Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It' hiatis time...kinda

First of all, Happy (belated) Easter! I hope you all had a lovely time with friends and family, enjoying the lovely long weekend and all.

Anywho, back to the point. I'm sure you've noticed that for the past couple of months, this blog has been pretty empty. And anything I do happen to post is either late, or a half arsed effort. It's just that real life is hella hectic right now. Uni has swamped me with all the work, and I'm finding it harder and harder to not only schedule time to post, but to find time to read. Initially I tried to push through, but you know when you feel like you're obligated to do something, it becomes less and less appealing? This blog has become this for me. Even though I thoroughly enjoy posting anything and everything related to books, I can't even find the time to read at the moment, let alone write posts. There's just too much going on right now. 

So, I'm going to be taking a step back. I'm going to try to actively read more, but you probably won't see that many posts, let alone regular postings. If I have time I might be able to write review posts every now and then, but for the next couple of months, it's going to be fairly quiet around here. 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (43)




buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

Summary from Goodreads:

"Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I've recently heard a bit about this, and a lot of it is positive. That cover though, it just pulls you in. And then the synopsis sells the story to you, and you just have to add this to your TBR!

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: 18th December 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: Paperback
Pages: 488
Rating: 4.0/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 RC and 2014 SSC

Summary from Goodreads:
"When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that's killed most of America's children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she's on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her-East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can't risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living."

Review:
It's been quite some time since I read this, which makes writing this review so much harder. So, let's keep this short and snappy.

  • I rather enjoyed our plot and the world in which it took place. Tragic, but pretty cool, and very well done.
  • I rather liked out lead character's. Ruby is great, just because her back story is pretty dame tragic. Suzume was another fave of mine, but so was Liam, and Chubs as well. Actually, I liked the entire gang. 
  • Bracken did something interesting in there with a love triangle, which actually managed to surprise me. I wouldn't mind this being explored in the sequels.
  • The ending was a bit emotional, and I'm not an emotional reader, so that's saying something!
  • Overall, whilst I did enjoy this, I was waiting with baited breathe for something amazing to happen because I've heard so much about how everyone loves this book. But, I was never completely blown away.
To conclude this extremely short review - this was pretty darn good, and I'll definitely continue on with the series. Definitely worth the read.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Quarterly Challenge Update Post #1

This year I'm participating in three reading challenges (woot woot). Even with the tonnes of uni work I've had over the past month or two, I've still managed a fair bit

6/10 read for the Ebook Reading Challenge
9/20 for the Rewind Challenge

So far, I'm doing better than I expected. My reading time has seriously been cut short since uni started up, which isn't at all surprising since this is the final year of my degree. The only reason I've been able to still read one book a week is because I've been targeting all the shorter books on my lists - anything and everything 350 pages and under. Surprisingly, I have a lot of shortish books to read, but once I run out of them, all I've really got is 450 pages and over, which will take significantly more time to read. Here's hoping that I'll gain some more free time soon.

Anywho, here's what I've been reading, and what challenges they count for:

1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell EBC, RC
2. Awaken by Meg Cabot EBC, RC, SSC
3. Pivot Point by Kasie West EBC, RC, SSC
4. Unhinged by A.G Howard SSC
5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner EBC, RC, SSC
6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline RC
7. Cress by Marrisa Meyer SSC
8. Vortex by Julie Cross RC, SSC
9. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi EBC, SSC
10. Diva by Jillian Larkin RC, SSC
11. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare RC, SSC
12. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead EBC, RC, SSC


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (42)



buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


Half Bad by Sally Green

Summary from Goodreads:

"Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.
Easy."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
This has been on my radar for a little while now. The blurb is just so cryptic. I know it has something to do with this teenage boy who is half white witch, half black witch - which is bad, because you don't want to be a black witch? Or do you just want to be completely a white witch or black witch? See - cryptic. I need to find more out about this, it's quite intriguing!

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
Release Date: 16th August 2007
Publisher: Razorbill 
Format: eBook
Pages: 183
Rating: 4.5/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 RC, 2014 SSC and 2014 EBC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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."

Review:
This was not at all what I was expecting, and I mean that in the most positive of ways. I guess with the most prominent vampire-based book that I've ever read being the Twilight series, I really wasn't prepared for everything this threw at me. Strong female characters? Magic? A cracking mystery? So much snark and sass? I was not prepared for this.

I went into this expecting one thing, and what I got was completely different. And I absolutely loved it. Most of this book was a massive surprise for me. The plot, the character's, the back story, this world - all of it was much better than I expected. I knew this was a well-loved series, and the reason I finally decided to give this a go was because of the movie adaptation. But I really wasn't expecting that I'd be one of the people singing it's praises. 

I can even pinpoint for you what I loved so much about this book - it's ability to surprise me. As I've already said quite a bit, I wasn't expecting anything that happened in this book (except for maybe the romances, I could see those coming from a mile away). And I think I got so distracted by how unexpected this book was that I was truly surprised by the plot twist at the end. It hadn't even crossed my mind, and recently I've found that I almost always guess the twist at the end, so this was a pleasant surprise. 

Aside from it's ability to really keep me guessing, I loved almost everything else about this book. Especially our two main characters, Rose and Lissa. Rose is just so so sassy and snarky, and I honestly haven't read a character like her in a while. And Lissa is the polar opposite, which in itself is interesting to read. Add onto this that fact that everything about Lissa's story (which is mainly what our plot is focused on) is so tragic, strange, and mysterious, and you've got yourself two perfect leads. Where Lissa is weak, Rose is strong, and vice versa. The two of them together make for one powerful duo, which I'm sure will be explored in subsequent novels.

But even though I loved the plot twists that actually managed to surprise me, and our two heroine leads, I was never completely blown away by this book. This is so close to a 5.0 out of 5.0, but it's not quite there. That being said, I'm so excited to continue on with this series, and I really recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is definitely not the vampire story you'd expect. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (41)


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Summary from Goodreads:

"Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve? 

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. 

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard. 
Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I've been seeing this around a lot recently, which always sparks my curiosity. Plus it does also sound quite interesting. I simply have to check this out when it's released later this year.  

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: 31st August 2010
Publisher: McElderry Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 476
Rating: 4.0/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 RC and 2014 SSC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them...."

Review:
** Spoiler Alert: Read at your own risk**

Overall, I rather enjoyed this. As to be expected, I've been trying to compare this with Clare's other offering, The Mortal Instruments. And whilst I probably enjoyed this one more than City of Bones, it gets a lower rating because overall, this pretty much followed a path a would have expected. 

- Pros -
  • I really liked the majority of our characters. Tessa seemed a bit uptight at the beginning, but I liked how she turned out in the end. Will, whilst I actually don't like him as a person, I do enjoy reading about him. Jem, as his name implies, is a pure gem. And then there's also Charlotte, Henry, Jessamine, Sophie and Thomas, who I all liked for varying reasons
  • Many interested questions were brought up, that I'm eager to get the answer to. Why exactly does The Magister want Tessa? How exactly did Tessa come to be? What exactly happened will Will's parents and this Cecily person? Questions like these are the type that urge me to continue reading a series on, and I definitely will be reading this series to figure it all out. 
  • I appreciate the twists and turns. Whilst I wasn't entirely surprised by everything that happened, Tessa did truly surprise me at the end. I honestly thought she had stabbed herself, and what made it even more surprising was beforehand I thought there was no way she could stab herself, since she's a main character. And then she kinda did, and it surprised me. And I like being surprised. 
  • I liked this more than City of Bones. I read City of Bones sometime last year, and whilst I quite enjoyed it, it didn't live up to the hype for me. This, however, I found more enjoyable. I think I just liked the character's more, and adding a historical setting never hurts for me. 
- Cons -
  • Whilst I appreciate the twists and turn, I wasn't entirely surprised by them. The identity of The Magister, for example, didn't entirely surprise me. Whilst I was a little surprised when it was finally revealed who it was, I knew it couldn't have been de Quincy, because that came out way too early in the story to be true. It also didn't entirely surprise me when Nate flipped on Tessa, because betrayal happens all the time in books. And when I compare the big reveal of The Magister to the big revelation at the end of City of Bones, well, it just doesn't compare.  
  • I didn't like it when Will acted like a complete and utter ass. The way he treated Tessa was downright disturbing. One minute he's showing her affection, the next he's lashing out at her. And he was unbelievably cruel to her at the end, which we all know he did for some sort of reason, but nothing warranted treating her like that. There were so many times that I just wanted to tell Will to STFU or GTFO.  
Overall, I quite enjoyed this read, and I will be continuing on with the series in the foreseeable future. If you had the same problem I had with City of Bones not living up to the hype, I highly suggest giving this series a go. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (40)



buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


Never fade by Alexandra Bracken

Summary from Goodreads:

"Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. 
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?"

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I'm currently reading The Darkest Minds and absolutely loving it. It's only natural that I'm going to want the sequel!

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review: Diva (The Flappers #3) by Jillian Larkin

Diva (The Flappers #3) by Jillian Larkin
Release Date: 10th July 2012
Publisher: The Inkhouse
Format: Paperback
Pages: 306
Rating: 3.5/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 RC and 2014 SSC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer's dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she's grown up a lot these past few months. She can't bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?
Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton's swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria's keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . ."

Review:
Being the shortest book in this trilogy, I feel like I can sum this up with just a couple of words - it was just alright. There was nothing spectacular about this ending, nothing unexpected. All the character's ended up where you'd expect them to, in what is essentially just 300 pages of tying up lose ends. Character's are redeemed, couples end up together, everything ends exactly as you would have predicted it. Which makes for a fairly boring read, to be honest.

I did enjoy this story, but it was just following the motions. After falling completely in love with Vixen, and finding Ingenue a bit forgettable, it's a shame that this series came to a close with something so blasé. Let's take the Marcus and Clara storyline for example. After breaking up in Ingenue, Marcus is on the rebound and is engaged to some girl named Anastasia. As it turns out, Anastasia isn't all she claims to be. Which could have lead to an interesting storyline...if we heard a bit more from Anastasia. Besides one confrontation between her and Clara and Lorraine, you don't hear anything from her. Maybe exploring that storyline could have done more than just be the catalyst for Clara and Marcus getting back together, and Lorraine getting her redemption. There is another storyline in there, involving new character's, that could be interesting to some, but I didn't care enough about these character's lives to care much about their ending. So overall, blasé. 

In the end, I think this book was just lacking what I loved in it's predecessors. The romances and relationships I loved weren't there, with Jerome (Gloria's other half) hardly present at all, and interaction between Marcus and Clara only occurring twice in the book. Even though I knew it was bound to happen, I still enjoyed reading Lorraine's road to redemption. And I just simply adored Melvin. But, that's not enough to pull this book from mediocrity.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (39)



buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Summary from Goodreads:

"Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.
 
Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.
 
Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .
 
In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?"

Why I'm Wishing for It:
Doesn't this just sound crazy?!? High school girls performing exorcisms, its not something you come across every day. I'm a bit wary of this, since the last time I read a horror YA novel I was less than impressed. But, I'm willing to give this one a go if I can get my hands on it later this year. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: 14th February 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: eBook
Pages: 295
Rating: 5.0/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 SSC and 2014 EBC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew - about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam - was wrong."

Review:
** Spoiler Alert: Read at your own risk**

Words cannot even begin to describe how I feel about this book. Whilst it may have had some issues, this was the most fitting end to a series that snuck up on me to become one of my fave series.

- Pros -
  • Juliette, and her amazing character growth. In Shatter Me, we met the very fragile Juliette, a girl who was afraid of her own shadow. Shatter Me, told from Juliette's perspective, was filled with crossed out words that she was afraid to speak or even allow herself to think. In Ignite Me, Juliette is completely different. She is no longer that afraid girl; she is sure of herself, and her wants and desires. There are no more crossed out words - she is completely sure of her thoughts and actions. It's a real treat to watch a character grow so much.
  • Warner. Never have I ever done such a 180 on my feelings for a character. Warner was depicted as this despicable, psychotic person when we first met him. But now, almost everything he did has a valid and (sometimes) honourable reasoning behind it. Possibly the biggest revelation (for me at least) was learning that Warner never intended to us Juliette as a weapon. He found her whilst trying to find help for his mother, who's own touch was killing her. Warner still admits that he's done some terrible things, but he doesn't want to be like that any more. Ignite Me shows us that he was a product of his upbringing and circumstance - he was living his life the only way he knew how. But now, with Juliette, he's reaching for something more. 
  • Warner and Juliette together. I was so sure that Juliette would end up with Adam, not because I wanted her to, but because in most books with a love triangle, the chooser ends up with whoever they fell for first, or the good guy. Surprisingly, that didn't happen here. Juliette even realised that she probably wasn't really in love with Adam, which pleases me to no end because I always thought their relationship was only due to circumstance. Warner and Juliette fit so much better together, which becomes abundantly clear in Ignite Me. Where Adam wants the meek, fragile girl Juliette used to be, Warner wants the passionate, powerful girl that Juliette's become. They just work so well together, and I am so glad that they've ended up together. 
  • Speaking of Juliette, I loved all that romance. We spent the majority of our time focusing on the relationship between Juliette and Warner; Her realisation that he's not the despicable person she believed, and her final acceptance of her feelings and there getting together. And boy, do they get together. It's great to read. 
  • Kenji. The hilarious best friend. Any time I laughed out loud whilst reading this was because of him. He's the much needed comic relief.
- Cons -
  • There's virtually no dystopia. I was expecting an ending with a full blown war, a fight to the death, with Juliette eventually claiming her rightful place. And we did get that, but it was so short. It started, and then it finished quickly after. It seemed a bit too easy for Juliette and her band of superheroes to seize control of Sector 45. And with this being the finale to a dystopian series, you'd think there'd be a bit less focus on the romance and a little more time dedicated to the war. 
  • What the hell happened to Adam. Adam was Juliette's knight in shining armour in Shatter Me. Now he's become an entitled, self-absorbed, bitter person. When presented with the new and improved Juliette, he flips out because she's no longer the quiet, scared girl he preferrs. Instead of giving Juliette a chance to explain, he just gets angry with her. He's so bitter that he even made Juliette touch Kenji, knowing full well that her touch could kill him. Adam's another character who's done a 180, and I'd be surprised if anyone out there still likes him, or wants him with Juliette. 
  • I think we needed an epilogue. We ended after the swift and easy takeover of Sector 45, with Juliette's aim to eventually take over the world (or at least America). I think an epilogue, just a little into the future, were they've taken some other Sector's and are building there army would have ended the story nicely. And, of course, knowing that the gang are still all together and that Juliette and Warner are doing well would have satisfied a lot of readers. 
So whilst I had major issues with the lack of dystopia, I just loved the romance so much that it didn't end up bothering me all that much. There was still enough tension to get me flipping furiously through those pages. And even though the ending was a bit short for my liking, it still had my heart racing. This series overall was a treat to read, and I really think everyone ought to give it a try. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Vortex (Tempest #2) by Julie Cross

Vortex (Tempest #2) by Julie Cross
Release Date: January 15th 2013
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 435
Rating: 4.5/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 RC and 2014 SSC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again."

Review:
** Spoiler Alert: Read at your own risk**

I'm currently finding it very hard to figure out my thoughts on this one, just because it's been weeks since I actually finished reading this. So I'm going to do something different - I'm going to try out a pros and cons list.

- Pros -

  • I liked the plot overall. Vortex took our character's in a new direction. Instead of focusing more on the romance in Tempest, Vortex very much focused on the time travel, and the mysteries behind it, and the government corporations all getting in on the action. And I liked that. 
  • I like what they did with Holly. In Tempest Holly was our protagonist Jackson's love interest, and the main driving force behind everything he did. In Vortex, for reasons I won't go into, she's his enemy. It was hard to wrap my head around it at first, because you've also got Jackson still hung up on the old Holly, and the majority of his actions revolve around protecting her, but once I started to think of her as a completely new character, I could appreciate what Cross has done with her.  
  • I liked Stewart and Kendrick. I loved Kendrick as the new best friend, and Stewart was an interesting character. You start out maybe not liking her so much, but she grows on you and in the end, you're glad Jackson has her. The only downside is that I don't remember Stewart in Tempest AT ALL, so I have absolutely nothing to compare her to in terms of character growth
  • I LOVED the ending. Very wacky, very strange, but very well done. 
  • There are still so many unanswered questions, which I can't wait to find out about in Timestorm. Why was Jackson's Dad abducted from the past? Where did Courtney come from and how is she doing what she's doing? Emily is still mysterious, I need more information on her. Healy said Thomas wasn't the guy he's been sending to try to convince him to do what he wants - so who is it? Is it Holly? Emily? Also Stewart seemed at bit off at times, does she have a deeper role? AND ADAM, WHY DID HE HAVE TO DIE??? There are so many questions raised that make my anxious to get my hands on Timestorm so I can get my answers. 
- Cons -
  • I suffered majorly from book amnesia, so I had a hard time remembering what actually happened in Tempest. Which in turn made it harder to understand everything going on in Vortex, because background information was missing.
  • A lot of information about the intricacies of time travel went completely over my head. There were a lot of explanations about time travel, alternate universe's, and Jackson's role in all of this, but most of the time I just couldn't completely understand what was happening. It's very complex, and I think since I didn't have my head completely wrapped around it, it made it harder to completely understand plot points
  • I'm still not sure exactly who Eyewall are. Eyewall are Jackson's enemy, but even after all the focus on Eyewall in this novel, I still have no idea who they are or what exactly they do. Which isn't great, considering the major role they have in all the action. I wasn't entirely sure in the end if they were as bad as what we're supposed to think they are. Hopefully their purpose is explained more thoroughly in Timestorm.   

So overall, I really, really enjoyed this. Vortex impressed me in taking the story in a new direction, and avoiding second book syndrome entirely. It's fast paced, full of action, and there's a bit of romance thrown in there, but it's completely different to the romance in Tempest. I'm excited to get my hands on Timestorm and finish this story, in what I'm sure is going to be a fitting finale. 

Sidenote - is this sort of review something you enjoy reading. I like the pros and cons list, I think it's actually easier to write out my reviews, but is it something you enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (38)


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Summary from Goodreads:

"In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I just heard about this one today, when I was reading through someone's Top Ten Tuesday post. It sounds really interesting, I can't say I've read something like this before, which is why I'm really interested in it. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (37)


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Summary from Goodreads:

"Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret—a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can—in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
This was actually recommended to me a couple of years ago. I remember at the time thinking nothing of it because of the weird title and the fact that this friends book tastes were quite different to mine. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that this resurfaced for me, and recognising the title, I thought maybe I should take a squiz at the synopsis. And then BOOM. A girl shares her deepest darkest secret, one involving murder, with an inmate on death row. That sounds so interesting. I gotta learn to be less judgemental.

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Book Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: 4th February 2014
Publisher: Puffin Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 550
Rating: 5.0/5.0


This book was read as part of the 2014 SSC

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can."

Review:
It wasn't my intention to post this review today, but after finishing this gem yesterday, I just had to get my feelings out there. Because OH MY GOD THIS SERIES. It's going to be one hell of a struggle to wait a year for the last instalment.

I can't believe what Meyer has managed to do with this series. Not only does she effortlessly and flawlessly work a fairytale into each novel, but she follows the overarching plot as well. You'd think that adding another main female protagonist (to add to Cinder and Scarlet) would be a few too many POVs, but somehow it works. The number of POVs in this novel is astronomical, and yet, it doesn't feel forced, or a pain, to read from each character's POV. I've had problems with multiple POVs in the past, just in that usually I prefer one POV over the other. But Meyer has created fascinating and interesting characters that this isn't a problem; I don't even mind jumping around POVs mid chapter, it's just written that well.

I don't want to start going in depth about the character's or the plot, because I feel I might wander into spoiler territory. I'll just say that during the final section (Cress was separated into four sections), my heart was pounding, I was frantically flipping through the pages, and I absolutely adored that ending. It's been a while since I've been so invested in a story and it's characters, to the point where even though I'm sure they'll be ok, I still worry for them throughout their escapade. It's been a while since a plot has kept me guessing, and thrown plot twists at me that I hadn't even considered. It's been a while since I've picked up a book and read over 150 pages in one sitting. This series right here is why I read YA, because when it's done right, it's just so damn good.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (36)


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted at Pen to Paper

This week I'm wishing for...


Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary from Goodreads:

"A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more."

Why I'm Wishing for It:
I haven't even finished reading The Caster Chronicles yet, but I want to get my hands on this. Ridley and Link are by far two of my favourite characters in the series, so I know I'm going to enjoy reading a series dedicated just to the two of them. I just need this. 

What about you? What are you wishing for this week?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...