This is one of my favourite series so I was absolutely ecstatic to get my hands on this book! If you fell in love with Finley and her special crew in Steel Corset, you'll love Clockwork Collar because things get even more action-packed and exciting. Does the synopsis not capture your attention immediately? Jasper's been taken by a dangerous gang leader, Reno Dalton, and must find all of the pieces of a secret device he scattered around New York last year after escaping. The clockwork collar around his past love's neck is quite literally one that will tighten and tighten. If anyone but Mei touches it, she'll die, simple as that. The stakes are high, yes? So strap yourselves in for another beautiful adventure with Kady Cross!
While I loved the London setting in the previous book, New York was so much grittier and had this indescribable atmosphere about it. As always, I felt right back in the 19th century and was thoroughly sucked into the world! Of course, I was slightly sad that Jack Dandy got left behind but the other characters were more than enough to keep me satisfied! What I love about this series is how Cross manages to incorporate every single character into the storyline and let them have their own personal journeys parallel to Finley's. YA books often focus 99% on the main female lead, but Cross switches narrators throughout the book and makes all of her characters stand out because they're REAL and have lives outside of their interactions with Finley. When I first saw the synopsis, I admit I was slightly worried that the book would be boring and all about Jasper and Mei, but I found that it wasn't the case at all. We spend a significant amount of time with Finley's gang (although the two worlds overlap a lot!) but with the story Cross has written, I really don't think you'll mind reading an entire Jasper book anyway! He's a very fascinating person...
What do I even say about Finley Jane? Her character becomes even stronger than before and it is always such a joy to experience new things with her. She and Griffin King, the gorgeous Duke of Greythorne, are still trying to resist each other for reasons completely unbeknownst to us! Boy likes girl and vice versa…What's the problem?! Oh Griffin's sense of morality. *shakes head* However, there are so many moments of absolute sweetness and adoration you just can't look past. It's completely obvious to us that Griffin's taken with Finley and we can see it in the way he behaves, the things he does for her and so much more! He's aware of Jack's interest in her too, which makes things even more exciting! Is he just going to stand by and watch his lady be charmed away or is he finally going to do something about it? ;) You will adore seeing him jealous. It's too cute.
It was surprisingly very enjoyable to watch the Dalton/Mei/Jasper storyline unfold. Like I said, the time we do spend away from Finley is amazing and just as exhilarating! You wouldn't believe the fun I had with the other narrators. I refuse to spoil anything so just know that it's filled with danger, excitement, love and fear, all rolled in a bowl full of deception! Cross stays true to the adventure we're used to seeing and it honestly made me feel like jumping into a boxing ring to let out some excess badass! Clockwork Collar is truly one that involves you in the story and engages you completely. You'll be out of your seat and cheering for the heroes soon enough! Although…Dalton really isn't hard to look at. Why are the evil ones always good looking? *coughs* We like a bit of evil...right?
Overall, Clockwork Collar is the kind of book that demands your attention. With its beautiful cast of characters who lead lives far more interesting than ours, there's no way it won't sweep you up off your feet! The romance and action had me fainting and squealing all over the place so watch out! Even though there are a few things that you know are going to happen, it doesn't make the ride any less enjoyable. Oh, the drama and mystery! I'm desperate for the third book now. I need to know what happens next! This is an absolutely must-read book so don't even think about giving it a miss! (less)
I never expected to love this series so much. I was blown away by how much I adored certain characters and detested others! If the sizzling romance doesn't do it for you…..perhaps the exciting action and magical plot? Maria V. Snyder has written yet another amazing series I hope everyone will read. Although Poison Study certainly has an adult novel feel to it (minus the "adult content"), fans of the young adult genre will easily become accustomed to the more mature themes!
19 year old Yelena is a prisoner in Commander Ambrose's dungeon, about to be executed for murdering General Brazell's son, Reyad. She is granted a reprieve when Valek, the Commander's security chief, offers her the position of the Commander's food taster. Valek poisons her with Butterfly's Dust, ensuring that she returns every morning to receive the antidote. Huge nailbiter, am I right? Yelena and Valek's relationship only gets more amazing as the book continues. We see sides of both that we never expect, as they learn from each other and break down the walls encasing their hearts. This coupling…gosh, how much I love it! I could happily read 10 books about their adventures together, it's that good! Along with Valek, Yelena befriends soldiers and other workers in the castle. Janco and Ari are particular favourites of mine but as for everyone else, you'll be questioning their motives and wondering who in the castle is an outsider spy! *gasp*
Yelena is a magic-wielder whose abilities come out in her times of need, something we begin to explore in this first book. Yelena was mentally and physically abused in the orphanage she lived in with General Brazell and Reyad, so we're really able to see her strength of character, as can Valek. Yelena lives in the North, where magic is strictly forbidden, but in the enemy territory of the South she can be taught about her skills, as they embrace magic. Tension between the two lands slowly builds, setting the foundations for the sequels!
Poison Study is a fantastic book with realistic characters you can't help but love. As the plot unravels bit by bit, Yelena and Valek come closer and closer together…. Team Valena badges need to be made! They are absolutely swoon-worthy. This novel will mess with your mind, full of shocking twists and suspenseful action throughout. A stand out read!(less)
Maria V. Snyder never disappoints. All of her books are amazing and Touch of Power is right there at the top, next to her Study series. Once again, we join a strong heroine on her dangerous journey to faraway lands. Avry is the only healer left in the world and all sides will come charging in order to gain one of the most valuable, and possibly dangerous, assets one can have in these times of strife. With a bounty on her head, Avry's attempt at saving a life leads to a betrayal and her ordered execution. That's until Prince Kerrick and his four men come to the rescue, needing her to cure Prince Ryne, a man she loathes, of the plague. Join Avry as she discovers her inner warrior and learns what things are most important in life. Can she sacrifice her own in order to help another King reign? Is he really the enemy or are her opinions of him skewered?
The very best thing about Touch of Power is the brilliantly vibrant cast of characters. They're different to each other in so many ways, yet their personalities balance out perfectly. Avry is the stubborn but selfless healer, Kerrick is the hardened but secretly kind earth magician, Flea is the puppy-dog teenager, Quain and Vinn are the monkeys and Belen is the sweet "poppa bear"! While Avry is initially reluctant to travel with these men to her death, the six bond like no other and become a tightknit family she can't imagine living without. Even when given the opportunity to leave, she can't bear the thought of parting with her closest friends. All of the relationships in this novel are beautiful and will touch your heart like they did mine!
Kerrick. Kerrick, Kerrick, Kerrick. The romance had fireworks flaring. You can't not love him and Avry together! It's absolutely stunning to watch them go from hate to love. It's a long process, trust me, but so worth it. Kerrick and Valek (from Maria's Study series) are quite similar so it's no surprise that I fell in love with him! Kerrick isn't exactly Avry's best friend in the beginning, being borderline cruel, but things, of course, change. Many important discoveries are made as the novel progresses and they'll greatly alter your views on everything, but until then...go insane!
The worlds Snyder creates are always detailed and, in a way, very realistic. With the help of maps and vivid descriptions, it's not difficult to imagine the fifteen realms and nine mountains. It's a magical landscape, perfect for a magical story. With gripping mysteries and exciting adventures, I never wanted the book to end! All of these great elements come together to form an explosive novel, so prepare for Maria to blow your mind.
