Friday, 16 September 2016

Review: The Potion Diaries - Amy Alward

Written by: Amy Alward
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Format: Paperback
Pages: 353
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. OOPS. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

Enter Samantha Kemi - an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam's family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they've fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But ca Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? And just how close is she willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing enemy, in the meantime?

Just to add to the pressure, this quest is all over social media. And the world news. 
No big deal, then.

Now, I'm not going to lie, I brought this book on a bit of a whim, as a way to round things up on my Amazon order. It was a bit of a spur of the moment purchase as I hadn't really heard much about it and was really a book that wouldn't be on my radar. Yet when I read the synopsis, I was immediately intrigued on how the author would meld the world into being both modern and fantasy, because in my mind they don't really mix. 
"There's no mistaking what kind of potion I need. Caffeine - for alertness and rejuvenation"
The Potion Diaries follows Samantha as she is drawn into a highly followed quest, in the hopes of saving her family's reputation and a princess from slowly going crazy from heart crushing love. If I go for a fantasy book, I tend to want to delve into a world that is so far from my own that I get swept up within the madness and the story. However with this story, it rounds up all the magic and fantasy and throws it into a world set in modern times. So, in other words, its the complete opposite to the normal fantasy books I tend to go for, which is the main reason that had me adding this book to my cart. I wanted to see how the author would develop this world into the story and after finishing it, I can tell you that I was quite impressed by how it was achieved. The story flowed extremely nicely, it was like it was natural for you to have alchemists and magic welders within the age of smart phones and social media. The was no awkward pauses where you had to remember the rules of this world because everything was so simple and weirdly natural. Yet this did tend to lead me into a strange kinda slump where I wasn't as invested in the things unfolding as I would be if it was set in a completely different fantasy world. So I was almost toing and froing as to whether I actually enjoyed the story. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was making me feel so weirdly discontent with it. 
"There are some things that are just as strong - no - stronger than love potions you know. Like real feelings."
 At first, I thought maybe it was the actual narrative that I had a problem with, but with a little more exploring I realised it was actually the characters and that was due to the fact that I was finding it extremely hard to connect with them. I loved how the story was flowing and I really enjoyed the pacing of the story but when I tried to figure out what stood out with the characters, that's when my problems with the story started appearing. Now I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, because I did, I couldn't stop myself from turning the pages and that to me says that in some ways I was intrigued with how it would end. Nevertheless I still was having trouble from thoroughly delving into the world and immersing myself within the pages. Instead it was like I was just powering through it, finding it cute and kind of fun, but not really absorbing the story. So when I really got to thinking as to why, the characters were the only thing I could think of. Samantha was fun and sorta fierce but to me she was coming across as quite immature and easily lead. She wasn't putting off the heroine vibe, instead it was more like a follower than a leader. Her family, mainly her granddad, was a huge problem for me too. In fact when I narrowed down my favourite character it was Sam's best friend, as she was the most loyal and stronger character with the little she featured in the story. Overall, I didn't think the characters were developed strongly enough, they all felt a little rushed. 
"And love potions aren't even about love, are they? They're about the illusion of it: the fantasy. They're about the lust, the passion."
All in all, The Potion Diaries is a fun and cute little read, it has really nice rhythm and pacing throughout the entire story and the characters are nice enough. Just in my eyes a little immature and underdeveloped, which is where I the main problem I had showed itself. The character's development is one of things that I love about a story, if a story has a flawed plot but brilliant character development then I can't help but enjoy it. But when those two are switched I start to loose focus and just read it for the sake of reading it. Having said this, I did really enjoy this story and I think it was mainly due to the fact that it was a fun read that was pulling me out of my reading slump. I could fly through it because I was invested enough in the storyline. Overall it was the middle-grade genre of this book that had me both flipping easily through the pages, but also failing to get me gripped between the pages. 

The Potion Diaries (Potion, #1)
Read more »

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Review: After You - Jojo Moyes

Written by: Jojo Moyes
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 407
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Lou Clark has lots of questions.
Like how is it she's ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places.
Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
Whether her family can ever forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. 
And will she ever get over the love of her life.
What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.
But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in...

So after I cried rivers in Me Before You, I immediately pre-ordered After You so I could prolong my suffering and read what happens next for Lou. Hoping beyond hope that it would be just as good and we would finally get a happy ending for her. But instead what came next was more realistic and way more brilliant than I could imagine. After You, picks up 2 years after Me Before You and when we left Lou, she was more accepting of the situation, still grieving but seeming to be optimistic with moving on and following Will's advice to 'Just Live'. When we join her in After You, this has not carried on. Instead we get the more realistic idea that she is disappearing into her grief. But it does not stay this way for long.
“No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.”
What I loved most about this book was the realism of the story. Nothing about grief is straight forward, it never really leaves you and I'm so glad that this was captured perfectly within the story. Not only with Lou's grief but with the people she meets, it was just written fantastically and that is why it is my favourite, if most depressing, thing about this novel. Jojo Moyes has proved what an amazing writer she is with these two books alone.
“I loved a man who had opened up a world to me but hadn’t loved me enough to stay in it.”
As always the characters were perfect. Even the new ones were amazing and woven into the story brilliantly. While I did still have a problem with Lou's sister, which had just manifested itself from the first novel, there wasn't as much of her in this story and that suited me just fine. Another thing I did love was the progression of Lou's mum because to be honest in the first book she was a bit of a wet blanket, in other words boring, but in this one she has a passion for herself and she is doing things because she wants to not because she has to. She becomes more of a character and while there are times she is still annoying at times she has developed a lot since Me Before You.
“You don't have to let that one thing be the thing that defines you.”
All in all, After You leaves you reeling from the very first page. It shocks you and compels you to keep on reading and keeps you involved by the sheer amount of realism it uses. Everything that needs to be tied up and finished did just that and everything left over was for your imagination to unravel and that was brilliant in my eyes. In other words, this book finished with the notion that things are not over and Lou's life continues on. As I was reading I was agreeing with everything that was happening because things are never straightforward as they seem and grief is such a huge emotion that it can't be eradicated, it just has to be learnt to live with and hope that things will get better later on. And this books sums this idea up perfectly to me. Overall, I came for the characters and I stayed for the realism. 

After You (Me Before You, #2)
Read more »

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Mini Reviews: The Raven Cycle series - Maggie Stiefvater

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, Book #1
Published by: Scholastic
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 454
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.
But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.
This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist. 
This is the year she will fall in love.
This series has been super hyped, which has always really intimidated me, making me put off buying it because I didn't want to not like it. But finally, after pulling up my big girl pants, I worked up the courage and brought the first book The Raven Boys and before I was even half way through the story I had already added the rest of the series to my shopping cart. It was just that intriguing, that complex and that brilliant that I couldn't wait to read the next three straight after. I was so invested that for the first time in a long time I wanted to marathon the whole series and that is exactly what I did. 
“My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.”
All in all, The Raven Boys sets the scene extremely well. While it was a little slow to start, and I felt as though I was dragging my way through the first third of the book, it really picked up towards the middle and I started to race through the pages. It was so cleverly panned out that the whole thing was one subtle but complex curve ball. It answered questions by asking more and it narrated the story line by continuously developing more mysteries. I was completely enthralled, there was no reason to guess what would happen because I would probably end up wrong. And that right there was the main reason I loved this book. Yes the characters were brilliant and yes I did like the back story and history intertwined within the plot, but I stayed because of the mystery. I stayed because no matter how many predictions I made, I was always completely surprised by the little twists that sprung up. It made it interesting and it made the story that much better. 

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle, Book #2
Published by: Scholastic
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 450
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Blue didn't mean to fall for the Raven Boys, but she has - and the more her life entwines with theirs, the more dangerous it becomes.
Ronan is the most dangerous of all.
He's the haunted one, the darkest, the most raven.
His dreams invade reality and confuse what is true.
With magic growing stronger around them, now is a time to be wary. Before everything unravels... 
Friendships will be tested. 
Someone will get hurt.
And a kiss will be shared.
When I stated the second book I think it was safe to say my expectations were extremely high and maybe because of that I just didn't get as invested in the sequel as I did with The Raven Boys. Now that's not to say that this wasn't still an amazing book, because it it's own way, I just didn't enjoy it as I much as I thought it would. The story felt slightly sluggish, not as fast paced as I thought it would and I don't know I felt that it lacked that little bit of sparkle that the first book displayed so well. 
“He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer.”
Yet, what this book really excelled at was the character developments. Probably due to the fact that it went into one characters backstory to great lengths, that character being Ronan, and in turn it shined a small light on the other characters also. So while the storyline wasn't edge of your seat amazing it did crawl its way back up the expectations pole with how well it delved into the relationships of the characters. I fell a little more in love with all of them (except Adam, I really did not like Adam) with each unfolding chapter. My heart melted with Blue and Gansey, those two were just too cute for words, and Ronan was just...well Ronan, all brash and sharp edges with a really caring and calm centre, you're typical bad boy mix. But the real star of this story wasn't a character it was the writing. The story was extremely intelligently written, just not as gripping as the first, which is why I didn't enjoy it as much. 

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, Book #3
Published by: Scholastic
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 389
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

For the first time in her life, Blue Sargent has found a place where she feels at home. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own and she is sure that this is where she belongs.
But certainties can unravel.
Visions can mislead.
And friends can Betray.
The trick with found things is how easily they can be lost...

Out of the four books, I think this one is my favourite. What I found lacking in the second book was answered in this one. So take the brilliant character development in the first one and add it too the amazing plot development in the first and you have the talented third book as the result. 
“There was something unfamiliar about him. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.”
The only minuscule thing I found wasn't quite right with me was how much Gansey has lost himself since the first book. Maybe it's just me being picky and maybe it's because he's my favourite character but I really felt as though he had been given the short straw by this installment. At the beginning It was Gansey's quest, he was the leader, he knew the answers and he was determined to have them answered. But by this book he was a shadow of his former self, no longer displaying the qualities that shone through the first book and that just didn't sit right with me. He was rallying the troops in the first book, it was the main thing that made him Gansey, but by this one he was the one that needed rallying and he was the one that felt as though he was being dragged along. 

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle, Book #4
Published by: Scholastic
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 438
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he's drawn others into his mission: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a life; and Blue, who loves Gansey...and is certain she is destined to kill him.
Nothing dead is to be trusted.
Now the endgame has begun.
Nothing living is safe.
Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and Loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path. 

Finally we come to the final book in the series, and truth be told I was a little sad it was over. This series was absolutely amazing in keeping me engaged through the length of it. As soon as I finished one book I felt the compelling need to pick up the other and continue on, I had to know the outcome no matter what the cost. Which I've not really felt in a long time when it comes to whole book series. By the time the third or forth book has come out the buzz of the previous books has died down and I'm not as invested as I was at the start of the series, which definitely not the case with The Raven Cycle. I was addicted to the outcome and I'm not ashamed to admit that.
“He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn't want it to be over.”
This final instalment rounded up all the little pieces into a nice little bow. While everything was given an answer and the long awaited legend of the king was finally revealed, in my eyes it ended a little abruptly. In other words the other three books pacing was slow and methodical, the story kept the pace up with the thrilling mysteries but it took its time in answering the really important questions, whereas this book felt as though it thrown together. It was still a brilliant and intelligent book, just not as well paced. and that in turn let it down slightly for me. Having said this, I really loved this series as a whole, the whole entire story was chillingly thrilling and it sent shivers down my spine every time I started the next book. I just couldn't wait to crack it open. It was brilliantly written and developed throughout and I never was able to get enough of what was inside. 
Read more »

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Review: Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Written by: Jojo Moyes
Published by: Penguin Random House UK
Edition: Film Tie-in Paperback
Pages: 481
Purchase from: Amazon  | Book Depository

Lou Clark knows lots of things.
She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she is about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now, and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

After seeing Emilia Clarke in an interview for the film adaptation of Me Before You I felt this undeniable urge to finally pick up this novel, after of months of putting it off because of the hype, and get stuck in. I am so glad I did because it has undoubtedly been worth all the talk and all the fantastic reviews. It is simply perfect. Me Before You follows Lou Clark as she adjusts to her unexpected career change that ultimately turns her comfortable life up side down. Before Will Traynor she was happy with living life under the radar, just going from day to day not really wanting to shake things up. Whereas Will Traynor's accident has changed him in a way that is a whole lot of something that cannot really be explained without giving away so many spoilers. This story just swallows you whole and you get stuck into the character's progression like no other. It was heart-wrenchingly amazing, don't let the hype fool you because this book is well worth it. 
'Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.'
If there is one this that sets this book on the pedestal that it so rightly deserves it is the characters. Their little quirks and annoyances really added just that extra sense of realism. They weren't perfect, far from it, yet they were so maddeningly realistic that I really fell hook line and sinker for each and every one of them. The development of each of them is so subtle and so genuine that it really gives it that extra umph, that extra punch to the throat of sadness that you just can't keep back. For a book that has a really controversial plot I really understood each side, making me so conflicted. I wanted to be angry but I understood, I wanted to scream at how wrong things were but I really couldn't judge. It was perfect in explaining and connecting you to each characters thoughts and reasons that I just loved how angry you felt at the end because it was like you couldn't choose how right or wrong things stood, which I thought is how things unconditionally should be. It took me on an emotional joyride that never let up even when I was on the last word of the last page. It just keeps on going, way after the book is finished. 
'I will never, ever regret the things I've done. Because most days, all you have are the places in your memory that you can go to.'
Ultimately if your looking for a romance novel, this book is not it. Yes there is underlining love between the two characters but what it mainly focuses on is the something so much more. It really gets you thinking on an issue that is seen as controversial but it is written in a way that no stone is left unturned when it comes to the values and reasons of this issue. You get to see both sides, and it is done in such a brilliant way that at the end of it you are still left analysing the situation and the what ifs. What would you really do if you were in a situation like this? 
'"Hey Clark," he said."Tell me something good."'
All in all, I thought this book was perfect and I am so amped up for the movie and just how it will get played out on screen. I cannot wait to get stuck into more of JoJo Moyes novels because if they are written anything like this I can know, without a shadow of a doubt, they will catapult on to my all time favourites. 

Me Before You
Read more »

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Review: Relentless - Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Written by: Tera Lynn Childs, Tracy Deebs
Series: The Hero Agenda, Book Two
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Revenge is easy, but justice is worth fighting for...
Kenna is tired of being lied to - and hunted by the very allies she once trusted. Unearthing the dark secrets of the superhero world has not only endangered her life, but now her boyfriend faces execution for crimes he didn't commit, and her mother is being held captive in a secret government prison.

Kenna is determined to stand up for what's right and save those she loves from unspeakable fates. It's time for the betrayal to end. It's time for the real criminals to face justice.
But the truth is even more terrifying than Kenna could imagine. A conspiracy threatens the fate of heroes, villains, and all of humanity. If Kenna's going to survive, she must draw on her deepest strength; her resilience. Because when Kenna's pushed to the limit, she doesn't break down. She fights back.

Now as you may know I was a big fan of the first book in the Hero Agenda Series, from my review here, so it literally was a no hesitation thought that I would request to review the next book. Relentless, picks up a couple of weeks after the first book Powerless left off. Kenna has made it her mission to hit the heroes where it hurts, but first she must rescue everyone that she cares about from their clutches. Which is why this books starts off with a wallop and ends with a bang. It is literally full on action from the get go and makes you vibrate with adrenaline and anticipation throughout the entire story.
"To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men."
I loved the strength of characters within this series, each shine with how much of a powerhouse they are as a group, like a close knit family, that just work. I loved that family aspect they sort of project but not as much as I loved the romance between Kenna and Draven, the word soulmates epitomises them. Neither character has changed, they are just as bad-ass and brilliant as they were in Powerless, if anything they have just grown as characters which is all you want in a sequel. 
"Hope makes a desperate person let go of logic."
The action in this story was non-stop, it literally started from page one and then it was like a never ending journey of full on action after throughout the entire story. In some cases I thought that this made the pacing of the story, a little bit too fast because it didn't give you a lot of time to breath. It was like you were following a tennis match, your head swivelling back and forth, back and forth watching the action unfold, and if you got lost for just a second you were scrambling to catch up to what was going on. It left me feeling dizzy and I don't know how I feel about that, because while I found it exhilarating in some cases, in others I was feeling a little lost. So much was happening all the time that the emotion in some places fell through the cracks, meaning that I just didn't feel the emotional punch that I should of felt, all due to the fact that I was trying to figure what else was happening, trying to catch up and not get lost while it was all unfolding.
"Finally, my attention shifts back to Draven. To the villain who started me down this rabbit hole in the first place. The bad guy who showed me that you are not defined by your powers but by how you use them."
All in all, Relentless really thrived character wise, every single character was well thought out and a complete bad-ass. But what let it down for me just slightly was the pacing of the story. It felt as though all the action was all piled on at one time, not giving you enough space, so much so that some of the more big details got lost within it. However that's not to say I didn't epically enjoy this book, I honestly thought it was a real page turner, it lived up to my expectations and I was a little sad to see it end. Fingers crossed there will be more books in series, or more books like this, from these writers in the future.

Relentless (The Hero Agenda, #2)
Read more »

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Grey

Written by: Claudia Grey
Published by: Harper Teen
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 360
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Marguerite Caine grew up surrounded by cutting-edge scientific theories, thanks to her brilliant physicist parents. Yet nothing is more astounding than her mother's latest invention, a device called the Firebird that allows people to leap into alternate dimensions. 
When Marguerite's father is murdered, all the evidence points to one person - Paul, her parent's enigmatic star student. Before the law can touch him, Paul slips into another dimension, having committed what seems like the perfect crime. But he didn't count on Marguerite.
With the help of another physics student, Theo, Marguerite chases Paul through various dimensions. In each new world Marguerite leaps into, she meets another version of Paul that has her doubting his guilt and questioning her heart. Soon, she is swept into an epic love affair as dangerous as it is irresistible. 

This story has me highly confused, after finishing A Thousand Pieces of You I am split in two ways. On the one hand, I loved the theory behind it, it was so unique and was extremely intriguing. Yet on the other, I felt that it took a lull in the middle and was slightly predictable. This is why I was battling two sides when I was reading this novel because while I found it intriguing I also found it annoying, I loved it but I also got hugely infuriated by it. 
"It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth within someone, and they glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely."
I was originally interested in this book because it was blurbed by Jennifer L. Armentrout (who I absolutely love) and then the actual premise just pulled me right in. The idea of reading a book that takes places throughout alternate dimensions? just sign me up! But after the first couple of paragraphs I found myself loosing a little interest. I was getting increasingly annoyed with the main character. She was so up and down and couldn't really get it together, I thought it was blaringly obvious who was the real culprit was behind the crime, but to her everything was just so upside down and that just didn't sit right with me.
“I would love you in any shape, in any world, with any past. Never doubt that."
Then it came to the middle of the story and bearing in mind I was already annoyed with the main character I got even more irked when what started off with a really fast paced super gripping story started to lull when they got stuck in an alternate dimension that was supposed to add a few speed bumps in the romance department but all it really did was confuse me more with the situation. The story was telling me one thing yet the main character conflicted it all and that has never really happened before. for obvious reasons because how can a story conflict with the characters but really it was clear to see that the alternate versions of themselves are basically the same as their true selves but the Marguerite wanted to believe differently, that she had fallen in love with a different Paul but who was practically the same Paul. I don't know it just got really confusing from there on out and I couldn't love the story because of how it was giving off two different vibes. Not to mention it was becoming extremely predictable and slow paced, which is defiantly one of my pet peeves.
“Now I know that grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within.”
However the most annoying thing about ATPOY was how stunningly addictive the writing was. No matter how irate I got over the predictability of the story or the main character I was still gripped by the writing. I had to finish the story, I had to know how it all unravelled, and mainly I had to know what happened to Paul because even though Marguerite was vexing, Paul was all kinds of cute and moreish. I put all this down to the actual writing because however expected I found the twists the way the writing revolved around them made me keep reading, made me want to go on. I was being pulled in two different opinions on this novel but nevertheless I was just as addicted. 
“I fell in love with his unchanging soul.”
All in all, A Thousand Pieces of You needed a little more focus on the romance and a little less predictability within the narrative to make it perfect. While a got frustrated with many things within the novel I did get thoroughly gripped by the dramatic occurrences within. What it lacked in mystery it made up for in uniqueness. So while the first book fell a little flat for me, I will undoubtedly follow on with the series as I just can't get quite enough of it.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
Read more »

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Review: Calamity - Brandon Sanderson

Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Published by: Gollancz
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 432
Purchase from:  Amazon  |  Book Depository

When Calamity lit up the sky, the epics were born. David's fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof's secret, and kept it even when the onetime leader of the Reckoners struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers.
But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. And everyone knows there's no turning back...
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics. They're not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

When it comes to Brandon Sanderson's books, I find it hard to not have huge expectations. This is the first full series of books that I have read from him and I fell harder and harder with each passing word. He is just a fantastic author. Yet, there were some things left within the novel that I do feel as though they were a little short, a little brief, but I cannot deny that Calamity left me breathtakingly speechless just like the other two books (Steelheart and Firefight). So in short any grievances I had with the story were swept away with how much I love the genius of Sanderson's writing. 
"My Megan is a sunrise, always changing, but beautiful the entire time."
Calamity picks up soon after Firefight left off, at the very start of a new mission, so straight away you are propelled back into the action, back into the story and back into the brilliant mind of David Charleston. As Firefight left you on the edge of your seat wondering if the Reckoners will be able to get out from under Prof's nose without harm, Calamity is pulling you into how this team is going to bring back their friend from the darkness, something no one has managed to do. It literally hits the ground running and unlike some books where you have to scramble to pick up the pieces, Sanderson does a really good job of catching you up on the events that have transpired between the two novels in a really easy and quick way. 
“Damn, I miss the internet. You could always find people doing stupid stuff on the internet.
There have been some mixed reviews on the end fight but honestly I didn't have a problem with it, in many ways it made it seem more human and I actually liked that about it. Yes it wasn't as epic and huge as I hoped but it still got your adrenaline pumping, still made me devour the words. All that was missing for me was a slightly larger resolution. That's not to say that there wasn't a resolution, it was just kind of abrupt and didn't really answer all of the questions instead it added more to the mix. 
"There will be heroes. Just wait."
All in all, Calamity is just like the other books in the series. Exquisite writing, amazing story and brilliant characters. Everything just works. Yes, the ending was minutely disappointing but, on the other hand, it left it open with the possibility of more stories from this world, which would just be amazing, so I can't really fault it. This series is something I would always seriously recommend, and this writing is something I will always love because, honestly, it's hard not to fall for a Brandon Sanderson novel.  
Calamity (Reckoners, #3)
Read more »

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Whatcha Reading Wednesday: A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Grey

Wednesday 23rd March

It's been a while since I've posted a Whatcha Reading Wednesday, that reading slump really defeated me, so I think it's time I gave myself a kick and bring it back! This Wednesday my focus has been on A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Grey. 

Everyone can agree that this cover is just stunning, but the story within it is also extremely intriguing. I am currently on page 82 and loving it!! While there is some massive predictable plot points, it makes up for it by making you doubt whether it is actually that predictable by throwing a spanner in the works. You begin doubting yourself at every turn. 

I might only be at the very beginning of this novel, but I am literally jumping with anticipation on what is going to happen next (I need some Paul action desperately!). Seriously I can already tell that this series is going to be one of my all time favourites, if it carries on like this, and we are only on book one!

Read more »

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Review: The Boy Most Likely To - Huntley Fitzpatrick

Written by: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by: Egmont Publishing
Format: Kindle
Edition: NetGalley Review Copy
Pages: 432
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house
Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.
For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

It is an undeniable fact that I am a huge fan of Huntley Fitzpatrick's writing, she is defiantly an auto-buy author for me, so when I heard that The Boy Most Likely To would be a companion novel that follows My Life Next Door and is all about Tim I was completely on board. Pre-ordered and waiting. So when the opportunity came for me to request a review copy through NetGalley there was literally no hesitation, I requested and waited with my fingers crossed. Some one must of heard my prayers because my request was accepted and I immediately hunkered down and got to reading. All in all, I think its safe to say that my expectations of this novel was astronomically big. Which is why when it comes to my review, there are a few small and minor faults I had with the story. 
“God, I hate it when people even say there are types, like people come in flavours.” 
The Boy Most Likely To picks up where My Life Next Door stops, Tim is needing a place to stay and what better place than with his best friend, Jase Garrett's, home. While Alice is still coming to terms with her dad's accident and her handling the responsibility it has placed on her.
Okay so I've said it once and I will say it again, Huntley Fitzpatrick, knows how to write an amazing family dynamic. The Garrett's are always the shining star, they are literally written perfectly, a strong family that shows the realistic problems a big family can face. Such as money issues, sibling responsibilities, growing up too fast etc. But that never seems to bring them down for long, they keep powering through the tough times and I love that. I love reading about it, I love picturing it, I love everything about it, so you can imagine my slight disappointment when I felt that there wasn't enough of it. I needed more of the family, more of Jase and Sam, to just tip the scales and make this book perfect. 
“It’s not rocket science, Nan. You show someone they matter to you—do whatever it takes to show that.” 
Now I did just bring up Jase and Sam, and they were in this novel, so I might have to explain that I found it hard to let go of the romance in My life Next Door with the romance in The Boy Most Likely To. As much as I was reading about Tim and Alice, all I wanted to know was more about Jase and Sam. I literally was craving them. So much so that it made me realise, that while I really enjoyed this book I was still desperately involved and wanting more Sam and Jase in it, without them it gave me a incomplete and lacking feeling. 
"She stops, and I can hear the gears turning as she tries to figure out how to put it. Because you - Are the boy most likely to. Fail. Everyone and Everything."
However, let's just get this straight, this novel is a companion novel to My Life Next Door, meaning that you don't have to read the first one to understand this one. It can stand on it's own, and if that was how I read it, it would of been a full 5 stars instead of 4. But seeing as I read them both, I can't help but compare them and feel that the romance in this one felt slightly rushed, slightly pushed. It felt as though everything happened within the last couple of chapters, that even though there were suggestions here and there, it sort of exploded in your face.

"People's strengths can take their turn. There can be more of us than there is trouble."
All in all, as a standalone novel The Boy Most Likely To is superb. It has everything you need, emotional drama (and let me tell you that drama packs quite the punch), realistic problems and amazingly developed characters. Seriously the characters were brilliant, every single one of them. The only thing letting it down for me was the romance, I did enjoy it, I just didn't love it. It felt a little too pushed in my opinion. You never really understood Alice's side of it until the very end and by that point everything just had this air of rushed anticipation, not the sort of realistic romance you were meant to feel. It set the book a little off in my opinion but it did not effect the overall fantastic feeling I got when reading this novel. It will go down as one of my favourites, just like all the other Huntley Fitzpatrick novels, and I can't wait to see what she writes next. 
The Boy Most Likely To
Read more »

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Mini Review Series: Altered, Erased and Reborn - Jennifer Rush

 Written by: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered, Book One
Published by: Little Brown Books
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 336
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

They were made to forget. But they'll never forgive.
Everything about Anna's life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There's Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who's stolen Anna's heart.
When the Branch decides it's time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna's father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs.
On the run, with her father's warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they're both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

The levels of excitement I had before I started reading this, were astronomical. The blurb sounded fantastic, the cover drew me in and, to me, it just ticked all the boxes of a sci-fi romance. Honestly after devouring all three books in the series, I was left feeling emotionally confused and spent. So you can probably guess how disappointed I was when it just didn't reach those expectations I had put upon it. 
“Hope is a waking dream.' I let the words echo in my head. The quote reminded me of that feeling you get when you start to wake from a dream you don't want to leave."
Now there's nothing that is really wrong about it, I mean I got completely gripped from the start, but it was just blah story-wise. Nothing really happened, I think the main reason why I couldn't put the book down was because I was hoping the story would get going so I kept reading to find out if it would. One of the most annoying qualities this book has to offer is the romance. There isn't much development to it so that when it happens it's just suddenly there. Its an addicting read, but it leaves you feeling unsatisfied and lacking.

Altered (Altered, #1)


Written by: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered, Book Two
Published: Little Brown Books
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 288
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.
After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.
When memories from Anna's old life begin to resurface--and a figure from her childhood reappears--Anna's loyalties are tested. Is it a Branch set-up, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased in the first place?
Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned

As I finished the first book in the series and felt that something was missing, I hoped and prayed that this book would have all the things the first book was lacking in. Again just like Altered, Erased has the annoying addictiveness that keeps you glued to the pages even if your not really emotionally invested in it.
"It was like my nerve endings weren't truly functioning until they were beneath Sam's fingertips."
Having said this, the romance of the story wasn't my main problem this time, in fact I enjoyed the scenes between Sam and Anna the most. Yet the thing that annoyed me this time was the predictability of the story. Every twist that was meant to shock me, I could see coming from a mile away, so again it just left me feeling emotionally depleted and bored. 

Erased (Altered, #2)


Written by: Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered, Book Three
Published by: Little Brown Books
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 336
Purchase from: Amazon  |  Book Depository

The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas, and Nick can't rest easy. Remnants of the organization lurk unseen and the flashbacks to their old lives are only getting stronger--especially Nick's.
Following scattered memories and clues from his Branch file, Nick sets off alone in search of answers and in search of the girl who haunts his dreams. But the sleepy town where she lives in full of secrets and Nick soon learns that uncovering their shared past may have deadly consequences.

Reborn is the third book in the altered series, and just like the previous two it had all the ideas to make it a brilliant novel but it was still lacking in cohesiveness to make it so. The addictive feel that ran throughout the first two, was also still present, keeping me turning the pages. But unlike the first two the books perspective is shifted onto Nick, instead of Anna, giving it a slight breath of fresh air.
“Oceans are vast and almost bottomless. You dance in the rain Elizabeth. You drown in the sea.”
However just like the other two, there were many problems that niggled me throughout the story. This time the main one being how even though you are reading in a different perspective, the story is basically the same as the others. Making it so predictable, so easy to see what will happen next that you don't really have to read the story to know what will happen at the end. 

Reborn (Altered, #3)

Read more »