When I first saw this book cover, I simply thought "Stunning". There are plenty more words to describe it, yes. But my question is why, when one word...moreWhen I first saw this book cover, I simply thought "Stunning". There are plenty more words to describe it, yes. But my question is why, when one word sums it up so well?! It is striking and beautiful in it's simplicity. So given that I am a book cover addict, a self-confessed magpie who adds covers like this to her collection, I needed to know that the blurb for this book was just as good. I looked it up on Amazon and knew there and then that it was something I MUST read. So imagine my pure joy when 3 months before the release date, I see that they have the Galley on Net Galley - and it just so happens that I am auto-approved for anything I want from Macmillan. Well you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was absolutely jumping with joy.
I finally managed to sit down to read it on 16th February and like a fish to bait, it was definitely the catch of the day. Maybe even the year!
OF POSEIDON was simply the most seductive book I have read in a long time. It had me in it's grips from the first word and it still hasn't let me go. I expected to like it, of course I did. But I didn't know I would fall so heavily in love. Anna Banks has fast-tracked her way to my favourite authors list. I love the way she writes. She has managed to capture my heart within just the first chapter of the book. That doesn't happen often.
The characters in this story, ohmysweetgoodness, they are awesome! From the tall, sensual, delightful Galen to the hard-headed little beauty that is Emma. There are so many glorious characters in this story. I feel a little bit in love with them all. Emma is the main character, along with the dreamy Galen. Then there's Galen's sister, Rayna. Plus Rayna's mate Toraf. There's also the lovely doctor, Dr Milligan. They all hold little pieces of my heart for various reasons. Reasons I won't divulge. The simple fact is, I would be way to 'spoilery' and you would not forgive me at all.
*swoons, I Love You Sweet Galen*
I don't want to tell you too much of the story, for exactly the same reason. My mouth would run away with me and it would detract from the immense pleasure you will get by reading OF POSEIDON for yourself. Suffice, I feel, to say this: Emma and ger best friend are vactioning in Florida. They are spending time on the beautiful beaches when one day Emma bumps, quite literally, smack bang wollop into the dreamy Galen. After peeling her face off his abs, she takes a good look at him. He is quite simply stunning. Little does she know she is looking upon royalty. He is after all, the Prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel an attraction toward each other. You can literally see the sparks flying between them. When they touch, their is a tingly sensation. And I don't just mean in the pit of Emma's stomach. Though I'm sure her stomach was also doing all kinds of acrobatics. After a deadly scene with a shark, Galen is witness to the gifts Emma possesses, though she doesn't know about them at the time. Galen ends up following her all the way home to New Jersey and finds himself enrolled at her school. All to see if she is the girl who can save his kingdom. To find out if she possesses the gifts of Poseidon. Want to know more? Then I am afraid you will have to buy this sensational book for yourself. I am truly glad that I didn't have to wait until May for it. Though now I am chewing my left arm off waiitng for the next book. The only problem with getting a book like this in advance is, I have to wait even longer for the sequel. Anna Banks is by far one of the most talented debut authors I have come across in my time as a reader. She managed to hook me and reel me in with her beautiful words and they way in which she was able to create a world I was constantly desperate to discover more about. This is the first book I have read about mermaids, and I really regret calling them that, Galen wouldn't thank me for it, I'm sure. So what I mean to say is, it's the first book I have read about Syrena. There, that's better. I was in awe of the glorious world and characters that Anna weaved. It feels like she cast a magic spell over me and I was constantly trying to find spare time to read. It took me longer to finish than I would have liked. I wish I'd been able to dedicate more time in one sitting to it. However, I also wanted to draw it out so that it wasn't over too soon. Alas, the ending crept up on me far faster than my heart would have liked. And what an ending it was. Words cannot describe how my heart was pounding as I read that final page, so I won't even try. All I can say is, it was a complete stunner. Something I didn't see coming. That's the thing about this story on the whole, it was stunning. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments. Times when I wanted to punch someone, namely Rayna. There were times I wanted to smack Galen upside his beautiful royal head. Then there were the moments my eyes welled up and I could not stop the tears from falling. There were so many little intricacies that were brought to light as the story unfolded. Even the times I couldn't help but cry were a delight. Thank you Anna for writing such a beautiful, moving story. I eagerly await the next book. I only hope I can get that as an ARC from Net Galley too.(less)
Jane Williams is an orphan. She comes from Helmsdale, or as the residents call it Hellsdale. Her mother died when she was young, but Jane's got what's known as 'retro-grade amnesia' and that means she's lost access to events that have occurred. She can't remember her mother, her father, her life before a certain point (I won't tell you what causes her RA - that's not for me to tell you - so it may at this point, seem a little confusing) Jane has been in care and her foster mother has treated her pretty badly. So it's just about time for Jane to leave and it's perfect timing that she should be offered a scholarship to an elite school Birch Grove Academy For Girls. She may have lived in the godforsaken town of Hellsdale, but she didn't let that get in the way of getting an education, as far as one can in a town where the school is not exactly up to standard. But she worked hard. She had to. If not for herself, then in memory of her friend Hosea. Hosea was Jane's best friend, but he contracted meningitis and sadly passed away. So it was with this in mind that Jane pushed herself and strived to achieve the very best she could.
Once Jane arrived at Birch Grove, she was shown a beautiful academy where she could put her knowledge to good use. She could really make something of herself. Jane's life plan was to do well at school, get good grades, find a good job - everything any young woman wants for herself. If Jane can only stay on with Birch Grove and achieve the qualifications, she's in good stead to achieve her dreams.
Once school starts, Jane finds herself with a group of friends, people who she may never have associated with before Birch Grove, but that's probably just because none of them were from Hellsdale. I will leave it for you to meet the girls, it's definitely much more fun to experience them first-hand.
Jane is embraced by the Radcliffe family, the headmistress, her husband Tobias and their two sons Lucian and Jacob. But she starts to suspect that there is more to them than meets the eye. At first glance, people would see Lucian - known as Lucky - as the golden haired, blue-eyed, disarmingly handsome boy that draws attention from all the girls. His brother Jacob - or Jake - is the opposite. He's not so much in the limelight with the girls. He's a musician and he's got a kind of air about him. He's hard to describe really. His sardonic nature has you on the back-foot so that you never know when to take him seriously.
Life at the academy isn't all it seems from the outside though. Something isn't quite right, but Jane can't be sure what it is.
Now, it isn't for me to tell you what it is that Jane discovers. Instead it's time I told you how I felt about the story. Firstly, I adored Jane. She doesn't come from the best beginning in life and so you would forgive her for being a little "woe is me" but she isn't. She may have the nickname Mousie, but that's very misleading. She is actually quite a feisty young woman with a fire in her belly when the situation so requires. I admire her guts and determination, the fact that she's fierce and fights for what she thinks is right. There are times when she questions herself as well as others, but I found that I didn't blame her. I would have felt the same, even if I had dealt with it a bit differently. Jane is an easy protagonist to relate to. We haven't all come from the same beginnings, but it's easy to imagine how she must feel. Perhaps it's because I too don't have parents that I can empathise with her. Though I didn't end up in care, nor was I offered a scholarship to a girls academy. But I could imagine myself being in her shoes and what I would have done with the situation she was presented with.
As for the other characters, I really liked MV, Constance and Harriet. 3 better friends a girl could not wish for. They all had very unique personalities and character traits that made them very enjoyable. There were times when Jane was interacting with them that I felt like I was right there in the story with them and sharing the precious moments where they laughed and joked with each other. MV in particular was what I would call high-maintenance. But having said that, she was probably my personal favourite of the 3. MV has a knack for bringing laughter to a situation, no matter how dire.
Then there's the Radcliffe family. Hyacinth and Tobias were a nice couple. They each have their quirks that you will discover in due course for yourself. As for the boys, well where to start? Lucky is the handsome, charming boy who you'd be proud to take home to your mother. At least on the face of it. Dig a little deeper and he's not my favourite character. That's not because he's a bad guy, don't get me wrong. It's more the way he treats Jane really gets on my last nerve. Because Lucky is the disarmingly handsome one, you assume that he and Jane are going to be the swoon-worthy love story of the book. But it's Lucky's careless disregard for Jane's feelings that really had me on edge. I can't really give you examples, but though Lucky is a nice person, he seems to get carried away with taking what he wants from his relationship with Jane and not necessarily giving her what she needs. To me, relationships are meant to be a mixture of give and take, partners are equal. However Lucky is all take, take, take and Jane is all give, give, give. What I probably feel most saddened by is the fact that she is blind to this. She wants to give Lucky everything he wants in order for him to be happy. But in my personal opinion, she should have more self-worth and realise that she is worth more than a boy like him can possibly give her.
There's also Jack. He's not as 'traditionally handsome' as Lucky. He's not the boy that girls are falling over their own feet to be near. I guess you could say he's the underdog. I don't mind telling you that I am usually more of an advocate for the underdog. Jack is a very puzzling young man. He's got the kind of attitude that makes you want to tear your hair out. Not because he's got a bad attitude, he's just very sarcastic and you never know when to take him seriously or if he is playing with you. I don't mind admitting that it's Jack that won my heart. I may be alone in this - but I don't mind being an individual - I can honestly say, I am Team Jack all the way. I hope that if Marta writes more books in this series she features Jack quite prominently. I am currently unaware whether this is to be a stand-alone novel, or if there will indeed be more to come. I know I really hope that it's at the very least, a trilogy.
I loved the world that Marta Acosta created and the characters she chose to feature in it. The writing itself is beautiful and in some instances, quite haunting. Some of it really sticks with you (nothing I'm willing to share, of course - you'll just have to pick up a copy). I adore the way Marta uses quotes between her chapters. There's quotes from books like Jane Eyre and The Picture of Dorian Grey. They all tie in beautifully with what each chapter is about. You can tell that there is a lot of research that went into writing this story and you can see Marta herself is a well read, well educated woman.
I am looking very much forward to owning DARK COMPANION in hardback. I currently have it on my Kindle as it's an eARC and I feel like it's definitely something I need to own and put on my shelf of favourite books.(less)
As always, I love Alyson Noel's covers. This is no exception. I love the soft, pastel hues and the simplistic style. I have been a fan of Alyson Noel'...moreAs always, I love Alyson Noel's covers. This is no exception. I love the soft, pastel hues and the simplistic style. I have been a fan of Alyson Noel's books since I read EVERMORE (The Immortals Series) I like her style of writing and the ease with which I can sink into her stories. I think The Immortals Series was classified as for Older Teens, whereas the Riley Bloom series is YA. But either way, her stories are fast-paced, fun-packed, enjoyable reads.
As I said in my review of DREAMLAND (Riley Bloom#3), Riley is a Soul Catcher - one who would do a whole hell of a lot better if she could act a bit less like the eternal 12 year old she is stuck as. If she could start realising that, maybe she could progress. I know you are probably thinking "She's dead, she died at 12, she can't age after death" and yes, I would agree. Yet Bodhi, her guide, has told her that it's not impossible for her to make thirteen. Which is the one thing Riley wants beyond all else.
Well in WHISPER, she starts off the same old Riley. However, there is a lesson in store that may affect how she acts.
After begging the Council to give her a "more challenging Soul Catch", Riley realises she may well have bitten off more than she can chew. This time, she is assigned to a Roman Gladiator by the name of Theocoles, nick-named the Pillar of Doom. *Upon learning this, I internally cringed for Riley - she's a 12 year old girl, he's a Gladiator, yeah - that should work out well*
Bodhi takes her where she needs to go, but neither he nor Buttercup can be a part of this Soul Catch - this is something Riley must undertake alone. The worst part of which is, previous Soul Catchers have tried to help Theocoles into the afterlife - all of whom became trapped in his world instead. So can Riley, a skinny 12 year old without much life experience, help Theocoles or will she wind up stuck too?
Upon entering Theocoles's world, Riley meets a girl by the name of Messalina. This girl is everything Riley aspires to be. She's tall, beautiful, has the more mature figure of a teenager. Whereas Riley sees herself as short, plain and feels sort of sad and pathetic about her none existent figure. Messalina convinces Riley that her only chance to get through to Theocoles, lies in becoming a part of his world. She tells her that to accomplish this, first she must look the part - giving her a magical make-over, the likes of which Riley has never seen before. She is transformed into the beautiful teenager she yearns to be.
Made over and with Messalina by her side, Riley believes she stands a chance of doing what she came to do, help Theocoles into the afterlife that awaits him. However, her quest to help him is a little waylaid when Riley meets Dacian. A handsome, sophisticated boy. One who pays her the attention she has always dreamed about.
There's something not right, but Riley cannot put her finger on it. Will she figure it out or is she doomed to become trapped and live in this world with Messalina, Theocoles and Dacian?
I really liked this story and even think that it is the best Riley Bloom novel yet! I like the fact that this is her most challenging Soul Catch yet and from the beginning it promised to be entertaining. Whilst Riley's previous challenges have been something I could never hope to pull off myself, the challenge that lay in this book was the hardest yet. Riley really had to work her socks off to try and get this one right. I missed her funny, full on rows with Bodhi, as he took more of a backseat in this book. But it was good to see Riley have to learn to act more the age she wants to be than her usual argumentative, perhaps a little spoilt self.
I love how Alyson Noel's books always make me smile. I've read a few book lately that have made me cry and it's good to take a break from that and be highly entertained and amused by Riley's antics. It's good to relax with a book that is guaranteed to perk me up.
I sure hope the future holds as much entertainment as this did. I don't want it to be all doom and gloom for Riley, but it just wouldn't be the same if it was all sunshine and rainbows. I also hope she learns to let her guard down and make some real friends.
I eagerly await the next installment in the series.
Thanks to Macmillan and Net Galley for providing this ARC. As always, I am truly grateful for the books I get.(less)
As always, a little cover appreciation is top of my list. I like this cover because it stands out as something a bit different. It...more4.5 stars actually!
As always, a little cover appreciation is top of my list. I like this cover because it stands out as something a bit different. It was a slightly edgy feel to it and that was what caught my eye, leading me to read the blurb and susequently request this book.
As many of you will already know, I have been lucky enough to be auto-approved by Macmillan for any of their books I would like to review via Net Galley.
Whilst browsing their list, I came across THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED. It struck me as different from anything I have previously read and sounded really interesting.
I started reading it a couple of days ago and have just put it down. So I thought I would write my review whilst the story is still fresh in my head.
I found this story to be really interesting, well-written and a definite page-turner.
I enjoyed the way it was written from different people's points of view. That is something I have experienced a few times before but in this instance, I feel April Henry has done it more freely and with more fluidity than I have encountered before.
Whilst reading it, I felt like I was in an episode of Criminal Minds, which I just happen to love. Not the way it was from different POV's but the fact that it was about kidnap. Something I have not come across in this form before reading this.
THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED is about Kayla Cutler, a young girl working for Pete's Pizza when she gets kidnapped.
A customer phones Pete's and orders 3 'meat monster' pizza's and asks if 'the girl driving the mini' is delivering that night.
The girl he is asking about is Gabie. But it's Kayla that makes the delivery.
We go on to find out from the different characters what happened that night.
Drew was working that night and was the one who took the phone call. Gabie was not working that night because Kayla asked her to swap shifts.
I enjoyed finding out from the different perspectives what happened. But I felt that it meant that I couldn't connect with the characters because I didn't spend long enough seeing things through their eyes. However, by the halfway point, that wasn't necessarily true.
I found that actually, I could connect with Gabie. She felt bad because it was meant to have been her.
With Drew, it was slightly easier to connect as I felt we spent more time seeing it through his eyes.
I felt a connection with Kayla too as we get to see it as she sees being locked up in the room where she was taken. So all in all, at halfway through, I could see how things connected and was enjoying it a lot.
Not to say I hadn't enjoyed it up to then. It was a good story from the beginning. But for me, I love to read a good book where I get drawn in and feel like I could be the main character.
That didn't happen for me in this instance - but that didn't mean it wasn't an enjoyable read.
The basic premise was a good one and I think it was executed well.
I knew all along it wasn't the guy they suspected. Something just didn't add up. I found myself wanting to scream at the police officer. To shake him and make him realise he was blindly leading the investigation in the wrong direction.
I was pleased with how this book ended. It was wrapped up really well. I won't tell you how it ends, obviously. But I will say that it left me smiling.
I will be sure to look for future books from April Henry. I look forward to seeing what she does next.
Thank you to Net Galley and to Macmillan for providing this ARC. And thank you to April Henry who encouraged me on Twitter to pick up THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED when I was questioning what I should read next! :)
I was first attracted to this book by it's cover. I think it's really beautiful. A little sad looking, the way the girl is lying at...more4.5 stars actually.
I was first attracted to this book by it's cover. I think it's really beautiful. A little sad looking, the way the girl is lying at the bottom. But sad is okay. Covers don't always have to be happy to be beautiful.
I was nosing around on friends blogs when I saw this. So I put it on my wishlist to buy as soon as it came out. Little did I know I wouldn't have to because I got it as a Galley from Macmillan via Net Galley.
What's the story about? A young artist called Sabrina is diagnosed with Schizophrenia. She is checked into the Wellness Centre by her parents, hoping that they can give her the right medication and make her better. Due to the medication, Sabrina no longer see things the way she saw them before and that makes her upset. She misses the colours and the beautiful way she saw things outside the centre's walls. The only thing she doesn't miss is the static. The noise she heard everywhere and was sure was out to get her. Life at the Wellness Centre is dull. There's the medication. Regular meetings with her doctor. An endless loop of repetitiveness. She no longer even has a passion for her art the way she did on the outside.
All that changes the day Alec is admitted. He's young, good-looking and convinces Sabrina that it's the world that's crazy, not her. The pair fall in love. They're meant to be together. They're special. No-one can understand them like each other, but that's okay because they don't need anyone else. Alec convinces Sabrina to come off her medication. He says it dulls her senses. He says it will wipe out everything that makes her creative. Sabrina worries that she will lose hold of her dreams, her life. So she does as Alec says. When the nurse brings her meds, Sabrina takes them, but hides them under her tongue until the nurse leaves the room.
The question is, is Sabrina really schizophrenic or is it the world that's wrong? Is the doctor trying to convince her she's ill as a rouse for keeping her at the centre and medicated to the eyeballs?
There is no doubt that LIFE IS BUT A DREAM is a beautiful story. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions. You feel happy, you feel sad. You want to cry, good tears and sad ones. It's clear that Sabrina is troubled and you just want things to all work out for her in the end.
I have never read anything about anyone with a mental illness before, so this was completely new to me. It was an eye-opening experience for me in more ways than one because whilst I have a friend with ADHD and one who is Bi-polar, I don't know anyone who is schizophrenic. It was a learning curve for me to feel like I was in the head of a schizophrenic young girl. I realised, amongst other things, that it must be so hard to try and deal with this illness. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has this illness and lives with it every day of their lives. I think Brian James is brave and courageous for introducing us to a new kind of story. I tend to find that in most YA books, if you strip them back to their bare bones, they are basically a love story with a story built around it. Whereas if you strip LIFE IS BUT A DREAM back, you will find a story of a girl with a mental illness who struggles to cope. Yes there is a little bit of a love story but in this case it is worked around the main story not the other way around.
Thanks must go to Brian James for opening my eyes a little more to the world around me. To Macmillan for approving me for the Galley. Also to Net Galley for providing the Galley. I think they are a wonderful site. It's a great way of getting ARCs of books that I may otherwise not know exist(less)
I will admit, it was initially the cover that drew me to this book. A very striking, eye-catching cover. I love it. I was looking at books to request from Macmillan on Net Galley when this caught my eye. I looked up the blurb and thought it sounded like my kind of book. To find out whether it really was, read on...
Have you ever wondered what life would be like in a post-apocalyptic world? Perhaps you wonder who you would become, when the world you knew and the person you once were, was gone...
Well that's what happened to Mia Price.
The saying is that lightning never strikes in the same place twice. Well that couldn't be more incorrect. It's struck Mia on several occasions. Leading her to become a lightning addict. She has survived multiple strikes only to find that it's left her craving to connect to the energy from storms. Putting her own life in danger and the lives of those around her.
She used to live in another city, a whole different life ahead of her. Until that fatal day when she hurt someone she saw as a friend. Janna. But Janna wasn't the only one hurt that day. All because they were too close to her when she felt the energy welling up inside her. They stood too close when that energy became too much for Mia to safely contain.
Mia's mom made them move after that incident. No-one wanted to talk to Mia or see her after the hurt that she caused. So along with her mom and her brother Parker, she moved to Los Angeles. A place where lightning rarely strikes. It's a place where Mia can feel safe from her addiction, though I get the feeling she also missed the power it created within her.
But when an earthquake hits LA, it transforms her once safe haven into a place of devastation and chaos.
The once beautiful beaches become over-run with tent cities where the Displaced have to stake a claim in order for their survival. The Displaced are those whose homes were destroyed due to the quake and have nowhere else to go.
Downtown has become a dangerous wasteland, nick-named the Waste due to the near total destruction. But revellers are drawn to the Waste in their droves because that's where they hold the Roves. Parties that move from building to building each night. They are drawn to these places by a force they can neither deny nor explain.
Within the city, there are two warring cults. The Followers and the Seekers. Both of whom believe Mia is the key to their very much opposing Doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the storm that preceded the earthquake and an even more destructive storm yet to come.
During all this, Mia meets and finds herself drawn to a mysterious and enigmatic character by the name of Jeremy. They don't have the most conventional of relationships. Jeremy is hesitant to touch her, after all, their first touch lead to Mia passing out. But Mia won't let that get in the way. She's drawn to him in an inexplicable way.
So, why did I struggle to get into this book in the very beginning? It all sounds interesting so far, right?!
I struggled to make a connection to STRUCK in the first 25% because it was a total change of pace for me. It wasn't the fault of the book itself. More that I have read vampires and werewolves etc recently, so it was hard to get used to the change of pace this set out for me.
However, once I hit about 30% I was sucked into the story and I found that actually, it was a fast-paced, exciting story. You never knew what was coming next. It wasn't girl meets boy and falls in love, they have some hardships but figure it all out in the end. Instead it was a gripping story that had a little romance along the way. I found that I read on until I got to 65% before realising it was 1am and I needed to sleep. So I put the book aside, caught up on some sleep and picked it up again the next morning.
I finished STRUCK in that sitting. It was intense and explosive and I really enjoyed the ending. The only thing throughout that I would say I had a problem with was the Followers. But without ruining it for you, I can't really tell you why. I just found that they really hit a nerve and I guess it resonated with me throughout.
Mia was a completely different MC to what I am used to. She wasn't what I expected, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed the fact that she was so different. She was a strong, feisty girl who had to struggle to survive and make this new life work. She had her sick mother to look after and I found that I really felt for her. Jeremy was also not what I was expecting. He was an enjoyable character who I looked forward to Mia's interactions with. As for the other characters? Well without naming names, there were the obvious good guys, some interesting bad guys and some that you didn't know which way the axe would fall.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and look forward to finding out where Jennifer Bosworth decides to take it from here. (less)
ALL THESE LIVES is a hauntingly beautiful story. I was reminded of when I read My Sister's Keeper last year. It's definitely a book that you should keep a pack of tissues handy!
Dani is a fraternal twin. Her sister Jena has leukemia. The story is told from Dani's point of view and we see what it's like to live in a family where the sister is ill and the mother and father seem blind to anything that doesn't revolve around the sick daughter. That means that Dani seems to go unnoticed. Particularly by her mother.
Dani comes across as bitchy and maybe a bit self centred in the beginning. She taunts a boy in class by flirting with him and embarrassing him. She does things like that just because she can. But having thought that she was a bit spiteful, I soon learned that actually, she's acting out. She's not getting much attention from anyone because everyone is always asking about Jena, taking care of Jena. No-one seems to stop and say "How are you feeling about things Dani?" "How's things Dani?" It's almost like she's invisible.
But there's more to this story than that.
Dani is sure that she has 9 lives. Or that she did have before she used a couple of them up in instances that perhaps any other person may have died. She survived a car accident. She survived a bad infection. Someone once told her that a cat has 9 lives and that each one they lose goes off into the universe for another cat to catch. Having this theory in mind, Dani thinks that if she loses her lives, the ones that leave her may find their way to Jena. All Dani wants is for her sister to live. She says that without her, she wouldn't live either. So Dani does stupid things to try and give her lives to her.
We see her drunk and stupid enough to get into the pool at home where she stays until her father finds her and drags her out. 1 life down. Will Jena feel better? There's 2 sides to the things she does though. 1) She believes that she'll lose a life and Jena will catch it and 2) She's acting out. You're not sure which of the 2 is the reason she does them. Even though she says it's for Jena, and yes it is - also, you can see that she is just a lonely girl who wants some of the attention that seems to rain down on Jena.
I love Dani as an MC. She's not a flawless image of a perfect sister, daughter, friend. No, she's got her flaws alright. But that's okay because she's only human. None of us can be accused of being perfect.
She tries to be a good daughter - going to auditions because it's what her mother wants. Not telling her mother about her father smoking again because it's his only vice and it's something he does through stress over Jena. She tries to be a good sister by giving her extra lives to Jena.
So although we see her as a bit snarky, we also find that she has a good heart and tries to help people, even though it's at cost to herself.
I won't lie, I had to cry at this story. It's very well written and has a beautiful, fluid, haunting storyline. It's one of those books that you read and no matter what you read after it, it's still going to be stuck in your mind.
Sarah Wylie is definitely an author I will be looking out for more from in the future.
Thank you to Macmillan and Net Galley for providing me this ARC. Thank you to Sarah Wylie for writing something so unusual in today's YA market. (less)
I came across this book whilst browsing the catalogue on Net Galley. It sounded unlike anything I had read before so I sent the publisher my request f...moreI came across this book whilst browsing the catalogue on Net Galley. It sounded unlike anything I had read before so I sent the publisher my request for it. Let me tell you, I am very glad I did. This story was indeed unlike anything I have read previously. It stands apart from the normal YA books that I read. I knew going into this book that the author Rachel Coker is only young, 15 years old I believe. But what I didn't expect was how maturely and beautifully a woman so young could write. I was pleasantly taken by surprise by that fact.
This story took me back to a time before I was born. A time I have only been able to learn about during history lessons at school and by watching documentaries on the television. I can honestly say that I am glad not to have been born before or during the war. It must have been one of the hardest things to live through. I only experienced how it must have felt whilst reading this book and that alone was enough for me. It made me realise how lucky I am to have what I have and live the life that I do.
At the tender age of just fourteen, Allie feels responsible for everything because her mother has brain cancer and forgets things, places and people. It's a harsh way for Allie to have to live her life. She has had to grow up fast due to the decline in her mothers health. Sam is her best friend. He's followed her round since childhood. He's always there, even when she wishes he wasn't. It's during one of Sam's visits that her mother takes a turn for the worse. So Allie harshly blames him for the fact that she passes away. When I read this, I was sad for Sam because I could see that it wasn't his fault and I was angry at Allie for blaming him and pushing him away when all he wanted to do was be a good friend and be there for her. It honestly made a lump form in my throat.
Due to Allie's mother's passing, she must move away. A lady from an adoption agency turns up and tells her to pack a bag because she must leave. This hurts Allie as her mother or Mama as she calls her, has always been the only family she has known. Her father walked out when she was young and so now to have to move away from her home and her life, makes Allie sad and depressed. Who can blame her really? She's had a hard enough start to her life without having to go and start afresh somewhere else.
Now Allie lives with Miss Beatrice, her adopted mother. She is introduced to Irene, Miss Beatrice's daughter and immediately feels like an outsider. This woman isn't her mother, Irene isn't her sister, this isn't her life. But it is and she will have to get used to it. There is nothing to be done to bring her mother back and there is no escaping the fact that she needs to start over.
I felt a lot of empathy for Allie. I relate to how hard her life must have been. I know I haven't been through what she has but it's easy to imagine whilst reading that you are actually Allie and her emotions are yours. There's ups, there's downs, there's times you just want to grab her and shake her. You want to tell her to wake up and be nicer to Beatrice and others around her. Allie could be such a marvellous young lady and indeed in her heart she is. She just isn't able to see things clearly. Her mother always told her that religion was for superstitious fools. So Allie doesn't even have God to turn to in her times of need. She really feels all alone. But she wouldn't be if only she were more open to people. If she let people into her life, her heart, she would see that life is what you make it. If you make it hard, it's hard. If you make it happy, it's happy.
This is a beautiful story about a young girl who hasn't had the easiest of starts to her life and now must carve out a new niche for herself in this new life. She has a hardness to her that is easily imaginable because of her past. But will she ever mellow? Will she settle down and get used to the life before her? Or will she always rebel against it?
