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)
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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
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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
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