Monthly Archives: March 2013

This Week

Happy Easter!


You can still enter the Goodreads giveaway for Eloise Crimson and the Turing Pocket Watch by James D. Layton.

 Eloise Crimson and the Turing Pocket Watch by James D. Layton

The RITA Award nominations have been announced. HERE are the nominees in the young Adult category for 2013.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


Young Adult nominees for the 2013 RITA Awards

The RITA Awards are a pretty big deal, being the major awards ceremony for books with romantic themes.

Here are the four nominees in the Young Adult category for the 2013 awards:

Bound by Erica O’Rourke

Bound by Erica O’Rourke

Mo Fitzgerald has made her choice: A life in Chicago. A future with Colin. To leave behind the enigmatic Luc and the world of the Arcs. But the more she struggles to keep her magic and mortal lives separate, the deadlier the consequences. In the end, Mo must risk everything–her life, her heart, her future–or lose it all.

The Farm by Emily McKay

The Farm by Emily McKay

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Eloise Crimson and the Turing Pocket Watch by James D. Layton: Goodreads Giveaway

Eloise Crimson and the Turing Pocket Watch by James D. Layton

There’s currently a Goodreads giveaway running for this book. It looks really interesting, and I’ll be buying a copy!

In 1945 Eloise Crimson, bored with her stuffy life looks for adventure in war torn Europe. But gets more than she bargains for when she travels back in time on a dangerous mission to stop Hitler. Read the first instalment in the epic 9 book series covering the adventures of Eloise Crimson.

Eloise sits at her dull little desk in her stuffy little office and watches her pencil tip snap for the final time. The war in Europe fills her mind with stories of adventure and heroism and yet for a 17 year old English girl, her pencil is probably the most dangerous thing she has ever held. It is 1945 and her only chance to escape the status quo of her existence is a small advert in a local shop window looking for war volunteers. She packs her bags. Waves her town goodbye and heads for the train station with a deep feeling that adventure awaits. Little does she know that less than 48 hours later she will be wrapped up in a world of time travel, romance and an epic journey of self discovery. She is thrown into the viper pit as time itself is split like a smashed water melon, and Eloise must embark on a death defying plot to stop Adolf Hitler in his tracks. Thrown back to 1935 with her fellow volunteers. The Nazi army baying for her blood is only half as heart stopping as the feeling inside… that she was born to do this.

Beaded glass bottle bookmark

By Frozen Notes.

beaded with glass bottle bookmark blue

This Week

Natalia Heaney Canberra autumn 2013

We’ve been having a stereotypical Canberra autumn this week; sunny, warm, bright blue skies. A lot of people say it’s the best time of the year. 🙂

 Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

I’m about to embark on an epic reread of the Tomorrow series. A favourite of mine, it follows a group of Australian teenagers who try to survive – and not be captured – when their country is invaded.

 Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

This week I received a review copy of Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein. I haven’t started it yet, but it looks really interesting, so soon!

Up Next – Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

I’ve just got my hands on a review copy of Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein. It looks interesting!

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested.

John Marsden’s Tomorrow Series

Ever since about sixth grade, I’ve gone through phases of rereading John Marsden’s Tomorrow series. The series grew, grew, grew, finished, and then a spinoff trilogy was written. More than one generation grew up with the stories. With a female protagonist and the kind of action and excitement that appeals to boys, Marsden managed to create a series that worked for everyone, and the first book was on my school curriculum.

For those unfamiliar with it, the books are set in rural Australia, and follow a group of teenagers who go camping out in the bush for a few days.
When they return, they discover their country has been invaded, and after fleeing and going into hiding, they decide to fight back.

The first book was made into a movie not all that long ago, and even though things were changed (as they always are), I thought they did a pretty good job. The lead actress was 100% miscast for the book character, but I think she created a different version of Ellie, and I didn’t mind her performance. Some of the accents were a bit weird (one of the actresses was English, and a couple of others put on the strangest voices that didn’t sound all that Australian), but I really did like the movie quite a lot.

Here’s the trailer:


Harry Potter Dresses

How cool are these? You can be a Harry Potter fangirl and be stylish at the same time! Get your custom-made Harry Potter dresses HERE.

dress Harry Potter

Harry Potter dress

This Week

I’m going to Melbourne for the rest of the week, so there’ll be no updates on here.

Even years later, Melbourne still scares me a bit, because I still associate the city with classes at The Australian Ballet, and all the stress and cliques and snobbery and unhappiness I remember from that place!


Even now, going on a tram past the State Theatre, which is also the stop for the Australian Ballet Centre, I get anxious!

We may not even go that way this time, as we’ll be staying in rundown but oh-so popular seaside suburb St Kilda. The apartment is one we’ve stayed in before, so hopefully everything works out!


Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Separated by the car accident that left Maggie with a permanent disability and sent driver Caleb to jail for hitting her, the two teens are surprised to encounter each other in Re-START, a month long program where teens talk about the ways their lives were changed by reckless driving. Everyone wants to keep them apart, but when they end up in a van with four other teens and a program counselor, sparks fly again. Is a month long enough to undo the damage inflicted by the accident, their families, and each other?

Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

This is the second book in a series about two teenagers: a girl who was hit by a car and left permanently disabled, and the guy who went to prison for hitting her.

DO NOT read this one first. Just do not! Not only do I recommend you read these books in order, but I recommend reading them one after the other, close together. That’s what I did, and I’m so happy I chose to. While the first book can work on its own, it’s going to leave you wanting a happier ending, and Return to Paradise delivers it.

This is a very different kind of book to the first one, but I liked it. There’re some moments here I can’t talk about without giving away spoilers, but some scenes in this one are the very scenes you probably wanted to read in the first book. The revelations, the admissions. Two big things you wish came to light in Leaving Paradise are dealt with here.

Simone Elkeles writes some great YA fiction. This is another one I enjoyed.