Thursday, 29 May 2014

Book Review: Trouble by Non Pratt

I received this courtesy of Walker Books in return for an honest review.
Pub. Date- March 6th 2014 Publisher- Walker Books
 Pages- 384 Genre- Contemporary/YA  

In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.
When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”
Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love. 
Hannah is a 15-year-old student who doesn’t like to party and get with boys as much as her friends think she does. Aaron is the new kid at Hannah’s school. He’s just trying to fit in, not make waves or let anyone find out about his past. They are as different as two could possibly be or so they think but both are struggling to cope with accidents that changed their lives forever. Aaron is a shy boy who is just trying to fit in to make his parents happy after an accident and they outcome afterwards makes them worry continuously. He is as shocked as anyone when the basketball boys take him up as a friend and invite him to hang out at the park where everyone goes to drink and hook up.

This is where he meets Hannah in her element after just seeing her at school. Hannah is just a girl just trying to keep her family off back and have a good time. Even though Hannah goes out to the park and parties with everyone she’s not into it as much as everyone thinks. When combining Hannah’s terrible best friend Katie and terrible reputation, when Hannah secret comes out everyone is left talking except Aaron who against all odds steps up to be Hannah’s fake baby daddy to stop the harsh rumours. 

Now I will fully admit when picking up trouble I was 100% expecting for Aaron and Hannah to fall in love and have a happily ever, not that I wanted that but after reading so many contemporaries that make a relationship fix everything I didn’t really have hope and boy was I surprised. Trouble is a book about friendship above all else, how it can be ruined and fix, but most importantly how it can save a person.

Given that Trouble is told from both Hannah and Aaron’s point of view it is such a gorgeous book. When reading contemporaries is always really easy to tell UK ones from Australian or even US. UK contemporaries tend to tell everything in a more truthful be it grittier and rough manner, which is completely needed when talking about teen pregnancy. Who wants a book that the kids are clearly partying and having sex in but it’s never mentioned until the consequences happen.

Everything about Trouble hits the mark for me, from the writing to the plot everything was spot on. I really do think everyone should read this just to see how beautiful it is and if you love this cover as much as I do on Troubles tumblr page there is a series of posts about the making of it here.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book Tour - REV GIRL by Leigh Hutton (Event + Excerpt)

 REV GIRL is out now available on Amazon or Leigh’s Website

Inspired by a true story
It's hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes...
Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?
Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.
She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.
Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

REV Girl is a debut novel from the lovely author Leigh Hutton who writes about girls holding their own in extreme sports! I was lucky enough to be able to go to Leigh’s book launch event is Brisbane over the weekend as she is a local author and boy did I had a great time. To share some of what REV GIRL is about I took some photo’s of the event because it showed how great female motorbike rider are and was just plain fun. There is also an excerpt of the first chapter future down in this post for you to enjoy.

Kristie McKinnon doing a stunt show
Leigh’s Book Display

Leigh signing her book for a fan
So Leigh had an awesome set up right in the middle of Queen Street in Brisbane CBD with a few different things happening. She had a pretty table set up with her book for sale on and she was also signing them if people wanted. As well as the books Leigh had Aussie stars Jemma Wilson and Kristie McKinnon signing posters and doing a stunt show which as 100% awesome.

Now to get onto the excerpt of REV GIRL

REV GIRL, the story and its characters, are fictional. Although some celebrities’ names and real entities, places and events are mentioned, they are all used fictitiously. The book is, however, inspired by the author’s life and experiences and the growing trend of girls and women getting involved in dirt bike racing and action sports, a trend that is being spearheaded by incredible athletes including the REV GIRL Ambassadors, featured at

Clover Kassedy winced and dropped her chin, using the visor of her helmet as a shield against the rocks and mud being flung off the tyre of the dirt bike in front. It hit her chest protector like gunfire, stung at her cheeks and clung to her goggles. But she kept the throttle pinned. Just a few more corners and she would have her. Lasha Moore was going to get knocked off her throne, and Clover was going to win this championship.
The narrow track was heading upwards, through a funnel of trees, and their autumn leaves streaked past in a haze of red, yellow and orange as Clover wound her way up and over a tall spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Her bike vibrated beneath her as she hunted Lasha down: up the short straight away, hairpin left, right sweeper, driving onwards, up towards the sky. Her body was shaking, but not from the cold. She was hot, burning up. Sweat dripped into her eyes, stinging, clouding her vision. Her muscles were wasted from the hours spent glued to the bike. All she could smell was exhaust and swamp mud from the low-lying bogs.
Then she hit snow. Watched as Lasha slid on a patch of white on the precipitous trail. Her bike bogged down, losing momentum, back end swapping from side to side, her feet flung off the pegs. She was paddling to get to the top.
I’ve gotta pass NOW, Clover thought. A grey haze was all that remained of the daylight. A wicked northerly wind cut through the trees, their shadows spread across the trail, camouflaging the nasties − tyre-cutting rocks, slippery logs, patches of black ice. Dangers she would normally be wary of. But not now. Not when she was desperate to get in front and secure the win.
Clover threw her weight forward, turning the bars to the left and holding firm to the side of the trail, as branches whipped at her arms and the bike’s swing arm clanged against the boulders on the edge of the tree line. Her front tyre pulled in line with the rear of Lasha’s bike, and suddenly Clover’s mind was gone; she could see the finish line, could see herself, finally taking her first ever title. Trumping one of the fastest junior girls in America. Proving everyone wrong: her pushy father, her absent mother, her best friend, Sera, who’d never been supportive of her racing. Proving to the kids at school, the bitchy girls who called her a ‘tomboy’ and a ‘try hard’ – not a real racer. She wanted to know it was possible. That she could be a winner.
Too bad her body didn’t follow.
Lasha’s back tyre flicked off a rock and into her motor.
Clover screamed out in shock. A loud CRACK sliced through the air as her bike hit the boulders on the edge of the track and stopped dead. The force shot her forward – her stomach crunched against the cross bar pad, punching the wind from her chest. Rocks ripped through her pants and jersey, scoring into the soft flesh of her legs. But her head hurt the most – her hair stuck in her plastic chest protector and it felt as though it was being ripped from the roots one strand at a time.
I’ve gotta get back up!
Winded, she gasped the cold air in and out, as if something was lodged in her throat. Her chest burned with the effort. Her bike was silent. She wriggled from under the weight of it, frantic now as precious seconds were being lost.
The stiff fabric of her gear rubbed against open wounds but she couldn’t stop, couldn’t let herself register the pain. Her arms shook with the effort of trying to stand the bike up, and keep it from sliding backwards down the slope.
She eyed her bike for damage. As soon as she spotted the front of the swing arm, she knew it was over.
Her chain was snapped in two, coiled up around the front sprocket. She had no idea how to fix a broken chain.
This was it. The chequered flag out of reach.
Panic rose within her, like a raging fire, when a voice came from above her, ‘Nice try, loser!’
Clover looked towards the darkening sky. Lasha had stopped at the summit and was glaring down at her. Her body started to tremble. ‘Bet that hurt!’ Lasha said, shaking her head and laughing. Her cold blue eyes burned from the top of the hill.
Clover’s fists balled with hatred, and she gritted her teeth at the perfection that was Lasha Moore. Her bike was hardly dirty, and her gear was spotless. Lasha had it all, including natural talent, and she knew it.
At one time, Clover had actually thought they were becoming friends, until their second season in juniors, when Lasha stopped talking to her. Not just that, she’d turned every girl in their class against her and made her life hell at every possible opportunity. Clover wished more than anything that she knew why.
Clover’s eyes weighed with tears as she looked down at her gloves; there were holes at the end of nearly every finger. She’d kill for Lasha’s gorgeous FOX gear; all the guys loved her. It fit Lasha’s curves, perfectly feminine, instead of Clover’s father’s old, baggy stuff he’d said would do fine.
‘Gotta fly, got a race to win!’ Lasha said, raising a hand in a ‘royal’ wave. ‘Save yourself the humiliation of another dud season next year, Kassedy. Seriously.’ Lasha spun around, tipped over the lip of the hill and dashed off for the finish line.
Clover started to cry, and punched the seat of the bike. Her heart was bursting, from the frustration of an entire season spent fighting for every point she could get. She was showing promise, and had scored solid podium results in a string of events from Texas to Wyoming. She was in second place behind Lasha and close enough to win the championship. Close enough to prove to her father that she was ready to tackle the Pro Ladies Class, and finally have a shot at sponsorship and making racing her career. After all, she was no good at school. Racing was her only shot.
And I’ve blown it!
Sobs were shaking her so hard, she fell backwards, into the boulders. It was either that, or flipping with her bike back down the mountain.
She let the bike rest against her throbbing thighs. Heard the final revs of Lasha’s engine, as she disappeared, to victory. Cold tears poured down her cheeks, the stain of disappointment on her skin, etched trails in the dirt.
The rest of her class rode by. A few girls called out, to make sure she was okay. She listened to the last bike, its sound disappearing into the fog and the forest.
It was over. And as if losing to Lasha wasn’t bad enough, as if bombing in her final year of juniors wasn’t enough humiliation, now she had the abuse at home, and at school, to look forward to. Her dad would roast her; he’d been into her all season about taking it seriously, riding smart, and how important it was to get sponsors – to help pay – and to win. Her mother would roll her eyes, and use this final failure as further evidence why, as she always said, ‘Clover can’t focus on racing and school, she can’t have both! She needs to grow up, get her marks up, and get a real job!’
Worst part was, this summer, she had been trying. She’d been racing, while all the other girls were hitting parties and meeting guys.
Now she had no chance of being accepted by the cool, older girls at school. Of the nastier ones easing up on her. At least if she was winning races, they would leave her alone. News always made its way back to Silvertown High, and if she was achieving, it was like she was a legitimate biker. Not some ‘try hard’. She imagined the crap she’d cop for losing their state title to Lasha. Not only was she the ‘Loser Canuck’ – she moved from Canada to Silvertown just before her freshman year in high school and Canuck was their term of endearment – she was also the loser who hadn’t been at ANY of the summer parties. The loser who didn’t even podium in racing.
Now she was stranded, twenty kilometres from the pits and any another human beings. It was freezing and nearly night. She hated the dark, or more accurately, was irrationally afraid of the nameless things that lurked there, deep in the woods.
The sweep riders would arrive soon to tow her bike back to where her father would be waiting. Her heart sank. I’m such a loser, Clover told herself with disgust. And now, I’m gonna pay for it.

The race officials at the finish line were all wearing looks of pity, except for one – Lasha’s big-bellied father, who smiled at her smugly. But Clover hated pity more.
Another sweep rider fixed her broken chain, and brought back her bike. As soon as she’d seen the medics for her cuts and scrapes, Clover hid in the truck until her dad had loaded the bike up, and they were finally free to leave.
On the drive home the cuts in her legs burned under the bandages fitted by the ambulance crew, but nothing hurt more than her pride. After making sure she was okay, her dad Ernie hadn’t said a word to her and she couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eye.
In that moment, as Clover stared out over the passing landscape, it was as if even the sun had given up on her. It was setting, flashing its final rays of brilliance in shades of bright yellow and red. None of its warmth found her face. Usually she found this drive back over the range, towards Silvertown, Idaho Springs and the city of Denver, beautiful, especially in autumn, or during deep winter’s crystallised white. Tall mountain peaks and deep, snaking valleys. And at this time of year, the browning fields, the dandelions long since seeded and blown away by the chilling winds.
Tonight, however, her beloved mountains served only as a reminder of her crash. Her failure. She’d have to wait until next season to race Lasha again. And it would never be the same. Next year, they’d be seniors. Clover was nearly seventeen years old. And Lasha would move straight to the Pro Ladies division. What would Clover do?
It was a question Ernie was obviously itching to ask her, ‘You’re really going to have to have a long think about what you can do in the off season to prove to your mother that you should be allowed to race next year,’ Ernie said, without turning his eyes from the interstate lit up by their yellow headlights. ‘This was your last chance to get a title, so I could approach a sponsor to help out with the increased costs of going into the pro class, but, now . . .’ He shut his mouth quickly, to avoid saying what he really felt. Clover bit her bottom lip. She kept her eyes on the sunset, now the deep red of blood.
‘Clover?’ Ernie’s voice was sharp. ‘Listening?’
How could I not?
‘Cut the attitude.’ Ernie sighed and raised a hand from the wheel to rub at his crinkled, brown eyes. His moustache was looking especially grey.
He took off his glasses and cleaned the lenses with the front of his T-shirt. ‘Promise me you’ll wash your bike when you get home from school tomorrow?’ Both hands returned to the wheel, and his knuckles went white from the force of his grip. ‘You really need to start pitching in with the maintenance.’
‘Will do,’ Clover lied. She didn’t even want to look at the thing. She wanted her bike to be the furthest thing from her mind. To feel like a normal teenager. She was sick to death of being pushed into racing, and longed for the days when she enjoyed it. She did love to ride, didn’t she?
‘It would be great if you cut the crap before we see your mother,’ Ernie said. ‘It won’t help. She’s looking to spend a lot of money on a new horse for your sister, so I’m sure she’s hoping you’ll decide not to go senior and focus your efforts on school work – not that we’ve spent even a fraction of what they do on bloody horses, but you know your mother.’
Clover tuned Ernie out. She turned her body fully towards her door and closed her eyes. To everything. She wanted to scream, ‘I don’t give a shit anymore!’ Enough trying to please her father. It didn’t work anyway. She wanted to start living. To feel like the other girls must feel – accepted and cool, for just being themselves – for once in her life.
At that moment, Clover made a decision that made her smile, and she was instantly relieved, and excited.
Party time.
As part of the tour Leigh is holding a giveaway on her Facebook page and if you have time check out the other blogs on the tour!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Restraint Is Possible; Stacking The Shelves #10

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews. To participate all you have to do is create a post listing any books you've received for review, as a gift, brought yourself or borrowed from a library. I’m going to be posting this every Monday give or take a week when I haven’t bought or received any books.

