Forgiven is a lovely short, but well written, introduction to Rachel Morgan’s new Trouble series and a perfect taste that will leave you ready to read more of this new adult contemporary series!
Having already read Rachel Morgan’s Creepy Hollow series it’s suffice to say that I’m a fan, but I was still impressed by this quick read that was so very different from what I’ve read by her before. Introducing us to her new series, as a novella Forgiven is short but sweet, yet Morgan manages to pack a lot of emotion and longing into its short 80 pages.
Told through the eyes of Julia and following her return to her home town of Durban in South Africa, Forgiven is a story of love and life, as Julia returns to the town she fled from almost a year ago with no notice, no reason. Julia had it all; she was popular, she had a wonderful boyfriend and a family that loved her dearly, and yet she ran away from it for reasons unknown. Even though the story is told through Julia’s eyes, we as the reader don’t know what past event triggered Julia’s flight response, and it’s not until towards the end of the story do you learn the startling event that made her run.
Personally I liked Julia. She was nice to follow and the kind of person whom you can’t help but like. I liked Julia’s sisters Sarah and Sophie and am excited knowing they’ll be featuring in two of the Trouble books as the main characters. We only get to meet them momentarily in Forgiven, but thanks to this short novella I’m already looking forward to reading their tales.
A short but sweet story, Forgiven is a tale you will breeze through! Rachel Morgan starts her series off excellently with this clean, but tempting introduction and has me ready and waiting for the rest of the series! Definitely worth a read! (less)
Captivate is a delightful debut by Aussie author Vanessa Garden and a lovely start to what promises to be an interesting series set in a magical underworld world full of love, danger and secrets!
Having read the premise of this story—an Australian teenager, kidnapped and swept up into an underwater world—my first thought was quite understandably "mermaids!" I experienced both disappointment and delight to discover that this wasn’t actually the case. Choosing not to go down this path, Vanessa Garden has penned an intriguing story with Captivate.
Whilst I’m being honest, Captivate wasn’t quite as addictive and beguiling as I’d hoped but it did make for an enjoyable read. Set in the lush, underwater world of Marin, Captivate follows Miranda Sun after she is kidnapped and brought to a land deep under the sea for mysterious and questionable reasons. Reasons we discover as the book progresses that intertwine with the history of those who call it home.
I liked the world Vanessa Garden has created in Captivate. It’s beautiful and lush, with the origins of these underwater people and how they came to live under the sea, in this dome like enclosure so sufficiently, different from what I’d read before. The characters, including heroine Miranda were likable and easy to read about, even if they were basic and their relationships predictable. Marko was alright as the king of Marin and Miranda’s main love interest and Robbie as Marko’s guard, friend and Miranda’s kidnapper/friend.
Miranda and Marko’s romance came on swiftly, but with both characters going into it with their eyes more or less open to the others motive and feelings this didn’t bother me too much. And yet I wasn’t blown away by their romance. It just was.
Don’t get me wrong, the characters were in no way lacking personality or likeability, but at times I felt disconnected from their plight. Captivate was just missing that something more for me. That special, often unnamable quality that takes a book from good and okay to brilliant and beyond.
That being said, I did like this story. There were a number of different story developments and revelations that kept me on my toes and I truly do want to see what decisions Miranda will make and whether she will return to Marin. I foresee a love triangle in the future between Miranda and the two men in her life, and though personally I’m over them myself, I think Vanessa Garden will explore this avenue.
With an interesting plotline and a lavish setting, Captivate was enough to whet my appetite and leave me wanting me. I look forward to what trouble’s await Miranda with her possible return to Marin and wonder what Vanessa Garden has in store for her heroine next! (less)
As a reader, there are rare times in one's life when you come across a book that changes you. Often unexpected, it's story manages to reach down into a deep, inner part inside you and wretch your emotions apart with it's haunting depth and beauty....All The Truth That's In Me is one of those books.
Having recently finished Julie Berry's stunning novel All The Truth That's In Me, I'm not really sure what to think. Or to say. Or even where to begin. This book is so far out of my comfort zone it's beyond ridiculous and yet I don't think I have the words to ensure my review does it justice. Nothing I could write would even come close to describing the unexpected brilliance and beauty, I personally, found within it's pages. This story is on another level entirely.
Written in rare second person and told in short, brief chapters All The Truth That's In Me is in no way my normal read. Admittedly, I experienced a brief difficulty getting into it in the very beginning due to the brief flashes into past experiences that I found confusing, but after this initial confusion I honestly found myself swept up into our protagonist Judith's haunting story. Author Julie Berry has done a terrific job with this historical novel. I feel wrecked having read it. There were so many moments when I felt torn apart, broken, an emotional wreck and yet I feel better having read it.
Understandably there are going to be people out there hesitant to read this book due to it's themes and the strong issues it explores, but All The Truth That's In Me is so much more than it seems. It's dark subject matter leads to a really unexpected read. Judith's story is agonizing; agonizing to read, heart wrenching at times to experience. And so incredibly beautiful.
As this book progressed, I felt more for Judith at times than I think I've felt for a main character in a long, long time. Possibly ever. Her voice is so incredibly raw and her emotions bleed through the pages. You simply can't not feel her pain and agony. Her loneliness and heartbreak take on a life of it's own and the broken, damaged way she, and others, view herself will break you. Seeing her pine for the one she thinks she can never have but still ultimately loves is so incredibly emotional.
The journey Judith goes on throughout this story is inspiring. Watching her find the strength to overcome what was taken from her and for her to want to better herself really does touch something in you. Seeing small acts of kindness for her from people in a village where the majority scorn and ridicule her; often seeing her as stupid and nothing is amazing to witness.
So, in saying how emotionally torn apart this book left me at times, it also stitched me back together. I was glued to this novel, frantically turning pages and amazed by the beauty I found in this story. Our protagonist goes though so much and as you see what it has done to her and the impact it's had on her, seeing the happy, fitting things she experiences towards the end of the novel just gives it so much more meaning.
Julie Berry takes you right into Judith's head with All The Truth That's In Me. Her voice is haunting and pain filled and as the story progresses and truths come to light, All The Truth That's In Me proves to be one of those stories that stays with you always. Despite having turned the final page, I find that Judy's story still lingers with me and I'm still lost in it's painful beauty.
Without a doubt a MUST read of 2013, All The Truth That's In Me is haunting, tragic and completely unforgettable! (less)
Mine to Spell is the wonderful sequel to Janeal Falor’s sensational debut You Are Mine and is an exciting follow up to a brilliant book that promises this author has many more fantastic tales up her sleeves!
Can I just say….I seriously love this series! I mean, seriously love it. Janeal Falor keeps proving to me what a talented storyteller she is: weaving together this sensational world of magic and repression and managing to capitalize and build on an already superb world with each story. Serena won me over in the first book, You Are Mine and then its prequel, Mine to Tarnish featuring Katherine left me longing for more but Mine to Spell has me falling in love with the series even more as Falor this time tells Cynthia’s story.
As the reader, we met Cynthia briefly in You Are Mine when we followed her older sister Serena, but we didn’t learn that much about her. Falor only allowed us to see her as Serena saw her and as the older sibling wanting to protect her younger sister. It never became evident just want talents and abilities Cynthia was hiding, something that does finally become apparent in Mine to Spell.
Cynthia was a really likable character. She’s a young woman living in a world where women are repressed and are the property of men. In the world Falor details, men use magic, and while woman have it in their blood, they’re supposedly not capable of producing it physically; something we’re coming to learn isn’t the case, especially where Cynthia is concerned. Though she is very much a product of the world she lives in, Cynthia seems a lot more comfortable in her own skin that her sister was. Acting the sweet, boy-crazed sister, Cynthia embraces the magic she has and has instead been secretly practicing spells for years.
Coming across as the ditzy young woman has allowed Cynthia to escape the notice of warlocks who may have chosen to use the magic running in her blood up until now, but when unexpected circumstances and perilous danger force her into the hands of a new master, Cynthia quickly realizes the only way to protect herself is to use her abilities and soon Cynthia finds herself making bold decisions to take back her freedom, finding new friends, love and power in the process.
Cynthia really takes a stand in this book, and though she’s understandably afraid, she’s also very strong and as her strength slowly grows with the help of those she loves and a new ally in the from of a charismatic and beguiling young foreigner who sees Cynthia as more than just property to be owned, Cynthia does shine and I loved seeing her do so. Who knew such a brilliant character existed under all the airhead act she put on!
The thing I love about this series is that every main character really has had their own story to tell so far. It’s not like we’ve been introduced to a bunch of characters in similar predicaments and then see the same story over and over with slight differences. We’re seeing different stories about different young women who share similar social status and standing but who also have very different fears and obstacles to overcome, finding love along the way.
I was thrilled to find Serena and Zade make various appearances in this novel along with Cynthia’s sisters, Katherine and even Charles, whom we met in Mine to Tarnish. I adore these characters was so happy to see them again. Lukas was an adorable match for Cynthia and the perfect balance of brave fighter and kind friend. They had a great connection and chemistry that I enjoyed witnessing very much. Waverly and Bethany have me both looking forward to their stories and after the jaw dropping ending Janeal Falor left us with that sees an enemy of the past return, I’m extremely excited to get my hands on future books!
Featuring plenty of beguiling characters and exciting action during the warlocks tournament, Mine to Spell is an excellent addition to this wonderful series that mixes romance with magic and has me ready to dive into the next book pronto. (less)
Mine To Tarnish is a rich, well written prequel to Janeal Falor’s stunning debut You Are Mine, that details the harrowing and exciting tale of Katherine prior to her being tarnished and before to her involvement in You Are Mine.
After the brilliance that was You Are Mine, the chance to experience Katherine’s story was one I couldn’t pass up. Even with her minor role in You Are Mine, Katherine was beguiling. As she swiftly became a true friend to You Are Mine heroine, Serena, it became clear that Katherine had her own story to tell and while as a novella, Mine To Tarnish isn’t the longest of tales, Janeal Falor manages to satisfy her readers desire to discover Katherine’s beginning in this fantastic short read.
In terms of prequels, Mine To Tarnish is quite satisfying. The story is fast paced and driven, and Falor manages to put a lot of action, angst, sadness and love into its pages. Admittedly, I feel as though you need to have read the first full length story in the series, You Are Mine, to really appreciate this glimpse into Katherine’s world. This is simply because Falor doesn’t go too heavily into her explanation of the traits and customs of this intriguing society, something that was detailed and explained in greater length in You Are Mine, rather preferring to focus on Katherine’s story.
I have to say, after reading Mine To Tarnish I have an even higher opinion of Katherine. Her ability to look on the brighter side of her situation in You Are Mine was always something I admired about her, but seeing her journey to get to that place and seeing some of the hard choices she made only made me appreciate Katherine’s quiet strength all the more. Here is a girl who chose things that no one else would have willingly chosen—that’s a very powerful thing given her standing in this harsh society that is a man’s world and I love that!
Fast paced and exciting until the very end, Mine To Tarnish features a lovely unexpected romance and hints of friendship. My only issue? I’m not ready to leave Katherine behind, ha! Rich, riveting and very, very enjoyable, Mine To Tarnish is a great addition to the Mine series that fans will not want to miss! (less)
You Are Mine is a thrilling debut by author Janeal Falor that had me hooked from the very first page!
Heading into this book I knew one thing....I loved the cover, but I wondered if the book it housed would live up to it's promises? Would it be as good as it sounded? Well, I have to say...it was, and then some! Catching me from the opening chapter, I have to say I was very impressed with this book. I've never read anything exactly like You Are Mine!
To begin with, the story is very well told, perfectly paced and exciting where need be. In all honesty, I very rarely wanted to put this book down and turned pages relentlessly, very much drawn into the story. The characters were very likeable and interesting to read about and I enjoyed figuring out the motivations and intentions of some. I admit there were a few plot developments I did see coming, but that didn't in any way make them less enjoyable to read about. Rather I found the anticipation at times to be too much!
Janeal Falor has created a world really different in You Are Mine, featuring a society where women are not only seen as lower class, but are actually considered nothing but possessions by their "masters". Obviously I've read quite a few books by now where the featured society hold little to no value for women, but there's often some kind of male relative such as a father, grandfather or uncle of our main character that breaks this mold and actually cares This is not the case in You Are Mine and it makes for interesting reading.
I thought all the characters in this story were well rounded and well thought out. From our main character Serena to her sisters, Cynthia and Bethany and her friend Katherine, to Councilor Zade and the quirky Waverly. They all had a fantastic dynamic that leant so much to the story.
I couldn't help but find myself entranced by Serena's plight. As our main character, it's impossible not to feel Serena's repression and fear, having grown up in a world where women are owned by warlocks. This entire story is nothing but a huge journey for her as she learns to trust herself, and more importantly, others. It's all a very big change for Serena as she slowly comes to understand that not every action will result in a punishment. From the very beginning it's evident Serena is a strong young woman, but she's also very nervous and often skittish around others, especially Zade. At times I wished she wouldn't second guess herself so much, but at the same time I understood why she did this. A lifetime of conditioning doesn't change over night, but that's not so say Serena doesn't come a long way over the course of the book.
Personally, I would have liked to deeper explore the society of warlocks that exist in this story, especially those of the Envadi, who proved to be more than they really were. I'd hate to think I'd give too much away, but the friendships that develop between Serena some of the characters in this book, as well as her blossoming "something" with Zade all made me want to keep on reading even when I knew the story was drawing to a close. Serena and Zade have a very nice relationship to read about, one that I felt came a long way over the course of the book, but that didn't progress too swiftly or two suddenly.
The ending races to a stunning climax that changes the very course of the book and rocks the story's society before coming to a swift, albeit great ending that leads to many possibly in the future. Janeal Falor has done a fantastic job blending action, danger and just the tiniest hint of romance in You Are Mine, guaranteeing that I'll be on the look out a sequel somewhere in the future. With a great story, great characters and a great overall feeling, You Are Mine certainly left me wanting more!
Angela J. Townsend’s debut novel Amarok is a richly descriptive tale of one girls fight for freedom and love, told against an Alaskan backdrop that is delightfully enjoyable!
Despite it’s slow pace, this book was surprisingly addictive and I easily read it in one sitting. It was well written and the lush world of the Alaskan wilderness provided a beautiful setting for the events of this novel. While it’s certainly not the best book I’ve read, nor did it blow me away, I found Amarok to be a really nice, enjoyable read. There were a few things I was unsure of in regards to plot, and at times I did struggle with the connection between Emma and Amarok that comes on so suddenly, but as a whole I easily found myself engrossed in this story.
Townsend tells of Native American tales as well as stories of Sharman and curses as she details Emma’s journey after being kidnapped by a reclusive and evil “mountain man”. Told in dual perspective, the short chapters revert back and forth between main characters Emma and the “wolf” Amarok.
As a heroine, Emma was decent enough and fit the story well. Strong and brave, with a tortured past and painful home life, Emma never gave up and was a fighter from the very beginning. I found I really adored Amarok and loved seeing things from his eyes, especially as a wolf. Townsend had written his POV very well and you can’t deny the anguish and frustration he feels being trapped as a wolf.
Admittedly, the bond that forms between Emma and Amarok stems a lot from the fact that they both have no one. Alone and lonely, both know only cruelty and the kindness and affection they find in one another connects them as they go through their tremendous journey. Honestly, I think the “love” they feel for one another, especially on Amarok’s side, comes on very suddenly but I still believe the bond they share, if not the love.
Overall, Amarok is an exciting read, one that left me wanting more! (less)
Dare You To is the sensational follow up to Kate McGarry’s debut novel Pushing The Limits and is as good as, if not better than its predecessor. Filled with nothing but pure emotion, desire and harsh, raw characters, Dare You To will made you feel and feel everything!
Kate McGarry is a literacy genius! Plain and simple. With a talent for creating real, believable characters that are easy to empathize with and with a talent for creating storylines that draw you in and never let you go, my goodness does this woman know how to break my heart!
It’s a beautiful thing to read a book like Dare You To. And a very rare thing too. In a time where one YA book flows into the next and storylines seem so similar, there’s something so spectacular about discovering a book, and series, that can rip you apart in its emotion. From start to finish, Beth’s story made me bleed. That’s the only way to describe it. Thanks in part to Pushing The Limit, I felt I already knew what kind of life Beth had, but as the events of this Dare You To unfolded, it became clear that things were worse than I expected.
Kate McGarry ripped every possible emotion from as I read this book. Told in dual POV, McGarry details the lives of Beth Risk and Ryan Stone, the skater girl and golden boy. Two very unexpected young lovers who connect so deeply, that every moment of their story held me captivated—in fact, I tore through the book in less than a day. One of the shining aspects of this book for me is that Kate McGarry in no way shys away from the harsh critical aspects of Beth’s life. She explores the impacts drugs can have on the relationship between mother and daughter, where the roles are reversed and the one meant to be doing the protecting is in need of protection themselves. When a sad individual needs their child to protect them, and deal with the beatings/and consequenses, simply because they aren’t strong eough to deal with it themselves. This is real. This is something I don’t doubt people deal with every day and McGarry makes you face it in Dare You To. And she makes you see.
As with the previous book, the characters in Dare You To were perfect. They were real and believable and incredible to read about. McGarry has created a great cast of characters in this series, all so different, all so flawed and yet that work together. Each one from Beth and Ryan to their friends Noah, Isaiah, Chris, Logan and Lacy, to the parental figures of Beth’s uncle Scott and Ryans mum and dad….they gave the book an authenticity that it really needed.
As the male lead Ryan is a fantastic character. He’s got a real personality, unlike many golden boys of YA literature and he’s actually quite strong in himself. He obviously has his issues, but together with Beth he begins to deal with them as he falls for the rough-around-the-edges skater girl who’s so much for than she seems. And speaking of…..
Beth. Beth Risk. Stop me if I’m wrong, but to me, Beth is one of the most incredibly portrayed characters I’ve read about. Ever. Beth is broken. That’s the only way I can put it. It’s very rare to come across a character so incredibly broken, and yet is unconditionally real. I know girls like Beth. I’ve never been one, but I’ve seen them. Girls from broken homes, where alcoholism and drugs run rampant. Girls who are labeled because of the bad choices they’ve made regarding boys and relationships….all in an effect to be loved. And feel loved. Yes. I liked Beth. Yes. I felt for her. Yes…..my heart bled for this girl as I read Dare You To. Kate McGarry has done a beautiful thing in writing Beth. Writing someone so flawed and afraid, and rightly so. The pain of a life lived like Bath could break anyone, so that’s way seeing things begin to slowly get better; seeing Beth start to trust, and love, felt so rewarding.
And as for Beth and Ryan together, well….I’ll be honest, when I heard that Beth wasn’t going to be paired with Isaiah, I was a little bit surprised. And disappointed. But you know what? After reading this book…I get it. I get it. I completely understand why McGarry wrote the series the way she did. Isaiah was…is Beth’s best friend, and they have a very deep connection. He was always there for her; the one she turned to when life was hard. He may have helped make the pain go away from a while, but he never fixed it. Being with him didn’t make the pain go away for Beth. Only Ryan, as surprising as it sounds, could do that. The love he had for her and the way he felt about her was the only thing that could make her feel worthy, that could make her feel good enough.
In all honestly I’m not sure my review does this book justice. Dare You To is perfect. It really is. There’s so much raw emotion and pain that litters the pages, and yet as the story unfolds and Kate McGarry allows her characters to find strength and happiness in one another, this book couldn’t be more of a pleasure to read.
Dare You To is an incredible deep, emotional read, yet fun and romantic too. The chemistry between the main characters burns and the story is electric. This is one contemporary romance you’ll regret missing out on. Trust me….. (less)
Poison Princess marks Kresley Cole’s sizzling debut into the YA genre, and with is electric romance, constant danger and unparalleled mystery, this post apocalyptic thriller is a far cry from any dystopian novel I’ve read before!
What a fantastic book this was! Considering this is actually my first Kresley Cole novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Admittedly I had high hopes and luckily, what I discovered was a harsh, richly, descriptive dystopian with a stunning freshness and idea that stole my heart! Honestly, this book was addictive.
I truly don’t want to give away too many spoilers but the Acarna that Cole explores is such a fabulous idea. Cole’s personification of the Tarot cards was incredibly unique and very clever—I love it when authors strive to give us new ideas! I admit at times the non stop riddles and often strange comments by certain characters confused me but the mystery never let up and as question after question was raised so was my desire to discover the secrets of what was truly going on.
This book was undeniably gritty. While many dystopian’s are, Kresley Coles ability as an adult writer also began to shine through as some of the interactions between our main characters Evie and Jackson had an undeniably “adult” feel, especially on Jackson’s part. The setting was also quite interesting too, with the book starting out with a quite evident Cajun and Louisianan vibe.
I found Evie “Evangeline" Greene to be a really wonderful heroine of this story. Evie fit so well within the story and her voice was such an easy one to follow. From the abilities she’s had for many years and the anguish they’ve caused her to her desire to know what she is as the novel progresses, it’s impossible not to feel for her. While she’s very guarded and not quite ready to trust Jackson with her secrets Evie handles herself quite well for someone with an upbringing such as herself.
And as far as Jackson Deveaux goes, I really don’t know what to make of him. At times I thought he was a brilliant character and at others I wanted him to get eaten by a Bagman. Of course, in a world where so many male leads seem the same, I certainly appreciate what Kresley Cole has done with him, but at times it seemed like too much. That being said, Jackson was a Cajun boy through and through. From his outright sexy good looks to his accent and his pitiful upbringing, Jackson was rude, crude and just plain mean at times. I must say I got sick of his “me’s” and his “goan’s” real quickly, but there was just something under the surface of him that made me intrigued. He cares about Evie extensively, even if he has a funny way of showing it most of the times, but she’s obviously the most important person to him now.
As the book switches back and forth from before the “Flash” to after, the various time periods allowed for a very detailed look at our heroine Evie’s world. At first it seemed strange to me that we witnessed so much of Evies life before the world as everyone knew it ended but as the novel progressed and the dystopian aspect of the book came into play I really appreciated those glimpses of normality in Evie’s life. It allowed me to see her better as a character, and also witness her growth. It also explained the hostility between Evie and Jackson’s relationship.
I found it refreshing how Cole wrote the relationship between these two. Instead of having two characters meet in the middle of such a disaster and then have them form a straight away dislike of one another, as seen in a lot of books, these two had history from before the Flash. Their relationship was rocky from the beginning, so as they were forced to rely on one another and team up, it added a greater depth to their sometimes rocky friendship and growing romance.
And considering Evie and Jackson could never be more different, I appreciated seeing where they came from to where they were currently at. The wealthy, popular girl and the poor, Cajun hick....these two seem like the oddest pairing, but in the midst of despair, they begin to find something together. They struggled to stay on the same ground quite a bit (which drove me up the wall) and I hated the trust issues Evie had with Jackson considering how hard he tried to earn her trust but in the end they had a chemistry that I really enjoyed reading about.
Kresley Cole mixed dystopian adventure perfectly with romance and excitement in this book. It was the perfect balance and I was thoroughly interested the entire way through. The revelations revealed at the end of Poison Princess seem just like the beginning and as Jackson’s shocking discovery about Evie concluded the first instalment in the Arcana Chronicles, I’m early awaiting getting my hands on the next instalment to see where Kresley Cole will take the series next! (less)
Emily White’s debut novel Elemental is a fast, high stakes tale set in a distant galaxy that mixes mystery with action and leaves you wanting more.
Elemental was a really enjoyable book to read. A slightly short story, Emily White does a good job of drawing you in and enticing you with Ella’s journey. Personally, I was caught from the very first chapter and sped through this book. While I admit there are times where the story lagged and I got lost with so many different societies and planets, Elemental was a great way to spend an afternoon.
It’s quite an interesting world that White has crafted together. There are vast planets and numerous societies that litter the galaxy within this world. The information given throughout the book is enough to keep you up with the quick moving storyline, however I would have liked a little bit more back story into the workings of these societies. While things are revealed at the perfect time throughout Ella’s journey, there was always something else that I wished would be explained and because of that I struggled to connect with the world.
It was interesting discovering who and what Ella actuslly is and why she’s been imprisoned for so long, but I yearned for more information about the mysterious creature that Ella actually is. I’m looking forward to what Emily White reveals about this race of people in the next book and look forward to her expanding on their world and race.
The best thing about this book is truly our heroine Ella. Despite the horrible decade she’s experienced in captivity, Ella is a very kind soul despite her “Destructor” status for the most part and really just wants to be loved. Ella is a really interesting character to read about. There’s a real aura of fragility about her and she has an extremely vulnerable side to her, but despite it all, she manages to find strength when it really matters. Ella is essentially the “Destructor” and while I’m not going to give away any spoilers I will say that this often causes personally changes in Ella that contradict the Ella we’re used to seeing. What I find interesting is that despite her actions that are sometimes out of her control, Ella really does want to do the right thing; by herself and those she loves.
The characters fit well within the story and all play a very different role in Ella’s life. The people that Ella meets throughout the book all have an effect on the girl who truly has know one in the opening pages. The relationship Ella develops with her saviour Meir is rather instant, but no less endearing and is a sweet touch to the story. There are plenty of intriguing characters including Malik and Ranem, but none more so than Cailen, a young man similar to Ella who shares a mysterious past with her.
I found the start of a romance between Ella and Cailen to be sweet, but again, I yearned to know more about what they had together in the past. Cailen is everything you want in a male lead, but I just didn’t “love” him like I wished I could. Emily White is good at adding aspects to the story that you want to know more about and this is one of those aspects.
After a fast paced and eventful ending, one that featured pain and betrayal, I find myself excited to read the next book. I wonder what is in store for Ella next and what she’ll face in the next stage of her destiny and look forward to seeing what Emily White does with the sequel Fae. (less)
Thank you SO VERY MUCH to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with an ARC of this to read and review!
**READ in 2013**
Walking Disaster is t...moreThank you SO VERY MUCH to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with an ARC of this to read and review!
**READ in 2013**
Walking Disaster is the sensational 2nd novel from Jamie McGuire and is the book fans have been waiting for--Beautiful Disaster in Travis's POV! And with all the scorching romance, intensity and passion Abby and Travis generate, this book does not disappoint!
To say I was excited when Simon & Schuster offered me the chance to be one of the very few lucky bloggers to get my hands on an ARC of this would be an understatement. Beautiful Disaster was an unexpected favorite of mine last year so I've been eagerly awaiting the publication of this Walking Disaster since hearing McGuire was writing it. Jamie McGuire once more proves what a talented writer she is with this book. Retelling the events of Beautiful Disaster this time through Travis's eyes, we're once more drawn into the raw, intense love story we fell in love with during the first book!
It goes without saying that I love Travis and Abby. Obviously, I already knew these characters heading into this book and I already knew what was going to happen, but Walking Disaster gave me the chance to explore them even more, especially Travis. Now, in no way am I going to give away spoilers--I already made a promise to myself that I wouldn't, but if you've ever wondered about the origins of Abby's not quite traditional nickname or even what happens after the final page of Beautiful Disaster turns, this is the perfect chance to find out!
One of the things that was a standout for me during this book was that McGuire doesn't shy away from the raw, gritty character Travis is. Nor does she change him unexpectedly just to please us, but instead stays very true to the flawed individual we met in Beautiful Disaster as we witness his fears and inner demons first hand. The true goings on inside Travis's head reflect quite accurately his actions.
It's through this honest and authentic insight that I saw his mistakes and his reckless actions through new eyes. I can't quite say this changed the way I think about him. Let's face it...I already loved the guy, but it certainly helped me to understand him better. Seeing the world as he saw it and seeing certain events unfold through his eyes and with his mindset allowed me to see an entirely different side to this story. Writing a book like this was certainly genius on Jamie McGuire's part! This is a chance book lovers dream about--the opportunity to jump into the head of our favorite male leads and McGuire certainly couldn't have done a better job!
Now, I must say I know there is always going to be a lot of debate surrounding this book. It's easy to look at aspects of Abby and Travis's relationship that are unhealthy and intense but in doing so it's easy to miss the really good parts. Yes, together they're insanely passionate and volatile to the point of being obsessive, but there's also something very redeeming about them as a couple too. Here are two individuals, each flawed and broken in their own way and who can be somewhat destructive together, but who also managed to flourish together in unexpected ways.
People make mistakes. It's human nature. It's who we are, but we grow, and we see people grow, becoming better versions of themselves, despite all the obstacles and their self destructive natures and that's when we're seeing something special. That's what Walking Disaster is about at it's core and it's because of this that I think Jamie McGuire has penned her highly anticipated follow up to Beautiful Disaster perfectly!
Carnival of Souls is a darkly seductive read that will enthrall you from start to finish. Its Mortal Instruments meets the Demon Trappers in the latest release from one of the queens of Urban Fantasy, Melissa Marr!
I have to be honest here and say that I've never been blown away by Melissa Marr's books. I've read a few of them by now, and I know people seem to adore them-especially her Wicked Lovely series-but I've never been a fan.....until now! Melissa Marr blew my mind with this book and I cannot begin to accurately describe just how much I adored it.
From the very opening chapter, this dark twisted world of pleasure and violence beckoned me. The mysterious and exciting story, so expertly told, mixed beautifully with amazingly dark, but thrilling characters to completely entrap me. Truly, I did not want this book to end!
Melissa Marr's writing is dark and beautiful, incredibly detailing the unique world she has created within Carnival of Souls where witches and daimons dwell and no one is ever what they seem. The world of The City and the actual Carnival of Souls itself is quite alluring. The carnival atmosphere mixes with desperation and despair to create a place so raw and so harsh, that it took my breath away at times.
Awash with danger and pleasure, this story wouldn't be complete without a fantastic cast of characters to capture the reader. Carnival of Soul switches back and forth between the human and daimon worlds and features characters that are simply beguiling. They're so mysterious and so tormented and twisted in their own ways that it's impossible not to find yourself invested in their journey, even so early on. With each one facing their own individual problems and dangers, they all have a different story to tell and it's this that really makes the book. Told in third person, this book introduces us to those that live and fight in The City, Aya, Kaleb, Belias and Zevi as well as Mallory, a supposedly "human" girl who isn't exactly what she thinks she is and her father Adam, who loves her deeply and protects her no matter what, but whose connection to her isn't traditional.
Marr has set up an interesting relationship between the daimons and the witches, where their history is complicated and their present intermingles, forcing the characters into situations that don't really want and into personal connections they're not yet aware of. I must give Melissa Marr props for the way she connects each of the characters to each other--it's spectacular!
The growing relationship between Mallory and Kaleb proves to be a big focus, with Mallory the character the book features around the most, but I have to say, Aya and her plight have become as important to me as Mallory and Kaleb. There's so much going on in this book and so much mystery and uncertainty surrounding the characters that I find myself soaking up every minute of it!
With romance, danger and revelations galore, Melissa Marr's superb storytelling abilities become apparent as she weaves together this very intricate and exciting story in the first installment of her new series beginning with Carnival of Souls! (less)
**spoiler alert** **First, I'd like to say a BIG thank-you to author Rachel Morgan for providing me with an ecopy of this to read and review as part o...more**spoiler alert** **First, I'd like to say a BIG thank-you to author Rachel Morgan for providing me with an ecopy of this to read and review as part of her blog tour!**
Guardian by Rachel Morgan is an incredibly fun, exciting, although somewhat short story that caught me from the very beginning and left me desperately wanting more!
One of the things I loved about this novelette is that Morgan begins the start of her captivating tales pretty much straight away. There’s no prelude or messing around. Violet and Nate meet, get tangled up due to a series of events and their story begins! Morgan’s writing style is fantastic; easy to read, vivid, and perfectly descriptive. The world she has crafted is exciting, although I would have liked a bit more explanation of the workings within it, but seeing as this is the first novelette in a series, I foresee a lot of expansion in future books.
Our main character Violet is an awesome heroine to follow! She’s feisty and independent and well and truly able to take care of herself, despite some of the situations she finds herself in. The girl’s got spirit and flair and her sharp tongue and quick wit had me in stitches at times. Morgan writes her “voice” in such a way that you can’t help by love this quirky and sarcastic guardian.
The interactions between Vi and Nate, the human boy that she accidently returned to the fae realm with, constantly brought a smile to my face. Nate is sweet, with just the perfect amount of personality to be interesting within the story, yet not overbearing. His own wit and outlandish comments entertained me even as they annoyed Violet. His modem day references to films and occasional cluelessness endeared him to me.
There’s a romantic connection between the two of them, but it’s not rushed or forced despite the shortness of the story, but rather a delicious possibility as Violet begins to feel things she’s never before felt. Both Violet and Nate are sweet and although it’s early days I cannot wait to see how Morgan develops and enhances their relationship.
Filled with colourful characters, that personally I want to know more about, and with a feisty heroine, the tone of the story is light, while still being fun. Guardian left me wanting more and I eagerly await the next installment!(less)
Kelly Hashway’s debut novel Touch of Death mixes necromancy and mythology in a fun, new story that is filled with romance and action.
Racing through this quick read, I found Touch of Death to be an overall enjoyable read. While the writing is simple, it’s solid and the inclusion of Greek Mythology throughout the book was interesting. Personally, I would have liked a more driven plot and at times the story dragged in my mind but Touch of Death more than adequately kept my attention.
While the cast of characters in this book were necessary to the story, I couldn’t help but find them dull the majority of times. I found it hard to connect with them in a manner I would have liked. However, no one was as they seemed and I enjoyed this aura of mystery. The Ophi were an intriguing group of people but something that wasn’t explored enough in my mind to create any depth to the characters.
As our main character, I liked Jodi, but there was nothing about her that stood out for me. I wanted to, really wanted to find something about her that I loved but I just couldn’t. Her kindness and bravery in the middle of everything that was happening was a stand out for me, but everything else about her personality seemed to get lost within the pages.
Alex unfortunately was on par with Jodi in my mind; a nice character but a bit too cardboard cut out for my liking. I liked that little spark he had and his wickedness in the beginning, but again there was just something missing for me. Both he and Jodi obviously had a connection but their romance seemed rushed and wasn’t something I felt needed to happen so soon considering Jodi had only recently lost her boyfriend.
And yet for all it’s faults there was something about this book that kept me reading. I’ve definitely read better books and feel like the authors brilliant idea fell flat. I’d like to see Jodi and Alex’s relationship deepened and explored in the next book as well as what it means for the couple and the group of kids they’re with now that they’ve defeated their enemies (for the time being) and have made an interesting new agreement with Hades. (less)
Julie Kagawa’s delicious storytelling is once more at its best with her latest enchanting tale that kicks off her new Iron Fey spinoff and takes us readers right back into the heart of The Iron Fey in the newest chapter of this mesmerising world, The Lost Prince!
The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten is the latest Kagawa series to hit shelves; a richly descriptive Iron Fey spin-off featuring Ethan Chase, the younger brother of our previous heroine, and showcasing a new cast of characters as they begin a whole new adventure!
Julie Kagawa continues to cement her Queen of Fantasy title with The Lost Prince! Written in the beautiful way that is purely Kagawa, The Lost Prince is what all Iron Fey fans have been waiting for—a chance to get back into this incredible world! Being back in this captivating world once more is a lot like coming home after a long journey. After the ending of The Iron Knight, it was so relaxing to slip back onto this place of magic and fey; action and romance; where danger lurks around every corner and the beauty of the world is only challenged by the darkness and motivations of the ones that call it home.
Blending old with new, Kagawa introduces new characters, including Megan and Ash’s son Kerrian and his gremlin buddy Razor and Ethan’s lady love......stubborn, intelligent and beautiful Mackenzie (Kenzie), while bringing back all the characters we fell in love with during the first series, Megan, Ash and Puck for small cameos. There’s a whole new danger affecting the Nevernever and a brand new plotline to follow!
My goodness, this book was so exciting! Little Ethan is all grown up and no longer the sweet, little boy we first met back in The Iron King. Now seventeen and facing his own adventure, he is hardened and jaded from years spent avoiding the fey, often unsuccessfully I might add. I was actually surprised to discover how much I loved reading this book from Ethan’s POV! Of course, I loved all the Iron Fey books from Megan’s eyes and The Iron Knight in Ash’s POV was a excellent treat, but Julie Kagawa’s writing is so effortless, so purely magical, that she easily manages to enthral you....no matter whose POV you’re reading from.
And Ethan certainly was enjoyable to read about! Considering everything he’s been through, he’s grown in to a very strong, capable young man. Ethan certainly was the reluctant hero for the majority of this book, but he easily settles into his role of “hero” as the book progresses. I found I saw a lot of his sister in him, with his desire to protect those he loved and his inability to give up. I look forward to seeing how Julie Kagawa writes the budding friendship between Ethan and Keirran as well as whatever mystery surrounds these two; Keirran in particular whom everyone seems determined to keep a secret from. Hints from past Iron Fey books came to mind and I’m sure there’s something huge just around the corner involving Keirrran and his abilities.
Ethan also develops a very sweet, however intense relationship and friendship with Kenzie. These two are very sweet together and as things build between them it’s clear that we have a new duo of young lovers to drive the series. I enjoyed the hint of romance from these two; it was sweet and wove perfectly with the fantasy element of the story.
Exciting and engaging from the very beginning, The Iron Prince is guaranteed to lock onto your imagination and never let go! The stunning world created by Kagawa never fails to entertain with it’s vivid beauty and adventure and one thing’s for sure, The Lost Prince offers more excitement and more adventure with every page and will leave you asking, no, begging, for the next instalment, pronto! (less)
**Thank-you to Pan Macmillan Australia for proving me with an ARC of this to read and review**
Winter’s Light is...more**spoiler alert** *Read in March 2012*
**Thank-you to Pan Macmillan Australia for proving me with an ARC of this to read and review**
Winter’s Light is a darkly intense follow up to Winter’s Shadow by M.J. Hearle that doesn’t disappoint with it’s rich description and enthralling storyline!
I find the world crafted by Hearle in this series to be hauntingly beautiful. Hearle’s prose is exquisite; deeply gothic and one that flows easily, sweeping you up straight into the story. It captures you from the very beginning and it’s easy to get immersed in the tale. In Winter’s Light, the storyline from Winter’s Shadow continues and the tragic events of the first book continue to impact on the storyline of it’s sequel.
The combination of past and present that Hearle blends is both tantalizing and intriguing and the inclusion of new mysteries and new characters weave with old to leave you glued to the pages and eager to know what’s next. I loved getting a glimpse into some of the events that are a part of the history of the Malfaerie and Demori and learning more about Lamara, the young woman we’ve only heard about proved to be insightful. It was easy to be drawn to her desperate plight and brave nature.
Winter has been through an incredibly lot lately. The last three months have been hard on her and loosing Blake has taken its toll. I find Winter to be a fantastic heroine to follow! M.J. Hearle writes her voice with such perfection that it’s no problem at all to slip into her head. She undertakes such growth throughout this book in her determined quest to save her lost love and her inner strength that she demonstrates definitely endeared her more to me. Her ability to make tough choices and her desire to do the right thing make her a force to be reckoned with; I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.
While I’ll be the first to admit I missed Blake, Jasmine continues to be a fantastic character and best friend to Winter and Sam steps up in his search for redemption. I love Jas. Her witty remarks and devotion to her best friend is beautiful and I found I really loved Sam in this book. I liked him in the first book, but here he truly touched my heart with his desire to make up for his actions in the first book and his desire to be a friend to Winter. I also liked Elena. As one of the new characters introduced and part of the mysterious Bane, I admit she wasn’t who I thought she was at first sight and I loved seeing Hearle unveil her character. I’d definitely like to see more of her in future books.
With twists, turns and betrayal, Winter’s Light is a spectacular read! A heart-racing and surprising ending is bound to leave you begging for more and desperate to know what Hearle has in store for this series next! (less)
Brimming with tantalizing romance, delicious humour and edge of your seat action, Alice in Zombieland proves once and for all that Gena Showalter is a literacy master! With a fresh new take on zombies, this book is sure to have you begging for more. I promise you’ve never seen zombie’s like this before!
It wouldn’t be fair to start this review without noting that I am a HUGE Gena Showalter fan. Her books never fail to captivate me, and Alice in Zombieland is no exception what so ever! From the moment I turned the first page, this book had my attention. Wars could have broken out and I wouldn’t have noticed. Gena’s effortless writing and amazing ability to create intricate storylines is at it’s best in Alice in Zombieland, and her fresh take on a paranormal creature we’ve all seen a hundred times is masterful. I guarantee you; there isn’t a book out there with this take on zombies and I loved that! Add in the oh, so awesome inspiration of and reference to Alice in Wonderland that dances throughout the book and this fresh look at zombies is an absolute delight!
As far as heroines go, Alice Bell just plain out rocks! Despite the pain she feels due to her recent family tragedy, Ali, as she likes to be known, is a perfect example of a strong female lead. The resourcefulness, stubbornness and intelligence she demonstrates throughout the book make her fantastic to follow. She’s quick thinking and not afraid to say what she feels. Her sharp tongue and attitude, especially where Cole is concerned, make her a joy to read about and you can’t help but love her. Honestly, this is my kind of girl; one who knows the dangers but fights anyway simply because it’s what she knows is right and what she has to do. Written with the kind of spark and flair that make a great heroine, Ali is going to be one hell of a character to follow throughout the rest of the series!
Now, you will have to excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin before I talk about a little guy named Cole Holland. Not that he’s anyone special, not that he’s anyone worth noting. He’s only one of the sexiest guys I’ve seen in YA fiction lately! And with his violet eyes, tattoos, and nipple ring (yes, nipple ring) he’s not exactly traditional, but my goodness does this boy know how to make a girl swoon. I can certainly see why he has Ali turning to mush. Gena Showalter certainly knows how to write tough, fierce, and gorgeous male leads with all the sensitivity, kindness and wit that us female readers love. Cole is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Really, I’m ready to start the Cole Holland fan club. With his dark good looks and protective nature, Cole is the perfect match for Ali.
It’s so evident from the very beginning that Ali and Cole are going to have something. It’s undeniable. The moment they see each other, they’re gone, but not in the way you’d expect. The best part about the romance Showalter so masterfully weaves between Ali and Cole is the chemistry. It’s a gradual thing that intensifies over time, but the sexual tension the two of them share is no less electrifying. It sizzles through the pages and enhances every shared moment between them. From heated kisses to hilarious dialogue, these two have it in spades and will are guaranteed to have you smiling, laughing and shaking your head. All in the best way, of course.
One of the best parts about this book, and really any Gena Showalter book in general, are the characters. Showalter has a fantastic ability of creating vibrant characters, different in personality, but all perfect to the storyline. Every single one of the characters in Alice in Zombieland was captivating in their personalities, sense of humour and the way in which they interacted with one another. From the chemistry shared between our two lovebirds to the fabulous friendships and relationships shown between the other characters, every one of them complimented each other so brilliantly. Apart from Ali and Cole, the other characters stole my heart also. From the cold Mackenzie, who I think isn’t what she seems to the awesome, I-wish-she-was-my-best-friend Kat and her on again/of again boyfriend Frosty; they all had my heart. I admit, I had a feeling about what Kat’s secret was for quite a while, but that didn’t lessen the sadness when we did find out for ourselves.
And yet, you know the worst part about this book; the only thing that makes me want to hide under a rock and bawl? The fact that, since this book doesn’t officially hit stores until October, I have to wait over a year for the next instalment of The While Rabbit Chronicles! Now that just isn’t flair. Considering all the brilliancy that is Alice in Zombieland, I want to be able to dive into the next book A.S.A.P, but alas that’s just not possible *sigh*
Featuring a fast paced and addictive storyline, this is one book you don’t want to miss. Gena Showalter manages to create a fantastic zombie tale with no apocalypse needed and take zombies straight into the modern world. With an exhilarating and revealing ending and with all the hints thrown about, I’m sure Gena Showalter has plenty of twists and turns up her sleeve yet to be dished out. Alice in Zombieland sets the stage for what looks to be a fantastic, engaging new series and I for one cannot wait to discover what’s in store for Alice next! (less)
**spoiler alert** *Thanks to Simon & Schuster who provided me with this book*
In all honesty I never read these kinds of books. I’m not one for con...more**spoiler alert** *Thanks to Simon & Schuster who provided me with this book*
In all honesty I never read these kinds of books. I’m not one for contemporary novels and my usual kinds of books tend to be laced with supernatural elements and are heavy on the paranormal. And yet I was captivated by this book from the very beginning.....I simply adored it! I’m not even quite sure if I can say how much. Morgan Matson’s debut novel is fun and quirky, with a real honesty that flows throughout the entire book. It’s heart-warming and touchingly sweet and I found myself extremely invested in the two main characters as the book went on, especially Amy.
This book isn’t slow; rather it progresses at a nice relaxed, leisurely pace. There’s no crazy plotline involved or out there idea. It’s just two kids on a road trip getting to know one another and in Amy’s case, learning to let go of the past, as they travel across America. This story is fun and engaging, with the mementos and memorabilia throughout the book adding a real authenticity to the tale. The playlists, the photo’s the receipts and all the other bits and pieces included really add to the story. It makes it feel so much more real and at times I almost felt like I was on the journey with Amy and Roger. Honestly, I don’t think the book or the experience would have been the same without all of this included.
Amy has had a tough few months. Losing her father devastated her and then her family, in a lot of ways, fell apart. At the beginning of the book it’s easy to see how broken and sad she is; unable to let go and move on. One of the things I think that makes Amy’s situation, and the journey she undertakes, so powerful is that it really is plausible. She’s easy to emphasise with and you can see that what she’s feeling isn’t unwarranted or silly. It’s real and understandable and you can’t help but put yourself in Amy’s shoes. Well, I at least could. Family means the world to me and I could easily see myself reacting the way Amy did and retreating into myself if I faced a similar tragedy to the one she did. After everything she’s faced and was facing, it seemed like nothing was ever going to get her to enter the world again or start to heal. Enter Roger......
Roger was the last thing, err person, Amy was expecting and exactly what she needed. Personally I loved Roger. He’s wasn’t the perfect spunk or the hottest boy in town that seem to litter YA novels out there; rather he was believable and real. He was cute, and he was dorky. He was funny and he strong. He was just the perfect one to help Amy move on from her past and to begin to heal from her father’s death. The friendship, and then later relationship, Roger develops with Amy was very, very sweet. Their interactions constantly had me smiling, and at times laughing, and I was soooo happy with how things grew between them. It was just what I wanted to see.
One of the things that added so much colour to this novel and shone throughout it was the constant array of characters that Amy and Roger met along their journey. It made things constantly fun and exciting and you just never knew who they were going to meet next. There’s a real sense of healing throughout this book and you know as you read it that Amy is essentially healing with everything that happens. From Bronwyn and her very generous gift to Drew and his “Make haste! You must save Princess Amy!” to Walcott and his music and lawn mowing to Lucien and his garden sculpturing. Each and every one of these characters bring something to the journey and help Amy heal a little bit at a time.
I was sad to see this book end, yet the ending itself had me smiling and knowing that these two characters I’d come to love throughout the course of the book would be ok. The book doesn’t end overly cliché, instead with a sense of hope and the thought of where things may go. This truly was an epic tale that I’m thrilled to have gone on. Its light-hearted while begin touching and fun the entire way though. I couldn’t put it down while reading, and even now that I’m finished, thoughts about it are still floating through my head. This is a fantastic book that I’m pretty sure everyone who picks it up will love. Go ahead kiddies, add it to your to-read list---you won’t regret it! (less)
**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review*
An enchantingly eerie ride from start to finish, Bloo...more**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review*
An enchantingly eerie ride from start to finish, Blood Song captivated me with its rich, magical details, and refused to let me go the entire tale! Australian author Rihannon Hart has created a stunning world with her debut novel. The story weaves together beautifully, flowing from one brilliant moment to the next, and the otherworldly feel draws you in from the very beginning. A far cry from all the vampire and supernatural books that litter the YA market right now, Blood Song, and the creatures within it, prove to be one of a kind! From the opening line on the very first page, this book had me. I was hooked. And then as the story evolved and more elements came into play, it was a fight to simply put the book down. The idea behind this story and even the one that surrounds Zeraphina herself was fascinating to me and I enjoyed every moment I got to unravel the worlds of Pergamia and Lharmell.
Apart from the fabulous storyline which is surrounded by mystery and keeps you on your toes, the characters in this book will draw you in as you follow Zeraphina on her journey. A great new heroine, Zeraphina truly was a joy to follow and read about. She held all the traits of a true princess, but was strong willed and independent, willing to defy what was expected of her to follow her instincts. She never backed down and wasn’t afraid to take a risk; instead ready to face her fear and issues head on. She isn’t obsessed with the norms of royal life and truly is different than her sister and mother. Queen Renata and Princess Lilith were nice editions to the tale, adding some depth, but I must admit I didn’t feel too much for them. Although it’s clear that despite all of Renata’s faults, she loves both of her daughter very much. I couldn’t get enough of Leap and Griffin in this book. The animal aspect and the way it was written into the story was just perfect. They were terrific little characters that added personality to the story without the unnecessary drama you sometimes get from actual people.
Honestly, I can’t talk about this book and not talk about the relationship that develops between Zeraphina and Rodden. It was a highlight in this book for me. It’s not an outright focal point in the story, but there’s no denying that it’s there. It’s very effortless and doesn’t seem forced or unrealistic at all. Rodden, who is a few years older than Zeraphina, is arrogant, brooding and oh, so intriguing. He’s sexy and appealing without trying, and there’s a chemistry there between him and Zeraphina—even if they don’t always see it. The two of them had a love/hate relationship, heavy on the hate that I adored. The way they bicker and bait each other and the constant biting comments they made towards one another had me smiling in that all too knowing way. It was kind of like being back in high school when you know two people like each other in a morbid sort of way (even if they deny it) and know eventually they’re going to give into that. The thing I love the most about how Hart has written their romance is that there’s no rush to it. They’re not declaring their feelings straight off the bat and are madly in love—they’re fighting and disagreeing and slowing beginning to get past each other’s walls.
The pace and tone of this book flowed and fit perfectly. It all moved along nicely and the events and certain scenes in this book (mostly between Zeraphina and Rodden) had me entertained and captivated, eagerly turning each page until there was no more to turn. This book will thrill fans of Maria V. Snyder's Study series and Kristen Cashore’s Graceling and I foresee it being a hit!
Now, everyone say it with me.....S-e-q-u-e-l! (less)
*Firstly, thank-you to Pan Macmillian who sent me this book for review*
I’m in all directions with this book. There were times when I...more**spoiler alert**
*Firstly, thank-you to Pan Macmillian who sent me this book for review*
I’m in all directions with this book. There were times when I felt myself really engrossed in this tale, especially around the middle when this seemed really interesting, but for the most part I found myself heavily detached from the characters and in turn, the story. The writing itself was flawless. I can’t fault it. This book was well written, detailed, descriptive and the storyline was something I haven’t read about before, even in a sci-fi book, however it still fell short in my eyes. It seemed to drag on at times and lacked the ability to keep my attention. That being said, there were a few moments where I was captivated completely and didn’t want to stop reading, but for the most part I was bored at times.
While I couldn’t help by feel outraged over everything that happened to the children in this book, especially the girls, there was just something that kept me from getting sucked in and feeling it completely. I was shocked at the ways in which these girls were violated in this book. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I must point out that they were not raped, however to me the choices they had taken away from them and what they had done to them was still a strong violation of their rights. Personally, I can’t imagine going through what they did and I was angry for them as I read this book.
It took me a while to warm up to Waverly, but when I did I found it did actually like her....if only a little bit. I liked that she didn’t believe the lies she’d be told and that she continued fighting through everything. She had an inner spirit and a fire inside her. Kerian on the other hand was a completely different story. I know as the male lead he’s going through a lot too and we’re supposed to like him, but try as I might I just couldn’t. He grated on me and I couldn’t feel anything but annoyance towards him. I found I just didn’t care for him and dreaded the moments when he was a focal point. I didn’t care much for some of the other characters either. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of Seth or him and Waverly, or anything like that. They’re just all so messed up. I found I liked the fight and spirit of many of the side characters more than the main ones and the character I liked the most doesn’t make it (not naming any names) so that spoiled things for me.
While this book wasn’t my cup of tea, it still held some good parts within it and there are plenty of people who see to adore it. I can't guarantee I'll read the sequel, but I think sci-fi lovers and fans of Beth Rivis's Across the Universe will love it and I can see Glow being a hit with sci-fi fans in general. (less)
*This book was sent to me from the publisher Pan Macmillian Australia*
I loved this book. It drew me in and I couldn’t stop reading--I had to know what...more*This book was sent to me from the publisher Pan Macmillian Australia*
I loved this book. It drew me in and I couldn’t stop reading--I had to know what was going on! This is a hauntingly beautiful debut. Author M. J. Hearle weaves together a stunning gothic tale that mesmerised me and captivated me from the beginning. While I’ll be the first to admit the story starts out slow, weaving together and setting the story up, it’s in no way boring or uninteresting. The mystery and little bits and pieces that are thrown in here and there keep you entertained and eager to know what truly is going on. The idea of this story and the theme of the plotline are unique and not like a lot of books out there--the story is eerie and exciting at the same time.
Hearle writes beautifully. His writing flows and paints a dark picture that is beautiful. I admit I was a tad worried going into this book. Sometimes I find that male writers never really capture the essence of the heroine when their lead character is female. And yet Hearle has no problems here what-so-ever. I honestly loved Winter. He’s written her perfectly, making her easy to emphasise with and with a feminine voice. She was a terrific heroine, everything I could have asked for in this tale; realistic and normal, and yet brave and interesting--exactly what you need in these kind of supernatural tales. She reacted how I expect a normal person would when thrust into this kind of world making her someone that you actually enjoy following along on her journey. As for Blake, well he was intriguing to say the least. One of the things I actually enjoyed so much about this book was the mystery surrounding Blake. Throughout the majority of the tale we never know exactly what Blake is or who he is---we simply know he’s different and that he draws Winter who can’t deny he’s like no one she’s ever known. Blake was a very haunted young man, with many a secret. He was mysterious and it was impossible not to feel the drawl he had that Winter felt.
I only have one issue with this book, and it’s one that tends to impact on my feelings about a lot of books, especially paranormal YA. I’m not the biggest fan of the quick lust/desire-at-fist-sight, I-need-you-from-the-very-beginning type of romance. It’s impossible not to see, and feel, the passion in this book. It saturates the pages and heightens the emotions, however the characters barely know one another. Taking place over the course of a week, is it really possible to feel that deeply about a person so soon? I must say however that Hearle doesn’t rely on this and place such a big importance on this as other writers do. It’s there, it is, but it’s not there to the same extent as I have seen a lot in the past. It’s not sickening (thank god) and it didn’t bother me as much as it normally would, seeing as the brilliance of this novel made up for it.
This book is a tantalizing read with a great range of characters from the main two, Winter and Blake, to the few others that help to give the book flavour and difference. The ending is gripping and exciting and I could not stop reading! I needed to know what was going to happen next and the last few chapters had me needing the second, yet to be named book, stat! This book will entice you and draw you in and I recommend it to fans of the gothic and paranormal alike!
**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Allen & Unwin Australia for sending me an ARC of this*
Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel is one that will thrill...more**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Allen & Unwin Australia for sending me an ARC of this*
Tahereh Mafi’s debut novel is one that will thrill readers, pulling them into a world and journey that just gets better with the turn of each page! Shatter Me’s riveting tale and incredible heroine will have you on the edge of your seat; eager for more and desperate for it to never end! Personally, I’m only just beginning to get into dystopian novels. They seem to be the craze lately and going into this book I’d heard so much about it and yet I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was so excited to get and ARC from Allen and Irwin. The premise sounded so good, but I wondered if it could live up to that.....and boy did it ever! This book blew me away. Simple as that.
The writing and the story itself caught me from the very first page and as I continued to read, Juliette and her journey and all the other characters cemented this book as one of the best I’ve read for a long, long time. The writing itself is different from a lot of books out there and yet it fits the book so beautifully. You can really feel Juliette’s fear and confusion and uncertainly with each word and it comes straight through the pages. You’re completely in her head and know her every feeling and emotion. Shatter Me is well written and descriptive; painting a perfect picture of the world and institute Juliette lives in. The book has a wonderful pace; each moment flows so well to the next and even when it seemed slow at times, there were plenty of things happening to keep you interested. It’s well thought out and I never once felt bored. In fact the whole time I was reading I didn’t want to put the book down!
Juliette was incredible, simply incredible. She has to be one of the most tormented, somewhat broken characters I’ve read about in YA for a long time and yet she’s oh, so strong. She’s been through so much and is in an impossible situation. She hates herself and what she is and what she has no control over, but there’s such a strong inner strength to her. She’s afraid of what she might accidently do and what she doesn’t want to happen. Even when she was betrayed and it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, she never gave up or gave in, nor did she stop fighting or go against her morals. Even though she herself was treated so inhumanly, Juliette never one wavered in her own kindness and managed to keep hold of herself even when she was faced with cruelty and pain. Her goodness shone through more than anything and this coupled with her bravery in the face of danger made her a joy to read about. She has such a great heart and I love this gal!
I thought Adam was a really great character too. He’s such a well crafted male lead. He has it all; he’s good looking, tough, brave, sensitive, funny, sexy....and totally in love with Juliette. He’s the perfect package and was great to read about. It’s so wonderful to read about a guy with such a good heart himself. He cares about Juliette so deeply and is willing to do so much for her; including risk his own life to help her. What girl doesn’t want a guy like that?!? Oh, and he and is little brother....so freakin’ adorable. Boy, he could make me swoon at times and he and Juliette together were so electric. While I could see some people thinking that the relationship between Juliette and Adam moves fast, it really doesn’t. The history they share and the pasts they both have create such a great foundation for what is essentially an incredible relationship. With everything they’re both been through, and are going through with their changing world and changing lives, they find something in each other that is so sweet. How they feel about each other is so strong and they’ve got such chemistry together. The scenes between them held so much spark and when they kissed or touched it was so hot and sensual.
Every one of the characters in this book was excellent in my eyes. With such a strong plotline, this book needed an equally strong cast of characters to make it great and Ms. Mafi has done exactly that. Juliette and Adam of course are standouts, but Kenji, James, Warner, even the few characters we met at the end all give the book colour and depth. Even the “villain” was someone who intrigued me, even if I disliked him. The characters are so well developed even so early on in the trilogy and I’m excited about the prospect of getting to see them grow and change even more in future books. The ending of the book was really fitting if you ask me. This chapter of the series has come to an end and the next one is beginning. We learn so much about the world in this novel and what else is out there and the ending leaves me wanting....no, demanding, more.
Shatter Me is a tantalizing blend of the X-men and Hunger Games, with a bit of The Day After Tomorrow thrown in. This book is sure to be a hit with dystopian fans and readers alike, and with two more books promised in the series, I for one cannot wait to read the rest of Juliette’s journey! (less)
**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
I loved it, I really did! This series really is a hidden gem. Taking asid...more**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
I loved it, I really did! This series really is a hidden gem. Taking aside a few spelling and grammar mistakes, this book series is really fantastic. I can understand why people may overlook it and make assumptions before they read it, unfortunately I admit I’m guilty of that myself--I assumed that it’d be another badly written, stupid story lined book with boring, plastic characters that you sometimes find with not very well know books, and yet it’s not. This whole series is fun and snarky, filled with action and attitude, featuring an awesome, kick-ass heroine.
This book was as good as the previous too, with Val being her usually tough, bring-it-on self. I really love her as a character. She’s tough, but not too tough, with enough vulnerability that you’re able to emphasise with her without having her being a wuss or too soft. One of the things I love about her is that she’s so realistic. She reacts just like I expect a teenage girl to, and she acts exactly like one as well. She’s experiencing first love and her changing emotions and hormones and she’s acting just like a regular teenage girl would, unlike some heroine you see nowadays where they react in a completely unrealistic manner. I’m still in love with Fang. How can you not be? He’s an adorable, sarcastic talking hellhound who acts like Val’s pet one moment and her best friend slash big brother the next. He’s such a sweetie and I love having him in the series. He makes each and every book for me!
I like seeing Val with Shade, although I still don’t know how I feel about them together. I really do like Shade--he’s such a great guy and he’s been so good to Val, but I just can’t help but miss Dan. I really felt that the two of them had something in the beginning of this series, and yet with each book it has disappeared a little bit more and considering that Val and Shade are well and truly a couple, having slept tother, and Val admitting that she doesn’t really feel anything for Dan anymore, I just can’t help but be sad over that. Val and Shade have something good and they both seem to love each other, but for some reason, I don’t get that joy and giddiness over reading about the two of them together like I did when Val was with Dan. Perhaps it’s just me--maybe I’m weird, but even though I’m happy to see them together, I’m still holding out a tiny hope that Dan ditches Nichole, Val and Shade split up some way (I know, I know, I’m so mean) and then Val and Dan run away together.
I really enjoyed the storyline in this book, although I knew from the beginning there was something off with Trevor. I never trusted him--he seemed too good, too perfect....there was defiantly something up with that. So it’s surface to say that I wasn’t surprised to discover he was the bad guy, but I was a little bit surprised to learn that Val is the new keeper. I had a feeling something like that might, might happen, especially when Val slept with Shade and lost her abilities, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I thought maybe at the end of the series. It’s going to be interesting to see how Val acts now as the Keeper in the next book.
I can't wait for Make Me, the 4th book set for release sometime in 2012.....(less)
*This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book was just as easily as good as the first one. I’ll admit that I...more**spoiler alert**
*This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book was just as easily as good as the first one. I’ll admit that I was a tad shocked that I actually seem to love this series as much as I do. The writing itself isn’t perfect and sometimes there are errors, but I still find the story fun and engaging. It’s still fast paced and a great easy read, you can sit back and read without having to over think things.
This book picks up more or less right where the last one left off, but considering only a short amount of time has passed a lot has changed. I like seeing the Movement continue to grow and that we’re learning more about the demon underground. I like the new characters that we’re meeting and the storyline continues to be interesting. Val of course continues to be brilliant, although she’s learning more about herself and discovering things that she hadn’t known before. I like that she’s growing and get continues to be fierce while being a very normal teenager too. I like that she is the “Slayer” and yet she still has normal teenage worries and insecurities. I must say, I was kind disappointed with Dan in this book. I do like the bloke, but his constant personality changes and opinions are giving me whiplash. One moment he’s okay with what Val is and the next he’s confused, angry and mad at her. I hate that he treats her the way he does, and I want him to come to his senses. It’s annoying because in the first book I really thought they had potential and while I still feel that way, I don’t know what the authors going to do with them.
I will say that while the relationship with Shade and Val didn’t catch me by surprise--come on, you could see that coming a mile away, it just doesn’t feel completely right to me. I do like Shade and he and Val could be good together, but it seems to me like their relationship is a bit rushed and forced. They seem to be moving really quickly, and I honestly don’t like that. I still think Shade is a good guy and all, but I just don’t know if I’m happy with them as a couple. Perhaps it’s because I’m still holding out for Dan. However, I do like that Shade has a doggie for Fang, even though she is a bit of a bitch, pun intended.
**spoiler alert** *First, I have to say a big thank-you to Mayandree Michel who gave me the chance to review her book per-launch. I’m very grateful an...more**spoiler alert** *First, I have to say a big thank-you to Mayandree Michel who gave me the chance to review her book per-launch. I’m very grateful and honoured to have had the opportunity.
I really enjoyed this book. Most of the time I found that I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted to know what would happen next, all the way up to the end. The writing itself was beautiful and flawless. It was detailed and interesting, painting a picture of exactly what was happening and the world the story was set in. The writing itself lends a lot to the time in which the book is set; maintaining that proper, correct pronunciation and word use. I loved the idea of this novel. The story and concept was unique and not something I’d heard of before; it wove Greek Myth and Lore together with the popular supernatural creatures we all love nowadays, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. The story starts out slow, and yet not in a way that leaves you bored. It’s a great setup for a captivating tale and once the story picks up, it gets very good. This book has an odd pace. It’s not exactly fast paced, and yet it’s not slow. The story progresses at a good rate, telling you things from time to time. I was caught from the moment Cordelia experiences her “life altering event” and eager to see just what was going to happen next. Just when I thought I knew where Mayandree was going or what she was going to do next, she threw something in that changed direction! I love books like that....stories where you never know what’s in store next.
I thought the characters were great too. Each one had a sole purpose within the story and was unique. Cordelia, Evan, Bethany, Nikolas, even Victor, Lucas, Sasha, Winston, Gerald and Evan and Bethany’s parents all had their purpose and role within the story. I really liked Cordelia. She’s the type of heroine I’m always on the lookout for; normal, relatively tough girls, who react realistically and question everything that’s happening. They look at the world with an open mind and don’t just settle for what people are telling them. And yet they don’t go out looking for trouble....although it usually finds them anyway. I liked that she saw herself in a realistic manner. I felt she grew a lot too throughout the course of the novel, and it’s always great to see character building when you read a book. I liked Evan, although for the most part I felt like I didn’t know too much about him. It was obvious that he was a good, honourable man, although I felt like there was a lot of him that was kept hidden. I hope we get to see this more in future books. In the beginning I found it really hard to feel the romance between Delia and Evan. Even though it was nice and sweet, no matter how I hard I tried, I never completely felt it. There were times when thought I did, and yet for the better part of the novel I found it hard to get into. And then heading towards the end of the book.....I felt it! I think I felt it at the exact moment that Cordelia did and you know what—I think the author is brilliant! Her writing made it hard to feel at times and yet that went perfectly with what Cordelia felt. Towards the end of the book the relationship between Cordelia and Evan begins to form in the way that I love--growing gradually and beginning to take shape. There were a few moments between them that I thought were very cute and sweet and a few, “awwww,” moments on Evan’s part in my eyes. He certainly was swoon worthy on occasion.
The ending of this book was very exciting. From the moment the Masquerade Ball began all the way up until the final page, it was fast paced and heart racing. So many things came to light, questions that left me shocked and wondering just what is really going on in this world. Many things came to light and left more questions to be pondered. When Cordelia learned the whole complete truth, I was shocked. I hadn’t been expecting what she discovered, and get it’s all so brilliant. It was so dramatic and the final chapter of this book was breath-taking and heartbreaking—my heart cried for those hurt by the truth. This book ends perfectly; ready for the next chapter in Cordelia’s journey and I think it’s going to be an exciting one. The one question that’s on my lips is considering everything that’s come to light and happened....just who will the next enemy be.... Can’t wait to find out! (less)
**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book was different from a lot of supernatural books I’ve read. The p...more**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book was different from a lot of supernatural books I’ve read. The paranormal part wasn’t the main focus; instead it wove in and out of the story. It was a mysterious thriller, haunted and eerie. I actually had goose bumps once or twice and there was no mistaking the way the story drew me in. This wasn’t a fast paced novel, buy any means, but it was interesting and intriguing regardless. There was always something happening; a new discovery being made, a new issue being faced and the book kept me guessing all the way until the end. It was a real who-done-it and I was lost to the story and the tale--it was like watching a really good crime thriller on TV!
I thought the idea of Amelia’s ability to see ghosts and way the ghosts interacted with the living was very well done. It was such a different take on the medium-like people we see so much nowadays that communicate with the dead. Amelia was nothing like any of the other characters I’ve met and the way she interacted--or more accurately--didn’t interact with them was different. Here we see that the dead are not to be spoken to and that it’s pertinent that they are not interacted with. They mustn’t know that a person can see and hear them and they must remain unawares of someone’s ability to see them. The author, Amanda Stevens has done a fantastic job with the intricate details and it was fascinating to get such a great insight into cemeteries and burials. I had no idea of the powerful mythology behind cemeteries and graveyards and I had no clue how important symbols on headstones were to the individual buried within the grave. It was very cool to see and I loved Amelia’s job and role. A graveyard restorer is such a unique job and I think Steven’s has done a fabulous job incorporating aspects of this within the book. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
I thought Amelia was a very good character. She was very basic and yet she was brave and strong, while still having her weaknesses. She had her fears, but she chose to face them, rather than run from them and I liked that. She was very realistic and enjoyed following her on her tale. Now Devlin, hmmm, he was an interesting one. He was such a contradiction of his self. I couldn’t help but feel for him, having lost his wife and daughter and I wanted to see him trust Amelia, which he did a little bit at a time. And yet there’s soooo much about him we still don’t know. He’s mysterious, and silent and hiding so much of himself. It may take a very long time for him to ever actually let someone in, but I’m hoping to see him let Amelia in over the course of future books. The two of them could have real potential. There is chemistry between them. It’s buried behind Devlin’s professional and hard attitude, but it’s there when they have real moments together and I want to see how far it can go.
I admit that I had no clue as to who was behind the murders until the killer was revealed at the end. The motive, means and the involvement of “Order of the Claw” were all thrown around throughout the story and I admit the reason for everything was not what I was expected—and I loved that! My only issue with the book was that I felt the ending was a tad abrupt. It seemed like it came before everything was resolved, things with Devlin and Amelia and his place within the Order and everything. Is he really part of it? What does it mean if he is? I’m excited about the prospect of the second book though. The ending clearly tells us that Amelia and Devlin’s story isn’t through and that there is something more to her father and the ghost world that is out there. I’m looking forward to the next book and discovering more of this world. This was a unique, fresh new take on ghosts and a great debut by an interesting new author. I recommend!
This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher
I’m not sure I even have the words to accurately describe how incredible I...more**spoiler alert**
This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher
I’m not sure I even have the words to accurately describe how incredible I think this book was. The very first chapter draws you in and captures you, refusing to let you go throughout the whole story! The whole time I was reading, I dreaded stopping and in those few moments when I wasn’t reading, I wanted to be reading. The story itself isn’t exactly fast paced or overly exciting, instead it flows from one moment to the other. Each part of the story has meaning and purpose and never once did I sit there wondering why this page or part was in the story; what the point of it was, it all went together perfectly. The writing is excellent and descriptive, painting the picture wonderfully. I do love the idea of this story. There’s something so magical about two people meeting and yet being separated by something such as life and death. The way the two main characters met and came together was so sweet and I enjoyed every moment they spent together.
I loved Amelia. She was such a fabulous heroine! The author has written her so perfectly. You really feel the confusion and the frustration she feels, along with her pain over being unable to remember who she is or her life before her death. She’s so easy to emphasis with and I found that once or twice I put myself in her shoes and imagined what I’d do if I was in her situation, and I feel like when you can do that with a character, then they really are something incredible. I thought Joshua was a really sweetie too. I liked the way he treated Amelia and how he cared about her the way he did. He gave her a reason to feel again, and their entire relationship was so sweet and endearing. There was nothing false or rushed about it, and I honestly believed it. I loved how much they were willing to do for each other and even when Amelia began to face issues with Eli, he still stood by her and refused to lose her or let her go--it was adorable.
The ending of this book was quite intriguing in my mind. We learn some interesting things about Amelia and what she can do, and the world behind the one of the living in general. The story ends well, and yet I really feel like it isn’t finished. The way things are left, uncompleted and filled with possibilities, there needs to be a sequel. Amelia and Joshua’s story still isn’t finished and there are a lot of loose ends left untied. Jillian, Ruth, even the creatures of the netherworld are all things that we still need to learn about and I for one, can’t wait to see what this author has in store for Amelia and Joshua next. Bring on the next book!! (less)