Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass Synopsis:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

In all honesty I was a little disappointed by this book. It’s the follow up to The Selection which was a light and hearty read that was very enjoyable, but it also had deeper plots. As I predicted this book followed these deeper plots based on the dystopian setting, and every time it mentioned the rebel attacks I expected a big revelation or something but every… single… time it fell short.

The Selection was still going strong throughout this book, and while I enjoyed it in the first book of the series, it was too slow going this time around. There were no stand-out or thought-provoking scenes. Instead the book was filled with petty arguments, girls being annoying and the most frustrating love triangle.

I think the point of this whole book was very stretched out character development. It was more setting up for the next book with regards to characters and plot, rather than a standalone book in its own right. The characters that were developing however have developed into idiots. America is no longer a strong female lead and instead is lacking self-confidence and makes so many huge mistakes at other’s costs over petty arguments it’s unbelievable. Maxon, well let’s just say sometimes I wanted to sucker punch him in the face (don’t get me wrong, I still love him to bits because he is patient and sweet with America… but still). As for Aspen, I simply don’t like the guy.

Other than this there isn’t much else to say. I will however read book 3 of The Selection series, The One, because with 336 pages setting up in The Elite, I am expecting an almighty climax. I hope it will include the caste system and the rebels, resulting in a major death, though I can’t say who, because to be honest I would be happy with several characters dying.
Favourite Quotes:
“Love is beautiful fear” 

“It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out.”

“I sighed. "Actually, Mom, we argue pretty regularly." 
"What?" She gaped at me. "Well, stop it!"
"Oh, and I kneed him in the groin once."
There was a split second of silence before May barked a laugh. She covered her mouth and tried to stop it, but it kept coming out in awkward, squeaky sounds. Dad's lips were pressed together, but I could tell he was on the verge of losing it himself.
Mom was paler then snow.
"America, tell me you're joking. Tell me you didn't assault the prince.”
I don't know why, but the word assault pushed us all on the edge; and May, Dad, and I bent over laughing as Mom stared at us."

Friday, 30 May 2014

Review: The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass Synopsis:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Princess stories = Boring
Hunger games = Awesome
Combine the two = The Selection = Lies!

Whoever said that The Selection is anything like the Hunger Games should be sued for false hope. I was expecting girls in huge ball gowns fighting to the death over Prince Maxon, and while there were points where you expected small little cat-fights, nothing such was included. Major downer…

After looking deeper into the book I realise where the comparison stems from. The girls all fight over one thing (HungerGames: life, TheSelection: Maxon and the crown), only one can win (HG: others die, TS: others kicked out), set in a dystopian future (HG: destruction of north america, TS: united states of america after world war 3), stuck under a corrupt government (HG: the capitol, TS: the caste system). The comparisons go on, but I took it too literal so if you get anything from this review, take this: IT IS NOT A FIGHT TO THE DEATH!

However saying this I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I didn’t expect to once I realised no-one would die and it was all about princesses, but it was a light and gratifying read.

The main character America Singer (guess what she does for a living, sings *eye-roll*) is a really down to earth character and you don’t have to have been in a competition over a Prince to relate to her. Thank goodness for that. She is strong and proud in her own way, but she isn’t helping the image that a girl doesn’t need a guy to be someone. Either she’s moping after her ex-boyfriend Aspen, who by the way is a complete lovesick idiot. Or questioning her feelings for Maxon, the sweetest guy ever, who’s about as stuck in life as America is.

The caste system in place in this book is people’s place in society in numbers, with 8 being homeless and 1 being royal, it is near impossible to move up ranks which are based on their ancestors lives. I think this is a great and original idea for a dystopian novel and it leads onto rebel attacks on the palace where all the girls and the royal family live. I really think that the author, Kiera Cass, could have done a lot more on this and therefore added more depth to her story. But there are 2 more books in this series and while it was only a minor plot in this first book I have a feeling it will play a bigger part in the following books. After all I’d be surprised if they could drag on the selection for 2 more books.
Favourite Quotes:
“True love is usually the most inconvenient kind.”

“He stood and went to read my pin as I approached. “America, is it?” he said, a smile playing on his lips.
“Yes, it is. And I know I’ve heard your name before, but could you remind me?”

“Your Majesty—
Tugging my ear. Whenever.”

“Listen to me, kitten. Win or lose, you’ll always be a princess to me.” 

Review: The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa Synopsis:

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? 

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer. 


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

The Forever Song is the absolute perfect finish to the Blood of Eden series and not just because it ties everything up brilliantly, but because it is a beautiful book in its own right and I can’t remember the last series I read where the final book is a patch on the others; yet Julie Kagawa amazes me again and I think this is truly the best book in the series which is saying something for a phenomenal series.