Give me more! Give me more! I need to know what happens next! Maria has done it again, with a new refreshing cast of characters and plot. Previous fans of her novels will fall in love all over again, while new readers will be eagerly scrambling to feast their eyes on her other work. What a brilliant start to a magnificent series!(less)
As Yelena arrives in the Zaltana homestead, her parents welcome her with open arms. She is reunited with those she once knew but not everyone is as accepting. Some members of the clan, including her older brother Leif, suspect her of being an Ixian spy because she's "different". Magic Study follows Yelena's journey of exploring her magical abilities and deciding what's more important to her - the friends and man she loves in the North or her family and magic in the South?
Magic Study blew my mind. With conflicts coming from the left and right, you won't know where to look! Firstly, the embracement of magic in Sitia is a complete contrast to the forbiddance in Ixia. The Council consists of four master magicians as well as eleven representatives from each clan. Irys, one of the master magicians, is Yelena's mentor and teaches her about the magic she possesses. With training, Yelena discovers that she has the ability of mind control and...something extra. *wink*
Yelena's internal struggle is almost agonising. Her parents are lovely and compassionate people, but Leif tries impossibly hard to drive her out of Sitia. His hatred stems from his feelings of jealousy, abandonment and guilt, which you'll learn all about as the novel progresses! To make things more difficult, her love for Valek must be kept a secret, as he has a reputation for being a cold-hearted Sitian assassin. Yelena, of course, knows another side of him but something tells her that her family won't listen…..
With battles for power, murderers, soul stealing and strange magical abilities, Magic Study is another great novel in the series. Poison Study will always be my favourite but this was still a wonderful read. Even though Yelena's in the South, Valek finds a way to visit so you'll get a nice dose of excitement and romance, don't you worry!(less)
Bare with me here. I have a lot of excess excitement to offload. Was I impressed by The Immortal Rules? Yes, and that would be a severe understatement!! This was my first Julie Kagawa book and she simply blew me away with her fascinating mythology, strong characters and never-ending plot twists that quite literally stopped me from putting the book down. Indeed I read this 450 page book in one sitting, in one night, and immediately had to fight the urge to re-read it again. I'll just say it now: Julie Kagawa is the QUEEN of vampires. Way to make such an overused supernatural creature outstanding!
I admit, I went into The Immortal Rules a little warily, firstly because of the whole vampire aspect but mostly because the book sounded so plot-heavy and out of this world. Vampire city? Blood craze? Rabids?! Well let me tell you, it's not that complicated and is constructed so perfectly that you will have no trouble at all acclimating to the story. Allison Sekemoto from Sector 4 of New Covington is an Unregistered, 60 years after the plague, living outside of the Inner City where the vampires now dictate and have full control over their slaves. Being Unregistered means you're off the system and don't have to subject yourself to monthly bloodletting, but it also means that you're without food tickets and that you can simply vanish (read: be killed by a vampire) without anyone being the wiser. As soon as the book begins we see the full effects of the vampire hierarchy on society. The Unregistered scavenge for morsels of food and are executed if they're caught. Confined by the hours of night, step outside when it's dark and it'll be your own fault if you don't come back! Kagawa's vampires are fierce, powerful and frightening, using their physical abilities to their very full advantage. What's worse than wild vampires? Organised ones. There's an entire chain of command filled with sires and pets that you will love discovering all about. There was no info-dumping whatsoever, with Kagawa cleverly dispersing them throughout many points of the book. What more can we ask for?
Well…here I go with my TEAM ALLIE shirt. One wrong decision left her vulnerable and surrounded by a group of hungry, savage rabids. They tore her apart and would've killed her, had it not been for a mysterious vampire who offered to turn her. She'll be dead both ways but Allison desperately wants to be alive to see the world change…so she says yes. With the help of her mentor, Kanin, Allison learns the ropes of being a vampire and strengthens herself for survival. The hunted has now become the predator and it was a stunning transformation. A good half of the book is spent with Allison alone and damn was it the best decision Kagawa ever made. Developing this character to such high levels before bringing in the large cast of others was what made this book spectacular. I was so overjoyed to find an author that understood getting characters right, especially the main ones. Allison is officially my favourite YA heroine of all-time. She never has a problem depending on herself, is so determined to be a good vampire, although chances are slim, and oh my goodness she has a sense of humour! A wicked and sharp one that will make you laugh and grin in all of the right places. Unbelievable, I know, but get used to being surprised in this book. Kanin is a favourite character of mine and he provides 90% of the twists. You don't even expect them because they're not part of the main plot. But shock after shock, Kagawa will leave you absolutely reeling and wondering what else we haven't fully dissected and thought through!! Kanin MUST be related to Allie because his sense of humour is just as good. Prepare yourself for an endless supply of his face-palming and exasperated sighs at Allie. I'm being completely serious...
While I could continue raving about the goodness that is Allison and Kanin, I'm sure you want to know about everyone else… After being forced out alone into the outside world, Allison picks a direction and wonders if other cities exist without the rule of vampires. After painful and long days of walking, she stumbles onto a group of wanderers and is coerced by a boy named Zeke into joining them. It's never a good idea to make friends and enemies with so many people when all you can think about is sinking your fangs into their jugulars, especially when you're trying to keep up the illusion of being a human! Even though these secondary characters did not individually play a huge part of the story, together the group formed many levels of tension and complication for Allison. She's the mystery who came from a big vampire city and is tagging along to aid in their search for Eden. You'll meet jealous girls, sweet children, mean leaders and delusional old ladies too. Zeke's not who you'd expect Allison's love interest to be but in some ways I think he's just perfect. Kind-hearted and loyal, Zeke's sweetness will touch your heart from the word go. There is such a push and pull between the two because of their sparking chemistry and you just know they'll be a brilliant couple. They're almost polar opposites and ignite something so passionate in each other that I almost lost my mind! Kagawa supplies us with an abundant amount of scenes where you can appropriately scream, cry, swoon and laugh. Once again, she just nails the characters. I dare you to find a fault.
With her katana in hand and gang in tow, Allison travels across the country in search of Eden, which may or may not exist. Her relationships and struggle as a new vampire are the leading focuses in The Immortal Rules, and is all developed through the amazing troubles they face with vengeful vampires and stalker gangs. You'll love the fast action sequences that leave nothing to be desired and the wonderful blend of everything else. Kagawa isn't afraid to kill her characters so be warned and prepared early on… Think you can find the cure for rabidism and save a friend while you're at it? Run along and join this battle between the forces and try not to fall in love with Zeke along the way! This book will torture you in the very best ways and keep you on the edge of your seat for its entirety. There is not an existing adjective that can describe how good this book was. Magtastawezingful? I know you'll attack Kagawa on Twitter as soon as you finish this, pleading for the next book.. How can you not after that ending?!(less)
One of the most marvellous things about Gena Showalter is her ability to make readers laugh, even in the most direst situations. Unraveled is no exception to this, with witty one-liners and hilarious conversations which will leave you bent over laughing with possible tears involved! In contrast, the dramatic and more serious scenes are also plentiful, and this beautiful balance allows for a wonderfully wholesome novel.
The first few chapters of Unraveled lulls readers into a false sense of security, with relationships progressing smoothly and with Aden beginning to learn the workings of Victoria's vampire world. Things seem to be under control but…we should know by now that the peace can't last. With King Vlad's funeral scheduled in two weeks' time, Aden has yet to be officially crowned the new king. Many of the vampires aren't pleased to be ruled by a human but slowly and surely, Aden begins to prove his worth. Aden greatly grows as a character, in my opinion. Whereas he used to be slightly awkward and unaware of his skills, he now takes control, makes good decisions and possesses some interesting abilities. Throughout the novel your heart will melt for many different reasons and your love for Aden will continue to grow as you await his impending doom.
Hating being the weakest link of the group, Mary-Ann asks for fighting lessons from Aden. Of course, Riley isn't pleased about this and his jealousy greatly contributes to the severe spicing up of their relationship. Someone get the cold water! From the beginning, Riley has been my absolute favourite character. He's strong, yet vulnerable, and you will be unresisting to his delicious charm. Posing as Mary-Ann's ginormous pet dog for the sake of her father, hilarity ensues. Prepare for some hefty rounds of giggling and choruses of "aww". Don't say I didn't warn you! Cuteness and sexiness aside, it comes as a shock when Mary-Ann begins losing her hunger for human food and instead craves the energy of magical beings. She deals with the complication of draining those she loves and again, we have an exciting story line which we can explore in the future books!
I love that we're able to delve into Aden's past and discover that some events in his younger life have a significant relationship with elements in his present life. Our knowledge continues to grow with every page and as always, this book is packed with action. Readers are constantly weary, waiting for someone to strike and set off a horrific chain of events. Unraveled ends on a cliffhanger and will have everyone begging for the next book! Each character is affected and fingers will be crossed tightly in hopes of a happy ending. A great continuation of the series!(less)
After the cliffhanger from the first book, what could Snyder possibly write to shock us? In the sequel to Inside Out, Trella and the Force of Sheep find themselves trying to govern Inside. She hopes that things will now be peaceful so that she can finally be able to spend some quality time with her hunk, Riley. Who knew it would be so difficult? The Uppers refuse to work below, and the Scrubs rebel because the Uppers "sit around and do nothing". As a result of still existing prejudices, the society is simply one big cluster of misunderstandings and frustration. Trella doesn't voice her valuable opinions to the committee because she doubts her abilities and this ultimately leads to disasters of epic proportions. Bombs, death threats, sabotages and betrayals……looks like things aren't so cosy in Inside.
I found Outside In to be very enjoyable. Like the previous novel, there is a lot of focus on the plot, which is exciting and completely unpredictable. Our theories about what will happen are overthrown and squished many many times. Just when you think you've got it figured out, Snyder throws a curve ball and sends you in a completely different direction. I must say, this novel will break your Frustration Meter...most likely within the first few chapters. Perhaps you'll break your television or kick your neighbour? Yes, it's that bad. I absolutely love this author and what she can do with her characters. She lets us experience many strong emotions and is able to create a complex web of stories within a short amount of time.
Trella is still a fantastic protagonist. While things aren't going the way she had hoped, she still remains strong, determined, brave and proactive, taking the lead in trying to find a solution and somehow retaining her wittiness amidst the crazy. In her mission to save everyone from the Outsiders, Trella does act a little recklessly but it only further shows how she's good-hearted and selfless. The romance between Trella and Riley was sweet, as always, though their relationship did hit the rocks for a short period of time. It was heartbreaking and totally irrational to be worrying about something so trivial during such dire times, but that's what Maria's writing does to you. *sighs* There were a few sexy scenes in this book (can I get some cheers for shower and couch gropes?) and let's just say that they can most definitely be reread many times over. *fans self*
These Outsiders are not aliens, if that's what you're thinking, but I still found them terrifying. A lot of tension and fear surrounds the Outsiders' scenes and the action is always intense. I found myself flipping through the pages at a lightning speed, racing to find out the conclusion. The ending was so satisfying, but I will not give up hope for a third book! I will hunt down Maria to get some more because after this difficult journey, Triley deserve some couple time.
If you enjoy drama, mystery, action and romance then this book's for you! There is a lot of focus on relationships - old and new - but it doesn't bog down the rest of the novel. You'll be on the edge of your seat and pulling out your hair, trying to figure it all out! Maria Synder is a brilliant author who engages readers for the entirety of her books and never fails to keep us on our toes. I loved her insanely detailed writing and cannot wait to read her other series! They sound brilliant and I'm sure I'll love them just as much as I loved this ;)(less)
Firstly, I just have to say that I am in awe of Cayla Kluver. I cannot believe she wrote this at such a young age. Goodness knows I wouldn't have been able to string together so many coherent sentences at fourteen! Legacy is a beautifully written novel that will keep you entertained until the very last word. The long length was a positive and I definitely would not have minded more.
So, who doesn't love a good royal romance? At seventeen, Princess Alera is on the hunt for a suitable husband. She must marry on her 18th birthday but no one seems to meet the requirements set by her father...none other than one Lord Steldor who is arrogant and completely unaware of Alera's disdain for him. Enter Narian, a potentially dangerous but sweet boy who immediately captures Alera's attention with his impeccable manners and skill. Too bad he can't be chosen as King. The romance between the two is full of sparks and longing. Narian treats her differently than anyone ever has and he shares with her his knowledge from Cokyri, the enemy kingdom in which he was raised as a soldier. Their attraction is so delightful yet devastating, as we know that they can't be together. But what I love is that she likes him for a reason. He's not just a badboy. He's not just pretty. THEY HAVE AN ACTUAL GENUINE CONNECTION. That's a big tick in my book!
The characters' backstories are not explored much in the novel but I still felt as if I knew each and every one of them by the end. I knew how they would react to certain situations and how the author has positioned me to respond to them. This goes for the minor characters as well. Their personalities just shined through and and you can't help but form some emotional attachment! Even though the females of that time are very different to the ones now because of changed social conventions and expectations, I was still very able to relate to the main character because of the way she was written. It's not completely comprehensible to me but somehow I still said "Okay, sure! Of course!" when Alera expresses her concerns about getting on a gross beast of a horse……because what lady does that, you know? I was so very easily pulled into this medieval world. I have decided that I want to stay, despite raging wars between kingdoms and mistreatment from men. I'll stay!!
The plotline about Narian's past and the two kingdoms does not come into play until the final third of the novel, but honestly, who cares? There is never a dull moment, even when Alera is simply admiring her pretty (and plentiful) dresses. Fighting off unwanted suitors, getting to know the mysterious new guy, running around uncovering secrets and enjoying the luxuries of being a princess? It's not possible to get bored. Despite what some may say, the young author has written a brilliant story set in a very three dimensional world. When you look carefully, it is just an "ordinary" story but somehow, it is magnificent - a definite favourite of mine! I truly hope that you all enjoy this book as much as I did. Make sure to put this and the sequels on your TBR lists! (less)
Ever read a book and felt as if you couldn't take a breath or take your eyes away from the page for fear of missing something? Twisted is very fast-pa...moreEver read a book and felt as if you couldn't take a breath or take your eyes away from the page for fear of missing something? Twisted is very fast-paced and is action scene after action scene. Alternating narrators not only maintain our interest throughout novel but also heighten our anticipation for more of a particular storyline. After Aden's vampire girlfriend, Victoria, drained him of his own blood to turn him into a vampire, some of their abilities transferred fully to the other and have left us with two completely different characters. Meanwhile, werewolf Riley is on a quest to find Mary Ann, who's run away to stop herself from hurting those she loves with her draining ability. It'll be hard for you not to enjoy Twisted with its exciting storylines and brilliant characters!
Riley and Mary Ann are as cute as ever. Their relationship is truly adorable and their love entirely genuine. This couple will make you laugh, cry, and launch a few slaps too. At times I felt like abandoning Aden's life altogether and simply spending the whole novel with these two, but as the novel progresses your interest will be split evenly between the two couples as their stories tangle you in their complicated webs. Mary Ann and Riley largely focus on their relationship in this novel, as well as trying to find a way to deal with Mary Ann's ability. On the other hand, Aden is determined to take his place as a vampire king and find out the truth about this parents and souls. While many storylines are addressed and explored, these all connect together in one way or another to prepare us for the final book.
I've kept this review short for a reason. Twisted is very plot-centric and it will do no good for me to ruin the plentiful surprises for you. Filled with passion and suspense, this novel will delight fans of the series and if you've yet to delve into this magical world, get to it! The conclusion is shocking and will have you clambering for the fourth and final book. Hold onto your seats!(less)
Spellbound was, in one word, perfect. I wasn't sure what the paranormal element of the novel would entail but my goodness, it was better than I expected. I honestly don't know how I can explain the novel without spoiling it, so I guess I'll just keep my mouth shut since half the fun is the mystery! Beautifully written and 100% addictive…Spellbound is a must read.
This novel has so many strong characters. There is a lot of development (so refreshing!) and all of them are an absolute joy to read about - minus the protagonists. After moving from Keansburg, New Jersey after some family deaths, Emma Conner finds herself living in New York City with her aunt, her only friend being Ashley, her two-years-younger cousin. The two go to Vincent Academy together and there, Emma meets many interesting people - Anthony the resident manwhore, Jenn the weekend drunk, Kristen the hateful devil, Angelique the quirky witch, Cisco the friendly gay and, last but certainly not least, Brendan the most amazing book boy that has ever existed. I've read many books with great guys in them but it's been a long time since I've gone to bed after finishing a book, on a high because of the great guy, plot and other characters. Spellbound managed to do just that and begged to be reread immediately. I honestly might have if it weren't 4am.
I found this story to be very unique and captivating. Again, I can't reveal what happens but trust me. It's amazing and unlike anything you've read it a long time, if ever. Though set in a paranormal world, this novel is very realistic. From the way Emma and Brendan's relationship develops to how people behave in high school…it's all there and true. The romance builds slowly and honestly made my heart explode multiple times. Brendan is intelligent, athletic and sweet. He protects Emma at all costs and this ultimately gets them through all things, thick and thin.
So do I need to repeat this again? You need to buy this book now. Camp out in front of the bookstore even. Do it. You won't regret it, I promise! This novel was so fantastic that I got so upset when it was over! Luckily, I found out from the author that there is a sequel, which she is currently writing! How fantastic is that? I hope Harlequin know that I'll be stalking them from now on. Spellbound has everything a reader could ask for. Humour, romance, exciting action, suspense, legends and good ol' high school drama? Check! The wonderfully planned and written plot will keep you glued to the pages until you've finished it. I don't think it's possible to read this in more than one sitting, it's that good. After reading some so-so books lately, you don't know how pleased I am to finally read something so amazing. Cara gets a big hi five from me and I cannot wait to read more of her work!(less)
The final installment of the Study series is as confusing as ever. As we reach the pinnacle of the story, Yelena is forced to face her fears and take control of her powers, once and for all. This novel is definitely one that takes your mind in circles until the very end! While I didn't enjoy Fire Study as much as the first two books, it was still a great read after the initial slow start.
Once again, the characters are superb. The secrets they've been hiding are finally revealed, and we get answers to the questions which have been burning through our minds since day one. We also meet some helpful characters like Opal, a glassmaker who is able to capture "light" in her pieces. While Opal's role isn't large, you'll be able to familiarise yourself with her before reading the Glass series. Yes, we get to return to this fabulous world in the spin-offs. What a pleasure! Yelena and Valek are as charming as ever. Valek will, as always, make you feel the need to fan yourself and Yelena continues to draw out his sexy side with her mere presence. How tortuous!
Your detective skills will be called upon, as we finally figure out who are the allies and who are the enemies. Some traitors you'll expect…others will take you by surprise. Interested? With threatening messages delivered by a figure in fire, kidnappings, mass murders and betrayals with fatal consequences, your head will be spinning in all directions, trying to keep up with things. In the middle of panic-filled conflicts, you can only hope Snyder will have a heart and not kill off your favourite characters. I must've lost a few years off my life and a cup of tears while worrying myself! *sighs*
While the storylines are amazing, it's the characters that really make the Study series exquisite. You'll feel a sense of loss as you turn the last page and leave Valek and Yelena to enjoy their lives together. What they'll get up to…we can only imagine, but luckily the two will make some lovely appearances in the spin-off series to sate our hunger for more! A fabulous ending to the Study series, filled with love and hope.(less)
I've always loved reading books with male narrators. Men are fascinating creatures and it's a breath of fresh air to step away from the usual swooning female leads - not that Meghan ever swooned. With Kagawa's decision to allow us into Ash's mind, we're finally able to understand a whole lot more about his behaviour and his past. Maybe we can finally unravel the puzzle that is Prince Ash?
If it's even possible, I fell even more in love with Ash after reading The Iron Knight. He was never fully open with Meghan and always had some sort of secret locked away in his heart. It was magnificent to see, first hand, how he lives his life and what he goes through every day. He torments himself in his mind and has many vulnerabilities, unbeknownst to others. Despite how much he thinks otherwise, Ash has a beautiful soul, and he proves it during his dangerous journey to the ends of the earth. Meghan is now the Queen of the Iron Realm, a place Ash can't step foot into as a faery. His love for her is so strong that he's willing to give up his entire being. He's going to become a human. If you ever wondered about the extent of his feelings for Meghan, he'll leave nothing to question after this book!
The perfect Iron Fey book would have Ash, Puck and Grimalkin in the same scene. The Iron Knight is filled with these. Three vastly different personalities clash and the characters play off each other in such entertaining ways, whether it be humorous or dangerous. Ash has yet to follow through with his promise to kill Puck and he has plenty of opportunities throughout the book. I loved spending time with these characters for the very last time. Away from the petty quarrels in their Courts, they're bare to our scrutiny and faced with many situations of life and death. They discover what's important to them and what they're willing to sacrifice for friendship and love. My heart? Spasming.
At times, this book was slow, but only because a lot of the story was happening in Ash's mind. The action doesn't really begin until the gang reaches the mysterious Testing Grounds, a place no one's ever come back out of before, but it's all very worth it. The Iron Knight is truly an epic journey, fueled by Ash's strength, determination and loyalty to Meghan. To become human, he's tested in the most vicious ways - few of them physically - that we worry about whether his state of mind will ever recover. Will he be able to cope with being human? Will his love for Meghan withstand the test of time and torture? Is he strong enough to handle any obstacle that's thrown at him? Although cruel, Ash is forced to examine who he really is and everything just gets mindblowingly personal.
As always, there are twists and shocks that change what we've believed for so long. The majority of the book is heartbreaking and will make you feel the most anxious you've ever felt. You scream for the characters to just HOLD ON for a while because it will have to get better eventually. This series has taken me to hell and back, and my heart ached when I turned the final page. I experienced this series in one continuous week of reading and I don't know what I would've done, had I been forced to wait between books like most fans. The ending of The Iron Knight was one of the best moments of the series and, again, my heart ballooned. You know that sickly happy feeling you sometimes get? Oh dear. I need to sit down. (less)
I'm so late to the Iron Fey party, I know, but I made up for it last month when I read the whole series and loved it! I wasn't sure what to expect but I had high expectations after shelving The Immortal Rules as a 2012 favourite. While I prefer Kagawa's latest book over this series, I still think it was very enjoyable, thanks to another mythical world and well-developed group of characters with great chemistry.
Meghan Chase will be turning sixteen in 24 hours and has plans to make Scott Waldron finally notice her. She's always been teased for her "poor clothes" and lack of friends besides Robbie Goodfell, her cheeky protector, and is practically ignored by everyone around her, even her family, like they've forgotten she exists. After her four year old brother, Ethan, is attacked by something in his closet, Meghan discovers that a changeling has taken his place and that she must enter Nevernever to rescue him. She can finally see through glamour and learns that her real father is the King of Seelie Court too. I truly loved exploring this world of Kagawa's, filled with creatures I've never heard of and exciting Court politics. It's Seelie versus Unseelie and, trust me, there's a lot of bad blood between them. Oh, fun! This world is so detailed and exciting, but also manages to leave room for expansion in future books!
Queen Mab of Unseelie Court has a son. Well, several actually, but we only care about one! He's the gorgeous and complicated Prince Ash who's heart is as cold as the land of ice he lives in. He's a character who you would normally dislike, but knowing that he becomes Meghan's love interest, you give him a chance and it's so worth it. Ash completely ensnared my heart and had me constantly swooning at his dark, handsome self. In direct contrast, Robbie (aka THE Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream) is relaxed, easy-going and absolutely hilarious. I promise he'll make you laugh more than once with his well-timed jokes! Meghan has her hands full with both, as they try to defeat the darkness slowly taking over Nevernever, and it was a dream watching them interact. Meghan has almost opposite kinds of relationships with the boys, who also share a dark and hate-filled history together. Mysterious and suspenseful, much?
You know, I love a book that gives you a lot to talk about. Sure, reviewing's tough because there's so much to filter through, but it means the author's done an amazing job creating a world and story with so many layers and corners to explore. From the adorably mean Grimalkin (hello, kitty…) to badass fights with iron fae, The Iron King always entertains. The painful moments from the romance are just as mouth-watering as the intense highs, and just about every single character in this book, good or evil, is memorable. This is a fast-paced read you'll have no trouble getting addicted to!(less)
After being exiled from Nevernever for choosing to remain in their forbidden relationship, Ash and Meghan prepare to return to Meghan's home, with Ash prepared to change his life in whatever way to be with her. He'll go to school, move with her to a big city and even marry her… “You might have to teach me a little about the human world, but I’m willing to learn if it means being close to you.” Melting yet? It's such a shame that these nice plans are foiled by the fey! What's the iron king up to now?
Once again, the characters are thrown into the deep end and left to flounder. They discover secrets about each other that will make or break their relationships and everyone seems to be in a mean and stubborn mood for a while. I mean, Puck isn't afraid to flaunt the fact that he's planted his lips on Ash's girl! *gasp* However, the most romantic moment in this entire series, and maybe EVEERRRR, occurs in The Iron Queen. I fainted. And squealed. Giggled for a little while before rereading and repeating the entire process all over again. If you weren't sold on Ash before (seriously?) you definitely will be now……
This series is built on an accumulation of dramatic events and puzzling mysteries. Everything comes to a climax when suddenly all of the pieces fall together and things happen at the right place and the right time. The Iron Queen has the most action out of the four books and I loved seeing the two Courts unite to defeat the common enemy, an iron villain who threatens to suffocate Nevernever with his greed. Meghan is forced to take the front seat in this monumental battle and from an invisible teen to a fierce leader, she really has come a long way.
I was kept guessing about something or rather until the last minute. Kagawa even begins to get riddly on us and I've now decided that countdowns of any sort are EVIL. The action and mystery of this book was addicting and intense, earning cries of victory from me when things worked in Meghan's favour. The ending of this book took me by surprise and sort of rammed into me like a mack truck. It's the epic finale - physically, emotionally and spiritually - you always imagine and I felt that it was so fitting for the series. Kagawa left me craving more and I was very excited about getting one more spin with these characters. What a cliffhanger!(less)
I went into reading this with some apprehension because I was not a fan of the dull characters and plot from the first book. Was Goddess Interrupted an improvement? Definitely! At the end of The Goddess Test, Calliope was sentenced to spend time with each one of Henry's potential wives she had killed and wouldn't be set free until every single one forgave her. You'd think she'd be stuck there forever (really…would you forgive her?) but you'll be shocked to discover that her father, Cronus the King of the Titans, is awakening and slowly regaining his power with her help. If Kate and the other immortal gods don't stop them, the world will be destroyed and everyone will die. No pressure, right?
After going to Greece for six months with her best friend, James, Kate is finally returning to Henry so that she can finally become Queen of the Underworld and, more importantly, Henry's wife. Excited to continue her relationship with him, Kate's horrified when he doesn't even give her a kiss hello and still seems like a reluctant participant in their relationship. Henry's deep set fears about her leaving him have prevented him from really falling for her. He fell in love with Persephone, Kate's sister, hundreds of years ago and she went and left him for the gorgeous but mortal Adonis. Kate and Henry's relationship becomes so much more complicated in this book but in a good way. We see something other than Henry being passive, and we get to explore a lot more of his vulnerabilities. There are quite a few moments that will provoke cheering and others…crying. What a rollercoaster! It really is a mystery to figure out whether Henry will ever return Kate's feelings for him full force. Is he marrying her out of obligation to the Underworld or is he only keeping himself alive? (Immortals die without a purpose.) Get ready for progress to be made before it's wiped out in just seconds... Oh my poor heart…
When Henry's kidnapped by Cronus, the only way they can defeat him is if they find where he's been imprisoned. To do that, Kate must wander aimlessly through the Underworld until she can find Persephone who, other than Henry, is the only person who knows where that is. Kate was a much stronger character in this book, I think. She took charge and made it her mission to do what everyone else was afraid to do and was willing to risk her life for Henry, even if he didn't want her and even if she had to ask his ex-wife for help to do so. She grows a backbone, successfully manipulates her enemies and even develops the ability to see things that are happening elsewhere, sort of like astral projection but asleep. Yes, she's "needy" at times but her determination to save everyone is very admirable.
Many relationships come to light in Goddess Interrupted. Persephone and Kate's other best friend, Ava, refuse to stop arguing about men and their beauty (SO entertaining), James offers Kate his love instead of Henry's and….you'll learn lots more about the relationships between the other immortals that I'll keep a surprise for you ;) They're all very messy and a little shocking! If you hated the lack of action in book one, this sequel will definitely satisfy because everyone is constantly on the move. There's so much uncertainty surrounding Kate's romance with Henry…I may have punched the book a few times and wiped at some misty eyes. Still, my heart feels heavy and filled with worry…especially after that cliffhanger. There's the mid-tragedy cliffhanger and then there's the "No, don't stop! I WANT MORE!" cliffhanger. This one's the former with some gasp-worthy twists mixed in… Eek! (less)
When Kate enrols at high school in Eden, she meets Ava, a beautiful girl who is intent on keeping Kate away from her boyfriend. When a nasty prank goes wrong, a rash decision leaves Kate face to face with Henry, a young man who offers Kate the opportunity to become an immortal goddess - one of the many, and the final, replacements of Persephone. The catch? She must spend 6 months with him every single year. At the manor, Kate must face a series of tests and failure is not an option as many things depend on her success. Being a lover of Greek mythology, my interest was immediately piqued and I was very excited to explore it.
While I was expecting amazing tests and interesting mythology, I felt that it didn't deliver and unfortunately have to agree with many other reviewers in that regard. The novel had so much potential for excitement and uniqueness but there just wasn't enough. I wanted to learn more about the gods, the Underworld or just see the Gods have more of a presence in the novel! I wanted more romance. I wanted more action, suspense and focus on the plot. In fact, the tests that Kate faces are not grand or very difficult, nor are they the dominant element on the novel.
I also felt that the characters were not developed enough. There are many who live at the manor with Kate but we do not get to properly meet and get to know them all! I'm still not very familiar with Kate and Henry but hopefully we will learn more about them in the sequel and see their relationship strengthen and have more depth. Kate's a good person but she lacks the personality of a strong and immortal goddess, in my opinion. Henry's cold yet sweet, but I'm not fully attached to him yet. As for the relationship, there are some nice ups and downs which create tension. Even though I wasn't fully invested in their love, I was still behind Kate and cheering her on to get her man.
I'm disappointed that this wasn't the epic tale that I was hoping for, but I really am looking forward to the future books. I have high hopes that they will be fantastic and build on what has been established in this novel. The Goddess Test seems like a set up for good things to come, so I've got my eyes peeled for Goddess Interrupted! Reading the summary of the sequel (which I won't post for spoiler reasons), I'm confident that there will be more romance, action, strong female characters, mythology and overall greatness! Aimee Carter has created a world with lots of potential and the novel, although without mind-blowing twists, is a light read that will keep you entertained.
Rating clarification: This is a 3.5 on my blog(less)
I was very eager to return to this series, excited at the prospect of spending more time in Nevernever after The Iron King's eventful ending. The Iron Daughter is very much about exploring the threats of the iron fey and the growing divide between the faerie Courts, as well as Meghan's personal identity. She's always thought of herself as a human but things have obviously changed and she's beginning to make the transition! The Iron Daughter will please fans who are looking forward to further developing the issues present in the first.
After we fell in love with Ash and Meghan as a potential couple in The Iron King, Puck declares himself a serious contender for his best friend's heart. While I absolutely adore him as a character and would take him as a BFF any day, there's no way he can beat Ash in the smoking hot and emotionally intense department. With Puck, Meghan would have a carefree and fun relationship without having to jump through any hoops or hurdles, whereas being with Ash is like going against the whole world. Somehow, it's all worth it.
We're introduced to many new characters and learn more about those we've heard of before. Ash's brothers are cunningly cruel and Meghan has to firm up her protective shell in order to survive in the cutthroat society of the Unseelie Court. I loved the growth of her character throughout the book. While it isn't as drastic as the changes that come later, she definitely matures. With the Scepter of the Seasons stolen by a secret party, the Courts are at war and Meghan's right in the middle of it. She's able to make level-headed and smart decisions, prepared to do things others aren't willing to. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly obvious that she's now linked to the iron world…
The Iron Daughter is full of angst. Ash is still torn up about Ariella so there's a constant pink elephant into the room. Meghan's walking around on eggshells but pushing Ash for more at the same time, and the misunderstandings between them will have you ripping out your hair! Oh, and let's not forget Puck's little corner of this love triangle. Don't you just wish you could tell characters what to do sometimes? Things would be so much easier! The book is filled with betrayals from both sides and the twists are just as shocking. I felt that the pacing of the book was quite slow, but the action scenes we did get were engaging and thrilling. You never know who's going to win, lose and…die?
As always, Kagawa shocks us with her cliffhanger and makes me thank the heavens that I had the next book on hand. There was so much anticipation, adrenaline and plain shock in the final few chapters. How will the story continue now? What's going to happen next?! Even though The Iron Daughter wasn't a favourite of mine, I still felt compelled to continue and see how the story would end! (less)
Ever since I read Legacy last year, I've been in love with Cayla Kluver and the world she created at just fourteen. I adored her characters and absolutely couldn't wait to continue her exciting story! In this thrilling sequel, the war between Hytanica and Cokyri intensifies to frightening levels and you'll learn so much more about the characters you loved…or hated! Whether you're Team Steldor or Team Narian…Kluver will take your mind and heart for a spin as the tables are constantly turned! Get ready to join Queen Alera on her quest for love and survival...
I could gush about the characters for pages and pages. They're developed so well and your opinions about them will keep changing throughout the book. Pressured into marrying Steldor so Hytanica could have a new King, Alera feels out of place in her new life. Still in love with the Cokyrian enemy, Narian, she refuses to fulfil her duties as Steldor's wife and continually resists his attempts at aligning with her. If you've read Legacy, you'll most likely dislike Steldor very strongly. Oh how things change! Steldor becomes a true contender for Alera's heart and I fell in love with him, even though it was a very long journey. Trust me, it'll happen eventually and you'll be shocked out of your mind. Steldor is amazing in Allegiance, being a smart strategist, doting husband and controlling jerk all at once. Seatbelts on, please!
At almost 500 pages, this book is long. Kluver's known for her detailed descriptions of even the smallest event. Whereas I didn't notice this in Legacy and was engrossed in the story, I did feel as if the pace was slightly affected in Allegiance. The first half of the book is a safe cruise with bursts of danger thrown in between, but everything after that is heart-racing! The action truly escalates to a level that'll have you clutching your heart in absolute anticipation and fear. Will your favourite character die? Will there be a betrayal? A fair trade? Oh, the plot is brilliant and really brought this book up to a 5 star rating!
Almost everything in this sequel is spot on and I'm impatient for the third book now! While not a cliffhanger, the ending is surprising and opens an exciting door into Sacrifice. Isn't the title foreboding enough? Kluver's books are always packed with plot twists that you don't expect and can't help but love! No matter the length, you'll be sucked into this story once again with an even stronger yearning for more. You'll finish Allegiance with a gasp and a "WOW". Promise. (less)
Ever since I read Spellbound last year, I've been itching to get my hands on the sequel. With such an addicting plot and burning romance, there was no way I could resist! Once again, Shultz brings us into her magical world of soulmates and witches, leaving us no option but to fall in love all over again. For another spellbinding read with your favourite characters, pick up this book in stores now because it certainly won't disappoint.
I was almost vibrating with excitement when I received this ARC. My planned out reading schedule? Out the window. Top priority, this book was! Why, you ask? The characters are top quality and so well written that you absolutely have to know what happens to them next. You could probably say I was devastated when Spellbound ended. Immediate reread at 4am? Very likely. In this exciting sequel, Brendan and Emma's relationship is as strong as ever as they find themselves facing a dangerous enemy with a secret agenda. I loved seeing Emma rise up to the challenge and face her fears (…is that a knife? Eek!), even with Brendan begging her to let him take care of it. Oh, the girls are definitely running the show this time! Spellcaster is filled with suspense, keeping you on your toes and guessing at who's behind all of the attacks. The ominous prologue sets the tone of the novel extremely well and Cara's effortless writing takes care of the rest from there.
