Monday, February 18, 2013

Ten Books I cannot Wait to Read in 2013


So it has been a little while (apart from me reviewing a new stunning absolute fave) and I have been somewhat out of the loop of the reading world. We moved house at the end of last year (same suburb, further into the rainforest) and my computer died :/ But the good news is, I've had so much reading time (I have read 17 books already this year, which is more than double my rating rate of 2012) and it's been seriously so good to rekindle my love of reading and that buzzy feeling you get from having a truly good book waiting for you to curl up with.

My new backyard. So very blessed to have a creek running through it...
In honour of getting psyched about books again, I have made a little list of books I am seriously pumped for. It is not exhaustive (I know there are lots coming out that aren't even on my radar yet). This entire list is just books from ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE authors of mine. The authors who I have already read their entire catalogue of books and just sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for more...

I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a GREAT year for reading.

1. Haze by Paula Weston
If (for some insane reason) you have not read Shadows yet, now is the perfect time to get with the program (and meet the hotness that is Rafa). I have been chatting about Shadows with a good friend of mine and we seriously cannot get over JUST HOW GOOD IT WAS (She reminded me of a certain shower scene...haha). I am saving up my second reread for a smidgen closer to the release of Haze, but I am so itching to get my hands on this sequel (who else is counting down to May?)

2. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Guys, Sarah Ockler just keeps getting better and better. Her last book, Bittersweet, was in my top ten reads of 2012 and if you're any kind of contemporary YA fan at all, Sarah Ockler is where it's at. My sister has preordered this for me (as a delayed birthday present). Bring on the swoon <3

3. The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Speaking of contemporary. The brilliant Sara Zarr has one coming out in May. She is pretty much the goddess of contemporary, such achey characters and killer dialogue. So good at crafting tension, she could be writing about taking out the rubbish and I'd be on the edge of my seat, admiring the prose, haha. Really excited for this book, hey.

4. Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
So this list keeps getting better and better. I ADORE Elizabeth Scott. She is my go to author for comfort reading. She always brings the swoon and often get tears out of me as well. Me + her books are just the perfect combo. I couldnt stop grinning when I heard a new book would be out in September...

5. The Howling Boy by Cath Crowley
It's been two years since I fell so hard for Lucy and Ed and the brilliance that was Graffiti Moon. And I just know this book is going to be so well worth the wait (sounds like such a lame phrase for what I am trying to say: which is I am simply DYING to get my greedy little hands on it)

6. Wildlife by Fiona Wood
The sophomore novel to the brilliant debut that was Six Impossible Things. Oh, you guys, YOU GUYS, I feel like we have been waiting so long for this book that it is hard to imagine it actually finally being out there. But 2013 is the year and, even more exciting, Fiona Wood recently announced her US three book deal (being Six Impossible Thing, Wildlife plus (yay!) a third. About time, hey! :) I am so psyched that Fiona will have such a wide readership and I know her books are going to bring so much joy, so many smiles, to so many readers x

My last three books I am hanging out for are from favourite adult authors

7. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
You know I love the Moriarty girls. So so much. I feel positively SPOILED to have another book by Liane Moriarty coming up. I recently read Nicola Moriarty's book and loved it so, just loved it. And I have loved all of Liane's books, they are just the perfect kind of book to curl up with and smile through. (and occasionally cry happy-sad tears)

8. Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell
I am not sure how much love I have spread for Maggie, but I truly LOVE her work. She writes beautifully, her story are just hauntingly good. Her characters bleed on to the pages. She is a beloved author of mine and I so very much cannot wait to read her latest <3

9. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
My fave swoony, light-hearted, slightly ridiculous-always fun chick lit author. Everyone needs an author like Kinsella to grin an afternoon away with :)

10. Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar
You guys, Tessa Afshar has rekindled my love of really really great Christian fiction. This is her third book and I seriously devoured her first two: both being unputdownable stories with flawed and compelling characters. I am so sold on her stuff, she is an auto-buy for me and I 100% recommend her to all fans of Christian historical fiction.

So just putting together this post has me getting all jittery and excited for my reading year  And this is only the beginning. There's a bunch of debuts that are calling out to me, and other authors I have my eye on (I didn't even get to discussing other faves such as Stephanie Perkins, Gayle forman, Jennifer Echols and Lauren Strasnick...)

Are you hanging out for any of these? 
Any books from your favourite authors coming out in 2013 that I should know about?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Paper Chains by Nicola Moriarty

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and forgiveness - and the crazy twists of fate that shape our lives…

Hannah and India are new best friends. Although true friendship means always telling each other the truth, doesn’t it…?

Hannah, you see, is running from her life back in Sydney. Now in London, she’s trying to put the past behind her, and finding this amazing new friend is a positive step forward. If only she could stop punishing herself for what she did.

India knows Hannah is hiding something big, and she’s determined to figure it out. Fast.

Because India has a secret of her own… One that is currently sealed in a love letter that’s making its journey across Europe in the most unconventional way.
Before it reaches its destination, can India help Hannah learn to forgive herself? And will Hannah wake up and realise that India needs rescuing too …?

Free Falling, Nicola Moriarty's debut, was on my absolute favourites last year (and now on my all time favourites list) so I was so stoked that her sophomore novel released so soon after (and, after reading it, my appetite is whet for so much more of her work. Please keep those books coming!)

Paper chains has so much cool going for it:
  • Set in London! And Australia :) and other snippetty travel scenes and flashbacks.
  • Two mysterious girls (ladies) both holding secrets. What is going on?
  • Those gorgeous moments of serendipity that I adore.
  • Chain letters.
  • Prose that you sink Ito, sentiments perfectly captured.
  • Most ever so importantly, characters to care about. To get under your skin. Two gorgeous girls, so different. And all their worlds (including their sexy, at times, estranged men) and family.

It also has bone crushing moments of absolute despair. At times, I felt it was hard to breathe, smothered with the weight of it. Paper Chains tackles some very real, and very depressing issues. But Moriarty would bring flashes of whimsy and the shyest of smiles to lighten the load.

There were moments of silliness and absolute charm. Flashbacks to the cutest and sexiest of meet-cutes (crazily love that Luna park scene). And then there was complete devastation and broken-heartedness of the kind that you are not sure anyone can ever really recover from.

There's a rare moment where I go from being cocooned in a fictional story and soaking it up, to suddenly realizing I have completely placed myself in the story and am crying right alongside the characters. This book didn't just include certain issues, it feels like the author poured her soul and ever fibre of her emotions into bringing Hannah's feelings to the page. It was, at times, unrelenting and eye opening. It kind of ripped me wide open.

Now for the cheesy confession: I don't like to wax poetic about reading being therapeutic or whatever. I honestly read because I happen to love reading, but Paper Chains went above and beyond and I felt so liberated, so affirmed after finishing. From things I didn't even realize I was holding onto. Failures or perceived failures. Secret thoughts and pressures. Doubts and expectations. I just felt like everything is okay, is going to be okay, and life is good. Those final chapters with Hannah were just perfect. And India, just LOVE.

I am sorry to be cryptic but I don't want to spoil anything in any way.

I so thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had the perfect little addictive pull that my favourite reading experiences require. It had so much emotion and heart and just the perfect amount of whimsy. It had characters I am still buzzing about and I will, for sure, be revisiting it again soon and passing my copy onto all my fave reading buddies, who I only pass the absolute best books on to :)

Paper Chains is on my favourites list for 2013 and my favourites list for always.

Paper Chains @ goodreads

Paper Chains was released February 1 in Australia and is available now :)

While we're talking about Nicola Moriarty: What do you think of the new cover for Free-Falling? I have the original blue and purple one (which is gorgeous) but am so tempted by the new pink and yellow cover, it's so sunshiny and just draws my attention.

So many thanks to Random House Australia and Netgalley for my review copy