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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Book 2)

If you have not read Beautiful Creatures (book 1), please ignore this post and read the review of Beautiful Creatures at:

This book was torture! I have no faults with the writing; it was brilliantly written. It was the events that happen, although necessary, that was torture and made me cry at times. I was physically unable to continue reading at one point, knowing and hating what was to come.

If you have read my previous post about Beautiful Creatures, you will know that I loved the relationship between the two main characters, Lena and Ethan. In Beautiful Darkness, Lena struggles between Light and Dark, as the consequences of her actions in book one depresses her. Ethan loses the Lena he fell in love with… This is the point where I began to cry!

Ethan proves himself in this novel, believing in Lena even when she doesn’t believe in herself. He fights endlessly for her, no matter what she says.

New characters are introduced and old characters grow. The authors’ style of writing is incredible! Everything is brought to life so vividly. You will feel as though you are travelling this journey with the characters.

There is not much more I can say without giving away what happens. Although I didn’t enjoy reading this book as much as Beautiful Creatures, I knew that it was necessary for Lena and Ethan’s development; especially for Lena to learn about herself and the depth of their love. If you enjoyed the first book and want to continue the series, then this should not deter you as the storyline is brilliant! Despite the heartache, the story will not leave my thoughts, and I feel compelled to keep reading the series, like Ridley has cast a spell over me.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

am ashamed to say that I had not heard of the Beautiful Creatures series until a few months ago. The upside of my ignorance is that I don’t have to wait for the sequel! I would not have been able to wait for the story to continue, after being so hypnotised by this novel! You know a story is amazing when it keeps you up to the early hours of the morning, when the urge to continue reading beats the fight for sleep. I got completely drawn into this novel and the world that was created, but what captured me most was the relationship and romance between Ethan and Lena.
If, like me, you were unaware of Beautiful Creatures, I will give you a little description (without spoilers). The book is written from the perspective of Ethan Wate, a teenager who dreams of escaping his little hometown and, quite literally, dreams of a girl. So when Lena Duchaness moves to town, his life changes completely.

As I said before, what I love most about this novel is the characters, especially Ethan and Lena. You will fall in love with this couple, as they fall in love with each other. They seem so natural and real, and their moments together are enchanting. They need each other, no matter what happens. I love it! I loved Lena’s character in particular; she is someone who you could be friends with and is her own individual, despite what is going on around her.  

The fantasy element to this novel is brilliant. There are no faults with the writing or the storyline, and I can’t wait to start on the next book in the series (which I am planning to do after I have posted this)!  

If you like: romance, young adult, fiction or magic, you will love this. I think the fact that there are two writers makes the characters more three dimensional and alive than other novels, because you can get two personalities and ideas mixed together. I think the authors have done a brilliant job! This is definitely worth the read!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Hi everyone,

Sorry there hasn't been any new reviews lately. I am currently revising for my A Level exams, pretty much 24/7 at the moment, so I haven't had time to read. After my exams, however, be prepared for a lot of reviews! I'm going to make up for missing so much reviewing time.

I have a long list of books that I want to read and review for you all. Because I haven't been able to read at all, my imagination has been on fire! My own novel is a fast working process, and when I'm next able to get a book in my hands I am not putting it down!

Sorry again,

Simone Rhea

Sunday, 20 May 2012

My Love Lies Bleeding (The Drake Chronicles) by Alyxandra Harvey

My Love Lies Bleeding is the first in The Drake Chronicle series. It tells the story of Solange, who is the only female vampire ever born, and her best friend Lucy – a human. Solange is approaching her sixteen birthday, and with that her transformation into a vampire. As the only female vampire born, not initiated, Solange is in great danger from all the other vampires, despite the efforts of her family, the Drakes. Her family includes seven sexy brothers, her strong parents and several other relatives. One brother in particular, Nicholas, is the romantic focus of this story for Lucy.
This novel changes perspective between Solange and Lucy, as the danger creeps ever closer and lives are hung in the balance. It is the characters in this novel that make it such a good read. Lucy is just… well, normal. She is funny, slightly weird, with a refreshing personality, and her relationship with Nicholas, Solange and the whole Drake family is brilliant. Solange’s mum is another favourite character of mine, because she is so fierce and dedicated to her family. 

The novel is short and straight to the point; with only 256 pages, the action never stops, and you are thrown into the middle of it from the start. I laughed, nearly cried, wanted to join in with the Drake’s training – it is a quick read that will make you want more.

