This is the second book in Niall Leonard's YA series about Finn Maguire. He now co-owns a gym with his friend Delroy and is trying to get his life in...moreThis is the second book in Niall Leonard's YA series about Finn Maguire. He now co-owns a gym with his friend Delroy and is trying to get his life in order with the help of the money left to him after the deaths of his parents. Following a nasty encounter with a loan shark, Finn agrees to pay off a debt but finds himself in further trouble when his lawyer Nicky appears to have absconded with the contents of his bank account. He sets out to investigate her disappearance but things aren't what they seem on the surface and he looks like getting in over his head.
Everyone in the story seems to have a secret or something they want to keep hidden but Finn is determined to leave no stone unturned in his hunt for the truth about Nicky and in his quest to keep Delroy and his wife safe. Finn is a great central character. He's had a lot of problems in the past and has been mixed up with some really dangerous people but although he may have made some wrong choices he's very street savvy and isn't someone to back down from a fight. He won't be pushed around by anyone but has tried really hard to get his life together even with things always seemingly conspiring against him.
There are some surprising twists in the story which I never saw coming and I had no idea what was going to happen until events unfolded. The ending was also brilliant and left things on a tense cliffhanger which sets things up nicely for the next book in the series but doesn't bode well for Finn.
'Incinerator' is even darker than 'Crusher'. There's lashings of blood and beatings and some bits are pretty grim for a YA book. This is a crime thriller which will keep you on your toes and have you continually looking over your shoulder. Niall Leonard has definitely conquered this corner of the market with his unique blend of gritty drama and suspense. (less)
'Bet Your Life' is the second book about teenage detective Jess Tennant. Although she claims in the book that she's not interested in becoming Port Se...more'Bet Your Life' is the second book about teenage detective Jess Tennant. Although she claims in the book that she's not interested in becoming Port Sentinel's answer to Nancy Drew, she has the same quick wit and ingenuity and the same uncanny knack of seeing things that other people don't. It's this skill which gives her the ability to connect all the dots and uncover the truth, even when others may want to keep it hidden. Of course, this also means that she often risks her own life in her single-minded pursuit of the truth but that only makes me admire her even more.
Jess is asked to investigate the case of local boy Seb Dawson, who has been left for dead by a supposed hit and run. His little sister suspects that there's a lot more to the 'accident' and wants Jess to find out the truth. As she begins to dig into the incident, she discovers some startling secrets about him, as well as a hidden conspiracy more shocking than she could ever have imagined.
The opening chapter of 'Bet Your Life' was so creepy. You know that something terrible is going on but you have no idea exactly what yet and who is involved. It was a fantastic start to the book and really sent shivers down my spine as I read it.
As well as some intriguing and unexpected plot twists concerning Seb's case, I also like the fact that Jane Casey interweaves Jess's day to day life into the story too. She's dealing with problems with her family, as well as romantic troubles and this helps to ground the story and make it more realistic. After the events of the first book in the series, things are not great between her and Will but she also has another boy, Ryan, chasing after her too.
Tense, twisty and with an ingenious mystery, I completely loved every second of this book. I sincerely hope there are many more Jess Tennant thrillers to come as she's Nancy Drew for a whole new generation of readers! (less)
'Darkest Fear' is the first title in a brand new trilogy by author Cate Tiernan. Having thoroughly enjoyed her Immortal Beloved series, I was psyched...more'Darkest Fear' is the first title in a brand new trilogy by author Cate Tiernan. Having thoroughly enjoyed her Immortal Beloved series, I was psyched to hear that she had a new book out and couldn't wait to pick it up. The story actually reminded me of Christine Feehan's Leopard People books (which I love) but for teens.
The majority of the action is set in New Orleans and features main character Vivi Neves, who is haguari. She has the ability to shapeshift into a jaguar but is reluctant to embrace her family's heritage. After a terrible event involving her parents, Vivi goes to live with her cousin Mateo and his girlfriend Aly and sets about trying to rebuild her life.
The dramatic opening to the book immediately grabbed me and I flew through the next few chapters. I was utterly engrossed as Vivi's whole world changes and she faces up a new future. I loved the communal feel of Vivi's new home with her cousin and his housemates. They may not all be related by blood but they share a common bond and they definitely feel like family. There's no doubt that they have each others backs.
Vivi's burgeoning romance with good-looking Rafael was another of my favourite things about the story and I can't wait to see how this progresses throughout the rest of the series. There are definite sparks between the two of them and I would love to see more of their romance!
The only bit I wasn't too sure about were the scenes in the book when Vivi is in her jaguar form. There's obviously and understandably no proper dialogue and instead her thoughts are conveyed as a stream of consciousness. This took quite a bit of getting used to and I must admit I did prefer it when she was in her human form.
Paranormal romance fans will love this opening instalment to the series which I heartily recommend. 'Darkest Night' the next book in the series will be published in September 2014. (less)
Sticking to a winning formula of witches and magic, 'Witch Finder', the first book in Ruth Warburton's new trilogy, was a wonderful read which quite l...moreSticking to a winning formula of witches and magic, 'Witch Finder', the first book in Ruth Warburton's new trilogy, was a wonderful read which quite literally swept me away. I finished it in one evening because it was impossible to put down. I loved the Winter series and so I enjoyed getting to see events unfold through the eyes of not only Rosa, a young witch, but also Luke, a witch finder who has sworn to kill her and become part of the Maleus Maleficarum.
What makes the story really interesting and gives it an unusual twist is that although Luke sets out with the intention of killing Rosa and finding the witch that murdered his parents, when he eventually meets her, he realises that she may have magic but she's also a person in her own right. She's kind and compassionate and beautiful and so all his strongly held convictions are shaken to the core. This doesn't mean that he immediately strays from his chosen path and he still attempts to take Rosa's life on numerous occasions but his feelings for her grow stronger as he begins to understand who she is. He has to struggle with his morals as he's torn between which course of action to take.
Unlike her previous books, Ruth Warburton has set 'Witch Finder' in 1880 which lends a historical slant to the story. We get to see how men have most of the power over women and how Rosa is caught between saving her family and marrying a man she doesn't love. I enjoyed seeing how people lived during this period and how different classes struggled with many of the problems that we still face today.
I loved this story which flowed so well that I quickly became immersed in the characters' lives. There are some unusual twists in the plot and I never found it predictable or slow. I kept getting to the end of each chapter and then wanted to keep on reading to find out what would happen next. I'm now extremely eager to get my hands on the next book in the trilogy, 'Witch Hunt' which is out later this year. (less)
'The Trap' is an epic and exhilarating conclusion to one of the best series out there! I was on the edge of my seat as I followed Gene and Sissy's str...more'The Trap' is an epic and exhilarating conclusion to one of the best series out there! I was on the edge of my seat as I followed Gene and Sissy's struggle to save the ones they love and survive in a world riddled with danger.
I have loved each instalment but I think this was my favourite so far. It was an incredible, pulse-pounding read which I devoured in one sitting. The story takes up where 'The Prey' left off, with Gene, Sissy and co on-board a train headed towards an uncertain fate. As they face unimaginable horrors, they vow to stick together no matter what but someone from Gene's past has other ideas.
The plot rockets along at full speed ahead, as Gene and Sissy find themselves in one dangerous situation after enough. Having followed their journey this far and having invested so much in the characters I was desperately keeping my fingers crossed for them. They've faced such terrible situations that I really wanted them to come out the other side and have some hope for the future. They have a lot to get through first though before that's even a possibility.
Andrew Fukuda is an incredible writer. The scenes in the book leap off the page as his writing leads you on a journey full of horror, terror and danger. There are some wonderfully rich descriptive passages in the book which made everything feel very real and frankly left me quite terrified at times.
I was preying that the ending would leave me satisfied and wow, did it ever! There was a truly unpredictable twist near the end which was jaw-dropping and so, so clever. I never saw it coming which made it all the more surprising. Sometimes the last book in a series can let you down but 'The Trap' delivered right up to the last page.
This was a real page-turner that I can guarantee you won't be able to put down. I'm excited to see what subject Andrew Fukuda will turn his hand to next. (less)
I don't know where to start with my review of 'Becoming' because I loved this book and indeed this series so much that I can't believe it's all over!...moreI don't know where to start with my review of 'Becoming' because I loved this book and indeed this series so much that I can't believe it's all over! When the final instalment landed through my letterbox I was equally torn between shutting myself away to start reading it immediately (because I really couldn't wait to start it) and wanting to wait and prolong the enjoyment and anticipation. In the end, my desire to find out how the story was going to conclude and what was going to happen to my very favourite book couple, Ronnie and Kalen, won out. I read it in one evening and could not put it down. Samantha Summers storytelling held me in the palm of it's hand and each chapter delivered so much that I was gripped and absorbed the whole way through.
It's no secret that I love the romance between Ronnie and Kalen. What I love even more is the fact that there's no obligatory love triangle thrown into the mix just to shake things up between the two of them. They've only ever had eyes for each other and although obstacles have frequently been put in their path, when it comes down to who their hearts belong to, there's no doubt that they are soul mates. Although there wasn't quite as much romance in this instalment as I would have liked ('As You Were', the second book, delivered this in spades), I did enjoy the final twist that was thrown in and I thought it made the last few moments of the book even more special. I'm trying desperately not to give away any spoilers but I do want to say that I thought the ending was mind-blowingly brilliant and was very true to all the characters and their stories.
Ronnie has taught Kalen so much about himself since they met. I particularly liked some of the flashbacks in the book to when he first set eyes on her and how he couldn't get her out of his head, even when he tried desperately to forget about her. They've always had an amazing connection and although at times Kalen has doubted whether or not they should be together because of the danger it puts Ronnie in, there has never been any doubt in my mind that they are a team and always work better together.
With Kalen and co plotting to take down The Agency once and for all, there are lots of new faces in the book as the other boys of Project Five Fifteen begin to surface. I loved seeing them all together and although they're not actually related by blood they are like a family and have each other's backs. Ace is yet again utterly adorable and I really warmed to Denver who steps up and takes charge when needed. There's definitely potential for a spin-off featuring some of the other characters or even a TV show! (I pictured Colton Haynes in my head when I was reading about Kalen).
'Becoming' was a superb read which delivered romance, adventure, action and excitement in spades! I was absolutely engrossed in the story and found it compulsive reading. I'm so sad that the series is over because I've become invested in the characters and their lives and I don't want the adventure to end. I'm going to be re-reading the trilogy over and over again because I have so many favourite moments that I want to go back and relive. Samantha Summers, I applaud you and I will read anything you turn your hand to next. Thank you for giving me Ronnie and Kalen and thank you for writing such a wonderful series of books. (less)
'The 100' is a sublime combination of science fiction and dystopia, interlaced with hints of romance. This was an absolutely stunning read which I tho...more'The 100' is a sublime combination of science fiction and dystopia, interlaced with hints of romance. This was an absolutely stunning read which I thought was superb from start to finish. I already can't wait for the sequel and the spin-off TV show which has already been commissioned.
Set in the future, the 100 refers to a group of teens, all convicted of various crimes and misdemeanours who are sent to earth to recolonise the planet after a nuclear war. The war led to the human race living in spaceships far above radioactive earth and learning how to survive by a number of methods, including limiting the number of new lives allowed to be created. The plot was fantastic. It was fast-paced, exciting and gripping and I was never sure what was going to happen next, so I was intrigued the whole way through.
The book features a four person perspective which alternates each chapter. The four main characters, Bellamy, Clarke, Wells and Glass, all have differing stories to tell and I was fully immersed in each of them. I initially worried that I might struggle with the multiple points of view, but it actually worked tremendously well. I loved the characters and thought they were all equally strong and interesting. I liked the way they all intersected with each other and it will be interesting to see how their personalities develop in future instalments as they face continued adversity and new challenges.
Some of my favourite scenes in the book were those that took place on earth. The characters experiences really shone through and I could feel their wonder and amazement as they experience things like a sunset, rain or birdsong for the very first time.
I was sucked into 'The 100' and by the second half I couldn't put it down. Kass Morgan's writing is wonderful, the world she's created is amazing and I would definitely give this book top marks for it's sheer brilliance. (less)
Since getting this book I keep picking it up again and again to discover more about the wonderful world that Cassandra Clare has created. There is so...moreSince getting this book I keep picking it up again and again to discover more about the wonderful world that Cassandra Clare has created. There is so much packed into this guide that if you love the books and have enjoyed the film then you really need to add this title to your collection.
Everything you would want in a movie companion is here. There are fantastic full glossy photos of all the cast, pictures of behind the scenes, interviews with Cassandra Clare herself and interesting insights into the making of the film. The book is literally packed with so much interesting information that you'll constantly find something new to grab your attention.
It must be incredible seeing a story you've written come to life before your eyes and the companion provides a unique insight into this. I enjoyed finding out about the problems encountered in the making of the film, as well as what the author felt about the whole process.
If you love The Mortal Instruments then I would highly recommend this book which is the perfect movie companion for fans of the series. (less)
I really, really enjoyed this book. Far more than I originally thought I might. It is in fact my first five star read of the year. I can't wait to go...moreI really, really enjoyed this book. Far more than I originally thought I might. It is in fact my first five star read of the year. I can't wait to go back and pick it up again for another re-read. 'Roomies' is co-authored by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. I've not read anything by either author before, although I will now be looking out for titles by them in the future.
The narrative is split in the book between Lauren and Elizabeth or EB as she's called, who are set to be college roommates. There's a mix of first person narrative, as well as a series of emails between the two girls as they get to know one another before they officially meet in person and become fellow students. Normally I'm not a huge fan of books which use emails as a communication device between characters. However, it worked perfectly here and I really liked the flow of dialogue between the girls as they begin to open up and share their secrets and fears with each other.
My favourite character in the book was Lauren and I loved her wonderful, crazy, big family of eight. There were aspects of her character which I could personally identify with and I just enjoyed so much reading about her and her younger siblings and the amazing bond they have. She and Elizabeth come from extremely different backgrounds and have contrasting home lives but often seem to envy what the other has. I will admit that I actually had a little cry near the end when Lauren has to leave her family behind.
'Roomies' is about moving onto that next big step, about becoming independent and progressing from childhood to adulthood. It's also about leaving people, places and things behind and embracing the new. These are all themes which I'm sure will resonate with young readers, as they will be facing many of these things themselves. The story is a truthful and honest account of taking that step into the unknown and learning to embrace change as something positive, even when it can feel scary and frightening. A brilliant read, I absolutely loved it! (less)
This is my first Nicole Williams book but it definitely won't be my last because I loved it. This was a five out of five star read featuring hot new c...moreThis is my first Nicole Williams book but it definitely won't be my last because I loved it. This was a five out of five star read featuring hot new couple Elle and Cole. Although I thought it was fantastic I was also pleased to discover that it was a stand-alone novel because I'm getting a little bit tired now of every new book being part of a trilogy.
Main character Elle has her whole life mapped out for her by her father and longstanding boyfriend Logan. According to them she'll stay in the small town where she has grown up. She'll take over the family diner and she and Logan will get married and settle down together. Then she meets Cole and he turns her whole life upside down. Suddenly she has to start making some decisions of her own, even if they hurt some of the people she loves the most.
I found it difficult at times to reconcile the character of Elle with the picture she paints of herself prior to meeting Cole. Then again he is the catalyst for her finally opening her eyes and embracing the person she really is and wants to be in the future. She has let others control her actions and decisions and has put aside her own hopes and dreams to make them happy but in the process she has become someone she's not. It was great to see her finally opening up and standing on her own two feet for once.
There are some hot, hot, hot scenes between Elle and the gorgeous Cole who share an instant chemistry which you can almost feel crackling off the page. She can breathe and be herself with Cole without any pretence. Every time they are together, it's like two magnets being drawn to each other and although Elle tries to resist at first, you feel it's almost inevitable that they will succumb.
If you're a fan of bad boys who also happen to be sexy as hell and have hearts of gold then you need to meet Cole Carson who has shot into my list of favourite boys in books. He not only got Elle's pulse racing but mine as well!
'Up in Flames' was an addictive read which I could not put down. I now can't wait to read more by the tremendous Nicole Williams. (less)
I want to start this review by admitting that I'd not heard of this book prior to receiving a copy; a fact which amazes me because I've since discover...moreI want to start this review by admitting that I'd not heard of this book prior to receiving a copy; a fact which amazes me because I've since discovered that 'Angelfall' is an internet phenomenon and garnered more reviews that most other books. If you're as in the dark as I was, then I want to plead with you to read it now!
I love angel books but sometimes find them slightly formulaic because it's a subject which so many authors have written about. I imagine it must be hard to find a fresh approach. I thought there was very little new ground to explore but I was wrong. Wholeheartedly and completely wrong. Susan Ee has taken a subject which I'm fascinated with and intrigued me even more. She's covered new ground, developed a new angle for the genre and produced a five star, spellbinding read.
The premise of the story is that angels have attacked humanity and people are now living in fear for their lives. Penryn is trying to protect her mother and younger sister Paige when they are attacked and Paige is taken. The plot focuses on Penryn's struggle to save her sibling, whilst at the same time, trying to survive in a hostile world.
Penryn is a fantastic character. She's desperate to get her sister back and is willing to do anything to achieve that. She places herself in dangerous situations but never loses her head and never loses sight of her goal. She has to face some terrible sights in the book but she is single-minded and won't back down whatever the personal cost.
I found myself unconsciously rooting for Penryn and Raffe, the wingless angel, before even really realising how much I liked them together. Although she starts off only helping him to get him to lead her to the other angels, they develop a very strong bond throughout the book. I'm looking forward to seeing this grow further in the sequel to 'Angelfall'.
There are a couple of gruesome bits in the story which I could probably have done without, but these do reinforce the horror of the world which they now inhabit and which they have to try to stay alive in.
This was a stunning, spellbinding story which absolutely captivated me. It's hard to list all the things I loved about it but it pulled at my heartstrings and captured my imagination. Please do read it because you won't regret it! (less)
'Sleuth or Dare' was fantastic and such a fun read. The second book about Maggie Silver, teenage safecracker and spy, sees her becoming embroiled in a...more'Sleuth or Dare' was fantastic and such a fun read. The second book about Maggie Silver, teenage safecracker and spy, sees her becoming embroiled in a new case which her parents can't help with. Luckily she has best friend Roux and boyfriend Jesse by her side, as she sets out to prove that her parents didn't steal evidence from the Collective.
Maggie loves the new people in her life but she's getting bored of nothing exciting ever happening. Being a spy is in her blood and she misses the danger and adventure that she used to experience on a regular basis. When trouble comes knocking, she is torn between keeping Jesse and Roux safe and letting them in on her secrets so that they can help her. Although she is dealing with life and death situations, she also has normal teenage problems to deal with, such as her friend being bullied and her boyfriend wanting her to get to know his family a little better. If anyone can handle it all though, it's Maggie.
The story takes on an international slant, when the action moves to Paris. It was fun to get to know some new characters, such as Ames, Elodie and Ryo and it will be interesting to see if they crop up again in later books in the series. Ames was a particular favourite of mine and I loved the fact that he and Roux immediately clicked. Roux deserves somebody special of her own and I think she's finally found that person in Ames.
Robin Benway is onto a winner with this series. I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading about Maggie and her life. This book was fast-paced and exciting with plenty of romance and adventure to keep me gripped and I absolutely loved it. (less)
I adore Joss Stirling's books and I was extremely excited about reading 'Storm and Stone' which is her new standalone novel. I wasn't disappointed bec...moreI adore Joss Stirling's books and I was extremely excited about reading 'Storm and Stone' which is her new standalone novel. I wasn't disappointed because it was a thrilling read which had me hooked from the start.
The story is set in an English boarding school called Westron. Raven is an American scholarship student at the school. She's ostracised and picked on by everyone until she meets new students Kieran and Joe, who discover that there is something strange going on at the school. After reading the blurb I thought it was going to be a fairly typical high school romance story but I was wrong when part way through it turned into something much more gripping and mysterious.
I loved the relationship between Raven and Kieran. He is clever and incredibly intelligent but Raven definitely makes him lose his head. They fit together so well and function perfectly as a team. The romance in the book is realistic and brilliantly written. A trait of all Joss Stirling books. There's no case of instant love but instead an attraction which simmers away between Raven and Kieran and eventually turns into something more. He feels protective about her and often tries to steer her away from danger, but she is more than capable of looking after herself which she definitely proves at the end of the book.
Joss Stirling is one of my favourite British authors and if you're a fan of her Soulfinders series then you will love this new offering. As I was reading, I could even picture it as a TV series because I think the concept is perfect for the small screen.
Although this was originally billed as a standalone, I've since heard that it could actually be the first in a series about the characters which is excellent news! (less)