Review: Echo by Alyson Noel

Echo (Soul Seekers, #2)

Daire Santos has already saved her grandmother's life and her soul. But at a cost: the Richter family has been let loose in the Lowerworld. Daire and her boyfriend Dace Richter must work together to find them before chaos ensues and the balance between good and evil is destroyed. As their relationship deepens, Dace's evil brother Cade grows stronger than ever, building his power and forcing Daire and Dace to confront the horrifying prophecy that has brought them all together. It will leave Daire no choice but to claim her true destiny as Seeker, but only by making an unthinkable sacrifice.

This book takes place very soon after the first book, so like two to three months after Daire moved to Enchantment and I can't get past the extreme amounts of over the top insta-love in this book. I mean, Daire and Dace are like getting all depressed and suicidal because they are apart from each other and they've only been dating for a month. I get all of the fate and the fact that they are 'tied together by destiny' but seriously. Chill it out a little, you two could be so cute together if you just let it develop more realistically!

Kay... insta-love rant over, sorry guys.

As in the first book in this series I really loved the shaman paranormal aspect of it, though there was noticeably less in this one. I found that the action scenes were better written but I did feel like the romance overtook this book, which made it a little less enjoyable than the first in the series for me. 

The characters were a little better in this one though. Dace was just perfect and I felt like Daire was developed a little more and so was more likeable. I found myself actually liking jennika in this book and Xotichl was fantastic. Cade was genuinely evil in this one and seemed more multi-dimensional in this one. The new character, Phyre, I really don't like, but I can't wait to see what she's hiding, I think she will a fantastic addition to the series.

Overall, whilst I made it through Echo i did feel like it was a let down after the first book and even that one I didn't love. I will probably continue the series but it isn't going to be near to top of my must-read list.

Overall Rating: C-

Book released November 22nd 2012 by PanMacmillan
Book received from the publisher for review (Print)

Top Ten Reads of 2012

So we're almost into 2013 (and we all survived the apocalypse!) and so here is a quick post talking about my Top Ten reads of 2012. 

Here they all are, in order:

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Review Quote: 
I could honestly gush about this book forever. I won't though. Instead I will just tell you to go out and buy this book, you will not regret it, this book was fun, deep and beautiful and I will not be forgetting it for a very long time.

Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Defiance by CJ Redwine

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Step aside Kristin Cashore, move out of the way Maria V. Snyder, a new fantasy legend has entered the scene.Defiance, Redwine's debut novel is an amazing fantasy and is one that I would definitely recommend you check out, especially if you're a fan of the awesome fantasy author that I listed up there.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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I have been dying to read this book for a long time and when I read it I was not dissapointed. this book had amazing writing, fantastic pacing, amazing action and a sweet and kind of messed-up romance. The ending blew me away and I cannot wait to read the sequel.

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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Wow, it is so good to read a young adult vampire book that goes back to the basic, what we have here is true vampire myth - vampires that burn in the sun and can't handle a stake through the chest. This book also doesn't rely on romance to pull it through and instead relies on action, awesome world building and fantastic characters. I just loved this book.

Pushing the Limits

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

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It's been a long time since a book has made me cry. A lot of books make me sad or angry or feel a little down but this is the first book in I don't know how long where I've had to stop reading because the pages are getting blurry and I couldn't focus. I usually don't like books that do this to me but Pushing the Limits was the exception to this. 

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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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.

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

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Oh my days. I don't know what I was expecting with this book, I was totally expecting it be awesome and this book just blew my expectations to pieces by seriously topping it. i mean, this book was like miles of awesome all rolled into a ball of awesome flattened out and made into a book of awesome. You get my drift? This book was awesome.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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Mind if I gush for a while? Of course you don't, this book is totally gush worthy, one of the best fluffy romance books that I have read in a long time, I think it pretty much equals Anna and the French Kiss on the scale of awesomeness. Yes, you know that's high praise from me.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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I absolutely freaking loved this book. I loved the story and the characters and the romance and the world and well... pretty much everything! If I had to describe this book it would be as a kind of mixture between the tournament aspect of The Hunger Games and the supernatural and fantasy aspect of Poison Study, so if you liked either or both of those books I would seriously recommend this one to you. Heck, I'd recommend it to anyone, this is by far the best book that I have read so far this year!

And my favorite book of this year is...

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)1
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Review Quote:
My phone memo that I made whilst reading this book says:Assassin nuns - yes!
Ismae is kick ass yet naive woohoo!
Duval = sexy, stoic but caring.
Anne-Mature for age but too mature???
Easy politics - YAY!
Long never bored...
OMG TWIST... shocker.

To be honest I don't know what half of that is meant to mean... but I so agree with the top one: Assassin nuns are awesome, I could write a whole review on how amazing assassin nuns are.

What about you guys, what were your top reads of the year, what do you agree/disagree with on this list?

Review: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler

Who I Kissed

She Never Thought A Kiss Could Kill. . .

Samantha is new at school and just recently joined the swim team. She’s been flirting with one of her teammates, Zee, who invites her to a party and just as quickly dumps her for another girl. Hurt, but pretending not to care, she turns to his best friend, Alex, and gives him a kiss. And he dies—right in her arms. Alex was allergic to peanuts, and Samantha had eaten a peanut butter sandwich right before the party. She didn’t know. Overnight, Samantha turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she will have to find the inner-strength to forgive herself for the tragedy.

I loved If I Tell by Janet Gurtler and though the idea of Who I Kissed seemed a little... urgh... random, I loved the way it was executed though it was a little over the top but I understood why it was done the way it was and actually really enjoyed it.

The story went way deeper than I thought that it would and I was immersed in Sam's emotions - her guilt, her anger, her fears. There was a lot going on but I was so gripped that I read the whole book in no time. I really enjoyed meeting all of the characters especially Aunt Allie who was so funny and inspirational for Sam, or Zee who added to the honesty and believable of the story as his emotions were so multi-dimensional as he has every right to hate Sam but he struggles with his feelings for her.

I loved Gurtler's writing, despite the fact that she deals with some serious issues she does it so delicately and not over the top. I think that I will continue to read her books after how much I enjoyed this and If I Tell.

Overall Rating: B+

Book released 1st October 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

Other books from this author:

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1)

Ten years ago, Lorelei's parents disappeared without a trace. Raised by her grandparents and leaning on the support of her best friends, Lorelei is finally beginning to accept the fact that her parents are never coming home. For Lorelei, life goes on.

High school is not quite as painful as she thinks it will be, and things are as normal as they can be. Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, night after night. Things get even more complicated when a new guy—terrifying, tough, sexy Jared Kovach—comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity. What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Darynda Jones's first foray into the world of teens will leave readers eager for the next installment.
This is Darynda Jones' first young adult book and I think that it shows. There was nothing really bad about this book but I found that it was lacking in substance. To be honest I think she played it a bit safe and stuck to the old cliches in young adult books which made this book pretty easy and predictable to read but nothing that that I didn't enjoy reading.

The first flaw that I have to mention is the overly predictable love triangle. Of course there's the 'light' protector and the 'misunderstood' bad boy and the love story leans towards the typical one and there's a link between these two and our poor innocent heroine is so stuck in the middle and spoilt for choice and in the end goes for the one that I disliked the most. It was a little annoying because it totally overtook the whole series.

To be honest, whilst the book was a bit of a train wreck in execution (I'll get to that in a second), the general plot was good. I liked the whole secret society/angel of death/psychic thing and I really enjoyed Lorelei's friends and their roles in the plot. However, as I said above it was pretty shabbily executed, there are so many things going on and none of them seem well executed. On top of that, I can get that Lorelei is a psychic but to say that she is descended from a long line of super-awesome psychics including (and wait for it) Joan of Arc and Sappho.... Yeah.

Overall, this book wasn't awful and it was a quick and on the most part enjoyable read. It just wasn't amazingly executed and I just couldn't get past how chaotic it seemed.

Overall Rating: C-

Book released 2nd October 2012 by St Martin's Press
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

Review: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Eve and Adam

And girl created boy…

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?

Gah! What is it about 2012 that has caused such a massive drop in the quality of YA sci-fi. irst there was Origin which was so seriously disappointing for me and now there is this, which I was expecting so much from and was so seriously let down. I am so sorry to say this but though it was a fun book it was so slow developing, the characters were one-dimensional and the romance was totally lacking.

Let me start from the beginning, which I never really managed to get my head around. The thing with this book is that it throws you straight into the drama with Eve in a car accident that causes serious injuries where she loses a leg. Fear not though, for Eve's super rich mother runs a biotechnology company and Eve is giving the best innovotive care and heals in superhuman speed and regains her leg and then meets Solo her mother's charge who she has never met before and that's all in the first few chapters of the book.

You're probably beginning to get the idea that this book moves super quickly and you're right, but the authors just don't pad out the plot enough and so nothing seems to be developed. Then the main plot point comes in, Eve is tasked with creating the perfect man by her mother, we're then given chapters of Eve musing over which nose to choose and how brawny said perfect man should be all interceded with the developing romance between Eve and Solo (which doesn't really develop much, it just appears), and the sideplot of Eve's promiscuous best friend Aislin and her drug dealer/abusive boyfriend Maddox which to be honest had no place in the book and only existed for two reasons: The made Eve look 'pure and good' alongside Aislin and to create a little drama in an otherwise boring book.

Anyway, we finally get to a point where loads of drama has happened and Eve has dissapeared and her mother dispatches somebody to rescue her. Who? Adam, who is actually the perfect man that Eve designed and Eve's mother brought to life with supe rduper illegal technology. Adam has the tiniest role ever in this book yet his name is still included in  the title.

Not much else really happens.

Overall Rating: D

Book released 2nd October 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Crewel (Crewel World, #1)
Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

There is a serious lack of fantasy dystopian books out there and that is something that really saddens me. I mean, I love dystopians as much as any other YA blogger but the old dystopian formula is starting to get old and anything that can put a spin on the genre is truly welcomed by me. This book really does put something original into the genre with the fantasy aspect and I really did enjoy this book. The world created was beautiful and magical and I loved the idea of spinning and crewelling, I really think that the world was so multi-layered and well explained and I enjoyed it.

I had a few things that bugged me a little. I really liked Adelice as a character but I do think that she was too easily described as a rebel before she even started doing anything rebellious and it seemed like Albin was trying to pour this character trait down our throat rather than show it to us. This book would have been much better without the love triangle as I really didn't like one of the boys Erik as he seemed really creepy, there was some chemistry between Jost and Adelice which I liked and though the addition of Erik may have been necessary, I would have much preferred him to like... not exist.

I really enjoyed Albin's writing and this book was actually fun to read and very entertaining so I wouldn't use those flaws above as a basis of whether to read it. I REALLY liked this book.

Overall Rating: B

Book released 16th October 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (eBook)

A Quick Note:

Hi guys,

I know that I've barely posted anything in like... forever... I am so sorry.

This blog is still running but due to personal problems in my own life I am struggling to find any time and motivation to review. As well as that, I have left university for the Christmas break and unfortunately left my Kindle there as well, which means that I am reading my ebooks off my laptop which slows the whole situation down.

Fear not, I'm taking the Christmas break to catch up, schedule and reduce the TBR pile so expect to see lots from me starting in the next few days.

I also have a few exciting things lined up in the new year including interviews, blog tours and a LOT of giveaways so keep an eye out.

Drop me a comment if you read this, just so i know that I do still have readers!