My first Sarah Alderson but it won't be my last. Heart-racing pace without sacrificing character or plot development ... what a wicked ride.4.5 stars
My first Sarah Alderson but it won't be my last. Heart-racing pace without sacrificing character or plot development ... what a wicked ride.
Nic Preston lands on Finn Carter's doorstep after her apartment's security system is breached and her home broken into. Are the killers who brutally murdered her mother and stepsister 2 years ago back to finish the job? Hacker extraordinaire Finn may be her only chance of survival.
I loved the dual narrative from Nic and Finn. Nic's opinion of Finn changes from understandable dislike and mistrust to something more as the storyline progresses and I really bought how their relationship developed. I adored Finn from the get-go, he's smart and hot and even with his questionable deals and decisions, you just know he's a good guy. I always fall for the dog in a book and Nic's French Mastiff bulldog Goz was no exception ... aww my hero.
I've read true stories stranger than Conspiracy Girl so I didn't find it in the least bit far fetched, the conspiracy almost did my head in, the bad guys were relentless, I had the 'twist' figured out well before the end but far from lessening my enjoyment, it kept me flipping the pages to see if I was right.
Not often I enjoy a YA suspense/thriller to this extent ... Conspiracy Girl is the complete package. ...more
I was already in love with Cynthia Hand's beautiful, lyrical writing ... her Unearthly trilogy4.5 stars
4 reasons I loved The Last Time We Say Goodbye:
I was already in love with Cynthia Hand's beautiful, lyrical writing ... her Unearthly trilogy blew me away a few years ago. It wasn't a difficult choice to pick up The Last Time We Say Goodbye and it more than lived up to my high expectations.
The exploration of grief is beautifully and sensitively done. Before you shout me down and say not another one of those books. I swear it's different. The strength of The Last Time We Say Goodbye is in its down-to-earth simplicity, it's the raw, simple, messy truth that is grief. It focuses on Alexis's grief following her brother's suicide ... the gaping hole in her chest, the shock, sadness, guilt, anger. It's about family relationships and the devastation suicide wreaks on a family. Ultimately it's a story of hope and forgiveness and living with loss.
Julia Whelan is one of my favourite narrators. She has this uncanny ability of becoming a character, and pulling you in to share the story as a participant not just an observer.
3.5 stars I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay, the emotion of it completely overwhelmed me. I Was Here was a good read, an important one but I found the e3.5 stars I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay, the emotion of it completely overwhelmed me. I Was Here was a good read, an important one but I found the emotional connection lacking. Depression and suicide is sensitive subject matter, whilst we are making headway, depression is still very much a misunderstood illness, the stigma is still there, so anything that brings the subject out of that taboo-no-go-zone should be appreciated.
I Was Here follows Cody as she tries to come to terms with her best friend's suicide. It tells the effect of Meg's death on those close to her .... the guilt, anger and disbelief felt real. And that's about as far as the 'feel' went.
Cody's sarcasm and abrasiveness didn't bother me, I understood the loss of trust in what she thought she knew of her friend and their friendship, I got why she was so desperate for answers. I didn't mind Ben as a character but I felt next to nothing about Cody and Ben's 'romance'.
I understand that everyone does grief differently and the last thing a grieving person needs is judgement but I thought Meg's parents' behaviour was odd, they didn't come across as genuine, quite frankly, I didn't feel much for them at all.
It was nauseating to read of suicide 'support' groups, not support groups for the those left behind or those suffering from depression but for those considering suicide ... encouragement, applause, choices, suggestions; people preying on those most vulnerable, it makes me sick that groups like this exist. A bit like the dreadful pro-mia and pro-ana online support groups for bulimia and anorexia.
Don't let me put you off, this is a worthwhile read but it confounded me to feel so little ... me who cries at a Kleenex ad. I'm keen to hear what others thought.
Gayle Forman's author notes and support links were a very worthwhile inclusion. ...more
Take Me On takes place during a period of Crash Into You and without spoiling things for anyone who hasn't read the series let me just say I enjoyed iTake Me On takes place during a period of Crash Into You and without spoiling things for anyone who hasn't read the series let me just say I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I thought I would. Rachael's brother, West was pretty much a dick in Crash Into You and I wasn't thrilled Take Me On was going to be his story. Must have been that smack up the head I gave him because he redeemed himself. I still think the family need to take some of their megabucks and cough up for serious therapy ... the Lousy Parent award won't cost them a thing.
I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) aspect, McGarry nails the gym atmosphere, the hard-core training, sweat-blood-tears determination, the fight side of things in amateur/pro sport.
Haley I liked immediately, she's tough and yet vulnerable, protective of those she loves and she fights for what she believes in. And West, well he grows in this installment and his growth and maturity is realistic, not some inexplicable change in character. And I liked him (nearly choked admitting that) and his biceps. West and Haley are just plain good for each other, the chemistry is there, sparks fly and it gets heart-melt-y good.
Kudos to Katie McGarry, she keeps changing it up and the whole troubled, heart-achy theme is not getting the least bit old. Her exploration of relationships is insightful, the issues are real, (homelessness and depression) it's big on those values like honesty, integrity and responsibility and it's tempered with hope.
Breaking the Rules is next, Dec 30th 2014, we re-visit Echo and Noah from Pushing the Limits which will be awesome but what I really want to know is when does Abby get her book? Come on, give us a hint, don't leave us hanging ;)...more
I wanted to love this one, regular readers of my blog know how much I love Dystopia and Enmity held such promise. The synopsis sold me ... sadly the eI wanted to love this one, regular readers of my blog know how much I love Dystopia and Enmity held such promise. The synopsis sold me ... sadly the execution failed to live up to it.
There was enough action to keep the plot moving but poor writing turned something that could have been amazing into a hot mess. It makes me sad criticising an author's 'baby' but I'm just one opinion so be sure to check out other reviews....more
I'm a huge Elizabeth Scott fan and I liked Heartbeat but it didn't have the heart-crushing, punch-in-the-guts impact of Living Dead Girl. I just reallI'm a huge Elizabeth Scott fan and I liked Heartbeat but it didn't have the heart-crushing, punch-in-the-guts impact of Living Dead Girl. I just really connect with Ms Scott's writing and her gift of putting into words what is so often thought but not often said.
Emma was so choked on hate and hurt she was pretty unlikable, I understood why, but it didn't stop me from wanting to smack her a time or two for her selfish, hurtful behaviour. But you know what, grief isn't pretty. It's natural to want to blame and when your loved ones are drowning in the same deep well of pain, it's difficult to consider someone else ... both Emma and her stepfather Dan were guilty of this.
On the up side Emma has a treasure of a best friend in Olivia and her relationship with her stepfather is loving and secure ... they just needed time to come through the storm.
Caleb's story really touched me, even sadder than Emma's, if that's possible. Their mutual pain and grief providing a connection they probably wouldn't have found otherwise. With Emma adjusting her judgmental attitude, mutual understanding blossoms into romance, but it takes a back seat to the central plot, much to my relief.
Yes it's repetitive but even that felt in keeping, imagine not being able to truly grieve your mother, seeing her daily, holding her hand, wanting it to be over, not wanting it to end, filling up on hope, while you know there is none.
Whilst not my favourite Elizabeth Scott, still one I'd recommend .. complex issues addressed with insight, honesty and compassion.
I've had a love affair with Laura Wiess' understated but beautiful turn of phrase since reading Ordinary Beauty. I don't know why this talent4.5 stars
I've had a love affair with Laura Wiess' understated but beautiful turn of phrase since reading Ordinary Beauty. I don't know why this talented author isn't more widely read.
Me Since You is not an easy read but it's raw and real. It has that rare quality that transforms someone's reality into a story you identify with. It makes you feel ... a lot.
It deals with depression and suicide and the aftermath for family members ... the shock, grief, anger, guilt, the what-ifs. It's about the ripple effect, the pain multiplied by the media and quick-to-judge people, grief in all its ugliness, and Rowan and Eli and healing and love.
A few things I just have to mention ...
Rowan writes to her Dad in a grief journal; it tore me up, it doesn't get more real than this.
the romance is understated, whilst important it does not dominate, there isn't a cliche in sight.
Nadia, Rowan's ex-best friend who wanted her to "speed-grieve" needs a *bitch slap*
When you read a few books consecutively with similar themes of loss and grief, obviously you compare; Laura Wiess is an author whose writing transcends age and Me Since You is a story that should be read. ...more
I wasn't convinced when we left Lilac and Tarver in These Broken Stars that I'd be quite as sold on new star-crossed lovers. Wrong! Captain4.5 stars
I wasn't convinced when we left Lilac and Tarver in These Broken Stars that I'd be quite as sold on new star-crossed lovers. Wrong! Captain Jubilee (Lee) Chase and Flynn Cormac are on opposing sides of the war on Avon, military and rebel, both bad-ass, likable and both fighting for the same thing. Ok Flynn wasn't quite Tarver but he still got my vote ;)
This Shattered World is a darker, harsher tale than it's predecessor with the romance taking a back seat to war, death and madness. The pace and action is full-on from the get go but not at the expense of world-building or character development. What I really liked was the intimacy in seeing both sides of the conflict, the humanity of both.
There is continuity with the corporate corruption touched on in book 1 really getting fleshed out and there's a much greater sense of planet, universe and galactic politics. And yes Tarver and Lilac make a brief but significant appearance.
All up This Shattered World had a different feel to These Broken Stars but I liked it just as much.
Can't wait to see where Amie and Meagan venture next and with who ... maybe Sophia? ...more
Blood Phantom is the short story prequel to the first book in the Lharmell series, Blood Song. I kid you not this is one highly addictive ser3.5 stars
Blood Phantom is the short story prequel to the first book in the Lharmell series, Blood Song. I kid you not this is one highly addictive series and after Blood Storm and that ending I had serious withdrawals so Blood Phantom was a short, sweet 'fix' of Lharmell ... just enough to have me salivating for the final installment, Blood Queen.
It was great to get inside the enigmatic Rodden's head, get a glimpse of things from his perspective and I just love his dry sense of humour. I enjoyed the interaction between Prince Amis and Rodden too, Amis doesn't get a lot of page time in the series, he's not really a major character but it was nice to see the bond between these two.
At only 15 pages it's something of a teaser, I might have even stamped my feet coming to the end ... wahhh where's the rest?
*Squeee!* Blood Queen April 15th 2014 ... bring it on Rhiannon Hart (she's the author with the Lharmellin size evil streak)
I was introduced to Aimee Carter's writing with The Goddess Test which I liked but obviously not quite enough, as I didn't continue on with t3.5 stars
I was introduced to Aimee Carter's writing with The Goddess Test which I liked but obviously not quite enough, as I didn't continue on with the series lol but I love Dystopia and the synopsis of Pawn had me intrigued so I jumped at the chance.
And in that, it didn't disappoint, Pawn has a great premise, okay it won't win 'most original' dystopia but I liked the world building (more of it would have been good) it's pacy and entertaining ... controlled population, caste system, resources awarded according to worth, treachery and political corruption ... what's not to like?
Normally I wouldn't have much positive to say about a story where some of the main characters are dare I say it ... insipid. Don't get me wrong Kitty's likable enough, just flat, I never really established a connection with her, and Benjy ... Benjy who? Knox and Greyson had a bit more depth but once again not enough for me to feel a connection.
Where Aimee Carter does excel is with Prime Minister Daxton, the most vile, repugnant character I've read in YA this year, ughh what an evil piece of excrement! What I wouldn't give to see him strung up by his you know whats and I could probably be convinced to partake in a game of whack the pinata (with a baseball bat) ... *cough* gee where did that come from haha. and Kitty why, oh why??
Then towards the end the wheels fell off the bus and the story became a big messy ... mess. Maybe it was just me, let me know what you thought? I am a bit shocked I enjoyed this as much as I did, until the end, and I will read the next installment, yes I will!...more
Well it's been an enjoyable and action packed journey with Avry & Kerrick across this trilogy and I'm relieved that Taste of Darkness was a satisfWell it's been an enjoyable and action packed journey with Avry & Kerrick across this trilogy and I'm relieved that Taste of Darkness was a satisfying end to the series.
No spoilers, mostly it's about tying up loose ends but the good vs evil battle is of course not without some touch and go moments, one being the Skeleton King, a particularly foul and highly nauseating antagonist ... yep my stomach contents threatened to exit a couple of times.
So glad that the camaraderie and banter was back in this installment, with Quain, Loren, Odd and sweet Flea providing that light element I really missed in book 2. I love how protective the Monkeys are towards Avry ... like really annoying big brothers.
I've liked Avry from the start but she really shines in this book and the romance between Avry and Kerrick is fanned along in captured moments together. I love their loyalty to each other and the cause and the loyalty and respect they inspire in others.
I'm going to miss the magic; the magic system and landscape are characters in themselves, continuing to fascinate and surprise throughout the trilogy.
All up, a darker installment as the title suggests but my favourite of the series ... I'm just a little bereft it's over. ...more
The Iron Traitor picks up where The Lost Prince ended and if you read my review you may recall my surprise at how much I enjoyed the spin-off considerThe Iron Traitor picks up where The Lost Prince ended and if you read my review you may recall my surprise at how much I enjoyed the spin-off considering I wasn't a fan of The Iron King *shock horror* (yeah I know, in the minority) ... but maybe I'll give the original series another chance or maybe I'll just let this new found enjoyment play out.
Ethan's nephew Kierran is missing and desperate, insanely desperate to save his love Annwyl from the Fade. That desperation fuels the story, the urgency is palpable and in their bid to protect Kierran, Ethan and Kenzie are entwined in his dangerous quest.
The Iron Traitor is a meaty 2nd installment, a dark journey with the action expertly orchestrated. And the setting is entrancing; Nevernever, Tir Na Nog, Summer, Winter, the Between, the Goblin Market - old friends and new enemies, the Forgotten aren't quite so forgotten and random confession time ... I'm sweet on that little gremlin, Razor.
I'm thoroughly enjoying my journey into the land of Fae but Julie Kagawa you are a cruel, cruel woman ... that ending was just ... cruel, CRUEL.
PS see how traumatised I am, a more fitting & descriptive word escapes me :(
PPS don't let the nasty cliffie stop you, I truly believe we should all suffer together ;)