Aww, Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick is such a sweet, light and romantic read. I read tThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
Aww, Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick is such a sweet, light and romantic read. I read through it's pages very quickly, and while it is a little bit predictable, I still had a huge smile plastered to my face throughout the entire book. There's something very comforting about reading a book like this, in which there isn't a huge surprise at who the girl ends up with in the end.
Being a huge Twitter addict, I also found the structure of the novel, as it is told through tweets, blogs and emails, to be a lot of fun. It seems very relevant to the times to be telling a love story that takes place over social networking sites like Twitter or just generally through the medium of the Internet. It's how I met my husband, I can certainly relate!
And Tweet Heart follows the romantic lives of four ordinary teenagers. There's our main character, Claire, who has this long-standing crush on the hottest, most popular guy in school. Then there's Lottie, her best friend, who seems to have a new guy around every week. There's also Claire's best guy friend, Bennett, who is a bit of a loud-mouth/geek, and his best friend Will, who has a secret crush.
Despite the majority of the story being told in tweets, it wasn't difficult at all to distinguish between the four main characters. They each had a different voice and personality and I'm super glad that there was no confusion in that respect. I found Claire's advice column and Bennett's blogs to be a nice break from all the tweeting, as well as being quite amusing.
I guess with this sort of structure to a story, it is quite difficult to gain any real character-development or depth, but I knew enough about these four characters to want to be their friends and I cared enough about them to be rooting for the characters that should be together to finally get together! I thought it was particularly interesting to see Will's character grow in confidence to finally admit how he feels to the girl he's been crushing on from afar!
It was a very fun and easy way to spend an afternoon! Tweet Heart really put the smile on my face....more
I was so thrilled to win a signed copy of The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa in a Twitter cThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
I was so thrilled to win a signed copy of The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa in a Twitter competition! I'm such a huge fan of the Iron Fey series and I was desperate to read this final installment told from the point of view of icy Prince Ash!
And while I do love a good journey story, especially one that took us to the Edge of the World as did The Iron Knight, and however much I loved Ash and Grimalkin and Puck, I found this story to be lacking something. I can't quite put my finger on it. I really enjoyed it, and I flew through the pages just as addictively as I have the previous three books in the series. It just wasn't as emotionally impactful as the previous books.
While it can be pretty heartbreaking in places as Ash struggles with his choices and his decisions as he's making this epic journey to the edge of Nevernever in order to prove himself worthy of a soul in order to return to Meghan in the Iron realm as her knight, I didn't feel as though Ash's struggles well enough. However, there was still much to love in this book.
What I did love very much, is seeing the world through Ash's eyes. I loved finding out more about his past including his relationship with Ariella and the friendship between Ash and Puck before her death. I found myself lapping up every single detail about Ash before we met him in The Iron King. Even (especially?) when he reveals more about the things he did in the Winter Court, in order to please his Queen and to keep up with the politics. The fey and people he killed without a care and how easily he toyed with human emotions made him more real to me, seeing how flawed he is as an individual.
I also really enjoyed the evolving relationship Ash has with Puck. I was really happy to see him let go of some of that anger and resentment over what happened with Ariella so very long ago. And throughout all these tough decisions and personal development, there is still a great deal of action and excitement as Ash and Puck travel together, meeting some new characters and old and battle against mythical creatures.
All in all, an enjoyable end to what has been one of my favourite recent series! My long-standing crush on Prince Ash remains intact....more
I'd been looking forward to reading Dark Parties by Sara Grant for such a long time, ever sThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I'd been looking forward to reading Dark Parties by Sara Grant for such a long time, ever since Sara was here on the blog and mentioned how much of Dark Parties is a celebration of the strong women in her life. To me, that sounded like a book I really wanted to read.
And it is really good. Dark Parties is told from the point of view of Neva, a sixteen year old girl who has lived her life in the Protectosphere, this dystopian world in which the citizens inside are ruled by lies and fear. And with the government becoming more controlling over her life and with Neva's list of the Missing growing, Neva and her best friend Sanna feel that it is best to rebel against such a life.
The feeling these two girls have is that there must be something that can be done against the government having such control over every aspect of their lives, making people afraid of what can be said and voicing an opposing opinion. I really love that Neva is so pro-uprising right from the start and fights her way to the end.
I found Neva to be a really engaging main character. I loved her eagerness to stand up for what's wrong and I especially loved her strong friendship with Sanna. Through Sanna, Neva meets a bunch of strong women who are quietly rebelling and finds hope again that those who have been lost and missing might be found again. And while I didn't love the forbidden aspect of her relationship with Braydon (as he is Sanna's boyfriend), I could definitely feel the tension and attraction between Neva and Braydon.
I think I wanted to read a bit more world-building of this claustrophobic society and wanted more questions answered, but whilst reading the story, I found myself really emotional when reading of Neva's struggles both against the society she lives in, against her growing feelings for Braydon. The ways in which Neva and the people she comes into contact choose to rebel brought tears to my eyes.
Dark Parties is also quite exciting to read and there were some twists that I really didn't see coming. It's a wonderful debut and I'm excited to read more by Sara Grant! ...more
I've had kind of an up and down journey with this series. I wasn't the biggest fan in thThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
I've had kind of an up and down journey with this series. I wasn't the biggest fan in the world of Hush, Hush but I was curious enough to pick up the sequel Crescendo and that book pleasantly surprised me! In fact, I was very emotional already when I read Crescendo, so I bawled like a baby at the heartbreak and jealousies that occurred and by the end of it I was coming around to Nora and Patch's relationship. So by the time I began reading Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick, I had some high hopes for the book.
Sadly, I was disappointed. I really didn't want to be let down by this book, but I was. I think the addition of a fourth book was a mistake. It felt, to me, like there was too little to be said or done in Silence, which is why the story went down a memory-loss route. Reading Silence felt very much like a rehash of the previous two books followed by a small amount of action and new information to move the story forward. And I didn't feel as though there was enough new material there to make it worth another entire book.
