This is a really tough one to review. On one hand, I had issues with the book but the shocking endingOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
This is a really tough one to review. On one hand, I had issues with the book but the shocking ending is making me question everything I read. I'm now left wondering if I read it again with new eyes, will I better appreciate the story Woods has constructed? I would say yes, but upon deeper reflection I've decided to review this book based on what I thought while reading it - we'll get to the ending later!!
Cara Lange is a lonely teenager who longs for the most desired boy at school. She sits with people who ignore her at lunch and unsuccessfully tries to dodge the extreme bullying by the popular girls. Alexis Henning is the mastermind behind the terrorising and also happens to be the girlfriend of Cara's crush, Ethan Gray. She's only ever had one friend, that being a girl named Zoe, who she hasn't seen in over five years. Choker begins with a flashback and we instantly see that Zoe is a disturbed character to avoid. One thing that was great about the book was Woods' ability to turn up the creep factor. So many disturbing things happen and you'll want to do nothing but shout at Cara to keep her distance! So when Zoe mysteriously ends up in Cara's room and asks for a place to stay…things get nasty.
The focal points of Choker are the chilling deaths and disappearances of Cara's bullies, and Cara's budding friendship with Ethan (who, I must say, wasn't very likeable). The apprehension built up from the prologue directly continues as soon as Zoe makes her reappearance. She claims she ran away from her stepdad, who she "dealt with", and begs Cara to keep her presence a secret. Are the alarm bells ringing yet?! For the majority of the book, Cara is largely dependent on Zoe and bends over backwards trying to keep her happy. This was a very frustrating cycle that had me ripping my hair out. How could someone be so ignorant and blind, even if they are desperate?! Zoe's jealous rages only become more prominent the more Cara goes to parties and hangs out with Ethan. Smoke is literally coming out of her ears right now.. - duck for cover? Throughout the book, you'll feel an overwhelming amount of worry from knowing what exactly Zoe is capable of. While Cara's oblivious, we're on the edge of our seats just waiting for the worst to happen.
So what didn't I like about this book? Cara. Yes, she's a victim but I always have trouble reading books with weak protagonists, especially when they lack the depth and proper growth to make it work. I felt that Woods didn't develop the characters well enough and we only had the real surface images of Deranged Friend and Sad Loner. I was looking for more complexity, which Choker sadly lacked. Ethan wasn't a great love interest at all. Why would you be in love with someone who does nothing about the bullying their girlfriend dishes out? For me, Ethan was just another bland and stereotypical "popular sports captain". What a shame! So as I said before, the twist at the end doesn't excuse the poor characterisation. It's an essential element to any good book, and it really could have been done well with this type of story.
This review may look like I'm dumping a whole lot of "this and that annoyed me" on you, but there are certainly some fantastic qualities to this story. Woods' portrayal and strong message of teen bullying is very powerful. Even if you do hate Cara as a character, you can't help but want to give her a hug for everything she's endured at her young age. If not for that, you should stick around for Zoe. She'll keep you in suspense with her unexpected mood changes and if I had to describe her in two words? Psychotic and Manipulative. While I absolutely hated her, she is probably the only thing that kept the story going. The epic twist was brilliant. I would never have guessed it but judging from other reviews, other people did because they paid close attention to detail. While I'm tempted to read this again just to see if I can spot the clues…I don't think I can deal with Cara again. So if you haven't read this book and are meaning to, definitely pay attention and try to figure out the twist. Choker could have been better but I applaud Woods for giving her debut a good whack with this great idea!...more
After falling in love with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour last year, I've been anxiously awaiting SecondOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
After falling in love with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour last year, I've been anxiously awaiting Second Chance Summer and am over the moon that it managed to exceed my expectations. I'm in awe at how connected I was to the characters and felt every single emotion they were feeling. I cried too many tears while reading this book, during moments that probably didn't even warrant them, and was blown away by the depth Matson created with her layered stories and complicated characters. This is one of my favourite books this year, so I sincerely hope you enjoy it just as much!
Taylor Edwards and her family decide to spend the summer at their lake house together for the very last time. Her father has terminal pancreatic cancer and is predicted to have only 3 more months left to live. The once healthy and fit owner of a law firm is now slowly deteriorating before their eyes, but refuses to let them see his weakness, even though it's a futile effort. Taylor and her father have a very close relationship, a bond that you know will tear your heart out once its gone. Her siblings both have their own stories to tell in Lake Phoenix, from making new friends to falling in love, and the connection Matson forms between us all is immensely strong. She gets us so involved with the story that its impossible not to crash when the storm hits and every single one of them is affected.
The second main storyline in Second Chance Summer is Taylor's damaged relationships with her first love, Henry Crosby, and old best friend, Lucy Marino. They happen to meet up again this summer but the two are hostile, hurt and unforgiving of something Taylor did five years ago. What could it be? This question plagues us for the majority of the novel, slowly answering itself through suspenseful flashbacks and snippets of conversations, during which Taylor makes the effort to mend things between them. I loved the many steps forward and backwards we took to get from Point A to B, seeing relationships slowly change and heal, despite the immense toll it put on my heart. This is an emotional book that really rises above others through its characters and story; the depth I was talking about before. I can't even put into words how breathtaking these relationships were!
My heart stills thuds madly as I think back to the hurt, love and frustration this book made me feel. Matson truly brings us to the highest of highs and lowest of lows, all in the span of this one book. We experience every romance, every heartbreak, every friendship and every betrayal. I keep saying it but these characters have so much depth, which adds to the story's power infinitely. We truly care about what happens to them and are basically living within their bodies, feeling everything they are. It's crazy. Matson, what are you doing to me?!
There are numerous story lines in this book that demand to be paid attention to but Matson manages to balance them all PERFECTLY. I smiled and cried a lot while reading this, so have some emergency supplies on hand. I will never forget the final few chapters of this book - heartbreakingly beautiful and, hands down, one of the best endings ever. If you don't shed some tears, I'm calling you heartless! Matson never fails to get our hearts jumping out of our chests with these realistic characters of hers. Second Chance Summer is pretty much flawless and one of the best contemporaries I've ever read, so please put it at the top of your TBR pile immediately!...more
It isn't a secret that I didn't enjoy Girl, Missing as much as I would've liked but this book kicks thOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
It isn't a secret that I didn't enjoy Girl, Missing as much as I would've liked but this book kicks things up a notch and is much more enjoyable! While I still wasn't head-over-heels in love with the characters, I found myself becoming engaged in the large amounts of action and complex mysteries. Years after the release of the first book, Sister, Missing is a great improvement to the series.
Lauren's real father passed away 9 months ago and now at sixteen, she's had time to grow up and be more mature than she was at fourteen. I wasn't pleased to see hints of her selfishness peek out again and hinder her progress but luckily it was much more bearable this time around! We have the good plot to thank for that. I enjoyed the story immensely! Lauren's younger sister, Madison, is kidnapped on the beach and all signs point to Sonia, the woman who kidnapped Lauren in a very similar fashion when she was a little girl. I loved the negotiations, tasks, threats and mysterious phone calls that came with this storyline, plus the twists that occurred throughout the book! There was never a dull moment.
The characters were developed more in this sequel, which gave it more depth than the first. Shelby, Lauren's sister, is a character to be hated. She does an endless list of horrible things but you might eventually forgive her at the end... Might. I was surprised with the conclusion, but thought it was fitting for the series. There will be a third book, six years in the future, so I guess that's why things are left relatively open-ended.
All in all, a fast-paced read that'll entertain with its action and suspense. Sister, Missing was much better than its predecessor and I'm glad I continued on to leave with a better impression of McKenzie's writing. On that note, I'll be keeping an eye out for her soon-to-be-released, Falling Fast! Sounds like a nice contemporary romance I'd enjoy....more
Girl, Missing is an easy read that will entertain those looking for a light adventure. After Lauren MaOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Girl, Missing is an easy read that will entertain those looking for a light adventure. After Lauren Matthews discovers that she's actually Martha Purditt, who was stolen from her parents as a child, she finds her parents reluctant to talk about her supposed closed adoption, making her suspicious about their involvement. Fleeing from the airport with her best friend in tow, she's determined to find answers about her real family. The two parts of the book, significantly titled Finding Martha and Finding Lauren, both deal with Lauren's slow discovery of what her life means and how she'll move on now that everything's changed. For better or for worse, who knows?
There are engaging mysteries in this book that would've been enjoyable, had it not been for Lauren. As a young teenager, her behaviour should be excused but I can't bring myself to do it. I know at fourteen I wouldn't have made such rash decisions (on a huge scale!) or been so frighteningly self-centred. I don't know if it was the author's intention to make her main character this way for development reasons, but I certainly hope so! Otherwise, just kill me now. "Why was he acting like this was my fault?" No comment...
Throughout the book is a very subtle romance that helps tie the plot together. From the very beginning, readers will see that Jam, her best friend since primary school, is romantically interested in her. He refuses to leave Lauren on her own so he always goes along with her risky plans, being pulled into dangerous situations that are bigger than just the two of them. Overall, he's the sweet guy you can take home but does Lauren see it at all? No, she's too busy minding her own business. I admit, her total ignorance about almost everything annoyed me, but they do have some sweet moments together you can appreciate.
