Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Dude. DUDE!

This book though! This book!!!

Sarah J. Maas's world must have turned on it's head when the amazing Throne of Glass series got as big as it did, and rightly so. In a world where the YA market is saturated with fantasy books which are honestly a little bit meh, this author is one that brings back the magic that made authors like Robin McKinley and Kristin Cashore and Maria V. Snyder as great as they were. Sarah Maas just has this fantastic way of building a world and characters that we really care about. From step one of this book I loved Feyre and that is the key for me. I cared about her future and her love life and what she goes through. She was such a strong independant character but she is thrown into this world where that isn't enough.

Enter Tamlin, a high fae that made me swoon and urgh and mmmm! In his fae form he is a handsome man with a mask covering his face - the result of an awful curse on his world - but he can transform into a beast and beastly men make me go phoar. The love story, for once, is a simple progressive one where you get to see it develop on both ends. It was magic, and whilst the love triangle is there in the latter part of the book, it didn't bother me too much because Tamlin is perfection and there is sexy-times and Feyre and Tamlin forever.

The plot of this isn't altogether very original, it is a spin on the story we see in a lot of fairy YA books, but Maas's writing is so fantastic that it doesn't feel like you're reading the same book again. Man, this woman can write.

Do you see that I am absolutely typing diarrhoea over this book? This was a book that made em melt and gasp and awe, and whilst maybe it wasn't as amazing as Throne of Glass, it was definitely amazing nonetheless.

Sarah J. Maas proves over and over again how worthy she is to be known as one of this generation's queens of fantasy, and I will forever bow to her.

(All hail Queen Sarah).

Book released 5th May 2015 by Bloomsbury
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reason for lack of posts

Sorry guys! I Was hoping to keep up, but I'm in the final year of my degree and I'm just finishing up my dissertation, which is a massive headache for me and taking up all of my time outside of my full time job.

I'll be back in the next week! Promise!


Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I can't believe that I waited so long to read The DUFF, everyone has been raving about it for years and I never really thought to pick it up. That being said, I'm glad that I did wait, I don't think I would have loved this book as much as I did a few years ago. It would be so easy to say that this is just a book about a girl having lots of sex with a guy she claims to hate but it is actually much more than that....

The DUFF is a fantastic read. The writing is gripping, the dialogue is witty and the characters are all engaging in their own ways. Bianca is actually an amazing character, even though a few years ago I might have called her very shallow she was simply very real. The way she was with Wesley was annoying at times, but they were just real. It was relatable, real emotions and confusion and insecurities and it really did just get into the teenage psyche. That was the best thing about this book.

I mean, I could go on and on about how I loved the fact that this was a book about insecurities where the main character is actually popular and has friends, and how it was so nice to read and I really enjoyed it and it wasn't mind-blowingly gripping but I really cared about the characters.

I'm not going to do that.

I'm going to say that if you want to read a teenage romcom, this is the book for you. Quote me on that. 

Book released 7th September 2011 by Poppy
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Shelf Spotlight (5/3/15) and The Week in Review

Shelf Spotlight is my weekly haul meme where I talk about all of the books that I have got this week in print and ebook format!

It's based on Stacking the Shelves hosted over at Tynga's Reviews and The Sunday Post hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

For review - NetGalley/Edelweiss:

From Where I Watch You Never Always Sometimes Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) The Edge of Forever

Review: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

The Memory Key
In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.

I think it's best that I mention right now that I didn't finish this book - I gave it my best shot, got to around the halfway mark, but I couldn't finish it. It's a pity because I had soooo many high hopes for The Memory Key, but this book just didn't live up to it. It lacked in world building, the main character was reckless and annoying and the romance seemed pointless, underdeveloped and not interesting. 

I think my main problem though was the formatting and the writing. I don't know if this is because of issues with the eGalley or if it will be the same in the published version, but it was so hard to tell when Lora was having a flashback and this was really disorientating and really put me off my trail. As well as that, the writing was another big let down. The dialogue seemed overly formal and clumsy, it was difficult to read and actually feel immersed in this conversation because I was too busy cringing at some of the wording.

The storyline was good, the premise was interesting and I was in half of a mind to push myself through just to see how it ended, but with a review schedule absolutely packed until at least June, I have much better books to spend my time reading...

Overall Rating: DNF

Book released 3rd March 2015 by HarperTeen
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Review: Death Wish by Megan Tayte

Death Wish (Ceruleans, #1)
Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. Butsuicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.

I received Death Wish for review and judging by the gorgeous cover and that blurb I was expecting for a stunning mystery with a paranormal twist and more focus on Scarlett's creepy death powers. For me, I was a little disappointed because the paranormal in this book is so subtle even though it is a big deal - in fact it kicks in right near the end and it made this book feel like a very long winded prologue as opposed to a first book. The plot creeped very slowly for me, which was really annoying because there were so many aspects of this book that blew me away!

For one, the setting was gorgeous. As someone who spent many a summer in Cornwall and Devon with my family during my childhood, I was really blown away by how well Tayte describes the location. The dangerous, choppy seas, the quaint environment of a coastal village - it really was beautiful and so easy to envision. Scarlett's process of getting used to the location was well written and I loved the characters that she met there - Cara was brilliant and the old man that Scarlett meets and works for (forgive me for forgetting his name) was just so genuine. In fact all of the characters were pretty well written, even Jude - the typical broody bad boy with a secret - was bearable. I though Luke was nice but he didn't really offer a whole lot and I wish there was a little less focus on this relationship and a little more focus on Scarlett's mystery and the story behind her sister's death.

I was also taken aback that Scarlett's parents just let her disappear off to the village her sister supposedly killed herself in just months later. Surely they would be more concerned? It seemed very confusing to me that they didn't really seem to care - and Scarlett is only 17 in this book! It was just convenient that Scarlett's parents weren't around to see her self-destructive behaviour. I was also put off Scarlett when she was ignoring her mother's attempts at getting in touch. Surely if your sister has killed herself, you would be more respectful of your mother's worrying?

I felt that the writing was good, but it did seem clunky in the way that indie published books often are. Many people has put that down to the writer being a Brit author, but as a Brit reader I think it is just down to the lack of streamlining the dialogue and I can't blame Tayte for this - it could just have used another round of editing, I think.

Overall, Death Wish was a pretty average book. I think that I was put off by the very slow pace, but the writing and setting was well done, so I would read the sequel. The book doesn't pick up to the end, but I am interested in it now that the story is picking up.

Book released 7th February 2015 by Heaven Afire
Book received from the author in exchange for an honest review