Friday, 12 April 2013

Book Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)Title: The Indigo Spell 
Author: Richelle Mead
Series:  Bloodlines, #3
Pages: 432
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: 12th February 2013
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads: 
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she struggles to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she finally tracks down the elusive, enigmatic Marcus Finch – a former Alchemist who the organisation denies exists, and who lives in shadows, on the run. With Marcus's help, Sydney realises that the group she's been loyal to her whole life has been hiding the truth from her. Is it possible that her golden lily tattoo might have more power over her than she thinks?

As she struggles to come to terms with what that might mean, Sydney is compelled to use her growing magical powers to track down an evil magic user who is targeting powerful young witches. Using magic goes against everything she always thought she believed, but she realises that her only hope is to embrace her special blood – or else she might be next.

Forging her own way is harder than Sydney ever dreamed. Maybe by turning off her brain – and following her heart – she'll be able to finally figure out where she belongs.

My Thoughts:
After the shocker of an ending that The Golden Lily left us with, as soon as this book landed on my doorstep (thanks Puffin!) I had to read it. After completing some coursework for Textiles, I wasted no time in getting straight into The Indigo Spell. I considered a reread of the first two books first, but I needed to know what would happen after the huge cliffhanger of The Golden Lily, so I opted to start this one without a recap, hoping that I would be reminded of the previous events as I went along. I wasn't, so a reread is recommended, although It was still really, really awesome!

In my notes for my review of this, I've got:

"SYDNEY AND ADRIAN. YES PLEASE. Frustration.
SO ANNOYING. SO FRUSTRATING. SO. SO. GOOD.
Exciting. Obvs."

I write things down as I'm reading, as they pop into my head, so that I don't forget them and have something good to write in my review... Well, I'm not really sure if you could count those as good notes, but it sums up my feelings for this book pretty well. While I really, really enjoyed it, there were so many times I wanted to chuck it at the wall, or scream and shout at the characters. I absolutely adore Richelle Mead but boy this book is annoying.

Firstly, Sydney. She needs to get over herself! Yes, she's been brought up as an Alchemist, but I've never really understood their principles. They've been taught that vampires are hideous creatures that are unnatural and abominations. But, they help them, by disposing of Strigoi bodies and hiding them from regular humans? So that makes no sense to me. Anyway, she may have been brought up this way but she's lived around Moroi for so long that obviously she can see for herself that they're not the bad guys, and while yes, they do eat humans which is a little bit freaky, it's not that bad because they only drink from willing volunteers... Right?

Also, the whole magic thing. She's got the gift of being able to use magic, and she's really good at it, so why doesn't she just use it?! Man. Anyway. I did like her, apart from sometimes wanting to give her a good ol' slap to make her see some sense. Saying that though, she was seriously awesome when she did do magic. I absolutely loved those parts of the book - it was nice to learn more about magic and also Mrs Terwilliger too - she's pretty cool. I'd love a teacher like her...

I really love how, while the Bloodlines series does have an ongoing story that spans all three books so far, each book has it's own little story that gets resolved at the end. It means that even if I've forgotten what that ongoing story arc is, I can at least enjoy the story of that book. I also like it because it's just a story that I can read all at once, without worrying about having to remember everything that's happened while I wait a year or so for the end of the story. So that's good. It keeps it interesting too, and is a lot less confusing than the story arc (because with the Moroi, Hunters, Alchemists, Warriors... Confusing!).

Lastly, I can't say nothing about Adrian. I love him so much, and he is so perfect with Sydney. Their relationship is so frustrating though, because it goes against everything that Sydney's ever believed, so I won't spoil whether or not they work it out, but it takes them a long time to even begin to try. I've had a couple people ask though, and I will say that there are some kisses. Yeah. Anyway.

Overall, I really did enjoy The Indigo Spell, and I'm super excited to read the next book, The Fiery Heart, which hopefully will be coming out later this year so we don't have a whole year to wait, just half! I definitely recommend this series if you haven't read Bloodlines yet but have read Vampire Academy. If you've not read VA I'd recommend you read that first, seeing as this is a spin off. This series continues to be awesome and seriously, you're missing out if you've not read them! They're action packed, fun and exciting, and I will always love them, no matter how frustrating they can be.

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

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Happily Ever Endings... The Killables by Gemma Malley



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!
__________

The KillablesSynopsis from Goodreads: Everyone accepted that people were different physically. But inside? Inside, they were different too. You just had to know how to tell, what to look for.

Evil has been eradicated. The City has been established. And citizens may only enter after having the 'evil' part of their brain removed. They are labelled on the System according to how 'good' they are. If they show signs of the evil emerging, they are labelled a K... But no one knows quite what that means. Only that they disappear, never to be seen again...

__________

Happily Ever Ending: After Raffy and Evie escape the City with the help of Raffy's brother, Lucas, they are captured by Linus and his friends. They turn out to be against the City and its System, and have been working with Lucas for a very long time. Linus takes Evie and Raffy to their 'city' (called Base Camp) where they are preparing to wage war on the City and the Brother.

Evie learns that the Evils aren't actually evil - they are just the City's experiments gone wrong. She then finds out that she was adopted at three years old, and her parents in the City are fake. Her real, biological parents are 'Evils', or Damaged Ones. Once Evie realises that the City are using the Evils as slaves, she decides to help Linus and the Base Camp attack the City and restore 'healthy' civilisation.

The plan was to gather the damaged ones and let them loose into the City using the key Evie stole from her father at the beginning of the book. Then, while the police guard was focused on that decoy, Lucas would let them in at another gate so they could get in without being killed on sight. Then, Linus and Raffy would rewrite the code for the System, and Martha and Evie would change everyone's labels to As in case Linus and Raffy couldn't change the code for whatever reason.

However, somehow the Brother got wind of the plan and captured Lucas which temporarily jeopardised the plan. However, Lucas managed to get Mr Brides to let Evie and Raffy and everyone in at the gate and the plan went ahead, with a little detour to the hospital to free Lucas. Once Lucas is free, he goes to the Brother and captures and imprisons him. Meanwhile, Evie and Martha have changed everyone's labels to As, and Raffy has rewritten the System. However, Linus is nowhere to be found, so Lucas goes to find him.

He goes to where the Brother was tied up and finds him gone. He then hears voices and follows them and finds the Brother talking to Linus outside the Meeting Room. The others all follow him and then the citizens of the City come out of the Meeting Room where they can hear the Brother. Evie tells them all about what is really going on, the truth, and threatens to shoot the Brother dead. In the end, Lucas shoots him in the leg, allowing everyone to escape apart from Linus. Lucas stays behind to get Linus out and make sure the new system works, and to ensure that peace is restored to the City.

_________

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... ;) 

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Book Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek GirlTitle: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl, #1
Pages: 378
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Date of Publication: 28th February 2013
Source: Publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?


My Thoughts:
First off, I'd like to apologise for the lateness of this review! There's no excuse, really. I'm just lazy... Anyhoo.

I absolutely adored Geek Girl. I wanted to read it because with a title like Geek Girl I couldn't not (right?!), but I was a little bit wary of the whole modelling and fashion side of things. I am just not interested in fashion. Sure, I like clothes, but I couldn't care less about what's 'in' at the moment, and I think that models can really be far too skinny. Anyway, I digress. So I wasn't completely sure I'd enjoy it, but I gave it a go anyway seeing as so many of my blogger friends loved it so much. And I loved every bit of it too.

I really liked Harriet, and I loved that I could relate to her completely. Weirdly, I was in her position just a couple of weeks before I read Geek Girl - I was going on a school trip to The Clothes Show Live at the Birmingham NEC and I really just didn't want to go. The idea of going on a four hour coach trip to look at lots of clothes was not fun especially, as like Harriet, my friend was ill and couldn't go (I think that's what happened?). So, I could empathise with her completely. She was also really great in that she stood up for what she believed in and I guess you could say she took a pretty unconventional approach to modelling? I guess I just liked that she had some guts, and made modelling seem a lot more real and even a little bit appealing to me, and showed that it is not just some super skinny girls not really doing anything, just walking around and pouting, which is all I'd really thought it was before.

The other characters were great too - I'm pretty sure I don't need to say that much about Nick, apart from that he was just super awesomely perfect and I'm looking forward to reading about him more in the next book. I also really liked Toby, Harriet's geeky, just-plain-weird stalker friend. He was really dorky and he made me laugh, but despite this he was there for Harriet when she needed a friend, so there was more to him and I liked that. Lastly, Harriet's relationship with her dad was great too and I loved how Holly really brought it out in the book - family relationships are just as important, if not more so to a teenager, than romantic ones. So super happy to see that in Geek Girl!

Surprisingly for me, the parts of the book in which Harriet was modelling or travelling to a shoot were my favourites, I think. They just seemed so fun! I loved the shoot in Moscow, and imagining Harriet wobbling around in too-high heels made me laugh out loud, as did the catwalk show. It's not often that I will literally laugh out loud at a book - they often make me smile, but an actual laugh is rare... But I laughed more than once at Geek Girl. Sign of a great book, right there!

The plot was super fast and exciting and things just kept on happening. I've heard that a lot of people felt that the speed in which events took place in the book was unbelievable and rushed in comparison with real life, but having listened to Holly talk about her own modelling experience at the launch party, it seems that it's actually pretty accurate (not that I would really know, I know... :P) Anyway. Not once did I think that it was unrealistic - I just got completely engrossed in the story and loved every minute of reading it, so don't worry about that.

I think it's pretty obvious how much I loved this book, and I definitely think that you should go out and get yourself a copy if you've not got one already, and read it! I cannot wait to read the second one, but I think it'd also have worked well as a standalone (though don't get me wrong, I'm really glad there'll be more of Harriet's story!) I'd recommend if you're looking for a light-hearted read that'll make you laugh out loud, has fantastic characters and many gorgeous settings. It's just brilliant!


*Huge thanks to HarperCollins for sending me this in exchange for an honest review, in no way has this affected my opinion of the book. Also, again, I'm so sorry this review is ridiculously late!


Monday, 1 April 2013

March 2013 Wrap-Up

Hey, so another month has gone, and here's what I read this month!

The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)  Requiem (Delirium, #3)  Hidden (Avena, #1)

1. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
2. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
3. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
4. Hidden by Marianne Curley
5. Zom-B City by Darren Shan
6. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
7. In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (half way through)

Yay, I read more than four books this month! I'm slowly getting back into reading, I think, so hopefully it'll last but it's exams soon so we'll see. The Name of the Star was a reread, so that I'd be completely ready for The Madness Underneath, and seriously, this series is amazing. I hope to have my review of The Madness Underneath up this month, seeing as it's already pretty late... I finished the Delirium trilogy, with the final book Requiem, and my review is here. I wasn't happy with the open end, but I went to Lauren Oliver's signing and she explained why she left it like that and now I can appreciate it. I actually managed to post my review of Hidden within a few days of finishing it, and that can be found here. Zom-B City was a good quick read, and In The Shadow of Blackbirds is proving to be very spooky so far... But that's good, I'm really enjoying it!

Pages read this month: 2230
Average number of pages per book: 343

My favourite book of the month was...

THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like

I loved this! It's not often that I'm able to read a 400 page book in one day, but with this one I did. My review will be posted later this week, hopefully.

Here's what I'm looking forward to reading in April:

The Hit  The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)  Between Shades of Gray

And here are some other new releases to look forward to!

Impostor (Slide #2)    This Is What Happy Looks Like
In the Shadow of Blackbirds  Geekhood: Mission Improbable  The Elite (The Selection, #2)

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to let me know in the comments what you've been reading this month! 
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