Monday, 9 June 2014

Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

The Vow

No one has  ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?

Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.

Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

Martinez is a good writer, I'll start by saying that no matter what I'm about to say in terms of the plot and characters Martinez can write well, and she writes for her audience. The way that she can write in both boy and girl narratives and build a well paced and engaging plot is exactly why her books are as successful as they are, and adding onto the fact that she's obviously done her research on immigration laws. The Vow is my first Martinez book and I can assure that it will not be my last.

To start with, I disliked both Annie and Mo. Annie seemed really needy and selfish, like she only cared about Mo moving away because she needed him, leading to her making rash decisions. Mo also seemed selfish at times and he seemed very stupid, putting his best friend ahead of his family. I can understand why the pair decided to actually get married but they were both very stupid and dived head first with no research into it and no thought of the what-ifs. That being said, they both grew on me as we realised why they were so close and what they meant to each other, and as they begin to realise that they were very rash and naive.

In fact, my favorite thing about this book was watching Annie fall for Reed and struggle with the fact that she was married and at some point would have to tell him. It was really good to watch her come to terms with the gravity of what she had done. In the end it comes down to romantic love versus friendship love, and I think that whilst the choice Annie makes won't be popular with some reasons, it was the perfect conclusion to her development.

Overall, The Vow was a well informed and engaging read that had some fantastic character development. I wasn't hooked immediately since the characters were frustrating, but as the story went on I became so emotionally invested in Annie and Mo's happy ending. This book saved itself, and Jessica Martinez has definitely peaked my interest.

 Overall Rating: B+

Book released  5th October 2013 by Simon Pulse
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

It's been a while...

It's been a while, but I'm back. However, whilst I am continuing reviewing at InkScratchers I will only be reviewing one or so books a week and I will not be taking part in memes again for a while.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney


The Brokenhearted

A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

Mrs Kahaney, there is such a thing called world building and in the very massive young adult market its pretty darned important. Unfortunately, you are seriously missing it and in this book it was pretty necessary so this book seriously dropped in my rating just because of that. The whole bleak world and silent vigilante with improved skillz was all well and good, but why is the world so bleak? Who are the bad guys and what is the motivation? Who is this mysterious The Hope that keeps being alluded to? I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I'd actually had a clue what was going on.

I also would have loved the whole mechanical heart thing to have been mentioned a little more. It's mentioned every now and again in passing and Anthem does use her awesome new powers but what about the emotional effect of having a heart transplant? I loved the whole vigilante thing though, Anthem going and kicking butt was pretty awesome to read about and it was at this point that the pace picked up. Then there's that twist at the end which I could have seen coming but... well... it did hit me and I'll give Kahaney kudos for that.

Let me get onto this romance though. This was one of the most frustrating and annoying romances ever. Anthem meets Gavin. Anthem falls for Gavin. Anthem loses her virginity to Gavin within a few days. Gavin is kidnapped. Anthem is heartbroken because she loves this guy. No, just... NO. I get that Kahaney had this awesome batman-esque vigilante thing planned out and had to get there somewhere, but what the HECK is this? Instant love is one thing, but instant deflowering is on a whole other level.

I was so excited for The Brokenhearted and I regret to say that for me this book was an absolute let-down.There were some exciting and well paced parts and the ending was a shocker, but the romance and absolute lack of world development just really disappointed me. Not recommended by me...

 Overall Rating: E+

Book released 8th October 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard


Find Me

"Find Me." These are the words written on Tessa Waye's diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa's just been found...dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target. Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick.

Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick's deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she's going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

I like to think that I am a very discerning reviewer, I usually figure out the culprit in this type of book pretty quickly and that is why mystery contemporary books never really appeal to me. I was sooo shocked by Find Me though, even though looking back I know I should have seen it coming and I think that's the sign of a good mystery novel - the reveal shocks you but there are obvious signs throughout it.


This isn't just a mystery whodunnit novel though - firstly, we don't have a murderer, we have a suicide caused by somebody. Secondly, there's the way that Wick is a hacker and has links to scams and her father is wanted criminal. All of these other things add an edge to this book that make it just gritty and original, such a pleasure to read. Wick was street-smart and defensive character but she never seemed overly cold or whiny, it all suited her after what she had been through, I really liked Griff who was loyal and yet also a little rough and ready - he was the absolute perfect for for Wick and I loved their relationship. Lily was a fantastic innocent character and I really liked Bren, and I liked beginning to like her along with Wick.
There are more things going on than just the main mystery story. What I really loved in this book was watching Wick show, she is bitter in this book which is understandable but she grows into a more open person by the end of the book and I absolutely loved her by the end of the book.

