Monday, 19 December 2016

Review: King Cave by Scarlett Dawn

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Title: King Cave

Author: Scarlett Dawn

Series: Forever Evermore #2

Publisher: Escape

Publication date: 01 2014

Format: Kindle | 432 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads



The safe, comfortable world of Lily Ruckler and her fellow Mystical Kings and Queens is rocked to the core by the attacks at King Hall. Not only does Lily have to kill the Commoners attacking her people, she also has to assume the mantle of leadership, and bring the surviving Mysticals to King Cave. 

It should have been too much, but she is not alone. Ezra becomes her rock, her best friend, the one person who understands. As Pearl and Jack struggle with inconsolable loss, Ezra and Lily work to keep the Mys community safe in their new home, and plan a deadly retaliation. 

Their friendship saves them both...but it also draws attention. Whispers. Judgment. It's not normal for Shifters and Vampires to be friends, and when a horrifying truth is revealed, their relationship morphs from unusual to unspeakable. Lily is good at keeping secrets that could get her killed. Is she willing to risk Ezra's life as well?

 

 

My thoughts:


I really don't know what it is with this author and her books. So far in this series, I've come across things that I really hate in books but I just can't stop reading. Seriously, what is it?


I fell in love with the first book. I've read it quite a few times and I still can't get enough of it but I was afraid the writing would be the death of me with this one. I didn't want to be disappointed. There were still the same problems as the first book with the timings jumping around a lot and the rushed writing, but I still adored this book and I still, for the life of me, can't put my finger on why. To be honest, I don't really want to.


Lily and Ezra's chemistry is just off the charts and it was by far my favourite part of the book. Ever since finishing the first book, I've been wondering how they would get together and if it would be anticlimactic or if they would have to really work for it. Boy, it was something alright. It was so well worth the wait. 


I have to say, one thing I was definitely disappointed with was how much Pearl and Jack were featured in the book. As in, they weren't really. The four friends had a really endearing relationship that didn't seem forced and fit into the story really well, but with this read, they pretty much went missing for half the book to fit in Ezra and Lily's new developments.


I'm still in love with all of the characters. There's a great element of humour to these stories which makes these characters work really well together and that in turn, kept me reading.


All in all, I really enjoyed this read. It was by no means perfect, but it was a lot of fun so I don't really care.


My rating: 8/10


 

Scarlett Dawn:

 

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Forever Evermore:


  1. King Hall
  2. King Cave
  3. King Tomb
  4. Chosen Thief


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Blog Tour and Giveaway | Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend

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Title: Confessions of an Undercover Girlfriend

Author: Kay Marie

Series: Confessions #2

Format: Kindle 

Publication date: October 11th 2016

Genre: NA | Humour | Romance

Goodreads


Summary:


So, I'm no longer a virgin sex columnist—thank you, Ollie—but if I thought that was going to make my life easier, boy was I wrong! John is back in town determined to win my forgiveness. Blythe is more ready than ever to take me down. Bridget is totally onto the new twinkle in my eye. And, well, Ollie is just as distractingly delicious as usual.

So, naturally, I have a few more confessions to make.

Confession #1: I came up with what I thought would be the perfect plan to keep my relationship with Ollie a secret—pretend to get back together with John!

Confession #2: It backfired. A lot.



My thoughts:


If any of you have read my review of the first book in this series, Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist, you’ll know that I was really liking this series so far. I loved the protagonists quirky personality and the romance made for some hilarity that ended up being really cute. You can read my review for the first book here.


As usual, reading the second book of the series was a little nerve wracking - would it live up to my expectations? It did, it really did. But not in the way I was expecting.


The first book, to me at least, was just funny. It was a lot more than that of course, but I liked it because it let me have a little giggle and forget about my problems for a bit. This one however, felt more real somehow. Skylar really grew up throughout this read and it was more about her figuring herself out than the actual romance.


This book stood out. Cute romance novels like these always follow the same steps in the plot - the guy messes up ( that’s covered in the first book ), the girl gets upset and then the guy wins her back. It’s not the case here - Skylar is a mess. She does things in this book that almost has me banging my head against a wall, but she figures stuff out and she is the one that has to make up for her mistakes. There’s not a lot of books out there that feature a female protagonist being the cause of fights and breakups but this book is all about that and I appreciate it.


Also, I really liked the introduction of the new side of Blythe. It was nice getting to know the real her and she turns out to be a pretty great character. Of course all of the past characters play a big part in this book and it made for a great read. I really like this set of characters. Plus…Ollie is yummy.


All in all I enjoyed this read. It wasn’t as funny as the first book but it offered something different that made it stand out to me. I love Skylar because she isn’t perfect, far from it actually, and that made me relate to this book that much more. 



My rating: 8/10



Kay Marie:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Review: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

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Title: Dead Silence 

Author: Kimberly Derting

Series: The Body Finder #4

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 25 Apr 2013

Format: Paperback | 400 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads



HER GIFT MADE HER DIFFERENT

A murder leaves a mark. It imprints an echo on victim and killer, detectable by only a few. For a long time, Violet Ambrose saw this ability as a curse but her work as part of a special investigative team helped her see its benefits. Until, that is, she was the victim of a horrific kidnapping and acquired an imprint of her own. Now she is desperate to put the past behind her, to ignore the echoes of the dead and lead a normal life with her boyfriend Jay.


NOW SHE'S ONE OF THEM

But when she senses a murder victim's echo, she stumbles upon a terrifying scene unlike anything she's ever witnessed. Frenzied and twisted, the killer left a disturbing calling card for all to see - a cross sketched in blood on the wall. Haunted by the crime, Violet finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a vicious madman. A hunt that will endanger everything she holds dear. She has survived dangerous situations before, but keeping her loved ones safe is far more difficult than protecting herself…


THE STAKES HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGHER


My thoughts:


I really wasn't looking forward to reading this one. It wasn't even down to me hating the series or anything, I've really enjoyed reading the past books. The last book though, left me thinking something was going to happen that I didn't want to, and so, I was putting off reading this. Funny thing is, what I was worried was going to happen, didn't, so all is good.


Now that nonsense is out of the way, I really liked this read. I still can't say it's as good as the first - none of the books in this series were as good as the first in my opinion. There was just something about Jay and Violet exploring their new feelings and getting to know what Violet was capable of, that gave the book a different edge to the ones later on. I enjoyed this last book more than the ones in the middle of the series though for quite a few reasons.


What I noticed first about this read was that it took a new level of creepiness. The crimes involved were pretty grotesque and it left me with shivers going down my spine. The person responsible was even worse. When the time came for me to read more into him and his back story I was thoroughly creeped out. Not that that's a bad thing. It was great. I seriously couldn't wait for him to be brought to justice. •shudders•

 

I was also really, really please that what I was dreading happening didn't actually happen. I'm still so relieved a week after finishing this. I'm not going to say what it was I was so worried about, but safe to say, after all the new characters being introduced it becomes pretty obvious…I love Jay.

 

The only major problem I had with this read - and it's why I wouldn't give it a full 10 - is the ending. It felt way to rushed and I felt that the characters deserved way more after all they'd been through to sort of have a slow ending where everything's resolved in stages. There were a lot of things that didn't feel finished. Especially where the 'team' is concerned - I got the impression that the crime solving aspect of the plot would go a lot further in terms of finding out who's running things. That was really interesting so it was disappointing not to see it go any further - or even be ended in some way which it isn't. It's just…left.

 

Aside from the ending I really liked this read. I loved Jay and Violet's relationship and while I thought it was way cuter in the first book I still love the two of them together. I would definitely recommend this read as a change to the usual paranormal YA - the body finding ability is a nice twist to things so I say give it a go.

 

My rating: 7/10

 

Kimberly Derting:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


The Body Finder:

  1. The Body Finder
  2. Desires of the Dead
  3. The Last Echo
  4. Dead Silence

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Review: Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl

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Title: Don't Kill The Messenger

Author: Eileen Rendahl

Series: Messenger #1

Publisher: Ace

Publication date: 28 Feb 2012

Format: Paperback | 336 pages

Genre: Adult | Urban Fantasy

Goodreads



Melina Markowitz is a Messenger, a go-between for the paranormal forces and supernatural creatures that move unseen among 'normal' human beings. Problem is, when a girl's an intermediary, it's hard not to get caught in the middle…


If Melina doesn't deliver, the stakes are life and death. So when ninjas steal an envelope from her, she must find it at all costs. It contains talismans created by Taoist priests to control the kiang shi - Chinese vampires unearthed from tombs beneath the Bok Kai Temple - who are attacking rival gang members in an attempt to spark a street war.


He may look more like a surfer than a cop but Ted Goodnight is dead serious about investigating the surge in gang violence, only he doesn't believe in the supernatural. It's up to Melina to change his mind - without blowing her cover…



My thoughts:


I'm a big fan of urban fantasy so I was very excited when I came round to reading this. In the more enjoyable reads, there's a whole lot of world building involved where I can get lost on the best of days. Then there's a ton of great characters that make me wish they were real and we could have big hangouts where we share the latest gossip. Who needs real friends right?


Unfortunately though, Don't Kill The Messenger fell short on quite a few things. It became a little bit of a chore to sit and read it after a while. I didn't find it a bad read necessarily, it was still an okay read, but it fell short of the mark to make it one of those books I can keep coming back to.


What it came down to, for me, was the characters. I couldn't take Melina seriously half the time. I really liked her at first - she had the whole hard done by attitude but she still did what she had to in order to get by. She seemed really mature, working three jobs, avoiding things that go bump in the night and giving an all round great impression. But when it came down to her making decisions that would essentially affect every character in the story, she had the common sense of a teenager. Even a teenager is pushing it to be honest.


I also don't understand what point in the story vampires and werewolves became her best friends. It was yet another case of me getting the wrong impression. I was excited by the prospect of reading a book where the vampires and other creatures typical to this type of read were not of the friendly and 'I'm a normal person I just happen to feed on arteries or turn into a big cuddly dog' variety. That all changed though when they turned into the 'I'm a normal person I just happen to feed on arteries or turn into a big cuddly dog' variety. I had none of the feel of spine tingly goosebumps I usually associate with urban fantasy reads.


The plot wasn't anything special. There were no twists that pulled me further into the story, nor were there characters in mortal peril to make me anxious for their wellbeing. It was okay - the gangs and the police aspect of the plot was a little cliched for my liking but there was plenty of action to keep me going.


What I did like about this book was the general idea of it. I really loved the idea of a Messenger going between vampires and werewolves e.t.c. It made a lot of sense and I thought it had so much potential. It wasn't really developed until the plot got underway, so that was a little disappointing, but I enjoyed that aspect of the story. Especially the imp with the flute - that was really funny.


Overall, I thought this book was okay. If you're new to the urban fantasy genre, I definitely wouldn't recommend starting off with this book but as usual, this is just my opinion, you may really enjoy this read.

 

My rating: 5/10

 

Eileen Rendahl:

Goodreads 

 

Messenger:

  1. Don't Kill The Messenger
  2. Dead on Delivery
  3. Dead Letter Day

Friday, 2 September 2016

Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

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Title: The Last Echo

Author: Kimberly Derting

Series: The Body Finder #3

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 29 Mar 2012

Format: Paperback | 368 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads


 

 IN THE BEGINNING

Violet's morbid ability to sense echoes from the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets. The only people she told were her supportive parents and boyfriend Jay.


NOW SHE CAN FINALLY BE HONEST

Violet hopes that working with a special investigative team will give her the chance to actually save lives - or at least catch more killers. But the instant connection she feels with mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling and their unique bond creates tension with Jay.


IN THE END, ALL THAT'S LEFT IS AN ECHO

When she discovers the body of a student murdered by 'the collector', Violet is determined to solve the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realise that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection, and that she may have caught his eye.


Will the next life Violet has to save be her own?



My thoughts:


I've said this so much, but sometimes, I really hate the fact that I love reading series. I seriously need to read more stand-alones. I haven't picked up this book because I loved the first two books of the Body Finder series - it doesn't even make sense to my own ears! I was so worried it wouldn't live up to the expectations I'd built up for it in my own mind. The sad thing is, it didn't. 


I wasn't disappointed per se, but I thought it didn't live up to its potential. I wanted to see something different in the story, a big addition. There was for sure, there was Sara's team complete with Rafe and the rest of the gang which I can tell has a lot more to give. I'm sure the next book will focus on them entirely. But, this big addition to the Body Finder series took away from the main story I think. I hated not seeing more of Violet's friends, especially Jay. What happened to Jay? It wasn't the same.


I also didn't find Rafe to be a believable character. I understand what was supposed to happen - he was obviously the bad boy, mysterious type as opposed to Jay's outgoing, heart on his sleeve nature. It didn't work for me. If what I think is going to happen actually happens in the next book I'll be one unhappy reader.


The only other gripe I had was the ending. Towards the end is where the suspense kicks in and things take a very dramatic turn. It was great in that sense. The problem I had was that it was so similar to what had happened in the last two books. It got predictable and that took most of the suspense out of the ending.


Aside from all that, it had all the great attributes the past two reads have had. Violet is a great character and top off that with the addition of new characters that I grew to really like, I found the read really enjoyable. It still had all the creepy suspense I now associate with this series and the added crime solving part brought a lot of crazy action into the story. I liked it.


All in all I enjoyed this read but I thought the past two books were a lot better. I still like this series and I'll definitely be picking up the next book soon.


My rating: 6/10


Kimberly Derting:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


The Body Finder:

  1. The Body Finder
  2. Desires of the Dead
  3. The Last Echo
  4. Dead Silence

Monday, 15 August 2016

Review: Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

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Title: Arcana Rising

Author: Kresley Cole

Series: The Arcana Chronicles #4

Publisher: Valkyrie Press

Publication date: August 15th 2016

Format: Kindle 

Genre: YA | Fantasy | Dystopia

Goodreads



Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole. 


When the battle is done . . . 

The Emperor unleashed hell and annihilated an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind--but Circe struck back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies. 


And all hope is lost . . . 

With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter's reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare. 


Vengeance becomes everything. 

To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future--and her chilling past--will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter's ashes, stronger than ever before?




My thoughts:


That ending. Whaaaaaat. I’m just blown away right now. 
 
 
I was scared I would be disappointed with this book considering so much has happened over the series so far. I just couldn’t imagine much more happening. But no, stuff happened. Stuff happened and it blew my mind.


This book was a perfect blend of character and plot development. While not as much happened in term of the fight between the Arcana, new alliances were formed in unexpected ways and a lot was revealed about the characters.


I do have to mention that I’m so glad I read Day Zero before this. It made such a big difference to the story to know what went on with each character before they made an appearance in Arcana Rising. Some new characters made an appearance and it was so much less confusing having already read their situation.


I am a little disappointed that Cole didn’t reveal a secret that I’m sure a lot of readers are wondering about…Jack. I need to know! I’m so much more excited for the next book because of Jack. I need to know what his deal is. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoilers but there are so many questions after reading this. I need my answers.


Also, this book ends on a cliffhanger. Guys, I think Evie has issues. I’m so intrigued as to what’s happened with her. It’s so weird - I was reading just assuming Evie was her usual self and then just BAM - nope turns out everything has just been turned on its head.


I honestly have no idea where this series is going to go from here. I love it.


My rating: 10/10 


Kresley Cole:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Day Zero by Kresley Cole

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Title: Day Zero

Author: Kresley Cole 

Series: The Arcana Chronicles #3.5

Publisher: Valkyrie Press

Publication date: August 1st 2016

Format: Kindle | 174 pages

Genre: YA | Fantasy | Paranormal

Goodreads



Arcana means secrets, and these Arcana Chronicles short stories from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole are filled with them. Experience firsthand the beginning of the end and behold the apocalypse through the eyes of characters you only thought you knew. 


Ashes to ashes . . .


Evie Greene’s story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game—like Death, Jack, and Fortune—must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams. 


We all fall down.


Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . .



My thoughts:


I’m a serious fan of the Arcana Chronicles. Like big time, jump around when I find out another book is coming out, hold my breath when a character is in danger until I almost pass out kind of fan. Love these books.


Now that I’ve got that out of the way, when I saw that Day Zero was going to give us a little bit of an insight into each Arcana’s Flash story I got really excited. 


For those not familiar with this series, the Flash is what Cole called the event that ultimately led to an apocalypse type environment. Fire raining down, oceans drying up, disease spreading like wildfire - you get the drill. Each of the characters in this series has their own story and it was, in part, why I liked them so much.


Before I even fully get into this novella I loved getting to know more about the main players. There are so many characters at play in this series that it’s amazing how all of them are so essential. I love most of these characters for one reason or another so to find out more about them and to have them be made even more three dimensional was brilliant. 


Since this is a novella it makes for a really quick but interesting read for fans of the series. There are some characters included that we hardly know anything about, but now I know I won’t be able to read the next book without some heartstrings being tugged at.


My favourite story was The World’s experience. Also known as Tess, she came across as kind of a weakling in the last book even though her powers are not to be laughed at. She didn’t have much control over anything but also, she didn’t have much of a presence in the story apart from one instance. I love Tess. Oh my God I’m already dreading what’s going to happen to her. She’s so sweet.


Joules ( The Tower) and Finn ( The Magician ) were both big surprises. Where Tess proved her strength, Finn and Joules came across as so much more sensitive than before. The emotion that came from both of those characters really touched me. Both of them are putting up a huge front and it’s amazing.


The only criticism I have is that I wanted something a little different from Evie’s perspective. Instead it was a recap of how the Flash went down in Poison Princess and while it was nice to think back and realise how much things have changed in a few books, I would have liked something different.


For fans of this series, I definitely recommend you read this novella. It will definitely change how you see the characters. For those of you who haven’t picked up this series yet, please do it’s brilliant.


My rating: 9/10 


Kresley Cole:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Friday, 20 May 2016

Review: Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari

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Title: Artichoke Hearts

Author: Sita Brahmachari

Series: N/A

Publisher: MacMillan

Format: Paperback | 336 pages

Genre: Children's | YA | Contemporary

Goodreads



Mira Levenson's family is always chaotic - with a little brother and baby sister, busy parents and her artistic, outspoken grandma. She loves them all, but sometimes it feels like nothing is private and there's nowhere for Mira to just be herself. And the thing is…Mira does have secrets - her beloved Nana Josie is dying, she's drifting away from her best friend, and she can't stop thinking about mysterious, confident Jide Jackson, who is definitely keeping some secrets of his own.


Everything's spinning out of control…can Mira let someone into her heart when it feels like it's about to break?



My thoughts:


Told from 12 year old Mira's point of view, Artichoke Hearts is a coming of age story focusing on a young girl's thoughts and feelings as she waits for her grandmother to die.


I don't usually read books like this one. I was a little apprehensive when I saw that the main character is so much younger than me. Not that I don't read books with teens as the protagonists, it is in most YA, but Mira is young even for most YA. I was unsure, but I just decided to give it a go anyway.


As the book went on I liked Mira more and more. She was very down to earth, especially with what her character was going through, and her thoughts about her experiences were something every reader should relate to in some way. I loved how realistic the character's reactions to everything were - there were no huge breakdowns and 'how will I live after this' kind of attitude, it was all reasonable reactions that would happen to everyone. In a way, that made it all the more emotional.


I thought the book had a pretty slow start. It seemed so different in the beginning too, there was so much focus on art and all that good stuff and then things suddenly took a depressing turn. I realise that's how it should be, but I thought there wasn't really a transition in between. It kind of jumped from Nana Josie still being so enthusiastic to do whatever she needs to, and then next thing you know she's in a hospice. Yes, things can happen that quickly, but the way it read just didn't sit right with me.


There was a huge variation in characters which I adored. Every character, whether they played a huge part or not, made a really big difference to the story. There were characters that were only mentioned once or twice and they still managed to make my heart hurt. Whether I enjoyed the story or not, an author who can give a character that depth is very talented.


All in all I really liked this read. It was a little slow at times but the characters were wonderful and the plot was very touching. I would definitely recommend it.


My rating: 7/10


Sita Brahmachari:

Goodreads | Twitter | Website 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

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Title: The Madman's Daughter

Author: Megan Shepherd

Series: The Madman's Daughter #1

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication date: 11/04/2013

Format: Paperback | 368 pages

Genre: YA | Science Fiction | Historical

Goodreads



To uncover the truth means risking all…


London, 1894, Juliet Monreau has built a life for herself working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumours about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.


Yet what she finds on the island is twisted beyond all imagining, and out of her father's control. As the island rapidly descends into chaos, she must escape the horrors of her father's creations, but not before she discovers the true extent of her father's genius - and madness - in her own blood.



My thoughts:


After Juliet's father is accused of horrendous crimes, Juliet is forced to make do with any job that will keep her off the streets. Working as a maid in the hospital, Juliet comes across something that may mean her father is still alive. Determined to find out if the accusations were true, Juliet hitches a ride with an old friend to an island filled with unnatural creatures and a dangerous murderer that leaves three claw marks as his calling card.


Wow this book had some creepy characters. I loved every minute of it. Seriously.


I'm a big fan of creepy reads - not necessarily horror but something that raises the hairs on the back of my neck. From the very first page, I could tell that this book would be a good one. The writing immediately had a feel of suspense and dark drama that was bound to creep me out. It did just that. There were creepy characters, a murderer that had everyone afraid to leave the house and bucket loads of suspense. I couldn't stop reading.


The characters were great. I loved how mysterious they were - nothing but their basic personality and history was revealed until close to the end of the read where everything got turned on its head. I found myself starting to doubt everyone, even Juliet. Were they who they said they were? Characters who seemed perfectly innocent beforehand were seen in a new light.


By the way, I loved Montgomery he was totally steamy.


The plot with Juliet and her father was amazing. He was definitely a character I won't be able to get out of my head for awhile. Totally insane. I really liked how he still managed to get into Juliet's head even when she'd decided he wasn't worth listening to - you know, because of the fact that he's a total creep who enjoys inflicting pain in the name of science.


All in all I loved this book tremendously and I can't wait to get the sequel, especially with the way it ended. Never would have called it!


My rating: 10/10


 Megan Shepherd:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter



The Madman's Daughter:

  1. The Madman's Daughter
  2. Her Dark Curiosity
  3. A Cold Legacy

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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Title: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 10 May 2012

Format: Paperback | 272 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary

Goodreads



When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.


On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.



My thoughts:


After being dumped by his 19th girlfriend, all of whom were named Katherine, Colin is persuaded by best friend Hassan to go on a road trip to take his mind off his heartbreak. Being the prodigy he is, Colin is on a mission to save everyone the trouble of relationship break ups by creating a formula to predict who will be the dumper and who will be the dumpee.


What I liked most about this read was that it constantly had me laughing, either that or it left me with a huge grin on my face. There was just something about the characters that got to me. Colin's so clever and yet he manages to be so clueless about a whole lot of things, especially relationships. Hassan just has these great one liners that never failed to make me crack up laughing. Colin was cute but Hassan was just downright hilarious.


The plot to this book is pretty simple. It's all about character development, friendship and a little bit of romance thrown in. It's all carried by the characters in my opinion. With such brilliant characters who are truly great friends, you can't help but wish them to figure out where they're going and to make the best of what they've got. And they do. There was a very realistic ending that left a lot open to the imagination but the characters had gotten to where they needed to be. I thought the ending was perfect.

 

I do think that this book would be a hit and miss with a lot of people. I can imagine Hassan and Colin getting on some people's nerves if they're not into books that don't have such a clear direction.

 

Generally I really enjoyed this read, aside from it being a little slow at times, I loved how awkward it was and the situations the characters got into really did make me laugh. It was a good time.

 

My rating: 8/10

 

 John Green:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Friday, 26 February 2016

Series Spotlight: Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

Chaos Walking

 

Series: Chaos Walking

Author: Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker

Publication date: 2008 - 2010

Format: Paperback

Genre: YA | Dystopian

Goodreads



Book 1 Summary:


Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.





 My thoughts:


I finished this series about a week ago now, novellas included, and up until now I just can't believe I put off reading it for so long. My sister read it before me and she doesn't read anywhere near as much as I do and a few of my friends started it a while ago. I've been told so many times to start it and I just had so many other books to read that I put them aside. It was pretty stupid of me considering how much I loved reading this series. At least I didn't have to wait for sequels to come out - I already had the complete series sitting on the shelf.

 

This series pretty much had everything I love in a book throughout the whole trilogy. It had some of the most amazing characters I've come across yet, great action, brilliant writing and suspense to the likes of which I've never felt before whilst reading.

 

What stood out to me most though, was the fact that each book stood out on its own. Usually in a series, especially a trilogy, I expect at least one book to fall through a little bit and act as a 'filler novel' but it wasn't the case with Chaos Walking. Each of the three books offered something new. Each time the characters were a little different, the setting was a little different and the plot was no worse for wear because of it. The protagonists served as the anchor for all three books while everything changed around them the whole time they were struggling to stay alive.

 

Todd and Viola have made their way into my heart - honestly, they are two of my new favourite characters of all time. I adored the way they worked together and any time they were separated I was just on the edge of my seat waiting for them to meet each other again. It wasn't even in the romantic sense necessarily, they just worked. I would believe it when they said they could do anything together if they put their mind to it and it would break my heart when one of them falls in some way and the other picks them back up with a heartfelt speech about how they never gave up on each other before now and they wouldn't start. 

 

The character development in this series is breathtaking. The Todd at the beginning of the trilogy is a different person entirely to what he becomes at the end of the series. Best of all, it didn't happen too fast and it happened with good reason. After every major event in each book, Todd learns something new and just steadily grows up. It's amazing to read.

 

Like I mentioned before, the suspense in this book is something else. Thank goodness my sister had already read the series because I was going around the house ranting and raving about something that was happening or about to happen and how I couldn't bear it if it all goes down the way I think it will. She just laughed at me. For all three books, no matter what, 'oh my God, OH MY GOD!' was constantly going through my head. 

 

If you couldn't tell already, this series is one of my favourites now and I strongly urge you to get it if you haven't already. I love it. Please, please give it a go.

 

My rating: 10/10

 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

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Title: My Soul to Take

Author: Rachel Vincent 

Series: Soul Screamers #1

Publisher: Mira Ink

Publication date: January 1st 2011

Format: Paperback | 345 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads



Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh…


She can sense when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.


Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest boy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the dark forces behind Kaylee's power than she does.


And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason and only Kaylee knows who'll be next, she realises that finding a boyfriend is the least of her worries!



My thoughts:


My Soul to Take follows Kaylee - a girl who just wants to be noticed by the hottest guy in school and to get over whatever's causing her supposedly random panic attacks. Kaylee's world soon gets turned upside down however, when healthy teenage girls collapse dead for no medically apparent reason and every time they do…Kaylee has an overwhelming urge to let out a screech that fights to make people's ears bleed.


I think this review will be pretty short, mainly because I found this read to be pretty average. There was nothing specifically wrong with it that made me want to vent my frustrations out in a review, nor was there anything that stood out that would encourage me to sing its praises. 


I could pinpoint a few ways this book fell short for me. For a start, I didn't like the way Nash and Kaylee first met - how their relationship started. Nash seemed to jump into the story where he wasn't necessarily wanted at first - way too fast and furious. It made Kaylee seem very shallow where I obviously don't think it was intentional. Of course, that also made the relationship look fake and uncomfortable to read. 

 

There was also an instance that I won't mention because, you know, spoilers and all - when the story is coming to an end and the plot is about to revealed. The big moment where the villain is finally ousted and you're like OMG! THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!!! because it turns out to be the character you all thought was innocent. Yeah that didn't happen for me. Not that I guessed beforehand, but because it was so unbelievable in the sense that I didn't believe in the motives wholeheartedly. There wasn't enough of a build up for me to really buy into it. So that sucked a little.

 

Aside from that I didn't really have a problem with the book. It was a little meh at times but for the most part it was a pleasant read. I liked the characters most of the time and the plot was suspenseful enough that it kept me going. All in all it was an okay read, however I don't think I'll be carrying on with the series.

 

My rating: 6/10

 

Rachel Vincent:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Soul Screamers:


  1. My Soul to Take
  2. My Soul to Save
  3. My Soul to Keep
  4. My Soul to Steal
  5. If I Die
  6. Before I Wake
  7. With All My Soul

Monday, 1 February 2016

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication date: May 2010

Format: ebook | 352 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary 

Goodreads



Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident.

 

 

My thoughts:


Following her father's death, Amy's family moves to Connecticut for a fresh start, but because of money troubles, Amy's mother decides she has to drive there with a friend's son, Roger. Amy's mother sets the route, books the hotels and hands over her credit card, but Amy and Roger are disappointed to see that the route set isn't one that inspires any sense of adventure…they decide to liven things up a little.


This was a great, feel good read. I really enjoyed it. I've only read a couple of books with a road trip as the main focus but it seems to be a really great way to tell a story. Especially for characters that have to get to know one another and maybe even themselves again - plenty of time to be left alone with your thoughts, close quarters with more or less a stranger and lots of things that can go wrong.


I loved how gentle the story was. Matson really took her time with the characters I think, I felt like I really got to know them. Amy was very vulnerable and the trip was her way of getting a little bit of her old self back but it took a lot of time. Nothing in this read was rushed, not one thing - not the friendships, not the romance and definitely not the closure of all the characters involved.


The characters were beyond lovely. I don't know why I'm using that word to describe them, but it seems to fit them perfectly. They gave each other so much space at first because they each had their own problems. I adored how they took their time to get to know each other, because really, doesn't it just make sense that way? Who rushes into any kind of relationship? Even of the friendly sort. 

 

I also thought it ended in such a lovely manner. It might have annoyed me if the read was any different, but I loved the fact that it was an open ending. It wasn't a bad ending in the sense that nothing was resolved - things were resolved and it ended on a good note, but it was also open to interpretation a little. I thought that for characters who had a long way to go, it would have been hypocritical in a way to end the book with full description of where the characters are going to end up and where they all stand with each other. Like Amy's mother for example, I would have liked to see how things between Amy and her changed, but I also knew that they had a hell of a lot to work out. Seeing them work it out in a couple of pages wouldn't have sit well with me I think. It was a great way to end the book.

 

Overall I loved this read and I don't have a bad thing to say about it. Not one. I'm definitely going to keep watching this author.

 

My rating: 10/10 

 

Morgan Matson:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Review: The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

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Title: The Girlfriend Request

Author: Jodie Andrefski

Series: N/A

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Publication date: January 11th 2016

Format: Kindle | 267 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary | Romance

Goodreads



Updating best friend to girlfriend is more than a change of status...

Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like...way more. From friend request to In a Relationship--it all seemed so completely logical when she'd planned it.

Eli can't figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she's the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe...he missed his chance with the girl next door.

Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated...
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one fake Facebook profile, two best friends who secretly crave each other, and a dreaded sex talk with parents...boy crush in the room included. Pushing a relationship beyond the friend zone has never been so crazy...


My thoughts:


I always pick up books like this and end up saying exactly the same things about them. I don't know why I bother sometimes, but for some reason, silly little cliched romances are my 'in-between books' kind of reads. They always put me in a good mood even if I know what's going to happen and the cliches are enough to get anyone rolling their eyes. I think it mostly boils down to not taking them seriously and just going with it. Pretend to live in a world where best friends always fall in love in the cutest way and nothing serious ever happens. Life is so much less complicated. At least for a few hours until you're at the last page and reality checks right back in.


This read was pretty much the same deal as other feel good reads. There's a girl, who's best friends with a guy, she falls for said guy, and tries weird ways to get him to notice her as more than a friend without telling him directly. The only difference with this one was the guy notices and figures it out straight away. I appreciated that too because what best friend wouldn't notice something was going on?


I liked Eli and Emma. They worked as friends and they worked as a couple. Emma was a sweet girl and Eli was so cute - if he was real, I would pinch his cheeks. Don't judge me.


This read was still totally predictable and it was still chocked full of cliches, right up until the very end. But all that aside, it was a sweet, cutesy and quick read that I enjoyed.


I will say Emma got a little annoying towards the middle of the read. She had so many signs that I think anybody in reality would notice - like you would notice a big red flag in front of your face right? Emma was just a teensy bit of an idiot for not going for it at that point. But whatever.


All in all I liked this read for what it is. It's not an emotional roller coaster - it won't make you cry and it probably won't even make you laugh but it's nice for just getting away from reality for a little while and that's what reading is all about.


My rating: 6/10


Jodie Andrefski:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Monday, 11 January 2016

Review: Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton

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Title: Of Light and Darkness

Author: Shayne Leighton

Series: Of Light and Darkness #1

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication date: January 11th

Format: ebook 

Genre: NA | Paranormal 

Goodreads





Raised by a Vampire in a secret society of Witches, Shifters, and Elves, Charlotte finds that she is the freak in her world of magic and wonder. When she stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of survival in this coming-of-age modern fairy tale is slim, resulting in a war between light and darkness.

Charlotte knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches draw spells of enchantment, Shifters throw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin.

As genocide and war threatens her life and her home, Charlotte will not allow her one true love to be destroyed. Fighting for her adopted coven of rogue monsters, she will do whatever it takes to save them...and she'll do it before the sun comes up and light takes over forever!

 

 

My thoughts:



There are hardly any reads - new or otherwise - that feature vampires that actually act like vampires. Traditionally they're set in gothic sort of settings and their stories are dark and gloomy. I feel like they've been changed so much over time that they shouldn't even be called vampires. It's the same with any paranormal creature. I love, love, love finding different books where the vampires, werewolves, witches, elves, fairies e.t.c don't just behave like humans with a little bit extra. It's rare you find something where the werewolves are actually dangerous and vampire drinking blood is a big deal. It's always romance where the love interest just happens to turn into a wolf once a month or just happens to like being nocturnal but it's whatever babe, you're still basically normal.


With that little rant over, my point is, Valek acts like a vampire. Right from the beginning there was the perfect feel of dark and creepy where a vampire works best. He misses the sun, he's dead during the day and drinking blood is not something he likes being a public show. It's not pretty sparkles but a little grim and that's the way I like it.


I liked the characters in this read. I took to Valek straight away, but Charlotte took a while. I don't do well with female characters who mostly think or focus on their love interest right from the beginning. What I mean is, before getting to know Charlotte and her personality, I was bombarded with her love interest and how amazing he is and how she longs for him. It was a little too much, especially for the beginning of a book. It changed when the plot started to get going and Charlotte soon came across as a strong-willed and smart girl. 


The plot was great. Like I said, the dark and broody type settings were a refreshing touch and the fact that all these paranormal creatures were together in one place gave me plenty to keep me interested. I will say though, I think the world this book is set in could be explained in a little more depth. I was a little overwhelmed at times and a little background information would have gone a long way.

 

All in all I liked this read. It was good to get away from the usual vampire romances and get some 'Dracula' type stuff going. This book features great writing, decent characters and plenty of action - if anything, pick it up to forget the wimpy vampires and get some super dark vampire action. 

 

My rating: 7/10

 

 

Shayne Leighton:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

 

Of Light and Darkness:

  1. Of Light and Darkness
  2. Of Blood and Magic
  3. The Vampire's Hourglass

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Review: Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

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Title: Thief of Lies

Author: Brenda Drake

Series: Library Jumpers #1

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication date: January 5, 2016

Format: Kindle | 400 pages

Genre: YA | Fantasy 

Goodreads



 Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels - magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books - rescue them from a demonic hound.


Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.



My thoughts:



This was, I'm sorry to say, not a great read to start off the year with. I had so many problems with it, I can't even remember what I liked about it.


What I didn't like about this read ended up coming together into this convoluted mess where I started to hate any and all the characters and whatever was going on made no sense to me. It became so tedious to read and that, in turn, frustrated me to no end so it was just a cycle of generally not enjoying myself.


I will say, at the beginning, I liked the characters. I liked the relationships they had going and I liked all the different personalities going on. Arik in particular.


I think where it started to go downhill for me was when I noticed this repitition of the characters doing the same thing and generally having the same conversations. Not just in the sense that they would go to the same places over and over again but in the sense that every single supporting character was in some kind of romantic relationship. Why? There were a lot of characters to be paired up. So throughout the read there was no end to the protagonist noticing how other characters felt about each other, being curious about it, and asking if that's the case. Like 500 times. Not really, but it felt like it after a while.


The pacing was also a big problem for me. As in, there was none. So much happens in this book that I couldn't keep up and got so confused. It made everything seem so muddled and of course that caused me to see the characters as unbelievable and unrelatable since I was so confused but they were taking stuff all in their stride.


It might have been me, but the world this book was set in wasn't clear enough. I was fine at the beginning, but when things started happening too quickly I felt like a runner who'd been left behind after tripping up. I was just watching everything else race ahead of me. Everything going on was meant to be exciting! There was action - fighting sequences left and right, magic training, people being kidnapped and endless romances. The pacing of this read killed all of it. By the way, pair all that with the introduction of a love triangle. No thanks.


I genuinely feel this book needed to be cut in half. I can even imagine at what point in the story it would have been perfect to end it at. Everything could have happened at a slower, more relative pace and I most likely wouldn't have had anywhere near as much of a problem as I did.


All in all this was a disappointing read that had a lot of potential. The original aspect of 'library jumpers' held no excitement when I could see no end in sight to the story.


My rating: 4/10


Brenda Drake:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter