Monday, 29 February 2016

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich Book Review

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

“But when no one will believe you, you become the liar they think you are.”

The Dead House has an interesting concept with the different presentation of narratives and the plot being based around events from the past and told from someone who supposedly doesn’t exist.

The novel had a good start with the incident being revealed and the sisters being in a mental illness hospital with the slow built up of their relationship to themselves and their doctor. The girls are allowed to move to school for their final year and this is where the sisters life start to differentiate. Carly is diagnosed with DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder where after her parents death, trauma has created an alternative version of her to protect her mind from bad things. So Carly lives the day whilst her ‘twin sister’ Kaitlyn comes out at night.  However the sisters have been this way before their parent’s death.

Half way through the novel something significant happens which is pretty surprising but after that the book goes downhill. There’s this build up of mystery but it’s too empowering and makes the book drag on and so boring. All these events occur and it’s just a continuous built up of mystery with no answers being given. There is essentially little plot going on.

Worse of all the two big reveals on who is behind it/their reasoning behind it and what happened to her parents is so disappointing.  

Friday, 19 February 2016

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure Book Review

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

“So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster.”

My first issue with the novel is that the focus is mostly on the romance and I didn’t like the romance. The love interest is presented as the typical best friend brother – he’s cute looking, nice and an athlete – he’s also got a serious girlfriend. So cheating is involved. Also the romance was weird because Lucille was so deeply in love with him, her words presented her as the definition of love sick. It wasn’t fun to read…it was more creepy than cute. Also near the end their romance turned way too dramatic and I just didn’t care for it.

The book is fast paced and I finished it really quickly but there are so many different plotlines in the book and some of them are pointless and others don’t really have a good ending to them. The main plot is then overrun by these other subplots and so there’s not that much of a story more just conversations between people.

Also I didn’t like the best friend’s plotline – it just felt like a cliché and unrealistic with how the friend was being presented. It felt like the author just wanted to get rid of her so her brother could take her place. Plus that ending was slightly predictable.

The writing style was lacking something so the characters apart from Lucille and her sister all fell flat.

What I did like was the sister’s relationship I thought it was really cute and also the “angels” aspect.


Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Young Elites by Marie Lu Book Review

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

 “I have made a full circle and I have not escaped my fate at all.”

Adelina is rescued from execution by the Dagger Society for being a malfetto and committing murder. Her rescuers are the Young Elite a group of special malfettos with gifts and Adelina discovers her powers are in their rank. Teren, an inquisitioner who captured her starts to blackmail her to betray the Young Elites.

The best thing about this book is the character development. Adelina starts off as very insecure, not only in herself but in her powers and then she undergoes this near death experience, training and not only does her ability build but her personality does as well. The thing about Adelina is that she isn’t perfect or the chosen one – she’s the underdog of sorts. Her power is mainly effective when she’s close to death or experiencing fear so she is quite a dark character and add to the point that she’s willing to sacrifice other people’s lives for her goals makes a MC that’s not conventional and very ambitious to prove herself and save herself.

The plot is very interesting because Adelina stumbles into the Young Elite’s life when they’re planning to overtake the current monarchy and so she’s treated as the outsider. The good thing about Adelina is that although she admires the Young Elite she doesn’t idolise them so the way they’re presented isn’t all positive which helps build the image of the Dagger Society as grey ground – helping people that will benefit their cause. Also the multi-perspectives in the novel help build the overall story as we see different aspects of what is going on.

There are a lot of side characters – members of the Dagger Society and they’re presented by how they treat Adelina. But it’s refreshing to see Adelina build friendships with other females and it’s not all hate on hate.

The romance in the book is predictable and really cringe worthy to read. Their relationship and interactions are awkward to read but I liked how slow it was built and how it didn’t overtake the plotline.

I loved the sister’s relationship near the end of the novel and their shared connection.

The ending of the book had something I didn’t expect but I loved how the events although were sad made Adelina decide to do something which is set up for the next book. The epilogue links to something that happens previously in the book and I can guess on what it might involve… but you never know.

“How do you shut out a scream that comes from inside your mind?”


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Book Review

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

“You want me to pin my entire operation, the entire revolution, on some teenaged love story?”

Mare’s just an average Red girl until the day she gets a job working for the Silver’s in the Silver Palace and during the Queenstrial discovers she has powers linked to electricity. However only Silvers have powers so to cover for her the King and Queen force Mare into being Mareena Titanos, a Silver from a long lost family, and she’s engaged to the second Prince.   

This book took me a long long time to read mainly because Mare was an annoying main character. Having read a lot of YA novels you get used to reading books with the main lead being special but this book focused too much on Mare and everything that happened seemed to have her at the centre of it. Personally I think the book would have suited having dual perspectives.

The plot wasn’t bad it just moved really slowly. There was a lot of focus on Mare’s character pre discovering her powers and this included the introduction of the rebellion group ‘Scarlet Guard’. Typically the rebellion is shown after the main character is with the opposition but by introducing it earlier it made the story predictable and solely focused on Mare’s actions.  But the thing is what did Mare actually do for the rebellion group before the Ball.

The romance in this book is really awkward which is natural when there are 3 love interests. The heir to the throne, Cal is the one who saves Mare and I know he’s supposed to be someone conflicted on the right thing to do but his character at the start is way different to him later on…his opinion changes and his character is contradictory. The next love interest is the one which is predictable, Kilorn her best friend. Following the stereotype he’s in love with her and she doesn’t see it but protects him all the same. Lastly the 3rd love interest is Cal’s brother and her fiancé Maven, the perfect prince.

There’s this major ‘twist’ near the end of the book but to be honest all the signs pointing towards it were in the book. The way that Mare describes Maven as a better King than Cal, what Julian says, how he’s the Queen’s son and how he’s presented as too perfect. Other aspects I didn’t like was how she knew all the bad stuff on Cal and yet she still went to him and hated Evangeline for being with him and how although there was a lot of death, no major character died.

What I did like though is the ending action scene it was well written but then the ending with the discovery of something was too cheesy.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis Book Review

Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis

“The bars of her cage felt like they were collapsing in on her.”

Allyssa is thrown into an arranged marriage of convenience to a King of a neighbouring kingdom so that the two can unite in battle against a threatening enemy. However Allyssa has secrets of her own, things she does at night which aren’t suitable for a princess and with the arrival of the King and his people, she finds herself in a lot of trouble.

For the most part I really enjoyed the book it had an interesting plotline with subplots linking to the overall action, a variety of characters and had good world building.

However the book was so predictable that I knew from the start what  the ‘twist’ was and all the other ‘mysteries’ were so easy to guess. What was annoying was that Allyssa was always very close to finding out information and something or someone always stopped it occurring and this happened way too many times throughout the book.  

The relationship between the 2 main characters was developed well as they both struggled with their situation and other events. Although the blurb says ‘she unveils a heinous plot’ which is overrating her participation in the unveiling way too much

However although the book was predictable it was easy going in the sense it was fun to read and fast paced which helped me get out of my reading slump.

There are aspects of the story which do interest me – I haven’t read the original series based on her parents so I did find her parents quite close off and secretive and there is a link between the book which I think is relevant to the war that is mentioned in this book.

The romance aspect of this book is very tame which suited the plot and characters as Allyssa was coming to terms with her engagement.

Also Allyssa is supposed to be this trained fighter so when she’s attacked she can defend herself so why is it that when she needs to be a fighter the most she finds herself weapon less because she’s dropped them previously…surely years of experience would have made her more adaptable to these situations.


Monday, 15 February 2016

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden Review

The Casquette Girls by 
DNF at 12%

This book wasn’t for me for various reasons mainly the annoying main character;

“Let my long waves of espresso-coloured hair” Who describes themselves like that

“I belong here, not with rich kids” Not sounding snobbish or up yourself at all

“I’d always thought of myself as just a normal teenager” You and every other main 

“I tried not to yelp as the solvent spidered into the wound” Again who talks like this

“The sound of the busy signal made me burst into tears” “Tears dripping” I have 
nothing against tears in books but why so many... It’s not interesting

I silently mourned the death of the Chanel as the blood soaked through it” This coming from a girl who doesn’t care for designer clothing or rich stuff


Monday, 1 February 2016

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner Review

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

“How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?”

After the Icarus, a spaceship crashes down on an unknown planet there are only 2 survivors left; Lilac the daughter of the creator of the ship and Tarver a major from a lower class background. The story follows them as they have to trek through the planet in order to signal for help however they find they’re not alone on the planet and their hate for each other doesn’t help.

This book has an interesting concept and one of my favourite aspects was the scientific knowledge surrounding the hyperspace and reflectors however I didn’t like the characters, the writing style and the plot.

Lilac is annoying because of her constant need to be projected as cold and distant and she is so self-pitying. At the start of the book there’s a hint to the ‘mystery’ surrounding a bad past experience on her behalf leaving her scarred of showing real emotion to any guy however the higher class women role is stereotypical even her back story is typical and so added with her personality of trying way too hard to hate on Tarver I didn’t sympathise with her at all. Maybe it would have been okay if she hadn’t mentioned how lovely she really was constantly and that this was all an act to keep strong. As the novel progresses her character is more bearable and becomes a strong heroine without having to be kickass which I really liked however by this point I didn’t care for her so it meant nothing to me.

Tarver is supposed to be this strong handsome gentleman instead what we get is someone who constantly complains about how he’s not suited for the higher class lifestyle – he has the nerve to say that Lilac constantly complains when he doesn’t even listen to half the shit that comes out of his mouth.  Also he underestimates Lilac to the point it’s insulting – how she was totally defenceless in this planet even when they had been there for a long time. All the sexual tension and the things he said... were they supposed to be sexy or funny? Well he came off very sleazy and creepy.

The romance is predictable from the start. But it’s so cringe worthy to read because from the start all Tarver seems to be focused on is her looks yeah he says it’s her personality but why does it seem as if every time he mentions her he comments on her looks. Their relationship wasn’t slowly built or anything it was instant love from the start even if they masked it with hate. Their interactions when they were a couple were weird to read and out of place in the story.

Plus where was the world building of this unknown planet?