Category Archives: 5 Stars

Review: Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5)

Review: Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5)The Assassain's Blade by Sarah J, Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's, Bloomsbury Children's on March 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

I want to congratulate the person who designed these covers, they are freaking amazing!

Okay so this review is months overdue and all I can do is apologise and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s finally Summer. After requesting a copy of Throne of Glass last year on a whim, it has fast become one of my favourite YA series. That’s a tough feat. I adore reading about Celaena’s antics and these short stories were fast-paced, intriguing and had my constant attention. Maas is able to bring out every emotion possible from me including laughter, fear for the characters and sadness. I am not afraid to say I cried a little at the end, that was emotional shiz.

Celaena is the kind of protagonist I love reading about because of her awesome fighting skills and attitude (heellooo, Hardcore Heroines); whilst at the same time I openly wish I was as badass as her. Maas craftily weaves the romance, tension and intrigue together, leaving plenty of room for the interesting sub-plots and back-story. What with that and consistent character development, you’ve got yourself a winner.

I don’t know what to tell you if you haven’t read this series, apart from that it continually amazes and rarely (if ever) disappoints. I’ve read three of this series now and not once have I been let down, which I don’t think has happened to me before with such an intense, Fantasy world. I urge everyone to read this, even if you’re not a major fan of Fantasy because it’s really a fantastic series that offers a lot. It’s the kind of series that will be right at the top of my recommends pile yet I will hand out with caution to my friends in case they spill something on it. (I’m looking at you, Lois).

I want to be Celaena’s best friend, talk books with Dorian and learn to fight with Chaol. I cannot wait for what’s in store for Heir of Fire. I have no reservations on whether it will disappoint as Maas has proved her reliability and each book gets better and better.

Rating: no less than 5 Stars!

Tell me what you think of the series in the comments!

**This book was sent to me by Bloomsbury, however this didn’t affect my review or thoughts on the book one iota’s worth**

 

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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by My Kinda Book on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 445
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

This book is all kinds of adorable and I loved it. Cath is a fangirl–if you hadn’t worked that out–and this is something many readers can relate to. Cath has a twin and does pretty much everything with Wren, because why wouldn’t she? However, when it comes to university, Wren doesn’t want to be roommates with Cath in a bid to be more independent. I really liked Cath’s character, because she was bookish and shy. She does not want to be rooming with some random person and make eye contact with them…and stuff. Therefore, she’s a little hurt, and turns into a slight recluse in her room.

I related to Cath in a lot of ways, particularly how much she loves books and in this case, a particular series. Except, I’m not her kind of fangirl. I don’t write or read fanfic, however, I do have posters and T-shirts like her. I loved that Cath was a really popular fanfiction writer, and loved writing about those characters.

Cath is a really shy person, and doesn’t really go out of her room at the beginning. She hates the idea of going to the cafeteria for the first time and having nobody to sit with. I get that, but everyone’s in the same boat at this point, so you might as well get it over with. Personally, I would make friends with my roommate or the people in halls, then go sit with them. But Cath just sits in her room and lives on protein bars for a couple of months! Oh my! By the time she makes her way down there, everyone’s already got their groups. So Reagan helps her out, and practically forces her down there to eat. Her roommate Reagan was so awesome. She’s my kind of person 100%. She says what she feels and doesn’t skirt around on bullshit. You know what to expect from her. Some think she’s rude, but really she’s just being real with you. I was more like Reagan personality-wise than Cath, because I’m not as shy as Cath. She’s really good to Cath, she helps her a lot, and without Reagan, Cath would have been a complete hermit. We all need friends that help us in ways we can’t help ourselves.

Then there’s Levi. Levi. Levi. I love Levi. So different from a lot of guy characters currently in YA books. He’s just so happy and smiley and genuine. He supported Cath in a lot of ways, and didn’t push her. He also has a very weird way of learning. He’s a dependant on auditory learning, and listens to lectures instead of reading. But he wasn’t stupid, he just learns in a different way and struggles with how things are taught, so he works harder. I could relate so much to this, except I’m a visual learner, and sometimes I find things harder to process–but I’m not stupid. I’m generally an A/B student, but I identified with Levi a lot in that respect. Cath is naturally a genius, and she gets a little lazy at times. It was so great how Levi just didn’t allow her to be lazy, because he works so hard for his grades and would kill to get amazing grades as easily as her. You go Levi.

Fangirl’s Cath has an obsession with Simon Snow, a character from their world’s Harry Potter. I didn’t grow up with Harry Potter, I’m a bit young and kind of missed the party on that. Therefore, I didn’t entirely relate to that aspect, but the overall Fangirl parts I did relate to.

I really, really loved this book. It was sweet, funny, interesting and something I could completely relate to. I’ve not read anything quite like it, and will re-read this again and again. This will definitely be added to my Contemporary Romance recommendations, and if you haven’t read it, you really need to!

Rating: 5 STARS!!

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Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil #1)

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil #1)Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Series: Sweet Evil #1
Published by HarperCollins on May 1st 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 453
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Sweet Evil is such a brilliant YA Paranormal, I feel so refreshed, because sometimes it can be really hard to sieve through the most awful crap in this genre. Although I’ve read a lot of great YA Paranormal books, this one was different, but also incredibly the same. It had the innocent girl who was ignorant about the para world and the inevitable bad boy. But these are used for good reason: the innocence gave Anna time to grow, and the bad boy appealed to me in every way. That’s not to say Kaidan didn’t frustrate me–he seriously did.

The book is set around a really interesting premise about Demons and Angels, where good, Christian Anna is half-Angel and half-Demon. This makes Anna’s character more interesting because she has to deal with things she’s never even dreamed of. Kaidan and Anna are Nephilim–children of Demons. They have to work to corrupt society and humanity, which is pretty soul-destroying. I thought this was so inventive and unique, I’ve never read this kind of premise and it intrigued me all the way through the book. Anna has never gotten drunk or been high, and suddenly these substances are calling to her and she’s expected to use them. Otherwise she will be killed.

Kaidan is such an awesome bad boy, and even though it annoyed me how caught up Anna was with him–I still really loved his character. He drew me in even though he was frustrating. He’s also part of a band and plays the drums…so, yeah. There was a lot of mixed messages and hot and cold about him. There’s attraction between Anna and Kaidan, but they can never be together because their life is dedicated to working.

I enjoyed the way Anna begins to discover who she really is, and her relationship with Patti. They both loved each other so much, a love that I can identify with but don’t see it often in books, for some reason. The parents are always unreasonable or sometimes simply dead, but Patti’s character really warmed my heart and I could feel her love toward Anna through the pages.

Rating: 5 Stars–the premise was so unique and interesting, I began to get invested in all the characters and I’m really desperate to read the next book! (Edit: I read the next book and it’s just as amazing!)

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Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Usborne on December 2nd 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss is such a fluffy, warm book that cuddles you when you read it. It’s about an American girl who gets sent to a boarding school in Paris for her last year of school. The boarding school is for Americans, and I loved the Paris aspect of the book. They say Paris is the city of romance, and that added to the magic of the book.

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Anna was such a joy to read. Her voice was hilarious, witty and something I entirely identified with. I just wanted to reach into the book and be her best friend. I read the first page, laughed and knew, just knew  this was going to be a 5 star read. Anna never annoyed me throughout the whole book–which is quite a feat! Her passion for films is like my passion for books, and she has a dream of becoming a film critic and writes on her blog. I could really identify with it, the way she would escape off to different cinema’s in Paris and watch old films. She jumps out of her comfort zone and into an entirely different country with, actually, not much complaining. Which is good, because no one wants to read about a big whiner. She embraces Paris a little later in the book and starts to learn French and grow up a little.

St Clair is so awesome and dreamy, he was the perfect mix of humour and sweet personality. He was also frustrating though! I wanted to hit him on the head sometimes because he didn’t know what he wanted! I loved the way they interacted and how genuine St Clair was…I just…dreamy sigh. Together, St Clair and Anna become close friends and explore Paris together, while the tension crackles between them. They didn’t just explore the usual tourist-y places, but also their secret places that made this book different.

Anna and the French Kiss is hilarious, gut-wrenching and amazing. It’s one of the most perfect YA Romances I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next instalment of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

five-stars

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Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Review: Where She Went by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Published by Definitions, Random House on April 5th 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Where She Went is a powerful Contemporary Romance, and it worked so well because it’s the sequel to If I Stay. In If I Stay, Mia’s entire family are killed in a car crash and she is left in a coma. Mia has an out-of-body experience where she sees everything happening in the hospital around her. This is where I grew to adore Mia and her family, and her relationship with Adam. Therefore, it was a complete and utter devastating surprise when I saw in the blurb of the sequel, that the couple had broken up.

Where She Went wouldn’t have been so compelling if I hadn’t known these characters before and deeply cared about them from the beginning. Except, this book explores a fresh concept. Instead of seeing the world and events through Mia’s eyes, the entire book was in Adam’s perspective, not something I was gung-ho about until I read it, and realised how funny and realistic Adam’s character really is.

