyer. She was such a great writer and her characters and plots are brilliant.
Describe your book in one sentence.

It's Cinderella meets The Prince & the Pauper in a modern setting with lots of fashion, romance and intrigue.
Where did you get the idea for the Cinderella Moment, did anything inspire you to write it?

Yes, I was reading a magazine while at the hairdresser in the Middle East and I read an article about these teenage girls in Paris who were preparing to go to a ball. It had lots of photos of them wearing haute couture dresses and the story of Angel and her dream of winning the Teen Couture just fell into my head.
What made you decide to write a sweet Young Adult romance novel?

I've always loved a book with a happy ending but I also like characters who are feisty and independent. People who will stand up for themselves and try to do what's right. I'm a big comic book fan and one of my favourites growing up was The Phantom.  I like how, even though he's human without any special powers or super-strength, he still manages to defeat the bad guys. And who doesn't love a story where the bad guys get their just deserts?!
What would you say makes your book unique and worth reading?

I think it's a fast-paced story with some complex characters and a really satisfying finish. There are quite a few surprises along the way and I've had lots of readers tell me they didn't guess the ending. I love that! The other things that people have commented on about the book are the really tactile feel because of all the fabrics and fashion and the way Paris comes to life.
Is there any specific message you wanted to convey in the book?

That you should fight for what's right and that the truth will set you free.
What are your plans for future books?

I'm currently writing the sequel to The Cinderella Moment – this is the best friend, Lily's story. It's called The Rapunzel Dilemma and is set in London. Both books are stand-alone stories, but for anyone who wants to know what happens after The Cinderella Moment then I hope this will be a really satisfying fun read.
Do you have any hobbies and Interests unrelated to books?

Yes, I love martial arts and have a black belt in karate. I also practice chi kung which is an internal martial art but I'm only a beginner in that. I love going for long walks along the beach and getting into my garden. Travel has always been a source of inspiration and I love visiting new places and having unexpected adventures.
Would you ever consider putting these (answer to above) into any of your books?

I have thought of writing a book with a karate theme just for fun, but I'm not sure how well the martial arts moves would translate onto the page! I definitely use places I've been to in my books and am looking forward to being in the US next year to research a new novel.

FUN STUFF

If you could meet any one author (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
That's a tough one because there are so many. But if I have to pick one it would be Georgette Heyer because when I was writing her biography I had so many more questions than there were answers to and I'd love to be able to talk to her about her life and writing (my second choice would be J.K. Rowling).

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself.
I used to sometimes take tea with the Emir of Bahrain, Sheikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa, under a palm tree on his private beach.

What is your favourite food?
My son's homemade guacamole – so yummy!

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
Travelled up the Fly River in Papua New Guinea in a dug-out canoe. It was epic!

If you could be any supernatural creature which would you choose?
A shape-shifter for sure.

About the Author



Jennifer loves to escape into a good book. She began writing when she was little and grew up in a house full of books. She was living in the jungle in Papua New Guinea (truly!) when she discovered Georgette Heyer's wonderful historical romances. She quickly became addicted and multiple re-reads later still can't pin down her favourite. When not writing, Jennifer does karate and love to hang out with her husband (who she's still trying to get into Regency garb) and their three nomadic children.

Exclusive Cover Reveal - Be With Me by J.Lynn

26 Sep 2013
I'm sure that most of you have heard of the beautiful, emotional and sexy contemporary NA novel Wait For You by J.Lynn (aka Jennifer L Armentrout). I absolutely adored this book so I am incredibly excited to be the first person to share the cover of the sequel in association with the New Adult book club! Be With Me follows Teresa (Cam's Sister) and Jase (Cam's best friend) and will hopefully feature a few appearances from Avery and Cam. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis is amazing and I can not wait for the book to release on February 4th next year.

 

Be With Me (Wait For You #2) by J.Lynn



Synopsis

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.
 
Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.
 
As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

Check out Wait For You! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Pre-order Be With Me: AmazonAmazon UK

Kinetic Book Blitz - Excerpt and Giveaway

24 Sep 2013

Kinetic by S.K. Anthony



Synopsis

Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.

Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.

A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…


Try it for yourself! Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK

Excerpt


“Hardheaded woman! Stay here—let me at least make sure you chose the right train.”

I watched him go and come back in less than three minutes. “All of the passengers are packed into the last two cars, and it looks like it's five guys. Two of them are with the conductors…the other three are guarding the passengers. It doesn’t seem like they plan on stopping anytime soon.”

 “Okay, well…I’m going to give them a little hand,” I said.

 “Annie, we really shouldn’t be here.”

 “Oh, come on. Don’t you miss us working together?” I asked, placing my hands on his chest and staring into his eyes.

 He raised an eyebrow. “Are you trying to manipulate me?”

“I wouldn’t say trying, I’m just doing the right thing.” The train hit a curve, and I lost my balance, making me fall into his arms. He felt so good. I held on tighter and kept eye contact.

 “What you do to me,” he said, shaking his head. “You win, let’s do it.”

 I beamed, “Okay.”

 I ran all the way to the front of the train, channeling Beth’s speed. Jumping about twenty feet forward, I stood facing the train. A second later, I braced myself for the impact as the screeching sound sliced my ears. The hot metal indented its way around my hands, pushing me backwards for a while. A minute of this and I felt myself almost being crushed. I had been training with other Luminary powers lately, and right now, tapping into Beth’s speed was just draining me. Crap! I found it hard to focus, I was pretty sure I was going to be flattened by this train soon.

 

About the Author


S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

Author links:
Twitter: @SKathAnthony

Giveaway


Enter to win one ecopy of Kinetic (all my usual rules apply - please read my Giveaway page) open internationally. There is also a grand prize giveaway for Amazon gift cards and signed paperbacks.

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Stacking the Shelves / Showcase Sunday #32

22 Sep 2013
Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky @Books, Biscuits, and Tea and Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and they both give bloggers the opportunity to share the books they have received in the past week.

This week had quite a lot of goodreads drama. Whilst I still plan on using goodreads I have also joined BookLikes which is very awesome and I will now start linking to in reviews as well as goodreads, amazon and amazon UK. If you are a member of BookLikes then please follow me and if you aren't I fully recommend joining.

I am only accepting a few review requests which means I only have a handful of books this week. They are all awesome to it is definitely quality over quantity this week. As always if you click on the book cover you will be taken to its Amazon page.

Review

Ebooks

I received a request for this awesome sounding NA contemporary romance that releases September 24th. It is not yet on Amazon so if you want to find out more about the book you can go to its page on the author's website.

 
Paperbacks
 
I was lucky enough to receive a UK arc of Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano from the lovely people at Harper Voyager. I loved Lauren's Chemical Garden series so I can't wait to see what this new book will be like.
 
 
NetGalley/Edelweiss
 
Ok so I may have broken my netgalley diet again, I promise to start it again from now! I got three amazing books so it is hard to feel guilty :P I also got an amazing surprise of an email from edelweiss approving me to read Red Hill by Jamie McGuire :D
 
Goodreads
Amazon
Freebies
 
I got two freebies this week (I discovered both when looking through other peoples STS posts and I simply had to get them)
 
 
Gifts
 
Paperbacks

A while back I read and loved Eversea by the amazing Natasha Boyd. As she was sending me a paperback of her book to send to a giveaway winner she also sent a signed personalised copy for myself :D This is now happily in pride of place in my bookshelves as there is also a snippet of my review in there AND I am mentioned in the acknowledgements :)
 
 
So what do you think? Are there any books you have read, plan to read or have just now caught your eye? Feel free to link to your Stacking the Shelves or equivalent post in the comments.