This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the fut...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
This book is worth reading for the fantastically imaginative setting alone. Set in the future when the world has been consumed by the oceans. People live in cramped high rise blocks on the limited land available, lucky to have two rooms per family. But there are some that choose a very different life entirely and decide to live the 'darklife' and make their homes at the bottom of the sea.
Now, if you like me think that living at the bottom of the sea means a life in oppressive submarines, think again. Kat Wells' under sea world is magical and vividly drawn. With homes built from jellyfish style structures, liquid gel that means people can dive without the risk of decompression sickness, electricity and entire farms and rural wildlife surviving in this new world, as well as dangerous deep sea creatures. It really is fabulously clever.
Ty has lived on the ocean's floor all his life. At fifteen, he was the first child to be born and live his entire life under the sea. But there are rumours that this new life damages children, giving them a 'darkgift', a new supernatural ability. Which has made topsiders suspicious of darklifers and other people reticent to try this new life for themselves.
Then, during a dive Ty meets Gemma. Gemma is a gutsy topsider searching for her missing brother. But the more Ty and Gemma begin to investigate and look for Gemma's brother, the more they begin to realise things are really not what they seem in this new world.
This book has a nice element of drama to it. With an underwater outlaw group raiding homesteads and submarines, a small murder mystery, as well as the dangers of the deep. It's actually a really absorbing read.
As Ty is fifteen, I would say that this book is on the younger side of YA. But it's pitched really well, with just a small romantic element. Ty is grown up and brave for his age, and a really engaging main character. As this is slightly on the younger side, I probably would not have picked this book up ordinarily if it had not been sent to me for review, which would have been a real shame, because I really enjoyed it. But more than anything I just loved the deep sea world.
A great book with a spectacular world setting that will appeal to adults both young and old. This is one of those books I would love to see translated into film, because of its cinematic quality.(less)
The third and final book of the trilogy has a much darker tone (if you can believe it) than the first two. Katniss has now survived two horrendous hunger games, so much death and violence, and is now the face of the rebellion. Recovering in district thirteen, President Snow will stop at nothing to destroy her and all those she cares about. And to make things worse, he has Peeta...
None of the characters are who they were anymore, they are all slightly broken. Like china bowls that have been smashed and glued back together again, they are not quite complete or whole any longer.
I did miss the tough Katniss from the first two books, her fragility is painful to watch. I got excited when she fought in district two. But Katniss excels because she is a survivor, and there were times when I wanted her to get back up and keep fighting, to scream, kick and do everything she can possibly do to remain true to herself. But she has suffered too much to be unchanged.
As the book progresses and we learn more about district 13 and I became terrified that the survivors are just swapping one harsh dictatorship for another. I worry that the new world they fight for will not actually be new in anyway and that in itself is heartbreaking.
President Snow's ruthlessness knows no bounds. Just when you think Katniss and the tributes can't possibly suffer anymore, The Capitol throws some other appalling manipulation or punishment at them. And Peeta, oh Peeta what can I say? As much as I'm team Gale, I found that I missed the bread-baking, gentle Peeta who would do anything for Katniss.
As with the previous books, the second half was better than the first. It delivers plenty of twists and also prepare yourself for painful tragedy. Then comes the ending, a dark and uncompromising turn of events as Katniss has to make some terrible decisions.
I am in awe of Suzanne Collins' writing skills. I could not have predicted how this trilogy would have ended. In my opinion the first book was the best of the three, but this trilogy is an absolute must-read and is up there with my all time favourites.
I quite literally ached for Katniss and all of the atrocities she has endured. The epilogue itself was bitter-sweet, and prepared there is a good chance that tissues may be required.(less)
Wow, it took a while to get going but the ending of this book is gorgeous! I was listening to it on audiobook and nearly had tears streaming down my c...moreWow, it took a while to get going but the ending of this book is gorgeous! I was listening to it on audiobook and nearly had tears streaming down my cheeks as I was driving to work. Can't wait to start Linger....(less)
'The Crowded Shadows' takes off where 'The Poison Throne' had left us. With Wynter, leaving her dying father behind...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
'The Crowded Shadows' takes off where 'The Poison Throne' had left us. With Wynter, leaving her dying father behind in the corrupt court to embark on a dangerous and lonely quest. She must travel through the dangerous and bandit infested forest, a solitary, young women as she tries to track down the exiled and believed traitorous Prince Alberon, who was once her dear friend. Her hope in finding him is that she may get to bottom of the darkness that is seeping through the Kingdom and save her friends.
As I begin this review, I'm not quite sure where to start. This book really wasn't I expected it to be at all. It takes you on a remarkable journey. Wynter is such a brave and eminently likeable heroine. A mixture of strength and diplomacy, yet vulnerable at the same time. In fact all of the characters are magnificently well rounded. My heart was in my mouth as Wynter travelled on her own, terrified that something was going to happen to her and fracture her lovely innocence. So it was with a huge sigh of relief when the book welcomed Razi and his companion Christopher back into the fold.
Travelling through the forest together on their journey to find Alberon, the trio encounter the ruthless and terrifying Loup-Garous. We learn more about Christopher and his time as a slave, a prisoner of this terrifying wolf clan. With nowhere to turn, they end up taking refuge with the Merron.
The plot is quite intrinsically complicated and keeps you guessing at all times. The Merron are an ancient and superstitious tribe. But Wynter and Razi have one thing on their side, Christopher's adoptive father was Merron, and he was raised in their culture and he understands their strange and dark traditions.
You spend a lot of the book feeling as puzzled and confused as Razi and Wynter are. As Christopher tries his best to manoeuvre his friends through the ancient Merron ways without them getting hurt and the Merron getting offended. It soon becomes evident that the Merron are part of the ever growing political web that is surrounding the Kingdom and they cannot afford to alienate them. But their culture is shocking and tests the trio's friendship to its limits. There are scenes in this book that will absolutely make you gasp.
The three main characters continue to be at the heart of the story, governed by their friendship and loyalty to one another. I wasn't sure about the blossoming love story between Christopher and Wynter at the end of the last book, but my feelings changed in this one. Their tenderness for one another was warm, sweet and captivating.
A lot of the initial story development from 'The Poison Throne' was put on hold, we learn nothing of the ominous 'bloody machine' and it looks as though we're going to have to wait for the third and final book to get those much needed answers and to meet Prince Alberon. But while this should have been frustrating, it really wasn't. This book had an important part to play in the overall journey and development of both the characters and the story.
I've seen this trilogy often classed as a young adult novel, but it really doesn't feel like one to me despite the fact that Wynter is only fifteen years old, she comes across as much older. Also this is definitely a part of a trilogy and not a stand alone novel.
I really enjoyed this book. Celine Kiernan is a very talented writer and she builds her stories cleverly and with obvious passion. The first two books of the trilogy so far have been well crafted together. It's also quite unusual for me to be looking to the end of a trilogy without a clue as to how it's going to end and I can't wait!(less)
'Arson' is a deep and moving book about Arson Gable, a seventeen year old orphan who lives with his Grandmother and has the ability to create fire wit...more'Arson' is a deep and moving book about Arson Gable, a seventeen year old orphan who lives with his Grandmother and has the ability to create fire with his mind.
Living in remote America, other than his job in an ice cream parlor, Arson lives in relative isolation. That is until the Pheonix family move in next door, and suddenly Arson's near empty life is awakened. Enter Emery, a scarred yet gutsy girl, who feels safer wearing a mask over her face when she greets the world.
Emery challenges the way Arson lives his life. Forcing him out of his current existence, from a trip to the bowling alley, to volunteering at the local hospital. All small steps that force him to connect with the local community. And as Arson begins to connect and inevitably fall in love, he begins to start to come to terms with his troubled past and present.
Arson's ability aside, at the root of this novel is a coming of age story about two teenagers both damaged in some way; one emotionally and the other physically.
It also tackles the complexity of family relationships: what it means to love and hate someone all at the same time. As well as difficult issues facing many young adults such as abuse and alcoholism. Arson's relationship with his elderly Grandmother is painful, as is Emery's with her dysfunctional and breaking parents.
For a long time throughout the novel, I wondered what the purpose of Arson's ability was, as it felt like nothing more than a manifestation of teenage angst. If the author had given Arson a box of matches instead, I believe it would of had about the same impact as his pyrokensis on 90% of the novel. And as the book neared its end, I wondered how on earth all of the threads were going to come together.
Then came the conclusion. A compelling, horror filled ending that left me thinking – where on earth did that come from. It seemed to come out of nowhere as though the author had tried to tie the threads together a little too fast. It was shocking and ended on a cliffhanger that leads me to believe there must be a sequel to come.
'Arson' is extremely well written book, packed with stunning imagery. It was dark, intense and at times disturbing. It's navigation through some very difficult issues means that it wasn't always an easy read, but is compelling never the less.
My one small wish is that Vega had taken a little more time to build the ending as I think it would of hard more of the impact he was hoping for.
I have to say as a self confessed bookaholic, there's something super exciting about being...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (6 out of 10 on the blog)
I have to say as a self confessed bookaholic, there's something super exciting about being able to get my mitts on a book before it's even released. It gives me a warm feeling inside ;)
Seventeen year old Ellie is your typical American teenager. Until she begins to have strange dreams and visions and then one night hears unusual noises in the dark. She learns of the existence of reapers. Evil beings that kill and steal people's souls.
This coincides with the arrival of Will, who proclaims to be her very own Guardian Angel. Will tells her that she is in fact the Preliator, a powerful warrior reborn again and again over thousands of years into a mortal's body. And that she is the only person that can fight and stop the evil reapers.
As a teenager she has enough to worry about with her school grades, friends, and Ellie does not welcome this discovery, especially after a reaper causes her to right-off her car.
With her powers awakened, Ellie cannot escape her destiny. What starts with reluctance turns to passioned determination. Reinforced as her visions affect her everyday life as the memories of her previous lives bleed their way into her consciousness.
There seems to be a theme for reincarnation stories lately, as this is the third one I've read so far this year. All with young women as the leads. I have to say I quite like them and in each book have been interested to see how the past affects the present day character.
Some of the best parts of the novel were the fight scenes. There are some fantastic fight sequences. In particular, the final battle on a liner in the middle of the ocean was inspired. And it will no doubt keep you on the edge of your seat.
The love story in the book is tender and engaging. Nothing adds to the edge of a romance like forbidden love and I found my heart squeezing at some of the scenes.
However, despite enjoying many, many aspects of the book I didn't quite love it. Maybe I'm just a little 'YA'd' out at the moment, but at times I found Ellie a little irritating and superficial. It was hard to get my head around her and her parents almost flippant towards money. Additionally, Will was a fascinating character, but I wanted to know more about him, to understand the character behind the boy who has been in his late teens for the last six hundred years.
A good read and without a doubt it was the action packed fight scenes that made the story. I think it's a book YA fans will love, while I do have a couple of reservations it is still one I would recommend. (less)
When I first started reading 'Before I Fall' it reminded me a little bit of a cross between the films 'Groundhog Day' & 'Mean Girls'.
At the beginn...moreWhen I first started reading 'Before I Fall' it reminded me a little bit of a cross between the films 'Groundhog Day' & 'Mean Girls'.
At the beginning, I didn't like Sam very much at all. She was one of those girls at school who was more concerned about appearances than substance, and her friends were equally as shallow. They were more obsessed with how many red roses they would get on Cupid's Day, as a show of their popularity, than the true meaning of friendship.
It seemed somewhat fateful that after a party and one episode of drink driving too many, that Sam's life ended in a horrific car crash.
Then, as the pages began to turn, I realised that this was the point. I wasn't supposed to like Sam at first. As she began to relive each day, she also began to grow as a person. And with each new day, Sam begins to realise that her life is not as good as she thought it was.
At first her choices are selfish and evolve around her desperation & frustration as she tries to alter its inevitable course. But, each day brings with it a new discovery and soon Sam's choices become more about everyone else, than herself.
Surprisingly, despite Sam living the same day seven times, the book doesn't get repetitive at all. Each time she makes different decisions that twist the story in new & at times quite unexpected directions.
As the book develops and Sam begins to grow, the more I began to see her as misguided and began to like her. So that when the seventh and final day arrives, I turned each page with anticipation, wondering how she was going to get the guy, save herself and avoid some of the less than pleasant events.
When the novel reaches its crescendo your desperation mirrors Sam's. The day whizzes by and despite having lived it with her six times before you have no idea how it's going to conclude.
The ending of the book is beautiful and eloquently written. I won't spoil it for you, but be warned there's a good chance that tissues will be required.
'Before I Fall' is a really well written and moving book. It's a poignant tale of how life can end all too soon and about understanding the impact of your behaviour on others.
It's one of those books that when you turn the final page you have to sit back and let it all sink in.
My one criticism would be as I didn't like Sam at first, it does take a little while to get into, but persevere as it is worth the read.
Radiant Shadows is the fourth book in Melissa Marr's 'Wicked Lovely' series. It begins where 'Fragile Eternity' left off. However, while Seth features...moreRadiant Shadows is the fourth book in Melissa Marr's 'Wicked Lovely' series. It begins where 'Fragile Eternity' left off. However, while Seth features as quite a main character, the story is no longer about Aishlin and the summer court.
The book is about Ani and Devlin, we've met them in previous books but as relatively minor characters.
Ani is Rabbit the tattooist's half sister, and daughter of Gabriel, leader of the hunt. She is a member of the dark court and halfling: half human and half hound.
By contrast, Devlin is half brother-son to the High Queen Sorcha and Queen of War Bananach, created jointly by them and not born. He is a powerful member of the High Court. Known as the Queen's Bloodied Hands. He is ordered, disciplined and importantly, Sorcha's obedient servant.
Devlin first met Ani when she was just a child. When he was ordered to kill her. And for the first time in centuries of obedience he disobeyed a direct order and spared Ani's life. Hiding her survival from his Queen.
Since the events of the last book Sorcha is no longer herself and her imbalance begins to seriously impact the world of faery. Reason appears to have departed from the Queen of Reason and Bananach glorifies in this advantage and her dark malevolence spreads. This book has some important developments for the faery world as all courts struggle to avoid the sinister plottings of the Queen of War, which has some far reaching affects. But primarily it is a love story between Ani and Devlin.
As the book begins, Devlin has not seen Ani in the years since he spared her life. But, sent on a mission to protect Seth by his unbalanced Queen he encounters her in a club. The chemistry between them is tangible, and while Ani has no idea who Devlin is, he's never really understood why he saved Ani and is inexplicably drawn to her.
In my opinion, this is by far the best book in the series. I sat down one evening to make a start and before I knew it I'd read 175 pages. Melissa Marr has a beautiful and captivating writing style. She draws the vision of her characters and worlds which sucks you in brilliantly.
On the surface of things the love story between Ani and Devlin could easily have not worked. It's not largely mentioned, but Ani is very much a young adult at 16, while Devlin's significantly older than her. Yet as the story progresses they both go on what I would class as a 'young adult' journey.
Being a halfling, Ani is frustrated with being pushed to the outskirts of the faery. Yet having the power to feed on the emotions & touch of both mortals and faery, her power is unheard of and it becomes quite clear she is no mere halfling. Because of this Ani is confined and protected by her father and the dark court and she chafes at the restrictions. She is desperate to prove to them all that she is a woman and no longer a child and can look after herself. While Devlin is struggling to escape the controlling influence of his sisters. Learning that he can have his own sense of identity and his own relationships while remaining true to himself.
I really like Ani and Devlin as a couple as they were so different. Fate obviously plays an important part in their lives, it is clear as all the threads begin to close that from the very beginning they were meant to be together.
As the book reaches its climax there is a big twist. However, for me it wasn't entirely unexpected, and I wondered from about a third of a way in if something similar would happen. But it didn't take away from my enjoyment of it at all.
This book really was superb and I could barely put it down, but I do have a couple of criticisms.
I would of liked to have seen a flashback to the time that Devlin spared Ani's life to fully understand the reason for that decision and what he was feeling at the time, it felt to me liked it lacked some explanation.
Additionally, having read the previous three books, I found it a touch frustrating that while Seth was an important character in the book, and some events happen that will change his life at least for the moment, irrevocably, there was virtually no mention of the love triangle that had me so hooked in previously.
This is a fantastic fourth instalment to the 'Wicked Lovey' series, and the best so far. Marr has cleverly interwoven the plots of the each of the books as the series builds to its sinister conclusion.
Technically if you haven't read the first three books in this series you could read this as a stand alone novel, but my recommendation would be to read them first in order to fully enjoy the depth of the story.
I am very much looking forward to discovering what happens next, but I do hope that Seth and Aislin take the helm once more.
Willow is a moving and poignant young adult novel. When I first read the back cover, I wasn't sure how I'd react to the subject matter and was concern...moreWillow is a moving and poignant young adult novel. When I first read the back cover, I wasn't sure how I'd react to the subject matter and was concerned about how the author would handle the issue of self harm. But, to my surprise the book captured me from the first page to the last.
Willow is a confused and grief stricken teenager struggling to come to terms with the death of her parents in a car crash. Making her grief even more complicated is the fact she was the one driving when they died.
The book takes off seven months after their death. Willow is living with her older brother David, his wife Cathy and their new baby Isabelle. The move means she also at a new school with few friends and due to circumstances money is also tight, requiring Willow to work in order to contribute her share towards the household bills.
As well as coming to terms with their parents death, Willow and David struggle to come to terms with the shift in their relationship. From brother and sister, to guardian and ward. This shift seems to have irrevocably altered it, which wrapped up with their grieving combines to push them further apart.
Submerged in terrible grief, guilt and loneliness, Willow finds an outlet that enables her to survive: her razor. She lives from one cut to the next, only able to feel she can breathe again when the blade penetrates her skin.
There is no escaping that Willow's illness is shocking and when you first begin reading even makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Perhaps what becomes more uncomfortable is that after a while you begin to identify, just a tiny bit with Willow as you begin to understand her suffering.
The book is undeniably dark and doesn't shy away some very difficult issues, but at the same time it does not become too intense.
The main reason for this is Guy. To put it simply, Guy is lovely. A bright, caring and charismatic boy who inadvertently discovers Willow's secret. They are both horrified at first, but little by little as their connection grows, Guy begins to teach Willow to live again.
Willow has not only forgotten who she is, but how to communicate and live in the outside world. She has shut it all out, because it's easier to harm herself and focus on that than it is to deal with her own emotions. Guy forces her to look outside herself, to remember what it's like to enjoy the small things and what it's like to have friends.
This is what makes the book so eminently good in my opinion, how the narrative combines moments of real darkness with that of hope.
Willow aims to demystify the stigma and misconception around self harm. At first it is a first quite baffling why anyone would chose to disfigure and hurt themselves in this way, but as the book progresses you, like Guy, begin to come to terms with who Willow is.
This book really is beautiful. A surprising choice of word perhaps given the subject matter, but out of the agony and suffering blossoms a love story that is about acceptance and loving a person for who they are despite their flaws.
****Next caveat only includes a small spoiler****
I have one small caveat to my review and that is a small frustration that at no point in the book did Willow and Guy turn to anyone for help. I would have liked to have seen Willow seek professional help or at least tell an adult about her problems. If the book had been about an anorexic sufferer I think the approach would have been different, and this shows perhaps a little naivety in the writing. Given the audience that this is aimed at, it's important to show that asking for help is not a demonstration of weakness.
**** End ****
Willow is about intense grief, mental illness and ultimately redemption.
Don't be put off by the difficult subject it explores, while I'm not expert on self harm, I believe it is handled exceptionally well by the author.
The overall message of this book is one of hope. While we all might suffer terrible things in our life, we must never forget ultimately that there is still joy to be had in living it.
"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is a uniquely drawn novel, rich and creative. For me it's pulled into two parts: before the doors to elsewhere close, and after. With second part of the novel by far having the grittier storyline. Marketed as a YA novel, I think this book would appeal to readers who normally only pick up adult novels too. (less)
PANDEMONIUM is the second book in Oliver’s acclaimed Delirium series. Set in the future where love is viewed by society as a disease and all adolescents are ‘cured’ so they can no longer feel love. It takes off where ”Delirium’ left us, after THAT shocking cliffhanger. I’m trying my best not to reveal to many details here!
Lena is filled with grief, has abandoned her life to live in the wilds and has avoided having the cure. We watch her starting her new life and clawing her way back from her pain filled state. The opening chapters alternate between those first days and Lena in the future working as an undercover spy in the normal world. Which does mean that the story jumps about a little.
The book was a real mix, while I did find it engaging and the pages turned easily enough. I just felt like it didn’t dig beneath the surface enough and get into the nitty gritty. Perhaps this is a comment on the age range that this book is aimed at, rather than the writing itself. But as I wanted from Delirium, I wanted to know how this world got to be like it is and it still lacked explanation. Why is love illegal? We still don’t know…
In this book we meet Raven, a woman in her twenties who supports Lena during her road to recovery, but is also heavily involved in the rebellion. Raven is a bit of an enigma. I wanted to know more about Raven and behind the scenes of the rebellion and its strategy.
Oliver does draw the emptiness of this love-less world very well. That without love people become empty shells, going through their tasks due to obligation, not because they care almost drew chills. Lena often refers to them as zombies.
“In Zombieland, someone is always watching. There is nothing else for people to do. They do not think. They feel no passion, no hatred, no sadness; they feel nothing but fear, and a desire for control. So they watch, and poke and pry.”
The world building is excellent actually, from the Wilds, the societal rule and the characterisation of the key figures on each side. But the concept of a loveless world captured my imagination right from the start of the series.
The story includes some desperately sad moments of awful tragedy which is depicted poignantly. Life in the Wilds is brutal. We get insight into the people who are marginalised and live on the periphery, ostracised by this stark empty world who strive for nothing less than emotionless perfection. This writing is when the book is at its best.
I did struggle in general with the plot. I felt it was too predictable. Several times I thought to myself I bet that’s going to happen and then I felt let down when it did, wanting to be surprised.
I also felt saddened that Lena moved on so quickly. I don’t know why the author felt the need to introduce a love triangle, I didn’t really feel that the book or the story needed it and I didn’t fully engage with Julian. Through most of the book, I just kind of missed Alex.
Then there is the angst, ‘Pandemonium’ is filed to the brim with angst! Lena is quite an immature heroine, who seemed to need to grow up and wise up fast. She seemed to make some quite reckless and selfish decisions. Perhaps I shouldn’t forget that this is YA book? Because she did grow as the book progressed and evolve from the cocooned person she used to be, but she is yet to make that final leap from young childhood to adulthood and I felt like I wanted, no needed her to.
Looking on Goodreads, I’m pretty sure I’m in an overwhelming minority on feelings on PANDEMONIUM, most people seem to have loved it. Overall it just didn’t quite work for me. Don’t get me wrong there were still some great moments in it and I do think that Oliver is a superb writer, I just wanted more from this book. I felt it could have been so much better and there is still too much to be explored. The cliffhanger did have that jaw dropping moment, but at the same time I also saw it coming. Maybe Requiem, the final instalment will redeem it?
The cover of this book is oddly deceiving. When I first looked at it, I wasn't sure...moreThis review was written for www.bookchickcity.com (rating was 7/10)
The cover of this book is oddly deceiving. When I first looked at it, I wasn't sure if the book would be for me. As it looked a little bit too YA for my taste. How could I be so wrong?
This book is hilarious! Full on, laugh out loud funny. It's like a cross between Harry Potter and Mean Girls meets Sabrina.
Sophie is a witch. Having never met her father, she has been raised by her human mother and has had no magical education. But when one spell too many goes wrong, she is sent to Hecate (Hex) Hall. A reform, boarding school for magical children. She's never even met another witch before, let alone shape-shifters and faeries.
Hex Hall is like a baptism of fire. Firstly she's nearly attacked by a werwolf and then she's roomed with the only vampire and outcast of the school. If that isn't bad enough, there's the beautiful, coven led by Elodie who seem to have it in for her.
Archer Cross is Elodie's boyfriend and let me briefly say *swoon*. Archer is an interestingly complex character and Sophie can't help her feelings for him although she knows nothing can come of it.
Interwoven amidst the magic fun is a great sinister mystery with pupils falling victim to a malevolent and dark force. Suddenly, Sophie needs to face up to family's past as she begins to realise who she really is.
Sophie is a great character and it's easy to engage and go on her journey with her. You find yourself willing her to succeed. I totally loved Jenna, the vampire obsessed with pink! The alone was enough to endear me to her.
This isn't a complex novel, it's an easy read and maybe at times a little predictable. But all the characters are well rounded and engaging. The mystery was tantalising and kept the pages turning and it had a great twist at the end.
A light, fun read that I read in the space of a day. It is undoubtedly aimed at a young adult audience, but this didn't affect my enjoyment at all. I would say it is a book for all ages. The book had a brilliant ending that left me wanting for more. The second book in the series is already on my wish list.(less)
If you loved the first book in this series 'Perfect Chemistry' then without a doubt you're going to fall for this on...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
If you loved the first book in this series 'Perfect Chemistry' then without a doubt you're going to fall for this one too. The plot itself is pretty similar, bad boy falls for good girl. But this time with no star-crossed lovers quality.
Like his brother before him, Carlos is descending into the dark world of drugs, violence and gang crime. With an attitude the size of a small planet, he can't see what's wrong with his lifestyle. He's putting food on the table and preventing his mother from working like a slave. When his brother and Mum insist he moves to Colorado, enrol back in school and make a fresh start for himself, he's of course immediately resistant and inevitably falls straight in with the wrong crowd.
Kiara, is a good girl. I liked her more than I liked Brittany from 'Perfect Chemistry', she is a less conventional heroine. Her love for over sized t-shirts, shorts and hiking boots, the fact she doesn't even own a pair of high heels and her favourite past time is renovating old cars. She also has a stutter. All of this adds a touch of difference to her character.
I read this book pretty quickly, in about two days. It's a fun and engaging read. The romance between Kiara and Carlos develops at a nice pace. I liked the fact that beneath the tough, cocky exterior Carlos has a soft, vulnerable centre. Which allowed for some lovely tender moments.
This book is also surprisingly funny too. I shall just say look out for the gay Frisbee scene. :)
An issue I did have was that the ending does get wrapped up pretty quickly. There was more focus on the relationship between Carlos and Kiara and because of this things are tied up a little too easily for my liking. It felt like, ok they're in love now, now we need to find away to resolve this problem (not wanting to give too much away), which of course had been a huge part of the storyline.
It is interesting seeing Alex and Brittany again, two years on. While I know this was Carlos and Kiara's story, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of them. But I did certainly like seeing a wiser, more mature Alex.
I'm usually a fan of epilogues. I sometimes think if I could live in a Disney movie I'd be in heaven, I adore happy endings! But unfortunately Simone Elkeles can't seem to get the tone of hers right. The epilogue went beyond cheesy, and I hate to sound mean, but to pretty ghastly. My advice.... skip it.
Despite the too easy wrap up I had fun with this book. Made up of great characters and with a romance that is very easy to get swept up in. Carlos is as dark, wild and handsome as his brother.
I think it's fair to say that 'Perfect Chemistry' isn't an original story. We've read superb stories of star-crossed...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com
I think it's fair to say that 'Perfect Chemistry' isn't an original story. We've read superb stories of star-crossed lovers before. Ultimately in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' and of course 'West Side Story'. But this didn't matter to me. In fact, after the first two chapters I was hooked.
Brittany is your high school princess, the girl every other girl wants to be. Beautiful, rich, the head cheerleader and dating one of the hottest guys in school. Raised by a mother obsessed with perfectionism, she knows what it means to create the ultimate image. Wearing the right clothes, going to the right places, not having a hair out of place or a smear in your make-up.
But scratch beneath the surface and you will see her life is far from the perfect image she has created.
Alex is not a guy that most mothers would like their daughters to bring home. Following his now dead father's footsteps he has been lured into gang life as a misguided way to protect his family. Now he's in deep, on the threshold to a spiraling life of crime and violence.
Then one day, their chemistry teacher reassigns everyone alphabetically and much to their distaste Alex and Brittany have been put together as lab partners. Initially sparks fly, and when Alex's fellow gang members bet him he can't bed Brittany, ego gets in the way and before he know it his beloved motorbike as well as his reputation end up on the line.
As Alex begins his mission of seduction, things don't go quite to plan. As he starts to get to know Brittany, he begins to see the girl beneath the veneer. The girl who is fed up of being perfect and the girl who desperately loves and cares for her disabled sister. As he unwittingly begins to fall for her, he begins to question everything in his life and a very small part of him dares to dream.
The story is told with alternating chapters from Brittany and Alex, which gives you insight into each of their feelings and experiences. It grabs you right from the get go and it's one of those books you just can't put down. The chemistry between Alex and Brittany sizzles and the love story is one of those that hits you right in the solar plexus.
Alex is ruggedly handsome, the bad boy that every girl could easily fall for. Brittany is at times naive, but there is something pure and shining about her love for Alex.
This is a well written story about hope, dreams and love. Yes, it is at the core of course a love story, but it also tackles teen issues, the problem of social disparity and the circle of gang life in America. This is a book I would most definitely recommend.
One tiny, tiny thing and I was forewarned about this from a fellow reviewer. I'm not a big fan of the epilogue, it was slightly heavy on the cheese factor.
While this book won't win any awards for originality, I loved it! Alex and Brittany capture both your heart and imagination from the start. I can't wait for the next!
Nearly sixteen years ago the 'Shift' happened. And every child that has been born since ca...moreReviewed for www.bookchickcity.com (7 out of 10 on the blog)
Nearly sixteen years ago the 'Shift' happened. And every child that has been born since can see and communicate with ghosts. The world is divided into two sub sets, post and pre shifters, those who can see & those who can't.
The Shift has changed everything. Ghosts can now testify in their own murder cases. Certain building & rooms in your house have to be 'black boxed' so that ghosts cannot go into them. Red has become the all prevailing fashion statement of the under sixteens. A colour ghosts cannot abide.
Most ghosts are harmless, if not persistently irritating. But there are the ghosts that become Shades - dark, malevolent spirits.
At nearly sixteen years old, Aura is a post-shifter. She's spent her life being able to see, talk to, and wherever possible ignore ghosts. She has an amazing boyfriend - Logan. The night of his seventeenth birthday is supposed to be perfect. That is until it all goes horribly wrong and he tragically dies. Suddenly being able to talk to ghosts takes on a whole new meaning and she prays that Logan will come back to haunt her.
But, as Aura struggles to come to terms with her grief she becomes friends with a new transfer student from Scotland: Zachary. Zachary is kind, understanding and has a rather sexy accent. As her friendship with Zachary grows, she realises that she has to make an impossible decision between the two men in her life. One dead, one alive.
I expected this book to merely be a tragic & haunting, in more ways than one, coming of age love story. But it was more than that and in the final third of the story, the pace changes as we realise a few of the characters have some secrets they haven't been sharing.
I loved the originality of the book, this new ghost ridden world that only children and teens can see was imaginative and interesting. I was intrigued by the mystery of the Shift and what caused it. While we begin to explore the mystery, the story barely scratches the surface so I look forward to discovering more as the series progresses.
This was a surprisingly easy read, and while it was sad and moving, it was written in a way that wasn't over wrought.
A refreshingly different young adult novel, that is sad and at times intense, but never the less enjoyable. The storyline was developed slowly and the second half certainly has more pace than the first. We're given just a few hints of what is to come in the subsequent books. It doesn't reveal much, but what it does give is just enough to leave you wanting more.(less)