Unrivaled by Alyson Noel (Beautiful Idols #1)

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I love a good book-mail, especially on easter weekend

 

Published by Mira Ink, 10 May 2016, 368 pages,  £7.99

When they said for fans of Pretty Little Liars, I thought ok then. Bring it. And they were right. This was so exciting, and was just like reading or watching an addictive series. Its also recommended for those who love Gossip Girl, The Apprentice… I also think its for those who like How to Get Away with Murder. You know who you are. We of this kiln love witnessing pretty people getting stressed, their romances tangled, their world gradually getting drenched in fast-paced darkness.

Here’s a little taster:

The story centers around three ambition starved teens from different backgrounds: sarky Layla wants to be a serious journalist but is stuck writing a gossip blog, beautiful Aster wants to be an actress despite her parent’s control for marriage, and Thommy wants to be musician as well as take revenge on the father that abandoned him. All three would do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. These are total wannabe stereotypes. But if you’re going to go down that route go the whole way, and the author does.

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Enjoying the short-lived bites of summer

Layla, Aster and Thommy are all drawn like moths to a  competition hosted by the strange and dangerous Ira, who is basically an LA night life mogul. They see it as a their means to an end and ruthlessly vet against each together to promote the best night-club and win. But Ira is not satisfied until someone gets Hollywood’s queen Madison Brooks through their doors. They suddenly resort to using whatever they have to get her attention. This is when we start to see the juicy sneaking, lying, and desperate acts; all complicated by some uncontrollable attractions. But once Madison finally adds to the equation, things get a little darker, and the three end up entangled in something bigger. We see another story driving the novel. When she mysteriously disappears, the spotlight falls on them, the thing they have always wished for. But they haven’t really earned it and are going to have to pay for it. So they now have to work together, even when there is no trust.

Bam! It’s all good stuff. There’s so much suspense, and the ending will make you thirsty for more. Thank you Cara from Mira for my review copy xx

Keep scrolling for author info…x

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Ok last one.

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR UNRIVALLED

“Not all of L.A.’s beautiful people lead beautiful lives. Alyson Noël shows us with the details of an observant insider what they’re really up to, late into the night. Like a good celebrity, Unrivalled is mysterious and compelling and so gorgeous you won’t be able to look away” Cecily von Ziegesar author of the Gossip Girl series 

“This glitzy, suspenseful, shamelessly addictive read offers an all-access pass to the glimmering world of Hollywood celebrity, where fame is a game, dark secrets are currency, and love doesn’t come without a high price.” Margaret Stohl, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Creatures

Unrivaled will have you hooked from the very first page. Everything from the glitzy setting to the suspenseful plot is pure gold.” Jamie McGuire, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Beautiful Disaster

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Number OneNew York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël has won numerous awards and achieved international bestseller status for her wildly popular young adult series, The Immortals and The Soul Seekers, and her middle grade series, Riley Bloom. Alyson Noël is an established global phenomenon with books printed in 36 languages and sold in over 50 countries.  Now she is taking on the seductive world of L.A. nightlife in a new series using what she knows best: steamy romance and high-stakes Hollywood competition.

Alyson Noël is the bestselling author of twenty-three novels, including The Immortals, Riley Bloom, and Soul Seekers series. With millions of copies in print, her books have been translated in thirty-six languages and have made numerous international bestseller lists. Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan, and is now settled back in Southern California, where she’s working on her next book. You can visit her online atwww.alysonnoel.com 

 For more information please contact Eve Wersocki oneve.wersocki@midaspr.co.uk | 0207 361 7860

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‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ + ‘P. S. I Still Love You’ by Jenny Han

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Did not let me down

Published by Simon & Schuster, April 2014, 288 pages, £6.99

I wasn’t actually going to review these books. It’s unanimously loved on bookstagram, what would be the point- I mean look at it! It’s made for shelfies, the cover is practically a slicked out instagram post. So I thought, maybe it is over-hyped and its just a pretty face. But I loved every minute of reading it. It’s such a lovely book. And I’m not putting that lightly or sugar-coating my words. Jenny Han’s work is a gem. All I can think was- where was I when this was being published?

Han is a great story teller. It takes skill to keep a reader keen, when nothing really happens. I mean it has a proper plot, but its the sort of book where you don’t care about that much and you end up just living with the characters. Lara Jean lost her mother when she was young. She’s got a loving but slightly clueless dad, a life-sorted older sister Margot and a full-of-life little sister Kitty. She is living in a world filled with her delicious baking (I loved all the descriptions of food), studying, her party-hard friend Chris and being in love with Josh, Margot’s boyfriend. When Margot goes off to college, she finds it harder to let go of her feelings. A few years ago, she wrote venting love-letters to all the boys she was crushing on. One day these get accidentally posted- and all hell breaks loose. She has to pretend to date popular boy Peter Kravinsky, who is turn is trying to get his ex jealous. After a while, the game gets complicated and the difference between truth and lies is not so easy.

There’s nothing more delicious than some guys fighting over you. But this messed up web of lies and love triangles is not exactly unique to YA romance. So don’t expect anything different. But saying that, Han’s style of writing is original to me. Its so sweet, funny and punchy. It doesn’t have the edgy bite that a lot of YA has recently, which I feel turns kinda sour. But it still has an endearing honesty about it. It reminded me of the amazing Meg Cabot. Lara Jean’s stumbling through life will stick to me for a while. Is there such thing as ‘cute writing’? Because I don’t think I’ve come across something so adorable in words.

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When To All the Boys… was finished I went straight back to Amazon and brought the sequel. It picks up just where we left off. I think, structurally, the first book is better. This book strays a little in the middle and I got a bit confused. One of Lara Jean’s old loves, John, enters back into the mix and throws everything up in the air. Han has a knack of making you fall in love with anybody. She made me fall in love with Josh, Peter and now what about John?

I felt like P.S... was more tense and kept me addicted with anxiousness towards the end. It had the ending I was hoping for though! And I feel like it could keep going. I want more Lara Jean.. There are some honest discussions about relationships, gender politics and sex. If you’re wondering whether it might be too young for you, I’m in my early twenties. I think anyone from 11-25 would enjoy this.

When work was getting me down, I used this book as a breather. Hanging out with the Song girls will get you back on your feet. It’s reading books like this that makes me want to become a better writer.

Thanks Jenny xx

Lila Collection by Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila + Losing Lila + Bonus chapter)

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Easter reads

Published by Simon & Schuster, Jan 2014, 672 pages, £4.99

Description: YA thriller, X-men stuff

Steam?: check out the bonus chapter.

I feel like I’m reading Sarah Alderson in reverse. I started off with the NA book Come Back to Me , which was her latest book at the time, kick starting my love affair. I just finished two books of the Lila series, her debut into YA. This is a two-book combo with an extra chapter, and sneak preview into another YA book, Fated. Alderson offers some of the best deals on Amazon for YA, I think. If you have never read her stuff before and NA isn’t your thang (although I can’t imagine why you poor soul), I think this is the best intro and a bargain with 2 books for 5 quid!

Alderson’s writing always makes me feel comfortable. I feel snug and happy, is all I can explain it. She does a good job of getting you straight down into her world. Its snappy, funny and straight to the point. After the first 2-3 chapters your in: Lila’s mum was recently killed,

 

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Sweet deal on Amazon

she’s living awkwardly with her dad in London, while her brother stayed in America with his best friend Alex (who she has been in love with all her life), oh and she has special powers. She decides to throw caution to the wind and go visit her brother, who she hasn’t seen in 3 years and discovers this whole new life he’s been leading with Alex, and everything seems to lead back to her mum’s death. Strange people are hanging around, her feelings for Alex intensify, she’s trying to process the fact that she has telekinesis and the company her brother and Alex work for may or may not be dodgy.

It’s fast paced, mysterious and will keep you going. It’s got the X-men and Hereos (anybody remember that?) vibe. There’s a lot of interesting characters and some swoony romance (hence the x-tra chapter for us pervs). I do think there’s a fair amount of repetition- I get it Lila, you love Alex. And I think the romance might be too easy, I always prefer a little struggle in the relationship. But you know this is more suited for a teen audience. I’d say 11-16 is perfect (minus the x-tra chapter, although its not really that graphic- unless you read it and think it is and be wondering what the hell I’ve been reading… well check out the rest of my blog girl).

3 1/2 stars, good but not as good as the authors later work.

The Untamed Earl by Valerie Bowman

Published by SMP Romance, 3rd May, 304 pages, £4.46

This was alright. It is what it is really. A tale of sweet and sensual confusion. But the connection between Alex and Owen developed a bit too easily. I always like more a glitch or some frictional tension. What’s not to love about Alex? She’s amicable, easy going, fun and just overall lovely. And Owen is typical- an older handsome rogue. He’s lived a life of debauchery and is turning over the leaf for the right wom-an. Alex has set her sights on him from day 1. She’s small and cute but devises a bold plan to spend more time with him, something he can’t refuse, making him surprised and curious.

You’re thinking alright- alright, this is what I kinda signed up for. But the two instantly like each other from the beginning. What’s wrong with that? There’s always some sort of initial attraction. But it needs to be something a little less friendly and little more gutsy.

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What’s more is the climax happens quite late, around 80% of the way through. I think the tension built was just too little, too slow.

What I actually liked most about this book, and what I found the most memorable, is Alex’s crazy-ass sister! Lavinia is loud, spoilt, selfish, spiteful and overall terrible to be around. She is super lazy and rages when she doesn’t get her way. I loved the way she got OTT evil and the moment she gets her comeuppance!! I was like yes biatch here’s a taste of life, suck on that. Ha ha. It was like watching a soap drama. I kinda wanted her to meet her match, to fall head over heels for someone and become undone. I think that would make a more interesting story.

Thanks to SMP for my review copy xxx