Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Dutton Books (29th September 2011)

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more fun, more wild – the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood.

When Cricket – a gifted inventor – steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Stephanie Perkins writes the kind of contemporary romance that I enjoy. Lola and the Boy Next Door is a companion piece to Anna and the French Kiss – which I loved (you can find my review here) – so I thought I’d give it a try, and I was NOT disappointed.

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Review: Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris, UK edition cover.

Title: Deadlocked (Southern Vampire Mysteries #12)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz (1st May 2012)

Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands.

A young girl has died at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Not is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed.

But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching  Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistible, or was it something more sinister?

Sookie will have to find out . . . but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Deadlocked is the twelfth and penultimate book in Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series – which when I first read it was referred to as The Southern Vampire Mysteries, and I still think of it that way. I’ve been reading this series for a while as I’m kinda curious to see how things will play out.

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Review: If I Die by Rachel Vincent

Soul Screamers #5 Cover

If I Die by Rachel Vincent, UK edition cover.

Title: If I Die (Soul Screamers #5)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk (3rd February 2012)


As a teen banshee, Kaylee’s blood-curdling screams are a death knell for others. Yet she never expected to see her own name at the top of a reaper’s list.

Scheduled to die within days, Kaylee knows her magic can’t change her fate. Worse, on top of worrying about her own demise, she needs to save mortal best friend Emma from the clutches of a deadly Netherworld creature.

As Kaylee’s time on earth slips away, troubled banshee boyfriend Nash and his reaper brother Tod refuse to give up on Kaylee. They’re ready to unearth murky family secrets to give her a last chance at life, as their fight to save Kaylee becomes a battle for her love.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

I have enjoyed reading the first four books in Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamer series, so of course I had to get this – the fifth – book. If I Die continues teen banshee Kaylee’s story as she discovers that she is on a reaper’s list.

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Review: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Shotting Stars by Allison Rushby

Title: Shooting StarsAuthor: Allison Rushby
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker & Company (28th February 2012)

Behind the flashing lights, the camera reveals all . . . even love.

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s known in the biz. The best pint-sized paparazzo out there, Jo loves shooting stars, and she certainly doesn’t mind doing whatever it takes to get that one perfect picture.

But then Jo is sent on a major undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett – teen superstar/heartthrob and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her – at an exclusive retreat facility in Boston. Among the cheesy group therapy sessions and embarrassing “team building” exercises, Jo finds there’s more to the reclusive Ned than meets the eye – and maybe more to herself too.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

What first drew me to this book was the cover – I think it looks absolutely gorgeous! Then I read the blurb, and I was sold. It took me a while to get around to buying this book, but I am very glad that I did. It is a brilliant piece of light fluff.

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Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Title: The Duff (The Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (5th April 2012)

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper knows she’s not the hottest girl at school, but when school jock and resident moron Wesley casually refers to her as a Duff – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – the gloves are off!

If there’s a think line between love and hate then Bianca has crossed it. She just never thought she was capable of breaking anyone’s heart . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)

I first heard of this book through The Book Rat. Misty had written a really interesting review about the book (which can be found here), and I really wanted to see what I thought of it myself.

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Review: Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent

Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent, UK edition.

Title: Shadow Bound (An Unbound Novel, #2)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Mira (1st June 2012)


Shadow-walker Kori, able to travel from one human shadow to another, keeps her powers hidden from the world. Until supernatural crime lord Tower imprisons her and suppresses her magic. Freedom for her, and her magician sister Kenley, now comes at a price.

The job? Recruit Ian Holt, a man who can manipulate darkness – or kill him.

Yet Ian has a mission of his own: assassinate Kenley, whose unique powers give Tower a deadly advantage in their underworld.

Fighting for two different sides, Kori and Ian can’t deny the desperate magnetic pull that draws them together. But in a world of black and white, of good and evil, can their love survive in the shadows?

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Shadow Bound is the second book in the An Unbound Novel trilogy. This book focuses on Kori Daniels, who appeared in Blood , Bound, and Ian Holt.

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Review: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy, UK edition.

Title: The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Author: Christopher Healy
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher: Harper Collins (7 June 2012)


You’ve never heard of them, have you?

These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel, but you probably just know them all as ‘Prince Charming’. Well, all that is about to change as the hapless princes stumble upon an evil plot and get a second chance to prove themselves true heroes.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is Christopher Healy’s debut novel. It tells the story of the ‘Prince Charming’s from the Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel fairy tales.

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Review: 13 by Kelley Armstrong

Women of the Otherworld #13

13 by Kelley Armstrong, UK edition cover.

Title: 13 (Women of the Otherworld #13)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (24th July 2012)

13. The breath-taking, explosive finale to the Women of the Otherworldseries.

War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons.

Savannah Levine – fiery and unpredictable – stands at the heart of the maelstrom. There is a new, dark magic inside her, granting her the power to summon spells of terrifying strength. But whether this magic is a gift or a curse, no one knows.

On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival – Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jamie; Hope, Eve and more . . . They are fighting for their lives. They are fighting for their loved ones.

They are fighting for the Otherworld.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

13 is the final book in Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant Women of the Otherworld series. This book brings to an end a brilliant series that has featured witches, sorcerers, demons, angels, vampires, ghosts and necromancers – just to name a few. After 13 books I am really sad to see the series draw to a close.

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Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Title: Insatiable (Insatiable #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harper Voyager (21st June 2012)


Meena Harper is familiar with the supernatural. After all, she knows how you’re going to die. (Not that you’ll believer her. No one ever does.)

But while she’s always been able to see everyone else’s destiny, she’s never been able to look into her own. Maybe that’s why when she meets Lucien Antonescu – a modern-day prince who also has no destiny she can foresee – she’s instantly attracted.

The trouble is, when an ancient society of vampire hunters shows up  at Meena’s door looking for Lucien, she’s forced to face the truth: that her dream boyfriend might turn out to be more of a nightmare.

So now would be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . . if she has one.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

In Insatiable the brilliant Meg Cabot has decided to tackle vampires. Insatiable tells the story of Meena Harper who has the ability to see how people will die, and a little bit of a hero complex because of it.

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Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: MiraInk (3rd August 2012)


I can’t remember the night that changed my life.
The night I went from popular to loner freak.
And my family are determined to keep it that way.

They said therapy was supposed to help.

They didn’t expect Noah.

Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned
me about. But the only one who’ll listen.
The only one who’ll help me find the truth.

I know every kiss, every promise,
every touch is forbidden.


Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Pushing the Limits is Katie McGarry’s debut novel. It tells the stories of Echo and Noah who are both going through difficult times in their lives when they collide.

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