Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Top 5 Wednesday

December 31

Top 5 Books I've Read This Year

Well after a hefty break I am back with a Top 5 Wednesday! This week is the top 5 books you've read this year!

  1. Opposition - Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • This one has to be my number one just for the fact that i have loved this series from book one. It is just so funny and slightly cheesy but with characters to die for and all around happiness comes from reading it. So Opposition was a highly anticipated novel of 2014 because it was the end to an epic series and it is because of that anticipation and love for all of the books that I had to have it as one of my top 5 books I've read this year.
     2.  Tiger Lily - Jodi Lynn Anderson
    • I have this one as one of my top 5 because I was not expecting how much this novel really stayed with me. It was powerful and moving and all of it was a retelling of one of my all time favourite fairy tales/myths/legend. Plus it had the added bonus of being told from Tinkerbell's perspective so you weren't even reading from the main characters mind it was told entirely from someone outside looking in. It was simply stunning.
     3. Because She Loves Me - Mark Edwards

    • I had trouble deciding between Because She Loves Me and The Magpies by Mark Edwards because they were both so good and creepy and both struck me to my core. But I ultimately went with Because She Loves Me because I just did not expect the twist that came at the end. It literally came out of nowhere. Mark Edwards is one author that was introduced to me this year and he has definitely become one of the authors that I will automatically go to when I am looking for a thriller. I love his books and I love his writing. I love it all.
      4. Stay With Me - J. Lynn
    • Well I just had to do it, J. Lynn (also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout) is one of my all time favourite authors so its not a surprise that two of her books have made it on to my top 5 list. While Opposition is a young adult alien book, Stay With Me is a heartbreaking and deep new adult with serious themes but also has that addictive charm and wit that is always present with any of her books. It is the third book in the Wait for You series that again is my favourite new adult series so again it is no surprise that it has made the list. 
       5. Fire in the Woods - Jennifer M. Eaton
    • This book I had just recently found love in. It is again an alien book with heaps of vulnerable characters and their sweet romance that just has you yearning for more. The second book of the series has undoubtedly become one of my most anticipated releases of next year because I just cannot have it end where it ended. I need more of it. I don't know what it is with alien and human meet and fall in love books, I just can't get enough of them and Fire in the Woods would easily class as one of the many alien books that I have taken into my heart. 
So there you have it, the top 5 books that I have read this year. It took me a long time to narrow down my list, as there were so many amazing books that I had read this year, but I finally got it down to a small 5 and I would absolutely recommend any one of these books. Some may be slightly cheesy but they all stayed with me in some way or another as I couldn't get any one of them out of my head days after reading them. 
Read more »

Friday, 19 December 2014

Waterfire Saga: Deep Blue

Written by: Jennifer Donnelly
Published by: Hodder Children's Books
Format: Kindle
Pages: 373
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos. 

Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents' death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world's very existence.

My Rating: 3/5

Going into this novel, I was extremely excited but hugely anxious because a book that focuses on mermaids and their mythology is something completely and totally new to me. The synopsis of this book sounded extremely fascinating to me and I really could not wait to give it a go. Deep Blue is the first book in the Waterfire saga by Jennifer Donnelly and it revolves around Serafina and her mission to get revenge for her parent's death and not to mention trying to prevent a huge war that would shatter her newly crowned reign. I mean how can I not get interested in that? It has action and adventure and is all a part of a world that I have not even tried to read before. I was hooked, lined and sinkered.
Neela held her hands up. 'Wait...I need a zee zee. I won't get through this without one.'
From  the first page Deep Blue pulled me in with a creepy and intense atmosphere of Serafina experiencing a frightening vision that will not only affect her but her entire nations future. I loved the humour that laced throughout the action. Neela was perfect in breaking the tension which was absolutely needed because otherwise I felt the story would of been quite constricting. (This constricted feeling was down to me not having a proper grasp on the magic involved in the story world.) With the added humor it allowed me to relax back into the story and really be able to enjoy it.
That's what a leader does—she inspires other to believe in themselves.
The one thing that really stunted my enjoyment out of the story was the amount of information and confusing names and places that was seemed to be dumped in the story. It was an entirely new world but I felt as though you were expected to know everything about it before the story really began. So there were many times when I got lost and confused in the story because I didn't understand the magic that surrounded and was infused into the story-world. Then there was times where I just found the names hard to pronounce in my head so I found myself skipping the names altogether, which really did not help. 
She felt heartbroken and lost and scared of what lay ahead. And yet, alone at her work with cloth in her hands, and a sense of purpose in her heart, she felt something else too. For a few hours, she felt wildly, defiantly happy.
Overall this book is packed full of information that can be confusing at times but if you keep at it and persevere you do get a charming read that is full of hidden wit and some strong characters. I wasn't totally sold on the action and I did loose that gripping feeling that I felt at the start of the book but I did love the friendships that were created, most importantly the friendship between Serafina and Neela. It was a deep and loyal friendship that I just love to read, so it didn't surprise me that I forgot about the lost feeling I was getting most of the time and concentrated on the gratifying characters that were strong and inspiring. All in all, Deep Blue has everything that you would come to expect from a mermaid novel, it was enchanting and stocked full of word play that will keep you entertained throughout the entire novel.

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)
Read more »

The Love List

Written by: Eve Devon
Published by: Harper Collins
Format: Kindle
Pages: 182
Purchase from: Amazon |  Book Depository

Falling in love is just not on Nora King’s To Do List…Neither is accidentally super-gluing her shoe to her hand right before the biggest presentation of her life!
With all the hard work she’d put into securing the family business after her father’s death, Nora has no choice but to accept help from a knight in shining armour.
Disaster relief worker Ethan Love is still haunted by his last deployment, and desperate for distraction. He’s in town to ask Nora for a major favour, and swooping in to save her presentation is a sure way to get her on side. 
As Ethan sticks around and helps Nora through her grief, her barriers tumble down…but will she dare to swap her To Do lists for a How to Fall in Love list?

My Rating: 3.5/5

I absolutely loved the beginning of this book! It was hilariously witty and just so chick-litty that I was in it from page one. That was it, I was hooked. The Love List is all about the relationship and grief that Nora King and Ethan Love juggles and holds. It's a really quick read that just screams typical chick-lit, the women falls hopelessly in love and they find themselves 'fixed' in the process. So you can imagine how light and fluffy I found this novel, with the right amount of sultry mixed in.
Love at first sight was for wish lists that you wrote with your favourite coloured markers when you were ten.
The characters are just as you want, the right amount of romantic and cheesy with the added helping of witty one liners that make you fall a little bit in love with them. I really liked that no matter how perfect Nora wanted to project herself I, as a reader, was able to see how much she was struggling over her father's death. It made her vulnerable enough that I was really able to connect with the characters and feel protective over her. 
'I fell a little in love with you the moment I saw you trying so hard to work out a way to make your meeting when you had a shoe super-glued to your hand.'
Another quirk that I liked about this book was the fact that it was written in dual perspective, so you got to enter both Ethan and Nora's mind, and it constantly switched between the two. I always love this when it happens in a book because you get such a better sense of the characters that it's hard not to love them both. It makes both characters extremely likable, so much so that when they are both feeling the same thing yet too stubborn to admit it I felt like screaming with frustration because I so wanted them to have their happily ever after already.
'Of course it helped tremendously that you looked exactly like my Love List.'
Yes there were many cheesy moments and some over the top happenings but it's what I have come to expect within a chick-lit novel so it didn't lessen my love for the book. I did find it a little predictable but I just couldn't stop myself from turning page after page because I had to find out how their little love story ended. It was so light and quick that I couldn't put it down and I fell a little bit harder for the characters when their need for each other became clear. Overall, if your looking for a cute and sometimes seductive read then you should really give the Love List a try, as its so quick to read and still has that all important impact needed for a chick-lit novel. 

The Love List
Read more »

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Love Hurts

Edited by: Malorie Blackman
Published by: Corgi Books
Pages: 576
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Love Hurts is a collection of short stories that depict love in some sort of way, whether it is the beginning of love in a relationship to the ending of love. Every type is covered and shown in a unique and romantic way. I have to admit when I requested this book from NetGalley I didn't realise just how much of it was extracts from other books but it didn't effect how much I liked the book. In fact, if anything, it made me want to read the stories more, let alone encourage me to buy the original books, as I had just gotten a little sneak peek. So while there are many extracts within this collection don't let it hinder or take away the enjoyment from the other stories that are present. Because the other stories are also sweet and cute and deserve to be read. 
Maybe reading about love is our way of trying to figure it out. 
The collection starts with a new story from Marlorie Blackman called Humming Through My Fingers. It is a cute and strong story that really stood out because I had never read anything from a blinds person's perspective, which is why it was really unique to me. I loved how it portrayed a subtle hint of romance, it wasn't just thrown in your face, and yes there were some quite cheesy moments but I loved how it hinted at love can be seen without being looked for. Just like a blind person can see without the use of their sight. 
Out of all the original stories I think my favourite would have to be Gentlewoman by Laura Dorkrill. Wow that story just buried itself straight into my heart because it was so amazingly sweet and loving and real. I loved it. Completely.
'There's more to seeing that just looking Ethan,' I told him.
 As I mentioned before I didn't realise just how many extracts there would be within the collection but like I said it didn't really lessen the enjoyment I got out the book. In all honesty it adds to the effect the book tries to portray in showing you the ideas and uniqueness that comes from romance stories and their idea of love. I did get slightly lost in the pacing of the book when it came to the extracts. I felt that in some cases they lost my attention, just because I had already read the original story, so I did skip and skim read most of them as I had already read them previously. However when it did come to the extracts of stories that I had not read before, like The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle, I found that I was once again absorbed and it really made me want to get the original book so I can read more of the chemistry between the two characters. I loved it.
But we hold hands. We learn. We laugh. Chalk and chalk. Cheese and crackers. That's it. That's our first date.
Because they are a collection of short stories each individual story is fast paced and extremely engrossing. If you read it all at one time it does feel as though the pace gets stunted because you are jumping from one story to another but it is still an easy and enjoyable read. All in All, Love Hurts explores the many ways romance and love can be interpreted. To be honest I would of liked more original stories within the collection, as I found them really fresh and unique, because they were normally revolving around something that I had not read before. If you're a fan of romance I would definitely give this book a go, as it's diversity will reach so many readers.

Love Hurts
Read more »

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Scorch Trials

Written by: James Dashner
Published by: Chicken House
Pages: 359
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more running.
Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to...

Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, it's people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.

Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends...

My Rating: 3.5/5

The Scorch Trials is the second book in the Maze runner series, which follows Thomas and his Glader friends as they are thrown into another mystery induced, action packed trial. Earlier in the year I read The Maze Runner (read the review here) and I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. Mainly because I couldn't really connect with the characters, which was why I was a little apprehensive going into this one. However, I have to admit that, I did start to get hooked halfway through The Scorch Trails because there was just so much going on. Every small thing turned into massive action in every twist and turn thrown at you. It was hard not to enjoy it. 
He turned to look just in time to see the rain start falling out as if the storm had finally decided to weep with shame for what it had done to them.
The Maze Runner ended on a slight cliffhanger in the fact that it told us that not all was what it seemed and the Gladers weren't as safe as they believed. So as soon as The Scorch Trials begins you have this constant feeling that something big was about to happen and it didn't let you relax for one second because it threw you straight into the action that would be constantly happening throughout the entire story. Just like the first novel there is always something going on, no breaks just full on survival fights and plans. Which is the main thing that kept me entertained and engrossed, having the effect that if I put it down I would miss something massive. 
The chaos around him seemed to siphon away his humanity, turn him into an animal. All he wanted was to survive, make it to that building, get inside. Live. Gain another day.
Dashner has a great skill of writing this gripped feeling throughout the series because even though I still didn't particually click with the characters I still could not put the book down. The characters took a back seat with me as I felt the action and the story overshadowed them. The only one I really wanted to survive and stay alive was Minho and that was because he had so much personality while I felt the others were weak in comparison. Even Thomas felt less strong in this one compared to when he was in the Maze. So again I felt the lack of connection I had with the characters lowered the enjoyment I had with the story.
I'm a Crank. I'm slowly going crazy. I keep wanting to chew off my own fingers and randomly kill people.
To sum everything up, The Scorch Trials matches up to the enjoyment that The Maze Runner had. It had all the mystery and intrigue that was present with the first novel as you were never quite sure what was going on, which could be confusing at times, and not only this it was just as action packed and fast paced. Yet once again I personally found it hard to feel something with the characters, so I was not really fused as too whether they lived or died (apart from Minho... Minho had to survive) which is why I could not fall in love with the novel only enjoy it. However I still feel the need to continue on with the series because once again the story ended with a cliffhanger that is just begging you to find out what will happen next. 

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)
Read more »

Friday, 5 December 2014


Written by: Edith Pattou
Published by: Skyscape
Format: Kindle
Pages: 441
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

On a hot summer night in a midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry.
Alcohol, guns, and a dare. 
Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. 
But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

My Rating: 3/5

I really did not know what to expect with this book, it was something that I had never read before which is why I wanted to give it a go and requested it from publishers through NetGalley. I had never had the courage to read a book that is written in free verse and other styles and I really had no idea how much I would like this book. So it was a pleasant surprise when I found many things I liked about this book.
But a ghost. What a rush that would be, to see something from another world, something that most people never get to see.
I really enjoyed the pace of the book, it flowed really nicely and I don't know whether that was down to the different styles the author used for the different character narratives but it seemed to just breeze from one narrative to another and tell the story seamlessly. The was no hitch and that made it easy to read because it was just continuously drifting through the narratives. I also genuinely liked how it was set in two parts. The before and after. Again it was something unique that I had never read before so I honestly enjoyed how it was all set out.
I watch her go, helpless as a snake with its mouth sewn shut.
There were times that I did get a little lost in what was going on and because of the styles of how it was written I did find myself not really emotionally involved with everything drastic that was happening, Just because I couldn't really get what was actually enfolding. Having said this I did find it really easy to catch up to what I missed so I didn't stay lost for very long. But because I found myself trying to place what was happening I didn't really get time to connect with the characters because I was so busy trying to figure out what was going on. So while I loved the uniqueness of the book, I did find myself disconnecting from it really easily. 
We fit together. EMFAX. On this day. On this beach. With this garden gnome. In this new now time.
To sum it up I did enjoy Ghosting, mainly because it was so unique and something that I had never really read before. Plus I did appreciate the story because it was extremely dramatic and thrilling. Yet I unfortunately didn't click with it because there were times when I was completely lost as to what was enfolding and I never did get a sense of the characters because I was slightly overwhelmed by the vastly different styles of writing. All in all, it was a very likable read because it was so fast paced and was hugely easy to get gripped by. 

