Thursday, 30 April 2015

The It-Girl by Katy Birchall Review

The It-Girl by Katy Birchall


“You’ve spent your entire life complaining about not being popular and, now that you are popular, you want to be unpopular again?”

That pretty much sums up the book. The It-Girl is the typical story of a girl who’s defined by her weird status and how her life changes when she becomes popular. I liked Anna with her obsession with her dog, her quest to watch movies before her time and easy going personality. The book had many funny moments alongside cringe worthy/embarrassing moments which made me like Anna more. Following stereotypes the book did have the entire girl gets lost in fame and loses herself theme and at times Anna’s naivety was annoying. However the different relationships in the book; friendships and family were really sweet alongside the cute romance sub plot. I liked the writing style and the email format some of the chapters took – the book is a quick and light read. Plus this book really reminded me of The Princess Diaries.


 ★★★☆☆

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry Review

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry


“But maybe the world isn’t so black and white. Maybe there’s room for shades of gray.”  

Nowhere But Here is the story of how one girl’s life is shaken when a trip to her grandmother’s funeral goes wrong and she winds up staying longer than she wanted with the guy who wanted only one thing in life which she hinders. This is their love story.

There are two main characters in the story, Emily and Oz and the story is from both of their perspectives. I really liked Emily and Oz because they both went through a lot of things in their lives and yet they weren’t irritating or whiny about their circumstances. Emily was the right amount of curiosity/stubborn and patience whilst Oz was both honest and protective. Their relationship was built slowly and filled with smart and snarky moments and the best thing was that they weren’t afraid to say harsh but honest things to each other. However one thing that really annoyed me was how Oz’s chapters from the moment they met till they confessed their feelings were of him talking about how beautiful Emily was – literally every chapter – as if we didn’t already get the memo. Emily also did it but she did it less and unlike Oz she didn’t compare other boys to him. He kept comparing Emily to other girls and how she was better than them which was really annoying/horrible.  

Reading the synopsis I’d guessed how the book would go but it surprisingly took a different route which sets it apart from other books about MC, mainly due to the fact MC books are normally New Adult books not Young Adult. The story focuses mainly on two things; romance between the two main characters and the truth between Emily’s biological parents – the mystery was built up well and the reveal didn’t disappoint.

There were a lot of characters introduced in the book but surprisingly it wasn’t confusing because for each character there was a certain amount of information given out to let the reader gain an insight on them. I especially liked Olivia because she was sassy as hell.  Plus I can’t wait for Razor’s book because he seemed really interesting.

Other things I liked included the elements of love throughout the book and its importance to different people. I also liked how both Oz and Olivia defined the club and its importance on family, belonging and search for freedom/yourself.

The ending was bittersweet but I gathered it would be and I really loved what Olivia said about love and the past. Plus the playlist at the end is amazing!


★★★★

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbery Review

The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbery


“But the last thing he saw was the expressionless white face somewhere behind the flames. The face of the person who had come to watch him die.”

The Memory Hit is a fast paced story that only spans over a few days, over a boy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time and the girl who knew the wrong people. This is how they find themselves connected in a situation involving selling drugs and escaping from a masked murderer.

What I Liked;

·        The Plot – The book started off well with the two different settings and how the two main characters got involved with Nostalgex. It then developed further with the murders, drug deals and the entire mystery about who the person behind the mask was.

·        The Multiple Perspectives – thankfully the story didn’t repeat with the changing of perspectives as the characters weren’t always with each other and solved different parts of the story.

·        The Span of the book – The story only last a couple of days which really fit the book as it was supposed to be a whirlwind fast paced book

·        The Writing Style

·        The Murderer – I really liked how the killer actually creeped me out

 What I Didn’t Like;

·        The Characters – Not that they were bad but I just didn’t know enough about them. The characters had already met so it was written as if the reader had also met the characters before. Same applies to the minor characters.

·        Some events in the book and how the characters reacted/their actions were so stupid and unbelievable

·        How the mysteries were solved – It really felt like the characters had dodged doing any ‘detective’ work by just taking drugs to solve the mysteries – cop out

·        Who the Murderer Was – Seriously – I get why the author gave little/no clue to who the murderer was because it was supposed to shock you but I just couldn’t believe it was, who it was.  Also I think that the story could have been much better if was left a mystery to who the masked killer was.

·        The death – Someone is killed at the end and it happened way to fast – shock factor done wrong

·        The ending – In the book Jess references the stages of grieve and after certain events she moves to the stage of acceptance/moving on very fast – too fast.


★★☆☆☆

Monday, 27 April 2015

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep Review

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep


“Be good Lila. Or be really good at being bad. I’ll leave it up to you which one it is.”   

Cold Burn of Magic is the story of Lila, a thief living in the basement of a Library and how one decision changes her life. Since the death of her mother Lila’s trying to live the best way she can without interfering with the Families in her city. But with the Families ever increasing tension hitting closer to home than expected and one of the biggest Family is planning something dark to end everything. What’s a girl got to do?

Lila a good heroine – she’s strong enough to survive four years on her own, she’s able to earn a living even if she’s taking it a day at a time, she’s good at what she does and she’s a good thinker and makes good decisions. She has a gift/magic ability that is very rare which does follow the stereotypical special heroine trend however it’s not annoying as it’s something she doesn’t flaunt around but uses to survive and I think it might link to her mysterious father. I really liked Lila because she faced/went through a lot of things and yet she never gave up and whenever she was harsh to someone she always apologised. However for someone who’s supposed to be cold hearted she sure does sacrifice herself a lot.

I loved the element of Families/mobs and how they ruled over the city with their own sections. Though the plot was good it did feel as not enough happened though I think that is typical in first books of a series.  Lila is a great bodyguard but her ‘detective’ skills could have been defined better as we don’t really know much about how she finds information out compared to how much she kicks ass. Also the entire mystery on who’s behind all the attacks was predictable.

The characters of the novel were a mixture of good and bad. I think it’s a good idea to show a range of characters of different mixtures like that because not every ‘good’ character is likeable and not every ‘bad’ character is horrible.  I liked most of the characters but mainly Felix and Mo because they were just so different from the moody characters in the book.

When Lila and Devon met it was really weird because Lila was shown to be an unfeeling person and then whoop comes a hot guy and she’s all over him. But as the novel progresses their relationship becomes more than just attraction and they do bond over their scars and past. Their relationship is very subtle at points as it isn’t the main focus also I think the ending fit the book really well.


★★★★

Monday, 20 April 2015

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven Review

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


“It’s not your fault. And sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you’ll never be sorry. It’s easier just to do the right thing from the start so there’s nothing to apologise for.” 

All The Bright Places is the story of two teenagers and their unexpected friendship following a suicide attempt.  Violet used to think she had a perfect life until a car crash left her without a sister and Finch is the screwed up kid who hides the truth from everyone including himself.

The first part of the story is Finch showing Violet how to move on from her sister’s death and not just to live but to wander.

The characters of the novel were likable, they weren’t perfect but it’s those flaws that they had that made them so interesting. But following so many trends these characters were just so standard, the author’s method of putting across her story with no true emotion really showed. The characters just seemed fake to the extent that I couldn’t connect with the story and the plot was the typical meeting and falling love story with the stereotypical nice girl and bad boy characters.  

I think the story focused too much on Finch – his povs were on him/his feelings and Violet’s povs were on him too. It revolved around Finch and his issues too much that it made the story boring. I get why the focus on Finch and his mental illness because it’s a major plot/theme on the book but there’s a limit to how much you want to read about someone in a book until it feels like reading a diary.

I think the author portrayed Finch’s character really well in terms of his bipolar disorder.  The different symptoms that Finch went through like the ‘sleep’ were portrayed really well and also the way mental illnesses are treated by other was shown. The way Finch was bullied by students for mentally thinking differently, the way his family let him close in on himself and didn’t give him the help he needed because mental illness isn’t seen as an illness,  it’s pushed as something that everybody feels – like becoming a teenager and confusing hormones. Symptoms of mental diseases are so commonly confused with the transition of becoming a teenager and I think the book dealt with that idea well.

The ending started off bad but it got better when the wandering started and I think the last couple of pages are the best part which shows exactly what the book is about. Also it’s pretty much predictable.


★★☆☆☆

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry Trailer Reveal

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry


An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible 

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home. 

The Author

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Twitter: @katiemcgarry

Trailer 





Waiting on Wednesday:Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche

Waiting on Wednesday

 A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that people are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for Waiting on Wednesday this week is:


Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche 

Publication: September 1st 2015 by Razorbill, 368 pages

From the author of Like No Other, the novel Entertainment Weekly calls "One of the most poignant and star-crossed love stories since The Fault in Our Stars": What if the last hope to save your family is the person who broke it up to begin with? 
 
Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.

Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.

Michelle and Leah only have
 one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.

After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.

Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first--herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before....

Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privledge affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.
 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish 
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books (I've Read Recently) 


Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

“As if they’ve looked inside their soul and decided it’s bad all bad without even the tiniest bit of good worth saving.”

What I like the most about this quote is that sometimes when I base my judgements on people based on their actions I forget that one action doesn’t show me their entire personality. Prejudice happens everywhere and sometimes people are seen as entirely bad/evil when they haven’t had a chance to redeem themselves – in a sense it encourages me to give people second chances and forgive them. 


Magisterium: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

“Call was afraid of magicians, and he was even more afraid he was one.”

Simply put sometimes I’m afraid of change and what those changes do to my personality and this quote tells me that sometimes we’re afraid of what we will become and that’s totally fine. 


Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

“Always know what those who work for you do in their free time, just in case they’re using it to betray you.”

In a different situation from this book – it’s always useful to know things that your ‘enemies’ do in their free time as they will eventually use it to their advantage.


The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper


“Just because it’s common doesn’t make it less powerful.”

As a reader I don’t have any of the kickass abilities, super powers or tactful mind but it’s always nice to know ‘common’ does not equal to less powerful, weaker or unintelligent. 


The Body Electric by Beth Revis

“But one of the first things to go in a time of war is simply freedom.”

Such an honest statement. 


Secret, Schemes and Sewing Machines by Katy Cannon

“You can be important just by being yourself – and yourself can be anyone you want.”

I think it’s very significant to know that sometimes we pretend to be someone we aren’t to impress someone, to create an impression or to like yourself more but at the end you can try your hardest but you will always be who you are and that isn’t a bad thing. Also you can be anyone you want but never forget who you are, as you are important. 


Soulprint by Megan Miranda


“To know your soul is to become it.

Sometimes it’s hard to find yourself/discover who you are but in cliché saying – if you look deep down into your soul you can find yourself. It’s a nice thought to believe in.  


The Novice by Taran Matharu

“That’s the difference between a good warrior and a great one. Don’t fight hard.  Fight smart.”

Words of wisdom!


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

“Silence is a protective coating over pain”

We all have our secrets and we cover them with silence. It’s tactful but not always a good thing. 


Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.”

I like this quote because it makes me think a lot about what I want and it’s true – I don’t always want the same things and it’s always constantly changing maybe there is no end to desire!


 As an extra -

Today is the release day for All the Rage by Courtney Summers

All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

Now that’s powerful and frightening stuff - Click the link below to tell the girls you know—and the ones you don’t—that they are seen, heard and loved.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Far From You by Tess Sharpe Review

Far From You by Tess Sharpe 

 

“Some barriers, they’re mean to be broken.”  
Far From You is the story of Sophie and the events leading up to and after the murder of her best friend. After she’s been forced into a rehab centre to recover from her drug addiction – something she already has done. However the drugs in her pocket at the murder scene don’t help her situation.

What I liked;

The Flashbacks – Normally flashbacks really get on my nerves but they were helpful in this story as they showed the history/relationship between different characters and the events leading to Mina’s murder

Sophie – The main character was very determined and it was something that I liked about her because she wasn’t afraid to go for what she wanted/needed. She was also very strong in terms of getting better following her crash, getting over her addiction and surviving when no one believed her.

The Mystery – I can tell you that the person behind the murder isn’t someone you expect and all the clues and leads hint at possible suspects.

The Build Up – Relating to the point above all the evidence that Mina left behind and all of her investigating create a great tension/suspense.


What I didn’t like;

The Characters – I couldn’t connect with the characters at all because there was so much focus on Mina. I liked Sophie at first but then everything just revolved around Mina and it just went downhill from there.

Mina – The cliché of Mina being manipulative is used in this book – why is it that mystery book resolving in a friend’s death always make the dead girl a manipulator

The Friendship – Friendship? More like obsession, mixed signals and pain  
Reasoning – The reason for the murder of Mina and a similar case were just really squished in at the end of the book


So I disliked what the book revolved around – just what you want in a book.

“I’m holding onto her, because this is what we’re good at: hurting each other”


★★☆☆☆

Friday, 10 April 2015

End of Week Update

End of Week Update
Currently Reading

Made for You by Melissa Marr

Published: September 16th 2014 by HarperCollins, 356 pages

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.


Read This Week

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
 
Publication: May 26th 2015 by Harlequin Teen, 496 pages

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

The It-Girl by Katy Birchall

Publication: May 7th 2015 by Egmont, 352 pages

Hilariously funny and deliciously romantic 'clean teen'' fiction for teens. Perfect for fans of Geek Girl and Louise Rennison.

Everybody wants to be a famous It Girl. Don't they?

Anna Huntley's aims in life:

1) Must keep my two lovely new (and only) school friends by not doing anything in usual manner of socially inept dork and outcast.

2) Train Dog (my labrador) to high-five. This is probably the most ambitious life goal on this list.

3) Do not set the school's Deputy Queen Bee mean girl's hair on fire (again).

4) Work out whether 2) and 3) constitute being socially inept or outcastish.

5) Go to Africa and give out rice.

6) To hide in a cupboard FOR LIFE with Dog now Dad is engaged to one of the most famous actresses EVER, the paparazzi want to spash my face all over the papers and everyone in school (and The World) is soon to discover the level of my social ineptitude.

7) Is rice a bit done now? Maybe I can give out chocolate in Africa too. I do like chocolate. Must work out how to do it from the cupboard... 

Book Cover Reveals I Like

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker 


Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern



Starflight by Melissa Landers 




Movie Trailers I Liked

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

 I haven’t read the book yet but I’ve heard really good things about it and the trailer makes me want to read it!
Others movies I want to watch are on this link;



  

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Waiting on Wednesday

 A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that people are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for Waiting on Wednesday this week is:



Illuminae by Amie Kaufman,Jay Kristoff 

Publication: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers608 pages

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she
 swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—
Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.