Review: In Darkness by Nick Lake

In darkness I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two. 

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake a boy is trapped beneath the rubble of a ruined hospital: thirsty, terrified and alone. 'Shorty' is a child of the slums, a teenage boy who has seen enough violence to last a lifetime, and who has been inexorably drawn into the world of the gangsters who rule Site Soleil: men who dole out money with one hand and death with the other. But Shorty has a secret: a flame of revenge that blazes inside him and a burning wish to find the twin sister he lost five years ago. And he is marked. Marked in a way that links him with Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Haitian rebel who two-hundred years ago led the slave revolt and faced down Napoleon to force the French out of Haiti. 

As he grows weaker, Shorty relives the journey that took him to the hospital, a bullet wound in his arm. In his visions and memories he hopes to find the strength to survive, and perhaps then Toussaint can find a way to be free ...

I will admit that when I first got this book through I wasn't sure if I would like it, it's a big departure from my comfort zone and I was scared  that it would maybe be a bit too... emotionally heavy. This book has a lot of deep messages, it also has a lot of heartbreaking and harrowing parts, but the book is written in the way that it doesn't overload you with emotion and feeling, and by the end of it you go away feeling refreshed and hopeful.

I think what makes this book is that, in a way not dissimilar to Revolution by Jennifer Donnely, this book ties together the past and the present, there is a touch of the supernatural to this book but mostly, this book is a tale about breaking free, making the right decisions and doing what has to be done to get by in life. I found that I was so absorbed in Shorty's tale that i didn't care about the parts set in the past as much, which was both good and bad: Good because it proved that the present part of the story was fantastically written but bad because it detracted from the story slightly, for me it the parts set in the past just kind of disrupted.

What did make the past and present very interesting was the supernatural aspects, I was very interested in the religion and the way that it is described and integrated, I took you away from this gritty tale a little and for me I found myself wondering whether the supernatural was actually true or just a false belief... in a good way, it added a level of intrigue and originality to the book.

I loved how honest this book was, I have never been to Haiti but from the descriptions (mixed in with what i know about slums from my college course in Geography yes, I counted reading this as revision) I could totally imagine Site Soley, I could envision the gang culture and I loved a book whether the gangs are the good guys as well as the bad guys, where they can be related to and developed and I think that's what I liked.

Even though we're simply reading Shorty's memories, I loved the way we could see his view on life changing from having lows and highs to this level of hope at the end. It wasn't my type of book, but I completely and utterly loved it.

Overall, heartbreaking and heartwarming. This was a book that looked deep into basic survival in a totally new way. Based off real events with fictional characters, this is a book that is both relevant and totally original.

Overall rating: B

To be released January 5th by Bloomsbury.
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

The Way We Fall
When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

I love a good science fiction epidemic YA book, so The Way We Fall was a book that I just had to read when I first heard about it. I came away after finishing the book feeling pretty let down because this book really did not impress me, unfortunately.

The start of this book was so difficult to get into, it takes over a hundred pages to even begin to care about the story or the characters and another hundred pages for any type of tension or suspense to come in, and even that is in short supply. I found that whilst some books with epidemics and diseases are full of suspense, this one was very day-to-day and monotonous. My issue really was that the disease wasn't that massive, it kills people, people say what they mean, sure you don't want to get it but it didn't make for suspenseful, thrilling reading. Maybe if the parts about the victims getting aggressive had been built on more I would have enjoyed it more. I also found that when the 'worst case scenario' (main character getting disease) happened there were about three pages to it then suddenly she's cured.
After that point I didn't see any point to the book, Kae has had the disease, so there's no more suspense or fear.

The characters were difficult to care about, I began to like Kaelyn more as I got further into the book, but to start with she seemed selfish and like she couldn't do anything for herself, I liked when she began to get a backbone and stand up for herself, I didn't really care for Meredith, or Tessa. I did love Gav though and I loved watching him and Kaelyn grow closer whilst being torn apart by the new world they're stuck in.

The writing wasn't too bad, I think that the journal style added something unique but did possibly stop us from caring about the other characters or seeing the full picture. I also didn't understand the 'Leo' thing, I kept expecting him to suddenly turn up but it seemed like a moot plot point when he didn't, Kaelyn pining over him had no point when we don't even know what went on with the two of them...

Overall, I believe that this book will be very successful but I personally didn't like the way that the plot was developed. the characters and writing were okay but I would have liked more action and suspense.

Overall rating: D+

Book to be released through Disney-Hyperion on 24th January 2012.
Book recieved as an eGalley from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

For me, Everneath was one of those books that I took so long getting into that I didn't think that I would enjoy it in the end, but it totally pulled it back for me and by the end I was gripped, which kind of sucks because this book ended on a horrible cliffhanger and I have to wait soooo long for the next book!

Like I stated above, this book didn't have a particularly good start for me and it took me maybe a quarter of the book to get into, in fact I think that if I hadn't been on a really long car journey with nothing but my kindle to keep me entertained I probably would have given up, I am so glad that I didn't. A few chapters in the story really picked up and I was gripped and could not put it down.

i think at the beginning I couldn't get into it because I just could not find any parts of Nikki's character to like, and I struggled with getting to know her throughout the whole book, at times she would show a spark of spunkiness but for most of it she was pretty bland. it would be easy to put this down to the fact that she had just spent one hundred years getting her emotions sucked out of her but I think she was just a boring character. I was worried that this might just be a lack of skill in Ashton's writing, but her other characters were so well written. Cole was dangerous, scary but also vulnerable, whilst he comes across as a hard guy we can see his true feelings at times so I actually started to care about Cole, Jack was sweet and cute but also funny and he shows hurt and pain as well, I loved how easily he welcomed Nikki back. I think that this is one of the few books where I've liked both boys that are competing for the girl's attention.

The writing wasn't anything particularly special, it read like most other female narrated YA novels, but the pacing was good, the story was well planned out so it flowed, as well as creative. I loved the imaginative approach that Ashton put on Egyption and Greek mythology, it's one of the better 'Hades and Persephone' type books that I have read lately and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending is a big cliffhanger that had me in tears at 2am when I read it, so I'm warning you about that!

Overall, I totally enjoyed this book, despite taking some time to get into it by the end I was gripped. There were some main character issues but the supporting cast make up for this. Definitely one to look out for in 2012.

Overall Rating: A-

Book due for release through HarperCollins (Balzer + Bray) 24th January 2012
recieved as an eGalley for review through NetGalley

Review: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

Stolen AwayFor seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds. 

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric—who may or may not betray them.

After loving Harvey's Haunting Violet, and really enjoying My Love Lies Bleeding I was expecting something great and original with Stolen Away, so in the end I was sort of disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I found that this book, whilst having some elements of originality didn't really grab me and give me anything totally fresh.

I actually got into this book very quickly and the pacing for the whole book was pretty good, I loved Harvey's writing, as always she manages to write the characters in a way that made them seem real. I completely disagreed with some of the stupid things the characters did, but they were relatable as teenagers nonetheless.

Th big downfall of this book was the characters. I never cared about neither Jo nor Elouise which made it very hard to care about their journey and to be honest the only character I even semi-liked was Lucas who was still very one-dimensional. Eldric was the typical faerie prince with loyalties to his court and a human love, wow, how very original. Devin should have been in the book a bit more, he was funny...

I also struggled to differentiate between the narration of Elouise and Jo, which made for some confusing reading, that annoyed me a little because if I'm reading a book in dual narrative, I want two unique characters and I didn't get that.

The story was original in that Eloise only has very watered down faery-blood, she is actually human (mostly) so the story is different to the usually half/full faery princess/changeling goes into scary faery world to save someone she cares about... okay, a little different, but still unique enough that I didn't feel as though I was reading a rip off or something.

Overall, an original story with great writing but characters were a massive let down...

Overall Rating: C-

Book released January 5th through Bloomsbury
Copy recieved in exchange for an honest review.

2011 Book Survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? Can I pick two? I absolutely LOVED Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and Divergent by Veronica Roth!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?Tempest by Julie Cross, the idea was so original for YA but I just could not get into it, that's a 2012 release though...

Leigh Fallon's Carrier of the Mark was not original enough for me, so after being so hyped up it totally let me down.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?In Darkness by Nick Lake (yet another 2012 release) or Impossible by Nancy Werlin

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?Divergent (Veronica Roth) and the Study Series (Maria V Snyder)

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?Difficult one... I'd say Immortal beloved series by Cate Tiernan, I've justs started the 2nd and it's awesome so far.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?
Stephanie Perkins, her writing is amazing. Karsten knight, his vlogs are funny and I loved Wildefire, Lauren Oliver definitely!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?I'm not really an adult book fan, but Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan was fantastic.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?Divergent by Veronica Roth as well as The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?Forbidden by Jana Oliver, I loved Forsaken!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

11. Most memorable character in 2011?
Does Katniss count? I discovered her in like 2009 but read Mockingjay in 2011, either her or Beck from Forbidden

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?
Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? Definitely entangled by Cat Clarke

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? Perfect Chemistry by Simon Elkeles

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? I can't remember the exact words, but they're the last words in Delirium by Lauren oliver

Review: Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me Again (Birthday Trilogy, #2)Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day… again. And this time... he's going backward!
When Cameron proposes to his beloved witch of a girlfriend Liesel, he thinks life can’t get any better. But when he reluctantly breaks off the engagement just days before the wedding, Liesel angrily unleashes another curse on the unlucky guy, this time making him age backward, from eighteen, all the way to zero.

Making matters worse, Liesel mysteriously disappears, leaving Cameron with no options, except watching himself rapidly shrink into a helpless child. Will Liesel be able to save his life again? Or will Cameron ultimately fall prey to his girlfriend's wicked spell?

Oh poor Cameron, he does have it bad... then again I can't blame Liesel, if my boyfriend broke off my engagement days before my wedding I may call him some nasty names... possibly a big baby. Then again, I wouldn't actually mean for him to become one.

I loved this book much more than the first one. Now that the foundations of the characters and story have been established it doesn't seem like a copy of other similar books, it is totally unique.. I loved it! 

As before, I loved the characters of Cameron and Liesel and both seemed more real and developed in this book compared to the first and we get to meet some more characters, like Hannah (who was an amazing character by the well, so well written and imagined) as well as seeing characters like Kimber develop. I still loved reading the romance between Liesel and Cameron but I liked that it seemed more real here, with obstacles in the way.

The story was funny, with some hilarious scenes, romantic and suspenseful, and I found that for the most part it was very well executed. I got a little annoyed with the amount of capital letters that Rowe used every time he wanted to express some strong emotion, but otherwise I enjoyed the writing as well

Some parts of the book were very unrealistic to me... when Liesel was kidnapped why did Cam not call the police, or go out and look for her more... it's like he didn't even panic when he was decreasing in age and his girlfriend had just been kidnapped. I didn't buy Cameron proposing to Liesel, then breaking it off, then changing his mind, then changing his mind again... I think if I was Liesel I would have just said "Whatever, if you can't make your mind up it's over" if my boyfriend was messing me around so much...

Overall, better than the first in the series, the characters and storyline was more developed. I found I few problems with 'plot holes' but overall I loved it.

Overall Rating: B+

Book recieved from the author for review

Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

When I first heard about this I was intrigued and it went onto my wishlist straight away, when I received it as a surprise in the post from the amazing Emma at Bloomsbury I was straight into it. After seeing an amazing review from Annmarie over at Best Books I had high hopes. Did it disappoint? No. It didn't exceed my expectations but I really enjoyed reading this book.

I think that what I really enjoyed about this book was the writing. I loved how Miranda managed to put Delaney's feelings into words, how she felt as though she wasn't 'right', her feelings of isolation. She felt very confused and alone and fragmented and this was displayed through Miranda's writing. She managed to write in a beautiful but realistic way.

My issue with this book was that i don't think that the concepts were explored to their full potential. it could have been more than the typical YA romance. Whilst I love the genre, I think Fracture could have been one of those amazing, rare reads and instead it was just great. I would have liked a bit more of a focus on the 'power' that Delaney develops, rather than her relationships with Decker and Troy. I liked that the bad guy was actually kind of a bad guy and the boy next door wins out, it was something fresh in the relationship. 

The characters are also pretty good, I liked Delaney as she was relateable and did teenage things like hooking up with Carson, she had a real teenage life, she was popular but not too popular and intelligent but flawed. She was a real girl and that made her believable. her story is believable despite the supernatural elements and she reacts in the ways that she should. I loved her developing relationship with Decker (he's the typical boy next door and I LOVED him!) as well as her conflicted feelings for Troy... don't worry, it isn't that much of a love triangle!

Overall I loved the story and writing of Fracture and the characters were good to read. I cared about Delaney and her story, I just feel as though it should have been developed in a slightly different way to live up to it's potential...

Overall Rating: B

Released 5th January through Bloomsbury.
My copy was received from the publisher in exchange for and honest review.

Other books from this author:

Review: Feyland: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp

Feyland: The Dark RealmWHEN A GAME…
Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and fifteen-year-old Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn’t suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch — or that she’ll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.


Tam Linn is the perfect hero — in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he’s the only one who can help her.


Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen… before it’s too late.

Bottom line? I loved this book. I think I might be a bit biased as the whole concept massively appeals to me, as a World of Warcraft player (don't scoff, we all have our guilty pleasures). The concept is fantastic and I loved that the story was set in the future, but we only know that because of the technology, the other changes are subtle. It's futuristic fantasy, but not dystopian which is pretty refreshing. What really grabbed me was how well Sharp meshed the real world with the fantasy world so seamlessly, and the way she described her world was so vivid.

At first, I didn't think that I would like Jennet as a character, I felt that at the beginning she acted selfish and immaturely, and was simply using Tam and not considering the risks that she was putting him at, though I started to like her more and more when I saw her reasoning. I instantly liked Tam, and I liked the way that his viewpoint on Jennet changed as ours did, it made me feel very immersed in the story. I also enjoyed that their relationship was very much a partnership, you can see the relationship develop but it's very much in the background until the right moment, meaning that this book is more about the adventure than the romance.

I absolutely loved Sharp's writing, the third person writing but following both characters meant that we get a wide view of both of the lived and how they come to intertwine, and as well as that the world she created was fantastic. I look forward to reading more from her.

Overall Rating: A

Released 16th December 2011 and I recieved the book for review from the author. 

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie travelled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own - scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind.

But now her dad's life is on the line, and Kat must go back to the world she tried so hard to escape...

I was not a fan of Carter's "I'd Tell You I Love You" but I was very interested by the idea of this book revolving around thieves, I wanted the main character to be this clever, cunning thief trying to get away from the family 'business'. I did enjoy this book, though I wouldn't call it one of my favorite reads of the year, but I enjoyed it enough. 

I struggled with the pacing for a while, it took a lot longer than most books do to grab my interest, but when it did I was hooked. I think the difference between this and the Ally carter book that I didn't like was the use of suspense, this book is a mystery and suspense and I was so interested in how things were going to play out, it gave a push to the otherwise mediocre writing and pacing.

Ah yes, the writing... it wasn't anything special, it wasn't unique and didn't particularly grab me, though I know other reviewers have found it gripping. it had a certain level of wittiness that got a few chuckles from me, but didn't seem particularly unique in the market.

What really made me enjoy this book was the interactions between the characters. I loved all of the different personalities. There's sassy and strong minded Kat, charmer Hale, mysterious Nick, girly flirt Gab, shy genius Simon and the twins, who add some comedy. There's some romance, but it isn't piled on, it's very subtle.

Overall, not an amazing book, but the characters and mystery pull it up to a pretty average grade.

Overall Rating: C-

First published 2010. This edition was released by Orchard September 1st 2011. I recieved this copy for review from the publisher.

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest #1)Jackson Meyer is hiding a secret. He can time-travel. But he doesn't know how he does it, how to control it or what it means. When Jackson, and his girlfriend Holly, find themselves in fatal danger, Jackson panics and catapults himself two years into his past, further than he's ever managed before, and this time he can't find a way back to the future. All the rules of time-travel he's experienced so far have been broken and Jackson has no choice but to pretend to be his younger self whilst he figures out a solution. 

Jackson is tearing himself apart with guilt and frustration, wondering if Holly survived. He's also become the target of an unknown enemy force and it seems even his dad is lying to him. Jackson is racing against time to save the girl he loves, but to do that he must first discover the truth about his family and himself.

And stay alive.

I am having such a hard time rating this one because I loved the story, but there were so many flaws with this book to me that I simply can't overlook. The premise of the story is simple and very interesting, but it's executed in a way that is very hard to follow and after reading this book I still don't fully understand what was going on even through things were explained. There was so much going on and it just seemed really cluttered and hard to get.

While I was reading this book I found myself feeling pretty bored. I was gripped by the beginning but then it suddenly slows down after we see Jackson jump into the past and we get about 200 pages of Jackson trying to pull his girlfriend from the future that doesn't know him in the past, which seemed pointless and then all of a sudden these secrets are being revealed and Jackson transforms into some super-secret-agent-time-travel-CIA dude which I just didn't get. It was at that point that I just gave up...

I loved Jackson as a character and considering he was written by a woman author I'm shocked by how true his voice rang. All of the other characters didn't seem like people though, they felt more like devices used to push along the story so I couldn't relate to them, Holly especially.

The book suffered from tell and not show syndrome. The writing seemed very afctual and there was a lack of imagery and description used, so the book was pretty bland to read. 

I think that Tempest will be very popular just because it's something new in the market. Personally, not really my cup of tea though, i'm afraid. It wasn't a bad book at all, but it just didn't grip me, and didn't do all of the good things that i personally think that a good book should do and so I just could  not finish it.

Did Not Finish

Book to be released through PanMacmillan on 5th January 2012

Review: Far From the War by Jeffrey David Payne

Far From the WarEconomic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d'etat. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautionary tale about political extremism and the true cost of war.

I really enjoyed this book, but not for the reasons that I expected to. I was expecting a romantic dystopian based around war, it isn't a dystopian because they aren't under the control of an extremist controlling government and it's pretty present day and the romance was there, but not until quite late in the book.

Nevertheless, I still loved reading this, it took a while to get into as the beginning just follows Esther as she goes about her every day life, but as soon as the war hits her the story picks up and I could not put this book down. I really liked the way that this book was unique and really stood out. There are so many books about somebody having to survive through a very difficult situation, but this is so real and possible. Throughout the book Esther is caught in the very center of a war, she loses her friends, she herself nearly dies, she watches people do the worst possible, most inhumane things. It's truly a book about how people can lose their humanity in severe situations.

As a character, Esther was fantastic. She starts out as a sassy by still quite naive girl and we see her develop to become a head strong survivor over the course of the story, her determination to get home is her driving point and without it I don't think that I would have liked the book half as much if I wasn't as determined for Esther to get home as she was herself.

I wished there had been more romance but at the same time, the lack of it made the book more about what was going on rather than it being a cheesy romance. I loved Matt and Esther though, the rate at which they came to care about each other felt as though it worked because of what was going on.

At times I struggled to keep going as at some points the book was very repetitive however when something did happen, it came with a bang. I enjoyed the writing though I don't it will appeal to younger YA readers and I'd recommend this book to older teens and adults.

Overall, a great book, despite a few pacing issues at times. A sassy lead character, a touch of romance and a lot of determination made this book one that i would recommend.

Overall rating: B

Book released September 17th. book recieved for review from the author.

In My Mailbox (10/12/11) and Review Sum Up

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

I got two university offers! University of East Anglia and York University have offered me conditional offers, which is amazing! So excited. My kindle broke on Monday, but Amazon sorted it out and I had a new one within two days of me contacting them and today I got a few awesome books this week, so it's looking amazing!


Anxious Hearts

For Review:

Advent Fracture Stolen Away

Advent by James Treadwell: Hodder and Stoughton, February 2nd (Print ARC)
Haven't heard much about this, but it sounds like something new and unique, I look forward to reading and reviewing it!
Fracture by Megan Miranda: Bloomsbury, January 5th (Print final)
I have been dying to read this, so cannot wait! It's my next read on my pile!
Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey: Bloomsbury, January 5th (Print final)
I LOVE Alyxandra Harvey, so I can't wait to see how she writes faerie!

Katana  Ripper

Katana by Cole Gibsen: Flux, March 8th (eArc, NetGalley)
This sounds amazing, original and witty!
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves: Flux, April 8th (eArc, NetGalley)
haven't heard much about this, but historical paranormal is one of my fave genres and I don't have enough of it!

Happy Birthday to You (Birthday Trilogy, Book 3) Surfacing Conquest

I loved book one and I'm about quarter through book two and loving it so far, so I'm so glad that I have the chance to review book three!
Surfacing by Shana Norris (Ebook from Author)
Spooky and mysterious! I can't wait to read it!
Conquest by Vick Rubenfeld (Ebook from author)
I love books about bands and fame and music, so this looks awesome.

Sum Up of Reviews:

Last Week

Next Week
Far From The War by Jeffrey David Payne
Tempest by Julie Cross
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Feyland by Anthea Sharp

Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky
Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Dystopian has done it again, if The Hunger Games and the Uglies series hadn't made dystopian my favorite genre years ago than the likes of Shatter Me, Divergent and now Under the Never Sky have definitely convinced me this year. Whatever you're doing Harper Collins, keep doing it, you seem to be bringing out an awful lot of fantastic dystopians this year. Keep this trend going next year, please.

What I loved about Under the Never Sky was that it seemed to be going into the usual dystopian storyline when Aria is exiled from the world she knows so well to the outside, known as the death shop, where tribes live primitively. She is rescued by Perry, who comes from one of these tribes. It seemed very typical but it shocked me by being utterly original. Rather than throw us into an action adventure from start to finish Rossi subtly introduces us into her dystopic world. Aria and Perry meet a lot of threats on their journey but rather than being non-stop action these things are spread about.

The romance was so well written and I could actually see the chemistry developing between Aria and Perry rather than it just being instant love and I enjoyed reading their romance, though the 'differentpowers' thing seemed like an obstacle that Rossi had thrown in because she needed one. I didn't connect with the characters until late in the book though, when Aria got a backbone and Perry started being a decent person, so that was a tiny bit of a put off.

I wish there'd been more world builing because I'd like to know what happened in 'The Unity' and how the Aether came about, as well as that I struggled with understanding the powers that the tribes had, so I'd like to see more of that. 

Overall, Under the Never sky was an exciting, fantastically written read that I could read over and over again. Not my favorite dystopian of the year, put pretty great nonetheless.

Overall Rating: B+

Book released 3rd January by HarperCollins.
Received my from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other Books by this Author:

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I love fairy tale retellings and Cinderella retellings are the most popular ones, so it was nice to see something original. I mean Cinderella as a cyborg mechanic? The concept is amazing and for the most part Meyer pulls it off. The start was very slow for me and I actually almost gave up, but a few chapters in the pacing picks up, I really enjoyed the storyline and how it developed, there were concepts from Cinderella, the prince, the ball, the stepmother and the stepsisters. No godmother though, Cinder doesn't need a fairy godmother, Cinder is her own women.

I loved the world that Meyer has created, with Cyborgs, Lunars and Androids, it's like the best sci-fi concepts in one book, I wish there'd been more of a back story because I didn't really understand the difference between Cyborgs  and Humans apart from the fact that they had metal prosthetic limbs, in a way. I also wish I knew how the Lunars had developed, what made them so different. As well as that, the story is set in New Beijing but apart from the name suffixes, nothing really had that eastern vibe that I would have liked.

