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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, 28 February 2013

*** Review*** Flood & Fire by Emily Diamand

On the Back of the Book

Flooded England, 2216...

Lilly Melkun has outwitted the bloodthirsty Reavers, who prowl the waters that cover most of England - and escaped to Cambridge. But Lilly is far from safe, because still in her keeping is PSAI, the last hand-held computer in existence - a now malfunctioning treasure from the past. Inside the jewellike computer, is a sinister looking chip with an unknown purpose.

Worse follows, when the professors of Cambridge plug it into an ancient mainframe computer setting in motion a fiery chain of eents leading back to London. A false, anti-terrorist alert has been activated. Strange, out-of-control robots from a long-ago technological time, threaten to use 'maximum force' to control everything in their way.

Once again, it's up to Lilly, Zeph and friends to save the world from burning

Pre Read Thoughts
Old review so I’ll just write what I put at the time.

I actually won this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads thing. I’m not gonna lie it was ages ago ad I did start it... but I kinda misplaced it. (I do that a lot don’t I?) On the bright side look it has my name in it!!! So I read other books and when I found this I put at the top of my to read list. The RRP is £6.99 but on Kindle it’s £4.98 and paperback is £5.24. As stated I got mine free but I won’t let that change my opinion of the book. I love how bright the cover is and the flames and the water really bring the title to life. The Synopsis sounds interesting and if this is anything like book 1 it’ll be a good read.

Post Read Thoughts

Whoa! Well that certainly was an action-packed ride. I have to say that I can see why I misplaced it as the book took a hundred or so pages to get going. There’s no point in me pointing out that the spelling is diabolical as it’s spelt how Lilly says it. That did irritate for a while I will admit but I managed to get past it. Once I got into the story I found it so much easier to read and I loved how it didn’t let up for one moment.

Lilly Lilly’s the main character. I like Lilly; I love how brave she is though I’d have liked to see some sadness when she thought of her Granny. She has some great ideas and has adapted well to the situations she’s been thrown into.

Lexy Alexandra is the daughter of the Primeminister of the final ten counties. She’s with Lilly because she got kidnapped in book 1and Lilly is trying to get her home. Lexy has developed into her own person and can see the flaws in the way her father runs England.

Zeph Zephaniah Untamed is the new boss of Angel Isling after the death of his father but it’s not going too well for him. After making a deal with the Reaver council he has to decide whether to sell out his Family or his friends. I couldn’t keep up with Zeph in this one and that made it hard to judge him. I do think he did the right thing in the end though.

Overall this is an action-packed ride. It packs plenty of danger, decisions and sheer awesomeness in 457 pages. If you don’t mind waiting for the story to find its feet and the fact that nearly everything is spelt slightly wrong then this is the perfect book for you! I’m glad that I won it because it’s the sort of thing I read anyway!

My Rating

4 Stars This is really good, I loved it. I recommend it to kids and adults alike because it has something for everyone and our heroes are perfectly enjoyable and not at all controversial. There’s a bit of murder but hey! It’s after the end of the world, this stuff happens sometimes!

A Final Note
I wrote this review in 2012 but what I say still stands because I remember liking the book. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

*** Review*** The Heart of the Curse by S.B. Santiago

On the Back of the Book

Florica and Amanda are friends that met at a hotel that was used for the homeless. After nearly two years of living at the hotel Amanda’s parents receive a gift from a stranger, which gives them a place to stay in the country. After they move into the small house Amanda learns that she lives next door to the boy she had a major crush on. After Amanda is visited by her crush’s best friend a ghost named Craig; she and her friend Florica decide to investigate Ryan and his current mood swings. Amanda and Florica are stunned when they find out that a member of Florica’s family has placed a circle of sorrow curse on Ryan that can lead to his death, while reaching out to others. They must travel across the continent in search of Florica’s brother with the hopes of uniting the rouge member while shaking the stink of gypsy magic.

Pre Read Thoughts
Due to this being an old book I’ll just write what I put in my review book.

This is yet another book I found for free on Kindle when I was loitering on Amazon. I picked it up because the synopsis sounded interesting, if a little wordy. The cover* is pretty dull and it’s not something I would buy but I’ll try anything once. This is 77p on Amazon, it’s only available on Kindle so if you’re a paper book lover then you’ve escaped the clutches of this book.

*The cover I can find on the internet isn’t the one I saw. The one now is pretty much a carbon copy of Michelle Zink’s ‘Temptation of Angels’ and that doesn’t make me like it any more. I really hate when books have the same cover. It’s confusing.

Post Read Thoughts

This is awful. It’s easily the worst thing I read in 2012. I had to start this review with a declaration to prepare for the onslaught of what I’ve written about this. It’s not pretty. I don’t mince my words. First of all I hated the layout of the book. There were massive gaps in between each paragraph and I wasn’t sure where to take a break. This also needs serious editing. I went from “Chapter 1” to “Chapter 3”. Where I come from there’s a number called 2 and for the life of me I just couldn’t find it and believe me I looked. At least twice. The actual story made no sense whatsoever, if you’ve read this can you please explain to me because I just don’t know. I also found the whole thing to be wooden, I would’ve just given up but I don’t quit on a book (I read the initial Mortal Instruments trilogy and you possibly saw what happened with those.). I blog to find books that I’d feel happy to get other people to read, this isn’t one of them.

Amanda bland, boring, dull. She’s so unengaging that I had a conversation with thin air every time she was mentioned. The only thing I found even remotely interesting was her connection to Craig the ghost and then the author did nothing with that. I’ll be damned if I actually pay money to find out what’s happening there.

Florica Florica is so forgettable that I couldn’t even remember her name once I’d finished. I also found her to be dull but she seemed to be important to the plot. The final part of the story where she took Amanda and Ryan across Europe seemed pretty pointless to me.

Ryan Poor, hexed Ryan. Well I say that but the hex/curse wasn’t explained well and the resolution seemed too easy. The way he felt about Florica was hopelessly obvious and I’m wondering why on Earth the girls didn’t notice. I also don’t get why he went to Europe with them, it was a bit desperate of him and no girl likes a pining puppy dog of a man.

Overall this book is horrific. There isn’t one thing I liked about it and I wish that I hadn’t downloaded it. It wasn’t worth the time and the effort it took me to read it and it most certainly wasn’t worth what I paid (which was nothing so ouch!) I don’t mean to be horrible but I vowed that I wouldn’t be one of those people who goes around giving every book 5 stars. It wouldn’t feel right and my mother would probably kill me for lying... (okay maybe not kill but she’d be mad.)

My Rating

1 Star Horrifically bad, it just didn’t feel good to read. Words cannot describe how much I detest this book. I recommend it to no one. Please don’t buy it, just scroll past like it doesn’t exist.

A Final Note
I wrote this review in 2012 after reading this book. It could have been edited (like the cover was) but I’m not reading it again to find out. This is how I felt at the time.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

*** Review*** Dead Time (The Murder Notebooks #1) by Anne Cassidy

On the Back of the Book

Rose and Joshua first met when Joshua and his dad came to live with Rose and her mum. Then their world turns upside down when their mother and father go out for dinner one evening and never return. With police inquiries going nowhere, Rose is dispatched to live with her chilly, unfriendly grandmother and Joshua is sent to live with his uncle. Then Joshua comes to London to study and Rose is witness to not one, but two murders. Why is this happening to Rose? Can it be anything to do with the investigations Joshua has been doing into the disappearance of their parents? A taut and pacy thriller that is the start of a stylish new series from an acclaimed writer for teens.

Pre Read Thoughts

I’m choosing this because:

I bought this specifically because I got book 2 for review off NetGalley (I didn’t know it was book 2 okay?) Saying that, this is definitely the kind of book that I’d pick up anyway if I’d seen it in the shop or on Amazon.  I love crime books, I steal borrow them off my mum and so a YA one is something I’d jump at. I don’t really see many of them .I used to read some of Anne Cassidy’s books from the 90s so I’m familiar with her but I can’t remember what her writing was like. I remember enjoying the books though so I’m excited to read this.

Judging a book by its cover:

The cover is quite gritty actually. I’d been looking at the font and thinking “pretty!” like I normally do and then I noticed that the picture is some train tracks. That intrigues me. Normally I pick up books with pretty girls on the cover. I do like it though; I don’t get how it ties into the book from the synopsis adding to the intrigue.  I feel that this is a cover that would definitely get my attention, purely because it’s so different to a lot of other book covers in the YA category.

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

I bought the Kindle version of the book (obviously, I’m not feeding Spencer. He’s big enough thank you very much!) which was £1.98. There’s also a paperback version for £5.24. I’m not being funny but that’s quite a big difference so if I were you I’d go ebook on this one!

Post Read Thoughts

I’m in two minds about this to be honest. It was a quick, easy read but I never really felt engaged with the story. This could be because this story felt like it was laying the foundations of the rest of the series. There are 2 stories in this one. There’s the story arc of the disappearance of Rose’s mum and Joshua’s dad and then there’s the one book story which is the action. I did enjoy the writing, it kept me reading without me having to force myself to sit there and read. I also loved the murder aspects because I got to play detective although I appear to be better at TV crimes. There was a nice twist at the end of the book and I’m hoping it leads somewhere in ‘Killing Rachel’.

Rose She’s a difficult character to analyse because of the way the book’s written but I feel she has this wall and that makes it so hard to like her. I do understand some aspects of her character though and relating to a character makes it easier to read a book. She’s developing a crush on her “stepbrother” and I don’t think that’s needed. I’d much prefer if they were just amateur sleuth types.

Joshua He’s Rose’s mum’s boyfriend’s son. Confused yet? I know, I was too. Which is probably why he’s referred to as Rose’s stepbrother. Maybe I should’ve said that. Anyway off topic. I thought he was very self centred and didn’t really care about what Rose was going through.

Skeggsie Skeggsie is weird but nice. I actually think I liked him best. I’d have liked to see more of him because he’s a bit of a geek and a hacker and he could really add to the hunt for Brendan and Kathy. You don’t really get to know much about him but I feel like he might have a soft spot for Rose.

Overall this is a good start to a four part story even though it doesn’t really sell you on it. I feel like it’ll improve as the characters get closer to their goal of finding Rose’s mum and Joshua’s dad. This book was more about setting things in motion and that makes me wonder if people will actually pay attention to ‘Killing Rachel’.

My Rating

3 Stars this is good but nowhere near excellent. An easy read that stands out in the YA category because I don’t think there are a huge amount of YA crime/thrillers. If there are they don’t sell them in my town! If you’re a fan of thrillers you might want to check this out, but I’m holding out until I’m further in the series. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

*** Review*** Cleo by Helen Brown

On the Back of the Book

For all those people who say they aren't cat people, but deep down know they are. Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year old son Sam was. So when Sam heard someone mention that her cat had just had a litter, he pleaded to go and see them Seeing Sam holding one of the tiny kittens in his hands, Helen was powerless to resist and the deal was done - to be delivered when the kitten was big enough to leave her mother. Just a week later, Sam was killed in a road accident. Not long after this, a little black kitten was delivered to the family's doorstep. Totally numbed by Sam's death, Helen had completely forgotten about the new arrival, which belonged in another universe when Sam was still alive. Helen was ready to send her back, but Sam's younger brother, Rob, identified with the kitten who'd also lost her brothers. Stroking her, it was the first time Helen had seen him smile since Sam's death. There was no choice, the kitten - dubbed Cleo - had to stay. Cleo's immense character slowly taught the family to laugh again, giving them hope of getting back to normal. She went on to become the high priestess of Helen's household - vetoing her new men, terrifying visiting dogs and playing an integral role in their lives to become both a guardian and friend.

Pre Read Thoughts

I’m choosing this because:

I saw this when I was in WHSmith and the thing that made me pick it up was the cover. More on the cover in the cover bit. I personally found the synopsis to be lacking, I think that this is a book that has a set market though and knows that it will appeal to them.

Judging a book by its cover:

The cover is what made me stand up and take notice of this. The kitten on the cover is a stunner and it made me remember when I first picked up Mischief from the pet shop (He’s now a fully fledged bundle of awesomeness). I’m a sucker for pretty animals so obviously I ended up bringing this book home.

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

I got this as part of a buy one get one half price offer. My copy displays the RRP as £6.99 but you can get it on Amazon for £5.24 in paperback and £4.99 on Kindle. Not the cheapest books I’ve ever seen on Amazon but still reasonable.

Post Read Thoughts

I did like this. I thought the stories of Cleo were amusing but for me this book wasn’t so much about the cat but about a family recovering from the devastating loss of a child. The cat just happened to be there. I know that sounds harsh of me, but it’s my honest opinion. The writing was good but I felt that it was a bit fluffy, the constant referrals to Cleo being an “Egyptian princess” got annoying . It would be like me telling you how my cat looks like he’s walked out of an advert for Felix cat food. Every five minutes. It would be repetitive and then you’d hate me. Sometimes coming up with a different way of saying something is just as good. For example, my cat is a classic example of what people presume black and white cats looks like. Job done. However I’ve gone way off the topic of this book. I will admit that I shed a tear or two at the end of this. Brownie points for making me connect with Princess Cleo.

There aren’t any characters, just people and who am I to judge them? Sure there were people that I didn’t like the sound of but they’re nothing to me. The story is meant to be about Cleo, who I adored, and she should be the only one that matters. I will say that I admired the way the family coped with the loss of Sam and managed to move on even though they never forgot him.

Overall this is an enjoyable read though it’s not incredible or life-changing it might be enough to make you sob into a tissue for a few moments. It’s amazing how an animal can help people simply because they don’t know the situation they’ve been brought into. The writing is good enough to keep people interested and they might appreciate the story telling more than I did.

My Rating

3 stars it’s good but nothing special. I recommend this to animal lovers and those that enjoy memoir type books. I think this is right up your streets.

A Final Note
This is a review I wrote in 2012 before my review book ran away. I haven’t re-read the book but I think what I had to say is worth something so it can sit with the rest of my reviews.


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