Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Beautiful Disaster - Jamie McGuire


“To douchebags!" he said, gesturing to Brad. "And to girls that break your heart," he bowed his head to me. His eyes lost focus. "And to the absolute fucking horror of losing your best friend because you were stupid enough to fall in love with her.” I am seriously seriously in love with this line.
 Synopsis: From Goodreads
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and 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 needs—and wants—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.

Review:
When you first pick up this book you don’t realise how fitting it really it. This book is a beautiful disaster and that is the best way I can sum it up. There were moment I felt like laughing and there were moments I was so angry I threw the book half way across my room, thank god it was book and not my iPod or goodbye money. But damn is this book insane. On second thought this book is less beautiful and more disaster.

When I first saw it I was intrigued enough by the cover to read the blub which made my eyes role and put it down straight away.  I do love a good girl meets a bad boy story but damn it to hell have I read enough already but every damned day I entered the shop it called to me like nothing I have ever seen before, it begged me to take it and take it I did. I am not sure what I really think about it, the fact that I read it in half a day with barely one bathroom break in between sure indicates that I liked it or at least if fascinated me so I could not put it down. This book has my emotions in such turmoil if I had a weak heart I would be dead by now.

One thing I hate is that it’s been related to the Fifty Shades of Grey series and I will say FUCK NO indignantly may I point out. For one the protagonist is not a spineless idiot who lets a man control her. I actually admire Abby in a way she tried to control her life when it starts to spiral out of control and that is all I am saying because this book is well worth the reading especially since it’s on offer in most shops. Saying that though there are moments where I really wanted to slap Abby almost as much as I wanted to slap Anastasia although for quite a different reason.

They just keep going back don’t they.

Perhaps I am just a harsh bitch but when a guy fucks up that many times you say good bye and bare the heart break instead of going back and having it broken over and over again. For fuck sake sister grow some balls before something happens that will leave you with even more emotional scars than you have already or even worse you have physicals scars.
I can’t actually believe I have not heard of it before, granted it’s not my kind of book since I usually avoid story lines where nothing other than the romance between two people happens but damn is this book good that way.

The weirdest thing about this book was that it’s so hard to realise that the characters are like 19 and 20 something. As a fellow nineteen year old who also attempted the nineteen shots rule [failing hopelessly] I just can’t grasp the amount of drama in their lives. I mean seriously if only my life had half of that drama I am sure I would have been hospitalised already.

To be honest there are many bad things I can sit and pick at but this book is not about perfect characters in fact the characters are so flawed they become very very real. While you might not agree with their decisions you care as if they are real. In the end the book is about ‘love concurs all’ and the romantic girl in me just about melts every time that point is proven

The verdict

I actually really liked this book; in fact I might go as far as saying I loved the book. I somehow felt really bad for liking it because holly shit there are many things that happen that are NOT normal but thanks to Jude Henderson from In Between blog I have the perfect word for it and it is CRACK. You know its bad for you and you look like a total shit reading it but it feels so damned good you don't care.

Overall

I give this book an overall of 4.5 starts out of 5 for creating a heart pounding storyline with believable characters.









Product details
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (14 Aug 2012)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://jamiemcguire.com/
ISBN-10: 1471115038
ISBN-13: 978-1471115035
Purchase: Amazon US/ Amazon UK


Dearly, Beloved [Gone With the Respiration #2] - Lia Habel

Please don’t be an idiot like me read Dearly, Departed first! Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley


Synopsis: From Goodreads
Can the living coexist with the living dead? 
That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.  Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.
Review:
It’s a sad sad day when all I can think to say about a book is ‘It’s alright’ but unfortunately that is all I can say about Dearly, Beloved. Granted it was my fault that I didn’t check it was the second book but when I saw it on NetGalley it seemed like a standalone book or at least the first in a series.

This book started out slow had a few slightly fast moments but in the end I was reading the same damn paragraph for the longest time possible and it had so many damned point of views I felt like I was a beach ball being back and forth between six people. Not a very smooth experience is it, it gave the story a very choppy feeling.

Dearly, Beloved is a zombie-dystopian-horror-comedy-romance book none of which it did particularly well, least of which the romance. This is not the author’s fault; years of watching Resident evil has me terrified of Zombies. Yes even more than vampires, ghosts or werewolves. I just could not picture me snogging this. 

It does not matter how much you clean this ugly mofo because in my head he will always look like this and there is no way my lips are going anywhere near him


I had a very hard time with the whole concept of the book, the idea of a society that goes back to Victorian values while keeping technological advancements just seems improbable but then again this is a book that gives you tofu eating zombies which in it's essense is too Twilight for me anyway.

So that is it, all my opinions about this book. Not a lot but rather mundane and uninterested. I simply did not care what happened but watched with vague interest. At least I finally figured out what it feels like being a greek god watching over the mundane lives of humans you just don’t care about for that thanks Ms. Habel

Overall: I give this book 2.5 starts our of 5 for a light hearted read that does not make your heart jump or pretty much any of your body parts. Just try not to dwell on the fact that a 16 year old and rotting corpse are making out.



Product details
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens (3 Jan 2013)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://liahabel.com/
ISBN-10: 0857530011
ISBN-13: 978-0857530011
Purchase: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Stormdancer [The Lotus War #1] - Jay Kristoff


 ARC provided by Panmacmillan. I love you guys :D

 “The pair collided, beast and demon, crashing earthward and tumbling about in a flurry of feathers, petals and screams” 
 Synopsis: 16 year old Yukiko and her father are sent to bring back an Arashitora, a Thunder Tigar thought to be extinct for the lord Yoritomato. Fearing that they would never find the beast they sail across theShima Isles but soon they discovered that it’s not finding the beast they should be scared of rather the implication of his existence. Soon they are all tested, lives will be lost wars started and sacrificed are demanded. 

Review: Normally when a book is very good I have nothing to say about it other than it was good but holy cow do I have things to say about this book. Being rather opinionated I can find the negative in pretty much everything but I’ll be damned if I can find a single thing wrong with this book, it was simply breath taking.

Let’s start with the setting, it is set in feudal Japan except nor ordinary feudal japan but a dystopian steampunk styled world ruled by the overbearing and evil lord Yoritomato . The earth has become a somewhat desolate land after the over use of the lotus plant to power the sky ships and machines. The rich recline in their rice paper covered houses breathing clean air through their mechanized breathers while the poor inhale the toxic air produced by the lotus. I suppose in a lot of ways it is very much feudal japan, it reflected reality as it stood but with more technology. Simply put the setting was magnificent, described to perfection.

The protagonist Yukiko is how can I put it, OMFG. She is nothing like the whiny little girls lining every other YA books. She is strong, smart and can kick demon ass with the best of them. Not to mention the little quirk of being able to communicate with animals. I am in serious awe of this 16 year old not only because of her ability to manage her and her lotus addicted father’s lives but also because her adult like character and her teenage impulses was balanced to perfection. She took care of her father like an adult and still manage to say ‘I hate you’ and storm off like every other teenager.

 I really tip my proverbial hat off to Kirstoff for creating a world that was for intent and purposes 4D. He described everything from the sights and sounds to the sent and even the emotions were described to absolute perfection. This book is a master class in world creation and I would love to see a movie made of this because this book is like a sensory delight and it the rest of the lotus war series is written to this standard I can guarantee that this books is going to have a success that rivals the Harry Potter series.

The verdict

It is pretty obvious that I am a very big fan of this book, I simply could not put it down and several times I found myself getting too close to tears

Overall

I give this book my first and hopefully not my last 5 stars for creating a world that often lured you into safety only to have you back on the edge of your seat. This book sets the standard for other books to follow and I am even contemplating a ‘Stormdancer’ award for future books that somehow managed to reach this level of awesomeness.




Product details
Hardcover: 438 pages
Publisher: Tor (13 Sep 2012)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.jaykristoff.com/
ISBN-10: 0230759017
ISBN-13: 978-0230759015
Purchase: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Friday, 24 August 2012

Sins of the Heart [Otherkin #1] - Eve Silver

THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENTS


“Are you human?”
He studied her, focused, intent. “No.”
Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to know the answer. She swallowed. “What are you?”
He laughed, a sinful, dark sound. “Something else.”


Synopsis: Son of an Egyptian god of chaos Dagan is a soul reaper. His job – reap dark souls to feed to his father. No one who came across a soul reaper ever leaves alive except that one girl eleven years ago. Now with his brother missing he is once again in the hunt of the girl who survived. 11 years after her encounter with Dagan Krayl Roxy Tam once again encounters the demon but this time they are on the opposite side of the war, a daughter of Aset Roxy knows he is the enemy but that doesn’t stop the spark that has been firing between them for eleven years.
Review:
I saw the cover for this book and I fell in love not just with the seriously fine specimen on the cover but the font. It was beautiful, sharp and promised a lot of action and the book did not disappoint. It was action packed from the beginning to end with a few rather slow part. 

So the story begins with Roxy being kidnapped and almost raped by an evil soul and Dagan ever the evil soul eater is there to collect their souls but finds a live and tied up Roxy. The attraction is instant even if it is confusing, how can a 19 year old who is kidnapped and about to be sexually assaulted feel that kind of attraction to man she has never met especially when this man ripped a person’s heart right in front of her. 

The main story begins eleven years later and Dagan is on the hunt for his brother’s killers who he assumes might be one of the Daughters of Aset [moral enemy alert] and surprise surproise Roxy is one of them. Ignoring the rule of kill on sight, Dagan and Roxy try to piece the story together and find out who killed Lokan and answer the mystery of why the whole underworld is in search of the little girl Roxy saves days ago.

The story is fast paced with enough action to keep most people happy and even the romance aspect is very well written. There was one thing I found that annoyed the hell out of me, how long it took them to meet again. I kept counting pages and even got the urge to just skip to where they meet. The book offers several different voices most of which belong to an enemy showing the reader a tantalising glimpse of the enemy’s plan.
I actually really like this book, I could not put it down even when the book slowed a little bit somewhere in the middle, I sat up until 4 am reading it until I was at last on the last page and confused as to how I even finished a book that fast and wanting to read the next one despite the fact that my eyes could not stay open a moment longer.

Here comes the verdict

I really like this book; it offered a vision of this world as we don’t see it, full of demons and gods [Vampires don’t exist says the soul reaper demon]. It was not only very well written but also explores the forbidden love [I love those] between two people on the opposite side of the war.

Overall

I give this book 4 stars as it was an awesome read after I finish my current pile I will sure as hell read the next one and the next.




Product details
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Harlequin, Mills & Boon (5 Nov 2010)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.evesilver.net/
ISBN-10: 0263887820
ISBN-13: 978-0263887822
Purchase: Amazon US / Amazon UK



Saturday, 18 August 2012

Where Demons Fear to Tread [The Company of Angels #1] - Stephanie Chong

THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENTS


"If fools rush in where angels fear to tread, where do demons fear to tread? she wondered. Then it hit her."


Synopsis:
Serena is a Guardian, a year into her angel duties she runs across the most powerful Archdemon in L.A, Julian. Being an Archdemon, Julian has had his fair share of women but after seeing the innocent and alluring angel in his club he wants her more than he has ever wanted anything and he is determined to get her by all means necessary. Will Serena fall or will Julian learn the unimaginable feat and fall in love.

Review: 

When I picked this up I had no desire to review it, it was just a book I picked up because I was inexplicably drawn towards its beautiful cover but after reading the first 100 pages without realising that I was reading it, I decided to review it and even considered giving it 5 stars at one point.

This book I beautifully written, it’s fluent and flows with no awkward silences in between. I loved the pace of the book at the bigninning but it’s a gets a bit rushed towards the end leaving you wondering what the heck just happened.

As protagonists go Serena is a very good one, strong, independent and impossible to relate to. Come one how can a person like me relate to an all perfect angel with seeming no vice what so ever. Chong did a very good job of portraying her leading roles. Serena is amazingly naïve just like an angel should be – although when I found out that she has lived on earth for twenty three years before she became an angel, the naivety was put into question. How can one live on earth for more than two decades and not get exposed to life on earth. She is also amazingly self-sacrificing which got on my nerves a little bit because all Julian has to do is invite someone she knows for dinner and she comes running towards him.. ERRRRRR.

As for Julian and the rest of the demons, they are seriously evil, which goes without saying I supposed but these demons were the most realistic interpretation of what I would expect a demon to act like. Seriously, even Julian who we are supposed to be fond of has no redeeming quality. He destroyed hundreds and thousands of lives and is so damned arrogant that you forget you were supposed to like him at all. 

So here comes the verdict

I enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and has enough mommentom that you are guaranteed not to fall asleep but there are moments which feel jerky and abrupt like you just missed a chapter you didn’t know there was. Both Characters presented their repspective races very well but from a human point of view neither were relatable.

Overall

I give this book an overall score of 3.5 stars as it was an action packed and totally hot love [lust!] story between an angel and a demon, talk about one hell of a vice.



Product details
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Mira (16 Sep 2011)
Language: English
Author's Website: http://stephaniechong.com/
ISBN-10: 1848450494
ISBN-13: 978-1848450493
Purchase: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Thursday, 16 August 2012

League of Strays - L. B. Schulman



Synopsis: New girl Charlotte is a misfit, a social outcast but when a note inviting her to join the mysterious League of Strays, she jumps at the chance. The idea  of getting her back on those who had made her feel inferior seemed like a brilliant idea but will she get her back like she imagined or will things spiral out of control.

Review: When I read the summary of this book I thought it would be another light hearted book about teen high school angst, I thought the worse than can happen is they dye the mean girl’s hair pink or something ridiculous but I was actually surprised by how dark it was. From the word go this book got creepier and creepier, the light hearted eye rolling I had planned went out of the room and I was left disgruntled and at some points disgusted.
The book starts with Charlotte, the main protagonist going to meet the mysterious K from whom she received an equally mysterious letter about joining the club ‘League of Stays’. Hold that thought for a second and maul it over for a second. What do you say if you get a creepy letter from someone you don’t know asking you to meet them in the dead of night?

A.      HELLZ NO
B.      Of course why not I will meet you there and give you the chance to kill me if you so desire.

Charlotte chooses the later fully knowing how stupid such decision may be and the plot thickens enter Kade Harlin. I swear from the moment that guy entered the book I disliked very much, to say the least. He is creepy and has psychopathic tendencies not to mention is one huge stalker.  If a guy is ‘profiling’ you for months he is creepy, call the damned police. Like right now I am at the library (trying to get away from all the noise in my house) and there is a super creepy guy who decided to sit literarily millimetres away from me and stare at me typing which by the way is creepy as hell and if he was so inclined to ask me for a meeting in the middle of the night my reply will be A. HELLZ NO.

I saw this picture a while back and I thought it would be contextually appropriate.


There are two ways you can look at this book. The first is that it is a horrendous tale of teen bullying and revenge. Tthe next way you can look at it is that this is a cautionary tale. This way you can understand the desire for the dark setting. The fact that all the characters seem bent on revenge and are rather creepy means you should stay away from them. Avoid people like Kade Harlin especially if they like ‘studying’ people

Overall

I give this book 2.5 starts out of 5 because, while it was dark and sometimes rather strange it served as a good cautionary tale. However I did not like the lack of common sense in the characters.

ARC provided by Abrams via NetGalley


Product details
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books (1 Oct 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419704036
ISBN-13: 978-1419704031

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Color of Snow - Brenda Stanley

Part of Tribute Books blog Tour



"It had snowed over five inches the day I was born, and it wasn’t until the day I was saved that the snow was as deep or as blue."

Synopsis

16 year old Sophie is rescued from when she has been locked away by the man she called papa but is he really the abuser seen by all outsiders or is he a man trying to protect the world from the daughter he loves very much.
After being discovered by the police Sophie is sent to live with her grandparents, will she settle for life on the outside world or will she yarn for the life behind closed doors where she was not stared at by all and treated like a social outcast.

Review:

How many ways can you say wow because you will be saying every single one. This book had me from the moment I opened it to the moment I closed, proverbially speaking since I had the ebook. It is a fantastic story which had me in tears before it even ended. I am trying not to spoil it for you because it is constructed so when each piece falls into place things make more sense.

This book is not only clever but has realistic although not always likable characters which adds to the overall dimension of the book after all not everyone is pleasant. The characters even those we know we are not meant to like are realistic, they come out as real people rather than a cartoon cut out of a villain. This book had me caring about the characters as if they were actually were. I laughed, loved and grieved with them.
As protagonists go Sophie is a damn good one, she portrays the naïve confined character very well although at times I was rather exasperated by her especially since the book deliberately makes the villain of this story rather vague. You are left wondering who to believe, who to like and who represents the real danger to Sophie.

The book also has frequent cuts away from the main plot line and explores several memories from Sophie’s past as well as the life of Luke Theotoktis, Sophie’s father.  This serves as a useful device which explored the character’s past and shows how they became who they are currently, once again this adds to the all roundedness of the character making them more realistic in the readers mind.

The one thing that confused me about the book was the setting, while it seemed to be set between 1991 to 2009 it seems like it was set in the sixties. I may be looking from the point of view of a person who lives in London, known for its loose religious beliefs but I felt like the book was a bit heavy on religion but if life is that religiously orientated then cancel my flight to Idaho.

So here comes the verdict

This book is an amazing story about being human full of love and losses and managed to reduce me to tears several times, a record which has not been broken since I read Noughts and Crosses at 14.

Overall

I give this book a very high 4 starts out of 5 with a guarantee that you will enjoy it despite the slightly long page count.



Product Details

File Size: 496 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Tribute Books (May 28, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Author's Website: http://www.brendastanleybooks.net/
ISBN: 9780983741893
ISBN: 9781476172309





Sunday, 12 August 2012

Of Light and Darkness: The Vampire's Daughter - Shayne Leighton



"It was as though I was watching a play, as if I were the reality looking in on the make-believe. The exact same way they would feel if they ever happened to look in on me"


Synopsis:  
Valke, one of the last vampires in the world find an abandoned human child and instead of snacking on her like his instinct demands him to he raises the child into the beautiful and intelligent soon to be a woman Charlotte Ruzikova. Bound by loyalty and the love for each other they stand together against the oppressive nature of the hidden city. With impending war looming ahead can one human stand against supernatural creatures so much bigger and stronger than herself.



Review: When I was asked to review this book I was ecstatic, this was the first time I was asked and I was determined to review it that same night, unfortunately for me I was too tier to read anything more than the prologue and what a prologue it is too. It was not only intriguing but was written beautifully.  It was written much like Shatter Me with beautiful poetic moments but without the thousand excessive metaphors.
So the next morning I woke up with the prologue still playing in my mind but feeling a bit apprehensive since I now had high expectations and did not want to get disappointed especially if the book was only filled with stereotypically sparkling vampires but happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. 

I loved the setting of this book, the idea of a supernatural city hidden at edge of human civilisation was amazing and I loved the fact all the supernatural creatures played as much part as the acclaimed vampires and werewolves. As for Charlotte, well she is my kind of character. Loyal, strong and damn smart to boot. She is a very refreshing changed from the whiny and incompetent heroines I have been encountering. As for Valke, OHHHHHLAAALAA….he is the typical seriously hot vampire with enough secrets to burry a whole country. 

One thing that confused me was the dynamic of their relationship. At first their relationship seemed clear cut at least on Valke’s part, Charlotte is a ward he has chosen to take care of but after a while that boundary seemed to blur and Valke starts to see Charlotte as more that a child. I must give Leighton real credit in writing this part very well because this could have gone very bad instead Leighton expertly weaved the story so that the romance was subtle and intricate instead of the lustful and unconvincing relationships which are often portrayed as love in many of the YA books I have read in the past. This book has tangible characters with their relationship being a large part of the book but that doesn’t take away from the plotline rather creates a three dimensional characters.

I always find it hard to write a review for books I absolutely adore and this is no different. It has an original plot line which was simply amazing and I can truly say I can’t wait for the next book, in fact I will do doubt re-read this books several times. 
Overall I give this book a whopping 4.5 stars because it was a generally amazing read that should be in the bookshelves of every fantasy book lover.







Product details
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 294 pages
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company (26 Jun 2011)
File Size: 484 KB
Language: English
Author's Website: http://oflightanddarkness.wix.com/shayneleighton
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1613330316

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Starcrossed [Awakening #1] - Josephine Angelini


“How do you defy destiny?”

Synopsis: Helen Hamilton lives in quite town of Nantucket but the serenity of the island is disturbed the arrival of the mysterious Delos family. Helen finds herself conflicted with her attraction to Lucas Delos and the undeniable need to kill him.

Review: Okay so may be the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” might have some merit because I have got to stop picking these books that hide disappointment in their pretty covers. Reading Starcrossed, I went from confused to disgusted and then to appalled (yes, the word has finally entered my vocabulary and I say it my British accent and shaking the proverbial stick).

This book is…. I actually have no words to describe it. Let’s start with the only good thing, make that two. MYTHOLOGY! I am a big fan of mythology, to say the least; I grew up reading Percy Jackson and absolutely loving it. So when I realised this book was mythological I was ecstatic, delirious over the moon. 

The book got off to a good start I was fascinated by Helen’s surroundings and loved her best friend Clair, who is probably the only three dimensional character in the book because from then on the book went on a downward spiral. Stereotypical plotline started the book off on its journey past bad to just kill me now worse. 

At the start of this story a mysterious and handsome new boy comes to the little town, I swear if I had a penny for every time I read a book with a new kid in town I would have enough money to buy books for the rest of my life. In an attempt to make the book original Angelini made sure that the new boy and Helen Hamilton do not like each other in fact every time one sets eyes on the other they are zapped with an intense need to kill. Homicidal tendencies, yes what a wonderful recipe for love. Tell me girls if you went out on a date with the hot boy you want to kill, who also happened to want to kill you how long do you think the date with last before one of you is carted off in a body bag. Hmmm…body bag the thought of death and dismay must be such a turn on.

Don’t worry that gets worse there is even a scene where he attempts to drag her out of a supermarket and she goes with him in order to avoid a scene. What? I hear you ask why would a sane girl like her walk out with a guy who clearly harbours ill feeling towards her I hear you ask. Well this girl is far from sane, at one point she even decided to have a sex change if Lucas if gay. I am not a fan of text speak in reviews but there are no better words for it WTF! The girl is not only insecure and ditzy.

This is far worse than Twilight especially since this is actually Twilight if you replace the crazed sparkly vampire with the equally crazed demigod for that is what they are Demigods but clearly on the opposite side of the war. While I am not a fan of Twilight, in fact I slag it off every chance I get, I was never bored in fact while rolling my eyes at the whinnies of Bella Swan I was curious enough to read all four books. Don’t judge I have had therapy since then. Furthermore and I say this with no love for the twilight books but Stephanie Mayer had a very good style of writing, it made reading the books much easier but Angelini lacks even that, there is no writing style. It made up of simple sentences with no flow to the story. 
So you may ask why not throw in the towel, give up and embrace being a minority well the answer to that was curiosity, I did not care what happened to the characters but I wanted to know how bad this book could actually get and I was right it got so much worse. If you are thinking about read this book please stop now because I am going to spoil it for you. Lucas and Helen are first cousins, TADA. How very Cassandra Clair don’t you think. 

So here comes the verdict

To be honest I somehow don’t think I should spell out the verdict for the book because it pretty much spelled out across the 700 words above.

Overall:

I was NOT impressed with this book, it was bad to start with and got worse fast. Even the mythology aspect of it did not pull this book out of the rut it found itself in. I give this book an all-time low score 1.5 star and .5 start is for the moral lesson about covers.


Product details

Hardcover: 487 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen(31 May 2011)
Language: English
Authors Website: www.josephineangelini.com
ISBN-10: 0330529730
ISBN-13: 978-0330529730

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Shatter Me [Shatter Me #1] - Tahereh Mafi


“The sun drops into the ocean and splashes browns and reds and yellows and oranges into the world outside my window. A million leaves from a hundred different branches dip in the wind, fluttering with the false promise of flight. The gust catches their withered wings only to force them downward, forgotten, left to be trampled by the soldiers stationed just below.”


Synopsis:  
17 year old Juliette has been locked up for 264 days for the murder she never thought she was capable of committing. 265 days without human contact because the power she was born with, the power she did not want, the power that has alienated her from everyone she has even known, all except him. Adam Kane is the one person who looked at her like she was a human but he is not the only who has their eyes one Juliette. Soon love lust and obsession is thrown into this fast paced romance novel by debut author Tahereh Mafi.


Review: Reading this book was a surreal experience. Especially the first, I felt like I was trapped in a broken mind along with athousand and one metaphors half of which I didn’t understand. And yes the text strikes are on purpose; this book is full of them. At first they were intriguing, they added to the surrealism of the narration. I was confused and amazed by how much the book pulled me in. I also really loved the mystery of it even if in the end it didn’t quite live up to its expectation. 

As characters go Juliette is likable enough, once again I loved the mystery of her past and the breakdown of psyche. She seemed like a very strong protagonist who would make the book a journey to remember and she did for the most part. Mafi has created a fast paced dystopian novel with a lot of romance and danger. Overall it was a good enough read although some aspects of the book started to bug right from the word go.

The first problem I had with this book is the strikes, like I said before at first it was intriguing but it gets old real fast especially coupled with the constant repetition of words it starts chipping away at the part of your mind that is has been reprogramed by the backspace button on your laptop.

If you can get passed this little quirk of writing then you encounter perhaps one of the biggest writing flaws in this book, metaphors. And I assure you there were quite many, when I first encountered one on the first page I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty in them but by page three I was pretty much rolling my eyes at the ever more elaborative metaphors. I will give you some examples just to take out the surprise element should you choose to read Shatter Me.

‘ I am gaping with my eyes, gaping with my mouth, gaping wide open because I feel holes everywhere, punched into the terrain of my body. My heart must be bleeding out of my chest.”

“His eyes are two shots of green punched through a pane of glass. Cutting through me”

 “I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors”

And so and so on, they get more exaggerative and annoying as the pages go on.

Now that we have talked about Mafi’s writing flaws about we move on to the characters and there are many whom I felt were written brilliantly and some were rather unconvincing. For example the villain of this book Warren falls in the unconvincing pile. In the beginning I totally bought into his sadistic and evil portrayal, I hated his guts and I wanted Juliette to touch him fast and hard (and I don’t mean that in a sexual context) but once again he falls short of the truly great villain image. Somehow by the end of the book he is brought down to an obsessed teenage bad boy wannabe rather than a truly heinous character.

The next character who falls in the same category as Warren the wannabe is Juliette herself. At first I was impressed by her strength, her resilience and I had much hope that she would grow as a character during the progression of the book but she remained as whiny, cowardly as ever. As fast passed as the action might get in this book, the characters are rather static. 

The only characters I liked actually I loved are Kenji and James especially James, for a 10 year old he is pretty smart and he points out the last flaw in this journey to nowhere. How convenient is it that the two people who are interested in Juliette can both touch her without dying, it’s one thing for me to note that and say it but when one your character’s point it out, well it basically ridiculed the entire bases of the story and what is with the weird bursts of superpowers seriously it’s like Mafi could not think of another way to get them out of a tight sport so used it. It’s all good and fair to give you character’s superpowers but when it fails to manifest when she needs it most (getting her face sucked by a wannabe) then it defeats the existence of the powers.


The last thing I am going to rant about and I promise it is the last thing is the setting or the lack of it. Despite being a dystopian novel is lacks in world creation. This book is primarily a romance book and its setting was seriously understated, I would have like even the vague description of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium right about now. My therapy must be working because even the pretty cover didn’t do it for me this time, somehow a pretty girl in a dress didn’t feel like the right choice, maybe if she was wearing trousers (or pants for you lovely Americans) then it would have it.

Despite the many faults in this book, if you take it as a light hearted read rather than an in-depth analysis of it for a review it can be very enjoyable.  I especially liked, okay loved the many moments of Juliette and Adam it made my heart do the funny dance.

Overall 

I award this book 3 out 5 starts for the romantic, fast paced action created by Mafi and .5 for the pretty cover (what it’s still pretty).



Product details
Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins USA (Nov 2011)
Language: English
Author's Website: www.taherehmafi.com
ISBN-10: 0062114204
ISBN-13: 978-0062114204

Monday, 6 August 2012

Wildflowers from Winter - Katie Ganshert


“The summer I turned twelve, I tried to kill myself.”

Synopsis: Bethany Quinn has left rural Iowa for good and she has no plans to return to the peaks. She has a good job and a hotshot lawyer boyfriend and the life she had always dreamed of but an unexpected tragedy pulls her back into the peaks and this time she will not escaped unscathed.
Review: When I first received Wildflowers of winter I had no idea it was a Christian romance. As a rule I usually avoid religious novels, I find I did not enjoy the preaching with my romance but happy to say that Wildflower of winter was different. 

The protagonist Bethany is an architect who moved to the city to pursue her carrier; she has a good job, a hot shot boyfriend and seemingly a perfect life in the city.  From the beginning I loved the mystery in the book. I wanted to know why she supposedly attempted suicide at 12 and I wanted to know what happened between her and her best friend Robin. Simply put I wanted to know. 

Bethany is an amazing protagonist in the sense that she is not perfect but is just another strong woman who tries to make her way in life. She is not always right and what she does is not always justified but her character makes a progression in the course of the book which makes her even more relatable. 

The writing style of this book is beautiful it flowed easily and I found I was enjoying the book despite the frequent jump between first and third person.  When I unwittingly discovered the religious connotation of this book I half expected it to be moralistic and preachy but I was surprised to discover that it was a story about life. The hardship faced, the challenges overcome, the pain and the love we feel. It was a human story through and through. And as for the religious aspect, I believe it reached a very satisfying conclusion.
All the characters in this book suffered a loss and at the end of the book I had one too many tear drops in my eyes but very happy that I read this book.

I want to finish this review on one last note “The summer I turned twelve, I tried to kill myself” is the best first line I have ever read, other authors can learn from the way Ganshert hooked her audience from the word go.

Overall: I give this book 3 out 5 as it was a fascinating outlook on religion, relationships and human emotions.


Product Details
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 8, 2012)
Language: English
Author's Website: www.katieganshert.com
ISBN-10: 0307730387
ISBN-13: 978-0307730381

Purchase on Amazon


Review copy provided by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers 

Dear Diary Blogfest


Okay so I am not posting another review but I decided to turn my blog into a diary in order to participate in a blog fest. So I am going to tell you 100 things about myself which initial might seem much but hay I will give it a try with the hope that someone is so bored they will read it.


1. I talk too much… that is a fact I have been told by many friends, families and even university lecturers.


2. My full name is Betlehem Sirak Fekade and yes the Betlehem is spelt wrong on purpose apparently my parents were dyslexic since there is a ‘h’ missing… you think that is bad they decided to spell it wrong again this time on my passport thanks mummy and daddy for passing on that gene so now I suck even worse than you.


3. I love science… I am a nerd I could spend hours contemplating scientific stuff anything from molecules to space but Maths is my deadly enemy.


4. My nerdism makes sense since I am going to be in my second year at university majoring in Biomedical Science.


5. I am a big science fiction and fantasy moments… I am a MASSIVE Dr Who fan. I have seen every episode since 2005. No matter how much I do love Matt Smith, David Tennant is and will always be the best Dr. Who.


6. I am a very big mythology, magic and legends. So naturally I love Harry Potter, Percy Jackson etc etc…


7. I have an opinion on almost everything.


8. I read way too much…. Sometimes one book a day.


9. I love did you know facts


10. I have too many friends which always manage to surprise since I am possibly the bluntness.  All in the name of honesty ey ;)


11. I often antagonise my friends just to see them flip but somehow I always come out worst for wear. 


12. Once my friend dangled me off of the second floor balcony until I apologised.


13. The other time they locked me up in the cupboard and drew the cross sign on the door to ‘keep me in’


14. I have a very foul mouth even bleach can’t clean.


15. I love music… I can NOT live without my iPod. The Fray and Maroon 5 are my favourite bands but I listen to pretty much everything except for opera and death metal.


16. My favourite song right now is Kiss you inside out by Hedely but that will probably change soon.


17. I am a very BIG fan of Russell Howard… If you are American you probably won’t know him or like him, what with the whole British humour and all.


18. Oh yea I forgot I was born in Ethiopia and moved to London when I was 12.


19. I am 5’2… a fact that is of endless entertainment to most of my friends. Apparently it explain why I could switch from perfect calmness to and I quote ‘a bubble cauldron of suppressed rage’


20. Growing up I was a terror child a fact my parents did not know… me and my cousin even set out pet dog on the neighbour kids.


21. The first game I have ever played on X-Box is Destroy all humans… it’s the best damn game ever. Tell me what does that say about my psyche.


22. I have a morbid fascination with criminal or medical shows…. The more gore and blood the bettet


23. I love HOUSE, BONES, NUMBER, PSYCH… basically if it is intelligent or funny I am so there.


24. My record is watching 60 episodes of house in less than three days… my flatmates had to call me and ask where I was.


25. I would love to become a diagnostic doctor.


26. I have two all-time best friends Jessie (guy) is my fraternal twin from another mother. If I was a boy I wouldn’t mind being him and S (whose name I won’t elaborate for my own safety) he has been my what if ever since we met five years ago even when I was attached.


27. I am a night owl… if I could I would work the graveyard shift and sleep all day.


28. If I could I would sleep more than 16 hours a day, I freaking love my sleep.


29. I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Siriusly (bad joke I know) at one point I owned every single harry potter book and DVD but I suffered niceness delirium and gave them away to the seriously lacking local library.


30. Finding out that Severus Snape was a good guy was one of the biggest shock of my life.


31. I love paranormal romance I have read possibly everything from Sherrilyn Kenyon to Christine Feehan to Anya Bast. I accidently stumbled upon them when I was 15 so probably way, way too young .


32. I do anything for doughnuts and Nutella.


33. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is my favourite film in the world.


34. I cried watching Man of Fire, Titanic, The lovely bones, Up and  Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.


35. The only book to EVER make me cry is Noughts and Crosses by Mallory Blackman.


36. Acheron is my favourite book in the world. I have read it more than ten times… seeing as it’s over 600 pages its feat I am proud of.


37. My favourite superhero is Ironman just because sometimes there is something attractive about a playboy, billionaire, and philanthropists in a metal suit. 


38. I have spent hours arguing Marvel against DC and MARVEL ALL THE WAY! 


39. I never thought the British accent was all that sexy (since I have one) until I heard Thor (Chris Hemsworth) speak… OMG yummy




40. One of the reason I watch superhero movies is because there are some seriously fit actors.


41. The bet damned burger I have ever tested is called THE FULL WORKS…it has chicken, beef and donna meat [which is lamb meat]. Trust me it is not as gross as it sounds its pure heaven.


42. Feeling stupid is possibly the worst feeling in the world.


43. I have never broken a bone but I bruised my coccyx’s rock climbing blindfolded… if I had died right then I think I deserved the Darwin Awards


44. Despite my sucky spelling and grammar I write mostly for fun… it’s the only thing that relaxes me.


45. I write on a website called wattpad, my user name is bethsylerF if you wanna check me out.


46. I usually start a lot of stories but am too impatient to finish them.


47. I have a huge scar on my neck from my first attempt to curl my wild hair… thankfully its slowly fading away.


48. I sneeze REALLY, REALLY loudly.


49. That fact should embrace me every flu season but I am perhaps the most shameless person ever. I rarely care what people think about me


50. Everyone I have ever met thinks am weird or crazy maybe both. A fact I own up to.


51. I read too much… If I have not read for at least 15 to 30 minutes a night I can’t sleep.


52. I have a crush on both the Winchester brothers from Supernatural.


53. I am 19 years old but I could easily get away for 15 or 16.


54. I have single child syndrome… so I have a problem sharing things which is damn inconvenient since I have a very close extended family with about twenty plus cousins.


55. I am a Lucozade and coke addict. I can’t live without both.


56. I have a very dirty mind.


57. Family Guy is my favourite cartoon show.


58. I have no clue what to say next except I am currently watching Ultraviolet on TV.


59. I love the thrill of fear… roller coasters are the best but the moment I can I plan to sky dive and bungee jump too.


60. I love scarves… I have 20 plus and counting.


61. It is my opinion that Dracula is the worst book ever written… in college [senior year high school for the not so British] I wrote a voluntary essay on how much I hated the damned book. My teacher still has that copy.


62. In the same year I posted a wanted poster of my head of year in Abraham Lincoln’s cloths and posted it all over our school (and for good reason too… he looked like a clone of AL). Thankfully he found it very funny and framed it, he even displayed it in his coffee shop.


63. I love watching funny accidents and shows that are designed to throw people in the funniest ways e.g. Total Wipeout


64. I once tried to dye my hair blue but it did not work but it managed to turn my pillow and hair straighteners blue.


65. I am possibly the worst lab partner since I usually end up blowing thing up.


66. I once set half my hair on fire.


67. I also set my friend / flatmates hands on fire… he was waving his lighter around and I was waving my hairspray incidentally it burnt all his arm hair off.


68. Aladdin is my favourite Disney movie very closely followed by Tangled and Up (I can’t believe it made me cry within the first 10 minutes)


69. My Girl and Bridge to Terabithia are the most soul destroying films ever… I watched them once and I have vowed never to watch them again.


70. I have seen all the episodes of Charmed.


71. I love The big bang theory and have a crush on Sheldon Cooper, of all people.


72. I have a book review blog called Sky Rose Reviews.


73. I am the biggest astronomy geek in the whole world and I could do maths beyond the 8th times tables I would love to be an astronomer.


74. Jesus this is hard. Oh wait Jesus… I am not overly religious I suppose I am loosely Christian but believe whole heartedly in Evolution.


75. I can’t stand most reality shows especially the really stupid once like Jersey Shore and The only way is Essex. Ahhhhh kill me.


76. After I finish reading a book I usually imagine talking to the author… especially books like Incarnate.


77. I am extremely shallow when it comes to choosing a book, the cover is usually one of two reasons I pick it up.


78. I was terrified of snakes until reptile show in school where I held a boa constrictor… the instructor told me while I was holding the damned snake that if anybody clicked their fingers it would start tightening around my neck and what do you think everyone wanted to do in that moment.


79. I love snow wrestling especially if there is a hot guy involved ;)


80. My grandmother is Italian therefore I love love lasagne


81. But I always have difficulty spelling it right.


82. I love dogs but I am a cat person something in their evil intelligent eyes makes me want a kitty.


83. I am the least musical person in the world but I have made it my goal to try learning the guitar.


84. I watched The Lord of the Rings when I was 12 and was terrified.


85. I have a love hate relationship with politics and news.




86. I love drawing and even do some digital painting.




87. I am in love with my photoshop it’s the best damn software ever invented.


88. I often think about what it would be like if I time travelled into the past… I think I want to write a book about that one day.


89. I have loads of celebrity crushes.


90. I think I have seen every episode of Friends but once in a while an episode will come up that I have never seen and it’s the best damn day.


91. If there are no stupid questions what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just long enough to ask a question and go back to being stupid?


92. Kinder bueno’s are my favourite chocolate but they always seem to finish too fast


93. QI is the most educational comedy show ever, most of the trivial fact I know come from it.


94. I am really proud that I am alive in 2012 to see the London Olympics especially since the Olympic village is like 10 minutes away from my house.


95. I have never had a proper job in my life but I plan to change that in September.


96. Richard Dawkings is my idol.


97. If I could have anything in the universe it would be more brain power.


98. The theme song to my brain is ‘Epic rap battle of history: Einstein Vs. Steven Hawking’ 


99.     I am the most liberal person alive… I believe in quality despite gender, race, religion, sexual orientation etc 


100. I have no desire to be exceedingly rich or famous but the one thing I would like to feel before I die is that I have made a difference.


Now that I have finished writing the 100 things about me, new things are popping up. Damn you brain where were you when I needed you, you have no idea how hard it is to do this but I can also say it was very fun too.


Special thanks to http://thefictiondiaries.blogspot.co.uk/ for hosting this blogfest