Girl, Missing's action begins on page one. Soon after the book begins, Lauren makes the discovery and gets thrown into the thick of things. With people determined to keep her history a secret, she'll face criminals, dangerous folks in the dark and more! Sometimes things were just hard to imagine though. Are we meant to believe that, at fourteen, these kids could just fly around the country with barely any money and not get killed by their attackers or caught by the authorities? That they would be able to survive on their own? This doesn't happen in real life and coincidences (conflict-solving-wise) don't exist. I don't care that this is fiction - my belief was not suspended!
In saying that, this book isn't all bad! Once you get past Lauren's immaturity, you might find yourself enjoying the mystery. With confusing diaries, memories and secrets with a few small twists thrown in for good measure, McKenzie has set up a good backstory for the sequel, which I enjoyed much more. Even with the disappointing lead, I found myself really liking all of the secondary characters so I guess that's another plus! Girl, Missing deals with the issues of not knowing where you quite belong and not appreciating what you have until you've lost it. Interesting but flawed!...more
The final book of the series… Can you believe it? After all of the hardships and passionate romances,Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
The final book of the series… Can you believe it? After all of the hardships and passionate romances, we're finally at the end! Once again, Elkeles brings in a new coupling that's completely unlike the other two. While Luis Fuentes has a clear vision of his future as an astronaut, Nikki Cruz hates her Mexican background and would rather be white, seeing as she acts like one anyway. After her Mexican ex-boyfriend, Marco, dumped her for the Latino Blood gang while she was pregnant with his baby, Nikki vowed to stay away from boys, especially those from the south side. Chain Reaction has the most twists of the series and is a great ending to this beloved story.
Meeting at a wedding, Nikki immediately has a negative reaction to Luis… So what does she do? Steal his clothes while he's skinny dipping in the ocean with some girl! Oh, the fire! Out of the three female love interests, I think it was the hardest to relate to Nikki. On one hand, I loved that she was so strong, having overcome many painful obstacles as a young adult, but it was difficult to connect with her as a character because of the her bullet-proof barriers. As she and Luis fall in love, we see him begin to chip away at her walls and teach her how to trust him. They have a sweet, though problematic, relationship, which complements the main storyline well.
The gang activity from the previous books all lead up to this. Chuy Soto, a dangerous man who wants Luis' help to rebuild the Latino Blood gang, is free from prison and willing to do anything to get what he wants. Luis faces hard choices, as he weighs in on the importance of his future, his family and the love of his life. As we learn shocking secrets and navigate through fast twists, each one just seems to get worse and worse! At times you'll want to shake the characters for their stubborn or dangerous decisions, but you can only cross your fingers and hope for the best...
Throughout Chain Reaction, we discover many developments in the lives of the two previous couples. With weddings, babies, break ups and who knows what else, you'll love seeing your favourite characters return one last time! Every single book in the series has ended with an epilogue, twenty something years in the future, and this one is no different. In each, we see how the Fuentes brothers have grown up and knowing that they've all reached that point makes me feel so indescribably content! Elkeles has wrapped up this series brilliantly while still leaving room for the characters' lives to continue. This series is magnificent and will forever be remembered as being dangerous, exciting and sexy....more
Rules of Attraction is very different to Perfect Chemistry, so there's no need to worry about the sameOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Rules of Attraction is very different to Perfect Chemistry, so there's no need to worry about the same story being rehashed with a different brother. After the events of the first novel, where Carlos was sent to live in the safety of Mexico, he's now returning to America without any dreams or ambitions. He's perfectly content with his life in the gang, despite the disappointment of his older brother. Whereas Alex spends Perfect Chemistry attempting to distance himself from the Latino Blood gang, Carlos is someone who has to realise it's not good for him first. Here's where boy-hating Kiara comes in, bitter from past boyfriends and out for revenge. Can you say MEEOW?
Like in the first book, Carlos and Kiara don't hit it off immediately. While there's an instant physical attraction, it takes them both a while to like what they see on the inside. I adored these two characters! Kiara has a stutter, which she can usually control, but it all comes apart when she's nervous (hint: Carlos makes her very nervous). While we get to see her vulnerable side, she has a strong personality and is able to handle herself very well too. Did I mention that she can really think up devilish pranks? Stale cookies and magnets - that's all I'm going to say! Carlos is obviously troubled and isn't afraid of danger. After drugs are planted in his locker, he has to join a reach program to avoid jail and guess what? HE MOVES IN WITH KIARA. Oh the fun, intense times.
