Reading this book is like falling down the rabbit hole- that sort of feeling that while you're lost in the world of this book ANYTHING can happen. And...moreReading this book is like falling down the rabbit hole- that sort of feeling that while you're lost in the world of this book ANYTHING can happen. And with talking dogs, time loops, peculiar children with special powers, and bedtime stories that come true, anything really can happen.
I love these books. Hollow Children is exciting, sweet, thrilling and mystical, and great fun as well.
It's so different from other books because you know that the strange and intriguing photographs scattered throughout the pages not only illustrate a concept in the story, but are also genuine interesting old photographs that the author has collected and is generating a story around them. It is a very unique and interesting way to read a book.
In Hollow Children we are off of the island of Cairnholm, and see a wider picture of the different loops and different groups. I love that there is travel involved in this book, making it different from the closed setting of the first book, and it feels like a real old-fashioned adventure. The children are on the run, and could be found or captured at any time- so there is also a real feeling of menace at times running through the book.
With Miss Peregrine stuck in bird form, Wights and Hollows chasing them at every turn and following sparse clues and gut feeling, their adventure really is moment to moment, and feels like a dramatic race against the clock. Whether stranded at sea, captured by gypsies, losing their money, or escaping the bombs falling in wartime London, each new experience is a trial to be got through, while figuring out what to do next.
Because Jacob has gone back into the past with the setting of 1940s England, you get a real feeling of nostalgia, and it helps that Riggs writing is very atmospheric. He really brings the book to life, and at times you can almost imagine it as a screenplay. It feels very vivid and easy to picture (even without the addition of the photographs!).
The group of characters really complement each other nicely- their personalities and unique powers all come in useful at different points in the story, so that everyone in the whole collective is as important as the other. Different skills are needed in different situations. And their banter and quirkiness makes for a very fun read as well. They really are their own little family and both very supportive and protective of each other, but also very quick to criticise and tease in the way that all brothers and sisters do. But I really enjoyed the conversation between them.
It's a sweet book and clever and thrilling at the same time. Hollow Children is of course an absolute must-read for fans of Miss Peregrine's, and as a sequel it doesn't disappoint, but is fun and engaging as the first book.
More of my reviews can be found on my blog- Always Lost in Stories
Imagine that you could undo any decision from your past just by thinking about a different course of action. You could completely change...more3.5 of 5 stars
Imagine that you could undo any decision from your past just by thinking about a different course of action. You could completely change the course of your life and of those to you, and only you would remember the old past. This is the basis of Kim Curran's debut novel Shift.
When 16 year old Scott discovers that he can "Shift", (by accidentally falling from an electricty pylon) he also finds himself at the centre of a conspiracy between secret organisations of Shifters, and in danger from those who would manipulate his power for their own ends. And of course, some of the decisions he makes have terrible unforseen consequences that affect not only Scott but his friends and family too.
I liked Scott's voice. He is not a very popular guy- a self described loser, but he in narrating the story he is honest, and quirky and very funny. He has a very sarcastic and pessimistic outlook on life, and this lends such a great edge of humour to an otherwise dark and action based story. I love it when I'm reading a book with a big smirk on face because of the comical things the characters are coming out with.
The twists and turns in the plotline from when a decision has been reversed and the story goes a different direction are surprisingly easy to follow (I thought I would get confused), but it always made sense, and added an exciting new layer to the story.
I loved the dynamic between kick-ass experienced shifter Aubrey and nerdy clueless Scott, and how they grew closer as they were forced to work together to uncover the truth. With everything changing constantly with the different shifts, and with not knowing who and which organisation could be trusted, these two characters were always steady like a rock in a storm.
This book was great fun, exhilerating, and riveting, with unexpected twists and turns. It's action packed and quirky, and I liked the characters, and the idea of teenage shifters running a secret organisation. It reminds me a little of Jumper or The Butterfly Effect. A definite must-read for sci-fi or time travel fans.
Thanks to Netgalley and Strange Chemistry for the review copy. (less)
I love this series and wanted it to keep going. I still love this series, but I feel that in this novella nothing really happened! Loose ends still ha...moreI love this series and wanted it to keep going. I still love this series, but I feel that in this novella nothing really happened! Loose ends still hanging! (less)
WOW!- That was my first thought when I finished this book. Tempest grabs you from the first line and doesn't let up. This book is fast-p...more4.5 of 5 stars
WOW!- That was my first thought when I finished this book. Tempest grabs you from the first line and doesn't let up. This book is fast-paced and action-packed, with shocking revelations and a plotline that had me racing through the pages to find out what would happen next. It is also tragically romantic (which I love), and I liked the fact that it was told from the guy's perspective, which is fairly unusual for YA fiction but definitely made it interesting and was a breath of fresh air. Jackson is in college and secretly, he has the ability to time-travel. He hasn't travelled back very far, and is still developing his fairly new abilities. One day out of the blue, two guys burst into Jackson's dorm room and in the scuffle, end up shooting his girlfriend Holly. In order to escape them Jackson jumps back in time, but something is very different this time- he has jumped back two years- further than ever before, and he can't get back to find out what happened to Holly. With his friend Adam (the only other person who knows his secret) they develop codes and experiment with Jackson's power, avoiding the creepy group who would try to snatch Jackson. In his struggle to get back to the present Jackson discovers family secrets, a government conspiracy, and also has a chance to get to know a younger, different Holly. This book totally gripped me. It had plenty of twists and surprises, but was also utterly emotional and had just the right amount of action and sappy romance. I loved the characters, and especially the relationship between Jackson and Holly, but also the tender bond between Jackson and his sister, and the funny friendship between Jackson and Adam. The flippping backwards and forwards in time is very well paced, and drops in shock revelations and new clues or moments, which kept me riveted all the way through and constantly switching guesses as to who the bad guys were. But we also see flashbacks and memories of Jackson and Holly's relationship giving them both much more depth and making them feel like a real couple. Tempest is a book that could definitely appeal to both girls and boys. It is thrilling and passionate, and uses science and DNA to create a whole new exciting theory of time travel that really works. All of it is very easy to visualise, and as Summit Entertainment have just bought the movie rights to this book, who knows, maybe we will be seeing it as a film very soon?
Thanks to Macmillan and Netgalley for the advance copy for review.(less)
All my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactl...moreAll my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactly the same!
How much do I love this series?!! It says a lot that despite my massive pile of books I still had to pick this one up as soon as it landed through the door. I just love Ren and Kishan- the two brothers, and the whole magical world that Kelsey is transported to in each book. There really is nothing similar out there- this story is totally unique, and so different.
But I especially just love how emotional the books are- I really do feel right there with Kelsey throughout all the ups and downs of her journey. I'm afraid for her, sad for her and as much torn in love as she is! She is a great heroine, I love that she is so smart and inquisitive, but brave and self-sacrificing when she needs to be too.
But I also feel for Ren and Kishan as well, and everything that they have been put through. The love and loyalty, but also brotherly rivalry between them is great. This is definitely an emotional rollercoaster of a book with ups and downs, and some shocks and surprises.
It had come to point where I honestly didn't know which brother I was rooting for- I loved them both in their own different ways, but I really feel that the way the book ended was just perfect, and I couldn't have imagined any other route for the story. Everything came together in last 100 pages, and felt very satisfying.
These four books have taken me with these characters on an epic quest to break an ancient curse, through heartbreak, kidnappings, fights with mystical creatures, battles of wits, love and tragedy. It's exciting, heroic, magical and deeply romantic- what more could you ask for from a great read?! I love it! Amazing books that I will definitely keep re-reading. (less)
I first heard about this book over a year ago, and it immediately piqued my curiosity. But actually, this book exceeded all my ex...more4.5 stars- very cool.
I first heard about this book over a year ago, and it immediately piqued my curiosity. But actually, this book exceeded all my expectations of it. The story is interspersed with genuine weird old photographs, like the picture on the front cover, which if you look closely, you can see that the little girl actually looks as if she is floating. The book is full of these really interesting and mysterious pictures. Having the visual there made what I was reading seem so much more real. Jacob has grown up listening to his grandfather's odd stories about growing up in an orphange with children with special powers, ruled over by the strict bird-like Miss Peregrine. But with his grandfather steadily getting more and more erratic and confused, Jacob starts to wonder what is real and what was just a fantastic story. When his grandfather dies suddenly in bizarre circumstances Jacob decides that he needs to travel to the orphanage where he his grandfather grew up, and try to find out the truth behind the stories. Most of the book is set in a remote island in Wales. As Jacob starts to explore the quirky island and finds the old abandoned orphanage it becomes clear that something is definitely not right, and that it might be possible that somehow the children from his grandfather's old stories might still be alive... Before starting this book I wondered if the fact that it was based around some old pictures would make it feel forced, as if the story had to be twisted to fit the pictures- but it doesn't at all- the story flows so well, and the photographs nicely complement it, and just give it that something extra. I loved the magical writing style, and the witty humour throughout the narrative which meant I had a permanent smirk on my face all the time I was reading this book. And there is a love story too! But underlying all the strangeness and the mystery is a sense of menace and danger. Jacobs grandfather was running from something, and we never find out until nearly the end exacly what the real danger is. The bad characters in this are truly sinister. I liked this slow unravelling of new facts and wondrous revelations. The pace is very even but keeps you constantly engaged. One of the best things about this book is the characters, Jacob is so flawed but lovable, and all the children so interesting, and at times a little bit creepy! All the children of Miss Peregine's home are special in their different ways, mischeivous and odd- and it's strange to think that they are frozen in this time loop- doomed to repeat the same perfect summer day every day for years on end. I loved Jacob's complicated relationship with Emma- his grandfather's old flame. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is adventurous, exciting, magical and addictive, and such a wonderful story. This is such a quirky book- Fun and so unique, and such an easy read. I just loved it. (less)
Aden's world is one where absolutely anything can happen! We have demons, faeries, witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies and people who can raise the...moreAden's world is one where absolutely anything can happen! We have demons, faeries, witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies and people who can raise the dead, people who can travel back in time, and people who can see the future- you name it this book has it- even dragons are alluded to (although not actually in the book). It works though, and I liked the way the different mythologies all had a back story and were all mixed together, hidden from the rest of the world. The main character in Intertwined is Aden Stone, who actually has four characters with voices and powers of their own living inside his mind. I was really intrigued by the idea of this, but couldn't really picture it until I started reading it and seeing what Aden has to go through. Aden has had a hard life, passed from foster home to foster home, labelled as a problem child and diagnosed with mental problems because of his habit of zoning out and talking to himself (really talking to the personalities inside his head). Aden is now in a new place with a fresh start and makes some new friends (and a few enemies), but I loved all the characters in this- Aden, Victoria, Riley, Mary-Ann, Shannon, and even the characters inside Aden's head. Once Aden meets his new friends they have a great connection and work really well as a team. Aden had been having visions of himself in the future in a relationship with beautiful brunette and so when he meets her he is desperate to make that future come true. He has also seen his own death in the not-too-distant future, and that is one future that he tries hard not to make come true. For me this book did take a while to get going, but then I absolutely loved it- action packed and gripping. It's good fun with lots of twists and surprises. I like the relationships Aden has with the others- his budding relationship with Victoria, his friendship with Mary-Ann, and the even the relationships he has with the people in his head- he depends on them for advice and they are like a part of him. The only problem is that nothing is really resolved at the end- so now I have to get book 2!(less)
Once a Witch is the kind of book that only every now and again takes you by surprise. I got this after reading some very good reviews of it, but half...moreOnce a Witch is the kind of book that only every now and again takes you by surprise. I got this after reading some very good reviews of it, but half expected it to just be a rehash of the sort of book that I've read over and over again. It isn't- it's very unique and cool. Tamsin has grown up in a family of very powerful witches- the only Talentless one in the family for centuries- despite her grandmothers prediction at her birth that Tamsin would be "a beacon for us all". She feels like an outsider, and escapes as much as she can to her dorm room at prep school. When a stranger walks into the family bookshop and mistakes Tamsin for her older sister, Tamsin doesn't correct him, and agrees to try to help him, determined to try and prove herself somehow. This mistake leads to her sister being put under a spell, and a whole series of catastrophic events. Tamsin discovers that her family has been feuding with another family of witches for generations, and that she does have some power after all... There is also a great cast of characters in this book. It is impossible not to dislike Tamsin's powerful older sister with her superior attitude- especially in contrast to Tamsin who is clumsy and always says the wrong thing (but I like quirky characters). Tamsin is at first desperate to escape her crazy relatives and leave for college and a normal life. She spends as much time as she can with her bizarre school roommate. When Gabriel and his mother return to live with the family again after a period away the story really starts to pick up. Gabriel has turned out well from the little boy who used to tease her, and together they try to fix what has been done. I would have liked to see a litle more between these two and more build up, but I think there will be a bit more romance in the second book Always a Witch as there is now more of a story to build upon. Overall this is an enjoyable short read. I loved the idea of this big witchy extended family playfully using their powers on each other, and dancing around a bonfire on halloween. It was great to read about a large family that felt united, and that love and support each other (even with the sibling rivalry!). Coupled with bitter rebellious Tamsin, a bit of time-travel, and cute Gabriel thrown in to the mix as well this makes for a fun story. (less)
This book was absolutely amazing! It had me alternately crying, laughing, gripped on the edge of my seat in anticipation, and in awe of its beautiful...moreThis book was absolutely amazing! It had me alternately crying, laughing, gripped on the edge of my seat in anticipation, and in awe of its beautiful writing.
At the start of the book, I really didn't like Andi at all- she is a bit of a spoiled brat, and mopes about in an attention-seeking way. She is depressed and lost, and angrily takes it out on the rest of the world. I loved her as a character, but I didn't like her personality (if that makes sense!).
She needed to be a pill-popping angry depressed teenager to show how much she grows and changes through her journey. It is only when she is taken out of the poisonous atmosphere of her exclusive high school, with it's drinking and drug-taking, and is taken to Paris with her Dad, that she really comes back to herself, and we see how smart, and normal she is.
When she finds the diary of a young street actress from the time of the French Revolution she becomes completely entranced by her story and lost in the world of the court of the French Revolution. I loved the mystery around the young prince and the gradual unravelling of this second storyline through the diary.
In 1795 Alexandrine, a poor singer and theatre player, gets a job working at the palace and is caught up right in the middle of the events as they unfold. Her position gives her an insight into the full spectrum of that society, from the Royal family right down to the street beggars. She knows some of the secrets of the time- like who sets the forbidden fireworks off into the sky and influenced the composer Malherbeau, and she is the one who through her diary can possibly tell Andi what finally happened to the lost prince. Her tale is hauntingly heart-breaking.
Andi has had a very difficult time since her brother's death, and hasn't had anyone to lean on. Her mother completely fell apart and refuses to leave the house, and Andi has had to be the one to care for her. Her Dad only focuses on work and doesn't even notice her until she stops doing well at school.
Initially, all Andi wants is to quickly finish her school project so that she can bribe her Dad to let her go back home, but gradually she begins to recognise where she is, and she becomes so engrossed with not only her own research but also with what happened to to Alex and Louis-Charles, and her Dad's scientific approach to finding out the truth.
She also gets distracted by a certain musician she befriends on her travels. Virgil is a great character that definitely adds an edge to the story, but isn't a focal point in it. Actually there are so many wonderful minor characters that enrich the background of the story.
I just loved the way that all the threads of the story were all connected and subtly intertwined. Everything that is going on in Andi's life, from her fascination of the (fictional) composer Malherbeau, to her Dad's research into genetics, her brother's death years before, to her reading of Alex's diary and the events of hundreds of years ago- it is all cleverly linked and tied together. I was dying to find out the truth of what had happened to Alex and the young prince Louis-Charles, and always wanted to keep reading just a little bit more, to have the mystery solved.
The other thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that although the author has obviously done a lot of research into the French Revolution, it never comes across a lecture about that time period, and I never got a feeling that all the research was being shoved into the story in a "look at all this stuff I've found out" way. Rather, it is just there as a part of the story telling, and written seamlessly into the narrative. I feel like I learned a lot from this book more because of how Andi's passion and enthusiam for music, her Dad's passion for science and research, and Guillaume's passion for French history, came through so well, and their passion was just infectious.
Vivid and completely captivating- no review can do the genius of this book justice. Donnelly has managed to mesh a gripping historical novel and an emotional contemporary story with a complex multi-layered plot.
This book is so romantic, and just so beautifully written, perfect for when you're in the mood for a sweet and swoony read!
The book starts off with a...moreThis book is so romantic, and just so beautifully written, perfect for when you're in the mood for a sweet and swoony read!
The book starts off with an almost 'Gilmore Girls' kind of situation. Michele and her mother have lived apart from the rest of their family after Michele's mother fell pregnant at a young age by someone their wealthy family didn't approve of. They are very close, and share everything, including talking about Michele's recurring dreams about a boy with blue eyes.
When her mother is killed suddenly in a car accident, Michele is shipped off to live with her grandparents, who she has never met before in their New York mansion, and there she finds a key that can take her back into the history of the old house- to a previous occupant of her bedroom- the sad Clara, and where she meets a young musician with striking blue eyes...
It was interesting to see the many layers of history of a partucular neighbourhood, as Michele helps out different of her ancestors at different points through time- and I enjoyed the descriptions of the changes of the New York streets over the course of the century, from the smoky gas lamps to the clip of horses hooves. And of course each time she travels back she keeps running into the lovely Philip!
Philip is nothing like the boys Michele knows from her time- he is a real gentleman, and their relationship is both innocent and passionate. You have to love these two together- their affair is just so... pure. And meant to be!
I liked that her time in the past had an impact on the present- that she was inadvertently responsible for the positives in certain situations- and the sheer genius of how cause and effect were ultimately circular. Every time Michele travelled back in time she helped out an old family member- and there was a purpose for her being there each visit. She has had a role in every major event in her family's past, and I loved the story of how her mother chose her name.
This book very cleverly weaves together the women from Michele's past- their lives and stories, alongside a love story with a beautiful boy who happens to be from a rival family, and an ongoing mystery about Michele's father and what happened to him.
Centering entirely on Michele and her feelings and anxieties, the atmosphere of the book is full of magic, romance and intrigue. A beautiful time-travel book with an interesting story- I really liked it. I thought the ending was a little bit weird and didn't make much sense, but it has caught my interest and I've already pre-ordered book 2!
One of my favourite authors Colleen Houck has blurbed this book beautifully- this is what she said-
Alexandra Monir’s gift for description has wrought me a gift—a novel reminiscent of Somewhere in Time. I pined for the wandering hero, got lost amidst the New York glitter and opulence, and impatiently read on hoping the lost lovers would reunite. TIMELESS is a haunting, mysterious dream of an era gone by. A book you don’t want to miss.