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


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


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


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


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 


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