A truly fabulous debut novel from Laura Whitcomb. A gorgeous love story (with a twist) that will leave you thinking about it for days after you've finA truly fabulous debut novel from Laura Whitcomb. A gorgeous love story (with a twist) that will leave you thinking about it for days after you've finished reading. I read this book in two sittings (about 6 hours in total) as I couldn't bear to put it down!...more
OMG, this is one of my favourite books ever and finally something that captivated me after Twilight. Maggie is a fantastic writer and wholly appreciatOMG, this is one of my favourite books ever and finally something that captivated me after Twilight. Maggie is a fantastic writer and wholly appreciative of her fans whom she communicates with on a regular basis! (Thanks Maggie). This book has encouraged me to start writing "properly" which is something I've always wanted to do :)...more
Are angels the new vampires/werewolves/faeries? You’ll certainly think so when you read Hush Hush, the debut novel from Becca Fitzpatrick. I defy you not to identify with the main protagonist Nora or fall in love with Patch, the book’s “bad boy” by the end. I’d heard a lot of good reports about this book and picked it up because a) I LOVE the cover art and b) I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Was it worth the read? HELL YES or should that be heaven yes? ;)
Hush Hush is told through Nora’s point of view and she is an example of a strong, female protagonist who doesn’t need anyone to rescue her, she can handle things just fine. She works hard in school and has her head screwed on. Only problem is, she is a magnet for trouble. Whether it’s the attention of the new bad boy Patch or the mysterious, masked stranger who is everywhere she looks and leaves a trail of destruction behind them. FYI I’m deliberately not telling you much about the story because I’ve read a lot of reviews lately which spoil all the surprises. I want you to be curious about the story and go and read it for yourself.
Hush Hush is well written and has good characterisation. My favourite character has to be Patch. He was moody, mysterious, brooding and complex with an edge of danger about him. Basically, any girl’s dream guy! I really enjoyed the contrast of fear and desire that Nora feels for Patch, thus creating tension and lust in the scenes they share together. Vee is an amusing sidekick and I totally picture Rayanne (the main character Angela’s best friend) from “My So Called Life” (1994). I don’t know why?!
For me, this was one of those “Just another chapter” kind of books. You know the kind, where it’s getting late and you need to get to bed only you can’t put the book down. “Just another chapter” you say to yourself.....and suddenly, before you know it, its 2am and you have to be up again in 6 hours!
I loved every minute of reading this book (which took all of a day, day and a half), it was an easy read and highly enjoyable. I loved the fact that just over halfway through the book; I still really didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t guess the ending. It did leave a lot of unanswered questions for me but I’m assuming that this is tactical and these issues will be addressed in the sequel “Crescendo” which comes out 30th September, 2010. I personally CANNOT wait for this book and I heard a rumour that Becca is coming to the UK this year and I’ll be planning a trip with my best book pal to go see her.
I think you can probably guess by now that I highly recommend this book. If you liked Twilight (by Stephenie Meyer) and Shiver (by Maggie Stiefvater), you will like this. Promise. ...more
I am so in love with "Bones" from this novel who makes Edward Cullen look like a wimp. Great novel, couldn't put it down and am currently reading theI am so in love with "Bones" from this novel who makes Edward Cullen look like a wimp. Great novel, couldn't put it down and am currently reading the sequel :)...more
If you know me at all, you will know that I have been absolutely dying (no pun intended) to read this book and thanks to the very lovely Jennifer MurgIf you know me at all, you will know that I have been absolutely dying (no pun intended) to read this book and thanks to the very lovely Jennifer Murgia, she got me on an ARC tour so I could do just that. I received it and read it the same day. I was not disappointed.
Angel Star tells the story from the eyes of 17 year old Teagan who falls head over heels for the new guy at Carver High, Garreth Adams. After saving her from a near fatal accident, his true identity and purpose for being here is revealed. Several startling discoveries later, Teagan unwittingly becomes the star player in leading a battle to restore balance to heaven and earth.
