Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pushing The Limits - Katie McGarry - Review


"They say be a good girl. Get good grades. They know nothing about me."




*I'll include the synopsis below the review*

A brave, riveting and truly powerful novel - Pushing the limits will drive the devastating aspects of young Echo's life closer to home than you may have thought possible.
   
    I loved this novel to pieces! Katie McGarry is a talented author who I'm glad was daring enough to tackle the challenging topics of love, loss and life itself, but most importantly how cruel they all can be.

    Told from alternating perspectives, we follow Echo, whose memory has been regressed due to a traumatic experience, and Noah, whose life took a turn for the worse and who now hates the system for not playing fair. The pair are an unlikely match but after being kicked down, we watch the story progress to see if they have what it takes to help each other get back up.

   What hit me the most was how easy this novel was to relate to, even if none of the delicate issues raised in the novel have been experienced by you first hand. Maybe you're not Noah, a foster kid who's fighting to try and get his life back, or Echo, a damaged teen attending therapy sessions to try and find out why her life hit rock bottom. But maybe you're the one whose insecurity has a hold over you, controls what you wear and where you go? Maybe you're someone who is fighting a losing battle but are refusing to give up. You may even be the girl, or guy, people stare at and mock in the corridor, the one they whisper about and misunderstand.. You might be the friend who always offers a shoulder to cry on, or just a bystander who watches it happen. Heck, you might even be the *cough* selfish, vile, weak, pathetic *cough* person who gives the glares, starts the rumors and excludes the ones who aren't 'cool' enough. But my point is, whoever you are, there's something in this novel that you can relate to.

   The characterisation is a majorly strong element in this novel; everything Echo and Noah fought for I  found myself wanting so badly too, for them - that's how real they seemed, how much McGarry made me care for them. Both characters are realistic, easy to relate to and down to earth; they both have very distinct and unique voices and personalities. 

    I don't really want to spoil anything so I have deliberately not mentioned the problems the characters face because the fun of the novel is understanding the characters, their lives and unraveling the mystery of what actually happened to them and why. Though I will say that I loved how you discover Echo's past alongside her, she never knows more than you do, and how you stand by Noah as he never stops fighting. I'm not going to lie, my heart ached for Echo and I cried enough to fill the ocean over Noah's story - maybe that's just me, I don't know, but even if you don't cry, you'll be touched!

   Having said that, this was no a sad/depressing story. It was a journey with both its ups and downs which was overall just as heart-warming as it was heart-wrenching. I really do hope people take something away with them after reading this novel, even if it's just making people more aware before they make judgments.

   OH! THE ROMANCE! How have I not mentioned that?! The chemistry between Echo and Noah was hot, sexy and the strength they offered one another was admirable. The romance was a great part of the book (the majority of the book I guess) but it was necessary as it moved the plot along. The love Noah and Echo had for each other, for their families and for 'normal' was extraordinary.

   I really can't explain how much I adored this novel. I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

 5 Stars *****


*Synopsis - Blurb*


"They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular. They know nothing about me. I can’t remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way. They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn’t expect Noah. Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who’ll listen. The only one who’ll help me find the truth. I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules? A brave and powerful novel about loss, change and growing up, but most of all love."

Friday, 7 December 2012

Quote Of The Day.

The Story Of My Life: When life goes tits up I either find myself staring at the bottom of an empty bottle or at the last page of a book. #escapism

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Sex in YA novels...


Should it be kept under the covers or do readers want more?

This is basically just a small discussion to see what opinions people have on these more intimate moments in YA novels. I thought it would be useful for authors to see what their audience desires and just fun for YA readers to voice their views to one another.

I'm going to treat this post as a "chat" so you can comment as many times as you like, change your opinion a million times, whatever! It's a Discussion.

*As YA covers a range of ages (and even some adults or younger advance readers) please can you state your age (if you don't mind doing so) in your first comment as age will affect our opinions dramatically - it's also useful for authors to pinpoint their desired target audience.*

Here we go!

"Your characters are heading towards the bedroom - do you prefer to be left at the door, have it slammed shut in your face before you even get a whiff of what's about to happen or do you like to stay with your characters every step of the way?"

I'm 16! :) I personally think that closed doors are a little boring, wood... grain... door knob - being oblivious to what's happening distances you from your characters and can appear a little wish-washy; but on the other hand, being right there under the covers has me blushing like a lobster! I think having the door ajar (metaphorically of course) is probably the best approach. You can hear what the characters say, you know what they're thinking and feeling, you can even see that there's skin on skin and tangled limbs; you get the gist of what's happening with enough detail to keep you satisfied without anything becoming too graphic.

When a book builds up romance for  300 or so pages and then all that results is a kiss, I find it a little... disappointing? I find a kiss here and there too little but "woo-hoo" in the bedroom every chapter too much! Y'know?

I don't think that young adults are too young to be reading about sex (unless it's unnecessarily graphic) as it's a part of life, it allows you to understand the relationship between characters more - I mean if your protagonist is sleeping with the swoon-worthy hottie then you want to know if she was hesitant or whether or not she was ready for it/enjoyed it/was scared etc but if the scene is cut off as they hit the sheets, you never find any of this out - and it can be good for teens who want to be eased into the topic because they aren't comfortable enough to openly discuss it.

YA novels handle topics such as alcohol, drugs, bullying, abuse death and more so why is 'sex' such a sensitive topic when it comes to teen novels?


I think that this topic is handled well in both YA novels "Hollowmen" and "Amongst the ruins". I've taken a 'sex scene' from each book which you can read below if  you're interested. (These are scenes containing sex, not just sexual tension so I'd recommend you be 14+ to read them - as the authors intended).

"I expected him to kiss me, since his lips were nearly brushing against mine, but he didn’t. He reached down and grabbed both my wrists and pinned them above my head. With his body pressed against mine and my hands above my head, I couldn’t move. I felt powerless. He kissed me passionately, almost roughly, and I closed my eyes, focusing on nothing else except how wonderfully warm his mouth felt. And the heat of it. When he pulled away from me, I tried to follow him, to keep kissing him, but he kept me pinned to the wall. He used one hand, holding both wrists together, while his other hand worked its way down my pants, pushing them and my panties down. Once he’d gotten them to my knees, I helped the rest of the way, moving and kicking my legs until my pants were on the ground and I could step out of them. He kissed my neck, and now his lips felt cool on my skin. I was flushed with warmth, with excitement and anticipation. A hungry heat flowed through me, radiating from my belly down to my thighs. I didn’t even know he’d undone his pants until I felt him thrust inside me. I cried out in surprise and pleasure, and he was kissing me again, silencing my moans. I wrapped my legs around him, and then he let go of my arms, letting me hang onto him as he pushed me harder against the wall. Something changed between us then. There was a frantic hunger in the way we kissed and moved. Even the way he gripped me, his fingers digging into my bare back and pressing me to him, it felt desperate and primal. Our bodies intertwined, moving together in the most animalistic way, and we were firmly in the moment. Neither of us was in control, and it felt wonderful."

AND

This one's probably a little more graphic and it seems a bit choppy because I cut a few bits out.

"If I'd thought him eager before, I had been mistaken. His tongue delved into my mouth. His hand slipped down my body till his fingers grabbed the crotch of my underwear. Then his fingers passed the last cloth barrier. Then it wasn't his fingers. His most intimate part met mine. Pressing into my body, he slowly changed it forever. "Relax," he whispered against the sensitive skin below my ear. I bit into the flesh of his arm, and a tear pooled at the inner corner of my eye. When I thought the discomfort would end, he moved reawakening the pain till his body stilled above me. 
Releasing his flesh from my teeth, I gasped. Tilting back my head, I strangled his biceps.  Would it be this painful the entire time? 
"It's always been you. Always." He began slow movements inside me. 
My body relaxed as the pain subsided. 
The rhythm he created with my body was maddening, yet pleasurable. Hands, lips, and limbs, I lost track of where he ended and I began. The words he spoke during our intimate dance stripped away the feelings I'd masked. 
The tingling touch of his hand rebuilt the multiple sensations he'd created earlier. 
They pooled in the pit of my belly. Unsure of what to do about it, I raked at his back and curled my legs around his thighs. I moaned some unrecognizable words. 
He grasped and pulled at my body, pushing us closer, harder. The sensations burst into complete euphoria. Calling out, I fisted the sheets and arched my back. He slid his hands over my chest, moaning with his own pleasure. His body jerked, and warmth filled me."


So what do you think about sex in YA? Where do you like to draw the line and do you know any books/authors who have handled it well?


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Summer Of Hope - Jodie Andrefski

Check out the trailer for this beautifully crafted novel.





Sunday, 21 October 2012

Slated - Teri Terry - Review

Personality gone. Memories lost forever...


"Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost forever.

She's been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they're 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?"

A breakthrough in dystopian fiction and an outstanding debut from author Teri Terry!

Slated has gone up straight into my top 10 - it was phenomenal.

I truly do adore this novel, it's story and Kyla herself.

Kyla has been 'born again' if you like. She's had to learn to talk and walk all over again - her first step, her first word, every moment a struggle. She's 16 years old but has been stripped of the privileges of this youthful age, and of her childhood. She can't remember her old friends, her parents, who she was or what she did wrong to lose herself... 

Teri portrayed this so well as she showed Kyla struggling to open the door handle to the car and how Kyla felt almost privileged to be doing the washing up - though the novelty soon wore off. At first I thought "She's happy to be washing up? WHAT?!" But then I remembered how when I was younger I loved to do the washing (even if my Mum had to rewash everything afterwards - she thought I didn't notice!) and as I grew to my teen years the novelty had worn off and it became a chore - Kyla is having to experience all of this all over again. Teri put so much thought into this novel - it's incredible.

Something I loved about the story was the introduction of the "Levo". A device (like a watch I suppose) that monitors a slated's 'levels' - their emotions. It's designed to protect both the society and the Slateds from themselves - if their levels drop too low, dangerously low, they're deemed unconscious; or worse.

Teri wrote this novel beautifully - not just how she paced the story but how she actually chose to write it; I love her writing style.

Secrets, trust, friendship and love are put under tremendous stress as Kyla discovers that she's not like the other Slateds; Kyla is different. And this is her story of discovering the difference between right and wrong, between facts and lies, but most importantly between who she is and who she was.

A beautiful story, a compelling read...

It's disturbingly close to the undeniable nightmares of our future.

Kyla's story is heart-wrenching. 

It will haunt you.

A MUST READ for all dystopian fans and anyone else! I highly recommend this novel and can't wait for the sequel "Fractured" to be released in 2013.


Dystopian, Dystopia, Thriller, Romance, Ya -            5 Stars *****


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Everneath - Brodi Ashton - Review


A beautiful, modern retelling of the Persephone myth.


Nikki has returned from Everneath. She only has 6 months to get her old life back on track, to tie up loose ends, to say goodbye to everyone she loves. Because when 6 months are up, they'll come for her and this time she won't be able to come back...

I adored this gripping debut from Brodi Ashton more than I imagined I could.

It's written in first person and amongst the chapters set in the present day, there are a few chapters set in the past, flashbacks I guess, showing Nikki's life before she was taken to Everneath. I had only experienced this in one other novel and I genuinely HATED that book so I was scared I'd feel the same about this novel but I LOVED it!

Don't let it put you off, honest, it's not at all confusing (it's actually helpful) and the flashbacks are so sweet that I found myself smiling through them all. :') It even tells you at the start of each chapter whether or not it's a "flashback".

There's a mystery element to this novel. You're thrown straight into the action (Nikki is just leaving Everneath to return home) and you're wondering - Where is she? Why is she there? Why does she only have 6 months? Etc. Nikki is trying to find out how to explain her absence, how to make amends, how to say goodbye and whether or not she'd rather die or become immortal. Her friends and family have their own mysteries to solve too.

Romance is a huge part of the book as the story is based on a retelling of the romantic myth of Persephone. (If you don't like myths then don't worry, I didn't even know it was based on a myth until the end of the book, I just thought it was a paranormal novel.) There is (kind of) a love triangle... Well... I'm going to call it a love triangle with one singed corner. You spend a lot of the book figuring out whether or not characters are lying about their feelings, in denial or hiding them. There are some very sweet scenes between Nikki and male characters which had me smiling from the start.

The twists dotted throughout the plot are unpredictable and heartbreaking in some cases. The characters are so fragile yet strong at the same time with layers of secrets and emotions that they seem almost real.

I truly did adore this novel and devoured it in just 2 days. I recommend this to any romance or paranormal fans. :) It's just a sweet read which I think many will enjoy. I'll be looking out for more work by Brodi. :)

Paranormal, romance, myth -                        4 stars ****

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Alice In Zombieland - Gena Showalter -  ARC Review

A blink. A breath. A second. Everyone she's ever loved is gone. And that's all it took. A small fraction of time.


This novel is like a zombie itself - the first few pages grabbed my attention and engaged with my emotions, just like human life. Then for a short while it lost my attention due to a decrease in the speed of the pace as if the story had lost its flare and died. After I got that past that (MINI) stage I couldn't put the book down and the pace picked up, sending shivers down my spine as I followed the characters deeper into their world. It was as if the story had risen from the dead and claimed my attention once again like a zombie would its prey.

Okay, so that was a lame way of me trying to say that the pace slowed down for about 30 pages near the beginning but (definitely!) made up for it! Seriously, you won't be able to put this book down! The characters will pull at your heart strings while the zombies claw at your soul. (You'll understand that when you read the book!)

The story is part mystery (in a way... ish) which I didn't expect. Everything seems to be unknown at the start and as you dig around with the characters things begin to fall into place. So by the end you're left with some pretty big knots which now make sense; though these conclusions lead to new questions which will have you craving the sequel in these chronicles.

The characters are what make the story in this book. Sure, the plot is good too but the characters are so complex. You spend the story following them through this world which Gena created so well, watching them tackle every hurdle they come across but at the same time you're deciphering each and every one of them. Their motives. Their secrets. Their loyalties. And their hearts.

Kat held my hand throughout the book, Kenz glared a hole into the back of my head and Cole... ergh, *swoons* yeh, he got me good.

Though the novel is called "Alice in Zombieland" the story has no connection to the sequences of events which take place in that of "Alice in Wonderland" and shares little to no similarities. The girl is named Alice (though she prefers Ali) and there's occasionally a cloud in the shape of a rabbit but there are no booby-trapped rabbit holes to fall down, madhatters or hormonal queens with King Henry the 8th syndrome. "Off with their heads!" <- Y'get me?

The story is literally about a girl named Alice in a world where zombies co-exist with humans (+ some really awesome twists and a complete hotty!)

This isn't your typical zombie novel though. Gena added her own (and may I say very unique) twist to what could have been a cliche zombie novel. 

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be recommending it to my friends in October when it is officially published. 

The characters are fragile and complex, the plot unique and unpredictable. A compelling read.

Compliments to Gena Showalter for writing such a superb novel. I will definitely be checking out more books by Gena after this meritorious introduction to her work.

Zombie - romance -                                   4 stars ****

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Hunger Games DVD Is On Sale On The 3rd Of September! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!<3

I'm so excited! :D 



The World Will Be Watching...


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Finnick has been cast for the movie "Catching Fire"!!

(Finally!)


Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair


Opinions?..

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys... 

MOCKINGJAY PIN!<3

It's old BUT I re-read a few of my favourite scenes from the trilogy and it has me all excited again! :') Anyone else got one? :P


Monday, 20 August 2012

So Rebel Heart Totally Screwed With My Heart!<3

I look like a total dork BUT here is me and my beautiful baby! x') Ace book!<3

I luuuuuurrrrrrved this book! It's like a sex god made from paper and ink... Y'know?

Gahhhh... this book! *Swoons* I keep making blog posts about it because I'm just like "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!" I'm not going to pretend the book was perfect (it wasn't) but it was epic! The good bits made up for the bad!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Amongst The Ruins - Saewod Tice - Review

So, uhhh, I read this like really amazing book, it's called "Amongst the ruins" and if you don't read it then, uhhh, I guess it's your loss.

This books was truly amazing! I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. It's the first novel in the promising 2020 chronicles. When I finished reading "Amongst the ruins" I completely fangirled to the author and she hasn't replied yet so I think I scared her? Maybe the part where I told her I "loved" her did it?

Ok, so onto the more serious part of the review... Heck, this is going to be so hard to write! I'm still so hyper about the book!

I genuinely don't know where to start or what to say to prove how phenomenal this novel was. It's hard to sum up awesomeness in a few paragraphs. 

Unlike most dystopian novels, whose plots sound promising but fail to deliver, this story really struck me and is now one of favourites of all time. 

The plot was basic yet seemed so complex at the same time. There were so many twists and unpredictable turns. In the future the remaining 15% of the population live in clans due to the collapse in society after a nuclear disaster devastated mankind. The 'Nigredo" are savage, radiation-twisted mutants, almost human-like if it weren't for their lack of empathy, who threaten to ruin the life mankind has salvaged from their past failures; but they're not all that endanger Shilo's life, freedom and future. 

Shilo's transformation from a young girl in hiding to a young woman who will stand her ground is compelling and dangerous. Everything she does is to survive. Nothing else matters but survival in this world, but for Shilo, survival isn't enough. She wants freedom from the  trap she's fallen into, from the expectations of women in this monster of a world. 

The characters are what make the story. The characterisation was beautiful and ever so real. The heartless mean fueled me with adrenaline and her friends and family enveloped me in warmth. I felt everything she experienced as if I were her, but at the same time I felt as though I was sat on the side line, unable to help her when my heart was screaming at me to do so. 

The relationships between characters, whether they were enemies, friends, family or lovers were indecisive, believable and emotional. The feelings characters developed towards one another and the words they wished they'd had a chance to say make you realise just how precious life is. 

I really can't strain enough how prodigious this novel was. The plot was simple yet layered, the characters all too human and beautiful. 

A compelling read. An admirable protagonist. Her story will consume you.

*Recommended for 15+ due to mature content*

YA dystopian-romance - ***** 5 stars.

Purchase the novel here -        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amongst-Ruins-Chronicles-2020-ebook/dp/B005OZIIVE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344082495&sr=8-1-fkmr0

(Also available at Amazon US and from the publisher.)




The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker - Review

"Danger isn't the only thing that makes your heart beat faster."

The Other Life: Who we were before the virus. How we'll never be again. It's been 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days  since Sherry has seen daylight. When things went wrong up above, she was sealed off from the world in a bunker with her family. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find devastation, desolation... and the weepers: savage mutant killers.

When Sherry's dad is snatched from her , she joins Joshua. He's handsome and strong but he's also troubled and his thirst for revenge against the weepers may put them both at risk. 

"The Seeds of first love are sown amongst the death and destruction of a nightmare future in this incredible debut novel. Beautifully and gut-wrenchingly gripping, it's essential reading." - Amazon

For a debut, this is phenomenal! This novel puts Susanne Winnacker high up on the ladder of dystopian fiction. The plot injects adrenaline into your veins while the characters grasp at your heart strings, hanging on by their fingertips.

I read this book in one sitting which is something I usually try to avoid, but could not resist, doing.

The characterisation was so real compared to other books. Sherry isn't your typical "Katniss Everdeen" as so many protagonists are wrongly compared to. She doesn't know how to throw a knife or make it hit its target every time. Joshua isn't invincible. He's not superman. He's a teenage boy trying to survive in this all to real hell of a world. 

I loved this book to pieces! Definitely a new favourite! It's the first in a planned trilogy and I'm dying to get my hands on the next book!

The only negative thing I can say about this novel is that it ended all too soon!  ;D *sigh* At least there's a sequel!! :D

YA - dystopian - apocalypse - romance - ***** 5 stars

Outsider - Micalea Smeltzer - Review

"This novel shifts from wolves to humanity and back again with a cast of characters who are truly remarkable; all entwined in a love story which will have you swooning and shifting in your seats." - EponaReviews

A self-published novel, miraculously completed within 4 weeks by 18 year old, Micalea Smeltzer. 

The first in a trilogy of shifters, love and power.

All little girls dream of being a princess. They dream of a prince. A fairy tale of their own.They've all watched Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast; but none ever dreamt they'd be the beast...

Sophie's world is turned upside down when she discovers the truth about her life. About what she is. She's scared but she's not alone. She may not have her prince but she certainly has her Alpha and he's all hers.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found myself occasionally laughing throughout the story. There's action, friendship, betrayal, secrets, romance and, of course, wolves.

The story is written in first person, past tense, from the POV of 17 year old, Sophie. The only downside to this novel (perhaps down to being self-published) was the lack of editing, both grammatical and developmental, but despite this it was a fabulous novel.

This is a romance story and so much more and despite not containing vampires or werewolves (the wolves in this novel are known as 'shifters') I would probably recommend this novel to fans of Twilight as the Williams wolf pack reminds me so much of the Cullens family. And for once, there's not a love triangle!

I picked up this novel after devouring Maggie Stiefvater's "The wolves of mercy falls" trilogy and found myself craving more. Outsider did not quench my thirst but in fact gave me a taste for something new. 

Micalea adds her own twist on a typical shifter novel.


YA - romance - fantasy/paranormal? ***" 3.5 stars

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide To Getting Girls -  Tellulah Darling - Review

Hilarious! A down to earth novel with characters you want to hit over the head, laugh with and laugh at. I devoured this book in one sitting and will probably re-read it again in the future. A must read for teenagers 15+

The characters had great personalities. They were funny, kind, stupid, selfish, ; they were human. Typical teenagers who managed to stay unique in their own way.

The story is simple and realistic but at the same time is highly unpredictable which made it all the more enjoyable! With so many scenes being easy to relate to, I really can't think of anyone who wouldn't really enjoy this book! It was funny but had enough 'serious' scenes in it to keep it real. I certainly cracked a smile, heck, I laughed my socks off!

A cringe-worthy yet hilarious novel! A must read!


YA - romance - ***** 5 stars



Arena One - Morgan Rice - Review

Arena One - the first in a trilogy - struck me as a combination of Lara Croft, Blood Red Road and The Hunger Games; an interesting and chaotic mix. You'll find action, loyalties, love and devastation. With so much on the line, how do you know what is really worth fighting for?

Brooke is the daughter of a marine. She's a survivor. That's the one good trait she's inherited. She's also stubborn, like her mother. But that's a problem...

Despite not having the most original of plots (it was more of a mash up of other dystopian novels) this novel made me think more than other dystopians. It made me realise how destructive we, as humans, truly are and how selfish I, as a person, really am. I don't think I'd have the guts nor determination to do what Brooke did. I can admit (and am rather ashamed to do so) that I would have given up and lost hope. I would have abandoned everyone...

This novel is rather descriptive in the travelling aspect. It's very specific. You never leave the character; you're with her the whole time as she narrowly misses colliding with a crumbling building and as she turns a corner too sharply onto 59th street and then swerves on a patch of ice outside an abandoned apple store. I admit I did find this description a little dry at times and extremely repetitive, y'know, like, "ok, ok, I get that you're driving, now something different happen!.." but it did help you to put yourself in Brooke's shoes, I guess? 

Brooke's journey was not fun or exciting. It was not short and sweet. It was long, tiring and tedious. It made you appreciate just how hard things were for her and again highlighted how selfish I am because I know for sure that I would not be willing to sacrifice myself as often as she was willing to.

The characters weren't original but neither were they cliche. They were their own people but if you want to know their personalities in a nutshell then here they are. Ben is "the boy with the bread" or in this case "deer". He is another Peeta Mellark ALL over. Completely helpless but somehow manages to pull through. Then there's Logan. He's strong and is a born fighter, just like Brooke. Brooke's sister is definitely a strong-willed "Prim" and Brooke is... hmmmm, I'm not sure. I guess she's a patchwork of the fighter within us all and protagonists from other dystopian novels.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this book when I was half way through reading it, it was slow and dull in places (and similar to other novels) but after reading the last word I am definitely craving more because I can't wait to see where this story takes us!

Morgan Rice has taken a running jump into the dystopian world and I hope that this trilogy stays afloat.

YA - dystopian - hint of romance - *** 3 stars

The New Haven Project: Anomaly - Jessica Gilliland & Kimberly Gourgon - Review

This novel is an anomaly in itself. Very rarely does a book affect me so much that I cry at a character's heartache or share their rush of adrenaline. This is a must read!

You're thrown straight into the story here, which I liked. There's no waiting around for half a book before the real plot begins.

A unique aspect of this novel is the relationship between the characters and the reader. Typically in novels you either love or hate a character, but not here. One minute I'd be swooning over a character and the next I'd actually be angry at them. It made the novel feel more realistic and the characters were so genuine; they weren't perfect, they each had their flaws. It made them appear even more human. I also noticed that my reactions to the events which unfolded throughout the book highlighted my own imperfections.

The reader can truly engage in this novel as their is no "right" and "wrong". You choose whether or not someone's intentions were good or bad and whether or not you think a character is a friend or foe. I asked one of the authors "Is New Haven a good or bad place?" before reading the novel and she replied "That's for you to decide." It makes the book so unpredictable because you constantly have mixed emotions about everyone and so does the protagonist.

My emotions were evoked severely in this novel. It's not an emotional read ash such but I felt the character's butterflies, her nerves, heartache, anger, confusion and I even had an adrenaline rush at one point! Not to mention tears! This is how well the authors managed to build and maintain a relationship with the reader; extremely impressive!

I can't put into words how good this book is. It is intense, unpredictable, emotional, engaging and prodigious. 

A phenominal debut from two talented authors. The first in a trilogy - a promising one.

YA - Romance - Dystopian - Sci/fi - ***** 5 stars

Falling Fast - Sophie McKenzie - Review

River auditions for a female role in a local all boys' school production of Romeo and Juliet.

She has always dreamt of finding true love so she believes that she'll fit into Juliet's shoes perfectly. Then, she sees Flynn. He's playing Romeo and causes her to not only believe that she could be a good Juliet, but he makes her want it.

The only problem is that Emmi, River's best friend, is running for the same role. 

You follow River as she falls head over heals for Flynn and tries to find out if he feels the same way.

I don't like Shakespeare nor do I like Romeo and Juliet. BUT I adored this novel! I actually picked it up after reading "Star-crossed Romeo and Juliet" by Rachel Wing as the two books sounded similar-ish (only in that novel, the teens cast as Romeo and Juliet are enemies). It's another fabulous romance novel!

Anyway, back to this book! The soul focus of this novel isn't actually on the play 'Romeo and Juliet'. That's just a... catalyst, if you like? The book is actually more so about the characters. 

This novel isn't at all like I expected. When I first picked it up I thought it would literally be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet or a cat and mouse game - River chasing Flynn. It isn't at all like that. I thought the novel would be predictable and patronising but it is actually unique and mature. I laughed with River, I cringed for her and I understood her.

I like how Flynn has his flaws and how you have to debate with yourself whether or not his actions can be justified. How friendships and family relationships are put to the test under the pressure. The characters are all so real and their stories are heart-wrenching. This book is way more in depth than I thought it would be and has a few twists you won't see coming.

I read it in one sitting and recommend it to any romance/contemporary readers out there. :) I do recommend it for 15+ though as some of the topics covered (though handled lightly) might not be appreciated by younger readers.



YA - romance - contemporary - **** 4 stars

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Rebel Heart - Moira Young - Review

*Note: This will be a spoiler free review for those who have not read 'Rebel Heart' but do not read this if you haven't read 'Blood Red Road'*

Hey guys!

Let me just get this out of my system.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood! *HEARTATTACK* jdkshvngzdfjhudgvhzgn.jghdvkhgfvdhjvkgczjhgsdfjghkj!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *HYPERVENTILATES*

Ok, now let's get to the review! :)

This book is like a sex god made from paper and ink, y'know? *Swoons*

Blood Red Road was amazing. Rebel Heart is phenomenal.

Rebel Heart continues on a few months after the journey ended in Blood Red Road.  The characters have aged what seems like years in maturity and mental state when only a few months have actually passed them by. The events they endured throughout Blood Red Road has toughened their skin but scrambled their hearts... and Saba's mind.

This sequel is actually more... emotional? As where Blood Red Road was a lot of action. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of action! It's just that the characters are cracking under the pressure and their true personalities and feelings are beginning to show; shining a light on long lost secrets.

The first half of the book isn't anything special. It's not boring! It's far from boring! It's really good and there are small hints about bigger twists dropped here and there which begin to unravel later on in the book. BUT compared to the second half of the novel... pfffft... all I can say is that the second half completely blew the first half off the face of the earth!

There were so many twists that my heart could barely cope! One minute I'd be crying out "Noooooooooo!" while my stomach did a fuzzy flip and the next I'd be like "YES!" only to have my heart stomped all over within the next five sentences. It was truly a roller coaster of emotions! At some parts I was like "ahhhh, I know what's going to happen!" and I was right which made me a bit like "oh, well that was predictable..." but then there'd be a twist on what I expected to happen which made it totally unexpected... if that makes ANY sort of sense? ( I hope I haven't truly frazzled your brain with that!)

One of the only negative things I can say about this book is that there was a lack of originality in some VERY SMALL parts. Most people won't notice them at all but I did. (This isn't a spoiler) Lugh tells them all of a better life, and Emmi and Tommo beg him to tell them about the rabbits in their new life. This, to me, was stolen from the novel "Of mice and men." Could she not have at least changed the animal? Hmmm... maybe it was pure coincidence? And she took the name "Slim" from a character in "Of mice and men" which bugged me again. I think it's pretty obvious that she borrowed these two things from that novel. They're minor things and don't play a major part in the novel at all, in fact, they could have easily been missed out. I've only noticed them as I studied the novel "Of mice and men" for an essay last year.

Also (again negative) there were so many loose ends by the end of the novel. There were twists that took you down dead end paths... they were clever but pointless. Also there were a few characters who were utterly pointless too. And a few scenes were just too far-fetched. I loved how Blood Red Road was unlikely to happen but possible; it was realistic. This can't be said about Rebel Heart.

Those negative points could have easily been erased if the novel has been revised by a developmental editor or just written slightly better by the author. I don't know.

I do have to say that there's more positive than negative with this novel! I just had a few pet hates which I couldn't not include in the review.

That aside, this was a truly fantastic novel! The characterisation was brilliant! A few scenes were a bit weird but the majority of it was ever so clever! The action, relationships, emotions, twists... Gahhhhhhh!

I realise how I haven't made this book sound very good at all... (especially with my lil rage in the middle) ...I'm actually so frustrated because I can't put into words how amazing this sequel was! Seriously, if you have a heart condition, keep the phone nearby with 999 pre-dialed. My heart nearly beat out of my chest while I was reading this and I had so much adrenaline in my veins that I felt sick at one point! It's rare that a book does this to me! Yeh, some make me smile, or laugh or cringe but it's not everyday a book makes me feel like I'm having a heart attack!

Rebel Heart was... *wordgasm* dhjffdhjgvnfdvgldhsmc;fmdhlh!!!!!!!!

If you enjoyed 'Blood Red Road' then 'Rebel Heart' is a must read!


If you want to read some quotes from the novel (all spoiler free and hand picked by me) then click -> Quotes.


Read it! Read it!
YA - dystopian - romance - ****" 4.5 stars

Friday, 17 August 2012

I won't review this Goddess of a novel until I've calmed down else it'll just be a load of "Aaaaaaaah" and "Eeeeeeeeeek!" and "OMG!" and *heart attack, someone call 999!*

SO in the mean time, here's 6 of my fav quotes from the novel!<3


Person #1" 'You kept the door to that heart of yers locked up tight an hid the key away. Looks like she found it.' "
Person #2 " 'Keys ain't her style. She kicked the door down.' "

Person #1 " 'Hey. C'mere.' He comes to me. Wraps me in his arms an kisses the top my my head. 'This is me yer talkin to. I've racketed all over the place. I'm hardly in a position to judge anybody.' "
Person #2 " 'I love you'. I whisper it into his sleeve so's he don't hear."

Hottie # " 'We ain't got time for you to yell at me or for me to tell you everythin that's happened, so I'm jest gonna cover the main points real quick an then I'm gonna kiss you.' "

Person #1" 'G'bye, Saba,' He says"
Person #2 " 'Sunofabitch,' I says."

Someone # " ' D'you ever think about her? She'd be 6 by now. I know it's stupid, but... I like to imagine how she'd be. What kind of character, y'know. Who she might take after. She had eyes just like yours. She was beautiful, wasn't she?' "

Someone # " 'Slim said some people hope they'll die in a... magnificent splendour, like the sun. I think that's what she hoped.' " <- That quote only means something once you've read a scene earlier on in the book and when it's in context, but it's one of my fav quotes so here it is!

Again, I can't explain how amazing this novel turned out to be! A fantastic sequel to "Blood Red Road" and I can't wait for the 3rd/final novel! *Review coming soon.*

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Eeeeeek!

I have a mini-jackass delivery arriving tomorrow which makes no sense because those two words contradict each other but HEY HO!

I am now on a book buying ban... 11 books in one day is uhhhh, a LOT for me... probably more than I can afford!

Only 9 are arriving tomorrow but I'm still EXCITED! :')

They were on offer... £1.99 each or 3 for £5 so I went wild! Who can blame me?!

I'll post a picture and list etc etc up tomorrow on all the books! I also have some coming in the post for review! 3 maybe?.. I really can't remember... my ebook review list is growing so I kinda need to clamber on top of that list and stomp it down a little!

AND I got a signed post-card from Meagan Spooner which was pretty cool ;D I'll post a pic of that too!

So... ummmm... yeh.... that is the explanation of the very loud "eeeeeeek" you heard before! :D Just a mini update to show that I haven't been carried away and mauled over by zombies because I haven't posted in a while!

SEE YOU TOMORROW! :D

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Alice In Zombieland ARC

Alice In ZombieLand ARC


So I got my first official ARC today. I was a very happy birdy! x') I can't wait to start this book, it sounds so promising! If you're about to read this book or have read it then let me know via a comment or email and let me know what you thought! :)

Excerpt

"Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. 
     But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second and everything I knew and loved was gone. 
   My name is Alice Bell, and on the night of my sixteenth birthday I lost the mother I loved, the sister I adored and the father I never understood until it was too late. Until that heartbeat when my entire world collapsed and a new one took shape around me.
    My father was right. Monsters walk among us.

***

 So. Yeah. I should have listened to my father. He warned me over and over again never to go out at night, never to venture into the cemetery and never, under any circumstances, to trust someone who wants you to do, either. He should have taken his own advice, because he trusted me - and I convinced him to do both. I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently. I'd tell my sister no. I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad. I'd stop my tears from falling. I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words. Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mum and my dad one last time. I'd tell them I love them."

That is a broken up excerpt from the "Note from Alice" before chapter one. :)

Please check out my review of the dystopian novel "Amongst The Ruins" by Saewod Tice

Amongst The Ruins Review



Leave feedback and let me know your thoughts on the review and whether or not you're going to purchase the book! :)

Friday, 20 July 2012

This Week's Post!



I have had an awesome week via my "mailbox"!!

Firstly I have received 9 ebooks for review along with having 5 books sent in the post (Which haven't arrived yet *cry*) And I also won a book competition on twitter for my retarded tweets XD

In the picture above there's my copy of "The Foresaken" by Lisa Stasse! 2 WEEKS BEFORE IT'S DUE FOR RELEASE! Sooooooooooooooo happy! 

I also received a signed bookmark from Micalea Smeltzer (You can't see the front of it in the photo but it has a gorgeous wolf on it!) along with a letter :') THANKS MICALEA!

Then I received my tickets to meet Moira Young, Sophie McKenzie and several other FABULOUS authors!

My letterbox was smokin' hot this week ;) I am a happy girl! 

I just realised how this sounds like I'm boasting... I'm not! D: I'm just excited and thought I'd share it with people on the web who will probably never see this post... 

                                  *signing out* <- I had to do that?..

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Check This Out!

Check out my book review of "Outsider" by Micalea Smeltzer here!

And check out the new back cover with a quote of my review! !*Thanks Micalea*!


Friday, 13 July 2012

Interview With Micalea Smeltzer! Enjoy!

So here's the questions you asked and Micalea ever so kindly answered!


I have re-worded the majority of them to try and combine several questions into one as there were so many coming in and I was only submitting 10, but here they are! Thanks again Micalea Smeltzer (Author of Outsider - follow her on twitter @mseltzer9793).

1) Who/what inspired you to create and write the plot to Outsider and how old were you when you wrote it? My inspiration for writing Outsider was the fact that there was no werewolf/shifter books that I liked to read. I felt like werewolves/shifters were always being portrayed as evil and aggressive. I wanted to do something that was completely the opposite of that. In the Outsider world most shifters are very relaxed and normal. Travis and his family are the exception to the rule. I got the idea for Outsider when I was 14 and working on the Fallen Series. I started it then but didn’t actively pursue it. But the story always stayed in my head and I knew I wanted to come back to it. So early in 2012 when I hit a major case of writers block concerning Forever (the final book in the Fallen Series) I decided to go back to Outsider. So that would make me 18 when I wrote it.

2) Why did you choose to self-publish the novel and do you plan to publish more novels/trilogies/series in the future? Self-publishing was not something I wanted to do AT ALL. That was my ignorance. Now that I know more I’m glad I’ve chosen to go this route. I have more control and I can get my books out faster. But the main reason why I chose to go in the self-publishing direction is that in late October/early November of 2011 I got really sick and ended up in the hospital. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. What makes an 18 year old deathly sick? By chance they found E-coli in my bloodstream. If it’s not caught in time it’s deadly. I truly believed that I was going to die and not get to share my books with the world. I had a fairly long recovery process both mentally and physically. I became very depressed simply because, at this age you don’t really think about dying. Now I’m not afraid of death and I look at my experience as a blessing in disguise because had I not gone through that, I wouldn’t have put my books out there. I do plan to self-publish even more books. Insider is next and it’s scheduled to release on September 7th after that will be The Enchanted (As of now I plan for this to be a trilogy but things change), and then hopefully I can finish Forever.

