I really enjoyed this book. It's mix of modern world and fantasy (I guess making it sort of Urban Fantasy like) was really fun. I had a few issues wit...moreI really enjoyed this book. It's mix of modern world and fantasy (I guess making it sort of Urban Fantasy like) was really fun. I had a few issues with Jarrod and Kate at the start, because they were either overly obsessed with magic or or annoyingly in denial. But it was fun to watch them interact and I loved seeing the magic side of things.
Best part of this book was the time travel back to medieval times. I've always considered myself a big fan of knights and castles, I might even call it a tad obsessed; and it just worked so well for this book. Castles, sword fights, a curse in need of being broken. I definitely loved the second half of this book more.
It's sort of sad it was a stand alone, especially with how assertive and confident Jarrod became in the end, after lacking the courage to stand up for himself and Kate in the beginning. But it was a sweet ending and I'm really glad I got to read it.
Looking forward to reading Marianne Curley's Guardians of Time series, for more time travelling fun!
I adored this book! It was like reading the script to a RomCom, only with added extra thoughts from the main character, and it was so much fun!
Darby...moreI adored this book! It was like reading the script to a RomCom, only with added extra thoughts from the main character, and it was so much fun!
Darby Quinn is sceptical about love. She's been through so many rough relationships, so many broken hearts and screwed up paths, that she's given up on long-lasting relationships. In fact, she's giving up on dating completely. The main cause for her broken view on life? Well Fairytales and Disney stories, of course. Where else do you find an unnaturally large amount of situations that all point to Happily Ever After and the Perfect Prince saving the day? But things start to become complicated when Jake Knight comes on the scene. I had a very long giggle when I realised Jake's surname was 'Knight'. I liked the irony of him becoming the Prince to change Darby's heart...and he's a knight!
I had mixed feelings about Darby. Most of the time I loved her, and could even identify with telling yourself that it's better off not being in love so you can't get hurt; but other times I just wanted to shake some sense in her, especially when it came to stringing Jake along. Darby, not looking for anything long-term, manages to hook Jake's interest and feelings, while constantly pushing him away at the same time. It was frustrating because all Jake ever did was try to make her happy. He gets bonus points for being more patient than anyone else.
I mentioned before that it's very RomCom-esque. I haven't branched out into adult chick lit before, so I can imagine there are a lot of books that read like a favourite movie; but for me this was one of the first and I just adored it. I can see myself taking Cinderella Screwed Me Over off the shelf when I'm in the mood for an easy, fun, romantic drama story; and I know I'll love it every single time I pick it up.
One of the best parts of this book was seeing Darby's past relationships as pre-created 'Case Studies' for how a previous relationship broke down and comparing them to popular male characters from favourite fairytales. I loved the case studies, and not just because they let us into Darby’s life; let us see why she was so broken and wary of love. I think I may have had the wrong reaction to them at times; I was just excited to come up to the next Disney or fairytale story and see how they were represented. I loved seeing the Robin Hood-a-like throw a bullseye on the dart board, mirroring the image of Robin Hood and his bow and arrow; or Ariel’s obsession with forks, or even the mention of “twitterpated” giving me Bambi flashbacks. It was like getting a Disney fix, without actually watching Disney, all while being torn apart and analysed endlessly. It’s a bit strange liking the mentions the most; I really enjoyed them as case studies too, because it showed Darby had some really rough relationships. But I’m a sucker for Disney, so I can’t be blamed for loving the book for these extra reasons.
An incredibly fun, entertaining and romantic story, with just the right amount of cynicism, sarcastic comments, and Disney references to make any girl happy!