I instantly loved the premise of this story and I can totally see how easy it would be to fall in love with your guardian angel or vice versa. I mean your guardian angel is supposed to know you inside and out, spend lifetimes with you and love you unconditionally. What better description is there of a soul mate than that?! I really liked the prologue which gave me no clue as to which character was speaking, thus leaving me to come to the inevitable wrong conclusion! Rather than being disappointed by this, I love it when I’m wrong and a book can surprise me.
I’d say this book was plot driven but I found the characters to be enjoyable too. I loved the camaraderie between Teagan and her best friend Claire. I thought the dialogue and interaction between them was very natural and believable. Hadrian is a powerful, alluring and tempting bad boy who reminded me a bit of Damon from the Vampire Diaries. Garreth, what can I say about Garreth? He’s a beautiful angel with a pure soul.
Jennifer has created her own mythology in Angel Star that essentially explains that life is about balance. No yin without yang, no light without dark and no good without evil. It’s an interesting concept although ultimately it means that good cannot triumph over evil and I have a slight problem with that! So, I'm excited to see where Jennifer will go with the story.
Angel star takes you on a journey heavily laden with twists and turns and the ending hints that the story is not over yet. Indeed, Lemniscate (the sequel) is currently in the pipeline.
If I had one criticism about Angel Star, it would be the brief use of text speak within the book. Mostly because I am not a big fan of text speak, I don’t use it and at times I had to guess what it meant! Regardless of this, overall I found the book to be a very enjoyable read and I will be buying my own copy on release day....more
Besides sci fi, my favourite kind of movies are the Indiana Jones adventure style and so when I found a book that could be compare to the aforementionBesides sci fi, my favourite kind of movies are the Indiana Jones adventure style and so when I found a book that could be compare to the aforementioned, I knew I was going to love it. So, I bought this book and you know what I did then? I STUPIDLY and also accidentally let it sit on my shelves, buried under a bulging TBR pile for an entire year. Now that Summer has come back around, I’ve been attending a lot of sailing events (I live by a marina in a major UK port city) and am surrounded by boats and seagulls most of the time. I decided I wanted to read a book that featured boats and sailing as well as having a Summery feel to it. Simultaneously, I’ve also been thinking about reading my own books lately and what I mean by that is books I’ve bought for myself because I wanted to read them and not just review books. With that in mind, Everlasting by Angie Frazier seemed like the perfect choice and so earlier today, I was delighted to take it off the shelf in a “you have been chosen” kind of moment. What started out as an intention to read the first chapter before I got dressed and attended to the mountains of housework that needed doing turned into a three hour marathon and I finished the book. I’m pleased to say that WOW, I was right. I did love it. A LOT. Everlasting is set at the tail end of the 19th century so I guess you could call it historical fiction but it’s not stuffy or boring or uninteresting. It’s truly an adventure story full of secrets, romance, an ocean voyage and ultimately a mythical treasure with a devastating power. I think the synopsis will say it better than I ever could:
“Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.
On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.
The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most.
Beautifully written and feverishly paced, Everlasting is an unforgettable journey of passion, secrecy, and adventure.”
What to say about Camille other than the girl is more prone to head injuries than Bella Swan. I thought she was a fabulous protagonist and I don’t envy her position of having to marry a man she doesn’t love to save her father’s business. On top of that, she is drawn to Oscar, a sailor who has grown up with her on the many voyages she has taken with her father throughout her teenage years. And it’s quite clear that he is more than a little taken with her but he knows his place in society and what could he offer her anyway? All of these issues pale in comparison of course when the ship goes down and Oscar and Camille begin their adventure. I really enjoyed Camille’s adventurous spirit in a society where going barefoot is not becoming for a lady. I love the fact that she would rather sail around the world with her father than take her rightful place in society with her betrothed, Randall. To be fair, we don’t know a lot about Randall and neither does Camille as they’ve never really gotten to know each other properly. Their relationship is built more on stolen moments as they rarely get the chance to be alone to talk. She longs to feel desire for him but unfortunately, his kiss just doesn’t do it for her. Yikes.
Enter Oscar, the handsome, rough and ready sailor who Camille has known for a few years. Being on multiple ocean voyages together affords some time spent talking so really Oscar has the advantage here. They’ve watched each other grow up for the past few years. What do I love about Oscar besides his strong physique earned by working on ships? As an aside, I’ve noticed this more and more about boys that work on boats *fans self*. Anyway, Oscar has a fierce loyalty towards Camille’s father who really has been a father figure for him. I adore the fact that Oscar protects Camille to the nth degree and would literally lay down his life for her. He’s strong, loyal and intelligent but he’s not perfect. He has a temper and can be stubborn for sure. But as I’m sure Camille would agree, it’s pretty hard not to love him.
I also enjoyed Ira’s character as the brash Australian con artist. In my head, I was picturing Bryan Brown (the Australian actor who starred in Cocktail) and was surprised to find out albeit not until the reading the sequel, that Ira is twenty years old. So now, I’m trying to picture a younger version of the guy who plays Jason Stackhouse because I know he is Australian.
I don’t want to say TOO MUCH about the plot for fear of giving things away but let’s just say that along the way, there is added motivation to get to the treasure before the bad guys and Camille has got some pretty tough choices to make. Let’s just cut to the chase here okay? I thought Everlasting was bloody brilliant and I’m happy to gush about it. I challenge you not to fall in love with the characters and get swept away not only in the romance but also in the pure adventure of it all. It may be a perilous journey, but you’ll be glad you went along for the ride. ...more
I was very lucky to get my hands on an ARC of Hourglass by Claudia Gray. This book is not officially released until 9th March (in the USA) and 15th March (in the UK). Having just finished Stargazer, I was eager to continue the story and so I picked up Hourglass and started reading. I devoured this book in about 5 hours and LOVED every minute of it! I was torn between opening this review with: “OH.MY.GOD!” or just simply “WOW!” but I decided to try and add a few more words to my feelings of dumbstruck.
I think this has got to be the best book in the series yet and as I finished it, I was thinking “How the hell am I going to write a review on this without revealing any spoilers?!” It’s going to be difficult but I’m going to try! If you’ve read Stargazer, it should come as no surprise to you that Bianca, Lucas and Raquel are now on the run with Black Cross (the centuries old organisation set up to destroy vampires). Bianca has to keep her true self a secret which is not going to be easy! Having been introduced to the “Wraiths” in Stargazer, they have just as much presence in Hourglass as well. I can’t really go into much more detail about what happens because I really don’t want to spoil it for everyone. I want you to be just as overwhelmed by it as I was and I truly hope you love it like I do!
There were so many moments in this book where I gasped and openly said “Oh my god!”, even though I was the only person in the room. There was lots of action, lots of suspense and lots of surprises to say the least. Claudia, I bow down to your greatness. You’ve just made me even hungrier for more!! This was a fantastic book and I highly recommend you read it as soon as possible! Forget about work/school/life....JUST READ IT! You won’t be sorry!
The fourth and final book “Afterlife” will be released in March 2011, according to Claudia. ARGH can I really wait that long?! And don’t forget that HarperTeen will be publishing a fifth, stand-alone book all about Balthazar, which will come out following Afterlife. They’re all on the wish list don’t you worry!...more
Things seem to get even more complicated in Stargazer, the second book to Evernight by Claudia Gray. It’s a new term at Evernight Academy and that means new students, new roommates and a new set of problems (well actually it’s mostly the same set of problems they had before with a few new ones added for good measure). Bianca and Lucas were torn apart in Evernight as we discovered that Bianca is a half vampire and Lucas is part of Black Cross, an organisation that exists to destroy vampires. Not exactly the best combination of people to be in a relationship but you can’t choose who you love now can you?! Evernight Academy being full of vampires and all probably wasn’t the best place for Lucas to be when the knowledge of his membership to Black Cross was revealed so he fled. And remarkably, the human students are still blissfully unaware of it all.
If you’ve read my previous review, it’s no secret that I LOVED Evernight and besides the Twilight Saga, this is only the second sequel of a book series I’ve ever read. The characters of Stargazer are already established and whilst it took a few pages to get settled back in to the world of Evernight Academy, before long it was like catching up with an old friend.
It’s nice to see that Bianca’s character is developing as she grows up. She seems stronger in this book and less reliant on her parents. She’s willing to risk everything to be with Lucas and their relationship makes them question each other’s fate. Bianca is increasingly thirsty for blood and is always battling with herself because of it.
There’s a lot of lusting going on in this book and I actually found the interactions between Bianca and Balthazar hotter than between Bianca and Lucas at times. At one point, I found myself actually rooting for the underdog! It reminded me of the Dawson-Joey-Pacey love triangle from Dawson’s Creek, only Lucas and Balthazar were never considered best friends and Bianca is a half vampire (can you imagine Joey as a half vampire? That would be soooo wrong).
What I liked about Stargazer is that it held your interest; it wasn’t just what I call “filler” to move the story along. Stargazer has purpose – it helps to reveal even more secrets about Bianca’s heritage and Evernight Academy itself, it introduces us to the concept of “Wraiths” and without giving too much away, gives us a glimpse into Balthazar’s history. FYI, the fifth book in this series is scheduled to be a stand-alone book all about Balthazar and quite frankly my dears, I cannot wait!
Stargazer has everything you could want in a sequel, with great characters, more secrets, forbidden love and a love triangle. I think the title is great (presumably a reference to the fact that Bianca in her own words is an “astronomy geek”) and the cover art is beautiful (did I mention I love the colour purple?). The question is however; can Bianca and Lucas make their relationship work despite all the odds? You’ll just have to read to find out!...more
I kept hearing my best book pal go on about how much she loved this book and with the upcoming release of the third book in the series “Hourglass”; I knew I had to check out Evernight by Claudia Gray. I was initially a little reluctant (as I usually am with book series’) as they *HAVE* to be good for me to invest both the time and money in them. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
Evernight is about a girl called Bianca who lives with her teacher parents at a secluded boarding school. Now it’s her time to enrol and she hates the place. That is until she meets Lucas and then her entire world changes. Not only does she discover herself but also the secrets behind Evernight Academy and the real reason she is there in the first place.
I accidentally read someone else’s review of Evernight as I was reading the book and unfortunately for me, the review contained a *major* spoiler that I was about a chapter away from revealing for myself. From then on, I promised that I would never do that to a reader even if that meant my reviews were on the vague side. Therefore, I’m not going to reveal any of the details as I want you to reveal them for yourself. Let’s just say that there is more to Evernight Academy than meets the eye ;)
In terms of the main characters, I really liked the contrast between Lucas and Balthazar, the two main competitors for Bianca’s affections. Lucas is the guy who stands up for himself and others, never straying from his principles and beliefs even if this makes him unpopular. Balthazar on the other hand is the ultimate gentleman oozing charm and sophistication without being cheesy. How I would love two guys like that lusting after me! Lucas being more of the ‘bad boy’ of the two makes him irresistible as far as Bianca is concerned and for reasons I cannot reveal (see previous disclaimer) I’m aching to see if the relationship between Lucas and Bianca has a chance because at the moment I just don’t see how it can.
Bianca’s parents are loving and ever present throughout the book which makes for a refreshing change as in so many YA books lately, the parents are either majorly dysfunctional, unloving or barely present at all.
Evernight was an enjoyable read with plenty of hooks to make me want to read “just another chapter”. As soon I started reading again, I was pulled back into the world of Evernight (maybe it helps that I was reading late at night in a cold, dark room *shrug*). I loved the fact that the ending was not predictable but slightly frustrated at it being left wide open for the sequel. I’m only frustrated because I want to see how it all turns out but this is a good way of keeping the reader hooked and ensuring they read the sequel!...more
Having just read Evernight (by Claudia Gray) and Vampire Diaries (by L.J.Smith) I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. I thought it was going to be just another high school, vampire thing – humans vs. vampires - but I’m happy to report that I WAS WRONG. VERY WRONG.
In the world of Vampire Academy, there are Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs. At first I thought this was going to be complicated to understand but Richelle’s explanations are clear and before you know it, it all sounds completely normal. The Moroi are born mortal vampires with a magical connection to the elements. The Strigoi are immortal vampires who have been ‘created’ and have a questionable sense of morality. Dhampirs are half human, half Moroi and they exist to guard the Moroi from the Strigoi. Still with me? I bet you’re wondering why they can’t all live together in peace and harmony right? Let me explain... The Strigoi will kill and feed off anything but its Moroi blood they want the most as it makes them stronger and harder to destroy. This is why the Moroi need protecting as their numbers are diminishing fast.
Rose is the Dhampir/best friend of Lissa, a Moroi princess. They both attend St. Vladimir’s Academy where Rose is a guardian in training for the role she will play for the rest of her life, protecting Lissa. Lissa learns about magic and is waiting to discover which one of the elements she will specialise in.
When I first started reading the book, there was a definite lesbian vibe but this soon passed when I realised that Rose only enjoyed being bitten by Lissa because of the rush of endorphins she got from the bite itself. It wasn’t sexual for Rose and Lissa, it was a matter of survival with an added bonus of “getting high” for Rose. As the book developed, I started thinking of their relationship as two best friends as opposed to friends with lesbian tendencies. They just happen to share a psychic bond which is rare between the Moroi and their guardians. Rose can “feel” what Lissa is feeling and occasionally get inside her head, seeing the world through Lissa’s eyes although Rose cannot control when and where this will happen.
Within the first several chapters, there had already been a small selection of choice, swear words, emitted by Rose, the book’s protagonist. It was then that I knew that “this aint no kids book”. I swore at her age and I liked the fact that she did too. She’s definitely not the typical high school teen queen, that’s for sure! I loved her girl power attitude, her strength in being able to look after both herself and her charge Lissa. She’s certainly not a damsel in distress either and possibly *THE* best friend anyone could have. Especially when your life depends on it! I picture either Michelle Rodriguez or Angelina Jolie when I think of Rose. Yes ok, both of those actresses are a little older than 17 but their ‘tough girl attitude’ mirrors that of Rose. Besides that, Rose is beautiful as well as tough which means she has to look good in a little black dress and killer heels!
It’s easy to be sucked into the world of Vampire Academy (no pun intended) and I liked the dark, gritty, edginess of the book which is unlike any other book I’ve read recently. I suddenly realise what I’ve been missing out on and WHY it is a NYT bestseller. DOH!
Characterisation was really good. Although Rose was the main protagonist, I felt like she and Lissa shared the spotlight equally. I loved the contrast between Rose’s tough exterior and sense of duty as opposed to Lissa’s vulnerability which really came out through the writing. Their ‘best friend’ relationship was clearly evident throughout the book and made me feel a bit envious to be honest. *note to self – make more girl friends*
Dimitri was also an interesting character. He is the tall, dark, handsome, Russian, SUPER guardian assigned to train Rose and share the protection of Lissa. Although it wasn’t the main story line, I loved the slow burn of Rose and Dimitri’s developing relationship, which wasn’t rushed or forced. There is a strong sense of forbidden love which for me, makes it that much more enticing.
If you look carefully, you will see a sense of morality and learning of life lessons in the book too. Lissa was at one point part of the in crowd and was truly miserable as she couldn’t be herself. When she started talking to the people she liked and hanging out with the GUY she liked, regardless of his background or reputation, THAT’S when she was truly happy.
I usually have a real problem with the endings of books and movies; either they are incredibly predictable and I guess the ending or it gets left wide open, leaving me feeling frustrated and with no sense of closure. What I liked about this book was that a lot of things were wrapped up towards the end which left me with a degree of satisfaction. The last page though suggested an idea for the next book which I’m sure will materialise (the next book is of course already out but I haven’t read it....YET).
Overall, I thought it was a great read and definitely worth investing in the rest of the series. I feel like I have no choice now of course, as I’m hooked! Thankfully I already have the next two books in the series and am planning on getting the other two books as soon as possible. The sixth book is as of yet untitled and unpublished....more