Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Darkest Minds but Alexandra Bracken



Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult Dystopian
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 488

Source: Amazon

Goodreads | Amazon  | Book Depository

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.



Okay, I'm going to really try to get my thoughts across, but bear with me, because quite frankly, I'm not sure I can fully comprehend them myself ..

'The Darkest Minds' by Alexandra Bracken.
Personally, this book was a mass of really intriguing ideas and wonderfully realised characters, mixed with some disappointing execution and sub-par writing.

Firstly, and one of the predominant reasons for my indifference, is Alexandra Bracken's writing style. Honestly, I don't know if it was me, or the writing, but it just didn't gel with me; kinda rubbed me the wrong way. What I mean by that is, one minute I'd be so enthralled with what was happening and couldn't read fast enough, and then a few minutes later I'd be trying so hard not to fall asleep. I just found Bracken's writing style to be very inconsistent and incoherent at times, which is why I felt so indifferent toward the plot and the characters one minute, and then couldn't get enough the next. And that just frustrated me.

As a result of my disliking Bracken's writing, it took me a long time - and I mean a VERY long time - to actually get into the story, and actually start enjoying reading the book. But by then, I was already behind, both emotionally and literally. Emotionally because I didn't feel what I was supposed to feel toward the protagonist when she was in trouble, or when she was experiencing inner-turmoil; that emotional connection hadn't been established with me. And I say literally, because I was LITERALLY behind on details of the plot. I would often find myself struggling to remember details of what had happened a mere fifty pages previously, details that were required to continue understanding and appreciating the story. So that was disappointing.

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. I wanted to like her so badly, and in fact, at times, I did really enjoy her point of view and her character, but there were just as many times that I didn't. Our relationship was like a pendulum; forever shifting. There were times I just wanted to jump into the story and rally behind her, and kiss her because it seemed her character was making so much progress, and then there were times I was just fed up with her. And because I ended up not liking nor disliking her, I also felt indifferent toward the book itself, because it's told from her point of view.

Okay I get it. I get that this is a YA Dystopian novel, and because of that, it's almost destined to follow some sort of sequence similar to many others in the same genre. But I really did expect more, and maybe that's my fault, but it's true.
The premise itself it pretty original - or as original as they come nowadays - but bar that, I just thought it was cookie-cutter material. It was really interesting, but sadly predictable at the same time. I was able to guess all but one big reveal, and even then, Bracken didn't even follow through with that one big reveal. You know, the one near the end that almost tore your heart out, but then.. didn't? I was ready to applaud Bracken for daring to take it that far, but then it's almost like she started having second thoughts, and decided against following through. It wasn't resolved at all.

So that's pretty much it, I guess. Once again, I really liked parts, and I really disliked parts. I'll probably end up giving the sequel a chance though.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

International Book Giveaway!




Details: 
- Open from 29th October - 5th November 2014. 
- Prize is a book worth €10 / $13 / £8. 
- Will be using Book Depository or Amazon. 
- Make sure to get PARENTAL PERMISSION before giving out address. 
- Follow me with the links below.

Hope you guys enter, good luck!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin



Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 27th, 2011
Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal / Romance
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 452

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy. And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…



After two days of pondering my feelings on this book, two whole days of not reading might I add, I've decided to go with my initial thoughts, right after reading the last page.

So here's the thing; I liked most of this book, like really liked it, but then in the last fifty or so pages, it sorta almost turned sour?..
Let me explain.

I started the book, and was just as confused as Mara had been waking up in the hospital. Surprisingly, that was something I enjoyed quite a bit. I quickly became immersed in her story, her history, and that moved the story along at quite a nice pace.
Then the real paranormal aspects set in.

It's not to say that I didn't like said aspects, I did! They just didn't make much sense to me, the more they were explained, which is ironic. I didn't understand where the abilities came from. I didn't believe how they could be so specific, what with only certain characters having them. I didn't like how one minute Mara was completely in the dark about everything, and then a couple of pages later, she was an expert on the topic. I just didn't get, and that was the most frustrating thing.

But as I said, that all happened in the last fifty or so pages.
I may have really disliked the end, but I did really like everything else. Well, most of it anyway.

First, I gotta say; Mara's family is up there with the best developed families in YA Literature history. While reading, I felt each character, almost knew them even! Their personalities were so well written, so realistically written too, and unlike most other families in this genre, they actually played a part in the protagonist's life. They were really refreshing.

Mara, on the other hand, didn't really spark anything inside me. She was interesting, and I did sympathise with her a crap-load throughout the book, but other than that, nothing really stood out.
And down again,  on my list of favourite characters, is Noah Shaw. I mean, all right, I didn't hate the guy, but I didn't particularly like him either. The stereotypical 'bad boy' character is so hard to pull off, and to be honest, I didn't think Hodkin was successful with Noah. Sure, he was nice to Mara and everything, but to everyone else he's a complete douche! His love for himself was smothering and really irritating, so when the time came to actually gift him some character development near the end of the book, I just didn't care.

I'll end on the plot.
Again, like I am with almost everything in this book, I liked it and I didn't like it. Long story short, I liked the PTSD part, the hallucinations and such, but everything else? Not so much.
Especially the Jude parts. What happened between Mara and Jude that night was absolutely ridiculous and just pissed me off. As did the ending.

So yeah, before this gets too long, I'll stop here.
I both liked and didn't like this book. I will definitely be reading on in the trilogy though.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne



Title: Monument 14
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult Dystopian
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 342
Source: Easons

Goodreads | Amazon  | Book Depository

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 



Oh wow.

Well..

Emm..

Yeah.

That's was one hell of a ride!

'Monument 14'.
A pretty fast-paced YA dystopian about a group of kids, who wind up locked inside a superstore after their school bus is thrown off course by hailstones the size of footballs..
What do you think happens next?

All right, well first of all; Monument 14, albeit a cool and catchy name, why on Earth is that the title? Apart from it being the Town in which the kids lived, what real significance does it have? I mean, come on, I read the word 'Denver' more times than I did 'Monument'. But I guess that's just nit-picking because this book was surprisingly really good!

Probably what I liked most about this book, was how much of a quick read it was! I'll end up saying this a hundred times over during this review but seriously, there are very few books I've read as fast as this one! When you look at the book in depth, there's not a whole lot that happens, not really, but the fast pace made it seem as if the exciting things were coming at every other page! As a Young Adult Dystopian, that's exactly what I was hoping to get from this book, and I got it in bucketfuls!

There are a lot of characters in this book. It doesn't feel like a lot having now finished the book, but there are, like, ten. That's a lot. But surprisingly, Emmy Laybourne manages to give them all the attention they need. The book was told from Dean's point of view, but we saw each of the ten characters develop just as much as he did. Some, even more!
I absolutely loved that. I loved seeing everyone react to the situation in which they found themselves. I loved seeing them adapt. I loved seeing them bond. I loved it.

As for the plot, as I said before, there wasn't a whole lot. You understand that the world is ending, and you're kept entertained by the obstacles they face in the superstore, but ultimately you can feel the sense of an over-arcing plot taking place. At least I did anyway, so I didn't expect to learn too much about what was going on. I just enjoyed what it gave me.
There were points throughout the story, at which I wasn't sure where I stood. For example, there was an incident revolving around a very serious theme nowadays, and it took me a while to figure out how I felt about it, but I decided that it was actually handled pretty well.

Okay, so I loved all that, but there was something I wasn't a huge fan of; The ending.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I guess it just happened so fast, and didn't give me a chance to get over the negative feelings I towards it, which doesn't sit well with me. I honestly don't know if that made sense, but I'm trying not to spoil it haha.

So yeah, that's that.
One thing I would say, if you're thinking of picking this up, is that you should expect to be blown away. It's a YA Dystopian, and I mean that in the most respectful way. But it's definitely one of the great ones anyway!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta



Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 9th, 2010
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 419
Source: Book Depository

Goodreads Amazon | Book Depository

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother.

At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger.

Now seventeen, Taylor's the reluctant leader of her school's underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can't avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.



Jellicoe Road is one of those books.

It's one of those books that seems ordinary, but is actually quite extraordinary.
It's one of those books that forces you to push through the tough times before you can enjoy the treasure.
It's one of those books that completely changes your outlook on something; insightful, thought-provoking and wonderful.

It's just one of those books.

Jellicoe Road tells the story of Taylor Markham. Her at present, her in the past, and her even when she was all but a promise to the future. It tells of her and her life at Jellicoe School, fighting Territory wars with the Cadets and the Townies, and dealing with the hardships she's been dealt when she was younger.
But what surprised me was, that it also told of Webb, and Tate, and Narnie, and Fitz and Jude, anything and everything they had going on with them, before Taylor's time.

I can see why some people would be disappointed, when it comes to this book. Getting used to Marchetta's writing and what she's writing about does take time. Sure, I read through the first hundred pages without an ounce of understanding of what was going on, but I realised that this had been purposely done. Marchetta intentionally keeps the readers at bay while she carefully sets the scene, but it's worth it when all the pieces start to come together.

At times the story felt a complete mess. But again, it all starts to make as the story goes on. And considering 'Jellicoe Road' is supposed to be a mystery novel, I think there was sense behind its nonsense.

The characters are what drive this story. Taylor, Griggs, Santangelo, Webb, Tate, Narnie, Jude, Fitz - they didn't just feel like characters in a novel. They felt real. Their personalities were realistic, and kept firm the whole way through the book. The way they acted and reacted, was undeniably convincing, and so, made for a convincing story.

As for the story itself, it's obvious Melina Marchetta took time in carefully constructing this book. With the throw-backs interspersed throughout the book at just the right times, and whatnot. As I said before; it seems ordinary. What I loved about it, however, was that it wasn't at all.
This is the only YA novel I know, to have properly dealt with the issue of dependency, both on other people and on drugs. And the best part was, it dealt with it in such a realistic and poignant way. I've never understood the topic, why people do such things and all that, but I do now, and I have 'Jellicoe Road' to thank for that.

Would highly recommend to everyone.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout



Title: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: November 23, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Buy: The Book Depository

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.



Where to start, where to start..

Obsidian is exactly what you expect it to be. It's your typical YA Paranormal Romance, and I mean that in the most respectful way possible. There's the nerdy/shy girl who catches the eye of the dangerous, mysterious guy. A little bit of action, a sprinkle of life-threatening accidents, a whole load of romance, and there you have it! 
What I'm trying to say is that this book is just average, some good parts, and some bad.
Just.. average.

What these paranormal reads have got on their side, though, is that they're so damn easy to read! Given the opportunity, almost anyone could finish this in one sitting. The pacing is pretty quick, and I did enjoy some aspects, particularly the banter between Katy and Daemon, in the way you don't really want to admit. The whole 'alien' premise was actually surprisingly interesting, but then again, it wasn't at the forefront of the book, more or less taking a back seat in the Romance's car. 
So yes, I did actually enjoy some parts of 'Obsidian', but there was just so much I didn't like too..

My biggest problem with this book is probably how secluded I felt, and I have a theory as to why this happened. Most books nowadays, are gender-blind, meaning that no matter your gender, there's something featured in the story that will most likely appeal to you. But with this book I felt like it was so rigid in its attempts to entertain its target audience, that I was left out. 
I'll just say it flat-out, I felt like this story was directed toward girls. You could argue that the action and 'alien' aspect could interest anyone with the stereotypical 'guy's taste', but there's so little of that in the actual story, most of it consisting of the relationship between Katy and Daemon, that it sort of fails in its purpose. 

As well as feeling the book was written exclusively for its target audience, I also had a problem with the writing. Not the style, because as I said it was really easy to read, but how the character development was off at times, how the over-arching plot didn't feel concrete enough to support a whole series, those little things. They're just little things as you're reading, but when you take them all into account, it makes for a disappointing conclusion.

So altogether, Obsidian wasn't a bad read, it had it's high points, but not without the very low ones too. Which, as I said in the beginning, equates to an average book.




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley



Title: Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Published: July 14, 202
Publisher: Atheneum
Genre: YA Contemporary
Buy: The Book Depository

In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter's senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.

Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary's disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. As distant as the two stories initially seem, they are woven together through masterful plotting and merge in a surprising and harrowing climax.



Oh man, I really want to give this book five stars. I really do. But something's holding me, a feeling I'm sure every reader can relate to with their 'near-five-star' rated books.

Firstly, Whaley's writing.
I just want to say, flat out, that I love John Corey Whaley's writing style, absolutely love it! It's one of those cases where you just want to read anything and everything by that author because you just love the way they use their words. I thought it suited the story incredibly well, and suited Cullen's character incredibly well - which is important because it's told from his point of view.
Well, mostly.

Secondly, the plot.
I thought the plot of this book was really quite simple, yet interesting and complex all the same. I didn't see the point for the second pov, thinking that it actually detracted from my becoming invested in Cullen's story. But in the end, everything was cleared up. I really appreciated that.
The plot, did tend to get a bit slow, particularly in the middle, but Whaley somehow manages to re-capture my attention with just the littlest things.

Thirdly, the characters.
I think the characters, and their lives, are probably the best aspect of this book. Not to say that all others weren't good, they definitely were, it's just that in the short time you spend reading this book, you become so invested in their lives, that it becomes the most interesting thing while reading the book. John Corey Whaley makes us feel what the characters feel, and does it so effortlessly, that I can't help but commend him on that.

Lastly, the ending.
Pretty soon after starting this book, you realise that the ending is going to be one of the most important parts of story. Or at least that's what I thought, and still do think. But it's because I thought the ending would be this beautiful thing that overwhelms me with emotion, that I'm a tad disappointed in it. I was hoping it would be more solid than it was, and though I am happy with how it ended, I just know that I'm not as happy as I could've been.

Regardless of how I sounded in this review, I really really enjoyed this book. It's definitely one to make you think.. about a whole load of things.
And I love that.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore



Title: The Revenge of Seven (Lorien Legacies #5)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Buy: The Book Depository


The worst was supposed to be over. We were reunited after a decade apart. We were discovering the truth of our past. We were training and getting stronger every day. We were even happy...

We never imagined the Mogodorians could turn one of our own against us. We were fools for trusting Five. And now Eight is lost forever. I would do anything to bring him back, but that's impossible. Instead, I will do whatever it takes to destroy every last one of them.

I've spent my entire life hiding from them, and they've stolen everything away from me. But that stops now. We're going to take the battle to them. We have a new ally who knows their weaknesses. And I finally have the power to fight back.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
Number Three in Kenya.
And Number Eight in Florida.
They killed them all.
I am Number Seven.
I will make them pay.



Let's see if I can pull myself together long enough to write this review.
I have a strong feeling I can't..

First of all, the fifth book in any series isn't like your average book. It doesn't look to develop the characters to the extent the first book does, or anything like that. That's not what it's aiming for, so that's not what I'll judge it on. What it wants is to further the over-arcing plot as much as it needs to, and to keep you entertained.
By God, this book did that!

I should probably start with the one thing I didn't love, and that was the lack of any Marina chapters in the book. I can't remember if 'The Rise of Nine' or 'The Fall of Five' featured points of view from Nine and Five respectively, but I really wanted to experience this part of the story through Marina's eyes, especially after what happened at the end of the previous book. To be honest though, around a quarter of the way through, I completely forgot about it, because the story was so enthralling. So I guess even my one negative point doesn't have too much hold haha.

Now onto the good great parts! Oh man, where to start!

As to what I said before, about fifth books in series wanting to further the story, this book definitely crossed that off it's to-do list! We learn so much in this book, not only about the Lorien rebirth and things to do with the guard, but we learn a lot about the Mogs as well, which I absolutely loved! We're given reasons behind the attack that seemed so unprovoked in previous books and surprised by secrets that are revealed! This book is clearly a crucial part of the series, not just a way to make money before releasing the book with the real story, and you feel that when you're reading!

Not a single dull moment passes in this book. When you're not reading about your favourite characters shooting down Mogs, you're learning about what happened between the Mogs and the Lorien Elders. It's so fast-paced and easy to fly through, especially because there are three alternating pov's, which make the reading experience all the better!

The ending. Oh man, oh man!
That's a cliff-hanger if I've ever read one! It definitely wasn't the best ending for readers, feeling almost unnaturally abrupt, but then again, isn't that how cliff-hangers are supposed to feel?
All I know, is that when it ended, I felt some series heart palpitations coming on! Haha

Anyway those are my thoughts for the time being. It literally makes me want to cry knowing I'll have to wait another whole year to continue the story, but I'll just have to stay strong!

Great book!
Great series!



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Wrap-Up








Hey guys!

So August was a pretty good reading month for me, considering the last week of August was when school started and things started to get a bit busy! I read seven books, and wrote reviews on most of them, so without further ado here they are, and a snip-bit of my thoughts!



 Cress

by Marissa Meyer

Oh man was this book good! I liked Cinder, the first book, thought Scarlet was even better, but loved Cress! All the characters together was so exciting and thought Cress' character annoyed me quite a bit in the beginning, she definitely grew on me!





Throne of Glass

by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Click here
This was definitely not the story I was expecting! I'm sort of happy I went into it with low expectations because I did enjoy it quite a bit. It was a bit hard to get into and lacked world building but was a really fun read and I can't wait to read the next book!             





The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

Review: Click here
Again, this was not what I was expecting! It was so much darker than I'd anticipated and I absolutely loved that part, but some parts were so slow-going that I actually fell asleep while reading a few times.. The end was definitely the best part!             




Storm

by Brigid Kemmerer

Review: Click here
Okay, this one is sort of hard to explain. It's your typical paranormal YA story, with some really cliche parts, but the overall plot is really interesting and when this book gets it right, it gets it right! I just wish it could've been like that all the way through! 




The Scorch Trials

by James Dashner

Review: Click here
This was a disappointment.. I enjoyed The Maze Runner and was eager to see where this story was going, but honestly, I'm not far off from where I was before this book, like it was the first book over again, without enough new material to justify a full book. 





Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K Rowling

What can I say? This is my favourite book in the entire series and reading it the third/fourth time around was just as fun! I absolutely love these characters and love seeing them grow up to be awesome people. Also, Hermione is bae.. that's all. 




Isla and the Happily Ever After

by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Click here
If you haven't read my review of this, please just read it! I didn't think this book was perfect, by any means, but I loved it! Honestly, if you're a fan of Perkins you'll like it, but the only was you'll really love it, is if you can truly relate to Isla's character. 


So yeah, those are all the books I read this month. What books did you guys read? Let's talk about them in the comments!



Thanks for reading guys, 
Slan!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins



Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Usbourne
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Buy: The Book Depository


The cafĂ© is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. 
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. 
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.



Throughout my reading this book, I've jumped from a four star rating, to a three, to a two, to a four, to a three point five, back to a two. But the thing is, having finished it and taken all into account, I honestly can't imagine giving it anything less than five. Not because the romance was cute or the love interest was 'swoon-worthy', but for reasons I think are so scarily personal, they're even hard to share in a review.

But I'll try. 
I'll try.

Firstly, Isla pissed me the hell off. Now exchange that 'hell' for the f bomb I was too scared to put in. 
She was jealous, she was selfish, she was unbelievably paranoid, she was self-abusive and the list is seriously never-ending. I had never felt so strongly, both positively and negatively, toward a character before in my life, and I had no idea why. 

But I do now. Because Isla is me, except maybe take away the 'firey' non-auburn hair.. completely change the skintone.. and swap genitalia, but other than that, she's definitely me! Haha

I'm jealous.
I'm selfish.
I'm unbelievably paranoid.
I'm self-abusive.

When I read, I read to escape all that, so I think you can imagine the anger and frustration I felt when I started reading about all the negative aspects of my personality, all the parts of me that I despise. I literally wanted to pull my hair out because I felt like Perkins was throwing all my mistakes right back at me, and I hated that.

Then Isla changed. 
Sure she needed help getting to the point of realisation necessary for this book to make sense, but so do I. This book was to me, what Hattie was to Isla, and it's because I can't help but to relate to her story and development, that I can't help but love it.

This book was far from perfect, I'll tell you that now. Sometimes actions feel out-of-character, sometimes the cheese factor sky-rockets and you don't need to roll your eyes because they're already doing it. Sure, sometimes the writing is a bit sloppy and parts don't fit in with others, but I think when you can admit that and still love the book, then you've got yourself a favourite on your hands.

As to the negative reviews some people have been giving this book, it just goes back to the fundamental idea that different people have different tastes. It's obvious not everyone's going to love it, but I feel that, with this book in particular because it's so character-oriented, not really having much of a plot outside of Isla's character, it really does come down to how much you can relate to Isla, because it's not one of those books where you can dislike the main character and still like the story. If you don't relate to Isla and end up disliking her, it won't be too good a read for you. But that's just unfortunate.

I don't know how to recommend this. Honestly it's just a matter of luck. If you're lucky, the kind of person you are, will take to Isla's character and her journey. If you're unlucky, you won't.




Sunday, August 24, 2014

You Need To Not





Hey guys!

Ever get annoyed by book characters? Haha yeah well you're not the only one!

I'm a bit of a complainer, I'll admit, and I made this weird little video about the things characters do, that annoy me haha.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner


Title: The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2)
Author: James Dashner
Published: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Chicken House
Genre: YA Dystopian
Buy: The Book Depository

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to..

Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, it's people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.

Instead of freedom, Thomas must fact another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends.





I don't like being frustrated; I'm pretty sure that's something we all share. And sadly, frustration is all I felt while reading this book.

I honestly cannot believe that I'm 360 pages further into this story, 360 pages passed the point I was dropped off at the end of the first book, and I still don't know anymore about what's actually going on. Well, maybe random little bits and bobs, here and there, but definitely not enough to justify a whole book!

I started reading this book, quite eager to find out the whole point of the maze, the whole point of the first book, excited even. But the more I read, the more I realised 'The Scorch Trials' is literally just a bridge between The Maze Runner and The Death Cure. I mean, obviously a connection is always needed between books, continuation links from one book to the next, but that's just the problem. I didn't feel like this book actually had its own story, that was connected both ways to the first and the third books. I felt like it was the continuation link, something that could've been accomplished by a novella; much shorter and more direct. 

I am so deflated right now. Because this book felt like the the link between two train carriages, the bridge between two actual stories, a lot the book bored me. There were parts I thought were good, but they were so disperse throughout, that reading the fillers in-between almost didn't feel worth it, and even at that, 
most of said parts came at the very end. 

I thought the pacing was incredibly slow. Clearly. I thought the characters could have done with a lot more development. I thought the book could have been improved with alternating points of view. And I thought Dashner kept us confused for far too long, without rewarding us with enough new material.

I do, however, know that I'll read the third book in the trilogy. So fair play to Dashner for achieving that, anyway.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey



Title: The Fifth Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: YA Science-Fiction / Dystopian
Source: The Book Depository


After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. 

After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. 

And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. 

After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. 


Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.



Ahh.. The Fifth Wave.
I think I can safely say this wasn't in any way, shape or form, the story I had been expecting since buying the book. And to be honest, I don't mean that in the best way. An alien invasion, striking Earth in multiple waves, metaphorical waves might I add, and driving the human race to near-extinction. Just how, exactly, do you interpret that synopsis?

There were a lot of aspects I really disliked, frustrated to the point where I had to put the book down and take a breather, and just as many parts I really enjoyed, which kept me trudging through the tough times. [Am I an alliteration God or what?]

I guess I'll start with the parts I liked, so I sound so negative haha. I absolutely loved the dark, almost eerie ambiance of the book. I started reading, with the typical YA cliche optimistic mind-set even though I knew the story's premise was an alien invasion. It was a pleasant surprise, as you can guess, really unique in contrast to the feel of almost every other YA book I've read, and I really enjoyed that.

The characters. Oh man, the characters. Another part of the book I found myself really enjoying, and surprisingly so. Granted, I liked some way more than others, and even at that, there were aspects of every character's personality I didn't exactly love, but that just made it more realistic. I loved how every character was distinctly different, and felt real, true to their personalities when you take into account what's going around them.
There was, however, a particular character I could honestly say I hated, which kinda segues into what I didn't like about the book.

Reznik. Ah the dickhead. Remember my saying I got so frustrated I sometimes had to put the book down? Yeah, it's predominately because of this guy. For a huge chunk of the book, I saw him as this unnecessarily, unjustifiably cruel character, and that seriously affected my reading experience throughout the rest of the book. Usually when there's an antagonist, I see their motives or possible motives for being so harsh, which even leads me to liking their character a lot more than I should because they're so complex and interesting. But in Reznik's case, I just saw a big slab of mean! To the book's defense, this is sort of resolved nearer the end, but that's just the point, I can't put myself through painfully slow, seemingly meaningless chapters in which your villain acts like the devil incarnate himself, without reason, and then see he wasn't all that bad. Even when it was resolved, it kinda felt like a cop-out because, and I'll try not to spoil the story, he had to do it.

The most disappointing part of the book, in my opinion, was how slow the first half was. Don't get me wrong, I know in books like this the world development and such is necessary in the first hundred pages or so, but there were times I actually and genuinely questioned why sentences were put in. I suppose it's Yancey's writing style, and how it didn't sit too well with me, but I honestly felt like some parts were unnecessarily descriptive and a tad too vague. The beginning of each part, for example, you know, when you come across those blacked out pages and you switch points of view? I felt like Yancey took too much time describing and talking about things the reader knew nothing about, and too little time establishing just who was actually narrating, and as a result it took me a few pages to get back into the story.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the writing didn't flow as well as I was expecting.

But yeah, that's what I thought about the book, or most of what I thought anyway. It was a pretty good read, especially as it neared the end, but the storytelling was really weak in places.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer


Title: Storm
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington
Publication: April 24, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Easons

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. When she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot, everything is about to change. Chris is different from the guys at school... really different. He can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. The brothers are powerful and dangerous. And now that Becca knows the truth, so is she.

When the mysterious new kid, Hunter, turns up, Becca thinks she can trust him. But when he goes head-to-head with Chris, Becca's left wondering who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.



For a book, chock-full of YA cliches, it was actually a pretty good read!

'Storm' by Brigid Kemmerer. A fast-paced story about Becca, who, after saving Chris from having his ass handed to him by two older guys, discovers that her previously thought to be normal world isn't so normal after all. It's your typical paranormal story, reminding you over and over again of how a lot YA books tend to fit into the same mold, yet it brings quite a few original and interesting ideas to the table at the same time. 

Okay first of all, we'll settle this YA cliche thing shall we? Girl falls in love with a secret paranormal guy. Girl learns of guy's strange world but accepts that she's part of it now. Girl is in danger because she knows too much. Love triangle happens for a little bit. Drama. Drama. Then climax.
The sarcasm is a surprise to both you and me, because aside from the cookie-cutter story developments you can see in a lot of YA books nowadays, this book was actually pretty impressive! In fact, with the cliches out of mind, this book was a pretty good start to an interesting and unique series.

Kemmerer's take on element-manipulation was incredibly refreshing. I went into it expecting strong similarities to our friends over at The Legend of Aang, but really, the similarities ended with the basic idea. I loved the history we were given, even thinking the book could have done with more of that aspect, done with more of a setting up-feel which kinda lacked here.
The plot was really quite fast-paced, what with fight scenes in every other chapter. I did think, however, that Kemmerer's writing faltered at those points, because the action, for the most part, felt really choppy and unclear. There were parts of the story that I felt, weren't at all necessary, and actually brought the book down in my opinion, but they might be considered spoilers to some people, so I'll just leave it at that.

I both liked and disliked the characters. While the plot was quite cliched at times, the characters were surprisingly original and felt real, which isn't something you come across all too much nowadays. The book didn't have a huge amount of character development, but what it did have was evenly spread out, between the three main characters and the few secondary characters. 

So those are my thoughts.
I would recommend if you're willing to ignore the cliches and focus on the many original sides of the story.




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas



Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication: August 2, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Easons


Meet Celaena Sardothien. 
Beautiful. 
Deadly. 
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?



Well.. that wasn't what I was expecting was it? Fortunately, it was even better!

'Throne of Glass' is definitely successful in jump-starting what I believe will be a five or six-book series. I can say, without having to second think it, that I'll be continuing, even excited for that matter! It's incredibly action-packed, what with fight-scenes and training in ever other chapter, but not to the point where you need to take some time out and re-form your tired and melted brain. It's fast paced when need be, but not without slower tempos when Sarah J Maas decides to fill in the more fantastical elements of her fictional world. Definitely a solid starter, for what I think is going to become a fantastic series!

Getting into the more nitty gritty stuff, there were aspects I liked, and others that I disliked. I guess I'll start with the positives, so I don't sound like the pessimist I am, haha.

Maas, in this book, has created some of the best and most realistic characters I've read in YA literature. They aren't your typical YA fantasy stereotypes, although a chunk of their personalities are undeniably from some sort of mold. Even with Celaena at the forefront, and Maas so obviously intending to develop the protagonist to an extent slightly further than that of the others, I still found side characters Chaol and Nehemia, to be the most impressive. Not only did they strike me as more original, though I do admit that Celaena is incredibly original also, but personally, they came of as the most complex and interesting. I really appreciated that.

As for the whole competition aspect, I don't have too much to say, other than the fact that it was really enjoyable. What I do have a lot to say about, however, is the lack of world-building. I'll just say it simply. The world of Erilea definitely piqued my interest, as did it's outlined history, but that's kinda where it just ends. I wanted more backstory, more of how they got to the point they're at in the novel, more than what I received anyway, which I think is missed opportunity, but something that motivates me, even more, to read the second book.

Anyway, that's all I've got for this one!
All in all, Throne of Glass was a great read, even worthy of the hype, I'd say.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Book Haul




Man, has it been a while! I could give the whole 'the past month, I've been crazy busy' speech or whatever, but really it's just a waste of both our times! I'm pretty sure you all understand, and for that, you're all awesome! Haha

I felt bad, nonetheless, for having not posted in a month, and I still don't have too much free time at the moment, so here's my Summer Book Haul/Unboxing video that I posted on my booktube channel!

Tell me if you've read any of these and whether they were any good or not, to be honest I'm excited for them all!

I should be back to posting regularly soon enough!
Thanks guys,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green



Title: Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Publisher: Penguin
Published: March 3rd, 2014
Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal
Source: Easons

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.



'Half Bad' is the interesting and uniquely written story of Nathan, a witch of half white and half black, half good and half bad descent, in a world where being a black witch, comes with a death sentence. It's the story of Nathan's growth, both literal and figurative, as he fights through the struggles of his life.

This being a very character-based novel, I think it's only right to address that first. What I can definitively say about Nathan, is that I felt he was a confusing character, and rather confused, himself. With the sort of life he's had to put up with, what with being discriminated against, locked up, tortured and all, I understand why he is the way he is. For the most part. He's undeniably violent and fluent in the language of profanity, which was all right; that didn't bother me at all, but I felt there was no growth in his character throughout the book. I felt like young Nathan in the beginning of the book was identical to seventeen year old Nathan at the end, bar a few obvious physical differences. The personality, motives, determination we see in him, while admirable in such a young person, doesn't really change by the time the book ends, which I feel is disappointing and a missed opportunity, because there was such room for it in the book.

Speaking of Nathan in the beginning of the book, I loved how this book started. Writing the first few chapters in 2nd person was a daring choice but I thought it was actually quite engaging. I will say it did take some getting used to, but that, along with Sally Green's interesting writing style in the beginning, varying chapter syntax and such, really drew me into the story.

Unfortunately, while I found the writing style intriguing in the beginning, as the story continued, I felt it grew really repetitive and didn't do much to keep me interested in the story. I felt like the story really lacked a sense of direction for most of the book, and my theory for that is, simply, the story was stretched over way too long a time period.

In the beginning, after the introductory first few chapters of his being locked up, Nathan is pretty young, and over the course of the book, around 5 years pass. The problem, I found, with this was, the author, Sally Green, lingered on every part of these five years, and the result was a lack of depth. I mean think about it, if you attempt to cover 4-5 years in the space of less than 400 pages, no particularly part of those 4-5 years gets enough attention, leaving them all underdeveloped and thus, the lack of depth, which was probably the book's downfall for me.

So yes, while the premise and story in general were really enjoyable, the way in which these were handled proved disappointing. I'd recommend to those who love witch-related books, and have an abundance of patience.




Have you read Half Bad? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts!



Thanks for reading guys!