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Tantalizing Trailers: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

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Title: Messenger of Fear
Series: Messenger of Fear #1
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: Aug 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads

I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear.

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . .

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Spotlight plus Trailer: Stay With Me by Jennifer L Armentrout

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 STAY WITH ME Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . .

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should.   She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Buy Links: Amazon/Barnes and Noble/iTunes/Kobo/ GooglePlay

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Jennifer L. Armentrout/J.Lynn Bio

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links: Website/Facebook/Twitter/J. Lynn Goodreads/Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads

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Review and Trailer: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: March 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

REVIEW BY BETH

Before anything else it’s important to wallow in the beauty of Walton’s cover. The cover of this novel is so delicately beautiful I’m so happy to have a copy on my shelves and it’s worth it just to look at. The novel itself went off in some directions I wasn’t quite up to speed with but this didn’t detract from overall enjoyment.

This novel is strange, the title has got that much right and plenty of it is very beautiful (cover included). The story is entirely unique and Walton’s style draws you in in a simple, subtle way with no trickery or pacy action to keep you on your toes. There is a dream-like atmosphere throughout created by Walton’s prose and her quirky characters.

There is a magical element to this novel which always makes me feel a bit uneasy as I’m not a massive fan of anything fantastical or too out there but Walton’s novel needed this element to make it as good as it was. I have read many reviews saying this book was impossible to put down and whilst I didn’t feel this, I did look forward to going back to it and getting drawn gently back into Ava’s world and the world of those around her.

The characters, as mentioned, are as quirky as they come. Walton produces a cast of perfectly characterised people who genuinely jump out of the pages and their voices are almost audible. Her bad guys are just as effective and I really enjoyed how well each and every character was crafted.

I think the magical realism in this novel worked for me because it is a completely illogical inclusion. People turn into birds, ghosts appear and despite these facts, the plot seems like something that could genuinely have happened.

Walton’s novel covers some pretty massive themes amongst its whimsical tale. The power of love seems to undercut all the other issues and there is a real moralistic sense that the strength of a person is far more powerful than that of love. It’s whimsical, it’s magical and it’s the kind of thing I shouldn’t really like, but I did. Bittersweet and extremely memorable.

Tantalising Trailers: Half Bad by Sally Green

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Title: Half Bad
Series: Half Life #1
Author: Sally Green
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: March 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

 

A boy centred witch book – an amazing addition to the school library especially when running a Witches Reading Theme :)

Tantalising Trailers: The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

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Title: The Eye of Minds 
Series: The Mortality Doctrine #1
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: Oct 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads

 The Eye of Mindsis the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

 

A brilliant idea to capture the imagination of the gaming generation.

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One of my Year 8 students has read this book, he stated that it is a perfect read for fans of gaming alongside Ready Player One.

Also the plot is quite complicated making it confusing in the beginning with a slow build up. the characters and their dynamic alongside the topical plot are the outstanding features of this book.