Dragon’s Oath by P.C. and Kristin Cast Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A worthwhile addition to the House of Night series: fun, romantic and ultimately satisfying.Dragon's Oath by P.C. and Kristen Cast

One of my biggest bookish New Years resolutions for 2014 was to tie up loose ends and try to finish off some of the series I had begun a million years ago. I think of all the series I have ever started, the House of Night books by P.C. and Kristin Cast are the ones I’ve had ongoing the longest. I came across the books during the height of my teenage vampire obsession (post Twilight but pre over saturated market) and was quite obsessed with them for a while. Since, I have developed a somewhat love hate relationship with them (which you can read more about here) but I’m still determined to complete the series. I’ve invested too much time to stop without seeing how it all ends! Because it had been so long (3 years, JEEPERS) since I’d read any of the books and my brain was rusty, I decided to pick up one of the House of Night novellas, which aren’t technically key to the story, in the hopes that it would jog my memory. So it was with much trepidation that I began reading Dragon’s Oath!

Please Note: For those who haven’t read up to book 6 (Tempted) in the House of Night series, this review will contain spoilers about the characters Dragon and Anastasia. This review will not however, contain any spoilers from Dragon’s Oath. Continue reading

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Review 4/5

Overall Impression: Grin inducing material you won’t be able to put down!Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It wouldn’t be summer without at least one Sarah Dessen book. There’s something about the heat, the wave of positivity and the potential for change that comes with the summer season that has me grabbing for her feel good coming of age stories and hugging them close to my chest. For me, Dessen remains the queen of contemporary YA novels. She has the perfect balance of cheese, honesty, romance and realism that always gives me a book hangover. This woman is a wizard with words! Along for the Ride, like all her other novels, was a brilliant read with some wonderful characters.

Auden has always felt like the odd one out.
Since her parents’ divorce she’s shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene.
But now Auden’s realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything. Moving to her dad’s house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights – and simply having fun.
As she gets to know herself – and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes – can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?

Auden has always been the sensible one, her parents divorce and their views on academia have made her mature before her time. With months of summer spanning out before her, Auden settles into a routine of prepping for college during the day and hanging out in her favourite coffee place by night, nursing her insomnia. But when Auden receives  Continue reading

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

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick Review 1/5

Overall Impression: 464 pages of wasted time!

(To read my review of the previous book from the Hush Hush series, Silence click here.)Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

It’s safe to say my relationship with this series has not been smooth sailing. Hush Hush had me simultaneously ripping by hair out at the central abusive romantic relationship while secretly crushing on the smoldering love interest. Crescendo made me furious at the inconsistencies in the storyline but admiring the author’s flair for setting a dark, eerie mood. Silence gave me a level of respite with some fun romance and brilliant dialogue but I was frustrated by the lack of progress in the storyline. As for Finale? Oh boy. I teetered close to the edge with this one. I was hoping for some decent action since this was the last book in the series but what I got couldn’t have been further from it.This book is a culprit of the worst crime against fiction: It was boring.

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Hush Hush series this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those novels. This review will not however contains any spoilers for Finale. Continue reading

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Review 3/5

Overall Impression: Intelligent writing with poor execution which sacrificed the integrity of the characters.

The Fault In Our Stars, adored by readers everywThe Fault in Our Stars by John Greenhere. I have been aware of this books presence on the internet for what feels like an eternity. I avoided picking it up for a long time because hello, epitome of the hype monster! Also, one of my best friends may or may not have threatened to de-friend me if I disliked it. She takes the life of a nerdfighter very seriously. With the release of the film adaptation right around the corner I finally gathered the courage to open the first page and begin to read.
But after closing the last page, I found myself a little baffled. It seems once again I am out of step with the rest of the bookish community because when it comes to this novel I keep hitting up against an imaginary brick wall of okay. Not heartbreaking or adorable, okay. Ironic, considering the front cover and the importance of the word to the two leading protagonists.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Hazel is a terminally ill teenager with cancer who needs a cannula and an oxygen tank to stay alive. When Hazel’s mother decides her daughter is depressed she sends her to a Cancer Kid Support Group in the hopes that it will help. Support Group is Hazel’s idea of hell, but when a witty, attractive boy in remission named Augustus turns up suddenly everything becomes a bit more interesting. Augustus has a truck full of charm and the best part is, he’s interested in her. But Hazel is worried about her grenade like status and is determined to hurt the least amount of people around her with the remnants of shrapnel.
Continue reading

Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A lighthearted YA read with an intriguing mystery.

(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandleran Angel series, Evercrossed, click here.)

The Kissed by an Angel series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and I don’t have many. I am less patient when it comes to the paranormal-romance genre these days and far more scathing, but this series even three years after I first started it still manages to tug at my heart-strings.
Everlasting is definitely one of those books where people look at the cover and frown thinking ‘Really?’
Yes members of the public, really.
Something about this author keeps me coming back for more. Everlasting is the fifth and penultimate novel in the Kissed by an Angel series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Kissed by an Angel series, this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any spoilers for Everlasting.

For Ivy, miracle’s are real. After all, it was a miracle this summer when she survived a near fatal car crash. And it was a miracle that Tristan, her boyfriend who died a year ago, returned to earth as an angel. But Ivy knows better than anyone that miracles come at a price. Even though Tristan has come back to Ivy, life is far from perfect. He’s a fallen angel – and he’s trapped in the body of a wanted murderer. With Tristan on the run from the police, Ivy’s not sure she’ll ever get her happy ending.
And when it becomes clear that darker forces are at work, it seems there’s more at stake than either Tristan or Ivy realise. Will they ever be safe together? Or has Ivy finally run out of miracles?

I love Chandler’s writing style, she is remarkably natural with her storytelling. Even though it had been a year  Continue reading

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review 4/5

Overall Impression: An unremarkable tale about an unremarkable girl, and therein lies the beauty of this book.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

When I first came across this novel I knew I had to have it. Beautiful front cover? Check. A nerdy bookish protagonist who is overenthusiastic about her fictional characters? Check. An anxious introvert girl struggling with adapting to life at university? Check, check and check! Not to mention quirkiness abound. There was no way I wasn’t going to love this novel and I am so happy that it didn’t disappoint. This was my first time reading a Rainbow Rowell book and you can bet I will be searching out more in the future. This author is so damn adorable!
Also, this review is going to be a long one because I have a lot to say! You may want to grab a cup of tea. 😉

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, so the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…But for Cath, being a fan is her life – and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from the fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate 
with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she ever want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Continue reading

Back to School Books of the Fiction Variety! (Aka, Reading my Feelings).

SDC14923edited

Do you have one thing you always go out and buy when you’re feeling a little down, a bit meh, or slightly avoidey? Some people like to ‘eat their feelings’, others get a kick out of retail therapy. Me? I buy books. Lots and lots of books.
Pretty much any high or low in my life is dealt with by getting my hands on a shiny new novel. Feeling sad because you didn’t get that grade you wanted? Buy a book! Need a break from real life? A book will do just the trick! Super psyched you passed that tough assignment? Well done you clever clogs you worked so hard, you know what you deserve? Yepp you guessed it, a book.
Over the last month one thing has occupied my thoughts, the imminent return to university accompanied by a pang of back to real life anxiety and the imminent doom of my social life (Hello unrelenting assignments. Why did I choose a science degree again?). So, naturally I compensated by investing in some spellbinding stories. 🙂 So without further ado, let me present you with reading my feelings! Or er…buying them. 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

The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullman Review 3/5

Overall Impression: An odd little book about adolescence and first loves with a few gangsters thrown in.

Well, this book was an experience, I can definitely say The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullmanthat. It had such an odd jumble of ideas within it that somehow didn’t quite work in cohesion with each other. I was a huge fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, but it hadn’t occurred to me that he may have written other books until I stumbled across The Butterfly Tattoo (also known as The White Mercedes) in a charity shop. I took a punt considering it was cheap and only 200 odd pages, but I must admit I was doubtful. The bizarre cover made me cautious and I figured that if the book was any good I probably would have heard of it since Pullman’s booming success.
All in all this novel turned out to be about what I expecting, a curious mish mosh of a tale with the occasional insightful paragraph. My memory is a little rusty as I finished this book in November, but I will do my best to review it!

Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June…
He loved her the moment he first set eyes on her – beautiful, secretive Jenny who rushed headlong into life. Fate brought her to him, and fate would mercilessly come between them to drive their innocent love affair down a dark road of danger and betrayal. And make Chris discover that truth and trust are not the simple ideals he once believed…

Chris Marshall is a innocent seventeen year old in a state of transition, after the recent meltdown of his parents marriage and having to suffer their new significant others all he wants is some time to himself.  Continue reading

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A disorganized mess which against all odds was the most entertaining installment of the series so far.Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

(To read my review of the previous book from the Hush Hush series, Crescendo click here.)

Well, these books are nothing if not consistent. Ohh how I wish I could write a raving review of how tremendous this third installment of Fitzpatrick’s world was, how it captivated me and tugged at my heart strings…but twas not to be. While I liked that a few of my favourite elements from Hush Hush came back into play, I mostly enjoyed this book for all the wrong reasons, the hilarity and insanity of it all. You know when something is so bad that you can’t look away? Yeah, that. My high hopes for this series have officially fallen in a cascade of black and red feathers.

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books, skip the blurb and first paragraph as it contains spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. This review will not however contains any spoilers for Silence. Continue reading

DAY 29: A Book you Hated.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

Awwwh man I feel mean writing this post. It’s one thing to write a sarcastic ranty review of a book I had a lot of problems with because it’s kind of relevant and in context, but to spotlight a book specifically to be negative about it seems a bit unnecessary. Especially with the word ‘hate’ – so harsh! I never say I hate anything, strongly dislike sure, but not hate. Unfortunately though, I do recollect one book that fits perfectly into this category, normally I can always find at least one redeeming quality in a novel, but with this one I was lost for words… Continue reading

DAY 27: A Book That has Been on Your “To Read” List the Longest.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

I am sad to say that there are some books I have had on my shelf for the longest time and completely neglected. I have mentioned before now that I am almost unable to bypass a good book deal, and my literature related whims can be impossible to control. It’s the one area of my life I allow myself to splurge on, everyone needs an outlet and reading is mine! But the problem with books is you have to invest the time, something which can be tough to do in 2013, a world of endless information, social networking, TV channels and music. Not to mention all our responsibilities, from family and friends to education and work.
Possibly my worst bookworm trait is that I get distracted by my current book purchases and so some of my older ones occasionally slip through the cracks and get left on my shelf to collect dust for years! So, allow me to direct you to the realm of my forgotten books. 🙂 Continue reading

DAY 26: A Book That Makes You Laugh Out Loud.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

I don’t tend to seek out humorous books, I’m more of a dragons, demons and vampires kinda gal, so my laugh out loud moments normally come from unexpected places. I had to think about this question for a bit to come up with my answers, but when I did it was a light bulb moment of epic proportions! How could I have almost forgotten these two wonderful series?!  Continue reading