My roommate takes a course called "Aesthetic Constructions of Childhood,” and she has to read a bunch of picture books for the class (lucky, right?). After reading Journey by Aaron Becker, she told me how great the story was and handed it to me to read. I devoured it in two minutes. What struck me first was the lack of words– I don’t think I’ve read a picture book that didn’t have any words in it. Anyway, that totally didn’t hinder my experience at all because the illustrations are GORGEOUS. I mean, absolutely beautiful. It’s such a sweet story as well, with that familiar feel of childlike wonder and imagination.
There were several interesting things I didn’t notice the first time reading it, and my roommate pointed them out after. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll mention a few things that she told me that they discussed in her course. Firstly, there’s the bedroom at the beginning and if you look at some of the objects in the room, they pop up later on in the story. Another really cool thing is that tiny details are often overshadowed by the larger ones the illustrations. For example, the artist creates such incredible landscapes that you totally don’t notice a boat or a door hidden in the corner. There are a lot of cool details with this book, so definitely read it a few times to capture everything. Tons of surprises hidden for sure!
I don’t normally review picture books, but honestly, if I constantly read amazing books such as Journey, I hope there are a lot more coming my way in the near future. I really do hope that I get the chance to read the next book in this absolutely delightful picture book series, and I look forward to more of Becker’s fantastic stories told through his beautiful illustrations....more
After finishing The Secret Diamond Sisters I knew I couldn’t WAIT until I got my hands on the next one. I’m so honoured to have been picked to review this book by the author, and absolutely freaked out when I got the copy in the mail, signed to me in all it’s glory. I believe I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again: something about this series has a TV-show quality to it. After Gossip Girl ended, I NEED another show to satisfy my craving for scandal, drama and boys. This is the perfect substitute! While there were somethings I didn’t like in this one, Madow’s second instalment was absolutely packed with amazing interweaving storylines that build up to several shocking moments in the book.
There was definitely a lot more character development compared to the first book, but my opinions on characters haven’t changed. I still don’t like Peyton, I find her too annoying, but she has improved a great deal. She just needs to think about what she does and the consequences of it because it’s basically a record-player playing the same thing over and over again– you would have thought she had learned her lesson the first or second time round! Courtney is still my favourite character. Something about her level-headedness being so refreshing in this family where two of three sisters are infatuated by material objects and throwing themselves at guys. Loved her frustration and tension with Brett, that was done so well in this book. I felt so bad for her as well, because this story builds up to a HUGE moment and how she handles it doesn’t go down too well. Savannah... honestly, she didn’t make a mark for me in this book. Same old story, trying to figure out who to choose between Damien and Nick (who doesn’t make much of an appearance in this book by the way), and literally, the only thing I picked up from her storyline was her singing career moving forward. That’s about it. Madison, on the other hand, got a lot more interesting. There’s so much more to her and I really like her character now. She also has a huge role in this book, with another secret that shakes her whole world (and is definitely going to be a major part in the next book), so I can’t wait to see where it all goes!
What I didn’t like about the book was this: how flashy it was. I mean, the name dropping didn’t bother me in the first book, but this was pushing it a little too far. I mean, a boy band from the UK called One Connection? HELLO? Not to mention boy band members, Perry Myles, Noel and Kayn... sounds a little too familiar doesn’t it? It just seemed kind of weird considering how many times TV shows, such as The Vampire Diaries and Downton Abbey, are mentioned. It wasn’t just the name dropping though. It seemed like with every pop culture reference there had to be a multiple-sentence explanation as to why it was in the book. To be honest, it kind of hindered my reading experience, and while everything else was quite sound, this was the thing I absolutely disliked, and is something that I dislike with any other book as well.
The end of the book is shocking, but it wasn’t so shocking that I felt like I needed the next book. I liked how the author presented the cliffhanger but I found myself feeling underwhelmed by it all. Hopefully the next book will quench my thirst for the amount of secrets sure to be uncovered. Who will end up with who? What on earth is going to happen to the Diamond sisters and will everything ever be normal again? I really like the title of the final book as well, just like the rest of the titles in this series– a great play on words!
Diamonds in the Rough had so much crazy drama and I enjoyed it so much. In this dazzling world of glitz, glamor and money, secrets and betrayal are never far behind. I can’t wait for the next book, Diamonds are Forever, although I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Michelle Madow’s fantastic series.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Michelle Meadow for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
When I saw the title for Victoria Aveyard’s debut, the first thing that popped into my mind was Alice in Wonderland. I mean, of course I would think that because, hello, the RED QUEEN aka Queen of Hearts? A little disappointed that it wasn’t a retelling from her point of view, but nonetheless the gorgeous and eerie cover and the premise caught my attention. When I was contacted to be a part of the blog tour and to read an advanced copy of the book, I immediately agreed to it. I knew I had to read this book, and that I had to read it soon.
Oh my gosh: WOW. Red Queen was amazing! I seriously couldn’t tear my eyes away from this book. It was like X-Men meets The Selection meets Shadow and Bone. It was such a fantastic blend of the supernatural, fantasy, and dystopia – brilliantly executed. It was a long read (especially since I read it in one sitting) but SO WORTH IT. The world building was phenomenal; I really felt like I understood the world that the story took place in. The writing was absolutely wonderful and there never seemed to be a dull moment.
The characters were amazing. I loved learning about this world through Mare’s world. Of course, she reminds me of so many dystopian and fantasy heroines, so that sort of originality was somewhat lacking, but the familiarity of the character type definitely made this an engaging read. And oh gods above, the LOVE TRIANGLE. Or square? I seriously don’t know at this point. Two princes and a friend (not featured very much though) made sure that there was plenty of romance in the story. If you know me, you know that I can’t resist a good romance. However, I just felt that there was a lack of actual chemistry...no sizzle at all. While I’m torn because I my stomach flip-flops at scenes of romance in a book, I thought it was really interesting that the book didn’t actually focus on the developing feelings between characters and was more about the actual events. Feeling a bit half-and-half on this one, but more towards the fact that I’m FOR the somewhat underplayed passion in this novel.
Holy moly the amount of twists in this book. I had to cover up the ends of chapters just to make my eyes stop wandering and accidentally spoiling things for me. SO MUCH SHIZZ HAPPENS AND IT’S WORTHY OF DROPPED JAWS. The end was a stab to the stomach, because no way in a million years did I see that coming. I predicted an earlier twist but I never actually thought that the book would end the way it did. I’m seriously sad that I’m going to have to a while until the next book comes out because 2015 practically just started and the sequel comes out in 20-frickin-16.
An exceptional debut, Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen is gripping from the first page to the last. Absolutely spellbinding, this story of blood, magic, and revolution will have readers begging for more. The start of a terrific trilogy, I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. Can’t wait!
