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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!)

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.

five-stars

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Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #4)

Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #4)Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #4
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

Well, well, well, this series has certainly picked up the pace. As much as I love the Lux series, I always treat it as a bit of a fun and flirty read with some hot aliens. Even after numerous cliff-hangers, where I’m desperate to read the next book, I still felt this way. I could see the cliff-hanger in Opal coming a mile away and while I was impressed, I wasn’t at all surprised. However Origin felt like a completely different book to me, whereas the other books I’ve not written a review for because I feel they merge together slightly.

I have to admit, I liked the arguments in Obsidian between Katy and Daemon, with the witty back and forth but the undeniable attraction. When Katy and Daemon finally got together as a couple, I was happy, but thought some of the romance felt a bit boring at times. I don’t know if it was the complete change of setting or something else, but the romance felt alive and the chemistry was there once again. The setting change was really interesting, because we’ve been in this small town for all three books now, and it felt really good to see what the actual alien world is like, and how our main protagonist would deal with this world. As soon as I was relaxing into the story, Armentrout brought something completely new to the table and captivated me further. This new plot twist is exciting and could literally go anywhere. It kept me on my toes and makes me so excited to see how this is going to end!

Despite the ending of Opal indicating otherwise, we see our most loved characters and their interactions. I was a little worried we wouldn’t see the usual gang that we’ve come to love, what with the new setting, however this was not the case. Armentrout carefully crafted new settings and new characters, but kept our old and most loved characters in for some familiarity.

Of course, there is a huge cliff-hanger, because Armentrout seems to love this plot device. Everything is going to plan and then shit stuff goes down. Seriously, it’s a pretty huge cliff-hanger and one I loved, because it was certainly not something I was expecting.

Rating 4.5 Stars–I really recommend this series as always, but especially this one. Armentrout has really surprised me in such an amazing way and I’m in love with this series more than ever. Once again, I was taken on a whirlwind of intrigue, humour and also morbid realisation about the aliens and the world Armentrout has created. I cannot wait for the next instalment where everyone will finally get some closure!

four-half-stars

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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!!

five-stars

if-i-stay

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.
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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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Review: Lash by L.G. Castillo

Review: Lash by L.G. CastilloLash by L.G. Castillo
Series: Broken Angel #1
on 1st May 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 286
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-stars
Decades after being banished from Heaven for saving a life he shouldn’t have, Lash is given a chance to redeem himself. His mission: protect Naomi Duran, a young woman who has lost her faith. The assignment proves to be anything but simple when his superiors, the Archangels, withhold key information about Naomi and refuse to restore Lash’s powers. When an unexpected source reveals centuries-old secrets, his trust is shaken to the core, and he begins to doubt those whom he had once considered to be his greatest allies.

Determined to avoid anything that would risk his chances of returning to Heaven, Lash struggles with the greatest obstacle of all—his growing feelings for Naomi. But when her life is threatened by an unknown source, Lash questions the wisdom of the Archangels and his ability to keep her safe. 

Soon, Lash will have to choose where to place his faith—in the home he has fought so hard to regain or in the forbidden love he can’t bear to lose.
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Lash has a feel of New Adult/ Paranormal and was such a lovely read. It had the premise of Guardian Angels, and forbidden love. Who doesn’t enjoy the trope of forbidden love?

I had not read any New Adult before this–but I kept telling myself to–but because I like Romance and Paranormal, this was really a fantastic combination. It didn’t take me very long to finish and was a light read–which considering that I’ve been in a reading funk for a couple of weeks now was a warm welcome.

Lash was a bit of fun, and humour is present throughout the novel, which blended into what was mostly a rather serious storyline. It’s always good when an author can add humour without completely altering the tone, because I don’t enjoy 100% serious books, I need humour!

The only thing that really let this novel down was that I never fell in love with the characters, and I don’t even know why. Well okay, I did fall for Lash a little bit–but who wouldn’t? There was great internal and external conflict, Castillo has clearly tried to give layers to the characters and Lash had an intriguing mystery past. But still, they weren’t the kind of characters that made you snort with laughter and want to eat ice cream with them in the wee hours of the morning.

Even though I didn’t fall in love with Naomi’s character, I still liked her. Anyone who has dealt with loss and grieving can relate to Naomi’s character. She lost her mother to cancer, then other events happen that add to the loss. I felt like some things were unexpected and unrealistic, though. I don’t want to give out spoilers, but she gets a little depressed at one point, and what happened next seemed like it was just written in to make the story more interesting/easier for the storyline. Not actually because it fit with Naomi’s character.

Either way, Lash was an enjoyable read, and although it wasn’t jaw-dropping or heart-stopping, Lash and Naomi were fun characters, and the Guardian Angels storyline was really intriguing. This novel was at times cheesy and I felt melodramatic, but still a great read.

Rating: 3 Stars

three-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: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #1)

Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #1)Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Published by Atom on January 3rd 2012
Genres: Dystopia, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
three-half-stars
WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

Under the Never Sky took a while to draw me in, the entire premise was quite complicated and not very well explained. It jumped right in with bewildering lingo like ‘Realms’  which left me confused. Some of the world intricacies were never explained and I have no idea how the Earth got into this weird Sci-Fi situation or if it’s a different dimension entirely. However, despite this initial bump, at about page 130, Under the Never Sky got good.  Really good.

I loved the idea of having ‘Realms’. They are virtual worlds that humans live in and you can change to different Realms with a single thought. For example, you can go to a Forest Realm for lunch and then a Beach Realm in the blink of an eye. Everything is virtual, so the experience is not quite the same as real life, but the people who live there try and make everything appear, feel and taste as life-like as possible. Our main protagonist, Aria, is from the Realms and soon finds that the Realms have done no justice to real life. It was amusing to read about her reactions to things very common to us, like fires, which mystified her. Also, she kept collecting rocks, because they’re unique shapes and sizes on earth, whereas in the Realms they are formulated and often boring and the same.

Meanwhile on Earth, humans live in Tribes, with a leader called a Blood Lord. Humans have been set back a hundred or so years. They are living in stone huts and finding it hard to survive with enough food through the winter. Peregrine is our main hero, and when his nephew goes missing, Peregrine sets off to save him. Then Aria gets thrown out of the Realms, and her and Peregrine strike a deal to help each other.

Under the Never Sky is told in dual points of view, following both Perry and Aria, it was enjoyable to read about both of their lives and the contrast of how they live and their thoughts about each other. To begin with, they share an animosity towards each other because Aria thinks Perry’s a savage, and Perry thinks Aria’s a spoilt brat. Both of those opinions hold some truth. But of course their relationship continues to develop and drama ensues.

It’s a mix or science fiction and Dystopia, which was interesting to read. I really enjoyed this book, although I don’t think it was initially explained in the best way, I was still very taken by the writing and the unique premise. I highly recommend this series, and urge you to get past the fairly boring and slightly confusing first 100 pages, because the next 250 are a real gem.

Rating: 3.5 Stars, but only because of the beginning, otherwise I seriously loved it and I will definitely be carrying on with the series.

three-half-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

five-stars

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Review: Acid by Emma Pass

Review: Acid by Emma PassAcid by Emma Pass
Series:
Published by Corgi Childrens on 25 April 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 431
Format: Paperback
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.
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I really enjoyed this Dystopia world, I thought it was interesting and engaging. Jenna is the protagonist and I really enjoyed the amount of times she changes identities and goes undercover, because it’s not something I read often in YA. Surgeons entirely change her face’s appearance at least twice, which seemed offhanded and casual; and even though it’s possible to do so in the present day, I’ll admit that it threw me a bit. Jenna is your typical Dystopia heroine–strong, and fought for her beliefs to stay alive. She didn’t really have any choice. In the second half is where I found Jenna to be the most brave and courageous, I can’t say anything without spoiling it, but it was a really interesting plot twist that changed my out-look on the story.

The plot and overall conflict of Acid was intriguing, but I think at times the characters were lacking a little bit in the depth department, simply because everything was fast paced and happening so quickly. It never really slowed down enough to focus on minor details or the complexity of Jenna or anyone else’s character. However, it was a gripping novel, full of twists and turns, with scene changes and also slow, tense parts that kept me reading.

There is a little bit of romance, but not huge amounts, but enough to satisfy me, because I like my under-lying romance. If there were any more, it would seem forced, as there aren’t many opportunities in Acid for there to be many romantic scenes.

Acid is very fast-paced, there’s always something happening and Jenna is always on the move or undercover. The Dystopia world was fairly extensive, and had very interesting elements to it. Once reached the age of 16, teenagers are required to be partnered with a random person of the opposite sex to live with the rest of their lives and they’re called ‘Life Partners’. Eventually, the couple get a notification to say that they are ready to have a baby, and that’s that. People don’t think anything of it, it’s simply the norm. Note: opposite sex, no same-sex relations at all, and it always makes me sad to see society go back a couple of steps from where we are now. I find that in a lot of Dystopia books, life is restricted like this and the new government controls them. Every aspect of people’s lives were monitored and listened to, with England having been completely cut off from any other countries and all citizens ignorant on what life is like outside of our small country.

It was extremely refreshing to read a book set in the UK, and I was so glad to read another UKYA book! Lucy at Queen of Contemporary is always insisting we read more UKYA books, and I know I don’t read enough. I’m trying to support books written by UK authors, as well as books that aren’t American, because I read a lot of books written by American authors.

I seriously recommend Acid, if you’re on a Dystopia trip right now. It is a standalone novel, so no pesky wait for another book; it’s gripping and you don’t have to invest loads into it, because you know it’s going to wrap-up nicely.

Rating: 4 Stars

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Review: Legend by Marie Lu (Legend #1)

Review: Legend by Marie Lu (Legend #1)Legend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend
Published by Penguin on November 29th 2011
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-half-stars
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
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Oh look, another Dystopian book that I loved. Legend was really fantastic!

I loved June and Day, there were a fantastic combination. June was very determined once her brother died and that was something that I admired. I completely related to the relationship with her brother, and actually wished we’d seen more of their relationship but he dies quite early on.  June is the only one to have ever gotten a perfect score of 1500 on her test, which ensures what direction her life will take. She’s practically a genius, and also rather arrogant at the start, but she learns more about herself as the novel goes on, which makes her re-evaluate her opinions on certain things and changes her. Throughout Legend, she makes perceptive observations and can detect things the average person can’t, that let us piece together different aspects about a person’s character. She was very capable, and soon realised how corrupt the Republic was, because she had to work directly with them. I always find it hard in these novels to believe that everyone, including all soldiers, are evil. However, Thomas had exactly the same awful beliefs as everyone else and I really wanted him to be different–but he wasn’t and I now hate his character. At some points, Legend has a detective novel likeness to it, with Metias’ death she’s left with a lot of questions, and this is where her genius nature comes into play.

Legend is told in two perspectives–June and Day’s, and I loved reading both of those views. In other books, I sometimes get bored of one person or their situation, and scan that chapter, but I was always captivated no matter the point of view. It was incredibly interesting and funny to see each character from each others point of view.

Day is so funny, and incredibly brave protecting his family, we get a couple of flashbacks with him which made his character more complete and I liked the insight into his past. I’m interested to know more about his past and June’s, because there are a few loose ends, especially involving June’s parents.

I loved the ending, and I’m really excited about where this series is going. The third and final book is releasing in November, so I need to read Prodigy before then!

This book has action, romance, corruption, death and I loved every second of it. It’s highly recommended if you’re in love with Dystopia’s at the moment.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

four-half-stars

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Review: Shadows by Paula Weston (The Rephaim #1)

Review: Shadows by Paula Weston (The Rephaim #1)Shadows by Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim
Published by Indigo, Text on July 2nd 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 388
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare.

 

I was not expecting to enjoy Shadows as much as I did because I’ve had a bad experience with Angel novels lately, however it was very enjoyable.

Shadows was so easy to read, not only was the book nice and floppy–I like floppy books!–but I would get immersed in this world and later realise that I’d read 150 pages or so, which is a lot for a slow reader like me.

I love books where you’re thrown into a story because there’s a lot about the characters past that you don’t know. It also means that the world-building can go terribly wrong, because the narrator is not new to the story, yet it needs to be explained to the reader. However, Weston cleverly avoided this by having the best of both worlds and giving Gaby a memory problem, meaning she’s learning the world with us, but technically, she’s not new. This hopefully means that Weston can give us some prequel novellas and some insight into the story before Shadows, because she very carefully gave us enough information to keep me begging to know more about Gaby’s past. I desperately want to know the past between her, Daniel and Rafa; and also Gaby and her brother Jude.

Gaby was an interesting character, because she had no idea who she was, exactly. She had little memory of her former life, and she was grieving for her twin brother. Although Gaby is 18, and this could technically be described as a YA novel, I really think it’s more of a Paranormal Romance, simply in the way it’s been written. Gaby was fairly helpless in this book, because fair enough, she’s forgotten all of her fighting skills. She’s not very savvy about this new world or how to fight. I really want to see her training with Rafa in the next instalment because I don’t like my heroines completely useless!  Rafa reminds me of Daemon from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series, arrogant and not entirely explained yet. I can’t wait to see more of his character!

The pace of Shadows starts off fairly slow, and gains speed about 100 pages in, but I feel this series has yet to reach it’s full potential. I think Weston has a lot more in store for the next book. I hope that as the series goes on, more plot twists are revealed, as there were quite a few in Shadows that kept me entertained.

I don’t think the world-building was that extensive, possibly not to overload us, but I’d really like to know more about the world.
Overall, I really enjoyed Shadows and I flew through it!

Rating: 4 Stars

four-stars

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Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days #1
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on May 23rd 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
three-half-stars

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

I’m not keen on Angels novels, I don’t know why but every Angel book I’ve read leaves something to be desired–I’m looking at you Hush Hush and Fallen. The premise to Angelfall was unusual, because Angels caused the post-apocalyptic world and are evil. I got a little freaked out by how awful Angels were in this book!
It is quite uncommon that I love the heroine and get a little annoyed with the love-interest. However, I found Raffe was luke-warm and then cold towards Penryn. Presumably so he didn’t develop feelings for her and to ‘protect’ her, but honestly, it became annoying. However, I loved Penryn’s independence because she’d learnt martial arts and could protect herself, despite being a little lost.
There are many cliché’s that pulled this novel down for me in rating, most of them involving Raffe. Angelfall isn’t entirely to blame however, it’s also the other Young Adult books churning out the same clichéd stories that are wearing me down.
An example of a cliché was that Raffe was described as ‘Adonis like’ and Penryn was ‘boring looking’. I find this is the case with a lot of Young Adult novels, with the stunningly attractive male falling in love with the average-looking female. I like reading about confident girls, and I don’t need the guys to be God-like in appearance to keep me interested.

Me: “What? This guy doesn’t look like a Greek God?” *shuts book* “Nope, not good enough.”

Raffe was sometimes unreasonably rude to Penryn and I felt like she was too kind towards him and it would’ve made things more interesting if she’d defended herself more.
I empathised with Raffe and his situation, considering a part of him had literally been ripped away from him. I did like Raffe, and in some scenes of the book, my heart melted a little. However, he brings up quite a few of my annoyances and pet-peeves, that I could not ignore.
Penryn was on a mission; her wheelchair-bound sister had gotten kidnapped and Penryn has to save her from evil Angels who’d taken over the world. Oh, and she’s also got a crazy mother who likes talking to demons and showing up at the most inappropriate times. Penryn was fantastic, I really understood her–she was a normal teenager who didn’t entirely know what she was doing, but wasn’t completely helpless. She had a mission and no one was going to stop her, I admired her determination.
Towards the end climax, I was completely shocked and the plot really thickens from there till the end. It was a very open ending, because I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next installment, but it stopped on a satisfying, positive note. I’m interested to see where this story-line goes, especially for Penryn’s sake.
I didn’t love, love Angelfall, but I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.
This book gave me tons to think about, there were a lot of things that did not cater to my personal preferences, yet I still managed to enjoy it, which says something!

I’m wavering, but I’m going to go with 3.5 Stars. Recommended if you like Angels, and hot n’ cold relationships.
If anyone has a recommendation for a good Angel book, let me know. I’ve tried Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and Fallen by Lauren Kate. I didn’t like them.

three-half-stars

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Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices #1/3)

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices #1/3)Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #1
Published by Walker on 3rd March 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them....
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  • Cassandra Clare is extremely popular for her other series, The Mortal Instruments, especially with the film coming out in 4 DAYS GUYS. Anyway, The Infernal Devices is set in the same world, but a couple of centuries before, and instead of New York, it’s set in London.

Clockwork Angel was highly enjoyable, the world was extensive, the characters were funny and complex. I’m absolutely delighted I have another two books to also read. Although these books are huge and I’m a slow reader, I manage to fly through all of Cassandra Clare’s novels, and this was no exception.

Tessa begins not knowing a thing about the Shadowhunter world, and so things are discovered new from her perspective. Which was interesting for me, because I’d already experienced it in the modern world with Clary. For those of you who haven’t read The Mortal Instruments (and you really should) you can definitely pick this one up and not get confused. There are certain references that will not be understood, but they will likely go right over your head and you won’t notice them.

“Sometimes, when I have to do something I don’t want to do, I pretend I’m a character from a book. It’s easier to know what they would do.” 

Oh how I hate love triangles, and Clare seems very fond of them, which proves inconvenient. Here we have the choice of either Jem or Will. Jem is the safe, intelligent, kind-hearted and genuinely nice person. Will is witty, mean and a badboy. It’s not hard to imagine who the most popular is (Will), everyone loves a badboy.

Seeing the Shadowhunter world in a different time was fascinating, and immortal characters like Magnus and Camille  were also in Clockwork Angel, as well as City of Bones. I adore Magnus, and although Camille is a not a villain, nor a ally in The Mortal Instruments, I loved her character in this series. Magnus and her have a complexity and past that is so slowly revealed, I’m left desperate for more.

The plot is gripping, and something completely unexpected to me, because we’ve not seen these kind of ‘creature things’ before and I loved the fresh take. It was like the Shadowhunter world equivalent of zombies/robots. I’m so excited to read the next instalment when I have time.

I really enjoy Clare’s sarcastic, witty humour, and the Shadowhunter world, overall I give this a 4 star rating, and I expect it’s going to get eeeven better.

four-stars

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Release Day Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays #1)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Series: All Our Yesterdays #1
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on 1st August 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
four-half-stars

 Amazon|Goodreads

  •  
  • “You have to kill him.” Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

After I read this my head was left spinning—as anyone who follows me on Twitter will know. I tweeted about this…a lot. All Our Yesterdays is a time-travel Dystopia, and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but it did not disappoint.

There are mainly two points of view, Em and Marina. Marina is Em’s past self. Em goes back in time to stop the making of Cassandra (the time machine) to a time where Marina is inhabiting. I loved the way they were very different, yet ultimately still the same person. Marina is far more superficial and trying to fit in with her friends, having a teenage love for James. She doesn’t get enough attention from her parents and is trying to be a ‘normal’ teenager.

Em is far more grounded, she has figured out how to love herself, but she’s haunted. She’s been through so much after the making of Cassandra. She’s been tortured and left in a cell. Em doesn’t want Marina to have to go through what she has gone through, and sets out with her partner to stop the making of Cassandra. Em’s love interest is hilarious, he’s the perfect blend of cockiness and sexiness. Such a great addition to my fictional boyfriends! Which there are shamefully many of.

We also got flashbacks from the time when Em was running away from the corruption, and the awful memories of what happened to those she loved. These flashbacks filled in the blanks and made the story a lot more interesting.

I went in All Our Yesterdays without knowing anything at all, I didn’t even read the blurb! Instead of confusing me, it actually made everything more interesting. The plot twists are shocking, delightful, and at times cry-worthy. Seriously, read page 364 and get back to me, because that was the most awful thing in the entire book.

I wanted to see more of the Dystopian world, when most of the book is set in today’s world. It was enforced many times throughout the novel how corrupted the world had become with the making of Cassandra, yet we didn’t see it as much I would have liked. I’m hoping this is going to be in the next instalment.

I definitely recommend this book to Dystopia lovers, or even people starting out with Dystopia! I’m left empty without the next book, which is not out until 2014!

Rating; 4.5 stars

four-half-stars

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Review: Tent City by Kelly Van Hull

Tent City by Kelly Van Hull
Series: Tent City #1
on March 10th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 270
Format: eBook
Source: Given From Author
three-half-stars
Tent City

Goodreads

After a devastating plague, introverted 17-year-old Dani Campbell and her family find themselves living in a very different America, one run by a cult-like leader, who forces children to move to “safety camps” designed to protect the human race. Encouraged to flee by her parents, Dani and her five-year-old brother seek refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the run with danger around every corner, Dani must fight to ensure their survival in this new world while trying to unmask the mystery of how it all came to be

Danielle, her friend Kit, and her brother Brody, escape the chaos of society and the soon impending ‘safety camps’  children are forced to live in. Tent City was an enjoyable Dystopian read that had me interested from page 1. Dani grew throughout Tent City, both physically and mentally, she seemed so much more capable by the end of the book, and I found that satisfying. She doesn’t sit around, something happens to spur her into action and train, so she can protect herself and those she loves.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the love triangle between Bentley, Jack and Dani. I knew it was coming. Romance is not a major aspect in Tent City, things are more focused on survival, but it’s undeniably there. It creeps up on you, and I had a definite favourite between two. Jack was swoon-worthy, and had a really sweet relationship with Brody. Secrets and mystery encased both Jack and Bentley, which made them both more appealing, but also quite infuriating. I kept waiting for answers, some of which I figured out and some of which were revealed. There were a couple of loose ends and the ending was quite sudden.

The relationship between Dani and her little brother, Brody, was really cute. Dani did everything she could to protect him, and I knew, she would do anything for him if it came to it. I didn’t entirely relate to her situation, because I’m the youngest and have two older brothers, but I understood the need to protect those you love. It was always her first priority, yet her constant worrying didn’t annoy me, when it has before in previous books.

The world was not the most extensive Dystopia ever, but I don’t think it was meant to be. I liked that it was a cross between natural disaster and our—humans—reaction to it. The majority of the book is set in Tent City, which made it less exciting, but left room to develop the setting and the ideas involving Tent City. I liked the always underlying problem of survival, and I especially loved the waterfall scenes!

The end left me waiting for more, because I wasn’t satisfied with the loose ends and the things that were left. Events were definitely set up for a book 2, and I’d be interested to see what happens– especially with the romance!

Rating; 3.5 stars

three-half-stars

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Confession–I don’t watch any TV and I need your help!

School is officially out!! I find myself salivating over all the books I’m going to read, and all the TV shows I can catch up on…oh wait, I don’t really watch

TV.  I never find that watching TV is convenient for me time-wise and because I have to look for when it’s on and record it. Unlike reading when I can pick the book up at any time. I don’t go on illegal sites, because I’m terrified of viruses, however, I’m going to buy Netflix, and watch all the TV I can.

What are your recommendations? I watched the first season of Sherlock and the Vampire Diaries, but never carried on, should I? I’ve heard great things about Sherlock, however I’m not sure about TVD. TV shows that are always gushed about are: Dexter, Pretty Little Liars, Hannibal, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Teen Wolf, Big Bang Theory (which I watch out of order) and especially Revenge.

I also see a huge amount gifs about Supernatural, yet know they’re on season 8 and I’m not sure if I will get bored of having to catch up on so many series. Game of Thrones seems very popular and my friend is currently reading it (800 pages!). I stopped watching Burn Notice because it became a little silly, but if the season gets better, let me know! I only watched the first season of New Girl with Zoey Deschanel. In addition, I’m interested to know about Shameless with Cameron Monoghan (Mason in the Vampire Academy movie).

If you have any TV show which you particularly love or have heard about, let me know! I’ve got free time, and I intent to spend it wisely.

 

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Book Haul

I’m actually doing my DofE expedition today (54km in 3 days) and this is a scheduled post, so *fingers crossed* it actually posts.

I thought I’d do a sunny photo shoot with my new sexy books, because I’m looooving the hot sun, even though I’m sweating right now!

This month I requested Throne of Glass from Bloomsbury, and they gave me The Northern Sky and All Our Yesterdays as well! Such a surprise in the post!

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Thanks to Bloomsbury I received:

The Northern Sky by Julia Green

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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From the library I got:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Defiance C.J. Redwine

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A Monster Calls Patrick Ness

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From Text Publishing, all the way from Australia!

Shadows by Paula Weston

Other Ebooks I’m going to read are Acid by Emma Pass and Dancing with the Devil by Keri Arthur.

What have you all got to read? Any new or things you’re desperately excited to read?

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Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant #1)

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on 15 December 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 281
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
three-stars

GoodreadsAmazon UK

I honestly don’t know how to start this review. I am a die-hard Vampire Academy fan, always have been since the moment I read it. Therefore, reading Half-Blood makes me a touch defensive, why you ask? Because it’s exactly the same.

Okay that’s a lie, it’s not. But it’s pretty damn close. Instead of the premise of Moroi and Strigoi, it’s about God’s. It’s like all the major events in one series of Vampire Academy, condensed into one book. If you like Vampire Academy, you’ll most definitely like this, I did. But I couldn’t shake the feeling as I read it that it was copied. Then I found my mind wondering into how far this is on the edge of copyright. I chose to read this book because I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s other series, I obviously still do. However, I’m not too happy about this book.

I started reading it knowing it was going to be alike, as I heard from word of mouth and other reviews. I really liked Alex and her kickass nature, but I don’t think she even matched up to Rose. She didn’t have the right feistiness for me. Rose is irresponsible for the first half, jumping into things, but she makes a conscious decision to stop, and she mostly does. I felt like Alex made the decision, yet didn’t carry through with it. Aiden and Seth are both sexy, funny characters. But they don’t match up to Dimitri and Adrian, at all.

By copying a lot of details from VA, she’s made me compare the two, which wasn’t something I was comfortable with. This is because I’m extremely biased towards VA. Having said that, there is no doubt VA is better, despite my biased position.

The plot did have the elements I love: just the right amount of romance, not too much, not too little. It also had a strong, intriguing heroine, and other fun characters. Aiden was mysterious and a bit broken—not that he would ever admit it. The plot was about God’s, they don’t play much of a part in this one, but I’m sure their part will grow in the next couple of books. There was also another magical element thrown in, which I really liked, which considered Seth and Alex. I really want to know how this pans out.

I will be reading the next book, because I’ve heard how the series completely changes and diverts from VA, which I’ll be pleased to see considering that I enjoyed the potential so much.

Rating: 3 Stars: Overall, interesting, funny characters, and an entertaining plot, unfortunately, it was too much like Vampire Academy for me to love it completely.

three-stars

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Geek of the Week News: ‘Why can’t Peter Parker be gay?’ and Ender’s Game Boycott

Geek of the Week is a new feature on Hardcore Heroines where I find an article or piece of news about books, comics or films and discuss it with you.

This week we’re discussing the Spiderman 2 film. Recently, Andrew Garfield (British actor playing Peter Parker in the new Spiderman 2 film) said that Mary-Jane should be a man and Peter Parker should be bisexual.

“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) characters were introduced in comic books as early as 1992, when X-Men superhero Northstar announced ‘I am gay’. In addition, Batwoman was relaunched as a lesbian, who had a transgender friend, and just last year the Green Lantern was also rebranded as gay. Comics have been showing LGBT characters in a positive light for a while. The staff who wrote the comics even said they worked with LGBT people, who shared experiences and made the characters more authentic.

Andrew Garfield expressed his opinions saying, “Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”

When asked which actor could play the love interest, he said: “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better – we’d have interracial bisexuality!”

Comic books are a great thing for everyone to read–especially teens. By putting  LGBT characters in comics, it gives teens a character they can easily relate to; and with people who aren’t gay, a way to open their mind and views on this topic. Possibly thinking for themselves more, instead of having their friends and families views shoved down their throats.

Comic books are a type of media anyone can enjoy, by making Spiderman bisexual, it’s widening their demographic and promoting equality. Besides, by having a bisexual superhero, it’s doubtful that them being bisexual would be the primary focus. It would simply be a part of their character and not part of the major plot. In turn, making LGBT characters more accepted and the ‘norm’.

Why can’t Peter Parker be bisexual? Big deal. If he were bisexual, it would be responding to modern views on equality and attracting people who can relate to the characters. It will also reach out to more people, due to it airing in cinemas worldwide, instead of being in the limited format of a comic book.

Ender’s Game Boycott

Relating to this news, people recently decided to boycott the film Ender’s Game, because author Orson Scott Card admitted he was against marriage equality. This left people angry and refusing to support the Ender’s Game movie. Lion’s Gate responded to this with the following statement: “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community, champions of films ranging from Gods and Monsters to The Perks of Being a Wallflower and a company that is proud to have recognized same-sex unions and domestic partnerships within its employee benefits policies for many years, we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage.”

I’m not entirely sure I want to support this movie, I’ve not read the book and I clearly have strong views on marriage equality. It really does not warm the cockles of my heart to give money to an author not supporting marriage equality. It’s safe to say if I see him at an author event, I won’t be saying ‘hi’.

What do you think? Should Peter Parker be bisexual, or should we keep to the original Mary-Jane? Are you going to boycott Ender’s Game?

*note* Disrespectful comments will be deleted, be respectful at all times.

Want to take part in Geek of the Week News? Contact Tilly Currer at Hardcoreheroines@gmail.com, with any ideas or discussion you would like to explore.

In other news, who’s excited to see The Wolverine?! Loove Hugh Jackman!

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Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry (Pushing The Limits #2)

Dare You To by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits #1
Published by Mira Ink on 22nd May 2013
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
four-half-stars

Dare You To was such an enjoyable read! It had it all: internal conflict and external conflict, with really well done character development considering it’s only over one book. It’s written in both Ryan’s and Beth’s POV, which made it easier to empathise with Ryan and see the story from a bigger perspective.

Beth has issues. Not that that’s surprising considering her home situation. She has trouble with trust,  abandonment, love, relationships in general, and the list goes on. Ryan’s life looks perfect to Beth, but as she looks closer she can see the cracks.

There are so many plot lines going on that keeps this book well-paced, yet not too taxing to read. It’s a fantastic, well written story with brilliantly complex and tortured characters. Beth was on the precipice of annoying me because of her trust issues, but if she’d trusted Ryan any quicker, it would be unrealistic. It’s not a light-hearted, fluffy book, it gets really quite gritty considering it’s a YA romance and contemporary.

Dare You To has got the malicious ex-girlfriend, muscley jocks, humour, and every kind of relationship strains. So many messed up relationships: Beth and her Uncle, Beth and her mother, Beth and her best friend, Beth and Ryan. Ryan and his brother, Ryan and his mother and father. All of these relationships were tested and brought to the fore-front at least once in Dare You To, really exploring their dynamics. I probably liked it so much because of of the complex characters and relationships—which I’m a sucker for.

I didn’t particularly like Beth or relate to her much, but I appreciated her character. That rarely happens to me, if I can’t relate to the character, I’ll probably stop reading. If  can’t find an emotional connection, I simply won’t bother. I empathised for Beth, and enjoyed her character, but I’m not sure I would want to be her best friend or anything. She was very tough and goth-girl, she had to put on this persona because of her terrible upbringing. I liked Ryan a lot more, because he was more simple, yet still had deep problems. I could relate to him more for some reason.

I could go on more about this book because there is so much that goes on and so much to discuss, but I won’t!

Rating: 4.5 Stars I would like to give this an A, but I don’t feel like it’s affected me enough, or been one of the best books I’ve ever read. Otherwise, hiiighly enjoyable and tense read. With shockingly true events and oh-so complex characters. Can’t wait to read the next in the series!

four-half-stars

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Review: Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines (H&W Investigations #5)

Review: Forsaken by the Others by Jess Haines (H&W Investigations #5)Forsaken by the Others Published by Zebra on 1 August 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
three-half-stars

 

  •  

Have a one night stand with a vampire, and you can end up paying for it for eternity. P.I. Shiarra Waynest, an expert on the Others, knows that better than most. Yet here she is, waking up beside charismatic vamp Alec Royce with an aching head…and neck. Luckily, Shia has the perfect excuse for getting out of town – namely, a couple of irate East Coast werewolf packs who’d like to turn her into a chew toy. On Royce’s suggestion, Shia temporarily relocates to Los Angeles. But something is rotten-literally-in the state of California, where local vampires are being attacked by zombies. Who could be powerful enough to control them-and reckless enough to target the immortal? Following the trail will lead Shia to a terrifying truth, and to an ancient enemy with a personal grudge…

 

After the events of the previous novels, Shiarra Waynest finds herself facing the consequences of her skewed judgement. We are taken away from all the key characters, and Shiarra and her best friend Sara go together to another city. Forsaken by the Others was an enjoyable read, however it lacked in some key aspects that let it down.

I would have liked to see more Royce in this book, after the beginning he’s not really in it at all. I never like it when the author mixes things up and takes them to another setting, because it means we never get to see our favourite minor characters. The only good thing was we had the additional characters–The White Hats, who I really liked–probably because I like werewolves.

This book never got going for me, I was never in suspense about the plot, and nothing exciting or shocking happened enough. I enjoyed the idea of it, however the way it was executed didn’t keep me as intrigued as I’d have liked.

Shia was an interesting character, but it was never quite cleared up what was going on with her and if she was turning into a supernatural being. Her relationship with Royce wasn’t developed well enough either, or explored at all after the first few chapters. I thought she was refreshingly realistic, she didn’t pretend to be something she wasn’t and fight Vampires, or get herself in too deep in situations she knew she couldn’t handle. She’s a private investigator, not a fighter. The thing is, that’s usually where things are made interesting–when the heroine mucks up. Her voice was down-right hilarious at times and very dry, the way she was written was incredibly entertaining.

The world was the most intriguing aspect, it had vampires, werewolves, zombies and a hint of something else as well. I liked the characters, the setting, the supernatural elements, however I am not keen on how I kept waiting for the plot to thicken, but it never did. The pacing was too slow for me. I really loved the writing, and the voice of Shia, it was sarcastic and witty, and made observations that were so funny to read.

It sounds like I didn’t enjoy it from this review, but I did, it was simply the lack of suspense and slow pace that ruined it!

Rating: 3.5 Stars Fantastic world and funny voice, but the plot left something to be desired.

three-half-stars

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Meeting Cassie Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower and Sarah Rees Brennan

On Thursday, 600 fans went to St. James Church in London, to meet Cassandra Clare, Jamie Campbell Bower and Sarah Rees Brennan—including me, fan number 598. Cassandra Clare has written The Mortal Instruments series and Jamie is starring as one of the lead roles  ‘Jace’ in the film. City of Bones releases in cinema’s worldwide on the 21st August.

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From left to right, Me, Charlie, Chloe, Lois and Sophie. Shadowhunter besties.

It was absolutely amazing, I’m still reeling from the entire evening. My friends and I had work experience, so we could only get there an hour early, but some fans had camped over night! We were not the last in, but we had to go on the top floor because all of the pews in the church were taken. However, we actually stood near the front and had a really good view of everything. Cassie and Sarah were so lovely, they answered a few questions and then we watched the original trailer, which left me with goose-bumps. Then they introduced Jamie, and everyone went wild. He is definitely more attractive and funny in person! They answered a lot more questions about experiences on set, City of Heavenly Fire and the filming of City of Ashes (TMI #2) happening this Autumn.

 

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From the left, Sarah, Cassie and Jamie

Jamie admitted that he is going to get a tattoo on his back (not a tramp stamp, he was quick to say) with the quote saying ‘I am after all, what you made me.’ If he weren’t Jace, he said he could rock the role of Madame Dorothea, and his favourite scene to film was the garden scene. Cassie said that City of Heavenly Fire is ‘kicking her ass’ and that her favourite scene is in one of the latest trailers, where Jace is sadly watching Simon and Clary hug.

 

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Cassie and Sarah were so sweet and funny. Sarah wrote The Bane Chronicles, which I have not read, but will when it becomes a book, which should be sometime next year. After they answered a lot more questions, Jamie said he had a surprise and revealed his guitar behind the back-drop! He sang two songs for us, both originals I think, and he was brilliant. The fangirls went absolutely wild, it was crazy. He was funny, sooo attractive and really down-to-earth. My friends and I were the last to meet him, and unfortunately, we couldn’t take photos, however he was so lovely and paid attention to everyone who’s book he signed. I told him I was nervous and he said he was a normal guy, my friend even made him laugh! My other friend had an entire conversation with Sarah and Cassie about Buffy, Aiden Turner and The Morganville Vampires! It was the best thing meeting both one of my favourite authors and at the same time one of my favourite actors!

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Cassie signing and chatting to fans
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Chloe got a ‘<3 Luke’ because she had a chat
with CC about how amazing Aiden Turner is!
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All of our runes!
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Jamie signing and talking to a fan
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Chloe and my parabatai runes
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The crazy wind in the London Underground
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Soph’s amazing Clockwork angel shirt that she drew!

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All of my runes on one arm because

I’m left-handed!

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Jamie signing and talking to a fan

I hope you enjoyed this post, it’s different to what I usually do. I wanted to include a lot of the pictures because it was an amazing day. Sorry for my dodgy camera work, we weren’t allowed to take up-close pictures! If you went, show me your pictures and experience of the day!

I haven’t commented on other blogs lately, I definitely will comment on yours if you comment, because I always do. However, if I haven’t commented on yours lately, give me a shout, or I’ll go on Bloglovin’ and look at you guys’ latest posts tomorrow anyway.

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Interview: Summer Heat Blog Tour In my Mother’s Footsteps by Forbes Arnone

Summer_Heat_12Today we have the Summer Heat Blog Tour with Forbes Arnone aka Jennifer Garcia’s novella called In My Mother’s Footsteps, lovely to have you on here!

In My Mother’s Footsteps by Forbes Arnone

Anela Alborn’s life is a lie. After growing up without the love of a father, her mother reveals his identity. Tragedy strikes and she sets off on an adventure that leads to more than she could ever imagine. Bumping into Christian Sivers distracts her from the real man of her dreams, her father. Will he live up to her dreams? And does she follow in her mother’s footsteps?

 

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Describe your short story in 140 characters!

 

Deceit, tragedy, & guilt take Anela on a tour of Oahu in search of her long lost father. Can she find love with Crystal eyes the soldier?

 

Who are your main influences as a writer?

 

I think the people in my life and my favorite authors influence my writing. My immediate and extended family are the my biggest influences.

 

Who are your favourite authors?

 

Jane Austen, Adriana Trigiani, Mario Puzo, and Alan Brennert.

 

I love Jane Austen! I also love Mr. Darcy… Were you interested in reading and writing as a teenager?

 

Since I was a little girl I loved to read. I have wonderful memories of reading with my aunt and my father. They both loved to read as well and encouraged me.

On my own, I picked up writing as young child by writing poems, songs, and really short stories.

 

Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?

 

I’m a pantser, although, I’ll plan the story vaguely in my mind, but I do not outline.

 

Interesting, I don’t think I could write anything without outlining, I’d go on massive tangents! Do you use a special software to write such as Scrivener?

I do use Scrivener. It’s the best program to write with as it allows me to create character profiles so I don’t forget things. It’s awful to get five chapters into a story and forget someone’s eye color.

 

I have the trial version, and I’m loving it so far! Do you listen to music while you write?

No, I actually do better with peace and quiet or reruns on the TV that I don’t have to pay attention to.

 

Do you finish all the stories you start or leave some unfinished?

I have two finished stories and one unfinished. The unfinished story had to be put aside while I’ve been going through the publishing process with the other two. So, I suppose my track record is to finish them.

 

Who’s your favourite mental/physical Hardcore Heroine? (out of any series, books, films)

Claire Fraser from The Outlander Series. She is an intelligent, fierce, resilient, and loving woman.

 

Intelligent, fierce women are the best! Who’s your favourite Super Hero?

Was the Bionic Woman a Super Hero? I loved her. But Wonder Woman is incredible!

Thank you Jennifer, it’s been lovely having you on Hardcore Heroines!

About the Jennifer Garcia:

JennJennifer_Garciaifer Garcia’s (aka Forbes Arnone) love of travel began when she traveled to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Her lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, will be published August 2013.

FacebookGoodreads–Forbes ArnoneGoodreads–Jennifer GarciaTwitterBlogAbout.meAuthorsdb

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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

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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?

 

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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!

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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

 

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four-half-stars

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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

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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