Friday, 16 August 2013

ELEGY - TARA HUDSON - REVIEW

Book: Elegy
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens
ISBN: 9780007437290
Rating: B

A stranded spirit, and a love story that crosses the divide between the living and the dead...Despite everything she's lost in the last few months, Amelia's new half-life feels something like a victory. That is, until the demons of High Bridge make their ultimate move: rising from Hell and killing Wilburton's residents, one by one, to get to Amelia. When the death toll reaches too close to home, Amelia must make a horrible choice. Does she rely on the help of Joshua and his friends, or does she sacrifice herself...for the final time?

Elegy. Hmmm... Although in the end this was good I feel like this series has gone downwards, not up. Needless to say I did like book 3 and I'm going to go over everything that there really is to talk about.

So book three is the final book in the series and Amelia and Josh and Jillian yet face the same problem again. The dark still wants here, Jillian and Josh are in danger again and she must save the day. It was different from the other book yet still a little samey and although I didn't mind that one thing that did bug me is the fact Amelia doesn't learn from her mistakes but that's not really a fault with the book, come to think of it. That's just her character.
Anyway the book starts of promising and naturally this is the final book so it's all about final showdowns and it was really captivating. Hudson has definitely, within this series, shown her talent to be able to write many different genres well and the story line worked for me. I liked it, and it kept me guessing. It never got confusing or repeated itself but the amount of deaths and if I may add, unessacery deaths were overwhelming in this and sometimes I think you need to draw a line.

The setting in this shifted back to both Amelias and Joshua's hometown and it made sense, as the main plot line was focused around high bridge and bringing it down. I liked the fact that we went back to old places because it really helped us to understand the stories and the emotion behind all of the happenings and understand the light and dark better, in general.

The characters pretty much stayed the same in this which was nice. With the increase of characters in book 2 we were so busy getting know them there was no space to develop or uncovers true colours of other characters. Because the characters were pretty much the same in this we started to see peoples true colours and what they were really like. In fact we got a much better glimpse into the both Joshua and Amelia's past but more Amelia. I felt like this was really good and whilst other characters did come into play it was primarily based back onto Amelia, Josh and Jillian like in book 1 which leas back to my point of growing our knowledge bases on the characters so we ca really connect with them.

As usual Hudson's writing was a dream to read. Description flowed as did the story but what really stuck out to me was her world building. In this book there was a lot more of inter world interaction and they way she used words to craft these worlds in my mind was just perfection. I loved the way she formed the rooms of hell in high bridge and I would've loved to see more of the light worlds but from what she wrote I fell in love with the different places. Hudson had a knack for description, especially with places.

Overall this was the perfect end to this series. Well the ending, I'm not sure if that's how I would have done it, but however it was a beautiful and magical ending and this series had left me speechless. I'll definitely be coming back to it in the future.

ARISE - TARA HUDSON - REVIEW

Book: Arise
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens
ISBN: 9780007437276
Rating: A

A stranded spirit, and a love story that crosses the divide between the living and the dead...In this hauntingly lovely sequel to HEREAFTER, Amelia - still trapped somewhere between life and death - continues to fight for her relationship with her mortal love, Joshua. Looking for answers, they visit some of Joshua's relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia just ends up with more questions...and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together. Then Amelia meets other spirits in-between and begins to seriously consider joining them. Caught between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the nether world can choose for her.

So I've been sitting on this review for a while now and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure how I feel about this. It was good overall but I guess it just wasn't as good as book 1 and some parts dragged. That's all. Aside from those two points I really did like this book and I definitely captivated me.

I'm gonna start off by talking about the setting. This was primarily set in New Orleans and New Orleans is somewhat of a sticky subject for me. Apart from interview with a vampire new orleans has always disappointed me with literature and sometimes it can be taken a bit too far but I was willing to see what hudson would do with it and she nailed it. Maybe it was her descriptive text but I saw New Orleans in a whole new light and I can honestly say it provided the perfect location for Arise.

The story had a killer storyline. So much happened in this novel and so much of it was so interesting I could barely peel my eyes away. And the twists and turns in this were relentless! The shocks and surprises were amazing and I felt like this could quite easily fit into the mystery genre as well. With hidden secrets etc this really was like a jigsaw puzzle that slowly fitted together throughout the series and I loved it so much.
I also loved the introduction of Voodoo as it's not something you see loads off in YA fiction. I loved the new realm and exposure to the magic and it definitely helped the reader to understand the ins and outs of being a ghost and what and how it meant. Of course this was briefly touched on in book1 but Arise gave a better understanding that to Gabi.
As I mentioned above in some place this novel did drag a little but with a little perseverance you'll definitely get to a better parts that will throughly entertain you.

The characters in this one definitely expanded as a whole group of Joshua's family were introduced and a hidden villain. I felt like we didn't get to know Josh, Jill or Amelia any better than before because we were being introduced to all these new characters so there wasn't really any space or time for that but I really did enjoy have the new characters to spice this book up because otherwise it would have been a tad mundane. Also Josh and Amelia have fairly similar personalities so having the extra people really brought the book together and to life.