I think the big drama that concerns Silence is how and why has Nora lost her memory and what has she been through during the previous 5 months of so? And while the quest to find answers to these questions are interesting, I think the major draw for most readers to this series is the relationship between Nora and Patch. I've already had my fill of tension-filled moments between Patch and Nora. We've had the attraction and the falling in love. We've had the long looks and fun banter already - I wanted to see the next step between the two and it looks as though we'll have to wait for another book before we get to that.
This book is still readable, and I did enjoy parts of it. It just isn't nearly as emotional as the previous book. The scenes between Nora and Patch when Nora can't remember him should have been heart-breaking and unbearable but all I could feel was a vague sense of deja vu. Perhaps bigger fans of the series than me will have enjoyed this more than I did. ...more
I was very pleasantly surprised last year when I read The Dark Divine, so I was very much lThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I was very pleasantly surprised last year when I read The Dark Divine, so I was very much looking forward to reading the sequel, The Lost Saint by Bree Despain. I found myself being really easily drawn into this story and into these characters... And The Lost Saint turned out to be just as good as I'd hope it would be, in fact better! This series just improves and I am dying to find out what happens next.
I have a bit of a soft spot in general for werewolf stories, but I also really loved the characters and the twisty-turny storyline, questioning the motivations of the different characters and how I just felt uncertain about what would happen next. I was a little unsure about where The Dark Divine had finished when I started this book, but as soon as I started reading, a lot of the confusion and questions disappeared.
This book follows on shortly after the events of The Dark Divine. Grace's father has left in search of finding Grace's brother, Jude. Grace and Daniel have been left trying to sort out their changing relationship as Grace has been infected with the werewolf curse and Daniel feels as though he can no longer protect himself or Grace. When Grace recieves a phone call from Jude and other strange things begin occurring, Grace feels as though she has no choice but to train as hard and as long as she can in order to become a Hound of Heaven in order to face what's coming. To do this, Grace turns to mysterious stranger, Talbot, as she delves farther into the dark world of Urbat and other demons.
I really loved the sequel. It's very action-packed as Grace and Talbot take on some truly terrifying enemies as part of Grace's new training. There's lots of fighting and blood and killing of demons, all done in the name of good, apparently. I loved finding out more about Urbat and demons and I was lapping up all the details about this new world. I felt really sorry for Daniel and Grace, as their relationship really took a hit in this book. There are so many things they have kept secret from each other, that it allowed somebody like Talbot to sneak in and threaten what they have. I really wanted to shake both Grace and Daniel, make them become more open and honest with each other, but at the same time, I loved Talbot's character. He's older and has a very dangerous and sexy vibe to him.
I also quite like that Grace is able to open up, finally, to a friend and have somebody else to talk to. Grace makes a lot of decisions and choices in The Lost Saint that as a reader I felt very uncomfortable and uncertain about, but this is not one of them. Every girl needs a best friend to be there for her. Grace really struggles within herself in this book. She wants to do right and fight evil with her new-found super powers and all, but at the same time she is at risk of losing herself to the wolf.
I was on the very edge of my seat reading this book, all the way up to the very exciting finale. Dying to read the next book now! What a great sequel and a fab series! ...more
Wow. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead was nothing like I expected it to be. After the shocThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
Wow. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead was nothing like I expected it to be. After the shocking event that happens at the end of Shadow Promise, I was really unsure where this series would go. And because I couldn't picture it in my head, I didn't feel as excited to read this book straight away. Several Vampire Academy fans assured me that despite the very different feel and structure of the novel (Rose and Lissa apart? no Academy? Dimitri as .. AHH! etc.), Blood Promise is still great and now that I've read it, I wholeheartedly agree.
In fact, I think what this book really needed was a different atmosphere and structure to the novel to prevent this series from becoming formulaic. And I really loved Blood Promise. I loved meeting the new characters, finding out more about different aspects of this world from the alchemists to blood-whores and also more about the abilities of spirit users, learning more of Dimitri's personal history and going on this very personal journey of Rose's as she prepares herself to do something really heart-breaking.
Blood Promise begins after the awful battle against Strigoi at the Academy. When Dimitri is turned Strigoi, Rose decides to follow him to Siberia in order to kill him, as Rose knows that's what he would have wanted. But in order to do so, Rose must drop out of the Academy and leave behind her best friend, Lissa. As she travels through Russia and Siberia, Rose meets several interesting new characters - Sydney, the alchemist and Abe, who has been hired by an unknown entity to follow Rose. I absolutely adored meeting both of these new characters and am intrigued to learn and discover more about them.
And at the same time, through Rose and Lissa's spiritual connection, we're also privy to the events that occurred there, mostly involving a new girl who befriends Lissa. But at the heart of Blood Promise is Rose's journey to find Dimitri. I loved how well Rose is taken in by the Belikov family in Siberia, especially Dimitri's grandmother! There's a lot of shared grief here, as both Dimitri's family and Rose start to come to terms with their loss. I love how Rose begins to see her own journey in a different light in relation to the suffering of others.
But of course, this journey has to lead somewhere. And the showdown between Rose and Dimitri was totally unexpected and intense. I was so surprised and caught off-guard by where Richelle Mead took this story. I love how unpredictable this series is, and I look forward, excitedly, to reading the rest of the series! ...more
Trapped by Michael Northrop isn't a book I'd heard a great deal about before I picked it upThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
Trapped by Michael Northrop isn't a book I'd heard a great deal about before I picked it up to read. It's an interesting book to read as the weather is getting colder and the days are getting darker. I found it very atmospheric - as I turned the pages of Trapped I found myself getting colder and colder as well as feeling slightly claustrophobic to be outside and to be free. Unlike these seven teenagers, trapped in their high school during the worst snow storm of the century.
What helped along this feeling of unease and discomfort as I was reading is that each chapter shows a little picture of the snow falling, and as the chapters go along and the snow rises higher and higher, it really made me aware of how I'd feel in the same position. I've never been in a situation where there might be three foot of snow falling in one day, but I imagine it to be terrifying. Especially as a teenager, isolated from everyone.
Trapped tells the story of seven teenagers who have been left behind during a huge snow storm. Our main character is Scotty Weems, a sophomore basketball player, and we see all the events from his perspective. He's stayed behind with two best mates in order to work on this go-cart they're making for shop class. The other students left behind include two freshman girls, a trouble-maker and a loner Goth boy. And as the hours pass, and then the days pass, things within this small high school in the middle of nowhere began to get really desperate.
