Monday, 15 September 2014

Review: Priya in Heels by Ayesha Patel

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Title: Priya in Heels

Author: Ayesha Patel

Publisher: Entangled Embrace

Publication date: September 15th 2014

Format: Ebook

Genre: Contemporary | New Adult

Goodreads



Love doesn’t conquer all…does it?

Priyanka Patel is the epitome of an obedient daughter. She’s finishing up her medical residency at one of Houston’s busiest emergency departments, and has agreed—albeit reluctantly—to marry the man her family has chosen for her. The only thing that can derail the “perfect” life laid out before her is the sexy musician down the hall who wants into her life…and into her bed.

Tyler O’Connor has been infatuated with Priya since she treated his sprained ankle in the ER, and after saving her from a brutal attack, he can't get her out of his head. When Priya puts her family's wishes before their relationship, agreeing to an arranged marriage with another man, Tyler is devastated. 

But love is fierce and unreasonable and clashes with the carefully sculpted life her parents want for her. Is going after her heart such a big deal, or will it truly unravel Priya’s world?

 

 

My thoughts:


Priya in Heels is a contemporary romance following Priyanka, an Indian doctor barely out of med school and her struggle between following her heart and sticking like glue to the cultural norms her family lives their life by. Should she accept the marriage proposal of a successful Indian man who would make her parents happy for her, or does she have a relationship with the sexy musician across the hall who would bring shame to her family - her head or her heart?

 

I want to begin this review by saying I started this book expecting a light, fluffy romance full of clich├ęs and maybe even insta-love. I mean, it's so dominant in this genre nowadays that I might as well go into a read expecting it so I don't get so mind numbingly frustrated and start ranting about how annoying it is and whatnot - everybody's seen enough of it. It's a more than popular topic that readers and bloggers are shaking their fists at in a fit of rage. Never a good thing.

 

So Priya, in my opinion, did rush into a relationship and she did develop overwhelming feelings of love in no time at all. But it's okay, I expected it. What I didn't like was that she was such a cool character in the beginning of the novel. She was great! Priya was feisty, she was completely and utterly independent in every way, she knew where she was, what she was about, where she wanted to go in the future and she was comfortable with herself. I had just got comfy with the idea that Priya is going to carry this book on her shoulders and make me like it. She had the potential to carry the whole story. But of course, she had to go and change. As soon as the guys fully came into the picture, everything that made Priya an individual disappeared. There was no mention of her usual habits, hardly any mention of work and loads of talk about the guys and not much else. 

 

I thought Tyler was cute. He was a good character that fit well with Priya - I especially loved the whole nerdy thing they had going. Together they were great. I would have loved more of a backstory with Tyler though - not just for him to be there just to be with Priya.

 

That's another thing, if there's going to be a love triangle going on then it should be believable. I hated Manuk. I thought he was a major jerk. I also think that regardless of his character, Priya didn't give him enough of a chance in the first place before she decided anything. It was either get married to him or not but with Tyler it was be with him or not without marriage necessarily being an option. I would have liked to not know who was going to be chosen in the end.

 

I think everything I liked about this read came from the first third of the book. Like I said, I loved Priya's character, couldn't fault her. Tyler was amazingly adorable with the way he kept trying to go after her and how he dealt with rejection. I loved the supporting characters - both groups of friends (Tyler's and Priya's) made me laugh and they interacted great. Priya's family was adorable and the drama that went on within it was interesting.

 

By the way, if you're not familiar with Indian culture I think you'll find that side of the read intriguing. I have plenty of Indian friends so nothing in this book was new to me. 

 

My rating: 4/10

 

Ayesha Patel:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins

Embers FC FNL

Goodreads


There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.



Excerpt:


Ivan spoke with an excited voice. “Do you hear it, Ember?”


I tilted my head and listened.  It was faint, but there was a low rumble in the distance.  As we walked forward the sound grew.


“Yes.  Is that the falls?” I asked.


He nodded his head.  “We’re almost there.”  


Soon the noise was a deafening roar, vibrating in my ears.  When we stepped out of the cover of the trees, I was astonished.  Raven Branch Falls was much larger than I expected.  The water dropped from nearly seventy feet into a dark pool.  Giant boulders jutted out below the pool to create smaller falls, which led into a rapidly flowing rocky creek bed.


My gaze was drawn to a tree leaning out from the side of the falls where a large grey owl was partially hidden in the foliage.  There was something familiar about its eyes, and the way it was looking at me gave me the distinct feeling that I knew the bird. Could it be the same owl I saw racing through the air the day of my arrival?    


Ivan grasped my arm and tugged me closer to the falls.  He held my arm tightly as we stepped onto the boulders beside the deep water hole.  Spots on the enormous rocks were wet and slippery from the spray of the falls and I was grateful for his help.  He led me out to the farthest point we could go, where a carpet of soft moss blanketed the surface of a particularly large boulder.  Ivan gestured for me to sit, which I did, and then he bounded off, climbing along the boulders until he was a little ways downstream.


I watched him go, thinking what a nice boy—or wolf, he was.  


Without looking, I knew Sawyer was behind me.  The movements of my stomach and heart gave him away.   He sat down very close.   


Where did you come from?” he coaxed softly.      


For a second I saw the boy from my dream.


The breath caught in my throat.  I gazed at him.    


He doesn’t seem evil to me.




Giveaway:

 

Karen is generously offering up a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form.


 

Hopkins Karen Ann 11 colII 224x300 1

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel. 

 

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Brigands M.C. by Robert Muchamore

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Title: Brigands M.C.

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #11

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: September 3rd 2009

Format: Hardback | 406 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



Every Cherub agent comes from somewhere. Dante Scott still has nightmares about the death of his family, brutally killed by a biker gang.


Dante is given the chance to become a member of Cherub, a trained professional with one essential advantage: adults never suspect that children are spying on them.


But when Dante joins James and Lauren Adams on a mission to infiltrate Brigands Motorcycle Club, he's ready to use everything he's learned to get revenge on the people who killed his family…



My thoughts:


While still including siblings James and Lauren Adams, Brigands M.C. focuses mainly on new character Dante Scott. Before Cherub, Dante was the son of a Brigands M.C member who was brutally murdered in from of him along with the rest of his family. Cherub finally gives Dante the opportunity to get revenge on the man who ruined his life by going undercover and infiltrating the biker gang along with James and Lauren acting as his siblings. 


I was a little apprehensive when I picked up the book and saw that a completely new character was being introduced, especially considering it's almost the end of the series. I have to say though, I loved Dante. I adored his backstory at the beginning of the book and his introduction to Cherub. Dante was a character with an incredible amount of depth and aside from all the action that goes on in this book, the story is more about Dante's journey to acceptance of what happened to his family early on in his life. It made the book stand out from the rest of the Cherub series which was amazing.


In some ways though, this book isn't as action packed as some of the others in the series. A lot of the book isn't involving the mission at all, but Dante's life before Cherub instead. It added a lot of depth and meaning to the mission later on, but it's not as exciting in terms of fighting and actual spying.

 

Overall I loved this read. It had all of my favourite characters and then some, loads of action and a new incredibly detailed character was added which made me one happy reader.

 

My rating: 8/10

 

Robert Muchamore:

 

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Cherub:

 

  1. The Recruit
  2. Class A
  3. Maximum Security
  4. The Killing
  5. Divine Madness
  6. Man vs. Beast
  7. The Fall
  8. Mad Dogs
  9. The Sleepwalker
  10. Dark Sun
  11. The General
  12. Brigands M.C
  13. Shadow Wave

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

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Title: The Way of Shadows

Author: Brent Weeks

Series: Night Angel #1

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: 04 Aug 2011

Format: Paperback | 672 pages

Genre: Adult | Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.


For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.


But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kyler Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassin's world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.



My thoughts:


Azoth has had more than enough of living in fear so when Durzo Blint comes along, the most feared wetboy in the city, Azoth takes a risk and becomes an apprentice to an assassin. As time passes, Azoth becomes Kyler, a skilled fighter with dreams of becoming all that Blint wants him to be. Things soon change though when a kingdom to the north plots an invasion that threatens everything Kyler knows and loves.


I. Loved. This. Book.


I could probably just leave it at that but it doesn't really say much about why you should read it. Just a bit of a fair warning though, I most likely won't make much sense in this review.


The characters in this book are so well written that I had a hard time figuring a lot of them out. I've rarely been in the position where I can't draw the line between good and evil - there were characters that I loathed until the very end where something's revealed that makes all of that character's actions seem like acts of love where they didn't before. I never saw it coming. Lately the books I've been reading have been so predictable that it became tiring to carry on reading them, it just made The Way of Shadows that much better in comparison. Even the characters that are clearly labelled as the 'villains' have elements to their makeup that make them seem pitiful instead of just the character you're supposed to hate. I found myself feeling sorry for some which made the read very interesting indeed.


I also thought this read was incredibly intense. I dreaded having to put this book down because it was so chocked full of suspense. There was no end to the action throughout the read as well as an amazingly detailed plot. There were a few subplots within the read which were just as intriguing as the plot mainly focusing on Kyler. I couldn't race through this one fast enough and then, as usual with a great book, I didn't want it to end.


Honestly, if you like this genre anyway, please pick up this book. I for one, am really looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. 


My rating: 10/10


Brent Weeks:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


Night Angel:

  1. The Way of Shadows
  2. Shadow's Edge
  3. Beyond the Shadows

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

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Title: Mercy 

Author: Rebecca Lim

Series: Mercy #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication date: 28th October 2010

Format: Paperback | 288 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal 

Goodreads



Mercy wakes on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business…or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new human form each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings.


In Paradise, Mercy meets Ryan, and eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also taken, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.



My thoughts:


Mercy is the first book of a series focusing on a girl who doesn't know who she is past the name she's given herself - Mercy. Every once in a while she wakes up in a new body with a new name and in a new location. Things change when Mercy finds herself taking control of Carmen, a small, musically talented girl that dreams of making it as big a opera star. She finds herself fighting to find Ryan's sister where she wouldn't usually go out of her way for someone she'd only just met. But it might just end up pointing her in the right direction to find out who she really is once and for all.


Throughout this read Mercy is controlling Carmen's body but occasionally snippets of Carmen's thoughts would come through and it becomes plain to see the differences in the two characters' personalities. I really enjoyed that. It didn't happen very often but when it did, I found it really intriguing. Mercy wasn't exactly the friendliest person ever, but it was what Carmen needed to move on from her so called 'best friends' who were holding her back big time. I actually found Mercy to be a huge bitch, but Carmen balanced it out a little and stopped me from outright hating the main character which would have been disastrous.


However, I thought a lot of the characters weren't written so well. Seeing as though this read had a crime solving element to it, there was a whole list of characters thrown into the story to be seen as suspects which I didn't think worked so well. Mercy trying to figure out who took Ryan's sister is one thing, but when the characters Mercy suspects have no depth or personality traits a reader can relate to, it makes them fall short as even the most basic of criminals. Aside from that, I also found the mystery side to the story extremely predictable - I had no problem guessing who was the kidnapper far from the end of the book.

 

Overall I liked this read and I think I'll be carrying on to the second book for now. I have to say though, while I enjoyed Mercy, I think if the next book isn't any better than this one, I won't be going any further with the series.

 

My rating: 6/10

 

 Rebecca Lim:

Goodreads | Facebook 

 

Mercy:

  1. Mercy
  2. Exile
  3. Muse
  4. Fury

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: The General by Robert Muchamore

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Title: The General

Author: Robert Muchamore

Series: Cherub #10

Publisher: Hodder

Publication date: 4th September 2008

Format: Paperback | 352 pages

Genre: YA

Goodreads



The world's largest urban warfare training compound stands in the desert near Las Vegas. Forty British commandos are being hunted by an entire American battalion.


But their commander has an ace up his sleeve: he plans to smuggle in ten Cherub agents, and fight the best war game ever.



My thoughts:


For those of you that haven't heard of this series before, it follows a secret organisation that uses child spies to get criminals locked away for a good long while. Of course, since children are involved, the characters get up to some crazy, hilarious stunts both during missions and at the Cherub campus. The General, mostly focuses on James and his sister Lauren as they test soldiers to the limits in a training compound in the middle of an American desert. 


I'm already a big fan of this series but this book just took the biscuit for me. I couldn't stop laughing for the life of me. The beginning of the book was great for more serious action with James' first mission, but after that went wrong, things just got a turn for the hilarious. I loved what went down in the training compound - it was a perfect mix of chaos, childish pranks and combat training. Muchamore's ability to keep reminding readers that these agents are still kids is brilliant.


I also enjoyed the great mix of characters that played a part in this story. James and Lauren are favourites of mine just because of their great relationship as siblings but the rest of the gang played their parts too and it led to some brilliant moments. The instructor Kazakov has definitely become a new favourite of mine because of his genius antics in this book. 


Nothing really comes to mind when I think about what I didn't like about this book. I suppose I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a fight between Dana and James when all that drama went down. It was over a little too quickly and James seemed to get over Dana awfully fast for someone who claimed to love her. I guess his heart's elsewhere.


Overall I loved this book and I thought it was a fantastic addition to the Cherub books. I'm looking forward to starting the next one.

 

My rating: 10/10

 

Robert Muchamore:

 

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Cherub:

 

  1. The Recruit
  2. Class A
  3. Maximum Security
  4. The Killing
  5. Divine Madness
  6. Man vs. Beast
  7. The Fall
  8. Mad Dogs
  9. The Sleepwalker
  10. Dark Sun
  11. The General
  12. Brigands M.C
  13. Shadow Wave

Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R.R Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire #1

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Publication date: January 6th 2003

Format: Paperback | 807 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Goodreads



Summers span decades.

Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.


As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must…and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.


The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.



My thoughts:


I'm pretty sure most of you will know a little about this series or at the least heard of it. For those who haven't, A Game of Thrones follows quite a few characters as they battle it out for the Iron Throne. There's a whole lot of stabbing in the back, war talk and heads on pikes. As for the rest, it's a pretty complicated book to narrow it down to one paragraph, you'll just have to find out for yourself.


What I love the most about this book is the characters. I was bowled over by how easy it was to hate some and really love the rest. The characters were incredibly clear cut in the way the contributed to the plot which I haven't really experienced before in any read. Since the chapters alternated between different characters' points of view, it made it really easy to get excited when I saw whose point of view was coming up next. I can't even properly express how well written these characters were - they were so detailed and had so much depth to them, a book could be written about each one.


The plot itself certainly got me racing through the book - as much as you can race through a book 800 pages long. It was original and I didn't see anything coming at all which I found incredibly refreshing. It wasn't especially thrilling for quite a lot of the book, sometimes there wasn't much going on at all, but there was no part of the story that bored me or made me lose interest.


It was only the length of the book that put me off a little. I'm used to finishing a book within a day or two at most, so this one took forever in comparison. To be honest, it's not something even worth complaining about, but for people who have more of a hectic life than I do, it'll most likely take a good long while to finish this one, never mind the rest of the series. 

 

Overall this was a fantastic read that I can recommend to anybody, especially readers who want to try a book of this genre, it's a good place to start. 

 

My rating: 9/10


George R.R. Martin:

Goodreads | Website 

 

A Song of Ice and Fire:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords
  4. A Feast for Crows
  5. A Dance with Dragons
  6. The Winds of Winter
  7. A Dream of Spring