Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass

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Publisher: Harper Collins

Publish Date: 28th January 2016

Genre: YA, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

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Plot: A girl with a secret. The boy of her dreams. An ocean between them.
Throughout the ages, the Ocean has occasionally rescued young women from drowning. To repay their debt, these young women must serve for 100 years as Sirens, remaining young and beautiful and using their deadly voices to lure strangers into watery graves. To keep their true nature secret, Sirens must never speak to humans, and must be careful never to stay in the same place for too long. But once her century of service is over, each Siren gets a chance to start over – a chance to live the mortal life that was almost stolen from her.

Kahlen became a Siren after her family died in a terrible shipwreck, decades ago. And though a single word from her can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny… and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all of the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.


 

Review: When I was starting this book I didn’t have any expectations. I hadn’t heard anything about the book, I picked it up because I had read Kiera Cass’s other books and liked her writing style.

I think the story was completely different to anything I had previously written and it was definitely unexpected. I think it was both good and bad. The ocean was a huge character in this story and at times I loved Her and at times I hated Her. She was too controlling and domineering. She seemed like such a motherly figure to the girls and it was clear how much she loved them, her love for Kahlen was particularly clear.

I loved Akinli’s character. He just seemed so sweet and caring, it did not bother him that Kahlen couldn’t speak to him, he always found ways around that. My only wish was that there would have been more of Akinli in the book. I feel like there could have been more character development for Akinli.

Finally moving onto Kahlen, I’m not so sure I liked her character. She was too moody and depressing and I did not like the way she treated her sisters. She was constantly forcing them to move to different places and change their lifestyles. To be honest, I found her character to be quite selfish. I found it difficult to read some of the book since the whole story was told in Kahlen’s point of view.

Overall I found the story to be quite interesting because it was so different to other books, it was a quick read and the writing was very simple and easy to follow. I wont be rushing to read this book again but I am happy that I gave it a go. If you love The Selection series then I would just like to remind you that this is a very different type of book.


 

Rating:

 

★★★✩✩

Girl Online On Tour (#2)

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Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Publish Date: 20th October 2016

Genre: YA, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Girl Online Review (#1)

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Plot: Penny’s bags are packed.

When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend.

But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot . . . and her blog, Girl Online.

Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

 


 

 

Review: I have to admit that I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the previous one. I found it to be a cliché romance story with a very predictable story line.

I absolutely loved Girl Online and was looking forward to reading the sequel but it just didn’t grip my attention as much as the first book did.

The book started off really well, there were several really cute scenes between Penny and Noah at the start of the book, but when they went on tour everything changed. Noah turned into a completely different person and just wasn’t a nice guy anymore. This made me begin to hate his character even though he had been my favourite character in the previous book.

We didn’t get to read about any Magical Mystery Dates, which was my favourite thing about the first book. I was a little disappointed about the way Noah was treating Penny, I know it was done to evolve the story line but I just don’t believe that it was well-written.

I personally love Zoella and watch quite a lot of her YouTube videos but this book just did not live up to my expectations. I think it would be perfect for a younger crowd such as 13 year old girls but as a 20 year old, it just seemed too unrealistic for my taste.

 


 

Rating:

 

★★★✩✩

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

Publish Date: 8th March 2016

Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

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Plot: It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

 


 

 

Review: I don’t even know where to start with this book! I finished it a few days ago but decided that I needed a few days to process everything that happened before writing the review. Let me start by saying Cassandra Clare did it again, I feel like each book she writes gets better than the last. I can’t help but fall into every story and I found myself unable to put the book down until I read every single page.

In this book we get to learn a lot more about Emma, Julian and all of the Blackthorns. I loved seeing the life of a shadow hunter through the eyes of a new character. It gave a completely different perspective on the shadow hunter world which made it feel like a new idea rather than a developed story. Emma is someone who grew up as a shadow hunter her entire life, she doesn’t need to learn how to become a shadow hunter as its already in her nature. This in itself is a new twist on the shadow hunter story as in The Mortal Instruments we had to watch Clary adapt to the shadow hunter world.

It is clear to see from page one of this book that Cassie Clare has grown as a writer. I think the characters in this book are a lot more real and grounded than her previous books. There is a whirlwind of emotions in each character, hidden stories and a complex mix of characters. I also found the characters to be a lot more realistic.

