So this was an interesting read - I wanted to love this book, but unfortunately it wasn't really for me. Don't get me wrong, the Italian setting is faSo this was an interesting read - I wanted to love this book, but unfortunately it wasn't really for me. Don't get me wrong, the Italian setting is fantastic and I loved the three sisters, Milly, Elyse and Leonie but the sadness in the book brought it down a bit for me. I think to read a book about grief you have to be in the right frame of mind, you have to be ready for it, and that's my fault. I wasn't ready to read a book about grief, I just thought it was going to be three sisters in Italy, and while their dad dying was going to be a big thing (because it just is), I didn't expect it to hit the novel the way it did. That was so my fault, because I would be absolutely lost if anything happened to either of my parents or my sister or my family. It would kill me, like it killed these three girls and especially Milly.
For such a short read, it kinda felt like it was trying to fit a lot in. Milly's grief over her dad, this thing with Luke, and I'd have preferred if it had just focused on Milly's grief. Shoe-horning in the romance with Luke felt rushed and it always baffles me when a lass fancies a lad and she sees him kissing two girls (!) within two days (!) and still somehow moons over him like he's the second coming. YOU WHAT? Yeah, that's the kind of relationship you need just after your dad dies. Am I saying Luke should have be pining away for Milly? No, not at all. But the whole idea of using two girls to make one girl jealous is just icky to me. Milly doesn't get away with it, either, because she does the same with Carlos and it was just a bit childish, a bit tit-for-tat, in my opinion. Neither of them seemed ready for any kind of relationship, especially Milly.
However, saying that, I did really like One Italian Summer. I adore books set in Italy, they always make me crave a trip to Rome one day, to see the Trevi Fountain, and have pizza and gelato. I loved Elyse, Leonie and Milly and their bond as sisters. It's so rare to see three sisters, so close in age, who get on, who don't fight all the time and their bond was incredible....more
I wasn’t going to review Shooter, because it’s incredibly hard to put into words how much this book made me feel. There were times when I felt like II wasn’t going to review Shooter, because it’s incredibly hard to put into words how much this book made me feel. There were times when I felt like I had nothing to say, too. Because what can you say? How can you enjoy a book like this? Not to mention everyone will likely react differently to this book, because it’s one of those that always provokes a response. What I will say is that this is an incredible read. From the very start I was hooked, and even though I didn’t have a clue where it was going, I was willing to go with it, wherever. It also terrified me, because I could feel the panic and fear running through Alice, Hogan and Isabelle. Not so much Noah and Xander, who both seemed to struggle socially, especially with Noah being autistic.
The writing in this book is incredible – how Caroline Pignat weaves the story is outstanding. I could always tell whose turn it was to narrate, and I liked that Isabelle’s included texts, Xander’s was mostly homework assignments and Noah’s didn’t really make sense, but it did make sense as to what was going on in his head, if that even makes sense. To offer five view points was so intriguing, and I think it helped my enjoyment of the book that, despite everything, despite the fact these five people were virtual strangers (except Alice and Noah who were siblings) they had each other. They weren’t alone, in the bathroom. And the way they all spoke so freely was so refreshing, because who’s going to judge you when you all might die any second? I feel like we really got to see into all of their minds. Alice and Hogan intrigued me the most, although I found Xander’s honesty (or lack of filter) refreshing and I changed my mind multiple times about Isabelle.
This was a genuine book that properly effected me. I’m lucky enough to live in a country that doesn’t have many shootings and hasn’t, to my knowledge, ever had a school shooting. I cannot imagine the terror of going through that, and Caroline Pignat really brought that through on the page. She created amazing, likeable characters and combined them with a plot that had me on the edge of my seat throughout....more
What a wild ride. I've read all six Mortal Instruments books, all three Infernal Devices books and The Bane Chronicles since February 14th. I'm exhausWhat a wild ride. I've read all six Mortal Instruments books, all three Infernal Devices books and The Bane Chronicles since February 14th. I'm exhausted. I'm kinda mad at myself for reading them in such a short space of time because once I was halfway through, I kinda got fatigued but I wanted to carry on because I wanted the series over with, to see how it ended, but I definitely would have preferred to just read these books as they were published, with a nice year-long gap in between. Because they're massive. I have read about 5,000 pages give or take of the same freaking series since February. It's all I've read and it's incredibly overwhelming.
Mind you, I am so glad I read the series. It was incredible. How Cassandra Clare wrote so many books in such a short space of time that are so freaking long is heroic. I bow down. *BOWS* To then interweave the Infernal Devices with the Mortal Instruments is even more insane. (And she plans to do it again with The Dark Artifices and The Lost Hours or The Eldest Curses IDK!) There are four trilogies to go, before Cassandra is done with the Shadowhunters completely and it's insane to think it's spanned so many books! But it works, because I was never bored of the stories, merely fatigued at how intense it all was.
City of Heavenly Fire wraps up the Mortal Instruments perfectly. It's not exactly Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I don't think a finale book will ever be as good as Deathly Hallows, but it wrapped up a lot of stuff (and killed a few people). RIP Raphael and I do not see that as a spoiler because literally everyone has already read this series.
I just... I'm overwhelmed. The way the story connected to TID, the fighting, the battles, meeting Emma and Julian (from Lady Midnight), my head feels like it could explode to keep up with so many characters. But it was worth it as well, because you really feel like you've been on a journey (and a half) with Clary and the Shadowhunters. Probably the only thing I didn't like was what happened to Simon. Was there any need? REALLY? Why ruin one of the greatest friendships ever written and one of the greatest love stories that was just getting started (I am a HARDCORE Simon/Izzy shipper) but in all endings sacrifices had to be made, and I don't know how otherwise it would have occurred. Bloody Simon and his selflessness. IT JUST MAKES HIM EVEN GREATER. If Cassandra had one extra trilogy in her, after the four we have coming, I'd want it to be about Simon. I could literally read about him forever. It may not have meant to be his story, but he bloody well took over and he was by far my favourite....more
This series I swear! I loved Clockwork Angel, I liked Clockwork Prince but Clockwork Princess was tons tons better. I just... it had everything. BattlThis series I swear! I loved Clockwork Angel, I liked Clockwork Prince but Clockwork Princess was tons tons better. I just... it had everything. Battles and romance and emotional moments and that epilogue!!!!!! THAT EPILOGUE. I didn't see it coming at all and yet it was PERFECT. *happy sigh* ...more
You guys, I may have been a bit sceptical when it was announced Cecelia Ahern was the latest author to turn her hand to YA fiction, but man, has she e
You guys, I may have been a bit sceptical when it was announced Cecelia Ahern was the latest author to turn her hand to YA fiction, but man, has she ever nailed it. Flawed was absolutely fantastic and its sequel, Perfect, was even better! It kinda built on everything from Flawed and just made it that much better. I’ve never read a duology before with so much pace, but Perfect goes by so fast you feel like you should have whiplash from everything that’s happening, I actually lapped it up because I like books that go at quite a clip, it keeps the suspense up and it keeps me reading (I am currently writing this review at 12.30am, which should tell you how addictive this book is since my bedtime is regularly 10pm).
What I liked most about Perfect is that it stands alone quite well. Yes, reading Flawed will heighten your experience, but Cecelia is incredibly thorough with her recap, so you basically get caught up pretty easily. I appreciate that, because a lot of authors rely on you remembering what happened a year ago, which if they know anything about readers (or me, in particular) I forget things the SECOND I finish reading, all the time. I regularly start writing my review and have to go look up who the characters were again. Being back with Celestine was incredible - to think we first met her as this naive girl who thought her life was perfect (HAHAHAHAHA) and that her life was untouchable, to what she becomes in Perfect is mind-blowing but also incredible because her own personal growth was a pleasure to watch. You can literally see her growing into herself as the pages of Flawed and Perfect pass.
Perfect has so much right with it. There are tons of fist-bump moments, where I wanted to leap up from the sofa and scream with joy and excitement and frustration, too. It was like being on a roller-coaster, with ups and downs and plot twists galore, but it’s the kind of read that’s wholly satisfying by the end. You feel like you’ve gotten somewhere when you close the book, that all the anguish and torture of 800 pages was worth it. I love books about girl who become heroes. Katniss Everdeen in particular, who has been a model of sorts for all these other girls who come and be heroes, and it’s so empowering that they don’t need a man to be saved. (I like when men save the day, sometimes, but I LOVE girls who can kick ass by themselves.)
I really, really loved this duology. I haven’t said a lot about Perfect because I don’t want to give too much away, but it was a brilliant sequel, and I liked that the romance wasn’t this massive thing. It would have been so easy for Celestine to be swayed by love, but it’s almost like a footnote, like it isn’t really that important, that the book still would have happened without it. Cecelia Ahern has done a superb job with her first foray in YA fiction, and man, I hope she keeps writing YA because she’s such a compelling writer. I felt like I really knew Celestine, I could cheer her victories and cry when things went wrong and I just can’t explain how all encompassing this duology was, I read it back to back over three days and it just blew my mind, both books are absolutely brilliant and they go together so freaking well. BRAVO CECELIA.
Damage by Eve Ainsworth has had quite a bit of buzz on social media and, before we go any further, let me tell you that if you’re triggered by self-haDamage by Eve Ainsworth has had quite a bit of buzz on social media and, before we go any further, let me tell you that if you’re triggered by self-harm, this is probably not the book for you. (And before anyone screams SPOILERS!!!! at me, self-harm is mentioned on the back of the book.) Damage is an incredibly quick read, I devoured it in just over an hour and while it was an interesting look at self-harm, I also feel like it could have been so much more.
First up: Gabi is incredibly disrespectful to her family. Now, before anyone says “All teens are disrespectful” that’s not true. While I understand a lot of teens are, I was brought up not to be, and I don’t know why parents in YA novels just accept their kids screaming at them, calling them a “stuck up, skinny bitch” or throwing a box at their face. If I did even one of those things, my mother would kill me, literally, and rightfully so because I was brought up not to act that way to my parents. To have respect. To know that if I DID do something like that (which would be so out of character for me) I would be punished. Yet, Gabi gets away with it. ALL three of those things. I mean, what? Have we really come to a point where kids can just do whatever they like without action or consequences? Where parents are too weak to actually parent?
I also would have liked more pages in this book, to accurately portray self-harm. I’m not saying it was inaccurately portrayed (I don’t know enough about self-harm to say that for sure) it felt rushed. The book is only 280 pages long with wide spaces around the edges of each page, so I would have liked a more in-depth look at a) why Gabi was self-harming, yes there’s a traumatic incident referred to, but what was it about that traumatic incident that made her feel like she had evil inside her? I didn’t get that part and b) the after-effects once family members and friends get involved and knew what Gabi was doing. It kind of felt like, “Well, you’re doing this thing *Shrugs*” almost like it wasn’t really happening. Gabi’s mum learns of her self-harm and doesn’t somehow drag her kicking and screaming to a doctor? Or a counsellor? Or removes all blades from the house? Again, I don’t know, maybe parents don’t do that. But it all felt a bit shallow, even more so since Gabi freely admits that, when a girl in their group self-harmed, she thought it was for attention, etc, until that girl was phased out (which kinda seemed like bullying?!). It just didn’t feel right.
I wanted to really like Damage. I wanted it to be hard-hitting and impactful, to give me a good look at self-harm and what makes someone do that, but instead I found Gabi wanting. I wanted to like her so hard, but she was just an awful person. She acts like her Granddad was this saviour, this hero, that her mother was clearly hating on her father for no reason, when Gabi knew nothing, as her mother told her. She basically tried to belittle her mother’s pain, her mother’s past. All because her granddad took her to the beach or let her practice her skate-boarding. Gabi goes on and on about how she’s the outsider, how no one listens to her, and then turns around and doesn’t listen to anybody, including her mother. She was a bit of a hypocrite and while I have no doubt she was hurting over everything that had happened, and I did feel for her, I also felt like she needed to look at her own actions, because everything she accused her mother of doing, she did herself to her mother.
The worst bit for me, the absolute worst bit, was how Gabi lets herself be treated by Alfie. I've said my pieces on Gabi, how I feel she was disrespectful and treated her parents poorly, but she also lets herself be treated poorly. Alfie and Gabi skate together, they're friends and there's a hint of something more, and towards the end of the book there's a party and at the party there's an incident and Alfie blows up at Gabi. He says some mean, hurtful things; things that are not acceptable, and yet Gabi doesn't actually tell him to sling his hook.
I just... yeah. This book didn't really work for me....more