Cinder was such an awesome character, independent and strong but still unsure about where she belonged in the world which added the independance. Kai was handsome and sweet but made some big mistakes so I'm unsure about him because of the ending. The other characters were well written though some were developed more than others.

Overall, Cinder was a romantic and well written take on Cinderella. The story was so original that it didn't even feel like I was reading a retelling. The pacing wasn't as fantastic as I'd wished.

Overall Rating: B+

Released 3rd January 2012 through Feiwel and Friends, B
Book received as an eGally through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books from this author:
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Review: Addison Blakely; Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant

Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PKSixteen-year-old Addison Blakely has tireless played the role of PK—preacher’s kid—her entire life. But after Wes Keegan revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, Addison begins to wonder how much of her faith is her own and how much has been handed to her. She isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. Join Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence.

I have a special place in my heart for PKs, preacher's kids. My boyfriend is one (well a Reverand's kid) though he himself isn't religious so he doesn't have to worry about the same things that Addison does in this book. As well as that, I have loved Footloose since I was a kid so the whole PK meets bad boy thing, whilst not very original, holds a place in my heart.

I can't say that I absolutely loved this book and was totally gripped, but I never got bored, and the story was cute with some pretty deep moments, the writing was good to read and it flowed well. Addison as a character never got too annoying for me, though her attempts to turn Wes into a good guy annoyed me - she claims to 'love' this guy then wants to change him? I loved the inner struggles that Addison went through, it was both this love story, but also a coming of age story that showed Addison coming to terms with who she is and who she wants to be and finding some middle ground.

Wes was a typical bad guy with a heart of gold, but I still liked him. I can't say he was my favorite character of the book (that goes to Marta) but not my least favorite either (probably Luke), he didn't really have that much development but I was still cheering on him and Addison. Marta was an amazing best friend, and her blunt honesty with Addison was just what the book needed.

I'm not a religious person so some parts seemed pretty preachy to me, I also don't think I can fully understand the moral of the story, which seems to be Addison coming to terms with her religion but also being able to get what she wants. But I definitely relate to the idea of trying to live up to peoples expectations whilst struggling to be who you want to be.

Overall, this book was a cute and fun read, but I can't say I loved it. The writing was good, and some of the characters were well developed however some of the characters were just stereotypes. The moral was probably lost on me and my lack of religion may have affected my judgement, but I enjoyed the story and it killed some time.

Overall Rating: C+

Book to be released January 1st by Barbour Publishing, book received for review through NetGalley. Thanks to the publisher for giving me a chance to read this early.

Review: Happy Birthday to Me by Brain Rowe

Happy Birthday to Me (Birthday Trilogy, #1)Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day! 

High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who's never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.

All Cameron wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place..

This book grabbed me from page one, because the beginning is actually a scene of the book pretty close to the end of it, so from the beginning we know how things are going to pan out and this bit at the beginning has us wondering all the way through what will happen at the very end. (I'm trying to be cryptic, is it working?), and Cameron's voice is so engaging that it didn't take me long at all to be interested in his story.

At times this book seemed pretty similar to Alex Flinn's Beastly, whilst both have their originality, they both use the concept of an attractive, cocky, popular boy being made less attractive somehow by the mysterious, unusual girl. Don't let that sway your opinion, this story is more engaging than Beastly and the characters were better to read.

I loved both Liesl and Cameron as characters but their whirlwind romance at the end comes as kind of instalove, and I can't help but see images of this pretty seventeen year old girl walking hand in hand down a school hall with an eighty year old man, which hindered my enjoyment of the romance. I also like Wesley, Cameron's best friend who was supportive of his condition, Aaron, who has a crush on the aging Cameron. I totally disliked Charisma, Cameron's ex-girlfriend, but personally I'm bound to dislike anyone with  name like that.

The book has a lot of humour, which I absolutely loved. Some of the scenes had me heaving with laughter, like the bedroom scene with his mum, or the library lady kidnapping him, but the book also had a pretty good moral.

Overall, Happy Birthday to Me was a fun and engaging read which, despite not being the most original book, makes up with it in humour and writing.

Overall Rating: B-

Published April 7th 2011 independently, this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.