Title: Fool Me Twice.
Series: If Only..., #1.
Author: Mandy Hubbard.
Publication Date: June 5th, 2014.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.
Format: Paperback, 272 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
My Rating:

Mackenzie is determined not to fall for Landon all over again. Not after he dumped her and got back together with his ex. But they are both at Serenity Ranch and Spa for the summer and she can’t just ignore him – especially after he takes a nasty fall and doesn’t remember ever breaking up with her! Now it’s her turn to dump him. And not without a little bit of fun first...

Fool Me Twice is a ridiculously cute, sweet, funny and light-hearted book that’ll have anyone grinning like an idiot whilst they’re reading it. It’s full of hilarious scenes, practical jokes and romantic encounters – and although some of the scenes were a little cheesy at times, I didn’t really mind. Mandy Hubbard has a really bubbly writing style and outlook and I just loved her style of writing. Fool Me Twice is fun and quick read, and I’d really recommend any contemporary lover to pick it up and give it a go.

Mackenzie, or Mack, is our main protagonist throughout Fool Me Twice, and I really loved her character! She’s smart, witty, upbeat, funny, and caring. She has this ridiculously quirky personality and sense of style; she even dyed her hair red and blue for Independence Day! Mack was just a really loveable character that you can’t help but laugh along with, and I think if I met her in real life, she’d be someone I’d really want to be friends with. Overall I thought she was a really strong and interesting character and I was rooting for her to be happy right from the start.

Landon is the love interest throughout Fool Me Twice, and the guy Mack wants to get revenge on for breaking her heart. At first, I really didn’t like his character – he seemed too full of himself, and didn’t seem to care what so ever about how much he’d hurt Mack in dumping her the way he did. However, the more the novel progressed, the more I started to like him. It turns out he has this complete other side to him, and can be really sweet and fun. By the time I was nearing the end of the book, I was desperate for a happy ending and for the two of them to work things out and to be together. Talk about a change of opinion!

Although the majority of the characters acted and seemed much more like 16 year olds, rather than 18 (or nearly 18) year olds, it surprisingly didn’t faze me much what so ever. I have a bit of a pet peeve about characters that act stupidly, or if they really don’t act their age – but Mack, Landon and Mack’s best friend, Bailey don’t act like little kids at all - just slightly younger versions of themselves, trying to enjoy their last summer before they go off to University. As for the relationship between Landon and Mack, it was so sweet and beautiful. As much as she tried not to fall back in love with Landon, she just couldn’t help it, even after all did to her. She was willing to forgive and mostly forget the things that happened between them the year before, and at first that frustrated me, but as I read more and more, I found out I really didn’t mind so much after all.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Fool Me Twice. It’s definitely not a book to be taken too seriously, but was generally a really beautiful and kind of heart-warming tale with a lot of humour mixed in! Mandy Hubbard’s writing is fresh, funny and quirky, with a lovely ability to create a lovely backdrop to the story – I could picture the Ranch really clearly in my head! I flew through Fool Me Twice, reading it in just two sittings, and although it’s not perfect, I believe it well and truly deserves the 4/5 star rating I gave it. I can’t wait to read more books in this series and from Mandy Hubbard in the future – she’s definitely an author to keep an eye out for!

“Is his horse always that hyper?”
Storm is dancing at the end of the reins, but Landon just maintains his solid grip and walks as if it’s no big deal that a thousand-pound horse is hopping around like a bunny on crack.
“Yeah, pretty much. He’s got his roping saddle on and Storm knows it. He’s such a hothead for roping.”
“Should we bail?” I ask. “I mean, I don’t know the rules of engagement. Without the aid of explosives or whatever.”
“First, no, you do not let him run you off, and second, dude, explosives! We could blow up his junk!” - Page 39.

It’s out here on the trail where sometimes I think I see deep inside his soul, those moments he’s utterly content, and somehow I finally get him. It doesn’t mean we’re meant to be, doesn’t mean he won’t break my heart.
It just means deep in his heart, he’s something different. The guy who would gallop to the edge of a cliff to save you [...]. He’d share his last drop of water with you, or if your horse went lame, he’d offer you his own and then walk, even if his boots made his feet blister and the sun dang near killed him.
He might still dump you for another girl, but out here, under the never-ending sky, he’s mine. The guy I fall for over and over and over again. - Page 194 & 195.

My reverie is broken when Landon touches my knee, and I turn to him. He leans across the space between our horses, and my eyes slip closed just as his lips touch mine.
As the sun rises over the desert, we kiss. - Page 235.

