As you may have noticed, my reviews have become very sparse and sporadic. To be honest, this is because my life has taken over and I'm seriously struggling to find the time to read, let alone blog. There's no way I can keep up with review books and this means I'm not getting to read the books I really want to read when I do find the time.
For this reason, I've decided to take a break from the blog and read for fun. I don't want a hobby to becomes a chore, and it is seriously getting that way at the moment.
I have no idea how long I'll be away, I'm sure I'll be back, eventually, but at the moment I'm thinking I could be away for a few months, until exams are over, at least.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me in the blog, especially Liz ffrom Planet Print, Raimy from Readaraptor and Cait from The Cait Files, who really helped me find my feet and of course all fo my Twitter and GFC followers.
You have all been fantastic.
Monday, 29 April 2013
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.
No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.
I've always enjoyed Aprilynne Pike's books before but I haven't completely adored them. Life After Theft hasn't changed that, I did enjoy this book since it was cute and quirky but I can't say that I really 'loved' it. I did, however, really like what it brought to the YA paranormal genre.
You'd expect that a book with the synopsis up there would follow a simple formula right? Boy meets ghost, boy and ghost hate each other but then like each other then fall in love, cue angst over the fact that they can never be together! *wail*
Nah, I can happily say that Life After Theft mixes it up a little. Firstly, and this is not a spoiler, Kimberlee and Jeff do not fall in love. Don't worry, there is romance. Jeff hits it off with Sera and the romance there is adorable but doesn't take over the book. Secondly, there is no explanation into where Jeff's ability to see the deceased comes from and usually that's something that I'd complain about but it just didn't seem necessary here.
It's pretty obvious by the cover that this isn't a 'dark' read, this is for people who want to read something light but want to mix it up a little and not read the typical YA contemporary books. It was fun read, Kimberlee is snarky and Jeff is fun to read. There are some slightly angsty bits and the drama when Kim realises the 'error of her ways' and it deals with a dead kleptomaniac, so of course there will be issues but mostly this is just a quick and quirky read.
My main complaint with this book would be the pacing. I felt as though I could put this book down whenever I wanted. I didn't really feel gripped. the ending also seemed a little rushed, like Pike was trying to tie the ends up perfectly in like one chapter.
Overall, I did enjoy Life After Theft but I can't say that I loved it. The pacing was not fantastic. I did really like how it mixed up the genre and because of that I'm going to rate this a little higher than I would have done otherwise.
Overall Rating: B-
Book released 30th April 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)
Other books by this author:Wings
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Why hire mercenaries to kill an innocent family just to obtain one little key? That question haunts Jacquie Renairre for six years as she hunts down the people responsible for murdering her parents.
Not even accepting an assignment to investigate a conspiracy that aims to start a war can keep her from searching for the key. Armed with her father’s guns and socialite Clay Baneport, she continues her quest for answers abroad.
With the world edging closer to disaster, Jacquie is running out of time to figure out how the war, the key, and ancient legend are intertwined. The fate of the world hinges on her ability to unravel both mysteries before it’s too late.
If there is any genre that I tend to not get along with it is definitely steampunk, so whilst I accepted this book for review I did it very tentatively knowing that there was a massive chance I was NOT going to enjoy it. Thankfully I did actually enjoy this book though I didn't really love it. I think that what set's The Exile's Violin apart from the other steampunk books is that it is both geared towards slightly older readers and also steampunk-fantasy, as opposed to steampunk-historical so it has all of the normal features of steampunk with the airships and the classes but it also has a new world, a fantastic setting which makes this book a joy to read. I loved exploring all of the world with Jacquie and Clay and there was just enough action and intrigue to keep me interested.
This book was the perfect length for me, I feel like I would have felt like things were being missed out on if parts of the book had been taken out but if it had been much longer I would have started to get bored and the adventures would have seemed very repetitive. Plot-wise there were a few holes that I couldn't help noticing, one big question being how Jacquie's family came to have the key and the guns, a theory about getting it from a friend just doesn't cut it for me since the items are of such big importance to the plot.
One of the biggest faults with this book is definitely the main character. I understand that Hunter was trying to write Jacquie as a tough woman, as opposed to a meek society girl and I get that but I also wonder whether she could have shown some vulnerability as opposed to flipping out with violence every time somebody upset her. She was also very irrational, blanking her only friend for days when it wasn't even a big deal. I did really feel sorry for Clay because a lot of the verbal abuse that he got thrown at him was not deserved. That being said, Jacquie and Clay's interactions definitely made the book for me, especially Clay's jealousy over Gunslinger. The romance in this book is barely there, but it was fantastically written and well-developed nonetheless.
Overall, I did enjoy The Exile's Violin much more than I thought I would. It was a thrilling adventure with action and pacing that kept me reading but I was quite let down with Jacquie as a character and a few of the plot-holes that weren't massive but were still noticeable. Would I read a sequel? Definitely, but I'm not sure whether it would be RIGHT at the top of my pile. I'd have to be in the mood to pick it up.
Plus, I'm starting to feel like a big girl venturing into books with protagonists that are older than 18!
Overall Rating: B-
Book released 10th December 2012 by Hydra PublicationsBook received from the author in exchange for an honest review
Monday, 1 April 2013
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
Before I start this review I have to get something out of my system:
Just finished, read the epilogue, reread the epilogue. OH MY.... WHAT.... WHY.... HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME... HOW CAN I WAIT UNTIL 2014 FOR BOOK THREE... Julie Kagawa is no longer in my life... it's over!! The ending of this book made me feel like I'd been punched in the gut. Seriously Kagawa, it was an amazing ending but it was just so unbelievably EVIL?!
Seriosuly, just when I think that Julie Kagawa can't get any better she goes and proves me wrong. I adored The Immortal Rules and I was so scared that The Eternity Cure would fail to live up to that standard but I needn't have been, this book was freaking AMAZING!
In the first book Allie was coming to terms with what she is, but by the start of The Immortal Rules she has come to realise that she is a monster and has chosen the type of monster she is, this means that the Eternity Cure has a lot more action in it and has some pretty gory scenes in it. I've always been a fan of Allie as a character because she's so hardened and tough but I loved her in this book because she kills and she lives as a real vampire but we do also get to see the more human side at some points. Jackal comes back on the scenes and despite the fact that I hated him after book one he was actually an incredible character because I slowly started to warm to him.
Zeke is also a new person. No longer the idealistic ray of sunshine that he was in The Immortal Rules, Zeke was an interesting character. He is still caring but he also isn't as trusting and is a lot more tough in this book, to tell the truth I actually preferred him that way and I still root for him and Allie.
I was so happy that Kagawa recapped the first book as I'd almost forgotten who everyone was, the recap is done very quickly and really helped me but it also made the first few chapters very boring. After that the pacing is perfect though, Kagawa manages to keep the book exciting and fresh for four hundred pages and I totally applaud that. I did find that there was a part near the ending where things were resolved a little too ideally, nonetheless it was still a fantastic book with great plotting.
Overall, an AMAZING sequel. I just love this series and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book three.
Overall Rating: A+
Book released 30th April by Harlequin TeenBook received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley) (May 3rd by Mira Ink in the UK)
Other books in this series:
Friday, 29 March 2013
Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.
Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.
But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.
It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving
Fraction of Stone begins very abruptly, I actually thought that the file was damaged on my kindle and that I'd missed some pages because the beginning just throws you into the action and you really don't have much time for introductions and world building, it's okay though because it all settles down soon enough. The beginning basically sets the pace for the book though, this book was fast paced at most points and you have to be completely immersed in the book to follow what's going on. Seriously, I thought the pacing in this book was fantastic!
On top of that, the characters are pretty well fleshed out. On the most part they were well developed, though I'd have liked to see more development for Tristan and Rydan's friends at home as they show up later in the story and I would have liked to get to know them more. Akara and Rydan were fantastic though, I supported Akara from the start but it took me while to warm to Rydan as he started out very selfish and judgemental with Akara. I did love the slight bits of romance that are there, it's very VERY subtle but at the same time it's pretty obvious how it's going to work out.
Plus, the fantasy side was very original and enjoyable. There was a mystery and an adventure, and the story was well developed with a great back story about the Gia stone and Kara and Rydan's past.
Overall I was very impressed with Fraction of Stone and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good fantasy novel! I would have liked some more development for the backing characters though.
Overall Rating: B+
Book released 21st March 2013 by Sapphire Star PublishingBook received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Review requested by author)
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide.
Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her. As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentiality—and tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch's death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.
If I had to name a book that plays out like the perfect mystery it would be Escape Theory.I was totally expecting gritty teen contemporary when I started this book and I got that and a lot more, honestly I have to say that Escape Theory was a great book - I was absolutely hooked and I really couldn't put it down.
The book starts with the obituary of high school junior Hutch, who has been found dead, presumed to have taken his own life. Then we cut to our main girl Devon and we discover this bond that she has with Hutch. It's all set up very quickly and very seamlessly. The whole book is written from Devon's point of view and switches back and forth from the present day, where she is trying to unravel the mystery of Hutch's death to the past, where we learn more about the night that she and Hutch spent together. The tense switching works very well here and doesn't distract you from the story.
Also, the murder mystery aspect of the book was well-written. We have all of these characters and each one has a motivation for killing Hutch and honestly I had no clue who it could have been until the end when it's all revealed. The confrontation at the end could have been a little more thrilling as it was all pretty quick but it still had me on the edge of my seat for a while.
What I really liked about this book was that it was just as much about Devon's view of life changing as it is about figuring out Hutch's death. She starts out quite naive, but as she delves deeper into the mystery she because much more street savvy and realises that there are things going on around her that are pretty dark and that Hutch, who she had thought was a golden boy could have been involved in it.
Overall, Escape Theory was a great book. I loved reading about the mystery but I also enjoyed atching the characaters develop. Margaux Froley deals so well with the issues of grief and jealousy and I would love to read more from the author.
Overall Rating: A-
Book released 12th March 2013 by Soho TeenBook received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)
Wednesday, 27 March 2013
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Another week and another load of books I wish I could list... still, here are my two!
Here are my picks for this week, let me know what you think and add me a link to yours in the comments :)
I'm giving away a YA book from a list of awesome choices!
Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston
17th September 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
Post extinction event with an ice-age setting and a new civilization, okay maybe not totally original BUT the blurb mentions magic... post-apocalyptic WITH magic? Sounds awesome!
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
May 21st 2013 by Little Brown
May 21st 2013 by Little Brown
Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send."
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look.
Relevant and meaningful. I've been having an urge lately to read more gritty contemporary reads (I think I'm finally growing up) and this sounds so real and realistic. I have Hate List on my TBR shelf at home but haven't read anything by this author otherwise.
Clever title too - 'A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words'
Posted by Jade at 13:14