3) Who is your favourite character to write about and why? The answer to this question changes every day. Sometimes Caeden is, another time it’s Theodore (The Enchanted). I think it depends on which book I’m writing at the time. But usually my favorite characters to write about are the guys. I don’t really know why that is. But today I’d have to say my favorite character to write about is Bryce because he makes me laugh out loud. When you’re writing these different characters you have to immerse yourself in their head (even when you’re not writing from their POV). After I finish Insider I plan to do several more OUTSIDER EXTRAS from Bryce’s POV.

4) Did you try to change the wolf aspect of the story to make it your own or did you keep it traditional/stereotypical shifter wolves? I feel like I tried to but there’s so many shifter books out there that a lot of information overlaps and you don’t mean it to.

5) How long did it take to write Outsider? 4 weeks. All I did was eat, sleep, and breathe shifters.

6) Do you have any advice for young aspiring authors? Whatever you do, don’t give up. I started so many books that only lasted approximately 20 pages before I actually completed a full length novel. If you set your mind to it then you CAN do it. You have to believe in yourself and in the story you’re telling.

7) Which character would you say is the most like you or that you would compare yourself to? Hmm…  I don’t really know. I like to have my characters be pretty different from me so that I can be a different person for a while. I’m very sarcastic so many of my characters possess that trait.

8) What was going through your mind when you released Outsider? Were you 100% happy with the novel? “Holy crap! Did I actually finish a book that’s not about vampires? Wow. I hope people like it.” I don’t think any author is ever 100% happy with their book. There is ALWAYS room for improvement.

9) If you could sum Outsider up in 3 words what would they be? Fan-freakin-tastic! Just kidding!!! How about: A love story. ß I suck at this kind of thing.

10) What would you like people to know about the novel before they read it and what would you like them to take away after reading it? Before they read it I’d like people to know that you don’t have to be a paranormal/wolf/shifter fan to like it. At the end of the day it’s mostly a YA love story. I’d like for people to take away from the story that they were a part of it. I want people to feel like they were there and experiencing the emotions along with the characters.

Leave comments or email me at eponareviews@gmail.com for more info!
Please follow this blog for more exclusive interviews and follow Micalea on twitter @mseltzer9793 and me @eponareviews

Thanks!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Exclusive Interview With Micalea Smeltzer Coming Soon!

Want Micalea to answer your question?


I have already gathered 10 questions for her from several bloggers and friends but if you can think of a burning question you'd like to know about the novel "Outsider" by Micalea Smeltzer then don't hesitate to email me at eponareviews@gmail.com or leave a comment. I'll pick the best 10 questions! You have until Friday 11th of July to submit your questions!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Big News!

Ok. So I have a lot of good stuff happening at the moment (all book-related, of course!) and I'm not sure if I have the guts to do a vlog... If I don't have the guts (because I'm a chiiiiiiiiiiiiiickiiiiiiiiiiiiiin) then I'll make a video but ummm... I'll kind of cut myself out of it, tehe. 

Anyway, I've had a fair few books (7 maybe?) come through the post this week so I'm going to mention all of those. I am also expecting a small goodie through the post by a splendid author! I've received my first Arc (ebook form) and I have some news about meeting splendid authors such as Moira Young and Sophie McKenzie and then there's some BIG news which means so much to me which I will share with you all very soon!

I know this is kind of a teaser but I just wondered what you think about how I should deliver this? Vlog, video/slideshow, photos, a text post? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

When everything has arrived in the post I will upload all this good news in detail! So maybe... we'll aim for the end of July/start of August?

Spread the word about my blog! Follow me! Leave comments and email me! It all helps!

EponaReviews_x

3 Novels To Add To Your "To-Read" Pile!


Sorry in advance for the way the text has turned out... Technology hates me, I can't  figure out why some of the text is outlined in white and some isn't. Sorry! :/


Arena One by Morgan Rice

This self-published novel is the first in what sounds to be a truly promising dystopian trilogy!

Synopsis - "New York. 2120. America has been wiped out by the second civil war, decimated. In this post-apocalyptic world, survivors are far and few between. Violent gangs are predators in the remaining cities. They hunt out other survivors dotted across the country to enslave in their favourite sport - Arena One. The death stadium where opponents are made to fight to the death, in the most barbaric of ways. There is only one rule to the arena: no one survives. Ever.
    17 year old Brooke Moore manages to survive in the wilderness with her 10 year old sibling, Bree. They've faught for survival, struggling to find the necessities for the past 3 years, clinging to life the best they could. But one day, Brooke is too careless and Bree is taken by the slaverunners; taken to compete in Arena One.
    Determined to salvage her sister's life, Brooke sets off after the slaverunners; a merciless rescue mission. By chance, Brooke meets, Ben, a 17 year old boy whose brother has also been taken and they form an unlikely team fueled by love, fear and determination.
     Will they find their siblings? Will they have to compete in arena one? Will anyone survive?.."

That was kind of a mash-up between my synopsis and Amazon's synopsis. It sounds AMAZING so I highly recommend you check it out! It's £0.99 as an ebook on Amazon or £10.99 for a paperback. I've ordered the paperback as I like to have books in the flesh and it's nice to help out self-published authors! Let me know what you think!




     Earth Girl - Janet Edwards

This novel isn't released until the 16th of August but it's definitely one to check out!

I haven't read this novel but it's on my to-read pile! Here's the synopsis I borrowed from Goodreads.

"2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter."






The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna

This novel sounds truly amazing! It almost sounds like a dystopian/sci-fi mash-up like the majority of books in this trend. It sounds strong and unique.

Synopsis from Goodreads - "Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive."

Unfortunately this novel isn't due out until the 28th of August *sigh* Add it to your to-read pile or better yet, pre-order it now!