Review – Brand Like a Rock Star by Steve Jones

brand like a rock star

Learn to tap your Rock Star potential!

Title: Brand Like a Rock Star
Author: Steve Jones
Genre: Marketing
Pages: 242
Reviewer: Debby

Brand Like a Rock Star takes you beyond the hype to reveal the core marketing strategies behind the success of the world’s greatest bands.

Author Steve Jones has earned his street cred as a savvy marketer in an outrageous business. He combines insider stories from AC/DC, The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, KISS, and many other legendary bands with sound business advice, to deliver a rockin’ guide to building a breakthrough brand. Brand Like a Rock Star puts a new spin on the branding process.

From merchandising, to establishing a resonant core message, to developing an iconic logo, Steve Jones illustrates abstract concepts with actionable practices. How is Led Zeppelin like Nintendo’s Wii? How does U2 resemble Proctor & Gamble? What do Johnny Cash and Old Spice have in common? The answers may have a profound impact on your business.

Marketers in any business will pump their fists and boost their bottom line with Brand Like a Rock Star.

I admire nothing more than a book that makes you think without noticing and this is exactly what author Steve Jones has accomplished with Brand Like a Rock Star. Not only is this a fun and informative read, I think it is also transformational. Over and over again, Jones highlights bands, brands, groups and individuals who have discovered that some of the greatest successes come not only to those who work hard, but to those who work different. All it may take is that one switch in your mindset or one nudge to your perception and you can discover, uncover and smash through any obstacle in the way of your Rock Star path.

Brand Like a Rock Star is a perfect read for anyone in the Marketing field, as Jones reveals simple, yet crucial, ways your brand may be missing out on big opportunities. All the while entertaining his readers by demonstrating how incredibly successful bands and brands have illustrated the merit of his techniques. I also think this is a must read for anyone who admires the perseverance and thoughtfulness that goes into to promoting a product, a brand or even yourself. Furthermore, Brand Like a Rock Star is perfect for the music buff who is curious about their favourite band’s rise to fame.

Jones makes thought provoking connections between rock star bands and key marketing principles which grant the reader back stage access to pivotal moments in music history as well as instances of practical application for the practices he outlines. Any employee of any business can benefit from reading this book.

Really, though, this book is for everyone. In today’s society we are all consumers and as such what better way to get inside our own psychology to understand why we love, and hate, the brands we do, and what those brands have done to earn their valuable place in our overcrowded mental market place. No point is more spot on for me than Jones’ explanation of one of the most “vital” aspects of any brand, “No matter what you sell, it is all about the experience: the emotional reaction that your customers have when they use your brand. Rock star brands realize they don’t sell products or services, they sell experiences.” (pg. 69) I suggest you experience the rest of Jones’ Brand Like a Rock Star to further understand our growingly complicated consumer environment.

I give this book a crying and screaming groupie level of recommendation and if you enjoy reading Brand Like a Rock Star, you will be pleased to know a new release by Steve Jones, Start You Up, can be expected in May 2014 so watch this space!

lips grey 5

Review – Greed (Seven Deadly Sins Series) by Fisher Amelie



TITLE: GREED (Book 2 # of The Seven Deadly Sins Series)
AUTHOR: Fisher Amelie
GENRE: Young Adult/New Adult – Contemporary Romance
PAGES: 342



Gather ‘round, love, because I want you. I want what you have, I want what you don’t have, I want more of what I already have. I want. But if you so much as ask for something in return, go ahead and walk away. Know if you want to play in my world, its every man for themselves and the weak become mine. Leeches will be obliterated because I make it my job to destroy them. I protect what’s mine and I take what’s yours….because that’s what I do. I want.

My story will not endear me to you and, frankly, I could care less if it does because I’m in this for the money and nothing else. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a corrupt, money hungry, immoral asshole from Los Angeles. I’m every man’s worst nightmare and every girl’s fantasy.

I’m Spencer Blackwell…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most coveted guy to the guy no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.



Greed is the second installment to Fisher Amelie’s ingenious series focused around the seven deadly sins. As explained in my review of Vain, the first installment, this series showcases a deadly sin in each book wherein the respective protagonist bears a persona emulating that deadly sin.  The twist is found in the fact that the protagonist is given the opportunity to change their character and seek redemption.

While Vain inspired me and left an ever lasting impression on my soul, Greed opened my eyes up to this particularly evil and destructive sin in which someone can become so easily entrenched. Greed is an addiction and something so relevant and embedded in today’s society.  This story contains many valuable life lessons and for this reason alone, I believe Amelie has accomplished an amazing second installment to this series.

“Greed is a strange, strange sin.                                                                                                                                                All you want to do is acquire. Acquire money, acquire material, acquire time, acquire energy, acquire attention. The running mantra is “I want, I want, I want” but that quickly turns to “I need, I need, I need”.

The protagonist in Greed is Spencer Blackwell, who we originally met in Vain as Sophie Price’s friend.  Spencer, under his father’s control, is ordered to commit Illegal acts for his father’s business in exchange for large amounts money.

“I Can’t do that,” he said, exhaling sharply and staring out the glass into the street.

“Why Not?”                                                                                                                                                 His face softened. “I need his money”                                                                                                                Spencer looked at me, and I couldn’t help but stare back. We were all in the same boat, prisoners to greed.                                                                                                                                                                                        -VAIN – Sophie Price

But when his younger sister Bridge gets herself in a predicament their father makes it very clear that he will go to any means to look after his money and his reputation before his family.  In the best interest of Bridge, Spencer and Bridge run away from their life in L.A and their father’s hold and take refuge with the grandparents of Spencer’s college roommate August Hunt.   Emmett and Ellie Hunt own a ranch in Montana and it is at the Hunt ranch where Spencer and Bridge meet the most loving, caring, genuine, hardworking and down to earth people they have ever encountered.  Here, Spencer sees himself for who he really is and discovers “the want and the need” to change.  Spencer also meets Cricket Hunt who captures his whole heart from the moment he lays eyes on her.  Only problem is that Cricket has a boyfriend, Ethan – and a secret.  For the first time, Spencer is finding himself experiencing real emotions of love, happiness, sadness, anger and redemption.

Amelie’s writing style is impeccable.  Greed is extremely well written, full of depth and content with great flow and pace. Amelie also has the skill and knowledge to include symbolism in her story, regarding the inner demon taunting Spencer and I have to say the banishment of the demon once Spencer had finally sought his redemption was quite chilling.

Greed had the most powerful Prologue that stunned me with so much truth; it was the first of many of the life lessons shared in this book. The Epilogue was fantastic, jumping into the future by four years, revealing more insight not only into the characters in Greed also about our much loved characters from Vain, Sophie and Ian, which was a beautiful touch.

Amelie has the ability to really engage the reader and help us to develop an emotional connection with all the characters. I loved witnessing Spencer’s character transition and grow throughout the story from someone consumed with Greed to this,

“I lived by many things, but my top motto was “give”. Give, and you shall see the incredible rebound of it. The more you give, the more you get. It’s staggering notion, but the truth nonetheless”…Spencer

The chemistry between Spencer and Cricket was instant but frustrating at times to witness, as Cricket struggles to decide whether to follow her heart towards Spencer or remain loyal but not in love with her boyfriend Ethan. Though Bridge, Ellie and Emmett Hunt all contributed to bringing this story to life, I have to say that Jonah’s character really shone in this installment – he was such a humble, genuine, down to earth gentleman. Jonah was beautiful inside and out – pure lightness, some might say an angel in disguise, in contrast to Spencer’s father’s character who was the devil in disguise – pure evil had taken over his heart, with no redemption for this character.

Greed  is a book that makes you open your eyes to what our society is potentially becoming as so many of us are getting confused with the difference of “needing” and “wanting”. We are “wanting” more and fueling our greed to negative emotions and “giving” less and missing out on beautiful selfless emotions such and love, and this is a tragedy.

I really look forward to the next story to this series which focuses around the deadly sin of Fury.  This installment is focused around Cricket ex- boyfriend Ethan who shows his wrath throughout this story and promised Spencer his revenge, so I look forward to witnessing his redemption.

I would like to leave you with one of the many amazing quotes in this book that is so relevant and true;

“We’ll discover that our problem wasn’t genuinely a problem after all, not after we’ve seen it for what it actually is. In the light of day, when our adrenaline wears off, we’ll discover that all we truly feared was the unknown.”

lips grey 5

Review – Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A Tucker



Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A Tucker
Pages: 280
Genre: New Adult / Young Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole


Four years ago, Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. They’re struggling to make ends meet at first, but Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything – anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.

Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes and deep dimples, and perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice  guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable, and Trent is desperate to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart – even if it means revealing an explosive secret that could shatter both their worlds.


K.A Tucker has delivered a remarkable, must read book for readers of all ages for this story holds some of the most powerful and real life messages we all need to understand and value.

The messages in this story will test your heart and make you think harder about how you view situations from another person’s perspective.  This book helps the reader understand that good people can make mistakes and open the reader’s eyes to the consequences of certain mistakes and how many people can actually be affected by that one mistake.  While realization is key, the most important message this story holds is the healing tool of forgiveness.

Ten Tiny Breaths protagonist Kacey Cleary found her life shattered at sixteen when a drunk driver hit her father’s car killing her parents, best friend Jenny and her boyfriend Billy while Kacey’s crushed body is trapped in the car waiting for help to come. Kacey endures a year of rehabilitation only to find herself on a road of self-destruction.  It’s not until she sees the anguish she is causing for her little sister, Livie, that she snaps out of her self-harming days. Four years after her accident Kacey and her now fifteen year old sister, Livie, are faced yet with another horrible situation when their Uncle makes a sexual pass at Livie, giving them reason to flee from their current lives and start fresh somewhere where no one will know them. Kacey and Livie move into an apartment building in Miami, and in this apartment building, their lives change in so many ways. Kacey is conflicted when she finally starts to let people into her heart only for complicated situations to present themselves, which force Kacey to confront emotions she has been shutting out for four years.

Ten Tiny Breaths has the most powerful prologue I have ever read, which left a huge, ever lasting impression on me; however, I could say that about the overall plot. This story was extremely well written even though I found the story line predictable the plot keeps you so engaged in the chain of events waiting to witness the unveiling of the truth.  Even when everything falls down and you think the climax has ended, I personally found the recovery and the ending of the story even more powerful and engaging than the climax. 

I loved all the characters in this story and felt a strong emotional connection to all of them but I have to admit even though I empathized with Kasey’s character, she also really frustrated me at times with the self-pity and anger that consumed her to the point of preventing her from witnessing and realizing that the key person in her life, her sister Livie, was struggling as well.

My heart ached for Livie’s character, who suffered greatly.  Some might say Livie suffered more than Kasey as she lost her parents at a younger age and then having to witness the only family member she had left self destruct to the point  that it is debatable she will even survive the day. Feeling that you have to step up, be stronger and way more mature for your age for your older sister’s sake would be a huge challenge, as I said my heart just ached for this character.

Trent’s character was initially so dark and mysterious but when you witness the man completely broken and exposed only quickens the rate that the reader falls in love with his character. I loved Storm’s character and all the boys at Penny’s, if only all the men that worked at strip clubs were like that!!!

What I loved about this story was it was so heartfelt, emotional and tragic and so very relevant to today.  K.A Tucker has done an amazing job opening my eyes to all her messages and meaning behind what this story represents.

I give this story a well deserved five lips for as our rating system states, this book has changed my life in so many ways and has reminded me to remember there is always two sides to every situation.  I have been reminded that forgiveness is so life changing not only to the person giving forgiveness but also to the person who seeks forgiveness.

I look forward to reading the next story in this series, which is about the next chapter in Livie’s life.  I hope she gets the happy ending that she so rightly deserves.  Until then, I will take away Kasey’s mum’s quote and use it on my own daughters for it’s a good one that means so much!



lips grey 5

Review – Vain by Fisher Amelie



TITLE: Vain (Book 1 # of The Seven Deadly Sins Series)
AUTHOR: Fisher Amelie
GENRE: Young Adult/New Adult – Contemporary Romance
PAGES: 355



If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah….then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. Its not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, If, I was being honest with you, I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price….And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.



Fisher Amelie has created an imaginative series focused around the seven deadly sins.   Each deadly sin features in an installment wherein the respective protagonist of the story bears a persona which emulates that deadly sin.  The twist is found in the fact that the protagonist is given the opportunity to change their character and seek redemption, and for that reason I loved this book, Vain.   I loved what it represents, I love the concept behind this series and I really look forward to continuing along this journey through all the seven deadly sins.

“Vanity’s a debilitating affliction. You’re so absorbed in yourself it’s impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it. It’s quite sad. You’ve no idea what you’re missing either. You will never know real love and your life will pass you by”.

The protagonist in Vain is Sophie Price who after being slapped with her second drug offence is sentenced to spend six months in Uganda, Africa to help out at an orphanage. It is in Uganda, where she meets the most selfless people and truly inspirational children, where Sophie sees herself for who she really is and discovers the desire to change.  Sophie finds herself in situations that are heart wrenching, real, ugly and even deadly, but as Sophie spends more time in Uganda she also experiences for the first time real emotions such as love, happiness, sadness, anger and redemption.

Vain is extremely well written and I found the flow and pace of this book to be perfect.  Amelie has the ability to really engage the reader and help us to develop an emotional connection with all the characters.  I felt that the overall story presented in Uganda was full of depth and content, this stimulated all these emotions inside of me, which at times brought me to tears.

I loved all the characters at the Orphanage. I loved witnessing Sophie’s character transition and grow throughout the story from being so vain to;

“You are so gosh damn beautiful in here,” he said, tapping my chest, “that what’s here,” he spoke, running the side of his hand down my face, “is magnified tenfold and that is a sight to behold.”…Ian

The chemistry and romance between Sophie and Ian was intoxicating, it started off slow and grew gradually throughout the story. Ian’s character was a real stand out with his selfless and protective actions. Of course, at times he showed flaws, but this only made him more human and more loveable. Karina’s character was all sunshine – just beautiful inside and out – she really was a Mother Teresa representation for me.

Vain is a book that makes you reflect on the person you are and inspires you to want to do more and give more to these third world countries and these inspirational children. It makes us appreciate where we live and what we have and thank God we have the opportunity to be there for our children. It inspires you to be more selfless and want to make a difference.  This book is a good dose of “humanity” that everyone should read.

I really look forward to the next story to this series which focuses around the deadly sin of Greed – which I believe is so relevant in today’s society. It also is focused around Sophie’s friend Spencer who showed some redeemable qualities in this story.

Now, I would like to leave you with my favourite quote from this book and hopefully it will have the same impact on you as it did me.

“You may have misery, you may lose hope in the sorrow of an unplanned life but as long as you have faith and trust in adoration, in affection, in love, that sorrow will turn to happiness. And that is a constant, dear”

“No one can know sincere happiness, Sophie, without first having known sorrow. One can never appreciate the enormity and rareness of such a fiery bliss without seeing misery, however unfair that may be”.

lips grey 5

Review- Allegiant (Divergent Series # 3) by Veronica Roth



Title: Allegiant (Divergent Series # 3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian
Publication: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 526
Reviewer: Kelly


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.


Allegiant opens with the discontent people of Chicago hoping to make a stand against the Factionless. The discontent, become the Allegiant, a small group revolting against Evelyn Johnson, the new leader. The Allegiant want to find answers and resolve order to the city of Chicago. Tobias, Tris and their friends are chosen to go where no one else has gone before, outside the city limits into the world beyond. In leaving the city they enter a society they know nothing about.  Here they learn the truth about their home, and must decide what to do with this knowledge. The Allegiant have two choices- to assist the citizens of this strange new world and walk away from the only home they have known or to fight for the people they have left behind.


Every once in a while a book comes along that is so different, exhilarating and refreshing that it takes your breath away- Allegiant is one of those books! Veronica Roth elevated Allegiant from what could have potentially been a mediocre read to an EPIC novel, by creating a diverse and unpredictable plot. How do you make a book truly EPIC? You leave the reader reeling, with the most unsatisfied taste in their mouth after turning the last page! This feeling makes the reader ponder what could have been, long after the book was completed.

When I first began reading this book I did find it a bit ‘ho-hum’. It took me a week to get halfway through and I really wasn’t interested in getting to the end because I thought I knew exactly what was coming- oh how wrong I was! I think my reluctance to read the book too quickly was also because I didn’t like some of the earlier revelations in the book, and I didn’t want to know how anything else could damage these characters.  I preserved though and all I can say is wow, Veronica Roth, WOW!

Roth also did not do the one thing that turned Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series into a mediocre read. She did not close every loose end up by the conclusion of the book. Now I am a fan of stories being completed properly, and I hate movies that leave you guessing. But Roth created her story without its neatly packed endings, which elevates this book to the beyond impressive level.

The dual perspective writing also gave more insight into both Tris and Tobias‘s thoughts and feelings. The previous two books in the Divergent Series are told only from Tris’s point of view. That sufficed for those books, but Allegiant very much needed the two viewpoints in order for the reader to understand the whole story. Tobias’s point of view allowed the reader to see how deeply he cared for Tris and how much his parents have impacted upon his life choices. Tris’s chapters were written in the same strong, determined and selfless voice of the heroine we know and love.


Allegiant could have been just another nice, teen book series where the heroine always gets what they want. Instead Roth has turned it into a best seller. Allegiant was fantastic. The Divergent Series was amazing! The movies are going to be phenomenal! Kudos to Veronica Roth!

lips grey 5

Review- Unbreakable (Legion # 1) by Kami Garcia



Title: Unbreakable (Legion # 1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal/Romance
Publication:  Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 305
Reviewer: Kelly

Kennedy Waters didn’t believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her.

When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world unravels. Then she meets gorgeous identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart who reveal that her mother was part of the Legion, a secret society responsible for protecting the world- a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now the Lockhart’s need Kennedy’s help to track down the evil being responsible – will they be able to destroy it before it kills again?

Unbreakable is the first book in the new Legion series by Kami Garcia. It centres on the life of seventeen year old Kennedy Waters. Kennedy was just a normal school girl until her mother is murdered and she becomes a part of the Legion. The Legion is a secret society that protects the world against evil spirits. The Legion consists of five living members at any one time. The current five members being teenagers, Kennedy, the Lockhart twins Jared and Lukus, Alara the granddaughter of a Haitian witch doctor and Priest the genius grandson of a spirit based mechanical engineer.  They must work together to stop the evil demon Andras from entering and destroying the world.

Wow, wow, wow! This book had me hooked from the first chapter! I read this entire book in a day! Kami Garcia truly outdid herself with her descriptive and suspenseful writing. The story was new and refreshing being about spirits, ghosts and ghost hunters. The mystery of the unknown and the sleuthing that the characters needed to do kept you gripped throughout the story.

Kami Garcia did a fantastic job in using emotive language in the story, to the point where you feel as though you are in the scene. This book did what no book has done before; it made me so scared that I had to sleep with the light on! Now I am not a person who likes scary stories, movies or shows, so I always steer clear from this genre. Though I never imagined that a book of this genre would also make me feel so scared! Garcia wrote so well that I could picture the scene as if I was the character being just as fearful of what lay ahead.

The storyline was mysterious and suspenseful, with the reader piecing together this mystical world of the Legion alongside Kennedy. The reference of the Legion to an actual historical group made the story feel even more real. As the teenagers work together to solve new clues and go on an adventure to stop evil spirits the reader becomes more engrossed with every step along the way. The twists and turns made me read faster as I was anxious to discover what was going to happen next!

The romance in Unbreakable was subtle and slowly developing in this story. It allowed the reader to see every angle of the characters and understand their true intentions and feelings. It also made the story a real page turner as I was excited to find out what, when and how the love story would develop.  The romance, however, didn’t overpower the story but was necessary to make it a well rounded read.

I cannot believe there is not a sequel out yet! Pick up a copy of this book and read it now!

lips grey 5

Review – The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Pages: 426
Genre: Young Adult /New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole


I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am able to lift my feet to walk.

Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashinkov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at distance, But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicable drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett.

Josh’s story is no secret. Ever person he loves has be taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya, who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding – or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.



This book blew me away! I couldn’t put it down causing me to read into the wee hours of the morning, much to my husband’s annoyance with the lamp light in his face while trying to sleep.  This then left me absolutely train wrecked with the biggest book hangover ever having to deal with my one and three year old daughters at the crack of dawn BUT it was so worth it! The Sea Of Tranquility captured me from the first chapter to the last power punching sentence. This book is full of so many contrasting emotions and you will connect with every one of them, you experience the dark emotions of hurt, pain, anger, hate, fear and frustration but you also experience the light and much needed emotions of love, friendship, loyalty, trust, hope (so much hope) and redemption.

It is unbelievable that this is Katja Millay debut novel with her impressive writing style and the way she captured and created this amazing story and such memorable characters. Millay has the ability to keep the story compelling by revealing details slowly throughout the book forcing the reader to devour page after page.  Most importantly, she has the ability to make the story feel real and her true to life explanation of trauma from an incident and its after effects was no fairytale version.

I won’t comment in detail on the plot and characters as I want you to experience the full impact and element of surprise as this story unravels, which reveals the true power of this book. What I will say and what you need to know, is that I was so emotionally connected with the story and “all” the characters, even the secondary characters played a very vital role in this story and they were executed brilliantly, which is seldom done. The connection between the two main characters Nastya and Josh, and the hope they found in each other had my heart soaring. This story made me appreciate life, view death in a different way and appreciate the miracle of second chances that life presents you.

I get so nervous writing a review on a book that impacts me so much and that I have become so passionate about . I want to give it the justice and exposure it deserves, and trying to express how good the book was without giving too much away is so difficult.  This book simply makes me want to shout on the top of my lungs to all book lovers out there TO READ THIS BOOK!

So, if I haven’t made myself very clear I will spell it put, TSOT is unforgettable and a MUST READ, for this is a book that will stay with you for quite some time, if not for eternity!

TSOT is my favorite book of the year! Is not only in my favorite book bag but up in my top three books of all time and Katja Millay has definitely made my favorite author’s list and I cannot wait for her to write another book, for I am a fan for life.

lips grey 5

Review- The Fault in our Stars by John Green

fault in our stars










Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult/Romance
Publication: Penguin Books
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 313
Reviewer: Kelly

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Fault in our Stars, put quite simply is about Cancer. The main protagonist is sixteen year old Hazel Grace Lancaster. She is suffering from terminal cancer. The story centres on her life and her families, as well as the people she meets in a Cancer support group. One of whom is seventeen year old Augustus Waters. I can’t really reveal much more without giving the story away.

John Green explicitly wrote at the beginning of this novel to not review his work. This is his author’s note:

This is not so much an author’s note but an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up. Neither novels or their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story. Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

I agree with Green in the sense that for all my years of schooling I never understood why in my English classes we had to review and critique and analyse people’s novels and poems and movies. I used to come home from school and tell my Mum that maybe people just wanted to write something or make a movie because they felt like it. Not because they wanted to reach someone, or because they wanted you to realise the foreshadowing techniques they used, or how much onomatopoeia was really in the story, or why they told the story in first person and not third person.

So although our task as BookGossips is to read, review and critique literary work I am going to respect the author’s wishes in regards to this novel. That does that mean that I will not give you my opinion, it just means that I will not critique and review Green’s writing style, his use of writing techniques or try to uncover the hidden themes in the novel. I will instead just share with you my thoughts and opinions.

Okay, so you pick this book up knowing that it is about Cancer, knowing that it will be sad, and maybe someone will die. But what you are not prepared for is the way you will feel upon completion of this story. I felt a complete swirl of emotion. In some ways I felt completely devastated, but mostly I felt pensive to the point that I have this new found appreciation for the universe and for life.

This book was so emotionally draining that I could only read a few pages at a time to begin with. Then I had to leave it for a while, do something else and go back to it. I found it utterly depressing to begin with. This is the only book I have ever read where I didn’t want to skip ahead and find out the ending, as I knew that it surely could not have a happy one. I persevered though, and I am glad that I did, as by the end I felt that I owed it the characters to finish their story.

I loved how this novel used many references to other literary texts and theorists. I am a person that appreciates the value of inspirational quotes, so I especially liked how Augustus had a house full of them. The revelation that the title of the book is in reference to a Shakespearian quote made me think and re-think about the title so much more. The use of these references speaks volumes about the authors own literary knowledge, as well as explaining the incredible intellect of the characters.

A final note, this book has been listed on the Children’s Bestseller list! I cannot understand that, as I do not know a child or adolescent who would be ready to read and deal with this story. I as an adult had a difficult time reading and dealing with this story. So to the people who write Bestseller lists, I recommend you take it off and move it to adult Bestsellers.

This book made me shed actual tears. I have only cried reading one other book in my lifetime, and that was when I was pre-pubescent and it was the cool thing to do, so it doesn’t really count. That aside this is a gut-wrenchingly hard read. This is not a book to be taken lightly. It will leave you reeling and make you think about it for days upon completion.

lips grey 5

Review – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Title – The Hunger Games
Author – Suzanne Collins
Genre – Science Fiction
Pages – 384
Reviewer – Laura


Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.

The Hunger Games have begun.

In the ruins of a place known as North America, lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. the Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them to all send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen year old Katniss regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sisters place in the Games. but Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. but if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity an life against love.


Each year for the last 74 years the Hunger games have been held in a country called Panam, which has been divided into 12 districts that are ruled by the Capitol, which defeated them all in a tragic war.

The residents of the Capitol live in luxury, with beautiful dishes available anytime they choose, while the unkempt people of the districts struggle to put food on the table. In order to keep the 12 districts in line, every year the Capitol requires each to provide two tributes, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 – 18, which are selected at random in what is called a reaping. Both are then groomed and trained and then sent into an arena to fight and kill each other until only one of the 24 remains alive.

Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, and has been providing food for her family ever since the untimely death of her father. She does this by illegally hunting animals with her bow and arrow skills, and her ability to track and snare rabbits and squirrels. She also helps them to survive by signing up for the tessera, a ration of grain that is given in exchange for placing your name in the reaping.

This year, Katniss has volunteered for the games in place of her younger sister Primrose, who was chosen as the original tribute, along with the baker’s son, Peeta.  Both are then taken to the capitol, where they meet their trainer Haymitch. After weeks of eating amazing food, being made beautiful, and hard training sessions, both are ready to fight in the Arena, and so the Hunger Games begin!


The Hunger Games is the first book in the Hunger Games series, which last year was made into a movie!

I know I’m a few years behind in reading this book, as it never sparked my interest, however once the movie came out and received such an amazing response, I decided to give the book a go before seeing the film. Needless to say I was interested from the first page and couldn’t put it down! I’m so glad that I made this decision as it is a truly amazing and captivating story!  I was also pleasantly surprised when I discovered there was a love story behind all the action!

In regards to the characters I love Katniss!!! She is such a strong protagonist and the use of her assets – her bravery, her determination to see her family again, and to fight for what is right – is what helps her survive the competition and eventually win the Games!

Peeta I thought was a bit of a “sissy” that I found I was always feeling sorry for but ultimately his character was likable enough.

Gale – Katniss’s best friend – appearing only at the beginning of the first installment definitely seems like he will become more of a main character and I’m excited to see what will eventuate between these two. Whatever is to come, it certainly feels like it has the makings of a major love triangle!

There were some parts of the story that were extremely sad and heartbreaking. The fact that 12 year old’s were made to participate in the games, as well as the fact that these young children are made to murder each other – some with no mercy at all – gave me that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach whilst reading.  For that reason I don’t believe it should be classified as children’s book, but more of a YA book.

All in all it was a great read, and the movie definitely did not disappoint either! I would recommend this book to anybody who has not read it yet, and I can’t wait to read the second installment Catching Fire – before the movie of course!

lips grey 5

Review- Origin (Lux Series) By Jennifer L. Armentrout



Title: Orgin (Lux Seies Book 4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal
Publication: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 366
Reviewer: Kelly


Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they even be together?


Origin begins right where Opal leaves off. It is ten days after Katy has been taken by Daedalus, and it opens from Daemon’s point of view. Daemon says goodbye to his family and the Luxen community. He then makes sure he finds out where Katy is being held and gets himself locked into the same facility.

Together they learn the inner working of Daedalus. They are exposed to the cruelty of the humans and the experiments they are performing on Luxen and Hybrids. They also learn about the new creatures called ‘Origins’.
Katy and Daemon do what they can to endure their incarceration. They comfort each other. They love each other. They never give up hope. They live for each other and survive for their families.


Wow! Jennifer L. Armentrout does not disappoint with Origin, the fourth instalment of the Luxen Series. I have been anxiously counting down the months until the release of this book, and the wait was well worth it! I was so desperate to read the book that I had pre-ordered it, but as that was not arriving for a few days I just had to download it onto my e-reader. I read it in three days – I just could not put it down.

Armentrout wrote this so well. Her use of alternating points of view between Katy and Daemon right from the beginning allowed the reader access to both of their perspectives. The reader was finally given the privilege to see how Daemon was feeling, how deep his feelings for Katy run and how he felt about Daedulaus. With Katy, we are comfortable inside our usual protagonists mind, seeing all her usual fears, fighting personality and love for Daemon. This use of changing perspectives was also needed when Katy and Daemon are separated, so the reader had access to what was happening within Daedulaus with Katy, and on the outside with Daemon.

This book was so action packed I could hardly catch my breath! There are intense, nail-biting scenes where you are literally on the edge of your seat, reading at break-neck speed, to see what is going to happen. There are fight sequences, with guns, helicopters, SWAT teams, Luxen, Hybrids and humans. Every escape, every victory makes you breathe a sigh of relief, until the next dilemma comes along.

There were also so many twists and turns in the story that you weren’t expecting. All these surprises were jaw dropping! People you thought could be trusted couldn’t be, and people that always seemed uncertain were the ones to trust. My head was spinning just as quickly as Katy and Daemon’s, as so many unexpected plot twists were happening all around them. Armentrout keeps you guessing right until the last page! Thank goodness there is another book coming out, because there are so many loose ends that need to be tied up!

Overall an absolutely fantastic and amazing read!! Go and get a copy now! Cannot wait for Book 5!

lips grey 5