Thursday 26 September 2013

Book Review - Endless

Author: Amanda Gray
Genres: Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 8th October 2013
Publishers: Month9Books
No. Pages: 384
Source: Review Copy - Month9Books
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Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for 'mesmerization' and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - the trio discovers a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Book Review - Awaken

Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Series: Awaken #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian | Young Adult
Release Date: 17th April 2012
Publishers: HMH Books
No. Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
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Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life -until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren't meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her- a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

Book Review - Across The Universe

Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 3rd March 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
No. Pages: 319
Source: Gifted
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Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Book Review - Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #1
Genres: Contemporary | New Adult
Release Date: 26th May 2011
Publisher: Artia
No. Pages: 319
Source: Purchased
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Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants - and needs - to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Book Review - Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 14th June 2011
Publishers: Razorbill
No. Pages: 288
Source: Gifted
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Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Book Review - Forever

Author: Judy Blume
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 1st May 2011
Publishers: MacMillan
No. Pages: 208
Source: Gifted
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Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

Book Review - Freaks Like Us

Freaks Like Us
Author: Jackie Trippier Holt
Series: Dirty Monsters #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Adult
Release Date: 11th October 2012
Publishers: Book Snuffler
No. Pages: 132
Source: Purchased
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"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages! Welcome to Burfoot's Circus, the travelling home of freaks, misfits, drop-outs and the socially inept  - sometimes all of the above  - come together for your entertainment pleasure tonight, out of a love of performing in some cases, and simply fear of discovery in others. We have little people, fae, werewolves and mutations, hybrids and humans in The Ring together! We have demons and dogs and those who prefer to keep silent about the stories of how and why they came to join the circus. Yet, most important of all, we have acts! We have The Saw Man, The Cat Boy, The Violet Illusion, Fearless Henry, Lady Fortunata, Benedict The Storyteller, The Bearded Lady, Snake and too, too many more to mention."

"Catch the show now, while you can. We can't stay long in any town and who knows where we'll be next? And honestly, folks, our circus isn't what it was and certainly isn't what it should be. See it now and you'll be able to say, 'Burfoot's? I knew it before it was famous'". Because nothing can remain a secret forever..

Book Review - The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 3rd January 2013
Publishers: Penguin
No. Pages: 316
Source: Purchased
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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten..

Book Review - Forbidden

Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Series: Standalone
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 27th May 2012
Publishers: Definitions
No. Pages: 432
Source: Purchased
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She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But.. they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives - and the way they understand each other so completely - has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Book Review - This Lullaby

This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 24th July 2008
Publishers: Hodder Childrens
No. Pages: 379
Source: Purchased
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All Remy has to remember her father by is a song, This Lullaby, with the memorable line, 'I will let you down'. Having seen her mother go through four failed marriages, she's pretty sure that's what most men do. So she's determined to keep the men in her life at arms' length.

But then Dexter comes crashing into her world. He's everything she hates: messy, disorganised, impulsive, and worst of all, a musician like her father... So why is it suddenly so hard for her to stick to her own rules?

Book Review - Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 4th August 2011
Publishers: Speak
No. Pages: 372
Source: Gifted
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Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken - and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?

Book Review - Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 14th September 2010
Publishers: Little Brown
No. Pages: 563
Source: Gifted
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Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Book Review - Starcrossed

Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 5th July 2012
No. Pages: 503
Source: Purchased
Destiny brought them together.
The gods will keep them apart.

When shy, awkward Helen Hamilton meets Lucas Delos for the first time, she thinks two things: the first, that he is the most ridiculously beautiful boy she has seen in her life; the second, that she wants to kill him with her bare hands.An ancient curse means Lucas and Helen are destined to loathe one another. But sometimes love is stronger than hate, and not even the gods themselves can't prevent what will happen next..

This book is a definite 'you either love it, or you hate it' book, and I think that explains the large number of negative reviews it's gotten. I think the largest selling point of this book is it's links to Greek Mythology, and if that really doesn't interest you, or you have trouble following, I seriously advise against you reading it, and for that reason in my opinion, it's a love/hate book.

Book Review - City of Ashes

City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 7th July 2008
Publishers: Walker Children's
No. Pages: 411
Source: Purchased
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go - especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil - and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings - and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

I didn't think it would be possible to love this book anymore than the first but I was pleasantly surprised. Right from the start this book left off from the first and the action leapt straight off the first few pages which made it by far much better than the first.

I much prefer the cover on this book than the previous. I feel that the blue's and faint whites go brilliantly against the redness of Clary's hair. It had a much more mysterious feel to it than the first, but also a more dangerous atmospheric style which I feel was much better than the first. Clary herself in the front I was a little disappointed that she was implied to be so slim, especially on her arms, but against the plot inside, the image matched perfectly with the few Marks she possesses, the similar length in hair and confident pose which was implied throughout to show how Clary is growing into her new talents and life. I insanely like the cover so much.

Book Review - City of Bones

City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 27th March 2007
Publishers: Walker Children's
No. Pages: 485
Source: Gifted
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died.
Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know..

To start with, the cover, I wasn't and am still not a huge fan of it. I don't like too many greens and yellows all mushed together, and I don't think that it really want with the book. The nice looking fellow on the front though really gave me a feel for Jace. It helped me imagine him, and having already seen pictures of the characters set for the film, I felt like I already had a fully formed picture in my head of him. Coverwise, I really liked it.

Book Review - Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 1st May 2012
Publishers: Harper Teen
No. Pages: 453
Source: Gifted
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

This was quite a difficult book to rate, and I think it has a lot to with the genre and just how much competition there is out there within this genre. For this reason, rating and reviewing this was difficult, hence it's taken me almost a day to do it. I'll start with the genre/theme. Yes, this is a fantasy book. Yes, it's about the offspring of angels and demons. No, this is not like The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices series. At all. It's completely different, and that's why I found it more difficult to rate. I expected so much from this book, and as a series starter, I really wanted it to blow me away. I thought it'd be so much like Cassandra Clare's style, but it really wasn't. It's such a different, new take on the world and the species, and with much deliberation, it was also a great take. Wendy Higgins has taken such a well loved theme and made it her own. The concentration on the characters being much more demon orientated in comparison to many other angel/human species was a nice change, but it also reiterated the fact that all species, human or not, have light and dark in them. That was something I liked a lot.

Book Review - The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love of First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 14th May 2012
Publishers: Little Brown
No. Pages: 215
Source: Gifted
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver..

If you haven't read this book because you think it's set out to be one very little over cheesy and way too cliché book, then you should seriously reconsider, as this may look and sound like one big 24 hour 'instant love' romance, but there is so much more to this little gem, and I'm glad I gave it a go myself. As far as I am aware, there are two paperback covers, one black and white, and another is the version I own. While the black and white cover screams whiny teenage emotions, the edition I have is a little more subtle and and childlike I feel, and touches such as the cartoon plane and the grass gardens really make it such a lovely cover to admire, and in truth, an even better reason to have it on your bookshelf.

Book Review - The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: Chaos Walking #1
Genres: Science FictionDystopian | Young Adult
Release Date: April 2013
Publishers: Walker Books Ltd.
No. Pages: 478
Source: Donated
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee - whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not - stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden - a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I got my copy of this book from applying to be a World Book Night 2013 book giver and decided that since I hadn't read the book myself, that I would keep a copy and give it a go myself. From the synopsis, I expected some sort of horrifying world with lots of adventure and to say I was disappointed is quite an understatement. The introduction of a female character, although highly predictable, ruined how I felt about this book, and this wasn't the only problem I had with this book.

Book Review - The Night Circus

The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morganstern
Genres: Fantasy | Adult
Release Date: 24th May 2012
Publishers: Vintage Books
No. Pages: 502
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway — a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love — a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Book Review - The Host

The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 6th May 2008
Publishers: Little Brown and Company
No. Pages: 619
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.