Review: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Life After Theft

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

I've always enjoyed Aprilynne Pike's books before but I haven't completely adored them. Life After Theft hasn't changed that, I did enjoy this book since it was cute and quirky but I can't say that I really 'loved' it. I did, however, really like what it brought to the YA paranormal genre.

You'd expect that a book with the synopsis up there would follow a simple formula right? Boy meets ghost, boy and ghost hate each other but then like each other then fall in love, cue angst over the fact that they can never be together! *wail*
Nah, I can happily say that Life After Theft mixes it up a little. Firstly, and this is not a spoiler, Kimberlee and Jeff do not fall in love. Don't worry, there is romance. Jeff hits it off with Sera and the romance there is adorable but doesn't take over the book. Secondly, there is no explanation into where Jeff's ability to see the deceased comes from and usually that's something that I'd complain about but it just didn't seem necessary here.

It's pretty obvious by the cover that this isn't a 'dark' read, this is for people who want to read something light but want to mix it up a little and not read the typical YA contemporary books. It was fun read, Kimberlee is snarky and Jeff is fun to read. There are some slightly angsty bits and the drama when Kim realises the 'error of her ways' and it deals with a dead kleptomaniac, so of course there will be issues but mostly this is just a quick and quirky read.

My main complaint with this book would be the pacing. I felt as though I could put this book down whenever I wanted. I didn't really feel gripped. the ending also seemed a little rushed, like Pike was trying to tie the ends up perfectly in like one chapter.

Overall, I did enjoy Life After Theft but I can't say that I loved it. The pacing was not fantastic. I did really like how it mixed up the genre and because of that I'm going to rate this a little higher than I would have done otherwise.

Book released 30th April 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Other books by this author:

Review: The Exile's Violin by R.S. Hunter

The Exile's Violin (Tethys Chronicles, #1)

Why hire mercenaries to kill an innocent family just to obtain one little key? That question haunts Jacquie Renairre for six years as she hunts down the people responsible for murdering her parents.

Not even accepting an assignment to investigate a conspiracy that aims to start a war can keep her from searching for the key. Armed with her father’s guns and socialite Clay Baneport, she continues her quest for answers abroad.

With the world edging closer to disaster, Jacquie is running out of time to figure out how the war, the key, and ancient legend are intertwined. The fate of the world hinges on her ability to unravel both mysteries before it’s too late.

If there is any genre that I tend to not get along with it is definitely steampunk, so whilst I accepted this book for review I did it very tentatively knowing that there was a massive chance I was NOT going to enjoy it. Thankfully I did actually enjoy this book though I didn't really love it. I think that what set's The Exile's Violin apart from the other steampunk books is that it is both geared towards slightly older readers and also steampunk-fantasy, as opposed to steampunk-historical so it has all of the normal features of steampunk with the airships and the classes but it also has a new world, a fantastic setting which makes this book a joy to read. I loved exploring all of the world with Jacquie and Clay and there was just enough action and intrigue to keep me interested.

This book was the perfect length for me, I feel like I would have felt like things were being missed out on if parts of the book had been taken out but if it had been much longer I would have started to get bored and the adventures would have seemed very repetitive. Plot-wise there were a few holes that I couldn't help noticing, one big question being how Jacquie's family came to have the key and the guns, a theory about getting it from a friend just doesn't cut it for me since the items are of such big importance to the plot.

One of the biggest faults with this book is definitely the main character. I understand that Hunter was trying to write Jacquie as a tough woman, as opposed to a meek society girl and I get that but I also wonder whether she could have shown some vulnerability as opposed to flipping out with violence every time somebody upset her. She was also very irrational, blanking her only friend for days when it wasn't even a big deal. I did really feel sorry for Clay because a lot of the verbal abuse that he got thrown at him was not deserved. That being said, Jacquie and Clay's interactions definitely made the book for me, especially Clay's jealousy over Gunslinger. The romance in this book is barely there, but it was fantastically written and well-developed nonetheless.

Overall, I did enjoy The Exile's Violin much more than I thought I would. It was a thrilling adventure with action and pacing that kept me reading but I was quite let down with Jacquie as a character and a few of the plot-holes that weren't massive but were still noticeable. Would I read a sequel? Definitely, but I'm not sure whether it would be RIGHT at the top of my pile. I'd have to be in the mood to pick it up.

Plus, I'm starting to feel like a big girl venturing into books with protagonists that are older than 18!

Book released 10th December 2012 by Hydra Publications
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review 

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Before I start this review I have to get something out of my system:
Just finished, read the epilogue, reread the epilogue. OH MY.... WHAT.... WHY.... HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME... HOW CAN I WAIT UNTIL 2014 FOR BOOK THREE... Julie Kagawa is no longer in my life... it's over!! The ending of this book made me feel like I'd been punched in the gut. Seriously Kagawa, it was an amazing ending but it was just so unbelievably EVIL?!

Seriosuly, just when I think that Julie Kagawa can't get any better she goes and proves me wrong. I adored The Immortal Rules and I was so scared that The Eternity Cure would fail to live up to that standard but I needn't have been, this book was freaking AMAZING!

In the first book Allie was coming to terms with what she is, but by the start of The Immortal Rules she has come to realise that she is a monster and has chosen the type of monster she is, this means that the Eternity Cure has a lot more action in it and has some pretty gory scenes in it. I've always been a fan of Allie as a character because she's so hardened and tough but I loved her in this book because she kills and she lives as a real vampire but we do also get to see the more human side at some points. Jackal comes back on the scenes and despite the fact that I hated him after book one he was actually an incredible character because I slowly started to warm to him.
Zeke is also a new person. No longer the idealistic ray of sunshine that he was in The Immortal Rules, Zeke was an interesting character. He is still caring but he also isn't as trusting and is a lot more tough in this book, to tell the truth I actually preferred him that way and I still root for him and Allie.

I was so happy that Kagawa recapped the first book as I'd almost forgotten who everyone was, the recap is done very quickly and really helped me but it also made the first few chapters very boring. After that the pacing is perfect though, Kagawa manages to keep the book exciting and fresh for four hundred pages and I totally applaud that. I did find that there was a part near the ending where things were resolved a little too ideally, nonetheless it was still a fantastic book with great plotting.

Overall, an AMAZING sequel. I just love this series and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book three.

Book released 30th April by Harlequin Teen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (NetGalley) (May 3rd by Mira Ink in the UK)

Other books in this series: