December Book Haul

It's the end of December which means it's time to show you the books I've collected during the last 31 days. This month I've won a giveaway, participated in BookTube Secret Santa, received some books for Christmas as well as found some bargains in the Kindle sales.

If you want to grab some bargains in the Kindle 12 Days of Christmas then jump on over to: 

Best of BookTube 2013 Survey

I was tagged by the lovely Lucy from Queen of Contemporary & her BookTube channel The Bumbling Bibliophile to complete the Best of BookTube 2013 Survey.

2013 makes the year that I started my BookTube channel and blog.  You have made every step fantastic and welcomed me with open arms. Thank you to all of you and here's to more fun and enjoyment in 2014. 

What are your favourite book related memories of 2013? and what do you want to achieve in 2014? 

My Top 10 Most Anticipated 2014 Books

2014 looks to be a fantastic year of book releases. Here's a list of my Top 10 most anticipated 2014 releases including some dystopias, fairytale retellings, supernatural books and more. 

What are your top 3 most anticipated books of 2014? Don't forget to let me know in the comments at the end. Hope you all have a fabulous start to 2014 :-)

Roomies | New Adult Pre-University Contemporary Story

Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: New Adult (Mild Adult Content)
Publication Date: 24th December 2013
Number of Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley

Add to your TBR shelf:    
Roomies Goodreads Page

It's time to meet your new roomie.
When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl's summer -- and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.
As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they've never met.
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

Roomies is a story following the lives of two soon-to-be University freshman roommates and the email correspondences they share between each other before ‘moving in’ day. Both girls are given details of the other from their University Boarding office and soon strike up a chatty, share-all-the-gory details email relationship which allows both girls to share their inner most thoughts with someone new and unconnected. Both Lauren and EB (Elizabeth) lives couldn’t be more different however the events that both goes through during the summer are very similar and it’s through these similar situations that they bond.

The characters in this book are both hit and miss in my opinion. I loved Lauren’s character and her family in general where as I found EB to be far too dramatic and over sensitive about everything – yes, the girl did have some major sucky situations unfold during the summer but she always seemed rash in her decisions and lashed out at innocent people. Although I didn’t really like EB’s chapters, I did enjoy the book overall and I certainly really liked EB’s thoughts about ‘What Would Keyon’s Dad Do or Think’ – Keyon’s Dad was also another character I really liked.

I devoured this book in two sittings which is rare for me, I think the fact that the writing style was quite chatty rather than description helped me race through this book. I also really enjoyed the email aspects of the story too and the fact that they weren’t just emails inserted, they actually included the characters thought process when writing the email too. This really helped build my perspective of both characters really quickly as well as ongoing throughout the book. It even hurt a little bit as the book ends abruptly when the two girls meet in their door room on ‘moving in’ day – I knew it was going to happen that way from the synopsis but I was so involved with the story by then that I wanted to know more. Oh the pain!

This book is an incredible read for any future, present or past students, during this whole book I was constantly thinking back to my experiences before starting University and my facebook messages back and forth with my soon-to-be flat mates. A lovely quick read with a fast pace.

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry | Fuel-Driven Speedy Romance Novel

Crash Into You
(Pushing The Limits #3)
Katie McGarry
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: Upper Young Adult / New Adult
Publication Date: 26th November 2013
Number of Pages: 474
Source: Netgalley

Add to your TBR shelf:     Grab yourself a copy now:
Crash Into You Goodreads Page Amazon UKAmazon UK
Amazon US

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane.
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Firstly let's take into account the difference between the UK and US covers:

The UK cover matches those of the previous books but lacks details that relate to the story. The US cover includes loads of those aspects - Isaiah's short hair, his tattoos, his black t-shirt and jeans combo, the car, Rachel's blonde hair and Rachel's clothing which implies her wealthy status. And let's not forget the fact that Rachel is comfortably positioned in Isaiah's neck which is forever included in the romance scenes.

Anyways, let's get on to the actual review of the story now.

Predictable yet steamy romance, fueled with speedy cars, family secrets and two seventeen year olds from two completely different backgrounds but with much in common.

Rachel is the girl who has everything - she lives in a mansion in a gated neighbourhood, attends the best school in town, has a wardrobe full of designer dresses and attends gala dinners all year round. But Rachel’s life is anything but the lavish enjoyable lifestyle it’s perceived to be. After Rachel’s sister, Coleen, dies at an early age due to cancer, Rachel’s family are grief-ridden and continue to cope with the devastating death. Rachel’s mother continued to have children until another daughter was born and since her birth, Rachel has been groomed to be Coleen’s clone. Her family are all aware of the great pressure put upon Rachel and continually bribe her to continue ‘keeping up appearances’ to please her mother. However, Rachel’s continuing denial of her true self plays havoc with her health and as Rachel is constantly shoved onto the stage at gala dinners to speak on Coleen’s behalf, panic attacks threaten her life. Her only escape and relief is when she’s behind the roaring engine of her Mustang GT muscle car - the envy of all street racing car fanatics.

Isaiah is good at keeping people away – he’s got earrings, numerous threatening animal tattoos and other tattoos and is not afraid to get into a fight. His grown up in foster care where the bigger kids beat him to a pulp and because of that he keeps people out, that is all except Noah his best friend and brother. The only other thing that Isaiah cares about in the world are cars, especially pure kept vintage cars that are speedy and all muscle. His dream is the work in a garage fixing cars and upgrading them to be race worthy for the drag way – where his other hobby takes place, racing cars. Isaiah’s short of cash, and with the chance of Noah and him losing their apartment, he decides a bigger race than the drag way is needed. Knowing the repercussions of joining forces with Eric, the street racing gangster, he’s prepared to race for him just this once but when Rachel joins the race trouble escalates and the pair end up with a threat over their heads, needing to raise £5,000 quickly to keep Eric off their backs.

Both Rachel and Isaiah’s characters are complicated and have so any elements which are dramatic and depressing. This darkness was so very different to the romantic books I usually read and I certainly welcomed the difference. However due to the ‘realness’ of their depressing and complex lives I just found this a heavy read and I actually found it difficult to read due to this. I like my books to allow me to escape my life and the drama of work etc so something that’s so plausible and dark just weighed on me. On another note, I did enjoy the racing element of this story and Isaiah’s bad boy personality; I felt like both characters fit well with the racing theme and it provided some great use of language for the romance scenes.
“Maybe this is what happens when you fall in love. On the outside a lighter is nothing amazing, but it holds all the ingredients that can create something wonderful. With a few pushes in the right direction, you can inspire something so brilliant that it pushes back the darkness.”
This book may have not of been my cup of tea but I certainly recommend it for all your true romance book lovers. Crash Into You is definitely a book I’ll recommend to my sister who I’d imagine would love it. Worth checking out.

Angelfall & Legend Book Discussion | Saturday 21st December 10am CST / 4pm GMT | Google+ Hangout

Hello fellow readers,

This coming Saturday (21st December) Whytnee from BooksAreLovex3 and I will be hosting a Google Hangout discussing Angelfall by Susan Ee and Legend by Marie Lu. Both dystopian books are the first their respective series and we are inviting your guys to come and watch and get involved via the comment box by discussing your thoughts about both books as well as asking us any questions you may have.

I will post a link to the Google Hangout on my blog at 4pm GMT on Saturday 21st December but to make sure you don't miss out the live stream will also be available on my YouTube channel so make sure you are subscribed. Click the link below for all the Cold Tea and Crumbs YouTube goodness :-)

Also don't forget to subscribe to Whytnee and if you want to know more about her then check out the interview I did with her earlier this year.

Here's the recording from the live show:

The Dark King (Fae #2) by C.J. Abedi | Cover Reveal

I have a fantastic cover reveal for you today for a book I cannot wait to get my hands on. I was lucky enough to review the first book in the series, Fae, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Find my review for Fae here. Now let's share the cover reveal is for C.J. Abedi's second book in the paranormal, fantasy, romance Fae series, The Dark King.

The Dark King 
(Fae #2)
C.J. Abedi
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: Spring 2014 (in both ebook & paperback)

Add to your TBR shelf:
The Dark King Goodreads Page

Darkness descends over Roanoke Island in the sequel to the young adult bestseller, FAE.
Devilyn Reilly has crossed over to the sinister world of The Dark Fae, reigning over the realm as its King. He is to fulfill a prophecy--to unite the Light and Dark Fae once and for all, but those who love him now fear that he will never be the same again, that he can no longer be trusted, that every trace of the Light he once had is gone forever.
Caroline Ellis, the final heir of the Light Fae, must learn to survive without the protection of her one true love. She must come to embrace her own strength to evade those in the Dark court who seek her destruction—for the power is within Caroline to use Light to change Fate itself...
Caroline and Devilyn’s chemistry is undeniable. Their destiny together inevitable if only they have the will to overcome The Darkness and The Fates.
THE DARK KING, the second installment of the stunning Fae trilogy propels readers into the mystical and magical world of the Light and Dark Fae, where star-crossed love ignites a battle between two powerful kingdoms, one that can consume everything that stands in its path.

Firstly this cover is amazing, I love the similarities with the Fae cover and the use of the same tree. Secondly, the moon is so eerie which will no doubt match the theme within this book magically. I love it!

On another fantastic note, it was announced on Monday this week that Ridley Scott (Director of the Blade Runner and Alien movies) has purchased the film rights for the trilogy. You can read more about this news on Deadline: Ridley Scott eyes YA Franchise with bestselling series Fae

Will you be adding The Dark King to your TBR list?

Caroline Ellis sixteenth birthday sets into motion a series of events that have been fated for centuries. A descendant of Virginia Dare, the first child born in the lost colony of Roanoke, and unaware of her birthright as the heir to the throne of the Light Fae, it isn't until she begins a tumultuous relationship with Devilyn Reilly that the truth is revealed.

Devilyn is the only one of the Fae who is both of the Light and of the Dark, and struggles to maintain that precarious balance to avoid succumbing to the power of the Dark within him. He is the only one who can save Caroline from those who would destroy her and destroy all hope for unit among the Fae. He promises Caroline that he will protect her at all costs, even when it means protecting her from himself.

Told from the alternative perspectives of Caroline and Devilyn, FAE draws on mysterious, myths and legends to create a world, and a romance, dangerously poised between Light and Dark.

Not yet read FAE, then grab a copy from the following retailers:
Diversion Books                         

C. J. Abedi is made up of the sister writing team Colet and Jasmine Abed who wrote the upcoming series Fae.  They have always had a love of writing and began collaborating on many projects when they were very young.  Their passion for all things creative led them to the world of the entertainment industry where they have worked since completing their education.

Authors' Links: 
Fae Homepage: 

Dystopia Reading Challenge 2014

Ula from Blog of Erised is hosting a Dystopia Reading Challenge 2014 and I'm super excited to participate because I love dystopian books!


  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Each month will have it own link form so you can share your book reviews. You do not have to review the books you read to participate, but only those who read/reviewed at least one dystopian book will be able to participate in the giveaway (you cant rack your reading without the reviews with Goodreads, Shelfari etc).
  • Books that count in this challenge must include any form of post apocalyptic theme (book sites like Goodreads are good sources of genre information). The books must be full-length.
  • All formats allowed.
  • Rereads allowed (but not the same book five time in a year!).
  • It does not matter whether it's a series or a stand-along book.

Levels Achievable

   Level 1: Recruit (1 to 6 books)
           Level 2: Rebel (7 to 10 books)
                  Level 3: Revolutionist (13 to 18 books)
                          Level 4: Leader (19+ books)

My Goal

I'm aiming to achieve Leader level and I'm sure I'll reach it as I already have a large number of books on my TBR for 2014 that are dystopias. There are also so many great new books coming out in 2014 that fit this genre. Here's a list of books I hope to read to achieve this challenge.

