Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Annual End of Year Book Survey!

So, I know it's not the end of the year yet, but let's be honest, I'm probably not going to be reading that many more books this year! I've been in a bit of a slump recently but I want to get back to blogging before the year is out so I thought I'd post something fun instead of just another review... So, here's my End of Year Book Survey for 2012! Hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner.


The Diviners (The Diviners #1)1. Best book you read in 2012?
I'll be doing a top book of 2012 soon, but I think my top number one is The Diviners by Libba Bray :D

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more than you did?
Hmm... I'm not sure. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, probably! I wanted to absolutely love it like everyone told me I would, and while I did really enjoy it, it wasn't anything special... Maybe because I had expectations that were far too high? I don't know. The film, on the other hand, was excellent!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012?
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo. It's fantasy, and I'm really not a fantasy person. But I got drawn in by the gorgeous (US) cover (Shadow and Bone) and thought I'd give it a go, and I ended up absolutely loving it! Awesome.

The Fault in Our Stars4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, probably. Not sure how many people actually read it because I told them to, but I have told a lot of people that they ought to, and that still counts! Right? ;P

5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
I'm going to cheat a little for this one... But I'm picking the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins, because I reread the first one this year and then read the other two for the first time this year, and I absolutely adored all three of them! They're brilliant, and there's going to be a spin-off series! :D

6. Favourite new authors discovered in 2012?
Jillian Larkin (Vixen), Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila, Fated), Morgan Matson (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer). To name but a few.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre?
The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo because I thought I hated fantasy! But I loved this :D

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2012?
The Diviners by Libba Bray... I read it in three days despite it being 600 pages and having school on two of those days. OH MY GOSH IT'S INCREDIBLE.

9. Book you read in 2012 that you are most likely to reread in 2013?
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It's the perfect Christmas book, so I might have to make it a yearly thing or something :P

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl  Hollow Pike

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2012?
There have been some really gorgeous covers of books I've read this year, such as The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Hollow Pike, Debutantes, but my favourite is probably Me and Earl and the Dying Girl... It's just brilliant! It's definitely what drew me in to the book and I actually really enjoyed it :D

11. Most memorable character in 2012?
Ooh, I don't know :S Um. Augustus and Hazel from The Fault in our Stars, maybe. Their story is just incredible. Also, Julie and Maddie from Code Name Verity were really awesome too!

Code Name Verity12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
Oh no. This question is hard. Code Name Verity because it is just so clever. I absolutely loved it - the way they couldn't reveal anything and then it was all revealed in the end (it's a war book, hence the secrecy) and oh it was just brilliant! Does that count as beautifully written?

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012?
The Fault in our Stars by John Green and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson both had me crying like a baby. And then Insurgent by Veronica Roth was so shocking and confusing and I'm now just like, GIVE ME THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW. And lastly, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan just makes me go all mushy inside :')

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read?
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. It's perfect. I loved every single thing about it, and it came out two whole years ago so why did I wait so long?!

15. Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2012?
I don't really collect quotes, to be honest... I read them and I think, ooh, that's nice, but then I forget them :/ So I don't really know!

16. Shortest and longest book you read?
Longest was The Diviners by Libba Bray with 592 pages and the shortest was Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic with 200 pages.

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)17. Book that had a scene that you had to talk about with someone?
Zom-B by Darren Shan! I had to talk to people to make sure I'd understood the book properly and hadn't missed something blindingly obvious, because of the enormous twist that I have to keep extremely secret for all who haven't yet read it :P I say no more, my lips are sealed.

18. Favourite relationship from a book you read in 2012?
Ooh, Evie and Sam from The Diviners! They weren't together or anything but the banter between them was so real and I could really imagine him being his really annoying self and Evie trying to put up with it with her quick quips and comebacks... Loved them :P

19. Favourite book you read in 2012 from an author you read previously?
The Diviners by Libba Bray (having read The Gemma Doyle trilogy about 4 years ago) :D And The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (having read Looking For Alaska and Let It Snow in 2011).

20. Best book you read that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - I wasn't sure this would be my cup of tea but I read it because people kept going on and on about it, and then I ended up really loving it even though it was slow and took me ages :)

So there we have it! Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a link to your End of Year Survey in the comments! :)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners #1)Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners, #1
Pages: 592
Publisher: ATOM
Date of Publication: 18th September 2012
Source: Borrowed from Cicely*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It's 1920s New York City. It's flappers and Follies, jazz and gin. It's after the war but before the depression. And for certain group of bright young things it's the opportunity to party like never before.

For Evie O'Neill, it's escape. She's never fit in in small town Ohio and when she causes yet another scandal, she's shipped off to stay with an uncle in the big city. But far from being exile, this is exactly what she's always wanted: the chance to show how thoroughly modern and incredibly daring she can be.

But New York City isn't about just jazz babies and follies girls. It has a darker side. Young women are being murdered across the city. And these aren't crimes of passion. They're gruesome. They're planned. They bear a strange resemblance to an obscure group of tarot cards. And the New York City police can't solve them alone.

Evie wasn't just escaping the stifling life of Ohio, she was running from the knowledge of what she could do. She has a secret. A mysterious power that could help catch the killer - if he doesn't catch her first.

My Thoughts:
This is going to be gushy, just warning you now!

OH MY DAYS THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE YOU HAVE TO READ IT.

Sorry, sorry, had to get that off my chest... *deep breath*

Libba Bray is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I absolutely adored her Gemma Doyle trilogy, but I hate to admit that I haven't actually read Going Bovine or Beauty Queens, but I've heard they're awesome... She can still be one of my favourites if I've not read all her books, right? I will have soon, hopefully :P Anyyywayy...

I love the 1920s. I think it's my favourite period in history to read about - every book I've read that's set then I've loved. I don't what it is about it, but I just love it so much. I guess I love the idea of Flappers, and how girls are finally getting to let down their hair (or bob it) and aren't confined to the very strict society rules they've been expected to keep up before then, if that makes sense. It's exciting, glamorous and adventurous, and it just makes for really good reading. I love imagining the dresses and the hair styles, the speakeasies they all secretly attend, the music they dance to, and all of that. It just sounds so fun (though I'm pretty sure I'm not cut out for it)! Aghh, I love it anyway :)

I also loved that while a lot of it was the care-free partying that you'd expect from a book set in 1920s New York, it also had a much darker and rather creepy undertone, which was brilliant. There's a mysterious murderer on the loose, and Evie and her uncle, the curator of The Museum of Creepy Crawlies (that deals with all things supernatural) are roped in to help when the police realise they can't do it alone. I loved following the clues they find and trying to figure out the mystery with them. Libba Bray is an expert storyteller  - she effortlessly weaves hints and clues into the storyline as well as multiple subplots and other narratives, and it all comes together perfectly at the end.

It's not just fabulously thought out, but it's also really rather creepy. The gruesome murders are the stuff of nightmares, and more than once I had to put the book down because I was reading in the dark, late at night, in bed when I should have been sleeping, and being the wimp that I am I couldn't deal with it in those conditions... So yeah, keep your light on when you're reading :P I know it's not real and (I really hope) that it's not based on real rituals or cults or what have you (you should know what I mean if you've read it) but it really felt like it could have been, while I was reading!

Libba Bray is also brilliant at creating well fleshed out characters that you quickly come to love (or love to hate!). Evie was great, and I loved reading her story. She's funny, sarcastic and stubborn, and though she made some really stupid moves when she wasn't really thinking, she was determined to get to the bottom of the murders and save anyone who might have been in danger. Also, the banter between her and Sam was fantastic! They really did sound like real people, with their quick quips and comebacks... And then there was the whole cast of supporting characters, who were amazing too. Theta, Memphis, Mabel, Unc, T.S., Jericho... I have much love for all of them (well, nearly all of them, anyway). They all had their own story lines, and they weren't just wishy washy characters that just seem to be there to fill up space in the story. They were perfect.

The Diviners really is an amazing read. Despite it being nearly 600 pages, I flew through it in just a few days and if it weren't for school and revision, I could quite happily have sat and read it in just a couple of sittings. The writing's awesome, the characters are unforgettable, and the story is creepy and exciting and pos-i-tute-ly fabulous. If you just read one book this year, make it this one. It's been my favourite, and I really hope it'll be yours too!

*HUGE thanks to Cicely for lending this to me! 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Book Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe (Breathe, #1)Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe, #1
Pages: 373
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Date of Publication: 11th October 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Inhale. Exhale.
Breathe.
Breathe.
Breathe . . .
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina
has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

My Thoughts:
Breathe is the first in a series that I think would be perfect for fans of YA dystopian fiction. Set in a world where there's only ever been no trees and it's all down to luck whether or not you have enough oxygen to live, it's difficult for Alina, Quinn and Bea to believe that everything they've believed their whole lives has been a lie.

I'm not going to lie, but while I really liked the idea of the book (it made me want to read it, didn't it? :P) I did find it all a little bit ridiculous. I'm still trying to wrap my head around why anyone would get rid of trees?! Anyone who knows anything about plants knows that they release oxygen and take in the harmful carbon dioxide in the air... Right? I mean, even if someone was a crazy, super evil bad guy, they wouldn't be stupid enough to get rid of the trees, would they? I know it was explained - they needed more land space for crops and to house the population and stuff, but the crops would give out oxygen too, right? And there's no grass anywhere either? I just found it difficult to imagine a world literally without any plants or nature. Or maybe I'm wrong and misunderstood? I don't know. Sorry. I'll stop ranting now... *grumbles*

Once I'd got over my... slight annoyance... at the plot, I actually did really enjoy the story. I found that the plot was engaging and it really didn't take me very long to read once I was settled down and had half an hour or so to myself. Something was always happening to keep me interested, and the jumping from the different narratives kept me reading to make sure that a certain character would make it out alive, or would get together with another character, things like that, etc. There were a few slow parts, inevitably, but they weren't boring - they were good breaks from the action, if you like.

However, the different narratives... There were three - Alina, Bea and Quinn. And they were so confusing! I knew that the point of view switched every chapter, but I'd forget and start reading a chapter not realising that the point of view had changed and then get all confused. The voices weren't different enough to be three different people, and I couldn't really tell the difference between them. It literally took me about half the book to finally get my head around who was who once and for all. And then once I had, it didn't take me long to realise that I really didn't like Quinn. He was just a bit rubbish really, nothing remarkable about him at all. I liked Bea and Alina though - they were far more interesting :)

Breathe was actually a really good read, despite what I've said. If you take the time to work out who's who and ignore the strangeness of the idea (I don't know, maybe you don't find it weird, maybe that's just me...), I think you'll really enjoy it, if YA dystopian is your thing. It's intriguing, most definitely! If you're looking for something similar to The Hunger Games and Divergent, then you should go for this one, because it reminded me of those while still being able to stand on its own. Bare in mind that it does end in a massive cliffhanger - I've got a long year of waiting ahead of me!

*Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Book Review: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)Title: Finale 
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush, Hush #4
Pages: 454
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Date of Publication: 25th October 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

My Thoughts:
If you've been following my blog for a while now, you may know that I am a huge fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series. I've been following it since the beginning, and I remember finishing Hush, Hush after being recommended it by a friend, and completely loving it. Now, having read all four books over the last three years, I'm sad to see it end, but I'm super glad that I saw it through, as it was brilliant.

I must admit, I don't really remember what happened in the first three books, but it was nothing that a quick visit to Wikipedia couldn't fix. I'd definitely recommend a reread of the first three books if you have the time! It took me a couple of chapters to get myself fully invested back into the story, but once I did I remembered exactly why I love the series so. The characters are great, the plot's exciting and well thought out, and the writing is so easy to read and get lost in.

I love Nora. Sure, she can be really annoying (Crescendo, anyone?), but I love reading about her and her story. However, in Finale she seems to return to her annoying ways... She's not as whiny as she could have been, but she does make some seriously stupid decisions that she knew were wrong, yet she still does them. She also gets jealous and has no faith in Patch, again, which is always frustrating because it's clear how much he loves her so why would he cheat? Eurgh. I love her to bits but damn is she infuriating sometimes! Anyway...

As always, the plot got started and then never stopped moving until the end. It kept me guessing with all the twists and turns, and while some of them were quite predictable, I could see how well they fit into the story and it was great to see all the little threads from previous books come together and wrap up nicely in the end. I did feel that some of the twists were a bit ludicrous and it made the story seem a little bit silly sometimes... But I forced myself to look over them and all was great at the end.

I don't really have that much more to say about this book. I don't want to sit gushing about the series to you for hours, but you really should read it! If you haven't started this series yet and paranormal romance is your thing, YOU MUST. With awesome characters, excellent writing and some super awesome fallen angels, it's definitely not one to miss and I cannot wait to read everything else Becca writes in the future.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)Title: The Lost Prince
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Call of the Forgotten, #1
Pages: 379
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Publication: 23rd October 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

My Thoughts:
The Lost Prince is the first in the new series from Julie Kagawa, The Call of the Forgotten. Being a huge fan of The Iron Fey series, I read this as soon as I could (back in August now) and devoured it in less than 24 hours. It's the story of Meghan's little brother, Ethan, and his adventures in the land of the faeries, and I really, really enjoyed it.

If you're a fan of The Iron Fey series, this book is a must read. It's got the essences of The Iron Fey, so much at times that it could quite happily be in that series instead, but for the most part there are significant differences that make it able to stand on its own as a new series. Ethan was similar to Meghan, yet somehow even more stubborn and determined. I thought Meghan was bad but Ethan was so set in his ways that he sometimes put himself in the most stupid of situations that easily could have been avoided... And he just couldn't contain his curiosity, especially when it came to the Fey. He knew he had to stay away at the beginning, but he still didn't and got into more than a little bit of trouble because of it, and that made me laugh, because it was so typical that he takes after his sister in that way. But he always got himself out of his problems and made them as right as he could, so it wasn't so bad.

I really liked how the first third or so of the book was set in the mortal world, our world. It was nice to read about how people who can see faeries cope with living in the real world, something that we rarely saw in The Iron Fey. I liked watching Ethan try to pretend that he didn't know that Todd was half-fey, and it was exciting to think that he could see these weird new Fey, the Forgotten, when no one else could. He also took  these martial arts kind of lessons (Rattan, or something, maybe?) and reading about him fighting and demonstrating was amazing. I've said it many times before in my reviews of Julie Kagawa's other books, but she is excellent at descriptive writing, she really is.

As usual with Julie Kagawa, the writing is flawless. I could read her books forever... I will quite happily read everything she writes in the future, even if it's something that I'm not really interested in, because I really do feel like she could write the dictionary and I'd still enjoy it (well, okay no, that's a slight exaggeration). It's full of action, fast paced and exciting, but not too fast that it feels rushed or like it's missing things out. There's a smidgen of romance too, a romance that will hopefully blossom into something amazing in the next books, and of course massive twists throughout to throw everything off balance. It felt so good to be back in Faery, especially as I didn't think I'd get to read anything new set there, and Julie's writing always brings something new to it. I loved it!

My favourite thing about the book, however, was Kenzie. I adored her. Also, she made me like my middle name a lot more... Anyway, she was so cute and funny and she brought out the good in Ethan, and showed him that he didn't have to hide away just because he could see the faeries. She made him realise that it wasn't all about him (he could be a little arrogant at times) and showed him that sometimes just because *he* didn't want something to happen, it didn't mean that it wouldn't. She also made him become a lot more open and friendly, and by the end I liked him a lot more than I did at the beginning, and I don't think I would have, had Kenzie not had a huge part to play.

Then there were all the little things (and some quite big things) from The Iron Fey series that I recognised that made me smile. For example, the reappearance of both Grimalkin and Puck! My two favourite characters from Meghan's story appeared and I couldn't stop grinning. They're funny and so frustrating but I love them both to pieces. It was also nice to see how Meghan's life has progressed since she became The Iron Queen. Seeing her embrace her role as leader of the Iron Fey was awesome, as was how she put her own little personal tweaks on her realm to make it more friendly and not such a daunting place to be.

The Lost Prince was a brilliant book. I'm sorry for such a long review, but I just have so many things that are awesome about it to share with you! If you're an Iron Fey fan, this is an absolute must-read. I would say that you'd probably need to have read the whole of The Iron Fey series first, starting with The Iron King, but if you don't mind spoilers (and they'll be massive) you could probably get by without reading them, though I don't recommend it! It definitely does not disappoint and I am most excited for the next book in the series.

*Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for giving me access to this egalley in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 


Friday, 12 October 2012

Book Review: Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings

Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)Title: Poltergeeks
Author: Sean Cummings
Series: Poltergeeks, #1
Pages: 320
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date of Publication: 4th October 2012
Source: Publisher event*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.


My Thoughts:
Poltergeeks is pure fun. It was my second read from Strange Chemistry books, a new YA imprint, and it was another great pick from them. It was exciting, funny, and super readable, and I would definitely recommend you pick it up!

Sean Cummings is fantastic at creating really well fleshed out characters that you can't help but love (or love to hate!). From spirits that inhabit talking dogs to geeky best friends, they're all brilliant. Julie was a great main character and I loved her determination to save her mum despite the fact that everything she needed to do in order to be able to save her was completely ridiculous. Marcus was amazing too, and he was so adorable in his letter to her, and his loyalty was awesome... *sigh* :)

I loved the witchcraft in this book. It was spells, potions and spirits and it was great fun! I loved imagining all the spells that Julie performed and trying to guess what spells she could use to prevent (or cause) certain things to happen. The ghosts were pretty awesome too, in that they were violent and crazy, but the kind of ghosts that you really wouldn't want in your house, because they might kick you out of your house. Literally. I also really liked that it wasn't dark or heavy and the characters didn't seem to take themselves too seriously. They were just nice, well-rounded people who happened to be able to do magic, but didn't make a big deal out of it (Well. Julie and her mom didn't...). You know, because they're real and all that... ;) Anyway.

The plot was brilliant. I read the first couple of chapters pretty slowly (I was in the car and my brothers were talking = distracted Bella) but once I'd got into the story properly I couldn't stop reading. It was very twisty and very turny, and things just kept happening! Plans were formulated and carried out in spectacular ways and relationships grew and became even more awesome than before... It had everything from explosions, spells, big fights, the afore-mentioned talking dog. AWESOME.

Poltergeeks really was an awesome read. I would definitely recommend it for the awesome characters and the super exciting plot. If you're looking for something fun to read over the weekend or during the holidays, or in the run up to Halloween, you should go and get yourself a copy because this would be perfect.

*Thanks to Strange Chemistry for this review copy in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Across the Universe by Beth Revis



Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. It's really annoying when you can't remember what happens and don't have time for a reread, so this hopefully will be a huge help!
__________

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Synopsis from Goodreads: A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

__________

Happily Ever Ending: After Elder gets Amy some medicine to cure her from the haze she was left in by the medicated water, Elder takes her to the Recording Hall. There they discover that the ship has potentially been travelling for a lot longer than the 250 years it was meant to have been, and that something bad happened during the Plague - something so bad that all records of it were destroyed. When Elder asks Eldest about it, he reveals that there was never a Plague. He takes Elder to the engine room and explains how the fuel is not reprocessing like it should be, and instead of being 25 years behind schedule, they’re 250 years behind. He then goes on to reveal that the Plague was actually when a leader told his people the truth - and they began wars and committed suicide, etc. The Elder/Eldest system was then established and the season came into play. He tells Elder about Phydus - a chemical in the water that removes emotions, ensuring people wouldn’t be consumed by extreme emotions and cause another ‘Plague’. The Hospital meds for ‘crazy’ people kill Phydus, leaving them free to think for themselves and hopefully be able to save the ship from potentially dying if something goes wrong.

Meanwhile, Doc is also sharing this information with Amy, warning her that if she gets on Eldest’s bad side, she’ll be delivered a lethal dose of Phydus and be killed.

Elder goes down to the cryo level to see Harley and take a shift watching the frozen people to make sure no one else gets murdered. When Elder wakes up, someone has painted red crosses on 38 of the frozen people, and Harley has locked himself in the hatch. Elder watches him get sucked out into the stars.
Up in her room, Amy is examining the lists she had painted on her bedroom wall - all the details about the people who had been rudely unfrozen. She ignores her own list and realises everyone unfrozen has something to do with the military. She doesn’t - but her dad did - could there have been a mistake and she was unfrozen instead of her dad?

They rush down to the cryo level to check, and they check the wi-com locator to see who could have drawn the red crosses. They realise that Orion doesn’t have a wi-com, because he must have been down there to take a painting from Harley to give to Amy. When they get to the cryo level, they find all the x-marked frozen people open, so the shove them all back in. Then they sneak into the lab on that level, and overhear Eldest and Orion arguing about the dead Elder and putting more Phydus in the water pump. Elder decides he doesn’t want to rule a Phydus controlled community so with Amy's help he destroys the water pump.

Eldest then reveals that all Elders are clones, and that’s why they have the same scanner name. While this is happening, Orion, who is the ‘dead Elder’ sneaks in and pours a bucket of Phydus over Eldest’s head, killing him by ‘calming him to death’.

Orion then reveals he’s been killing the military frozen people to stop them from using the people on the ship as soldiers when they get to the Centauri earth. They realise he’s just as evil as Eldest and Elder pushes him into a cryo chamber and freezes him.

As Eldest now, Elder decides to get rid of all drugs and make the truth available to anyone who seeks it. It is then revealed that Elder was the one who unplugged Amy, not Orion, but he decides he can never tell Amy that - she'll never understand, she’ll just blame him for taking her away from her family. But he tells her anyway and she’s furious, but she realises he was genuinely sorry and he really didn’t realise what he was doing when he flipped the switch. She asks him to stay with her, and he replies with, ‘Always.’

_________

I hope this helped! Now you're all set up to read the next one! If I've missed anything important or you think there's something wrong, let me know in the comments! I'm not all that good at these... ;) 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Book Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Title: Alice in Zombieland 
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles, #1
Pages: 404
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Date of Publication: 5th October 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….


I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.

My Thoughts:
This book was awesome. I knew as soon as I read the synopsis that it was a book that I needed to read, and soon. I'll admit I did think it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but with zombies, from reading the title... I mean, there were the odd references, like there is a white rabbit, but it's definitely not a retelling. So don't get confused like I did! Despite it not quite being what I expected, it was a really great read that only got better as it gets further into the story.

I really liked Ali. She was determined and strong, and so brave to try to take on the zombies despite seeing them brutally kill her whole family. She made me laugh out loud more than once, and although there were several guys vying for her attention, she could be pretty independent at times, which I really liked, even if it didn't really last...

And it didn't last because at the beginning, there was some major Twilight-esque insta-love... She's the new girl, she's not particularly spectacular, yet two guys, one who never speaks to anyone apart from his twin sister (sound familiar...? *cough* Edward *cough*), and the other is the leader of the group of 'bad boys' in the school who is completely off limits to everyone, can't keep their eyes off her... Oh, they're both drawn to this mysterious new girl. SHOCK HORROR. Totally didn't see that one coming... ANYWAY. The reasons they are drawn to her ARE explained later in the book, so it's not all bad, I just thought I'd mention it because it really did annoy at the beginning and the rest of the book is awesome so I didn't want you to be put off by the beginning if this is the kind of thing that annoys you!

The supporting characters were great too. Cole, the leader of the bad boys and main love interest, was awesome, and I might just be a little bit in love with him, despite his reputation... But Kat, Ali's best friend, was definitely my favourite. She was funny, loud and she just seemed like the kind of person who you'd want as your best friend. She was loyal and she put up with Ali's secretive ways and the twist at the end for her was pretty upsetting... But I'm sure it'll all be fine in the next book! (I bloody well hope so!) #secretivenonspoileryvagueness ;D

The zombie parts of the book were done fantastically well. If I were judging this purely on the zombie aspects, I would rate it as my favourite zombie book. The other parts were awesome too, but the zombies were just amazing! The fight scenes were brutal and exciting, and the whole ghostly aspect was such a good idea and it worked really well. I won't say anything more about that because I don't want to spoil you and I don't know how much you already know if you haven't read it, but I found it to be a nice surprise while I was reading so I'll keep quiet.

The plot was action-packed and super fast but not confusing at all. It's full of awesome. Seriously, apart from the whole unexplained insta-love triangle at the beginning, there wasn't a part of it that I didn't like. I loved how all the strands came together at the end and it was written superbly. I can't fault it, though I'm not amazing at picking out plot holes... Which is probably a good thing in the long run!

So, hopefully that portrays my feelings on this book accurately! I've focused on the good and made light of the annoying... With unforgettable characters and a plot to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, I would most DEFINITELY recommend this book to all fans of paranormal young adult, as it's brilliant. It really is. I can't wait for the next one and I shall certainly be seeing if I can get my hands on copies of Gena Showalter's other young adult titles!

*Huge thanks to MIRA Ink for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Also, apologies for the awful use of a hashtag in this review. It won't happen again. Probably. I'm lying, it totally will xD Ach sorry I'm really hyper right now... :P And WOW you're awesome if you're still reading this, despite it being tiny and it being me not really saying anything of importance xD

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a WallflowerTitle: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Series: Standalone
Pages: 213
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 30th August 2012 (reprint)
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts:
So many people have been telling me to read Perks for about a year now, and with the movie coming up soon, I thought it was finally time. I mean, it looked quite good, and you have to read the book before the film, right?! Anyway, I decided I would read it on holiday when I had nothing else to do so I could read it all at once, and as it's really not very long this was pretty easy. While it didn't quite live up to my (probably too high) expectations, it was a really good read, and I'd definitely recommend it!

The characters were very believable and easy to relate to. I found Charlie was quite a lot like me- not a loser exactly, but definitely not one of the popular ones. He had his group of friends with Patrick and Sam, and while I found it a little strange that he didn't really have any friends his own age, I actually really did enjoy his story.

The book is written in the form of many letters, written by Charlie, sent to no one in particular, a complete stranger. It was an interesting idea, and I found that it was easier for me to imagine writing to a complete stranger about everything that happened in my life, including the good, the bad and the awkward, than it would be to write to someone I knew and had to see on a regular basis. I felt that this way we learnt a lot about him and the way that he thinks, and it was pretty awesome.

There was nothing particularly amazing plot-wise - it was just a story of a normal kid going through the normal process of growing up, and determining who he wants to be. I loved that it was so realistic! I've been reading a lot of paranormal and dystopian lately so it was refreshing to read something that I could easily believe could actually happen to me, or one of my friends at school. My only complaint was that it was kind of forgettable... There was nothing that had the wow-factor, for me, and if I had to describe the plot to someone, I'd have difficulty past just saying it's a coming of age novel... It most definitely wasn't boring or anything though!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a really good read that while not being particularly life-changing as I'd been promised it would be, it was extremely enjoyable. I'd recommend if you're a fan of YA contemporary, or if you're looking for something light and believable to read in an evening or over a weekend. I'll end this by saying that I'm super excited for the movie, and if you're planning on seeing it, make sure to have read the book first! ;)

*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Strange Chemistry Launch Party Giveaway Winner!

So, my contest ended on the 26th, and I completely forgot... Anyway, if you didn't read the post, I went to the launch party for the Strange Chemistry imprint back in August, and they gave me a goody bag containing some swag and a couple of their books to giveaway on my blog! You can read the post and read all about the prize here.

Strange Chemistry

I've picked the winner, randomly using Rafflecopter, of course, and it is:


Yay! Thanks to everyone for entering, and I hope to bring you more giveaways in the future! Cicely - if I haven't emailed you/DM-ed you already, I will do soon :) 

Blackwood  Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

September 2012 Round-Up

I cannot believe it is October tomorrow! This year has gone so fast, as has this month, and it's time for another monthly round-up, yay! Haha, so if you don't know what these are yet, then basically it's just me, rounding up what I've read and telling you want my favourite was, what I didn't like (if there were any) etc etc. So, here's what I read!

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)  Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)

1. Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
2. Zom-B by Darren Shan
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Hold Still by Nina LaCour
5. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
6. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
7. Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
8. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
9. Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings (half)

So, I'm still reading Poltergeeks while I'm writing this, but I want to hopefully finish it today, and if I do it will go into my September books so I've added it anyway... My favourite of the month is listed below, but some of my other favourites were Alice in Zombieland, and Unspoken. I had to read Pride and Prejudice for school as we are studying it in English, and while it took me a while to get used to the writing style, I really enjoyed it towards the end, when everything finally comes together for Elizabeth and Mr Darcy... I didn't read any bad books this month (yay!) although I had some trouble with Rage Within as I just don't think I was quite in the right mood for it. Never mind, it was a still a good read on the whole so all was okay in the end. 

Number of pages read this month: 2705
Average number of pages per book: 301

My favourite book of September was:

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)

My review can be read here.

These are the books I'm most looking forward to reading in October: 

The Diviners  Breathe (Breathe, #1)  Time Between Us

And lastly, here are some awesome new releases, coming in October! 

Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)  The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)  Breathe (Breathe, #1)

  Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)  Eve and Adam  Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you've read this month, and if there's anything you're desperate to read in October! 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Book Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles, #1
Pages: 343
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.

My Thoughts:
I didn't really know what to expect from this book. What I'd heard about it was good, but there'd been no hype, as far as I'm aware, so I didn't really expect amazing things. It's always the books that I don't expect to get anything amazing from that blow me away. It really was so very, very good.

At first, it's a bit confusing, while I was trying to understand the world that the book is set in. I didn't really get what was going on with the hybrids, but I was intrigued as to how it would work, trying to live as a person, but with another person living inside your head. Like, literally, a whole other person thinking and communicating with you, but never able to make themselves heard on their own in the real world. I kept reading to find out, and it only got more interesting as I found out more and more.

Once I'd got the world and the situations of Eva and Addie figured out, the plot moved quickly and had a lot of twists, but not too many that I couldn't keep up. I thought it was actually paced really well, and I was struggling to read the tiny font on my manuscript copy (I had a headache at the time) so it really helped that the writing is easy to read and to understand. It was slightly predictable, I guess, but I don't mind that so it didn't bother me.

I really liked both Addie and Eva, and even though they were sort of the same person, I could really tell the difference between the two of them, and they really did feel like two separate people. Despite Eva not having a body of her own, I think I liked her better, probably because I felt sorry for her not being able to move or communicate for herself and I could connect with her want to be able to do these things. I know I would drive myself crazy if all I could do was talk to myself! I kind of felt more sorry for Addie though, because she's had to live for her whole life pretending that she's 'settled' and that she doesn't have another person living inside her head. To have to give that up for your literal other half, and to have to watch them learn to move and talk with your body must be really difficult... Not that these characters are real, or anything, of course!

One of the most interesting things about the book for me though, happened near the end and has left me needing the next book very soon, and it was the idea of a romance between Eva and another character. I don't know how it would work, and it could definitely have some complications and I really want to know how it would work out! Does Addie have to just tune what her own body is doing out? Or is there a way she can disappear for a while, while Eva and the boy kiss, or do whatever...? I don't know, I'm just speculating ;P

What's Left of Me really was fantastic. It started off really well, and it only got better as the book went on. I would definitely recommend to YA fans who are looking for something a little bit different and a little bit new. With an interesting concept, easy writing style and unforgettable characters, I loved it and am really excited for the sequel!

*Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy, #1
Pages: 370
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Thoughts:
I've never read anything by Sarah Rees Brennan before, but I've met her a couple of times now and she's awesome, so I was excited to read this book. It made me laugh, it made me sad, and it kept me glued to the pages, needing to know what happened, and to be honest, it was pretty awesome.

I really liked the whole idea of the book, even if it was a little cliched. At first I didn't really like the whole idea of Kami and Jared being able to read each others' minds and being able to communicate telepathically, it all sounded sort of familiar and just done way too many times before. It was cheesy and kind of annoying, and just weird, but as the book goes on and how it happened is explained, it fits really well and made the book even more interesting than it as before. It surprised me how much I liked it!

The book is based in a small town that has a lot of old stories, legends, and mythology associated with it, and I really liked that the Lynburns were the centre of it and the centre of the story. They were interesting and I liked guessing what they were, because it was obvious they weren't quite human. When I found out I was surprised but I'm pretty sure that's because I was just being ignorant and didn't realise how blindingly obvious it way... Anyway, I liked that they tied in with the local mystery, and it meant that Kami and Jared didn't have to be all secret about everything, and the best about this was that they could share what they were going through with Kami's best friends, Angela and Holly. I've had enough of the secretive best friend who falls in love with a boy and then becomes a crappy friend because they can't tell them they're not human...

The characters in this book are awesome. Every single one had some kind of purpose, and I definitely didn't feel like any of them were there just for the sake of giving Kami someone to talk to (which I've come across a couple of times in recent books I've read, which is why I've pointed it out). I really liked Angela and Rusty (Kami's best friend and her brother). Angela gets herself into a tricky situation but due to Rusty's self defense lessons, she could get herself out of it and it was so, so awesome. She was badass, seriously ;P Holly was cool too, though she seemed kind of shady... I don't know, maybe Kami's judgmental and confused ways have rubbed off on me!

And I was always changing my mind about Kami... She seemed kind of reckless and impulsive, and usually I don't mind that but Kami would blurt out things that you really shouldn't say to certain people, or she'd do something that was just so immensely stupid that you wonder what on earth was going through her brain. I don't know, for the most part I did really liked her and I loved seeing her relationship with Jared grow (or, not grow) but she did strike me as being kind of air-headed. It's not a hugely bad thing, I just like to see characters (and just people in general) be sensible and not always nearly get themselves killed.

The book is full of twists and turns, especially near the end, and I never knew who it was doing the killing. I had my suspicions, which turned out to be completely wrong, but still. I was confused by the ending a little bit, as it was incredibly fast paced, and to me the writing seemed a little bit jumpy (like there should have been a line break or something to indicate that at least a few moments had passed) but on the whole it wasn't too hard to understand, if I stopped and thought about it for a moment. It was very gripping though, and I literally read the last 100 pages in about 45 minutes (no, I'm not sure how either). I'm looking forward to reading other books by Sarah and am super excited for the next one!  I would definitely recommend it if you're a fan of young adult paranormal, and want something light and funny to read over the weekend.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Book Review: Zom-B by Darren Shan

Zom-B (Zom-B, #1)Title: Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan
Series: Zom-B, #1
Pages: 217
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 27th September 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"

My Thoughts:
Having just finished reading Pride & Prejudice for school, I needed something short and kind of silly to read to get back into reading YA properly again. I chose Zom-B, because it's about as far from the Jane Austen regency era as you can get, and it was perfect.

One of the things I really liked about this book (because it surprised me) was that it wasn't full on zombie attacks the whole way through, as I expected it to be from looking at the cover. We hear about the zombies at the beginning, but it isn't until about halfway through that the zombies actually appear properly, if that makes sense. I liked the build-up, knowing they were coming, but not knowing when. It was tense, knowing that any minute a zombie could pop up, knock one of the characters out, and eat their brains. (Yeah, there was a lot of brain eating...) It meant we could see a lot of the characters in a normal environment and get to know them a little bit before they all get zombified...

But, I kind of really didn't like B. B seemed to be a bit of a delinquent, in that B steals things and smokes, and picks fights with people for no reason (or maybe I'm just being judgmental). There was also the whole racism thing. B's dad is a racist and B has just picked up his racist ways while living with him. B's mind could never be made up about black people, and even though I don't think B actually was a racist (the best friend is black), B still picked on them for no reason, and it annoyed me that B couldn't, or wouldn't, stand up and refuse to do what the dad wanted B to, even though it was obviously wrong. It did make me think though, about who the real monsters are, and B says it at the end. B's dad is VILE. I hated him. I haven't hated a character as much as I hate him for a long time, and it's nice to be able to read something that makes me feel so much, even if it *is* hatred.

The few other zombie books I've read (Dark Inside, The Way We Fall and Ashes) absolutely terrified me. This one, however, didn't really scare me at all. I don't know why, but it felt more silly than sinister, and in all honesty, every one getting ripped apart or having their brains eaten just grossed me out or made me giggle rather than frighten me. It's just so gory and so violent, that I couldn't really take it seriously... It's not necessarily a bad thing - it's nice to be able to not be expecting zombies to eat me in bed at night, but I was kind of expecting it to be just a little bit scary, at least. Maybe it was because I read it all at once in daylight... I don't know!

I did feel like there were too many characters and they all had stupid (although very inventive and amusing) nicknames, and I couldn't keep up with who was who. I'm sure some of them were just there so that they could be killed off by the zombies, and while I'm glad that not all the kids with B survived (that sounds really bad, but that would be very unrealistic in a zombie situation), I did feel like some more character building could have been added had there been fewer characters, and then I could actually care when they died. I was never really sad to see one of the characters eaten, or scratched, and left to die or turn into a zombie themselves - I didn't get a chance to connect with the characters enough to care about them.

Overall though, Zom-B was a really gripping read that is quick and exciting. It's super easy to read and at only 217 pages it's a great way to spend an evening after a long day at school. I'm not sure how far I'll make it through the 12 part series that this is the first of, but I'm most definitely looking forward to the next few after the couple of huge twists towards the end. I hope I'll get to read them all! I'd recommend for zombie fans, but if you're squeamish, you should probably steer clear!

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Flappers, #1)



Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. It's really annoying when you can't remember what happens and don't have time for a reread, so this hopefully will be a huge help!
__________

VixenSynopsis from Goodreads: Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

__________

Happily Ever Ending: After Bastien discovers Gloria singing at the Green Mill, she blames Lorraine for telling him and she blocks her out of her life. Jerome no longer trusts her because she didn’t tell him about her engagement. Nobody at school likes her and they can’t stop gossiping about her.

Clara convinces Gloria to go and see Jerome again and tell her how she feels about him. When she gets there, she tells him everything and they kiss. Meanwhile, Clara goes out with Marcus to an art event, where she tells him all about her past New York life as a flapper. She expects him to leave her but he doesn't.

Lorraine goes to see Bastien to try to find out who told him about Gloria’s singing, and decides it was Clara. She searches Clara’s room and finds a picture of Clara dressed as a flapper in New York.

Gloria goes to see Jerome after school at the Green Mill and he takes her on a date. She realises she can never fit in with the black people.

At Gloria’s engagement party Clara is the star of the show. Marcus manages to pull her away and gives her a glittering bracelet, but they’re interrupted by Harris Brown, Clara’s ex, who tries to get her back. But then, the party is interrupted again by Lorraine, who tries to expose Clara. She reveals Clara was a flapper in New York and that she got pregnant with Harris’ child, but she miscarried. Lorraine thinks this will win back Gloria’s friendship but it doesn't, and Lorraine gets kicked out of the party.

Gloria decides that her relationship with Jerome will never work, so she plans to end things. She goes to the Green Mill to do this, but nearly gets raped in the dressing room by the club owner. Jerome comes to her rescue and the escape, planning to leave Chicago together. Clara finds her packing, and helps her to leave. When Gloria meets Jerome, he forgets something inside his apartment, and goes back to get it, leaving Gloria alone. Carlito and his men jump her, but Jerome comes back to help her escape. One of his men grabs Jerome and Gloria shoots him dead with a gun she stole from Bastien's apartment earlier in the book. Jerome’s sister Vera then helps them escape.

It turns out that Vera has secretly been working with Bastien but she’s not happy when her brother nearly gets killed and she plans to use the gun Gloria used to shoot Tony against Bastien. The book ends with Lorraine at another speakeasy, meeting Carlito; Gloria and Jerome are on their way to New York; and Clara is on her way back to Pennsylvania.

_________

I hope this helped! Now you're all set up to read the next one! If I've missed anything important or you think there's something wrong, let me know in the comments! I'm not all that good at these... ;) 

Friday, 7 September 2012

Book Review: Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

Losing Lila (Lila, #2)Title: Losing Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Series: Lila, #2
Pages: 322
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Date of Publication: 2nd August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life.

My Thoughts:
As soon as I finished Hunting Lila, I knew I needed to read this one as soon as I could. Being the idiot that I am and leaving it at home while I read Hunting Lila on holiday, so I was super excited to get started reading it, and read the first half all in one sitting. I tried to savour the last half, seeing as I can find no mention of a third book anywhere, but I ended up reading it on the train, much quicker than I thought I would be able to. It was just that good!

I still really liked Lila in this book. I've heard a couple of people say she gets a bit annoying in her impulsive ways and stubbornness, but I really liked that about her. If she were real and I was trying to convince her not to do something she wanted to do, she'd probably annoy the heck out of me, but as I never have to do that, I liked her a lot. It also shows her humanity and I liked that this proved the Unit wrong about all the psygens (people with powers) being evil and malevolent. Yeah. I had double English today...

Anyway, the rest of the characters, old and new, were also awesome. There was more Alex, and fewer clothes... I don't think I need to say anything more on the subject (apart from that it's still definitely YA ;P). The new characters were great, and finding out about new powers that I'd never thought of before was also really cool. It was nice to find out more about Lila's world and the people in it, and trying to understand why the Unit could ever think they were evil, was hard... They're twisted and horrid and I hate them. The Unit, I mean, not the psygens ;P

The plot was, as ever, fast-paced and exciting and was full of twists, turns, and a few things that genuinely shocked me. I won't go into detail, and maybe I should have seen them coming, but I had no idea... Anyway, the action is non-stop - this book has everything from Mafia drug-lords to blowing up military buildings. I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole way through and I found it difficult to find suitable breathing places where I could collect my thoughts and actually put the book down and do something else that (sadly) needed doing.

At the end of the book, there's a little story from Alex's point of view, and it's so adorable. If you read my Hunting Lila review, you'll know I got all mushy while talking about Alex and Lila, and while reading the Alex POV story at the end was the cutest. *more mushiness*

Anyway, enough with the Alex talk ;P Losing Lila is most definitely a worthy sequel to the brilliant Hunting Lila, and I really hope there will be another one some time in the future! Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to reading anything else that Sarah Alderson writes, and I would definitely recommend her books to all young adult fans! They're so readable, exciting, and fun and I really, really love them.

*Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Blog Tour: Imaginary Cast List for Rage Within

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts! It's the second book in the awesome Dark Inside series, and today I have a guest post from Jeyn for you to read. It's her imaginary cast for the four main characters in the book: Mason, Aries, Clementine and Michael! I think she's picked great actors and actresses for the parts, and I can't wait to hear what you think about each one!

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After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul...



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Cast List


Mason - Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine Picture

There’s just something about this guy’s expression that screams Mason to me. He's got a very serious look. He’s a great actor and I think he’d really do Mason justice.

Aries -Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld Picture

Can you picture her with auburn hair? I sure can. I thought she was amazing in True Grit. She’s a fantastic actress and she’s so beautiful. And she’s going to be in Ender’s Game which is very cool.

Clementine -Ella Purnell


To be honest, I hadn’t heard of this actress and my friend pointed her out to me. I have to admit, she screamed Clementine the moment I saw her face. She's got that girl-next-door beauty and a certain playful innocence about her that would be great for Clementine.

Michael - Douglas Booth


Completely how I see Michael but with longer hair. Not to mention a jaw line to die for! Haha drool.
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Thanks to Jeyn for that! Do you agree with her choices? I haven't heard of any of these people (should I have? I don't know ;P) but by their faces I think they suit the characters really well. Who would you pick, if you'd pick differently? 

Have you read Rage Within yet? It was released in the UK on 30th August, and in the US on 4th September, so it's available to buy now if you want it (which you do!). Links:


Also for the blog tour, I've reviewed the book here.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Don't forget to comment letting me know what you think of the cast choices, and your thoughts on the book featured! Check out the others stops on the blog tour, and I'll talk to you soon! 

Click picture to embiggen!

Book Review: Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts

Rage Within (Dark Inside, #2)
Title: Rage Within
Author: Jeyn Roberts
Series: Dark Inside, #2
Pages: 406
Publisher: Macmillan
Date of Publication: 30th August 2012
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul...

"The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy." ~ John Green 

My Thoughts:
Rage Within was very different to Dark Inside. It was still the same series, obviously, but the super frightening action of the first book was replaced by a more subtle and creepy undertone in Rage Within. The characters are hiding from the Baggers, and they risk their lives every single time they leave their safe house. You never know when one of them might get killed, or captured, and it makes for very tense reading. I found that towards the end I was glued to the pages to make sure they weren't captured or killed, as if I could do anything to change the words on the page.

I really liked characters, although there were definitely too many. I got confused more than once about who was who, and who was good and who wasn't, but I pushed through and eventually it got easier. I must admit, I remember next to nothing about Dark Inside which definitely didn't help, but once I'd read for a while it started to come back a little, even if it was only small details about each character. I'd definitely recommend a reread of Dark Inside before you start this!

My favourite character was Aries. She was badass. I liked that she took on a sort of leadership role in the group and I found myself looking forward to reading her chapters the most. I liked that she had her little breakdowns and that she didn't know exactly what she was doing, and that when she hit problems she did what she thought was right, even though often it wasn't the best thing she could have done. It showed that they are still teenagers, and despite them being in such an awful environment that has forced them to grow up, they still are vulnerable and scared out of their minds. There is hope though, and that was awesome to see. Even if it was just a small victory against the Baggers, there was hope for the future and that was the best thing ever.

Unfortunately, this book isn't without its faults. It got slow in the middle, although whether that was because of the book, or because of me, I don't know. I hit a bit of a reading slump in the middle of the book and it just wasn't doing anything for me to keep me hanging on and reading it. I put it down for a few days and read something else, and then when I went back to it I enjoyed it a lot more, so I'm sure it was just me. Also, I got so confused! So much happens, and there are so many characters, and at times I felt like I just couldn't be bothered to keep up with the story anymore... And then something would happen and I'd need to carry on just to make sure the characters survived!

Despite that, the book ends on a high. It's exciting, full of action, and the last hundred pages are definitely the highlight of the book. I'd definitely recommend to anybody looking for a (mostly) fast-paced, page-turning thriller, and I think that despite its flaws, this series really is one that must be read. So, go out and pick up copies of both the books if you haven't already, or get reading this one if you've read the first! It's not for wimps - it's exciting, unpredictable and sometimes terrifying, but with it's little glimmers of hope in a broken world, it is so, so worth it.

*Huge thanks to Macmillan for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

I'm on the blog tour for this book! Head over to here for a post from Jeyn herself, talking about who she would cast if a film or TV show of Dark Inside were to be made!
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