Category Archives: Monica Seles

[REVIEW] Love Match – Monica Seles & Paul Ruditis

Monica Seles & Paul Ruditis
Love Match (The Academy, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (AU: 1st February 2014; UK: 13th February 2014; US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

I only have love for one trashy series at a time, and Game On secured Monica Seles’s The Academy series as my chosen. Love Match cements its position with more drama, and occasional sport.

Yes, sport. There are plenty of physical female characters in YA fiction, but usually they’re defensive or violent, so it’s great to see sport have a starring role. Tennis player Maya Hart’s point of view guides the entire novel, even though her own storyline is so-so. Her on-court career is going great, but her off-court life is less successful – mostly due to her dual attraction for gridiron-playing brothers, and the occasional upstaging in the media by her rival.

Chinese golfer Cleo has won a junior invitational tournament yet keeps being criticised by a particular blogger. First for her outfits, then for her “partying”, and lastly for being “Americanized”. This storyline is awkward because the characters seem to equate criticism with “trolling”/”bullying”. It turns out the blogger’s motives are good, but the execution is not. Cleo’s sub-plot wraps up neatly with a happy ending.

South African/French swimmer Renee Ledecq is a little heart-breaking here. The daughter of wealthy parents, she’s extremely generous to others…but doesn’t treat herself half as well. However, her latest relationship could teach her to love herself more, and hopefully this will be expanded upon in a future novel.

This addictive series has hooked me fully, and further books set in the Academy ‘verse would be most welcome. Yes it’s trash, but it’s MY kind of trash.

Advertisements

25th February 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Jessica Brody
Unforgotten (Unremembered, Book 2)
Macmillan (US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

After a daring escape from the Diotech scientists who created her, Seraphina and Zen believe they are finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await them at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend Sera. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.

Cecil Castellucci
Tin Star
Macmillan Roaring Brook (US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist’s leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station. When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula’s desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Book 3)
Scholastic (US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

Kim Harrison
The Undead Pool (Hollows, Book 12)
HarperCollins Voyager (US & CA: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic – earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic – and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something – or someone – is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike. The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic, and Rachel must stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. The only way to do so is through the ancient elven magic, but that carries its own perils – for magic always has a price, and gods do not come lightly when called.

Sophie Littlefield
House of Glass
Harlequin MIRA (US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Jen Glass has worked hard to achieve the ideal life: a successful career, a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, a seemingly perfect family. But inside the Glass house, everything is spinning out of Jen’s control. Her marriage to her husband, Ted, is on the brink of collapse; her fifteen-year-old daughter grows more distant each day; and her five-year-old son barely speaks a word. Jen is on the verge of breaking, but nothing could have prepared her for what is to come… On an evening that was supposed to be like any other, two men force their way into the Glasses’ home, but what begins as a common robbery takes an even more terrifying turn. Held hostage in the basement for more than forty-eight hours, Jen and Ted must put aside their differences if they have any hope of survival. They will stop at nothing to keep their family safe – even if it means risking their own lives.

Monica Seles
Love Match (Academy, Book 2)
Bloomsbury (US: 25th February 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Getting into The Academy is the easy part. Staying there takes more than just talent. After being betrayed by her rival and her boyfriend, Maya knows she needs to shrug off the drama and focus on her game. And after a strong showing in the semi-finals at a tennis competition, Maya seems pretty focused. Until that competition brings a new round of gossip, a modelling gig, and renewed feelings for…her ex? And Maya’s not the only one with drama. Cleo just won her first big golf tournament, but the blogs are bashing her alternative style. Renee is smitten with the school’s newest soccer star, Diego. And the Reed brothers are being pitted against each other by their father, their love for Maya, and the press.

February 2014 Releases

Done with January 2014 Releases? Here are February 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

Continue reading

4 New Covers (Graves, Ryan, Seles, Williams)

Continue reading

4 New Covers (Robertson, Seles & LaRosa, Vaught, Wiggins)

Continue reading

4th June 2013 Releases

Cassie Alexander
Shapeshifted (Edie Spence, Book 3)
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

When Edie Spence was fired from her paranormal nursing job at County Hospital, her whole world came crashing down. Now she’s once again shaken to her core. Her mother is deathly ill and there’s only one thing that will save her: vampire blood. But with the paranormal community shunning Edie, where can she obtain it…without losing her own life in the process? Edie hopes to procure it at her new job at the clinic across town, where the forces of evil loom large. Vampire gang wars are rampant. Old underground enemies are rising to the surface. And Edie’s zombie ex-boyfriend has arrived at the scene – but is he the same man he used to be? And what should she make of the enigmatic doctor with whom she shares an unexpected connection? She’ll have to figure it out soon, because all hell is about to break loose – literally – and time is running out…

Keri Arthur
Darkness Unmasked (Dark Angel, Book 5)
Penguin Signet (US & CA: 4th June 2013); Hachette Little, Brown (UK: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones is beginning to believe that the only way to find the keys she’s been searching for and save her friends is by dying. And when Wolfgang Schmidt, the lover of her boss at the vampire council, is found dead, her worst fears are confirmed. With the first portal of hell permanently open, the energies of the dark path are leaching into the world. Searching for Schmidt’s killer and the keys at the same time, Risa and reaper Azriel track a shape-shifting spider spirit capable of changing her form into a seductive woman. But when they finally find the second key, the Aedh Lucian snatches it and disappears. Risa is intent on finding Lucian and fighting him to the death – for in her mind, she knows that neither can remain while the other lives…

Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (Hunger Games, Book 2)
Scholastic (US: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumours of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Sylvia Day
Entwined with You (Crossfire, Book 3)
Penguin (US, CA & AU: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognised something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside – so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat. No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become. Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

Tara Hudson
Elegy (Hereafter, Book 3)
HarperCollins Teen (US & CA: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths in the French Quarter of New Orleans – Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now she’s back in Oklahoma, and all she wants to do is spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua Mayhew. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does. As the body count rises, Amelia thinks she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can no longer save the people she’s lost to the darkness…and she can never see Joshua again. Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands…and fight back.

Richelle Mead
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, Book 1)
Penguin (US, CA & AU: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March is a former investigator of religious groups who was sent into exile after a failed job, a fate that has left the brilliant servitor bitter and free to indulge his addictive personality. Suddenly, Justin is sent home to the Republic of United North America with a peculiar assignment – to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena. Justin’s unexpected return comes with an even bigger shock: his new partner and body guard is a praetorian, one of the elite and deadly super soldiers of the RUNA. Mae Koskinen’s inexplicably perfect beauty and aristocratic upbringing pique Justin’s avid curiosity – and his desire – though her true nature holds more danger than anyone realises. As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the path of terrible danger. Mysterious enemies and powers greater than they can imagine have begun to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world where humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Saundra Mitchell
The Elementals (Vespertine, Book 1)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s (US: 4th June 2013)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Kate Witherspoon has lived a bohemian life with her artist parents. In 1917, the new art form of the motion picture is changing entertainment – and Kate is determined to become a director. Meanwhile, Midwestern farm boy Julian Birch has inherited the wanderlust that fuelled his parents’ adventures. A childhood bout with polio has left him crippled, but he refuses to let his disability define him. Strangers driven by a shared vision, Kate and Julian set out separately for Los Angeles, the city of dreams. There, they each struggle to find their independence. When they finally meet, the teenage runaways realise their true magical legacy: the ability to triumph over death, and over time. But as their powerful parents before them learned, all magic comes with a price.

Monica Seles & James LaRosa
Game On (Academy, Book 1)
Bloomsbury Children’s (US: 4th June 2013)
Review
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The Academy is an International Sports Mecca for teen athletes of all sports. There are only two ways in. Deep pockets or enough talent to score a scholarship. Young tennis star Maya’s dreams have finally come true when she earns a scholarship to The Academy. Plucked from her small town, Maya moves to the sports training facility/boarding school to (hopefully) start the beginning of her pro career. But Maya’s fantasy of The Academy doesn’t quite match the reality. Because where there are hot, talented teens, there’s a lot of drama. Meet the players: Cleo: Maya’s rebel/punk roommate who is nearing the top of the golf world. Renee: The gorgeous swimmer with enough money to buy her way into The Academy. Nicole: A tennis star who feels threatened by Maya (but she’d never admit it). Travis: The son of The Academy owner – perfectly groomed to be the next NFL star. Jake: Travis’ younger brother – the bad boy to his brother’s good.

Now Available for US Pre-Order

Jenna Black: RESISTANCE: 11th March 2014: Buy (US)
Jessica Brody: UNFORGOTTEN: 26th February 2014: Buy (US)
Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, & Jessica Sims: FIRE & FROST anthology: 25th May 2013: Buy (US)
Megan Crewe: THE LIVES WE LOST (paperback): 7th January 2014: Buy (US)
Erica Hayes: CHERRY KISSES: 23 May 2013: Buy (US)
Rhiannon Held: TARNISHED (mass market paperback): 1st January 2014: Buy (US)
Sarah K.: BONDS OF LOVE: 21st January 2014: Buy (US)
Mary Miller: THE LAST DAYS OF CALIFORNIA: 20th January 2014: Buy (US)
Monica Seles: LOVE MATCH: 25th February 2014: Buy (US)
Kassy Tayler: REMNANTS OF TOMORROW: 4th February 2014: Buy (US)
Bethany Wiggins: CURED: 4th March 2014: Buy (US)