8 Nov 2013

Allegiant - Review


Divergent book three.
Available now.
www.harpercollins.co.uk 

What's it about?

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
 The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
 But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
My review
This has to be one of the hardest reviews I've ever had to write! It's taken me three weeks to gather my thoughts after reading Allegiant and I still don't know how I feel about it. For the most part I did enjoy it, I wasn't outraged by the end like a lot of people were, the ending was actually the least of my worries, I thought it fitted the story and if that's the way the author felt it going, then good on her for being brave enough to write it that way. The whole series focuses on bravery a lot after all! I even teared up and had to take a few breathes after turning the last page before I could do anything else.
For me, it was more the fact it didn't live up to its predecessors. Both Divergent and Insurgent were constant thrill rides of action and shocks, neither book let off until the end. In comparison Allegiant felt tame, okay I was expecting some talking, being the last book in the trilogy we were certainly owed some explanations, but there was just too much talking along with a secondary rebellion that didn't feel completely necessary to the story and made everything more complicated. A big chunk of the book was spent on this, lots of talking and plotting but no real action, which is something I've come to expect from Veronica Roth's books after the example of her first two novels. So I did enjoy the book, I just think Roth could have done so much more, she's already proved she has the talent to. But it certainly hasn't put me off any of her future work, while I've loved Tris and Four and I'm sad to see them go, I'm excited to see what the author can do next.

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11 Oct 2013

The fall of five - Review


The Lorian legacies book four.
Available now.
www.penguin.co.uk 

What's it about?
The Garde are finally reunited, but do they have what it takes to win the war against the Mogadorians?
John Smith—Number Four—thought that things would change once the Garde found each other. They would stop running. They would fight the Mogadorians. And they would win.
But he was wrong. After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated, the Garde know they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. Now they’re hiding out in Nine’s Chicago penthouse, trying to figure out their next move.
The six of them are powerful, but they’re not strong enough yet to take on an entire army—even with the return of an old ally. To defeat their enemy, the Garde must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team. More importantly, they’ll have to discover the truth about the Elders and their plan for the Loric survivors.
And when the Garde receive a sign from Number Five—a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol—they know they are so close to being reunited. But could it be a trap? Time is running out, and the only thing they know for certain is that they have to get to Five before it’s too late.
The Garde may have lost battles, but they will not lose this war.
Lorien will rise again.
My review 
Amazing! Awesome! Did I say amazing? Yep, I totally loved this book and if you're a fan of the series, then you will too. I've been in love with this series ever since reading the first book, I've even read all the novella's and hugely anticipate the next release in the series. That being said, I didn't enjoy book three, The rise of nine, quite as much, some of the characters annoyed me slightly and the ending was, meh. It had me worried that maybe the series had peaked and I really wondered what was in store for me when I got my hands on The fall of five, thankfully that didn't stop me starting it the day it arrived and I'm glad I wasn't put off but the series is back to its strongest and remains in my favourites list.
But anyway, you want to know about the book, I don't want to say to much, it's hard to review a book this far into a series without revealing spoilers but I'll try. Although The fall of five seems to move slower than the previous books story wise, its still a great read, the plot is really starting to thicken and there are some surprises in store, especially for anyone that hasn't read the additional short stories! There are less big fights but lots of training action so there's still fighting going on and the book moves along well. This time the book is told from the POVs of John, Marina and Sam, Sam! I'm so happy to have Sam back, I missed him a lot in The rise of nine and getting him back and getting to read from his POV was an extra treat.
So yeah, The Lorian legacies is completely back on form for me, although there's less development in the story we get to spend some time with the characters, getting to know them and seeing how they act and get on together as a group now that they're all together in one place. We also get a small look into the plans of Setrakus Ra!
I am so desperate to see what happens next, only a year to wait. *sigh*

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7 Oct 2013

Invincible - Review


Chronicles of Nick book two.
Available now
www.atombooks.net 

What's it about?

Nick Gautier's day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul. 
His new principal thinks he's even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can't even mention and the girl he's not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him. 
But more than that, he's being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn't learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...
My review
Following on from Infinity, Invincible picks up just hours from where we left off and dives straight back into the story and action. If you were a fan of book one then you will enjoy Invincible too. You can kind of tell the author is setting up for a long series as the story is moving pretty slow for my tastes but there's still plenty of action, extra story info and new characters to meet to keep you entertained. While I am enjoying the series, I wouldn't put it in my favourites and and find it forgettable, but I won't be discounting the rest of the books, I already have the next two waiting on my TBR for me.
I think my main problem is that this is a spin-off from her adult series which I haven't read and I often feel like I'm missing things, like when a character is introduced I can tell they've been in her other series just by the way they are introduced and the way their pasts and secrets are hinted at, but not told, like I should already know.
That being said, I didn't find the book a struggle to read, I just got put off a few times but I don't plan to read the adult series to understand more either. Nick's mom kind of annoys me to be honest, but I like Nick himself a lot, and he's what keeps me interested in this series, he's so innocent, naive and generally good that I want it to go well for him, I definitely don't want him to turn evil!

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4 Oct 2013

London YA Lit convention announced!

WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S LAUREATE TO CHAMPION BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Malorie Blackman announces campaign to support the best of young adult fiction in the UK, including the country's first ever YA Literature Convention at the London Film and Comic Con 2014.

#UKYA #YALC

Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has announced a campaign to support fiction for young adults in the UK during her two year term in the post. A highlight of this will be the first ever YA Literature Convention, hosted at the London Film and Comic Con in July 2014. Blackman will also be working with Booktrust on a search for the rising stars in the UKYA community.

Blackman was announced as the Children’s Laureate in June this year. As the first Children’s Laureate best known for writing for a teenage audience, she is ideally placed to act as a cheerleader for books for young people. From the moment she was appointed, Blackman has passionately voiced her desire to get “more people, reading more”: whether they choose a classic literary novel or Twilight, the important thing is to get young people to pick up a book. The statistics show there is still much work to be done in this area, with recent research showing that only 3 in 10 young people read daily out of class and a fifth of young people saying they would be embarrassed if a friend saw them reading (NLT 2013).

Malorie Blackman comments:
“We are incredibly lucky to have such a wealth of fantastic children's authors and illustrators in this country who create incredible stories for young adults to enjoy.  It's so important to encourage, sustain and where necessary instil a love of reading in our teenagers.  Reading opens doors and creates life opportunities. That's why I want to do my utmost to promote YA books for all our young (and older!) readers.”
A highlight of Blackman’s campaign will be the first UK Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) which will take place at the London Film and Comic Con 2014 (LFCC). This convention will bring together all the UK’s YA publishers to provide a host of author events in a dedicated Book Zone, with talks, workshops, signings, a book sales area and publisher stands promoting new and upcoming titles. Blackman will act as a curator for the two-day convention, uniting authors and publishers throughout the UK community. 2014’s YALC event will be the first time a large scale public convention around YA books has taken place in the UK, and its setting among the fans of cultish film and TV will set books at the heart of entertainment for teens and young people.

At this weekend’s Winter LFCC, a one-off special event on Sunday 6th October will trail the YA Lit Con with a panel of award-winning authors lined up to discuss YA books that have been adapted to film. The panel will feature Meg Rosoff, whose novel How I Live Now is released as a major movie today, starring Saoirse Ronan and directed by The Last King of Scotland’s Kevin Macdonald. The panel also comprises award-winning authors Anthony McGowan and Lucy Christopher and will be chaired by Blackman herself, whose book Pig Heart Boy was adapted for the BBC and subsequently won a BAFTA.

Young Adult fiction has seen a boom in recent years with titles such as Twilight, The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments series all enjoying millions of copies sold and blockbuster movies to accompany their success in print. Between 2006 and 2012, sales jumped 150% and last year, Young Adult fiction accounted for over £36 million of sales in the UK alone (Nielsen BookScan). Despite many literary prize wins for UK authors including Carnegie Medals for Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls and Monsters of Men and Meg Rosoff’s Just In Case, US authors continue to dominate the market, with 18 out of 20 of last year’s top YA bestsellers written by American authors.

However, Young Adult books regularly face controversy. Last week, the American Library Association revealed that teen fiction is the most targeted by censors, with a number of YA books appearing on their yearly Banned Books List. Recent issues around teen and YA books have centred on the inclusion of sexual content, levels of violence and the trend for “Sick Lit” – books featuring young people suffering from mental health issues or life threatening illness. Malorie herself has already voiced views that teen books should include realistic portrayals of loving sexual relationships in order to help educate young people and is keen to continue the debate on these topics.

Further events and elements to the campaign will be announced in due course. Blackman will also be working with Booktrust to choose her pick of YA books available, and she will be on the hunt for new and upcoming talent in the Teen and YA books sphere.

