Monthly Archives: June 2013

June Monthly Wrap-Up

This month has been really fun interacting with other bloggers and chatting about books, especially with The 5th Wave debate, which was fun and rather heated.

Reviews:

White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers #1) Rating: C+

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #13) Rating: C

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1) Rating: B+

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield Rating: B+

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey Rating: A

So this June I’ve read all of the above and I’m just finishing up Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, Dare You To by Katie McGarry and Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines. Review to come for all of those! I also did a post on Finish The Sentence, where I gave the first sentence in a book and you had to guess the book, among other posts.

Next month I’ve got some fun posts coming up, and I can’t wait to share them with you guys! I hope you’ve all had fantastic a month and read lots of amazing books!

 

Friday-Brown-e1372542335882-1024x450

ARC Review: Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
Published by Text on 4th July 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Given From Publisher
four-stars

Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon.com 

Friday Brown was saved by Silence. Brought up travelling the endless roads of the Australian wilds, Friday’s past was shaped by stories, told dreamily by her mother around glowing campfires and on the edge of endless plains. But her mother’s death left Friday lost, and running from a family curse that may or may not be real. Desperate and alone in the middle of a strange city, a voiceless boy with white-blond hair and silver eyes appeared from nowhere, stole her heart and took her home. Friday is welcomed by a strange gang of lost kids and runaways. Led by the beautiful but fearsome Arden, the group live an underground life in the city, begging, stealing and performing to keep themselves alive. But when Silence returns to the house covered in someone else’s blood and terrified, the gang escape to an outback ghost town, leaving everything behind. Murungal Creek is abandoned, desolate and full of empty promises. Life in Arden’s gang starts to unravel, and the anger, lies and deceit that have been hidden for so long start to float to the surface. Having been swept along by the currents of life for as long as she can remember, Friday suddenly finds herself struggling to stay afloat, and alive. As devastation threatens, Friday must face up to her past, and fight, for the first time in her life. From the winner of the Adelaide Festival Award for Literature, 2012, Friday Brown is a remarkable story, described by the Weekend Australian as a story with ‘characters so palpable you can imagine passing them in the street.’

I’ve heard so many amazing reviews about Friday Brown from Jack at The Book Stop and Ruby at Feed Me Books Now, but I started reading it tentatively, because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. That wasn’t a problem because I really enjoyed it. A big thanks to Stephanie Speight at Text Publishing for sending a copy from…Australia!! That’s crazy, thanks again. This in no way affected my honest review.

I am a stickler for interesting characters, and there were plenty in Friday Brown. Friday was vulnerable and compassionate, but a little lost after her mother died. She was used to being on the move, never staying in one place and having the luxury of many fresh starts. After her mother died though, she had to stay with her Granddad, something that felt isolating, so she leaves and joins a group of runaway teenagers.

Friday’s relationship with Armen was ever-changing and reflected on both characters personalities and pasts. Armen was so captivating, she had an energy that made people want to be her, and Friday instantly feels drawn to her.

Everyone in this book had a story and an intriguing past, which made the characters deeper. Not all past’s were revealed, some left mysterious and that left things for the readers imagination. I liked the subtlety, it wasn’t shoved in my face, and sometimes that’s better than being told everything, because it keeps the reader guessing. I finished it on Wednesday, and I’m still thinking about the events and the characters.

Silence was a heartbreaking and amazing character, he feared being forgotten if he died, of never leaving an imprint on the world. He felt so inconsequential, especially when no one in his life has ever given him the right attention. He was just a runaway kid.

I enjoyed this book for the writing style and the characters, not so much the storyline. It’s very slow going until the climax—which is shocking and upsetting. It was like freezing water slapping me around the face. It really hit me. In addition, the prose was beautiful, sometimes I just got lost in the words. A lot of writing was on grief and death, which I could very much identify with.

Friday Brown took me out of my comfort zone and gave me deep, meaningful characters, with beautiful writing.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Other reviews:

Ruby at Feed Me Books Now Rating: 5 stars

Jack at The Book Stop Rating: 5 stars

Georgia at Books and Writers JNR Rating: 4.5 stars

Maya at What Should I Read Next Rating: 5 stars (She’s also holding an ARC giveaway of Friday Brown, click on the link!)

four-stars

63583e00b7bc873bb942e2c06f2898d7

Guess The First Sentence

Here I have 10 first sentences from popular books, and I’m quite interested to see who can guess what books they’re from. Some of them are rather obvious, some of them not, give your answers in the comments!

To spruce things up a bit and give you a clue ;)

 

1. “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.” 

2. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” 

3. “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.” 

4. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.” 

5. “There is one mirror in my house.”

6. “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.” 

 7. “The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.”

8. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

9.  “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.”

10.   ”All children, except one strange little boy, grow up one day.”

Subscribe to our Fortnightly Newsletter!




Untitledblah

My Top Five Most Anticipated Film Adaptations

   Number 5: The Fault in our Stars

I’m not too psyched about Ansel Elgort being cast as Augustus or Shailene Woodley getting another Young Adult role–I like to see different actors, especially with Young Adult. Ansel and Shailene are also in Divergent, and I think that’s what dampens the mood a little for me. Their relationship has to change from going completely platonic to sizzling chemistry. I’m sure they’re exceptional actors, I just hope they can carry off the different relationships in Divergent and TFioS.  I’m still excited for TFioS, but not as much as I want to be. I adore the book and I really want to see the magical scene in Amsterdam, and how it compares to my imagination.

John Green seemed really happy about the casting and told people to stop worrying and that everything will be fine. I’m putting my trust in you John Green.

Release date: unknown

 

Coming in at number 4: Catching Fire

catching-fire-finnick_810x506smallOne word. Finnick. He’s such a fantastic character and I’m really excited to see how Sam Claflin captures his humour. Jennifer Lawrence seems like such a down-to-earth person, and she looks incredibly badass as Katniss. This time it’s the Quarter Quell, and I’m intrigued as to how that’s going to look. Plus, Josh Hutcherson is going to be wearing a skin-tight wetsuit. But yeah, that’s irrelevant.

Release date: November 20/1

 

Number 3: Divergent

Divergent-EW-First-Look-07smallThe latest stills that have been released are tormenting! Shailene Woodley and Theo James look amazing, with Tris in action and Four looking over her with smouldering eyes. Lately, they have both been on the cover of EW, which is sadly American, because I’d love to buy an actual copy. See those stills here and a video of the shoot here.

If you haven’t read Divergent by Veronica Roth, I suggest you jump on the bandwagon–especially if you’re looking for a new Dystopia to read.

Release date: 2014

 

Number 2: City of Bones

lily-collins-jamie-campbell-bower-mortal-instruments-stills-02smallThis is almost joint with number one, it’s getting so close now to releasing, it’s unreal. News has been released that providing the response for COB is good, they are almost certainly shooting City of Ashes in Autumn.

I’m actually going to a signing to see Cassandra Clare and Jamie Campbell Bower in London. Squee! More on that later though…

Release date: 23rd August

 

Number 1: Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters

1000430_604599296241104_1888292972_nsmallWhy is anyone surprised this is my number one? I’ve been excited for this film since 2010, when they first put up a Facebook page about it. Nothing happened for two years and then BAM, they have a Rose, Dimitri and Lissa. I’m a little disappointed that Divergent has released a load of stills and been on the cover of EW magazine, yet VA:BS hasn’t done much marketing yet. Especially considering Divergent releases later than VA:BS.

Richelle has recently been interviewed and she talks about the movie and what she thought on the casting, you can read them here and here.

 

Other films to look out for are The Maze Runner–which is coincidently being released on the same day as VA:BS–I haven’t read it, but I hear it’s good. Also, The Fifth Wave which is extremely early in production, but nevertheless exciting.

These are my picks, what are yours?

 

Liked this?

Subscribe to our Fortnightly Newsletter!




Frigid-Teaser

Frigid by J. Lynn Chapter Release

Today is an exciting day – we have FOUR HUGE SURPRISES for you! Jennifer L. Armentrout’s (writing as J. Lynn) FRIGID is set to release on e-book at the end of July. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably on pins and needles and just cannot wait to get your hands on a copy of this book.

FRIGID has already been given the honor of being named a Romantic Times Top Pick and we’re super excited for you to be able to read it as well!

Well, there’s good news! Are you ready for those four awesome surprises? Here we go!

1. Due to all the excitement surrounding FRIGID, we have decided to run a special e-book pre-order promotion. We have worked out a deal with the distributor to release FRIGID a full two weeks early — on JULY 15th!!! — if we meet our e-book pre-order goal. EEEEP! That’s right, if you are like the rest of us and want to be able to read FRIGID in its entirety before its original release date, all you have to do is PRE-ORDER THE E-BOOK NOW! What are you waiting for? GO! Pre-order it!

Pre-Order: Barnes & Noble / Amazon

 

2. Need something to hold you over until FRIGID releases? Well, starting right now, you can read the first three chapters of FRIGID for free! Just read here!

3. Can’t get enough of the hot FRIGID cover? Want to see some behind the scenes photos that are sure to make you swoon? You’re in luck! Below you can watch a slideshow of all the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot! Go on and watch it. We’ll wait, because there is still one more great surprise!

4. And last but not least, if you live near Philadelphia, PA, you’re in for a very special treat — Jennifer will be in Philly in November signing not only FRIGID but also the last book in her immensely popular COVENANT series, SENTINEL! But that’s not all, Adam, the super hot cover model from FRIGID will be there as well! So, yes, you’ll get to meet Jennifer and Adam! Plus, there will be other great prizes that you seriously won’t want to miss out on (dinner with the author and model, perhaps?)! Stay tuned for more details to come!

We hope you’re as excited as we are! So now….Go pre-order FRIGID! Go read those chapters! Go watch that slideshow! And Enjoy!

DeliriumSpecialEdit#131B687-1

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #1)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 4th August 2011
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
four-half-stars

 

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (4 Aug 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0340980931

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them. 

Until now. 

Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it. 

Then, at last, they found the cure.

 

“Symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa
PHASE ONE:
-preoccupation; difficulty focusing
-dry mouth
-perspiration, sweaty palms
-fits of dizziness and disorientation
-reduced mental awareness; racing thoughts; impaired reasoning skills”

Lena lives in a world where love is forbidden and considered a disease. No one is allowed to love anyone or anything–not even their children–and at the age of 18 everyone has a brain surgery that gets rid of their ability to love. Lena is counting down the days until she has the procedure, to make her like everyone else. After she has the surgery, she will be paired with someone who is scientifically compatible with her, and they will have as many children as they’re financially able.

Her mother was illegally uncured, and so different from everyone else. Having the procedure is a huge step in proving Lena’s nothing like her mother and that she’s normal. Lena’s mum didn’t do ordinary ‘mum stuff’, she used to play with Lena and her sister, kiss their bruises when they tripped over. And then she killed herself, after the third time the government tried to cure her unsuccessfully. Now Lena is living with her aunt who has tried her best to steer her away from the taint on their family caused by her mother. Except, after spending so long counting down the days until the procedure, Lena is beginning to have doubts. She doesn’t know who she can trust, and can’t decide if what she has been believing all her life is a lie.

“PHASE TWO:
-periods of euphoria; hysterical laughter and heightened energy
-periods of despair; lethargy
-changes in appetite; rapid weight loss or weight gain
-fixation; loss of other interests
-compromised reasoning skills; distortion of reality
-disruption of sleep patterns; insomnia or constant fatigue
-obsessive thoughts and actions
-paranoia; insecurity”

This book is so good, and it really fed my love for Dystopia at the moment. Lena was confused about love–something that was always a rather simple concept in today’s society. Instead of being celebrated, love is feared, and eradicated. Lena notices that everyone who gets cured is not the same afterwards, doesn’t act the same and are rather unseeing and bland. But she doesn’t want to turn out like her mother, she wants to be normal.

I’m a little curious as to how they are doing brain surgery and practically changing people’s personality, or putting a damper on it. I’m not sure if this is going to be addressed in the next book or not, but I’m quite curious, considering the brain is quite fragile and you can’t just take random bits out.