In some ways, I think I was expecting for the means of survival to be a little more extreme with this book. And if I'm honest, that's probably just because I'm used to the over-dramatisation of disaster movies that I wasn't expecting there to be blankets in the nurse's office or that (of course!) there'd be a huge supply of food in the cafeteria that could feed a handful of kids for a week. I kind of wanted more drama though. It is a high school though, and of course they would be there.
And while I did enjoy Scotty's observations of this weird collection of students and the way in which he began to see the other people in a different light, especially in regards to the Goth boy and the troublemaker, I also wanted more interactions between them. Because this book has been mentioned in the same sentence as The Breakfast Club (one of my favourite films!) I think I was expecting for these kids to open up a little more, share some secrets or to dance about in the library. But towards the end, it is mentioned that this book is more about survival than anything else.
And keeping that in mind, Trapped is subtly scary. The idea of the snow continuing to fall, no way to contact the outside world, having no idea of if somebody is coming for them. With the temperature dropping and no electricity and the roof beginning to cave in, things are looking pretty bad. ...more
I have to say, I'm pretty sceptical about mermaids in YA fiction. I'm just not sure abouThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
I have to say, I'm pretty sceptical about mermaids in YA fiction. I'm just not sure about it, so when I recieved Tempest Rising by Tracey Deebs for review last year, I wasn't 100% that I would read or review the book. But around the same time, I picked up a copy of Forgive My Fins by Tera Lyn Childs and I loved that book, so I thought that perhaps I should also give Tempest Rising a chance.
And I found myself surprised by Tempest Rising. It isn't nearly as fun or light-hearted a read as Forgive My Fins, and I found myself very confused - especially towards the end, but overall I did enjoy this book. I really enjoyed a lot of Tempest's relationship with surfer-boy Kai and also of her inner struggle to forgive and understand her mother's motivations for choosing the water over her family.
Tempest is nearing her 17th birthday and she has always known that at the time she will have a choice to make. Stay on land with her father and her younger brothers or to choose the ocean like her mother did before her. Tempest has a lot of bad feelings towards her mother for the choice that she made and Tempest is certain of how she will choose when the time comes. Even though Tempest has a real affinity for the water and could spend hours surfing the waves, she still feel as though her mother's actions were self and equal abandonment towards her and her family.
But when a hot and mysterious surfer boy, Kai, enters Tempest' life, she begins to question herself and the choice ahead of her. And it doesn't seem to be as straightforward as Tempest has been led to believe, as there is a dark force that seems after her. And when somebody Tempest cares about is attacked by this dark force, Tempest chooses the ocean. And in this choice, she discovers more about herself, about Kai and about her mother's decisions.
I did enjoy this book, I really liked the surfing towards the beginning, and I found the relationship between Tempest and Kai to be quite sweet. The mythology of the mermaids and other underwater creatures was interesting and there is this obvious big build-up to explosive events that will occur throughout the rest of the books in this series. I'm intrigued. ...more
I found myself to be very surprised by Prized by Caragh O'Brien. It's the sequel to BirtThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
I found myself to be very surprised by Prized by Caragh O'Brien. It's the sequel to Birthmarked, which I read last year and really enjoyed. I think the reason I was surprised by Prized is that I assumed that because it is a sequel, the events that took place in the new book would remain in some way linked to the dystopian society that we encountered in Birthmarked. Not so.
In Prized, our main character, Gaia and her baby sister are rescused by the citizens of Sylum, this female-dominated dystopian society in which men hugely outnumber the women but are treated as inferior. Also? Kissing and general touching between sexes is prohibited.
I will admit that when I first read the synopsis of Prized, I wasn't quite sure about it. I wasn't fully ready to have the characters from Birthmarked, which was a story about science and midwifery and secret codes and DNA, and have them transplanted in this different type of world. But I gave it a chance, and I really enjoyed it.
I especially loved seeing the way in which Gaia developed as a character and seeing her in a different light. In Birthmarked, Gaia is treated very differently because of the burn scar on her face. Whereas in Prized, where the society has very different values and ways of thinking aside from physical appearance, Gaia, both as a woman and as a skilled midwife, is ... well, a prize.
It also has an interesting look at gender, about choices - particularly a women's right to choose abortion, and modesty and a kind of old-fashioned view of relatioonships and physical affection. I found myself thinking more about these things and redefining my stance on them as I was reading Prized, and I do love when a book allows me to do this.
Though Prized isn't quite as action-filled as Birthmarked, it does have an interesting array of new characters as well as familiar faces from the previous book. There is also another scientific mystery to solve and plenty of romantic angst for our Gaia. I'm very happy that I gave Prized a chance and I will definitely not be so reluctant to read the next book in the series! In fact, I'm pretty excited about it! ...more
I didn't think it was possible to love Jenny Han any more than I already did after readiThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
I didn't think it was possible to love Jenny Han any more than I already did after reading the first two books in her Summer series ... and then I read Shug and Jenny Han has become one of my favourite authors. Shug is such a sweet and wonderful story of first love and friendship and growing up. I seriously adore this book. And Annemarie and Jenny Han! Love all around.
Annemarie Wilcox (Shug as her family calls her) is a really wonderful and endearing character. She's twelve years old and she's got problems. She's too tall, has no breasts, she has too many freckles, things aren't brilliant at home and to make matters that much worse? She has a massive (and secret!) crush on her best friend, Mark.
But not that they are both starting middle school, things are changing all around. Mark no longer wants to hang out as much, preferring to spend times with his male friends. Annemarie's other friends are starting to couple up, which makes Annemarie feel a little uncomfortable. Even her best girl friend, Elaine, seems to be moving in a direction away from her and Shug is just living every painful and awkward feeling that comes with growing up. I really just wanted to give her a huge.
Annemarie is a character I could fully relate to. She says what's on her mind and has no time for flirting with boys and giggling senselessly. And she does not want to spend her time tutoring her sworn enemy, Jack Connolly. Especially when things between Annemarie's parents start falling apart, more than usual. There's some series issues of alcohol problems that is brought up in this book and my heart absolutely ached for poor Annemarie.
