My policy is here

I can't wait to hear from you!

Also if you're a YA author and are interested in being involved with an Indie August event I'm planning please email me!!

I need books to review and give away! I also want some of you lovely people to interview!!

Char :)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

***Review*** Toxic Beauty (Horror High #1) by Caroline B. Cooney

On the Back of the Book

Horror High

It's the stuff of nightmares

Starting a new school is hard enough, but Bethany has never felt more plain and ordinary. She'd give anything to be popular beautiful and clever.

When a mysterious man offers to make all of Bethany's wildest dreams come true, she jumps at the chance. But she doesn't realise that beauty comes with a price...

Pre Read Thoughts

I actually accidentally read the second one yesterday (24/10/2011) while I was waiting for my brother to finish Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days. So I thought I'd better read this book so I could review the series in order. I bought it in WHSmith (presumably) for £4.99 which is a total bargain for a book RRP. The cover is nothing special, just a couple of grumpy looking people. Not something that stands out against all the beautiful YA covers that are around right now. The synopsis sounds interesting though. I can't wait to see if that translates into a good story.

Post Read Thoughts


I'm not sure there are words that describe just how bad this book is. It's just a teenage girl whining about wanting to be beautiful. I can tell you the story if you like so then you don't have to bother putting yourself through the torture. Are you ready?

"Girl moves to a new town. Girl starts at the local school. Girl starts to settle in. Girl then finds out that the beautiful people hate her (well not hate, more indifferent). Girl sells their souls to a vampire in exchange for beauty and brains. Girl realises that the people that she stole them from deserve them more than her. Girl gives them back. The End."

It's literally just that only with a lot more whining. I'm saving you by telling you that. It took the author 182 pages to write but I did it in a paragraph. That means there's a lot of whiny filler. Not much happens to creep out the reader. The only upside is that because the book is so short there isn't a massive amount of dragging out. I wasn't a fan of the writing, it didn't capture my attention and I was constantly counting how many pages I had left.

I felt no sympathy for the MC, Bethany Fountain. She was a really shallow, selfish individual that was more than happy to take what was never hers. She learnt her lesson in the end but I feel that if her mother hadn't been threatened she'd have been more than happy to continue living the lie that she'd created. All of the other characters are just stereotypes and not really worth mentioning. So I don't think I'll bother.

Overall this is a very poor excuse for a novel. I don't know how it got published - let alone republished. Actually I know how it got republished, it contains the word vampire. Publishers hear that word and their brains go "ka-ching!" I have nothing positive to say about this book but I refuse to say nothing at all. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, even if they were desperate for a vampire novel. Just walk past this and pretend it doesn't exist.

My Rating

1 star - Horrific. I've wasted an entire day and I recommend that you don't do the same. It really doesn't deserve the time off anyone. Don't look at this book, don't pick it up. If you've already bought it, give it to charity... ir burn it. If you ignore me and you hate it, all I have to say is this: I told you so.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

***Review*** The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant #3) by Derek Landy

On the Back of the Book

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, magician, warrior. Oh yes, and dead.

You've seen it all before: some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world. A few people get hurt, sure, but everything's all right in the end. Well... not this time.

Pre Read Thoughts

My brother finished this just in time for me to pick it up and read it. I don't think I'll be as lucky with the next book though. He finished it because I've been enjoying the series and I like to read as much of a series back to back because I get a better sense of the overall picture (and lots of other intelligent sounding stuff). He bought this off Amazon, I don't know how much he paid but it's currently £3.99 on there (it's a bargain!!!). The RRP is £6.99 though if you aren't a fan of online shopping (you'd save £3 if you made an exception though). The cover is very colourful. I love the purples and the oranges, it really catches my eye. The synopsis is amusing, I chuckled along to it.

Post Read Thoughts


It's an enjoyable story but once again it never seemed to slow down. There were a few chapters were it looked like it would but then it just led to yet another action scene. It got a bit samey after a while. Valkyrie/Stephanie's family are once again only used to further the plot which is a shame as I'd love to see Valkyrie living the life of Stephanie Edgely more often. The writing is good, nothing jumped out at me as particularly horrific. There were a few funny scenes but this book is darker than its predecessors, probably because the original readers are growing older and can deal with it.

Like book 1 this has a short story at the end of it. It's called "The Slightly Ignominious End to the Legend of Black Annis" I know, ut's ever such a catchy title. I wasn't a massive fan of this, it just didn't do anything for me. It's about Tanith Low but it's written from the POV of Black Annis. I would've liked to know more about her as I didn't really understand what she was and what she could do. The ending was good though and the last few lines amused me.

I don't want to talk about Tanith Low, Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain/Stephanie Edgely because they seem to be the only characters I've talked about so far and there are many others. So I shall choose three random characters that made an impression on me. China Sorrows is probably one of my favourite characters. With every book she gets a slightly bigger role and I love the author for doing that. Finbar Wrong only had a bit part in this book but he really stood out for me. He's hilarious, one of the funniest characters of the entire series, I want him to get a bigger role. Finally I want to say a few words about Mr Bliss - he's scary, he's super strong, he's China's brother. What's not to like?

Overall a fun, quick read that kids should love. This series continues to stand out as ne of the funniest I've read in a while. I wouldn't give this to a kid just before bed as it contains many, many fights and they may start to think that they can hang upside down from the ceiling like a ninja (let's be honest, we've all done it).

My Rating

Main Story: 3 stars - Good but not brilliant. One day one of these books will blow me away though.

Mini Story: 3 stars - The other mini story was superior in every way. This one was "meh" in comparison

Overall Rating: 3 stars - No maths required. If you've read the first two books you should definitely pick this one up.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant #2) by Derek Landy

On the Back of the Book

You know how it is - you think you've saved the world, and then ANOTHER evil villain turns yp with an unbeatable monster and starts breaking things.

Oh yes, and you've got a skull for a head. A thirteen-year-old girl for a sidekick. And no clue what to do.

Pre Read Thoughts

I really liked book one so I decided it was worth stealing I mean borrowing book two off my brother. I don't have a clue what he paid for it but the RRP is £6.99. I think he got it off Amazon though so he will have paid a couple of pounds less. This cover isn't as colourful as the previous one and that saddens me. This is a kid's book but it feels really plain. There's an actual synopsis for this one though, and that can only be a good thing.

Post Read Thoughts


The synopsis is misleading. It makes it sound like this book is written from Skulduggery's POV, when it's actually from Valkyrie's That really frustrated me as I like  a synopsis to be an accurate representation of the book. Anyway, I'll move on to the actual story now, once again I liked it. It had a speedy pace that never slowed down but sometimes I found myself wishing it would, I was exhausted by the time I'd finished! The writing was good, it didn't annoy me in anyway but it didn't blow me away either. At least I ended this book able to speak. There have been some were I haven't.

Valkyrie Cain is a good leading lady, I approve of her. She lives for the adventure and is slowly learning to think on her feet and that saving the world might not be everything. She doesn't sit around moping all the time, even when she misses her family life. Overall she's a pretty fun character to be with. Skulduggery Pleasant is her mentor and I love him. I love his humour, his disguise, his quick thinking but most of all I love his car. I want it, no, I need it, I am going to find a way into the books so I can steal it. (Not that I condone stealing. Don't do it kids!) Finally I quickly want to mention Tanith Low, she was in the previous book as well. I hope her role gets even bigger as the series goes on as I like her and she's pretty darn handy with a sword.

Overall an enjoyable book though it's missing a lull in action which would allow the reader to gather thoughts but I doubt the target audience cares about that. I would've loved a few chapters from either the reflection's POV or Valkyrie being Stephanie I feel that it could've added the dimension of seeing the contrast of worlds between Valkyrie and Stephanie. I want to see her interact with her family more as they're rarely mentioned unless they're used in a way to move the plot forward. I love the fact the the MC is a girl though as it makes these books more likely to appeal to girls as well as boys. I think this is better suited for kids as they will love the constant action.