I will admit that it took me quite a while to get into the story, it wasn’t until I got 200 pages in that I really became engrossed in the story. However, I think that was because I was getting used to listening to shadow hunter stories from a different perspective. Once I hit the 200 page mark I could not put it down. The story was constantly changing and evolving and with every page closer to solving the mystery the more engrossed I became. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to last a year without the second instalment of the Dark Artifices series.

I would recommend reading both The Mortal Instrument and The Infernal Devices before starting this book as characters from both series’ are incorporated here and each character has a background story that we see in detail in the other series’. I loved the subtle references to characters from TMI/TID as it kept the story feeling very realistic.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to fans of the Shadow World. Cassie Clare will remain one of my favourite authors as she never disappoints. For those of you that want to read Lady Midnight, beware there are spoilers everywhere!

 


 

 

Rating:

 

★★★★★

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

Publish Date: 14th August 2014

Genre: YA, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

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Plot: Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

 


 

 

Review: Love, love, loved this book! Not only was this a perfect road trip romance, it was also a rollercoaster of emotions.

After Amy’s father died in a car accident her whole world changed. Her mother moved to Connecticut to get a fresh start and planned a road trip for Amy to take with her family friend Roger. The goal of the road trip was to bring the car to Connecticut in four days, but what’s a road trip without a detour?

Both Amy and Roger have things they need to overcome, Amy needs to get over the death of her father and Roger has a hidden agenda on this trip. As the story unfolds I found it hard not to love both characters. The playlists that went along with every new state was also a brilliant touch. Not only were we hearing about their road trip but the songs listed makes the reader feel as if they are part of the story.

Though out the book we meet a lot of different characters with great personalities. I loved that not only are we seeing a road trip but we were also seeing into other people’s lives and learning about different people. It gives the story a more concrete plot and makes it more interesting.

I found this to be a very cute and engaging read, one that I found I couldn’t put down. Although Amy’s character is plagued with grief of the death of her father I never found her to be overly depressing. As the story progresses Amy begins to grow as a character and through out the book we see her take small steps to help her deal with her grief.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more of Morgan Matson’s books in the future. I loved that this book was like a scrapbook with different things from each state stuck into it. It is a very different sort of book, but a brilliant story none the less.

 


 

 

Rating:

 

★★★★☆

Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

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Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Publish Date: 24th September2015

Genre: YA, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

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Plot: Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

 


 

 

Review: If you’re looking for an untraditional love story then this is the perfect book. I found the story to be hard to get into at first as it was quite slow-moving but once I got a few chapters into it, the story really had me captured.

Arden is a girl that will go out of her way to make other people happy, regardless of the implications it may have on her life. Throughout the book there were several occasions when Arden put herself on the line to help Lindsey  and Lindsey was perfectly happy to let Arden do this. There was a number of occasions when I felt sorry for Arden as it seemed like she was being used. She was always there for other people but they weren’t always there for her.

It takes a while for Arden to find Peter’s blog, “Tonight the Streets are Ours” but when she does the story really begins to pick up pace. Peter’s blog adds a lot to the story as there are several things happening in Peter’s life that we learn about through his blog posts. Arden becomes engrossed in Peter’s life and can’t help but read the blog in any spare minutes she gets.

One day Arden gets the idea to take a road trip to New York to find Peter. Together with Lindsey they begin a new adventure to a huge city full of unknown possibilities to find a boy she has never met. The only thing Arden knows about Peter is that he works in a bookstore, and from there they begin their quest to find him. From reading his blog, Arden knows a lot about Peter’s life but she soon learns that there are two sides to every story.

I loves all of the characters in this book and although it started off quite slow I knew it had the potential to be an amazing story and so I stuck with it, and I am very happy that I did! Throughout the story you can see each character grow, and towards the end you see Arden emerge as a new person. Arden realised that life isn’t always what you expect it to be, this therefore made the story very realistic as it showed that things don’t always go as planned.

I wasn’t expecting the story to end the way it did, which made me like the story even more as it really showed me that it wasn’t the typical love story I expected. It wasn’t a particularly emotional story but I found myself loving the characters and I really enjoyed watching their lives progress and change. Definitely a book I would recommend.

