Friday, 31 October 2014

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

Everything about this book had me dying to read it; from the title, to the gorgeous cover, to the intriguing tag line “Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story”.

And I’m so glad I did! It had moments when the horror aspect definitely took hold of the story and some of the descriptions were definitely cringe-worthy but that only made me love it more, and if you’re also a horror-junkie then this is definitely the book for you.

Romance also played a big part but wasn’t nearly as noticeable as everything else going on, particularly since Cas was doing the boy’s thing and denying his feelings right till the end… *sigh* I thought he was a great character and easy to understand with how the ghost-hunting side of his life distances himself from living a “normal life” with “normal” (or simply not dead) people.

At first I didn’t understand how this could be something Cas and Anna relate on but I think it worked perfectly and also gave a lot more depth to Anna’s character. She wasn’t simply a demonic murdering ghost, though no one can deny that she has brutally killed her fair share of people.

Along with these main protagonists there were a lot more side characters which I didn’t expect and they were all great in their own ways; I even warmed up to Carmel (who I kept reading as Caramel, probably because it was late at night and I was hungry…) after I found out she wasn’t interested in Cas. Otherwise I might have set Anna Dressed in Blood on her.

In the end this book started and finished with a bang, so I am once again dying to read the sequel.
Favourite Quotes:
“Don’t be afraid of the dark, Cas. But don’t let them tell you that everything that’s there in the dark is also there in the light. It isn’t.” 

“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.” 

“Land of the Dead? Is that what you dream about?” she asks. “Boy who kills ghosts for a living?”
“No. I dream about penguins doing bridge construction. Don’t ask why.” 

“You make me want things I can't have.”

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Creatures of the Night Tag

I really wanted to do a halloween-y (I know that's not a real word but oh well) post but I haven't read that many spooky books to recommend so instead I decided to do a tag called Creatures of the Night that was originally created by Kat from Katytastic over on youtube where you recommend a book about different creatures of the night... surprising right?

1) Vampire
I am a sucker for a good vampire book and one of my all time favourites has to be The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa which is the third and final book in The Immortal Rules trilogy. I posted a review a slightly spoilery review where my point was basically to read it!

2) Werewolf
I can't say I'm usually a fan of werewolves because they tend to have an annoying human side for instance in Twilight... *cough*Jacob*cough* but still I'd recommend Twilight because I liked the books (at least parts of them).

3) Zombie
To put it simply I haven't read many zombie books, except In the After by Demitria Lunetta which I recently loved so I'm excited to read the sequel.

4) Ghost
Just 2 days ago I read Say Her Name by James Dawson to get in the Halloween mood and it was brilliant! I still can't look in mirrors...

5) Witch/Warlock/Spellcaster
There were a lot of books which I love about witches and the obvious choice is of course Harry Potter, but since I practically mention this series every post (or at least tag) I decided to mention Half Bad by Sally Green instead. It is a far cry from Harry Potter that's for sure but I enjoyed it all the same as you can see from my review.

6) Fairy/fae
Not many books focus solely on fae and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is no different but they definitely play an interesting role as the series progresses (my review).

7) Demon
Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk is a mix of everything demons and together with 6 amazing guys it is an amazing quick read. I recommend this to everyone and you can see why here.

8) Angel
Again I'm going to have to go with City of Bones by Cassandra Clare where Angels and their creation of shadowhunters obviously play an important part in the story's background as well as present.

9) Alien
Easy. One of my favourite books ever even though I was disappointed by the sequel (this is why)  - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (which I also reviewed).

10) Superpowered human
The list for this category is endless, but I'm going with Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi because anyone who hasn't read this trilogy definitely should if for no other reason that Aaron Warner...

Finally I tag:
The lovely ladies @ Fangirling Misses
Anne @ Anne Books
Anna @ Books, Quotes & Dimples
Erin @ The Hardcover Lover
Joanne @ Spantalian's Book Reviews
Clarissa @ Books Equal Awesomeness
Naomi @ The Perks of Being a Bookworm
Tanya @ My Book Paradise
Kitty & Fari @ My Little Corner for Books
Sandee @ Book Ramblings of a Whimsical Reader
Connie @ The YA Book Thief

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake
There's no way I'm letting her behind my back. She may be all sweet and innocent now, but I know the creature that would come bursting out if given the chance."