Read more »

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My Heart & Other Black Holes

Written by: Jasmine Warga
Published by: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages: 320
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Aysel and Roman are practically strangers, but they've been drawn into an unthinkable partnership. In a month's time they plan to commit suicide - together.

Aysel knows why she wants to die: being the daughter of a murderer doesn't equal normal, well-adjusted teenager. But she can't figure out why handsome, popular Roman wants to end it all...and why he's even more determined than she it.

With the deadline getting closer, something starts to grow between Aysel and Roman - a feeling she never thought she would experience. It seems there might be something to live for, after all - but is Aysel in so deep she can't turn back?

My Rating: 5/5

I don't even know where to start with this book. Its just very hard to try to find a way to summerise how good this book is into one review. My Heart & Other Black Holes is the debut novel from Jasmine Warga that pulls on your heart stings and leaves you with a sense of hope in a normally gloomy world. But not only does it immerse you in a world where even a small light of hope is found swirled in the darkness it also gives you a deeper understanding of depression and the effect it can have. It was simply brilliant, so brilliant that I read this book in one sitting all through the night because I just couldn't stop reading it. 

Aysel and Roman were totally and completely loveable and yet they felt 'broken' so there was always that edge to them, the idea that they were imperfect. The energy that surrounded them was always so compelling and their stories were always heartbreaking but you never felt that they were as lost as they seemed because there was always that sense of hope for the better that underlined everything. It made the book a simply stunning read that stays with you long after.

My Heart & Other Black Holes is a deep and heart rendering story that not only keeps you thoroughly gripped but also teaches you about depression and helps eliminate the stigma that comes with it. Yet it doesn't burden you with the idea but instead parries it with humor and love that mixes in with the darkness to help create a shining light for those who need it. It was an unequivocally brilliant read that I would recommend to anyone. 

My Heart and Other Black Holes
Read more »

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The 5th Wave

Written by: Rick Yancey
Published by: Penguin Books
Pages: 460
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs.
Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth's last survivors.
To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.
Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.

My Rating: 4/5

The 5th waves features the adventures of Cassie and the life after the aliens came. Its a really intense survival story that shows the different paths that the characters go on after the arrival that destroys humanity. This book was put upon my highly anticipated shelf the moment I heard about it, because it had everything that I have come to love about a young adult novel. Drama, suspense, romance and action all rolled into one with the added bonus of aliens. So I was not really surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel, it had everything that I love and it didn't let me down in the slightest.
How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
The whole mystery surrounding it, not knowing what is going to happen and what they are planning, just sucks you in and I honestly couldn't even begin to guess what actually was going on. I would think that I had an idea of where it was leading only to have the story shift and I would realise that I wasn't even the slightest bit right. It was compelling and completely thought provoking, I couldn't go one minute without thinking of the possibilities of the 5th wave. I just had to know. I also loved the two different storylines of Ben and Cassie. At the beginning I didn't realise how important Ben was so it was a likable twist that he got his own adventure storyline. To be honest I did prefer Ben's storyline to Cassie's just because there were so many twists and turns in Cassie's part that I found it hard to keep up with at times. 
I don't care what the stars say about how small we are. One, even the smallest, weakest, most insignificant one, matters.
If there was one thing that I didn't quite like as much as I thought I would, it would be the idea of a romance between Cassie and Evan. It just seemed really creepy and stalkerish between them. I don't know why, it might just be that I didn't really connect with Evan so I couldn't really see them together. Or it might be because I really wanted Cassie to be with Ben. Whatever the reason I just felt really creeped out whenever it came to those kind of scenes between them. Having said that I did love Cassie as a character she was strong and determined, so a perfect heroine, that didn't take any crap thrown at her without fighting against it. I loved it. She was a perfect character to get behind and it really clicked with whole atmosphere of the story.
Sarcasm doesn't appear to work on him. If that's true, I'm in trouble: It's my normal mode of communication.
So overall, It was a massively enjoyable read that pulled me in and threw me into surprising turns of events that I just couldn't see coming. The characters were great, the writing was epic and the story itself was completely enthralling and seemed so realistic that it left me seriously scared of an alien apocalypse. All in all, if your looking for an action-packed thrilling post-apocalyptic mystery then you should really give The 5th Wave a go.

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)
Read more »

Monday, 10 November 2014

Doctor Who: Lights Out

Written by: Holly Black
Published by: Puffin Books
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 39
Purchase from: Amazon

A Doctor Who short story featuring the Twelfth Doctor. It follows in the tradition of the series of short stories published last year by Puffin featuring each Doctor.

Purchase the twelve story collection from:
Amazon | Book Depository 

My Rating: 4/5

I am a massive Doctor Who fan, I can't get enough of the TV Series so when I saw this title on NetGalley I immediately requested it. Now I haven't read the previous short stories of Doctor Who so I went into this completely unaware and open-minded and just hoping that it would be able to reflect the personality of the Doctor as well as the TV show. Let me tell you I was not let down and completely surprised by how much I enjoyed the short story.
This man's frown deepens. His eyebrows do things I didn't even know eyebrows could do.
I loved how much this story reminded me of the Doctor. There were little things hidden within that if you watched the show you would immediately make a connection to. I kept finding myself laughing over little things that you just know the Doctor would do. But it wasn't just these little things that I really liked about the story. I also really enjoyed the pacing of the story. It didn't feel rushed it really allowed the story to flow, so much so that it felt like a mini TV episode not just a short story. I could easily picture the events happening and I did find myself surprised by what was happening. So even though it was a short story, which I sometimes find hard to connect with because they are so short, I found myself getting dragged into the story.
All around me, everything is light and bright. And, for the first time I can remember, no part of me is afraid.
Overall it is easy to see that this story revolves around the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) because his mannerisms and personality is brilliantly translated. Not only this but it is clear when this story would fit into his timeline so I was really able to imagine and picture this as a mini TV episode. The was a clear intro and resolution that did not feel the least bit rushed so it was really easy to immerse into the whole Doctor Who story-line no matter how short it is. The only thing I really had trouble with was I didn't really have time to connect with the main character but then what can you expect from a short story being too short. Seriously if you love the TV series and need a quick Doctor Who fix I would give this story I go because it is really enjoyable and a authentic read that allows you to delve briefly into the Doctor Who world.

Lights Out (Doctor Who 50th Anniversary E-Shorts, #12)
Read more »

Where She Went

Written by: Gayle Forman
Published By: Random House
Pages: 288
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life. And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their paths to rest, for good- or can you really have a second chance at first love?

My Rating: 5/5

I cannot begin to describe how much emotion is interwoven throughout this novel. Every page is just a full on heart break that literally drags you down so you feel every hurt and downward spiral that the couple you came to love, in If I stay, are fighting against. I really couldn't see how Where She Went could be better than If I Stay, (you could tell how much I loved the first book with my review here) so I sat down and was just hoping that it wouldn't be overwhelmed with my expectations and that I would hopefully enjoy it as much as If I Stay. You can imagine how surprised I was when the impossible happened and I actually loved it a little more. 
Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it's the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open.
If I Stay was left on a bit of a cliffhanger so, for me personally, I was picturing the happily ever after couple and that everything worked out for the better with them. Yet when I started reading Where She Went I realised that this was not the case. And this is where the heart break begins. Literally this whole journey through the book captures the intense hurt and devastation that comes from a broken heart and I couldn't help but feel for Adam because out of all that happened he still didn't get his girl. Not only this but I was constantly wondering why and what happened and where the hell was Mia? It is because of these intense feelings and demanding questions that Gayle Forman has solidified the reasons why, in my mind, she is the queen of contemporary. Because no matter how broken the characters seem there is always the underlining hope that everything will get better and they will find their other half. Which is ultimately what you always want to happen for the characters. 
You don’t share me. You own me.
Even as I say this there was a long period of time where I didn't think this would end happily for either character. That Adam was doomed for heartbreak but that was made the story so gripping. We, as readers, were able to see Adam get all the closure he needed in just one day, which was just so sad but so lovely because he could finally stop feeling so crushed by everything and he could get a hold on his life. I literally breathed a sigh of relief because Gayle Forman had once again made it feel like happiness was achievable though all the sadness. 
I get it now. I have to make good on my promise. To let her go. To really let her go. 
To let us both go.
To put it simply this novel puts you in a breathless trance as you travel along with the characters and their farewell to New York tour. Everything is rounded up and tied in neat little bow to make up for the intense feelings you get when reading this series. I loved every little thing about this book, it was demanding and crushing but also so very uplifting. It was just fantastic. The characters grew up in such a short journey and you could really see the differences that happened within them for the last three years. I saw the emotion and felt it close up  that it was like I was watching a movie being played out in front of me. I got sucked into the story and fell in love with the characters all over again so I am so happy that they finally got the happily ever after. Simply a brilliant book that deserves to be read.

Where She Went
Read more »

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Witch of Salt and Storm

Written by: Kendall Kulper
Published by: Little Brown Books
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 416
Purchase From: Amazon  |  Book Depository

You don't know what you must give up to become a witch.
Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before.
Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

My Rating: 3/5

The witch of Salt and Storm follows Avery Roe and her mission to get her magic once and for all. To be honest I was interested in this book because I hadn't really read a young adult book that uses and revolves around magic. So seeing as the premise of this book just screamed out to me I thought this would be ideal in finding out whether this genre would appeal to me. It's because of this that I went into this book really excited and incredibly open minded as to what the story would be like.
String, feathers, stones, simple objects, but to me they were jewels, shimmering with the memory of my grandmother's magic.
Having said this, I found it really hard to stay with this book. Mainly because it was a lot of detail followed by interweaving family history. There seemed to be a lot of detail on whale harpooning and sailors which I understand were important, in order to give background information on the island, but I just didn't really enjoy those parts of it as much as I did the rest of the story. So there were times where I got a little lost in following what was happening when it came to these parts. But I did really enjoy the different types of magic within the story along with the added mystery that surrounded it. I mean there was different types of witches magic, from dreams to a bit of language magic, to tattoos and curses. So much information on different types and history of the Roe witch magic combined with the learning of magic from Tane. It gave the story a lot more depth to me and I couldn't help but love the magic lore that enveloped the whole book.
I pricked and prodded and pried, and I remained the same: a normal girl with a tempest of magic inside her.
One thing that really gave me mixed feelings about were the characters in the book. In some cases I really enjoyed the determination of Avery and how loyal she was to her ancestors. So I found that she sounded really well developed for a character and Kulper had allowed her to grow as a character as the story goes on. But when it came to the other characters I didn't see them as well thought out as Avery and Tane, they seemed to be important to the story yet I couldn't really get a grasp on what they were doing and how they grew within the story. In other words, I felt that they slipped when it came to character development and were not as developed as the main character. I did really enjoy reading the relationship between Tane and Avery, it was strong and filled with love. I just wanted more development of it, it felt as though it was one of those suddenly in love romances that happen frequently with YA novels. 
"I think..." he took a slow, rattling breath and brushed the knuckles of his fingers, gently, against my cheek. "I think...I am coming back to life."
Overall, there were many things that were enjoyable within this book, but there were also some things that I felt needed a little more. I really loved the magic and historical fiction aspect and I couldn't get enough of the mystery that surrounds the novel. You never really know how things are going to end so it was a complete surprise to me with how this novel did ended. I did like the characters but I think some needed more growth and development. The focus is only really on Avery so all of the other characters take a background effect, which is why I didn't really connect with story. Having said this, it was really easy to get stuck in to because there was so much going on that it never really gave time to breathe because you were thrown from one massive event to another. All in all, The Witch of Salt and Storm has a lot to offer to it's readers and if you just stick with it it becomes an interesting and slightly weird but enjoyable read.

Salt & Storm
Read more »

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Fire in the Woods

Written by: Jennifer M. Eaton
Published by: Month9Books
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 238
Purchase From: Amazon  |  Book Depository

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. 
But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel. But her father runs their house like an army barracks. and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. 

So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met? Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. 

That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can't get caught. 
Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. 
After all, she can't really fall for a guy whose not exactly from here. As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. 

Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she's to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it. 

My Rating: 4/5

Oh wow, where do I begin with this book. I guess I should start with the premise. The whole alien and human romance thing, strangely enough, wasn't the first thing that jumped out to me with this book. The thing that really pulled me in was the idea of this 'genocide-sized secret', then it was the romance because who can't help but love a little romance between an alien and a human. I really liked the idea of mystery and secrets that would surround it because I felt that it would add a little action that is always needed in a science fiction novel. So that is basically what pulled me into this book (that and the cover because seriously it's so pretty) and I was really overwhelmed how much I actually enjoyed this book. It took over my life and I couldn't, for the life of me, put it down.
My eyes narrowed. "You can't be from another planet. That's called science-fiction. Accent on the fiction. It's not real"
I'm not going to lie, I was expecting a lot when it came to this novel because of my love of alien books being so high (You can thank Jennifer L. Armentrout and her Lux series for that). So there were a few things that didn't sit right with me, the main one being how easy it was to guess David's secret, but they didn't really effect the overall happiness I had when reading this book. I loved the determination of Jess in her quest to help, along with the absolute innocence David had with the things he was experiencing. It was so cute and the characters were well written enough that I was really enticed by their chemistry and affect they had on each other, it was sweet yet sometimes maddeningly frustrating when they wouldn't see what was right in front of them.  
Ugh, when did my life become fodder for a cheap science-fiction novel? I could see the teenage girls flittering about it already: super cute alien, stupider-than-thou heroine and a bigger than life story with no chance of a happy ending.
All in all there wasn't much that I didn't love about Fire in the Woods. It was fast-paced and witty writing with brilliant characters that crept past your walls and made you love them. The only major downside that I had with it was I found it slightly predictable at times, but then it didn't really affect my overall enjoyment of the story as a whole. So I easily was able to look past it and sink into the story again and get gripped by all the events transpiring in their little mission. It's a brilliant novel that really awakens your heart and your emotions and putting your faith in these two characters into succeeding in their quest for everything to work out happily for them. I for one cannot wait for the second book in the series, Ashes in the Sky, so I can finally find out what happens next and get stuck into the story once again. 

Fire in The Woods
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Read more »

Friday, 17 October 2014

Starlet's Man

Written by: Carla J. Hanna
Format: Kindle
Pages: 256
Purchase From: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Lights, Cameras, and Lies. 
High school student athlete, Manny Biro, is caught between the boy he should be and the man he wants to become.

Everyone around him accepts the Hollywood life. He doesn't. Manny wants no part of acting. On the surface, his childhood best friends seem to have it all: money, power, success. Between the lines, they are all confused. Alan is a messed up want-to-be director focused on pushing scenes to their sexy potential. Beth is an athlete driven to escape from a dark past. Janet is Manny's kid sister caught up in fashion and trends. And Marie is a lonely actress exhausted by the culture that makes everyone's favorite stories.

What is the price of fame for all the characters? Conflicts and truths will unfold in this thought-provoking installment of Carla Hanna's young adult Starlet Series, Starlet's Man.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Starlet's Man is the newest book in the award winning Starlet Series by Carla J. Hanna. It is the fourth installment in the series but is set before the series begins, making it a prequel novel, it gives a clearer understanding of the characters within the series. The thing that drew me in about this book was the idea of a how fame and fortune was woven into the story, because it sounded intriguing and something that I personally have never read before. So all in all I was completely excited to see how this book would turn out and whether or not it would be something I completely adore. 
"The focus on coupling is just social insecurity. I want love. I'm patient. I am a diamond and won't be costume jewelry to any guy."
Going into the book it became clear that there was another hidden message that makes the book stand out and that is the influence of Christianity and how it affects the actions of the main character. Manny looks to his religion when he feels insecure or when he is confused on how to act. Again this idea is something which I personally have never read before so I found it a compelling and refreshing idea that really helped me connect with Manny, as I felt that he was a little more realistic and developed. Having said this I personally do not follow Christianity so in some points I felt a little lost as too where the story was going. Not to mention it could sometimes feel a little overdramatic or childish when it came to the characters that didn't follow Christianity because it felt like all their actions were mean and disrespectful. But I don't know whether that was due to there being a big contrast in characters or just me not really understanding what was going on. 
The kiss brought a wave of energy carrying love and triumph. It meant nothing and everything.
While some aspects of the book was lost to me, I really enjoyed the writing, the character development and loved how easy it was to get lost in the book. The writing is very descriptive with not a lot of dialogue, but I liked that because it was something new for me to get stuck into. I really understood how confused and lost Manny was when it came to girls. He seemed to love everyone but didn't feel he deserved any of them also. When I thought it was the other way around, the girls he loved didn't deserve him. I really loved that because it made Manny a lot more relate-able and lovable as a character. You just wanted to help him and love him because he was just so sweet and his values and beliefs were so morally right, yet he couldn't really catch a break. Having said this, there were times when I was slightly confused by Manny and his intentions. Sometimes I wasn't so sure as too what he was thinking, even though we are reading from his perspective.
Manny sighed. He leaned foward. The man he wanted to be and the boy he was being were disconnected. 
All in all, I felt that Starlet's Man was a really compelling and interesting read. Some ideas were lost on me because I felt that while in some cases the character's shined in other cases they seem really childish and immature which was due to the influence of Christianity and the overdramatisation of certain aspects. Having said this I loved how different this book was to the books I normally read and I really connected with Manny and how vulnerable and lost he seemed in the beginning of the book but how sure of himself at the end. Overall this book is a really good introduction to the series and really encourages you to delve into the world of the Starlet. It was a really interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fast read that can inspire you with good values and beliefs on Love and how to treat people you love.

Starlet's Man (The Starlet, #0.5)
Read more »

Friday, 10 October 2014

Fickle Friday Post

Okay so this Friday's post is making up for lost time with all the book hauls I missed...there are a lot of books! My book buying has built up since the last one in June so I thought to do an extra long one and put it in this Friday's post to make up for lost time. So be warned because its a biggie.

Book Haul #4

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I'm pretty sure a lot of people have heard of these books because If I Stay has had a lot of hype lately due to it being made into a film. I have read and reviewed If I Stay and loved it and I am very much looking forward to Where She Went to find out what happens to these beautiful characters, what went wrong and all that jazz.

Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

Well I have talked about these a lot lately, done a long review of the first four books and then completed the series with a review of the fifth and final book yesterday. I love this series and while I'm a little sad it's over it really ended fantastically. I couldn't of asked for any more and it's literally made me so excited for his new Magnus Chase series to see how the Asgard gods get brought in. So excited!

When I heard about this book I just had to get it. I mean it's Percy narrating the well known stories and myths of the Greek Gods, how could that get any better. I've read this and loved this. It was just simply brilliant, just like his other books. He just can't write a bad story. I love all of them. 

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

I read The Darkest Minds earlier in the year and I have been waiting for this one to be released in paperback so it could match my collection. So when it was released I brought it straight away with no hesitation because this series is epically fantastic. A really good dystopian series, which is good because I am not a massive fan of dystopian reads but these novels gave me renewed hope because I could not put them down for the life of me.

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Now I did already own these but there were on my kindle but because I loved the series so much I just had to get them in physical copies so I could present them on my shelves and just look at them. So I did and I don't regret it one bit.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I brought this book simply because I had the first book in The Lunar Chronicles series so thought I would get the second one to build my collection. I do plan of getting the rest of the books in the series because I love books that revolve around fairy-tales and fairy tale retellings so I'm sure that I will enjoy these. 

Breathe by Sarah Crossman

Not going to lie when I say that I mainly brought this book because of the cover. It is simply gorgeous and it immediately caught my eye so I just had to get it, and when I read the blurb I got even more interested so I thought why not? 

These three were added to my book buying marathon because I had a mission to buy every john green book there was. I don't have them all, I think I still need Let it Snow, but I am so excited to get stuck into these because well they are John Green books so you know they should be fantastic.

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones, I Can't Begin to Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan, The Giver by Lois Lowry, How to Knock a Bravebird From Her Perch by D. Bryant Simmons, Elemental Reality by Cesya MaRae Cuono and Itch Rocks by Simon Mayo

All these books I won through Giveaways on Goodreads. I have read and reviewed three of them (The Giver, Elemental Reality and Itch Rocks) and I am currently reading The String Diaries which is quite creepy and a little confusing at times but a full review should be coming soon. All books caught my attention through ratings on Goodreads but mainly through their covers, they all have cute/interesting covers. 

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

This book I brought because I had read and liked the first book in the series, The Maze Runner, so I thought I would give the rest of the series a go. Hence why when I saw this book for £3.00 I was like yep, buying. 

Hexed by Michelle Krys

Okay so I brought Hexed because I was in the mood to try a witches book and I had heard a lot of things about this book. Plus it was at a bargain price so I thought it was worth it.

Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins

These books I brought because I had been meaning to read this series for a long time so when Isla and the Happily Ever After was released I thought it gave me a proper excuse to get my hands on the whole I did, read the reviews here, and I loved every single one of them. I think my favourite has to be either Anna or Isla because I loved the characters a little bit more than the ones in Lola. Although I gotta say Cricket was just so cute and the shining factor, I think in Lola. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project I brought because someone recommended it to me thinking that I would like it and after I had read the blurb I wholeheartedly agreed with them. It definiately sounds like my type of book. Plus it is more of an adult book which I have been reading more and more lately so I thought I would give it a go.

The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick

This one I brought because I have this rule that I cannot watch a film, if it is based on a book, before I read the book and I have dying to watch this film for a long time so I thought it would be a good time to actually buy the book. That way I can finally get round to watching the film. Plus it sounds weird but I love the film tie in cover so when I saw it in the shop I thought it was fate and brought it. I do not regret anything.

Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu

After reading Legend I could not wait to finish the rest of the series so I immediately brought the next two books in the series and got straight to reading them. I loved this series (read the reviews here). It was so adrenaline rushed and action packed to the brim but the there was also this sweet and powerful romance that I just couldn't get enough of. 

So there you have it. All of the physical copies of books that I brought since June. Well I'm pretty sure that that is all of them. I did buy kindle books as well but if I added them in the post would go on for days and days so I think I'm just going to leave it at the physical books. 
Hope you enjoyed this week's Fickle Friday Post and I will be here next week for another.
Until next time, have fun reading!
Read more »