Bernard is an awesome writer. The pacing and tension in this book was always at a high and she kept me guessing from the first to last page, the romance was well written but she is also so talented at writing nail-biting action scenes - that ending climax had me white-knuckled from gripping my kindle so tightly and I was half expecting my fingers to go through the screen!

Overall, Find Me was one of the best mystery books that I have ever read. This book mixes a great romance, an awesome heroine, a not-so-obvious mystery and the right amount of techy awesomeness! Very well done! I am sooooo excited for the sequel now!

 Overall Rating: A

Book released 24th September 2013 by Harper Teen
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review: Thin Space by Jody Cassella

Thin Space
Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side.

But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.

As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead.

Thin Space was a really cold book - I felt so disconnected from it because the tone was so... I guess I'd call it distant. However, the tone did actually fit the book because Marsh and Maddie are both going through difficult times so they walk around feeling very distant from themselves, as well as the fact that the book is set in a freezing cold winter, so the bleak tone kind of fit the setting and time.

Casella writes grief so well and whilst I've never lost someone very close to me, I felt that Marsh was grieving so well - his search for a thin space showed his disbelief and anger that his brother is dead, especially his going as far as walking around with bare feet, even in the middle of a freezing cold winter. I didn't feel like anyone else was acting as though they had lost someone but I'm going to blame this on the fact that very few of the backing characters are developed at all - Maddie and Marsh are the only people who matter in this book. Marsh's voice reads so well and he was such a realistic person to follow.

The relationship between Maddie and Marsh developed from curiosity to friendship to something more and the progression did feel very realistic and well developed, so I applaud Casella on this, however the ending where Maddie forgives him for the big secret seemed a little unrealistic, at least make him work for it girl! Speaking of the secret... well that threw me off big time! I was not expecting that and whilst it didn't affect my judgement of the book, I still don't think it was necessary!

Overall, Thin Space was a bleak and dreary read - and I mean that in the best way! The tone and mood of the book really matched the content. I liked the romance but would have liked more characters to be developed, and I think the big twist ending should have been either foreshadowed more or omitted from the book.

Overall Rating: B-

Book released 10th September 2013 by Simon Pulse
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White


The Chaos of Stars

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

The Chaos of Stars was by far one of my most anticipated 2013 releases since I adored Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series and Mind Games was a fun read as well. I can't say that The Chaos of Stars totally lived up to my expectations, but it wasn't a serious let-down either.

This book has an awesome and original idea - I honestly never thought I'd see an mythology book based on Egyptian mythology since generally Greek and Roman mythology seem to be the craze these days, with a little Norse thrown in every now and again and I love what White did for the mythology, with Isadora's story mixed in with the stories of ancient Egyptian gods. Honestly, it was a fantastic idea and it was pulled off quite well, excusing a few issues in execution and plot holes.

I've always enjoyed reading White' writing, honestly even if the story was boring I would still be entertained by the writing. Thankfully The Chaos of Stars wasn't boring, I was really absorbed in the story even though I realised when I finished the book that actually not that much happened and I think that this is because I enjoyed reading Isadora so much - she was a very honest and fun narrator. I also couldn't help but love Ry even though his plot-twist was extremely obvious!

The main issue that I had with this book was that there didn't really seen to be a lot going on until the end and whilst the characters and narration kind of made up for it I do wish there had been more white knuckle, gripping moments. I mean, I don't think that the book was made bad by this, but I would have LOVED it if there had been a little bit more action like the Anubis show down at the end - hopefully in the next book there will be!

Overall, The Chaos of Stars was a great read even though there was a lot of build-up and not a lot of action. I did still enjoy reading it since Isadora was an amazing character and she basically made this book as great as it was. Still, a little bit more action wouldn't go amiss. Definitely one you should try if you're a mythology lover!


Overall Rating: B

Book released 10th September 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Hiatus

Hi guys!

I'm on a temporary hiatus at the moment. It won't be too long!
I've been taking some time off reading to concentrate on other hobbies that blogging hasn't given me much time for, I'm also having to get ready for university starting again in a few weeks!