A Kiss in the Dark was raw and frank and I was gripped from the very beginning.
I have been staring at a blank page and blinking cursor for ages now, a...moreA Kiss in the Dark was raw and frank and I was gripped from the very beginning.
I have been staring at a blank page and blinking cursor for ages now, and still cannot think how on earth to write this review to both do the book justice and convey just how amazing it is.
Alex and Kate are two teens who meet and form an instant bond. Straight away they fall deeper into their feelings for each other and can barely stand to be apart. But one of them is keeping a secret and the other has no idea.
Told firstly from Alex’s POV and then Kate’s, we get an incredible insight into both of these characters. A secret, a lie and an impossible situation. Cat Clarke has an amazing talent of showing us gritty story lines in unflinching honesty and I admire her bravery and this book shines because of it. It was rich and vibrant with Edinburgh as the backdrop to the story and the characters simply leapt off the page is startling clarity and Technicolor.
Once I started this book I could barely put it down and the deeper into the story I got, the more it held me until the end. It is real and I can’t stop thinking about it.(less)
Unbreakable was fast-paced and action packed, emotional with a bitter sweet romance.
Kennedy’s whole world changes when her mother dies, apparently of...moreUnbreakable was fast-paced and action packed, emotional with a bitter sweet romance.
Kennedy’s whole world changes when her mother dies, apparently of natural causes. She has to leave her childhood home and start again, many miles away. But before she can, two teenage boys burst into her bedroom in the middle of the night and save her from a homicidal ghost.
Jared and Lukas Lockhart are used to the paranormal and things that go bump in the night. The belong to the Legion, a group of five individuals charged with the task of saving humanity from demonic attacks and prevented one specifically from causing more havoc than he already has. And Kennedy’s mother was part of the Legion and so her responsibility falls to her daughter.
Kennedy is thrown headfirst into a world of demons and poltergeists, trapped spirits and vengeful ones. As much as she would love to bury her head in the sand and pretend it has nothing to do with her, the other four Legion members need her and she can’t turn away from that.
Overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted, Kennedy feels as though she will never where she fits within the Legion. Each has a speciality but she has no idea what hers is. And then there is the twins, Jared and Lukas. Lukas is the one who sets her at ease, whose touch comforts her. Jared sets her body on edge and wakes her up so completely.
Unbreakable was a pretty good read. It has been heavily compared to Supernatural and Buffy and I did find it distracting while I was reading it as I noticed the similarities. I am a massive fan of both shows but felt maybe the book should have been more its own thing. I did like the characters, but found it was Priest, one of the younger members of the Legion who I was most fond of.
The story line itself was gripping and a great premise. Really, the only negative thing I could say was the romance let itself down a little. I love teen angst and ‘it can never work’ love stories as much as the next person, but there was too much back and forth in a very short space of time for it to be appealing.
All in all a welcome addition to the genre, and I will be looking out for the next in the series.(less)
Natalie and Brooke are best friends, and have been forever. As different as chalk and cheese but lifelong partners in crime. Though, normally it would...moreNatalie and Brooke are best friends, and have been forever. As different as chalk and cheese but lifelong partners in crime. Though, normally it would be Brooke doing the crime and Natalie cleaning the mess. Natalie is the quiet one, Brooke the party animal. But everything changes when Natalie finally caves and goes to a party with Brooke. Unfortunately, Natalie can't remember much the next morning but Brooke’s boyfriend, Aiden, never will.
The pair’s friendship is thrown out of sync as both girls struggle with the consequences and repercussions of the party.
Anything to Have You is told from both perspectives of Natalie and Brooke. It was well written and very enjoyable, but I wish Brooke’s character was just a little more developed. Her chapters were short and blunt and I couldn’t help but wish for a little more from her. I loved Natalie. I thoroughly enjoyed her journey throughout the book and sympathise with her over the decisions she has to make.
It is an impossible situation with very sensitive scenarios but I thought they were handled perfectly. I have great respect for authors brave enough to tell it like it is, and this is exactly what Paige Harbison has done. Anything to Have You was a raw and honest account of typical teenagers. A wonderful read that passed in a blur of frenzied reading to find out what happens next. (less)
Amy has cerebral palsy but like that is going to stop her from living her life exactly the way she wants to. Her parents, however, have other ideas. A...moreAmy has cerebral palsy but like that is going to stop her from living her life exactly the way she wants to. Her parents, however, have other ideas. Amy has always attended school normally, though with an adult aide that never leaves her side. But now Amy is a senior and she is tired of having no friends, so she enlists her mother to hire students to help her between classes and at lunch, whatever she needs. She has no disillusions that technically she is paying people to be her friends, but what she really wants is the chance to show people what lies beneath her obvious disability, and the roaring person behind it.
Matthew does not want to be Amy’s aide. Everyday he is crippled by a fear he can’t name and driven to distraction by obsessive thoughts and rituals without throwing responsibility for Amy into the mix. Too bad for him Amy doesn’t take no lightly.
Amy & Matthew is one of the best books I have ever read. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but I was blown away by the words between the covers. Amy and Matthew are two of the most vibrant characters I have ever encountered and I devoured their story as though it was the last slice of chocolate cake and tomorrow’s diet begins.
The plot itself is cleverly written with a story arc I did not see coming. It was handled beautifully, as was both characters and their impairments.
Whilst I liked Amy and I really loved her appetite for life and her dry humour and thought she was incredibly inspiring, my heart just went out to Matthew. I thought for sure it would be Amy I really rooted for, but there was something more vulnerable in the limitations Matthew faced everyday that just about broke me,
The relationship between the two teens was beautiful to read and it was fascinating to witness their journey, not only with each other, but in their lives. I laughed out loud, sat on the edge of my seat and prayed for a happy outcome.
Amy & Matthew is the kind of book that you feel bereft upon finishing it. You hug it to your chest, let out the long held breath and try and imprint every word in your brain. Everyone should read this book at least once in their lifetime. It feeds your soul better than food ever could. (less)
After the death of her mother, Friday flees her family home to get away from her grandfather, the memories and hopefully, the curse that says she will...moreAfter the death of her mother, Friday flees her family home to get away from her grandfather, the memories and hopefully, the curse that says she will drown. She is adopted by a boy who can’t speak, and joins his group of homeless teens. Friday is drawn in by the beautiful and enigmatic Arden who refuses to let Friday go. She finds herself doing things she would never normally do, and being sucked into a world she has no idea how to get out of.
When Arden moves the group to a ghost town in the outback, Friday must face her own ghosts and take ownership of who she is and what she’s done.
Friday Brown was an interesting read. I liked the character of Friday and how she shrugged her old life off in favour of climbing into a new one. It was slightly frightening how quickly things can turn. It was a raw book, and made me think a lot about identity and who we are and the things that shape us.
This is a book that will stay in your thoughts for a very long time.(less)
When Decker dragged his best friend Delaney out of the frozen lake he made a deal. Anyone but her. Everyone but her. She came back to him. But it seem...moreWhen Decker dragged his best friend Delaney out of the frozen lake he made a deal. Anyone but her. Everyone but her. She came back to him. But it seems someone wants to hold Decker to his word.
But when she came back, Delaney wasn’t the same girl. She touched death and now she can sense when anyone else is close. She knew it would claim their friend Carson, and everyone blamed her for his death. Everyone but Decker, who knew the truth.
Decker believes the utmost best in Delaney until he sees a body in his kitchen, lying in a pool of water. In her eyes he sees the truth - that she knew this would happen, yet she said nothing.
Vengeance was a taut psychological thriller that was fast-paced and unputdownable. It was a joy to revist Decker and Delaney, this time from Decker’s perspective. There are chilling moments in the book, as though the curse everyone believes exists about the lake can seep off the page and enter your bones.
At times this book was heartbreaking and I felt for a lot of the characters. A romantic thriller with paranormal elements make this a must read.(less)
Cath and Wren are identical twins and all their life they have done everything together. They went to the same parties, had the same friends, had the...moreCath and Wren are identical twins and all their life they have done everything together. They went to the same parties, had the same friends, had the same interests. But now they are starting college and Wren craves individuality. Cath is the more reserved of the two, and doesn’t like new situations. Wren throws herself into college life, makes instant friends with her new roommate and loves the nightlife. And all Cath wants to do is bury herself in the fan fiction she writes and pretend the outside world doesn’t exist.
Cath’s comfort zone is totally ripped from her. Her sister is non-existent, the fiction-writing professor she idolised came down hard on her fan fiction and she can’t stop worrying about her dad. Everything feels like a battle, and all Cath wants to do is wave the white flag and admit defeat. But those around her won’t let her give in so easily.
I absolutely adored Fangirl. It was one of those books that you just sink into like a piece of mouth watering chocolate cake. Cath is a great protagonist and very true to what she believes in, though she can be stubborn to a fault.
One of the most interesting things I found about Fangirl was the relationships around Cath. There are a lot of different types and not all of them perfect or even good, and how unaware she is that they are there.
Levi and Reagan have to be my two all time favourite characters of this book. Reagan is my kinda gal, straight talking and unapologetic for who she is. And really, who couldn’t adore Levi with his floppy hair and charm?
This book is a little on the tame side, considering it is set in college but it hits some serious notes. I loved the interactions between Cath and her dad and the dynamic of the twindom.
All in all, you’d be crazy to pass this book by. Read it and love it. And pray for a sequel. #NEEDMORELEVI(less)
Stella Hamilton is the star of Temperley High School. Literally. She is the leader of an elite group of Stars who rule the school and set the standard...moreStella Hamilton is the star of Temperley High School. Literally. She is the leader of an elite group of Stars who rule the school and set the standard for all other girls and is in the final stage of her campaign of supreme reign: love with her male counterpart and win position of Head Girl.
Caitlin Clarke is the new girl at Temperley and has a lived a quiet life compared to Stella. After her parents separation, she travelled with her father from New York to England to attend school and had to say goodbye to the little brother she adores. Caitlin quickly learns that those in charge at Temperley aren’t necessarily the teachers and the most important rules are the ones no one tells you about.
When Stella takes Caitlin under wing, Caitlin blossoms. She sees what life is like on the beautiful side and she doesn’t ever want to go back. Life in the popular circle isn’t always sunshine and happiness. Some aren’t happy to be under Stella’s rule but going against the system means doing things like Stella would. And if you fall, it’s a long way to the bottom.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of the rare books that has me switching allegiances gradually throughout. It is fraught with the perils of teenage politics and drips elegance of wealth and luxury. At times the story did go that stretch too far to be believable, but it’s largeness only made it more fascinating.
As the story progressed each girl grips furiously to what she has claimed at the school and neither will admit defeat, and even becomes a little unhinged in their mental state. There has been a lot of comparison with the Cecily von Ziegesar books, Mean Girls and Great Expectations and I can see why, but also, Stella stands up pretty well all on its own.
Read it and be glad you never went to this school. (less)
Eden is pretty sure new boy Ryan is the best looking boy she has ever met. But so does half her school, so colour her surprise when it is Eden herself...moreEden is pretty sure new boy Ryan is the best looking boy she has ever met. But so does half her school, so colour her surprise when it is Eden herself that Ryan befriends. The more she gets to know him, Eden can’t help but notice little quirks about Ryan. Like the fact that he doesn’t know what pizza is, or hasn’t ever heard of Hitler.
Eden is already starting to fall in love with Ryan when she discovers his startling secret. He is from the future, and he needs her help to save it.
After Eden was a good read, very well written and original. I didn’t get lost in the time travel aspect like it is so very easy to do. Eden and Ryan’s romance was light and it didn’t detract from the big picture of saving the future.
A lot of this book took me by surprise. I was expecting one thing and got something totally different. There is a race against time (excuse the pun) element to After Eden, and the closer we get to the end the more I was hanging off my seat.
This was a refreshing read, and probably better recommended for younger teens.(less)
Cassie Hobbes can tell you what you will do before you do. She can tell what kind of person you are, how you will react and how you will behave. But s...moreCassie Hobbes can tell you what you will do before you do. She can tell what kind of person you are, how you will react and how you will behave. But she can’t tell you what happened to her mother.
Cassie is recruited by the FBI, identified as a ‘Natural’, one of few who are uniquely gifted in human behaviour, emotional reading, lying or statistics. Cassie is a natural born profiler, and the FBI want her to join it’s team of teenage naturals to solve cold cases and to hone her talents. For Cassie, it is a rare opportunity to perhaps work on the inside and find out what exactly happened to her mother that night in the dressing room that Cassie found drenched in blood.
Pretty soon Cassie is living with four strangers. People who can answer her questions before she’s even asked it, read her feelings off her face, call her out on lies and tell the exact probability of certain situations. Life isn’t easy and Cassie has to figure out the two boys and her feelings for them, all while a serial killer has locked their gaze on Cassie. Pretty soon the case the Naturals focus on aren’t so cold...but active.
Okay, first of all, let me just say that I LOVED The Naturals. I’m a huge fan of movies like The Silence of the Lambs and TV shows like Criminal Minds. This was like an amazing mash up of the two and maybe The. O.C. Boy drama, girl drama, and serial killers.
It was expertly written and very clever. I didn’t get lost in the information or the details, but sunk fully into the story as though it was happening all around me. Dean was probably my favourite character...and more than likely will be for a lot of people. After all, we’re all suckers for the dark, brooding type, aren’t we?
I seriously couldn’t put this book down and very much hope there will be another one to follow on. (less)
After the events of Iron Prince, Ethan Chase is dealing with the fallout of going missing for a week. His parents worried sick, he is banned from ever...moreAfter the events of Iron Prince, Ethan Chase is dealing with the fallout of going missing for a week. His parents worried sick, he is banned from ever seeing his girlfriend, Kenzie, ever again, and Kenzie herself is dealing with poor health after the adventures. All Ethan wants is to get back to normal. To date Kenzie and forget all about the fey.
But unfortunately for Ethan, his sister is queen of the Iron fey, and desperately needs his help. His nephew, Keirran, has gone missing and no one has any idea where he is. Except Ethan. He knows his nephew would do anything to save the fate of the summer faery he loves with all his heart...even potentially fracture the gap between the human and faery worlds.
Once again Kenzie and Ethan are thrown into the tumultuous world of faeries - of bargains and betrayals, hidden agendas and life-threatening decisions. When Keirran and Ethan’s fates are entwined, it is up to Ethan to pull Keirran from the darkness he is falling into...and hopefully save them all in the process.
Iron Traitor felt a lot darker than its predecessor. I’m really enjoying Ethan’s spinoff series, and he is a fascinating character. And while Megan’s books are wildly different from Ethan’s, they are very similar in the natures. Both would do anything to save the people they care about, both feel the weight of duty and expectation on their shoulders. Ethan is way more upfront in his feelings and has no issue in telling it like it is. He’s a tortured yet refreshing character and though he probably wouldn’t say the same about himself, is about as loyal and dependent as they come.
The story was a roller-coaster ride of adventure and danger and intrigue. I quite simply couldn’t put it down, and happily let myself be pulled into the Nevernever to catch up with friends - old and new. I do really like that we see glimpses of past characters (though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see more of Ash...) but am very much liking the new set of characters. Keirran and Ethan are the two alpha males and together create a storm of testosterone.
There was never a spot I felt like I wanted to put the book down. After each chapter I had to know what happened next and gobbled up this book like a giant fat-free chocolate cake. The way Ethan struggles with trying to keep a normal life when the fey keep throwing themselves into it really made me feel for him. In a way, Megan threw herself whole-heartedly into her heritage but Ethan still craves to be ‘normal’.
I simply cannot wait for the next part of Ethan’s story, and the wait is sure to be excruciating. (less)
Faction-based society is over. A dictator stands in charge but an uprising is brewing. When Tris and her friends are offered a chance to escape, to go...moreFaction-based society is over. A dictator stands in charge but an uprising is brewing. When Tris and her friends are offered a chance to escape, to go beyond the fence and see the outside world, she is ready to accept.
They were told the outside world was in danger and they needed the Divergent to survive. But this proves to be just one more lie to influence decisions. The reality is far graver than Tris or Tobias could ever have imagined. All of them will have to face the bottom of human natures, and closely examine themselves. They must decide which is a lesser evil and if betrayal can ever truly be forgiven.
There has been a lot of hype over Allegiant and I can honestly say this book did not disappoint me in the slightest. We have alternating view points from Tris and Tobias, and both are equally enjoyable to be shown the story through.
It has been a pleasure to watch Tris grow during this trilogy. She has turned into a strong, resourceful and independent young woman. She is brave and truthful and loyal to the select few she lets in. By getting his POV, we learn a lot more about the inner workings of the stoic and mysterious ‘Four’. I have been a major fan (okay, embarrassingly eager) of his since the beginning and it was brilliant to get inside his head. Tobias takes a lot on himself and I think the hardest person he finds to forgive, or give a break to, is himself. He has leadership qualities and he feels responsible for everyone around him.
Tobias and Tris clash quite often, especially in this installment. Both are stubborn and headstrong which more often than not is a recipe for disaster. But together these hard, broken people come together into something beautiful and unyielding.
We get quite a lot of new information in Allegiant. It has less action that the previous two books and it comes across quite political at a few points. Tris and her friends are essentially in the middle of civil war that is pulling the world as she knows it apart. So while there is a lot of details, it didn’t feel like an information dump. My mind whirled with every page as I tried to keep up with the characters and figure out what move they could possibly make next.
In a lot of ways, I feel so proud of the characters in this series. The road hasn’t been easy and a lot of mistakes have been made. But each of them have been shaped by the events, by their decisions, and mostly by each other.
You could describe this series as a dystopian novel about a flawed government with a tender romance. And it is, but it is also a story about love and courage and bravery and betrayal and forgiveness and good versus evil. This series has a huge beating heart at its centre and I will truthfully mourn that it is over.
I adored this series, and I adored this book. It always feels like the end of something special when a treasured series comes to an end and it is no different in this case. I will miss these characters and while I can always re-read it, you can only read a book for the first time once.
Sam and Imogen couldn’t be more different. Sam is the new boy at school, an outsider and loner. Imogen is the perfect girl - popular, good at sports a...moreSam and Imogen couldn’t be more different. Sam is the new boy at school, an outsider and loner. Imogen is the perfect girl - popular, good at sports and school, cute boyfriend. For reasons she can’t explain, Imogen has always been drawn to Sam. So when he seeks her out one night to tell her something important, she can’t ignore him.
Sam never gets the chance to talk to Imogen and she ends up saving his life...and landing herself in a world of trouble. Suddenly nowhere is safe for Sam or Imogen and the only ones they can trust is each other.
I thought Saving Silence was a really interesting, gripping book. Imogen and Sam’s voices are both compelling and drive the book forward. I found my mind racing, trying to stay ahead of the plot and failing miserably to guess what would happen next.
This book is full of intrigue, doubt, betrayal and survival. A very welcome addition to the YA crime genre.(less)
Celaena Sardothien is, at first glance, a beautiful eighteen-year-old with a face to die for. Only those on the other end of her sword know she is the...moreCelaena Sardothien is, at first glance, a beautiful eighteen-year-old with a face to die for. Only those on the other end of her sword know she is the last face they see before they die. Celaena won the King’s competition and became his champion. Though she is free from the slave mines of Endovier, she has not won her freedom. Celaena is now bound to the one man she detests above all other and is forced to do his bidding.
There is a fight on her hands that Celaena never bargained for. There are people she must free and who depend on her, but going against the King means certain death for all she cares about...and the King knows the one who would hurt her the most.
Celaena is one the best characters I have ever read. Witty, sharp-tongued, bold, fearless, compassionate, loving. She is awash of contradictions. She is one of the most terrifying citizens her world has ever known with a pure heart.
Secrets are reveled and buried in this amazing sequel to what I believe is the best fantasy book I have ever read. There isn’t too much that can be said without spoiling loads of amazing surprises this book has in store for its readers but I will say this - it has romance, adventure, bravery, cunning, fear, blood, magic. It really has it all. It will make your heart race as you sit on the edge of your seat, all at once needing to know what happens next and terrified what might.
Esteya is fifteen when her world begins to change. A revolution is on the brink of her country, her brother a prominent figure in the Revolutionary Co...moreEsteya is fifteen when her world begins to change. A revolution is on the brink of her country, her brother a prominent figure in the Revolutionary Communist Party and able to shelter her family. And it is one hot afternoon when watching a legendary pello player get thrashed by a young boy that she meets Skizi, an outcast girl who catches her eye.
Before long, Esteya is making excuses to slip away and find Skizi and the two girls find themselves falling in love. But with war rumbling closer no one, not even Esteya and her family are safe. And when her family is captured and Skizi missing, Esteya must find a way to escape and to survive.
Love in Revolution was an astounding book. Not too be taken lightly, it hits on some very important themes. I felt though that with a little more development the romance could have really leapt off the page.
This book felt reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank and will touch a lot of people. (less)