I really thought that this book would be all about the fun, light-heartedness of falling in love with your best friend, but it's so much more than that. It's about the awkward stages between childhood and teenagerdom. It's about growing up and growing apart and I really loved witnessing Shug's journey with this. AND! The sweet romantic relationship was adorable, almost painfully so.
Shug was a delight to read. I highly recommend it....more
I really liked The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker! Right from the very first page, the stoThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I really liked The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker! Right from the very first page, the story and the characters really grabbed me, especially the main character, Sherry. I found it really interesting seeing this new world from her perspective, seeing the way in which her family copes and watching as Sherry adjusts to this new environment. And at the same time, the beginning of each chapter is laid out as a snippet of the other life, the one that Sherry used to lead.
A life that no longer exists, as for the past 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days, Sherry and her family have been living in a bunker away from the world and away from the disease that has swept across Los Angeles. It began as a strain of rabies which has turned its victims into Weepers - deadly monsters whose aim it is to hunt and kill.
When Sherry's family is forced out of the bunker when their food runs out, Sherry is confronted with a whole new world. A Los Angeles that is nearly empty and lifeless. And as she sees sunlight and rain for the first time, Sherry also has to deal with the fact that her father has been captured and the only person that can help save him is Joshua, a troubled boy on a mission to destroy every last Weeper.
I really enjoyed this story, I found Sherry and Joshua to be interesting characters who I wanted to find out more about. I found this population-free LA to be an image that has stayed with me, the Weepers to be suitably horrifying and creepy and dangerous. And while at times, things felt a little convenient - in that Sherry meets this bad-ass Weeper killer at the exact right moment who happens to also live with a knowledgeable scientist who knows plenty about the rabies epidemic and is able to answer questions about Weepers - I was still able to move past that quickly and connect to the story. I liked the tenuous beginning to this relationship between Sherry and Joshua, I found it to be quite sweet. There was plenty of danger and edge-of-my-seat action that had me furiously turning the pages!
The ending to The Other Life is especially surprising and makes me feel very differently about everything. This is a fun and interesting debut novel and a good start to a new zombie series! ...more
A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton is the exciting sequel to Darkness Beomes Her. It's this gThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton is the exciting sequel to Darkness Beomes Her. It's this great story that combines paranormal creatures with Greek mythology set in New Orleans. I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started the series, but I've been hugely surprised and delighted to be so swept away into the story and the characters!
A Beautiful Evil begins shortly after the events of Darkness Becomes Her. Our main character, Ari, is trying to deal with the fall-out of the battle between her and Athena, in which her friend Violet has been captured. Ari wants nothing more than to be prepared as quickly as possible, both with knowledge and also phsyical training in order to go up against Athena again. The thought of her father or Violet suffering under the imprisonment of Athena makes her furious.
So with the help of the other New 2 folks and the somewhat elusive Sebastian, Ari gets her wish. But battling a Greek goddess is pretty dangerous, even with Ari's special abilities. Ari still doesn't have all the information she needs or the ability to use her gift, but she has great attitude and determination going for her! I love the way I was so fully sucked into this story and this series. I loved the bits of mythology we're able to pick up, learning more about things like Pandora's Box and also more about Ari's new roommates.
The story never goes in the way in which I expected and all the twists in the storyline had me on the edge of my seat. It's a very exciting and adventurous and I was left at the end desperately wanting more. There were so many questions I'd like answered, about Ari's father and the choices he has made. I want to know more about Sebastian and Violet and I can definitely see the action being explosive as the battle between gods and monsters continues in the next book! Bring it on. ...more
Out of all the 2012 releases that I've been sent so far to review, Fracture by Megan MirandThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
Out of all the 2012 releases that I've been sent so far to review, Fracture by Megan Miranda is my favourite. It's the book that I'm most excited for other people to read because I love it so. There's just something about it which appeals to me and I was immediately drawn into the story and the characters and the emotion of the book. I love when a book surprises me as much as Fracture did!
Megan Miranda is a debut author and this book is published in early January, so please do look out for it. It's the story of 17 year old Delaney and what happens to her about a terrible accident. It's about the many things that can happen in 11 minutes as Delaney falls through the ice of a local pond. It's about what happens to Delaney afterwards as she defies all the doctors and medical knowledge that says she should be dead. But Delaney isn't dead, and what's more, she's now able to sense when someone is about to die. What seems coincidence at first seems more sinister once Delaney realises there is another person out there like her ywhen she meets Troy Varga. But all is not as it seems with Troy, as Delaney soon finds out.
Having an interest in psychology, just like the author, I have a huge interest in how much is unknown about the brain and how much that it is capable of that we're not aware of yet. I love the idea of Delaney defying all the odds to survive and so even from the premise I was sold to this book. But what's better is that the characters are sympathetically written, all flawed and imperfect but still relateable, especially the main character Delaney. And also her best friend, Decker, who goes to great lengths in order to rescue Delaney from the freezing water. I really welled up at the relationship between Decker and Delaney. It's hugely emotional and moving. Decker and Delaney are by far my favourite relationship of recent!
I love how this story combines a bit of romance, and the mystery that surrounds Delaney and Troy's new ability with a big dash of deciding what's important in life. It's about friendship and love and about how a few short minutes can change everything! ...more
Oh I'm so in love with Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt! It's such a sweet and roThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
Oh I'm so in love with Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt! It's such a sweet and romantic story that manages to be both adorable, laugh out loud funny and also quite sad. I love books that can pull off such a mixture of emotions like this book did.
Payton Gritas is a typical 15 year old girl. She's pretty straight laced though - good grades in school, a penchant for organising things. But after finding out that her father is has multiple sclerosis and that her entire family has been lying to her about it for the past six months, Payton kind of goes off the rails - in her own style, of course. She stops speaking to her parents, quits basketball, blows off big tests and assignments. When she's forced into counselling sessions at school, Payton is told to pick a Focus Object which will help her to put all of her energy into one thing with the hopes that in time she'll be able to deal with her feelings about her dad's MS.
Payton chooses as her focus object, Sean Griswold's Head. Which I just find hilarious. Due to alphabetical reasons, Sean has been sitting in front of Payton since always, and Payton suddenly realises she doesn't know anything about him. Like what he likes, who he lives with, how did he get that scar on his forehead? What starts off as this harmless exercise (OK, borderline stalking tendencies but in the name of counselling!) turns into the start of something new and sweet as Payton finds out more about Sean and that they could have more in common than they realise.
But of course, nothing is without bumps in the road. Payton's best friend Jac, while having good intentions does stick her nose in a bit too much for Payton's liking and they have very different views when it comes to the issues of getting into a relationship with Sean and of Payton's dad. But it's really Payton's overwhelming feelings of fear and anger towards her dad's illness and the fact that she wasn't told that sets Payton off on this weird little journey. At some point Payton will have to actually speak to her father and deal with this head-on.
I really loved this book. I loved the characters in this book, from Payton going through her rebellious teen phase, Jac, her lovable best friend and their relationship together. I thought Sean was brilliant as was Grady the Goth. I really liked that there was some focus on judging people for who they are and not on appearances.
I didn't know very much about MS before reading the book, but I thought it showed the effects of how this could change a family and a person really sympathetically. You can tell that Payton and her father used to have this great relationship before and it really felt heart-breaking to see them going through such a difficult period. My heart ached for the pair of them. Such a sweet story, this one. One I can highly recommend!...more
How much did I LOVE Tempest by Julie Cross?! I admit, I wasn't so sure that this book wouldThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
How much did I LOVE Tempest by Julie Cross?! I admit, I wasn't so sure that this book would be for me when I first started, but almost immediately I was absolutely sucked into this story, these characters and these wonderfully sweet relationships - both between Jackson and his girlfriend Holly and also between Jackson and his sister Courtney.
Tempest was a book that I just could not put down. I was desperate to continue reading it, even late into the night and bleary-eyed the next morning I CRIED in public trying to read more. I love books that make me very emotionally connected and that I'm so addicted to reading that I carry around with me every where I go. Tempest by Julie Cross was such a book for me.
Our main character, Jackson Meyer has recently found out that he has this special ability to time travel. He doesn't know very much about it all, how far back he can go, what the side effects will be, so with the help of his science-geek friend, Adam, he starts experimenting. And at the same time, he's hiding things and blowing off his girlfriend Holly. One night, some creepy guys burst in and attack Jackson and Holly. When Holly is shot, Adam immediately time travels away and what he realises is that he's now stuck two years in the past.
Without the ability to jump forward and save his girlfriend, Jackson has no choice but to work with what little clues he has about the two men and try to figure out what's going on. Enlisting the help of a younger Adam, Jackson begins learning more about his own abilities and the involvement of the creepy men but also how it all ties into to Jackson's father. What follows is exciting and fascinating and also very emotional.
At one point during Tempest, a character is told to forget everything they know about time travel in order to understand Jackson's ability, and I think that's excellent advice. Julie Cross seemed to really play with time travel, allowing Jackson to do full-jumps and half-jumps which allowed for different things to happen as well as to change the fixed point in time that he returns back to after each jump. It sounds confusing the way I just described it, but I promise it isn't as confusing when you're reading the book!
While the parts of the book relating to Jackson's time travel and the CIA and this dangerous group of individuals called the Enemies of Time are absolutely edge-of-your-seat exciting, the parts that I found the most compelling, as I said earlier, were the relationships that Jackson has with his girlfriend and also with his twin sister, who passed away when they were both 14. There are some heart-breaking and painful but also sweet and touching scenes with brother and sister together.
With Jackson and Holly, we aren't told straight away of their history, but we are able to see glimpses of how they met and their first kiss in flashbacks as Jackson finds himself two years in the past and unable to stay away from a younger Holly. As Jackson begins to get to know this younger and different version of Holly, we begin to see more of the attraction and the build-up of this wonderful relationship and romance between the two. And I was rooting for them the entire way! They are so sweet and perfect together.
The ending blew me away and I'm gasping to read a sequel! Hurry it up, Julie Cross! I want more. ...more
Oh I do adore the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa! And this, The Iron Queen, the third in tThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
Oh I do adore the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa! And this, The Iron Queen, the third in the series is absolutely brilliant. I don't know how Julie Kagawa manages to consistently write books that will suck me in so utterly and have me care so completely about the world, the characters and the relationships.
Because it is the third book in the series it will be hard for me to review this book without spoiling some aspects of the two previous books, but I will not spoil anything within this book! I promise.
The Iron Queen begins roughly where The Iron Daughter finished. Meghan Chase and Prince Ash have both been banished from the faery world for admitting their love for each other and their refusal in face of the faery courts to give each other up. They think that it's all over and that they can lead normal lives from here on. But on their way back to Meghan's home and family, she fears her arrival will mean that her family will come to harm.
The False King of the Iron realm is after Meghan and the iron glamour she has recieved after killing Machina. The false king won't stop until he defeats Meghan and his attack on the lands of the Summer and Winter fey continue. Meghan and Ash must once again journey back and into a conflict so large and very nearly hopeless. But as Meghan and Ash begin to prepare themselves for war, they find they have some very surprising allies on their side. For once, Summer and Winter are joined to defeat the Iron fey, but they rely solely on Meghan, the only person able to withstand the Iron and get close enough to destroy the False King once and for all.
I adore the characters that Julie Kagawa has brought to us in this series. From self-sacrificing Meghan Chase, to cold and aloof Prince Ash. I adore Puck, with his goofy humour and his loyalty. And I can barely put into words how much I love Grimalkin. I didn't think it possible for me to care more about these characters then I already did, but the events of The Iron Queen really ramped up all of my feelings. I was heartbroken for Puck, I was desperate for Meghan and Ash to have happiness whilst being surrounded by the grimness of war and battle.
The battle sequences were breath-taking, as were the tender and at times painful moments between Meghan and Ash. This book was explosive and it makes me yearn for more! ...more
Wow, how much did I love The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman? I'd never readThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
Wow, how much did I love The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman? I'd never read anything by Robin Wasserman before this, but I've always been intrigued by the sound of her stories. And after loving The Book of Blood and Shadow, I will be sure to pick up her other books!
The entire tone of the book was slightly unusual for me. There was something about Robin Wasserman's writing style and the story and the structure of the book which made it feel as a reader that time should be taken to think about everything that's happened, everything that's said. But at the same time, it was impossible for me to not fly through the pages and read more and more. I was absolutely hooked on this book, right from the first page. It's so exciting with all the secrets and double-crossing and the tension of being on the run and being not sure if you're travelling with a murderer or not! Plus, the love story was rather sweet.
This book really had me on the edge of my seat! I loved the different twists to it and the added layers to this story as we're taken farther and farther into this complicated mess of a situation. I absolutely loved each of the characters, I love that we travel to Prague of all places and I especially loved the addition of all the Latin translations.
So, Nora and her best guy friend, Chris are Latin scholars put on this special new project translating some really old and historically relevant manuscript which is meant to hold the secrets to uncovering a way to speak with God called the Lumen Dei. Though sometimes feeling a bit of a third wheel when it comes to Nora's two best friends, Chris and Adriane's romantic relationship, Nora begins falling for the other person on this special translation team, Max. I loved the slow and steady build-up to their relationship. Falling in love over letters written in Latin seems like a great way to go about things, if you ask me.
But it is not to last! For one day, Nora finds her best friend dead, Adriane catatonic and her boyfriend on the run, suspected of murder. Nora must piece together this mystery and put all the missing pieces together in order to learn who killed Chris, who is after the Lumen Dei and how much in danger is Nora?!
Seriously, this book is amazing. I especially loved Nora as a character. She's so normal and relateable, and because I connected with her so much, I found myself going through all of the emotions she did. From the stirrings of first love, to the horror and confusion of finding someone you care about dead. The need to put things right and find out the truth, no matter how deep and awful things become.
This book really is like no other YA book I've read before! I'm so excited for everyone else to read it and love it as much as I did. It's not being published until the 19th of January, but when it is be sure to look out for it! ...more
I am such a huge fan of YA werewolf books so I absolutely jumped at the chance to read UnleThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I am such a huge fan of YA werewolf books so I absolutely jumped at the chance to read Unleashed, the first book in the Wolf Springs Chronicles by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. And it is a very surprising and exciting first book in the series! I'm really intrigued to explore more in the world these two authors have created as well as find out more about the characters and the mythology of these werewolves.
Unleashed begins with our main character Katelyn and her mother living a normal and happy life in San Francisco, but when an earthquake kills her mother, Katelyn is sent off to her only remaining relative who lives in the Ozarks in Arkansas. Katelyn and her grandfather don't know very much about each other, so this huge move means starting all over in so many ways. With her grandfather, whom she calls 'Ed', at a new school and also fitting in with new friend and social circles.
When Katelyn is assigned a local history project, she begins to try to unravel the town's secrets. There's the warnings to not go outside after dark, the wolf imagery that is everywhere she looks, the unexplained mauling and the deaths of two teenage girls and the weird behaviour of some of the people Katelyn meets. Katelyn is never quite sure who to trust and what to make of this weird and dangerous town she has found herself in.
There's Cordelia, Katelyn's partner for this history assignment, who seems to blow hot and cold and has a very unusual family dynamic. There's Trick, the hot guy who drives Katelyn to and from school and then there's Cordelia's cousin, Justin who she seems drawn to in this very intense way.
Unleashed has many different aspects to its story, from the mystery of the werewolves, to Katelyn's fragile relationship with her grandfather, her tenuous friendship with Cordelia and her budding attraction to both Trick and to Justin. And as I was reading the book, I found myself more and more intrigued about each different part to the story. I loved the mixture of mystery, action and romance and I'm so excited to read more in this series! ...more
That Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is such a sweetThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
That Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is such a sweet, charming and romantic story that I can fully believe in its cross-over appeal. These characters are teenagers, but everyone with a heart can relate to their feelings of grief and confusion and also of first love. I fell for both Hadley and Oliver almost immediately. There's something so wonderful and likeable about them both. I'm a sucker for stories involving travel and can also relate very personally to a trans-atlantic relationship, so this book was a perfect fit for me!
Hadley is on her way to London to attend the wedding of her father to his new girlfriend, whom Hadley has never met. She's not particularly happy being part of this special ceremony as the relationship because the relationship between her and her father has been pretty rocky since he left to teach in England a few years back. The thing is, she misses her flight. By four minutes. And those four minutes, whilst inconsequential in so many other ways, change everything for Hadley.
She's now on the next flight to London, which will barely get Hadley to the wedding on time. But now she's sitting next to Oliver, the cute and adorable and funny guy, who is going through issues of his own. And before she knows it, the journey to London that Hadley has been dreading has now transformed into a 7 hour trip getting to know this incredible guy. And over the course of the story, as she becomes more excited and nervous about what this thing is between her and Oliver, she's better able to come to terms with her father's new relationship and also the problems Hadley has been having with her mother.
I absolutely loved this book. It's sweet and romantic and sad and beautiful all at once. This story is told with so much emotion, I felt like I was experiencing everything that Hadley and Oliver were going through - from the good, sweet stuff of new beginnings, to the problems and confusion of their lives aside from each other. It made me smile and laugh but it also brought me to tears. I love that wonderful mix of emotion. I really recommend this book!...more
I was so excited to read Betrayal, the second book in the Haunting Emma series by Lee NichoThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I was so excited to read Betrayal, the second book in the Haunting Emma series by Lee Nichols. The first book, Deception, was a huge surprise for me and I loved being so utterly gripped and addicted to finishing a book like I was with that book.
And while Betrayal is every bit as exciting and interesting and action-packed as the first book, I felt like a little of the exciting new-ness was missing in this book, which was a shame. Still, I enjoyed it enormously. We have Emma Vaile, a teenage girl, who has learned that she's the most powerful ghostkeeper in hundreds of years. As Emma is facing a huge battle and the threat of evil Neos, she rallies together with a group of friendly ghosts and other ghostkeepers in order to train, prepare and gather whatever knowledge they can.
