I was disappointed with this book because I loved, loved, loved Tempest but this sequel didn't live up to it. I found the time travel aspect got extre...moreI was disappointed with this book because I loved, loved, loved Tempest but this sequel didn't live up to it. I found the time travel aspect got extremely convoluted and I had no idea what was going on. I'm not sure that I want to go on and finish the series now.(less)
'Bad For You' is the seventh book in the Sea Breeze series and one of my favourites so far! I literally fell in love with this one and I can't wait to...more'Bad For You' is the seventh book in the Sea Breeze series and one of my favourites so far! I literally fell in love with this one and I can't wait to pick it up and read it all over again. In the meantime, I may just go back and re-read some of my favourite Krit and Blythe moments.
I wasn't too sure about Krit from the glimpses I'd had of him in the previous book 'Misbehaving'. Although he'd shown me some attractive qualities, he also came across as a real womaniser who found it impossible to be faithful to just one woman. What I love about Abbi Glines however, is that she really gets under the skin of a character and allows you to see their true personality. I ended up completely changing my original perception of Krit and by the end I had fallen for him and fallen hard. Blythe is one lucky girl! Krit's addictive personality means that he quite quickly becomes infatuated with Blythe - even when he is still trying to deny his feelings for her to himself. Although he is extremely experienced, she is not and I thought it was touching that he was so tender and caring where she was concerned, never making her take the next step until she was ready.
In comparison, I loved Blythe from the very beginning. We share some similar character traits and she is the kind of person who I would have liked to have had as a best friend. Although she is shy and hates to be the centre of attention, she never fails to speak up for Krit and sees the real him, underneath the tattoos and piercings and his rock star persona. I enjoyed seeing how she interacted with the other people in Krit's life too, especially his sister Trisha, who has always been the one to defend and protect him in the past. Even though she has had a really tough upbringing and has never been shown an ounce of love, she is still willing to open herself up to others and lay herself bare. I admired so many things about her that I think she may even be my favourite female character of the whole series.
I never want to leave Sea Breeze - I adore the characters and their stories and I could go on reading about them forever! Abbi Glines never disappoints me with her truly fantastic books and 'Bad For You' has shot right to the top of my best reads of 2014. (less)
I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this book because I couldn't wait to see how Gabrielle Zevin was going to conclude Anya Balanchine's story...moreI was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this book because I couldn't wait to see how Gabrielle Zevin was going to conclude Anya Balanchine's story. After having gone through so much and faced both love and loss, I wasn't sure if Anya was going to get a happy ending or not so I started reading this with a small sense of trepidation but also a huge amount of confidence that Zevin would give her trilogy the right ending.
Anya is now eighteen and has become the owner of a nightclub The Dark Room with her former nemesis Charles Delacroix. Her relationship with Win is over and life is changing, finally for the better. It was great to see Anya trying to legitimise the Balanchine crime family at long last and give them something positive to focus on for the future after having been on the wrong side of the law for so long.
At the heart of this series has always been the personal character development of Anya herself. She has lost so many people that she has loved and cared about but she is incredibly tough and never gives in which are qualities that I admire about her. She has also taken her responsibilities towards her younger sister Natty very seriously and wants to ensure that she gives her a better future than she had herself. I love their sibling bond and the closeness that the sisters have always shared.
There were some exciting and unexpected last minute twists in the plot which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is also a dramatic ending to the story which caused my jaw to quite literally drop open. The Birthright trilogy features romance, friendship and familial relationships but also presents a wonderful depiction of Anya's fall and rise from a young girl to a woman in her own right. (less)
I absolutely adore the new look to the Sea Breeze series. I think the covers are much more fitting to the stories than the previous black ones and loo...moreI absolutely adore the new look to the Sea Breeze series. I think the covers are much more fitting to the stories than the previous black ones and look so, so pretty on my shelves!
'Misbehaving' is the latest book in the series and for the first time in an Abbi Glines story, features a bad girl main character. Jess is a small town girl who lives with her stripper mother. She is far from an innocent virgin and knows how to use her obvious charms to get her own way. Although I don't often like bad girls and it took me much longer to warm to Jess than previous characters such as Willow and Amanda Hardy, I'm still glad that Abbi took a chance and went for it. She managed to give Jess lots of interesting layers and showed that beneath her tough exterior she is as hopeful for love as everyone else.
Jess is knocked off her feet when handsome Jason Stone, brother of Jax, appears in her life. It just goes to show that even bad girls sometimes need a white knight and Jason is it for her. He has to work hard to prove himself to her but as she begins to open up to him, he finds that she is vulnerable and insecure, as well as loving and selfless. The latter qualities are particularly shown through her relationship with her mother. The two are best friends as well as mother and daughter and it is obvious that they would support each other through thick and thin.
It was great getting to see Jax Stone's little brother get his own story at last! Who knew that Jason would grow up to be quite so gorgeous and chivalrous. I also loved seeing glimpses of all the other characters that make up the Sea Breeze community and it made me smile that they all seem to be growing up and settling down with their own children now.
In my opinion, Abbi Glines never puts a foot wrong and 'Misbehaving' is yet another fabulous instalment in one of my all-time favourite series. (less)
Champion knitter Ben is back and off to New York to claim his prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the US National KnitFair. I loved the first book a...moreChampion knitter Ben is back and off to New York to claim his prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the US National KnitFair. I loved the first book about Ben which was funny, humorous and warm-hearted, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into the sequel.
Ben's a natural worrier so his anxiety comes to the fore when he has to decide who to take with him on the trip when his girlfriend Megan can't go. It's quite hilarious watching Ben trying to puzzle out who to ask as his list of possible travel partners keeps on getting smaller and smaller. He eventually ends up rather reluctantly asking Gex who jumps at the chance, although he has zero interest in knitting. His Mum and Dad are also there to accompany him on the trip and although they are pretty embarrassing, pretending that they are on their second honeymoon, I found them really funny.
The New York setting was one of my favourite things about the book. The Big Apple is my top dream holiday destination and until I get there (I will one day!) I like to live vicariously through others. It was great getting to see Ben explore some of the sights and sounds of the city and he gave me a lot of laughs with his obsession about eating the way that New Yorkers do. I'll admit that I would do the same if I ever got the opportunity to go!
Ben's passion for knitting is another aspect which makes these books so enjoyable. His love for all things knit and purl shines out from every page and he makes me want to pick my knitting needles up and join him. He has an interesting challenge to face in the story which I won't spoil but needless to say, it involves Ben having got himself into a rather tricky and very humorous situation.
This was a truly enjoyable read by a fantastic author. I'm so pleased that Ben got a sequel because he's such a great character that you really take him to your heart. Fans of the original will be sure to love this book. (less)
'Panic' is the best of Lauren Oliver's books that I've read so far. A contemporary YA with a darkly dangerous undercurrent, I thoroughly enjoyed disco...more'Panic' is the best of Lauren Oliver's books that I've read so far. A contemporary YA with a darkly dangerous undercurrent, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the secrets of the small town of Carp.
Carp is a town where everyone longs to escape and Panic is their way out. All graduating seniors are eligible to take part, but not everyone is prepared to confront the danger that Panic represents, even with the incentive of a large monetary prize.
The book alternates between the points of view of Heather and Dodge, two participants in the legendary game of Panic. They both want to win but they have very different motivations for taking part. Not only did I enjoy the twists and turns of the game and the challenges that the participants faced, but I also liked seeing how the game influenced each of the characters and made them do things which they might not have believed themselves capable of.
Heather's best friends Bishop and Natalie are also interwoven into the book. I really liked the easy friendship between Heather and Bishop, although it is touched with an undercurrent of something more, as their relationship begins to dip it's toe into the waters of a potential romance. I found Bishop quite enigmatic at times but I loved the way that he was always there for Heather as a shoulder which she could lean on and I was rooting for them to end up together.
This book was a fast-paced read which I couldn't put down. I was desperate to find out who was going to win Panic and who was going to be eliminated and I couldn't believe some of the challenges which they were all made to complete. This is a game for which you have to be made of stern stuff to take part. It was incredibly tense throughout as they all have to face their greatest fears to remain in with a chance of winning the prize.
Lauren Oliver has surprised me yet again with this gripping read which I would definitely recommend you starting with if you haven't read anything by this author before. (less)
If you are looking for a gutsy, heart-wrenching read which packs a real emotional punch then look no further than Colleen Hoover's new novel 'Ugly Lov...moreIf you are looking for a gutsy, heart-wrenching read which packs a real emotional punch then look no further than Colleen Hoover's new novel 'Ugly Love'. Be prepared to have your emotions tossed all over the place as you chart the course of Tate and Miles's turbulent relationship. If anyone knows how to get my insides all knotted up then it's Colleen Hoover. I'm always prepared with a box of tissues to hand because I usually know that I'm going to be crying by the end of the book and 'Ugly Love' was no exception.
The story follows Tate Collins and Miles Archer who first meet when Tate finds Miles slumped outside of her apartment door. The book splits into two narratives which alternate throughout. The present day shows the two's burgeoning relationship and the past explores what happened six years ago when Miles was still living at home with his father. I thought this narrative device worked really well in helping to explain why Miles has become the way he is and I was glued to both storylines.
Miles and Tate's relationship is based purely on sex. Miles tells Tate that he doesn't want love or a relationship based on anything other than the physical. She thinks she can cope with this until she begins to fall for him and fall hard but can she discover what is stopping him from opening up to her and letting his heart feel again?
The whole way through I was half-afraid of discovering what Miles's secret heartbreak was because I just knew that it was going to be something truly terrible. At the same time, I was desperate to know although I did have my suspicions along the way about what it might be. Colleen Hoover definitely doesn't hold back from taking the reader right to the brink of despair only to show us some hope at the end of the road. I was in tatters by the end and completely blown away by the story and the depth of the characters' emotions.
'Ugly Love' is an incredible book by an amazing author which will take you on an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. (less)
'Dangerous Boys' is the first book I've read by Abigail Haas. It is a psychological thriller with a sinister undertone which I found really creepy and...more'Dangerous Boys' is the first book I've read by Abigail Haas. It is a psychological thriller with a sinister undertone which I found really creepy and quite disturbing. If you are a fan of stories like 'Before I Go to Sleep' by SJ Watson then you'll enjoy this book.
The plot revolves around the main character Chloe and the two boys in her life, brothers Ethan and Oliver. It opens with a mystery surrounding them and sets up the intrigue from the reader from the very beginning. It's key to remember however that nothing is what it seems in this book and that the characters and the story will seriously test your sense of judgement. By the end, everything I had thought was completely turned on its head.
Chloe is desperate to escape her small town home and university seems like her ticket on to a better and brighter future. Everything seems set until her mother begins to crack up and her father disappears from the picture. It's up to Chloe to hold everything together as she begins to see all of her dreams going up in smoke. That is until she meets Ethan and his older brother Oliver and suddenly everything she thought she knew about herself begins to change. I wasn't particularly a huge fan of any of the main characters in the book but I enjoyed the way in which Abigail Haas explored the darker side of their personalities and relationships. Love, jealousy and deceit are all prominent themes and each influences the decisions that the characters make.
The narrative switches back and forth throughout the book between Then and Now, the story unfolding gradually, layer by layer, as secrets and truths come to light. I enjoyed all the twists and turns, although it's quite dark and pretty sinister and really made me shudder at times.
'Dangerous Boys' was a real page turner which made for a compulsive read. I couldn't put it down even when I was stunned and shocked by each new twist in the tale. (less)
'As Red As Blood' is translated from the original Finnish by Owen F. Witesman and is the first book in a brand new thriller series by Salla Simukka. I...more'As Red As Blood' is translated from the original Finnish by Owen F. Witesman and is the first book in a brand new thriller series by Salla Simukka. It is a dark and sinister read which really impressed me and which I will be highly recommending.
The main character, teenager Lukikki Andersson, reminded me of female heroine Lisbeth Salander, from the books by Stieg Larsson. She is a loner and is extremely independent, living on her own away from her parents. She is very resourceful and clever but is also hiding secrets about her past which I was definitely intrigued to know more about. We are given glimpses of a relationship she was previously involved in but nothing is explicitly revealed and you are left to make your own deductions about this.
The story really kicks into gear when Lukikki unexpectedly stumbles across dirty money hanging in her school darkroom. From this moment on, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous criminal underworld where murder and deception dog her every step. I loved the narrative and I was drawn in by the extremely puzzling plot which had me utterly gripped. I couldn't put it down for even a second and finished this title in one sitting. It's not a particularly long book but every chapter is brilliantly written, combining intrigue, deceit, danger and fear.
An enticing blend of crime thriller and mystery, this was a fantastic read which unravelled gradually revealing hidden secrets but which still left me with plenty of questions which will hopefully be answered in the next book in the series. I was swept away by the fantastic plot and the kick-ass heroine and I can't wait to read more by this very talented author. (less)
This is the third book by UK YA author Liz Bankes. It features my favourite so far of her female characters - the perennial worrier Rosie, who is abou...moreThis is the third book by UK YA author Liz Bankes. It features my favourite so far of her female characters - the perennial worrier Rosie, who is about to move in with her boyfriend Cal and start a brand new internship in Oxford. Rosie worries about everything (and with so many changes going on in her life, there are a little of things to occupy her mind) and feels socially awkward a lot of the time. She’s been with Cal for a year and the two of them seem quite secure in their relationship until Rosie freaks out about the fact that man-eater Cleo is moving into the house too.
Rosie undergoes a big transition throughout the book. She is at that crux point where she has to decide what she wants to do with her future and she has to finally stand up for herself and not bow to the pressure that her Mum is putting her under. This is something that everyone has to face at some point and it was interesting seeing Rosie begin to develop confidence in herself and find her own chosen path. She also learns a lot about relationships and trust as she and Cal have to weather the ups and downs of their romance.
‘Unstoppable’ features lots of familiar faces from Liz Bankes earlier books. There’s Mia and Gabi, as well as Jamie and Dan. It was great to catch up with them and see how all the friends were getting on and in which direction their lives were headed in next.
This was a sweet romance and a great summer read. I missed a little of the polish of some of the US YA books which I read but I still really enjoyed this one. It had a great mix of humour with drama and romance. I read it in one sitting and look forward to my next Liz Bankes story. (less)