The best thing about Rules of Attraction is probably the character growth. As Carlos acclimates to Kiara's family, we see his sweet side as he befriends her younger brother and finds support in her parents. The two bring out the best in each other and it was heart-warming to see how they both changed for the better! Once again, the gangs won't just let them be a happy couple. There are complications. There is action. There are smart plans and maybe not so great outcomes. You'll have to see for yourself!
This was another great book by Elkeles and a great continuation of the series. She made us fall in love with new characters while still giving Alex and Brittany a few cameos! I really like how the sequels are written as if they're spin-offs. We're getting a new perspective and entirely different adventure in the same world with the characters we already know and love. A win-win situation!...more
Do you remember when computers had those screensavers with the winding pipes and mazes? Or when we thoOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Do you remember when computers had those screensavers with the winding pipes and mazes? Or when we thought those clunky desktops were the most fascinating they-can't-get-any-better things ever? In 1996, when technology was hardly as advanced as ours, two best friends find themselves on a strange Facebook page and begin seeing their future 2011 lives play out right before their eyes. They discover every single action they make in the present affects their future and they learn much about themselves on this confusing journey. The Future of Us is a fantastic novel that perfectly captures the feeling of an uncertain future and the possibility of change.
Over the course of one week, Emma and Josh's lives are turned completely upside down. Things between the two childhood friends have been awkward for the past 6 months, after Josh confessed his romantic feelings for Emma and she rejected him. It doesn't help that she's currently dating the handsy Graham and hating it, though she's been meaning to break up with him for a while... The relationships in The Future of Us are really important, and the build-up of Emma and Josh's is done so very well. We read about their fun adventures as children and how they used to always comfort each other. Readers know Josh is perfect for Emma and we're just waiting for her to realise it!
The novel definitely deals with the idea of trying to change the future when you know what's in store for you. Will your decision to change things make them worse or are you better off letting life play out naturally? Emma's character struggles a lot in the book, constantly trying to control her future life because she suspects she's unhappy. While preventing herself from meeting future husbands, things such as her relationship with Josh are significantly altered too (and not for the better). The Future of Us is very thought-provoking and makes you realise that every moment of your life is determined by millions of tiny decisions, whether you tip over a mug of coffee and have to call the cleaner or decide to go for a run at 10:04 rather than 10:05.
I thoroughly enjoyed navigating the million relationships and obstacles in this book! While it doesn't tangle your brain's wiring, it certainly makes you think and will have you caught up in the mystery and suspense. All of the characters are very well developed too and you'll come to love them very quickly! Serious but fun, The Future of Us will have you reminiscing about the past while wondering about your very own future. The novel ends quite loosely and allows you to decide how things will continue, but with such sweetness and hope, it really isn't that hard <3...more
"If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture.Originally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
"If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline."
When You Were Mine sets the tone for the rest of the novel with its intriguing prologue, ripe with downcast foreshadowing. We go into this book knowing that Rosaline's going to be dumped by the love of her life, and spend the time afterwards dreading the inevitable breakup and whatever else may follow. This book tugged at my heartstrings and had me tearing up on many occasions. Serle does a fantastic job capturing that pure heartache and confusion that often surrounds breakups, so don't be surprised if you go into a slightly depressed state while reading! This is a very enjoyable read, despite the bashing it gives your emotions and state of mind.
I certainly didn't fall in love with the characters straight away. Rosaline Caplet is part of the beautiful, popular and privileged crowd and I wondered how I'd ever become invested in their lives, but soon enough, Rose's sweet romance with Rob Monteg begins and has everyone swooning every five seconds. The atmosphere is thick with her love for her best childhood friend, and every adorable scene between the two is bittersweet as Juliet's arrival looms very closely ahead. This was one of the first 'breakup' books I've read. Usually YA books are all about GETTING the boyfriend, not losing one to your cousin and getting your heart ripped out in the process! Juliet's gorgeous and manipulative (Satan reincarnated) but I really don't know who to blame for Rose's heartache. Juliet for stealing him away purposely or Rob for dropping Rose like a hot potato after seeing the perfect blonde? Ugh.
