Sunday, 28 July 2013

Review: OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu


Title: OCD Love Story

Author: Corey Ann Haydu

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: July 2013

Format: ebook

Genre: YA | Contemporary


In this raw and relatable romance, Bea learns that some things just can’t be controlled.When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic…and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

My thoughts:

Well this was different to say the least.

I actually surprised myself in how much I enjoyed this read. The first thing any reader will notice is how uncomfortable a read like this can sometimes be. Any time an author uses some sort of issue with mental health as the main focus of a book, there's always a kind of knee jerk reaction of readers to avoid them in some respect. Like the story or the characters are more than likely not going to be understood if the reader isn't going through the same thing or has experienced something similar. Of course, I'm not talking about everybody, but there is an avoidance with books like this before a lot of people want to give it a chance.

With this one, I would understand people finding it a little too much with the main characters inner thoughts being so open and exposed. Bea has a reason for every compulsion she has and she makes it known - obviously, we don't agree with the reasons, but the fact that we read about Bea's reasons mean we can see OCD from a sufferers point of view. For me, that made this read incredibly compelling and not uncomfortable at all.

I enjoyed the plot of this book. It was engaging to read of the characters journey to getting better and the strength and self-discipline it required. Unlike the usual books I read with supernatural creatures falling in love and saving lives or whatever, this book means something. It is real life. It happens, whether it be in the same way or in a different manner.

Overall I enjoyed this read. I found it different and compelling with well-rounded, real and relatable characters. I would really recommend it.

My rating: 7/10

Corey Ann Haydu:

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Care


Title: Clockwork Princess

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Infernal Devices #3

Publisher: Walker

Publication date: 19 March 2013

Format: Paperback | 592 pages

Genre: YA | Fantasy


A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.



My thoughts:

I've had to wait a day after reading this book to write a review just to compose myself. I don't think i've ever cried so much…


I'm being honest when I say I can't do this book justice in a review. I just can't. It's that good.


Cassandra managed to break my heart over and over again. Even when nothing especially bad was happening, even when the moment it supposed to be happy, I was still crying because it's so well written. This book is so emotionally heavy. My heart is so full of emotions right now I don't exactly know what to do with myself. This book is full of feels.


Everything was amazing. I don't have any criticisms whatsoever. The plot was amazing, there were so many surprises, lots of action and suspense with so many brilliant characters. That's all there is to it.


Please read this book. 


My rating: 10/10



Cassandra Clare:

Books in the series:


  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: King Hall by Scarlett Dawn


Title: King Hall

Author: Scarlett Dawn

Publisher: Escape

Publication date: 08/2013

Format: Netgalley

Genre: New Adult | Paranormal


A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…
King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies. 
Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing:  survival.  Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings.  Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Prodigies: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life. 
Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the revolution.

My thoughts:

I'm so glad I got to read this…

This was definitely a book I enjoyed reading. It was by no means perfect, but I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It had a little bit of everything - humour, romance, action and quite a lot of heartbreak. 

The plot was a little different to the average Paranormal Romance which I loved. Humans were the main enemy of the supernatural creatures involved in the story which I haven't come across very often. I also really enjoyed the idea of the main characters being prodigies destined to be the next kings and queens of different supernatural creatures. This book wasn't just about magic, vampires and shifters. It also touched on discrimination in a way, with it being frowned upon for two different supernatural creatures (e.g a vampire and shifter) to have a relationship. It had a few original elements in it which is always a plus for me.

Like I said, it wasn't perfect. Sometimes the writing got a little sloppy and rushed. Also, there were quite a few time jumps in the story which I thought interrupted the pace the story was going at. A little frustrating. However, the story seemed to more than make up for anything I found a little annoying. I just couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.

I also really loved the characters. There were a couple of characters in the beginning that were only mentioned a few times even though they were supposed to be important to the main character. Eventually, towards the end of the book, they completely disappeared, but I forgot about it after a while.

The main characters though were great. The Kings made me laugh with their means of punishing the prodigies and the prodigies, in turn, made me laugh with the way they interacted with each other at times. There's quite a bit of humour interspersed throughout the story which is another plus for me. 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be getting my own copy when it comes out. I seriously can't wait to find out what happens next with that ending.

My rating: 8/10

Scarlett Dawn:

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare


Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Publisher: Walker 
Publication date: 03 May 2012
Format: Paperback | 512 pages
Genre: YA | Fantasy

Love and lies can corrupt even the purest heart…

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will - the wall he has built around him is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa's heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…

My thoughts:

My goodness what a read.

I don't even know what to say in this review that can actually get across how much I love Cassandra Clare's books. There's really nothing like them.

The characters in this book are phenomenal. There's such a variety of different characters that each have a specific role in the plot. They're all loveable and each are so well rounded with incredible backstories and distinct personalities. 
I have to say from the first book, Clockwork Angel, I loved all of the main characters, but in this one, Will just broke my heart. Especially towards the end, the way he spoke to his family made me cry on more than one occasion - I've never read anything like it.
The plot wasn't as much action packed as the first book but it felt a little more character based than anything. There was still enough action to get me turning the pages in anticipation - there was so much suspense at one point I noticed I kept holding my breath. 
Honestly, I can't even get close to doing this read credit in a review. All I can say is if you haven't picked up a book by Cassandra Clare, go do it! You seriously won't regret it.
But seriously, I think Will broke my heart.
My rating: 10/10
Cassandra Clare:

Books in the series:


  1. Clockwork Angel
  2. Clockwork Prince
  3. Clockwork Princess

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun


Title: Ink

Author: Amanda Sun

Series: Paper Gods #1

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication date: July 2013

Format: Netgalley

Genre: YA | Fantasy


On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My thoughts:

Well this book certainly took me completely by surprise. For everybody complaining about the lack of originality in the YA genre, you only have to look to this book to satisfy your need for something unique.

What I loved most about this read was the fact that the Japanese mythology and culture aspects of the read were completely new to me. It made the read one of the more compelling ones I've read in a while. I also adored the illustrations spread throughout the book just to add to the idea of one of the character's bringing his drawings to life. Wonderful additions to a reader's experience.

I also warmed immediately to all of the characters. I sympathised with Katie - she felt alone in a new country, speaking a new language and making entirely new friends at a new school. Tomo was a different story but he was the kind of character you only really start to understand towards the end of the book.

One criticism I do have is that I found the book to be incredibly slow going at times. I really wished the characters would just blurt it all out sooner so the plot could move itself along. Even when there was a little action it seemed to be over far too soon for it to be exciting or surprising.

Overall this was definitely one of the more original YA reads I've come across and for that reason I would encourage every fan of YA to give it a go.

My rating: 7/10

 Amanda Sun:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Review: Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster


Title: Kiss of Steel

Author: Bec McMaster

Series: London Steampunk #1

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publication date: 09/04/2012

Format: Kindle

Genre: Steampunk | Paranormal Romance



When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

My thoughts:

After reading Gail Carriger's books I wanted to get my hands on more Steampunk reads. This is the first one I've read since then and, though it was really different and not what I was expecting, I really enjoyed it.

This book really gets you concentrating at the start since McMaster has no problems throwing a reader straight into the deep end. I found it difficult to get used to the terms used at first as well as the different character's names but I soon got the hang of it. I loved that the author showed no fear with the world building and making it as complicated as she liked.

I warmed to all of the characters immediately. There was no question as to whether or not I would end up liking them just from the first few pages. I loved the way they interacted and how distinct all their personalities are. I'm so glad the next books focus on different characters - I'm looking forward to getting to know more about their backstory and get a better understanding of their actions. 

The plot was great too. It did get a little simple at times where I could predict what was going to happen, but for the most part I was surprised at the secrets revealed. There was plenty of action to keep me engaged and the added romance was definitely a bonus! 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next books in the series. I would definitely recommend it to both fans of Paranormal Romances and Steampunk. 

My rating: 7/10

Bec McMaster:

Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook

Friday, 12 July 2013

Review: Thin Spaces


Title: Thin Spaces

Author: Jody Casella

Publisher: Simon Pulse | Beyond Words

Publication date: September 10th 2013

Format: Kindle | Netgalley

Genre: YA | Paranormal


Ever since the car accident that killed his identical twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by the secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends and set things right. He must find a thin space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.

But when a new girl moves into the neighbourhood, into the exact same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.

As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—March must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead.



My thoughts:


 I'm really happy I got to read this one on Netgalley. I haven't read such a captivating book in a while.


What I really liked about this book at first was how different it was. The characters really weren't afraid to speak their minds and since they were incredibly well rounded and full of depth to boot, speaking their minds was a great reading experience.


I know a lot of people have already said they don't like the narration because of the protagonist Marshall. He was definitely hard work to begin to understand at first but after a while my heart just kept warming to him until my heart almost broke at the end. Marshall was relatable to me. Some people do incredibly weird things when they lose someone so close to them, so from the beginning I kind of took Marshall with a pinch of salt until his reasons behind his odd behaviour became clear. I understood his anger, frustration and self loathing quite a bit before the end of the book, but I guess for some readers, that kind of grief would be hard to read through.


So I definitely loved Marshall, he fit the needs of the story perfectly. But I also loved Maddie. She seemed so innocent to me in a strange way. She refused to listen to anybody about Marshall until she got to know him and formed her own opinion about him. I adored the way Maddie started to help Marshall in the simplest ways- just by being patient, giving him space and listening when he finally started spilling secrets. Both Marshall and Maddie seemed to need each other to have some semblance of a normal life.


The plot was original which was great. It had a touch of the paranormal genre to it with the idea of thin spaces - rare places where you can step through to the other side and speak to the dead. The story didn't completely revolve around that though which was refreshing - it was more about a journey of acceptance. Marshall and Maddie both sought to go to other side to speak to someone from their past so that they could move forward. Definitely enthralling from the start.


Overall this was a great read. Very quick to finish with well rounded characters and a great back story. Definitely recommend it.


My rating: 8/10


Jody Casella:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: How My Summer Went Up in Flames


Title: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication date: May 7th 2013

Format: ebook

Genre: YA | Contemporary


First she lost her heart. Then she lost her mind. And now she’s on a road trip to win back her ex. This debut novel’s packed with drama and romance!

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbour Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But her determination starts to dwindle with each passing mile. Because Rosie’s spark of anger? It may have just ignited a romance with someone new…

My thoughts:

I think this read was probably one of the most charming I've ever come across. I don't usually describe books that way but the characters all had such likeable personalities that I couldn't help but think 'awww,bless' every time they spoke. Apart from one or two that I wasn't supposed to like of course.

I liked this read for what it was. It was funny and it was cute. It was about revenge on a cheating ex, a road trip and figuring out where you want life to take you at the end of high school. That was pretty much it. Apart from the romantic drama and the event that gave the book it's title, there was nothing at all hugely exciting happening but the everyday thoughts and feelings of a girl trying to figure herself out.

My favourite thing about this book is definitely the characters. Rosie was so well rounded - she had this great feistiness to her but she also doubted herself where she needed to. She came to rely on her friends where she didn't before and because they were so great, it made her a better person. Plus, Logan was hot :D

Overall I think this is a great, quick and sometimes hilarious read for the summer.

My rating: 7/10

Jennifer Salvato Doktorski:


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Review: Demonic Dora by Claire Chilton


Title: Demonic Dora

Author: Claire Chilton

Publisher: Ragz Books

Publication date: June 30th 2013

Format: ebook | Netgalley

Genre: Paranormal



Dora Carridine is trying to summon a demon, but she's not very good at Latin and nothing ever works out the way she plans.

Her life is fraught with weekly exorcisms and having to watch her father’s fire and brimstone TV show every Sunday. So, when Dora finally succeeds in summoning an incompetent demon lord, she’s absolutely delighted when all hell breaks loose.

She thought summoning a sexy demon lord would be the answer to all of her problems, but her problems are only just beginning when her zealot parents try to burn her at the stake, and Dora is left with only one option—to escape and follow her demon straight into Hell.

My thoughts:

I don't really have much to say about this one so it's probably going to end up a really short review.

I can honestly say a lot of people will hate this read. I only started reading it thinking it looked like a lot of fun and to be honest, it was.

There were no complicated plot twists, it was predictable and the writing was about average in my opinion. But it was so funny. I really loved the interaction between Dora and Kieron - sometimes it was so ridiculous I would read over a couple of pages just because it made me smile every time. 

It may not be the best read, but I honestly do recommend this one if you want a good laugh.

My rating: 6/10

Claire Chilton:

Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Review: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt


Title: Two-Way Street

Author: Lauren Barnholdt

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication date: June 2007

Format: ebook

Genre: YA | Contemporary | Romance


There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

My thoughts:

This is another read that I won't have much to say about since I pretty much found it average. There was a definite mix of things I liked and things I didn't like.

The characters are a great example of what I mean. I loved Jordan. I thought he was really open with his thoughts and feelings, especially when reading from his perspective. I liked how he changed when Courtney came into the picture and how he did his best with what he was given. He was a really relatable character that had both strengths and flaws. However, I had a hard time liking Courtney. Sometimes I felt like I didn't have enough time to and other times I thought she was just all over the place as a character - just when I thought I understood her personality to be a little, shall we say, quiet or a person who keeps to herself, she would do something completely the opposite and start screaming hysterically at someone for nothing especially. I just found it hard to relate to her at times.


The thing I really had a hard time with was the plot. The pace wasn't great. It started off really slow and started to speed up as I read on. Eventually it went too quickly for my taste, especially for this kind of book - when I finished the book I was really unhappy with the way things turned out. They didn't seem resolved at all and that really frustrated me.


Overall I thought it was okay. It was definitely a quick read and I don't regret picking it up but it's not one to go on my favourites list. Of course it's just my opinion so I would encourage you to give it a go if it sounds like your cup of tea. 


My rating: 5/10


Lauren Barnholdt:

Goodreads | Website