Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe Review

Scythe is a book I was instantly interested in as soon as it came out. First of all, MAJOR COVER LOVE. But secondly and more importantly, the concept of the dystopian world sounded so gripping and psychological chilling that I couldn’t resist giving this one a go! When I saw additional review copies being released prior the Thunderhead (book 2) coming out I overenthusiastically put myself forward. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy!

Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Continue reading

The Death Cure by James Dashner Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A satisfying end to an overall enjoyable trilogy with memorable characters.

The Death Cure by James DashnerThis series kind of reminds me of takeaway pizza.
What, you say? Bear with me.
You know how occasionally, just occasionally, that takeaway pizza yearning kicks in, and you kind of know that it’s not the healthiest thing for you and that there’s much better, more sophisticated food out there? But it just tastes so darn good and so you devour it with great speed, enjoying every bite, but if you eat too much of it you become bloated. So you know that even though you really enjoyed it, you wouldn’t want takeaway pizza every week? Yeah, that sums up The Maze Runner series for me. It’s not the best written story out there or the most complex so you wouldn’t want to read too much of it in one go, but it keeps you turning the pages and you really enjoy it, even if you’re not 100% sure why. The final book in the series, The Death Cure also followed the same pattern for me!

The trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.
But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
Continue reading

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Review 5/5

Overall Impression: A unique, immersive story with a smoldering romance. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season is a book I picked up cautiously. It was hyped like crazy a few years ago and I was unsure whether it would be my kind of thing. Not to mention the reviews seemed mixed! But when I found the pretty hardcover for a good deal, I caved. I was in the mood for something a little unique and different, and The Bone Season definitely seemed to fit that criteria. With the opportunity to meet the author Samantha Shannon just around the corner, I decided it was the perfect time to pick up this novel. I’m so glad I took a chance and ignored the scary, off-putting hype because this turned out to be one of the most gripping and intense books I’ve read this year!

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die. Continue reading

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A thought provoking and bittersweet end to a trilogy with interesting concepts.
Allegiant_DemiJacket_WetProofTest.indd

I put off reading this book for a long time. Partly because I didn’t want to pay the price of a hardcover, more so because after loving the fast paced, thrilling novel Divergent I was disappointed when the second novel Insurgent turned out to be so ‘blah’ and lackluster, but mostly because Allegiant got spoiled for me in a BIG WAY which made me feel all kinds of angry and sad. Especially as the spoiler was something I would have never expected or seen coming! Despite this, I finally gathered the courage to pick up the controversial final book in Roth’s dystopian Divergent trilogy and ultimately, I think it provides a satisfying, although flawed, ending.
(Also, this is a spoiler free review as long as you’ve read the previous books!)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.  Continue reading

Insurgent Film Review: A Case of Action over Substance

Insurgent Poster

The Insurgent film release really snuck up on me, with life keeping me busy and university work in full swing, I probably would have completely missed out on seeing it in the cinema if it weren’t for a good friend of mine who reminded me! In a way, I kind of liked going without having been sucked into any of the hype, it meant that I could sit back, relax and enjoy without any preconceived ideas of how good it would be or how it would compare with the novel. I’m just a tad late with this review, but better late than never, eh?! Continue reading

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 5/5

Overall Impression: A mesmerizing book of ideas and what-ifs, set in a dreary, heartless future.

Whoa, this was one amazing book.Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I had no idea what to expect from Fahrenheit 451 when I picked it up, other than that it was a novel about burning books and was generally held in lower esteem than its dystopian rival, 1984. When I spotted the novel last summer looking battered and lonely in the sci-fi section of a second hand bookshop I couldn’t help but adopt it. It had clearly been mistreated and needed a new home. The spine was torn, the pages orange with age and reeking of must, yet oddly it added to its charm. It almost seemed as if the novel had been through the same hardships that had occurred in the story, that it had come a little too close to being incinerated in its lifetime and was now a scarred casualty of war.
Yeah, I know, I have an overactive imagination right?!
This book was also read as part of The Rory Gilmore Challenge.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house?
The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

While I can easily say that Fahrenheit 451 is one of the best novels I’ve ever read, it’s also one of the weirdest and to begin with I had no idea what to make of the whole thing! From the first page you are thrust into the deep end, Continue reading

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A book with a promising start that loses itself along the way.The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

(To read my review of the previous book from The Maze Runner Trilogy, click here.)

Feeling amped up from the fast paced, thrilling dystopian read that was The Maze Runner, I bought and picked up its sequel The Scorch Trials almost immediately, desperate to solve my unanswered questions and tag along with more of Thomas’s life threatening adventures. So, did The Scorch Trials live up to my expectations? Well, no. Not really. Having said that, the first book was a tough act to follow!
I read this quite a while ago so some of the details are a bit fuzzy, but I will do my best to explain why I’m raining drizzling on this dystopian parade!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous book The Maze Runner, this review will contain spoilers about plots and characters from the first book in the blurb and first paragraph only. However, this review will not contain any spoilers for The Scorch Trials. Continue reading

The Maze Runner Film Review

Having recently read and enjoyed the fast paced dystopian adventure that was The Maze Runner, I was looking forward to the release of it’s film adaptation with impatient enthusiasm (and secretly scowling jealously at the American bloggers who were able to see it earlier than the UK). So a couple of weeks ago I snoozed through my early lectures, met my friend and we raced for the train, just managing to catch it in time to allow us to make the midday showing with an overflowing bucket of popcorn. So, did The Maze Runner live up to my expectations? Hmm….well… *puffs out cheeks with air* yes, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
Side Note: I’ve tried to write this so it will make sense to people who both have and haven’t read the book but I will, inevitably be making a few comparisons. 🙂

The Maze Runner Movie
Continue reading

The Maze Runner by James Dashner Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A thrilling, adrenaline packed adventure full of twists and turns.

For a long time I resisted the pull of The Maze The Maze Runner by James DashnerRunner. With so many other dystopian/apocalyptic novels on my shelves I figured I could afford to give this one a miss. But then the trailer came out with running and the dramatic music and the epic looking maze and I thought holy cow, that looks awesome!
I was explaining this exact thought process to my friend and debating over whether I should see the movie and skip the book, or wait until I could get the book and then painstakingly wait for the DVD when she pointed to her bookshelf commenting ‘Wellllll……’.
I looked behind her and saw The Maze Runner on her shelf. So of course, she asked me if I wanted to borrow it and I totally caved. So here we are! And I’m glad I gave in because this book was one hell of a ride.

When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. And following the arrival of a girl with a message, they must find a way out – or die.

When Thomas awakes and is welcomed into a glade consisting entirely of boys he has no memory of his life, his family or the world outside. When he tries to reach for answers all he finds is fuzzy faces and fragmented conversations, although he has the strange sensation he has been in the glade before. The boys have created a mini-society and to survive, order is vital.  Continue reading

Mini Film Reviews: Divergent, Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Hello peeps. 🙂 This blog post is wayyyyy overdue, you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to write it! Divergent, Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were all films I was insanely excited to see when they first came out. I counted down the months, weeks and then days until their release and ran into the cinema flailing my arms with the enthusiasm only a true fangirl could muster. Afterwards, I had so many thoughts that I wanted to write about but it never happened because the films were all released during semesters when I was struggling to find blogging time. However, I don’t want to let the films pass by completely without acknowledging their existence because I was SO excited to see them, yet I don’t really feel they warrant individual blogs. So instead (taking inspiration from Emma’s lovely posts) I thought I would write some mini-reviews as a way of summarising my thoughts. 🙂

Divergent Movie Poster

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The Hills are Alive…With the Sound of my Bookcase Creaking.

book haul

Hello all! It’s that book haul time again. You know, where I begin to hyperventilate and go completely bonkers at the sight of pretty inanimate objects.
I have to say, I think I’ve been doing pretty well on the book buying front lately, while I gave up on my naïve attempt at a book ban a while back (which everyone but me knew wasn’t going to work) I’ve still been trying to restrain myself when it comes to my bookish whims. After all, if I had my way I would buy the ENTIRE store, and my TBR pile is nearing 200. Although actually now I think about it, due to my latest escapades it’s probably over that now…whoops.
However, a couple of weeks ago my second year university results came though. I discovered that I had passed everything with flying colours, including my soul sucking statistics course which was the biggie because it’s the only module everyone has to pass in order to go onto to their third year, and it was my one weak spot. Safe to say, it was a big relief! So of course, I chose to treat myself by buying a tonne of books I had been lusting after.
So, onto the bookish goodness. 😀 Continue reading

Insurgent by Veronica Roth Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A book with plenty of potential held down by teenage angst and middle book syndrome.

(To read my review of the first book in the series, Insurgent by Veronica RothDivergent, click here.)

I…..well….this book was…. *balloon deflates* …disappointing. 😦 I’ve been avoiding writing this review, it seems each time I open the tab I instantly find something better to do like staring at the wall or scrolling though social networking sites. It’s even making my essay look more appealing. After reading Divergent I was so amped up for the second installment of this series. I couldn’t get Tris’s action packed story out of my head and was excited to see what obstacles she would encounter next. With such a spectacular first novel it is hardly surprising that the second installment seemed lackluster. This does not mean that Insurgent was a bad book, but I did feel that it was muddled and rough around the edges.

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous book Divergent, skip the blurb and first paragraph as they contains BIG spoilers about previous plots and characters from that book. The rest of the review is spoiler free. 🙂 Continue reading

Divergent by Veronica Roth Review 5/5

Overall Impression: 489 pages of heart pumping, fist flying endless action. This novel pulls out all the stops!DIVERGENT_B_Format_UK.indd

Can we all just take a moment to mourn the fact that I do not own the US cover of this book? It has been frustrating me for weeks, WEEKS I TELL YOU. The US version is so shiny and pretty and more appropriate for the story, and what do the UK do? Create a new naff, forgettable not to mention PINK (I hate pink) cover. It’s not even a full on I’m pink and I’m proud cover! It’s a I’m a halfway pasty pink that can’t make up its mind! Then of course the retailers had to go and make it impossible to get hold of the American version. Really publishers? REALLY?
*Steam protrudes from ears.*
Ahem.
Sorry, I had to get that out.
Readers that follow the YA book market will have been hard pressed to miss the buzz surrounding Divergent. Not only does it follow the dystopian trend but was one of the first  that surfaced to rival the popularity of The Hunger Games. I avoided reading it for a long time; as you can tell I’m late to the hype with just enough time to get excited about the upcoming movie. I felt so passionate about The Hunger Games that I dismissed Divergent. Who wants a watered down, money grabbing imitation of one of their favourite books? Yet the positive reviews kept coming, some from my favourite and most trusted blogging friends so I had to sit up and take notice. I’m glad I did, because yes, while Divergent has parallels with The Hunger Games it stands in its own right!

Sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to make a terrible choice. In a divided society where everyone must conform, Tris does not fit.
So she ventures out alone, determined to discover where she truly belongs. Shocked by her brutal new life, Tris can trust no one. And yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.
The hardest choice lies ahead.

Sheesh, anyone else think that’s naff blurb? I hate it when they try to fit in all the YA cliché’s.

Tris lives in a futuristic Chicago, a world that has learnt to function by separating individuals into five idealistic personality types. Each faction has its own role within society ensuring order. Continue reading

Day 22: Least Favourite Plot Device.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

Hey guys, today we’re going to be talking about…….LOVE TRIANGLES. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Today’s topic is your ‘least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise’ but I shortened the title because hey, WORDY.

So we all know that love triangles are a painfully consistent trend in YA at the moment, and and it doesn’t seem like it will be changing any time soon. I feel that there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, love triangles are Continue reading

DAY 14: A Book That Made You Cry.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

You know how there’s always that one friend at the movie night or the TV marathon who cries their eyes out?
And you know how they sob even more when there is anything cute and fluffy involved?
Yepp, that’s me!
I think my genes gave me my fair share of empathy, plus a whole lot more. I’m scarily attuned to other people’s emotions and often feel them as if they are my own. Whenever I see someone start to tear up I feel my eyes welling too, as if I’m the one who is upset not them! It can be quite inconvenient actually. Perhaps it is one of the reasons I enjoy books so much because I take on the characters emotions which makes it all feel real, who knows. 🙂
It is safe to say that I have cried on the behalf of many fictional characters over the years, but these novels are my top two! Continue reading