“PHASE THREE (CRITICAL):
-difficulty breathing
-pain in the chest, throat or stomach
-complete breakdown of rational faculties; erratic behavior; violent thoughts and fantasies; hallucinations and delusions
PHASE FOUR (FATAL):
-emotional or physical paralysis (partial or total)
-death”

I really enjoyed Delirium, and I’m disappointed that they are cancelled the TV series they were going to do, as I’d really like to see this and how they would portray the world. Lena was trying to be strong and support her beliefs, except she didn’t really know what they were. Even though Lena had grown up in this world, it was enjoyable discovering the cracks that she’d never considered were there, right along with her. The concept was fascinating, but where a lot of Dystopia’s are primarily about government issues, this was about governmental issues on love. In other words, love takes up a lot of this storyline, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I usually like the romance to take a back-burn or be slow-building—at least in the beginning–but this definitely wasn’t. Be warned, the love in this edged on insta-love, except it was written really well, so well, that I can’t call it insta-love, but it was close.

Just as I thought Lauren Oliver was going to end the series with a lull, there was a massive cliff-hanger ending. I’m ordering the second book tomorrow! Overall, I was captivated by the world and can’t wait to read the next one.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

Liked this review?


four-half-stars

DEAD-ever-after-e1371072375858wah-e1371072450372gah-e1371072570910cry

Review: Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #13)

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #13
Published by Gollancz on 7th May 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
three-stars

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart….

Sookie Stackhouse  finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.
But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

A lot of people did not enjoy the conclusion to the Sookie Stackhouse series, some people hated who Sookie ended up with or the book altogether. I thought Harris did a good job at concluding a lot of loose ends with the minor and important characters, as most of the characters were given a cameo in the book. However, all of the cameo’s seemed quite forced and random, I think Charlaine could have done that with more finesse. Considering how many characters there are in this series, not every character was highlighted, but she didn’t miss out anyone important to me.

Now let’s get down to what everyone has been kicking up a fuss about. Who Sookie ends up with. For those of you who don’t know, Sookie Stackhouse is known for her many love interests, but has kept Eric for some time. I’m not going to spoil it, but I was extremely happy with who she ended up with– just not how Charlaine Harris executed it. I don’t know why she took so long to write Sookie’s romantic happy ending, and it almost felt like a frantic pick of a random character, and that she didn’t even know until this book, who it would be. I would rather have had a slower build-up of the relationship over time in a couple of books, than what felt like a rushed ending in one.

I did enjoy it though, but it wasn’t the best in the series, and even though there was a happy ending, I felt it was quite melancholic for some reason. After all that Sookie went through in the series, I wanted a proper walk-into-the-sunset ending, which wasn’t there for me.

The plot was interesting, it got to a point where I didn’t want to put it down because I was intrigued, however not because I was gripped. I’m fully invested in the characters after reading about them for so many books, and that’s what makes this series so enjoyable. Nevertheless, once again the plot revolves around Sookie. It’s all about people wanting to wrong her and destroy her–as it always is–which I find rather tiresome.

I enjoyed it a lot more than other people seemed to, but the ending felt rushed and I wasn’t so keen on the plotline. Once again, the characters are what kept me entertained.

Rating: God knows. 3 Stars.

three-stars

dog-eared-book-e1358973316431

Book Tag: Breaking the Spines

I saw this on the booktube community and it was created by Reading with Jack, but I can’t seem to find his channel anywhere to link it. Anyway, without further ado, here are the questions:

Do you break the spines or do you like them looking like new?

Eh. I have two opinions on this. Mostly I like to look at the broken spine and feel satisfaction in having read it. I don’t like to bend the book back, because that can damage the book, but I do break the spine a little bit. Sometimes I do like a smooth spine because it looks brand new.

For those of you who don’t like the spine being broken, how do you feel when you accidently break the spine?

If I’m reading a book where I didn’t want to break the spine and I accidently did, I would be a bit sad, but I would deal! Breaking the spine of a book is not a big deal to me, unless it’s someone else’s book.

If you buy a used book and the spine is broken, how do you feel?

I quite like the knowledge that someone else has read it—especially if they liked the book. Then I know that we shared an experience of reading an enjoyable book!

Do you agree with the opinion that a broken spine means the book is well loved?

YES. I look at my bookshelf and know that my books are well-loved and read, otherwise it’d kind of look like I had a bookshelf of unread books or something.

Because the spine on a hardback cannot be visibly broken, do you prefer buying hardbacks?

Not really, in the UK most books are first released in paperback anyway. I find hardbacks too annoying to hold when reading, but they do look neater.

Aside from breaking the spines, do you ever bend the corners of a book if you don’t have a bookmark with you?

DEFINITELY NOT. I don’t approve of dog-earing, it’s not right for the book. That’s just book-abuse.

Is there anything else you would like to say on your spine obsessions? Who would you like to tag?

I’ve got nothing more to say and anyone who wants to do this tag is welcome! :)

White-Cat-e1370729168136-1024x442

Review: White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers #1)

White Cat by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Gollancz on 29th July 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 324
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
three-half-stars

Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers – people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got any magic, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail – he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago. 

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the cover–I really like it!

This is such an intriguing premise to read about. I don’t read many book where the protagonist is male, so it was refreshing to read White Cat in a different perspective than I usually read Young Adult. Cassel is the black sheep in his family, he is not a Curse Worker. Unlike his two older brothers and his mother, who each have a power to change your emotions, you luck and your memories with simply a touch to the hand. Curse work is illegal, so many become crooks and con men, therefore Cassel has to become the best of the best con men to outsmart those more powerful than him.

Cassel goes to a boarding school and pretends he’s normal, he tries his hardest to blend in and be the average guy everyone wants him to be. Except he’s not really normal. Not only does he come from a family of workers, but he also once killed his best friends Lila—and he enjoyed it. But now he’s filled with self-loathing and he’s found sleep-walking, having dreams that he can’t explain. His brothers are keeping secrets too, so Cassel has to do his best to be conspicuous and out-smart his brothers to reveal the truth.

I really enjoyed White Cat and the premise it was built on. It took me a while to get fully invested because I thought the beginning was quite slow, but once it got going it was a great read. I loved the concept of the conmen and how Cassel tries to excel at lying and playing people, but sometimes messes up.

Cassel is a weird mix of being really flat and at the same time complex. He seemed interesting at the times when he was talking about himself and how he felt about killing Lila and being so out of place in his family. However, the writing style of Holly Black made him seem quite flat at times, and it was a rather weird mix.

I think it got slightly boring at times, but it’s quite a small book and it didn’t take me a lot to keep going, I was interested in seeing the resolution. I really did enjoy it, I just don’t think the characters were interesting enough for me. I wasn’t compelled to read it for the characters, but more the story. I will definitely keep reading this series, as it was a fun read, with intriguing plot-twists and fun con-men elements.

Rating 3.5 Stars

three-half-stars

bg-about-book

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave #1)

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
Published by Penguin on 7th May 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Goodreads link

 

I don’t even know where to start on this review. The 5th Wave is an absolute gem and if you haven’t picked it up yet, I seriously suggest you go and do so right now.

The Earth sees an alien mothership and we try to contact them, but they don’t answer. Then, after ten days of silence, the first wave begins. The Others send out an electromagnetic pulse which takes out all forms of electricity, power, and kills half a million people. The second wave is a tsunami that kills everyone within sixty miles of a coastline, which is three billion people. The third wave is in the form of a plague which had a 97% mortality rate and took out more than 3.5 billion people.

‘Sometimes I think I might be the last human on earth’

Seventeen-year-old Cassie—for Cassiopeia–is alone in the world, camping in the woods while she tries to stay alive and away from the Others. She has a backpack of essentials including a teddybear, a tent and her gun.

‘The first rule of surviving the 4th Wave is don’t trust anyone’

Cassie is such a kick-ass character, she knows that she has to stay alone to survive and she does. Until she meets Evan Walker. It’s the only person she’s talked to in months and she can’t help but enjoy the human contact. Cassie is brave and fights for her right to stay on Earth which I loved. She was so strong and she’s only sixteen. She does what she has to do to survive and she keeps her promises, it was a delight to read from her perspective, despite the fact that she is written by a man.

Cassie’s not the only POV though, we also have a few others, who I will not name for fear of spoiling you all. I actually enjoyed their POV just as much as Cassie’s, and loved that all of their storylines were relevant and interlocked at various points in the book.

