Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Firstly, thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for this review copy <3

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Date Read: June 7 – 13 2013
Release Date: August 21st 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Source: ARC via Publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My rating:  (Not enough stars)

“Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all… And trying to may just destroy her.
Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series.”


“Never forgive, never forget.”

If there was any doubt before, it can be swept away because Crown of Midnight has proved that Celaena Sardothien IS Adarlan’s Assassin, and it’s a title she rightly earned.
I can’t even begin to describe the tumult of emotions I went through whilst reading Crown of Midnight. I think I experienced every freaking emotion known to man. Legit. This book exceeded ALL my expectations, and then some. Crown of Midnight is thus far my favourite book of 2013, and it’s going to be hard to beat!

“And by the time she landed on the mezzanine and rolled into a crouch, two of her daggers were already flying.”

Adarlan’s friendly neighbourhood assassin, Celaena Sardothien, is now the King’s Champion and does his dirty work for him. I immediately questioned her morals – was she so desperate for freedom that she would willingly slay whomever the king ordered? But for all her badassery, she’s a girl who does the right thing. I absolutely loved her loyalty. Some may say she’s loyal to a fault, and heck it’s nearly her hamartia but nobody is perfect and I thought this trait was perfect for her personality.  There is just something to be respected about Celaena’s character – in her actions, in the way she goes about things to protect those she loves and cares about. She’s brave and courageous, but she is not without fear. In the words of Ambrose Redmoon “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear”. I think this quote describes Celaena perfectly. At times she’s called a coward, but she rises above that and faces what’s ahead of her and that character growth, the move from selfish to selfless, was what commanded respect for Celaena Sardothien. Now aforementioned badassery. This eighteen year-old girl is the most kickass heroine you’ll ever meet. She manoeuvres daggers like they’re extensions of her arms – I followed each slice of her sword, each swift movement that was the assassin’s dance and I revelled in each bloodthirsty swipe that earned her the title of Adarlan’s Assassin. The build-up that Maas created in Throne of Glass for Sardothien’s skills come crashing down in a symphony of clashing blades, whistling daggers and silent arrows in Crown of Midnight.

“And then there was nothing but metal ringing and the shouts of the injured going down around her, and she was soaring through them, delighting in the feral song that sang through her blood and bones.”

Captain of the King’s Guard, Chaol Westfall. Cue massive sigh. *Fans self* THIS BOY OMFG ASDLFDKLSFNPAOEIHGSLGJSD. *Runs around in circles to try to calm down* Nope didn’t help. Where do I even begin to describe Chaol? Do I start with his silky dark hair or those piercing brown eyes that see everything? The toned body of a soldier or that beautiful personality? I don’t even… Chaol is one of the most amazing men I have ever met. Kind, strong and protective he really keeps to himself and is one hard character to read. I loved his sense of honour and duty to the King. And I loved that sense of honour conflicting with his longing for a certain assassin. Every time I followed his eyes as he watched Celaena, my heart clenched in pain for him. He tries so hard to hide his jealousy, but Celaena’s probably the only one that doesn’t see it. After being introduced to Chaol in book one I knew I just had to have more of him in book two. And oho I wasn’t disappointed!

“Did his parents have any idea that in the entire castle, in the entire kingdom, there was no one more noble and loyal than him?”

It would be a crime to talk about Chaol and not Dorian. The sweet crown prince, Dorian Havilliard. Maas created a complicated love triangle in Throne of Glass that divided many – both Chaol and Dorian would be ideal for Celaena for different reasons. For those that remember the ending of Throne of Glass, you’ll remember the outcome Maas teased us with. Dorian with this charming smile, love for books and easy-going nature appeals to another side of Celaena. Well whatever your ship, Dorian has his share of longing glances too in Crown of Midnight. Oh right I was meant to be talking about his character. Absolutely nothing like his harsh father, the crown prince is a lot softer but he is just and I can tell he’ll be a good king one day. One that doesn’t rule through fear, force or violence but rather, with wisdom, care and genuine love for his people. The crown prince faces his own battles and there are a few revelations that left me shocked.

“… We will always stand apart. We will always have… Responsibilities. We will always have burdens that no one else can understand.”

We are again graced with the headstrong Princess Nehemia. Nehemia’s guidance and friendship are a refreshing balance in the male dominated palace. Her beliefs and words of wisdom are grounds for treason, but they are a much needed look into the politics and harsh reality of Adarlan.  Another secondary character that’s introduced is Archer, an “escort” who once trained with Celaena and who becomes involved in the overall story. These characters all become intertwined in an elaborate plot that blew me away.

“If we do not strike now, then whatever he is brewing will only grow more powerful. And then we will be beyond any chance of hope.”

I think the part everybody was waiting for (well I was anyway) was the romance. Maas doesn’t disappoint AT ALL in this department. My goodness I get swoony every time I think about the romance in Crown of Midnight. I’ll be honest, I keep re-reading my favourite bits and squealing. Crown of Midnight has the kind of gradual romance that’s filled with stolen looks, longing gazes and an internal conflict that’s borderline denial. It’s the bittersweet kind where each instance is made the more precious by the effort it took to develop to such a fleeting meeting. Every touch, every kiss, every thrum of desire shooting down the body – they made my heart squeeze in every direction, made me sigh in happiness, bite my lips at the tension and UGH just pulled ALL my heartstrings! Maas toyed with my heart in every which way, making it twist in happiness, then ripping it to shreds, painfully stitching it back together only to rip the stitches open again. It was heartbreaking, it rendered me speechless, it was beautiful.

“He found himself gauging the distance between their lips, his eyes flicking between her mouth and her eyes, the hand he had entwined in her hair stilling. Desire roared through him, burning down every defense he’d put up, erasing every line he’d convinced himself he had to maintain.”

The plot itself had so many twists and turns I felt breathless reading it. Celaena’s adventure becomes a darker one as we delve into the world of the assassin underground. We’re given a glimpse into her painful past, Adarlan’s horrifyingly evil present, and it’s shaky future. The plot in Throne of Glass gave me the shivers, but this? This left me awestruck, feeling bleak and yet filled with so much hope at the possibilities. Maas amasses us with different stories that weave together to make one dramatic and suspenseful plot. She writes betrayal and evil like no other. And that ending?! I’ll be honest, I saw it coming from book one. But the way Maas unravels clues to fill in the blanks, to reach that climax that made me go “OH. MY. GOD.” Well, it was spectacular. And it will leave you pining for book three.

“There was nothing in the shadows. Just more and more locked iron doors on either side. It was so, so quiet…”

“… I want you to know that in the darkness of the past ten years, you were one of the bright lights for me. Do not let that light go out.”

Crown of Midnight is a sequel like no other. Maas’ grasp of the fantasy genre is amazing and her style of delivery is flawless. Her prose flows effortlessly and gracefully across the page, with as much skill as Celaena’s swordsmanship. Maas has managed to not just incorporate young adult fantasy in Crown of Midnight, but fantasy with a dash of a different kind of Fey, a pinch of the macabre, a hint of Gothicism, a douse of magic and a whole heaping of awesome. Filled with beautiful romance, stealthy assassinations, growing friendships, traitors and a plot bigger than the population of slaves in the salt mines of Endovier and Calaculla combined, this left me reeling.

“You remind me of how the world ought to be. What the world can be.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #17

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and every week bloggers post about books they’ve added to their bookshelves! This includes books bought through a physical store, online store, eBooks, books borrowed from the library/a friend and gifts.

I didn't post a haul last week as I had way too many posts going on. So this is 2 weeks worth of books (:

ARCs/physical review copies:

Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for this review copy <3


These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) What Endures

Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and YA Bound/Katie Lee for these eARCs


Kiss of Fire (Imdalind #1)

Thanks to Rebecca Ethington for this free copy <3



Officer Off Limits (Line of Duty, #3) Frigid (Frigid, #1) 
Sanctuary of Mine Die for Her (Revenants, #2.5)

Physical copies:


I also received surprise swag from Rachel Harris just for being a Flirt Squad member, thank you Rachel!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Secret (Elementals #4) by Brigid Kemmerer

I am so excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for the fourth book in Brigid Kemmerer's Elementals series. I'm a huge fan of the series and Brigid is just full of awesome. I absolutely can't wait for Secret as Nicky is my favourite character and after teasing us with Breathless (Nick's e-novella, if you haven't read it, you can buy it on Amazon or B&N or on iTunes - you really should, this book is AH-MAZ-ING), it's like I've got ants in my pants waiting around for Secret :3


Well... Shit. That is so hot I'm speechless. Quinn is gorgeous omg! And the yummy guy next to her mhmmmm! Apparently this is the steamiest Elemental book yet so I iz very excite(d).

"Nowhere is safe. Not even home…

Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.

Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.

Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—or he’ll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.

Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?"


SECRET will be released on the 28th January 2014 by Kensington Books!

About Brigid Kemmerer

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of The Elemental Series, about a family of four brothers who control the elements, and their battle with those who want them dead. Storm, Spark, and Spirit are available now wherever books are sold. To read the novella introducing Nick’s story, be sure to check out Breathless, available as an e-book only from major e-book retailers.

Find her at the following places

Thursday, July 25, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 10

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.
Day 10: How do you choose what book to read next?

Ah so I haven't posted one of these in a few days and that's because I feel that I've been posting way too much in the past few weeks - last week especially. My blog was getting cluttered and it felt imbalanced as I usually don't post this much. It also takes away the value of a post when I post too frequently (me thinks anyway).

I actually don't know how I choose what book I read next. It's really an ad-hoc approach and haphazardly done. I have no actual process. If you read Day 6: How I buy books, then you'll know I've just got books lying around everywhere.

I pick whatever I feel like, whatever looks good from my shelf. I do try to vary - if I read a Dystopian, then my next book I try to go for contemporary, and then a paranormal. Change it up a little bit! Not only do I get sick of reading too much of the same genre, but I'll end up comparing them all to each other, being extremely snarky and judgemental and then my reading experience won't feel as good.

New release sequels to a series I love will instantly get moved to the top of the to-read list. So much so that upon receiving the book, I drop everything I'm currently reading (unless it's also a sequel to a book I love) and read that instead.

This is why I have so many books on my GR that are "currently-reading" and "will eventually finish". I just end up dropping the book and not going back to it for ages.

Paranormal/fantasy is also more likely to be my pick of next book, I'm more likely to NOT get sick of reading those successively. Sci-fi and dystopians I can only stand so much of. I'll usually read one and not pick up another for ages.

I'm weird I know.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sizzling Summer Giveaway: Guest Post with Jamie Ayres

Even though it's winter here, it's summer somewhere else in the world (in most other places really *sigh*) so I'm taking part in the Sizzling Summer Giveaway hosted by YA Bound! I've got a guest post to promote an author and YA Bound is also giving away TWO Kindle Fires. Yup you heard right, TWO Kindle Fires. Smoking. (I know that was lame).

The author I'm featuring on my blog is Jamie Ayres. Her debut novel 18 Things was released in January this year.

"Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.

But there's more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity."

18 Things is available here:


Jamie's Top Ten Rules for Creating Bucket Lists

You’ve seen the movie, maybe even read 18 Things (wow, thanks!!) Now you’re inspired to create your own list *yay* But you have no idea where to start. Well, have no fear—Jamie Ayres is here! First, let’s start by defining what a bucket list is: something completely personal that each person should do (IMHO). It’s a great reminder to live life to the fullest and to keep looking forward, even when life wants to drag us down. Now then, here are my top 10 rules for creating bucket lists:
  1. Visualize the list as the story of your life. What things have you never gotten around to doing and would be upset about it if you died today? 
  2. Do not participate in anything that will earn you an ambulance ride at the end of it. (ex: like skydiving above a bull farm) 
  3. or causes the neighbors to call the cops. (ex: like stealing your neighbor’s car to make a run for the border at 1a.m. . . . not that I ever go to Taco Bell for a fourth meal *coughs*) 
  4. Practice random acts of kindness with your list. Most people will amaze you at how they pay it forward! (I didn’t rise to instant Bestseller status on Amazon the week of my debut release by being a jerk!) 
  5. Don’t get ‘stage fright.’ Believe in yourself even when nobody else does. (Napolean Dynamite and Susan Boyle are good examples of this one!) 
  6. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself . . . most people are probably laughing at you already *oh wait, that’s just me;-)* 
  7. No pain, no gain. You owe it to yourself to see what all the fight is about. See the joy set before you when accomplishing your task. (ex. Run a marathon to raise $ for your favorite cause—you know you want to!) 
  8. Don’t be afraid to fail on your quest to excellence, but rather, enjoy the journey . . . “If a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth doing badly.”—Gustav Holst 
  9. Live life to the fullest and stay young at heart . . . who cares if I’m a 33yo women that acts half her age? (Okay, this is the biggest complaint of my 13yo daughter, lol) 
  10. Once you achieve your goals, keep writing new ones! “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” –Oscar Wilde *So as Subway would say, Keep It Fresh!*

About Jamie Ayres

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches very young adults as a public school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She lives in southwest Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She spent her youthful summers in Grand Haven, Michigan and this setting provided the inspiration for her debut novel, 18 Things. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she's thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you.

Visit her website at


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 22, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.

Day 9: Why do you blog about books?
  • Because I love to read DUH
  • I want to spread the love - free love for all woo~
  • I want to meet new people who have the same tastes in books as me so we can discuss and fangirl together
  • Through meeting people I get exposure to new books I haven't heard about and broaden my reading horizons
  • It's a way of showing authors that not only have I read their book, but I've taken the effort to write a review of it and express my own opinion
  • I don't even know... Yeah.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 8

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.

Day 8: Quick! Write 15 bullet points of things that appeal to you on blogs!
  1. No infinite scroll
  2. Easy to read font - serif or sans serif, not that fancy/curly shit that hurts my eyes
  3. Correct use of grammar
  4. Nice colour scheme - around 4 or so colours
  5. Pretty blog banner/header
  6. Not too much clutter on the sidebars
  7. A background image that doesn't clash with the blog/take my eyes away from the post. Something subtle
  8. Minimal use of fonts - heading font, main text font and maybe one other for the blog banner if it's different
  9. Easy commenting scheme - don't make me sign up for all those weird sites that make me sign in to comment. Google or Wordpress please
  10. Links in easy to find places - if I want to follow you on Twitter I want to find it on your sidebar or in your Contact/About Me section
  11. No excessive large images, if it takes forever to load it annoys me
  12. Slider/sliding banner <3 jQuery
  13. Use of whitespace - don't have everything clumped together
  14. Content block centre aligned
  15. Simple is best

Interview with Abbi Glines and Giveaway

This post has been a LONG time coming. Best selling self-published and now published author Abbi Glines, came to Australia in early June and did book signings in Melbourne and Sydney.
I was extremely lucky enough to not only meet her and get all my books signed, but I managed to score an interview with her (many thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for this opportunity).

The reason why it's taken me so long to get this interview up is because it's long. I recorded it and it went for 25 minutes. Transcribing this took a lot of time, concentration and rewinding. Typing it up has taken me HOURS. I'm so sorry to the people that have been waiting ages for this LOL. The whole transcribed interview is about 3000 words.

I pretty much wrote what Abbi said, word for word as I believe you (her loyal readers) would want to see everything Abbi had to say. I wanted to keep this as genuine as possible and let those of you who haven't met Abbi, get a glimpse of her voice. She has an awesome sense of humour, she was so funny and easy to talk to!

We tended to stray from the question at times, but this turned out to benefit everybody as I got a LOT of extra information I wasn't counting on!

Enjoy peoples (:

Interview - Sunday June 9 at Books Kinokuniya, Sydney

NB: At places where I've cut in, I've put a J: and resume Abbi's words with A:
Words/phrases in [ ] brackets refer to something I wrote in

Book Related Questions

Q1. What was it like starting out as a self-published author and getting word out about your books? Was it hard to get a reader base? How has that developed over time to your success today?

It was very to get readers. No one knows who you are. I worked really hard at getting bloggers and reviewers to read my books and I got lucky enough that a few of the larger bloggers that gave me a chance, loved it [Breathe] enough to start suggesting it to other bloggers. That’s how I really started, it was all word of mouth.

Now, I don’t have to work nearly as hard at getting my name out. Word of mouth is the best advertisement a writer can have; it’s the best marketing tool.

I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without bloggers. Bloggers have put many of the indie and self-published authors on the map because of their support of the books, support of bloggers, sharing and getting the word out because we can’t afford the type of advertisement of the big traditional publishing houses.
Starting out, it was definitely word of mouth and a lot of persistence *laughs*

Q2. Going off that, what’s the transition been like going from a best-selling self-published author to a best-selling published author?

Well I’m still both because I continue to hold some self-published books. Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far and Forever Too Far in the States are self-published. I only signed them here [Australia] and in the UK because I can’t get them into your bookstores, like I can a self-published book in the States. I wanted y’all to have to be able to get the print without having to pay exorbitant shipping fees. I continue to stay self-published in some things.

Traditionally published is easier, you have a team helping you promote your books, you have a team helping you get it edited, making it the best product it can be. You’re not on your own anymore, you have people backing you, helping you, supporting you – and having a big house to do that is incredible and helpful. I’m at a place now where I need that because I write too fast, I can’t just do it all by myself anymore, so it’s extremely helpful but I like both sides. I like having control, so I like to hold on to a few books myself. But as for Australia and the United Kingdom and some other places – I’ve signed with Germany, Spain, France, Israel, Mexico – all different areas and I couldn’t put them there if I kept them self-published, they wouldn’t make it there.

Q3. Your male main characters all have very unique names, I’ve never heard of them before. Are they common in the US or were you aiming for something unusual? (Dank, Cage, Rush, Jax)

Jax is a common name, Cage is becoming more common.

Dank is never heard of. I got Dank because Dankmar means “famous for his spirit” and I felt like Death should have a name that meant something.

Rush. A friend of mine was talking about a kid she used to babysit and his name was Rush. I loved that name and I went home and wrote it down and I said “I swear, the next book I write the guy’s name is going to be Rush” and the next book I wrote was Fallen Too Far.

I look for unique names that haven’t been used a million times.

Beau and Sawyer are very common names in the US. Preston and Marcus are not unique names either.

My only unique names are Dank and Rush, everything else has been used.

J: The names aren’t unpronounceable, but when you read you think “oh what does that mean”. I could pronounce them but I’d never heard of the names before!

A: I guess I should say Leif is not a common name in the States either. It’s been heard but the story behind that is, at the time, a friend was at my house and I said “I need a unique guy name”.
Her husband said “What about Leif?”, and I said “Oh yeah that works”.
Literally, that’s how I came up with Leif. So it’s not like an in-depth thing for me, it just happened.

Q4. I’m so excited to read the new Breathe – it’s a lot steamier now I’ve heard. Other than changes to your writing style, was the initial Breathe cleaner because Sadie was still in high school?

It was initially because it was my first book and I didn’t think I could write sex. And I was scared of it. So I decided I would write a young adult book so I didn’t have to write sex. I got accused of it being cheesy and sweet in reviews and it pissed me off. That was how Beau Vincent was born. I decided, “Fine, I’m going to write a book and it ain’t going to be cheesy and sweet”. And with him I played around and pushed things a little further and realised “Ok! I can do this”.

So I went and made my characters older after that, and I started pushing them to older ages so I wouldn’t feel bad about writing them steamier and that’s kind of how I started the New Adult thing… Before it ever existed.

Existence is actually the second book I wrote because I signed both of them [Breathe and Existence] at the same time with the indie publisher. Although there is cursing in Existence, there is no steam in it either. It’s extremely clean. By the time I wrote Predestined I was already pushing the limits with Because of Low so I pushed Predestined a little bit. With Ceaseless the final book it’s very steamy but they’re in college at that point. It progresses and you can tell it progresses with my writing. As I wrote each one I was pushing it more and more but Existence is kind of like Breathe as they’re both clean.

Q5. What was the premise behind Sea Breeze: why Breathe and how did it start?

Sea Breeze started because I thought I was going to write just one book which was Breathe and I was hoping that someone would buy it and read it. I thought, if I could get one hundred people to read this book I would have accomplished something.

I didn’t expect Existence to do so well and I didn’t know if I would ever write another book after those two.
I wanted to write about the coast I live on in the south in Alabama but I didn’t want to use the exact towns. I wanted a fictional town so I created Sea Breeze. It is patterned after Orange Beach, I just changed things a little and made it fictional but I’m picturing that area in my head.

As for the Too Far series, Rosemary Beach, that’s actually a real coastal town. I took fictional liberties, there is no Kerrington Country Club and you’re probably not going to find Woods or Rush there although they do have a club. Probably a bunch of older men playing golf.

That’s kind of how I came up with those areas – they’re patterned after places I enjoy to go.

Q6. Do you decide to write books on secondary characters from the beginning (like Woods’ story when you started writing Fallen Too Far) or due to reader response?

Reader response. When I sat down to write Fallen Too Far it was going to be a standalone and I was going to go back to writing Sea Breeze. I was writing and I realised that when I got to the point at the end of Fallen Too Far, I needed to end it. It had gotten pretty long, 75000 words, and I typically don’t write a book that long, and it was going to take another 75000 words to fix the mess I had put them in. So I decided I’m going to end this bad.

I sent Colleen Hoover a text and said “I need to talk to you” and I called and we talked about it (she was writing Hopeless at the time).
I said “I’m about to end this book horribly and everyone’s going to hate me”.
She said, “End it horribly, they will get over it. You write fast.”

So I did and I wrote Never Too Far and I was going to end the series there and that didn’t happen either because everyone wanted more.

I had no idea I would write Woods’ story; I didn’t think I would write Grant’s story. The readers loved them and I thought “I love these settings, I love these characters, I would love to give them a story”.

J: I absolutely loved Woods! He was definitely my favourite in Fallen Too Far.

A: There’s always that one character that stands out more to a reader than main characters and they get a fanbase of their own.

Cage York was never meant to have a story, he was just supposed to be in Because of Low. Tammara Webber is a critique partner of mine – J: I LOVE Easy – A: and she read Because of Low and she said “Abbi you have to write Cage York a story, that’s all I care about in this book”.

Tammara is who everyone can thank for While It Lasts.

Q7. How do you come up with the more distressing situations or backgrounds for characters and put yourself in their shoes – are some based on personal experiences and do you need to be in a particular mood or mindset to write these situations?

The area in which I grew up in Alabama, unfortunately there are many kids in these situations. And I grew up with friends and classmates in situations like these. It didn’t happen to me but I was able to watch how it affected them. When you grow up in a small town you’re with that same kid from kindergarten until you graduate high school. I watched their lives and I have family members from my dad’s side of the family who don’t come from good areas or good backgrounds. I guess because that’s so normal and average where I live in Alabama, that it was easier to write backgrounds like that – rough parents, rough situations because I’ve watched it and I’ve heard it and I’ve seen it. 

My mother is always horrified when I write scenes and parents like this ‘cause she’s like “people are going to think I’m awful!” I’m like “no mum, I don’t really write a mum like you because that would be boring”. 

I try to give it a more interesting turn. I try to think of difficult situations because you need the drama and the angst to the story because if everything’s like the Brady Brunch you kind of get bored.

Q8. What is it like writing from a male POV and creating their characters?

I think like a guy, apparently. All my life, I’ve always had a good relationship with guys and my best friends were guys because I understood them better.

I was never good with girl drama (surprisingly enough since I write girl drama), I just understood guys’ thoughts better and I’m not silly enough to believe that they’re not thinking the things they’re thinking. Because that’s what they’re thinking. They’re not very deep individuals most of the time, there are deep individuals and there are deep guys but a lot of guys are normally thinking that they want a beer and they want to have sex – at least in the United States and in the South – and they’ll admit to you that’s what they’re thinking if you ask them. (That’s probably why I haven’t written guys outside of the South because I’m not sure what they’re thinking.)

Sometimes it’s easier for me to write a guy’s point of view than it is a girl’s.

I’ve questioned several guys, luckily my brother-in-law recently turned 21 so I’ve asked him a lot over the past few years (and his friends). I’ll say “if you’re in this situation, what would you be thinking?” Just to make sure I’m right and they always give me the same answers. It helps keep it real.

Q9. Can you tell us how many books you have planned for each series? (I know Fallen Too Far is about to end but the spin-offs are still ongoing).

  • Right now for Fallen Too Far I have the three books.
  • Twisted Perfection (the Perfection series) will have two.
  • Grant’s series will get two books and Chance will be the series name for that because it’s Take a Chance and One More Chance.
  • Sea Breeze is probably going to end at six for a while. I’m going to stop there because I have other ideas I want to get to.
  • The Vincent Boys will have one more book, so there will be three for that series. But I don’t know when that will happen.
[I'll put a list at the end of the interview of the reading order of Abbi's books]

That’s all I know for sure that’s going to happen right now.

[I proceeded to have a mini-freak out here and ask Abbi to back-track on book three of The Vincent Boys]

Well, the third book is not what you’re thinking it is. The third book will be called My Vincent Boys and although a full-sized book, it’s a prequel. It will start from the time Beau and Ashton meet on the playground fighting and go all the way through their growing up together. It’ll be told in Beau, Ashton and Sawyer’s points of views. You’ll get to hear when Sawyer first asked Ashton out, what he was thinking, his feelings about Beau and Ashton, how Beau handled it – Beau dating other girls in high school and watching Sawyer and Ashton. It will go all the way up until Ashton sees Sawyer leave for the camping trip, before The Vincent Boys start. It will give you everything; covering all the tid-bits you heard from their points of view through their years growing up. The whole story will be told. I was just going to write it for myself because I wanted to have that book and that story and I mentioned it to my publisher and they were like “no you’re writing that book for everybody else too”. But there won’t be any more after this full-sized prequel.

[Release date for My Vincent Boys is late 2014 but this is all speculation based on Abbi’s other books and works in progress]

After Forever Too Far releases, that will be my last self-published book, even in the States. I’ve signed the next six books I write with publishers.

Q10. What would be your favourite characters – 1 girl and 1 boy out of all your YA books?

My favourite guy is Cage because I like to write him. He’s fun, he has no filter on his mouth or his thoughts or his actions.

My favourite girl is Pagan because she has my thoughts. She reacts to things the way I would react, she thinks about things the way I do. She has my personality, my other girls do not.

Random Questions

Q11. What have you enjoyed most about Melbourne and Sydney (and Australia) so far?

Melbourne… It’s beautiful. It almost reminded me of England – the structures are very old school, completely different from Sydney. I love the arcades, they were beautiful once I realised what they were. I loved going in those areas… The shopping… It was a quaint area.

Sydney… Almost makes us feel like we’re back in the States. It’s very big, got fabulous shopping. The water’s everywhere which is something we miss because we live on the water. It’s a beautiful area – the water, the boats, the big bridge we walked over last night to see Vivid [Pyrmont Bridge guys :D], it’s just a very cool area.

They’re both beautiful cities but completely different and I wouldn’t have expected them to be so different. 

Q12. Have you tried Vegemite yet?

Yes I have. And I didn’t fix it myself. Everyone was telling me “you didn’t like it because you put too much on” but no I did not. I had a blogger in Melbourne fix it for me, it was a very light scraping, with some butter and I did not like it. I tried to eat a whole fourth of a piece of bread but it’s just too salty even just that little bit.

I’m trying very hard to try all the things you all have here. I tried the meat pie at the footy and the meat pie is not good. I did not like the meat pie!

J: In our defence, I think those places sell very bad food…

A: bad footy? Yeah well – um bad footy *laughs* - bad food at the footy! I imagine that they do because our football and basketball games don’t have good food either. However, I just don’t think I’d like a meat pie anywhere because I’m not big on the meat being in the pastry. But I had it because I wanted to say I’d tried it. [Bwahaha sorry Abbi I had to put the bad footy thing in, it was too funny!]

J: You don’t have meat pies in America?

A: No. No meat pies. I didn’t know what a meat pie was until we got here. We only do sweet pies. We’ve got chicken pot pie but not meat pie. Maybe somewhere other than the South they have meat pies but I’m a Southern girl and even though it’s the United States, the north part and the south part are completely different.

Q13. Something you do in your spare time other than reading, creating hot guys and being the Glines Kids’ personal chauffeur.

I shop. I have a shopping addiction. I like to go to the movies… We go to the beach a lot. We have a boat and we like to take our boat out, they fish and I watch them – I’m not a fisher. We spend a lot of time on the water.  I don’t have much else to do, I don’t really have hobbies. Writing and reading consume me with hobbies.

Q14. Tea or coffee?

Coffee. I love tea too, it’s hard but coffee wins.

Q15. Ebooks or physical copies?

Ebooks because I can carry all my books with me wherever I go and if it’s a physical copy I can’t. If it’s a book I love and I get a signed copy from the author it’s for my bookshelf – I’m not going to read the physical copy, I’ll read the ebook. I’m not one of those book sniffers, I just want to read the books.

Thank you so much Abbi for your time, and Simon & Schuster Australia for organising this interview <3


About Abbi Glinnes

Abbi Glines was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up in the small town of Sumiton, Alabama where she left the summer she turned eighteen. She didn’t get far… she chased her high school sweetheart down to the coast and she’s been there ever since.

Abbi now lives in the quaint southern town of Fairhope, Alabama with her three children and husband Keith (the high school sweetheart she chased after). Her life is never dull and Keith always makes sure there is another “experience” for them to explore.

Books published by Abbi include The Vincent Boys and the USA TODAY bestseller The Vincent Brothers, Breathe, Because of Low, the USA TODAY bestsellers While It Lasts and Just For Now, The Existence Trilogy that includes the USA Today Bestseller Ceaseless, andThe New York Times bestseller and Wall Street Journal bestseller Fallen Too Far. Currently she is working on Never Too Far, the sequel to Fallen too Far.

When Abbi isn’t locked away in her office typing away she is hauling her kids to and from their many social activities. You could say her second job is the Glines Kids personal chauffeur. It’s a rather illustrious job.

Find her at the following places:


Reading Order for Abbi's Books

All links will take you to the relevant Goodreads page. Abbi's books can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, iBooks and The Book Depository.

Sea Breeze series (Contemporary) - most likely stopping at 6 books | all the characters in the Sea Breeze series appear in all the other books within the series

E.g. Marcus was first introduced in Breathe but his main story is Because of Low

#1 Breathe - Sadie and Jax's story
#2 Because of Low - (Wil)Low and Marcus' story
#3 While It Lasts - Eva and Cage's story
#4 Just For Now - Amanda and Preston's story
#5 Sometimes It Lasts - Eva and Cage's story set some time after the events of While It Lasts
#6 A Little Misbehavin' - Jason's story (Jax's brother)

Existence trilogy (Paranormal) - completed | Pagan and Dank's story

#2.5 Leif - an Existence novella

Too Far (Contemporary) - completed (Rush's POV to be released in 2014) | Blair and Rush's story

Perfection (Contemporary) - complete as of Sept. 2013 when Simple Perfection releases | Woods and Della's story - Woods is a secondary character from the Too Far series

Chance (Contemporary) - to be completed approx. 2014 | Grant's story - Grant is another secondary character from the Too Far series

The Vincent Brothers (Contemporary) - to be completed approx. 2014 | Ashton, Beau, Sawyer and Lana's stories

#3 My Vincent Boys - prequel to The Vincent Brothers


And now yay giveaway time! I've got two giveaways to do because I'm feeling exceedingly generous. Note that the books are NOT signed and I'm doing this giveaway of my own discretion.

1. Physical copy of Fallen Too Far - Australia only
2. Physical copy of the new Breathe - International (woohoo)

Please read the rules VERY carefully for the following two giveaways
  • You must be 13 years or older to enter - technically I should be making this 17+ due to the content of the books but I don't think I can stop this. Be warned though, the books I'll be giving away contain explicit content (sexual content, mature language etc.)
  • Winners must reply within 48h
  • The Fallen Too Far giveaway is AUSTRALIA ONLY
  • The Breathe giveaway (for a copy of the new Breathe) is open INTERNATIONALLY - as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Check here 

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 20, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 7

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.

Day 7: Talk about your blogging quirks

I love talking. But I hate talking about myself. I really don't know what to write for this one as I'm going to end up over-analysing everything once I start thinking about it *sighs*

Well let's get this over with. My blogging quirks aye?
  • I get really excited over things that I think other people wouldn't care about
    • E.g. When I found out I'm a Throne of Glass Ambassador I was ecstatic but I think everybody's like "meh". I think I may have even freaked out the publisher with my enthusiasm O_O
  • Going off the first point, I fangirl like mad
    • I think this stems from my Korean pop and Japanese manga fangirling and it's passed over to my love of books. I get so many FEELS when I read that I just end up typing in caps and keyboard mash *flails*
  • I spend a LOT of time writing my reviews
    • I invest so much effort in a review which is why I take FOREVER to complete one
    • My reviews are a minimum of 800 words and my longest one is about 1400 words. They're on average 1000 words
    • They're more essays than reviews D:
    • I go looking through the book for relevant quotes to backup my paragraphs - so I usually have about 6+ quotes and I always take awhile deciding which quote is the best to support my arguments
    • This is the reason why I don't have time to review EVERY book I read. To invest that much time into every book, I just don't have it. So I just review ARCs/review copies I've requested. For books I bought, I usually give a 1 paragraph summary of my opinion on Goodreads
  • I'm an absolute grammar Nazi. I always make sure my sentences make sense and that I haven't used the same word too many times
    • Your, you're
    • They're, there, their
    • Then, than
    • ^It really annoys me when people get those mixed up but I've stopped correcting them
  • I don't post discussion posts because I don't think people will care LOL
  • I'm OCD about my post formatting. I always have to have everything structured exactly the same as every other type of post like it (I think this is normal though)

Friday, July 19, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 6

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.

Day 6: Describe how you shop for books

Ha. Hahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHA. This is a funny one for me. I think the one word that would describe how I shop for books is compulsively. If you read my Day 1, my last confession was that at some point I went from reader to collector and that is certainly true.

Let me show you my books to accentuate my point.

My physical copies read-to-review pile:

Random books to-read including requested review copies:

Books I randomly bought on a whim two nights ago and arrived today:

And my bookshelf's current state:

There's actually a whole stack of books on the top shelf behind the mass-market paperback row.
Each shelf has about 3 layers of books - the initial layer at the back, a layer on top of that, and a layer at the front. The shelf second from the bottom is SO packed in you can't even see the initial layer in the back :P

So... I actually haven't read most of these books D:
The ones you see at the front are mostly ones I haven't read so I leave them at the front to remind myself to read them... and yet I still buy more books. (Don't even get me started on the number of eGalleys that are months old which I haven't gotten around to... I've banned myself from NG for the time being.)

I walk into a bookshop (95% of the time Kinokuniya Sydney) and I just have this urge to buy something. I love trolling through the YA section and looking for books I haven't heard of. If the cover and font is pretty, the title caught my eye and the blurb interests me, I'll jump onto GR on my phone and look up the rating. If the rating is >3.9 (or better yet >4) and friends on GR whose reviews I trust, have also given it a good rating, then that's about $18 gone from the bank account! I actually wrote a guest post on Cuddlebuggery Book Blog about my OCD book buying... READ MY RAMBLINGS HERE: The OCD of Picking a Book I also feel weird just buying 1 book... So I find something else to buy AHA.

If a book I love has a cover that gets redesigned and the sequels are all going to have this new cover, then I will buy book 1 etc. in the NEW cover so it matches (more on this later). I also buy physical copies if I liked the ARC. This is true in most cases. I hate when publishers have to redesign covers AND OMG WHEN THE BOOK IS A DIFFERENT SIZE THIS IRKS ME TO NO END (my TMI series is ruined because of this, but I don't love the series enough to re-buy the set LOL. BUT I WILL BE RE-BUYING ALL OF DIVERGENT IN THE AMERICAN HBS WHEN THEY COME OUT!!!).

You can imagine savings is not a term that exists in my vocabulary.

Sometimes, if I'm not TOO desperate for a book, I'll wait it out and buy it from The Book Depository when I go on fortnightly/monthly online book buying binges. This'll save me HEAPS as a book on The Book Depository that costs $9~$12 costs $16~$21 in Kino.

Then there's the time when I'm EXTREMELY desperate for a book that's not published in Australia (yet) and ordering through my bookstore's supplier will take like a month... I will hop onto TBD straight away and buy the book - 2 week wait versus 4 and it's cheaper so win-win. I should really do this more often and save money, however sometimes I get so excited when I see a book in-store and I just want it instantly.

As you can tell, I have like NO patience, especially when it comes to a book I'm eagerly anticipating.

Exhibit A: Impatience
This Girl (Slammed #3) by Colleen Hoover came out ONLY on the iBooks store, and it cost like $10 (that's an ouch for me in terms of eBooks). I was sitting in a lecture. I was on my iPad when I saw it on Twitter. It crossed my mind This Girl would probably be put onto NG. I bought it anyway and finished it that night. It was uploaded onto NetGalley 3 days later and I would have been approved (it was the first few hundred and I'm a REALLY fast clicker). My only consolation was that I'd already finished it before it was on NG.

Exhibit B: Series Obsession
The Gathering Dark (Shadow and Bone book 1 in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo) had its cover redesigned and retitled for UK/Aussie release. For Siege and Storm, the cover and style followed that of the original US Shadow and Bone with only a few minor tweaks (the cover is blue instead of gray). I own The Gathering Dark and could have just bought the Aussie cover. I went onto TBD and bought Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm in the hardbacks so they match. I now have The Gathering Dark, the ARC of Siege and Storm (WITH The Gathering Dark), Shadow and Bone in hardback and Siege and Storm in hardback. Every time I pass Siege and Storm in bookstores I'm tempted to buy that too just so I have all the covers.

