BOOK REVIEW: SHATTER ME BY TAHEREH MAFI



Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.




No spoilers ahead.


The writing style. My god, the writing style. I will forever be falling in love with Tahareh Mafi's way with words. And even if in several months' time I forget some of the scenes, if the exact quotes slip away from me and I find I have to re-read the book to recall it perfectly, I am positive the writing style will never, not once, leave me for a moment.

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BOOK REVIEW: THE SCORPIO RACES BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER

 The Scorpio Races on Goodreads

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.


Some riders live.
Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.





In the author's note at the end of The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater recounts all the times she's tried and failed to tell variations of this story over the years: first, when she was in college. Then again, immediately afterward. Once more when her Shiver trilogy had been published. And finally in 2011, when the world was finally graced with The Scorpio Races. She notes how sometimes stories which take research are hard to tell, and sometimes the stories you want to tell the most are long in the making.

All the effort, all the research and all the failed attempts that converged to make this novel happen were well worth it. Because what Maggie Stiefvater won't tell you is this: in the end, it was a masterpiece.

No spoilers ahead. 

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TOP 10 MOST ANTICIPATED 2015 BOOK RELEASES

Happy Winter Solstice to all! Strictly speaking, the solstice marks the official beginning of another season. In broader terms, the winter solstice marks yet another thing - the beginning of a new year being mere days away. And with the new year come the new book releases. So far, 2014 has seen a lot of our favorite series end (with trumpets and fireworks, more often than not), but it has also marked the inception of a whole array of new, gripping reads which are sure to keep us occupied, on the edge of our seats (and occasionally crying for the next book in said series) for years to come.

So in honor of the new year being just around the corner, this Monday we're choosing our most anticipated book releases for 2015 - from Adult Fantasy to New Adult Romance, and from Middle Grade Children's Lit to Young Adult Contemporary reads. We want it all. And we want it now. (You know which meme we're thinking of here.)




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BOOK REVIEW: CLIPPED WINGS BY HELENA HUNTING



An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?
 




contains spoilers

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BOOK REVIEW: THE EVOLUTION OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN

 The Evolution of Mara Dyer on Goodreads

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?



Spoiler-free review


"The Evolution of Mara Dyer" will make you write your review twice. The first time, your thoughts will be so scattered and there will be so many exclamation points and caps that it'll appear entirely illegible to anyone who might come across it. Then you'll take a deep breath, go through the five stages of grief and rewrite it.



Anyone? No? Then maybe it's just me.

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BOOK REVIEW: THIS IS FALLING BY GINGER SCOTT




First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it. 

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I’d made a choice—I was going to cross back to the other side, to live with the living. I just didn’t know how. 

And then I met Nate Preeter. 

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn’t supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn’t want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn’t. 

My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing. 

And then he showed me how to fall. 



non-spoilery


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BLOG TOUR: FAERY MARKED BY MARY WAIBEL






When Callie Rycroft wakes to find purple flames flickering on the ceiling, she believes she’s still dreaming. But soon she’s forced to accept that she has magic―a special magic that grants her entrance into the Faery Realm.

For centuries humans have been banned from Faery, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Declared Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is assigned a Guardian, and tasked with finding the Cordial―a magical elixir needed to keep the portal to the Faery realm a secret from humans.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is her Guardian. Callie hopes that, by spending time with Reece, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but against another Champion, and a rogue Guardian―a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns that the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk everything―even Reece―to complete her task as Champion? Or will she let the portal open, and doom both realms?



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TOP 10 CHRISTMASTIME BOOKS

It's finally December. The Christmas tree is going up, the decorations and lights are up and shining brightly at you, reminding you that it's that time of year again. The most wonderful time of the year. So we decided to pick out our favourite books that bring out the Christmas spirit or something to warm us up during these cold winter nights. 

With the winter holidays and Christmas breaks just around the corner, snuggling up with a good book and a warm beverage has finally gone from fantasy to reality. So from fantasy to contemporary, from historical to modern, we're sharing our picks of the top ten reads which will be keeping us warm in the following months.


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ANNOYING THINGS PEOPLE DO TO READERS




I really lose my patience with people when it comes to reading. 

We all have those friends who don't read, family members, or even random people in public that nag at us about our books. I'm sure you know who they are. We also know those readers who are pretentious or judgmental. It gets to that point when you just want to hit them over the head with a book and tell them to go away. Sadly we can't always do that and we have to put up with it. 

You might read this and end up going '
Oh God, yes! I hate these people' or even say that you have your own. Share your thoughts in the comments if you recognize any of the types listed below.

So behold, a list of the most annoying people who won't leave us alone when we're reading or trying to have an intelligent conversation about a book. 


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BOOK REVIEW: MAYBE NOT BY COLLEEN HOOVER



When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.


contains spoilers

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FRIENDLY REMINDER - CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!


Incase you didn't know, we're hosting a giveaway! We're giving away a UK edition of My True Love Gave To Me, a book of short Christmas romance stories by a bunch of very talented authors. I'm currently reading my own copy and so far, it's wonderful! 


ABOUT THE BOOK


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays



It's open internationally, the terms and conditions are on the original post and you have until December 10th to get those entries in. Best of luck!


TO ENTER, VISIT THE POST 


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TOP 10 SIDE CHARACTERS THAT NEED THEIR OWN BOOK/POV

POVs. I love reading one of my favourite books in the perspective of another character that I love. How can you not? You want to know what's happening in their head and you also want basically anything from the author. They need their story told and you're on Twitter, waiting for the author to announce a new book but it never comes. So you do what any normal fan would do - tweet at them. Although when I do it, I don't get an answer. One day it will happen, they will write the POV I've always wanted!
So, here's a few POV's and extra books we'd love to read about.



And don't forget to let us know which characters you'd love to read from!



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IN MY MAILBOX: NOVEMBER 29TH


Moar books! I'm one lucky girl. I was sent some books by a lovely friend called Dennis, who has been incredibly kind and generous to me and my co-blogger. I'm very much running out of space for all my books because I'm still looking for a place to move out, where I am now has no room for a big bookcase. I have a small one and it's jam packed. Not good. I'm certainly looking forward to the day when I have a floor to ceiling bookshelf. 
All these books are so beautiful and I can't wait to get started on them! All very different but all new worlds, new people to meet and new life experiences to gain.



Come have a look!

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BOOK REVIEW: HALLOWED BY CYNTHIA HAND



For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.


contains spoilers!

TO READ THE REVIEW OF UNEARTHLY, BOOK ONE, GO HERE
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BOOK REVIEW: NEVER CLOSE ENOUGH BY ANIE MICHAELS



The last thing Ella Sinclair needed on her birthday was a cheating boyfriend, a broken heart, and a dead car battery in a remote beach town. At her greatest moment of need, a protective and sexy Porter Masters comes to her rescue. Ella takes a holiday week at the coast to discover herself and finds her attraction to Porter potent and undeniable. Uncertain of their future together, Ella struggles to open her heart to trust again. 

Porter Masters takes care of his own: his single mother, his company, and now he’s compelled to protect the beauty that walked into his world. Never one for relationships in his past, Porter discovers that he was waiting all along for Ella. As their time together comes to an end, will Porter fight for the woman who stole his heart? Porter will find a way to keep her, despite the obstacles



spoiler-free!

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BOOK REVIEW: THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN


Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.



Spoiler-free review.

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NEWS: A COLLEEN HOOVER SURPRISE!


Talk about a surprise! Don't you love it when this happens? When one of your favourite authors decides to announce that they're releasing a book NEXT WEEK? There's no long wait and no 'hurry up release date' because we had no idea about it. I guess its a nice Christmas surprise. Colleen Hoover is releasing another story - Maybe Not - which is a novella to Maybe Someday! Horray! It's about our boy Warren, who is Ridge's roommate and his attraction to Bridgette. This'll be interesting!



Colleen Hoover, the New York Times bestselling author of Maybe Someday, brilliantly brings to life the story of the wonderfully hilarious and charismatic Warren in a new novella, Maybe Not.

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.




GoodReads: Maybe Not

It's available for pre-order and it's going to be released only in 5 days -  November 24th. Get those tissues out again, we all know how Colleen pulls at those heartstrings. 

(It's the US link at the moment but we'll update with the UK link when it's available)

If you've not read the first book, check it out - Maybe Someday


Will you be reading this? Let us know what you think via the comments or on Twitter!

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CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY


Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la laaa, la la la laaaa! Halloween is over, so let's put the scary masks away, put the horror movies aside and bring out the tinsel! We're getting into the Christmas spirit by being kind and giving away a book. Excited? You should be! We've decided to give out a copy of My True Love Gave To Me by... get ready...*breathes* Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Pena, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kierstan White... phew! That's a lot of talented authors! 
It has a bunch of amazing short stories - one from each author - to get us feeling festive and warming us up inside during this cold month. It's a book to cosy up with, something to read while being wrapped up in a warm blanket, falling snow outside the window and a warm mug of something tasty. In case you've not heard of this book, let us enlighten you!




If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins


We've put the UK cover here because we're giving away the UK edition! I've seen that a lot of people prefer this one as it's got such a simple yet beautiful colour scheme, but not just that - the pages are PINK! If you want to see what it looks like, check out my In My Mailbox post, I've taken a photo of it. It's STUNNING! Even if you have the other versions of this book, you'll want this one. It looks so pretty on the bookshelf!

How to enter? Click below!

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TOP 10 WRITING QUOTES

Oh, hi Monday! It's us again and this time we're sharing our favourite quotes from those wise authors who inspire us. As you're all aware, November is the month for us author-wannabes as it's NaNoWriMo. These quotes have certainly helped us with our writing and encouraged and influenced us during those times of writer's block or even when we started, staring at that blank document.

Don't forget to share with us your favourites so we can motivate each other with these words of wisdom, to keep us going through this month of dedication and hard work. 

Our personal NaNoWriMo quote is currently something along the lines of: 

"Ouch." - Natalie and Lexie



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IN MY MAILBOX: NOVEMBER 15TH

Hi, all. It's Lexie.

November has predictably been the slowest month for TheHonestBookclub yet, chiefly because of NaNoWriMo and both of us participating. We've been falling behind slowly but gradually and this weekend is already largely devoted to catching up.

Having said that, this is a monster of a post which absolutely had to happen. My birthday falls five days before NaNoWriMo, and now that all of the books have arrived (safe and sound!), I figured it's time for a book haul. I have never in my life received more books than I have this October/November, I've never in my life dreamed that - as a grad student - I would be in the position to haul this many books, and I am incredibly excited. No, really, I still squeal whenever I glance at my bookshelves.



Spoiler alert: prepare for the world's longest post in the history of book hauls.


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BOOK REVIEW: THE MURDER COMPLEX BY LINDSAY CUMMINGS



An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.
 


contains spoilers

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BOOK REVIEW - UNEARTHLY BY CYNTHIA HAND



In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees...
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
 



Spoilers ahoy! You've been warned.


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IN MY MAILBOX - NOVEMBER 6TH

I was very lucky this week. I only paid for one of these books so I'm very blessed to know some amazing people as well as have some luck on GoodReads. As I'm still planning on moving out, I'm currently residing at my mum's house so I can see she's getting irritated at all these parcels constantly arriving at the house. Sorry, mum! But it has to be done. My local bookshop doesn't have everything so sometimes I have to resort to purchasing online.


So, come take a look at what I have!




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TOP 10 BAD NOVEL WRITING HABITS

November has officially arrived, and brought many of us in the literary community a beloved tradition - the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short. Whether you've chosen to participate in the madness that is the race to complete a novel in a month, or whether you're chuckling at it from the sidelines, NaNoWriMo has established itself as a yearly staple many of us eagerly look forward to.

This year, the both of us have joined the madness and thrown our hats into the race (against time and procrastination, for the most part). And in order to celebrate the genius and the madness that lies behind NaNoWriMo, we've compiled a list of our personal writing habits, of the sort we'd rather forego if given the chance. From typos to flat characters, to an absence of a unique character voice, we've seen and done it all. And in honor of NaNoWriMo, this Monday we're bringing some of our very worst to you.

Enjoy (in a schadenfreude sort of way)!



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GOODREADS AWARDS 2014


In case you hadn't seen it on the GoodReads homepage - the awards are in full swing! It's time to check the lists and see which of your favourites have been nominated. Yeah, there's always those categories that include books you've never heard of but you can also put your own answer in. If not, then maybe pick the book that either sounds the best or has the best cover. It's your call. 

But then......you get to that category that is filled with a ton of your best loved books, and it's like having to pick between children! You can't do it! But you must. It's a sacrifice you're going to have to take. Well, you could always ask your friend to vote for one and you vote for the other, but that might be classed as cheating. Oh well, go with what your heart tells you!

It's the opening round so we'll let you know when the next round goes ahead.

We want to wish all the authors the best of luck with the awards - you're all winners! Even being nominated is an honour so congratulations!



TO VOTE, JUST CLICK HERE




Who are you voting for this year? Are your favourite books nominated? Let us know via the comments or on Twitter! We'd love to hear from you.
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BOOK REVIEW: TROUBLE BY NON PRATT



In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.


Spoiler-free review!

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HALLOWEEN READS

For some, this season is known as the pumpkin spice season. For others, it's the season of fallen leaves. For book lovers, the end of October brings two other beloved traditions - Halloween - the well-established costume-donning holiday, but also Halloween - that perfect time of the year to curl up with a thrilling read. From ghosts to demons, from creepy little girls to creepy men in masks, there's no time like the present to explore the darker and grittier side of literature.

Lose yourself in a good classic or grab yourself a graphic novel. At The Honest Bookclub, we have compiled a wide variety of Halloween reads - from Middle Grade to Adult genres, and from the classics to the very newest releases. So whether you're a lover of the macabre or taking your first tentative steps into thrillers and mystery novels, we firmly believe that as far as Halloween reads are concerned - there is something for everyone to enjoy.





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IN MY MAILBOX - OCTOBER 28TH


I went into the town centre and I decided 'today, you're not going into Waterstones. Just walk past. You have university work to do. Go straight to the coffee shop. Have some self control!' and I did so well. I walked past that place. I didn't even look at it and I was so proud of myself............until I left the coffee shop, which is about 2 shops away and, well, I ended up in Waterstones. I don't know how I got there but the next thing I knew, I had books in my arms. The best thing about it though? I hardly spent any money. If you shop at Waterstones, you'll know that they have a student points card aswell as a stamp card. If you collect 10 stamps, you get £10 off your next purchase. Well, I certainly had over 10 stamps so I got my £10 off. Not only that - I also had points on my student card. I paid £2.60 for my purchase. 

WIN!

That only counts for 3/4 of these books, the others I bought separately. So, let me share the book goodness!


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COVER REVEAL: THE HEIR BY KIERA CASS


In August, we found out that The Selection series wasn't going to be a trilogy anymore - two more books are on the way!  You all know what that means: more Prince Maxon. Of course he'll be 20 years older but he'll still be his kind and handsome self. We were so thrilled by the news of the extension of the series that we posted about it and now, we're finally graced with a cover.

Behold the beauty that is The Heir!



“Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought."

Doesn't it look absolutely stunning! So the girl gracing the cover in that beautiful gown is Maxon and America's daughter - one of two children - and author Kiera Cass said that she'll reveal her brothers name... soon. Such a tease! Also, in case you're wondering, her name is pronounced Eed-len.

We're quite surprised as we did assume that this book would be about Maxon and America's son, another Selection process to go through for him, but with this synopsis in mind, the focus of the next Selection seems to be his sister. Either that or the creative design team just wanted his sister on the cover because he wouldn't look as graceful in this dress. Based on the blurb, it seems as though a number of handsome young men are to win the heart of Princess Eadlyn, and we for one can't wait! We'll keep hunting for more reveals, and bring them to our blog as they happen.

May couldn't come fast enough! Don't forget to add it to your GoodReads and stay in the know by following The Honest Bookclub and Kiera Cass on Twitter!




GoodReads:

What do you all think? Will you be reading book four? Do you like the cover? 

The Heir is due for release May 5th 2015.
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