On My TBR Shelf
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing #2)
The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #2)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (reread - The Hunger Games #3)
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under The Never Sky #1)
Cress by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (The Maze Runner #1)
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (The Maze Runner #2)
The Death Cure by James Dashner (The Maze Runner #3)
Shudder by Samantha Durante (The Stitch Trilogy #2)
Unwind by Neil Shusterman (Unwind #1)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #1)
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #2)
Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies #3)
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (The Mortality Doctrine #1)
The Bane by Keary Taylor (The Eden Trilogy #1)

Books Coming Out in 2014 I Want to Get My Hands On
Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing #3)
Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes (Viral Nation #2)
Stuck by Samantha Durante (The Stitch Trilogy #3)
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave #2)

Well I knew I had a lot waiting TBR and on my list for 2014 but 19 books before even starting! That's crazy!

If you want to sign up for this challenge, please visit Ula's blog (Blog of Erised: Dystopia Reading Challenge 2014) to find out more information.

Good luck to everyone taking part!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth | Divergent Trilogy Book 3

Allegiant (Divergent #3)
Veronica Roth
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 22nd October 2013
Number of Pages: 526
Source: Bought from Kindle UK Store

Add to your TBR shelf:     Grab yourself a copy now:
Allegiant Goodreads Page Amazon UKAmazon UK
Amazon US

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Allegiant was one of those books I was super looking forward to reading and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. October came and I had issues though - I hadn’t realised my pre-ordered paperback edition, which matched my other copies, came out September 2014! Seriously, September 2014! Anyways, I cancelled my pre-order and bought the Kindle edition so that I could read it straight away – smart move publishers, make me buy 2 versions of the book! Anyways, once I had Allegiant in my grasp I started to notice that it wasn’t quite the comfortable fit that I had experienced with both Divergent and Insurgent.

Allegiant follows on from the exact point that Insurgent finishes. Tris has broadcast the secret that was hidden by the Abnegation faction - a world beyond the City’s walls which requires their help. The faction world of Chicago has been overthrown and everyone is now neutral, wearing multiple coloured clothing which doesn’t pinpoint their faction choice, and now the factionless are in power, policing everyone’s behaviour. However, not everyone is happy with this new non-factionless city and an unidentified group, the Allegiant, has emerged whose sole aim is to complete the actions given within the broadcast message - leave the city and bring as many Divergent outside as possible. With Tris and Tobias’ previous actions within the City’s recent events, it’s no surprise that they are targeted by the Allegiant revolt. With Tris and Tobias in tow, the Allegiant group leave the city to discover what is on the other side.

I had high anticipations for the final book in the Divergent Trilogy and in some ways my wishes and hopes were met and in other ways I was left feeling numb and slightly disappointed. I purposefully waited a little while to write this review as I wanted to take some time to collect my thoughts. I don’t say that often!

I believe that Allegiant is difficult to review in relation to the other books in the series due to the difference in direction that the story takes and the difference in writing style (dual POVs).

1) Story direction - The revolution in Chicago is over, Jeanine Matthews has been overthrown and the factionless have emerged and ceased control. In terms of anti-new establishment groups, the Allegiant are the only ones hyped up enough to really do anything but they are much more focused on leaving the city and discovering what is on the outside. Hence, the story isn’t concentrated within the world we’ve become accustomed to in Divergent and Insurgent, and in my opinion I missed this world. I missed the constant feeling that Tris needed to watch her every action and thought, and Allegiant just seemed a little actionless because of this. Don’t get me wrong Allegiant has its moments – explosions, attacks and characters to be weary around – but overall the story was just about discovery of the outside world, understanding the outside world’s motives for their experiments and how Tris, Caleb , Tobias and everyone else fits into the grander scheme of things.

2) Dual POV – The writing style of both Tris and Tobias’ POVs was also new to the series within Allegiant and I don’t think it made reading the story easy. Due to the lack of varying locations in Allegiant, being able to easily shift between character’s POV wasn’t simple. I fully understand why it was written in this style, which is due to the ending (coming back to this later), however I was constantly battling with myself and this actually stifled my ability to read and enjoy Allegiant. The dual POV just didn’t quite fit in my opinion.

Moving on to the ending of the novel, Tris’ death – this is main reason I’ve delayed my review for this long because I still haven’t quite decided where I sit with my opinion of the ending. I don’t hate the ending, I feel that it fit with Tris’ character perfectly and certainly provided me with the ‘surprise’ I was hoping for somewhere within Allegiant. I don’t even hate the fact that it was slightly predictable and certainly too heavily hinted at during the final chapters leading up to it. My issue is that I was hoping for a more powerful ending to the series e.g. something that affected the whole of Chicago and the factions. Once Tris’ death was certain, the book just seemed to lose focus and nothing was rounded up as to the possible future of Chicago and the outside world. I think my preference would have been for the book to end with Tris’ death which would at least have kept us guessing as to if she was actually dead or not. Although saying that I did like the Tobias zip line scene but I also could have lived without it. I guess even after writing this paragraph I’m still undecided about my opinion. I guess I’ll need more time and possibly a reread to decide.

Overall Allegiant was an ‘ok’ book to complete the Divergent Trilogy, it compares to Mockingjay in my opinion in the sense that it was my least favourite book in the series and just didn’t add anything new or different to the story. If you’ve read Divergent and Insurgent it’s certainly worth finishing the series but just lower your expectations beforehand so as not to be disappointed. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts below too.

The Rising by Terra Harmony | Mermaid & Werewolf Conflict

The Rising (The Painted Maidens #1)
Terra Harmony
Genres: Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 7th  November 2013
Number of Pages: 271
Source: Netgalley

Add to your TBR shelf:     Grab yourself a copy now:
The Rising Goodreads Page Amazon UK
Amazon US

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean — and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.
Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

The Undine species are mermaids who are able to visit ‘The Dry’ by changing their fins into legs and protect themselves by encasing their bodies in an armour of scales. The Undine are facing many challenges as the world evolves: the humans, or Ungainly’s, are continuing to explore more of the ocean and the Undine risk being found; ocean pollution is destroying their food sources and habitat; but the most threatening of all is their conflict with the Werewolves who were once their protectors. The Werewolves were responsible for protecting the Undine during their mating and birthing events which have to occur on land during a full moon. The conflict began when the Werewolves carried out the ‘Maidens Massacre’ 15 years ago and since then the Undine have not been able to carry and birth any new infants.

Serena is a 15 year old Undine – the last Undine to have been born! Serena is also an orphan and is an outcast within the Undine. When Serena is presented before the Undine Court with charges against her of meddling with the Ungainly world, Serena becomes the latest celebrity within the Undine World – her worst nightmare – and a trial begins which may result in her being sentenced to death. As the trial continues, Serena is given the job ‘Werewolf Liaison’ (the first in 15 years) which she attributes to the fact that the King hates her. However, events soon unfold which led Serena to discover the real reason for the Werewolf/Undine conflict and also secrets within her own past.

I wasn’t quite sure whether I was going to enjoy The Rising before starting it. I’d read a couple of mermaid based stories recently which were quite disappointing and I was starting to think that maybe I wasn’t a mermaid story kind of person. But WOW, The Rising was great and unlike any other mermaid story I’ve read. I’ve loved Serena’s character, at times she was indecisive but I’m not against this in a character, she was introverted but as the court trial proceeds and she is laboured with the job ‘Werewolf Liaison’ she becomes stronger, kicks Werewolf arse and also sticks it to the Undine. I was routing for Serena to discover the truth all through this story and I was definitely wishing she’d be found innocent of her meddling charges.

I also really enjoyed the world building involved within this story, especially the Undine culture and their traditions. I liked the way that modern issues, such as ocean pollution, were presented as affecting the Undine and their constant battle against preserving their species. All the aspects that are explained about the Undine traditions, such as the complexity of their mating and birthing process and the reasoning behind their job system, made me feel that I understood the Undine well and why they did what they did, which sometimes felt a personal attack on Serena and others.

The unveiling of the conflict’s truth was also incredible and the ending – OMG! When can I get my hands on the second book - don’t leave me hanging Terra Harmony!

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