I liked Crown if Midnight a lot more than Throne of Glass. Celeana just didn't seem to piss me off as much - she was actually more assassin-like, whic...moreI liked Crown if Midnight a lot more than Throne of Glass. Celeana just didn't seem to piss me off as much - she was actually more assassin-like, which was awesome. The romance made me a tad mental at times...but Chaol *SWOON*
There were bits of pieces of the story and mysteries that were obvious, but didn't take away from the story. It was good. Definitely made me feel something more for the series that I was feeling about it before reading Crown if Midnight.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, but 'Dark Heart Rising' disappointed me a bit. The text flowed fine, but Jane became so weak. She spent every...moreI enjoyed the first book in this series, but 'Dark Heart Rising' disappointed me a bit. The text flowed fine, but Jane became so weak. She spent every waking moment obsessing about her love for Luca and how heartbroken she was that he broke up with her to marry another girl. She couldn't give up and kept torturing herself with wanting to see and be near Luca. To top it all off, Luca wasn't in the book all the much.
I thought the sub-plot involving Raphael searching for answers about his father was interesting, but it didn't really go anywhere until the end.
I will still look into reading the third book, but I'm not going to rush out and get it just yet.
I think I've found my new favourite book for 2013...and I can't really discuss it yet.
So much emotion, so much excitement. I've never jumped into sci...moreI think I've found my new favourite book for 2013...and I can't really discuss it yet.
So much emotion, so much excitement. I've never jumped into sci-fi novels, the few life-in-space books I've read in the past haven't tickled my fancy much; but These Broken Stars was incredible! I can't wait to see what happens next!
This book was incredible. I've never really thought of myself as a lover of mystery-thriller books - I've always been so romance and supernatural focu...moreThis book was incredible. I've never really thought of myself as a lover of mystery-thriller books - I've always been so romance and supernatural focused. Not that the books I read don't often involve a mystery, but they're not the main focus. Circle of Silence has definitely changed that for me. A dark, dangerous and twisted mystery story that I just could not put down.
I loved the emotion and action in this book. I was so attached to everyone. After a very shocking scene towards the end of the novel, I broken my No-Flipping rule. I was so nervous about what had happened, I had to make sure there was a happy ending. But that didn't change the outcome of the story.
I adored this book and I'm definitely going to get my hands on Dancegirl and look out for more WiHi/Carol M. Tanzman novels in the future.
‘Siege’ is an intense and confronting novel. You can’t read it without getting emotional. In light of current situations, a high school gun and hostag...more‘Siege’ is an intense and confronting novel. You can’t read it without getting emotional. In light of current situations, a high school gun and hostage situation is a pretty powerful topic, and Sarah Mussi captures the danger and destruction that goes along with it very well.
The book is set slightly in the future where kids from economically disadvantaged families are sent to high security schools to receive courtesy education with no actual intent to send them into better situations – like college or high paying jobs - making the lives of the students seem difficult already. But when a group of Year 9 boys bring weapons into the school and start shooting and rounding up students and teachers in a hostage attempt, things get a little more dangerous. Only a handful of students escape being rounded up, but are still directly in danger of being shot at just for the fun of it – it’s extremely hard to read about. I wasn't sure what I was expecting at first: a daring rescue attempt? Or some perfect world that hit a speed bump in the shape of a few guns? But what I got was a lot more complicated. I enjoyed that it was such a risky topic. Not everything in the world is sunshine and daisies, and having novels reflect that is important.
The story is told from Leah Jackson’s point a view; a student who manages to escape being rounded up, only to be chased all over the school with the threat of being killed. None of that stops her from trying desperately to save herself, the other students and most importantly, her brother, who may or may not be one of the Year 9 gunmen. I really admired Leah. All she wants in life is to do something meaningful. She looks after her siblings the best she can and just wants a better life. I was impressed with the warring nature of her voice; how she struggles to decide to save herself or try and save others and is forced to question whether it’s right for one person to die in order for the rest to live. Leah’s voice is a little tricky to get used to. At times she sounded like a young teen, even though she was supposed to be older than her brother. But the rest of the time she was very realistic. And I felt for her.
I was surprised at the way the hostage situation was handled from the outside. Government involvement isn’t always helpful in Mussi’s world. And I was definitely shocked at the way the story ended. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting what happened and I still can’t believe it. I was so emotionally involved in the story by the end of the book, that the end hit me powerfully.
And intense and shocking read. I’d definitely recommend it.
Loved this book from the very start. A fun - although at times, frustrating - romance read about how fake love and friendship can turn into real love...moreLoved this book from the very start. A fun - although at times, frustrating - romance read about how fake love and friendship can turn into real love and a Happily Ever After. I'll admit I was a little impatient for Wes and Dani to wise up and admit their feelings for each other, but I loved seeing them get together. It was just what I was looking for.
‘What’s Left of Me’ was an exciting and dangerous novel. I don’t know what I’d been expecting from this book, a sad story about how Eva, a soul trappe...more‘What’s Left of Me’ was an exciting and dangerous novel. I don’t know what I’d been expecting from this book, a sad story about how Eva, a soul trapped inside her shared body, would be forever stuck without a way to gain control – but it was so much more than that.
We are told at the start of the novel that, at birth, there are there are two souls – two consciousnesses – within a single body; existing without trouble. But two souls can’t exist together forever; one soul will dominate and the other will fade away. A sad way to start life, growing attached to two people, two personalities, only to lose one over time. But not everyone seems to fit into this system. This is where the plot gets exciting almost instantly; we’re introduced to the term ‘Hybrids’ – people who keep their two souls. I loved this. We’re told they are dangerous; spreading destruction and promoting anarchy in a world that is controlled and structured. They are a danger to society. Our main characters, Eva and Addie, struggle with the knowledge that hybrids walk throughout the world, but they hide their own hybrid secret at the same time.
Addie and Eva are the same, and yet completely different. They share the same body and memories, but Eva was never meant to survive. After years of tests and hospital visits, Eva and Addie decided to keep Eva’s existence a secret so they could attempt to live a normal life. I loved seeing the story told from Eva’s POV, even though she rarely had control of their body, with Addie being the dominant soul. It was like watching the story from the outside, while still being involved and experiencing everything – just minus some of the control. I loved the mix of first person – “I” – to show Eva’s voice, combined with a focus on the shared aspect of the body – “Our arms” “We hurt” “They were looking at us” – it made the story an incredibly interesting way to be told.
I really liked Eva. For someone who had been shut up inside her mind, and had been forgotten by her parents and society, she had such a strong presence and personality: determined, emotional and understanding. After finding out there was a way to move again, she put so much hope and effort into taking control, despite the dangers; learning to talk, walk and even love. I couldn’t help cheering every time Eva got control of their body. Addie, on the other hand, was harder to love. She wasn’t a bad character, she had a hesitant nature that you can’t really blame her for; but it was tricky to like. She’d been so used to Eva as a background person, so used to having control and being dominant, that when Eva finally pushes through for a few seconds, Addie can’t let go. I had mixed feelings about this. There’s no way to understand what it’d be like to be in your body, but to have no control and to watch someone else live your life. But at the same time, I found Addie to be selfish sometimes. She didn’t want Eva to fade, but didn’t want her getting equal body control, even after witnessing that the body could be shared by souls.
The story is not just dangerous because Eva and Addie are keeping their dual-soul secret, but because of Clinics being set up all over the country for “hybrid kids” – kids who still have two consciousnesses and need to be “fixed.” The fear of being accused of hybridity within society is very real; of being removed from your family for being different, illegal. I was shocked by the lengths taken to destroy the extra soul in a hybrid. But it definitely made the story edgy.
My only issue with the book was the lack of explanation on their history. We hear about how the Americas are eliminating hybrids, and how there are hybrids on foreign shores; but there’s no information on how or why the hybrid nature started. When did it begin? How did two souls in one body become the norm from birth, or has it always been this way? I wanted more background information for all my questions.
‘What’s left of Me’ is an exciting book that makes you think. I’m definitely getting the sequel as soon as I can.
From the cover and title, nothing about the first impression screams ‘Vampire Story’, and yet, ‘Falling to Ash’ is, in fact, a fun vampire story. Not...moreFrom the cover and title, nothing about the first impression screams ‘Vampire Story’, and yet, ‘Falling to Ash’ is, in fact, a fun vampire story. Not so different from others I’ve read in the past – aversions to light, silver and wooden stakes, with turnings being a tricky experience; but I’ve always been a fan of vampires books and I really enjoyed this one.
I really liked our leading lady, Moth. I liked her life – a fledgling vampire living in Boston trying to find her place in her new Vampire family while avoiding the local vampire hunters and keeping her distance from her human family. Moth was an interesting character; curious and strong, and is aware that she probably isn’t the most knowledgeable vampire in the city, but she pushes through her problems when she has to.
Vampires and hunters form a big part of the story, but not the only focus. When dead bodies start turning up in random spots around Boston, all having strange connections to Moth, a mystery needing to solved becomes the big plot in the book. To make matters worse, these bodies seem to be coming back from the dead; and not as vampires. What I loved most about this was not the extra supernatural aspect of the story, but the action that came with fighting them. Lots of punches thrown and weapons used.
I loved the pop culture reference in the novel. Sometimes I fear that pop culture can really date a book – it sits in that time frame for life – but it’s fun to see lines thrown in that make you giggle because Indiana Jones or Veronica Mars was just mentioned. Karen Mahoney did a really good job in ‘Falling to Ash’ – the pop culture doesn’t seem out of place or awkward. It worked really well.
Unsurprisingly, there is slight romance plot to the story, but I found it a bit confusing. It was almost a love triangle between Moth, her vampire Maker, Theo, and the vampire hunter’s son – Jace. But Moth never really admits to having strong feelings for either guy. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. Because Moth doesn’t commit to either option straight away, you’re sort of detached from the romance. It exists, but not strong enough to react passionately to one, or both, guys.
I really enjoyed this book, looking forward to seeing what might happen next.
‘The Masque of the Red Death’ is an exciting and mysterious dystopian novel, but with a setting that was a little different than what I’m used it. In...more‘The Masque of the Red Death’ is an exciting and mysterious dystopian novel, but with a setting that was a little different than what I’m used it. In my mind, dystopian novels are always set in the future, in a world not too unlike our own, but the way ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ is set out make it seem like it is either a fantasy novel or in the Victorian era. A historical-other-worldly dystopian. I was fascinated by this world, spending quite a bit of time trying to piece together bits of information to ground it in a time and place. I was almost sure the novel was more of a fantasy book, because no town is mentioned; but then someone talks about how supplies once came from Scotland, and now we know we’re in our own world. However, the discovery of “steam carriages” to replace horse-drawn carriages, the mix of swords and muskets and a lift that takes you to the top of high-rise apartment buildings makes it hard to place the book in any one genre or time. But it does make the setting exciting.
The main reason I think the book is more of a dystopia is because the world has been destroyed by a plague. The Weeping Sickness, an incurable contagion that kills without abandon, has been making its way through the population for years, the only hope of keeping the sickness at bay are modified porcelain masks. The plague and these masks made my curious side flare up. No-one seems to know exactly how the plague began and I kept wondering why there was no cure and if we’d find some hint of hope alone the way. The masks fascinated me. Designed to filter the air and keep sickness away, they cannot be swapped or used by more than one person – a design flaw by the scientist who invented them - and was refused permission to modify the design by Prince Prospero, the local ruler. I felt so sad for the community. The same rule that keeps scientists from fixing masks for everyone makes mask production expensive and exclusive. Since not everyone can get a mask, it leaves society ripe for revolution and there is more than one rebel group in place for this world.
Our main character, Araby Worth, is directly tied up in masks, plague and revolutions. Daughter of the scientist who invented the masks, Araby suffers from Survivor’s Guilt after her twin brother died from the plague when they were kids. Araby is an intense character, she suppressed all emotions after her brother’s death, and it appears as though all she wants to do is forget the world through drugs and alcohol. She has a bit of a detached nature and often accepts dangerous tasks too quickly, especially when she gets caught up in the revolution. But we get to see a more emotional and curious girl along the way. I liked seeing her come out of her shell more and admired her for some of the lengths she went to help people. I didn’t like some of the romantic choices she made towards the end – but there’s always the next book to make changes.
Speaking of romance, the blurb tells us there’s going to be a love triangles, which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing. My love triangle warning bells were ringing before I even met the guys and I wanted to keep an open mind; but first impressions are everything and I definitely fell for the tough looking, but secretly gentle and caring, Will. Hard worker at the local Debauchery Club, Will spends his days caring for his younger siblings and nights being a bouncer. Family is everything to him and he helps Araby come to terms with her own family issues, while pulling her out of her closed off personality. I loved him. On the other side is Elliott, nephew of the Prince and undercover revolutionary, who uses Araby to further his hold on his rebellion plans. I wasn’t a fan of the situations he put Araby in, or of the way she just went along with them like they meant nothing to her. I didn’t like Elliott’s claims that he shouldn’t be trusted, while saying he was in love with Araby all in the same breath. This is one of those books where I’m firmly on one side and will wait impatiently for more Will scenes.
The book ends with twist after twist, meeting a second revolutionary leader, another scary plague that is starting to pop up and a rush to get to safer ground. I was sad when the book ended, but I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Cool introduction to the series. I've heard a lot about it already, so it was nice to get this glimpse into the Lux side of things before starting the...moreCool introduction to the series. I've heard a lot about it already, so it was nice to get this glimpse into the Lux side of things before starting the main story. I really liked the way the characters interacted with each other, you could sense their familiarity with each other and their connections seemed strong and relaxed.
Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I adored this book! Altered is an addictive read, I couldn't put it down!
What's strange is that you find out so much form the blurb: a lab, with 4 boy...moreI adored this book! Altered is an addictive read, I couldn't put it down!
What's strange is that you find out so much form the blurb: a lab, with 4 boys being held - boys that have been genetically altered in strange and curious ways. Stronger, more dangerous and yet unknown at the same time. And then there's Anna, a teen and daughter to the scientist running experiments on the altered boys. Why are they being tested and developed into something more than human? Well, for a secret agency with government connections, of course. But when this group, The Branch, tries to take them away and the boys escape taking Anna with them, a troubling journey to uncover the mystery of their past takes hold.
The four boys were the first part that made me curious. I loved how different they all were. Cas, with his inability to sit still too long, but a giant obsession with food. Trev, who had an incredible memory and loved to bring up quotes that matched almost every situation. Nick, who I think was the most dangerous of the bunch because of his darker attitude and harsh take on life. And Sam, a natural leader maybe, but a brilliant strategist and someone with a protective streak and an obvious hidden past. These boys drove me crazy, but in a good way. I loved their connection to each other, the way they bounced off each other, it made them seem closer. Which I guess is possible when you live in a lab with only the 4 of them for years. However, the biggest mystery behind them all was their hidden pasts. A memory loss from the time before arriving in Anna's world. And when you've got gaps in your memory the only thing left to do is search for answers.
I loved this quest to uncover the hidden pasts. The focus was entirely on Sam and his back story. After leaving himself a few cryptic clues, the groups set off to make sense of it all. It was a bit strange how easy it seemed to follow all the link, despite a bit of trouble deciphering a few of them, it did come pretty quickly. Presumably, Sam had hidden all these clues to surviving outside The Branch; and while you would assume he'd be able to figure them all out, it was a tad easy for someone who couldn't actually remember leaving the clues anywhere. But that didn't stop me from enjoying it. I loved every new discovery, and I loved that each boy, and Anna, had a part in piecing together their trip. It wasn't just Sam figuring out all the bits on his own - there was real team effort going on.
At the start you're aware that Anna has deep feelings for Sam, so I was on the look out for a bit of romance between the two of them. I was not disappointed, although there was a bit of twist that threw me off for a while. I loved their little moments together! I can't wait to see more of it.
Speaking of twists, there was more than one. I guess that makes up for knowing about escaping from the secret lab in advance and the easy trail of clues, because some of these surprise plot lines left me speechless. One in particular hit me extremely hard. I was really impressed with the twists, I just wasn't expecting them, and they changed the dynamic of the story. Everything gets darker, you question bits from the beginning - I was completely turned around.
I have no idea what to expect from the sequel, but if it has even half the twists, danger and excitement, I know I'm going to love it!