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan at HarperCollins International and Tiffany at MPH for sending a copy for review and for having me on the blog tour! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I was really interested in The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place after hearing Julie Berry speak at the Boston Teen Author Festival 2014. I even had the chance to meet her before this at ALA in Chicago in 2013, and get a signed ARC of her YA novel All the Truth That’s In Me, which I unfortunately haven’t read yet. This time round though it was really cool to hear her talk about crafting mystery and a good villain. This novel was really cute and was quite a funny historical-fiction middle grade novel – it’s actually really good for all ages since all the characters seemed to be of different ages.
At first I got really confused with all the names in the book as the author names them with an adjective, so we have characters such as Smooth Kitty and Stout Alice. It takes a while, but you definitely get used to it by halfway through the novel. I really like how the book includes illustrations of the ladies part of the sisterhood – which unfortunately wasn’t available for viewing in the eGalley I received – as well as mentions the people associated with them who don’t appear in the novel, just to get a better idea of the characters’ personalities and characteristics. I wish that certain characters had more of a role, because it seemed like only a four girls seemed to be getting most of the work during the plot, but nonetheless it made it much easier to relate to the characters.
I thought that the beginning was actually really strange, and this was due to the lack of reaction to their head mistress’s death. I just thought that it was weird how they didn’t have a total meltdown or panic that much, because I know I would have if I was in that situation. Especially when they have to masquerade around as if nothing was wrong: how can such young girls be calm under such circumstances? This is probably the only thing that didn’t add up for me. I mean, yeah, sure– there are times of panic and “I can’t do this” etc. etc. BUT, on the whole, lack of panic doesn’t make it seem really plausible. However, this was still a really fun read.
I’m a fan of whodunit mysteries, and this one was really great. There’s a ton of suspense and action that’ll keep you wondering what will happen next. There’s also some romance in the book which is why I think it’s more of a middle grade meets young adult, rather than just a middle grade novel. Anyway, I seriously did not expect that ending! There are a ton of surprises that are revealed at the end, especially about people’s identities, as well as the motive for the murder. I enjoyed how the mystery was written: I’m glad to say that there are no dull moments to be found.
Cute and gripping, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is perfect for readers of all ages, and will have you on your toes with every twist and turn. Julie Berry crafts a fabulous mystery that produces both laughs and shocked gasps, and I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future....more
When I received an offer to review Seed, I was immediately drawn to the eerie cover and the tagline and knew that I HAD to read and review this one. However, the problem with me is that I don’t tend to read blurbs very well and base most of my reading (sadly) on the cover. I seriously didn’t realise this was about a cult. When I found out, my brain started flashing warning signs. Why, you ask? I’d previously started reading a book about a cult and didn’t end up enjoying it so I stopped reading it. To be completely honest, I get a little freaked out when it comes to reading about cults. From what I’ve learned about them to seeing them portrayed in media, I get a little weirded out and tend to stay away from things that depict cults, etc. By the way, this is totally not meant to offend anyone. I personally don’t know much about cults in general, except that there have been some that are pretty extreme and stuff, so basically that’s what my “judgement” (if I could even call it that) is based on.
Anyway, back to Seed. This one was fantastic. It’s filled with absolutely gorgeous descriptions, and now I’m wondering whether this is based on an actual cult because the “world-building” – despite it not being a fantasy/dystopian/etc. – is phenomenal. It really didn’t feel like our world, and I didn’t even think that this was based in a real place until the outsiders arrive at Seed. That’s the thing: the novel really felt kind of timeless because the cult is so isolated from the outside, so you don’t in fact realise that it actually has a modern setting.
I really enjoyed Pearl’s character. She felt real and I think I would have done most of the actions she does in the book if I was in the position. It must have been a bit of a challenge for the author to have written the book from the perspective of someone who has such a strange and bad view of the world, not completely getting the grasp of the good that there is. The other characters really add to her character development and it was really great reading about them as well.
The end was MIND BLOWING and I was left with my jaw dropped. The book’s pace up till that point was basically pretty normal; kind of slow at the start but started picking up when Pearl begins to question the Seed. Holy crap though, the end was just absolutely heart-pounding and ended with a shocking climax. I’m seriously looking forward to the second book, but now I have to wait a whole YEAR for it to come out... *bursts into tears*.
Seed was intriguing and fascinating – Lisa Heathfield’s debut is stunning and has left me aching for more. Do yourself a favour and do NOT pass this one up. Spellbinding and filled with mystery and deception, this is a novel that demands to be read.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha from Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I knew I had to get my hands on this one after reading Amy Reed’s fantastic novel Clean. The cover on the ARC I received was different – it featured a guy, and so I was a little sad that it got replaced with the image of the girl because not too many guys are the main subject of the cover when it comes to YA fiction. Anyway, I really enjoyed this one. Amy Reed’s writing is compelling and while harsh, it’s got a lyrical quality to it. She’s clearly not afraid of being brutally honest when it comes to telling a story and gets right into the nitty-gritty, deep-down stuff that we tend to hide or what characters don’t show in many books. That’s what I particularly enjoyed about Damaged and overall it was a great read.
I really loved Clean, so I knew that this one was going to get a similar reaction from me. I didn’t like it as much as Clean, but it was really different from it as well, so I don’t think I can compare the two in terms of subject matter. Sure, this does deal with addiction – not getting past the death of a friend, alcoholism, and such. HOWEVER, unlike the rehab setting that was in Clean, the two characters Kinsey and Hunter take a road trip. I don’t have anything against road trips, but honestly, it’s such a cliché in YA nowadays that it does get annoying. I mean the same thing happens again and again and again. Boy and girl take a road trip, starting with nothing but the need to get away from it all. The relationship at this point is pretty platonic and they often have a character who is missing/dead/etc. who is the reason why they need to get away from where they currently are. Make a few side-stops, showing the touristy-side of a road trip at some not-so-well-known landmarks. They start to fall in love. Something happens, they separate, angry at each other. In the end... who knows, they either stick together or separate it’s a toss-up. I’m not saying that all road trip books are like this, but they tend to have a similar pattern. Damaged followed some of this (I’m not gonna say what) and so yes, the story’s frame was a little cliché, but the other parts were better than I’d expected.
When it came down to Kinsey and Hunter, I seriously couldn’t connect to them. Normally this would annoy me with a book, but I honestly thought that it worked this time. Taking more of an observing role rather than getting into the characters and their emotions made more sense for this one because of the experiences the both of them have had. But I did feel time to time annoyed with the characters because of their actions and their tendency to quickly get mad at each other and shut down completely. The Camille “ghost” parts of the story were the best. I seriously thought that these were the moments when we could possibly connect to Kinsey’s character because she’s more vulnerable and we can see past the mask she wears most of the time.
Both a smooth and rocky road, Damaged was an interesting blend of ghost story meets contemporary road trip. Dark and haunting, Reed scores again with her latest novel. Can’t wait to read more from her!
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Kelsey at Simon & Schuster for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
Of course, when I first saw this book, I was drawn to the cover immediately. THAT TYPOGRAPHY. THAT GLASS. THAT EVERYTHING. When I got the chance to review this book, I swooped at it. I mean, come on, THAT COVER. However, I didn’t know that it was a novel in verse. I haven’t read one in ages, and I love novels written in verse because not only are they really fast to read, but also has a lyrical quality that prose sometimes doesn’t. I took literature in high school, but sometimes I don’t get poetry, but thankfully novels in verse is something that I actually understand. Anyway, Kiss of Broken Glass was an emotional roller coaster. It’s based on the author’s life (her daughter’s experience) and so knowing that it brings to light the shocking reality that this does happen, and it the fact that it happens quite often and even to those at a young age. It’s really sad to read about it for sure, especially since I don’t really know anyone who has gone through the experience, but it’s definitely an eye-opener that I needed to read.
This book really reminded me of Ellen Hopkins’s style of writing. For those of you who don’t know, she writes about teens with problems who find each other at rehab centers, much like how Kenna finds Donya, Skylar and Jag, all in verse. However, the problem I find with verse is that sometimes you can’t get into the character’s head because the words are fleeting and the pace is a lot faster. Descriptions aren’t also in depth, and there’s more interpretation from the reader’s side. However, I could feel like I got Kenna’s character just because there would be certain sections of the novel when it would focus on her character’s feelings.
The characters in this book were great, but other than Kenna, I don’t feel like we as readers get much of a chance to get to know them more. True, the timespan of this book is SUPER short (short book, short timeline), but even then, it would have been nice to learn a teeny bit more about the other characters. Jag especially. Skylar is probably the character other than Kenna that I got to know about, but for a “love interest,” Jag barely had a role. Very little character interaction, I must say. However, maybe that was the point and I just missed it. These experiences are fleeting and short, but the impression they leave on you can last forever. Kenna’s time at the facility was super short but during that 72 hour period, she learned so much more about herself from observing and interacting (a little bit) with those around her.
Kiss of Broken Glass was gorgeous, rhapsodic, and moving– a breathtaking eye-opener that I couldn’t stop reading. Kuderick’s words have the ebb and flow of waves, both smooth and powerful, sucking you into the depths of what truly lies beneath the surface. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Alice at HarperCollins 360 for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
Oh my god: WHAT. A. THRILL. Holyyyyyy crap. I love books that have a twist that turns your insides, makes your heart stop and your eyes pop. Gone Too Far had this twist. Sure, it’s a little strange how things turned out, but holy moly, I did NOT expect it to be who it was. I guessed and I guessed, but totally didn’t see it coming. Yeesh. Normally I tend to expect the usual from “these” kind of books, but I was seriously surprised by this one– and really enjoyed it.
For one thing, I truly never got Piper. Sure, she’s the photographer, but I really understood her character or seemed to go more in dept into her emotions. Despite the fact that it was a first-person narration it seemed very third-person featuring a focalised narrative. Nonetheless, the only times when we actually get a glimpse of emotion is when she’s around Nick. Guys: I’m in love with the jock. I like how he goes against the stereotypes and for once, the girl actually gets with the popular guy, not the typical loner-esque, artsy one in the end. Defying clichés, woohoo!
As I mentioned before, I couldn’t really guess who it was in the end. I mean, I had my suspicions at the beginning, but then quickly ruled them out foolishly. There were two possibilities (not gonna mention who!), but even they got ruled out because of events in the book. While the reveal was quite a shock, the actual reasons behind it I didn’t understand. I was probably hoping for something more, I don’t know, scandalous? something that we completely missed out? Nonetheless, the twist is like a punch to the stomach, and I was honestly so shocked that I just kinda sat there for a while with my mouth wide open, wondering what the heck just happened.
Overall, while I had some problems with the end, Gone Too Far was a spine-tingling thriller that I couldn’t put down. Be prepared for chills, thrills, and feels (try to imagine that rhymes... so “fills”?), because Richard’s sophomore novel is action-packed and will have you flipping pages, desperate to find out what happens next....more
I was a little wary of getting into All the Bright Places because the blurb claimed it to be “The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park.” I didn’t really want to set my standards too high because the story easily could have fallen into the familiar story arc of so many other YA contemporary novels: either boy or girl in trouble, meets the other, they save each other. We’ve all seen this a million times. However, what I didn’t expect was to fall head over heels in love with this book and have my heart crushed into a million pieces.
The story is told in the alternating perspectives of our two main characters: Finch and Violet. I will admit that while I was completely taken with Finch from the start, Violet took a little time to warm up to. After that though, WOW. I was so enamoured by both characters, that by the end it was so hard to let them go. Both have their own demons and it’s interesting to see how it plays out with their narratives, interactions and relationship. It definitely leaves a lasting mark by the end (no spoilers!), and the build-up is a rickety, heart-pounding climb that follows with the sharp whoosh! of the fall. I just wish though that there had been more of an explanation for Finch’s problem, because it comes up several times during the book and it seemed quite random but actually has a large significance in the novel. Maybe I missed it, but I just felt that there could have been more information given pertaining to his “condition.”
❝The rules of geocaching say ‘take something, leave something.’ The way I figure it,we stand to get something out of each place, so why not give something back? Also, it’s a way to prove we’ve been there, and a way to leave a part of us behind.❞ –p. 44, ARC* *text is subject to change in the final version
I seriously love the road-trip-feel of the novel without the actual road trip. Both need to escape, but instead of the cliché idea of taking off on a road trip, they actually explore their surroundings but always come back home. I really enjoyed these parts of the book because it was where the romance started to grow as well as where most of the humour was. With the amount of family problems Finch has and how Violet has to cope with the loss of a sibling – and just in general all the sad parts of the book – you seriously need an ice-breaker now and then. Yeesh, this is not a fluffy book. AT ALL.
Be prepared to laugh, smile, and cry, because Jennifer Niven’s bittersweet novel has it all. All the Bright Places was a beautiful story that had me at a golden high and a heartbreaking low, truly the epitome of an emotional roller coaster. Seriously, go read this book right now. I dare you. Keep a box of tissues at hand though, because you are definitely going to need it.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Anna at Random House Children’s Books for sending me a copy for review and having me on the blog tour! ▪ ▪ ▪ ...more
First things first, when I found out that the bad guy’s name was Konstantine, this was the first thing I immediately thought of:
Different spelling, but same idea. So half of the time I was picturing the bad guy with a mole right above his lips that kind of resembled Constantine, the Kermit lookalike.
I had no idea that Frostfire was part of a spin-off series of the Trylle trilogy, which I have not yet read. Now thinking about it, this book maybe would have made more sense if I had read the original trilogy first. I was completely lost with the world-building. I mean, there’s a huge kingdom somewhere in North America (Canada?) and it sounds kind of archaic-ish, but it ISN’T. They listen to ELLIE GOULDING for crying out loud. They drive cars and have technological appliances. This was just a confusing clash of two completely opposite ideas that didn’t seem to work. I like having a clear idea of the world I’m entering when I read a book and because this one was all over the place, I was left annoyed at the world and just decided to focus on the story and characters.
Holy moly was Bryn’s character annoying and, like the world building, all over the place. I mean okay, I’m all for a kick-ass female character, YES, PLEASE YES. But when she screams and pushes people away for the wrong reasons, it’s just a little tedious reading her story. Also, there’s one thing I don’t get: the back of the book says that she is considered an outsider, doesn’t fit in, etc. etc. Um... did I miss something? There was possibly only one or two minor instances in the book, and even then the Queen backed her up and the King apologised. So much for being the “outsider” because she was more like the one everyone wanted to be or be with. Ugh. Ridley’s character was the reason I thought this book was more new adult than young adult. He’s twenty-four and she’s nineteen. It’s a little borderline, but eh, the writing seemed like it was aimed at a young adult audience and didn’t have anything that YA hasn’t seen before (nothing overly sexual, etc.). But the romance was so childish. Honestly, he keeps putting his hand on her thigh (constantly) and she STILL doesn’t think that he’s into her. And she has to be seriously mean to his super nice girlfriend. So much for wanting a platonic relationship.
Speaking of hands on thighs and that phrase being repeated constantly in the book, what’s with all the smirking? Half of the time I was trying to see when the next time the word “smirk” would appear. SO MANY TIMES AUGHHHHH. By the end I was seriously thinking about going back and trying to frickin count how many times it appeared in the book. So hands on thighs and smirking... this is what you have to prepare yourself for when you read this book.
Maybe it was because I didn’t read the Trylle trilogy, or I was completely right with all my problems, but Frostfire wasn’t the book for me. I seriously hate writing negative reviews because I tend to get ranty, but in this case I could see no other way. But, I will give the book this – the plot was somewhat interesting. If you can get past the writing with a ton of brand/song/actor name dropping and the attention to detail that NOBODY cares about, it’s actually got an intriguing storyline with a somewhat shocking twist at the end. Needless to say, despite my problems with the book, the end does leave me slightly curious, but just curious enough for me to read the next book. Here’s to Ice Kissed. Hooray.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha from Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I had the pleasure of meeting S.A. Bodeen during ALA 2013 (very, very briefly – her book signing line was HUGE), and I really enjoyed her novel, The Raft. I was really taken by the cover illustration when I first found this book on NetGalley. Like any sane person, I am a sucker for amazing covers and I knew that I had to get my hands on this book. Shipwreck Island was a really short read, and while I don’t read that many middle grade books anymore, I still found myself intrigued by the story and left wanting more.
At first, Sarah’s character annoyed me intensely. I mean, she acts all bratty and unfriendly when her new stepmom and stepbrothers move in. However, when I think about it, if I was in Sarah’s shoes, I would TOTALLY act the same way. Sure, I mean after her mom died six years ago, her dad does deserve some happiness, but I know I would be unwilling to move on as well. So, I totally see where she’s coming from. I thought Nacho’s character was adorable, and Marco... well, let’s hope I get around to liking his character more in the next book. Ahab is adorable – and reminds me of my own dog – and I liked John and Yvonna. Great set of characters and I liked the tension that grew between them (particularly with the children), but I also enjoyed how they stuck together during tough situations.
The island – which they call Shipwreck Island (hence the book title) – that they end up stranded on is an interesting setting. Things start to get a little weird, but I’m glad. It reminds me so much of the books I used to read when I was younger and I’m yearning for that adventure-type novel again, where everything is unrealistic and in no way could happen in real life, but you wish it could happen.
I was a little confused by the ending because it cut off so abruptly that I thought the eGalley was wrong or something, but I hope that this continues into multiple books because I’ll be sure to read them. Shipwreck Island was a fun start to what looks like a promising series which middle grade readers will love immensely. Can’t wait to find out what happens next!...more
The concept for this book was SO COOL. I mean, it was like a documentary version of a book. Complete with interviews, paintings, pictures, magazine features, newspaper articles, emails– this really seemed like the biography of someone’s life. I thoroughly enjoyed The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone and found all of it as a whole utterly compelling. I was taken with Addison, and it almost seems as if she’s a real person, with the different voices presented with little snippets of interviews from her mother, father, brother, boyfriends, best friends, teachers, and more. I’d previously read Adele Griffin’s All You Never Wanted, which I unfortunately did not enjoy, but this one – this one is pure genius.
While there are only some taken interviews directly from Addison (previously “recorded”), we as readers learn more about her from the people around her: why people loved her, why they hated her, the problems she faced and how she came about to being this famous artist in New York. I love how it slowly progresses towards her death, starting with her childhood, moving into her breakdown, and then to her fresh beginning and fame. The narrative structure is brilliant!
You seriously need to check out this book for yourselves because you will believe how amazing it looks. All the mediums put together in one book (and this is me talking about the eGalley!) create such an awesome project. Adele Griffin brings to life this bohemian, can’t-help-but-love-and-hate artist literally as well as through her words. A beguiling read that I couldn’t put down!
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Meredith Barnes at Soho Press for having me on the tour! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
While I did enjoy some parts of The Summer Invitation, it felt like more of a guide book rather than a novel with an actual plot line. Most of the story consists of Franny and Valentine going shopping, eating or walking around New York with their chaperone Clover. Loads of places mentioned here – some which I’d love to visit next time I go to New York – and it felt like we as readers are just witnessing two girls as they “tour” around the city.
Franny was sweet and innocent, and I liked how we got to see the world through her point of view. However, there was an awful lot of “telling” and not “showing”. The writing was really on-the-surface, and you can’t really much past that. Valentine annoyed me till the end: she got bored of everything too fast, was too melodramatic and was pretty superficial. Also I hated how everything became about romance and sex when it concerned her character. I mean, really? and Clover was no better– she encouraged young girls to buy lingerie and have lovers and all that stuff. While it does seem to have the elements of an old film that I’d love to watch, it was sometimes too shallow for me to get in to.
The Summer Invitation, while having an interesting look at New York City and some of the classy places located within the city that I’m now DYING to go to, fell flat for me. I’m unsure whether or not this is aimed at younger readers or slightly older ones, due to the topics discussed in the book, but nonetheless, it felt childish and plain for a young adult novel....more
I seriously don’t know how I’m going to go about writing this review without giving something away. I’ll try my very best to keep it spoiler-free, but trust me, it will be difficult.
I’ve always heard of Patrick Ness’ books but I’d never gotten the chance to read one until now. Thanks to Pansing, I got my hands on a copy of More Than This because once I saw John Green’s blurb on the front cover, I was immediately intrigued. The book summary doesn’t give much away and I knew from the start that this novel was going to be different. I really loved this one. Not only does it have HOLY-BLEEPING-S***-twists, but the story was very well developed that I couldn’t put it down.
This isn’t too big a spoiler since you learn about it within the first 30 pages, but our main character’s name is Seth. The narrative is really interesting as it alternates between his present actions as well as his memories. We as readers are able to catch glimpses of his life leading up to the moment he drowns. Secrets are uncovered throughout the story and the motive for why he drowned is revealed slowly, and it’s truly mind-numbing to see how much his character has been through. I thought it would have been really cool if the book only had him as a character in it (during present action), but things definitely got interesting with the addition of two certain characters.
I mentioned previously that there are HUGE twists. And I mean HUGE. Seriously– I did not see half the things that happen in this book coming. There’s definitely a lot more to the afterlife that our main character finds himself in. At first, I was a little mad about the twist. I thought that it threw away the whole believability of the book out the window. But as the story went on, I came to understand what the book truly is and grasp (somewhat) what its underlying message is.
What I am most taken with though is Ness’ writing. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Seriously, he could have written a book about cats sitting still for hours and I would still be in love with the prose. I can see now why he’s such a talented writer and why his books get so much praise. More Than This was enthralling, as horrifying revelations and gut-wrenching truths shed some light onto this new world that our protagonist finds himself in. This is a a book that will have you on the edge of your seat, desperate to find out what happens next. Beautiful and life-changing, without a doubt, there is no book like this one.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
It feels strange to read all three books in this series within a week but nonetheless I’m thankful for it. I actually was able to remember details from each of the books all the way through and I think that made my reading experience of the Anomaly series a lot more enjoyable. Coming from an okay-ish start with Anomaly to much more appreciation and improvement in Luminary, I find myself here: Revolutionary, the final book of the trilogy. This series has only gotten better and better as it went on, so I’m glad to say that I really enjoyed this novel. A lot more is revealed and the plot was fantastic, many more twists, even though some were easy to guess. The stakes are definitely a lot higher.
The book picks up where the last one left off. I like how we got to see more of Alex, giving him a fair share of “screen-time” so we could see how the romance with Thalli and him play out. Speaking of romance, it’s increased since the last book for sure. There *might* even be some kissing as well (hehe). Regarding the love triangle, there is a clear answer by the end with whom she chooses and since I was all for either Alex or Berk, I didn’t mind. The ending of the book answers and leaves everything at a good close, truly a perfect end with it’s bumps and sad moments.
When it comes down to it, you can really see that this is a battle between science and religion. I’m not saying one is more right than the other – I see both versions, partially from my religious view and what I’ve been taught in school. It’s interesting to see how the characters take this on, how much they’ve changed (particularly Rhen) from the beginning of the series and how they’ve accepted God (aka the Designer) and look to him for answers. I was pretty happy that this book wasn’t as preachy as the first and somewhat the second. It had the right amount – for me at least – and didn’t hinder my reading of the book.
An action-packed conclusion to the series, Revolutionary is the pinnacle of what readers have been waiting for with this series. I’m sad to say goodbye to a series that I’ve only just started, but it’s great to see a different dystopian and learn more about the Christian faith. Krista McGee has caught my eye and I’ll be sure to look out for books by her in the future....more
I haven’t read much about the USA during this time period, so this was a really interesting and different read for me. It felt like reading one of those timeless classics, such as the Little House books, especially the descriptions of helping out at home and on the farm. I really liked how the author really explored roles and professions at the time, as well as the general public’s view and relations with the Native Americans. While the book was slightly slow paced, it was a unique concept and was a well-thought out story.
I really enjoyed Violet’s character, although some of her decisions I didn’t really know what to make of. I guess being in such situations might make me react differently but she acted quite childishly at some parts, which put me a little bit off. I really enjoyed Miss Nadia’s character though– one really sensible adult compared to the hysterical aunt and Mrs. Dell. Mrs. Agosa I felt kind of so-so about Mercy’s character, but she was an enjoyable edition overall.
I found it interesting how the different story lines were weaved with another. How Violet’s mother went away, how she works with Mrs. Nadia and her photography, the Native American stories and myths– all come together with the copper hand that Violet finds. While the book most of the time stays to a realistic plot, there are times when fantasy and magic come alive and create an spellbinding premise.
Copper Magic was an easy read, one that was intriguing and enchanting. Aimed for middle grade readers, Gibson’s novel will enthral children and adults alike from start to finish. Loved it and can’t wait for more!...more
I was a little worried about getting into Wicked Games because so many people didn’t enjoy it. I don’t know whether it’s my love for all things dramatic and thrilling, or the fact that a lot worse happens in Pretty Little Liars (this was blurbed really well), but I actually found myself flipping pages, anxious to know what happens. I honestly think this would actually make a really good TV series with all the crazy shit that happens throughout the novel, and that along with sex, betrayal and a psycho on the loose, it’s all the makings of an addictive series.
Okay, I’ll at least admit this – I’m not a big fan of the characters. Lilah is completely INSANE. Like, I wouldn’t go near her with a 1000-meter pole. That’s how bad she is. Sure, she’s got some actual problems, such as depression and self-harm, but does that mean that she has to go completely crazy? Her parents are probably the worst because no, they don’t try to make her better, they just kind of avoid the whole problem all together. And Carter! While I definitely liked Carter’s character much better than Lilah’s, he’s no better. He knows she has a problem, and instead of actually helping her, he avoids breaking off their relationship to protect her feelings. GAH. Frustration to the max people. Jules was okay. I mean, compared to the other two, she certainly has more redeeming qualities. However, that totally does not justify going for another girl’s boyfriend. Obviously, she can like him, but actually act on that? Yeesh. Morals have no place in this novel for sure. So therefore, in the end, my favourite character is Jeff, Carter’s best friend, who basically has the tiniest role in this novel.
Speaking of the end, totally did not see that coming. And I’m not just talking about the epilogue either. All the action that happens totally reminds me of something that happens on the TV show Revenge (which is why this book would be a good TV show...) and it’s seriously thrilling. And the epilogue! Holy crap the author knows how to set up what’s hopefully in the next book. I mean, the last few lines sent a figurative chill down my spine and it’s really haunting. I love books that leave you with a shocking and suspenseful end, don’t you?
While I didn’t like the characters, Wicked Games still had an engaging plot that comes to a horrifying end. Jaws will drop, eyes will pop, hearts will thud. There are no happy endings in Sean Olin’s latest novel, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next book in this series....more
Before starting this one, I’d heard so much about The Pull of Gravity, Gae Polisner’s first book. Wayyyyy back in 2011, I had the chance to interview Polisner for the blog. It still astonishes me that I still haven’t gotten the chance to read her debut, but when I got the chance to review her sophomore novel, I jumped at the chance. I loved The Summer of Letting Go! It was so beautiful. It could have gotten stuck with so many clichés but luckily, this escaped and truly stands out from several other YA contemporary novels that revolve around the same subject. The writing is absolutely gorgeous as well, I mean take a look at the first line:
❝It’s not even noon in not even July, yet already the sun bakes down hot and steady, making the air waffle like an oily mirage.❞ –p. 3 (eGalley*) *text is subject to change in the final version
The language she uses is amazing and I’m so glad the rest of the book only got better from there.
I really loved Frankie's (aka Beans) character. The Summer of Letting Go is truly a story about growing up and coming to terms with the past, as well as to let go of the ghosts that are holding you back. Exploring this topic through her eyes made things a lot easier to empathise with, and the emotions came through very clearly, not just from Frankie but from the people around her as well. Frankie Sky was adorable. I fell in love with this small child who has so much character, and I loved how Polisner was able to capture his speech in the book– it really made it much more clearer with imagining his character.
A lot, and I mean A LOT, happens throughout this book. Glad that there was something from the past, something hidden, something revealed, something unresolved that is later resolved and something to look forward to come! I liked how it wasn’t a whole load that the author dumps onto the reader but it’s a slow spindling of a web that connects intricately as the story goes on. Speaking of the past, so much of mine came back to me when I was reading this book. For some reason, “My Sharona” by The Knack was stuck in my head the entire time because it was mentioned once during the book. Even the Frog and Toad books brought back so many childhood memories. I enjoyed having such a connection with the book, because now I’m starting to feel slightly nostalgic...
The Summer of Letting Go was a stunning novel that perfectly captures the pain and heartache of loss and the joy of letting in someone new into one’s life. Wonderfully written by the very talented Gae Polisner, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more books from her!...more
I Kill the Mockingbird caught my interest with the title. I read To Kill a Mockingbird four or five summers ago, and it’s a fantastic book, one that I desperately want to re-read upon finishing this one. Even though the main characters in this book – Lucy, Elena and Michael – are younger than I am (not too young though), I could still remember what it was like to get summer reading lists from English teachers, and how excited I would be compared to some of my classmates to finally catch up with some amazing books during the holidays.
Normally I would find it a little difficult to read books with younger protagonists without making them seem way younger than they actually are. However, this was totally the exception. I felt that the language used was quite middle school but the characters I pictured were not too far off of my age. I liked Lucy’s story, but I felt that we didn’t get to learn a lot about the characters in depth. That’s sometimes the problem with short books: we get plot but not much character development. As this is aimed for a younger age group, of course this is more appropriate but I felt that if it had been more flushed out, there could be more interesting things to learn about our heroine and her two best friends. I will admit– out of curiosity I checked out the website (of course it was directed to the authors site) because it would actually be so cool to have this in real life. More appreciation for the classics please! I’m sure now I’m going to be diving into some of the ones I have left unread on my shelf...
I Kill the Mockingbird is the perfect read for a Harper Lee fanatic, lover of classics or a curious middle grade or young adult reader. Cute, warm and heartfelt, Acampora’s novel is one readers of all ages will enjoy from start to finish....more
**WARNING: Do NOT read this if you haven’t read The Selection or The Elite. Some spoilers (and fangirling) ahead.**
Guys– I think my heart just broke in to a million pieces. What? The series ended horribly, you ask? Nope. It was perfect.
My heart has just broken into a million pieces because one of my series has come to a close.
I’ve been wanting to read The One for a very, VERY long time now. Roughly a year-long wait, which I know is not that long compared to some other people, but it’s killed me since I started The Selection, because the suspense could not be held out fore me any longer. The day my exams ended, I headed to the bookstore and bought this book. Initially they were out of stock, but then, this amazing girl who works there found a copy and handed me this book, this absolutely heartbreaking book, to me. I got home and immediately dove into it, no hesitations, only some awe-struck ogling at the gorgeous cover. And I didn’t stop until I’d read the last page.
After that I got up, walked around in a daze, fingers shaking because I had just finished this amazing series, and I knew they would not stop until I’d written this review.
So. Here we go.
I don’t think I’ve ever internally bawled at something so hard and so much. This was like The-Fault-in-Our-FREAKING-Stars-worthy bawling. I tend not to cry for books so yeah, it’s pretty major when I say that I freaking died when I read this book. A perfect end to a perfect series.
I love how the stakes are so much higher in this book, and because of this, everything is so much more intense. America's conflict with herself, with her feelings for the two boys she loves, with the King, and with the system: Kiera Cass is truly a master story-teller because the way in which she crafts words really conveys the raw emotions of characters as well as the fantastic plot that has gone on for three books. I also liked that the world building developed much more with this book, and that the story of the rebellion comes to light and we see more of this side, compared to just the competition as it’s been with the previous two books – well, more The Selection than The Elite. Getting to know more about the Northerners, bringing along some surprising twists as well, just made this story a lot more richer.
America Singer, my favourite literary red-head. Her character is definitely more challenged in this book, as we find in the previous book that King Clarkson isn’t all that he seems to be. I love her determination and fierce confidence that she approaches everything with. I think we all yell out a little cheer whenever she defies Illéa’s caste system and rules! If you’ve read my previous reviews about the series, then you’ll know who I’m rooting for. Maxon and Aspen are both amazing guys, but ultimately it’s time for America to choose her one. I don’t want to give too much away, but the ending works out well for (almost) everyone, so there’s really a definite outcome. I’m sad to see it end though– this is one of the best written love triangles I have ever seen in YA. It’s made it a challenge to pick one side in all of this, but of course, everything must come to an end.
I have a major hangover from this book, because now, just after I’ve finished the series, I wish that I could pick up The Selection and start all over again. The One is the crème de la crème, an absolutely flawless finale to the series that will bring tears, smiles and many, MANY swoons. While it’s painful to say goodbye to characters I’ve come to love and a world I’ve envisioned and brought to life in my mind, this bittersweet ending is everything I could have hoped for and more. Kiera Cass’ books are truly glittering gems worthy of any crown...or tiara!...more
Being a huge fan of Sarah Strohmeyer’s Smart Girls Get What They Want, I wanted, no, I NEEDED The Secrets of Lily Graves. I probably did the largest internal squeal possible when this popped up Edelweiss, and so my life was made having the chance to read this early. It sounded interesting, really mysterious and thrilling, nothing like her cutesy YA debut... but then again I found out that she’s written quite a few award-winning mystery novels so I knew this was going to be good.
I LOVED Lily. This author has yet once again made me fall in love with the main character. A strange feat since lately I’ve been finding myself on the fence about the protagonist or just flat-out hating him or her. Thank goodness for breaking the trend! I would have honestly done what her character does in the book – go to the police and come clean about herself. For reasons I cannot understand, most YA heroines or heroes tend to keep the important details to themselves and that ends up going VERY well *note the sarcastic tone. MATT IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE AT THE MOMENT. After a dry spell of book boys who are simply meh or not-too-bad (but not-too-great either), in comes this hunk of pure swoony-ness. I love that we see the stupid bone-head side of him as well as the version of him that hangs out with Lily, because clearly there’s so much more to his character. There were so many cute scenes between the two of them. I mean, the driving lesson? *fans self and swoons to the point of fainting*
I loved the concept. Yes, there are probably a bajillion YA murder mysteries, but books about morticians? Nope. Nothing comes close! And you can really tell, Strohmeyer has clearly done her research. I actually learned a lot from reading this, particularly on how to prep a dead body. Does this mean I’m qualified? Only time will tell... (A joke. Clearly, even though I watch some of the goriest shows out there, I will FREAK if I’m presented with a dead body.) There’s a huge twist that I did not see coming. It was the absolute last person I would suspect, literally the furthest person away from who I thought did it. At first I was so confused and a little befuddled by the revelation, and then it all pieced together and made total sense. Really a thrilling ending, one that made me catch my breath and hold it all the way till the end.
I am so excited about Sarah Strohmeyer because I’m clearly loving everything she writes. The Secrets of Lily Graves was a spine-crawling mystery with a romance (and swoon-worthy boy) to top it off. Chilling and beguiling, I would recommend that you immediately stop what you’re doing and run to your closest bookstore, because you need this book – trust me, you do. Loved it!...more
I’d heard a lot about The Queen of the Tearling before reading the book. I know Emma Watson has signed on for the movie, but as far as reviews went... several were negative. That being said, I was a little bit scared going into this book, not only because of the complaints and criticism, but also because it was a book aimed for adults, and I don’t tend to read books aimed for an older generation. However, I seriously don’t know what everyone is complaining about. I loved The Queen of the Tearling. I haven’t read a fantasy novel in a long time, so this definitely satisfied my appetite, despite it’s daunting length.
I was a little confused about the time that the novel takes place. Johansen has created a medieval sort of setting, but I’m sure it takes place in the future, as Rowling’s books are mentioned. Definitely an interesting concept, about a dystopian yet archaic society. Seriously makes it hard to peg which genre it belongs in then– kind of like a historical-fantasy-dystopian. Weird, but it works. Unfortunately, because this was an eGalley, the map doesn’t show up, but the author has clearly put a lot of thought and detail into this new world, and I think feels like the start of a new Westeros or Middle Earth. Hopefully, while this book did expand on the formation of Tearling as well as some of the other areas around it, in the rest of the trilogy, it can be developed even further.
One of the major complaints in other reviews was about Kelsea’s character. Okay, yes, I could totally see why. Sometimes, in the most inappropriate times, she would think about her appearance. I mean...really? You’ve been captured, or something serious is going on, but NOW is the best time to think about the way you look? I wish that the author didn't draw too much attention to the fact that the main character wasn’t “pretty” or “beautiful”. There was an awesome article written by the author about having a heroine that was considered ugly and what’s wrong with the way that today’s books are marketed for women. I totally agree with what she’s saying, but for pete’s sake, in your own book, stop reinstating the fact. I don’t want to read several times about how ruddy-faced Kelsea is. She’s a badass heroine who stands up for justice and garners respect from everyone around her. Sure, it would make sense if people were utterly repulsed by the way she looks, but not all of us can look like Emma Watson (which is why I’m a little perplexed by the casting choice), so seriously? LET IT BE. Stop drawing attention to her physical appearance unless it’s absolutely essential to the plot. I liked the other characters as well, particularly the guards. Mace was a great character, I enjoyed his snark and no-nonsense attitude. Pen was really sweet and even though the author mentioned something about the lack of romance the book has, I wish that something will happen between him and Kelsea. Or then there’s always the Fetch... oh well. The lack of romance clearly didn’t hinder my love for Pen, so if there is no romance in the series, I don’t think it would bother me in the end.
I know people have ranted against how it’s been compared to Game of Thrones, like that it could never compare to how great it is, but I could definitely see the similarities and because of some of these, I actually enjoyed the book even more. There’s several similarities between the two worlds, particularly with the use of swear-words and the constant mention of prostitution and explicit scenes. However, I agree with some of the rage. On the goodreads page for the series, I’ve seen that it’s been called “a female-orientated Game of Thrones”. Um, let me just say one thing that a bajillion other people have said before: The female-oriented version of Game of Thrones? It already exists because it IS Game of Thrones. Yeesh. Thought people would have known by now with the amount of awesome female characters the series has.
It was only after I’d finished reading and took a step back when I saw how much actually transpired in the book. I mean the journey to the keep, Kelsea’s rule, betrayals and assassination attempts– this book has a TON of plot. Again, I don’t know why people complain about it. The pace might be a little slow, but you can’t complain about the lack of plot. Think about what happens and then complain if you must. Don’t put down a story because you think nothing happens when a lot actually does. I’m really looking forward to the next book now because I’ve got so many questions and I’m sure there’s a lot more things about to go down.
Spellbinding and gripping, The Queen of the Tearling is the start of a remarkable trilogy. With magic, a judicious queen, and a fierce growing enemy, I can’t wait to continue reading Johansen’s work. I’m undoubtedly all in for this series and am eagerly anticipating more....more
I think I’ve fallen into a reading pattern: hilarious books with tragic endings. I mean, first I read All the Bright Places, and now Anatomy of a Misfit? I think I’ve seriously lost all hope for happiness and joy. Nonetheless, Andrea Portes’s young adult debut is snarky, real, and utterly fascinating. While I did have *some* problems with the book, overall it was an entertaining read and I found myself gripped from start to end. I knew I had to get my hands on this one from the moment I saw the title. Never mind the cutesy cover– that TITLE got my attention. We all at some point feel like we don’t fit in, or don’t belong with the people we surround ourselves with. Heck, I’ve had to deal with it for a majority of my life travelling from country to country. And reading a book from the point of view of a character who is a loner, geek, fill-in-another-word-for-someone-who-isn’t-popular, but hearing a story from the point of view from a popular girl who doesn’t feel comfortable being in that position of, well, popularity? DING! DING! DING! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
The fact that this character feels so out of place is what made this book so...intriguing. I had this image of a girl who was the complete OPPOSITE of who the main character is (blonde, probably wears more-than-the-usual clothes to school– you know the type), but it was two ideas that constantly clashed and now I’m completely muddled when it comes to conjuring up an image of Anika. BUT, I love this. Not being able to pin down a character to a certain category is a rare thing, especially in YA, and so finally we have a protagonist who’s a little different from the rest. The narrative voice in Anatomy of a Misfit is amazing. Not only is our main character Anika absolutely hilarious but Portes actually tackles quite heavy topics through her voice. Of course our protagonist isn’t going to be perfect and does have her share of flaws, but seriously: character development is a strong point in this book and it’s a relief to see Anika learn and grow throughout the story.
Speaking of heavy topics, several parts of the story contains quite controversial matters. There’s quite a lot of racism (not from the Anika’s character thankfully) and the mention of the n-word, as well as quite a lot of explicit language, as well as a character with a troubling background. See what I mean about heavy? On one hand, it’s quite overwhelming, but I’m really glad the author talked about some of these topics instead of focusing completely on the romance (which I’ll get to in a bit). I mean, larger context always helps to build the atmosphere and setting, and unlike most YA books where people who don’t live in that part of the world have no idea what the people are like get an idea of the society and beliefs of the area. From this we can totally see how different Anika is, and how she truly is a misfit not only at school but also with her family and amongst the people in her town.
Now, the romance. The back of the book seems to make this seem that this is only about boys, and the super hard choice of picking between Logan and Jared, but this book was so much more. I seriously wish that the blurb at the back of the book was less boy-heavy and more about Anika. YES, the shifting point of the book is when Anika starts to feel something for Logan, but I mean, there’s so much more to a girl than the guy she falls for, isn’t there? So much more happens, and while a lot of the main action and build-up does surround Anika’s relationship with boys, her character development seems to be a lot more of a central point than the romance. Neither of the boys are featured much throughout the book, or at least that’s what I felt when reading this one, and so I just thought that the blurb was just a tad bit inaccurate. That end though... just be prepared for tears.
Stunning and heart-pounding, Anatomy of a Misfit is a story of love and finding yourself, as well the pain and tragedy that isn’t clear on the surface and that we are ignorant to. Portes’s words cut and heal with every step of the way, creating both a blunt and beautiful work that will have you laughing first, then hiccuping tears the next. Definitely not one to miss.
▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Alice at HarperCollins 360 for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪...more
I loved Find Me, so when I found out there was going to be a sequel (or two) I nearly screamed with joy. The first book in this series was fast-paced and super creepy, and I was totally looking forward to more with the second instalment. Remember Me was fantastic; it lived up to my expectations and soared even further. Never mind that I read the first book around a year ago– the details are still so clear in my head, and let me tell you: that never happens. I’m a sucker for shocks and twists in a story, and this series definitely has them.
This novel introduces something that’s usually a turn-off when done wrong: a love triangle. Honestly, they don’t bother me if it’s excellently executed but sometimes it just works. Luckily, in this case, it was so good. Like honestly, I love Griff, but holy moly there’s something about a smokin’ hot bad boy. I was so torn between Griff and Milo, and I know there’s going to be a whole show-down in the final book, so I’m ecstatic to see who she’ll actually end up. I liked how the events of Find Me has changed the family dynamic. I won’t say too much because that would kinda give away what’s happened in the first book, but it’s really interesting to see how it’s changed Wicket and Lily.
Like with the first book, I did not see the ending coming. I had no idea it would be the person it turned out to be, but wowie. Definitely a huge-ass twist that will knock your socks off. A lot more spy-like action happens in this book which is also really cool, but generally the different events that occur all come together and creates one mind-blowing conclusion that had my mouth wide open in disbelief.
I found myself reading Remember Me non-stop– it’s a gripping sequel that lives up to it’s predecessor and I’m desperate to get my hands on the next in series. Romily Bernard weaves together a thrilling story that only gets better with every word. I can’t wait for Trust Me!...more
To be honest when I first saw the cover I thought this was going to be a paranormal. Probably something along the lines of a girl who can’t touch people because things will happen to them– kind of a Shatter Me-esque vibe. However, when I finally read the premise, I realised that no, it was actually a contemporary and sounded a lot more like Kissing Doorknobs (a book I haven’t read yet but is also about a severe anxiety disorder). I enjoyed Don’t Touch immensely. I’m a theatre geek, love Hamlet and the amazing combination of a serious issue with more than a few instances that were absolutely hilarious, I was completely taken by this book.
While I didn’t exactly get why on earth Caddie wouldn’t let anyone touch her on a rational level, obviously that attributes to the fact that I don’t have any experience whatsoever with anxiety disorder nor do I know anyone with it. It was really an interesting experience to read about though. Especially since Caddie’s character is really passionate about theatre, the lack of physical contact she has with anyone is astounding and becomes quite the focal point for the story. Of course, I fell in love with Peter. How could I not? While I was kind of feeling iffy about Mandy’s character and commitment to friendship with Caddie, Peter was a constant figure throughout Caddie’s struggle despite him not knowing what’s going on. I loved the chemistry they both had, on and off stage, and it’s quite the roller coaster of emotions that this relationship goes through for sure.
I liked how Hamlet was interweaved into the novel. How much the characters reflect the character’s they play in the book (haha! A play within a book... interesting parallel, no?). How much Ophelia there is in Caddie and how much both characters reflect one another is a fascinating aspect you see developing in the book. The intertextuality, from the Acts to the constant repetition of lines from Hamlet to the image of Ophelia falling– beautifully done.
Don’t Touch was gorgeously enthralling. The horrifying reality of how one girl’s problems threaten to take over her life was a wake-up call, and in the end left me feeling numb and struck by how out of control a disorder can become. A powerful debut, Wilson is an author to look out for....more
When I first started Feral, I was so taken with the writing. Schindler’s descriptions, though horrifying, were absolutely beautiful. I was completely enraptured by the book from start to finish. I enjoyed how dark and twisted it was, and the end completely caught me by surprise. I really enjoy books that catch you in the moments right before the person responsible is revealed, so this book had the right amount of shock and suspense, as well as great execution and delivery of story and motive.
I liked Claire’s character– I found it interesting how amidst this larger event (Serena’s death) she has her own personal struggle which definitely plays into the climax of the story. I liked how the two events intertwine and there’s a constant creepy atmosphere whenever it does. Claire is definitely a lot braver than I am or will ever be, and I totally respect that bravado in a character. Her determination to get to the bottom of what actually happened is what really kept me going through the book! Plus, it’s a bonus that a very cute guy called Rich appears throughout the novel.
Like I mentioned before, everything falls into place moments before Claire figures out the whole mystery. Seriously, I think my heart stopped beating for a while. I love shocks and twists, and holy hells, this is a good one. While some reviews complain that everything falls too easily into place, um, NO. I totally did not see this coming and I think the reasons behind certain things are absolutely justifiable and make sense. Very Slaughterhouse-Five, I must say.
Feral was flawless, intriguing and deliciously deadly– I’m completely head over heels in love with this book. Schindler truly is a master of her craft and the sheer power her words carry have left a lasting impression on me. More please!...more