How to Make a Book Launch EPIC

I’ve been to a lot of book launches in the last few years, and from those, I think I’ve picked up on what makes a launch particularly great. One of the things I love most about book launches is feeling completely immersed in the bookish community. I enjoy being present online and talking to authors and other bloggers and readers on Twitter and Instagram, and even here on my blog, but there’s nothing quite like seeing all these people in real life and telling someone how much you adore their novel or their blog in person. I’ve met so many amazing people since I started attending book launches and other bookish events, and I’m so thankful for this welcoming, supportive community.

BOOK NERDS UNITE!

Having been to more book launches than I can count, including two in the past two days, I have some tips and suggestions I’d like to share, as well as things I love about them that can never be changed because I’m allergic to mixing things up. It’d be like releasing the second book in a series before the first. #NotHappening.Read More »

Every Move – book review

Every Move

The sequel to Every Breath and Every Word comes Every Move – a the thrilling and addictive book, written by Ellie Marney.

After the dramatic events that unfolded in London, a road trip back to her old home in Five Mile sounds like a good plan to Rachel Watts and to her brother Mike. Fragments of her haunting past rearrange themselves in Rachel’s dreams, leaving her feeling like she won’t ever be able to escape the things she got tangled up in when she met Mycroft. Returning to some place familiar seems like the best thing to do to help Rachel overcome the memories that torment her day and night. But when Mike picks up his old friend – the wildly unreliable Harris Derwent – Rachel starts to feel like things are going downhill.

Back in Melbourne, Rachel’s ‘partner in crime’, James Mycroft, is dealing with issues of his own. When Harris comes back to Melbourne with Rachel and Mike, things get worse for Mycroft as everything about him seems to conflict with Harris. Then a string of murders suggest that the mysterious Mr Wild – Mycroft’s own personal Moriarty – is on their tail. When tragedy strikes, Rachel and Mycroft realise they’ll have to recruit Harris and take matters into their own hands…

*

Since I read the first book in this series, Every Breath, I’d been addicted to the story of Mycroft and Rachel. Their lives were so captivating and following their journey has been thrilling and completely addictive. This series is definitely one of my favourite, especially because almost all of this series is set in Melbourne. Because of that, this series felt really close to home and made it even more enthralling. This whole series is amazing and unputdownable.

One thing that I love about this book is how well-written it is. I always felt like I was right there beside Rachel and Mycroft when I read this series. The descriptions are either beautiful or haunting or nauseating depending on the situation, but every word always seems perfectly placed, making the books flow perfectly. Every Move was paced really well. There wasn’t any moments in this book where I felt bored reading or wished something more was happening. There also weren’t any parts where too much was happening, causing me to feel over-burdened. One of the things I hate about books is not understanding what’s happening because we have too much information dumped on us at the one time. That’s definitely not the case with any of the books in this series. I immensely enjoyed reading all of them, especially Every Move. 

The characters in this series is definitely my favourite thing about these books. Since being introduced to Rachel and Mycroft, I fell in love with both of them. They were so well-developed and perfectly imperfect, as well as fun and interesting to be with. I’ve really loved getting to know them so well over the course of this series and I felt like we got to know these characters even more in this book. I had a few questions about their pasts in the first two books and all of my questions were answered in this book. I loved getting answers to everything I wanted to know and I liked seeing that we didn’t get all the answers all at once. Every Move gradually gave us the answers we wanted and needed without it ever seeming like we were just being forced-fed information in order to end this series without too many doors still open.

Mycroft would really have to be one of my favourite book boys. He’s witty and intelligent, has a mysterious side about him and can also be dark and brooding. You know those characters that aren’t perfect and have quite a few problems, but to you, they just seem so perfect? Mycroft is one of those characters. To me, he couldn’t have been better written in this series. Everything about him was developed and I loved learning about his history even more in this book. His imperfections only made him more desirable and alluring and because of them, I felt the need to grow closer to him. Though, that wasn’t hard at all. The description of his appearance and how we learn that he has an British accent, meaning I read all of his dialogue in that way, made him irresistible. The make out scenes between him and Rachel were perfect and made me wish I was Rachel, but realistically, I’d rather just be hiding somewhere near by with binoculars and cooing at their cuteness.

Rachel was also a beautifully woven character with her set of flaws and unique attributes. It’s rare for characters to not get on my nerves much, but Rachel was one that I liked being with all the time. And while I didn’t agree with all of her decisions all of the times, I understood her reasoning and respected her for not relying much on others and getting things done. She wasn’t a weak character in any way and I admired her determination and courage in countless situations. One thing that I also really liked seeing in her in this book was how she struggled to cope with certain things after what happened to her in the second book, Every Word. It was somewhat refreshing to see how what had happened to her affected her mentally and I liked seeing how she managed to overcome these problems. I feel like that too often in YA fiction, the characters have terrible things happen to them and do terrible things and don’t stop to process that or aren’t affected in any way. It’s unreasonable to assume that everyone is capable of moving on like a robot when realistically, almost everyone would be affected like Rachel was. It didn’t mean she was weak for reacting that way, it showed me that she was brave in admitting she had a problem and it was inspiring to see her work out her problems and find ways to solve them.

One character I really liked being introduced to in this book was Harris. In the beginning, I was really suspicious to who he was. I felt reluctant to trust him because of all the people Rachel and Mycroft had placed their trust in in the past and had those people betray them. I was worried Harris might have been one of those people, but I was very pleased to discover that he wasn’t. When I first met Harris, I thought he was going to be annoying and uncivilised and rude. It was amazing to see how the first impressions of him dictated how I would react to reading about him and how none of us should judge people before they know them. I loved getting to know Harris’s backstory and what had happened to him in the past that moulded him into the person he is today. I felt like even a lot of the minor characters were very well-developed, which seems had to do well in novels. None of the characters seemed simple or underdeveloped and I enjoyed spending time will all of them.

This series is definitely one I recommend to everyone, particularly those who like thrillers, action and romance all interwoven together. If I had to pick my favourite book of the series, it would have to be the second one – Every Word – though I loved all of them immensely. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I definitely recommend it and if you haven’t had time to pick up the last book yet, I urge you to do so as soon as possible! This is such a great book to read and I absolutely devoured it, so I hope you all do to. I’d give Every Move by Ellie Marney a score of 9 out of 10. Expect laughs and the occasional tear for this roller-coaster of a book!

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

Every Word – book review

Every Word

Every Word is the thrilling and emotional second book in the Every series, written by Ellie Marney.

Rachel is still getting used to the idea of Mycroft being her boyfriend. But when Mycroft disappears to London with Professor Walsh without saying anything, Rachel knows that something is wrong. Mycroft and Walsh are investigating the suspicious carjacking death of a rare book conservator, which seems to be linked to the theft of a Shakespeare First Folio from the Bodleian Library. This case appears to be very similar to the carjacking death of Mycroft’s own parents, and Rachel is worried that these similarities will uncover Mycroft’s emotions that are buried deep within him. Impulsively, Rachel follows Mycroft to London, where she finds herself landing in more trouble than she had ever imagined…

I absolutely loved reading this book! I liked this book so much more than Every Breath, if that’s even possible. This book had me with so many “feels” and it took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Like the last book, I was hooked from the very beginning and I was eager to find out how things were going to play out. The plot was extremely grabbing and I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages. One thing I loved about this book was that most of it was set in London. Because I’ve been to London, I loved reading about places I’ve seen and been to. Every Breath was set in Melbourne, which is my hometown, so I became really connected to this story. I knew all the places where Rachel and Mycroft were in both of these books and it made it easy to visualise the busy streets of London and the unique sights of Melbourne. In saying that, it’s absolutely not essential to have been to Melbourne or London to know what things are like. Ellie Marney is able to show what these places are really like, using every sense. The way this book is written is incredibly captivating and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every word of it.
I thought I loved Mycroft in the first book and I didn’t think it was possible to love him any more. And then he went and proved me wrong. Mycroft has definitely become one of my favourite book boys. He’s incredibly smart, as well as humorous. He’s sweet when he’s with Rachel and he cares so much about her. I can’t choose which aspect I love most about him. Every little detail about Mycroft makes me fall head-over-heels for him. I like how he comes from an awful past because that means he has a vulnerable side to him that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. He’s tried to build a wall around himself for protection of the horrors of his emotional past. Rachel only gets to see this side of him very rarely and I love how she has managed to show Mycroft that showing emotions isn’t a bad thing or a weakness. Mycroft is just such an incredibly complex character and that’s what I love most. I also came to like Rachel a lot more in this book. I didn’t like her particularly much in the first book, but it was impossible not to connect with her in this book. She goes through such terrifying situations in this book and her pain is so easily portrayed. I felt everything that she felt and I loved being closer to her. The scenes between Rachel and Mycroft were mind-blowing. These were my favourite parts of the book. Mycroft was so swoon-worthy in these parts! The romance between Rachel and Mycroft that sparked in the last book ignited into a bonfire that’s bright and beautiful and warm.
If you’ve read Every Breath, this isn’t a book to be missed. If you haven’t read Every Breath yet… Do I need to make it any clearer than I already have? I love this series so much and if you haven’t read Every Breath, you’re seriously missing out! I’d give Every Word by Ellie Marney a score of 9.5 out of 10! I highly recommend this series and I’m already excited for the release of the next book, Every Move, scheduled for March 2015!

A huge thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

Every Breath – book review

Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Every Breath is the alluring first book in its series, written by Ellie Marney.

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne with her family from the country and is struggling to cope with her new life. James Mycroft is Rachel’s neighbour, a teenage genius with a love for forensics. When the pair discovers a gruesome murder, Mycroft is determined to find out who the killer is. Rachel finds herself unable to resist when Mycroft tells her that he needs her help. Together, the pair collects clues and hunts down anyone that could be suspects, until they find themselves in a lion’s den – literally! Can they stop the killer before it’s too late?

*

I started off not enjoying this book, but within 20 pages I was absolutely in love with the characters and the plot. Let me explain. I’m a massive fan of BBC’s Sherlock. And I’m one of those crazy Sherlock fans that doesn’t like the American Elementary show just because it came out after Sherlock did and I felt as though I had to be loyal to Sherlock and not be one of those Elementary and Sherlock lovers/traitors. So this is what happened at the beginning of this book. I got all: No! It’s too much like Sherlock! I’ll be a Sherlock traitor if I like this book! I told myself to forget that mindset, read the book, and not think about how it is really similar to Sherlock. Wow this book was good! Maybe now I am a Sherlock traitor, but I don’t really mind.

Once I got over my little Sherlock issue, I found myself being pulled into the storyline and really enjoying reading what was going on. At first, I wasn’t completely head-over-heels for the characters. For some reason, Mycroft calling Rachel ‘Watts’, like Watson, was annoying in the beginning. And I kept picturing Mark Gatiss, the middle-aged man who plays Mycroft in Sherlock, talking to Rachel whenever it was supposed to be this tall, hot teenager Mycroft. However, soon I got used to it and really enjoyed every part of this book.

This book is basically a modern and teenage version of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, where both the characters are dealing with their own issues. Rachel Watts is a country-girl who is struggling to cope with her and her family moving to the city of Melbourne. James Mycroft had to move to Melbourne from London to live with his aunty after his parents died. Rachel and Mycroft really get along and seem to connect because they’re both struggling to find out where they belong in a world that doesn’t understand them.

At first I wasn’t too convinced that I’d love Mycroft as much as I did. He was witty and outgoing, but there wasn’t really anything in the beginning that made me think: I want him! Perhaps that’s because this book is written from Rachel’s point of view, and she doesn’t think of Mycroft as anything more than a friend… until later, at least… It was towards the end of the book that the romance ignited into a dazzling flame. But the thing I liked about this book was that the relationship between Mycroft and Rachel never seemed forced. It was completely natural, and of course awkward and teenager-y at times. And the romance between them wasn’t put there simply to attract more teenage girls to keep reading, it was an important part of the book that really showed how much Mycroft and Rachel needed each other.

The main part of this book was about solving a murder, and of course, this is where the Sherlock Holmes part comes into it. At first, I was afraid this book was going to do the Sherlock Holmes thing really badly and that it would just come off as cheesy. I was so happy to find out that it didn’t. Not at all. I felt that the mystery could have been more mysterious and the suspense more suspenseful, but overall it was a really enjoyable read. Be warned, this book is a little gruesome in parts, but nothing too horrific. I loved reading Every Breath by Ellie Marney and I’d give it a score of 8.5 out of 10. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!