Hey book nerds! :D I'm feeling like I may need to come up with a more interesting way to start these posts. If any of you have some funny suggestions, let me know and I'll try them out. :P I hope you're all doing well! I've been reading like crazy lately, I read one and a half books yesterday - I couldn't believe how fast I zoomed through them. :) I've also started reading and writing Fanfiction again! I used to read Fanfiction constantly, but haven't for a while. I've also written a lot in the past, but it's been years since I posted anything. I've just started a new Harry Potter Fanfiction and I've gotten two chapters posted, I'm very pleased with myself. :3 Anyway, that's it for today - I hope you all enjoy this post and video and I'll talk to you guys again soon! ^.^


Photos And Book Information

A BIG thanks to Bloomsbury who sent me these books for review! :D They look really fantastic and I can't wait to start them. :3

Boy21 by Matthew Quick.
Masquerade (Games, #3) by Nyrae Dawn.

A HUGE thanks to Headline who sent me these two books via Book Bridgr for review! :3

Louder Than Words by Laura Jarratt.
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill.

A BIG thank you to Electric Monkey, which is an imprint of Egmont for sending me Louder Than Words for review. Also, BIG thank you to Quercus who sent me a proof copy of Only Ever Yours for review. They both look awesome and I can't wait to read them! :)

True Fire by Gary Meehan.
The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass.

Faking It (Losing It, #1) by Cora Carmack.
Far From You by Tess Sharpe.

Her Best Friend's Brother by T.J. Dell.
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.

Lockdown (Escape From Furnace, #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith.
Unwind (Unwind Dystology, #1) by Neal Shusterman.

I brought Unwind used online, and It came SIGNED! Isn't that so awesome?! :D

The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley.
When Summer Ends by Isabelle Rae.

Lost Girls by Ann Kelley.
Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1) by Fiona Paul.

The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson.
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

Article 5 (Article 5, #1) by Kristen Simmons.
Timeless (Timeless, #1) by Alexandra Monir.

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn.
Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1) by J.A. Souders.

Possession (Possession, #1) by Elana Johnson.
The Turning by Francine Prose.

The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1) by Stacey Kade.
Purity by Jackson Pearce.

Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz & Ron Bass.
Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1) by Teri Brown.

Crewel (Crewel World, #1) by Gennifer Albin.
Possess by Gretchen McNeil.

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) by Jessica Spotswood.
Shards and Ashes by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong.

Hemlock (Hemlock, #1) by Kathleen Peacock.
The Pledge (The Pledge, #1) by Kimberly Derting.

Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier.
These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner.

House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1) by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Books, glorious books! :D Does anyone else get creepily excited about the thought of showing off their new books? Or is it just me? :P Either way, I love to show you all the books I've gotten recently, it's so fun. I think it's probably one of my favourite posts to do. :3 I'm so excited about all of these books, and I've heard nothing but awesome thinks about all of them. I really can't decide which I'm most excited to read. However, I have already read The Elite! I read The Selection, the first book in the trilogy the day before yesterday, and I just HAD to continue on with the series and pick up The Elite, even though it's really supposed to be at the bottom of my TBR... ^^; I finished it already last night, and loved it - and I NEED to get my hands on the third and final one. I feel so blessed to have been able to get all of these books, and for so cheap as well! (only a few pounds each, bargain!) They're all so pretty as well, I mean, LOOK at those covers! :D I just can't seem to get enough of them. Have you read any of these books? Let me know! ^.^

What books have you brought or received lately? Leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out. ^.^ Happy reading! (:

Title: Fangirl.
Author: Rainbow Rowell.
Publication Date: January 30th, 2014.
Publisher: Macmillan.
Format: Paperback, 459 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
My Rating:

Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there’s romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible...

Fangirl has been one of those ridiculously hyped up books that everyone and their mothers seemed to have read and loved. When I first started reading Fangirl, I wasn’t really sure what to make of it, Rainbow Rowell’s writing style is incredibly different from everything I’ve ever read before, and there is a lot more dialogue throughout the book than I’ve ever come across. I’d glad to say I really enjoyed reading Fangirl, and yes, I did fangirl myself a little bit throughout the book. As much as I loved it though, I wouldn’t say it’s the more incredible novel I’ve ever read – and as much as I can see where all the hype has come from, there are just some things that just niggled at me. However, the overall effect and amazing plotlines and characters kept me constantly turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen next!

Cath is our main protagonist, and to be perfectly honest, at first, I really didn’t like her character much at all. I’m not entirely sure why, and I’m finding it pretty hard to put into words my reasoning, but I have a feeling it was to do with the fact that she reminded me so much of myself. Characters I read in novels NEVER remind me of myself, and I usually hate comparing myself to them – because hey, that’s an esteem killer. But there were just too many similarities to ignore. Cath is a reader, a fanfiction lover and writer, she’s shy, would rather stay at home than go out partying, has only a small handful of friends and is relatively smart – I could go on! We just seemed to share so many of the same traits that I found it quite unnerving – but as the book progressed, I grew to really like her character, which unnerved me even more. Cath’s downright refusal to do a lot of new things did kind of irritate me, and I felt I was constantly willing her to grow a pair. But the further you get into Fangirl, the more out of her shell Cath becomes – and it was really brilliant to read more and more and to see her transformation to a slightly more confident college student.

Levi is the love interest throughout Fangirl, and I absolutely adored his character! Levi is the guy who jokes about everything and generally loves being nice to absolutely everyone. It doesn’t tire him out; in fact it just seems to energise him. His character is so up-beat, cheerful, sweet, kind and ridiculously funny – I was constantly laughing at some of the things he came out with. I just couldn’t get enough of his character! He’s not usually the type of guy in books that I tend to like, but he’s just so adorable, I couldn’t help but love him. And yes, Levi, I was rooting for you throughout the entire book!

Cath and Levi’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, at first she thinks he’s annoying and frustrating, but eventually a small friendship starts to blossom. I don’t think Cath even realised she had fallen for Levi until the something happens between them – and I thought that was beautiful. I loved reading scenes with them together, they have this easy and calm relationship, and Levi is able to bring out a relaxed and playful side of Cath that she barely ever gets to see.

Wren is Cath’s twin sister, and by gosh did I dislike her. ALOT. I get that Wren wants a bit of distance, to try and become more of an individual, and I respect that. However, Wren was really rude and downright nasty towards Cath for pretty much the entire book. It’s like she completely shut her out of her life, and I really hated that – you’d think you could try and spare maybe just five minutes to talk to your sister, let alone your twin. Luckily by the end of the book, Wren’s character does a 180, but I still wasn’t keen on her at all. Art is Cath’s and Wren’s dad, and the parent that raised them. I really loved his character, he was so funny and cool. Art was an erratic character, and I loved reading about his relationship with his daughters, Cath especially. The character development in Fangirl was fantastic, and although I didn’t like Wren’s character, she was still solid and interesting.

Overall, I loved reading Fangirl; it was an amazing story with wonderful characters and a plotline that I just couldn’t get enough of. I even fell madly in love with Simon Snow and the story world Cath is obsessed with. I think it would be incredible if Rainbow Rowell actually recreated and published the world of Simon Snow, as I think it’d be incredibly popular! Rainbow Rowell’s writing is beautiful and detailed with this wonderful unique texture to it that I’ve not come across before. Although I thought Fangirl was a far from perfect novel, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and speed through it, even though it’s quite the hefty book! I just couldn’t put it down, and kept just telling myself; ‘Just until the end of this chapter’ and then ‘One more chapter won’t hurt’. The only thing that frustrated me was how abrupt the ending was, not everything was as tied up as I hoped it’d be, and occasionally scenes would stop mid-way through, which I found extremely frustrating. However, I believe Fangirl well and truly deserves the 4.5/5 star rating I gave it, and I’d recommend any with a love of contemporary romance (and Fanfiction!) to give this book a go, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

"No," Cath said, "seriously. Look at you. You’ve got your shit together, you’re not scared of anything. I’m scared of everything. And I’m crazy. Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy, but I only ever let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster." - Page 192.

Reagan was sitting up at Cath's desk when Cath woke up.
"Are you awake?"
"Have you been watching me sleep?"
"Yes, Bella. Are you awake?"
"No." - Page 302.

She closed her eyes and kissed him below his chin, behind his jaw, where he was soft and almost chubby, like a baby. He arched his neck, and it was even better than she’d hoped.
"I like you," she said. "So much. I like you here."
Cath brought her hands up to his neck. God, he was warm – skin so warm and thick, a heavier ply than her own. She slid her fingers into his hair, cradling the back of his head.
His hands mimicked hers, pulling her face up to his. “Cath, if I kiss you now, are you going to leap away from me?”
"Are you going to panic?"
She shook her head. "Probably no."
He bit the inside of his bottom lip, and smiled. His bowed lips didn’t quite reach the corners.
"I like you," she whispered.
Her pulled her forward.
Right. There was this. Kissing Levi. - Page 401 & 402.

Title: The Winner's Curse.
Series: The Winner's Trilogy, #1.
Author: Marie Rutkoski.
Publication Date: July 3rd, 2014.
Publisher: Bloomsbury.
Format: Paperback, 368 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
My Rating:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in Arin, a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him - and for a sensational price that sets the society gossips talking. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The Winner’s Curse is one of those novels that it so hyped up, that you start to worry that when you finally get around to reading it – it won’t live up the high expectations you’ve set. Luckily, this really wasn’t the case for me! The Winner’s Curse is a really unique and brilliantly written novel with an incredibly detailed and wonderfully developed storyline that draws you in and keeps you ensnared until you’ve turned the very last page. I almost immediately fell in love with the world Marie Rutkoski has written and I loved reading about the war and all the conflict that has been brewing for years. I found myself torn between the two sides in the story; the Valorians and the Herrani. Just when I thought I’d decided which side I was rooting for, something (or someone!) would do something to completely shift my opinion. I still don’t have a firm answer to the question!

Kestrel is the general’s daughter, and a wonderfully developed and intriguing character. I loved her pretty much right from the beginning. Kestrel is smart, witty, and rebellious and has this independent streak in her. Although she’s interested in her father’s military career, she doesn’t want to join. And although she would like to get married, she doesn’t want to settle and become a complacent house-wife. Kestrel just wants to keep who she really is; a musician and an idealist, and she truly believes that if she joins the military to please her father, or gets married, she’ll loose who she really is. Kestrel’s determination and the spark of life and willpower in her are what make her so fantastic; she was a brilliant character – unlike any I’ve ever read about before!

Arin just happens to be a slave Kestrel buys on a whim from the market one afternoon. I had rollercoaster feelings about Arin’s character throughout The Winner’s Curse. During the beginning of the novel, I thought he was an interesting character, but not overly likeable. When the novel progressed some more, I really started to like his character and grew quite attached to him in my own weird sort of way. He wasn’t one of the characters I absolutely fell in love with, and he’s personally not really my type – but he was sweet, kind, compassionate and really seemed to care about his people and his cause. There were a few instances where I thought he seemed like a complete ass, and acted like one too – but hey, no one’s perfect!

Kestrel and Arin’s relationship develops slowly and cautiously throughout The Winner’s Curse – which I thought fit the storyline perfectly. The romance is definitely not a huge part of the novel, as it focuses more on the battle aspects, the war and complications – but I loved it all the same. Neither of the pair is willing to admit their growing feelings for each other, although it’s plainly obvious how they feel. There are so many complications, and barriers that naturally try to keep them apart, and I really felt for them – their relationship was doomed not to work before it even started. They’re from completely different worlds, yet they understand each other in a way that no one else seems too. I thought their relationship was really beautiful and the ending of The Winner’s Curse really killed me.

Overall, I absolutely adored The Winner’s Curse – it was a phenomenal, action-packed novel that’s full of twists, turns and scenes that I never expected. Marie Rutkoski’s writing is so beautiful and intricately detailed that I could just picture myself right alongside the characters she’s created. My only complaint about The Winner’s Curse is that there were quite a few times where I felt like the storyline dragged and became slightly boring and slow to read – but luckily these times eventually did pick up and I could continue on with the wonderful story. I believe it well and truly deserves the 4.5/5 star rating I gave it, and I’d highly recommend this novel and/or Marie Rutkoski’s writing to anyone who’s a fan of fantasy and forbidden romance. I honestly can’t wait for the release of the second book in this trilogy so I can get my hands on it – I really need to find out what happens next, where everything goes and where all the characters end up!

Arin smiled. It was a true smile, which let her know that all the others he had given her were not. - Page 111.

It took some time before Arin realized he was humming a dark tune. For once he didn't stop himself. The pressure of song was too strong, the need for distraction too great. Then he found that the music caged behind his closed teeth was the melody Kestrel had played for him months ago. He felt the sensation of it, low and alive, on his mouth.
For a moment, he imagined it wasn't the melody that touched his lips, but Kestrel.
The thought stopped his breath, and the music, too. - Page 179.

“You’re not mine.” Arin said.
And he kissed her.
Kestrels’ lips parted. This was real, yet not simple at all. He smelled of woodsmoke and sugar. Sweet beneath the burn. He tasted like the honey he’d licked off his fingers minutes before. Her heartbeat skidded, and it was she who leaned greedily into the kiss, she slid one knee between his legs. Then his breathe went ragged and the kiss grew dark and deep. He lifted her up onto the table so that her face was level with his, and as they kissed it seemed that words were hiding in the air around them, that they were invisible creatures that feathered against her and Arin, then nudged, and buzzed, and tugged. - Page 323.

Wrap-Up: May 2014

Hey book nerds! ^.^ It's time, once again, for another Monthly Wrap-Up post and video! :) I'm sorry this video is uber late this month, I've had ear infection after ear infection - and I've been in a lot of pain. Just moving my head slightly causes these horrible crackly pains in both ears and down my jaw. Yikes! I'm feeling much better now luckily, and wanted to get this post done as quickly as possible. :3 I've already read two books this month already, and I loved them both - and I'm currently about half way through my third. I think June is going to be a great reading month for me! But, I'm not holding my breath... Anyway, I've not got a whole lot else to say today - especially as nothing interesting has really happened lately. I'm going into town with my best friend, Sarah tomorrow - so that should be fun. :) So yeah, that's it - enjoy the post and I'll be back again soon for my June Book Haul!


Books Read In May 2014

Total: 5 books read.
Click on the link to be taken to the review.

What books did you read in May 2014? Don't forget to leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out! ^.^ Happy Reading! (: