Welcome everyone :) Things may be a little slow at the moment as I am in my last few months of school so I am swamped with work and exams but if you had time to leave a comment it would make my day!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: Breathe


      Breathe (Breathe, #1)

    
Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: Released
Source: For review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #92


When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Years after the Switch, life inside the Pod has moved on. A poor Auxiliary class cannot afford the oxygen tax which supplies extra air for running, dancing and sports. The rich Premiums, by contrast, are healthy and strong. Anyone who opposes the regime is labelled a terrorist and ejected from the Pod to die. Sixteen-year-old Alina is part of the secret resistance, but when a mission goes wrong she is forced to escape from the Pod. With only two days of oxygen in her tank, she too faces the terrifying prospect of death by suffocation. Her only hope is to find the mythical Grove, a small enclave of trees protected by a hardcore band of rebels. Does it even exist, and if so, what or who are they protecting the trees from? A dystopian thriller about courage and freedom, with a love story at its heart.



Breathe is a really interesting concept that doesn't feel quite so far away as it should. I read Crossan's debut novel, written in verse, which I really enjoyed but I had hesitations about how a novel written in such a different format to her first would resonate with me. I needn't have worried as I ended up really enjoying Breathe.

The novel is narrated by three characters; Bea, Alina and Quinn. All the voices were distinct and I found it easy to recognise the narrator by the style of their chapter. It really allowed the story to have greater depth. Bea was, and still is, my favourite character but I grew to love the three protagonists as well as the secondary characters.

I thought the world building was well described and allowed a good visualisation of the desolate expanse that surrounded the domes. Crossan also thoroughly explored the reasons behind this dystopian world opposed to the reader having to just accept that this is the way things are.

Ultimately Breathe is a good dystopian that may not rise above all other dystopians but it certainly stands it own and shouldn't be dismissed. If dystopian is something you enjoy please give this a read.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review: Frostbite

      Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2)

    
Title: Frostbite
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Pages: 327
Publisher: Razorbill Penguin
Release Date: Released
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #89


Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose... 

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory. 

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...




*There may be spoilers of the first novel in the Vampire Academy series*


The first book in the Vampire Academy series involves a lot of world building to set the scene for the rest of the series and the pace definitely picks up in Frostbite. It feels a lot darker but still has all the fun that was in the first book.

I really really liked Rose in 'Frostbite'. She went through a lot of character development and matures but still doesn't lose those moments of reckless and immaturity that naturally comes with being a teenager. There is also an introduction to new characters, the most prominent being Adrian and Rose's mother. It was really interesting to see Rose's relationship with her mother and see how it developed throughout the book. Adrian...hmm. Not a fan. I think he's a bit creepy.

The plot is super fast-paced and really draws you into the story. The story starts with a Strigoi attack and that really sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The novel definitely is a lot more serious and less light-hearted than the first novel but it feels like a natural progression and there are lighter moments to provide relief.


A wonderful addition the series and I cannot wait to continue.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Review: How To Save a Life

    How to Save a Life
    
Title: How To Save a Life
Author: Sara Zarr
Series: None
Pages: 411
Publisher: Usborne
Release Date: September 1st 2012 (UK)
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #90


Jill's life lost all meaning when her dad died. Friends, boyfriend, college – nothing matters any more. Then her mom drops a bombshell: she's going to adopt a baby.

Mandy is desperate for her life to change. Seventeen, pregnant and leaving home, she is sure of only one thing – her baby must never have a life like hers, whatever it takes.

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn both how to hold on and how to let go, finding that nothing is as easy - or as difficult - as it seems.



'How to Save a Life' and I got off on a rocky start. I liked Jill well enough but Mandy just seemed like an absolute psycho. She is awkward and inappropriate when talking to people and I just had a feeling I wouldn't get on with the book because of that. However, as the book goes on I began to fall harder for it and ended up being really moved by it.

It is not a plot driven novel by any stretch of the imagination. It is about growth, change and acceptance. It is about moving forward. Zarr crafts her characters beautifully, all of them feeling unqiue, realistic and purposeful. No character seemed like they were there simply to be there. It was characters that inched the plot forward and it was really beautiful to watch.


The characters are the true heroes of this novel. They were all beautifully flawed and beautifully vulnerable. Ravi and Dylan, two secondary characters, played a huge part in the novel and neither were perfect yet because of this, they were. I left the novel feeling like I knew these characters and wanted to know them more.

The writing is very poetic and flows very nicely. It is definitely easy to read which, when a novel isn't driven by plot, is very important. There is such a softness in this novel which I can't describe in any other way. It feels delicate, like it needs to be handled carefully.


The outcome of the novel didn't truly surprise me but it was still very interesting to watch unfold and see the progression up to that point. If you enjoy novels about characters and growth and moving forward then this is something you will probably enjoy. It really touched me.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Review: Vampire Academy


    Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
    
Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Pages: 332
Publisher: Razorbill Penguin
Release Date: Released
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #88


St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.



I have heard nothing but good things from the Vampire Academy series and I figured 2012 was the time to jump on the band wagon. I have been hesitant due to the vampire subject matter. Paranormal, as many of you may know by now, is not a favourite of mine. However, I have found an area of paranormal that I do enjoy; paranormal novels set in a paranormal world rather than a hot mysterious guy being all "Let me suck your blood". It is much more interesting. Vampire Academy is a intricately created world with a lot of depth. 


I really admired Rose as a protagonist. She was strong, reckless but ultimately selfless. Her dedication to Lissa's safety was so admirable and their friendship was really touching. Despite the hierarchy in society between Moroi and Dhampir, they treat each other with mutual respect and kindness.

And let's get on to the important bit...guys. SWOON! A lot of sexy men about (and a fair share of jerks also). I loved both Dimitri and Christian. And Vampire Academy was a lot steamier than I expected. WIN!

I am so glad that I finally got around to starting the series and I can't wait to finish it. Read it, even if you aren't a huge vampire/ paranormal fan. You shan't regret it!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: What's Left of Me

    What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)
    
Title: What's Left of Me
Author: Kat Zhang 
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Pages: 343
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 27th 2012
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #84


I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.



What's Left of Me is an extremely original read which is rather rare in the ever expanding dystopian genre. It poses a lot of ethical issues which I found to be very provoking. A refreshing debut novel in the sea of formulaic dystopians.

I thought the narrative from Eva - the trapped soul - was a really intriguing way of narrating the story. The distinct behaviour of Addie and Eva made it so easy to distinguish between the two despite them being in the same body. They has such different personalities and whilst I preferred Evie to begin with I began to understand and ultimately connect with Addie. The relationship between them was really touching and personal.

The actual concept of two souls residing in one body reminded me a lot of conjoined twins and whether it is right to kill off one twin in order to improve the life span of the other. The idea of sacrificing a child in order to prolong the life of an other, if both would result in an early death otherwise, is something that has, does and will happen and I can easily see how a society like this could have been formed. Books that pose such difficult ethical questions really resonate with me and I tend to hold on to them for a long while.

I am really looking forward to see how the series progresses and find out some answers to those many questions revealed in the first instalment. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


      The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
    
Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky 
Series: None
Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #75


standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective…but there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. since its publication, stephen chbosky’s haunting debut novel has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, grown into a cult phenomenon with over a million copies in print, and inspired a major motion picture.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.



I have been meaning to read 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' for what feels like forever. There is a huge amount of hype surrounding the novel and with the film coming up this year I felt like it was a perfect time to dive in. It is likened to 'The Catcher in the Rye' and other coming of age novel that follow the growth of a boy to a man so to speak. 'Perks' definitely encapsulated those feelings and whilst I didn't find it to be as life changing as many other readers have, I still tremendously enjoyed it and it certainly gave me a lot to think about. 


The novel is told through letters from Charlie to a 'friend'. It felt extremely genuine and personal and I felt it really helped to connect with Charlie in the same way reading his diary would. The way in which the novel is written does make it feel like a classic. It has an timeless quality to it.

What I enjoyed most about 'Perks' is the way it makes you think. Nothing is black and white and I am constantly questioning whether the actions of the characters are right or wrong. It is definitely a book that could be discussed for hours. The characters are so three dimensional and they feel so real. Whether their actions were right or wrong I cared deeply for all of them.

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' is a young adult novel that captures the essence of what being a teenager feels like and how hard growing up can be. It deals with issues that, at the time of publication, would have been more shocking than they are today. That being said, it still provides an insight to issues teens still face today and it is a novel I would recommend you pick up.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Review: Noughts & Crosses


      Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)
    
Title: Noughts & Crosses
Author: Malorie Blackman 
Series: Noughts & Crosses #1
Pages: 479
Publisher: Corgi
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 stars
100 Book challenge: #86


Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a nought – a ‘colourless’ member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood. But that’s as far as it can go. Until the first steps are taken towards more social equality and a limited number of Noughts are allowed into Cross schools… Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity by Noughts, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum – a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger…



I have read Noughts & Crosses countless times as well as studying the novel in school so when I was offered the opportunity to reread the series I just couldn't say no. It is a novel that never fails to move me, even seven years later from reading it originally. It is a novel which contains both hatred and hope and love and loss.

The reversal of the racial hierarchy that was, and is, present in society is an intriguing idea that still has the power to make me think hard about our society. One scene from the book really stood out when I read it for the first time and upon second, third and fourth readings it still hits me hard. A nought (white) is wearing a plaster and Sephy comments on how it stands out for the colour of the plaster is a dark brown because they don't make plasters to blend in with noughts' skin tones. It was this scene that really made me think about things that I didn't even know I needed to be thinking about.

Noughts & Crosses is ultimately about race but the heart of the story is centered around love. Both Callum and Sephy love so strongly, not only for each other but for those that they love, yet they have such different ways of loving. Sephy's actions are always out of love but she makes a lot of bad choices because she doesn't think through the consequences. Callum's upbringing has made him a lot more reserved in his actions.


Noughts & Crosses is a novel that has the power to really make you think and move you in ways that you didn't know you could be moved. If you haven't read this series I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Review: Sweet Venom


     Sweet Venom
    
Title: Sweet Venom
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Series: Medusa Girls #1
Pages: 384
Publisher: Templar
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #83


Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates.

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it's also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters. . . .


Like all of Tera Lynn Childs' novels, Sweet Venom is a lighter, more fun side to  paranormal YA. And best of all there isn't the whole paranormal romance cliche that is in pretty much every paranormal novel these days. 

Childs' writing is fresh and easy to read. Sweet Venom was a quick read and very easy to follow. The alternating chapters between the three girls gave an extra depth and really allows the reader to get to know each girl personally. 

Grace was my favourite of the three, probably as I can relate most to her. Gretchen took a little time to warm up to and Greer, well to be honest took a long while to warm up to. The character development of all three characters was very clear and I really enjoyed seeing that.

I really enjoyed the use of Greek mythology and loved the take of Medusa. The book, overall, is a big mystery and there is still a lot left unsaid at the end of Sweet Venom and will definitely need to pick up the sequel. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Review: Now is Good


      Now Is Good    
Title: Now Is Good (Before I Die)
Author: Jenny Downham
Series: None
Pages: 326
Publisher: David Fickling
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #73


Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.

I read the formerly titled 'Before I Die' when it first came out in about 2007. I loved it then and I loved it now after rereading it. It is a hard read at times due to the subject matter but the writing flows so beautifully, pulling you in.

A lot of people say they cannot connect to Tessa nor understand some of her wishes that she wants to do before she dies. Whilst a lot of these wishes I personally wouldn't desire to complete, I fully understand the want to live before you die. It came across to me that Tessa wanted to live her life as fully as possible before leaving the world. No one wants to die not having left their mark. Some things she did were stupid and reckless and at times she could some across as angry, bitter and mean but it make me feel for her even more because someone who has had such a struggle with life must be so angry at the world.

I think it was Tessa's father that touched me so deeply. His unconditional love for his daughter and his pain not only watching her die but her trying complete the crazy things on her list. The hopelessness was agonizing and I just wanted to give him a hug.

There were a lot of aspects in the novel but the essence what about being thankful for the time we do have and enjoying it to the fullest. It was really touching and made me glad to be alive. Jenny Downham is a beautiful writer and has a way with words and I highly recommend this to fans of contemporary fiction.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Review: Glow


    Glow
    
Title: Glow
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series: Sky Chasers #1
Pages: 385
Publisher: Macmillan
Release Date: Released
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #74



What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

'Glow' is an engaging, mysterious read that really caught me by surprise. It has the same feel as 'Across the Universe' by Beth Revis, not only in its setting within Space but also in the corruption and mystery encapsulated within the plot. There were, however, enough differences to make it a fresh and original read.

The story revolves essentially around Waverly and Kieran, two teens who are in a relationship on the Empyrean ship. It was quite refreshing to have the characters already be in a relationship at the start of the novel because it had the intense feelings and maturity that comes from a long relationship without the issue of insta-love. I found Waverly to be very independent and a real leader. She was smart and intuitive, not always believing everything she was told. Kieran, in my opinion, was a little weaker and had a less clear leadership role which I really enjoyed as it was nice to see a character that was flawed.

Ryan dealt with a lot of heavy topics in this novel such as religion and reproduction and how the two intertwined. As the ship is heading to New Earth, there is a need for a new generation to inhabit the new planet and make it thrive and these responsibilities are placed on the teenagers on the ship. It was really intriguing to explore the religious views of duty and God's will which is explored in depth.

'Glow' is a faily sophisticated young adult novel with an in-depth plot that involves a lot of focus. At times I did feel myself getting a little confused but it has a really engaging plot with some really interesting questions about religion that I found fascinating. If you enjoy sci-fi and dystopians then I would recommend you read 'Glow'. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Review: Emma Hearts LA


    Emma Hearts LA


    
Title: Emma Hearts LA
Author: Keris Stainton
Series: None
Pages: 256
Publisher: Orchard
Release Date: June 7th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #46



Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better... But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who's turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?

Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.

Maybe LA's not that bad after all.


I've been hearing wonderful things about Keris' books for a long while now so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to review Emma Hearts LA. I must say that I really enjoyed how fun it was and I am sincerely looking forward to reading her other works.

Emma is a nice protagonist. She is a little stroppy to begin with but most people would be at the thought of leaving your friends behind to move to a new country. I could connect with her quite easily and found her likeable. It was Jane, her little sister, that I really liked reading about. Her bubbly personality was infectious.

There is a little love triangle thing going on with Oscar, a geeky boy who she was friends with when she was younger, and a hot movie star but I saw right through it. With the novel being as short as it was, there wasn't a huge development with both boys so I found it fairly easy to guess who she'd end up with.

Sexy boys may be nice but Oscar stole my heart. He is a little nerdy and not the most attractive guy but he is so sweet and kind and I just want him. I had a discussion post about Boys in Books and Oscar definitely is what I want more boys to be like!


Overall, Emma Hearts LA is a fun, light read that does touch upon some deeper issues such as family and divorce. I have not read Jessie Hearts NYC but I think it is a companion novel so if you have read it there were nice bits involving Jessie (the same one I presume). Recommended if you love contemporaries.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review: Adorkable


     Adorkable 

    
Title: Adorkable
Author: Sarra Manning
Series: None
Pages: 385
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: June 7th (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #45



Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?


As soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I would love Adorkable. It sounded so fun and I am glad to tell you it was. It was a little crazy and the characters weren't the easiest to attach but the amusement I got from reading was so huge!

Jeane is a hugely confident character that knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. That being said, she is not a people person. She tends to scare people with her giant personaility. Michael Lee is most definitely a people person but he the kind of person that likes to placate people and please them. They couldn't be more different but, boy do they work together at times!