I loved this book from the moment I picked it up. I got easily carried away into this life of a teenager during the war. I always enjoy a book when the author can put me inside the head of the main character. This was no exception. I honestly look forward to more novels from Rachel Coker. She is a brilliant budding young author and I can only imagine that as her career progresses, she will become a best-selling author. She certainly has the makings of one.
Thank you to Rachel for creating such an extraordinary novel. Thank you also to Zondervan and Net Galley for providing me with this galley.(less)
When I first heard about this book I was instantly intrigued because, as I will admit, I am a little bit addicted to anything Fae. Add a gorgeous cove...moreWhen I first heard about this book I was instantly intrigued because, as I will admit, I am a little bit addicted to anything Fae. Add a gorgeous cover and synopsis and hey presto! you have a recipe for greatness. Or do you? Well in the case of INNOCENT DARKNESS, it so happens you do!
Sixteen year old Magnolia Braddock, or Noli, lives at home with her mother. She enjoys tinkering with her brother Jeff's old flying car and has a handsome best friend by the name of Steven Darrow, or 'V' as she calls him. Only thing is, much as Noli enjoys fixing things up and trying to help her mother round the house, it doesn't stop her getting into trouble - and taking out Jeff's old Pixy without a licence, failing to stop for the police and then crashing it into the garden is the last straw. Noli's hoyden ways have landed her well and truly in it this time. Her mother can no longer cope and so Noli is sent to reform school at Findlay House to straighten herself out.
Her mother may never have sent her there if only she had realised just what awaited Noli behind closed doors. Whether it was the leers from the doctor, the stints she did in the Sensory Deprivation Tank or the times the horrid woman in charge nearly drowned Noli - her mother clearly wouldn't have been happy knowing these things were happening to her daughter. But of course, she'd never find out because the girls weren't allowed outside contact. No phone calls. No letters. No visits. Nothing.
Noli managed to make one friend within the walls of Findlay, her name was Charlotte. She was in there because her awful Uncle abused her and her mother found out, so she thought that Charlotte would be better where he couldn't get to her.
One day, the girls are in the little secluded fairy garden when a man looks through the fence and introduces himself. His name is Kevighn Silver. Little do the girls know, Kevighn is the High Queen's Huntsman and every 7 years she needs him to find a Sacrifice- this is a young girl who possesses the Spark. He goes out and finds them, seduces them and then the magic binds them and they die in order to replenish the land. This, is what Kevighn has in mind when he sees the girls that day. He knows they both possess the Spark, but will either of them go with him?
After a particularly bad day at Findlay, Noli finds herself hiding in the tree in the fairy garden. She makes a wish that she was anywhere but there and that is exactly what happens. The tree transports her to the land of the Fae. She hadn't really thought that the tree could transport her anywhere, she was just thinking out loud. She certainly didn't think that she'd end up somewhere she didn't recognise and with Kevighn Silver, of all people. That's what comes with her having made a wish on the Solstice, her wish was granted, just not in any way she could imagine.
Kevighn convinces her to come back to his home with him. He says he can help her. So she goes with him, but she still doesn't really realise where she is or what's going on. All she knows is she isn't at Findlay any more and she doesn't know how to get home from wherever she is. She has hopes that Kevighn has the knowledge of how to get her home.
Noli asks Kevighn to help her get home and he does little to try to actually help. He just side-steps her questions and distracts her with trinkets and stories and such. He's hoping that the longer she is there, the magic will come and bind her. But he doesn't tell her the real truth about the Sacrifice, he doesn't want to scare her off. He wants to seduce her with his good looks and charm, then she will be what is needed and the land will be replenished before they all fade away and die..
But Kevighn didn't know what he was letting himself in for. Noli is not the kind of girl to take things lying down. She's feisty and she wants nothing more than to get home. There are times when he manages to distract her, but she's a girl with her own mind and she knows what she wants. Kevighn didn't expect her to be so unlike the other girls. They were easy to distract and came willingly to his bed, thus meaning they give themselves to him and without knowing it, they give themselves to the land and become the much needed sacrifice.
This is a truly remarkable story that I was head over heels for from the first page. It's fast-paced and well timed. It has fun, it has action and it has two lovely boys who are very hard to choose between. I think I may just be a bit more of an advocate for Kevighn though, but that's in line with my bad-boy addiction.
I can't, or don't want to believe places like Findlay House would have existed. It struck me right in my heart and my gut when the Doctor puts her through "treatments" - whether she's in the sensory deprivation tank or almost being drowned, it hurts to see and feel Noli in such a dire situation.
I love all the characters and feel that they are developing at a decent rate, they aren't overly rushed. I think Suzanne Lazear knows exactly what she wants from the characters and how to get them there. Yet I think that somehow, they also play out at their own rate and take Suzanne where they want to go too. It's a delicate balance between the two and I feel she has it just right.
I enjoyed the story very much, though there were times when Noli had a really rough ride and I was getting upset and frustrated on her behalf because she couldn't see what was coming. I look very much forward to the next book and to seeing where Noli ends up. Suzanne has you on the edge all the time. There's moments where you can laugh out loud, moments where you want to strangle someone, moments where you want to cry for Noli and a lot of other things that happen in between. There's stolen moments of intimacy that just add another dimension to the story. Should she just give up on going home and stay with Kevighn? Should she give in to her urges and not care that it means she's a hoyden after all? Should she give up on V or should she wait?? You are kept guessing and questioning things along the way. My heart wanted her to go with Kevighn, my head told me she shouldn't. After all, he is the Huntsman for the High Queen. All that he did for her was out of duty... Wasn't it? Whereas V, he's her best friend, he wouldn't hurt her... would he?
Suzanne has fast become an author that I really rate and will look forward to reading books from in future. she isn't someone whom you can easily forget because her book packs a mean punch. She's a clever and tricky woman. In fact, I think she's a fairy because you get trapped in her land and can't seem to find an escape. Do I really want to escape is the question I should be asking myself. The answer is, no, I don't think I do!
As you can probably tell, I loved this story and I am having a hard time shutting up about it. But I'll stop here and just tell you, you need to read this book. If there is any "must-buy" book this year, Innocent Darkness is it!(less)
I have to be honest, it was the cover that drew me in to this book. I got one of those lovely 'feed your reader' emails from Net Galley announcing this and I decided to download it even though I didn't really know what it was about. I know, I should have checked it out properly but I was basing it on having heard some good things about it.
Having gone into it blind, I found that I really was lucky with this book. It was AMAZING. One of my very favourite books, I kid you not. I have never read an historic book like this before but now I think that I might look into them in the future. I will certainly be waiting on the edge of my seat for the next in the His Fair Assassin series, DARK TRIUMPH, in Spring 2013.
If like me you know nothing of GRAVE MERCY, then let me give you the blurb:
When I first started this book and realised it was set in 1485, I was a little hesitant about reading it - this was based on the fact that when I read some books and they have the prologue set in the past, I find it hard to get into until the book gets to the present. But 1485 is Grave Mercy's 'present'. Once I got past my initial hesitancy, I was really enamoured by this book.
One of the things I loved the most was the fact that Ismae was one of 'Death's Handmaidens' - it probably wasn't meant as such, but I thought this was really cool. I mean Ismae got to concoct poisons and learn techniques with which to kill a man. This girl who started out as a victim, from being nearly aborted by her mother, to being abused by the men in her life, became an assassin and as such went from what you think of as weak to a badass heroine whom I came to feel a real empathy for.
The second thing I loved most about this book would have to be one of the characters, Gavriel Duval. *swoons* I absolutely adored him. The relationship between Ismae and Gavriel isn't 'girl meets boy, falls in love, lives happily ever after'. It's a slow building, gradual relationship. Ismae is doing the work of her convent and her God, St Mortain. Whilst Gavriel is a noble lord. When has there ever been such a pairing? I enjoyed seeing the way in which Ismae and Gavriel built up a relationship between them. It wasn't all lovey dovey and doe eyed mushy moments. It was worked from a tentative friendship to [oops I can't tell you what became of them]. I certainly found myself captured in the moment and having to keep turning the pages to find out what happened next.
What was interesting was the basis for the story once Ismae and Gavriel were at the High Court. I won't go into the political ins and outs as I fear I will get it incorrect or spoil it in some other way for you. All I will say is that if you looked at the word 'political' and thought "I'm not sure I want to read on" - you really should do away with any misconception that it is dull and dreary. It truly isn't. There isn't a load of boring information dropped on you, nor does the author drone on about things as you might fear. Instead it is a story based around something political that arises and the characters trying to come up with a solution that suits everyone concerned.
There are many characters to love and indeed to loathe. I won't tell you who's who but you should look out for Beast and De Lornay. I like them nearly as much as I like Ismae and Gavriel.
Having never read anything by Robin LaFevers before, I was unsure what to expect from her style of writing. What I discovered is that she expertly crafts a world that I found I didn't want to leave. I was happily lost within the pages of this incredible story.
At one point I found myself thinking back to when I read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I was reminded of the relationship between Yelena and Valek. It brought back fond memories for me as that was a series I loved.
I found I didn't mind the political aspect as much as I thought I would in the beginning. I felt it may detract from the story for me but it didn't. It was an integral part of the story and it would not have been the same without it. The fact that you take many a YA story, strip it back to it's bare bones and it's basically a love story, meant that I was expecting more of the same here. But that is not what I got and I was pleasantly surprised by that. I love a good love story as much as the next person but it's the way in which they are weaved in with other things that make me really route for the characters. I honestly felt like I could have been Ismae. Towards the end even more so. I won't tell you what caused it but I found myself crying on 3 occasions. I very nearly had my heart broken beyond any hope of repair, but my heart held on and so did my love for Gavriel and Ismae. They aren't your conventional couple and that's what makes me route for them even more. I cried so hard on one occasion that my glasses were actually sliding down my nose with the force of my tears. I had to stop reading and wipe my make-up off as it was making my eyes itch as I had mascara everywhere. Once I got to about 73% I found I couldn't go to bed without finishing the book. I knew it would be a late night but I was so enthralled that I could not bring myself to wait until the next day to find out what happened. So it was 2am before I finally crawled into bed, exhausted from lack of sleep but also because of crying my heart out.
I am truly pleased I decided to take a chance on this book and am very grateful to the publisher for approving my request via Net Galley. I can't wait for Dark Triumph next Spring. Though I know it is set to follow Sybella [I won't tell you who she is, read the book & find out] - I do hope that Ismae and Gavriel feature even in a small part, just so that I know what became of them.
Thank you Robin for writing a truly touching story that stays with you long after the final word is read. (less)
I think it's clear to see that it was this stunning cover that drew me in. That and the hype that's been buzzing around the blogging/literary communit...moreI think it's clear to see that it was this stunning cover that drew me in. That and the hype that's been buzzing around the blogging/literary community. Everyone was going on that they wanted to read it and couldn't wait fo it to come out. So much so that when the galley for this was first put on Net Galley, the site was overloaded with bloggers going to request it and ended up having a problem for a few hours whereby I couldn't even log in to request it! We were all talking how Julie Kagawa broke Net Galley. I'm not sure if that was the real reason behind the problem at the time but I can only assume it was that or a rather big coincidence.
I was interested in THE IMMORTAL RULES from the moment I saw it. My favourite genre used to be vampires and has since moved on to Dystopian. So imagine my delight knowing that this was a mixture of both. I can tell you, it's a perfect combination!
Having never read anything by Julie Kagawa before, I was unsure what to expect in her style of writing. Yes, I know you are probably screaming at your screen "What? She's never Read The Iron Fey" Well, the answer is, no I haven't. I would love to and will no doubt get to them in time.
I can honestly say, I loved THE IMMORTAL RULES. It was epic! I stayed up late into the night just to finish it off. What I found funny was the fact that it took me a couple of days of reading here and there to get to 65% - I tried my hardest to read it as much as possible but, you know, life gets in the way. But when I went to bed last night, I was at 65% and determined to finish it if I could. It had just got to what I thought was the juiciest part yet and I was NOT going to put it down. Well, I did it. I got to the end in that one sitting. It just meant staying up until 1:35am to finish it. I can tell you something, I'm sure glad I did. I was hooked and could not put it down. I kept looking at the time and thinking "I'll finish it tomorrow" but my attention was in the grips of the story and it was not letting go.
Allison Sekemoto lives in the Fringe. But 'lives' isn't exactly the word you would use to describe it. More like she 'exists' or 'survives'. It certainly isn't a happy life. It's one she and her small group of friends have had to carve out for themselves. They live on the outskirts of a vampire city - but the vampires aren't the only thing that go bump in the night for there is also the Rabids. It's hard to explain it to you without spoiling it, suffice to say, they are dangerous and you wouldn't want to bump into one in an alley. Or on an open road. Or indeed anywhere, for that matter.
Allie and the group are Unregistered. Without telling you the ins and outs in too much detail - the Registered donate blood for the vampires, but the Unregistered don't. They also don't have any protection and would be fair game if vampires should happen upon them. So anyway, this means that Allie and her friends must scrounge for food. They must live on what they can get. Be it mouldy cheese, stale bread, insects. You name it, they must eat it in order to survive.
So Allie takes it upon herself to go outside the border on a scavenger hunt, where she comes across a veritable treasure trove of food. There's cans of beans and fruit in syrup. A person could live for months off the amount she discovers. So she returns to the group and tells them they must all go out and gather the food, it was too much for her to carry alone. What Allie doesn't know yet is, this is only the beginning of the troubles she will encounter.
It's Allie's complete and utter hatred of the vampires that drives her. She hates the way the vampires keep and use humans as 'blood-cattle'. When one night Allie finds herself the victim of an attack, she lies bleeding and dying until a vampire finds her. This vampire offers her a choice. Die or become one of the undead - one of the soulless creatures she abhors. Not wanting to die but not wanting to become a vampire, Allie is faced with the toughest of choices and believes that maybe it is the lesser of two evils to be Turned.
Upon being Turned, her sire tells her how life will be from now on. She doesn't want to feed from humans, instead she would rather live on a diet of rats, deer, whatever animal she can hunt down. But Kanin tells her what she fears the most, she MUST consume human blood, for too long without it and she will turn mad.
Forced to flee, Allie finds herself in the middle of the unknown, the city beyond the walls she grew up in. She comes across a rag-tag group of humans along the way. They take her in and tell her she should travel with them as she stands a better chance of survival as part of the group than out there on her own. Little do they know she is one of the creatures this group fear the most. The group are on the road, travelling to try and find the answer to their prayers. A cure to the disease that has ravaged humankind. The disease that created the Rabids, the mindless creatures that are a threat to both vampires and humans alike.
I must say, the way that Julie Kagawa created the trials and tribulations that both Allie herself and the group as a whole must face is like nothing I have come across before. This story is one of the darkest and most disturbing that I have read. I like that this wasn't girl meets vampire and falls in love, like so many others before it.
One of the things I liked most about this book was the fact that Allie had to try and pass herself off as human to fit in with the group but it's especially hard for her to do around Zeke who she fears will see the monster that lurks within.
I know that some people say that the vampire genre is on the way out, but I don't believe so. I think there are still good vampire stories to be had and THE IMMORTAL RULES goes to prove me right.
I am extremely excited to see where Julie Kagawa takes this story in future books. One thing I know for sure is, it won't be a fairytale. Things will be hard. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns, things you just don't expect - pretty much like this first book. I honestly didn't know where Kagawa was taking this story. There was nothing transparent about it and that is one of the other things I loved the most. Sometimes, you can tell where a road will lead - not this time.
So thanks must be given to Harlequin TEEN for giving permission for me to view this galley. Also to Net Galley for being a truly marvellous site - without whom, I would not have read as many ARCs of books. But most thanks goes to Julie Kagawa for creating this dark, disturbing dystopian world - the world for which I didn't have a road map, yet I enjoyed getting lost within the pages and hitting bumps in the road. I look forward to seeing where the road untravelled leads. (less)
Have you ever loved a book and hated it both at the same time? I have had a couple of those and The Eternity Cure is one of those. There are many reasons to love it and those are the ones I could talk about all day. But the reason I hate it? Well there's two reasons actually, one I can share and one I can't. The reason I can share? Well, this book was a roller coaster of emotions and at the peak of those emotions, I came crashing down - I literally crashed and burned and fell apart in tears. I love a book that can make me so invested in the characters that I feel their emotions along with them - but this time was different. I loved it and hated it because it broke my heart. But then possibly redeemed itself in the Epilogue. I'm literally DYING without book 3. I remember when I read The Immortal Rules last year. I was so excited because I had an eARC of a book that people were hyping up and I got so swept up in the hype - which is totally unlike me - but anyway, I read it and it became a fast favourite of 2012. I remember thinking that the sequel couldn't possibly be as good - Hell, I have to admit I was wrong - it was BETTER!
Allie Sekemoto has made a vow that she will find and rescue her sire and mentor, Kanin. She can feel that he's in pain, she dreams about the things that are happening to him. She can feel a pull in his direction and she vows to follow it so that she can help him get free from Sarren, a vicious vampire who's gone mad. He might be the only known vampire to come back from insanity, but it changed him in ways that cannot be reversed. He's so strong and his agenda is as yet unknown but whatever it is, it has something to do with Kanin. Why else would he chain him up in the dark and do unspeakable things to him? For fun? Knowing Sarren, the answer is "Quite probably!"
Unfortunately, Allie can feel two pulls in different directions, one slightly stronger than the other and she is unsure which one to follow. She isn't even sure how she'll rescue Kanin from possibly the strongest vampire she has ever come across. All she knows is that Kanin is on the brink of being broken and going insane and she will do anything to rescue the man who once rescued her.
Allie decides to follow one of the two pulls she feels inside and who should she bump into but Jackal - her blood brother, having been sired by Kanin a long time ago. Allie hates Jackal, and with good reason. He's never given her a reason to do anything other than distrust him. He's not necessarily evil per se, he's just... spiteful, vengeful, sadistic... you get the picture. So he's not exactly on Allie's good side. She mistrusts him based on past encounters yet here he is offering to help her find their sire. Why? Well that's not really clear. Jackal will always have his own agenda and helping Allie find Kanin isn't something he does from the bottom of his unbeating heart.
So Allie and Jackal form an uneasy alliance and go in search of their sire. There are a few problems they encounter along the way. One of which is the fact that many humans seem to be infected with something that makes them crazy. They tear at their own skin. If they are knocked down, they get back up as though nothing happened. The only way to stop them coming at you in a fight is to slice them in half or cut off their heads, something fatal.
The journey is not easy and once they reach their destination, further complications arise. They need to get in to see Prince Salazar but how? They need to free Kanin, but how? Nothing is as they think. It couldn't be more complicated.
Do they free Kanin? Do they find the elusive "cure" they seek? Does the cure even exist? There are so many questions that arise and every time you think that you have this book figured out, Julie Kagawa goes and throws a spanner in the works.
I have to say, I loved The Immortal rules and it deserved every one of the 5 wings I awarded it. But The Eternity Cure should be given an extra few stars for the cunning, the creativity and the outcome. It was AMAZING. INCREDIBLE. One of my top books of 2013 so far.
Julie Kagawa is a very talented author. She inspires me to write better in my book. The intricacies of this book, the way she makes you think that you are being betrayed, the way she makes you fall head over heels in love with Zeke... Everything she does shows her talent. She makes you care about her characters, really invest in them. As I said at the start of this review, she made me crash and burn at the end. There were a couple of times throughout the book that I shed a few small tears. but the ending, that just tore down my defences. Julie Kagawa gets under your skin. She makes you feel as though you've been sucked into the book. I found that it took longer to read this book than the first, and in the beginning, it was paced slightly slower. But as I got further into the story, the pace picked up and I found myself turning the pages faster and faster.
You can safely say, this book was a blast. It was anything but boring. It was nothing short of perfection and I don't know how she plans to top or even match it in book 3. But roll on book 3 because I am betting it is going to be another kick-A installment in the series. (less)
Firstly, let me say how much I love this cover. As a lot of you may already know, I am a self-confessed cover-magpie. This really appeals to me because of it's simplistic beauty. It's truly captivating.
This is only the second book I have read revolving around mermaids - or should that be merpeople?! I saw it on Goodreads and decided to see if it was available on Net Galley - to my utter pleasure, it was and I got approved for it! :)
So what did I think? Hmm.. let me see....
LIES BENEATH is told from the point of view of Calder White - a mermaid...merman... (I really don't know what to call him without causing him offence). He lives in the beautiful, yet cold, waters of Lake Superior. He has 3 sisters and all of them are murderous mermaids. In order to survive, Calder and his sisters must kill humans to obtain the energy source they give off as a sort of cotton candy looking aura.
The family are angry and out for revenge. Jason Hancock's father made them a promise years ago and now is the time to collect. One thing you should never do - break a promise to a mermaid. They blame Hancock's father for the death of their mother and they have waited (not so patiently) for the day when Hancock would return to Lake Superior so that they could seek reparation for the debt Hancock's father owes - his son's life.
But when Calder meets Jason Hancock's daughter Lily, she could be the unravelling of the plan.
Beautiful and full of life (yes she glows with a happy aura) - Lily is the kind of girl a boy could fall for. But mermaids.. mermen.. don't have a capacity for these kind of feelings...do they?
Well, you'll just have to read the book and find out I'm afraid!
Being the second book about mermaids that I have read recently, I was afraid this would be similar in style. Boy I'm glad I was proved wrong. I thought there was probably 'only so much you could do with mermaids' - I enjoyed finding out that my theory was incorrect, I guess I just don't have the imagination required to do something different. But that's okay because I'm a reader, not a writer - so I can sit back and let my imagination drift off into something created for me. In this case, something absolutely beautiful that would take me on an uncharted journey through the clear waters of Lake Superior.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I cannot even hope to do it justice with my words. I fail in comparison to the beautiful, inspiring words of Anne Greenwood Brown.
From the first line, I was sucked in and it kept me in it's grips right to the end - and boy what an ending. Full of twists and turns, I never knew where this journey would end (or at least end for now) - just when I thought I knew what could happen *BAM* - I was wrong!!
Somehow from when I laid eyes on this book, I knew it would be something special - I am glad to say I was 100% correct. I am absolutely dying for the second book DEEP BETRAYAL to come out - which is a long wait considering LIES BENEATH isn't on shelves yet!
I have to say, I like a book that I can totally sink into and this book was no disappointment there. I actually lost huge chunks of time 2 nights in a row, staying up til 2 and 3am because I couldn't bear to put it down. I finally got to 88% at 2:30 this morning and had to put it down because my eyes were burning with tiredness. So I finished it off as soon as I woke up.
I am not usually a quotes girl - meaning that I don't go on the hunt for quotes specifically - but there are two that struck me and stayed with me. If I share them with you, I know I'll have you hooked - they are just that good! So here goes...
The opening line... it had me thinking "What the...?...Oh My Gosh... I'm going to love this book"
"I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that...."
Also, a line from farther in the book...
"Would you please get it into your head that this is not a movie. Forget everything you think you know about merpeople. Forget that freaking Ariel, think Silence of the Lambs, think Friday the Thirteenth..."
It has to be said that Anne's writing throughout is captivating, not just these quotes. The way she portrays things, it's like I was sitting on the bank of the lake watching it all unfold in front of me. I love it when a book makes me feel the way this did. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a good bit of romance and I love the way the relationship unfolds between Calder and Lily - nothing in life is simple, even less so for these two.
The characters in this book are so awesome. I love Lily. She's beautiful, fun, isn't easily brought down. Calder is handsome, complicated, emotionally unreachable (or so he believes). Even the 3 sisters are great characters. They all have their traits that you can identify with.
But enough of what I think. What did you think of it? If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do so. Then you can come back and we can gush together about what we loved. Or loathed.
Thank you to Random House/Delacorte for approving me for this eARC with Net Galley. Thank you Net Galley for being there to provide awesome books to book-thirsty bloggers like me. But more important thanks go to Anne Greenwood Brown for creating an intriguing world in which I loved getting lost. I would gladly have never found my way back out. I eagerly await book 2.(less)
I first heard about this book through the buzz in the blogging community. I looked it up and knew I had to read it. I absolutely adore the cover for t...more I first heard about this book through the buzz in the blogging community. I looked it up and knew I had to read it. I absolutely adore the cover for this. Both the US and the UK. They both say that the protagonist is going to be a kick-ass and that is definitely the truest thing that can be said.
I have read some awesome books recently and each have deserved there own high ratings. But THRONE OF GLASS is one of those that I wish I could rate through the roof. It deserves every one of it's 5 wings and then some. It has to be the most spectacular book that I have read so far in 2012.
Celeana Sardothien, an 18 year-old assassin has just spent a year in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes. Prince Dorian offers her freedom from the prison camp, on the one condition that she be his Champion in his father's competition to find a new Royal Assassin. Of course she is free to decline the offer, but she will find herself back in Endovier.
In this competition, she will find herself pitted against thieves, warriors and other assassins from across the Empire. Each of whom are sponsored by a member of the Royal Council. If Celeana wins, she will serve as the King's personal assassin for a period of 4 years before being granted her freedom. The problem is, those that she is up against are some tough competition.
Celeana must train each day with the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. These sessions are to prepare her physically as well as mentally for the trials ahead. Though she finds them to be physically tough at first, they do serve as a lesson that she must learn, she needs to be able to overcome the brutality of the work involved in the sessions with Chaol in order to be able to overcome her opponents.
Celeana finds herself bored by the stiff upper crust that is the politics of court life. However, she comes out of her shell more with each passing day when she realises that Prince Dorian is showing an interest in her. He's handsome, sauve, kind, funny... most of all, he is enraptured by this assassin that has found herself catapulted into his life. Celeana finds herself taken with his attention and it makes court life, training, the competition, that little bit easier to take. The Prince believes in Celeana. Not only as his Champion, but more so when he gets to know the real girl underneath her 'tough as nails' exterior.
However, flattered though she is by Prince Dorian's affections, it's the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, that seems to know her better. He seems to understand her in a way neither of them are familiar with. There are some tender moments between the two. It's there in the way he looks at her, the way she takes his hand and looks upon him. There's a connection that could be forged, if only the two of them weren't too stubborn to act upon it.
So it is with Prince Dorian that Celeana comes to have stolen moments of passion.
I was so frustrated by this, the fact that I could not fathom why Celeana and Chaol couldn't just bite the bullet so to speak and just admit that there was a possibility there. I am not one for liking love triangles in books. I am known to be an advocate of the underdog or the bad-boy. But in THRONE OF GLASS, I can't help feeling torn between both men. There are good qualities to be found within them both, though the more realistic voice in me says that a long-term relationship could not be had with the Prince. There is just too much standing in their way. Like the fact that Lady Kaltain doesn't like the connection that the two seem to have forged. Lady Kaltain sees the Prince as her own target and she won't stop at anything to break them apart. There's also the fact that she could die within the competition, or the very real prospect of having the King make his feelings known and use his position to tear them apart.
But I found that in spite of these things being true, I couldn't help but fall a little in love with Prince Dorian. There's something so tender and sweet within this man that any woman would be a fool not to fall for him.
I absolutely fell in love with Celeana. She won me over instantaneously. I said I have a thing for the underdog, well that's true of the protagonists, not just the love interests. Because Celeana could not tell anyone who she really was, the fact that she had to go by the name of Lillian Gordaina, well it felt as though she really was the underdog - she had to constantly underplay herself and hold back in how much she put into each round - I just couldn't help but back her all the way and hope that she slaughtered the rest of the competition. Though not in the literal sense, as that seemed to be the job of some unseen killer, lurking, waiting to strike the competitors. There was someone or something slowly getting rid of them one by one and it wasn't stopping until it had taken them all down.
Celeana found herself not only caught up in the competition but also in trying to solve the mystery surrounding the gruesome deaths of her competitors.
The writing of Sarah J Maas instantly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages, dying to know what happens next. I felt as though I had been transported to another time and place, sitting on the sidelines cheering Celeana on. I love feisty women who can handle themselves and the competition and she sure wasn't lacking. I found myself investing in this story. I sat up until too late at night reading when I really should have been in bed. Then today I sat here for four hours, no breaks taken, trying to finish it off. There were times I should have put the book down but found that I couldn't because I just had to know what was around the next corner. This book was so much fun, I am so glad that I read it. I am dying to know if there are to be more books, it is definitely something I will need to investigate.
If you don't go straight and pick this up as soon as it comes out, you are going to miss out, let me tell you. If you like action packed, drama filled, intense journeys, this this is one I implore you to take. You won't be sorry you did. Trust me. (less)