Starborn follows Kyndra as she is taken away after the Breaking destroys her hometown. On her journey, Kyndra is left questioning her what is happening to her, where she is going, and who the strangers whom have taken her might be.
The strangers in question are Brégenne and Nediah, two Wielders from Naris. We learn more about them and the land they come from as the story progresses. They were the most fascinating characters for me throughout the story.
I adored learning more about Brégenne. At the beginning, she seemed so cold and I was unsure whether to trust her or not, but the more I read of her, the more I began to appreciate her. I think the relationship between her and Nediah is complex and well written. There was a scene between the two of them that occurred at the very end of the book that shocked me, and I’m eager to find out what the repercussions will be. I’d also like to discover more of Nediah’s backstory further in the trilogy.
Kyndra was character who became stronger throughout the story, and I admired her determination. I still think she has a lot more to offer, so I’m excited to see how she develops because I think she could totally kick some ass in the future.
There’s a great variety of characters from start to finish, and they’re all interesting, whether they’re good or bad. However, one character that left me confused was Gareth. When Gareth is first introduced, the only word I can use to describe him is vile. He treats Kyndra horribly. However, later on in the book, Kyndra seems to befriend him and he is shown as a completely different person. That may be because of the world he lives in and his upbringing, but because the reader doesn’t know anything about that, it is very hard to forgive his initial actions. I’m still interested to see what part he plays in the future of this series.
The plot was exciting and fast paced. I’ll admit, I was confused during the first couple of chapters because I didn’t really understand what was happening, but I was still completely drawn into the story.
The final couple of chapters are intense and make for a fantastic ending. There are actions that will definitely have repercussions in the future, and I can’t wait to see how the characters handle the situations in the next book.
Hounsom is fantastic at world building, and the world within this story is like nothing I’ve read before. It has a unique edge to it that sets it apart from other fantasy novels. I’m eager to see more of what this world has in store for its characters.
This is a very high fantasy story, and lovers of the fantasy genre will definitely want to give this book a read. It’s a promising start to a series that has huge potential. ...more
This story follows David and Leo as they form an unlikely friendship after Leo transfers to Eden Park School. David was a girl born inside a boy’s body, and the only two people who know about it are his two best friends. He wants to tell his parents but doesn’t know how to. He assumes that they think he is is gay, and have been waiting for him to tell them so, but he doesn’t know how to explain to them that he’s not gay. He’s actually a straight girl.
When the school’s bully gets hold of the notebook David uses to write about the changes happening to his body, Leo steps in to help. When the pair end up in detention together, they slowly start to get to know each other more.
Heart-warming, witty, and full of brilliant characters, I completely fell in love with The Art of Being Normal. The characters and events throughout the story are believable and beautifully written. Both protagonists had their own individual voice and personality, and the scenes between them were wonderful to read.
The character progression of both Leo and David was perfectly executed. I loved watching them grow throughout each chapter. This isn’t just a book about transgender issues; it’s about watching these characters develop and overcome their own personal problems and doubts.
I’m glad that David had his best friends, Essie and Felix, throughout the story. They were incredibly supportive of him, and it was good for him to have people to share everything with. Leo, on the other hand, is reserved to begin with and doesn’t have any desire to find close friends, so it was great seeing him slowly open up to David and finally learn that friendship isn’t a bad thing.
Leo’s story was fantastically written. Williamson has a great way of conveying the emotions that run through the minds of the characters and I feel she did this exceptionally well with Leo. When we finally find out what event happened in Leo’s past for him to have to move schools, I had to fight back the tears. It broke my heart, but it was so important to read.
There is a lot I would like to say about different parts of this book, but I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone! Just know that it now owns a little piece of my heart. As well as showing readers a glimpse at the struggles these characters have to face, this story is also packed with humour, hope, and beautiful moments that will stay with us long after the last page.
It’s also a fantastic example of good UKYA, and I can’t wait to see what else Lisa Williamson has in store. There was a lot of buzz online about this book before I read it, and now I see why. It’s a story that does live up to the hype. I’m excited to see more and more readers pick it up and fall in love with the characters as I did.
*I used male pronouns in regards to David in this review because they are used within the book.*...more
This story was everything I wanted it to be and more. Heart-breaking, heart-warming, and completely beautiful, I know Peyton’s journey will stay with me for a long time.
I was immediately interested in reading this book. It’s not often that I come across a story in YA that follows a transgender protagonist. I hope that in the future, it won’t be uncommon to find these stories. This book comes at such a prominent time after heart-breaking stories of real-life transgender teens have been in the media.
A Boy Like Me follows Peyton’s journey through high school as a boy trapped inside a growing woman’s body. He is confused and frustrated by emotions he can’t explain to himself. His mother wants the perfect daughter that he will never be, and their relationship falls more and more apart as the story progresses.
The relationship between Peyton and his mother is an important one. Reading it, you can’t help but feel desperate for him to get the acceptance he deserves from her, but it’s also a good way to show that he can be stronger and overcome it.
The scenes Peyton shared with his uncle RB added some well-needed warmth to the story. He was so supportive throughout and was one of the few characters that made sure Peyton knew he was loved regardless.
The relationship with Tara was beautifully written. This was also a new and confusing journey for her, and I loved how believable she was. She truly cared about Peyton and wanted him to be happy, and she was willing to learn how to make that happen.
The scene in which Peyton first learns about the term ‘transgender’ was both beautiful and heart-wrenching to read. It helps us to understand a little bit about what going through that sort of situation must be like, knowing that after feeling so much isolation he’s not alone and there are other people out there just like him.
What I really love about this story is how genuine it is. It doesn’t feel like the author is simply force-feeding information about transgender issues to the reader. It takes you on a boy’s personal journey and allows you to feel as though you are living alongside it, being a part of it and observing everything. It gives us a glimpse into what life must be like for someone who feels they don’t belong in the clothes they’re expected to wear, someone who feels like their own reflection is a stranger. Most importantly, it teaches us to accept who we are, and not to judge others for how they see themselves. ...more
The description of this book immediately intrigued me. It follows the story of Roya Stark, who is trying to come to terms with being a dream traveler. She has been selected as part of a team who will try and rid the world of the man who is stealing people’s consciousness: Zhuang.
As much as I want to discuss every aspect of this awesome story, I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, so you can all go and discover it for yourself.
First of all, the writing throughout this book was beautifully descriptive, and it really helps the reader to understand what’s going on in Roya’s mind. I found the first couple of chapters a little hard to follow, but once Roya got to the Institute, and more was revealed about The Lucidites, I began to ease into the story.
Roya was a fantastic character who developed well throughout. I found her reactions to the situations around her realistic and relatable. And she definitely knew how to kick some ass! Everything happens quite quickly in the first few chapters, so we don’t get to see much of her life with Bob and Steve, the people who take her in after her family are corrupted by Zhuang. They seem like an interesting pair, and I’d love to find out more about them.
All of the other characters were written brilliantly. I loved Joseph from the start. He added a bit of light-hearted humour and genuine warmth to the story. I’m very interested to see how he progresses through the series.
Aiden owned my heart from the minute he was introduced. A guy wearing glasses and a Fall Out Boy t-shirt, of course I was going to love him. How could I not? I liked that he wasn’t perfect, and that he did things that go against what Roya believes in. They challenge each other, and that’s why they work so well together. I’m excited to see how their relationship changes in the future.
The only small problem I had with the story was George. I really liked getting to know more about him as the story went on, but I didn’t feel the love interest connection that sparked up between him and Roya. I think it would have felt a little more believable if it had been built up longer. I do, however, think George has wonderful potential, and I can’t wait to find out more about him.
I’d love to find out more about Zhuang, and how he came to be the way he is. I’d also love the story to explore more of the time traveling side of the dreamscape. The fact that The Lucidites can travel to any point in time is fascinating, and I hope that’s something we get to see more of in the series.
There was a fantastic twist that happened in the second half of the book which I was really pleased about. I felt like it was needed and I can’t wait to see how that effects the characters in the next story.
This book is a prime example of why people need to be reading the work of indie authors. This story has been more way exciting and captivating than some of the widely published books I’ve read in the past. Anyone who loves a good fantasy and sci-fi story should definitely be checking this one out. ...more
*This book was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not change or influence my opinions of the story*
Dealing With Devils picks up where the story left off in The Appeal of Evil, and it’s straight away more engaging than the first book. It might be because I already knew the characters this time around and had a basic understanding of the story, but it was much easier to follow this time around.
Wes is now out of Katie’s life, and she’s coming to terms with her situation. As she spends more time harvesting souls with Josh, we get to see more about him and his life. I loved that we get to know Josh a little better in this book because throughout The Appeal of Evil, I couldn’t understand at all what Katie saw in him. Although I still think he and Katie needed a few more bonding scenes together, I can see why she is drawn to him now.
I felt like the plot was a lot more in-depth and exciting in this book. What I liked most was the reveal regarding Katie about two-thirds of the way into the story. I definitely perked up when I found out the truth about her, and I think that particular plot has a lot of potential that I’m excited to see explored. Bringing the myths into it really added some much needed thrill and danger to the story, because although Josh is a demon, and has taken Katie to Hell, it still didn’t have an edge-of-the-seat atmosphere to me before then.
There are still parts of the story that focus too much on Katie’s thoughts and feelings about the guys in her life, and I sometimes found myself wanting to skim over big chunks of descriptions about Katie’s ever-changing feelings towards Josh.
In my review of the first book, I mentioned that I’d really like to see Katie get an ally in the sequel, preferably a girl, because I thought she lacked a friendship and bond without romance thrown into it. I still haven’t gotten that in this second book, and I still feel like it’s needed. A lot of the people Katie meets are romantically perusing her in some way or another, and it just doesn’t feel that believable to me for some reason.
Also, poor Deb had a really hard time in this story, and I feel that she’s been overlooked once again. She has potential to be a fantastic character, but it’s just not working out so far. I’m really hoping we get to learn more about her family’s connection to Praesuls in the next book.
The ending was great, and although I was expecting the cliff-hanger that occurred, I loved reading it. I’m curious to see what Katie’s reaction will be in the next book, and how it will shake things up. ...more
*this book was provided by the publisher in echange for an honest review, this do not affect my thoughts or opinions*
You have no idea how much I’ve wanted a book like this to appear in my life. I’ve been searching for something new, something exciting, something awesome, and this book gave me all that and more.
