Wednesday, 29 February 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Out of Sight, Out of Time, Gallagher Girls Book 5
By Ally Carter
Publication Date: 13th March 2012 (US) April 5th 2012 (UK)

Goodreads Summary:

With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

I am so excited for this book! The Gallagher Girls series is totally epic and I can't wait to find out what happens in book five! Pity it's not released here in the UK untill April though, damn you UK publishers...



Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: Chocolate S.O.S by Sue Limb

Bookish Details:
Series: Book 6
Pages: 320 Paperback
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Release Date: January 2012
Source: Bought
Buy It From: Amazon

Goodreads Summary:
Jess has broken up with Fred, though really she is waiting for him to come to her door and beg to get back together again. But is that the sort of thing Fred would do? He has said himself that he has no backbone . . . Meanwhile, a gorgeous boy has moved in next door and, to Jess's mingled horror and delight, is making it very, very obvious that he would like to be a lot closer than next door . . . Surely, now, Fred will be driven, in a fit of jealousy, to sweep Jess back off her feet? Won't he?

Full of Sue Limb's very funny take on early teenage life and problems, fans of Jess Jordan will be thrilled to have a new Fred and Jess story.

My Review:

Oh I love Jess Jordan I do.

I discovered this series accidently a couple of years ago at my local library and I’ve laughed my way through each book ever since.

Chocolate SOS sees Jess in her newly single life after dumping Fred. Although Jess and Fred apart is totally heart-breaking, it was good to see how Jess tried to move on: enter cute new neighbour, Luke.

I think Luke is a fabulous addition to the awesome characters in this series, he really brings something new and refreshing to the story.

Of course, Jess was totally hilarious throughout and I especially loved the sarcastic comments she was constantly throwing at Fred and the loud mouthed Jodie. It was funny to read Jess’s reaction to Fred’s newly formed relationship. Even though she dumped Fred, she is so not over it!

This is a truly hilarious read and I can’t wait to see what happens next when Party Disaster is released in June!

Royal Rating:



Friday, 10 February 2012

Author Interview: Mary Pauline Lowry

Hey everyone! I am delighted to present an interview with the author of the incredible 'The Earthquake Machine', Mary Pauline Lowry!

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.


1. Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by the Blog! Where did you get the inspiration for The Earthquake Machine?

I think my whole life has been inspiration for THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE. I ran away from home when I was 15 years-old and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. So I always wondered what it would be like if I had traveled deeper into Mexico on my own.
Then when I was in college I would often go to Big Bend National Park on the border between Texas and Mexico. My friends and I would pay $1 to be rowed across the river to Mexico. That crossing of the river to another country always fascinated me. Then when I was 22 or so, I rode the bus from Austin, TX all the way to interior Mexico. I went to Oaxaca and to the little village outside of Oaxaca called Arrazola. That’s Rhonda/Angel’s destination she runs away while on a river rafting trip in Big Bend.

2. Rhonda is such an incredible character! Did you find yourself relating to her when you were writing the novel?

Yes, definitely! Like Rhonda, as I was growing up I often wanted to escape the limitations that sometimes come along with being female and becoming a woman. Like Rhonda, I have always been committed to traveling and having adventures, but those are things that are often more risky for women than men. I had some of my best adventures when I was working as a forest firefighter on an elite type 1 Hotshot crew—that’s a job I think Rhonda would have loved. When I was actually writing THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE I was living in a rented basement room at the Desert Rose Horse Ranch outside of Durango, Colorado. My day job was working as an apprentice carpenter. Rhonda always longs to work with wood, and that idea came to me when I was sanding and cutting boards all day.

3. Do you hope that teenage girls will be able to relate to Rhonda and learn from The Earthquake Machine?

I absolutely hope teenage girls will be able to relate to Rhonda. Like Rhonda, I think a lot of teenage girls have complicated relationships with food and with
their own bodies. I also think many teenage girls are dealing with their own sexuality in ways that are hard to acknowledge. I hope when teenage girls read THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE they’ll think, “Wow! I’m not the only one who has felt or done that!” and also, “OMG, I can’t believe Mary had the guts to write that scene!”

4. What where your favourite books to read whilst growing up?

My absolute favorite Young Adult books were the WEETZIE BAT series by Francesca Lia Block. The books are absolutely enchanting and deal with very serious and difficult issues in a magical, lighthearted way. The first line of WEETZIE BAT is “Weetzie hated high school because no one understood.” From that first sentence I was totally hooked.

5. Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Yes, I have finished another novel based on my experiences as a forest firefighter. The novel hasn’t been released yet, but it has been optioned for film by Bill Mechanic at Pandemonium Productions. (Former CEO of 20th Century Fox, Mechanic was famously fired by Rupert Murdoch for his support of the film FIGHT CLUB, which makes Mechanic my hero—FIGHT CLUB is my inner male’s favorite movie). I wrote the screenplay and director Peyton Wilson has been attached to the project. I just now finished up a revision of the script for Peyton Wilson, Bill Mechanic and my other producer, the fabulous Suzanne Warren. I emailed it to them about an hour ago; and I hope this is the draft that will go out to actors!

Thanks so much for stopping by Mary!

Be sure to read my review of The Earthquake Machine here.

The Earthquake Machine

The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.


The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review: The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry

Product Details:
Pages: 328 Paperback
Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing
Source: Review Copy

Goodreads Summary:
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda's world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda's life is her family's Mexican yardman, Jesύs. But when the INS deports Jesύs back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jesύs, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won't be safe traveling alone into the country's interior. So with the bartender's help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesύs.

Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels.


My Review:
The Earthquake Machine is what I call a Roller-coaster read. You have your ups, your downs, your crazy loop de loop and some of those quick twists and turns that you didn’t see coming. The writing is fantastic and the story is completely unique and unforgettable.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of fourteen year old Rhonda, whose life is pretty messed up. Not wanting to continue living life with her father, Rhonda escapes to Mexico in order to find her former yardman, Jesύs.

Rhonda changes her identity to one of a Mexican boy named Angel and begins her crazy quest to find Jesύs.

Rhonda is an incredible protagonist. She has a huge amount of strength and courage and I highly enjoyed reading about her physical and emotional journey. I think a lot of teen girls will be able to relate to some of the feelings that Rhonda has and will understand the things she is going through. The characters she meets along the way are fantastic and they each add a great aspect to the overall story.

The Earthquake Machine is highly focused on the sexual coming-of-age of a teenage girl. I love books that deal with topics that everyone can relate to in some way and I think that this book deals with sexual awakening perfectly and has a great feminist tone to it (Go Girl Power!).

I’ll admit it; I got a little bit emotional reading this one! It’s not often that I get teary during a book but Rhonda certainly doesn’t have an easy journey, so keep those tissues handy when reading!

I think this is an amazing coming-of-age story that will be loved as much by adults as it will be by teens. It’s a book that I certainly won’t forget about in a hurry!

Royal Rating:


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