Purchased Books

Splintered - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Book Depository
The Moth In The Mirror - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Amazon
Unhinged - A. G Howard, Goodreads - Book Depository
(see a trend?)

Review Books

Spark - Rachael Craw, Goodread - Book Depository
Trouble - Non Pratt, Goodread - Book Depository
(Thank you Walker Books!)
Camp Boyfriend - J. K Rock, Goodread - Book Depository

The WishKeeper - Maximilian Timm, Goodreads - Book Depository
(Thank you Max!)

Have you read any of these or do you have them on your shelves?

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Book Review; The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

Pub. Date- May 17th 2014 Publisher- Penguin Books
 Pages- 457 Genre- Science Fiction/YA  Series- The 5th Wave #1

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

How do you survive when everyone you see could potentially be the thing the ends your life? That is the question everyone after the 4th wave faces. Trust is now a joke that only existed in the passed before the arrival happened.  Cassie lives by the motto trust no one, because aliens aren’t what we thought they were. They don’t have giant eyes and green skin, no they look, sound and feel just like us. The others as Cassie and her Dad calls them are set on destroying everything in their path be it a building or person. So when Cassie is separated from her family early on in this amazing book by death and crazy circumstances, this leads to her having one hell of a kick ass attitude. She is tough, yet vulnerable and basically a perfect mix of everything ever wanted in a character. 

From this point on is pretty much a ramble of my love but there are so many possible spoiler in this that I think it would kill me to try and write a detailed review without giving away something important. The 5th Wave has to be one of the most excellently written multiple-points of view stories in young adult that I’ve ever read. One of the best driving forces behind the plot and character development was how all the characters shared be it love, friendship or hate. Each character had a completely different voice and way of understanding of what was going on in world the world. Not to spoiler anything but holy god if I don’t get a 'you know who if you’ve read this point of view' right at the start of the next book I’ll cry.

So I practically never write notes while reading. I like to be 100% in a book experiencing everything in a constant flow not thinking ‘wow, I need to write that down’ but with The 5th Wave I was constantly changing my mind about if certain character were good guys, or who I was rooting for that I wanted a way to really keep track later on just how many times Rick Yancey tricked me with his greatness and boy did he ever. Champion of Red Herrings award goes to one Mr Rick Yancey.

I’ve never read a book with so many twists and turns that were so understandable and compelling that the way I usually think about books just didn’t work in this case. I would usually go through and point out specific parts of the book I loved or loved in this case but to spoil anything in this would be a crime. So I’m simple going to leave what is my craziest to date with, that you should read this. Like now.

Let me know if youve read this or make my day and say you will in the comments below.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Reading Reading Reading; Bout of Books 10 Goals and Updates

I’m going to try and read for two hours a day and achieve a minimum of 250 pages a day if all works out I’d like to get 1000 pages read and 3 books minimally. If I can put on my big girl pants over the week then I’d like to finish a book a day but with TAFE assignments coming to there due dates I’m not sure how well this will turn out. I also want to participate in some of the event during then week and most importantly have FUN!

Most importantly here I’m going to read, if you click on any of the covers
it will take you to the goodreads page for the book. All up I’ve given myself 9
books to pick from just in case I’m not feeling one or want a particular type of book.
This is something I irritated myself with me last Bout of Books

Books I've read today: The Demon King - Cinda Williams Chima
Total number of books I've read: 1
Pages read: 506 pages
Final Tally: 1 book, 506 pages

Books I've read today: The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
Total number of books I've read: 2
Pages read: 457 pages
Final Tally: 2 books, 981 pages

Books I've read today: Nothing ):
Total number of books I've read: 2
Pages read: 0
Final Tally: 2 books, 981 pages

Books I've read today: Splintered - A. G Howard
Total number of books I've read: 3
Pages read: 371 pages
Final Tally:3 books, 1352 pages

Books I've read today:Unhinged - A. G Howard
Total number of books I've read: 4
Pages read: 400 pages
Final Tally: 4 books, 1752 pages

Books I've read today
Total number of books I've read
Pages read
Final Tally

Books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
Pages read:
Final Tally:

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