It was so easy to slip back into this amazing world after the action-packed ending of the last book. Ever since Brendan saved Emma's life, the love curse that has befallen many couples before them has disappeared without a trace. They're free to be together and certainly aren't holding back now. Every second page you'll have a senseless urge to giggle and coo over the "WE'RE ADORABLE" sign the two are waving around. They are hands down one of my favourite YA couples and I honestly wish this series would never end! Strong together and strong apart…what can you complain about? I mean, other than the fact that we don't all have a Brendan for ourselves… *grumbles*
Spellcaster is filled with tense anticipation for the Emma vs. Stalker face-off, taking you down dead ends and leaving your heart stuck constantly in your throat with worry. This disturbing villain won't back down so to what extent does Emma have to go to in order to protect those she loves? In the final book of this series *stifles sob* enjoy learning more about Emma's magic and best friend, Angelique, meet a few future in-laws and fantasise about the wedding while you're there. But most importantly, savour every last bit of sexual tension and sweet romance you can between this couple - it'll be a while before you ever see it again. Never losing their pace, Cara has firmly wedged these books in my favourites pile and I'm anxiously waiting to see what's coming up for her next! I'm sure her next story and characters will be just as magnificent as these.(less)
The Girl In The Steel Corset is the second steampunk novel I've read, the first being Clockwork Angel, which I loved. Steampunk: A genre of science fiction set in Victorian times when steam was the main source of machine power I've heard the term used a lot but up until now, haven't had a clear idea of what it was so if you were like me, there you go. I think I can officially call myself a steampunk fan now. The two books that I've read so far from the genre….instantaneous love.
As the summary states, the novel begins with a young Finley Jayne having an altercation with Lord Felix, her boss's son who has a history of taking advantage of the female workers. Instead of running like a normal girl would, a dark force inside of Finley encourages her to hurt him, to kill him. Somehow, she calms this urge and flees, running, very literally, into Griffin King who's riding by on his velocycle. He takes her back to his house and nurtures her back to health. There, Finley meets his friends, all of whom have a special talent, and together the group find love, defeat bad guys and learn more about themselves than they ever dreamed of.
The Girl In The Steel Corset has a enchanting and intricately-woven plot. The writing is very descriptive but it only pull the reader deeper into the world. I truly felt that I was in the Victorian era, not only from the dialogue but from the mannerisms and narration style as well. It's told in the third person point of view so we're able to follow the stories of every single character, which I loved! Each has an interesting story that is spotlighted and that I want to explore further. There is great characterisation so by the end of the book, you'll know and love the whole group, guaranteed. While he isn't part of Griffin's group, Jack Dandy is a main character who surprisingly becomes smitten with our little Finley. She sees the criminal as just a friend but does trust and care for him…somewhat. I'm very excited to see where this relationship goes in the next few books. It's no typical love triangle, that's for sure! While I did predict the twists in the novel, the characters and writing style still make this novel an easy favourite.
I think everyone should go out and buy this book. It is just brilliant and will have you engrossed within seconds. The characters are developed so well and the plot is kept interesting throughout. The way machines are written about in this novel is fascinating - it's all part of the steampunk lure. If you haven't ventured into this genre before, do so now. This gem should not be missed by anyone! I will be eagerly awaiting more from Kady Cross and definitely won't be stalking the Harlequin office……………(less)
What can I say? Intertwined is unique, gripping and packed full of adventure. Around every corner there's an unfolding mystery and it's all you can do to keep your head straight. The concept of this novel is fantastic and I think many of you will really enjoy it. There is something for everyone and the personalities you'll meet are all very likeable!
Let me just warn you: This series has many characters - many - but somehow, Showalter manages to develop each and every one really well, each with their own story lines, personalities and purposes. This was what I loved most about the novel. Aden (originally Haden, but he couldn't pronounce his own name properly as a child - cute, no?) lives in a foster home with ex-football player Dan and his wife. He shares the house with six other boys and they've always made life a living hell for him. Constantly called a basket case for "speaking to himself", Aden begins his journey to becoming someone of huge importance when a beautiful woman enters his life and turns it upside down.
Obviously the paranormal element is an integral part of this series. Not only are the characters a bit less than human but almost every popular supernatural creature you can think of is seen at some point! The true identities of many of the characters form one of the main mysteries of the novel so I won't spoil it for you. Who's human? Who's not? Who's got an evil agenda? Oh the mystery! The romantic relationships are also an interesting aspect of Intertwined as the different pairings are all quite possible! My favourite character is Riley - who and what he is, I can't tell, but it will all be very clear and obvious when you pick this up for yourself.
One of Aden's four spirits predicts that he will die a painful death. He will be stabbed in the heart some time after he receives three claw marks across his chest and readers are kept waiting in tense anticipation for this scene to occur. With the characters eventually paired up, you don't want anyone to lose a soulmate so the author successfully keeps us in constant worry. Aden has had these spirits inside of him since birth and it's not until now that he has any idea where they came from or how they got into him to begin with. It's yet another mystery we are given to solve!
Sorry for the secrecy, but I'm determined to let you enjoy the unraveling of these mysteries! With action, suspense and romance, Intertwined is sure to be a winner with many. The novel is fast-paced with many events occurring simultaneously, and the alternating narrators will keep you on your toes and happily entertained until the very end. A strong beginning to a fascinating series!(less)
With the beautiful Australian cover, I was so excited to get my hands on this book. A forbidden love of the magical kind? Count me in! While I did like the concept of the novel, I found that it was let down by some poor planning and execution of character development. Nevertheless, Crave does have its enjoyable moments and has the potential to be a great read for the right person.
Tristan Coleman was Savannah Colbert's first kiss, boyfriend and love at the age of nine. They were inseparable best friends until one day, after their pretend wedding, Tristan and all of the other Clann members avoided her like she was the plague. Until now, Sav has been in the dark about what happened and the secrets that are unveiled about herself and family will change her life forever. I won't spoil the plot by telling you the secret, but I loved it. Crave has the tools to be an amazing romance, but Darnell sadly doesn't utilise them fully. Firstly, the fantastic paranormal element of the novel is often disrupted by "growing up" moments that are unnecessary and slow down the book. After I finished reading, I was still left not knowing much about the characters or having any real connection with them.
Speaking of the characters, I must say that Savannah got on my nerves. She's unfairly dealing with the consequences of her family's past actions but the young girl has no sense of responsibility and doesn't understand the meaning of sacrifice. Throughout the book, she has an immature outlook on life and acts recklessly. Even with magical influence, stalkers and death threats hanging over her head, she still chooses to make the wrong decisions and provoke the enemy. Her actions affect everyone but she doesn't realise or care! I found myself screaming "SELFISH!" too many times and was disappointed that she wasn't the strong heroine I was expecting. Crave is filled with sometimes predictable mysteries but I think a lot of it depended on Savannah's ignorance of what was happening around her. Put the pieces together, girl! Crave will satisfy a younger audience, in my opinion, as an older one will get too frustrated.
Tristan and Savannah's romance was interesting and developed slowly, but wasn't ever filled with the intense passion or love I was looking for. At times, the relationship felt shallow and I couldn't really understand why they liked each other at all. Other times though, they were really sweet together and the romantic in me let out some "aww"s. Unfortunately, Tristan is set to be the Clann's next leader, his family having led for four generations, and his relations with Savannah could start a full-blown war between the groups. *looks down on naughty behaviour* Come on, guys…
Overall, Crave may be something you really enjoy but it just wasn't for me. I didn't like the dramatic nature of things and wished the main character was more admirable. With better characterisation and a better planned plot, I would've really liked this! Savannah's caught in a war much bigger than herself and must make a lot of tough decisions. Maybe it was too much for a fifteen year old to handle, but better luck for her in the sequel! I'm curious about what'll happen next but will wait for other reviews first to see if I should dive in!(less)
Pushing The Limits is an addictive contemporary that is one of my favourite reads this year. The complex characters are impossible not to love, and it's highly likely that you'll attempt to read this all in one sitting. Whether you're in it for the intense romance or the heartbreaking story, this book definitely won't disappoint!
Echo Emerson used to be popular. With her gorgeous red hair, ample cleavage, creativity and intelligence, she had everything going for her. Until she woke up one day and found horrific scars on her arms. She can't even remember how she got them but we discover that her estranged mother was somehow involved. Echo's brain has repressed the frightening memories and she now undergoes therapy with her pushy father and young, home-wrecking stepmother, Ashley, to try and uncover the truth. Her parents are unhelpful and unsympathetic to her situation, pretending that everything is fine and that she just needs to forget and move on. Her father focuses solely on Ashley and their coming baby, seemingly ready to move on with a new family. My heart broke for Echo. She has negligent parents, her schoolmates treat her like a cutter and her friends beg her to be "normal" again, the way she was before her social status took a nosedive. Ouch! Echo's an amazing character and I loved the strength she possessed. We get there eventually ;)
Noah Hutchins is a shameless manwhore and his first few encounters with Echo are not friendly. At all. As a guy who's been shuffled around foster homes and not been given a fair go, he's jaded and assumes that she's a spoilt rich kid with stupid problems when he sees her in the social worker's office, but begins to think otherwise after he sees her scars. Noah's transformation was stunning to watch. Although his attraction to Echo's…assets…is immediate, he learns a little bit more about the mysterious and complicated girl with every encounter. He treats her with an understanding and gentleness that no one else has before, but also makes a lot of mistakes with her, due to the way he's used to behaving. Both go on a bumpy learning experience together, healing themselves and each other in the process. They're a beautiful couple and perfect for one another, despite both having their own issues and flaws.
Noah's almost as complicated as Echo. After his parents died in a house fire, he was put into foster care and soon labelled as violent after he prevented his foster dad from abusing his own son. No one stood up for Noah and he lost his two younger brothers to another family as a consequence. He now only gets the occasional visit, but has his mind set on getting them back after he turns 18. Here we introduce the issues of whether or not the foster family is mistreating his brothers like he suspects, how Noah will support them and if he'll be granted custody at all. He's learnt not to trust people and I felt so relieved when Echo began to change all of that. He couldn't have been more supportive and caring for SO MANY REASONS. This book is long so I can't even go into details but…trust me. His list of "boyfriend achievements" is endless.
So by now, you know that the romance is epic. Sexy, romantic, emotional…is there any better kind? It is miles deep, thanks to the time and effort McGarry put into writing well-developed and realistic characters. If you're wondering how the two get pushed together, Echo wants to restore her dead brother's car and needs her own money to do so. Noah needs to put more effort into school to prove that he can support his brothers in the future. Solution? Tutoring! Their sessions with the social worker also play a big part in their relationship and the plot, but again, I won't spoil ;) The mystery in Pushing The Limits is deliciously good and I loved unravelling the pasts of these characters. Have fun theorising and trying to predict the twists!
As you can gather from my long-winded and probably nonsensical review, I thought this book was all kinds of fantastic. Everything McGarry attempted to do worked perfectly and I can hardly praise this book enough. While she'll crush your heart, she'll fill it with the most satisfying feeling of love too. Pushing The Limits has their perfect amount of backbone, heartache, cuteness, angst and love to please anyone. The themes are obviously quite heavy but gosh, it's good. I dare you to not to like this book!(less)
WARNING: Long review. Deal with it. It's too good not to gush about. *wink*
Inside Out reminds me of Across the Universe, but instead of being trapped in a spaceship the characters are in a big cube, sectioned off into four levels with 9 sectors each. Snyder's attention to detail is obvious from the beginning and this is definitely one of those books that you have to really digest and understand before you move on. Dash off too quickly and you might find yourself confused later on and not get the full effect!
The concept behind Inside Out was fantastic. The place they live in is a confined space called Inside, which has a large network of vents and pipes. The main character is skilled in navigating them and she initially goes to the pipes to avoid the snide remarks from her peers, tired of their misconceptions about her. The novel revolves around an almost-adult Trella as a small mishap leads to her search for Gateway, the doorway to Outside which may or may not be real. They say that Outside is a spiritual place where you go after hard work and death. Trella's friends say that Outside is an actual place which can be accessed through Gateway, a tangible door somewhere in Inside. Trella risks it all to search for something which essentially may not even exist and suspense is high as we get closer to finding the truth. From the beginning, you wonder why they're stuck in this cube and how everyone got in there to begin with. Is it just a big building in the city? Down in the centre of the earth? Inside Out will keep your mind churning as you attempt to figure everything out. Good luck with that...
Trella is, plain and simple, a loner who is very stubborn and doesn't trust easily. It was difficult to relate to her standoffish and pessimistic character at first, but then you realise her motivations and slowly warm up to her as you watch her hard exterior chip away. Being manipulated by the rulers, she has warped views of the Uppers and doesn't fit in with those around her. She has a strong personality and isn't one to conform to the rules set for their society. The rulers are harsh and very strict, relentless in their mission to remain in control. No one knows exactly who is in charge but it's safe to say, they don't have may fans. Do something bad? Get sent to the Chomper. Even that doesn't sound nice.
The most adorable character comes in the form of a stuffed toy. His name is Sheepy and he's…you got it…a sheep! There's a mama Sheepy too and these toys will make even the hardest people melt into a puddle of goo. It's probably not the toys themselves but just what Riley, the love interest, does with them. They've been his since he was little and he's got fond memories ;)
Riley pressed his nose against the sheep’s as if communicating with the stuffed toy telepathically. He pursed his lips and nodded. “Sheepy says he’s hungry.” He quirked a smile at me. “Sorry. Oh…wait.” Once again, Riley stared at his toy. “Sheepy also says he doesn’t believe you’re a stupid scrub. In fact, he thinks you’re quite smart and if you say otherwise, he’ll bite you on the leg.”
Tell me that didn't make you smile. Not only is Sheepy adorable, but Riley too! He's a black-haired and blue-eyed Upper boy who meets Trella in a very unconventional way. She literally drops into his life through an air vent - cue massive giggle session. Riley's intelligent, determined and playful, as you can see. I thought the two made a great couple and I loved watching their relationship grow. It was difficult because of the circumstances but still beyond cute with their teasing and sly glances! Now, where can I get my Team Riley shirt….
I would definitely recommend this novel to everyone. While there's some romance, there's a lot of mystery and action (big emphasis on the mystery). If you're sick of those same monotonous YA novels you need to read Inside Out immediately. There's something in it for everyone so I'm confident that there won't be any disappointed readers! This is a very engaging novel with twists and turns that promise zero boring moments. (less)