The Rithmatist follows Joel during one of his school years at Armedius, a school that teaches both average and Rithmatist students. The Rithmatists are a group of people who are trained from the age of eight to be sent to battle on the frontline of Nebrask. They have the ability to bring chalk drawings to life, and use them to fight and defend.
Quite the unique concept for a story, isn’t it?
Let me start by saying that the characters are brilliant. I adored Joel from the first chapter. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book from the POV of a male character, and it’s something I always want to read more of in YA, so I was excited to read all about Joel and his life. What I loved about him was that he wasn’t a Rithmatist. Usually, if there is an ‘elite’ group of people in a story, the protagonist is usually one of them. Whereas Joel’s story was more about being on the outside, looking in. He was a delightful character to read about.
The people he meets in the story are all as equally wonderful. I loved the relationship he had with Professor Fitch, and it was always enjoyable to read scenes between the two of them. I also thought that his friendship with Melody worked beautifully. The bond that forms between the two of them over the course of the story was perfectly developed. I was definitely attached to the characters by the time I closed the book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they grow throughout the series.
The plot was genius. I had no idea chalk could make for such an epic story. Rithmatics and chalklings were so unique and fascinating, and I loved learning about this new and exciting world. There are even illustrations on some of the pages to help show you more about the chalklings and Rithmatic lines. The history and details were well thought out, and explained brilliantly. I sometimes find that fantasy novels have a lot of backstory and world-building that is too intricate to follow, but this had the perfect balance.
One of the things I loved the most about this book was that it didn’t need romance. I can’t remember the last time I read a good YA story that didn’t focus heavily on a love interest. A lot of the time, the romance can take away from the actual storylines in fantasy and sci-fi. It was extremely refreshing to read an entire story without the presence of a love triangle.
There were also plenty of twists in the lead up to the final chapter. Definitely some revealing moments that I didn’t see coming! I love it when a story can keep you guessing right until the very end, and then still leave you wanting more.
I hate comparing books to others, but I think this is a perfect story for anyone that loves Harry Potter. It has that same magical feeling to it whilst reading. I missed the characters and the school from the moment I put the book down, and I can barely wait for the next installment. ...more
Picking up this book was such a breath of fresh air for me. Amongst reading so many dystopian worlds and complicated fantasy lands, this book brought me back down to earth with a huge smile on my face.
This story follows siblings, Holly, Davy, and Jonathan, as they try to track down jewellery left for them by their aunt. It’s a treasure hunt which desperately makes you wish you had something to chase up and down the country.
Holly is a delightful character. She’s full of optimism and sass. It made me wish I could’ve been more like her when I was twelve-years-old! Her determination to go hunting for the jewels and make life better for her and her brothers is what makes this such a heart-warming story. It reminds you what it’s like to be that young and feel like you can conquer any quest. I loved the bond she had with her brothers. Even when she was angry at Jonathan, she’d understand that he was just trying to do what was best for them all.
I fell a little bit in love with Jonathan and all his geeky references. There is a scene in which he’s making up a story for Holly and Davy, and he combines nearly all of the nerdy things I adore into it. After that, it was impossible not to love him. He showed personal strength throughout this book. He somehow managed to always keep his cool even though he’d had to sacrifice so much. Fictional he may be, but there are many young adults like him who step up to look after their younger siblings when no one else is there to.
There are so many brilliantly quirky characters that pop-up in the story to help the siblings with their mission, and I could picture each of them perfectly in my head. I love adventures in which the main characters get to meet a wide variety of different people on their journey. It makes it impossible for the story to become dull.
This is a story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and it has something to offer to everyone. Humour, adventure, realism, and a little bit of mystery, whatever you like reading, you can find it within these pages.
This book had me smiling from ear-to-ear by the time I put it down. The final paragraph is a quote I can imagine people will want to turn into those cute, inspirational text images you often find on Pinterest. It’s a fitting and wonderful ending to a really wonderful story....more
10AM on a Sunday morning. I decided to have a few minutes of reading time with my coffee. Just a few minutes. The next time I looked at the clock, it was 3:15 in the afternoon. How on earth did that happen?
There is nothing dull about this story. Set in the wonderfully created land of Lormere, it’s a tale of Kings and Queens, of killings and curses, and of love and betrayal. It has everything to offer, and delivers it all.
Our protagonist is Twylla; a girl blessed by the Gods, and can kill a person by mere touch. She is known and feared by everyone as the embodiment of Daunen, daughter of the Gods. Because of her ‘gift’, she is to marry the prince, because he can survive her deadly touch.
I liked Twylla pretty much straight away. I loved her narration of the story, and the descriptions of her emotions were written beautifully. I was rooting for her from start to finish. She wasn’t perfect, she made mistakes, and her judgement wasn’t always on point, but that only made her more endearing as a character. I was happy to see her develop and grow stronger as she learnt more about herself and the people around her.