This novel is a must read for all the fantasy lovers out there. I say fantasy, instead of vampires, because it is such a unique take that it doesn’t compare to the others. The book and series is refreshing. The rest of the series (four books so far, but more on the way) follow different Drake brothers through their adventures, with each one getting more exciting. I personally prefer this first book to the rest, purely because you hear from Lucy’s perspective.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Lucky One

You have probably heard of the new film release called The Lucky One. Yes, the one with Zac Efron. This is based on the book by Nicholas Sparks (same title). If you haven’t watched the film yet, start reading the book version now! If you have watched the film already, read the book! Even if you didn’t like the film, give the book a go as it is definitely worth the read.
I haven’t seen the film yet, but I am desperate to watch it as I loved the book. The film versions of Nicholas Sparks’ other novels have been successful and stuck to the books, so hopefully this will be like reading the book in two hours. I recommend reading the book first though! No film can include all the details of a book, so you will be missing out!

If you have watched the film version, please leave a comment saying what you thought of it!

I have previously posted a recommendation of Nicholas Sparks’ novels, which included The Lucky One. Here is what I said about it:

The Lucky One

This novel is about a man who, during the war, finds a photo of a beautiful girl. After the owner of the photo is not found he decides to hold on to it, and luckily too because it saves his life. The girl is his lucky charm, and he wants to say thank you. He goes on a search for this girl in the photo, and when he sees a “help wanted” sign where she works, he thinks this is the perfect way to repay her. As you can see through me recounting the story after so long, it does stick with you (as with all his novels), and is heart warming to read.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Dark Lake (The Oshkosh Trilogy) by Carson Anthea

I have mixed views about this novel, so I will start from the beginning.
This novel follows Jane, a troubled adult stuck in the past. She is in recovery, goes to therapy, anger management, AA meetings and tries to find a job. Pretty depressing stuff. The author is brilliant at describing the scenes and portraying the emotions of the character. So, unfortunately, this makes the novel very depressing. It was well written, but a very heavy read and I couldn’t handle more than an hour at a time.

I didn’t like Jane. I understand that she is mentally unstable, however without knowing what happened to her I can’t sympathise with her. There is a mystery accident that happened in her past that explains her behaviour and the author hints at it throughout the novel, which does keep you intrigued, however I think it needs to be revealed sooner.

I kept waiting for this information to be revealed and got a bit bored when it never did. Jane continued being immature and stuck in a depressing state. There are flashbacks scattered throughout the book, which I liked better than the actual storyline as they are more positive.

Towards the end of the novel I began to enjoy it more, because I felt like a climax was being reached. From my reading experience, I would have recommended that the middle of this story is shortened or removed, with the current ending being in the middle and the story continued. I was left confused and disappointed from the current ending, as nothing was resolved. Knowing that this is the first of the trilogy, I think the author tried to space it out so a sequel is needed. However, this resulted in it being too long and boring.

I did enjoy parts of the novel; however I personally felt that it was stretched out too much. It is realistic, although the ending is puzzling. I have heard positive reviews of this novel, so this is completely my opinion and for just over one pound, you can make up your own mind. I do want to know what happened to Jane in the past; however I feel that this information should have been revealed in this novel, not left for the sequel.

I really want to know what happened on the lake!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

I recommend… J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter)

I know the majority of you have made a decision about Harry Potter; you may have read it and loved it, or hated it, or not even read it and decided to hate it anyway. Or you just watched the films and forgot about the books. Either way, you must have heard of Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.
Now, I’m going to tell you my experience with the Harry Potter books. This isn’t to make you read them, although you are missing out if you haven’t. And this isn’t to make you like them, because that’s your opinion. So, here is mine…

I used to hate reading. Well, ‘hate’ is too strong a word, more like I was never interested in it. This was mostly due to school experiences, having to read out loud to the class some boring book. I also had to do extra reading classes, which would make any kid despise the thing more. So basically, I didn’t want to touch a book that I wasn’t required to. As you can tell, this changed…

I must have been about nine when everything changed. Before then, I had read books but wasn’t crazy about reading. I would have preferred to play football or something; I don’t really remember how I spent all my time before reading. I went to the supermarket with my family, I can even remember that it was a Tesco’s, and there was a display of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. The phoenix is what grabbed my attention; I loved that type of thing. So I decided to read the blurb… and thought it sounded quite good. I had already watched the Harry Potter films that had been released and, although I wasn’t too fussed about reading, I was interested. I started the novel on the way home. I couldn’t put it down!

Harry Potter was the first book I enjoyed and J. K. Rowling became my idol. I fell in love with reading, with falling into another world, where anything can happen. I already loved films, yet books are so much deeper. I could go on forever about my love of books, but back to Harry Potter!

Harry Potter opened the reading world to me, because it made me interested in books! I loved the way J. K. Rowling could create a world that I could see so clearly in my mind. I read the books, with the words forming pictures in my imagination. J. K. Rowling is the reason I want to be a writer, to be able to write in a way that makes people feel the way I did when I read her books. Her writing is so powerful and inspiring; she will always be my idol.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Quick Post: The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike is a must read for any serious vampire lover! I am planning on rereading these novels soon, so that I can give you a lengthy and detailed review. But you should know that they are amazing! The first novel was published in 1994, my birth year, however they are so modern. I found myself wondering how Alisa, The Last Vampire, was going to escape certain situations. And laughing hysterically! She is such a powerful character; you will admire and love her throughout the novels.
If you love vampires, strong heroines, romance, action - anything really - then you will love these!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts

This book costs 77p on Amazon – that in itself is enough to give it a go. The cheap price and fairytale title was all it took for me, and I was surprised at what I gained.
Someone Else’s Fairytale is an easy read; something you could read in the sun, during a break, or for an hour before bed. I couldn’t put it down though. It kept me coming back, yet not in the obsessive way The Hunger Games or similar books do, so I could still do other things during the day.
The story: Chloe Winters is a young girl, with a messed up family, who is trying to do well so she can forget about her past. You will love this character. Her sarcastic replies and actions in certain situations is the best part of the novel. The novel wouldn’t have worked if the character was anyone else, which you can probably say about any book, but oh well. When she becomes friends with a famous actor, Jason Vanderholt, her life changes dramatically as speculations are drawn. Chloe is a strong character, and this strength is great to read. She stands by her morals and doesn’t let Jason’s fame determine the relationship. You wish you could help her, although she handles everything fine on her own.

During this romantic story, there is a darker plot as her past is made present. You know that something is not right, with the author dropping little hints here and there, making you keep reading to find out the mystery.

Aside from this horrifying part, the story is very realistic. You will love the characters, especially Lori. You will feel connected to Chloe, wanting to help her and force things to turn out ok. You will be angry at the characters she is angry at. We have all been in at least one of her situations: heartbreak, loss of friendship, awkward moments when you just want to run away yet stay at the same time, jealousy… If you know love, you have been there.

Like I said before, this is an easy read and realistic. It paces itself out. Sometimes you have to wait for the situation to unfold. But this isn’t a bad thing, if anything it is a refreshing break from all-action romances. I’m not saying this is the best storyline you will read, but the romance is more like real life in a way (aside from the whole fame bit). You will want this to happen to you (aside from the heartbreak and horrible past). As you can probably tell there are two sides to this story – romance mixed with dread – but the romance is the majority, so if you want a light book to read this is the one for you.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, because it kept me entertained and I enjoyed the characters. It is nothing compared to Nicholas Sparks, or similar authors, yet I think that this author is worth keeping an eye on for future releases. The book is refreshing to read as it is light, even during heavy scenes. There is a part near the end that shocked me, although I probably should have guessed it.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

A friend recommended this novel to me, and if this wasn’t the case, I doubt I would have brought it. Luckily, I trusted my friend’s opinion.

After reading the first page of the Kindle sample, I thought the unique writing style and language would be too distracting for me to last through the whole novel. The words are broken, being written more like how they sound than the true English spelling. This fits with the theme of the book – a world where books are antiques and written words are long forgotten.

Thinking of my friend’s love for the book, I continued reading and found that the different writing was refreshing instead of annoying. I wanted to know what happened next!

So what is this book about? It is set in a ruined future, where the majority of the world is desert and has severely deteriorated. The story is told from Saba’s point of view, a very stubborn 18 year old, who has lived isolated with her family her whole life. She is close to her twin brother, and blames her sister for her mother’s death. So when five men kidnap her twin, she promises to find him. The rest of the story is fast paced and full of adventure; this gives you no time to get bored, or put the book down during an uneventful part.

You see the main character, Saba, grow with independence and her willpower is inspiring. However, she isn’t the most likeable person during the majority of the book. You will find yourself willing her to react differently, listen to the people around her, or just stop and think a while. She doesn’t see what is right in front of her. I found this very frustrating at times, but I am a romantic. I put myself in her shoes though: growing up only knowing family members, no sexual or romantic contact, with no experience of life outside her area. You would behaviour similarly for some actions.

I was surprised to hear there was a sequel yet to be released. Although I loved this novel, I’m unsure whether I would like to read the second one. The novel ends in such a way that I found myself continuing it in my mind, playing what will happen. A sequel may be a mistake… I will have to read it and find out!

Saba’s strength and how she develops throughout the novel makes up for these flaws. This novel will send you on an adventure that you have never experienced. The imagery created is strong, and I could picture it like a film in my head. I am very pleased I brought this novel; it is unique and, after reading as many novels as I have, this is a brilliant quality to a story.

4 out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Blood Red Road by Moira Young (Full review coming soon)

A friend recommended this novel to me, and if this wasn’t the case, I doubt I would have brought it. The unique writing style put me off at first, however it is easy to over look this when the story grabs hold of you. There are ups and downs to this book, which I will inform you of soon.

If you are looking for a new, unique adventure then this novel is definately for you! It is fast paced and action packed - the brilliant combination.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I read this book in a day and a bit. I was hooked! Cinderella is my weakness, so when I heard about this book I had to buy it.

‘Cinder’ is a brilliant transformation, merging the classic Cinderella with a futuristic world. After following Cinderella for so long, I didn’t think the transformation could surprise me as much as it did, and I even found myself wondering how it would end!

The world of ‘Cinder’ is set in the future, where cyborgs and androids live among humans. The story begins with Cinder, a mechanic and cyborg, removing her metal foot in preparation for a new one. This futuristic theme was exciting and a new area to explore, gripping me to the pages.

When the Prince turns up at her market stall, you are introduced to the light conversation between them that will bring a smile to your face. This relationship is one of the many storylines that grows in the novel, parallel to each other and all connected by Cinder, and is the happy part of the novel that all you romantics will look forward to.

For the more fantasy/action lovers out there, there is a deeper side that will keep your eyes glued to the text. There are hints at the beginning that cyborgs – humans with robot-type features – are not highly thought of in the world. Cinder doesn’t want the Prince to know about this part of her, and her stepmother is disgraced by having a cyborg in the house. When Cinder’s kind stepsister gets the plague that has killed thousands of people and threatens the current King, Cinder is volunteered by her stepmother to be a participant in their experiments to find a cure. This should result in the death of Cinder, however a set of circumstances unravel that makes Cinder more important than anyone gives her credit for. The story continues, with a new race being introduced, sections from Kia’s viewpoint as he takes on new responsibilities and deep secrets being discovered.

This novel is much more than another Cinderella transformation, and Marissa has not allowed the fairytale to narrow the depth or restrict her story at all. Cinder is a great heroin with a strong personality, and I can’t wait for the sequel, to get to know her more and see how the story unfolds.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

This book gripped me from the start. It is about a woman, Christine Lucas, who forgets everything when she falls into a deep sleep. She wakes up with the mind of a child, but in an adult body. The man beside her says he is her husband. She doesn’t recognise the photos around the house. She doesn’t remember the past. She doesn’t remember the doctor who calls her daily.
I thought this book would be repetitive. I also thought that it would just be a story of her rediscovering her memory. Being a psychology student, this intrigued me anyway, but what I really found was beyond intriguing. It was addictive.

The author, who I was surprised to find out was a man, uses a brilliant writing style that made the story flow in a way that was the opposite of repetitive. The novel begins with Christine waking up, thinking she is a young adult after a one night stand, and is horrified to discover that she has amnesia. The man carefully explains that he is her husband and shows her a photo album. After her husband has left for work, her doctor calls to remind her of their meeting, and gives her a journal that she has been writing in for the last few weeks. The majority of the story is her rereading over this journal, and it becomes clear that something is not right about how she lost her memory.

There is so much to this novel. It is so beautifully written; you would feel a connection to Christine, because whilst she is discovering herself, you are discovering her. This book is definitely worth the read. It will make you appreciate your memory, your family, your life.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Coming Soon: Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

A quick post to say I have finished another book - Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson - and a review is coming soon! The story was brilliant and makes you think how depended you are on your memory. I would recommend it to anyone, and will tell you why soon...

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Wow. I was expecting another supernatural story; a predictable plot after how many I have read. This novel surprised me! And that is saying something.

In this novel there are witches, vampires and daemons – the perfect combination for any supernatural lover. The main character, Diana Bishop, is a witch but tries to ignore her magic and be as human as possible. I did ask myself, if there was a possibility of having magic who wouldn’t use it? Trust me; she has a good reason not to… Until she meets a vampire called Matthew Clairmont. He is perfect, if not slightly annoying in his superiority.

The best part of this novel is the maturity. It isn’t some teenage fantasy romance of falling in love with a vampire, but a story of how love can conquer all in a semi-realistic (besides all the supernatural stuff) world. This is definitely to attract the adult readers who like this topic, yet at 17-years-old I enjoyed it as well. You will love the heroines and be happy for them, but this isn’t a novel where you will go crazy in love with Matthew.

I couldn’t put this down! What captured me was the detail. I am rubbish at history and science, yet after reading this I wanted to read all about Darwin’s Species of Origin and start studying alchemy. I also wanted to visit Oxford and go to France. If you have the money and time to do all of this, then it could be an expensive book!

The emotions created were so strong, I felt like putting on the witchwater with Diana at some points. I felt like I could connect to her, because I know that I would have her reaction to some of the situations. This connection to the main character and the fact that it was a topic I love – romance, the supernatural and all that geeky stuff – made the book really enjoyable for me. I honestly couldn’t close the book! My eyes stayed glued to the pages way beyond when they should have been in another dream world.

Although I couldn’t put it down, the book is very long and it took me a while to read. When I thought it would come to some conclusion, there was a lot left yet to read. This is refreshing after modern books where the stories are quite straightforward (although still exciting!). This book is not possible to read in one go, even if you constantly read for most of the day, and I did try! Due to this length, I did get a bit impatient at one point, feeling like it was dragging on. It was still a good read during that impatient moment, but I just wanted to flick forward a couple of pages.

Deborah made the background story run so deep through the novel, and a mystery was built in correlation to the romance and Diana finding out about her powers. Part of this mystery was uncovered in the book, but towards the end the author built up preparations for the sequel. After finishing on a cliff-hanger, it’s sad that we will have to wait until July for the second part, because I feel that all the details and pieces from this novel is going to be important in the second.

Overall, this is a brilliant read if you like the topic. Definitely give this book a try. If you hate waiting for the sequel to a book, you might want to save the read until closer to the second release date.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

True Blood series by Charlaine Harris

A quick post to recommend True Blood series by Charlaine Harris. They are brilliant novels, with romance, mystery, action, homour, everything! I got addicted to the story and the world that Charlaine created. Sookie is by far the best perspective to read from. You will find yourself laughing and crying, with your heartbeat racing to the end! Definately give these books a try, even if you were put off by the TV series. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them!

These are definately for the more mature readers, as the fight scenes aren't all pretty and there is some sexual content.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini

I think the main thing to say about this novel is this: I couldn’t put it down! For £1 on Kindle it is a bargain! If I knew the author, I would have been willing to pay more, and will definitely be keeping my eye out for future Josephine Angelini novels.

I was unsure in the beginning, thinking the characters were a bit like Twilight. Just little things like the cars; the build of the characters; the heroine living alone with her dad; all of the new family in town being super attractive. But that is as far as it really goes, and I can’t slate her for there being a few similarities, as no book can possibly lack similarities to anything else.

This is not Twilight. This book is too… There is something different about it. It’s less easy going. I don’t know how Josephine does it, but the story is told in a pace that shouldn’t work yet it does. It got my heart pounding. One minute the characters were in love and together, the next they couldn’t; one minute she was leading a semi-normal life, the next she has discovered why all the crazy stuff was going on. It gave the story an edge that you don’t get in many books. You don’t have to read through the dull boring bit until you get to the good, because she manages to make it all exciting yet still allow the audience to follow the story. Brilliant writing, especially for a first novel.

I thought that the whole story was about the two characters having to hate each other (well, wanting to kill each other!), although they were truly in love. Surprisingly, that hating part was resolved quite soon and a bigger story was developed. I know that there is a lot more to come in this trilogy, and I honestly can’t wait for the other books in the series to be published.

I think that if you like the supernatural and all things like that, then you should definitely give this book a try! It is scary at times (kind of). Not make you drop the book and run type, but just ghosts (spirits, phantom things) here and there. The storyline is brilliant and, like I said before, you can see how it can be developed over another two books. Even if you just want something to pass the time, I would say this book definitely does that and at an affordable price too – bonus.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses series)

Noughts & Crosses
An Eye for an Eye (novella)
Knife Edge
Double Cross

Everyone in the world should read these novels! Even if you just read the first book (Noughts & Crosses), although you may not be able to stop! The main theme in the story is racism: white people are Noughts, black people are Crosses. In this world, the Crosses rule over the Noughts. This brings a brilliant perspective and view that shows how different life could be, with only a small reality being changed.

A theme affected by the racism is romance. It is seen as an abomination if a Nought and a Cross was to start a personal relationship; this doesn’t reflect the current world to the younger generation like me, yet you can imagine it causing controversy in the past. As a non-racist person myself and of the younger generation, I could view the situations in the novel with a lack of prejudice towards the characters.

These novels show how stupid racism is, and how it can cause unnecessary violence where there should only be peace. Being a romantic, I personally preferred the, well, romance, especially in the first novel and ongoing throughout the others. However, there is definitely action in these too! There is devious plans of terrorism from the Noughts, whilst Callie Rose (a mix-raced and mislead girl) struggles in life, her mother (Sephy) tries to heal her broken heart, her grandmothers (Meggie and Jasmine) try to heal the family. This struggle is down to the conflict between Noughts and Crosses, and made much worse by Jude’s meddling (Callie Rose’s uncle). Callum (the main male character) is present throughout the book, always in the background of the thoughts and actions of the characters, if not physically there.

The story is set in the first novel, and you see the outcome of this resolve throughout the other three in the series. The series is very heartfelt and touching, with many moments when you will laugh, cry, or just plain enjoy it. I loved following the whole world, and it was written so well that you feel like you lived the lives with them. A top series and a must read!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Coming soon... Malorie Blackman series

Noughts & Crosses
An Eye for an Eye (novella)
Knife Edge
Double Cross

Everyone should read these novels! They brilliantly show an alternative world, one that could have easily happened...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

I have a dilemma with this book. On one hand I loved the story and (most of) the characters, but on the other… The easiest way to explain it would be to tell you the basic plot. You follow a teenage girl named Alex, who is terminally ill and planning to take her own life. Whilst hiking through wilderness she is hit by an electromagnetic pulse, making pain shoot through her and the two people she had bumped into. Even the animals were affected and seemed to go crazy. As Alex recovers, she realises that her sense of smell (which she loss as a result of her illness) had returned, and is even sharper than before. The two people she had bumped into were Ellie – a stubborn 8-year-old girl – and her grandfather, oh and their dog! Only the dog and Ellie had survived. They soon find that the whole area had been affected by the shock, and some have lost their humanity because of it. After wondering around the wilderness, they are joined by a man named Tom, and you can sense a strong bond between him and Alex. And so their new family begins…

The story is brilliantly planned, with a scientific explanation for the shock that could (possibly, maybe, I don’t know,) happen. The link between shock and effect is clever too. The problem: from the way that stories are usually structured, you’d think that the whole story would follow these three characters, but it doesn’t. It is like the author has merged two novels together, making you kind of hate the main character because of her choices. I don’t want to give it away to you, as it is a really good read, so I will leave out the details. You follow the group of three, and as a reader you bond with them whilst they bond together. When a series of events tear them apart, causing Alex to be trapped in a surviving town, you’d think she would soon escape and find them again. This is where you begin to despise Alex’s decisions. It is like she forgets about Ellie and Tom completely; hence it is like a different novel. She meets a new, mysterious guy... she gets a job, she settles down. On the up side, it is well told and good to read, if you forget the first half of the story too.

The story is left on a cliff-hanger, preparing you for another novel, and hopefully welcoming back Ellie and Tom, who you grow to love. Overall, I did enjoy it! After the last turn of the page, I wanted to read the next one and hear more about the characters. But I will have to wait, as it is yet to be published. I would read it again… and as great as the story was, I think it would have been more effective if Ellie and Tom were found again before the end! I wanted them back in the story, and it's a shame to lose such great characters.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Coming Soon... Recently read

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick.

I brought this after seeing it advertised, and as it was relatively cheap to buy for my kindle (at the time! It has doubled now). The most annoying thing about this book was that it left you on a cliff-hanger! As I will now leave you on one... You will have to wait for my review, and whether you should invest money into this book.

Keep an eye out! It's coming soon...

I recommend... Nicholas Sparks

You can not call yourself a romantic book lover until you have read Nicholas Sparks! His novels are just beautiful. The way he tells the story is inspiring; he makes them run so smoothly and the different viewpoints in some novels connect effortlessly. If you have not heard of Nicholas Sparks, you may wonder how a male can write the best romance novels ever. I don’t know, but he does it! My theory is that he is able to understand how a male would react to certain situations, and this makes females want to read more. (He does write from female point of view, and realistically too!)

A Walk to Remember

I came across Nicholas when I fell in love with the movie version of his novel, A Walk to Remember. A romance between two people that you thought wouldn’t fit together, they are so different. A series of situations and noble acts makes love blossom… It sounds similar to many romance novels, doesn’t it? But Nicholas doesn’t leave it at that. When you think that the love story has a happy ending, a secret is unearthed that has the power to break the newly formed relationship. It is the characters that really hold in your heart; their love, their growth, their personalities. I had to read the book! From this point on, I was captured by his writing, his style, and his stories. I recommend the film version as well as the book, they are both masterpieces.

The Last Song

I read this book before the film version, which I am grateful for (although I did enjoy the film). If I had watched the film first, the characters would have been in my mind throughout reading, and the book gives too much depth for that. The book is very… enlightening. It makes you realise what you have and what you shouldn’t take for granted, to put the past in the past and more forward in life. I loved this novel, and it was so different from A Walk to Remember! I can’t believe how the same author could have written both novels. Normally they stick to the same basic story – girl meets boy, something happens to test their love, and they end up together – but not Nicholas Sparks! He includes family troubles, illnesses, morals, trouble makers, crimes, everything! The ranges to his novels are just so amazing! And this counts for all of them, not just The Last Song.

Safe Haven

I would definitely recommend this book! Just wow! It has gone from teenage love stories and troubles, to a woman escaping to a new life whilst her abusive husband tries to track her down. The story is so strong, at the end you feel like you can conquer anything. The reality that abuse does happen will make you feel very attached to the main character, wanting to help her and in turn real people will these troubles. This is definitely for the more mature readers and as a teenager I found the descriptions quite heavy at times, but essential to make the story as strong and impacting as it is. The twist at the end was a surprise, but there are signs along the way, so if you don’t like the storyline, read it anyway to see if you are more observant than me!

The Lucky One

It has been a while since I last read this novel of his, and I only borrowed it then so I can not read it again! I will definitely recommend it to anyone, and again it is very different from all of the others. This novel is about a man who, during the war, finds a photo of a beautiful girl. After the owner of the photo is not found he decides to hold on to it, and luckily too because it saves his life. The girl is his lucky charm, and he wants to say thank you. He goes on a search for this girl in the photo, and when he sees a “help wanted” sign where she works, he thinks this is the perfect way to repay her. As you can see through me recounting the story after so long, it does stick with you (as with all his novels), and is heart warming to read.

I am currently reading his novel Message in a Bottle, and my aim is to read all of his novels before I die - not a hard target, but you have to make it achievable. I would recommend Nicholas Sparks to all the romantics out there, as his writing style and imagination to make each story a new adventure is remarkable.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

This review includes: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mokingjay, all brilliantly written by Suzanne Collins.

Wow! Whatever I was expecting from these books just got blown out the window. They were… indescribable. Just thinking about them, I might scrap this review and go read them all again now! As stated in my previous post, it only took me three days to read all three books. Yes, you heard me. Quicker than Twilight, quicker than Harry Potter, even quicker than The Inheritance Cycle (Christopher Paolini) and Noughts and Crosses series (Malorie Blackman). Before you begin these novels, cancel all your plans in advance and be prepared to hibernate at home for a few days. I can guarantee, if you like this sort of thing, you will be captivated! You will be sucked into the world, the characters, the action, the Hunger Games.

I grouped all of these together into one review, because as I read them so close together they all merged into one. It is made harder to distinguish between them due to Suzanne’s writing technique. The books overall have a much greater theme than what you will find it under at a bookstore (or Amazon even). The book does contain romance, a love triangle, and the usual hiccups involved, but also an underlying theme of world issues. It is very hard to explain if you have not read the books, and I would be more than willing to discuss it with those of you who have! Once reading the books, you will be enlightened about the happening of our country. The ruling system. Even why we enjoy watching shows like Big Brother, or… You’ve Been Framed (haven’t watched it in years, but seems fitting in a way).

The romance. Amazingly done, and more true-to-life than other purely romantic novels. The love is tested, grown, taken away, everything that could possibly happen. And just to think it is all a plan in the first novel…

So from the start: there are Hunger Games played every year, with two people (one male, one female) aged between 12 and 18 chosen from each of the twelve districts. They are put in an arena and battle against each other whilst everyone watches on TV and only one must survive. Katniss Everdee volunteers in replacement for her younger sister. Having sisters of my own (although not younger) I can honestly relate to Katniss in the fact that I would do anything for them, and this act is terrifying yet heart-warming to read. Peeta is the male chosen from District 12.

I don’t want to say more than that about the plot, as it would ruin the book for you. But there is fighting, war and masterfully told action. The plot is outstanding and it is just… I have run out of adjectives! As you can tell, these are my new favourite books by far! There is so much that happens in them, you will have to read it for yourself to believe me.

I can’t wait for the film version of The Hunger Games that comes out in March, and I hope my ramblings about the trilogy will encourage you to read them.

Coming Soon...

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins reviews.

These were the first books I brought on my kindle for Christmas, and they were finished in three days!

Brilliant and captivating - I couldn't put them down! Possibly better than Twilight (and I love Twilight!).

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I waited for ages to get my hands on this book! I couldn’t wait to read it after first hearing about it. Magic, romance, an air of mystery, all mixed into one. Unfortunately I only got to hear it through an audio book, which made it hard to follow as I couldn’t flick back for references. It is a book that once you have read it you have to read it again, and it has been on my mind since the last page ended. It captures you into the world. Making you want to visit The Night Circus.

The story centres on a game, with two competitors and rules not known to them. The game takes place in the circus. From the book description, I thought the game was a physical challenge, like a duel, but it is so much more than that! It was a game of skill and stamina; like when one card was played the following had to be higher, yet this pack was never ending. The game doesn’t end until – ah, you’ll have to read the book for that part! Let’s just say, the game doesn’t want a happy ending, and the romance between Ceila and Marco was doomed from the beginning. 

At the circus, the characters themselves are enchanting. You will meet a pair of twins and their friend, who are full of life and enlightening to read about. Although Marco is the quiet sort of guy, Ceila is strong willed and I wish you would get a bit more than you do from her view.

The downfall to this book was the time period that it is set over. The time between two chapters could be years, skipping the best bits of the romance blooming between Marco and Ceila. All the little bits – the stolen minutes – are just as heart warming to read about, yet the author misses this and just focuses on the big moments. I can’t complain more than that, because the big moments are great!

Overall, I loved this book and want to read it again. As much as I want to read more, I think the book finished perfectly, so I will settle with making it up in my head. The magic of the circus is captivating and –even if you don’t like the romance – that is worth reading it for. There are several viewpoints being used, which brings the book to life and is what makes it magical.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (book)

I first read this book a few years ago, stumbling upon it by accident in the library. It took all my power to return the book, wanting to keep it to read again. The story stuck with me, and I found myself watching it like a film in my head. I recently decided to buy the book, wanting to see if it was as great as I remember, or just enhanced by my then childish mind. Let’s just say, no one saw me for a day whilst I revisited an amazing story.

The book is about a young girl, Ruby, who was ditched by her mum and left fending for herself. When Ruby is forced to live with her long lost sister, she is angry. Her sister left her with their abusive mum, to start a new life. But when the story really unravels, you feel a deep connection to the characters.

Ruby is someone that you can relate to, either through the whole family situation, her attitude, her view on life, her naive independence, or even her struggles at school. There are several stories being told, all merging together perfectly. Ruby’s life isn’t the only one we get to enter, and these people will stick with you for a long time. They are brought to life through Sarah Dessen’s writing, and I would recommend this book to anyone! (Probably more of a girl book though!)

One last note, this book isn't as innocent as you might expect. There are drugs, alcohol and abuse. It  makes the story more realistic, compared to other novels, and gives the story more depth.

Oh, and be prepared to cry (or be moved a little at least!) during one chapter.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Cowboys & Aliens

I never thought this would be my first review and post... forget your first reaction to the trailer. Trust me, you might like it!

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the trailer my first thought was: rubbish. Really? Cowboys and aliens in the same film? How could that work? The trailer – and the story itself – made it seem too… not right. Apart from starring Daniel Craig, I didn’t give it a second thought and didn’t plan on wasting a cinema ticket to view it. What a big mistake I made!

My friend, who had similar views to me about the trailer, was forced to watch it with his younger brother. I told him to “have fun”, sarcastically, and was surprised when he actually did! That convinced me to give it the benefit of the doubt, and a lot of doubt was still present.

The balance between cowboys and aliens is perfect. Obviously there are more cowboys, but just the hint of aliens before the final battle; enough to grab the audience. The mystery surrounding Daniel Craig’s character, Jake Lonergan, is crafted wonderfully. Even my mum, who can’t sit through whole films unless at the cinema, wouldn’t have wanted to leave even if we were at home. Now that’s saying something about the brilliance of the directing. Craig’s character is lost, and the audience can relate to that as we don’t know what’s going on! We get shoved in the middle of the story, in a sense, because Jake has already been through an alien abduction and the lost of his lover. Yet this is perfect for us – we learn as Jake does.

This film isn’t all about aliens, like I expected it to be. It is about the human race grouping together: the cowboys, the India’s, even looking past previous hatreds to defeat these aliens who are trying to steal all the worlds gold. Everyone can gain something from this film, even if they aren’t expecting it. It will grab you and through you into the action. You are Jake. You know as much about him as he himself does. This film will surprise you, and if it doesn’t it’s a good film anyway!