6 Sep 2013

Same difference (38)


And

Exit kingdom was a recent purchase of mine and as soon as it arrived through my letterbox, I knew I'd seen that girl somewhere before! It took a couple hours of racking my brain and trying to envision her elsewhere and it finally came to me that she was also on the Through the ever night cover.
She's a lot more shadowed on TtEN and I think it gives her a lot more mystery, but she's still mysterious in both since she has her back turned to us, but on the Exit kingdom cover there's a guy walking away from her and that makes me wonder why, both covers are great covers really!
Which do you prefer?


4 Sep 2013

The testing - Review

The testing book one
Available now
www.templarco.co.uk 
What's it about?
Sixteen-year-old Cia Vale is honoured to be chosen for The Testing – a series of exams set by the United Commonwealth that selects the brightest young adults to become leaders of their war- stricken world. But when candidates start disappearing and Cia witnesses unimaginable horrors done in the United Commonwealth’s name it becomes clear that these are no ordinary exams, and Cia is forced to realise the truth: this is no longer about winning, but surviving.
My review
The testing was another great YA dystopia in a sea of YA dystopias. While it had its moments where it reminded me a lot of The hunger games, it certainly had something of its own too, I don't think the similarities were intentional, both books have the same themes which make it easier for the reader to relate certain scenes from The testing to scenes from THG - unless it was just me!
But, like I said, The testing has a quality all its own and I really enjoyed it. It had a great shock value to it at some points, some adrenaline fuelled moments and a very clever leading lady. I really liked Cia although every time she came across a 'situation' during her Testing she always had a handy childhood memory of doing something similar, like using the tools she's faced with or having already tasted all the wild plants they come across, so she always knew what to do, by the end it all just seemed too coincidental, she never had to figure something out completely or take a risk, she never had even a slight failure because she seemed to know everything. But maybe I'm just being cynical, I don't know. Still, I did really like her, she certainly seems like a handy girl to have around lol Her relationship with Tomas was sweet and the book was written so well that I was always tapped into her emotions, I was tense when she was in tense situations and I felt her anger so much at the end that I was gripping the book.
I can't wait to get my hands on Independent study where I think we'll start getting more into the politics of the Commonwealth and hopefully Cia will start sticking it to the man, so to speak.

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2 Sep 2013

Rule - Review


Marked men book one
Available 24th October 2013
www.harpercollins.co.uk 

What's it about?
Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters 
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.
To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess—and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw—even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.
But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.
My review
Okay, first things first, to me Rule read just like a book that was originally self published but has been picked up and put into print without any changes, the writing doesn't always flow and has the feel of a first time writer to it.
Secondly, Rule is super hot and the book is still totally addictive! Although I sometimes struggled with the book because sometimes it didn't always mesh together smoothly, I found it hard to put down. I realise this review is starting to sound like a complete contradiction of itself but it was just one of those books that I loved and didn't love at the same time.
It as a lot of the same themes as some other NA books I've read, a big, strong, slightly over protective bad boy who gets around and a young, naive, virgin girl, along with a slightly over dramatic story and a crazy ex. So, if you've come looking for something new you may not find it here but it's still an enjoyable read.
It's told from the perspectives of both the leading characters so we really get to experience both of their feelings first hand and know what they're thinking. Personally I found Rule to be more interesting that Shaw, he's so self destructive and seeing him grow up and try to get a hold of his feelings made an exciting read.
Whereas Shaw, deciding to ditch the 'I'm such a good girl' act and changing her hair and clothes was kind of boring, she actually didn't change that much, except she finally stood up to her parents, which I had to give her a pat on the back for, but otherwise, she was just blah.
But then I do have a weakness for hot guys covered in tattoos, so its probably not a surprise that I preferred Rule!
All that being said, I'm actually looking forward to book two, Jet, and spending a few hours with another sexy tattooed man, who just happens to be lead singer in a rock band, yep, I'm already weak at the knees!
I'd also mention that I love the cover! Not just because of the hot guy, its just nice to see a NA cover that isn't a black background with a random bit of ribbon, wisp of smoke, or some other strange item on it.

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31 Aug 2013

Interview - Lisa Becker

About you and the books?

- You probably get this one a lot but, what made you decide to write a book that was told by emails rather than a 'straight' story?
Many years ago, I read a book called e by Matthew Beaumont which tells the story of a fictitious ad agency vying for a big account, with the story all told in emails.  I thought that narrative style would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.  It was a modern way of storytelling that fit the topic and the times. 
- Of all your characters in the world of Click, do you have a particular favourite to write?
But, my favorite character is Shelley.  She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices.  She was so fun to write. 
 - Are any of the characters based on your real life friends or yourself, intentional or not?
I most readily identify with Renee.  She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-depreciating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking.  Mark is loosely based on a friend who encouraged me to try online dating.  He’s a terrific guy who is still himself searching for “the one.”   So if you know any nice single girls, let me know.  ;)  As for Shelley, her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria.  She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell. 
- How difficult was it to follow up "Click: An Online love story" considering the amazing reviews you had for the first book?
Let me stop blushing here for a moment!  I was so flattered by the response to Click and wanted to create a realistic portrayal of life moving forward to all of the characters.  I tried to be true to who they were but also have them advance in their lives.  We can’t have Shelley continue her escapades well into her 40’s…or can we?  ;)
 - "Click" was very much inspired by your own love story, how much of you is there in "Double Click" and what parallels could you make between your reality and the stories intersecting in the book?
While Click was inspired by my real life as well as stories from friends, Double Click was more of an organic growth of how I felt the characters would grow and mature.  After spending so much time bringing them to life in Click, it was somewhat easy and natural for them to continue to evolve through my fingertips. 
 - My favourite moment in Double Click was the Airport scene at the end. it really moved me because it touched a personal experience (will not go into detail as I don't want to spoil it for everyone else :p). What was the most emotional and involved part of the story for you to write?
The airport scene was certainly emotional for me as well.  I wanted to realistically portray what happens in our 30’s when friends’ lives take different courses and they start to grow up.  I’m so honored to know you found it to be noteworthy. 
 -What's next for you? Do you plan to write more about the adventures of Renee and her friends or something else?
A friend, after seeing the Double Click cover, said, “Can’t wait for part three, Right Click; the story of how Renee becomes a conservative and falls madly in love with a one percenter!"  While I don’t think Renee will become a member of the Tea Party anytime soon, I love the title.  Right Click is a slow-moving work in progress. 
-And if/when you do write something else, would you stick with writing a story by emails or would you try something new?
Right Click will continue the epistolary narrative.  I have another work in progress, which is more of a traditional format about a group of friends who visit Big Bear Lake for a long weekend. 
- Which author(s) would you say is your main inspiration, if any?
I don’t have a particular author that has influenced me.  I really enjoy Jennifer Weiner, Sophia Kinsella and others.  
Random questions

- What's your favourite colour?
Yellow!  It’s bright and sunny, which is how I try to live my life. 
 - Half empty or half full?
If there’s a margarita in there, it’s half empty.  Everything else, it’s half full. 
- If it were possible to visit any other planet you like, which would you choose?
Hmmm.  I have a major fear of flying, so I’m fairly certain space travel is out of the question for me.  That being said, I would probably choose Saturn because those rings sound pretty and I love jewellery.  ;)
- Tea or coffee?
Believe it or not, I’ve never had a cup of coffee.  I tried it once and didn’t like it, so I never tried it again.  I’m not a tea drinker either.  Sadly, I fell in love with chocolate after the first taste, and haven’t stopped.  Again, my thighs can attest to that, believe me.  So, I suppose a hot chocolate with a big dollop of whipped cream would be my go-to choice. 
- Do you have any tattoos?
If yes, what do you have?  No.  I have a strong aversion to pain, so being repeatedly (and voluntarily, I might add) stuck by a needle is NOT going to happen. 
- Can you lick your elbow?
No.  I just tried but sadly it was not possible. 
- Did you just try to lick your elbow before answering?
Ha!  As you can see from above, I did indeed try.  Thanks for the laugh and your continued support/enthusiasm.

Click: An online love story
Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical "B" celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.

Double click
Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

About the author
Lisa Becker had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story and Double Click. She is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for you!

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26 Aug 2013

Double click - Review by Ninfa


Click: An online love story book two.
Available now 
What's it about?

Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.
Other books in the series
Click: An online love story - Book one

My Thoughts: I simply adore this series! Following “Click: An Online Love Story” was always going to be hard, after all it has received some raving reviews (one from yours truly), and I was very tentative when I first heard about a follow up, but you know what? I loved it!
The characters are still faithful to the first book, but their lives have moved on, some in small, some in huge ways.
Renee, Shelley and even Ashley didn't fail in capturing my attention with their antics, fears and hopes, and I was so happy to be able to follow them into this new chapter of their lives.
This is a truly heart warming, giggle inducing, sparkling romantic comedy and I refuse to call it Chick Lit because to me it was more like a photo caption of what a woman's life is: friends, love, passion and commitment to realising ones dreams. Fear of failing, of losing, of change. But most of all, it is a wonderful portrayal of relationships and how they can shape someone's life deeply.
I am not ashamed to say I cried like a baby at the airport scene (no spoilers!), because it reminded me of my own experiences and of people in my life that I love.
I cannot recommend this book enough.
In fact, if you haven't read Click and Double Click...Go and do it now! ;)
Big huge love and thumbs up!

Happy reading Bookaholics.


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23 Aug 2013

Torch - Review


Take it off book one.
Available now. 

What's it about?
If you can’t take the heat… stay away from the flame.
Katie Parks has been on her own since the age of fifteen. All she’s ever wanted is a place to call her own—a life that is wholly hers that no one can take away. She thought she finally had it, but with the strike of a single match, everything she worked so hard for is reduced to a pile of smoking ash. And she almost is too.
Now she’s being stalked by someone who’s decided it’s her time to die. The only thing standing in the path of her blazing death is sexy firefighter Holt Arkain.
Katie’s body might be safe with Holt… but her heart is another story.
As the danger heats up, sparks fly and the only thing Katie knows for sure is that her whole life is about to go up in flames.
My review
After immensely enjoying the authors YA series I just had to get my hands on Torch from the moment I heard about it, I was dying to see how she handled a NA novel, so I signed-up with crossed fingers for an ARC and nearly hit the roof with excitement when I received the email saying I'd been picked and of course started reading right away.
But anyway, you probably want to know how the book was, not hear about my book crazed self! Well, it was really good, it literally jumps straight into the dramatics and doesn't let up throughout, making a nail biting story with some great steamy scenes in between to keep you hooked.
Holt is totally hot, and not just because he's a fireman lol He's a natural protector and looks after Katie just in the way she needs, even if she doesn't know it. He's caring and, although he's tall and pretty much made of muscle, is so gentle and delicate, it's not hard to see why Katie falls for him when she doesn't normally let people in.
So, as you can probably tell, I really enjoyed it and I need book two, Tease, like, yesterday!



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21 Aug 2013

Invisibility - Review


Available now
www.penguin.co.uk 

What's it about?
A magical romance between a boy cursed with invisibility and the one girl who can see him, by New York Times bestselling authors Andrea Cremer and David Levithan.
Stephen is used to invisibility. He was born that way. Invisible. Cursed.
Elizabeth sometimes wishes for invisibility. When you’re invisible, no one can hurt you. So when her mother decides to move the family to New York City, Elizabeth is thrilled. It’s easy to blend in there.
Then Stephen and Elizabeth meet. To Stephen’s amazement, she can see him. And to Elizabeth’s amazement, she wants him to be able to see her—all of her. But as the two become closer, an invisible world gets in their way—a world of grudges and misfortunes, spells and curses. And once they’re thrust into this world, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how deep they’re going to go—because the answer could mean the difference between love and death.
My review
I really enjoyed reading Invisibility, the book itself had a great and interesting premise which the authors bought to the page wonderfully.
Although I have read Andrea Cremer in the past, this was my first introduction to David Levithan, who I know is a popular guy and has co-authored a lot of books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a really good book, its told from both Stephen and Elizabeth in alternating chapters, so you really get to know both characters and both sides of the story. I really liked them both, they're different, yet have so much in common at the same time. I really felt for Stephen when he met someone, for the first time in his life, whi could see him, I could just feel how elated and amazed he was. And as the pair fall in love it was beautifully written and kept me hoping that they would find a way for it to work out.
As the book continues it gets more dramatic and the action picks up, the pace builds to a big finish and a lovely, if not perfect ending.
It was a great read from cover to cover, I found the story to be different, the mythology was well thought out and presented to the reader in an easy to understand way, everything was slowly (though not painfully) revealed throughout the novel, bringing up a new flash of information or uncovering a secret just at the right moment.


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19 Aug 2013

Tiger lily - Review


Available 3rd October 2013
www.hachette.co.uk 

What's it about?

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
My review
From the first time I heard about Tiger lily I knew I had to get my hands on it, it just sounded like such a new perspective on Peter Pan, especially since its not even really about Peter Pan, its about Tiger Lily and its more of a prequel to the much loved and very often recreated original tale, did I also mention its told from the view of Tinkerbell?
The book was every bit as magical and heart breaking as I was expecting, its a wonderful coming of age love story. I loved how the author took the character of Tiger Lily and made her her own, Tiger Lily is such a strong and wild girl, only a few people really know how to handle her or understand her, something that both endeared her to me and made me feel sad for her.
Her love story with Peter wasn't a simple one, just like she isn't a simple girl, she wanted to be strong and do everything the boys did, but Peter wanted a girl to look after and liked being needed, so sometimes their relationship worked and sometimes it didn't because they just clashed too much, it was really interesting to read.
Another thing I really liked about the book was how the author incorporated things from the story of Peter Pan as well and I could easily envision the scenery from the great writing.
In all, Tiger Lily was a lovely book and I'm looking forward to discovering more from this author.

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17 Aug 2013

The mark of Athena - Review


Heroes of Olympus book three.
Available now
www.penguin.co.uk 

What's it about?

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy - after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera - it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can't blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find - and close - the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader - but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
My review
The mark of Athena is yet another great adventure set in the world of Percy Jackson. Full of mystery, action and monsters.
What I like about the Heroes of Olympus series is that each book is told by different characters, and whilst they do involve everyone, we get to the heart of different characters with each book and find out what makes them tick, it's a really great way to get to know everyone when there are so many main players in the series, without being overwhelmed. It was also great to see Percy and Annabeth taking front row again and how their relationship together has grown since the original series.
The story itself is also, once again, great! Rick Riordan does a brilliant job of bringing ancient myths into the present and mixing the two to create something unique, making the book difficult to put down.
If you've liked the rest of the books, then this latest in the series will not disappoint you, its just as fast paced, and there's never a dull moment in sight as all our heroes take on another great quest.


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16 Aug 2013

You don't know me - Review


Available now
www.doublecluck.co.uk 

What's it about?

Sasha, Jodie, Nell and Rose never expected to be famous. They didn’t want to be. In fact, they wanted to keep their band a secret because it’s what they do when they’re being stupid together – dressing up and singing cheesy songs.
But someone has stolen a video they made. It’s online, and it’s been entered into a talent competition. And what’s more … it’s got 24 votes. In only a few hours it’s got 24 votes.
The girls are about to be faced with a big decision that could make them seriously famous.
Just not necessarily the way they hoped …
My review
After reading, and really enjoying, Sophia Bennett's debut novel, The look, last year, I've been looking forward to picking something else up by her so I was super happy when I received a copy of her latest book, You don't know me. It's another great novel that I enjoyed a lot.
I really liked the whole basis of the story and the author did a great job of getting peoples emotions across, I connected well with Sasha and thought she was a lovely girl.
There's a great feeling of friendship throughout the book, even when the girls fall out, you can feel the bond and I think its a great message to young girls who might pick up the book, whether its intentional or not.
It did have its funny moments too, times that made me laugh or smile. And then there were other moments that really had me feeling for the girls, the hard time Sasha had to go through really made me feel for her and I was on her side throughout.
You don't know me was a wonderful book, it touches the surface of issues with the media and how it can manipulate how the public perceive a person, uses great characters, represents friendship and is beautifully written.

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9 Aug 2013

Power of the Ninja: Fire - Review


Shadow legacy book two
Available now 

What's it about?

Choices. All Shinobi will have to come to terms with death and for Duncan, his time to figure it all out comes entirely too early in his young life. Shinobi turn against each other, friends turn against friends, and death has a new meaning.
The enemy has realized Duncan's inner power and they want to extract it for their own uses. Even a legendary assassin has been set on his trail, bent on the ultimate battle and final glory.
Even when captured, tortured, and on the verge of death, with the Shadow Master on his trail, Duncan still has choices and the one he makes sets him on a path that will determine the fate of the world.
Other books in the series
My review
Power of the Ninja; Fire was another action packed book from T.J. Perkins, it has a lot of mystery to it and I enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed her other books.
I really like how she's bought Ninja into YA and kind of meshed them into a genre of its own, it makes the book stand out and something new and different and her writing is great.
I still like Duncan and how his character is developing is very interesting, he's a very curious boy which sometimes, okay most of the time, leads him into trouble, but those lead to the best scenes in the book and are usually the times Duncan discovers the most about himself.
There's also a touch of the fantasy to these books, which gives them an extra angle and makes them less predictive, I couldn't guess what would happen from one moment to the next and have no clue what's in store for Duncan and his friends in the next instalments.

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