Amidst all of the sadness and anger are flashbacks that provide such gripping suspense. We learn that there's a feud between Rose and Juliet's parents that's lasted for years. Rose can still remember the day when Juliet's family became hostile very suddenly for no apparent reason. Through a series of well-placed flashbacks throughout the book, we slowly begin to unfold their backstory and I loved it! Juliet calls Rose's family "traitors" constantly and it's very satisfying when you finally discover what caused the rift. It's controversial and explains so much more about Juliet's behaviour, although I'm in no way, shape or form ready to forgive her! The ending of this book was very surprising. Out of all of the outcomes, I didn't expect that…but I probably should've. My brain and heart can't quite decide how I feel about it yet, but it's definitely one that'll keep you thinking! *rubs chest over heart*
But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. There's a boy named Len…and he's a bad boy prankster who has everyone convinced that he just doesn't care… Would you believe that he has a heart under there? One that's soft and fond of Rose? Oh my. He was, no doubt, the best character in When You Were Mine and you'll have no problem at all warming up to him! Especially when you discover that his feelings aren't exactly new… He tries his best to lighten the mood and constantly shows how kind he really is, despite how much he tries to hide it. Rob Schmob!! I do have to mention, though, that Rose has fantastic chemistry with both of her love interests. The romance certainly feels real so bravo to Serle!
I don't usually read books that I know are going to be sad, but I just couldn't resist seeing how this story would play out. Serle sticks needles into us and pulls out every emotion she can think of. She conjures up such deep sympathy, anguish and frustration that I felt like I was the one being dumped! I can't exactly describe this book but just in the way she writes and constructs the story, everything feels very genuine and heartfelt. The author set out to write something moving and she's definitely achieved that! This was a truly wonderful read about taking a chance and allowing yourself to fall in love again, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, give it a go and maybe you'll be surprised!...more
Calling all music lovers! Virtuosity brings alive the passionate love a person can have for music andOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Calling all music lovers! Virtuosity brings alive the passionate love a person can have for music and the things they sometimes they have to sacrifice in order to pursue it. The novel starts with an absolutely bang, right at the climax of the novel where Carmen is about to make the most important decision of her life, one that could devastate her musical career forever. From then on, Carmen grows infinitely as a character as relationships are tested and stretched to limits, and as she learns that life is usually unfair. Virtuosity is a great read that I recommend to anyone who has a strong love for anything!
This novel will bring about quite a few laughs. Carmen is a one of the best violinists in the whole world and her exciting adventure begins one night when she decides to stalk Jeremy King, the only person standing in her way of winning the Guarneri competition. It comes around only once every four years and is the most prestigious title in the world, the winner taking home prize money, a priceless violin and the chance to play with some of the best symphonies in the world. Carmen and Jeremy immediately click, although she is very reluctant to get chummy with the enemy. Virtuosity deals with Carmen's struggles leading up to the competition, while she battles the fear that she's only being used. Are Jeremy's feelings real? Is he buttering her up so that she'll let him win? Is he planning to break her heart and mind? Readers are left in darkness and must wait until the end to find out! Oh how my heart broke for Carmen. Along with her conflicting feelings for Jeremy, she attempts to come off her anxiety pills with the competition looming just around the corner and her controlling mother doesn't believe that she can win without them. This novel is packed with raw emotion and compelling plot that you'll love.
Jeremy and Carmen's relationship begins quite suddenly and quickly. Usually this insta-love would annoy me but it suitably adds to the mystery of his motives, and despite the worry about the genuineness of his feelings, I really liked their relationship! Jeremy helps bring Carmen out of her shell and her innocence is a beautiful contrast to his cocky confidence. I think the events leading up to and after the climax will really shock you. I thought I had the story figured out but was I wrong! Tension and betrayal…who's to blame?
Virtuosity teaches us lessons about believing in ourselves, doing what's right and ultimately growing to be stronger people who persevere no matter how difficult the task. The ending is so fitting and I love Martinez for not taking the easy way out. We're left with a sense of hope that what's to come in the future will be good. A really great story that'll ring strong with music lovers!...more
Noah Shaw: Two of the sexiest words in the English language. For months, all I've been hearing about iOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Noah Shaw: Two of the sexiest words in the English language. For months, all I've been hearing about is this swoon-worthy Noah and boy, I was not disappointed. Other than the fact that Noah will make you weak in the knees, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is an exciting mystery that will mess with your mind in so many ways! After her friends died in the collapse of an old mental asylum, Mara moves to Florida and begins piecing together the memories that are hiding in the dark recesses of her mind.
Throughout the book, you'll constantly be confused about whether something's a reality or an illusion. With Mara's mind blocking out the frightening memories of her traumatic experience, hallucinations and nightmares become her brain's coping mechanism. It isn't until the very end that the full story is revealed and things make sense, but even then, you'll still have a million questions! Hodkin unfolds the mystery perfectly and throws us small clues that don't ever quite add up until she wants them to. The storyline is gripping from beginning to end and will have you tearing the pages apart at the flashbacks that always end just when you're onto something! Mara's not a normal girl...but I'll be vague with this. You really have to go into this book blind to get the full effect! I read Mara Dyer in one sitting and refused to stop even though the sun was beginning to rise. It's that addictive.
In a good book, an interesting storyline must come with strong characters. From Mara's hilarious but caring family to her flamboyant friend, Jamie, you'll find someone to fall in love with. Everyone's unique and loveable - the only exception being Anna, the snotty princess who's set her devil eyes on Noah's newest object of affection… Kudos to Mara for being such a great female lead! From the moment I saw her humour and strength shine through, I knew I'd love this book. As Mara also shows her confused and vulnerable side, you'll easily become invested in her story! Mara's a brilliant narrator and will have you feeling every single emotion that she is. Beautiful writing by Hodkin!
Now comes the hard part. Where do I even begin to describe Noah Shaw? Looking effortlessly rumpled with his messy bed hair and dishevelled clothes, his enticing British accent will tip you over the edge! Having the reputation of a player who's god-like in bed, Mara knows she should steer clear of the boy. Even though said boy follows her into classrooms (THAT AREN'T HIS) and flirts relentlessly. Even though he tries to rile her up in English class (HE READS BOOKS) and won't stop trying to coerce her into a date. With his French and Spanish skills. The sexual tension in this book is like no other! You better watch out or else the pages will start burning! Oh, how I lived for their banter and teasing. You won't find a better match in the entire universe. Noah Shaw is…officially the hottest YA guy of all time. You better screenshot that for future reference. I'm sticking by it. *nods* If you have to pour cold water on yourself later, don't say I didn't warn you.
Ultimately, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will be seating itself on your favourites shelf. With this explosive plot and winning characters, I can't see how you'd be able to do otherwise! After a succession of gasp-worthy twists, we're left with a shocking cliffhanger that will have the brain cogs spinning all over again. Right now, I'm just relieved that there will be MORE. I almost cried at the prospect of finishing the journey here! Mara and Noah will do that to you. I'm speechless. In awe. In crazy sexy love with everything that is this series. Michelle Hodkin, you are a goddess. I'm building my shrine right now....more
It's London 1349 and 14 year old Seraphina has been stabbed. She feels her life slipping away…before hOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
It's London 1349 and 14 year old Seraphina has been stabbed. She feels her life slipping away…before her blue-eyed suitor gives her a few drops of his special formula for immortality. Fast forward a few centuries and Sera's tired of killing girls in order to slip into their bodies. Coming to hate what she's become, she wants out, and Cyrus will stop at nothing to find and drag her back to him by the hair. With a refreshing concept and an interesting cast of characters, The Alchemy of Forever is a short read that will entertain and surprise.
While on the run from Cyrus and his other Incarnates, Sera accidentally slips into the body of Kailey Morgan, a teenager who has a seemingly normal but complicated life. I loved exploring her relationships with Kailey's friends and family, the former being a little suspicious... As the story develops, the "innocent girl" facade is lost and Kailey's true self is revealed. That combined with the intriguing mechanics of alchemy, Sera is troubled by the meaning and worth of her life. Will she make something out of her new one or will she look forward to the day her body dies, and her soul with it forever?
I thought the romance between Sera and her neighbour was so sweet! Kailey's always kept Noah at an arm's length in public, and has only ever indulged in his kind presence when on her own. As we learn about the many flaws of Kailey and watch Sera try to rebuild her life, we also see Noah falling for the girl who seems strangely different in a very good way. He adores Sera's kind heart and feels her snatch up his own in an instant. Their relationship is nothing explosive or intense but it adds a wonderful sense of comfort that complements the suspense/thriller wonderfully. We need some light moments - her psychopathic ex is hot on her heels after all...
Although this isn't a five-star book, the focus on Sera's new life will keep you guessing and engaged. While Noah will make you melt with his charm and thoughtfulness, Cyrus will be a constant worry. When he finally joins the party? Wow. Sera's decision about life? Wow. The cliffhanger? Wow. The Alchemy of Forever would've been fantastic had it been longer and had the opportunity to really develop, but you'll easily finish this book in one sitting and be wishing you had the sequel immediately! I mean…can you say CLIFFHANGER ALERT?...more
Sarah Alderson has once again returned with a stunning series. Fated is even more action-packed than hOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Sarah Alderson has once again returned with a stunning series. Fated is even more action-packed than her first novel, Hunting Lila, and will leave you desperate for more. Amazing fight-scenes? A diverse and interesting cast of characters? Two brilliant leads? A sizzling hot romance? Check, check, check and CHECK! When Evie Tremain is forced into the Hunter lifestyle after discovering she's the only purebred left - in other words, the only one who can fulfil the White Light prophecy - she's conflicted between doing her duty as a Hunter, living her life as a normal human and abandoning everything for the man she loves... A man who also happens to be her enemy - a member of the Brotherhood, which aims to eliminate all Hunters, namely Evie. If you're ready for another exciting read, get yourself a copy of Fated right this instant!
Lucas Gray, a half human and half Shadow Warrior, moves into Evie's house and is sent there to spy on the Hunters in town, learning their training methods and tactics. While his mission is to kill Evie before she ends the Brotherhood for good, Lucas also struggles with his duty because of his burgeoning love for her. I really love forbidden romances, especially when the stakes are this high. It's literally a life and death situation - they have to kill each other! - that will have your heart racing at a million miles an hour. Evie and Lucas are a perfect couple, having unbelievable similarities and understanding each other only like they can. Although it takes a long time for them to get together, the entire process is exhilarating! Being a Shadow Warrior means Lucas can turn invisible and...things certainly get interesting here. A slow-burning romance filled with danger, secrets and passion? Yes please!
This entire world is magnificent. I love the mythology, I love the creatures, I love everything about the way Alderson's constructed this story. Shocking? Not at all. Some authors have amazing stories but are let down by stony characters we couldn't care less about. But Sarah? She could write about two people watching tv and it would still be award-winning! Her characters are always so loveable and developed that it's shocking how quickly you become invested in their lives, that is, if you haven't read any of her books before… I knew Fated was going to be brilliant and damn it if I wasn't right! There's honestly no slowing down in this book, it's packed with material. With one exciting scene after another, it's no surprise this is another 2012 favourite. Read this and you will not regret it. It's brilliant, end of story!...more
Until I received this in the mail, I had never heard of Hunting Lila. Muggings? Murders? What! This noOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
Until I received this in the mail, I had never heard of Hunting Lila. Muggings? Murders? What! This novel absolutely blew me away and I am so glad to have read it. It's everything you could ever want in a book - hot male leads, a strong female protagonist, fantastic abilities, fast-paced action, suspenseful plot and more! When Lila begins to fear her telekinesis, she immediately jumps on a plane headed for California, seeking the comfort of her older brother, Jack. Well, that's what she's says but…we all know she's after his best friend ;) For as long as she can remember, Lila has been in love with Alex. Stunningly handsome and sweet, she was utterly defenceless against his charms and couldn't help but fall in love as a little girl. Through flashbacks and sweet memories, Lila's affections return full force with their reunion and here we are, stuck with a big pile of sexual tension and dangerous longing.
I had no time to take a breath or to even put this book down. It was amazing scene after amazing scene and I am still gobsmacked at the magnificent storytelling. Alderson has a way with words and I would have never guessed that this was her first novel. Our positions towards characters are changed constantly and the twists are plentiful - In a good way...in a very good way. The Unit is the heart of Hunting Lila's mysterious story line and boy is this "military operation" interesting. There's also a group of Psy's, deadset on capturing Lila (hence the title) because The Unit's captured one of their own. A one for one trade - sounds fair? I loved this group and cannot wait to see more of them. So many different personalities with such a variety of gifts… Interesting times await us!
The relationships in this novel are Hunting Lila's strengths. When Lila and Alex's mother was murdered when they were children, Lila was forced to move to London with her father, while Jack remained with Alex's family. Since birth, Jack's been the stereotypical brother - protective and caring. These siblings are super cute, even if Jack may be a bit overbearing at times (as older brothers are!). I know what you're waiting for - Alex and Lila. May I recommend a fan? A towel? Perhaps a bucket of cold water? These two are dead sexy and you will drive yourself crazy, begging for them to finally admit their feelings! There's an amazing push and pull between them, with years of longing resulting in truckloads of tension and guilt. Are you ready for this? Be prepared for some crazy heart palpations!
Hunting Lila in one word: Amazing. Like I said, it doesn't get much better than this. I am so excited for book #2 because there are so many questions to be answered and so many storylines to explore! In the mean time, we'll have to settle for Sarah's new paranormal novel, Fated, set to be released in January 2012....more
What we may call the Underworld or Hell, they call Everneath, the place where the immortal EverlivingOriginally posted at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
What we may call the Underworld or Hell, they call Everneath, the place where the immortal Everliving feed on the emotions and life forces of Forfeits. After being tricked by Cole Stockton, Nikki Beckett becomes a Forfeit and spends 6 months (100 Everneath years) bound to the Everliving boy. Miraculously surviving the Feed, she's given the opportunity to become the Queen of High Court but decides to return to the Surface, all because she can't get the image of a brown-haired boy out of her mind. It's the only way she thinks she survived. With only 6 months before her Return to Everneath forever, Nikki races against the clock to repair her relationships and prevent her impending doom. A very exciting and action-packed romance you won't want to miss - you really will regret it.
The characters in Everneath are breath-taking. When Nikki returns to the Surface she's miserable - her father and school thinks she's a drug addict, her ex-boyfriend hates her for leaving him, her best friend is unfamiliar and a certain Everliving won't leave her alone. While this story is twisted with romance and the supernatural, above all it's about human redemption. Nikki's jaded and sees no future for herself but as time passes, hope begins to blossom with the constantly growing support of her friends and family. I loved going on this emotional journey with Nikki and watching her come that little bit more out of her shell every day. I can't even properly explain how amazing this book is. The mythology and mystery is just fabulous! We learn about Everneath and the myths that mirror Nikki's survival piece by piece, and what we're left with is a rich, detailed and very realistic world.
Everneath switches between the past and present, showing us the wonderful life Nikki used to have and what effect her time in Everneath's had on it. As we learn more and more about the Everliving and Cole's deceptive role in her leaving, the flashbacks also show to us what was not obvious to Nikki then. With every chapter is an ominous countdown to her Return, and as things get more desperate, the jumps in time seem larger and larger. She had six months. How is there only three weeks left? Don't even get me started on when we get down to hours! You'll truly be on the edge of your seat, glued to the nail-biting action.
I know you want to hear about the romance. It's explosive. It's swoon-worthy. It'll melt you in your seat. Pre-Everneath, Nikki and Jack Caputo were the perfect couple but Jack's now the proud owner of an eyebrow piercing and an aching heart. The sickeningly sweet flashbacks and harsh reality of the present contrast so well and show you just how much things have changed between the two. You'll see all sides of their relationship - the tender moments, the misunderstandings, the passionate love, the fights - and even learn why Nikki left with Cole in the first place. With each revelation comes a gasp and you'll be desperate to see Nikki and Jack's relationship be on the mend! It's slow goings at first but wow, is it worth it. Ashton's pacing is spot on and her unfolding of the story is executed perfectly. While we're positioned to dislike Cole, just when he reaches the lowest of lows and we despise him, Ashton flips things around and makes us sympathetic again! UGH! Mind-messing stuff, this is.
Everneath is truly one of the best books of 2012. I know we're only a week into it, but I know this will stay in my favourites for a long time. As each new story and flashback unfolds a piece of the puzzle, you'll be as anxious as ever to come to the conclusion. Your heart will be pounding away, terrified of how things will end. What will happen when the 6 months are up?! Let me tell you, I was horrified and couldn't believe my eyes. Where's the sequel when you need it? I think I may have a heart attack very very soon if I don't deal with this cliffhanger!...more
This was easily one of the best books I have read this year, maybe even ever. Just thinking about it now, my heart is literRead Me Bookmark Me Love Me
This was easily one of the best books I have read this year, maybe even ever. Just thinking about it now, my heart is literally fluttering away and begging me to read this all over again. Friendships, love, overcoming fears and adventures that push you to grow…Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a heartwarming novel about two young adults finding themselves, as well as each other, whilst taking a journey across America.
Amy Curry's father died in a car accident a few months ago, something she blames herself for. When forced to road-trip with Roger, he is the permanent driver as she is terrified of taking the wheel again. Don't think that this story is a sad one, though. There aren't long, brooding passages or scenes with Amy's bouts of crying. This novel is fun - I can't say it enough. We're sporadically shown photos, receipts, scrapbook entries, etc. throughout the novel and they were a joy to read. Amy's comments in her scrapbook are especially hilarious and you'll easily find your cheeks aching from the constant smiling!
Amy and Roger's relationship develops slowly so you're really able to appreciate them as good friends first. They understand each other and are very supportive. What would you do if your maybe-crush was hung up on an ex-girlfriend who may or may not have used him, but he's still completely unaware and willing to chase after her? Yeah...did I mention that Amy's mother planned an itinerary for them? One that they neglected? The stops were as boring as they could be, so the two decided to take a detour, travelling to different states, doing some sightseeing and meeting up with friends. Amy & Roger experience everything together and their love is so perfect that you wonder where on earth it came from, right along with the characters!
Truly beautiful, this novel is not to be missed. I dreaded the ending because I just didn't want to leave Amy and Roger, but the positive scene left me hopeful and satisfied. With interesting characters, gorgeous descriptions of American landscape and landmarks, realistic issues and a sweet romance, Matson will leave you floating in the air, wishing for a little detour of your own. ...more