My Rating

 3 stars - it's good. It's not brilliant though and it could've been. It's definitely worth a read around this time of year though, a skeleton detective, it's nearly Halloween. I think I may have just sorted out some Trick or Treat costume issues... anyway back to the book. I think you should let your kids read this and the first book. I hope they enjoy them in fact.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

***Review*** Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) by Derek Landy

On the Back of the Book

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, magician, warrior. Oh yes, and dead.

[Now, I think we all agree that that is the worst blurb in history so I'm going to use the Goodreads description.]

Goodreads Description

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

[Much better. Now we can get down to reviewing.]

Pre Read Thoughts

I stole this book from my brother because he said that he thought I'd like it. By "stole" I mean "borrowed" by the way. I bumped it up to the top of my TBR for a favourites challenge that I'm taking part in on Goodreads. As I stole borrowed this off my brother I didn't pay anything for it, however I believe he paid £6.99 at WHSmith, it may have been part of an offer but I don't know. I love the front cover and the back cover for that matter. They're really eye catching and well drawn. The colours are bright and draw you to the book and the font is amazing. The synopsis, as we have already established, is a bit rubbish. Okay, it's more than a bit rubbish but I'm hoping that the book is much better.

Post Read Thoughts

I really enjoyed this. It appealed to me on so many levels. It was a simple read that was a nice change to Pride & Prejudice, which I'm also reading. The humour was right up my street, especially Skulduggery's. I spent a lot of time sniggering at him. The opening paragraph had me hooked. I felt like I was put straight into an interesting scene and that made me stick with the book. The writing in general was really good. It had a good pace and wasn't written just for kids (in my opinion. I found it thoroughly entertaining and I'm 20). The plot was a little obvious for me in places. I guess that this is because this is aimed at kids and they wouldn't think the way I did. I didn't let that bother me though and it's pretty much my only complaint. Sometimes I feel that a book is too long or too short but I thought this was the perfect length. It didn't feel like there was too much filler or not enough action.

This is normally where I tell you all about the characters but "my" copy of Skulduggery Pleasant contains a short story called "The Lost Art of World Domination" and I think it deserves a short review. I thought it was hilarious, I don't mean I had a little chuckle. I mean I was in stitches, I didn't know it was possible to laugh that much over a story. It was everything a short story should be and more. It only took me about 10 minutes to read it but boy was it worth it. I think I enjoyed it way more than I did the main story.

The narrator for this story is 12-year-old Stephanie Edgely and I confess: I liked her. She had more guts than a lot of other main characters I've read this year. She was extremely likeable and I found her reactions to things to be very realistic. I do think that she could have been more involved in the action sometimes but I get why she wasn't. The other main character is Skulduggery Pleasant. He takes Stephanie on as a sort of apprentice/partner. I loved everything about him, words actually can't describe what I loved about him and why. He had me laughing my head off many times with his antics and speeches.

Overall this is a light, fun, quick read that should entertain boys and girls. I found it captured my attention quickly and didn't get boring half way through the story as some books do. I definitely recommend this for kids and teens, it's a different way of looking at a mystery novel and the inclusion of magic means that it'll probably hit the mark with people who like magical novels. It's a great way to waste a few hours when there's nothing on the TV or just because you want to.

My Rating

This rating has three parts to it because of the short story. I wanted to evaluate them separately and then round together for an overall rating.

Main story: 3 stars - Enjoyable but nothing special. It could have been better.

Short story: 5 stars - Awesomeness. I love it, I may steal the book to read it again and again. The amazingness of this may be why the book seems to be lacking something in comparison.

Overall rating: 4 stars - You do the maths as to how the overall rating is 4. It's definitely worth reading this story if you want something a little different. I'm going to read the rest of the series now because I liked this one so much.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

***Review*** Envy (The Luxe #3) by Anna Godbersen

On the Back of the Book

New York City, 1900

In high society nothing is more dangerous than a scandal. Two months have passed since the esteemed Holland family's shocking fall from grace and those watching the impetuous Miss Diana Holland are beginning to whisper again.

Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoonmaker and his new bride are the city's most celebrated couple. But the glittering diamond she wears hasn't brought her all she desires.

Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything: wealth, beauty, happiness.

But in a city ruled by reputation, sometimes the most practised smiles hide the most scandalous secrets...

Pre Read Thoughts

Okay, this is a re-read. I first read it a couple of years ago when I was 18 and adored it but after the disappointment I feel after reading The Luxe and Rumours I'm not sure if I'll like it anymore. Once again I think that the UK cover is too busy with all it swirls and things. It distracts you from the dress which for me is the focus of the cover. The RRP is £6.99 and that's what I paid. It's a reasonable price and I won't grumble about it. The synopsis doesn't really say much so I'm wondering how much I remember and what's gonna happen.

Post Read Thoughts

It's taken me ages to read this because I didn't enjoy it at all. The whole thing felt incredibly mediocre. The whole book felt limp, nothing happened until the final 100 pages. That means that 3/4 of this book is just filler and that's ridiculous. Surely it should be quality over quantity. Maybe that's just me getting old though. The writing isn't any better, it's filled with dull narrations and many, many descriptions of outfits that I couldn't give a stuff about. The pace is slower than a snail stuck down with super glue (although why you'd stick a snail down with super glue I have no idea). I could barely manage more than a couple of pages at a time until everything started happening. Having all your plot development at the end of the story is stupid, it makes the reast of the book boring.

The characters get worse in every book. Diana has gone from a bright, quirky individual, to a stupid, lovesick puppy that does nothing but pine after their owner. In this case, that's Henry, who's described as a "cad" but he's nothing but a drunken idiot with no backbone. I mean he says he loves Diana but look at how easy it was for him to forget about her. He even married another woman for crying out loud! Speaking of his wife, dear Penelope is nothing but a vindictive nymphomaniac who thinks that she's better than she is. Everything she says about Diana is also true about herself. She's a hypocrite. She has no morals. I guess that's why she continues to be the friend of poor, fragile Elizabeth who just gets soppier with every book, I want to slap her silly. I get that she's had a tough time but she doesn't even seem to be trying to move on. Unlike her former love rival Lina who has turned into nothing but a social climbing gold digger who has only managed to get to where she is by blackmailing people. None of the main characters are likable and none of them are particularly realistic.

Overall I'm unimpressed. The whole thing is ridiculous, I don't believe that any of what happened is likely to have ever occured. I know it's fiction but this isn't a fantasy book. I also want to know why none of the parents seem to actually care what their children do. I mean my mum would skin me alive if I treated anyone the way these morons do. I can genuinely see why teens lovbe these books but for me this just doesn't cut the mustard as even a semi decent read. I mean for it to be that there'd have to be some semblance of a plot running through the book not just leaping in at the end like "Look at me! I'm a plot!" that really didn't make me very happy.

My Rating

2 stars - The only reason that this is getting 2 stars is that it's not bad enough to get 1. In that sense it's Anna Godbersen's lucky day. I personally don't like it and if you have similar taste in YA to me I don't think you will either, however, if you're a Gossip Girl then you're sure to love this book. You should definitely check out the series.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

***Review*** Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn

On the Back of the Book

Passion. Treachery. Murder.

Orphaned by Rome's savage legions, Thea, a slave girl from Judaea, has learned what it takes to survive. She knows only violence until a chance meeting with gladiator Arius offers a shred of tenderness. But their bond is severed when Thea is sold again, condemned to rot in squalor.

Years later, a singer known as Athena betrays no hint of her troubled past. Catching the eye of the Emperor himself, she is swept into a world of decadence and depravity. But although Domitian fears betrayal from every side, he is unaware that the greatest threat lies next to him - a slave girl who has come to be called the Mistress of Rome...

Pre Read Thoughts

This is the third book that I've read because of a favourites challenge on Goodreads. This book came to my attention first of all because my mate Rea was showing off its pretty cover. She then said actually it's one of her favourite books so I thought I'd give it a go if I ever saw it because we have similar taste in books. So when I saw it sitting on a shelf in my local second hand book shop, I picked it up. It cost me either £1.90 or £2.50, I can't remember. The cover of the book is even more stunning when it's really in front of you. I love everything about it, the pictures, the fonts, even the texture. The synopsis just adds to my interest and makes me want to read this all the more. So far it's ticking all the right boxes and I can only hope that the writing lives up to my expectations.

Post Read Thoughts

This book just blew me away. It's so different to what I normally read but the book just hurled me into the action. The book is brutal in that sense, it has no qualms about chucking you into a really violent scene. The writing was incredible, everything was described so beautifully and none of the story felt like filler. I also enjoyed the alternate POVs but I don't get why when the author was changing charater it would sometimes say the name of the narrator and other times it didn't. I'm not picking faults, I just think I'd like an answer to that. The pace was also pretty darn good, I never felt bored and could've spent forever reading the book.

There are so many characters that I want to mention so I'm just going to give them all a sentence or two each. Some of them are fictional and some are based on Roman figures, I'm gonna let you guess who's real and who isn't. I'll start with Thea/Athena, I liked her, she was strong and vulnerable at the same time. She'd had to deal with so much in her life and she was still struggling with the repercussions of some of it but she never let it defeat her. Arius was another character that I enjoyed reading about. I adored him, I spent my time hoping that his next fight wouldn't be the one that killed him. Lepida was an interesting one, she was selfish, vain, rude, a slapper and many other things but I couldn't bring myself to dislike her. She added something to the story and I liked her for it. Lepida's husband, Marcus and their daughter, Sabina were both incredibly wise and deserved way more than what they got off Lepida. They were likable characters and Sabina made me giggle a couple of times. Marcus' son Paulius is one of my least favourite characters. He was a wimp, no seriously, he really needed to grow a pair. Finally I'm going to mention the Emperor himself, Domitian, he was evil, I didn't like him at all and I'd have hated having to serve him in any way.

Overall I think I've fallen in love with Kate Quinn's writing ability. This book was amazing, I don't think there was one thing that I disliked about this. It did everything I want a book to do... and more. The ending didn't disappoint like so many do and I find myself happy with the way things turned out in the end. I can't wait for Vix and Sabina's story to be published, I'll be at the front of the queue buying it.

My Rating

5 stars - I have to admit, this is a new favourite of mine. Everything about it was outstanding. I loved every page. If you're into historical fiction then I definitely recommend this to you. It really is incredible. I cannot recommend this enough, I'd give it a million stars if I could.

A Final Note

Sex, violence, swearing this book has it all. It's an adult book and under no circumstances do I recommend giving this to anyone under 16. Some of the violence is incredibly graphic so also not one for the faint hearted. If you're neither of those things though you need to read this.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

***Review*** Room by Emma Donoghue

On the Back of the Book

Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.

It's Jack's birthday, and he's excited about turning five. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day that Ma admits that there's a world outside...

Pre Read Thoughts

This is another book that I've picked up for a favourites challenge I'm taking part in for my Goodreads group, Basically Books! I'd been debating whether or not to buy this for a while when I saw this in my local British Heart Foundation charity shop for £2.50. I'm not a fan of the cover personally, it doesn't really tell me much about the story and I like when  a book relates to its cover. The synopsis really caught my eye and it makes me want to dive into the book and see just what it's about.

Post Read Thoughts

The word for this book is addictive. I found the first part of the book hard to get into but once I got to the second part I had difficulty putting it down because it just sucked me in. Normally I don't like books without chapters, this has five parts, but it didn't bother me at all with this one. I loved the writing, I thought it was amazing. Saying that though, I sometimes felt that telling the story from Jack's POV sometimes held it back. I would've liked to know how his Ma was feeling during and after her ordeal. On the flip side, Jack's innocence gives the story a simpleness that melts your heart.

Explaining all of the characters when you've only seen them through the eyes of a five-year-old is difficult, so I'm not gonna bother. I'll tell you what I think of Jack. I love him, with his love for Dora the Explorer and his hatred of being touched by people who he doesn't know. I've read people who hated how he could know big words yet still describe things in a childlike manner. Well let me explain. He's five. He is a child. The descriptions use that to their advantage. I like that his imagination is used to enhance the story. His view of the world is so far away from what it should be and when he finds out the truth he handles it in a way that I find realistic. I actually think that this kid is a more rounded character than the majority of older characters I've come across this year.

Overall I definitely enjoyed this book. It's different to what I normally read and I find myself incredibly happy about that. The writing was genuinely very good and it worked so well with the premise of the book. Everything was done well, nothing was left to chance. It really made me think about what it would be like to be in that situation and how I'd deal with it. I'd recommend this to people who are fans of thought provoking novels with interesting styles and POVs.

My Rating

4 stars - The slow beginning and the fact that the POV choice sometimes hindered the emotion of the story have stopped me from giving this 5. However, this is a compelling novel that I think people should definitely read. This is the best book I've read since The Book Thief and we all know how much I adored that. Seriously, you should give this book a shot.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

***Review*** The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

On the Back of the Book

Mackie Doyle is the Replacement. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, Mackie comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now because of fatal allergies to iron, blood and consecrated ground, Mackie is slowly dying in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practise on his bass guitar or spend time with an oddly intriguing girl called Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem.He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place - in our world, or theirs.

Pre Read Thoughts

I'm reading this as part of a favourites challenge that I'm taking part in for my Goodreads group, Basically Books! I bought this from WHSmith just after it came out as part of a 'buy 1 get 1 half price' offer. The RRP is £6.99 but if that's a little too much for you I'm sure you could find it cheaper online. The cover is very dull and doesn't really tell me much about the book or attract me to it in any way. The title and synopsis both sound interesting though. I'm looking forward to reading the book and I hope I enjoy it as much as I like the premise.

Post Read Thoughts

***Spoiler Alert***
I've tried to write this review without spoilers but I can't explain my hatred of this book without them. So if you haven't read this book and want to then I suggest you look away now. However if you want to read what could become a rant read on
***Spoiler Alert***

I have some major issues with this book and when I say major I mean worse than Cassandra Clare major. This book is a mess. The synopsis tells you that sixteen years have passed since Mackie's abduction, in the book it's fifteen and according to the author's ideas it should be fourteen.  Confused? I was too.I'll try to explain, anyway the idea is Mackie was abducted as a one-year-old and was sacrificed as part of a once every seven years ritual. However, if Mackie was replaced either 15 or 16 years ago the maths doesn't work for a once every seven year ritual. It took me all of two minutes to figure it out when the information was given to me. I mean it's a fundamental part of the book and I didn't believe a word of it because the author evidently couldn't be bothered to take the time to plan the novel properly.

Another contradiction from the synopsis is the part about Tate and her sister. First of all, at the beginning of the book Mackie doesn't even care about Tate, he's all about the school bimbo, Alice. When I say that I mean he likes her breasts and thinks she has a nice pair of legs. Really deep. I can see why she suddenly starts to fancy him... not. It doesn't make sense because he's the school weirdo, no popular girl would do it, it'd kill their reputation and those girls live for the admiration. As for Tate's sister, she's actually dead at the beginning of the book. So how she can suddenly go missing I don't know. Also technically she's not a baby, she's a toddler. I hate children and even I know there's a difference there.

I tried to get past the lack of planning and the synopsis that doesn't fit the book but on top of that, the writing just wasn't very good. It was generic, I didn't feel like any effort had actually gone into it. The plot could have been good if it had been executed properly but it wasn't. I was left feeling so disappointed by this. I found the book slow at first but it picked up a bit of speed after a while and that made it easy to read. If it hadn't I probably would've just given up on it because I would've got to a point where I just wondered if it was even wasting huge amounts of my life on it.

Now we move on to the characters or just one character because I've forgotten about the rest. I didn't like Mackie. He came across as incredibly weak and shallow. I had no sympathy for him becuase half of the time he brought it on himself. His obsession with Alice led to him kissing her even though he knew she had a tongue piercing that he was allergic to. Why? What is the point? It would be like me going into a supermarket and buying a load of dairy products and taking them home and eating them. I'm lactose intolerant, doing that would make me ill. So I don't do it. It's that simple. The thing with Tate wasn't much better, I mean he suddenly fancied her and it came from nowhere, I'd like to know where that came from and why he decided to help her when he was dead against it. None of this was explained to me. I want to know why the author thought it was a good idea for someone to ask Mackie if he was okay in every conversation. It just made him come across all emo and if it wasn't for his allergy to iron he would totally be cutting himself. I found the stereotype awful, I mean it's a stereotype I've spent years shaking off. I couldn't have cared less about Mackie if I'd tried, and believe me, I tried.

Overall this book is full of contradictions and plot holes. A lot of what Mackie did to blend in was 'killing' him. His family didn't even seem to care about him. They just wanted him to be 'normal' in case people saw him for what he really is. This seems even more callous when you realise that Mackie's father is a man of the cloth (I can't remember if it was priest, minister or something else). I'm not sure words can describe how much I detest this book. I never rant or spoil a book for others but when it comes to this I just can't seem to stop myself.

My Rating

1 Star - This actually started off as 3 but I wrote my first draft last night and took it down to 2. However after this rather long ranty review, I've realised that it can't have anymore than one off me. I feel rage. I hardly ever feel rage after finishing a book. I can't believe this managed to get published. It's horrific and for me to feel this angry a day after finishing, it's unheard of. I personally wouldn't recommend this but ultimately the decision is yours.

A Final Note

There's swearing... quite a lot of it. Also there's a sexy scene where Tate is topless, they don't get to sex though. Not one for younger YA readers.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

***Review*** I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter

On the Back of the Book

"Do you ever feel like you're invisible? I know I do - just call me Cammie the Chameleon. But at my school, that's seen as cool. Why? Because the Gallagher Academy might say it's for geniuses, but it's really a school for spies."

Cammie Morgan might be capable of killing a man in seven different ways, but she's about to begin her most dangerous mission yet: falling in love.

Pre Read Thoughts

I never intended to read this series but then I got this book in a five piece boxset that cost me £5. I figured now would be a good time to read it as I'd just finished a heavy novel. The cover's quite boring if I'm entirely truthful, it's not eyecatching enough for my taste. The title is pretty amazing, if a little on the wordy side. It was enough to make me pick up the book and glance at the synopsis... which I liked until the final three words. I hate it when something cool is sacrificed for romance. So it's not going well for the book so far. Let's hope that the actual story makes up for some of this.

Post Read Thoughts

This was a nice, light read. I found that not much effort was required from me while I read it. The writing was simple, nothing was over complicated and I liked that. The first 50 - 100 pages were a little slow for me and I found myself clock watching instead of reading. Once the book had found its stride though it was pretty easy to just read the story. I found the book to be a little boring though as there were no major plot twists or turns. It just followed a plan. The spy stuff could've been cool but it felt like it was pushed aside in favour of Cammie and Josh.

Speaking of, the characters are nice. Even the bad girl is nice and that's rubbish. None of them really stood out for me. Cammie was an okay MC but she got very repetitive and by the end of the book I was a bit annoyed with her and wnated to throw the book against something. Another thing that frustrated me is that she was always going on about how pretty everyone else is and she just isn't. I didn't want or need to know that in every chapter. I couldn't really tell you much about the others as she's all about Josh (who I thought was a bit dull) and doesn't really say much about her friends (apart from how pretty they all are).

Overall I liked the story even though it brought nothing new to the YA genre and is probably more suited to a younger audience. It was cute and easy to read, I had it finished in a few hours. There's no swearing or sex and only a bit of violence (which is self defence) so there aren't really any issues with content. I'd heard so many good things about this series and the author but I feel like I'm missing something. Maybe I'm a little too old for books about spy school now.

My Rating

3 stars - While there's nothing particularly bad about this book, there's nothing particularly good either. I definitely think this is aimed at the younger end of YA audience if not even younger. There isn't a great amount of depth to this so it's definitely good if you just want to read something without thinking about it afterwards.


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