The two guys in the story, Prince Merek and Lief, are both fantastic characters. I sympathised with Merek’s situation, and I desperately wanted things to work out for him. I get very easily fed up of love triangles in YA, and I usually have to fight the urge to roll my eyes whenever I inevitably read about it. But for some reason, I was totally okay with this one. It worked really well, and I liked the contrasting characters. The one small downer I had was that I thought there were a few too many kisses. I wish they’d been held back a little more, because they would have felt extra special if they were limited, you know? But that’s probably just me.
The story telling in this book is enchanting. I’m a total history geek, so even if it’s fictional history, I want to know about it. And this book gave it. I love how in-depth the story goes into the history of Lormere. Sometimes, chunks of backstory can be quite confusing, but this was explained beautifully. And I absolutely adored the whole Sleeping Prince story. I really liked how the characters kept going back to that simple tale, and I was so excited to see if there was something more to it than just a wild fairy-tale.
I pride myself on being able to spot plot twists and figure out mysteries quite easily. I usually have those triumphant ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ moments when reading most books. But not with this one, oh no. It was more a case of ‘WAIT, WHAT???’
The final few chapters were completely unputdownable. There are some wonderful twists and turns to compel you into keeping the book open. It pulled me out of the reading slump I’d been in since Christmas, and I don’t even want to admit how much caffeine I needed after a night of binge-reading this book. One thing’s for certain, I cannot wait to read more.
If you’re looking for a new thrilling adventure, then make sure this is the book you pick up next.
Also: Shoutout to Melinda for having the most entertaining acknowledgments. ...more
This story follows Katie, a high school student with a seemingly normal life until fellow student Josh suddenly comes to her defence in an argument with her best friend, Wes. Katie then discovers that Josh and Wes aren’t all what they seem, and her world is turned upside down.
The first few chapters throw you straight into the story, but also straight into a love triangle. I felt like I knew nothing about Katie as a character, but I knew all about her past with Wes, and her sudden feelings towards Josh. Although this is a story about Demons and Hell, I felt like it was more to do with Katie’s romantic relationships than anything else.
I really enjoyed Katie’s friendship with Deb, but it happened too late on in the story. We hear mentions of Deb throughout a bunch of chapters before we actually meet her, and I feel like the story would have benefited from her presence from the very start. I liked a certain twist that her character revealed towards the end, but it felt random and too conveniently placed. Maybe if there had been more clues hinting towards it, then it would’ve felt believable.
The characters I liked the most were Randy and Wes. I wanted to know more about them and their lives. I felt like I didn’t get to see enough of Wes, and I think he and his father have huge potential to be really interesting characters. I also want to know more about Josh, because right now, I can’t see his appeal. Katie’s feelings towards him are quite confusing and it seems like she keeps changing her mind over him. He’s untrustworthy and dangerous, yet she feels safe with him. I want to know what it is about him that she trusts, because I don’t think he’s done that much to prove he’s worth choosing.
There were some funny moments in the story that I enjoyed, and definitely some realistic scenes. For example, I like that when Katie told her mother the truth about Randy and Wes, her mother thought she was suffering with rabies. A lot of the time in fantasy, I find that shocking revelations are calmly accepted by characters, when in reality, they’d completely freak out. So I liked that this story showed a few more obvious and realistic reactions. Katie’s relationship with her mother is an aspect of the story I especially liked. I wish we’d gotten to see a bit more of their home life, and learnt about the family’s past.
The disappointing side for me was the love triangle. I prefer romance being a subplot to the fantasy and action in YA stories, but with this book, it felt a little like the fantasy was a subplot to the romance. Everything in this story revolved around the two boys. Even Katie’s thoughts were dominated mostly by the guys, and which one’s side she should choose. It made it extremely difficult for me to like Katie. I wanted to know more about her, and I wanted her to be stronger and make choices that didn’t revolve around the boys.
I know this is the first book in a series, so in the second book, I’m hoping we get to see more of Hell, and get to know more about Josh. I also think that Katie needs more of a plot away from the two guys. Maybe meeting a new friend, or taking off on her own for once. I’m rooting for her to become a stronger character. I look forward to seeing what the second book has to offer, because I still think this is a story with good potential, but it simply hasn’t delivered it yet. ...more
I love modern retellings of classic stories, so Never was definitely a story that caught my attention. Never is a modern retelling of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and it follows Wynn Harper, the great granddaughter of Wendy Darling.
The book starts soon after Wendy’s death, and we see Wynn struggling to cope. At a night out with her best friend, she meets Peter and realises Wendy’s ‘crazy’ stories of Neverland were real. The events of the story all seemed to unfold quite quickly to me. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more of Wynn’s life in LA before she was flown off to Neverland.
As we follow the pair to Neverland, we meet the Lost Boys. I adored the Lost Boys. They were definitely one of my favourite things about the story. I especially liked Pal, because his story had a little more depth to it. From there, we get the all the sights and people that Neverland has to offer: the mermaids, the fairies, Tiger Lily, etc.
Who I really liked was Captain Hook. He was probably one of my favourite characters in the story. I just wish we’d gotten to know more about him. I felt like there was a lot more to his character that we could’ve learnt. The same goes for Russ. His story was definitely one that could’ve been expanded, but wasn’t.
I wanted to like Peter and Wynn more than I did. Peter made a statement at the start of the story as to how Wynn shouldn’t judge him by the Disney movie, but he then went on to act almost the same. I would’ve preferred it if maybe he was a little different, just something to make him less cliché.
I had conflicting emotions about the ending. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Now, I love happy ending. I really do. But I didn’t want Peter to go with Wynn back to LA and for the two of them to have a simple, happy ending. What I felt it lacked was some sort of explanation as to why Peter was in Neverland. Was it like the original story? Was he there because he didn’t what to grow up? And if he was, then why wasn’t there a conversation about it? I wanted a moment in the book where Peter faces why he doesn’t want to grow up, and why that’s changed because of Wynn.
Although I never judge a book by the cover, and the cover for this book is very beautiful, it doesn’t really reflect the story. It made me feel like the story should have been darker than it was, more a twisted retelling, where Neverland isn’t what it seems. But it was actually rather calm, and I didn’t feel like there was any big threat throughout the story. Even the scenes with Hook didn’t seem as dangerous as they should have.
Never is a pleasant story to read and anyone who loves fairy tales will definitely want to give it try. There were parts of the story I enjoyed, and parts that I felt let the story down. But overall, I’m glad I took the time to read it, and Lynam has a beautifully descriptive writing style. ...more
First things first, I love the Amazon Jungle. I’ve even written a few essays about Indigenous people. And of all the years I’ve been reviewing books, I’ve never once been asked to review one set in the Amazon Jungle. So needless to say, I was really happy when this arrived in my inbox.
The plot for this story is unique and intriguing. And, of course, the setting was one of the highlights for me. There’s a murder mystery going on amongst a ton of action and romance, so there's plenty to keep readers entertained. There are also quite a few darker elements to this story, which I really enjoyed.
The characters were fantastic. I do wish we’d seen a little more of Emma’s father though, because I found him interesting and thought he had more potential. Emma herself was a wonderfully strong character. I loved her view of the Amazon and her passion to tell the world her stories from her time there. Jimmy was equally as great. He struck me as kind-hearted and streetwise. You'd feel safer travelling with him!
My favourite parts of this book had to be the scenes set within the Amazon itself. The culture was utterly compelling. The descriptions of the tribes and their way of life were fascinating and well researched. I like a book that lets you learn something from it, and I think this story will definitely get its readers thinking.
What didn’t work for me in this book was the romance. I liked both Emma and Jimmy, but the romance, for me, just didn’t have that spark that I felt it would. I wasn’t drawn in by it, and I wasn’t rooting for them to finally be together. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t as exciting for me as I’d hoped. But as I said, I liked both of the characters.
I must admit, Jimmy’s story felt a little unresolved at the end of the book. Since his past as a doctor was brought up quite a few times, I expected some sort of conclusion from it. I know he explained why he gave up working as a doctor, but I still felt like it was all building up to something else, like maybe he’d put it behind him and try and get back into it?
As I see this blog as a place purely for YA reviews, I do feel the need to point out that this book feels more like a New Adult novel to me, rather than YA. The themes are more mature and the romance scenes are quite full-on. Just a heads up to any younger readers!
Overall, I’m happy I had the chance to read a story set outside of the usual locations. The way of life in a different part of the world definitely added the intriguing spark within this book. If you want to try something a little different, this story might just be one for you. ...more
Okay, so I’m torn here. On one hand, I want to discuss every aspect of this novel so I can gush about everything, but on the other hand, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone because I want you all to go and read this book. So I’m going to keep things as spoiler-free as possible for now.
During the four years I’ve been reviewing books, I’ve not once encountered a story based around show jumping. So, needless to say, I was intrigued and excited by getting to reading something completely new to me. And after reading Rev Girl, I had high hopes for another fantastic story.
What can I say about Ebony Scott Harris, our fabulous protagonist of Jump Girl? She’s pretty much everything you want in a lead character. She’s feisty, has attitude, she’s courageous, and she has a fierce passion for her horses. The emotion she showed throughout the story, especially during the high and lows of competing, was honest and believable. I adored every scene between Ebony and her horses. The love she had for them and the lengths she’d go to protect them was truly heart-warming. I felt the strong bond she had with her horse, Monster, and it gave me a new appreciation for the special relationship that forms between a horse and their rider.
The story also gave me an insight into a world I knew very little about. As with any sport, there are lies and manipulation around every corner. Some parts of this story truly broke my heart because it forces you to think about the similar situations that actually do occur in real life. But of course, there were also plenty of happy and light-hearted times. Ebony gets to meet some wonderful people and make such great friends. As competitive as the sport may be, it also proves that life-long bonds can, and often do, come from it also.
I loved having some of the characters from Rev Girl play a bigger part in this book, especially Dallas. I didn’t really warm to him in the first story, and I wasn’t bothered about what happened to him in the end. But this time around, he had wonderful character development and I got to see a whole different side of him. Ebony was definitely a better match for him than Clover had been. I also adored Clover’s sister, Jazz, being added to this story. All of the new characters we get to meet are also brilliantly written, even the not-so-nice ones, like Annika.
What I expected in this story was drama and action, which I got plenty of, but what I didn’t expect was the mystery element. And it worked brilliantly. This really is one of those rare books that manage to scratch upon every genre: action, adventure, romance, drama, and even a thrilling mystery.
Just a fair warning to you all, you may not want to read this book whilst on public transport. One time, I very almost missed my stop because I got too hooked into the story. Then I had the misfortune of reading a certain scene towards the end whilst I was on an extremely busy train, and I had to stop reading so that I wouldn’t end up crying in public.
Despite the lows that Ebony has faced throughout her life, her story is definitely one of hope. Fictional it may be, but there are real situations like hers, and more than anything, this book proves that you can make your own success with enough determination.
I could talk on for hours about everything I haven’t already spoken of, but like I said earlier, I’d rather not spoil anything! Instead, you should just make sure you add this book to your reading pile so you can discover Ebony’s story for yourself. This book will take you on an emotional roller-coaster. You’ll fall in love, you’ll have your heart ripped out, and then you’ll have it mended again. And stories like that stay with you for a long time.
I’d just like to say a special thanks to Leigh for once again giving me the fantastic opportunity to read and review her wonderful story, and thank you so much for mentioning me and my blog in the acknowledgements. It’s a pleasure to help share Jump Girl with the world! ...more
Sometimes, I get so sucked into fantasy worlds and paranormal stories, that I forget good contemporary novels exist. And then I pick one up, and can’t put it down for two days straight, reminding me just how much I’ve missed them. This was that book for me, the book that reminded me that the woes of a junior in high school can still make an exciting and dramatic story.
Lara Jean writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever loved. She doesn’t do it in the hopes of them reading it and returning her feelings. She doesn’t write them with intention of the boys in question ever reading them. She writes the letters purely for herself, to help her get over her feelings. She pours her heart out onto the paper, before folding it away. It’s her own way of getting over the boys she loves. But then her letters get sent out to those boys.
I have to say, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. It’s such an awesome idea for a story! But this book isn’t all about the complicated boy issues that stem from the letters being sent. It also has a strong family element running throughout. It shows the realistic relationship between Lara Jean and her older sister Margot, who moves away to college in Scotland. Being an older sister myself, I could relate to the strains that appeared in their relationship.
Lara Jean is also a relatable character throughout the story. Yes, she’s a little naive, but that’s what I love about her character. I enjoyed reading her progression and how she learnt to deal with the situations that are being thrown at her. Before the letters are sent out, she’d never had to come clean about her feelings with a guy before. Seeing her finally face up to that was touching to read.
I loved Kitty, the youngest sister of the family. She made the story a little more entertaining at times. Again, the older sister in me couldn’t help but relate to Lara Jean’s relationship with Kitty. Even though she’s the youngest, her advice appears to be the wisest at times, and it’s adorable.
And then there are the guys who the letters were about, the main two being Josh and Peter. Josh was Margot’s boyfriend, which instantly makes the whole ‘love letter’ dilemma a little more dramatic and embarrassing for Lara Jean. Josh is a close friend to her, and had no idea of her feelings towards him, so it sends their friendship hurtling into complications.
Peter, however, is the complete opposite to Josh. He was Lara Jean’s first kiss, but now he is one of the most popular guys in school, and has an over-controlling ex girlfriend. I knew I was going to like Peter more and more as the story went on. I liked seeing the popular, cool guy soften down a little, and show a bit more of his real personality. Although the boys are completely different, I loved them both. It was easy to understand why Lara Jean had feelings for the two of them in the first place.
This is a touching story, with adorably quirky characters to love. Jenny Han has a wonderfully entertaining writing style that’s easy to read. If you want a cute, relaxing summer read, this is the next book you should pick up....more
I have no idea why it took me so long to read Bloodlines, I really don’t. I adored Vampire Academy, and one of the things I loved most about the series was Adrian, so I should have jumped on this series straight away, but I didn’t. It had been lying on my bookshelf, looking up at me with puppy dog eyes for so long that I finally took pity and picked it up. And God, I wish I’d done it sooner.
Even though I already loved Adrian and Sydney, I had a sinking feeling that I just wasn’t going to like Bloodlines as much, and it was only going to make me want to go back and re-read Vampire Academy again. It didn’t. Sydney is a much stronger character in a series of her own. I had doubts about whether she’d be interesting enough for me to continue with the series, but I was totally surprised.
What’s also great is that romance isn’t the main plot in this first book. It’s very much about Sydney being taken out of her comfort zone and her reactions to it all. I have no doubt that a romantic plot will feature later in this series, but for the first book, I love that we’re simply getting the chance to get to know the characters separately without them being thrown into relationships. I think it’s pretty obvious as to whom the romance will eventually revolve around, but we’re being treated to a better build up towards it. You’ll find no ‘love at first sight’ stories here.
I liked having a new and interesting plot, but with the familiarity of the wonderful world that Mead created in Vampire Academy. I also loved Jill and Eddie being included in the story. I really liked the two of them in the original series, so I was glad to see the again. I love how the secondary characters from the VA books have been given a chance to shine on their own in this series.
The plot was really intriguing. It started out quite slowly at first, with little hints of something more sinister being at work. I liked the build up towards the bigger problems in the story. It kept me guessing. There are also plenty of questions left to be further explored in the series. And then there was the last line. That really made me excited to read the second book.
So overall, I’m excited to continue with this series, and I am definitely kicking myself for not picking it up much sooner. ...more
*This book was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review*
The real question here is what didn’t I love about Minty? I’m struggling to think of a single aspect of this story that I didn’t enjoy.
The book follows the struggles that 14 year old Minty has to face when she finds herself stuck in limbo after her death. Invisible to her family, she has to watch the shattering affects her death has had on her parents and her twin, Jess.
Minty is a wonderful character. I thoroughly enjoyed her narration of the story, and I liked the strength and determination she showed throughout. Even though the most terrifying thing imaginable was happening to her, she held it together and was still more concerned for Jess than herself. She wanted nothing more than for Jess to be able to be happy again, and that was part of what made the story so special to read.
This story focuses very much on the strong bond between Minty and Jess, making it compelling and touching to read. I think it’s wonderfully refreshing and very different to a lot of the other YA novels out there at the moment.
Despite this book essentially being about the death of a twin, there was a great sense of humour in the story, which was brilliant to read. Minty’s remarks provided some great comic relief, which is much needed in a story such as this one. With that being said; the story deals with the issue of grief perfectly. The pain caused by Minty’s death is beautifully written. It’s realistically done and it shows the more difficult side to the story. Although it is entertaining to read, there is a strong message behind the book.
As much as I loved Minty, the other characters were all just as wonderful. I have to talk about my love for Jack. What a fantastic character he was! From the moment he was introduced, I knew I was going to adore him, and I was right.
I honestly flew through this book in a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down. It’s an entertaining read that broke my heart, before putting it back together again. It’s a fabulous debut from the author, and it’s a great UK YA novel, something I feel we’re really lacking at the moment! I really think this is something that can be enjoyed by anyone, so go check it out, because you really won’t regret it. ...more
If you’re bored of the same subjects in YA novels and you’re craving something new and refreshing, this is the book you need to pick up next.
I was immIf you’re bored of the same subjects in YA novels and you’re craving something new and refreshing, this is the book you need to pick up next.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea of this story. How many YA novels are out there at the moment about girls who are dirt bike racers? And that’s exactly why I wanted to read it.
The story follows Clover as she fights to become a champion in dirt bike racing. We follow her struggles to get to the top whilst juggling school and a social life alongside her racing.
I really enjoyed Clover’s urge to give her life a makeover at the start of the book. I feel like this is relatable to a lot of young girls. Most of us went through a period in high school when we’ve just thought ‘right, I’m going to dress up and go to a party!’ and it makes her more realistic to the reader.
Clover was an awesome character from start to finish. She had guts and determination throughout, and even when things seemed like they’d never improve, she refused to give up. One of the things I loved most about her was that even when she was faced with the most difficult choices, she never seriously saw giving up her racing dream as an option.
I’m not going to lie, I really disliked Dallas. Throughout the story, he became more and more infuriating! If he’d have been a more open character, and I’d understood his story more, then maybe I’d have sympathized with him a little. But I really didn’t.
The other characters in this story were great. I really liked Kerry, and would have liked to have seen more of her. The two of them felt like a great friendship match, and I enjoyed seeing Clover finally find someone so like herself.
I also felt sympathy for Sera’s situation. Even though she acted bitchy, I could see why she was upset. Again, the relationship between Clover and Sera were a very realistic and relatable part of the story.
I need to talk about how awesome the racing scenes were. Seriously, it’s completely epic. I had never read a book that featured dirt bike racing before, so it was great to read something completely new to me, and it was exciting to get a taste of the sport. I could picture everything so clearly in my mind, and it had a very cinematic feel to it.
So really, this book has a lot of different aspects to appeal to everyone. If you like the dynamics of a high school setting, with wild party scenes and typical teenage fun, they’re all in this book. But if you prefer super-cool action scenes that get your heart racing, you can also find it here. The cover of the book says it all really; two very different worlds mixed together in one story. And it works fabulously. ...more
Within the first few pages of this book, I was completely intrigued by Naomi and her story. Although it appeared her parents were some sort of religious fanatics, I knew there was so much more to it than that. I found the scenes with her father very disturbing and, at times, difficult to read. I desperately wanted her to find an escape from the nightmare she was living. It was quite confusing at first, and I didn’t really understand what was going on, or why her home life was the way it was, but it compelled me to continue reading and find out.
Kai was an interesting aspect of the first few chapters of the story. I figured that he was going to be a love interest, and I liked how he was helping Naomi, but I just didn’t know what to think of him. I also didn’t know whether or not to fully trust him, even when he was helping Naomi get to safety.
The story really took off for me when Naomi went to Vegas and met up with Ginny. I loved the setting and all of the exciting new characters that were introduced. It was entertaining to read Naomi entering this brand new world, and begin to experience ‘normal’ things that she’d never been able to do before, like going to a party or getting her hair done.
I absolutely adored meeting Puck. I have to admit, I like Puck more than Kai. I didn’t expect to love him as much as I did! I found myself looking forward to the scenes he shared with Naomi. I wanted to know more about him than I did Kai. There is a certain little plot twist in the book that really got me excited, but I’m not going to say anything, of course. No spoilers here! But it really added to the story and made me think ‘oooooh this is going to cause some drama!’ I’m definitely looking forward to how this part of the story plays out in the next book.
