Genie's Weekly News (34)

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog feature to recap the week with bookish news and what to expect coming up! So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*


Something different - and fascinatingly so. It's nice to branch out of YA once in a while.

*Previous Posts*

*In The Bookish World*

#booksfortradeAU is still happening!

If you have any books to swap feel free to use the hashtag and trade for some new reads.

*From The Interwebs*


Yep - that's about 2 weeks worth of books, all thanks to review copies, #TeenCon2015 and swapping books with the lovely Chiara @ Delicate Eternity and Rebecca @ Reading Wishes as part of #booksfortradeau. 

*Recommendation of the Week*


Though admittedly at the start I had my doubts about this one, by the end I was left totally captivated and wanting more. Look out for my review coming very soon!

This post has been a long time coming - though with exams once again looming the blog may be a bit quiet for the next few weeks. How has your week been?

Waiting on Wednesday: Risk

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where the participants tell their readers about an upcoming release they are waiting to read. This week I've picked Risk by Fleur Ferris.

Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants?

From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends. So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes. 

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would. One day. Two days. Three . . . What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy? 

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed. Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?

I've already read an extract from this book - and I can tell you that this is one of my most anticipated Aussie YA releases of the year!

Releasing 1st July 2015

The Girl I Was Before by Ginger Scott Teaser

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Girl I Was Before by Ginger Scott
Series: Falling #3
Released: 23rd June 2015
Genre: NA Contemporary

I’m the selfish one. I suppose that’s the nicest thing people say about me. I’ve heard the other things, too. “Paige Owens is a pretty girl with nothing else to offer. She’s just a good time at a party. She’s stupid, heartless, cold and useless. All she cares about is getting a guy to look at her. Why would anyone want to be her friend?” Some of those things are true. Others were true. They’re all hurtful. None of it matters. I’m ready to make the hard choices. I’m ready to face the consequences. I’m ready to be the girl I was before, and I’m done being the one who lost her way.

 I’m ready to become the girl Houston Orr sees when he looks at me. Houston isn’t a star athlete. He doesn’t play in a band. He’s never going to be president, and his life is so far away from simple and easy it isn’t even funny. He wasn’t part of my plan. But I’m starting to think plans are overrated, and maybe our stories are what we make them. And mine depends entirely on me, and the choices I make…starting now. Houston is my fairytale. He’s perfectly imperfect. He’s poetry and life. He’s truth and heartbreak, all rolled up in a tall body with dark hair, broad shoulders and green eyes that lull me into submission. He’s nothing I ever thought I wanted, but the very thing I need. He’s the only guy I’ve ever really loved, and he thinks I’m a princess. I fell into him, and now I’m holding on. But sometimes life takes away our ability to choose.

Sometimes…things aren’t in your control. Sometimes, it hurts to be selfless. My only hope is that when it comes time to choose, I get it right.

Welcome to my once upon a time and wish for happily ever after.

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.)

Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).
I know I'm excited to read this story in its entirety, it sounds like it's going to be just as heartfelt as the previous two in the series!

#TeenCon2015 Recap!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Today I was fortunate enough to attend the long-awaited YA event so far this year - TeenCon2015! As part of the Sydney Writer's Festival, this really brought to light the wonderful Aussie YA bookish community, and all the publishers which attended made the evening so enjoyable. There was an awesome reviewer panel sharing their experiences, tips on what to read now and what's coming up in YA, an epic book boyfriend battle and of course...GOODIE BAGS (because free books *squee!*). 

Basically, it's no wonder that I'm sure a lot of us there were feeling:

Reviewer Panel: 

These four lovely book lovers/reviewers shared some really honest insights into how they started blogging/vlogging, how the scope has changed as the community has gotten larger and what books they're excited about. The highlight would have to be when there was a conversation going on about insta-love and Kat Kennedy from Cuddlebuggery quite accurately said 'You don't fall in love like you fall in a ditch'. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Basically, the main ideas coming through were to be yourself when blogging, find your niche and keep at it. Everyone will have their own unique style, and that's a good thing - we all have our opinions to give, and finding others with the same is a fantastic cause for bookish excitement!
Publisher Recommendations:

This was another great segment based on what to read now, and what's coming up later on in the year. There are a few books that have caught my eye especially, like Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray,  Risk by Fleur Ferris, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, book 3 in The Winner's Curse trilogy and Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. 

Book Boyfriend Battle:

This was arguably THE MAIN EVENT, and boy did the crowd get passionate! The finalists were Four, Chaol and Dimitri Belikov...with Dimitri being the overall winner. All the contenders had their good qualities, and as part of #TeamJamie I did my bit and tried to cheer him on, but alas he didn't make it through. Even so, for the underdog he did pretty well and after hearing that excerpt from Stray I can't wait to read it!

Goodie bags!

So perhaps there weren't 11 books in there as was mentioned, but between myself and the two others I came with - we still got some pretty awesome reads!

If you weren't able to make it, don't forget to check out the twitter hashtag #TeenCon2015 
So - if you went to TeenCon did you enjoy it as much as I did? I know I can't wait to see what's in store for next year! 

Dual Reviews NA Edition - Paradise City & What If

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

24922131Paradise City by C.J. Duggan
Series: Paradise #1
Released: 28th April 2015
Published by: Hachette Australia
Genre: NA Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 363
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Book Depository
There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

 When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure. Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting.

But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known. Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Paradise City is the first book I've read by C.J. Duggan, and a first in my experiences reading Aussie NA fiction. While it did hold some of the stereotypical tropes of the genre, I can honestly say that it was nonetheless an addictive read. It would definitely be perfect for summer reading on the beach, and for a book which takes relationship drama, some steamy romance and witty banter along the way - I'm definitely willing to check out more of this author's work and her other series. 

Lexie was a straight-A, good girl who moved in with her cousin Amanda and her family to Paradise City, only to run into all the teen drama and of course...the boys. Coming from a country town in Red Hill, there certainly wasn't much of that - and once she meets Luke Ballantine ( right on cue as the bad boy), she certainly changes her tune.

Suddenly trying to fit in with the cool crowd became important to Lexie, as well as perhaps getting some attention from a certain someone. But despite the seeming melodrama, there was more to this story and Lexie was at times a funny character with her awkwardness at times and taboos. She also cared about her new friend and tried to make an effort to stay out of trouble...though with Ballantine that of course wasn't easy. The romance was charged with tension, and there were some twists which I didn't see coming which made the whole thing all the more interesting.


After that cliffhanger, I do want to know what will happen next in this series. C.J. Duggan is an author on my watchlist now, and not only do I want to see more from Lexie and Luke - but her other books too. It's great to see Australian authors tackling this genre and making a success of it!

What If by Rebecca Donovan
Released: 22nd January 2015
Published by: Penguin
Genre: NA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 384
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Book Depository
What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time? Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago. Except this girl isn't Nicole.

 She looks exactly like Cal's shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she's hiding, the less he wants to know. 

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.
Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

What If is a NA novel which did have some some promise, though in this case it was  a problem of not being able to establish a genuine connection with the characters or the plot. Basically, I'm going to have to sit on the fence - while I enjoyed to an extent the mystery surrounding a possible case of mistaken identity, on the whole I can't say that this is my favourite NA novel.

In short, none of the characters are ones which I found all that likable (hence the connection issue). Cal didn't really have much substance and Nyelle was definitely a 'free spirit', but it seems a twisted one at that. I'm usually all for books which explore the complexities of these fascinating characters, but in this case they just weren't developed enough for me and the storyline took some weird turns which left me questioning why I was even persevering. There is a backstory though with the alternating past and present chapters, though in the beginning I couldn't see where their relevance fit in.


In all, What If was unfortunately a disappointment. I had been looking forward to a NA mystery with depth, but was personally left with a story that fell flat. However, though this wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, you don't know until you try right?

Genie's Weekly News (33)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog feature to recap the week with bookish news and what to expect coming up! So without further ado...

*Reading Right Now*


Sounds creepy and it looks interesting with the different text mediums like Night Film did.

*Previous Posts*

*In The Bookish World*

#booksfortradeAU is happening!

If you have any books to swap feel free to use the hashtag and trade for some new reads.

Alternatively, I've also had my post going here where you can see what other books I have on offer.

*From The Interwebs*


Those Girls by Lauren Saft
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson
Cherry Blossom Dreams by Gwyneth Rees
Leap by Myfanwy Jones
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

*What I've Watched*

Since getting Netflix I've watched the whole first season of Gossip Girl. It is stereotypical and has so much drama, but I have to admit, it is addictive!

How has your week been?

Review: Lifespan of Starlight by Thalia Kalkipsakis

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

24924110Lifespan of Starlight by Thalia Kalkipsakis
Series: Starlight #1
Released: 1st April 2015
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Pages: 277
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Bookworld | Dymocks
The first in a thrilling new trilogy of epic proportions from best-selling children's author Thalia Kalkipsakis. A fresh take on the time tripping genre, The Lifespan of Starlight is Gattaca meets The Time Traveler's Wife.