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag

Thanks to Sandee from Book Ramblings of a Whimsical Reader for tagging me to do this tag. I saw it going around and it looked interesting so I'm excited to start!

But first I tag:
The lovely ladies @ Fangirling Misses
Anne @ Anne Books
Anna @ Books, Quotes & Dimples
Erin @ The Hardcover Lover
Joanne @ Spantalian's Book Reviews
Clarissa @ Books Equal Awesomeness
Naomi @ The Perks of Being a Bookworm
Tanya @ My Book Paradise
Kitty @ My Little Corner for Books

Greed - What is your most expensive book? What is your most inexpensive book?
Most expensive: I bought City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare the second it was released, however I had to order from an American store so that it had the comic strip in the back (which I desperately wanted) and while it was nicely priced, the shipping cost more than the book itself! But no regrets ;)
Most inexpensive: Excluding books I got for free, the cheapest would be Inkspell by Cornelia Funke after I bought it for only 10p, that's right 10p when my school library cleans out old books.

Wrath - What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Veronica Roth author of the Divergent Trilogy because while I completely fell in love with Divergent, I fell out of love just as fast when I read Allegiant which I hated.

Gluttony - What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
I love re-reading books and one that I've re-read more times than I can count is The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins even though I again didn't like the last book.

Sloth - What book have you neglected due to laziness?
I started reading The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkein over a year ago now but after only half way through I found some other books I wanted to read immediately and I'm ashamed to say I haven't picked it up again since... Doesn't help that it's soooo long...

Pride - What book do you talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
This question makes me think of classics, but since I haven't read many that obviously doesn't apply to me, and I don't consider it when I go to read a book anyways.

Lust - What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
Oooh this is a great question! I have to say I love the brooding and mysterious guy, who is also hilariously sarcastic but still has that vulnerable side which only the girl sees. Killer looks never hurts either. So basically Jace fricking Wayland Lightwood Morgenstern Herondale <3

Envy - What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
Easy. Hexed by Michelle Krys because not only does this book sound amazing but the hardback edition is to die for!

Review: The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner Synopsis:
If you ain't scared, you ain't human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

It was hard to go into this book without being influenced by the hype, and I failed miserably but it meant I had both high and low expectations. It’s had such a mixed range of reviews and I think I understand where they’re all coming from now because even though on the most part I enjoyed it, there were plenty of parts I didn’t.

For example while the plot was very mysterious and had a very large set-up intended to keep the reader in the dark I didn’t find myself surprised by the outcome, except the reasoning behind the “flare” which is something you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about unless you’ve already read it. The place was quite slow which allowed time to “get to know” all the different characters and their situation. It was incredible seeing how they had managed to come together creating their own little world in the Glade, with designated jobs to keep it sustainable.

A lot was down to luck or even convenience to the plot, particularly the way Thomas remembered things just when he needed them etc. I never connected to Thomas the way I love to in novels, and it wasn’t simply because he was a boy but the fact that his “heroic” actions seemed to be more stupid than anything else and the other characters agreed! Chuck was easily my favourite character, and it’s only one of the reasons I wanted a different ending.

I think it will lead on nicely to the next book, and I’m definitely intrigued to read on. The Maze Runner even with its flaws was an enjoyable book and despite the fact that it isn’t the best dystopian out there (and also reminded me of The Lord of the Flies which I hated having to read for school) I’m excited for more.
Favourite Quotes:
“You are the shuckiest shuck faced shuck in the world!”

“It's kind of hard to ask a dead guy what he did wrong.” 

“Though something told him there was a better chance of Gally bringing him flowers than of passing a day in the Glade with nothing strange happening.”