Like every other person reading the book, I was rooting for the two to patch up their troubles and get on with life. However, matters were not as simple as that. After the accident, Mia of course has been emotionally scarred, and Adam had some input into that. Forman slowly reveals what happened between the two after the accident and how they both (but especially Mia) held a turmoil of emotion surrounding the accident against each other. Pent-up feelings like resentment, blame, fear–all the nitty-gritty stuff–and let me tell you, Forman was not afraid with a little build-up and then confrontation–something that I loved.

I always loved Adam, and even though he’s more troubled and lonely in this book, I felt closer to him. I related to him, and his character was so complex as Forman peeled back the layers one by one. Mia is more distant, but she expresses her emotions and her fury at Adam, and the accident. Even though I wasn’t inside her head, I didn’t need to be.

If I Stay could have been left a stand-alone and I’m sure people choose not to read the sequel. In fact, I walked around for a couple of days before realising there even was a sequel, just assuming Mia and Adam were living happily-ever-after. However, I’m incredibly glad Forman decided to write a follow-up, because it gave the characters more authenticity and rawness that I have honestly never read before. I clearly need to read more of this type of book because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I urge you to go away and read If I Stay and then embark on Where She Went. It’s perfect for Contemporary Romance lovers who don’t mind getting into gritty and realistic (but incredibly loveable) characters and emotional scenes.

5 Stars–I loved it because it’s incredibly character based and even though the plot was interesting, I was compelled by the depth of characters.

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on August 27th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 420
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Usually, if I enjoy the first in a series, the second one can be all kinds of disappointment, but not Crown of Midnight. This book is filled with moments of gripping excitement, an intriguing plot and complex characters you want to be best friends with. Seriously, Dorian and I could talk about books all day long.

I started Crown of Midnight when I was in a reading slump. I got a third of the way through and I was not in the mood at all, so I stopped reading it. I didn’t want to trust my judgment quite yet, because I wasn’t at a reliable time to review it or even rate it. I’m so glad I didn’t continue reading it otherwise the experience would have been thoroughly ruined. As I picked it up for the second time, I was reminded how awesome this series is and thrown into a world of intrigue and so many different delicious plots.

I adore the complexity of the novel, it has so many aspects to it, and there are many things going on. Not only that, but the characters also have issues individually, and it is not a case of the entire world revolving around our main heroine. Although Celaena is pretty dang awesome. She is undoubtedly a Hardcore Heroine, fighting for her life, her beliefs and her friends. I am in Celaena’s corner, cheering her on!

I have to say though, she is the most peculiar blend of infuriating, amazing and strong heroine I have ever read. On one page I understand her completely, on another I don’t understand her at all. She’s freshly unpredictable and keeps me on my toes whilst reading; because when I read these, my eyes glued in captivation and braced for Maas to break my heart. Needless to say she does at the end. I was left staring at the page in awe and a slight feeling of betrayal. WHY? Why do this to me Maas? I thought we had a deal that you wouldn’t hurt me like this. I guess some authors like to cause their readers pain.

Celaena’s quite different in Crown of Midnight, because we see her darker side in a lot more depth. I was beginning to think that perhaps Celaena wasn’t believably as an assassin, because despite her badarse tendencies, she well, didn’t assassinate anyone. In fact, she downright refused! I’m not saying I want all my heroine’s to be killing everyone, but the entire series is set upon this fact. Anyway, it worked itself out quite well.

There’s also a bit of romance and I love romance, so I was a major fan of this development. Overall, Crown of Midnight is an amazing read and one of my favourites of this year. I truly loved it and I can’t wait until the next one releases!

Rating: 5 Stars!!

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Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #2)

Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #2)Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Published by Atom on January 8th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 341
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death. 

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.

Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.(

I loved Through the Ever Night so much, I felt like everything was ratcheted up a notch and the stakes were higher. Even though I adored Under the Never Sky, it’s no secret that I found the beginning confusing, but enjoyed it when it picked up. However Through the Ever Night was a fantastic read all the way through, and one of my favourites of the year. I’m incredibly invested in the main characters, and there are some great minor characters. It annoys me when the world I’m reading revolves around the main characters, and the more minor characters aren’t explored. Through the Ever Night was not like that, a lot of the characters had many layers. Not only that but it has an extensive world, and a thrilling plot. It’s the kind of book that will lure you in and not allow you to process the outer world until you are finished.

Aria has developed so much, and she’s learnt a lot since the last book. She’s adapted to the world really well–she doesn’t whine, and she’s not annoying. She’s a fighter, and I love her for it. I think the dual POV between her and Perry is brilliant, because Peregrine’s POV is so interesting and I adore Aria and Perry’s Romance. Both of them have separate things to deal with, which keeps things fresh and interesting, and means we aren’t following the same boring problems.

