Cruel Summer by James Dawson- Review

Author: James Dawson

Publisher: Indigo

Publishing Date: August 1st 2013

Blurb Description: A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Jane was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

A compelling and psychological thriller - with a dash of romance.

My Review:

If you were to see them heading to the immaculate, pristine, exclusively blue and white villa, the first thought to cross your head would be that they were movie stars, or models, but perfect either way.

Then again, the way I see it, perfection is just an illusion, a disguise to keep strangers from looking into the horror inside. For no one’s perfect- Not really anyway.

 If you were to see them heading to the villa, you would never guess that this group of beautiful, regal teenagers was broken; separated in ways that hold them apart and yet will force them to remain bound together for all of eternity. Irrevocably damaged, just under the surface, but covered up, so that nobody will ever guess. The tragedy that changed their lives an entire year ago, the one that marked them forever, is back to haunt them once again…

And now, all The Good Girl, The Ex- Bad Girl, The Nerd, The Jock, The Drama- Guy, The New Girl and one unexpected,  unwelcome guest can do is try to piece together what happened that one fateful night, from when all their lives have been on a downward spiral. That one fateful, horrific night when a member of their close knit took the leap into oblivion. Or did she?

With evidence that the girl who was declared to have committed suicide, really didn’t, and a blackmailer claiming to have dirt on pretty much everyone in the secluded palace, life seems just as bleak compared to a year ago, when all they could do was wait, painfully- not smile, not laugh, not live- to find out what happened to their friend. But this killer is ruthless, will stop at nothing, and the worst part, he/ she is in the very same house.

He’d assumed Janey’s death was the finale. Turned out, it was only the beginning…” 

As their relationships teeter on the edge, trying to cover up something they should've never done in the first place, the most unexpected of people get thrown together. The LGBT aspect of the book was so different from others I've read, and was a vital, beautiful, heart wrenching part of the tale, although only highlighted when we near the end.
Ryan's method of treating everything like it was a TV show, was a uniquely brilliant way to get the reader further into the book, without missing out on anything!
With secrets that have the potential to shock, and original, charismatic characters that seem to be too good to be true, Cruel Summer is indeed, to quote the blurb, the PERFECT summer read!
Dawson's ability to hold on to a murder and make you wonder, sitting at the edge, who did it, and keep up the humour, drama and romance at the same time is simply, uncannily brilliant!
There were SO many times I just HAD to put the book down to take a breather, so that I could process what had just happened – there were just about a million twists that you will Never. See. Coming.

My Verdict: 
Need I say, READ IT!! 5 golden stars!

Top Ten Tuesday (#1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Hey Guys!
Okay, so basically, last week, I had posted my very first Stacking The Shelves and I absolutely LOVED how many new people I got to connect with. So, here I am, with another weekly meme- Top Ten Tuesday!
This week's topic is: 

Top ten books i really want to read but don't own yet

I'll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson, you are a goddess. The Sky is Everywhere is my absolute favorite book and I am SO desperately waiting for this to release!

So, basically, I read a review on The Guardian Children's Website that managed to convince me that to really feel so much that I would feel numb, I MUST read this book- and I've been looking for an opportunity ever since!

So, in all honesty, I've DEFINITELY read this series- but I don't own even a single book- and I really want them- I just never get around to buying them!

Maybe One DayThis sounds BRILLIANT! I had a really close friend who fought with lymphoma, and I while it was hard for everyone, and sometimes the situation never having the right answer- I would love to see all of those emotions portrayed in a book! Executed well, and I would have to put it to the top of my favorite list!

Uhh, YES, Please! A brilliant tale that sound just like M. Anjelais's Breaking Butterflies and I would love the chance to get my hands on it!

BOOK BLITZ: Pieces of Me Kira Adams

Pieces of Me
by Kira
Release Date: 08/11/14

Summary from Goodreads:

For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life
has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is
embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything
changes for Peyton. 

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s
fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers,
Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and
downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and
growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw
emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

Buy Links:

About the Author

Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she
opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly
talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action,
fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the
Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


$10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Nerd Blast: Twisted Dark by Neil Gibson

Author: Neil Gibson
PublisherT Publications
Published: 15 November 2011
Format: Paperback
See: Full bibliographic data
Genres: Horror Graphic Novels, Anime & Manga

Blurb Description: Twisted Dark is Neil Gibson's interconnected psychological thriller anthology. This, the first volume, is formed of 12 individual and unique stories comprising of nearly 200 hundred pages. The stories vary from 10 year old girls to Colombian drug lords and everything in between but the stories are all somehow connected some obviously so and some not. It is left to the reader to find the connections, with some impossible to see until you have read multiple volumes. The books contains horror, dark, at times demented, stories incorporating every human emotion, illegal activity, and brutal reality. Using various illustrators allows each story and character to develop their own form the reader is left desperate to turn the pages. The book has been embraced by the comic book world receiving critical acclaim and a cult underground following.
You can purchase Twisted Dark at the following Retailers:

Book Nerd Spotlight

Neil is the founder and lead writer at TPub. He is currently writing all of the titles at TPub, but is looking forward to the day when other writers are hired he can take credit for their work. He used to be a management consultant, before realising in his 30s that he loved good comics and wanted to make a career out of them. He believes that the comic book medium is one of the most efficient mediums for communicating stories. If you want to annoy him, just mention how you think comics are for kids. His reaction is a common source of amusement. He has given talks in universities and clubs about comics and will gladly talk anywhere he is invited to about comics and how underutilised they really are. To book Neil to give a talk, please email

Social Media
2 Winners will receive an E-Copy of Twisted Dark by Neil Gibson.
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Must be 17+ to Enter
International Giveaway

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Personal Statement by Jason Odell Williams

Author: Jason Odell Williams
Publisher: In This Together Media
Publication Date: August 1st 2013
Blurb Description: Getting into college has never been harder. Can't rely on a perfect SAT score or a 5 on your AP Mandarin exam anymore. And field hockey and basketball? Please. The real sport is Volunteering. Change the world—and tell Harvard all about it.

In Emmy Award nominee Jason Odell Williams’ hilarious first novel, PERSONAL STATEMENT, it’s open season on admissions—and a Category-3 hurricane is headed for Connecticut. Self-proclaimed tiger-daughter Emily Kim drags her best friend, apathetic test-taking genius Rani Caldwell, to the coastal town of Cawdor, where Emily’s sure her humanitarian efforts will make her Harvard application stand out from the pack. 

Problem is: so does everyone else.

When Emily and Rani arrive, hundreds of other teenagers—including Robert Clinton III, gay, black and meant for the Sorbonne—are already in Cawdor with the same idea. Observing the battle royale is Alexis J. Gould, aide to the Governor and a veteran of the college admissions rat race. To the kids in Cawdor, it’s not a natural disaster. It’s an opportunity. Let the games begin! 

So, as some of you may know, I reviewed Personal Statement by Jason Odell Williams a few weeks ago. The publisher, Saira Rao has kindly offered up two ebooks for a giveaway- and the widget is below!

Good Luck!

Oh, And the giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!

Just one more thing: For more about the book- read my 5 Starred review here: Personal Statement


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacking The Shelves (#1)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It gives us a chance to share with readers what we bought, borrowed, swapped, won or got for review each week. 

First, I should probably say that this is the first time I collected my thoughts enough to actually post a Stacking The Shelves post. And I am SO excited! FUN, FUN, FUN.

Well, for now, I don't have my own Stacking the Shelves graphic yet, so I'm going to use the original/ official one from Tynga's Reviews.

Onto the books!


1. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin: (ARC- November 2014)

The Walled City sounds super fascinating- a mixture of Claire McFall's Bombmaker and Abi Ketner's and Melissa Kalicicki's Branded and I can't WAIT to get to it

Courtesy: Guardian Children's Books for review

2. Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis (Firefly Press)

Courtesy: Guardian Children's Books for review

3. Minty by Christina Banach

Courtesy: Christina Banach as a Thank You! (Right back at you, Christina!- and your little message inside plastered a HUGE smile on my face!)

4. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria:

I suppose that Love Letters is specifically new only to my physical shelf- I got the chance to read an ARC back in January- but it was just one of those books that I had to end up buying a paperback off!

5. Entangled by Cat Clarke

6. There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff

7. Out of my mind by Sharon Draper

Courtesy: My Darling Brother- just for fun! (He sort of owed me- you know how that goes:P)


Finding Mr. Darcy by Erin Butler (For a blog tour review)

Hope for Garbage by Alex Tully (From the author- for review)

A Safe Space by E.M.Tippets (Via Netgalley)

Which brings me to the end of my VERY FIRST Stacking The Shelves. So, my birthday is coming up in two weeks and there will DEFINITELY be another haul in then- from all my brilliant friends!

See you then!

Review Blitz: The Man Test by Amanda Askel

Author: Amanda Askel
Publishing Date: March 24th 2014
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Blurb Description: Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancĂ© is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions.

In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?


About Amanda Aksel
AMANDA (ah-MAHN-dah)- Latin- Meaning lovable or worthy of love.

Fitting. I've always had an affinity for love.

Being born in sunny San Diego in the mid 80’s to a young military couple gave me plenty of insight into the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Somewhere between moving coasts every three years, I found myself engrossed in fairytale romances and dressing up like a bride.

My first real love was writing. By my sophomore year in a new high school in Virginia, I had a slew of short stories, songs, poems, and articles to my name. Writing was fun. It was a way to get the emotions, dialogue, and pictures out of my head, and create a destiny for my characters.

I had no intention of making a career in writing, because it wasn’t what I did, it was who I was. In reality, I wanted to be an actress. Ah, to be the face of someone else’s authored story. The plan was to move in with my aunt in L.A. after graduation, but had a change of heart. Instead, I stayed with my high school sweetheart (now husband) and attended a film school in Norfolk, VA. It was at this school that I discovered my love for writing screenplays and felt compelled to follow that path. But…as the practical girl I was brought up to be, I decided to go to a real university. While working full time, I completed my BA in Psychology in four and a half years. Becoming a couple’s therapist had always been my “backup” career and there I was on my way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time.

With all my new free time after graduation, I decided to turn my full-length screenplay into a novel in hopes it would help my screenplay sell. I think I was in the middle of writing chapter two when I realized that everything I had ever written was to prepare me for that moment when I knew I was a novelist. Talk about the affirmation of my life. Now my plan is to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.

Website / Facebook Twitter Pin


The Man Test, or books like the Man Test have always fascinated me. You know, the ever present question of whether happily ever afters are something that only existed when Ranpunzel let down her golden hair- or whether they do in the brutal, harsh and tough (in comparison) world we live in today.

So, you know, I had to click to sign up for the tour- and a huge thanks to the author and Mark My Words Book Publicity. (Receiving this book has in no way influenced my opinion)

Of course, The Man Test, like almost all contemporaries started off a bit predictably. You know, something you can get off of the blurb. Anyway, the book picked up pretty quickly- but the beginning was void of emotions.

Referring to herself in third person (almost), our protagonist, Marin, is over the top, but portrays herself as grounded, a couples therapist helping couples overcome issues including infidelity but herself is on the war path to prove that all men are, well, cheating scumbags.

Like I said, the book soon picked up and you learn, or more like empathize with the fact that Marin is just dealing with the situation that her cards have dealt her. James, we kind of get a clue as to whom he is before he actually becomes Marin's "Man Test Subject"

Well, you know, I'm not really going to tell you more. The entire point is to not give what happens *ahem* away. All I can say is- the book will definitely be a fun one- with lots of drama, plain stupidity and even have you questioning like Marin (for a little bit, anyway!)

My Verdict:

A little perspective, about love, in the world we live in today!