I was really intrigued by the whole idea of Guardians and Destroyers, and the powers that they each have. It’s quite fascinating and I’m keen to read more about what they can do. However, I definitely don’t blame Naomi for being more than a little annoyed when she discovered how Guardians replenished their energy!
The final couple of chapters were thrilling to read. I was not expecting the story to take the turn that it did. I was reading it whilst traveling on a train at the time and I was just sitting with a shocked expression on my face for the entire journey!
I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series. I’d love to see Naomi kick a little more ass in future, which I totally think she will. Also, I’m looking forward to finding out more about the characters. I want to know all about Alejandro, Puck, and the mysterious Kai, who I still can’t quite figure out. Bring on the second book!
*this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review* ...more
There’s a wonderful mixture of action, adventure, mystery, and a hint of romance in this exciting first instalment of the Five Corners series.
For starters, I’m extremely thankful that Cathi had a page at the start of the book that included the proper pronunciation of the names and words included in the story. Without that page, I really would have struggled to pronounce half of them! If more authors had a page like that at the start, I’d be a very happy reader.
The Marked Ones follows the story of three sisters; Mina, Thia, and Kiara. They aren’t biological sisters, but they were raised together by their foster mother, Brijit. They’re all very different girls when it comes to looks and personality, but they all have something in common: the Mark.
The Mark appears on children in the Five Corners for no apparent reason, and children with the Mark have started to show up dead. Throughout the story, the three girls strive to learn more about the Mark and what it means, and also discover that they’re not as alone as they once thought.
The story begins when Weylon, an Outlander, and his two sons; Teague and Caedmon, show up at the Inn that Brijit runs with her daughters. Kiara and Caedmon take an instant dislike to each other, whilst Teague and Thia are shocked to see that the other is real after seeing one another in their dreams.
The group are forced together after an attack leaves Mina in grave danger. With Teague and Caedmon also having the Mark, they are sent on a journey to Seremela, the home of the Elders, to be kept safe.
The unique qualities to each of the girls are part of what made the story so exciting to read. As we follow each of them, we’re getting a different story and a different personality, and it keeps us hooked from chapter to chapter.
I enjoyed the group being broken apart during their travels, it meant that we got to see each of the sisters in a different situation, and it also meant we got to see a little more of the Five Corners. I loved all of the characters, which is quite a rare thing! There’s usually one who I don’t enjoy reading about, or one who I prefer to the others, but in this story they are all as equally wonderful.
The relationship development between Kiara and Caedmon is beautifully done. They’re both just as stubborn as each other and it means that neither of them is willing to admit their true feelings, which is frustrating, but great to read. Towards the end of the story, I really wanted to bang their heads together!
I’m completely intrigued by Teague and Thia’s story. I hope we get to find out more about their previous dream meetings later on in the series. They have a lot of history together, and I want to read about it. I really liked the interactions between the two of them, and I found myself anticipating their scenes together.
Mina is a really sweet character, and I get the feeling she’ll be the calm amongst the storm in the future of the series. She seems to be the sister that is more likely to keep the peace and not lose her head in any tense situations. I was really happy with the reveal of Meldiron and I can’t wait to read more of what it means for Mina.
This is a tricky story to work out, and it’s difficult to figure out who the actual enemy is. I’m sure this is something we’ll learn further on in the series, but for now, it’s a case of not knowing who to trust. As readers, we’re put in the same sense of paranoia as the characters over who they can really rely on.
The ending was fast-paced and exciting to read. I hope that the next instalment in the series will show more of a reaction to the events that happened at the end of the story, because it all happened so fast!
Overall, this is a great start to what I think will be a fantastic series. I’m looking forward to reading what lies ahead for the characters, and what it really means to have the Mark. ...more
*This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*
As a lover of all things Sherlock Holmes, I was immediately excited to read Locked, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Locked is a modern reinvention of Sherlock Holmes, and even if you’ve never been particularly interested is Sherlock before, you can easily pick this story up. It’s been wonderfully adapted to a modern day, high school setting.
The writing is fabulous. There is a perfect mixture of drama and humour. There really are some hilarious moments in this story. I have so many quotes I could pick put that caused me to laugh out loud. It added to the overall entertainment.
The dialogue was also great. It was realistic and believable. Morgan did a wonderful job of getting Sherlock’s dialogue spot on. He’s not an easy character to write, but she managed it perfectly!
I loved Irene. She had everything I look for in a protagonist. She’s witty, strong, daring, and unexpected. I really enjoyed her narration of the story. Her relationship with Sherlock is brilliant, and the development between the two of them is touching and entertaining.
The thing I loved most about Locked was definitely the ending. I’m a spoiler-free blog, so I won’t say anything, but it really was a fabulous twist. I’m actually surprised I didn’t see it coming.
Overall, Locked is a highly enjoyable read, and I found myself fighting to put it down at times. The characterization is perfect, and the writing is flawless. And for that, I’m giving it a five out of five. Eva Morgan is a talented writer, and I’m expecting big things from her in the future! ...more