As Peregrine introduces Aria to his tribe, his people are wary of a person from the Realms. Peregrine faces a lot of trouble because he’s young and inexperienced–soon the tribe are finding it hard to eat because of the Aether storms. In addition, Talon is still being kept by the Dweller’s and Perry is faced with the awful decision of choosing between the ones he loves and his entire tribe who are relying on him. Perry is so awesome. Together, him and Aria make such an amazing team, with inevitable bumps along the road in their relationship.

Roar is also present and I love him so much! Not only is he hilarious, but it’s great to see a male character who’s friends with the main heroine and isn’t pitifully in love with her. Roar has his own problems, and I wish Rossi would write an entire book about him and Liv. I know there’s a novella (and I can’t wait to read it) but an entire novel would be so much better! I just wish Rossi would gather all of the minor characters and write separate stories about them! When that happens, I know the book must be good.

Rossi has made me love Sci-Fi,  I love this world and I love the characters. Rossi has carried on this captivating world admirably, and I am clutching my keyboard counting down the days until the conclusion to this series releases. If you haven’t read this series, start at Under the Never Sky– the series is so gashdang awesome and a must-read.

Rating: 5 Stars

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ARC Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)

ARC Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)Crash into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Mira Ink on November 26th 2013
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 474
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

I really liked Dare You To, but Katie McGarry was certainly pushing the limits of awesome with Crash into You…geddit? ;)

McGarry is fast becoming one of those authors where I count the days for their next book to come out. She mixes this perfect blend of internal conflict, external conflict and upping the stakes when you’re unprepared. It’s the kind of series I love so much I would go out and buy just to stroke the beautiful cover and look at it on my shelf. Correction: if it was the American cover–I don’t want to get into it, but to say the UK covers are a disappointment is a colossal understatement.

Crash into You is told in dual POV. It really added something to the story to understand how each of the characters were perceived through different eyes, and how that perception changed as they grew to know each other. Rachel was a character many people can relate to. Her family and her have a *lot* of issues, and I won’t delve into them, apart from to say it was written beautifully. Rachel is completely different from Beth in Dare You To, which just shows how McGarry can write different characters and isn’t churning out the same things. I related to Rachel, and though in the past shy characters like her have annoyed me, Rachel didn’t one bit. I really understood her, and her need to be herself–not what everyone else wanted her to be. Her family seriously angered me, though. I didn’t understand why they treated Rachel like a fragile ornament that wasn’t allowed to have any friends without someone getting suspicious. Rachel is a teenager, and frankly, if my teenage daughter didn’t have any friends at all, I’d be a little concerned. Rachel was suffocating under this constant need to make everyone happy, when it wasn’t her responsibility or problem. I felt so strongly about her situation, I wanted to jump into the book and shout at her family for being so unbelievably obtuse. Rachel is a character that I think is going to be more popular for readers, because more people can relate to her. Reading about sassy heroines is fun, but not necessarily realistic for us bookish types to relate to.

I was especially interested about the cars aspect of Crash into You. Never have I read a novel about drag racing or a YA heroine who’s in love with cars. It was really adorable the way Isaiah and Rachel bonded over their love for cars. It was like they had their own special language that drew them closer, and a common passion about something.

I wasn’t sure about Isaiah before, but I really grew to love his character and empathize for the situation he is in. At the beginning of Crash into You, it feels like he doesn’t have a person he can properly talk to. Despite having a couple of reliable friends, he’s kind of lonely, and so is Rachel. More is revealed about Isaiah’s home life, and his desperate situation. Both characters were becoming more layered as the book went on.

I am now incredibly excited for the next installment in this series, where we have Rachel’s brother West as one of the main protagonists. I love it when the characters link together, and I feel like Katie McGarry can just keep on going with these books, as she has shown she knows how to keep them interesting and engaging.

If you haven’t picked up the Pushing the Limits series, and you enjoy YA Romance, why haven’t you? Although it’s nice to read from the beginning and understand references to previous books, Crash into You can be read as a standalone. You will be missing a couple of things that happened, but if you have a chance to read Crash into You. Do it. Do it now.

Rating: 5 Stars BABY!

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Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Review: If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Black Swan on Arpil 2nd 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 201
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Library
Goodreads
five-stars
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
Buy the Book from Amazon UKBuy the Book from Amazon USA

If I Stay is one emotional book. Anyone who’s had experience with grief can relate to the premise (which is pretty much EVERYONE). Forman explores the boundaries between life and death, and the idea of having the choice whether to live or die. Mia is in a car accident with her parents and younger brother, and when her family are killed, Mia stays in a coma. We’re shown Mia’s perspective outside of her comatose body, as she watches events unfold around her and flashbacks are blended seamlessly to show her former life. She has a captivating dilemma of whether it’s worth living. Her family is dead, and she would spend the rest of her life grieving and living without her family. But of course she has hundreds of life prospects to look forward to, as she’s only 17.