The writing, as ever, was beautiful and Hudson's descriptive style of prose really made this novel spectacular, building this incredible vision of New Orleans in my mind and the overall effect was just stunning! I'm not going to comment too much on the writing because very rarely does the quality/ style of writing change between books in a series and it didn't really change in this.

Overall I really did like this. Yes there were some bumps in the road but overall it definitely satisfied me as the second book in the series and my review for book 3 will be up shortly.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

ELIZABETH LABAN - INTERVIEW

1. What was you inspiration behind the novel?

I have always loved young adult books, and really wanted to write one. When I was in high school, I wrote a tragedy paper about Greek and Shakespearean tragedy that always stuck with me. A few years ago, my agent Uwe Stender suggested I read Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werter. I loved the story, and especially the structure of the story. I started playing around with ways to modernize and retell it. Being one of the classic tragedies, it sparked my memory of the paper I wrote in high school, which, in turn, brought back that whole world for me. It all started coming together in my mind and The Tragedy Paper was born.

 2. Are any of the characters based on people you know? 

 Mr. Simon is most definitely based on my high school English teacher Mr. Arthur Naething. He is the one who assigned me the Tragedy Paper. At the time, I had no idea that the impact that assignment would have on me would be so huge. The way I remember it, Mr. Naething really
was obsessed with words like magnitude and hubris. He really did dismiss us each day by saying, “Go forth and spread beauty and light.” There are some differences, of course, between Mr. Simon and Mr. Naething. Mr. Simon is a much younger man than Mr. Naething was when he taught me. Also, Mr. Simon is harsher in some ways. When he keeps the late students out of the room, for example, that is all him. Mr. Naething never did anything like that. As for the other characters in The Tragedy Paper, they are completely made up.

 3. Do you have a writing ritual? 

 I really don’t have a writing ritual. I am not one of those authors who writes for a certain amount of time each day. I write whenever I can. Sometimes that means I have hours, sometimes only minutes. Also, I can go days without writing. I do usually write at the same place in my house though – at the dining room table.

 4. What is your most embarrassing moment as a Writer? 


My theory about “most embarrassing moment” questions is that nobody ever really tells the truth since it would be too embarrassing. If you asked me my most embarrassing moment as a teenager, I would have to make one up. But I will tell you this. At one point a few months after my book was published, my editor wrote to tell me that a very well-known author’s agent had read my book and liked it a lot. The author she represents is one of my absolute favorites, so I saw her name and didn’t read the rest of the email carefully. I thought my editor was telling me the author had read it and liked it a lot. I went crazy! I wrote back an over-the-top email to my editor, telling her this was a dream come true, it was more than I ever could have hoped for, and asking if I could tweet about it. I few minutes later, I got another email asking if I had misunderstood what she had said. That’s when I went back and read the first email more carefully. I was so embarrassed! Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that the agent liked it. But it would have been an even greater thrill if the author had read it, too. Most important, I wish I had just calmed down for a minute before reacting.

 5. When did you know you wanted to write? 

 I can honestly say that I have always wanted to be a writer – at least since I could hold a pen or pencil (or crayon). As a kid, I was constantly composing stories and poems. I focused on writing in college, and then went to journalism school. I have said this before, but it was reading S. E. Hinton’s books that really gave me the writing bug. I remember being in middle school and finishing That Was Then, This Is Now and thinking that more than anything I wanted to one day create a world that touched people the way I was touched by that book. Having said that, I should point out that it was thirty years later that The Tragedy Paper was published!

 6. Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite book?

 This is a hard question – and I will say it is constantly changing. There is no way I can name just one favorite author and one favorite book. This month, for example, I bought two new books by favorite authors just because they wrote them – Liane Moriarty and Curtis Sittenfeld. I loved What Alice Forgot by Moriarty and it is at the top of my list of favorite books. I loved David Payne’s Early From The Dance. I will also add Scott Spencer’s Waking The Dead, Sittenfeld’s American Wife, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres, John Green’s Looking For Alaska, Jennifer Weiner’s Good In Bed, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and Jane Schwartz’s Ruffian: Burning From The Start.

 7. What is the book you wish you had written?

 This is a tough one. Can I say John Green’s The Fault in our Stars? Doesn’t everyone wish they had written that book? Or Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. That is one of those books that you read and then find yourself thinking about at different times. It gets inside you and never leaves – which is a really good thing because it is such an amazing story.

 8. How does it feel to see your book in bookshops? 

 I love it! I hope I will never, ever get tired of it or used to it. Tonight, for example, my family and I are traveling and we went into a Barnes & Noble near our hotel. They had a stack of my books, and it was a thrill to see where they were displayed, and then introduce myself to one of the booksellers there.

 9. Can you give us any info of what you're working on next / what your next project is?

 Yes! I am working on another young adult book, not at all connected to The Tragedy Paper. This time the main character is a girl. I would say its biggest defining characteristic is that it’s a mystery.

 10. And finally a fun question! If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why? 

 Again, my answers would change depending on what’s going on with me or what I’ve been reading or watching. I would say Barrack Obama is at the top – I would love to sit down and talk to him, maybe meet his family. Next I would say an actor who worked on Friday Night Lights – we just binge watched the entire series, finishing last night, and it is all we can talk about! I would invite Kyle Chandler or Zach Gilford over for dinner and make some BBQ, ask them what it was like to work on such an amazing show. And finally, I would have to say S.E. Hinton because she had such a huge impact on me with her books. I see her on Twitter, and love reading what she has to say. But it would be pretty cool to sit down with her and get to know her a little.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

HEREAFTER - TARA HUDSON - REVIEW

Book: Hereafter
Author: Tara Hudson
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens
ISBN: 9780007430505
Rating: A

A stranded spirit, a sudden love! Beautiful elegiac love story that crosses the divide between the living and the dead, in a powerful vision of longing and loss. "A tender and poignant love story with a ghostly twist." Becca Fitzpatrick, bestselling author of Hush, Hush This debut paranormal romance will leave you breathless. Can there truly be love after death? Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life -- or her actual death -- she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive. Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit is doing everything in his power to destroy their new-found happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world! forever. Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, 'Hereafter' is a sensation you won't want to miss.

Hereafter is one of those novels that the moment it was released I wanted it. Not only was the cover gorgeous but the story sounded amazing and when I finally got my hands on a beautiful hardcover copy a couple of months ago I dove straight into the story and finished it in less than a day. It really us a stunning story and it took me back to a time when YA was just getting started. I personally feel that YA has someone what slowly deteriorated over time  Like after twilight it hit a peak of such good books (Hereafter is in that section - That section is called 2011) and whilst the YA now is good it's just not as good as then. Needless to say this book was stunning, and I enjoyed every single minute of reading this.

The story in this is actually really different. There's not much ghost in YA, and the only other real contender is Anna Dressed in Blood but this is complete different type of Ghost story. This isn't  a horror, it's a pure romance, ghost story with a twist and it drew me from page one. The story is intricate and detailed and whilst I did feel some parts were unnecessary and space fillers it was a beautiful novel and the rest of the story was pleasure to read.
All of the chapter left you thirsty for me and every time I told myself to take a break I physically couldn't pull away. The plot was just so intriguing and held that air of mystery about it that just thrills you so much. In fact the story did a lot. It had my heart racing but also had the power to evoke the right amount of emotion to really make me feel the book and it was gorgeous.

As for the writing I was literally drowning in the words. Hudson has such a beautiful, whimsical and magical prose that I just fell in love with. Her descriptive style - which I loved - build up vivd scenes and worlds in my mind and for the hours that I read this I was transported to a whole other place. It did well to display emotions and help me understand what the characters were feeling however I feel s though the fact it was put into first person from Amelia's perspective really did limit what we could see Josh was feeling and to a certain point I felt as thought it was almost capping him.

The characters were perfect in this story. At times I wondered what they were doing there in the first place, for instance ELi, but of course later all was revealed and everything slotted into place. The characters were really well formed though. Limiting the amount of them allowed us to really get to know about them and what I did like about this novel was that everything was explained to us about this ins and outs of Ghosts and their worlds. Of course in this book the characters are still fresh and we'll definitely see more to them come book 2 and 3 but from I've seen so far I'm definitely ready to meet them again.

Overall this book was a full five stars. I don't often use this word to describe book but this novel was beautiful, and it's not even the beginning. I can't wait to see what Hudson has next for us.

Monday, 5 August 2013

ELEANOR AND PARK - RAINBOW ROWELL - REVIEW

Book: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 9781409120544
Rating: A

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

So I read this quite a while ago now and I guess I've been sitting on the review because I'm not quite sure what to say. I'd say 85% loved it whilst 15% didn't and I think that's really down to the ending. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm all up for dramatic or non-expectant endings but I still like to have this clear up a few things with this. Needless to say, if there is a sequel, then I have no problems with the ending because it will be explained but with no certainty for a companion novel, I have to say the ending didn't do it for me.

However the novel in itself is beautiful. This is the type of book I never read. Ever. Something I just don't do, not because I don't like them but because it's not me. I've never enjoyed these book and Rowell has changed that, exposing me to a whole new world of YA contempt fiction. Anyway, the reason I gave in and got this was from the endless reel of reviewers ranting about how good this was, and they were right it was extremely good. The novel is beautiful and touching and sometimes it's just want you need to pull your head out of the sand. What I mean by that is that with general YA a fiction it focuses a lot on stuff that wont/can't happen and people that have amazingly good looks and perfection and I love how this really grounded me back into the real world and really played on the aspects of growing up in real life and how everyone's not good looking and popular and perfect and it can be really hard. I can't say I've experience any of the hardships in this novel but I feel like a lot of people can relate to this and it was great how as well as insecurities and appearance were covered in this is played on things that will bring back memories to anyone older, like the idea of falling in love for the first time.

The story itself really surprised me. The moment Rowell started the idea of being on the bus in every chapter I thought it would be painfully boring but I couldn't have been wrong. Rowell has taken something as simple as riding the bus everyday and made it both interesting and the beginning of a love story that you can't help but be drawn into. The story itself covers so so much. Teen appearance, bullying, new schools, falling in love, discriminations, reputation, abuse, divorce, immigration. It's one of those books anyone can read, love and relate and that's what makes it really special.
The story is a love story between chubby ginger eleanor and kinda-popular korean, park, and well that's enough info for to figure the story beyond them falling in love.

