Clara knows what she is, and ever since she found out that she's an angel-blood she has been waiting until her purpose is made clear, then she starts...moreClara knows what she is, and ever since she found out that she's an angel-blood she has been waiting until her purpose is made clear, then she starts having visions of a boy surrounded by a forest fire. After finding the location of the forest from her vision, her mother moves her brother and her to the small community of Jackson Hole where Clara meets Christian, the boy from her vision.
Besides being the new girl and struggling to fit in at school, she also has her purpose to work out. If that's not bad enough, there's also a second boy, Tucker, who Clara can't get out of her mind. Clara has to make the choice between following her heart or completing her destiny.
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Unearthly, and I was pleasantly surprised. Cynthia Hand has created a unique spin on the Angel story. I was happy that Clara knew she was part-angel and that she had a mother who was there to help her daughter, even if that mother didn't want to tell her daughter any information on the angels until Clara had figured it out for herself or was ready.
The relationships between Clara, Christian and Tucker were built on and were more believable than most stories that have love triangles. This story really showed Clara losing her heart to the guy and being torn up with decision that she had to make.
The plot was fast with plenty of twists and turns to keep me reading. I look forward to when the next one comes out.(less)
A hauntingly beautiful historical fiction set in the 1800s. Amelia van den Broek is sent to Baltimore to attend school and partake in other ladylike e...moreA hauntingly beautiful historical fiction set in the 1800s. Amelia van den Broek is sent to Baltimore to attend school and partake in other ladylike events. When she receives glimpses of the future she is suddenly the centre of the town with not only her friends but also strangers calling on her to tell their fortunes. With the start of a forbidden romance with an artist, Nathaniel, Amelia tries to hold onto the life that she is building. But, when her visions turn dark, she finds herself accused of causing the misdeeds herself.
The Vespertine was beautifully written and drew me into the historic setting of the 1800s. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but the plot and the mixture of the historical setting with the supernatural kept me reading. Amelia is a strong character who, despite the era this is set in, has a very independent voice. All of the characters were believable and enjoyable, but I would have liked to have learned more about Amelia's and Nathaniel's powers a bit more throughout the story.
Saundra Mitchell has created an elegant story, perfect for curling up on a sofa and reading.(less)
Amy Plum has created a thrilling debut set in the romantic setting of Paris. Kate is struggling to deal with her parents deaths after they die in a tr...moreAmy Plum has created a thrilling debut set in the romantic setting of Paris. Kate is struggling to deal with her parents deaths after they die in a tragic car accident. Moving to Paris with her older sister, Georgia to live with their Grandparents doesn't help her to feel less depressed. Instead of spending night after night out like her sister does, Kate recludes to Parisian art and reading at coffee shops.
When Kate meets Vincent, he helps her to move on and feel happy for the first time since her parents deaths. As she begins to fall in love with him, she learns that he is a revenant, someone who has died while protecting others and is destined to save the lives of others over and over again. Kate is pulled into a war that has existed for centuries between Vincent's revnants and those who are destined to destroy people. Kate must decide whether the safety of her own life is more important than Vincent.
From the moment I'd heard of Die for Me it was at the top of my list to-read, and I'm glad I did. The idea of Revnants were interesting. Beings destined to die over and over again so that they can rescue other people, now who wouldn't want to read that? Kate was an honest and typical teenager who's dealing with a lot of grief, but that doesn't stop her from doing what needs to be done, and she is also very protective of her older sister.
The relationship between Vincent and Kate developed at a believable rate, and with it being set in Paris, you can't go wrong. The twists and turns Plum throws at the two as they move through their relationship, which leads up to a thrilling conclusion. Plum has created a unique and thrilling paranormal romance and I can't wait to see where the story continues in the sequel. (less)
Lena has been told all her life how the disease of Amor Deliria Nervosa (aka love) is dangerous. It is the disease that caused her mother to take her...moreLena has been told all her life how the disease of Amor Deliria Nervosa (aka love) is dangerous. It is the disease that caused her mother to take her own life. Lena has been counting down until she is old enough to take the procedure to be cured because she doesn't want to end up like her mother - she wants to be happy.
That changes when she meets Alex. Alex is wild and different and through the words he says he makes her feel beautiful. When Lena feels herself becoming infected, she starts to wonder whether the disease is really as dangerous as the government makes it out to be. As her procedure draws near, Lena has to make the choice of whether she wants to live this "happy and pain-free" life that will happen after she's cured, or find a way to escape and be with Alex without getting caught.
Lauren Oliver has created a world that is believable and slightly unsettling. It's hard to imagine a world that has banned "love", but through Lena's eyes the world becomes horrifyingly real. Lena is the perfect character to tell the story. She has been harmed by the disease with her mother's suicide, and she can't wait to become cured so she doesn't have to worry about becoming infected. As Alex shows her that love isn't as dangerous as everyone thinks it is, Lena grew exponentially as she started to question the world she has grown up in.
The story and pace had me hooked from page one as Oliver created this original "Romeo & Juliet" style story. It contains plenty of ups and downs that kept me turning the page. I can't wait until the next one gets released so I can find out more of Lena's story.(less)
The small town of Cryer's Cross isn't supposed to have anything bad happen, that was until a freshman girl disappears without a trace. But life goes o...moreThe small town of Cryer's Cross isn't supposed to have anything bad happen, that was until a freshman girl disappears without a trace. But life goes on and for 16-year-old Kendall she pushes forward even though with her OCD she is freaked at seeing Tiffany's desk empty each day. Everyone thinks it's just a sad occurrence that would only happen once in the small town, that is until Kendall's boyfriend, Nico goes missing. The town is put into crisis mode, but still no one is able to find any trace of Nico. Kendall does know something is wrong with this situation and when she starts receiving graffiti messages on the desk where Nico used to sit she knows deep down that it could only be from Nico, meaning that Nico could still be alive. As Kendall jumps into the mystery of the disappearances with the help of the new, and irritating, Jacian, she comes to learn that the small town of Cryer's Cross has some dark secrets and a dark past that doesn't want to stay hidden.
Cryer's Cross was an intriguing story full of quirky characters. Kendall, even though she had OCD, was a strong character who was not afraid of who she was or of letting her OCD define her, in fact it was the one part of her that helped her throughout the story and in pushing her further into the mystery.
Even though I did not find the story scary, the mystery kept the plot moving forward and some of the scenes created were chilling with the twists and turns that Kendall had to face. This was definitely a story that had me on the edge of the seat as I waited for the mystery to unfold.
McMann does a good job of creating the characters and their relationships as they struggle to uncover the truth of the small town and what really happened to the missing students.(less)
Incorporating a blend of sci-fi and magic, Kelsa Phillips is just trying to cope after watching her father die from cancer when a strange boy shows up...moreIncorporating a blend of sci-fi and magic, Kelsa Phillips is just trying to cope after watching her father die from cancer when a strange boy shows up and tells her that the tree plague is actually caused by magic. The boy is actually Raven, a shapeshifting spirit also known as the Trickster. He urges Kelsa to come on a quest with him to move along the ley lines and heal the nexus points all the way to Alaska.
Hilari Bell has created an interesting tale based on Native American mythology. The beginning was a bit slow, but once the quest got underway, so did the excitement and action. Bell threw in plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing where the story would go next. With so many people wanting Kelsa to fail the quest, she didn't know who to trust, or even if she could count on Raven telling her the truth.
While I did like the relationship that built between Kelsa and Raven, sometimes it felt as if Kelsa didn't make any decisions, and was relying too heavily on Raven to lead them. This was where I wasn't able to relate to Kelsa. Sometimes she just obediently followed him without any questions.
I also felt the ending was too abrupt. The quest was building up to a high-tension finale, bit it felt a bit rushed and nothing was concluded like I would expect from an adventure story.
That being said, I enjoyed the world Bell created, especially with the blends of magic which wasn't expected in a sci-fi novel. (less)
Stephe Bowe has created a perceptive look into modern families. All families have problems, and it's not just from the kids either. This beautiful deb...moreStephe Bowe has created a perceptive look into modern families. All families have problems, and it's not just from the kids either. This beautiful debut shows that sometimes parents can screw up even more than their children. Jewel didn't know that returning home after 10 years would mean anything, but after finding a boy drowning in the lake and rescuing him she finds herself getting close to someone for the first time. Sacha didn't really want to be saved, but glad he was, especially when he starts developing a friendship with Jewel. He has a problem though, how is he going to tell her he has cancer? As a relationship starts developing, both Jewel and Sacha have to try and leave the past behind them and learn to trust each other in order to move forward.
Stephe Bowe has created realistic characters that both have their own problems. Sacha is running from the death of his mother and out of time from the cancer that has returned. Jewel is trying to forget her brother's death and the father who abandoned her, and is now living with a mother that she barely knows and hasn't really seen for the past 10 years. This novel gave a real look into family life where no one is perfect and sometimes the problems that each member has is difficult to put aside to come together and support each other.
I've been wanting to read this since Steph announced it was getting published (especially down here in Australia first), and I'm glad I did. The writing was cheeky in some parts as well as heart-wrenching in others. And, for the first time (mainly because I do read a lot of US novels) it was great to see some familiar settings that I'm so used to (especially Bunnings, the description of the house and hardware warehouse was perfect, exactly how I feel every time I step foot into the concrete floored tin building).(less)
When Jack escapes from a deranged man's house after being kidnapped, the only person he tells is his best friend, Connor. Since he is going to England...moreWhen Jack escapes from a deranged man's house after being kidnapped, the only person he tells is his best friend, Connor. Since he is going to England, he doesn't see the need in telling any one else. Jack leaves for England, a couple of days before Connor, and he meets a strange man who says he knows him from a world called Marbury. He gives Jack a pair of glasses, which when he puts on takes him to the world of Marbury where there is a great war going on.
The more Jack visits Marbury, the more he's losing touch with reality, but he can't stop himself from returning. Andrew Smith has created a story that questions what is real and what is just an effect of trauma.
The story is told through Jack's eyes and intermediately the reader is drawn into his world and his experience as he's tied to a bed in Freddie's house. As the novel progresses and Jack questions what is reality and what is just an after effect of the kidnapping, the emotions are portrayed exceptionally well, which made me wanting to read on to find out what was happening to Jack.
Both worlds, the real world and the world of Marbury, have been vividly painted and it's easy to imagine what they look like and how the characters feel towards each of the world's.
The Marbury Lens is a pageturning rollercoaster, that will keep any reader on the edge of the seat. Andrew Smith has created a wonderful story that delves into a nightmarish world and explores the effects that trauma can have on a person. (less)
After making one of the most challenging decisions of her life, Amy says goodbye to her friends and everything she has known on earth to be frozen for...moreAfter making one of the most challenging decisions of her life, Amy says goodbye to her friends and everything she has known on earth to be frozen for 300 years and travel across the universe to another planet. Elder, a boy from another generation, is destined to be the ruler of the ship, Godspeed. When Amy is accidentally unfrozen, she doesn't know who to trust. Everything about the society on the ship is different and she feels alone. When Elder and Amy realise that someone is unplugging the frozen civilisation, and killing them, on purpose, they have to distinguish between the truths and the lies that have been created on the ship, and work out who the murderer is before more victims are defrosted.
In an amazing debut, Beth Revis has created an intriguing murder-mystery that has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. Even though everyone is trapped aboard the ship, there's still plenty of deceit and lies to uncover to set up an intricate mystery.
I loved Amy. Amy is shown to be a very active and healthy teenage girl who cannot sit still and loves to be in open spaces. By giving her the hobby of long distance running was a great way to show how really trapped she is in the floating artificial world. Her journey is very realistic as she comes to realise that, when in space, there is nowhere to run.
By showing both the perspectives of Amy and Elder, it was easy to see the ship through the eyes of an insider as well as a foreigner. This made the plot more interesting since Elder was the one uncovering the lies, while Amy was left with a feeling that something wasn't right on the ship.
I don't usually read sci-fi, but the characters created were all realistic and honest, and it was easy to picture the world aboard Godspeed. Once I started I didn't want to stop.(less)
After getting attacked one night, Maddie Dunn does the impossible. She fights back with her mind. Her life is turned upside down, told she is a "Minde...moreAfter getting attacked one night, Maddie Dunn does the impossible. She fights back with her mind. Her life is turned upside down, told she is a "Minder", a person who possesses telepathic powers, she is transported to Ganzfield, a secret training facility with people just like her, but they're not. The majority of kids here possess pyrokinetic (fire) powers and mind control, she is the only minder.
Here, she meets Trevor, a person who she instantly connects with. It could be the fact that he is also a loner at the facility. He is telekinetic, someone who can control objects with his mind. He also feels he is dangerous to be around, just like Maddie. They fall hard and fast in love as if nothing can tear them apart. But, there are some secrets bout this facility that are kept hidden and some enemies that want it destroyed.
Kate Kaynak has created an interesting world that is similar to X-men in many aspects, but also resembles an ordinary high school. There's the popular kids/bullies (mind controllers) and the lovable geeks (pyros). All characters a very well-rounded and it was good to see all the flaws and weaknesses that teenagers with such powers have.
Even though the relationship between Maddie and Trevor happens too quickly, and it felt a bit unrealistic at times, I felt they were the perfect couple. Both of them were outsiders at school. Maddie was the only Minder and Trevor was the only telekinetic, and both of them were dangerous to be around when they were asleep. It can easily be seen why both would turn to each other.
Minder is the fantastic introduction to the world of Ganzfield, and the perfect start to this series. The book was a quick read, packed full of emotion and turmoil. I look forward to picking up Adversary and the rest of the books in this series to see where Maddie and Trevor go next.(less)
Veronica Roth has created an interesting world in Divergent where everyone is divided into five distinct factions based on five personality traits (br...moreVeronica Roth has created an interesting world in Divergent where everyone is divided into five distinct factions based on five personality traits (brave, selfless, intelligent, honest and peaceful). When Beatrice is put through the standard test to identify which faction she must "choose", she discovers that she's a Divergent. She is one person that has the ability to choose from a number of factions, she also is told that if anyone were to learn her life could be in danger. When it comes time to choose her faction, she has to decide between her Abnegation family (selfless) and that of Dauntless (brave). What she chooses suprises everyone. She chooses Dauntless.
As the initiation starts, Beatrice (who decides to change her name to Tris) has to prove that she is as brave and strong as the others who only sees her as a Abnegation stiff. She soon learns that being a Divergent helps her succeed in the trials, but she has to learn why being a Divergent is so dangerous and who, if they found out what she was, will stop at nothing to kill her.
Divergent is a compelling debut that shows a structured dystopian world and the power struggle that could play out if one group would be given all the power. Tris and all the other characters all come alive. Just like the different factions, she is strong, brave and selfless (even though she doesn't think she is). Four is also a strong character who, even though he does things to pick on and make Tris stand out, really cares for her, and their rollercoaster relationship is compelling.
The faction of Dauntless, there's no other word but, wow... the scenery Roth has painted inside the mountain and the actions, mostly which include jumping on and off speeding trains and jumping off cliffsides, really provided a thrilling read. Put that with the dangerous mystery of what Divergent really means, and why those who have been named it often are found dead, makes Veronica Roth's Divergent a page turning thriller. Anyone who loves Dystopian novels will definately love the atmosphere that Roth creates. I look forward to the next in this new trillogy.(less)
Mercy is an angel who doesn't know what she's done to be living in this limbo called her life. She is doomed to return to earth repeatedly, sliding in...moreMercy is an angel who doesn't know what she's done to be living in this limbo called her life. She is doomed to return to earth repeatedly, sliding into someone else's life in order to fix a problem. Mercy doesn't remember much of the previous lives, all she knows is that the girl's she leaves have ended up in a better place.
When Mercy wakes up on a school bus bound for a small town called paradise where Carmen, the girl she's taking over is participating in a combined school choir she doesn't know what she's in for. The family taking her in while she's in the town has a sad past. Two years ago their daughter was kidnapped without any trace. Almost everyone has given up on finding her alive, except for her eighteen year old brother, Ryan. Mercy knows she has to do something, that this is the reason for her being placed in this life. But can Mercy find the missing girl without putting Carmen in danger or making her life worse for when she wakes up?
Rebecca Lim has created a very unique angel story. Mercy is very confused about who she is and why she has been placed in this life, but she is also a strong and believable character. And as Mercy fumbles to get a grip on this new charge and understand everything about Carmen, this allows the reader to get even closer to her as it really feels like she's experiencing everything for the first time.
There is enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning and heart racing as Mercy discovers more secrets and lies that the family and town has. This book not only has one mystery about the missing girl, but also the mystery surrounding Mercy's past. She is searching for her soulmate and answers as to why she's living these girls lives, and it's hinted throughout the novel, but as the first mystery is solved there are still those questions that makes me want to read the next in the series just to find out more.
Mercy is a perfect book for any angel or paranormal fan. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.(less)