From page one, Mia was a character I understood and liked. Maybe it’s because of her sarcastic and dark humor, or the way her character was presented, but she seemed like someone I could be best friends with. Forman has a way of pulling at the heart-strings in a particular way, I never sobbed my heart out, but her writing made me grieve for my own losses and I  teared up a few times. Her family situation was adorable; she had a boyfriend, a best friend, and an amazing talent at cello. There was no huge drama-llama, everything was so incredibly normal. This made the situation easy to relate to and powerful, because it reminds one that life is short and unpredictable.

I love romance in books, and it did play a part in If I Stay. Adam is probably one of the most realistic book boyfriends, and I love him for it. He’s the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, but it wasn’t as cliche as it sounds. Forman didn’t make him a rock star to make us love him (okay maybe a little bit), but it was also really integral to the story. Music played an important role in the storyline, as it’s how Adam and Mia meet. It was something they were so passionate about and it  worked really well.

I’m not wasn’t a huge fan of contemporary, and honestly the genre has annoyed me at times. However, If I Stay has opened my eyes to the genre and made me see it in a completely different light. I loved the characters in this book, I loved the story line and the events. I’m so glad I picked it up, and will not sigh heavily when thinking about reading a Contemporary. Because if I read another Contemporary that I loved as much as this, I shall be very happpy.

five-stars

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ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina ElkinsStir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins
Published by Harlequin Teen on December 1st 2013
Genres: Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

This was such a *sigh* worthy romance. I read it in two sittings and I loved it. Julian, has been given an honourable discharge from the Marines when he was wounded in an IED explosion. He was trying to pull three other people to safety when there was a second explosion, and he was the only one who survived. One of his legs has to amputated, and he sustained many other injuries and obvious emotional scarring. He’s not in a good place and when our main heroine Cami meets him for the first time in his hospital bed, he angrily shouts at her to leave the room. Except, Julian is Cami’s stepmother’s nephew and soon Julian moves out of hospital and into Cami’s room, and consequently, they are forced to see each other every day.

Poor Cami was put out by not having her own private space, but Julian desperately needs the care Cami’s stepmother, Estella, is willing to give. Cami is attending her last year of school and works at her French father’s restaurant–Etoile. She loves cooking mostly French food, and bakes some muffins for Julian in goodwill–he throws it at her head. Commence the angry insults that are thrown at each other. I enjoyed Cami’s love for cooking food, it added to the storyline, and gave her more depth. She was an enjoyable character to read about, because she was so relatable. She goes to school, she has a best friend, she studies, she flirts with a hot Marine…wait, what? Where’s my hot Marine? *Ahem*, anyway, she had a feistiness and friendliness that made me want to be there baking muffins and laughing with her.

Stir Me Up explores the after-math of war in individuals, and the effects of loss. Julian and Cami warm to each other in a slow-burning way, that is believable and sweet. This book is wholly satisfying for Romance-lovers, and prefect for those cold days to snuggle under the covers and get caught up in a highly amusing and adorable romance.

Julian is one sexy marine *swoon*, and Elkins made the connection between him and Cami feel tangible. Cami has no idea what she wants to do other than that she wants to be a chef, and Julian and her share that uncertainty towards their future. I had such a good time reading this, I urge you to read it.

Rating: 5 Stars

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha #1
Published by Indigo, Orion on May 17th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
five-stars
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
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Alina is just a mapmaker, nothing special. Until one day her power is revealed and she discovers that she has the power to bring light and save lives. Alina is not just a mapmaker any more, she is Grisha. Soon, Alina is sleeping in a soft bed and eating delicious meals. Everyday she is training hard physically and mastering her powers to fight The Shadow Fold, because she is everyone’s only hope.

I’ve heard a lot about this series, and I wasn’t sure whether I was ever going to pick it up. I was reading Stephanie from Stepping out of  the Page’s review of this book and she was saying how words like ‘The Shadow Fold’, ‘Ravka’ and ‘Grisha’ intimidate her, and I 100% agree. What with that and the cover, I thought this book was going to be a major Fantasy book–and not one that I’d like. God know’s why, because the only reviews I see of this book are positive.

Shadow and Bone captured my attention like Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, with similar Fantasy/Historical elements. I’m not sure how I feel about Fantasy, I used to think I didn’t like it but Maas’ and Bardugo’s writing have roped me in and I’m beginning to love the genre.

