Review: The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

The PeculiarsThis dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance. On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.




The Peculiars is one of those books that I enjoyed storyline and character wise but due to some issues with the pacing I'm definitely grading it down a little, because this book was so slow that I started it at the end of April and only picked it up again yesterday and I literally had to force myself into the book again. The pacing has it's moments where it gets exciting but suddenly it just drops again.


That being said, I loved so many aspects of this book that as soon as I got interested in the characters I knew that i was going to finish this book, no matter how long it took me. I like steampunk books but it's a genre that I only enjoy on occasion, I love the mix of steampunk and fantasy on this book... the manners and the characters are so believably Vixtorian but there is the aspect of the steampunk with aerocopters and science in there which doesn't overtake the books, I liked how well the author balanced the steam part of things with the historical aspect and the fantasy, it all worked really well for me.


I found that the characters well well developed, but the development took some time and the only character that I felt attached to for a while was Lena, who I think I came to like because of her seeing herself as an outcast, by the end I liked most of the characters, especially Jimson who is Lena's love interest, I really liked that the hints of romance were there but barely, so the sweet scenes were very cute!


I would have liked more on the peculiars and what made them that way, maybe that will come in the sequel, but all in all I liked the little bits of fantasy in this book, it made it a little bit creepy and obscure, giving the book a unique tone.


Overall, a fantastic storyline and amazing characters that i just loved, the blend of genres was done so well and the plot ran seamlessly, unfortunately this book isn't even close to perfect due to the massive problems with pacing, seriously I struggled with the pacing because it was so slow so...


Overall Rating: C



Book released by Abrams and Chronicle on May 1st
book received from the publisher for review... thanks!

Review: Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison

Jane Austen Stole My BoyfriendJane wants to meet a hero worthy of her extraordinary imagination: a gentleman who is dashing and daring and handsome and brave; who can dance like a viscount and duel like a king. Jane and Jenny are whiling away the season in Bath and there are plenty of dances, rumours and scandals to entertain them. But a good reputation, once lost, is gone forever; and Jane is in danger of becoming the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons…


If there is anything that I have learnt from this book, it's that I'm glad that I don't like in the eighteenth century. All that stuffy dancing and dressing and having to behave in a certain way and having to have permission to marry. Many may think it was glamorous, I think it was stuffy and silly. That being said, I love reading historical books around this time period and this is definitely one of the happier and nicer book series set around it.


I loved the first book in this series, I really like the out there character of Jane, and in this book she get's into all sorts of trouble but I also really loved Jenny. Captain Williams was romantic as ever but I had to keep reminding myself that it was the eighteenth century because it kept creeping me out that he was twice as old as Jenny... still, I was rooting for their relationship to work and I loved the happy ending. I hope there is a third book because i'd like to see more of Jenny and Thomas as well as see whether Jane and Harry work out.


The pacing was great, despite the fact that neither of the books are edge of seat reading, both have something that keep you reading, in this one it was the development of Jane and Harry's relationship and the will-they-won't-they around Jenny and Thomas's marriage. There was a part near the end where I was almost crying because it's pretty sad, but most of it is pretty happy and fun.


Overall, a good addition to the series. it was fun, it was romantic and it was dramatic and I loved laying in the sun and reading it.


Overall Rating: B



Book released 2nd February 2012 by Macmillan Children's Books
Book released from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness. 

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.




After how much I loved Wither when I read it, I knew that I had to read Fever, but i got this through the post two months ago and have been putting it off because I was so scared of reading it and being disappointed. In the end, I grew a pair and dived in. I finished it within four hours. It was fantastic, though not as good as Wither in my opinion.


I found that the characters were just as lovely in this book as in the first, Gabriel was sweet and charming though he shows a far darker side in this book, I still loved him. Rhine is also developed further, she wasn't as headstrong as I'd hoped but she was determined to escape and that showed in every decision she made. We saw very little Vaughn in this book but he was still terrifying, very little Linden but he was a bit darker and a bit of Cecily and she is starting to mature as well. All of the characters were true to the first in the series which I liked.


I also liked the dynamics of Gabriel and Rhine's relationship. Since they escaped, I was scared that it would get really easy and cookie cutter but it gets to be quite an awkward and difficult relationship which I liked to see.


The world is still dark as ever, I found that we are thrown right back into the dull and scary world and maybe I would have liked a little time to re-introduce myself to the world before all the gritty happens, but it was a way of grabbing my interest. The 'darkness' is maybe the reason I kept putting this book off, but whilst it's quite a depressing world there are scenes which lighten up the mood, I felt that the tone was much darker that in Wither.


And seriously Miss DeStefano, that ending? I hate you for making me wait for Sever!


Overall, a good second book in a trilogy. I can't wait to read Sever, though I'm praying that it works out well for Rhine and Gabriel. Good characters and a dark tone kept me gripped.


Overall Rating: B+



Released 16th February by HarperCollins Voyager
Book received for review from the publisher

Review: Fated by Alyson Noel

Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead. 

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.




I am completely torn by this book, I really enjoyed it but at the same time there was some things that I didn't like as much. My gut instinct is telling me that I really loved it and the critic in me is saying "Seriously Jade, are you just going to ignore the flaws". Ahhh!


What i really loved about this book was the setting. I love books with unique settings and I just loved the traditional Native American vibe that this book has, that vibe is carried by Paloma, Daire's latino grandmother who was definitely my favorite character in the book. At the same time there's a hint of a modern way of life, with The Rabbit Hole, a club, being the main hang out for people in the town.


The blurb for this book promised me romance and I was seriously let down on the romance side. I did love Dace, the love interest (I for one do like guys with long hair, especially the native american looking ones! Swoon!) and I loved Dace and Daire together, the problem was that there wasn't many scenes where we see the romance developing so it kind of comes across as insta-love. I would have loved more Daire and Dace and I can't wait till I get to see more of them in the sequel.


The bad guy, Cade was evil, but he didn't really do much for me, I wasn't scared of him and I didn't hate him, I was just indifferent, hopefully I'll start to dislike him more in the sequel. The person I disliked more than Cade was Daire's mother, Jennika. Jennika was just horrible, she basically calls her daughter psycho, leaves her with a grandmother she doesn't even know then has the nerve to get worried when she doesn't hear from her daughter, seriously, I just wanted to slap her round the face.


I love the paranormal aspect of this book, though at times I got very confused with what was going on and what was real and what wasn't. What was actually happening in some scenes; I had to reread some parts to get some clarity of what was going on. I did love the idea of guardian spirit animals and all of the native american spirituality, that was one aspect of the book that I really enjoyed.


Overall, an enjoyable book but has some flaws. I loved the love interest but would have liked more development on the romance and some parts did confuse me. I will still most definitely be reading the sequel, Echo, in September.


Overall Rating: C+



Book released May 24th by PanMacmillan
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Of PoseidonGalen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.




Oh my gosh, I love mermaid books and I seriously think there should be more out there and this one was fantastic (even if Galen gets offended that I'm calling it a mermaid book). I really loved the storyline, getting to know Emma as she discovers herself and I totally fell in love with Galen with her.


Compared to a lot of paranormal books out there at the moment, Of Poseidon is definitely one of the lighter and happier reads, there are definitely some darker areas in it: Galen goes through some points of angst and indecision and Emma goes through periods of guilt and grief over her best friends death but overall it isn't one of those reads that makes you feel trapped in the angst and drama, a lot of it is fun. There were some particularly funny points that stood out for me, like Rayna and Toraf's relationship and basically everything to do with that, as well as Galen's lack of knowledge about humans and some awkward observations by him, I was seriously giggling at some points.


I really liked the writing, Banks had me gripped and it seemed so genuine in the thoughts and the reactions that the characters have. If there was anything that I would say I disliked it was the narrative. It's told in alternating chapters between Emma, whose chapters are written in first person and Galen who's chapters are third person. I honestly found that whilst it meant I knew who's chapter I was reading it also kind of disrupted the flow of the book at points.


There was a cliffhanger at the end of the book that I was totally not expecting! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book because I was totally thrown by the ending!


Overall, Of Poseidon was a fun and entertaining read which had me giggling at some points and gasping at others. I think it's safe to say that I would recommend this to nearly any fans of paranormal books, but especially if you're looking for something more fun and light.


Overall Rating: A-



Book released 22nd May 2012 by Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan)
Book received as an EGalley from NetGalley



Review: The Other Life by Suzanne Winnacker

The Weepers: The Other LifeSherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food. 

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ - rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.




The idea of books about humans that have become inhuman seems to be picking up at the moment, there's quite a few in the market already and also a large number that are going to be published in the near future, it's definitely a theme that I'm attracted to but at the same time I was wary going into this book after how similar books have impressed me (Dark Inside) or let me down; (The Way We Fall). This book did neither, this book simply entertained me for an hour and a half (I'm a quick reader!) but didn't incite any excitement or disappointment in me. It could have been much worse but it could also have been much better.


I really liked how this story started, right away we pulled into Sherry's claustrophobic life in the underground bunker, we start to question why they are living in the bunker and why they haven't left earlier and it isn't long until we're thrown into the action. After the initial action there is a bit of a slow part, then the action picks up again, then the pace drops. The pacing is pretty inconsistent for the whole book, but it isn't a massive deal as it's a pretty short book so it doesn't drag too much.


The characters were good enough, though at times they lacked development. I thought that while Sherry was independant, she was also naive and put herself in danger without considering the circumstances. My two favorite characters were Tyler, who was intriguing despite only being a minor character and Geoffrey who is definitely a character that i can't work out. Joshua was a good enough character, different to the cookie cutter guys in a lot of books but at times he was too angsty and it put himself and others in risk. The relationship between Joshua and Sherry was awkward at times, but it was a realistic kind off awkward. i liked the relationship but I also wish we saw more of the development of it.


Overall, The Other Life is a book that I enjoyed enough. I read it one sitting and never wanted to put it down, but at the same time it wasn't an edge-of-your-seat page turner. I think I will read the sequel, but it isn't going on the top of my to read pile.


Overall Rating: C



Released 15th May by Marshall Cavendish
Received as an eGalley for review from netGalley

Review: I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison

I Was Jane Austen's Best FriendWhen shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets, gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this dashing man? 

But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor orphan girl to do?




Oh, what a fun read this was! Sure, not too much substance and maybe the appeal doesn't quite spread out of the target audience like a lot of historical young adult fiction does, but this book sets out to entertain younger readers and it definitely succeeded in doing that for me and I know I would have absolutely adored this book as a thirteen year old as well.


I didn't realise until I read the authors not at the end that Jenny Cooper is based on a real character and a lot of the events in this book actually happened. I really liked Jenny as a character, despite the fact that some of the things she did weren't characteristic of young ladies of the late 18th century, it was really nice to get into the head of a young girl living in the oppressive and wealth obsessed society of that time. I also really loved Jane, it's amazing to read the thoughts and writings of a young Jane Austen, she was so silly - always coming up with poetic things to say and stories about her family and her life. There were also a lot of other characters I liked. Frank and Henry, both love interests in a way portrayed two different types of man in that time period, I loved seeing how Frank reacted to Jenny, it was adorable. i do have to say though that I really did love Captain Thomas Williams, he was a gentleman without being as airy as a lot of the love interests in historical fiction and I can't wait to read more about him and Jenny.


I liked the diary style of this book, whilst diary style books aren't anything new it's always nice to read something different and the format meant that the narration was very different. i also liked the excerpts of Jane's writing and the drawings by Jenny.


Overall, whilst this book may not have the substance and depth, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I'm excited to read the sequel.


Overall rating: B



Published September 2010 by MacMillan Childrens Books
My copy was purchased by myself.

Review: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't SayGetting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.
His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.




I don't know why I chose to read this book since I'm not usually a big fan of hard hitting contemporary novels but I think that I knew from the synopsis that this was going to be something special and original, and it was.


I loved this book but I didn't start to like it until Jake has the accident because up until then it was slow, and even then I didn't love it, the love didn't come until we started to learn more about Sam's life and the book turned into something much more than a love story. I loved watching Jake deal with his own issues, he starts out selfish, hating everyone for pitying him and feeling like the accident means the end of everything for him and by the end he has learned to live with his disability. Sam herself has issues to deal with and I admired her strength and the support that she gave Jake, I was rooting for them as a couple all of the way through.


The storyline was well developed and engaging. I really liked the way that Taylor dealt with the disability as a back-seat to Sam and Jake's relationship, if it had been the absolute central focus of the book I would have found it overbearing. Pacing wise it was good but not gripping but this is definitely a book that relies on the storyline and not action and pacing to keep readers engaged and it does that well.


There isn't really much that I dislikes about this book. It did at times seem a bit unrealistic in the way that people spoke and acted and some things seemed out of place but this was only at times, I think these were things that could have been ironed out with a bit of professional editing but overall I really did like Taylor's writing style.


This was definitely one of the best 'serious' contemporarys that I have read in a while. There were a few bits of unrealistic dialogue and behaviour but I loved the story and the characters, i found them so realistic and I was rooting for them all the way.


Overall rating: A-



Book released May 11th 2012
Book received as an eBook for review through netGalley

Letterbox Love #2

video

Books mentioned:
Bound by Sarah Bryant
World Enough and Time by Emma C. Williams
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Firespell by Chloe Neill
The Returners by Gemma Malley
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Heaven by Christopher Marzi
Slated by Teri Terry

Books not mentions (eBooks):
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Circle of Silence by carol M Tanzman
What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

StruckMia Price is a lightning addict. She's survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her. 

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.




I heard about this book months ago and knew that I had to read it, I mean... dystopian and supernatural put together is one of my favorite genres and a book about a lightning addict had to be awesome, right? 


Honestly, I don't know, I loved most of it but some things I didn't like as much.


I loved the story telling in this book, never once did the pacing drop. I was literally on the edge of my seat, wanting to flick through to find out what was going to happen but also wanting to savour this book because pacing wise and story telling wise this may be one of the best books that I have read in a long time. I was literally gripped, it's a pretty average length book, maybe a little on the long side at 385 pages but I finished it really quickly once I really got into it.


Mia was a fantastic character and her narration had me from the first page, she was believable and real but at the same time strong and intelligent. I felt that she made the right decisions at timesbut at the same time she didn't come across as too perfect to be relatable or likable but there are also times that she does stupid things but she doesn't seem to stupid and weak, Bosworth got the balance right there . There were some great secondary characters, I really liked Katrina who was sassy and a bit of a cow at times. I also loved figuring out the dynamics of the relationship between Mia, her mother and Park (her brother). Some of the characters are so flexible that I couldn't work out who was good and who was bad.


So what is it that brought this book down for me? I really liked the love interest, Jeremy but I did feel that the love story was too quick to develop. I mean, literally, the book takes place over three days and by the end Mia and Jeremy are declaring their love. I mean, I'm rooting for them but at the same time I would have like a slower development.


I also struggled with the religious aspect. I am not a religious person and there is a lot of religion thrown around in here, the word 'God' is thrown around a lot which I struggled with and it may have been fine if this aspect of the story was implied more in the blurb, but I went into it without knowing about it and so it really shocked me how big a deal the prophet is and everything.


Overall, I really enjoyed this read. it was fast paced, exciting and the characters were fantastic. It probably would be in the A grade if it wasn't for the insta-love and there was more about the religion in the blurb.


Overall Rating: B



Boo released May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Book received as an eBook from review from NetGalley

Review: Hollyweird by Terri Clark

HollyweirdAly King is about to fall for the fallen.

My best friend, Des, and I totally freaked when we won the contest to meet THE Dakota Danvers in Hollywood. But now we’re finding out he’s SO not the angel everyone believes him to be. In fact, Dakota is the son of Satan, wreaking havoc on Hollywood and creating an evil army hellbent on world domination.

Lucky for us, Dakota’s super-cute personal assistant, Jameson, is a fallen angel trying to get his wings back, and he’s working undercover to squash his demon boss’s plan. If Jameson hadn’t taken me under his wing I’d be in serious trouble, because I’m a total newb when it comes to conquering evil. But, truth be told, that sexy angel’s got me all aflutter and may be one temptation I can’t resist.




You know when you've just finished a really dark and heavy book and you just need a little pick me up to get you back on your feet? Hollyweird was that book for me, it was happy and funny and very clean and bright. Sure, you've got the devil's son trying to suck the life out of wannabe stars but it was a very light read.


There wasn't too much substance to this book. Really all it is about is Des, Aly and Jameson trying to derail the evil Dakota's plans, no internal battles, no massively deep personal problems. there are a few points where things get a bit down but overall it's a pretty happy and funny book. The pacing wasn't fantastic but because it's such a short book it didn't seem like as big a problem.


There is some super cute romance in this book. Even though they've only known each other for a few days I still won't call it insta-love because it isn't obsession, it's just a cute little attraction. Clark doesn't really take the romance too seriously so when you hear them tell eachother that they love each otehr it doesn't come across as too fast because it's just a side note, not the main part of the book.


Overall, Hollyweird was a cute little pick me up that I can't say was fantastic but it definitely kept me entertained for an hour or two so I would recommend it to anybody that wants a nice light read inbetween more heavy offerings.


Overall Rating: B-



Released by Flux books on the 8th May 2012.
Book received as an eCopy for review from NetGalley.

Review: Ties to the Blood Moon by Robin P. Waldrop

Ties To The Blood Moon
Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he's not who she thought he was either.


This is going to be a tough review to write because there was so much that was right in this book but also so much that was wrong. It's not a secret that I have an extreme dislike for the Twilight series and to me there was way too much similarity between Twilight and Ties to the Blood Moon. Even certain scenes, like to cafeteria scene where Gen first sees William, and the animosity between Gen's vampire boyfriend and the werewolf that is in love with her. It felt like a lot of it was just Twilight in a new setting.


That was my main peeve with this book, but there were other things that annoyed me a little as well. Whilst William and Gen's romance is well written and doesn't seem awkward, it was just total inst-love. Within two days Gen is pledging her heart to him. To make matters worse, after like a month she's off on a journey with a new guy and then suddenly she starts to fall for this new guy. I dislike love triangles at the best of times but when it's a total insta-love triangle I just couldn't get into it. I also didn't see what it was about Gen that's so attractive, she was a bit of a Mary-Sue: werewolf princess, absolutely gorgeous, massively strong and eventually a rare 'hybrid'. It was plain annoying.


Now I hate giving negative reviews and so I really want to stress that despite the fact that i disliked this book, that's only because I disliked the Twilight series and found many similarities. If you are one of the large number of readers that liked that series you will more than likely love Ties to the Blood Moon. The writing style is fantastic and it was a fast paced read that I still read all of which shows that I obviously did like some aspects of the book. I really did enjoy the Alaskan setting and the mythology aspect of it.


Overall Rating: D




Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Exams... eeek!


Hi guys!

As you may or may not know, I have some pretty serious exams coming up at the end of this month. Because of this, I'm going to have to cut down on blogging until the beginning of July because I have exams until the end of June and then holiday/vacation straight afterwards.

I'm still going to be blogging but my posts won't be as frequent. I'll still be setting aside two hours a night to read and wind down so this shouldn't really be a massive change, but this is just a warning in case I stop posting for a while. (I will be back eventually!)

Thanks for reading and good luck to everyone else that ha the horrible exams!

-Jade

Review: Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

Supergirl MixtapesAfter years of boredom in her rural South Carolina town, Maria is thrilled when her father finally allows her to visit her estranged artist mother in New York City. She’s ready for adventure, and she soon finds herself immersed in a world of rock music and busy streets, where new people and ideas lie around every concrete corner. This is the freedom she’s always longed for—and she pushes for as much as she can get, skipping school to roam the streets, visit fancy museums, and flirt with the cute clerk at a downtown record store. 

But just like her beloved New York City, Maria’s life has a darker side. Behind her mother’s carefree existence are shadowy secrets, and Maria must decide just where—and with whom—her loyalty lies.




When I decided to read this book i think that i was expecting something a little bit more fun and happy. Seriously, got it very wrong, Maria is one messed up teen and her life is also messed up. this isn't a happy musical book at all, it's grungy and grimy and whilst I did like it I may not have chosen to read it at the time that I did if I'd known that. There isn't a real plot to it, it's really just a story of Maria's self-discovery.


I really liked the characters in this book, Maria was very believable. She's very damaged and because of that she does some pretty stupid stuff like lying to Grant, I didn't feel as though I knew enough with her past to have any sympathy for her but I empathised with her self-discovery. I though that Grant was a little seedy but at the end he turned out to be a decent enough guy and I feel really sorry for him. I really liked Travis, Maria's mum's boyfriend but I really didn't like where his character was taken and Maria's mother was also a very layered character - she cared about her daughter but was also very shallow.


The thing that I didn't like about this book was the amount of times the plot stopped and the characters started to go on about music. Seriously, I knew this book would have a lot of music in it but it happened too often. If you're a massive fan of grunge and punk rock you may actually really enjoy this but for me it just disrupted to plot massively.


Overall, an alright book with great characters, though I did get annoyed with the music references every other page that disrupted the flow of the book.


Overall rating: D+



Released on 24th April 2012 by HarperCollins.
Received as an eBook for review from NetGalley.

Review: Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Aurelia (Aurelia, #1)
Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line, her life, her kingdom, her heart, Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.



I loved Osterlund's Academy 7 last year and had to read Aurelia, this book was fantastic as well. I really liked how Osturlund mixed genres. there is a fantasy/historical kind of genre but there are settings that are reminiscent of wild west kind of places which was a great addition that I hope we see more of in the sequel.


I really liked Osterlund's writing, it reminded me of a fairy tale as it was quite distant and descriptive which I really liked. I loved the amount of description as it helped to creat an image of the country where Aurelia lived, the writing was one of the selling points for me in the book.


I also loved the character building. Aurelia was a great character, despite the fact that she was stupid at times most of the time she was an independent and spunky young woman that I enjiyed reading about, Robert was a great male lead because he's romantic and teasing and a little awkward around Aurelia. the more sinister characters are developed in a way that make us question their motives making this a mystery as well as a fantasy/historical romance. I never even saw the end coming.


I will most definitely be reading the sequel, Exile and am very glad that I picked this book up.


Overall Rating: B



Released April 2012 by Speak
Book bought.

Letterbox Love (#1)

Letterbox Love is a weekly feature where I talk about all of the awesome books that I have got either in print or eBook form. As I haven't done a IMM  post for three weeks, this is a few weeks worth.

I don't have a camera but I will make do with pictures this week.
~*~
Books for Review
Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Timepiece (Hourglass, #2) Shadowfell (Shadowfell Trilogy, #1) What I Didn't Say

So totally excited about this, halfway through it right now!

Bought:
So it was my birthday last week so I treated myself a little bit!
Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1) Exodus The Pledge Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) Awaken (Awaken, #1) Entwined Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3) Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1) Enchanted Falling Under (Falling Under, #1) A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)

These are both from my local secondhand charity book store. I read Exodus a few years ago and really enjoyed it and it was only £1.50 so I thought I'd pick it up.




Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth #DauntlessUK

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)War looms in sixteen-year-old Tris’s dark dystopian world as disputes between the factions grow. Tris must now fight against all odds to discover the truth that can save her and the people she loves. Sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge – and the choices she makes will have devastating and unexpected consequences.




Veronica Roth has done it again. I didn't feel like anything could be as good as Divergent but I was wrong, Insurgent is just as good but kind of in a different way.


Once again the world building is amazing. In this book we get to know more about the other factions and not only are the personalities of each faction different but their traits are reflected in the settings. I really enjoyed reading about all of the different headquarters. I also really liked reading about all of the different personalities and traits and getting to know more characters as well.


Tris and Four (or Tobias, whatever you want to call him) are still absolutely adorable, in this book there is still a lot of tension between them and it wasn't just a cookie cutter relationship, it was real and I really loved that. Four is sexy as ever, I'll leave it at that but Tris did annoy me a few times throughout the book. Seriously, it was like she turned into some death-seeking adrenaline junkie and it was only her almost death that made her respect life. Honestly Tris? But yeah, Four? Swoon.


This book is very action packed, whereas the selling point of Divergent was definitely the storytelling and world-building Insurgent had some amazing action scenes and it a superb edge of the seat read.


Overall Rating: A+



Book released by HarperCollins UK on May 1st
Book received in order for review

Review: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Corriell

Welcome, Caller, This Is ChloeBig-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.



Firstly, I'd like to summarise this book as an easy to enjoy, fill the gaps book, it wasn't bad and it wasn't awesome, It was fun and it was entertaining but substance wise there wasn't really enough to absolutely grip me. I found that it was the type of book you can start and then put down and then read another book in between and then start again without feeling like "Oh my god! I HAVE to finish this tonight!". To be honest though, when I read this, that was the type of book that I was looking for.


I liked Chloe's character, but she seemed too optimistic and kooky and happy and I can see how other characters like Clem didn't see eye to eye with her but I did find that she was a consistent character and her character traits did follow through for the whole book. Duncan was a similar character for me, he was portrayed as very quiet and awkward in comparison to Chloe's outgoing and I felt as though his awkwardness was overly pushed. I did think that the characters relationships rang true though: Clem and Chloe, Chloe and Duncan, Chloe and her old friends -all of the relationships rang true and are relatable to teenagers.


So I've made out like the book is all cheerful and happy but it really isn't. Chloe is lonely inside as she's been alienated by her best friends and her grandmother has Parkinsons Disease and DUncan has to deal with his mothers abusive druggy boyriend, all of the radio club have to deal with the fact that the station might be shut down, there are some pretty dark moments in the book but overall it's pretty happy. I'd definiteky recommend it as a quick read inbetween other darker books.


Overall rating: C



Released May 1st by Abrams books
Received as an eBook for review from NetGalley