 


 

 

Rating:

 

★★★☆☆

Charmed by Michelle Krys

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Publisher: Random House Childrens Publishers UK

Publish Date: 30th July 2015

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Fiction, Romance, Paranormal

Series: The Witch Hunter, #2

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Plot: Indie has spent the last few weeks frantically searching for Paige. She’s tried every spell imaginable, but witchcraft has gotten her nowhere, and she’s going crazy with guilt. Despite what her warlock boyfriend, Bishop, tells her, Indie knows it’s her fault her best friend was kidnapped by the Priory. And with the Priory destroyed, finding Paige feels more hopeless than ever-especially when Indie discovers that Paige isn’t even on Earth. She’s trapped in Los Demonios, an alternate dimension of Los Angeles filled with evil paranormals. No one who has gone there has ever come out.

Fueled by terror and loyalty, Indie is desperate to find a way into the underworld prison. She’ll worry about getting out later. But facing the dark world’s most dangerous witches and warlocks on her own means keeping her plan hush-hush-and forging alliances with some sketchy people, including a seriously sexy sorcerer.

Sometimes a witch must keep secrets from the people she cares about most. And sometimes she isn’t the only one with secrets…

 


 

 

Review: I have been looking forward to reading this book from the moment I put Hexed (the first book in the series) down as I fell in love with both Indie and Bishop from the very beginning.

Indie is a teenage girl who recently found out that both herself and he aunt are witches. As her world twists upside down and her best friend, Paige, has gone missing, Indie is on a path to reunite with her best friend. She is not scared of danger and is willing to go to extreme lengths in order to save her friend. With Bishop by her side Indie is positive she can make it through anything.

I loved Indie’s character, her love for her family and friends is clear to see, she is also very determined and courageous. Along with these good qualities, Indie also has a reckless and jealous streak which makes her a very realistic and three dimensional character. In other books I have read, the protagonist is perfect in every way, they are brave, considerate and love the people around them. Indie’s flaws make her more relatable and realistic. In the first book, Indie grew as a person and grew to be a good witch. However, in the second book I felt that Indie matured a lot and although she had to deal with some very tough situations she was always willing to sacrifice her safety for others.

Bishop was as charming and caring as always. It is clear to see how much he truly loves Indie. Although beautiful girls are throwing themselves at him he has eyes for no one but Indie. He is as flirtatious as he was in the first book, but that was a quality to him that I loved. In this book we see some ups and downs in Indie and Bishop’s relationship, he does not always agree with Indie’s choices but as always he’s there to support her and keep her safe.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and its characters. Michelle Krys does not fail to make an exciting and graphic read. With all of the details she includes it is easy to follow what is happening in the book and makes it possible to become fully engrossed in the story. Definitely a must read for any one that enjoys fantasy or witch books.

 


 

 

Rating:

 

★★★★☆

Review: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

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Publisher: Disney Press

Publish Date: 22nd July 2014

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Retelling, Fiction, Romance

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Plot: A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

 


 

 

Review: Everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast, the enchanted rose and the servents who are now household items such as clocks or candles. But does everyone know the story of what happened before the Prince became the Beast?

Valentino uses the story of Beauty and the Beast as her starting point but goes on to make a story about a young boy who was friendly and compassionate who then became vain and arrogant. The Prince was known for being a beautiful young man who protected his town killing animals in the woods, he was also well known for having any girl he wanted. With his best friend, Gaston, by his side the Prince feels he can do whatever he likes no matter the price.

When Gaston informs him that his fiancée, Circe is a pig farmers daughter the Prince refuses to believe him. However when he discovers this to be the truth he cruelly casts her aside and refuses to talk to her again. It is then that the curse comes into effect. By the Prince’s 21st birthday he must have found his true love or else the curse can never be reversed.

We watch the Prince’s physical and emotional change as he slowly becomes the Beast while trying his hardest to find his true love. We watch as his anger and rage take over at times but he holds onto his love for his servants and their love for him. When he finally finds his compassion again and begins to love the witches throw things into his path to make life harder for him, to stop the curse from being revoked.

Bell is part of this story from the beginning but it is only as the Prince nears his 21st birthday that she becomes part of the plot. It is then that the Prince realises he is running out of time and must overcome this curse.

I have seen a lot of bad reviews for this book, however I found it to be quite enjoyable. It is a quick read and the story picks up pace when the witches become involved as there is a lot of action and suspense. I would recommend this book to those looking for a quick and light read. Valentino takes an already loveable and exciting plot and twists it creating a new and fresh story.

 


 

 

Rating:

 

★★★☆☆