Young Adult Dystopian is a genre that’s increasingly growing, especially after the release of The Hunger Games. I even hesitate to say it’s the ‘Next Big Thing’ in terms of Young Adult and ‘mainstream’ books. It’s not surprising then, that this book is all over the blogosphere with people exclaiming how much they enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too. I’m starting to read more Dystopian’s and The Fifth Wave was something that was incredibly satisfying and different to read. The premise was different, the characters I felt were realistic. They all had their lives before the invasion and Yancey wrote flash-backs which made them more relatable.

I found the plot twists to be captivating, I thought I knew what was going on and then Yancey would flip the story upside-down and change my perspective. He was really good at making me doubt myself and sometimes even deliberately confused for me to make me think certain things about the situations and the characters.

Overall, a really enjoyable Dystopian read. If you’re looking for something to read in the Dystopian genre, I suggest you take a look, because I thought it was fantastic. Then I realised the second one comes out in Summer! Next year.

I’m hoping to see Rick Yancey in London soon, but he hasn’t posted where he’s going to do the signing!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

four-half-stars

Thief

Blog Tour Giveaway + Excerpt: The Sevy Series by Sarah-Jane Lehoux

 

Thief Amazon Goodreads   |Shades of War Amazon  Goodreads |Masquerade Amazon Goodreads

 

Sarah-Jane Lehoux has re-released the Sevy Series on May 20th and I have an excerpt of Shades of War (book 2) and a giveaway prize of Thief (book 1). Who’s excited?

Here’s the excerpt of Shades of War:

This was her favourite dream. She loved the feel of her heels clicking across the cobblestones as she rushed down the street. Look there, the cherry red door, a beacon which called her waylaid soul back to haven. Back to home. Nothing changed. Everything as it had been. As it should be.

And look. There’s Turlan dozing on the stoop with a shining green bottle propped between his knobby knees. Sweet old man. Maybe later she would sit and listen to one of his stories. Hello, Turlan. Good to see you too. Sorry, no time to chat right now.

Inside. Smell of a happy, cozy fire. Fresh flowers placed in a vase of water on the table in the common room. Forget-me-nots. Fitting, don’t you think? Laughter all around. People smiling, calling her by name. Revik! When did you get here? A glass of heady ale held out in each of his hands. One for him and one for her. Something not quite right about that, but don’t think on it now. No time for a drink, Revik.

Upstairs? No. She knew where to go. Down the hall, into the kitchen. Open the door to the right and sitting at the desk, buried in some dusty old book—he would be there.

But wait. Where was he? And who was that?

A man stood gazing out of the window and into the courtyard. She stopped. This was wrong. This was not the way the dream was supposed to go. The room grew and then shrank. The

space between them disappeared. Suddenly, she was near enough to touch him. But who was he?

His hands, covered with wisps of grey hair, were clutched together behind his back. He was nodding his head, wordlessly answering some line of questioning that only he could perceive. Frail form, frail as Turlan, the bumps of his crooked spine visible through skin and cloth.

Back away, Sevy. Don’t go any closer.

Every fiber in her being urged her to run, but she could not resist. Closer, and now she could hear him. Was he speaking or merely breathing? Impossible to tell. But the sounds went on, rising and falling like waves lapping against the hull of a boat. His hands; why were they so interesting? He held something in them. Something that squished as he squeezed his fingers together.

No, no, no! I do not want to see this! I don’t want to have anything to do with this! I will have no part in this, I swear by the gods!

Too late, Sevy.

He turned around. She didn’t want to look. She knew he wanted her to. He smiled at her. The way the woman had smiled, the way the boy had. He would not go away until she looked.

Please leave. Leave me alone. Whatever I’ve done, I don’t deserve this.

And now he placed something into her hands. Take them. Feel them. Wet and cold things. Yes, look at them. The whites shot red. The ring of colour, as green as her own, nearly swallowed by the swollen blue-black pupils.

She held them. Her fists constricted around them, tighter and tighter, finally feeling them burst against her palms as she looked up into the man’s face, and saw him, still smiling, tears of blood issuing from sockets of mush and bone.

