REVIEW REQUESTS:

My policy is here http://shadowsireview.blogspot.co.uk/p/review-policy.html

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 :)

Friday, 30 December 2011

*** Review*** The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate


On the Back of the Book

All it takes is one fatal mistake...

High school beauty Natalie Hargrove has spent years plotting to become prom queen. She’s got just what it takes: popularity, glamour and ruthless ambition. When someone threatens to overturn her perfect plan, Natalie needs to take control. But a critical error plunges her into a sea of secrets, shame and scandal. Because it turns out there’s one thing even Natalie Hargrove can’t command – and that’s fate.

Pre Read Thoughts

I read the Fallen Series by this author and wasn’t a huge fan but I saw this one and knew that it wasn’t one of those Twilight-ish books so I decided to give it a go. I bought it in WHSmith as part of a ‘buy one get one half price’ offer. That means I’m not entirely sure how much I paid for it. The RRp for the book is £6.99 but at the time of writing this it’s £4.49 on the Kindle. The cover is a lovely looking angsty model girl and is really rather dull. The title really does deserve a better cover. The synopsis isn’t very telling either and that’s frustrating. I’m essentially reading a book because I want to see if it’s better than a series I don’t like. That’s not good, as long as I like it though...

Post Read Thoughts

Meh, this book is so average and doesn’t really excite me at all. It never drew me into the story and I failed to enjoy it. There were moments that I felt were taken from other stories and twisted to fit this – only the author didn’t pull it off as well as the original author. I didn’t think that the writing or the actual idea for the story were particularly good and I can see why it got lost until Ms Kate’s Fallen books became so popular. I’m trying to think of something positive to say but I’m really struggling here.

Natalie – on the plus side she isn’t anywhere near as annoying as Lauren Kate’s other leading lady, Luce, but that’s the only positive thing about her. She’s selfish, slutty, self obsessed and a whole host of other stuff that I really can’t be bothered to list. I felt no sympathy for her whatsoever – not even at the end. She’s a thoroughly unlikable character that got what was coming to her.

Mike – Natalie’s boyfriend and another not very likable character. He’s painted out as the perfect boyfriend and that annoys me a bit. He’s also very forgettable. I don’t remember much about him and that’s not a good thing. I wrote my initial draft review 10 minutes after finishing the book.

Overall I’m really unimpressed with this. It’s not very good and at the same time it’s not so bad that I feel the need to rant over every microscopic detail. That leaves me with very little to say about the book. I do hope this was the book I paid half price for though, I’d feel very disappointed and robbed if it isn’t. There are many reasons why I tell people reading is better than TV, this isn’t one of them.

My Rating

2 stars – This is thoroughly average. Not something I’m ever likely to read again. I recommend it to Fallen fans because Lauren Kate books are evidently your cup of tea. It’s becoming apparent to me that they aren’t mine. If you’ve never heard of her or picked up her books before then you should stay away from this one.


A Final Note
There are some sex scenes in this so I wouldn’t recommend giving it to a younger teen or an immature one. 


Thursday, 29 December 2011

*** Review*** Lament by Maggie Stiefvater


On the Back of the Book

Sixteen-year-old Dee is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance.

But Dee doesn’t realise that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world.

And she is his next target.

Pre Read Thoughts

I read Shiver easrlier in the year and loved it. So when Lament appeared at the top of my very long TBR pile I knew I was going to read it. I bought it quite a while ago at my local WHSmith for £7.99 but I’m sure that if you look around you can get it much cheaper. The thing that drew me to Lament is the black and red cover. It’s stunning and the white dove just makes it look even better. The synopsis is very generic and what I’ve come to expect from YA but I hope that this book is as good as Shiver.

Post Read Thoughts

I’m on the fence with this, but one thing I do know is that I didn’t like anywhere near as much as I liked Shiver. I wasn’t drawn into the story and I didn’t find this unputdownable. I love the idea of the story and this is the first book I’ve read about faeries so I was hoping that this would offer something different to the YA PNR genre but it didn’t. It felt like a book that I’d read a thousand times before and it had the originality of a cardboard box. I did find the story to be predictable and I wish it hadn’t been.  On the plus side I do really like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing.

Dee – Short for Deidre (what kind of name is Deidre?), she’s the MC for this book and doesn’t interest me at all. She’s just like every other lead character and I think it’s about time an author came along and changed that trend so I’d have something to actually write here.

Luke – He is the dark, mysterious, dangerous man that Dee falls in love with after about, ooh, I don’t know, two seconds. I didn’t like him and I didn’t like how the author justified his actions. Also I’m not entirely sure that soulless people can fall in love.

James – You’re clever people. I’m sure you can figure out that James is Dee’s best friend that’s secretly in love with her. Unfortunately he’s one of the duller best friends and I’m not a fan of his either. Sorry dude! You just need to stand out more.

Overall I think this book screams average. It’s not got much going for it and that disappoints me. It’s also not very memorable, when I wrote my original draft review I’d finished the book less than an hour beforehand and I could barely remember the story. The characters were dull, the plot drags, I think watching paint dry would be more entertaining than reading this.

My Rating

2 stars – I was going to give this three but I don’t feel that it deserves that extra star. It’s hopelessly meh inducing but I think that teen girls, especially ones that adore YA PNR, will lap this up and dream of Luke for a while.


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

***Series Review*** Study Series by Maria V. Snyder




On The Backs of the Books

Poison Study

Choose:
A quick death
Or slow poison...

Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...

Magic Study

Controlling the past
Controlling the future

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic – or face death – Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician’s Keep.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facet of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges – and Yelena catches his eye.

Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life... or be her downfall.

Fire Study

The apprenticeship is over
Now the real test has begun

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder – able to capture and release souls – spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself – and save the land she holds dear.

Pros

·         Well written
·         Strong opening
·         Some good characters
·         Interesting ideas and back story
·         Lovely covers that draw you into the books



Cons

·         Obvious in places
·         The quality of the books went down
·         Characters went from strong to weak.
·         Sometimes difficult to get into
·         Book three is a bit sappy



Best Book: Poison Study



Worst Book: Fire Study



Overall Rating
3 stars – This is a series that starts well and ends well. Unfortunately, it has a bit of a crisis in the middle and goes from mediocre to absolutely dire then ends on a nice note. I’d recommend the whole series to you don’t care about the middle and just want to read a story that isn’t completely overloaded with romance. 



Tuesday, 27 December 2011

***Review*** Fire Study (Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder


On the Back of the Book

The apprenticeship is over
Now the real test has begun

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder – able to capture and release souls – spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.

Honour sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies and enemies. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself – and save the land she holds dear.

Pre Read Thoughts

Book one was excellent, book two was good and now I’m ready to read book three. The final book in fact. I’m not sure how I feel about reading this, especially as ‘Magic Study’ left me feeling slightly disappointed. I do want to finish what I started with this series though. As you’re well aware, I purchased the whole trilogy for £5 in The Works. I think this is the best I think this is my favourite cover of the series. I can’t explain why, it’s just that the whole thing ties together nicely and the model looks a part of the cover and not a last minute addition. The synopsis confuses me a bit and that does make me hesitate slightly before I pick it up. I only hope that this book recaptures the form that was displayed in ‘Poison Study’.

Post Read Thoughts

I’m sad to say that this was another disappointment, the beginning was horrifically slow and I had a terrible time trying to get into the story. It really did take me ages and when I did finally find myself starting to drift into Yelena’s world I found my opinions on some characters had changed. Quite dramatically in fact. Saying that, the last few chapters were absolutely amazing and I wish that the rest of the book had been written like that. Once again some of the plot was incredibly obvious but I was fooled about a few of the major plot developments. That goes in the author’s favour but it’s negated by the fact that I did guess some of the major plot developments. I can’t help but feel that she was a bit obvious with her characterization. I also liked that once again I found the book easy to visualise.

Now on to the characters, but I’m not entirely sure who I’m going to talk about. I think I’m going to let my brain to do a bit of work. It may secretly be harbouring opinions.

Yelena – she really frustrated me in this book. The strong, independent woman was gone, replaced by some lovesick fool who was afraid of stupid things. It felt as though she was just relying on her magic and Valek and because of that her brains had melted and she could do anything for herself. She regained her strength a bit at the end but it was too little, too late. I don’t like her any more.

Kiki – now Kiki is Yelena’s trusty steed (Sorry, I’ve always wanted to get ‘trusty steed’ into a review) but I’m not really a fan of the idea of a horse that can communicate with its owner. Especially when the horse is made to sound like a peppermint obsessed toddler.  I’m sorry, but I genuinely think that the relationship could have been explored in a better way.

Moon Man – he’s Yelena’s Story Weaver and I think the best way to describe him is amusing and confusing. I loved how he always had an answer to Yelena’s questions and that he didn’t care if they made sense or not. Most of the time he didn’t make sense but he’s a nice guy and some of what he said sounded really good.

There are other characters that I’d like to talk about but I’d be here all day and nobody wants that. Trust me; you won’t be able to stop me.

Overall, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this. There are some truly awesome moments but they’re negated by some truly mediocre ones. I did eventually find myself in Sitia and Ixia but it took ages for me to get there. I’m not sure why the quality falls away as the trilogy progresses but it’s very disappointing. Maybe the author just ran out of ideas and had to stretch out what she had. It doesn’t matter that it lacks idea wise and the beginning is really bad, the writing kind of makes up for it.

My Rating

3 stars – This is a book that evens itself out so in the end it becomes a good book. I’d recommend that people finish the trilogy but I’m disappointed that the whole trilogy, and especially this book, didn’t live up to the quality of book one.


Friday, 23 December 2011

Review*** Magic Study (Study #2) by Maria V. Snyder


On the Back of the Book

Controlling the past
Controlling the future

With an execution order on her head, Yelena has no choice but to escape to Sitia, the land of her birth. With only a year to master her magic – or face death – Yelena must begin her apprenticeship and travels to the Four Towers of the Magician’s Keep.

But nothing in Sitia is familiar. Not the family to whom she is a stranger. Not the unsettling new facet of her magic. Not the brother who resents her return. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her rare powers, a rogue magician emerges – and Yelena catches his eye.

Suddenly she is embroiled in battle against good and evil. And once again it will be her magical abilities that will either save her life... or be her downfall.

Pre Read Thoughts

I loved book one, Poison Study, and I know that if I hadn’t already had Magic Study in my house I would’ve gone out and bought it. I’ve heard mixed things about the rest of the series but I’ve never been one for listening to opinions when I have the chance to make my own. As I said during my Poison Study review I bought the whole trilogy for £5 at The Works. Once again the only thing ruining the cover for me is the girl. She just looks Photoshopped and it ruins the feel of the cover. The synopsis makes me want to dive into the book and continue Yelena’s journey with her. I really do hope this is as good as book one.

Post Read Thoughts

As much as I liked this, I can’t help but feel that this isn’t as good as its predecessor. While I could sit and read it for long periods of time, I didn’t feel that I was flying through it. I don’t know why that is , it  may  be that I found some of the plot to be quite obvious (again) and I never really fel t that Yelena was in any danger. I think it’s a matter of not believing what the author has written. I’m not entirely convinced that she believed some of it herself. Saying that I still found the story to be enjoyable and not too taxing on my brain.

A lot of the characters we met in Poison Study aren’t really featured in this story as this takes place in Sitia and those characters are in Ixia. However, we do meet some awesome new characters that I can’t wait to introduce you to.

Perl & Esau – Yelena’s parents and they’re actually really lovely. They’re intelligent people and have come up with some excellent to make life in the treetops of the jungle awesome. I loved all their parts in the story and Perl may have just become one of my favourite characters in the series.

Leif – Yelena’s only sibling and he spends the majority of this book being a bit of a pain (I think it may be the job of older brothers everywhere). However, he has had to spend 14 years trying to outdo Yelena’s ghost so I can see why he feels like he does. I did enjoy seeing his heart open up to his sister throughout the book though, it was nice to see a man showing his emotions.

Irys – She was actually in Poison Study but she has a more prominent role in this story as she becomes Yelena’s teacher. I wasn’t a huge fan of her as she expected Yelena to be something that she isn’t. Some of her actions could have led to complete disaster and she’s lucky that they didn’t.

Overall this is a good book that helped to pass the time when I wasn’t well enough to do anything but read. Although I did prefer the first book this still managed to carry me away to another world. I do wish that it hadn't been as predictable as it was but I figure I may just be excellent at working out plot lines (If I don't talk myself up who will?). Either way, I'm not gonna let it get me down.

My Rating

3 stars - It's good and that's the problem. Book one was excellent and I adored it. I feel slightly let down by that. I do recommend this if you've read Poison Study and enjoyed it but don't expect it to be the same level of awesomeness.


Follow Friday Number Something (lost count)







Follow Friday is just awesomeness. It's hosted by the lovely Parajunkee & Alison Can Read

Now this week is very special because it's the week before Christmas (Yes! Finally! I can have my Kindle! *happy dances*) but more importantly I'm one of this week's featured blogs!!! So before I actually answer the question I want to thank Rachel and Alison for the opportunity. :)

Now this week's question is:

Q: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

Good question. Errr... I think there are a lot of books that I'd like to live in but if I had to spend forever in a book series I'm gonna be really obvious and choose Harry Potter. I like to think that I'd be a really powerful and cool wizard and that Harry would have to admit I am the greatest. (I won't lie. I'm making this up as I go along.)

Failing that, I think I'd live in the Fallen series by Lauren Kate... I could use those shadow thingies (It's been a while. I can't remember what they're called.) to jump into other books. (Technically, that's probably cheating isn't it?)

Fine! (I will get a book that I can happily stay in forever.) I will live in Alice In Wonderland! I will live there because it's a crazy world that would keep me occupied.

Okay, so choosing a book didn't take long at all... Oh, who am I kidding? It took forever!!!

So I'm a tad exciteable (sorry!) and I think it's probably a good idea to stop now. So I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas. I hope you all get tons of bookish presents and if you just leave me your blog link I'll hop around and follow you all.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

*** Review*** Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder


On the Back of the Book

Choose:
A quick death
Or slow poison...

Yelena has a choice – be executed for murder, or become food taster to the Commander of Ixia. She leaps at the chance for survival, but her relief may be short-lived.

Life in the palace is full of hazards and secrets. Wily and smart, Yelena must learn to identify poisons before they kill her, recognise whom she can trust and how to spy on those she can’t. And who is the mysterious Southern sorceress who can reach into her head?

When Yelena realises she has extraordinary powers of her own, she faces a whole new problem, for using magic in Ixia is punishable by death...

Pre Read Thoughts

I’ve been interested in this series for a long time so when I saw the whole trilogy available as part of the 3 for £5 offer at The Works, I snapped them up.  I mean it’s a whole series, brand new, for a fiver! Okay, now I’ve got all over excited about the price tag I should probably move on to other stuff. I absolutely adore the font on the cover. I think I want to own it. The rest of the cover isn’t too shabby either; I love the castle and the poisons. I’m not too sure about the girl though, she looks a bit Photoshopped. On top of that, she doesn’t really remind me of Yelena. The synopsis excites me though, it doesn’t sound like other books I read.

Post Read Thoughts

I really liked the book and feel that it’s a good opening to the trilogy. The time just flew away as I read and I finished the book in a matter of hours. I guess this is me trying to say that the author captured my attention and refused to let me go. I wasn’t quite sure of the consistency of the technology in Ixia. Some of the stuff didn’t match up with other stuff but I’m going to put that down to Ixia having developed technology in a different order to Earth. I also thought the story was incredibly obvious in places but in others I was surprised so it may just have been that I related with certain events and understood how they tended to end.

Yelena – She’s the main character in the book and as leading ladies go, she’s pretty darn good. I found I could really relate to her and could understand her actions in the past that had brought her to her present situation. I also liked how she didn’t take things lying down. The strength she showed to fight back is incredible and I admired that about her.

Valek – He’s the guy who gives Yelena a second chance at life. He’s another truly likeable character, even though he shouldn’t be. I can see what Yelena sees in him, and I quite like it myself. He’s the kind of guy that most YA authors try to create but fail miserably. He’s amazing, caring and protective yet doesn’t smother Yelena and ask her to love him after a bout half a paragraph. I cannot wait to see what happens between them in Magic Study.

Ari & Janco – I refuse to write about one without the other. They’re a pair and they wouldn’t be right on their own. I adore them; they’re loyal and full of courage. They’re also filled with hidden depths that they keep hidden from most people. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of them, they’d annihilate me.

Overall, I really did love this book. I found it to be enjoyable and entertaining. The strength of Yelena and the sense of danger throughout the book are enough to make me want to jump into book two and see what’s next for her and Valek. I think this is a well written book that, if I didn’t  have so many other books to read, I’d want to read again and again.

My Rating

4 stars – I thoroughly recommend this to lovers of YA fantasy. The only things that stopped me from giving this five stars are the fact that I found some of the plot to be predictable and the inconsistencies of the language and technology in Ixia. Other than that, this is definitely worth a read.


Monday, 19 December 2011

*** Review*** Ravaged: A Werewolf’s Tale (Werewolves #2) by David Wellington


On the Back of the Book

The days grow colder. The nights grow longer. And every time the moon rises, the wolf inside her grows a little stronger.

Cheyenne Clark – a woman whose hatred for werewolves has turned her into the very beast she most despises – prowls the Arctic Circle on the trail of an ancient secret, hunting for the one thing that could remove the lycanthropic curse and make her human again.

Yet standing between Chey and her goal are a werewolf hunter armed with a diabolically brilliant weapon, and a centuries-old werewolf with her own mysterious agenda... and Chey’s own complicated feelings for the man who doomed her to this existence, but on whom her life now depends.

Worse, with every hour that passes, the wolf inside Chey becomes more powerful. It won’t be long before the woman disappears completely, and only the beast is left.

Pre Read Thoughts

An impulse buy because of the 3 for £5 offer at my local branch of The Works. I really enjoyed book one, Cursed, and wanted to know how Chey’s story ended.  So I picked this up to read next. Well that and because I have this need to read as much of a series one after the other as possible. The cover is clean and striking. The black cover contrasts nicely with the wolf’s fur and the red eye just stands out. If I were to ask my mum what she thinks of the cover she’d say ‘Oooh! It’s a bit dark!’ but I guess it’s a matter of each to their own. The synopsis is incredibly detailed and I can’t wait to open the book and get stuck in.

Post Read Thoughts

I found this book to be more consistent in how good it is but it never reached the level of awesomeness that Cursed did. I didn’t really sense the danger of the hunt. I felt that the biggest dangers to Chey were Lucie and Chey’s wolf. The writing is something that I really liked. I find Mr Wellington’s words easy to visualise and this adds the idea that the book triggers some mental movie. Mental in the sense that it’s playing in my head, not any other sort of mental, just to clarify, or dig myself in a hole. The author’s storytelling ability is incredible and I loved the back stories and also the research that he must have put into the book.

Chey – I still liked her in this book. She goes through a lot in the duration of Ravaged and if I’m honest, I probably would’ve just given in. That just proves that she’s a fighter and a survivor and you just can’t help but admire her.

Powell – he grew on me as I read this book. He makes a good alpha male and he has all the qualities I like in a leading man. He’s caring yet protective and he’d do anything for his woman. It’s an admirable trait in a guy.

Lucie – After everything that was eluded to in the first book I was expecting more from Lucie. She was painted out as some sort of manipulative psychopath and that never really happened for me. There were a couple of moments like that but nothing concrete that said ‘Hi I’m Lucie, and I’ve lost my mind.’ She wasn’t a likeable character and I didn’t really feel anything for her.

Varkanin – He’s the guy in this book that’s trying to kill Chey and Powell but the one he really wants is Lucie. His vendetta is explained in the book and as bad guys go, I liked him. He’s very distinctive (how can you not be with blue skin?) and very focussed on what he feels he had to do. I did point out that he was blue didn’t I? He’s also Russian. It was different, you don’t really come across blue Russians (why ever not is my question).

Sharon – She’s a character that I would’ve loved to know more about. Her wariness of Chey was 100% understandable and if I was her I would’ve been the same. Her strength was something that I admired and I loved the way that she was her own woman and made her own decisions.

Overall I enjoyed this slightly less than its predecessor but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. The thought that must’ve gone into this book and the amount of research astounds me. It feels planned to me and it’s been executed well. If you read and enjoyed book one then you should definitely read this one. It closes Chey’s story in a satisfactory way. In fact, I’d say that this is one of the best werewolf novels I’ve read. Ever.

My Rating

4 Stars – I’d definitely recommend this to adults who are fans of shifter stories. T’s so much better than the YA equivalents and it manages to slot nicely into the adult market for this genre. It’s a genuinely good book and I want you all to read it.

A Final Note

As I keep pointing out this is an adult book and not suitable for immature teens. It does contain swearing, a bit of sex and a lot of violence. Not for the faint hearted. 


Saturday, 17 December 2011

*** Review*** Cursed: A Werewolf’s Tale (Werewolves #1) by David Wellington


On the Back of the Book

There’s one sound a woman doesn’t want to hear when she’s lost and alone in the Arctic wilderness.

For Cheyenne Clark, there’s a bad moon on the rise. When a strange wolf slashes her ankle to the bone, her old life ends and she becomes the very monster that has haunted her nightmares for years. Worse, the only one who can understand what Chey has become is the man – and wolf – who’s doomed her to this fate. He also wants her dead.

Yet as the line between human and beast blurs, so too does the distinction between hunter and hunted... for Chey is more than just the victim she appears to be. But once she’s within killing range, she may find that – even for a werewolf – it’s not always easier to go for the jugular.

Pre Read Thoughts

Aaah, The Works, without you my TBR pile would be significantly smaller. Darn you and your 3 for £5 offer on books! Mind you, it takes more than a price tag to make me stop and pick up a book. In the case of this one I think it might be something to do with the cover. I personally think that the wolf’s muzzle really stands out against the black of the background and really draws potential buyers in. The synopsis makes me want to read the book. It sounds like the story offers an alternative to the werewolf books I tend to read and that can only be a good thing.

Post Read Thoughts

This is a book of two parts for me. I really struggled to get into the story, despite being thrown in at the deep end. Once the book had settled and I got accustomed to the author’s writing style I got into the book and found it to be a quick read. The ending was incredible and I couldn’t put the book down, in fact, I didn’t realise I was reaching the end until I ran out of pages to turn.  I also loved how the author chose to let the reader discover Chey’s back story. So many authors would’ve started with what Mr Wellington put in the middle of this.

The journey Chey went on is incredible and I really enjoyed learning about her and could really feel for her as she tried to adjust to the changes that had been forced upon her by Powell. Speaking of, Powell is a character that I like and don’t like. He’d do something really nice that endeared him to me and then I’d find something else about him or he’d do something nasty and I’d be back where I started with him. Bobby was a complete prat and a fool and I disliked him intensely from the moment he appeared on the page. Dzo is a character that freaks me out more than a bit. I didn’t really get to find anything out about him and that’s what I wanted to do more than anything.

Overall I liked this book, really I did. The characters were interesting even if they weren’t always likeable. I found the writing easy to read and enjoyable (for the most part). I loved the thought that went into the character’s back stories and there were some things about werewolves in this that I hadn’t seen explored before. I’d recommend this to people who like werewolves and I personally thought that it was much better than the YA equivalents that I’ve read.

My Rating

4 stars – A great read that really fired up my imagination. I definitely want to read the other book in the series and other books by the author and recommend him to others who are fans of the genre.

A Final Note
This is an adult book and as a result of that there is swearing. There’s also some heavy violence so this book so it’s definitely not for the faint hearted. 


Sunday, 11 December 2011

*** Review*** Survivors by Terry Nation


On the Back of the Book

Flight 301 from Paris to London disembarks seven minutes late after a passenger is taken ill on board. Within weeks, the killer disease he was carrying has wiped out almost all of the world’s population. As power, water and food supplies fail, cities become open graves and nature lays waste to civilisation.

The survivors must start again in a post apocalyptic world: Abby moves through this new, dark age searching for her son; Jenny wanders aimlessly through the countryside after fleeing London: she encounters Greg, a resourceful engineer, and together they form a community.

But with no law and no order, they face terrible dangers – not just the trials of day-to-day life but also the deadly threat from other survivors...


Pre Read Thoughts

This is a book that I’ve tried to read a couple of times before and never got very far with. I’m not quite sure why that is but I thought I’d give it another go as it’s nearing Christmas and I need to get my TBR pile down to make way for my new books. I bought the book after I saw the TV show and liked it enough to get the book. I couldn’t find this in my town but a bus trip to Llandudno and I found it in the WHSmith that’s there. I paid £6.99 for it but I’m sure you could find it cheaper online. The cover is just some characters from the show and therefore doesn’t really tell you much about the actual story. I actually like the synopsis as it gives you an insight into possible events and I can’t wait to settle down and read the book.


Post Read Thoughts

In the end Survivors turned out to be an interesting read with some thoroughly fascinating ideas of what could become of the human race if we were struck down by a pandemic.  The book had a nice, steady pace to it that showed all the struggles of living in a world where none of the things we take for granted are available. The ending shocked me. I know that a happy ending wasn’t possible but the brutality of it struck me. The book was riddled with spelling errors and this really annoyed me because aside from that the writing itself was decent. Didn’t editors exist when this book was first published?

The characters are quite an assortment and the diversity of them just proves what an interesting predicament the virus left the world in. My favourite character was Abby Grant. I love how she knew what she wanted to do and how that made other survivors look up to her. If I’d been in that situation I definitely would’ve needed an Abby. My least favourite character was Tom Price. He was lazy and didn’t really help the group that much. His constant chatter and stories also really wore me down and I wanted to give him a good slap. There were other members of the group that were allowed to grow as characters a bit but I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who want to read this.

Overall I liked this. It was really different from the TV show so it offered an alternative insight into what life could be like without tainting my love of either representation. The ending of the book wasn’t to my taste and the fact that the spelling was a bit dodgy are the only things that dampened my enjoyment a bit. I’m not sure if I’d read this again but it’s certainly got me thinking.


My Rating

3 stars – I thought it was good – and you know how I feel about a book being good. I want more than that from a book. I’d recommend this to people who like dystopians but want something different to what the public seem to be lapping up right now.


A Final Note

 This book contains sexual references, tons of violence due to the nature of the situation and swearing. I wouldn’t give this to a younger teen 
especially an immature one as they might not like some of the content.




 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

***Series Review*** Luxe by Anna Godbersen


Pros
  • Beautiful covers
  • Set in an interesting time period
  • Not thought provoking (so if you just want to escape this is your book)
  • Well thought out synopsises
  • Great for mental imagery


Cons
  • Not very engaging
  • Characters aren’t likeable
  • There isn’t much depth
  • The endings are maddening
  • The stories can get a bit farfetched



Best Book: The Luxe

Worst Book: Envy

Overall Rating

2 stars – not a series I enjoyed as an adult but I think that teens will thoroughly enjoy the stories and the romance of it. I can say that because as a teen I actually devoured the first three books and would’ve the last if I hadn’t got ill. It’s not a series of books that I’d recommend to anyone, I think it would be a tad hypocritical of me considering that I didn’t like them. I think we’ve all gathered that from my reviews though. 


***Review*** Splendor Luxe #4) by Anna Godbersen


On the Back of the Book

New beginnings.
Shocking revelations.
Unexpected endings.

As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father’s death comes to light, the Holland girl’s wonder at what cost a life of splendour comes.

Carolina Broad, society’s newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty – but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover thar his father’s rule extends well beyond New York’s shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York’s most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city’s oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

Pre Read Thoughts

I remember when I first read ‘The Luxe’, ‘Rumours’ and ‘Envy’ I couldn’t wait to the series finale so I got the US version. Just as it arrived though I became ill and didn’t read it – until now. I bought this off Amazon and I think I paid around $12 for it though the US RRP for the hardback is $17.99. Now the book says that it’s a first edition so I’m happy with that. After re-reading the other three books in the series I’m suddenly not so sure if I’ll like this book. So you see me approaching it with a small amount of hesitation. I hope that because this is my first time reading it though that I’ll get some enjoyment out of this. I prefer this US cover as the UK has some embellishments on it that distract from the dress. The synopsis is quite detailed and I like that. Now I just need to pick up the actual book. Wish me luck! 

Post Read Thoughts

I’m glad to finish the series if I’m honest, but only because it means I won’t have to force myself through any more of these. The stories just seemed too farfetched and straight off an over dramatic TV show. Gossip Girl springs to mind, but then again it always has when I read these books. I kept picking this up, reading a few pages and then putting it back down again. Nothing drew me into the book and that disappointed me. I also hated the how it ended. I wanted more than that and I feel Lina, Diana and Henry were all short changed. They deserved more than Ms Godbersen gave them. I got the feeling that the author only cared about Elizabeth’s ending and this was a huge disappointment. The writing was okay but once again I definitely would have had it edited more, all the action seems to take place in the final 60 pages and that’s not acceptable for me.

Diana has an epiphany in this one and I was just like “hallelujah! Finally woman!” I’ve detested her behaviour in the previous two books; I didn’t want her to be one of those girls who waste their life mooning over something they can’t have. Her secret lover, Henry grows up in this one. It was nice to see him finally take some responsibility for his actions; he even grew a pair when it came to his wife. Penelope has her downfall and it’s long overdue. I was happy with the way things turned out for her and she’s the only character that I can say that about. In contrast I hated how things turned out for Lina, I thought that she deserved Leland as well as the big house and the money. She deserved the fairytale. This is a book, the endings are meant to be perfect. I mean if anyone in the world was going to understand why Lina acted the way she did it was Leland. Although I have to say that I’m glad that she stopped denying Claire’s existence. What kind of person denies they have a sibling? This brings me to dear, sweet, dull as dishwater Elizabeth. She’s so perfect and this annoys me. I detested how she got the fairytale that the author was incapable of giving to anyone else. In keeping with the author’s bittersweet theme Elizabeth should have had something bad happen to her. A bit of tragedy might make her a bit more entertaining.

Overall I found this to be average, just like the rest of the series. The only thing I can form a strong opinion about are the endings and I want more than that from a book. I’ve invested time and money in them and I want to be able to enjoy them. Not much in this book stands out for me. I think that girls who like books similar to Gossip Girl will like this but if you want some depth in your stories then this isn’t for you.

My Rating
2 stars – it’s not so horrifically bad that I’d rather hurt something than read this but I’d hardly say that it entertained me. This evidently isn’t my kind of book and I accept that. I personally wouldn’t recommend it to you but there might be someone out there who would.



Tuesday, 6 December 2011

*** Review*** From Notting Hill With Love... Actually by Ali McNamara


On the Back of the Book

Scarlett loves movies.
But does she love sensible fiancé David just as much?
With a big white wedding on the horizon,
Scarlett really should have decided by now...

When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill – the setting of one of her favourite movies – Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too.

Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

Pre Read Thoughts

I picked this up in The Works as part of a 3 for £5 deal. I’m not sure what attracted me to this book as it’s not a genre I normally read. It may have been the title but it’s more likely to have been the shiny snowflakes on the cover. What can I say? I’m like a magpie when it comes to shiny things.  Once I’d picked up the book the synopsis really caught my attention. I decided to buy it and take it home for when I was having a bad day. Well the bad day has arrived and the book has been picked up.  I hope it puts a smile on my face.

Post Read Thoughts

***This may contain spoilers. Sorry, I just want to get my point across.***

I really, really liked this book. It had me smiling and laughing out loud as I read about Scarlett’s adventures in Notting Hill and a few other places but to find out where you’ll just have to read the book. The only thing that I wasn’t a fan of was the film references. I think this is because they got repetitive. Scarlett’s meant to be a film buff but so few films were used in the book. However we all have something we obsess over (well I know I do) so I forgave Scarlett quickly. The writing was pretty darn good and drew me into the story speedily. I read the book in less than a day and considering it’s 428 pages that’s not bad at all.

Aside from her obsession with about three films, I liked Scarlett. A lot. She was sweet and funny and I love how she grew as a character throughout the book. I can get why she had issues choosing between David and Sean as they are complete opposites but for me, as the reader, there wasn’t any competition. Sean seemed to care more about Scarlett and more willing to accept her as she was. David wanted her to change and be someone that she wasn’t and that’s not acceptable. I also liked how Sean helped to track down Scarlett’s long lost mum when all David could say was leave it. I wanted David to prove that he deserved Scarlett and he never did. I just quickly want to say that I loved the quirky side characters. Maddie was hilarious, Ursula was pretty awesome but my favourite was definitely Oscar. What a guy! The outfits really had my brain working overtime.

Overall this is a very enjoyable book that makes you feel good. There are some hilarious moments and my personal favourite happens at Disneyland Paris. I’m saying nothing else about it aside from it had me in stitches. The ending is so funny and heart meltingly romantic at the same time. Actually I think that funny and heart meltingly romantic sum up this book nicely. I definitely recommend this to fans of chick-lit or even just for women who want to read something different. I don’t think it would do a guy’s street cred any good to be seen with it though, so if you’re a dude and you want to read this, I have one word for you: Kindle.

My Rating

4 stars – it doesn’t matter how much I loved this I never considered five stars, this isn’t an insult to the book, it’s very high on the scale of four. I think the reason I can only give this four is because a few of the movie references went over my head. Other than that this book is almost perfect. In fact it’s good enough to make me want to go pick up Breakfast At Darcy’s... except I’m not allowed to buy any more books until I have my Kindle (Hurry up Christmas)!

A Final Note

There was one swear word that I can remember and also this is an adult book. Saying that, I’ve read worse in YA so I don’t see why a teen shouldn’t read it.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...