Monday, 30 March 2015

TOP 10 BOOKS WE'D RATHER NOT SEE AS MOVIES

We all want to see our favorite books adapted to the big screen. Until the time comes when the movie rights are purchased, the shooting begins, and we go from eager fans to raging skeptics. The author has relinquished creative rights? They won't even be consulted on the screenplay? The director they've chosen has done entirely different movies in the past. Don't even get us started on the casting! The trailers convey nothing and they were poorly put together. If anything, it looks as though the entire team has missed the point of the book, they've taken out pivotal scenes, they've changed the most memorable bits of dialogue and now it all resembles a first year film student's attempt to recreate The Blair Witch Project.

As fans, we want to see our books do well across all mediums. But as fans, we are also fiercely protective of the source material. Sometimes, the two are merged harmoniously and we get our heart's desire. But more often than not, our worst fears are realized come the movie premiere.

And this is why some of the time, there are books we love too much to even entertain the possibility of seeing them misunderstood, deconstructed and then redone haphazardly into something which bears only a trace resemblance to the source material. And as a nod to our own imagination, to these authors' descriptive, atmospheric writing styles and to  a book sometimes being enough, we are choosing the ten we'd rather stayed books. Because they are quite simply enough.



Saturday, 28 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: SPELL BOUND BY RACHEL HAWKINS



Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?






Friday, 27 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: DEAREST CLEMENTINE BY LEX MARTIN




Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone novel with two companion novels. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.







Spoiler-free!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: DEMONGLASS BY RACHEL HAWKINS



Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?




Alternate book title: An American In London
Alternate series title: A Nancy Drew Mystery From Hell
Morale of the story: "Don't joke and bleed at the same time."
Other lessons learned: "Nothing pleasant ever slithers."


Monday, 23 March 2015

TOP 10 BOOKS WITH A MALE POINT-OF-VIEW

So far, we've paid homage to some of our favorite female protagonists in contemporary literature, then went on to celebrate books which tackled multiple perspectives well. Not ones to be outdone without a fight, this week we have chosen our ten favorite books told entirely or largely from a male point of view.

But boys never truly are in the shadow here, as our all-time favorite series (and some incredibly close contenders!) are ones with a male protagonist. One need only count just how many times J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter has claimed a place among our Top 10 Monday picks. We can't always boast incredible originality - we are awfully partial to modern classics and like to shout it from the rooftops. And if ever there was a week to celebrate some of the best ones in style - this is it.

And as always, this list is in no particular order.




Friday, 20 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: HEX HALL BY RACHEL HAWKINS



Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.




If there is one thing Rachel Hawkins can always be counted on to provide, it's a hearty laugh.

This book was a hearty laugh personified.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

BLOG TOUR: YOURS TONIGHT BY JOYA RYAN

We're hopping back on the book bus to tour with the best and the greatest! This time, it's the Yours Tonight blog tour, and we are thrilled to be showcasing this book! Yours Tonight is a brand new romance from the #1 bestselling author of Break Me Slowly, Joya Ryan. This is a darkly passionate love story you will never forget, perfect for fans of Jodi Ellen Malpas, Kim Carr, S.C. Stephens and K. Bromberg.

Lana and Jack's story is one which captures hearts and minds alike, and if you're anything like us, by the end it will leave you wanting more. Fortunately for all who find themselves eager to continue the journey, Yours Tonight is the first installment in the Reign trilogy, leaving us with plenty to anticipate in the coming months and years. And as for now - here are the details for the first book in the series.




Released March 2nd 2015.

Monday, 16 March 2015

TOP 10 YOUNG ADULT BOOKS SET IN EUROPE

It has been a very public sort of secret that most of the Young Adult books today are set in some version of the United States, and that most of the authors of said books are, unsurprisingly, American citizens. Abiding by the old "write what you know" adage, these authors do their utmost to celebrate the high points and criticize the flaws of their culture, customs and ways.

To discover a Young Adult novel set elsewhere in the world is therefore to discover a diamond in the rough. And over the years, there have been a fair few which we have come across. So this week, in no particular order, for our Top 10 Monday we're sharing our 10 favorite novels set partially or predominantly in and around Europe, through its many historical trials and tribulations, and in its many shapes and forms today.

Other continents coming soon!



Saturday, 14 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE BY MORGAN MATSON


The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell. 

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Apple Picking at Night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a Stranger? Um....

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Wait... what?




The true measure of this kind of a contemporary novel is that it can make you smile even when you're truly, truly sad.

This novel made me smile when I was truly, truly sad.

(And yes, it has playlists, bucket lists and an occasional letter. The Morgan Matson additions to the conventional novel format are beautiful and motivational.)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

COFFEE BOOK TAG

So, here are our twin passions in life: coffee and books. (Also art for Lexie, and also travel for both, but they aren't relevant to this tag right now, so we're pretending there are two.) Coffee and books. Such a thing as a Coffee Book Tag was therefore heaven-sent. And while Benjamin, the creator of the tag, didn't have us in mind specifically when he was putting it together, he might as well have. We were probably sipping coffee and discussing books at the time of this tag's creation.

If you're anything like us, you already either have an espresso at hand, or a serious espresso craving right about now. And both coffees and cravings are best served hot during the winter. So without further ado...


Monday, 9 March 2015

TOP 10 READING GADGETS

Just another manic Monday. And here we are again.

To spice things up a bit, this week for our Top 10 we are concerning ourselves not so much with books themselves, but with those implements which make reading even more enjoyable than it already is (if such a thing is even possible). These handy tools have been designed specially for book-lovers the likes of us, and this Monday we're showcasing our favorite ten - the ones we find to be the most useful, most aesthetically pleasing, or simply 

So for those friends/family members who can never quite manage to choose an appropriate book for their favorite reader - this list might offer some ideas on how to make a book-lover's life better without having to hunt for the perfect book to suit their tastes.

Unlike our usual Top 10 lists, this week we are providing no links, so as not to give the appearance that we endorse or favor one product/brand over another. But a cursory Google search for any of these items, verbatim, will lend lots of results and options to choose from. Happy hunting!



Sunday, 8 March 2015

COVER REVEAL: NOVEMBER NINE BY COLLEEN HOOVER


It's Colleen Hoover hour once again at The Honest Bookclub. Apart from the International Women's Day, for us March 8th also signified a mere two day wait until one of our most beloved authors' new title is released. We are talking, of course, about Confess, due on March 10th, which we have already waxed rhapsodic about first when it was announced, and then again when the cover was revealed. Now that the lengthy wait is all but over...

... our hearts are not ready.

Over time, however, we have come to accept that our hearts will never be ready for Colleen Hoover's books - new and old alike, and to delve into a new one is to rip off a bandaid and embrace the burn.

This is also very much true for long-anticipated (and longer-since announced) November Nine. The wait was more than lengthy for this one. Last summer we mistakenly marked it down as a 2014 release, then proceeded to correct ourselves and fangirl at length in our Top 10 Most Anticipated 2015 Releases. But in reality, it never really dawned on us how close we were to it until this very moment. Because today, the cover for November 9 has been revealed. And it is everything we could have hoped for, and more.




Friday, 6 March 2015

BLOG TOUR: HERO BY SAMANTHA YOUNG




It's that time again at The Honest Bookclub! Once again we're on tour, and once again it's not the sort of tour one might think of. Mostly because we aren't really going anywhere, and the tour is still happening.

Following the Thoughtful blog tour in the end of February, we were kindly asked to take part in the Hero blog tour by the kind representatives over at The Little Brown Book Group. It was an immediate yes for us. We are no strangers to New Adult is a genre here on the blog, and having already read and thoroughly enjoyed a book by Samantha Young in the past, taking part in this blog tour was as much a privilege as it was "work". We already know that Samantha Young is a wonderful writer. And this is the best possible spoiler one can have before stepping into a new book, and - by extension, a new world. We could expect to enjoy it.
Was that enough set-up to have you intrigued? We hope so. Because as far as New Adult goes, we consider Sam Young to be the elite. And Hero was intriguing and promising enough at a glance, and all the more so once we got down to reading. So come look and find out more about Samantha, the book and what we thought of it!

Hero is available March 5th. 

You can purchase it as an ebook or paperback, the links are included in the 'Read more' section.

We received this ARC from the kind people at The Little Brown Book Group in exchange for an honest review, as well as a slice of the blog tour. We thank them kindly for the opportunity.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: MADE FOR YOU BY MELISSA MARR


Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital to discover an attempt has been made on her life. But who in her sleepy town could have hit her with their car? And why? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her.

While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old friend, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva's power to keep her friends - and themselves – alive. But the killer is obsessed and will stop at nothing to get to Eva…




No spoilers ahead.


An Advanced Reader's Copy of this book has been graciously provided by HarperCollins UK in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: THE KISS OF DECEPTION BY MARY E. PEARSON


A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.





You know those books where for every positive there is a negative, and for every negative a positive? Welcome to The Kiss of Deception (where the main deception is that it isn't fantasy at all, but I'll get to that in a second).

Monday, 2 March 2015

TOP 10 ANTI-HEROES

This week, the official, lengthy title of the theme is Where Have All The Anti-Heroes Gone, also known as The Return of the Anti-Hero. Classic literature has certainly had no dearth of anti-heroes, even as primary protagonists: from Humbert Humbert in Lolita to Anna Karenina herself, to Gatsby and pretty much every protagonist Dostoevsky has ever touched.

But then slowly and over time, the prominence of the anti-hero has trickled away until the trope became more of a diamond-in-the-rough than a common occurrence. But current, contemporary trends have seen a resurgence in the anti-hero phenomenon. Today, once again, there's plenty of villains-with-hearts-of-gold to celebrate, and so this week for our Top 10 Monday, we've compiled a list of our favorite morally ambiguous heroes and their oftentimes less-than-noble means of achieving their goals.

These are not your everyday good guys, so don't try their tricks at home, kids.