She was awake and screaming. For a second, she thought her dream had followed her into reality when she looked up into circles of red. It was just Revik, thank the gods. His eyes were intact and his mouth was not plastered with that disturbing grin. He pleaded with her to relax, avowing that it was just a nightmare, swearing that everything was all right.

He was such a good liar. She almost believed him. She heard movement to her right. There was Yy’voury, staring at Sevy as one would a casket about to be lowered into the ground. She held Trena as one would a child, patting the head, directing it to her shoulder. Trena of the perpetual tears. But who were they for? Surely not for Sevy.

Warmth rose from the ground underneath Sevy’s legs and she realized with a grimace that, in her fear and sickness, she had wet herself. Revik would have a heyday with that, wouldn’t he? But he didn’t seem to find it as amusing as he should have. She laughed for him. What else could she do?

“Please hang on, Sevy. We’re almost there.”

“Where is there?” she asked him, though she didn’t feel her lips move, or hear any sound come from her mouth other than a rasping hiss.

He gave a yell. She didn’t know why. And then the world was upside down. In a feat of exceptional strength, he had somehow thrown her over his shoulder, his arm braced against the back of her knees. She protested. She was a trim woman, but by no means was she the little doll that Yy’voury was and he was in no condition for this exertion. She could feel his misery ringing through his muscles as he held her.

Yy’voury on one side, bolstering him up. Amazingly, Trena on the other, doing the same. The animals had never seen such a spectacle, had they? With nothing else to do, Sevy watched their feet slipping and skidding through the spongy mulch. Two pairs of women’s feet, one set slender and blue, the other pink with swollen ankles. Two pairs of men’s feet.

Wait. Two pairs of men’s feet? Her eyes burned. They became pin cushions for a dozen seamstresses. She wanted to rub them, but didn’t have the strength to lift her arms. She was sightless suddenly, and cried out.

“It’s all right, Sevy.”

Panic in Revik’s voice, but not for the reason that Sevy was panicking. Her vision cleared and she stared at that extra set of feet again, at the grey hairs sprinkled over the tops of them. See how they did not leave an imprint in the mud as the others’ did, how they seemed to glide above, moving but not moving.

“So it’s you,” she said. “You did follow me. What do you want?”

No need to ask if anyone else could see him. She already knew that they could not. If she wasn’t so afraid, she might have had a good chuckle. Was she such a waste of time that Annu-nial couldn’t be bothered to make an appearance? Would she be guided into death by a bunch of mutilated flunkies? Or was this a celestial experiment? A test to see if her mind could be broken as effortlessly as her body.

“Get away, devil. You won’t have me. Not yet.”

“That’s the spirit, Sevy. Show ‘em what a stubborn little beastie you are!”

Revik said that. Or he had, once upon a time.

To stop herself from staring at those uncanny feet, Sevy twisted her neck to the side and looked up as far as she could. The sky was green and grey. Would it never be blue again? She missed the blue. She missed the sun. She missed a thousand things, or she would have if she could remember anything other than this moment, this instant of dread.

She did not fear death. Too many times she had been its messenger. Too often she had immersed herself in its cold company, aching for the release she could not provide for herself. She knew why now; why she had never been able to summon the courage to free her soul the way she had freed so many others.

She did not fear death. That was the easy part. What she feared came after. She feared what Annu-nial would see when she took Sevy by the hand and looked into her heart. There was no deliverance for the damned. She would not be ushered to the land of Promyraan. Her loved ones would not be waiting with open arms to welcome her.

Panic in Revik’s voice, but not for the reason that Sevy was panicking. Her vision cleared and she stared at that extra set of feet again, at the grey hairs sprinkled over the tops of them. See how they did not leave an imprint in the mud as the others’ did, how they seemed to glide above, moving but not moving.

“So it’s you,” she said. “You did follow me. What do you want?”

No need to ask if anyone else could see him. She already knew that they could not. If she wasn’t so afraid, she might have had a good chuckle. Was she such a waste of time that Annu-nial couldn’t be bothered to make an appearance? Would she be guided into death by a bunch of mutilated flunkies? Or was this a celestial experiment? A test to see if her mind could be broken as effortlessly as her body.

“Get away, devil. You won’t have me. Not yet.”

“That’s the spirit, Sevy. Show ‘em what a stubborn little beastie you are!”

Revik said that. Or he had, once upon a time.

To stop herself from staring at those uncanny feet, Sevy twisted her neck to the side and looked up as far as she could. The sky was green and grey. Would it never be blue again? She missed the blue. She missed the sun. She missed a thousand things, or she would have if she could remember anything other than this moment, this instant of dread.

Dim recollections of melodic chanting and burning incense. Of sitting on her mother’s lap, listening to a man in a robe speak of Annu-nial’s maimed son, Koad-wykeir, who was charged with meting out unending, righteous retribution. Deafened so that he could not hear the cries, blinded so he could not see the tears, tongue torn out so that he could offer no words of solace. Hell is what we make of it, the priest thundered, and Sevy trembled against the folds of Mother’s dress. For she had known even then, hadn’t she? That she was different than her sisters, than the other children. That there was a darkness in her that could not be contained and that the fates would find some way to release it. And release it they had, more times than she cared to count.

She did not fear death. Too many times she had been its messenger. Too often she had immersed herself in its cold company, aching for the release she could not provide for herself. She knew why now; why she had never been able to summon the courage to free her soul the way she had freed so many others.

She did not fear death. That was the easy part. What she feared came after. She feared what Annu-nial would see when she took Sevy by the hand and looked into her heart. There was no deliverance for the damned. She would not be ushered to the land of Promyraan. Her loved ones would not be waiting with open arms to welcome her.

Dim recollections of melodic chanting and burning incense. Of sitting on her mother’s lap, listening to a man in a robe speak of Annu-nial’s maimed son, Koad-wykeir, who was charged with meting out unending, righteous retribution. Deafened so that he could not hear the cries, blinded so he could not see the tears, tongue torn out so that he could offer no words of solace. Hell is what we make of it, the priest thundered, and Sevy trembled against the folds of Mother’s dress. For she had known even then, hadn’t she? That she was different than her sisters, than the other children. That there was a darkness in her that could not be contained and that the fates would find some way to release it. And release it they had, more times than she cared to count.

Her life had been made up of horror after horror. Gods only knew what awaited her after death, but if the wraiths that haunted her were any indication, she was in for one hell of a ride.

 

Thief:

Happily Ever After Doesn’t Come Without a Price
In the crumbling city of Eloria, there are two indisputable facts. First, everyone has a dream. Secret, seemingly unattainable, altogether irresistible, it is the kind of dream that aches and, at times, burns. For most, it will forever remain a teasing enigma, but there are those for whom dreams grow into obsession. Which brings us to the second indisputable fact: everyone has a price. Protestations of morality have little meaning when confronted with the all-consuming passion of the soul. Better judgment is pushed aside for the chance to obtain the unobtainable. The only question remaining is just how much a person is willing to sacrifice in order to get what they want.

Sevy has always been a quick study in the wicked ways of Eloria. Since childhood, she has eked out a living for herself with the help of her sticky fingers and her indomitable spirit. She has no qualms about taking what she desires, and when the unrequited love of her life is mysteriously murdered, Sevy will stop at nothing to get him back. Elvish black magic, necromancy and demonic pacts are of little consequence if it means she can once again have her beloved at her side. But is she willing to murder her only friend to get the job done? Is there a line that even this selfish, self-proclaimed bitch is not prepared to cross?

For your chance to win the amazing eBook Thief, enter the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About Sarah-Jane Lehoux:

You’d think that what with me being an author and all, I’d be able to come up with something witty to put here. Not bloody likely. Writing bios is stupidly stressful, so screw it. You get the Cliff Notes version.

I’m an author, an editor, and a cover artist. I like animals and the paranormal. If I was a braver person, I’d try urban exploration, but because I’m not, I indulge in my curiosity online. I get distracted easily and I’ve been known to cry at long distance commericals.

Visit my website for more information. I promise I’m a lot more interesting than this bio lets on. Still waters run deep, as they say. (Still waters are also usually stagnant and teeming with mosquitoes, but let’s ignore that fact, shall we?)