Exhibit C: Cover OCD
When I bought Veronica Rossi's Through the Ever Night with the redesigned UK/Aus covers, I also bought the redesigned Under the Never Sky. I already own Under the Never Sky... So I gave this to my friend instead :D

Exhibit D: Desperate for a Book
I'd been waiting for Anna Banks' Of Triton for AGES, and I'd requested it for review from the publisher. There was a little change up with the publisher so I assumed they'd forgotten about me. A friend told me she'd seen Of Triton in Big W (but I don't live near one) so I was at Kino the next day looking for it. I was devastated when they didn't have it... So I ventured into Dymocks and I literally RAN to the book when I saw they had it! I buy it and read it in 1 night. This is Saturday. Do you know what shows up on my doorstep from a certain publisher on Monday morning? You guessed it, a review copy of Of Triton *face palms*

I obviously have problems. Do you? I mean, how do you buy books?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Throne of Glass Ambassador

I've been trying to find the right time to announce this as my blog has actually been swamped with posts for once... But I think it's about time I finally did this!

About a month ago I got asked if I wanted to be a Throne of Glass Ambassador... SO OF COURSE I SAID YES. I absolutely LOVE Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass. It was one of my top 2 fantasy books of 2012! Celaena Sardothien is BADASS and if you haven't read Throne of Glass yet you really need to because HOT DANG CROWN OF MIDNIGHT!!! It's my favourite book of 2013 so far, and it's going to be a hard one to top.

So what does a Throne of Glass Ambassador do? Well...
  • I'll be posting exclusive content leading up to the publication of Crown of Midnight
    • Sneak previews/excerpts
  • Giveaways
  • Awesome Throne of Glass themed posts
  • Pimp the books!
I am so proud and honoured to be part of this. Two Fridays ago I got a schedule of the posts the ambassadors have for everyone and *FLAILS* THEY ARE SO AWESOME. You guyssssss omg I cannot wait for you to see them, so look out for my posts that will be titled "Throne of Glass Ambassador: "

Haven't heard of Throne of Glass? You have now!

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

"Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?"

Published August 2nd 2012 by Bloomsbury

Book Trailer


And coming August 15 this year...

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

"Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.

Love or loathe Celaena, she will slice open your heart with her dagger and leave you bleeding long after the last page of the highly anticipated sequel in what is undeniably THE hottest new fantasy series."

Book Trailer

Throne of Glass Facebook page:

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah is a 26 year-old YA fantasy author living in the desert in Southern California. Her debut novel, Throne of Glass, was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in August, 2012. (Book Two – Crown of Midnight - will release sometime in Fall 2013.)

Sarah was born/raised in Manhattan, but traded freezing winters and sweltering summers for No Winter Ever Weather when she followed her then-boyfriend (now husband!) out to California in 2008. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College with a degree in Creative Writing, and a minor in Religious Studies. She is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 5

The 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge was started by April @ Good Books and Good Wine on a whim as she wanted to do a blogging challenge related to books and was in a bit of a slump.

Day 5: Recommend a tear jerker

For this one I'm going to skip over The Fault in Our Stars because I'm sure everybody knows how much of a tear jerker that is, and has read it so there's no point recommending a book everybody knows and loves (:

Picking just ONE tear jerker was hard. A lot of books have made me cry at some point - quite a few at the end and a lot near the end of a series. But what made me pick the book I'm mentioning here today is the overall depth of the story, the characters, the plot, and how heart wrenching it was as a whole; there were so many bleak and heart breaking moments in this book balanced by hopeful ones that only got shattered - and this, THIS is the reason why Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington (Sci-fi) is the tear jerker I recommend.

"Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?"

These are only the tissues I used up at the end! You can read my review here

I just adore Between the Lives so much <3

Other good tear jerkers I'd recommend:

If I Stay

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman - this book HURT so much. When 17-yo cellist Mia and her whole family are involved in a car crash, Mia is left in a critical condition and must decide if she wants to stay... Or move on. The book is set in a sort of limbo as Mia looks over her life and these memories impact on her choice. Its companion, Where She Went, is one of my favourite books of all time.

Slammed (Slammed, #1)

Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover - every one of the books in the Slammed series (there are 3, the last one came out not long ago) have made me cry at some point. I think the last 3/4 of Slammed had me in a blubbering mess. When Lake (Layken), her brother and mum move to a new state after the death of her father, Lake meets the handsome Will Cooper. They instantly share a connection but what ensues is a novel of heartbreak on so many levels.

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1) by Shana Abe - oh my goodness the poetic writing in this added to the beauty and bittersweet feel of the story. I UGLY cried in this. Orphan Lora is accepted as a charity student by a prestigious English girl's boarding school at the beginning of WWI. Here she meets two boys that change her and who she is forever. Filled with so much love and uncertainty, this book made me cry so much I still can't bring myself to read the sequel.

Everything Left Unsaid

Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson - An Aussie YA set in the final year of high school for best friends Juliet and Tai. They're just beginning to see something beyond high school when Tai finds out that he's sick. A book of first love, grief and living life to its fullest.

On the Jellicoe Road

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - It's Melina. Need I say more? This woman can do anything. My favourite book of hers actually. A story about a girl and how her past and present collide in a beautiful mystery, set amidst high school territory wars in the Australian countryside.

I got teary typing up the summaries for every one of these books.