All the characters are back with a vengeance and they carried a really dark mood that was ever present, a lot more so than the first two books and they had a lot of dark stuff. It’s safe to say that this is not a light and quirky read, but thrilling and ghastly (in a good way). Basically I loved every second of it.

What’s surprising is that it isn’t just Sarren who darkens the plot, I’ll admit he has a big hand in it with what he leaves in his wake (he could give Voldemort a run for his money), but the constant battle of wills even with themselves plays a big part in the character development for the story. I can’t say much about Allison without spoiling the plot because from the synopsis you see that she has turned to her inner demon, and while it’s true there is a lot more to it and also a lot of change which is all understandable. But what hasn’t changed is she is still the kick-ass heroin everyone knows and loves.

Both her companions, Kanin and Jackal are also back, and I never thought I’d say it but I am so glad! Jackal in particular surprised me because even though you don’t look deeply into it you understand more of his character, and just like Kanin, while a lot of it is face value, there’s more beneath the surface they try to hide even from themselves.

Now onto one of the most important parts; Zeke. After the cliffhanger at the end of The Eternity Cure, it was obvious that his memory was going to influence a lot of the following events and not just Allison’s change of tact, and boy was I right. But I will be horrible and say no more because I refuse to spoil anything and if I started I probably couldn’t stop.

So instead I’ll say that The Forever Song is one hell of an emotional ride so prepare for your heart to be ripped out and salvaged time and time again, because just like we love reading it Kagawa does not lack in writing it.
Favourite Quotes:
“Wherever Sarren went, whatever forgotten corner of the country he fled to, I wouldn’t be far behind. No matter what he did, no matter how far or fast he ran, I would catch up to him, and then he would pay for what he had done.”

“Oh sister,” Jackal mocked, pretending to wipe away a tear. “Listen to you, sounding just like a real vampire. I’m so proud.”

“I’d done everything I could think of to fight the demon, o not give in, to keep some semblance of humanity. Even though it was hard, it hurt like hell, and all I had to show for it was a broken heart.”

“He might actually be a decent bloodsucker. And by decent, I mean a proper, murdering, ‘I eat babies for breakfast’ vampire. It’s always the nice ones you have to worry about.”

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review: The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa Synopsis:
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence. 

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time. 

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

Reflecting back on this book all I can think about is the ending. It was so devastating that even now if I think about too long I swear I will break down. Words cannot describe what I am feeling and in my eyes it overshadowed the rest of the book, but I will try and be fair and not spoil anything. However, believe me, I could easily rant about this for a long, long time so I won’t start.

Now, I’ll be honest, the book started a little slow, but the second characters were reintroduced I was lapping up every single word. Allison remains the strong, kick-ass heroine from the first book if not more so, and joined by her new travel companions on her rescue mission you are in for a thrilling ride.

Sarren in this book is one of the cruellest and sadistic villains I have ever encountered, which could only meant that he is one of the best villains EVER! He is beyond creepy and cringe-worthy but in his delirious state there are times that a part of me holds a twinge of sympathy, the rest of the time he’s busy being disturbingly cool. Another amazing character is Zeke. I loved him in the first book, The Immortal Rules, and my prayers have been answered. He has returned! But I will say no more than that.

The dystopian vampire world gets even more intense with this instalment and with it come new challenges. Revelations appear left, right and centre and all my predictions of what would happen in this book went out the window (multiple times).

There’s honestly no more I can say without spoiling you, because just about everything in this book is a surprise. So anyone who even faintly enjoyed The Immortal Rules must read this book, meanwhile I can’t wait to read the next in the series, The Forever Song.
Favourite Quotes:
"I sheathed my blade and glared at him. "And here I almost thought you weren't a complete bastard."
"Well, that's your mistake not mine."

"Jealousy and hatred didn't keep you warm, and expending energy on wishes was useless."

“I could choose what kind of people I preyed on, but in the end, I had to prey on someone. The lesser of the two evils was still evil.”

"Watching him fling himself at the rabids, grinning demonically as he tore them limb from limb, reminded me too much of myself. That thing that I kept locked away, the beast that goaded me into raw animal rage and bloodlust. The part that made us dangerous to every human we encountered. The part that kept me from ever being with Zeke."

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer Synopsis:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I first saw this book in the bookstore from a distance so I could only make out the foot and the name. A Cinderella retelling? No thank you. I have enjoyed some retellings but Cinderella isn’t even one of my favourite fairy-tales; so I didn’t even give it a second glance. That was until I saw the hype following this series online and worked out that it was in fact a cyborg foot belonging to cyborg Cinderella, and this obviously made all the difference! I got it immediately.

It was a very fun and quick read with characters that didn’t make you want to tear your hair out (huge accomplishment)! Cinder is incredibly independent character instead of the typical heroin/princess who relies on the man to save the day; and she made mistakes as we all do but learnt from them herself which created a way to relate to her.

It was a very imaginative plot I think it’s fair to say, and it was very engaging to read even though I predicted the “plot twists” from the start (and it might be worth pointing out that it doesn’t follow the exact storyline as Disney’s Cinderella). For once though I didn’t mind and loved it all the same.

The biggest fault for me personally, which happens in a lot of books was that there was tonnes of information dropping. Marissa Meyer would go into paragraphs on the Lunar’s (moon people) and cyborgs history, which no matter how interesting is always hard to take in. There was also a lot of technical speak about mechanics and fixing stuff which for the most part went over my head, who on earth knows what a magbelt is? Even with all this information a lot of answers to obvious questions are missed out, such as how did people end up settling on the moon and getting magical powers? This lasted until about halfway through the novel when things really got started since the groundwork was laid.

The ending was not at all what I expected, because I was under the impression that it was a different fairy-tale for each book and that they wouldn’t really be connected, so when it ended on a cliff-hanger without concluding it all I was certain I missed a step. It turns out that Cinder will be joining Little Red Riding Hood in the next installment, Scarlet, so I can’t wait to see how this works out.
Favourite Quotes:
“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.” 

“We all have our weaknesses.”
“I know,” said Iko. “Mine is shoes.”

“Instead of looking like a royal heartthrob, he just looked crazy.”

“Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret.”

Monday, 26 May 2014

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

As my very first review on this blog I though it was only right to start with one of my favourite books, and though it was impossible to pick decided that I wanted to start with Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It isn't my top favourite of all time but no one can honestly pick just one, so this is up there with many others.
Goodreads Synopsis:
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 neighbour, 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 Demon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You head 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 Im 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.

I was wary of reading the Lux series at first, because while I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s series Covenant, I wasn’t into the whole alien thing and rarely even read sci-fi. But after reading all of its amazing reviews I thought it was worth a shot.

I read Obsidian in a day: I am a new person.

This has to be one of my favourite YA books and now I have been converted into a lover of alien novels because, damn, who knew they could be so hot! It has the perfect combination of nail-biting action and a swooning teenage romance. I couldn’t physically separate myself from Daemon the book and my family didn’t see me at all once I picked Obsidian up, nor did I even want to stop to eat! Now that is the sign of a good book, because just like the Luxen I cannot get enough food.

The beginning rather reminded me of Twilight, but there was enough going on that I didn’t resort to screaming “They’re ALIENS you idiot!” at the book which is a step up. However I couldn’t contain my reactions like grinning, scoffing or laughing out loud while reading the banter going back and forth between Katy and Daemon, so a bit of advice is not to read it surrounded by people, because you will get weird looks. Trust me.

It was a work of genius from Jennifer L. Armentrout to write from Katy’s perspective. You immediately relate to Katy, who is this outspoken book nerd that acts like at least one person you know if not yourself. She told everything as she saw it, giving it out as much as she took it, with her particularly colourful language I might add.

The highlight of this book however is without a doubt… Daemon. The hunk and complete jerk, because isn’t that always the way? *sigh* I loved him and hated from the get go if that’s even possible, and the conversations between him and Katy are side-splittingly comical. Is it wrong to be jealous of a fictional character? Because even though Katy is amazing, I kinda hate her. After all I don’t see myself living next door to a Daemon any time soon. He could give Jace Wayland and Edward Cullen a run for their money. And yes, I went there.

The one problem with this book is that it is unbelievably similar to Twilight. Some would go so far to say that it was originally made as a fan fiction for it. Once you read it you’ll understand where I’m coming from, but for me I couldn’t care less! It has more action, and plot twists, and in my opinion it is a better book, full stop.

Now anyone who has read Obsidian already will be ecstatic to know that in 2015 Obsidian will be made into a movie! I am dying to see it (and not just to see Daemon on the big screen (who by the way the casting director had better get right or I will personally go down to their office and kick butt)). If it is anything like the book it will be the next big franchise and I will be the first person in line to see it.

But for now there is the rest of the series eagerly awaiting me including Opposition coming out August this year.

Favourite Quotes:

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys."

“Will you show me what you really look like? You don't sparkle, do you?”

“The day my internet was hooked up was better than having a hot guy check out my butt and ask for my phone number.”

“Thanks,” I muttered and added under my breath, “Douchebag.” He laughed, deep and throaty. “Now that’s not very ladylike, Kittycat.”
I whipped around. “Don’t ever call me that,” I snapped.
“It’s better than calling someone a douchebag, isn’t it?” He pushed out the door.
“This has been a stimulating visit. I’ll cherish it for a long time to come.” Okay. That was it. “You know, you’re right. How wrong of me to call you a douchebag. Because a douchebag is too nice of a word for you,” I said, smiling sweetly.
“You’re a dickhead.”
“A dickhead?” he repeated. “How charming.”
I flipped him off."

Lucky No.14 Reading Challenge - Master Post

I have decided to take part in the Lucky No.14 Reading Challenge by Books to Share! The challenge is to read 14 books from the 14 categories below in 2014. I will write a review for each book then link them to my Reading Challenge Page, my Review Index A-Z page and also post them on both Goodreads and Amazon. I'm really excited about it and these are the books I've picked:
1. Visit The Country: Read a book that has setting in a country that you really want to visit in real life. Make sure the setting has a big role in the book and it can make you know a little bit more about your dream destination. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments  #1) by Cassandra Clare
2. Cover Lust: Pick a book from your shelf that you bought because you fell in love with the cover. Is the content as good as the cover? Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
3. Blame it on Bloggers: Read a book because you’ve read the sparkling reviews from other bloggers. Don’t forget to mention the blogger’s names too! Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
4. Bargain All The Way: Ever buying a book because it’s so cheap you don’t really care about the content? Now it’s time to open the book and find out whether it’s really worth your cents. Branded (Fall of Angels #1) by Keary Taylor
5. (Not So) Fresh From the Oven: Do you remember you bought/got a new released book last year but never had a chance to read it? Dig it from your pile and bring back the 2013. Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
6. First Letter’s Rule: Read a book which title begins with the same letter as your name (for me, Astrid means A, and I can read anything that started with the letter A). Remember: Articles like “a”, “an” or “the” doesn’t count :) Amethyst (Guardians #1) by Heather Bowhay
7. Once Upon a Time: Choose a book that’s been published for the first time before you were born (not necessarily has to be a classic book, just something a little bit older than you is okay. You can read the most recent edition if you want to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J. K. Rowling
8. Chunky Brick: Take a deep breath, and read a book that has more than 500 pages. Yep, the one that you’ve always been afraid of! The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings #3) by J. R. R. Tolkein
9.  Favorite Author: You like their books, but there are too many titles. This is your chance, choose a book that’s been written by your fave author but you haven’t got time to read it before. Inside Out (Insider #1) by Maria V. Snyder
10. It’s Been There Forever: Pick up a book that has been there on your shelf for more than a year, clean up the dust and start to read it now :) The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman
11. Movies vs Books: You’ve seen the movie adaptation (or planned to see it soon) but never had time to read the book. It’s time to read it now, so you can compare the book vs the movie. Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
12. Freebies Time: What’s the LAST free book you’ve got? Whether it’s from giveaway, a birthday gift or a surprise from someone special, don’t hold back any longer. Open the book and start reading it now :D Soulmates by Holly Bourne
13. Not My Cup of Tea: Reach out to a genre that you’ve never tried (or probably just disliked) before. Whether it’s a romance, horror or non fiction, maybe you will find a hidden gem! Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
14. Walking Down The Memory Lane: Ever had a book that you loved so much as a kid? Or a book that you wish you could read when you were just a child? Grab it now and prepare for a wonderful journey to the past :) Comic books or graphic novels are allowed! The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge - Master Post

I have decided to take part in the 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge by BOOKISH! The challenge is to read a certain amount of books that have been on your TBR list published in/before 2013.

I have decided to try for level Sweet Summer Fling which is 31-40 books.

I will write a review for each book then link them to my Reading Challenge Page, my Review Index A-Z page and also post them on Goodreads. I'm really excited about it because this is a great way to lower my mile long TBR list, and these are the books I've picked:

·         Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
·         The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings #2) by J. R. R. Tolkein
·         The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings #3) by J. R. R. Tolkein
·         The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman              ·         The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman            ·         Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
·         Scarlett (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
·         Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Ross
·         The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
·         The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
·         Branded (Fall of Angels #1) by Keary Taylor
·         Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
·         Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver
·         Countdown by Michelle Rowen
·         Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristen Cashore
·         Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) by Kristen Cashore
·         The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
·         The Host (The Host #1) by Stephanie Meyer
·         The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
·         The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
·         Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
·         Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
·         Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare
·         Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare
·         Matched (Matched #1) by Allie Condie
·         Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures #1) by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
·         The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness
·         Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
·         Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1) by J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
·         Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan
·         Resist (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan
·         Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins