Review: Impostor by Jill Hathaway

Impostor (Slide #2)

Be afraid of your shadow...Vee Bell has witnessed murder. She nearly died trying to track down the killer, all because of her secret condition. She'd tell her best friend Rollins but lately he seems more interested in his colleague Anna than her. Maybe she should confide in her long-lost aunt who's turned up out of the blue? All of a sudden life is happening in reverse: Vee is waking up in weird places not knowing what she's done. The only thing she's sure of is that someone is messing with her. And when a prank goes horribly wrong, this time the hands with blood on them might be hers.

Impostor is definitely NOT a book which suffers from second book syndrome. I loved Slide when I read it last year (I rated it B+), but I loved Impostor even more. The romance was better, the story was a little easier to follow and there was a lot of mystery which worked so well. Whilst I felt that Slide was rather like some other series, Impostor stood out a lot more.

Firstly, can I honestly say that Rollins and Vee are one of the cutest couples in YA fiction at the moment?! They are just freaking adorable - Rollins is so supportive of Vee even when she's hiding things from him and Vee coming to terms with her feelings for her best friend made for some cute reading. Cute scenes really make a book like Impostor, which has a very tense atmosphere, so much better. I really didn't like Zane as a love interest in Slide since there was never any build-up and even Vee admits in Impostor that it was insta-love. Rollins and Vee just had so much chemistry that I could go on and on about this couple for days!

I loved the mystery surrounding the events in Impostor - I was constantly wondering who was 'sliding' into Vee, and when it all came clear it all fit together. There was some high tension scenes but mostly this book is all about building up this mystery then letting it all explode when it comes clear, which is a dangerous technique because something too much can be confusing. It works in this book though and everything from Lydia, Mattie, Samantha and Diane fits together so well. I would have maybe liked a little bit more danger and action, like the end of Slide, but honestly that's just me being picky.

At under 300 pages, Impostor is a quick read. That doesn't make it any less gripping though. This book was a great addition to a great series. Hopefully there will be a book three, since I can't wait to learn more about Vee's sliding and see more Rollins and Vee cuteness!

Book released 26th April 2013 by HarperCollins Children
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Print)

Reviews for other books by this author:
Slide (#1)

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot (Reboot, #1)
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

I have wanted to read Reboot since I first heard about it so as soon as it came up on Edelweiss I smashed the request button and sat there staring at the screen eagerly for about twenty minutes, until I realised that I wasn't going to get a response straight away and sulked off to go do some washing (or something like that...). I honestly found the idea of a book where humans that have died and come back to life are used as soldiers extremely fascinated. This isn't a zombie book, the reboots are nothing like zombies, this book is like a mixture of cyborg books like Mila 2.0 and survival books like Divergent and it really worked.

The characters in this book were awesome. I loved that usually in YA books we see the heroine go from weak to strong, whereas it was kind of backwards in this book - Wren starts aout as a major unemotional toughie and by the end she has a much more vulnerable view of life, which was great to see. I also really liked Callum, despite the fact that he was always so peppy, I honestly think it's just what Wren needed, so I was able to ignore the annoying parts. Okay, so I will agree with the nay-sayers that the romance did happen extremely quickly, and the change in Wren from as emotional as a brick wall to in love happened almost instantly, but I did like the romance between this couple, and would love to read more about them.

There was some action and butt-kicking, and since this is a semi-political dystopian there was, of course a resistance and a secret refuge, none of which was grund breaking territory, however what really sold this book to me was Tintera's writing. Whilst some people may complain about the info-dumping, to me it was great and there wasn't too much. The writing style actually really reminded me of Veronica Roth, which is yet another reason I would recommend this book to fans of Divergent.

Overall, Reboot was a thrilling zombie/robot/dystopian/action/romance mash-up that I would recommend to anybody looking for a fresh romantic dystopian. It may not have been the most original sci-fi release of the year (that one goes to Arclight so far), but it was definitely one of the better.

Overall Rating: B+

Book released 7th May 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting on Wednesday (29th May 2013)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

For the first WOW week ever, I have been sat around trying to find two books to list. There are so many awesome books coming out, but I honestly didn't eel like listing any of them this week. 
Nonetheless, I finally managed to pick my two, and both of them look amazing! 
Tell me what you think! I may not reply back until later since I have an exam today (eeep!) but please do comment with a link to your blog!

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
June 4th 2013 by Houghton Mifflin

The Testing (The Testing, #1)

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.
It would be really awful of me to say that 'The Testing' sounds like the Dauntless initiation from Divergent (Gawd, I loved that book), but I will. I also really like the idea of it being called an education but really being a competition for the education and career.

Defy the Dark anthology
June 18th 2013 by HarperTeen

Defy the Dark

Defy the Dark, an all-new anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell. Coming Summer 2013 from HarperTeen!

It features 16 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark. Authors include Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Ryan, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, Sarah Ockler, and more.

Contemporary, genre, these stories will explore every corner of our world- and so many others. What will be the final story that defies the dark? Who will the author be?
Do I even need to explain myself here? Have you seen that author list?
Malinda Lo, Beth Revis, Aprilynne Pike and that's only picking out a few of my favorites, this is sooo exciting! Plus, I've seen a few advance reviews and the stories seem to be so diverse, and I love reviewing anthologies, they're totally my favorite things to review!

Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward

Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

I only finished The Ward a couple of hours ago and I am still feeling completely torn about it. One one hand, this book was innovative and fresh and brought something brand new to the dystopian scene, on the other hand I did feel like the book dragged on at places and I lost interest a few times and had to force myself through the hard parts to get to the fast paced and interesting action that happened later in the book. I honestly do feel like this book could have been great if it had been paced a little better, but for me there just wasn't enough momentum to keep it going.

Maybe it's my lack of imagination, but I think the fact that there wasn't much world building meant that I just couldn't stay interested in what was going on. For one thing, Frankel often goes into descriptions of the places that Ren is at but I just couldn't seem to make the image in my head, so I was completely lost... I also felt like there was a lack of background - there is this disease but no backstory to it aside from a few runaway sentences here and there. It was just things like that that made it difficult to imagine this world.

I did really like the drag racing aspect, and the characters around that were definitely some of my favorites. I really liked Ter and Benny, though my definite favorite character was Callum, who I really hope has some romance coming his way since I so preferred him to Derek, who I thought was icky from the start and after a certain discovery later in the book I found him even more creepy... For me, Ren was a character that I really struggled to like to start with, she made clever decisions at the right times but mostly she was irrational and though she's portrayed as the nice, tomboy girl the scene at the beginning where she's saying nasty things about some other girls made it difficult to like her.

Finally, the twist later in the book definitely added a new dimension to the book that made me continue reading when I was almost ready to put it down, so I applaud Frankel on her ability to throw in a twist like that at just the right time!

It wasn't a bad book, I did like it, I read all the way to the end despite it being around 450 pages and the end really gripped me, but I also didn't really like it... it just bordered on the edge of being a book that I enjoyed and a book that I wanted to put down as it seemed to jump between the two so many times during the book. Will I read the sequel? Quite possibly, yes, but it won't be at the top of my list and it will mostly be due to my huge crush on Callum.

Book released 30th April 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Book received from the publisher (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger

The Elephant of Surprise (Russel Middlebrook, #4)

In this latest book, Russel and his friends Min and Gunnar are laughing about something they call the Elephant of Surprise -- the tendency for life to never turn out as expected. Sure enough, Russel soon happens upon a hot but mysterious homeless activist named Wade, even as he's drawn back to an old flame named Kevin. Meanwhile, Min is learning surprising things about her girlfriend Leah, and Gunnar just wants to be left alone to pursue his latest technology obsession.

But the elephant is definitely on the move in all three of their lives. Just who is Wade and what are he and his friends planning? What is Leah hiding? And why is Gunnar taking naked pictures of Kevin in the shower?

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about reviewing this book since it's part of series with like four books already released, but Hartinger assured me in his pitch that it could be read as a stand-alone, so I gave it a shot. I am so unbelievably glad that I did.

I don't want to focus on the fact that this book is LGBT because although it's a big part of it there are so many different aspects of this story that all make it something much bigger. This book isn't really emotional territory, nor is it trying to make any type of statement, this book is witty and poignant in the right places, and even though there are never any really heartbreaking moments and I'd only just met the characters I honestly started to love them and feel for them. 

This book was also educating. I loved reading about Wade and the other freegans and their way of life, and I think that Hartinger did a fantastic job in not portraying them all as radicals despite some of the things that happen in the book. min and Gunnar were also fantastic characters to meet, I instantly grew to love Gunnar - he was so crazy and witty that he made me smile whenever he popped up. Min took me a while to like, but she's such a great friend to Russel that I grew to love her. Though Russel did come across as a little weedy at points, I think he was such an engaging character to read about and follow and I can't wait to read the rest of this series.

Despite having not followed Russel and Kevin's romantic storyline from the first book, it was pretty easy to see that Kevin still cared so i was totally rooting for this couple. I did like Wade, but it was pretty obvious that he was only going to be a temporary character. I also wasn't too shocked at the ending, but I was still cheering because it was what I wanted.

Overall, Brent Hartinger has managed to engage me into this series halfway through. Despite being thrown into the middle of the ongoing storylines, I had no problem fitting into the book and taking on the characters. A great book, I would absolutely love to read the rest of this series!

Book released 30th March 2013 by Buddha Kitty Books
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Towering by Alex Flinn


Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now. 

If there is one author that I can always go to for funny and fresh fairytale retellings it is definitely Alex Flinn. After reading Beastly a few years ago, I have always looked forward to her releases. Some haven't quite reached my expectations but I still have not given up hope just because I love Flinn's writing style and humour. As well as that, Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairytales - especially after the Disney movie Tangled,so I really couldn't not turn down the chance to review Towering.

I'll put it straight out there: This book did not meet my expectations - I just didn't enjoy it as much as Beastly. I struggled with the characters a little bit, I though Wyatt was a little bit soggy, he just seemed to always get to the right place and do the right thing without really having to work towards it, and until the end he didn't seem much like a hero to me and Rachel did seem to sit around and do nothing except cut her hair (but I mean, what else can you really do when you're stuck in a tower alone for years?). I also felt that the insta-love seemed so fake, there was absolutely no building of the chemistry - it was there but the lack of the development just messed up what could have been a fantastic love story.

However, I did absolutely love the way that Flinn mixed it up - with the drug and the twists at the end. The ending was high pressure and definitely had me gripped, but up until that point I had been waiting for something to happen. There is a whole lot of building up the storyline but not much of the storyline actually happening, it's more just the romance and whilst I love me a bit of romance I do need a plot as well.

Overall, I really didn't love this book. The romance was too quick with not enough building and the actual storyline took TOO MUCH time to build. I stuck with it, but I feel like this book would either be love or hate for other readers.

Book released 14th May 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

Reviews for other books by this author: