Monthly Archives:: October 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Crusher by Niall Leonard

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Niall Leonard
Publication date: September 11th 2012
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers


The day Finn Maguire discovers his dad bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in his father’s murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.

Scouring the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, exposing dark family secrets, and facing danger at every turn, Finn is about to learn that it’s the people you trust who can hit you the hardest…

*A copy was provided by Random House of Canada for review purposes*


When I first heard or Crusher I had never heard of it or of the author before, and when looking deeper into it I was surprised to find out the author is actually EL James’ (50 Shades) husband. This left me both intrigued and worried. Having been put off of 50 Shades simply from excerpts that made me cringe, I was hoping Niall would be able to create a story that was compelling and exciting, and hopefully void of bizarre tampon scenes.

Well, I can assure you there are, in fact, no tampons! A big reason *could be* probably because our main character is male. Finn comes home to find him father dead one evening, after the cops make him a suspect, he decides to take matters into his own hand and find his father’s killer. This promises a heck of a lot of excitement, great action, and hopefully some awesome twists. To my great disappointment it did not deliver in either of these points.

Unless… unless you call Finn working, then working again, then getting fired, then working. Oh wait, it’s a little exciting when he breaks into some crime boss’s yard, but that doesn’t last very long and he’s working again. Washing dishes! All that steam! That hot, sweaty dishwasher! Yeah… no. Not exciting. When he isn’t working, he’s planning his father’s funeral. Talking to funeral directors. Funeral arrangement… very sexy… Then wait, Finn trips, and oops, he stumbles on a trail to his father’s killer! That was so convenient!

Let’s just say, I did not find this very exciting. In case some of your are a little on the slow side.

The investigation itself involves a crime lord of some type, clues that seem to appear out of sheer luck more than anything, and a whole slew of stereotypical characters that felt like cardboard cut outs of any crime movie. Digging in clues is what’s the most fun in a crime novel. You go along with the characters and try to figure out what happened. The way Niall goes about clues and twists are too coincidental to make it really captivating. Moreover, there’s never any real feeling of danger or suspense. Instead of being scared, I was baffled by the characters’ actions. Stupidity will never be suspenseful, only irritating, and slightly amazing.

So why did I give this book 2-stars? Well, I finished it. It kept my interest; I was hoping it would eventually get thrilling, and I was kept curious throughout, wanting to know who the killer was. So it is a decent premise, with an interesting male protagonist who could have a lot of depth if the author gave him a likeable personality, or any personality at all to be honest. The lack of consistency in the writing and sporadic pacing clearly killed the whole plot for me. But hey, why don’t you try it out? *hands over book forcefully*

2 Espressos

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Posted by on 10/23/2012 • 25 Comments

I am very happy to be one of over 500–OVER 500!–blogs that are participating in this Spooktacular giveaway hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm. I haven’t had the chance to participate in a hop in so long that I’m excited for this one! Plus, Halloween! Who doesn’t love it!? 😀

What’s up for grabs? One book of choice at The Book Depository up to a value of 10$.  Open Internationally as long as TBD ships to you (is your country on the list? Click here) Giveaway ends on October 31st, 2012 Use the Rafflecopter below to enter

Make sure to hop along the other participants for 500+ more chances to win!Click here for the full blog list.


Review: This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

Posted by on 10/22/2012 • 21 Comments

This Is Not a DrillBeck McDowellPublication date: October 25th 2012by Nancy Paulsen Books


A father who misses his son. A soldier home from war. A man with nothing to lose.

When Brian Stutts walks into a first-grade classroom with a gun, Emery and Jake’s world is blown apart. They’re just teenagers helping to tutor some kids, but now they’re at the centre of a deadly hostage crisis.

While Jake tries to get a secret message to the outside world, Emery reaches out to the desperate, unstable man. But Brian Stutts is holding the gun, and one way or another he’s not leaving without his son.

 *A copy was provided by Beck McDowell for review purposes* With only a mere 224 pages, I was surprised by how much…

Xpresso Book Tours Giveaway!

Posted by on 10/22/2012 • 21 Comments

I need your help again, my fellow book lovers! As you all must have heard, I started a new venture with Xpresso Book Tours, and now I need YOUR help making sure the whole world knows it exists! Should be a piece of cake, no? Mmm cake…

What’s up for grabs? TWO international winners will get their pick of one of the fantastic looking pretties below. The winners may chose a previous book in the series if the book shown is a 2nd, 3rd, etc, installment. Note that a lot of these may not be released by the time this giveaway ends, in which case they will be pre-ordered for you!

    GIVEAWAY DETAILSTWO winners gets a book of choice from the list above. *Will be a pre-order if…

Stacking the Shelves (26)

Posted by on 10/21/2012 • 56 Comments

Xpresso Weekly is my edition of Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books I got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week. This week at Xpresso Reads

Last week I complained it was cold, and this week I have a cold! Booo! It’s been a little quiet on the blog the past couple of days because of it, too. I hope you didn’t miss my Fresh Batch too much. >.< But, cold aside, this was a pretty good week and a fairly big (for me anyways) announcement was made – I started a new book tour service where I will be organizing blog tours and cover reveals. You can check out the new site here: and sign up as a tour…

Introducing Xpresso Book Tours

Posted by on 10/18/2012 • 24 Comments

A lot of you have heard via my tweets and Facebook page that I have recently launched yet another venture: Xpresso Book Tours. I have been on over 50 tours myself, I love them I think they’re great for authors and readers alike, and I’m really excited to be on the other end and organize them! 

For authors: Tours can be very time consuming to organize, not to mention stressful, let me do it for you so you can sit back, relax, and not have time taken away from writing more fabulous books! Xpresso Book Tours offers connections to hundreds of blogs and thousands of readers, which gives the opportunity to get those best fitted for your tour and offer maximum exposure for your book. Have a look at…

Review: The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

Posted by on 10/18/2012 • 25 Comments

The Shadow SocietyMarie RutkoskiPublication date: October 16th 2012by Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.

As if she were his enemy.

When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely…

Valkyrie Rising Tour Stop: Excerpt & Giveaway

Posted by on 10/17/2012 • 29 Comments

Valkyrie RisingIngrid PaulsenPublication date: October 9th 2012by HarperTeen


Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a…