google-site-verification: google935433b691795853.html KRISTY BERRIDGE: 2012-04-01

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Book Review: Ember by Madison Daniel

The burning angst of teenage love, the insurmountable feelings of betrayal, and the tangled web of jealousy and its spread of power. A love triangle forged by searing heat, an unbridled passion quelled by insecurity, and the misguided ventures of youth.
This is 'Ember' ...
Author Madison Daniel takes us on a journey with 'Ember', a novel walking the fine line between romantic intent, just hint of mystery, and of course, a thickening plot encompassing supernatural elements and believable action sequences.
Max Valentine is the focus of this story, a seemingly confident protagonist with a seriously troubled past. Tragedy now defines him, burns within, but sends him packing to the Hawaiian Islands and into the comfort of his favourite uncle's welcoming home as refuge.
A secret long understood by the family is what consumes Max's soul. Driven by the past, Max is determined to start fresh, begin at a new school, and make new friends in the hopes they don't turn from him in fear of his special ... gifts.
A chance encounter with the mysterious Asia, a dark haired beauty with a secret of her own turns Max's newly established world upside down. Fire and water collide, a seemingly clear case of opposites attract, but is Asia's beauty and her enigmatic presence enough to heal the hurt in Max's soul or will the beautiful and sweet-natured Samantha, the girl next door and newest acquaintance in the school yard, be the one to fill the hole in Max's heart?
I know which team I'm backing, who will you choose?
As the tangled web of deceit and the natural eruption of overly intense emotions unfold, love, lust, and friendship lines become blurred. Jealousy rears its ugly head and a progression towards violence coupled with the hot heads of youth explode in a fireball of intense heat. The violence is ugly and real, and fought on the grounds of nothing less than the proclamation of intent. In the end will Max choose the cooling waters of Asia or the comfort of familiarity in Samantha? Or will he stoke the burning embers within and unleash his darkest nature to pursue the passing satisfaction of revenge?
Ember is a clearly written novel with consistent characterisation. The dialogue is concise and not over done - in keeping with the often intense and overly inflated emotions of teenagers. And with this, Madison Daniel opens a window into the male psyche, exploring the deeper feelings of the male point of view which more often than not remain a mystery to the female counter part. In this novel I could feel the character's angst, though I found myself cringing on more than one occasion, wondering when the hell Max Valentine was going to get slapped upside the head from one of his female pursuits.
Putting the love triangle to the side, I loved the injection of music into the writing. Every chapter had a certain feel to it, reflected in the song that defined it and also by each character's actions or emotions. In some instances if I didn't know the song, I would look it up and get the vibe for the chapter and the author's intent.
Overall I enjoyed the book, though essentially 'Ember' is an emotionally charged and confusing addiction to salvaging a damaged heart. The plot is peppered with the expected school parties, bullies and ensuing fights. But the supernatural element takes the story up a notch and adds an element not based on popularity contests, the quest for power, or the often over-inflated use of abilities to impress readers. The sedate touch of power had meaning in its ties to Max's past and the final few chapters explored this cleverly, leaving you wanting answers and just a little bit more. I rate this book three out of five stars, knowing that my score will probably increase as the series continues and hopefully quenches my thirst for more answers than questions.

Synopsis: A touch of fire. A lost soul to darkness. A longing to change the past. Max Valentine is 18, alone and has the power of a thousands suns at his fingertips. The crush of love will haunt him. The promise of normalcy will elude him. With a song in his heart and a guitar in his hand, he will discover the painful truth ... love never dies but it can kill.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Follow Friday #27

Happy Friday everyone!
Yes, it’s that time of week again where bloggers unite to participate in the Follow Friday venture. The idea behind #FF is to promote traffic to your own blog, make new friends with other like-minded bloggers and discuss new and interesting topics each week.
Participating is simple. First you need to follow my blog because I’m totally awesome, then you can follow me on Twitter @kristyberridge (actually you don’t have to do this, it’s wishful thinking), but do follow my blog or assassins will get you …
Then you must follow our illustrious hosts Rachel of and Alison of If you want more details on how to enter your own blog in the follow and hop, all directions are on their webpages
Now, once you’ve followed, check out my answer to this week’s questions and don’t forget to leave a comment so I can do the right thing and follow you back!

This week's Question: Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

My answer: I think bad reviews make me curious. Mentioning no names, I once read a terrible tear down of another author's work. The remarks were childish, over-the-top insensitive, and downright offensive in some circumstances. All I could think of was if this person could not form a rational opinion with clear and concise reasoning why they didn't enjoy the book and consistently dismissed any positives, then why would I take their remarks seriously without reading for myself.. I try not to base my opinions on the verbal thrashings of a f@#$!head. 
Enough said.
So, in light of this, yes, I do buy books that other people have written poorly about, because you never can tell. 
Happy Follow Friday, everyone!

Kristy :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

What's it for?

A silly blog today, though I honestly suspect that most of my blogs are. I am literally compelled to talk about every stupid subject that comes to mind, and today is honestly no different.
So the story starts when my husband and I were sitting on the couch together the other night, watching mindless sitcoms after a long day at work. We hadn't spoken for hours, not because we were arguing, but because after twelve years together you're more than comfortable sitting in silence. Plus, after an eight to ten hour workday having to talk non-stop to a lot of stupid people, it's nice just to shut up for a little.
Anyway, I'd say about two hours had passed. We'd watched the Biggest Loser and ate a shitload of chocolate - moral support and all that. We'd also taken on My Kitchen Rules and naturally scoffed at every meal concocted, knowing we were hardcore master chefs at heart.
In the next instant a commercial rolls around. I hit the mute button - I'm sick of wanting a Whopper with cheese and caramel Sundays at nine o'clock at night because the voice over says I'm hungry ... bastard.
Anyway, hubby then turns to face me, and naturally I'm curious. He takes a breath, straightens up like he has something very important to say, and then, overly animated he says, 'Why do we have hair?' He pats the top of his head and then pulls at a few of the strands. 'I mean really, what the hell do I need all this for?'
I lost it.
Two hours, no talking, a full day of stupid questions from idiotic patrons at work, and my husband asks me why he has head hair. I don't think I've laughed that hard in ages. But, pressing for an answer, I told him that even head lice needs somewhere to live.
So, naturally this has stirred up a whole bunch of questions I really don't have answers for;

1. Why is the sky blue?
2. Why does only when sock come out of the dryer when I put two in there?
3. Why do you get fined if you don't wear a seat belt in your car, but there aren't any in public transport?
4. Why do we teach children to talk when parents spend their teenage years begging them to shut the hell up?
5. Why do we have to make the bed when we're only going to sleep in it again?
6. Why does everything taste like chicken?
7. Why does February get short changed a few days?
8. Why do we have a mother's day and father's day but not an 'everybody else' day?

Anyway, these are just a few. I'd be curious to see what boggles your mind. Leave me a comment, I promise, no judgment! After all, my husband is suss on the whole head-hair thing, and I have no idea why there are only twenty-eight days in February with the occasional sneaky one thrown in.
Have a good one,

Kristy :)