The romance is a love/hate type which I love! There was no instalove but all this tension and attraction. Despite their differences they seem to bring out a different side to each other and I loved watching them grow together. I thought Sarra Manning dealt with the subject of sex incredibly well and I was so pleased that it seemed realistic and honest rather than glamorised. There was no preaching or judgement, it just was.

At times, it suffered from "Plot! What plot?" syndrome.  There lots of tangents but I really enjoyed the unexpected nature of things. There were crazy things that happened that were so interesting and amusing.

The book has a really great message to it. It is about loving yourself and who you are and not trying to conform. More books like this are necessary I feel. Books are full of gorgeous, pretty girls but I want to see a normal looking girl which Jeane is. Very lovely to see.


If you love contemporaries please read this. It is a lot of fun and really refreshing!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review: When It Happens


    When It Happens 
    
Title: When It Happens
Author: Susane Colasanti
Series: None
Pages: 320
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Release Date: May 3rd 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 3.5 Stars
100 Book challenge: #52



An off-the-wall love story told in two voices. Straight-laced Sara dreams of two things: getting into her first-choice university and finding true love. Rock-loving slacker Tobey also dreams of two things: winning Battle of the Bands – and winning Sara. He is determined to make her fall in love with him. Tobey's quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. But can a scruffy rock-star wannabe ever win the heart of a girl who’s both beautiful and brainy? Sara and Tobey's intense connection will have you rooting for them from the very minute they meet!


I've been wanting to read this book for years, ever since it came out in the US but I just didn't get around to it. When I saw that it was being released in the UK I jumped at the chance to review it. Whilst it wasn't anything spectacular it was still an enjoyable read.

Sara and Tobey were nice enough characters. I thought Sara was a little demanding and had such high expectations but as a teenager, it is quite common to have unrealistic ideals, especially when it comes to relationships. Tobey was sweet too, and it was clear he cared deeply for Sara. He was quite a realistic depiction of a teenage boy, I believe.



I must admit, with the explicit content warning I was expecting a little...more. There was definitely an openness about sex and there were some crudities thrown around but I didn't find it to be too obscene. I wasn't too disappointed though. The romance was very sweet between the two and it was nice to see their relationship grow.

Overall "When It Happens" was an enjoyable read but it didn't really stand out for me in the contemporary genre. I am, however, looking forward to reading some of Colasanti's more recent novels!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer






    
Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: None
Pages: 468
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: June 7th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 Stars
100 Book challenge: #51



Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it's stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. 

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. 

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they've ever been before. But all of them very aware that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.



Second Chance Summer is the first Morgan Matson novel I have read and I must say that I cannot wait to read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and every other book she writes next. It was so much more than just a romance book; it dealt with some really difficult issues and got me emotional more often than not.

Taylor is an avoider. She runs when things get tough but she has to spend the summer facing things she once ran from. I could relate to Taylor quite a bit. I too like to avoid difficult situations but things tend to fester and get worse and Taylor definitely has to face the destruction she left.

The title is beyond fitting for this novel. There were so many second chances in loss, love, self-discovery. Matson touched upon these issues so delicately and beautifully and she has such a talent for making you feel like you are a part of the novel.


Henry, oh Henry. I love you. You are sweet, loving and a little bit scarred but you are so full of love.

It is a slow burn book. I ate it up but some people do say it is slow and I suppose it is. There are many a reference to Taylor's past and where things went wrong there and it definitely takes a while to find out what happened but the way it was written made me really enaged.

it is a summer book, yes, but it deals with hard-hitting issues that means it goes beyond the typical fluffy romances (that I albeit love) and makes it something incredible. Contemporary fans, you'll want to get your hands on this!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Review: Slated


    Slated (Slated, #1)

    
Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Pages: 448
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: May 3rd 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 Stars
100 Book challenge: #42


Kyla’s memory has been erased,

her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?



I really really enjoyed 'Slated', a lot more than I thought I would. When I first started I didn't realise it was set in England which is an added bonus for me! I got swept away in the story and I got so attached to the story and wanted to uncover all the secrets!


Kyla was a really sweet protagonist and I could really feel her pain. She has so much love in her heart and so much compassion. I loved how freely she cared for others and found it hard to contain her emotions. She is definitely someone I would like to be friends with.

There is a little romance in 'Slated' but it is not a key feature of the story. There is a lot more going on with Kyla trying to figure out what she did to deserve having her memory erased  and why there seems to be so many secrets.

'Slated' leaves a lot more to be discovered later on in the series though there a few things discovered. It definitely is setting up for a lot more to come later on.

I must say that I cannot wait for book two! What a wonderful refreshing read! Highly recommended. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Review: The Selection


    The Selection (The Selection, #1)
    
Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Pages: 327
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 7th (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 Stars
100 Book challenge: #50



Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.



I had been a bit sceptical about reading 'The Selection' after hearing so many mixed things about it but when it finally arrived I was dying to read it. I have never seen the bachelor but I kind of watched a dating thing with Poison and I did watch a couple of episodes of Playing It Straight (a woman trying to find out which guys were gay and which were straight). That being said the whole concept sounded fun and who doesn't want to be a princess? Oh yeah...that would be America! Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought. It was so fun, and whilst it felt a little familiar, I was dying to find out what happened and now I cannot wait for the next book.

 We shall start slightly negative so I can finish on a really high note! It has been compared to 'The Hunger Games' and it did feel a little same-y at times. There were the castes, similar to the districts, where their jobs were defined by their caste. It wasn't that huge of any issue for me though. Just be warned, it is not at all like The Hunger Games in terms of violence of female protagonists. America does not have the fight that Katniss has, not that I wanted her to.

Fun is really the best word to describe it. It is like watching a Disney movie; I couldn't get enough. I was thinking about it and wanting more and it just made my heart sigh a little. It is fairy juvenile in the writing style and the romance is sweet but there are some things that prevent it from being suitable for, say 10-12 year olds, in my opinion.

I really like Maxon. I thought I would find him a little annoying but I thought he was sweet and kind and a really genuine character. Sometimes, I didn't agree with his actions but to be perfectly honest the whole dating 35 girls at once thing bothers me a little but it was destined in terms of the plot.

This will not be everyone's cup of tea. The writing is a little basic, the romance fairly clich├ęd but god I had so much fun! I kind of want to reread it again. Take it for what it is: a light-hearted, softer side of dystopian fiction with a touch of fairytale-esque qualities. Loved it!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Book Haul {10/06/2012}


Camera died so sorry for the abrupt ending. Hope you all had a great reading week :)


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Saving June Blog Tour



Saving JuneI am lucky enough to be part of the Saving June blog tour. If you haven't read my review you can view it here. Hannah Harrington kindly agreed to answer some questions for me so I hope you enjoy!

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1. ‘Saving June’ is littered with musical references. How did you choose which music to include?

I mostly just picked songs I was familiar with and already loved. I didn’t want to shoehorn songs into the story unnecessarily, so I tried to just include the ones that best fit the narrative as it went along. I also did want to represent a number of genres rather than restricting it to just one type of music, so I did make sure to include jazz, punk, rap, and other styles among the classic rock

2. What has been your most exciting road trip? If you haven’t been on a road trip where would you like to travel to?

My most memorable road trip is probably when two friends and I went from Michigan to Atlantic City and back again within two days. We spent more time on the road than in our actual destination, but it was a blast, and we had some fun detours along the way!

3. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you like to go on a road trip with?

Anthony Bourdain, Rachel Maddow, and Kathleen Hanna.

4. Were there any moments in ‘Saving June’ that were inspired by things that happened in your own life?

The “urn splitting” was something that did actually happen to someone I knew in real life. I also did have a group of anarchist friends in high school I would go to political protests with. But for the most part, the events and characters of Saving June are all fabricated!

5. What is your next novel going to be about?

My next book, SPEECHLESS, will be published by Harlequin Teen at the end of August. It’s the story of a girl named Chelsea Knot, who takes  a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways get her in big trouble.

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Thank you so much Hannah for answering my questions. If you haven't read Saving June DO IT NOW. It is wonderful.
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