It already lies dormant within you: the ability to move within time.

In 2084, three teenagers discover the secret to time travel. At first their jumps cover only a few seconds, but soon they master the technique and combat their fear of jumping into the unknown. It's dangerous. It's illegal. And it's utterly worth it for the full-body bliss of each return. As their ability to time jump grows into days and weeks, the group begins to push beyond their limits, with terrifying consequences. Could they travel as far as ten years, to escape the authorities? They are desperate enough to find out. But before they jump they must be sure, because it only works in one direction.

Once you trip forwards, there's no coming back.
Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Although Lifespan of Starlight wasn't exactly what I expected, it exceeded my expectations and impressed with a diverse futuristic world that not only had the element of time travel, but a wider scope of what life could be like in seventy years' time. With a side of hacking, conspiracy and some sci-fi drama, this debut has definitely caught my attention and I'm sure it will for you too.

All our lives, we've been moving with the flow of time because that's all we know...But in truth, time isn't flowing. Reality only exists in separate moments, like frames in a movie. 

Coutlyn (aka. Scout) is our protagonist, illegally living in a city where her mother has done everything for her, from saving food rations to share, to keeping her under the radar at all costs. It's the year 2084 and society has changed dramatically. However, this is no 'dystopia' as such, and Lifespan of Starlight certainly doesn't fall into any of those cliches. Instead, what you get is an Australian setting with the landmarks Sydneysiders especially will be sure to recognise; told from a whole new creative perspective. The worldbuilding in the story as a whole is excellent, and the balance between this and the other 'time travel' aspect is perfect.

Our sense of time changes because we control the passage of time within ourselves. 

While there isn't 'time travel' in the 'traditional' sense here, where kids go and try to save the world going back to different historical periods, I liked the author's original twist on it. The fact that this wasn't always the main focus of the plot didn't bother me either, as there was so much to explore further about Scout's character and how her identity (or lack thereof) shaped her experiences. Time 'skipping' was actually really interesting to read about, and a concept which I'm sure will be explored in more detail in the next book. In terms of the romance, though there was a hint at one point, it definitely took a back seat in this case - which worked. There's a whole lot more important things to worry about here!


Lifespan of Starlight is a compulsively readable debut which Thalia Kalkipsakis has truly impressed me with. I cannot wait to read the next book after that cliffhanger! If you're looking for something different in the Aussie YA sci-fi arena, then this book is definitely worth your while.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by bloggers at The Broke and the BookishThis week I've  picked the top ten authors I would love to meet one day.

1. Rachael Craw

20950716Rachael Craw

Rachael is so lovely on Twitter and really connects with her readers, plus Spark (as I've said before) is AMAZING. Hopefully she'll come to Australia one day!

2. Jessica L. Brooks

1752525818755289Jessica L. Brooks

Jessica is one of THE nicest authors I know, and was the first one I really 'met' through goodreads. I've had the privilege of beta-reading some of her novels, and my name is even in the acknowledgements section! She's all the way from the US, but if I ever go over there I'd love to meet her.

3. Lara Morgan


Lara Morgan is the first Australian YA author I read books from, and her Rosie Black Chronicles still remains as my all-time favourite sci-fi series. I hope she writes more books like them one day!

4. Rebecca James


Rebecca is the queen of Aussie YA psychological thriller in my opinion, and I'd love the chance to see her and get my books signed!

5. Ginger Scott

188070192194563822756190Ginger Scott

Ginger Scott's NA contemporary novels have always wowed me with their very real characters and fantastic storylines. I'd love to meet her!

6. Markus Zusak

19064Markus Zusak

Simply because The Book Thief is heartbreaking, and still one of my absolute top favourite YA historical fiction pieces.

7. Marie Rutkoski

1606903020443207Marie Rutkoski

I have all the praise for The Winner's Curse series so far and can't wait to see where it goes from here - I'd love the opportunity to meet Marie Rutkoski since I'm a big fan!

8. Philippa Gregory


Amazing author and historian. Plus she wrote The White Queen which then became one of my favourite period dramas.

9. Megan Abbott


I really admire Abbott's work - her captivating writing style, and even more addictive plots. You can't deny her talent as a writer. 

10. Marisha Pessl

18770398Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl is quite new to my 'authors who have written mind-blowing books' list, but after reading Night Film now I'd really love to meet her and talk about the book!

What do you think of my choices? Who would you love to meet?