I really loved the tenseness between Emma and Bennett Stern in the previous book, whereas Betrayal sees them more apart as the temptation of being together is too great for them to handle. If they are together, the weaker ghostkeeper (Bennett) will lose his powers and that cannot happen before he avenges his sister's death. While I was really keen to see more heart-break and drama between Emma and Bennett, I'm not entirely sure I'm liking where this relationship is going. I can only wait desperately for the third book in the series to find out for sure!
We know from the title of the book that someone close to Emma will betray her and I loved guessing (and getting it wrong!) who the traitor is. There's so many wonderful characters that surround Emma, from Natalie, to the Rake, to Coby her recently dead friend.
I thought Betrayal was an excellent second book in the series, one that ties together plotlines from the first book, has enough development and mystery to keep my entertained throughout the book and that left me eager in anticipation for the third book! Let's hope it's soon! ...more
I am so in love with this series! I did my happy dance when Tiger's Voyage by Colleen HouckThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I am so in love with this series! I did my happy dance when Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck arrived as the previous two books, Tiger's Curse and Tiger's Quest, were so wonderful and I had such high hopes for this third book in the series that I was absolutely desperate to find out where the story would go. And Tiger's Voyage is just as exciting and addictive and heart-breaking! This series just gets better and better.
And Tiger's Voyage really has so many wonderful things going for it. I feel like India is the perfect setting as it is filled with great history and culture and the these books' exploration of different religious stories and fantasy creatures is amazing. I love how Tiger's Voyage focuses mostly on the underwater and we come face-to-face with dragons! Dragons, my heart sings!
As always, Kelsey and the two tiger princes, together with loyal Mr. Kadam must unravel the clues given by the goddess Durga in order to break this curse on Ren and Kishan put in place hundreds of years ago. The three of them begin training to dive underwater and, Kelsey in particular, steel themselves for the many hardships they will face. But of course, it's the many romantic problems that causes Kelsey the most concern. With Ren's memory of her and their relationship completely gone, she must decide if it will be better in the long term for her to wait for his memory to return or to move on and begin something with Kishan.
In the previous book, I really went back and forth about which tiger I'd like to see Kelsey end up with, but I didn't have that problem in Tiger's Voyage. For me, there's a clear winner, but I still found it interesting watching Kelsey making up her mind. There was lots of conflict and drama here, not only between the two brothers but also a third guy (!) It can be painful watching Ren and Kishan be jealous over each other, and I felt a lot of sympathy for both brothers as Kelsey does not seem to be the more self-aware character and found it really difficult to realise what it is that she wants. There's still more books to come, so I'm still hoping desperately for a happy ending for all three major characters.
What I love most about these books is the mixture of so many different things - from the romance, to the action sequences, the fantasy elements, the history and folklore that everything is drawn for, but most especially the detail of these books which really make everything stand out so brilliantly.
I really loved Night School by CJ Daugherty! It kept me on the edge of my seat all the wayThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
I really loved Night School by CJ Daugherty! It kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through and will brilliantly addictive. I was lucky enough to attend an event in which CJ Daugherty spoke about some of her real-life inspiration for this creepy boarding school, and I had that in the back of my head as I was reading it.
Because this book is contemporary and not at all paranormal, I found Night School to be that touch more frightening and dangerous. There's just something about the realistic that gives me the shivers, much more than a supernatural element could ever do.
I adored the main character, Allie Sheridan. She's got some issues in her life, with her brother's disappearance, and that's turned her kind of angry. And so she acts out and when she gets caught by the police, her parents are forced into sending Allie away to a boarding school which might be able to straighten her out.
And Cimmeria Academy is like no other school. Nobody's ever heard of it, there's no mobile phones or computers allowed. The students there are either very well-off, from prominent families or incredibly smart. And to top it all off, there's this secret Night School in which we can only speculate about what could be going on. (cue spooky music!)
But then Allie is attacked and other dangerous things begin happening around the school, including the horrific death of another student. Allie has to decide who she can trust as she goes on a hunt for answers.
There's so much to love about this book. There are great characters, the atmosphere of Cimmeria Academy was almost palpable. There was danger and mystery and a bit of romance. I really loved the friendships that Allie has with some of the students she meets and how much Allie struggles with trust. And then there's the love interests. I keep seeing the term 'love triangle' thrown about in regards to this book. I really hope that this series does not go down that route! There's an incident that happens between Allie and one of the boys that makes me very unsympathetic to his character, so for me there is only one option!
Still, I think it's wonderful that CJ Daugherty has written a book that has made me react so strongly to the characters. This book is a real gem, one in which I was desperate to read more and more - to unravel all of this story's mysteries and intrigues and it's definitely left me wanting MORE. Wonderful book, one I highly recommend! ...more
If it wasn't for the absolutely brilliant Elizabeth Scott writing this book, I'm not surThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
If it wasn't for the absolutely brilliant Elizabeth Scott writing this book, I'm not sure if I'd want to read The Unwritten Rule. It's basic premise is that of a girl who has a mad crush on her best friend's boyfriend. And as a rule, I don't much care for cheating stories. But with those reservations in mind, I still picked up The Unwritten Rule. And I mostly enjoyed it. I found it surprising how my feelings about each of the characters seemed to change throughout the story.
Everybody knows that the boyfriends of friends are strictly off-limits, it's the unwritten rule, everybody knows it. None more so than Sarah, our conflicted main character of The Unwritten Rule. She's been friends with Brianna since they were really little. Sarah has long been used to the fact that boys flock to Brianna like crazy and the very few boys who have shown an interest in Sarah were only doing it in order to get closer to Brianna.
That is, until Ryan. Sarah liked him first, after he asked Sarah to a dance in 8th grade. The dance never happened, but Sarah's held onto her crush. Years later, after Ryan transforms from nerd to hot guy over the summer, Sarah and Ryan share this moment at a party. It's a pivotal moment, one that could mean something for the two of them, but then Ryan leaves with Brianna and they are instantly transformed into a couple. Sarah ends up being the third wheel. Again.
What I loved so much about this story is the changing views of each of the characters. I really liked Sarah as a character, she seems so guilty over her feelings for Ryan and she seems really aware of how much it would hurt Brianna and their friendship if anything ever happened between Sarah and Ryan. So she really tries to take herself out of the picture, even when things between Ryan and Sarah became a little more intense and tempting.
And while I thought Brianna would be the obstacle that we're all rooting for Sarah to just mow over and be with Ryan already, I think seeing Brianna from Sarah's point of view makes her less of the bad guy in this book. Obviously, yes, Brianna can be pretty mean and selfish and treat Sarah badly at times, but we can also see how Brianna came to be the person she did as we glimpse into her home life a little bit more. And I kind of felt bad for her.
It's an interesting story this one. I'm glad to have read it and Elizabeth Scott still remains one of my favourite ever authors!...more
Oh, what a great book! I absolutely loved The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney - it's eThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
Oh, what a great book! I absolutely loved The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney - it's exciting and quite creepy and fast-paced and now that I've finished this book I'm utterly excited for the rest of the books in the series!
I was lucky enough last year to win the (at the time) entire series of books in the Wardstone Chronicles from another blogger but there's something about an entire series of books on a shelf that intimidates me. It was only when I was in the planning stages of this British month and realised all of the books I'd read at the time were contemporary/realistic that gave me the shove I needed to start this series. And I'm so glad that I did. It's aimed at a younger audience than my normal YA reads, but even so, Joseph Delaney really doesn't shy away from death or gruesome scenes. Our main character, 12 year old Tom Ward, faces some scary things in The Spook's Apprentice. I loved that about this book.
Tom Ward is the seventh son of the seventh son, and having no inheritance, he must leave his family farm and find an apprenticeship elsewhere. After using up all of the family's other connections already, the only option available to poor Tom is that of the Spook's Apprentice. The Spook is a pretty well-avoided person in most communities, but serves a valuable role. The Spook is the first line of defense when it comes to boggarts and witches and other evil creatures that could cause chaos and disruption. And so, with the added expectations of his magical mother, off Tom goes on a trial run with the Spook. And does he get into some trouble! The poor boy, even after being warned off of girls, soon meets Alice, and is convinced into doing her family's dirty work and makes huge, life-threatening mistake after another.
Tom makes mistake after terrible mistake and bad things do happen. But this book really shows off the strength and courage that Tom needs to move forward and learn from the bad decisions of the past and work towards better things. It's really fascinating to learn alongside Tom the different magic and lore of witches and boggarts and learning Latin and spells. It also shows the loneliness and the isolation that this job would incur, but it also shows the benefits to the people in the villages and communities. I'm particularly interested in learning more about Alice, a girl who straddles the divide between good and evil and also more about the secrets and mysteries of Tom's mother.
It's been a long time since I've been THIS excited about a series, especially a fantasy series aimed at a middle grade audience. But I'm absolutely hooked! Bring on the next book. ...more
Why did nobody tell me about The Medusa Project before now?! I really feel like I've been mThis review was originally posted at Fluttering Butterflies
Why did nobody tell me about The Medusa Project before now?! I really feel like I've been missing out and now I have so much to catch up on! The Set-Up by Sophie McKenzie is the first book in the Medusa Project series, in which four teenagers find out that as babies they were all implanted with a special gene which has allowed them to have special powers once they've reached puberty. Really, how much do I love reading books about characters with super powers! It's all very super-heroesque, and I can fully support that.
This first book focuses on Nico, a 14 year old boy, who is in love with his best friend but doesn't know how to tell her. To make things worse, she's now got a boyfriend and Nico has discovered that he has the power of telekinesis. Moving things with his mind should be awesome, but his step-father believes differently. It's a lot for anyone to deal with, but for Nico, his main goal seems to be trying to impress Ketty, his best friend. And to do this Nico falls in with some shady people in order to make some quick money thinking that this would be the fastest and easiest way for Ketty to see Nico in a different light.
He also tries to uncover more about the Medusa gene and learn what he can about the other babies in the same position. What follows is quite the exciting and entertaining story filled with twists and turns and action and really bad decisions. I really liked Nico as a main character, he's a little sure of himself and doesn't really think things through, but he means well. His feelings for Ketty were quite sweet and I look forward to exploring more of their relationship in future books.
I think this is a really promising start to what will be a fun and exciting series. I'm really glad that there are already a bunch of books published in the series so that I don't have to wait too long to dive in. I believe other books in the series will be told by different members of the Medusa project, and I look forward to finding out more about the four of them and their powers and the history behind the gene and lots of cool action. Yay for this series! ...more
What really appealed to me about Mist by Kathryn James is, I will admit, the beautiful cThis review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies
What really appealed to me about Mist by Kathryn James is, I will admit, the beautiful cover. I think it's lovely. And I was also quite curious about how and where British author Kathryn James would take this story. once I began, I couldn't stop reading Mist!
It's a book about a girl who travels into an Elven mist in order to rescue her sister. I love that Nell, our main character is 13 and that this book is aimed at 10+ but still this book is exciting and dangerous and thrilling. This book would be exactly what I'd want to read, both at that age and now. Especially as Nell is a bit different and stands out a bit by her unusual dress-sense and being the only person who can remember Evan River's name.
I really loved seeing how Nell's nan's stories of the Elven have come true in this book. Fairy stories and legends are always so fascinating that I love that storytelling aspect. And the mist and the woods that surrounds Nell's town is pretty creepy. I love that Kathryn James took inspiration from the British woodlands in order to create this fictional land of the Elven!
Despite warnings from the boy Nell is crushing on, Nell's sister Gwen has a late-night 16th birthday party in the woods and is taken by the Elven. It up to Nell and cute but mysterious Evan River to journey into the mist and rescue Gwen. Nell must use all her wits in order to go up against the Elven, to barter for her older sister, and to make it make it out of the Mist in time.
It's very exciting, this book. I'm pleasantly surprised with how addictive reading it became. I wanted Nell to succeed very badly and I just couldn't see how it could be accomplished throughout most of the book. I loved reading of Nell's relationships - both with her sister, Gwen and with Evan. The Elven sound pretty interesting with the different families and power struggles. I can see myself really enjoying learning more about this new world.
Bring on the sequel, Frost, published later this year!...more