The writing was nice. It was pleasant enough and had this bluntness to it. which I surprisingly liked. Really, this book was full of surprises. It flowed well and the chapter left the right amount of info between each one to figured either what had happened or to leave wanting to know what would happen. I liked the split POV as well, giving insight to both characters and I can't I particularly preferred a singled point of view as I feel like the writing for them both was perfect and Rowell has slotted into the teen mindsets with no issues whatsoever.

The characters themselves play a massive role in grounding the novel int he fact that they all have differences and are not the standard perfect YA couple. In fact I found myself not quite at ease with Park which just made him all the more human to me because in what world do you like everyone? The characters all had insight to their history and home life's as well as the facades they put on for the world and it was just another aspect for people to relate to. I guess the main thing that struck me about these characters is about how human and real they were compared to other YA novels and that just really made me love them, because I really could imagine them being my friends.

Overall it was a gorgeous novel. It will evoke so much emotion and it so relatable in so many ways. You will find yourself truly falling in love with this novel.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

FATHOMLESS - JACKSON PEARCE - REVIEW

Book: Fathomless
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Hodder Childrens
ISBN: 9781444915556
Rating: A

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant - until Celia meets Lo. Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea - a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid - all terms too pretty for the soul-less monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality. When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her...and steal his soul.

She's done it again and I didn't doubt she would. Pearce has delivered a killer novel to add to the fairy tale retellings saga and it was everything I hoped for in every way possible. In fact this review won't be too big only because as this is book three there's only a limited amount to talk about. I've already spoken about the theme, her writing and characters before so lets get going.

So this book followed the story of the little mermaid and I definitely liked the plot in this. At first I was a little confused because the book seemed to just throw out the main concept of werewolves but as we found out later that hadn't been completely scrapped which leads me to believe this world within ours includes more than just werewolves, almost like a night world sort of thing. Anyway the plot was perfect. I love the layered POV's of both Naida and Rho both as one persona and the way the triplets were involved and the little clever twists.

The locations in this were killer places to describe and Pearce's voice nailed everything. I had vivid beautiful imagery in my mind from page one and the description just blew me away. I've always loved Pearce's voice in fiction. It's so sharp and strong and it has that edge to it which I really like.
The characters in this were perfect as well. I fell in love with them all. All of them had good solid foundations and what I like about this series is we don't get stuck we the same people and same story with each book. With each book brings a new story and new people who readers can learn to love.

Overall this was gorgeous novel. I guess this is pretty short 1. because I've covered most things about Pearce in previous reviews. 2. It left me speechless and I don't know what more to say. This was beautiful.

Friday, 12 July 2013

FORGIVE MY FINS - FANART



So I read and reviewed this a while back and whilst I loved the American cover the UK cover didn't do it for me so I made my own.


FATHOMLESS - FANART



So I am a massive fan of this series and the old creative artistic covers and I was devastated when they red did them so I decided to create a cover for fathomless that matches the old style covers.


OCEAN OF SECRETS - AIMEE FRIEDMAN - REVIEW


Book: Ocean of Secrets
Author: Aimee Friedman
Publisher: scholastic
ISBN: 9781407134598
Rating: B

16-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science ...and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterios Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate. There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship ...and reality

Ocean of Secrets. What Can I say? The book was perfect. We really don't see much mermaid myth and folklore amongst the YA section and this really was a gorgeous read. The intricate tale followed Miranda to Selkie island where she meets a boy on the beach and they fall in love. Of course he's hiding a secret and he is of course a merman. It might sound like not a lot happens and thats no true! It's a good filled novel but it's an incredibly light read and definitely a breath of needed fresh air. In fact what I loved about this was that the novel was shrouded in mystery, with the fact that it was never actually revealed whether Leo is a merman on not.

The plot as a mentioned is very easy going and nothing to heavy whilst still being interesting and captivating and weaving in those tendrils of mythology and folklore that I love so much in a novel of this sort. The story was snappy, fast paced and there was always something happening, however small or large it may be. I also loved the way many subplots were masterfully stitched together like that underlying plot of the folklore book that Miranda finds.

The writing style in this was nice. The descriptions in this were exquisite. The way Friedman builds up visions and images in you minds transports to the place she is describing. I love descriptive books and for me this hit the nail on the head. It was an absolute dream to read and I loved every minute of it. The way she expressed and showed thoughts was done well and the simple narrative somehow managed to show you exactly what was happening but yet still follow the rule of show don't tell.

The characters were built up extremely well. Fair enough there were only two that mattered, literally no one else meant anything in this series. But for these characters you really got an insight into them and their life and what made them who they were and why.

Overall I did like this. At the moment, although the story hasn't lingered, I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending and if there is a sequel I definitely think that Leo's identity should be revealed but overall it was a pleasant read.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY #3

Sypnosis: After experiencing terrifying visions, Daire Santos goes to live with her grandmother in the dusty New Mexico town of Enchantment. There she discovers that she's a Soul Seeker - a person who can navigate between the living and the dead. Guided by her grandmother, Daire has learned how to harness her powers - just in time. Enchantment is controlled by the evil Richter family, who are determined to rule over the Lowerworld, Middleworld and Upperworld - upsetting the natural balance and causing chaos. Daire is the only person who can stop the Richters, but there's one problem: she's in love with Dace, whose twin brother Cade is a shape-shifter, out to steal Daire's powers. And both boys belong to the Richter clan. Can Daire fulfil her destiny without destroying her one true love?

Okay so this series and I share a rocky relationship. I honest to god loved Noel's Evermore series and I couldn't wait for Fated and then I read fated and it didn't do it for me. Then I read echo and although the first half of the novel, yet again failed me, the second half picked and I did enjoy reading the ending. I'm just really hoping this book is going to impress and change my opinion and as much as I have trouble with this series, yes I am looking forward to book 3 and finding out what happens next.




Sypnosis: Sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own. Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family - and the battle for the fate of the world.

Call me me mental but believe or not I haven't read this yet! Well actually that's not entirely true, about two years back I read it during summer however I feel like my mind wandered and I didn't quite understand/take it in, so I am hoping that when this arrives I can take it as a fresh start and begin this series with an empty mind. After all I've heard nothing but great things and from what I do remember of reading this I really did enjoy it and with the movie coming this summer it seemed like a perfect summer read. I have no doubts about enjoying this and I know that I will so raring for this one!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY #2

So this week for Waiting on Wednesday I have two books actually, that I am crazy excited to read and I'll show you them below!

Sypnosis: Eleanor is the new girl in town, and she's never felt more alone. All mismatched clothes, mad red hair and chaotic home life, she couldn't stick out more if she tried. Then she takes the seat on the bus next to Park. Quiet, careful and - in Eleanor's eyes - impossibly cool, Park's worked out that flying under the radar is the best way to get by. Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're 16, and you have nothing and everything to lose. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor and Park is funny, sad, shocking and true - an exquisite nostalgia trip for anyone who has never forgotten their first love.

Okay, so this is one of those book I've heard so much about in the book blogging community and there is no way I can not read it. So from the description is sounds amazing! Definitely different to my usual reads but definitely something that I'd like to give a go and I have no doubt that it will wow me. I've just heard such grate things. I'm also really interested to see the time period play out with the boy and girl just growing together and I just can't really contain my excitement for this one. Not only does the book sound amazing though but I also love the cover art! In fact once I've read this I'll be doing a UK vs US cover feature for this because I actually have a secret undying love for the US cover so yes, everything about this book is screaming 'yes' to me and I can not wait to read it!

Sypnosis: Willow and Alex are mankind's only hope. The world is devastated, and the angels are slowly enslaving all humanity, moving survivors into camps where they can devour their energy, causing slow but certain death. With their love stronger than ever, Alex and Willow are training a team of Angel Killers, determined to stop the destruction once and for all. But when Willow senses a terrifying shift in the angels' powers, Alex is forced to embark on a deadly solo mission. Now Willow is left to defeat the angels with Seb, and she has no idea if Alex is ever coming back...The final captivating book in the bestselling trilogy, Angel Fever is a powerful story of heartbreak, revenge and love.

This is the second book that I'm desperate for that should be popping through my mailbox soon. This is actually the third and final book in the Angel trilogy and I love this trilogy. It takes Angels to a whole new level and there is no Angel book quite like it out there. So reasons I want this: It's the epic finale and I am crazy ready to see what Weatherly has planned. It's a cracker series with a killer story and the cliffhanger we were left on in this last book was just plain evil. I'm fairly confident someone predominant will die; they always do in the last book. This series has pretty covers. It's just a series I really do adore and I'm always ready for the next book! In fact you can go check out my review for Angel Fire or my interview with the author! Just use the links above! (At the top of the page)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

SLATED - TERI TERRY - REVIEW

Book: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Publisher: Hodder Children's
ISBN: 9781408319468
Rating: A

Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever. She's been Slated. The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for just over a year and with a little gap with nothing that had to be read by a deadline I thought I'd pick up Slated. Recently I'm really feeling the dystopian vibe and this just seemed really fitting. Also I heard nothing but good about this and it was just something I knew I was going to enjoy.

The story follows Kyla, a girl in a future world in which young criminals are 'Slated' This means their minds are wiped and they get a fresh start. However Kyle is pretty different, she starts having memories come back to her and she starts to discover who she was. So there's actually a lot more packed into this book but I don't want to give anything away. One thing I love about this book, well actually something I love when any book does it, is that this idea was so unique and hasn't been done in any way before. Sure it's dystopian, but that's just a genre. the overall idea is so brilliant and so well crafted you are gripped for page one. As well as a pounding story it has a good solid backstory and all the science and theories behind make sense and this gives it the realism that makes the book work for me. I feel like Terry has explained this in such a way it seems as thought it could almost happen and the overall storyline and plot is amazing.

The story is set int the future, which always provides for an interesting backdrop but setting was full of surprises. Firstly it was set in England which was a lovely bonus and secondly the future world wasn't actually too different from our current one. I really loved the way that Terry played on the role of terrorism and economical parts of out current society and weaved into this brilliant novel. It definitely left me both satisfied and hungry for more.

The writing was good but nothing about it stood out. I really did like it, I just don't feel like Terry has a distinctive style that would pinpoint her out. The words flowed well and the scenes built us well in my mind but I definitely felt the advantage and bast part of this novel was the idea and story, however the writing did what it was meant to do and I did still enjoy reading it.

The characters. The characters were all really strong and what struck me about Kyla is that whilst she was strong and a good protagonist she still had this kind of weakness and innocence about her witch really brought her humanness, which was nice to see. In fact I loved Terry's character building because I felt like all of her characters balanced each other out with personalties and a few even had hidden agendas/ surprises. I liked how all the couples were almost opposites and yet fitted so well together and Kyla and Ben were just perfect. A characters I feel I still don't much about (and that I feel there is a lot to know about) is Kyla's Dad. With his shed and secrets I want to know what he's really up to.

Overall, yes I loved this. It's that perfect unique dystopian you need to quench your thirst; filled with action, suspense and cliffhangers I'm ready for Fractured. It has a unique story and it ended on such a massive cliffhanger I genuinely think I'm going to enjoy this series which is nice because most series's I follow are drawing to end now so this will be on my list of fresh new series's to start. A killer novel.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY #1

So this is my first Waiting on Wednesday and this week I am looking forwards to receiving Fathomless! For those of you who dont know, Fathomless is book 3 in Jackson A. Pearce's amazing Fairytale retellings series and I adore this series so much. ANYway, Fathomless is book 3 and I am dying for it!


Sypnosis: Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant - until Celia meets Lo. Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea - a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid - all terms too pretty for the soul-less monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality. When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her...and steal his soul.

Why am I crazy desperate in need of this book? Here's why; Pearce has this amazing world and all these beautiful tales we've been told as children have been completely remade. Also this series came out in sync with the whole Red Riding hood and Snow white and the huntsman time so they got a massive backing from those fairy tale retellings and and the retellings are still going with jack the giant killer and hansel and Gretel with hunters. I've always liked the idea of taking what people know and giving it a spin but this is more than that and this is why I must have this book. I think this one is a retelling of the Little mermaid and I'm so excited, because if you actually read the original grims fairy tales there actually a lot different to the tales were' told as kids and actually a lot more gruesome. Also *mutters rest under breath hoping no one hears* this fairy tales retelling series have werewolves playing a pretty main role in them.. so yeah, I'm raving for this book and if you haven't read this series you really should give it a go!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

THE BONE SEASON - SAMANTHA SHANNON - REVIEW

Book: The Bone Season
Author: Samantha Shannon
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 9781408836422
Rating: A

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

Phenomenal.

I got the email about this book and even though it was New Adult I knew I had to read it. The story idea itself had me gripped and just reading some of the glowing praises left me hungry for this. I admit when It popped though the letterbox I was a teeny bit daunted by the size of it but I do not regret reading it. It's such a quick, amazing novel you'll barely notice time fly by as you're sucked into Shannon's stunning world.

The plot of this is so unique and such a killer story that not once will you be bored. We follow Paige Mahoney, through a dystopian world in which Clairvoyants exist in society and are shunned. She find out she is a Clairvoyant, but unlike typical YA she's known for a while. anyway she get's taken to a place called Sheol - not going to talk about this part because there are too many spoilers - and she falls in love {though romance plays a pretty low key in this) and they uprise and leave you on a cliffhanger, thirsty for book 2. What I loved about this is whilst maintaining the main theme of Fantasy, the novel wove in some many other genre's like Romance, Dystopia and even a little Sci-fi.
The plot really was unique. The whole story covered everything you want to know and although it's a series It hast left me with any major unexplained questions apart from what happens next. The whole story flowed extremely nicely and all made sense, and like I said it contained all the memories and thoughts you needed for all the answers to explained, whilst still keeping you interested. The separate parts of the story were seamlessly interwoven and every chapter has so much actions and mystery there wasn't a day that went by when I wouldn't stay up to read this.

The setting of this was quite unusual. The inner cities I've found fairly normal as far as future Dystopian cities go but Sheol, the main fantasy location - and where the majority of the novel was based - was built up on an already existing places so it was interesting to see how Oxford was transformed into this new eccentric and fantastical setting. even iconic location like Port Meadow were completely redesigned and I think the use of current locations with twists really helps to build up he we see the settings because we already have a basic idea of what the lace should look like.
Beyond that though I think it's fait to Say Shannon has mastered the art of World Building. This way she creates the new world, the way the whole style of the Sheol builds up is perfection. I liked how instead of taking key design features from time periods Shannon created her own and her new world was truly her own. Every idea and concept was perfectly drawn from Shannon's imagination and pushed into ours and it just worked perfectly.

The writing of this was on a whole other level. I'm not sure I can even quite describe it. Whilst keeping very neutral and very balanced it still had that certain type of personality that marked it as Shannon's. Shannon s definitely a very skilled writer and looking at her background - she studied English Language at Oxford - I wouldn't expect any less. The writing was a pleasure to read. The words were well crafted and the story flowed, one chapter leading on from another. She used the perfect words in both description and dialogue and the way the images and scenes built in my mind were just glorious. This whole novel is just dripping with talent.

The Characters. Well what makes this interesting in it's own way is that within the set of characters there were different species, and yet again Shannon has managed another amazing feat in this novel. She has successfully and believably created her special (Rephaim) and created them in such a way there is nothing to question. One things I loved about this book is that although there was a lot of supernatural elements these elements were all explained and had reason which made them more real to me. More real than a book where the author says there is no explanation, it's magic because it is. Another interesting aspect of this was that although there were only a small set of main characters is that the set of main characters changed as the novel progressed, always with Paige at the front though.
The characters were all explained, history and all revealed, though I still feel like Shannon will hit us with more surprises and new secrets in book 2. The characters were formed well in our minds and the emotional connection were there but like with any book 2 I think we'll see everyone's true colours in the sequel which is something I'm raring for.

So this is one of those book that there are so many words to describe it with but even then they're not enough. Because quite honestly The Bone Season left me speechless.

Phenomenal.

Monday, 24 June 2013

ANGELFALL - GIVEAWAY

So I am running a giveaway of AngelFall by Susan Ee! It's an amazing book and you can enter to win 2 copies below, where there is a entry form and sypnosis. All you have to do, to win, is read the sypnosis below and answer the question on the entry form. After you've answered the main question you can unlock extra entries. UK Entries Only.

Sypnosis:  It's been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain. Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back... Angelfall is a fiercely compelling debut that tells the addictive story of Penryn, fighting for her and her sister's lives after angels of the apocalypse destroy the world as we know it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions
• Competition will close on 06/30/2013
• Open to UK participants only
• Prize for the main winner is a copy of Angelfall
• In the unlikely event the prize style has discontinued a similar model to the same value will be provided
• There is no cash or other alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.
• Winners will be picked at random and contacted by the site. The prize will be delivered to the winner within 28 days of confirmation of delivery address.
• Winners name, contact number and address will be passed to a third party provider for delivery.
• The Editor's decision is final and binding on the entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.

Monday, 17 June 2013

HEART SHAPED - SIOBHAN PARKINSON - REVIEW

Book: Heart Shaped
Author: Siobhan Parkinson
Publisher: Hodder Childrens
ISBN: 9781444903607
Rating: C

Written with sensitivity, humour and a lightness of touch, HEART-SHAPED is a companion to Siobhan Parkinson's highly-acclaimed novel, BRUISED - for fans of Meg Rosoff, Aidan Chambers and David Levithan. Annie makes a startling discovery one day - and everything changes. She fears for the safety of her boyfriend Jonno, who has vanished, knowing he is in desperate trouble. Feeling alone, she clings to her dad, her only parent, but he can't fill in all the gaps in the puzzle that is Annie's life. Nor can her best friend. To do that, Annie has to look into her past and understand who her mother was, what happened to her and why. So the truth behind Jonno's disappearance - which is the story in BRUISED - becomes a mirror for what's happening in Annie's own life. The reader is desperate for him to come back, so that Annie can fully fit the pieces of her existence back together.

Heart Shaped. The title instantly reminded me of Heart Shaped Bruise so naturally I was on the look out for any similarities between the books and whilst there were many difference I did seem to find one major; whether I was looking to hard or not, a lot of this book is Annie telling her head doctor her story... which is nearly identical to what happened in Heart Shaped Bruise. However that's beside the point. Overall it was a good story, well written and evoking a lot of emotion, but it just wasn't for me. I felt that even though it was a very small book some parts dragged a little and I'm not saying this is a bad book; it's really not, I'm just sort of showing the negatives I found before moving onto the positives.

For starters this is one of those books that although sad it's rather positive and keeps you feeling good inside. The story was fairly simple as far as it went and had a mix of sub genres focusing around one genre. I like the use of death but in a way that it wasn't so much a negative things in this. I mean the story really touched on parental death for youngsters and what would happen and I really feel like Parkinson hit the nail on the head with portraying that and the emotions of how they would all feel.

The writing was nice. Annie had a very distinct voice and although some characters seemed to blend in my mind Annie stayed strong and clear as the main characters. Her narrative was good and I liked the way the book was a little more mentally focused, because if someone close has died you going to mentally close in a little more and talk less and I like how we glimpsed into Annie's mind a lot.

I have mixed opinions on the characters. Although some were a little samey I felt as though each one was likeable and well formed with enough information to make them real in my mind. I just felt like sometimes characters would drop out for a while and then reappear for a long time before disappearing again. However the main characters did have distinctive voices that held me tight and I definitely wanted to know Annies story from when she first started to talk.

Overall I though the book was a little confusing but once you reach that ending it all makes sense and quite honestly: this book will leaving feeling warm inside.


Friday, 14 June 2013

HEART SHAPED BRUISE - TANYA BYRNE - REVIEW

Book: Heart Shaped Bruise
Author: Tanya Byrne
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 9780755393053
Rating: A

A compelling, brutal and heart-breaking story about identity, infamy and revenge, from debut author Tanya Byrne. Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2012 They say I'm evil. The police. The newspapers. The girls from school who sigh on the six o'clock news and say they always knew there was something not quite right about me. And everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know. You don't know who I used to be. Who I could have been. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever shake off my mistakes or if I'll just carry them around with me forever like a bunch of red balloons Awaiting trial at Archway Young Offenders Institution, Emily Koll is going to tell her side of the story for the first time. Heart-Shaped Bruise is a compulsive and moving novel about infamy, identity and how far a person might go to seek revenge.

Well... Tanya Byrne is one of those authors that I've just heard so much about and about a week back I finally got round to reading Heart Shaped Bruise and I loved it. I guess it really took push for me to pick up and start the book, because It's not something I would normally pick up, but I'm so glad I did. I love finding a book so beautiful that I thought I wouldn't like and the satisfaction of that is incredible. In fact I think I would go as far as saying I honestly think, whether this appeals or not, anyone could pick this up and enjoy it, thoroughly.

The plot is really different and interesting and I'm always looking out for different plots or in this case, the ways of telling the stories. When unique storytelling is mentioned Stolen by Lucy Christopher springs to mind but this will definitely be added to the list, because the whole story was told through Emily Koll who is actually telling us the story by both, telling her doctor and writing a notebook, though it's rather weird because essentially the whole thing is a notebook. The plot itself is very clever. Byrne has shown her skill in this novel and the clever and witty way in which this book has been crafted really boasts Byrne's talent for writing.

The writing in this was quite informal but definitely worked in the context. In fact however casual, the writing was laced with talent, because Byrne managed to give vivd emotions and descriptions and tell a stunning story whilst keeping the writing as though a 18 year old girl was writing in a notebook rather than going full novel on the book. Even so the descriptions built up images in you mind and forced emotions that would leave you reading till midnight.

The characters were the main focus of this novel. There was no backstory or subplot. No distraction, the main characters spun this story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were minimal and so each and everyone came across quickly and you soon knew who you liked and who you didn't. What I loved about Byrne's use of emotions in characters is the struggle between hating someone for what they have done and yet wanting to forgive because you have unintentionally befriended them. The characters really showed their true colours in this novel and Byrnes mastered the complexity of a 18 year olds mind perfectly.

Overall I really did like this novel. It provided suspense, thrill and evoked every emotion known. The book was stunning, beautiful and left me speechless. A gorgeous debut.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

LOKI'S WOLVES - K.L. ARMSTRONG & M.A. MARR - REVIEW

Book: Loki's Wolves
Authors: K.L. ArmstrongM.A. Marr
Publisher: Little Brown Younger Readers
ISBN: 9780349001524
Rating: B

In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters - wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds - all bent on destroying the world. But the gods died a long time ago. Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history - because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. But knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids - led by Matt - must stand in for the gods in the final battle, Matt can hardly believe it. Matt's, Laurie's, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to stop the end of the world.

I'm not sure the reasons that I decided to pick this up and I'm still not sure if I liked it or not. I think maybe personally I wasn't keen on it but for the target age it was perfect. The main reason, I guess i did pick this up is because of the authors. Both Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong are fantastic authors, both of which I have read books and thoroughly enjoyed. I also gave this a spin because it focused on Norse mythology which there isn't much of in fiction and I wanted to read more. I know Riordan's next series is Norse and the need series touched on it but this seemed like a very full on children's fantasy that would bring Norse mythology to life, and don't get me wrong it did, just something didn't do it for me.

This is a children's novel and that is something I need to bear in mind whilst reviewing this. I guess I've become so accustomed to reading YA and adult or maybe it was because I never read anything this simple but I found this too simple. I felt like it told me everything there and then, literally spelling out to me what was happening, and yet with so many words it lacked description. Furthermore the plot was very simple. Now this is my personal opinion but if we go professional then this is a wonderful novel because for the age group this is aimed at this has the simplicity is perfect. For younger and maybe reluctant readers it will be an easy read that they can grasp and enjoy easily. They will love the action packed chapters that leave them on end, I guess the just didn't leave me on end.

The story and theme of this is continuously fun. The mythology has been twisted into the story in a smart way making it both interesting and enjoyable. I liked how whilst making it fantasy and action packed the authors used this opportunity to actually educate children about Norse mythology and give some back story to it rather than just to have troll fights every chapter which is my next point. They was crazy thrilling. Every chapter left you gasping for more, and this will you child having many sleepless nights, but in the good way. Cliffhangers were the pinnacle of this, exciting and riveting scenes leaving you thirsting for more.

I think when writing an Actioney/Mythological children's fantasy it can often sway towards more of a male book, especially with most in this sub genre having male protagonists but I felt this could easily appeal to girls are well with the use of Multiple POV including a female. In fact the authors have tactfully made each character both unique and interesting whilst easy to follow, remember and understand. There were 3 main characters, meaning it's an easy book to follow and even between the 3 characters there;s a love hate relationship that creates the sort of chemistry you need to keep a book from slumping miserably.

As for the writing, as I said above, personally it doesn't do it for me, but however for a juvenile fictions its perfect. Minimal and easy yet still relatable for kids and has the charm of fantasy books. Not an awful lot of description but int he case of children too much will bore them so I think in terms of it being a younger readers novel the authors have nailed it on the head.

Overall I think it's a fun snappy fast paced novel, brimming with magic and mythology that will keep any child enchanted whilst they read this book.