Friday, 31 July 2015

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday

F&F Friday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

The aim of Feature and Follow is to increase blog followers and make friends.
1.     First leave your name on the original post and then create a post on your own blog that links back to the original post
2.     Then visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
3.     Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy.

4.     How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.



This week’s question: If you could get an ARC of any book, already published, or not yet, what would it be?



This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Publication: March 22nd 2016 by Greenwillow Books, 304 pages
The heart-wrenching new novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world, from the author of Falling into Place.

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it.

But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing.

Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang’s astonishing second novel masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance.
 


This book just seems like a very interesting read with the topics (I’m guessing) of rape culture, friendship and mistakes involved. The book is being released in 2016 so it’s quite far away but I just want to read it now. 




Thursday, 30 July 2015

Discussion Time: Second Chances for Books

What books I’m deciding on rereading!


We’ve all read books we haven’t enjoyed whether it’s the writing style, the characters, the plot or we might not be in the mood to read it. I’ve made a list here on books I didn’t in particular like the first time and am deciding if I should reread them. 






Twilight Saga – I first read the books when they started to get popular with the movies getting released and my friend was obsessed with them. She loved the books and Taylor Lautner and so naturally she spread the love and I ended up reading the books. Honestly I remember nothing from the books and I don’t exactly know if I love them, like them or hate them. If I do decide to reread the books I don’t think I would like them but I do want to have an opinion on them. 



Across the Universe – I do remember parts of this book and I do enjoy the concept of the book but I don’t think I was really into the entire space thing back when I read it. Recently the author released a new book ‘The Body Electric and I honestly loved that book so much – everything was so good and I loved the plot. Also as the trilogy is complete now I could just binge read them. 




Shatter Me – So many people love this book and I just don’t get it. I didn’t like the characters or the plot and worse was the writing style however so many people talk about the growth of the characters and great plot throughout the trilogy that I’ve always been curious about it. But I really didn’t like it the first time so I don’t want to get my hopes up. 





Shiver – The entire trilogy for me was okay but it definitely improved throughout. My biggest annoyance with this book is that it was really boring – I don’t remember much of the story or the characters. But I think now I would enjoy slower paced books more and I’m always hearing about how good the author’s writing style is for some people. 




The Selection – I think a majority of people feel the same way I do, the main character is really annoying. From the reviews I’ve read of the series it doesn’t get better and the writing style is bad. However my friend was telling me that though the books aren’t perfect they are enjoyable reads like a good sort of bad. She recently read The Heir, the fourth instalment in the series and says the author’s writing style improves a lot and there is another perspective which is the main character’s daughter.   



Stormdancer – This book had its great parts – her friendship with the Griffin but aside from that the story sucked. I didn’t like the main character she was manipulative to this poor guy and the plot was overtaken by romance. However I really liked the Griffin section and it’s always stuck with me also one of the (minor) characters –someone’s sister has the same name as me. Which is rare considering my name is Aisha and though YA is becoming more diverse I doubt there’s books out there with a main character called Aisha. 




Shadow and Bone – I don’t remember anything from this book except some kidnapping or something along that line which is surprising because the book is really popular and everybody raves about it and the Darkling. So I’ve always been interested in it but recently a lot of people have been talking about it on Tumblr so I’m like should I reread?  



The Pledge – I honestly love the sound of this book and was so excited to read the book, sadly I didn’t love the book. It’s always disappointing to look forward to a book for so long then end up not liking it and I think it was the plot and how boring it was. However that disappointing feeling has always stuck so I’m debating rereading the book to see if I’ll enjoy the book the second time around. 




Throne of Glass – Now I didn’t hate this book but with all the hype surrounding it I expected to love it and I didn’t.   I felt like the author tried too hard to make the main character likeable and kickass to the point where it was just annoying. Also this is going to sound very petty but I shipped the MC with Chaol and it didn’t seem as if it was going that way so I was like nahhh. But I feel with all the other books that have been released that this book series seems pretty good – literally everybody has glowing reviews of it. 





Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Before I say anything I love the second book and for the majority I love this book but not as much as I want to. I don’t know if it’s the long ass flashback or how confusing the book was but I wasn’t exactly feeling this book however now that I’ve read the second one and know the story more it feels as if I was to go back and read the book again I’d probably enjoy the book more. 





If you love any of these books please leave a comment below on why so hopefully I’ll be encouraged to read these books or if you have the same issue about not liking the book also leave a comment. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton Review

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton


“When you love, you open yourself to a dagger.”

The synopsis for Seeker is very brief and for a good reason as so much happens in this book.   The book starts off with the 3 main characters – Quin, John and Shinobu taking their final training test and taking their oaths to become seekers well 2 of them do. The book includes multi-perspectives, a time jump and a section with the past history; the characters that you meet at the first section drastically change in the second part – personality wise.

The book started off pretty badly – the action part was good but the characters were just bland. We’re introduced to the “big problem” in the first chapter which means the books purpose is given and spoiled before we even get to know the characters. Also the device (that gives off sparks) was supposed to be this big scary machine but it was used so often in the book it wasn’t really intimidating and so the fear that the characters had for it was hard to understand. In the first chapter, Quin introduces seeker training and the romance. The training part was okay but I hated the romance as I hated John – he was really obnoxious and self centred and his first chapter was just his views on Quin and to reinforce the romance.

The plot is very quick and goes from one story to another almost too quickly. The past history chapters were pointless except John’s in which we find out about his mum and his motives. After the time jump most of Quin’s good qualities were gone and the story took this really weird turn. But for most of the book the plot is repetitive – John tracks down Quin and asks her to help him and she refuses him and escapes. The same cycle was repeated at least 3 times in the book and I don’t why John couldn’t take the hint that possibly Quin didn’t want to help him.

The writing style was good which meant that although I hated the plot and the characters something made me read on. The world building was really good and the writing style was the best parts of the book.

Quin is my favourite character in the book. At first she’s naïve to the truth about being a seeker but when she finds the truth she is determined to set things right. However after the time jump which is 18 months ( I think) the author not only strips Quin of her memory but her personality – Quin is transformed into a insecure and a panicky character who needed to be saved by the hero. This is really annoying why repeat the story of making her naïve but instead of making her determined make her a whiny mess. Also her lack of respect for her mother is horrible because after all her mother does to protect herself she should at least be able to live a peaceful life.

John is the ultimate mummy’s boy. He literally has no thoughts of his own and has his mind set on destroying everything until he completes his mission set by his mother. He keeps telling Quin how different he is from her dad and how much good he will do when he’s so blind to his own way. From the start he manipulates a vulnerable Quin and throughout the novel pesters/stalks/hunts her so she can help him and he is legitimately shocked to why she won’t help him. Someone give him a clue.

Shinobu is the unlikely hero - the anti hero or he’s supposed to be. He is the worst character in the book hands down. Growing up with Quin, Shinobu developed a crush on her but she always saw him as a cousin and things seemed worse when she started to date John. Oh poor guy didn’t end up with the girl he wanted must mean he’s entitled to everything else… oh wait no. Shinobu is a beautiful ginger Asian and the only girl he ever wanted is Quin…he “loves” her so much and that love soon turns to hatred because he didn’t get her. When he saves Quin and because of Quin’s OCD with dirt and mess she starts to freak out his reaction is to get angry and mad.

“He felt a strong urge to slap her hard, to wake her up, but judging from the bruises coming in on her face, John and his men had already hit her several times.”

What! The only reason he didn’t hurt her was because she had already been hit. What kind of piece of garbage thinks like that and yet still thinks he’s in “love” with her and entitled to a relationship with her? Is this seriously the heroic guy in the situation/book?

The romance wasn’t a love triangle to me. She has a relationship with John at the start and though they never officially end things, his continuous actions pretty much show the relationship has ended. Then she magically realises how she never saw Shinobu in that light and instantly develops feelings for him. It’s a rushed mess and I hate the two love interests.


☆☆☆☆

Friday, 24 July 2015

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday

F&F Friday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

The aim of Feature and Follow is to increase blog followers and make friends.
1.     First leave your name on the original post and then create a post on your own blog that links back to the original post
2.     Then visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
3.     Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy.

4.     How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.



This week’s question: What is your favourite movie?



It's 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all-girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam


Leave a comment below on what your favourite movie is or if you have any thoughts on The Sapphires. 







Thursday, 23 July 2015

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand Review

Imitation by Heather Hildenbrand


“Unfortunately good and evil aren’t as black and white as we’d like. The methods always look muddy to bystanders.”

Imitation is the story of Ven, a clone. Clones are created for people who have the money and are rich, to either use as a body double or to harvest their organs. Ven is the clone of Raven Rogen the daughter of Titus Rogen the RogenCorps organisation ceo– the creator of all clones. After an attack on Raven, Ven is sent to impersonate or imitate Raven in order to draw out the attackers, so basically she’s bait.

The book had a good start with Ven and her 2 friends being introduced, life at RogenCorps is shown with an insight into their restrained and observed lives. We see Ven and her personality as clones are put into trios and her trios consists of 3 girls with different personalities, also we see sessions in which Ven observes Raven to learn more about her.

Ven thinks very low of Raven. To Ven Raven is a shallow slut who lives off her dad’s money and only does stuff for attention. It’s disgusting how judgemental Ven is even after she sees life from Raven’s view – after Ven gets angry she realises she can relate to Raven which would show her how depressing Raven’s real life is but no she’d rather picture her as a snobby teenager. What made it worse is when the love interest slut shamed Raven – she never turned anybody down – get over yourself! Anyway Ven compared herself to Raven making Raven look bad and her look good and she did this by slut shaming and being judgemental.

The plot of the story was very similar to the movie The Island – the clones, the reasoning behind the clones and the entire bad system thing. I guess it’s an overused trend in clone books – it isn’t anything original. Plus the story was slow paced and dragged on too much.

What made the story awful was the romance. First of all – Instant love with a judgemental rude jerk (who does change) and then the quick falling in love. The novel started off well but as soon as the romance was introduced it took over the story – there was no need for a plot as the author focused on the romance. It was boring and I didn’t care as I wasn’t emotionally attached to the characters.

Lastly the ending was such a cliché – it was the typical meet the rebellion people and headquarters which set up the book for the plot of taking down the corrupt system.


☆☆☆☆

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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:

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann 

Publication: March 15th 2016 by Greenwillow Books, 384

Five gifted teenagers are selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace was sealed after the aristocrats fled there. No one has set foot in it for over two centuries.

Now, in the present day, the teenagers enter with cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art security, scientists and chaperones. And then a brutal accident occurs. No way out. Caught in the dark.

They will have to fight to survive. But are they really alone in the depths?


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Inked by Eric Smith Review

Inked by Eric Smith


“Lose control once in a while, and your emotions will make you strong. Keep your heart open, and they’ll make you invincible.”

Inked is the story of Caenum, a teenage boy who’s waiting to get inked. An inking ceremony consists of a person getting a moving tattoo which will tell the person what career choice they are best suited for. Caenum at the start of the book is dreading his ceremony to the point in which he’d rather run away than face it, that is until the arrival of Kenzi a scribe whose magical abilities send the town after him. Caenum and his friend Dreya accompany Kenzi to the Sanctuary where they could all be safe however nothing is that easy in their lives.

The plot is split into 3 parts; the town and home life, the Freedland men and the sanctuary. The first part – the introduction of the novel was good as it showed an insight into the 3 main characters and their lives. It sets up how village life is, how the villagers are and the back-story of the villain. The second part which is the best part is when the trio are on the run and get captured by un-inked men who call themselves the Freedland men – basically Viking men. We’re introduced to the main men from there that either ally themselves with the trio or become enemies with them. The last section is the worst section. Also it’s revealed that the trio all have a magical ability which is such a cliché and typical – of course they’re all special.

Overall the story was fast paced however with that the story missed a lot of explanations out -the entire inking ceremony wasn’t really gone into and its effects on people’s lives. Also how, when they got into the sanctuary we only met like 3 characters because Caenum spent most of his time outside so it was a missed opportunity which was instead focused on Caenum doing basically nothing. Also the section on the entire “war” and training were way too rushed especially compared to all the unnecessary stuff added in.

The character of the dad really annoyed me. It was as if the author couldn’t decide whether to make him good or bad and then decided to infuse both ideas. One moment the dad’s all nice talking about the past then he’s power hungry – it was confusing and pointless. The villain and the hero had their fight at 97%! Literally there was hardly anything and he was supposed to be this big scary feared assassin – wasted potential there.

The romance was frustrating as the feelings were already there even before the story started and nothing really developed and then randomly at the end he found out her loved her. Also the ending sucked as it didn’t wrap up things properly.

 “You can only stop running when there’s no one left to chase you.”


★★★☆☆

Monday, 20 July 2015

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin Review

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin


“Being feminine does not equal less than”

One of the Guys is the story of Toni or Tonya who has always been “One of the Guys” that is until she gets into trouble and is sent to Winston Academy – an all girls school. Over the summer her group of 3 best friends slowly disbands as they move onto different things and Toni struggles to keep them together and to do so she starts up her own business. Rent-A-Gent is a service which Toni sets up fake dates for her fellow student and matches them up with one of her friends.

I really liked most of the characters in the book. Toni was someone who was going through a lot of change and she did make mistakes however she dealt with them head on and fought for her friendship. Her 3 friends; Cowboy, Loch and Ollie all have different personalities and this is partially the reason why they all struggle to continue to be friends over the course of the book. However the boys’ differences showed them to be a misfit group of friends and it was really nice to see the different friendships she had with each guy. Emma who is Toni’s new friend was really sweet and I loved their relationship together.

The plot was good and I liked the idea of the business and the problems and benefits it had to Toni. I liked how Toni tried really hard to make everything right and keep things together.

The romance was really cute – Loch and Toni had such a nice relationship and you could tell that Loch really liked her and had for a long time. The only bad thing was that it took such a long time for them to get together – it was right near the end and it was all due to miscommunication.

“Why should girlie have such a negative connotation”

One of the main themes in the novel was reclaiming femininity after thinking that wearing and doing feminine things meant you were weak. After spending so many years acting like a “guy” Toni finds it hard to fit in at her new school. But she does adapt and she realises with the help of Emma and her other friends that being girlie isn’t a bad thing. One scene I liked in particular is when Ollie is mocking the girls at Winston and Toni comes to their defence because it’s the first time we see her change.  

“Because I don’t want to stay the same forever”

One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Toni’s at the graveyard talking to her father and she tells him how much she’s changed and how she’s not sure when she will stop changing and how she accepts that now.


★★★★

Friday, 17 July 2015

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday

F&F Friday is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

The aim of Feature and Follow is to increase blog followers and make friends.
1.     First leave your name on the original post and then create a post on your own blog that links back to the original post
2.     Then visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
3.     Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy.

4.     How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.



This week’s question: How would your ideal library look like


I would dedicate an entire section of a room for my books but I wouldn't have an entire room full of them. 

Source: 
http://stripeysmallfish.tumblr.com/post/123023873554


Leave a comment below on your thoughts and your ideal library. 









The Hit by Allen Zadoff Review

The Hit by Allen Zadoff 


“Chance can be your friend or your enemy”

The Hit is the story of Ben a trained hit man/soldier who is tasked to take down the Mayor of New York. Ben is enrolled in The Program, an organisation which assigns missions to Ben, he gains access to the target by becoming friends with the children of the victims and after he kills them he leaves.

What I liked;

The Introduction – probably the best part of the novel as it shows Ben completing a mission. We see what he does and how he does it and the fast paced writing style sets the book up to be interesting.

The main character – Ben is a very mysterious and closed off character which fits into his job description.  He was very collected and calm in the action scenes and it’s almost funny how he deals with getting close with the Mayor’s daughter (Sam) because he’s so used to finding his job easy when he meets Sam it’s much harder and he tries really hard. His personality reminds me of secret agents in films - silent/brooding however he’s not a jerk.

The Plot – The entire mystery was built up well with the spying, kicking ass and getting to know different characters. I enjoyed the subplot of Ben trying to figure out if the Program was “good” and his back story on how he joined the Program. I also liked the twist near the end and how the blog was used to communicate between two people. The pace of the story was good with most of it being very fast as the story only took place in a couple of days.

What I didn’t like;

Sam – She was really annoying and I don’t know what about her specifically but she came across as up herself and because she had a certain political view she was higher up than others. Also her relationship with her ex boyfriend was surrounded by mystery and so when the twist happened it just fell flat because I didn’t really  believe in their relationship

Romance – Adding to the previous point I didn’t like Sam – their relationship was way too quick and they developed feelings too easily.

Writing Style – Something was off with the writing style. Even though I know that Ben is supposed to be an enclosed character the writing style at times felt really bland and emotionless which made it really hard to connect with the characters and plot. The book ended quite well – what happened was unexpected and it wrapped up well for a first book. It didn’t create any real excitement for the rest of the series though.


★★★☆☆

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski Review

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski


“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

The Winner’s Crime picks up soon after the Winner’s Curse finishes with the main plotline surrounding Kestrel’s engagement ball and her life with the Emperor.

The plot of the novel was very different to the previous book mainly because Kestrel’s situation had changed – as the emperor’s soon to be daughter in law the power that Kestrel’s supposed to have and is used to having isn’t there anymore and so the game that Kestrel is so used to playing is totally different. After someone – Arin’s second in command – hires/asks Kestrel to be a spy for him, Kestrel’s life consists of sneaking around and being deceitful for a good cause. She also has to deal with the Emperor and his guests. There’s also a sub plot of Arin who has to gain allies for his country and how he goes to the Middle East.

“This kind of game isn’t about intelligence. It’s about experience”  

Kestrel is out of her depth in the Palace.  In the previous books we see just how intelligent she is on how she can read and play people however the rules have changed with the Emperor. Kestrel is still incredibly clever – how she finds information, how she transfers it and how quick of a thinker she is, it’s really shocking however no matter how good she is she is always a step behind the Emperor who has been playing the game longer than Kestrel. The Emperor turns a blind eye to most of Kestrel’s actions because he’s training her to be the next ruler as he finds similar traits between her and himself. The book also focuses on her sacrifices – what hasn’t she done for other people and Arin. Kestrel is capable of so much and it’s nice to see a character whose strength comes from her intelligence not just her physical strength.

Arin’s character in the previous book is shown to be deceiving and tactful as he tricks Kestrel into getting what he wants, in this book he changes a lot. We see just how much Arin relies on others as he was very rash and indecisive at the beginning – I guess it’s an effect of being around Kestrel as after he goes to the Middle East he becomes a more logical thinker. Arin has a lot of issues to deal with – he is after all the new leader of the country, a country that is being targeted at viciously. With Kestrel his actions are very un-thought however as the novel progresses he realises he has only himself to rely on and sort of toughens himself up and goes looking for help for his country.

Arin’s trip to the Middle East was interesting as it gave us more information around the other countries and added to the world building, it also gave an insight into the back-story of a character living in the Palace. The sub plot showed how Arin changed to protect his country and gain an ally.

The romance in this book was less than the previous book which was sad as I love Kestrel and Arin together but by putting the romance second the plot was put first which was a good thing. But this book was torture because Arin was so close to finally getting through Kestrel’s necessary lies and I mean he was so close.

The ending of the book is a cliff-hanger as something bad happens to Kestrel following a certain betrayal from someone close to her.


★★★★★

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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:



This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Publication: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire, 288 pages

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.