“Shouldn't someone give a pep talk or something?" Minho asked, pulling Thomas's attention away from Alby.
"Go ahead," Newt replied.
Minho nodded and faced the crowd. "Be careful," he said dryly. "Don't die.” 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Possession of My Heart (The Three Immortal Blades #2) by Kia Carrington-Russell Synopsis:
After the great fight between Tyran and Misfeata, Karla’s body is recovering. Misfeata has manipulated and possessed her body — now, she lies dormant. But for how long? Paul and Karla continue to venture into the unknown. Karla is in pursuit of her parents, as well as a cure for her body in which Shielder blood now resides. She must find a cure for herself both physically and mentally as she struggles with the morals of this very different world. As Karla tries to avoid the war, she inevitably drags Paul into dangerous circumstances. A rare Elemental Breather is after Karla and out for war, but why? Now, not only combating the Starkorfs, Karla must contend with the Elemental Breathers and her own fighting spirit. In this time of hardship, Lucas comes back into her life. He is also targeted by the strange Elemental Breather, Taskatae, who calls herself ‘Mother.’ After his betrayal, Karla must learn to trust him again as he reminds her who she truly is now. Can she survive the constant battles from not only the physical world but from within? For a while Misfeata is dormant; Karla must try to keep hidden her true feelings. Karla is in turmoil as she faces who may truly possess her heart.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

Kia Carrington-Russel really came into her stride with this book, and her writing captivated me right from the start. It was fast-paced and intense but I felt connected to the characters so it wasn’t even close to one of those mindless action novels.

The heroine Karla has definitely woken up to the dire importance of her situation, but that only makes it worse as she not only battles old faces but new ones when she tries to defend those she loves, never mind herself. Constantly fighting her own inner demons she grows to be someone so much stronger than before, and I can only imagine where this new strength will take her.

Paul has always stuck by her side and while I love him, I don’t think he can compare with the enigma that is Lucas. Their chemistry is undeniable and has led to Paul in my eyes being pushed into the friend zone, but Karla hasn’t decided quite yet (there’s also the problem with Lucas betraying her, plus soon to be becoming her worst enemy intent on killing Misfeata who exists inside her). All’s fair in love and war.

I was anxious about the introduction of “new” characters yet I needn’t be. They all have their place in the story, and I look forward to discover the details of their own individual stories because I think there’s a lot more to come…

This series definitely I think has a lot more on the horizon so I’m really excited for it, and in the meanwhile I can read more of Kia Carrington-Russel’s work.
Favourite Quotes:
“You are fabulous; it is only your realization of that which will truly give you peace.”

“Ultimately, I could probably be anything I want or maybe anyone I want. But I have never tried turning into another because I am too damn perfect already.”

“No one has two white angelic wings. We are all confronted one day with the reality of having blackened our morals. Instead of trying to figure out what others are in search of within you, focus on yourself and no longer be inactive. They too are facing their own demons, so let them do so by themselves. You can help them but you cannot choose for them.”

“You may have been lost in a dark world but it is up to you to shine a light so bright you can see properly.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Teaser Tuesday (17)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan
"There were too many good-byes.
That night was the first time I actually saw camp burial shrouds used on bodies, and it was not something I wanted to see again."

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

IMDb Summary:
A teenager discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.

I never do reviews with spoilers and if I ever did I’d give a warning, but for this movie I’ll make the exception even though it’s so loosely based on the book that it spoils absolutely nothing! I don’t honestly know how it got away with it because not only did they miss out loads but changed the remainder so that it barely resembled the book. This might not be so bad if Rick Riordan’s book wasn’t so fricking amazing! When I wrote this review it had been a long time since I read the series but still I noticed so many differences I can’t even imagine how bad it would be if I watched the movie again recently.

The director Chris Columbus has a lot to answer for that’s for sure. You’d think that after directing a couple Harry Potter movies he’d know how to do it (stick to the book as much as possible) so I don’t understand how he could stray so badly. I saw one fan say and I agree 100% "not sticking completely to a Potter book...understandable, they are 1,000 pages each...Not coming close on a book 350 pages long...not forgivable." I could make a list of everything major he missed including Kronos, Ares (a hell of a lot of Ares; there was no fight scene what so ever and he got no blame) plus Clarisse, Mr. D, the furys and the oracle. There was no prophecy. Just let that sink in a minute. No oracle: no life-changing, ground-breaking prophecy!

So don’t watch the movie expecting any of these things and more, basically don’t expect an adaptation of the book.

Don’t even get me started on the actors… I could be petty and point out the smaller things like Annabeth’s hair wasn’t her signature blonde, or Poseidon wasn’t wearing his signature Hawaiian shirts, but that could go on forever and it’s easy enough to get over and even change in movies to come. However I can’t believe how old they are. Percy Jackson was played by Logan Lerman who was 17 years old at the time, yet Percy is supposed to be 12. Same with Annabeth who was even older at 23 years old.

I can almost understand where Columbus is coming from but if he can make child actors work with Harry Potter what makes this so different? Especially since the whole series is working up to Percy’s 16th birthday because of the prophecy… but oh wait! The missed that out didn’t they… *rolls eyes*

Maybe if you’re not a fan or simply haven’t read the books you might enjoy this fan but I can’t help but refer back and it honestly can’t compare.
Favourite Quote: 
"Guess we all got Daddy issues, huh?"

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira Synopsis:
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

This book was beautiful, bringing me to close to tears often. It revolves around a girl called Laurel as she learns to deal not only with the death of her beloved sister May but all the other problems that evolve from/around it.

At the start she was very much lost in the way that she didn’t know herself and who she wanted to be because it tied so much to who she was with her sister. It takes a lot for her to come to grips with this and she does go through various stages but the end was beautifully done, and even though her story hasn’t ended and I think the lessons she teaches in this book will last long after the last page, it was a satisfactory ending.

The book definitely deals with a lot issues like abuse, grief, divorce etc so it was often very deep but not in a way that I became too overwhelmed. We read books to lose ourselves in the story, even when it’s tragic which this book definitely was. I will however try to warn you, that while people who have gone through these sorts of things may be able to relate and I hope it would help them to see how other people deal with it; on the whole it was quite negative. There were highs but many more lows than some people are comfortable with.

There was of course a romance that was also beautifully done simply because it was believable. There were a couple times I’ll admit where I got mad at the love interest Sky for making the wrong decisions, but I understood where he was coming from when he made them based off how he had to deal with everything thrown at him and I think this is the important thing.

I also just want to touch on the idea of the letters. It was completely original concept to me because I haven’t heard or read anything like it before, and I loved the way it worked to tell the story. It meant you could learn a lot more about Laurel as well as the celebrities she wrote to who I recognised but didn’t know like she did. Dellaira had a very poetic writing style which came across well and just like the letters fit the book’s story perfectly.

In the end I would definitely recommend this book to people who like a more serious and profound ya read, so long as you’re prepared for sad feelings that come with it.
Favourite Quotes:
“I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be.” 

“You think you know someone, but that person always changes, and you keep changing, too. I understood it suddenly, how that’s what being alive means. Our own invisible plates shifting inside of our bodies, beginning to align into the people we are going to become.” 

“And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It's knowing you could be the author instead.” 

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights the releases we’re eagerly awaiting.

Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 3rd 2015

Goodreads Synopsis:
The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them. 

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

I hate that I don’t have an ARC for this book, but I suppose then the wait for the rumoured third book would be even longer so I can’t really complain! I loved the first book in this series because it was light and fun, and I can’t wait to see how the mood changes as the plot does.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Teaser Tuesday (16)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

"That's what it's all about," Annabeth said, like she was reading my thoughts. "That's the place for heroes."

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Movie Review: The Giver

IMDb Summary:
In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world.

A book to movie adaptation done somewhat well.

Unlike most book to movie adaptations rather than jamming as much as they could into the film they did the opposite for a book that was only 200 or so pages, and instead added in new plotlines. They did still follow the same story as the book (and very closely I might add) but included more depth. This is included Asher, Jonas’ friend having his own story leading to a major role at the end.