There are quite a few plot threads, all linking and some that I know are unresolved and are going to hit me in the next book when I least expect it. This world was magical and I adore the premise. Although, I am quite bored of there being a ‘better species’, you know, the one everyone is protecting, with the other species working as slaves. I am so sick to death of that trope. Is there ever a book where both species live in peace or are at least equal? Apparently not.

Still, I liked Alina’s character and I adored her relationship with Mal. They are childhood friends that grew up together, Alina harbours a secret love for Mal ever since they were teenagers. But of course Mal is desirable and not in want of attention from women.

There were many things I could’ve hated about Shadow and Bone, because despite it’s amazing originality, it has a hundred or so cliche’s. For example:

  • Unrequited love for Alina’s childhood best friend
  • An (albeit questionable) love triangle
  • The MC’s life changes over-night
  • Alina is fated to save everyone with her recently discovered power of ‘sunshine’ *snorts* (No really, this was a good plot line, despite how it sounds)

I could go on. But, please don’t let this silly list put you off, because it’s a fantastic book and if you haven’t read it, I dare say it’s a must-read. The Fantasy is really extensive and I loved the world, it was one of the very different elements in the book. It was beautiful and Bardego gave me a clear imagery of every amazing thing in it.

Rating: 5 Stars– I really loved this one, when I least expected it. If you haven’t read it, I urge you to, even if Fantasy is not your thing! You’d be surprised.

five-stars

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Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale (Geek Girl #1)

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale (Geek Girl #1)Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #1
Published by HarperCollins Children's Books on 28th February 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 356
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
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Geek Girl is an incredibly fun and feel-good book. It follows Harriet Manners’ shenanigans and mistakes in the model world. Harriet is impossible to dislike, she funny, quirky and (obviously) geeky, I had such a good time reading about her. I was ‘late to the party’ reading this, hearing rave reviews, but I never got the chance to pick it up. Well I finally did and I read it so quickly, it’s really easy to read and if you’re looking for something light—it’s perfect. Sometimes I get bogged down in Urban Fantasy, YA and Paranormal books, and I need a refresher, this was just what I was looking for. Also, the good thing about getting to a book late, is that you don’t have to wait for the sequel for as long. Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2) is set for release near the end of September. YAY!

There is a slight romance undercurrent that gave this book another intriguing layer, but it’s not the main focus. There are also friendship woes and bullying incidents. Harriet is a major geek with only one friend, so it was surprising when she got picked up by a model agency. When I was reading this, I thought it was very unrealistic, until I read Holly Smale’s bio and realised that that had actually happened to her!

Geek Girl is littered with geeky facts, and pop culture references like Lord of the Rings, which made me smile. It’s inventive and completely different to any Contemporary YA I have ever read before—it’s like a chick flick and reminded me of The Princess Diaries, where a young girls life changes over night and suddenly they’re the next big thing. Throughout the novel, Harriet never forgets who she is, or loses herself, in fact she downright protests being a model in the beginning—as she was actually thinking about being a palaeontologist.

I loved her relationship with her dad and her step-mother, it was amusing and surprising. Her step-mother was really practical and her dad was so funny, it really added something to the storyline and characters. I also love the cover! It’s so fun and adorable, it looks brilliant on my shelf!

Overall, Geek Girl is a must-read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was the perfect read for a lazy Sunday and it left me smiling after I’d read it.

Rating: 5 Stars

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on 2nd August 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher

Paperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (2 Aug 2012)

ISBN-10: 140883233X

Source: Bloomsbury–thank you! This has in no way affected my honest review!

Goodreads

Amazon UK

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

This entire world is entrancing and amazing. I was gripped all the way through, which doesn’t usually happen, I get slightly bored at some places. Not with Throne of Glass, plot threads linked seamlessly together and complex characters kept me entertained.

I got so invested in all the characters, not just Celeana. Although Celeana was badass and completely my type of heroine. She’s independent, witty, and has a vulnerable side to her past. She’s the type of character who pulled me in instantly and I rooted for all the way through. She was actually really funny, not what I was expecting from a master assassin. Which is fantastic, I like characters who don’t take themselves too seriously and make me laugh.

Chaol is so mysterious, we are kept in the dark a lot about him, so of course that makes me desperate to know more about his character, and I hope he’s explored more in book 2. He’s the kind of character who doesn’t access his feeling easily and I was kind of frustrated with him!

Prince Dorian reads. I don’t know how many times I have to say how much I love a guy that reads. He’s also an expert swordsman, but he prefers to hunker down with a thoughtful book. He constantly had witty back and forth with Celeana which proved entertaining. I found him so charming!

I adore the character development, how Celeana learns to trust, and actually have friends. She sets in wanting to win this competition, but she’s very loyal, despite how determined she is. Chaol also becomes a little more open, though not as much as I’d hoped! Also, Prince Dorian stops being so fickle!

This love triangle is excruciating, because I don’t have a favourite. I thought I did, at parts I’d be sure it was one person and then I realised I love the other as well. This hardly ever happens, I always have a definite favourite! It’s completely thrown me off!

There were a couple of antagonists to keep things interesting, I get bored with the entire focus being on destroying one bad guy. Some of them are undoubtedly going to cause trouble in the next book.

The world itself is captivating, it’s set in a castle, in a historical time period, which I always enjoy. I honestly loved this book sooo much, and completely recommend it to anyone who enjoys strong heroines (who doesn’t?) and amazing worlds!

I am now mourning this world, and desperate to read the next one!

Rating: 5 Stars!

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Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #3)

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #3
Published by Penguin, Razorbill on February 12th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 401
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars

[button link="#http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8709526-the-indigo-spell"] Goodreads The Indigo Spell[/button]

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

As I said in The Golden Lily review I posted yesterday, I read these the day they were released but when re-reading them, wanted to share how much I love them.

After The Golden Lily, I was anticipating this release eight months later and boy…what a book it was. The Indigo Spell is filled with romance and sexual tension between Adrian and Sydney, and after what happened at the end of The Golden Lily, things were definitely going to be interesting. And they were. The whole gang at Amberwood- Jill, Eddie, Angeline- don’t get as much attention as they did in the previous books, although there are issues and storylines concerning them, the main focus is on Sydney, her Alchemist business and the romance between her and Adrian.

Sydney is an Alchemist, helping Moroi (Vampires) to cover up their existence to other humans because Alchemists believe they are evil monsters. She’s working at Amberwood  boarding school in Palm Springs to protect Moroi Jill and keep her in hiding. She previously feared the Moroi, but she’s finding herself growing away from those beliefs more than she ever thought was possible. Before, she’d freak out when a Moroi even tried doing magic, but as we saw in The Golden Lily, she actively joining in with magic. The Indigo Spell reinforces how harsh and controlling Alchemists are; they hate Moroi and think they’re unnatural, they’ll do whatever they can to stop themselves from working directly with them, lest they get tainted by the evil. Sydney was brought up with these beliefs, so of course they’re a little hard to shake. But the Alchemists are a web of lies, half of them keeping top-secret information from the other half of the organisation. Sydney soon realises, she’s not even sure what she believes anymore.

Things are sizzling between Sydney and Adrian sexual tension wise, but with Sydney refusing to go against her Alchemist beliefs, Adrian promises not to bring up his love confessions. Poor Adrian, he always seems to fall in love with complicated people. As much as Sydney refuses to acknowledge her feelings for Adrian, she still trusts him, and throughout The Indigo Spell, their relationship grows stronger. The romance is bumped up a notch compared to The Golden Lily, so watch out. Cute things, funny things, swoon worthy things, it’s all there! Adrian is as witty as ever, but even with his incessant jokes, he shows a lot of sweet emotion towards Sydney.

The Indigo Spell is also filled with funny elements, kooky characters and hilarious naming. Malachi Wolfe, which seems to be one of Richelle Mead’s favourite minor characters makes an appearance, sharing those far-fetched stories he loves to tell. I think he’s a hilarious character- he also has a Twitter account, follow @MalachiWolfe. Characters like Malachi are typical of Richelle’s writing style, which you might have guessed, I’m a fan of.

I’ve heard many people dissatisfied with Marcus Finch, a character Mead hyped up, but then confessed she changed things slightly for him– apparently he was meant to be another love interest for Sydney. I wasn’t particularly impressed by his character either, and he didn’t live up to expectations. He was completely different to how I thought he would be and I would have liked more to his character, however, I still really enjoyed The Indigo Spell.

Rating: 5 Stars

So, now another nine months to wait, as it’s been said The Fiery Heart ( Bloodlines four) will be released on November 19th.

I’m not sure I can take it.

five-stars

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Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Published by Penguin on January 12 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
five-stars

The Fault in Our Stars The Fault in Our StarsJohn Green; Dutton Juvenile 2012WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder

Hardcover: 368 pages

Published: January 12th 2012

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

 

Hazel Grace was diagnosed with stage four thyroid cancer at the age of thirteen—there is no stage five. She immediately quit school and prepared for the worst, but with the help of a miracle drug, she’s been kept alive living with the unpredictable nature of cancer. At her cancer support group she meets Augustus, who is in remission, with the cancer already having taken one of his legs.

This book is incredibly emotional to read. I, like most people, have been deeply affected by cancer and found The Fault In Our Stars to be accurate and undeniably true. It’s not the typical cancer book—which I usually avoid like the plague—it’s witty, funny and gut-wrenching.

All of Green’s books are YA and he’s said in various interviews that writing adult fiction does not appeal to him at all, and he doesn’t ever want to write it. He worked as a student chaplain in a children’s hospital and that’s when he though of the idea for The Fault In Our Stars. This is probably why his characters are so bright and their situation thought-provoking, because John has met people in similar situations and didn’t under-estimate the teenager characters. For a man in his 40’s, he writes ‘teenager’s’ POV very well, as they’re not actually completely ‘normal’ teenagers, they’ve had to face a lot worse than most people face in a lifetime. Therefore, when people say the teenagers are not realistic enough, or are too insightful—of course Hazel and Augustus are not ‘normal’ teenagers, they undoubtedly have a different perspective on certain aspects in life.

I was completely out of my comfort zone by picking this book up, because when I read YA, it’s usually paranormal and I’m very selective about that. However, once I started reading it was very hard to stop, I’m a slow reader, and I read this in two sit-downs. I do not think it’s over-rated in the slightest, John Green’s writing is funny and astute. It expresses tragedy and humour at the same time without being disrespectful. John Green captivated me and made me contemplate certain matters and empathise with every single character.

Hazel was intelligent and fairly ordinary, which was what made her a realistic and likeable character, because it symbolises the fickle nature of life and the fact that cancer can affect anyone. Like most readers, she had a favourite book–An Imperial Affliction and this later became a large aspect in the book that helped her relationship with Augustus grow. Their relationship was authentic and nicely paced throughout, building on a series of events that made them become closer and understand themselves better, whilst at the same time trying to understand their views on life better.

This book made me cry and laugh-out-loud, it was a truly enjoyable read and I hope to devour more of John Green’s books in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars

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Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by HarperCollins, HarperCollins Children's Books on February 28th 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 487
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
five-stars

Divergent (Divergent, #1)This book was incredibly intense from beginning to end, there was always something happening and once I got roped in, I didn’t stop reading.

There are five factions in this dystopian world:

Abnegation—the selfless

Erudite—the intelligent

Candor—the honest

Dauntless—the brave

Beatrice was born in Abnegation, and is told never to ask questions, respect your elders, don’t look in the mirror and always help others–no matter the cost to you. She must wear gray robes, so she’s not separating herself from anyone or being individual and to not show much skin. To Beatrice, this never came naturally, and she found herself growing up constantly having to remind herself of these rules. They may seem weird, however Abnegation believe these rules make them utterly selfless. These five factions are how their community live in peace, with no murder and because all the council members are Abnegation, also no corruption.

Beatrice is sixteen and soon she will have the choice of leaving abnegation and joining another faction. That would mean never seeing her family again and being cast out. Before that decision though, her and other sixteen-year-olds to take a test. It is impossible to prepare for and informs their choice considering the type of person they are and how they react in certain situations, however, it’s not compulsory to choose that faction.

The world is so inventive and everything was explained well. With books in dystopian worlds, there’s always the risk of information-dumping, however, I never felt bombarded with information and I was always intrigued. Divergent is compared with The Hunger Games quite a bit, and I would recommend it if you liked The Hunger Games. I think it’s compared because Divergent has factions and lots of ruthless fighting, with corruption. The Hunger Games has districts with ruthless fighting and corruption. However, I believe Roth has brought something different to the table, and once I started to read, I realized that they are very different worlds with completely different characters, but they are both dystopian and that’s where the similarities lie.

I flew through the pages, and before I knew it, I was finished. Page after page, of action, humour and unpredictable things, I was so immersed I didn’t have time to make predictions about how it would end.

The characters were written really well, a few stood out that had a lot of depth and despite the fact this was in first person of Tris’s point of view, I felt huge empathy for other characters.

Tris was amazing, she was strong and took everything in her stride, even when I felt like breaking down and crying for her. She had to grow up a lot, because she wasn’t used to facing the corruption and violence in her comfort home of Abnegation. She was shielded from a lot and just seemed to be going through the motions in life, and then suddenly, she’s jumping from trains and fighting people every single day. Her character was so likeable, she was a little lost, but fighting for what she felt was right and had a witty humour that came out now and again.

The relationship with her father was regrettably distant, he was very self-righteous, but Tris had a lot of support from her mother, who had more secrets than she first appeared to.

Overall it was an engaging book with a strong teenage character, that first drew me in with it’s vivid world.

Rating: 5 Stars

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