There was also a romance between Jonas and Fiona. In the film they were turning into adults and I believe they meant this to be 18, so a romance was easier to portray than it would have been for the 12 year olds in the book (really, it wouldn’t have worked). I thought the age changes was a good idea (unlike in Percy Jackson) because it simply improved the movie and kept me interested.

What they also did well, was making the colours come in gradually as Jonas discovered them. But when it cut to someone else it went back to black and white showing that they still had the same perspective they always did. So even though Jonas and how he saw the world was changing, the rest of the community weren’t.

The actors were also on point. It must have been hard to show naivety and innocence without simply sounding dumb or even cheesy, but they succeeded in making it believable.

In the end it wasn’t my favourite movie, and since I went into it thinking I was going to be bored rigid anyways it was a success in my eyes.
Favourite Quote:
“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.”

Friday, 10 October 2014

Review: In the After (In the After #1) by Demitria Lunetta Synopsis:
They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

Aliens are very big in YA still but while books like Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and The 5th Wave won me over, I wouldn’t have picked up this book if the emphasis wasn’t on post-apocalyptic. HOWEVER, I enjoyed it because without spoiling anything, they’re not exactly aliens…

I thought the idea behind this plot wasn’t completely original and I’ve seen it before but then all apocalypse books stem from the same idea. This didn’t mean that it wasn’t interesting and while I guessed from the start the reason behind the invasion, it didn’t get to the point where I was chucking the book at the wall screaming at the characters for not figuring it out sooner (which has happened before I'll add).

Amy was a complete bad-ass. She survived for years on her own in silence when I wouldn’t have lasted more than an hour tops; no matter how many alien and/or zombie books I read I’d still die first if they became real. I loved the relationship she had with Baby, and yes her real name is Baby though I can’t imagine how stupid that name will be when she’s an adult, never mind an old lady!

When they were together in the start it had a very choppy pace because they spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing but surviving and then others leaving the safety of the house to get resources which didn’t always end well… This continued to after they were brought to New Hope when it turned into a part mystery novel as you had to figure out what the sections in italics were all about and when/if they happened etc. There was so much switching of time frames that it occasionally just made the writing fall flat.

In the end though I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend to boys and girls alike, because the romance was virtually non-existent and it was much more of a zombie survival novel than anything else.
Favourite Quotes:
“All of Them are monsters, but not all monsters are Them.” 

“I’d always escaped into books, but now reading had become something more. It allowed me to be somewhere else, to feel something else, not just the numbness that overtook my body and made me wonder if I was still alive.”

“People don’t expect a small Japanese girl to be able to break a man’s arm.
“They didn’t assume you were a ninja?”

“Gareth once told me that ignorance was bliss and I’d responded that ignorance was dangerous. We were both right. But which is better?”

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall #1) by Shannon Messenger Synopsis:
Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past - except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she's real.

Audra is real, but she isn't human. She's a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She's also a guardian - Vane's guardian - and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

This book is what I’ve come to know as a classic young adult read; filled with action, romance and of course tonnes of teen angst. It had me hooked from the start dismissing the low expectations I’d gathered after reading one too many critical reviews, and I loved it.

The characters were so on point to what I love, particularly Vane. He was cocky and at times I wanted to slap the smirk off his face, but others he was sweet and faithful to the core. Which was so different to Audra who on the outside was very cold and bad-ass with the only aim of following The Gale Force’s orders. However when we saw more from her pov and understood her past, it definitely opened my eyes to why she was this way. This was the greatest advantage from the dual perspectives, but I also loved how it meant we could see the current events with all it secrets from both their eyes.

I can’t wait to see how their story progresses in the sequel and they’ve already helped each other to develop so much. Vane needed Audra to come to terms with what he is and what that entails which is where you could see him changing, but it was most obvious when he started to take things seriously as he saw the consequences if he didn’t.

It was a very light and fun read even with such a dramatic plot, and I think this was because you saw it through 2 very sarcastic and humorous characters. Shannon Messenger still manages to weave in the serious undertones when she mentions the details of the war at hand, which you learn gradually with Vane. This is again where the dual pov came in hand because you could see what Adura didn’t tell him.

Overall this book blew me away (you knew from the start that I was going to use that pun, sorry not sorry) with how much I enjoyed it and I recommend to anyone looked for a very quick YA read that will ensure you want to pick up the sequel.
Favourite Quotes:
“We were two broken, incomplete people. Now we're one. No one will ever understand me the way she will. No one will ever understand her the way I will.” 

“My Mom’s grinning her my little boy is growing up smile and my dad looks like he wants to pat me on the back and call my “slugger”.
Parents: perfecting ways to humiliate their children since the dawn of time.”

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights the releases we’re eagerly awaiting.

The Queen (The Selection Novella #0.4) by Kiera Cass
Release Date: December 2nd 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:
Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….

Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.

I thought I was completely finished with The Selection series for a long time, and I am so excited that it continues! I would have preferred more on Maxon & America (which is to come in 2 full books, but not for a while yet) and beggars can’t be choosers! I look forward to diving back into the amazing world Kiera Cass created.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Teaser Tuesday (15)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
"For me, maybe the Atlantic has been learning to talk about stuff, even a little at a time. But I think the thing that takes me the most courage is realizing that as many oceans as I might cross, the stupid simple truth will always be on the other side."

Monday, 6 October 2014

Review: Legacy Code (Legacy Code #1) by Autumn Kalquist Synopsis:
The last humans fled a dying Earth 300 years ago, but there was something they couldn’t leave behind: The Legacy Code.

Every colonist in the fleet carries mangled genes that damage the unborn, and half of all pregnancies must be terminated. 

The day Era Corinth is supposed to find out if her baby has the Defect, her ship suffers a hull breach. And it may not have been an accident. 

As the investigation unfolds, Era begins to question everything she’s been taught about the fleet, their search for a new Earth, and the Defect. But the answers she seeks were never meant to be found...

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

This book drew me in very quickly and it definitely held my attention even with a slower pace. It took me only a few hours in one sitting to read from front to back, I would have preferred something longer (the cliffhanger was a real killer, even with a warning that Autumn does this exceptionally well) but there’s more to come in the series and a bucket load of potential.

I’m not quite sure where it’s going to continue from because to be honest I have no idea who will have survived since the end is left so open (and I’m in denial). In particular is Era who while still being seventeen was actually quite hard to relate to at the start for being pregnant so I didn’t understand her emotions on a personal level but I did understand her situation and felt incredibly sorry for not only her, but all the mothers.

With a defect that affects one out of two unborn children, the numbers are dwindling and this raises a lot of conflict. While this was the main plot line there was also a few sub-plots joining it which worked really well, to keep interest especially for people like me who took a while to warm up to Era.

The other characters were present for such a short amount of time (and not just because of the page length…) that while I again couldn’t connect to them the relationships they had with each other were beautifully clear. The love between Era and her husband Dritan was great to read about, and while it wasn’t a huge focus there were elements here and there that warmed my heart; like how instead of saying “I love you” they squeeze the other’s hand 3 times, which in a way is more meaningful because words can lose that meaning easily.

In the end, I definitely enjoyed this book and I would recommend it so long as you’re willing to wait for a sequel after such a brutal cliffhanger!
Favourite Quotes:
“To live and die on a planet where she’d never see the stars again – to raise a child surrounded by metal walls, no view of the beauty in space, no hope for a better world ahead…”

“A real friend tells you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it.”

“The universe didn’t care who lived and died. Soren had no say in it. People just died. They just did, and there was never a reason.”

“Everyone had lost someone. Why’d they bury it, pretend it was all okay? Until someone didn’t. Like the traitor. He hadn’t been able to live with what had been taken from him. Could she?”

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Review: Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #1) by Victoria Lamb Synopsis:
If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned.

If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged.

Meg Lytton has always known she is different & that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne.&nbsp;

With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.

***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***

Meg is not just a serving girl; with powers not yet at their full potential she’s faced with the constant threat of discovery and its dire consequences. Set with a rich historical background she faces problem after problem just to survive, never mind to help those she loves to survive as well.

Meg was a very easy character to like and understand, but I did have a problem with how she found the wrong people to trust. It wasn’t all her fault I’ll admit and at times you’re just as surprised as she is but it shows depth to a character when they can look past their relationship to someone and see what they’re hiding which Meg lacked.

However she did definitely knew who she was, and wouldn’t change for anyone that’s for sure. It got her in many impossible situations and I can imagine there’s plenty more to come, but she stuck to her beliefs and what she believed of herself as well. This led to a lot of collision with other characters, but not Alejandro. This was perhaps the biggest surprise, and while romance is not the focus of the story is was still present and great to see.

The plot moved at quite a slow pace, there were some scenes here and there that had me at the edge of my seat but more where not much was happening. Even the magical aspect was absent a lot of the time; so much so that I often found my thoughts wandering away from the story and which is part of my reason for the lower rating.

So if you like more of a relaxed read and you love historical fiction I’d definitely recommend Witchstruck.
Favourite Quotes:
“I could never forget that the punishment for witchcraft was the most painful of deaths. Yet it seemed like death to me to own a gift and never use it out of fear.”

“Some gifts are a test, and others are a curse.” He met my eyes seriously. “Which is yours?”

“That young man will come back for you one day, you’ll see. And if he doesn’t, there are plenty more fish in the sea.”
“Don’t…want…a…fish,” I choked.
“Of course you don’t,” she agreed soothingly. “Nasty smelly things. Now, don’t cry too hard. You’ll only make your nose red, and then if he does come to see you, he’ll think you as ugly as can be.”

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare Synopsis:
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...

I am undoubtedly a diehard Mortal Instruments fan, so The Infernal Devices had in my eyes 2 possibilities: 1) It would be a disappointing copy set in a different era with similar characters or 2) I would soak up every word of Cassandra Clare’s writing and love it almost as much.

It was clearly possibility 2, and while I didn’t love it as much as The Mortal Instruments I never even considered I would so there was no loss. So much of it was unbelievably original that I realise there was no reason for fear in the first place, while I still thought and compared to The Mortal Instruments it was in my head its own story with its own characters.

There were similarities; for example Will is a lot like Jace, and since I’ve already completed The Mortal Instruments I can see why, but it didn’t get to the point where it felt like a copy. Jace will always be mine, but I can see where people are coming from when they claim Will as their ultimate book boyfriend/husband and I can’t wait to understand him deeper which I can only presume will happen in the sequel when we learn more of his back story. If you haven’t worked it out by now (and you should have) I will be constantly referencing The Mortal Instruments, which brings me to the fact that Jem has in a way taken Simon’s place. He blows Simon out the water though and while I never considered Clary with anyone but Jace, I can see Tessa with Jem.

Unfortunately I was spoiled long, long ago with what happens in Clockwork Princess and like I said I’ve read City of Heavenly Fire so there’s no surprises with what happens. I absolutely look forward to the journey though.

Even with this I did find that I could be surprised; and while I know some of the more major plot twists I didn’t know the details so I found myself as shocked as everyone else when... certain… things happened…

I loved every character; Tessa, Will *swoon*, Jem *double swoon*, Henry, Charlotte and even Jessamine just to name a few. What I was most looking forward to though was without a doubt more on my favourite gay warlock Magnus Bane. I’ve been waiting for the Bane Chronicles ever since I heard about it and so this was a great way of passing the time! Like all the others he has such a complex backstory, but I think Jem wins on that front as you’ll come to know when/if you’ve read this.

And if you haven’t read this then you need to! Like now! Cassandra Clare is such a brilliant writer that anyone who hasn’t read some of her work is missing out. She astounds me with the way she can create a world you can lost in so completely that when you’re reading it feels more real than you own. It’s something I treasure in books so I will always treasure hers.
Favourite Quotes:
“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

“Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?" 
"They ate it too," Will reminisced. "Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck.”

“It's all right to love someone who doesn't love you back, as long as they're worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.” 

“Are you implying that shreds of my reputation remain intact?" Will demanded with mock horror. "Clearly I have been doing something wrong. Or not something wrong, as the case may be." 
He banged on the side of the carriage. "Thomas! We must away at once to the nearest brothel. I seek scandal and low companionship.” 

“Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who's trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.” 

“Sometimes, when I have to do something I don't want to do, I pretend I'm a character from a book. It's easier to know what they would do.” 

“Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Blog Tour: Firebolt (The Dragonarian Series #1) by Adrienne Woods

Firebolt (The Dragonarian Series #1) by Adrienne Woods
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Goodreads Synopsis:
Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena's heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena's going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales. Now it's time for Elena to believe in...herself.


***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***

I knew straight away from the synopsis that this would be a fun book, and I was not wrong! It combined a Harry-Potter-like-boarding-school with dragons and epicness.

Chucked into the action straight away you meet Elena who has to quickly change her beliefs when she’s faced with a new world and it was great going on that journey with her. She took her time I’ll admit as anyone would if they just got attacked by dragons, but she was never going to be the sitting in a corner crying about how life isn’t fair type (I’ve had too many of those). She wasn’t over the top either and had times when she was vulnerable making her very easy to relate to. I loved her phrase “for the love of blueberries”.

She meets lots of new “people” including one swoonworthy boy called Lucian; who just so happens to be a prince. I fell in love with him immediately, the relationship he has with Elena always put a smile on my face but also fit well with the story. Then there’s Blake… he’s very much an mystery and for someone who plays such a vital role in the plot we don’t know much about him; while I have my hunches on his future I can’t wait for the sequel to find out.

More characters included the lovable Sammy and her best friend soon to also be Elena’s friend, Becky. There are plenty more worth mentioning but I could probably go on about the individuals for ages so I’ll move onto plot.

It was very well paced; I actually read it in one sitting because I got so invested in the character’s stories so quickly. They do have to face a lot in a plot that has plenty more to come. The history of Paegeia was vital in emerging myself in this book like it is for any fantasy series, but it was delivered effortlessly as we learnt alongside Elena who of course was also new to it all.

Overall it was an amazing start to a very promising new series, but for the love of blueberries where is the sequel?!
Favourite Quotes:
“You must see her pucker when she’s a dragon.”
“This pucker can light your ass on fire, missy.”

“You make your own future.”

“Lucian’s voice rang inside my head, loud and clear, “Move your ass, Elena, and no matter what, trust your reflexes.” Relying on my clumsy butt was more like it. I’d made a joke, That was a good sign.”

“It wasn’t the first time I played on death’s porch, but it didn’t mean that I was used to it either. It was weird how in the movies your whole life okays out in slow motion. It was nothing like that. It was horrible.”

About the Author:
I was born and raised in South Africa, where I still live with my husband, and two beautiful little girls. I always knew that I was going to be a writer but it only started to happen about four years ago, now I can’t stop writing.

In my free time, If I get any because Moms don’t really have free time, I love to spend time with friends, if it’s a girls night out, or just a movie, I’m a very chilled person.

My writing career is starting with Firebolt, book one with the Dragonian Series, there will be four books in total and two to three books that is about the stories taking place inside The Dragonian Series. Dream Casters is a new series I'm working on and Dream Caster book 1 will be released in 2015.

I do write in different Genres, I have a woman’s fiction called the Pregnancy Diaries, but it would be published under another name. And then I have a paranormal series, called the Aswang series and another called Guardians of Monsters. Both of them would be published under Kristen Ping. 

So, plenty of novels to come out, so little time.

Links: website  *  Twitter  *  The Dragonian Series  *  Blog


Swag up for grabs!
1 signed copy
1 custom made book mark
Custom made Firebolt bag
Custom made Firebolt T-shirt

5 digital copies of Firebolt

Brought to you by Fire Quill Publishing