[Review #125] These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner Cover - Review Title: These Broken Stars
Series: Starbound
Book one
Author: Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Survival
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Review

These Broken Stars was nothing I expected yet everything I wanted. I really enjoyed reading this book, it’s definitely one of my favourite reads of this year.

First off, that cover! I love the cover, I love the font and the way it takes up most of the picture and is displayed over the main picture. I also love the spacey look, I always love covers that look more like space art than book covers though.

These Broken Stars did start off a little slowly in my opinion, the first thing I thought of was the movie Titanic. The different status’ between Tarver and Lilac, the way the higher status treated the lower status, located on a ship even if it was travelling through space. However as the story progressed it was nothing like Titanic and became it’s own story. The first few chapters introduce the characters, their circumstances and how different they are from each other. I found myself wishing it would hurry up so something different would happen, luckily for me the book didn’t dwell too long on the beginning and life on board the Icarus.

These Broken Stars is a love story, when I had heard that about this book I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I was wrong. I loved this. This love story isn’t insta-love, the characters don’t pine after each other, they don’t think stupid things like how ‘intoxicating’ they smell to each other or how much they want to take each others clothes off. I mean I’m sure they do think that but we don’t read it as it’s not important pertaining to their survival. This love story is raw, heart warming and also heart wrenching.

Lilac and Tarver somehow manage to get escape the Icarus as it’s somehow pulled out of hyperspace too early. Their escape-pod crash lands on a planet that they realize has been terraformed by one of the large companies, yet they seem to be alone which is puzzling and perhaps worrying. Tarver takes immediate action and works to keep himself and Lilac alive, even if he can’t stand the woman and she criticizes everything he does.

I ended up really liking both Lilac and Tarver, I was glad we got to see each of their points of view in the story. The romance builds up and sneaks up on them without them even realizing which I loved. It felt believable despite their differences and status’. I mean I may have even cried at one point which never happens, I’m never moved or invested enough in a story to really feel it as much. But These Broken Stars ‘gave me all the feels’ as everyone puts it. I was very invested in this story and these characters, I was even invested in this world and the planet. These Broken Stars was just brilliant.

Overall These Broken Stars was a compelling read. It was intense getting to see how Tarver and Lilac had to work together to survive, it was addicting to read, the world was rich, the characters were rounded, and the universe that this series is set in is scary. I loved it. I completely adored this book and I cannot wait to read the next love story set in this series!

In Summary:
– These Broken Stars was an amazing read. I loved every minute of it. It was addicting and I became highly invested in the story, the characters, the world and the planet.
– The beginning did start slowly but that didn’t last long, soon enough the story raced along and I couldn’t get enough of it.
– These Broken Stars is a compelling love story, it was deep and raw and I enjoyed reading it.
– This is one of my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year! Which I think is a huge statement.

Jord

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[Quick Reviews] The Zombie Apocalypse

I was on a zombie apocalypse binge a while back and picked up a few zombie books. Some of them were young adult books that were scary but fun to read; then there were adult books that were dark, dangerous and downright terrifying. The following two are apart of the latter.

Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Rise Again - Cover - Review Title: Rise Again: A Zombie Novel
Series: Rise Again
Book one
Author: Ben Tripp
Genre: Zombie, Apocayptic, Survival, Paranormal
Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

A MYSTERIOUS CONTAGION. MASS HYSTERIA. SUDDEN DEATH. 

And a warning that would come all too late . . . 

Forest Peak, California. Fourth of July. Sheriff Danielle Adelman, a troubled war veteran, thinks she has all the problems she can handle in this all-American town after her kid sister runs away from home. But when a disease-stricken horde of panicked refugees fleeing the fall of Los Angeles swarms her small mountain community, Danny realizes her problems have only just begun—starting with what might very well be the end of the world. Danny thought she had seen humanity at its worst in war-torn Iraq, but nothing could prepare her for the remorseless struggle to survive in a dying world being overrun by the reanimated dead and men turned monster. Obsessed with finding her missing sister against all odds, Danny’s epic and dangerous journey across the California desert will challenge her spirit . . . and bring her to the precipice of sanity itself. . . . 

Filled with adventurous human drama—and shocking inhuman horror—Rise Again marks a vivid and powerful fiction debut. 

Review

I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected when I picked up Rise Again, all I knew was that it looked like a good zombie apocalypse book.

The beginning was very interesting, life is normal and Danny is at work handling things. She’s the sheriff in the small town that is packed with visitors due to the Fourth of July parade. Her sister Kelly has taken off with Danny’s mustang which means serious business since Kelly knows that Danny would hunt her down if the mustang was damaged in any way, so Danny realizes that maybe Kelly doesn’t intend to come back. Kelly left her sister a note but Danny hasn’t had time to look at it and is avoiding reading it. Funny things start happening, a dead body is found in the forest at the beginning of the town and no one can figure out how the person died. Suddenly another one is found. And then people are running around screaming and falling down dead for no reason, the whole town gets chaotic and that’s not the worst of it all. A bunch of people are seen to be running up the mountain towards the town while the road is packed with people in cars trying to get through. Soon, everyone realizes it’s thousands upon thousands of people that are running up the mountain, some of them are dying just like some people in town; Danny comes to the conclusion that it’s a wave and once that wave hits it will affect nearly everyone around and they too will start running around and dying. Danny can in no way control it, yet she’s going to try anyway.

Once the dead start to rise I found the book to lose some of its intensity and interest. For some reason I love to read about the fall of humanity more than the actual zombie part, I find it more interesting to see how people try and survive the beginning stages more so than hiding and surviving the middle stage. In Rise Again Danny takes control of the small group of people that weren’t affected, there’s a lot of action, blood and gore in this book except I found that sometimes the action slowed the pace of the story down rather than speeding it up. Plus my favourite character was killed off in the beginning and I found that disconcerting because it felt like he had been set up as a main character yet he had already died. From that point I realized that I wasn’t sure if I liked the tone of the book.

I couldn’t really connect with Danny, maybe it was because she was an older woman? Maybe it was because she had been in a war and from that she was changed and I could hardly relate to something of that size? Maybe it was because she was cold and couldn’t understand other people’s emotions? I just couldn’t connect to her nor like her as much as I wanted to. I felt detached from Danny because of this, I simply could not care what happened to her or if she found her sister.

The story was interesting though, the zombie’s and their evolution was different to what I’ve read before, which I liked. I just felt like Danny’s story wasn’t one that I wanted to read in this world.

Overall, I thought this was one of the better zombie apocalypse books. Even though I didn’t love it I still found it hard to put down, the story dragged me in and I wanted to see how humanity would survive it and if they could.

I recommend this book to people looking for a good gory zombie apocalypse book that aren’t too bothered by no character relationships or developments.

Autumn by David Moody

Autumn by David Moody - Cover - Review

Title: Autumn
Series: Autumn
Book one
Author: David Moody
Genre: Apocalyptic, Survival, Zombies
Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

A bastard hybrid of War of the Worlds and Night of the Living DeadAutumn chronicles the struggle of a small group of survivors forced to contend with a world torn apart by a deadly disease. After 99% of the population of the planet is killed in less than 24 hours, for the very few who have managed to stay alive, things are about to get much worse. Animated by “phase two” of some unknown contagion, the dead begin to rise. At first slow, blind, dumb and lumbering, quickly the bodies regain their most basic senses and abilities… sight, hearing, locomotion…  As well as the instinct toward aggression and violence.  Held back only by the restraints of their rapidly decomposing flesh, the dead seem to have only one single goal – to lumber forth and destroy the sole remaining attraction in the silent, lifeless world:  those who have survived the plague, who now find themselves outnumbered 1,000,000 to 1…

Without ever using the ‘Z’ word, Autumn offers a new perspective on the traditional zombie story. There’s no flesh eating, no fast-moving corpses, no gore for gore’s sake. Combining the atmosphere and tone of George Romero’s classic living dead films with the attitude and awareness of 28 Days (and Weeks) later, this horrifying and suspenseful novel is filled with relentless cold, dark fear.

Review

When I picked up Autumn I was looking for a good zombie apocalypse novel, I wanted something scary as well as interesting. That’s exactly what I got. In the beginning.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, the way everyone died was intensely interesting and scary. I enjoyed reading how the characters that lived dealt with everything at first. Then the dead rose and it just got more intense and more exciting, except that the living characters just got weird and different. They panicked and picked sides, the lay blame and started going crazy, they tossed common sense out of the window and it was incredibly frustrating.

The main problem I had with this book was that the characters all sounded the same, they sounded like one person. When I would be reading any of them they would change drastically, they weren’t consistent and I suddenly found I was thinking of them as one person that had mood swings. I also found that each character became unlikable and annoying, I suddenly hated them all; I couldn’t relate and I couldn’t connect with any of them. They became very unlikable and it ruined the story.

I really enjoyed how the zombies evolved and changed, that was the most exciting part and I found myself thinking of the zombies as a character in their own right. They were way more interesting and I liked them a lot more than I liked the other characters. At least the zombies were consistent throughout the story!

Overall the beginning of this book was intense and exciting, however the end was crazy and weird, and the characters were just stupid, non-relateable, crazy and were just all over the place. I didn’t really like this book as a whole. I will not be reading the next in the series.

I recommend this book to people who are looking for a terrifying zombie read and can excuse character inconsistencies. The world is worth it, the characters and their story however are not.

Jord

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[Review #124] The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner Cover - Review Title: The Maze Runner
Series: The Maze Runner
Book one
Author: James Dashner
Genre: Dystopia, Post Apocalyptic, Survival
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

“If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.” 

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers–boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out–and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Review

I had heard a lot of good things about The Maze Runner, so I went into this book trying to not let the hype raise my expectations too high. I enjoyed this book a lot, the story was intriguing and the ending has me dying to read more. The Maze Runner was a fun and exciting read, I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was going to happen and why all of these boys were stuck in a place with no memory.

However the very beginning of The Maze Runner was excruciatingly frustrating. The boys pretty much had their own language and own swear words which they said every second word. I cringed every time I heard it because the words were weird and sounded silly to me, however that was probably because the words were used in overload in the first few chapters. I immediately picked up that this was to make the readers feel lost and confused just like Tom was, he had no idea what all these words meant either. For me it was too much and I nearly stopped reading right then and there because the words were too much for me to bear; I really don’t like it when books have their own swear words. The beginning of the book was frustrating also because the boys refused to explain anything to Tom, they just kept telling him to shut up and stop asking questions. It annoyed me a lot, so much that the whole beginning was the reason I didn’t rate this book four clubs.

I loved the location of this book, it was different and a mystery. A maze that surrounded their living field? Weird mechanical creatures called Grievers that would kill them, lived in the maze? Walls that closed every night to keep them safe from the Grievers? Brilliant. They had people called ‘maze runners’ that would run through a portion of the maze every day and take note of where they ran, they were trying to find an exit to get out of the hell hole they lived in, they had to continually run in fear of coming across a griever and being killed by it. As soon as Tom arrives he knows he’s meant to be a maze runner. However to be honest I felt like this story moved way too fast, Tom barely became a maze runner before anything started happening. The title of this series and this book felt misleading because of this.

I also found myself putting things together really fast yet Tom didn’t put anything together until the end, this was annoying simply because it was so obvious to me. When the only girl arrives in the maze and admits to changing something the boys turn on her and blame her, this annoyed me as well. The boys were very childish and stubborn, I hated that I didn’t like them, it just felt so stupid for them to lay the blame instead of trying to come up with a plan. Also the girl felt like she was barely in the story, I was confused by this.

So I did have a few things that I didn’t like about The Maze Runner, however I still enjoyed the book overall. The ending as well has me dying to read the next book, I’m just a little scared about coming across the same problems in the next book that I did in this book so I’m going to give it a bit of a break before I get to it.

In Summary:
– I highly enjoyed The Maze Runner. It was different and exciting.
– I hated that the boys had their own swear words, it drove me up the wall at the rate they all said them.
– I felt like the mystery was a little bit obvious and that Tom and the boys were incredibly stupid for not having put it together way sooner.
– I really enjoyed reading this book but I am fearful that the next book in the series will carry over all the things I didn’t like about this book. I’m hoping everyone will grow in the next book.

Miss J

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[Review #122] Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

Zenn Scarlett Cover - Review Title: Zenn Scarlett
Series: Zenn Scarlett
Book one
Author: Christian Schoon
Genre: Science Fiction
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

When you’re studying to be exoveterinarian specializing in exotic, alien life forms, school… is a different kind of animal.

Zenn Scarlett is a resourceful, determined 17-year-old girl working hard to make it through her novice year of exovet training. That means she’s learning to care for alien creatures that are mostly large, generally dangerous and profoundly fascinating. Zenn’s all-important end-of-term tests at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars are coming up, and, she’s feeling confident of acing the exams. But when a series of inexplicable animal escapes and other disturbing events hit the school, Zenn finds herself being blamed for the problems. As if this isn’t enough to deal with, her absent father has abruptly stopped communicating with her; Liam Tucker, a local towner boy, is acting unusually, annoyingly friendly; and, strangest of all: Zenn is worried she’s started sharing the thoughts of the creatures around her. Which is impossible, of course. Nonetheless, she can’t deny what she’s feeling.

Now, with the help of Liam and Hamish, an eight-foot sentient insectoid also training at the clinic, Zenn must learn what’s happened to her father, solve the mystery of who, if anyone, is sabotaging the cloister, and determine if she’s actually sensing the consciousness of her alien patients… or just losing her mind. All without failing her novice year….

Review

Zenn Scarlett was a very unique book. I didn’t expect it to be so different when I picked it up but this wasn’t a bad thing. It was actually very refreshing to read something so different that held my attention so well.

Zenn Scarlett is a science fiction mystery based on Mars, humankind has populated several new worlds and has discovered many alien species, including the Indra that are the creatures that can travel through space faster than the speed of light. This alien creature is the ‘animal’ that powers all of the space ships, but recently Indra ships have been completely disappearing without a trace. No one knows what happens or who is hijacking them. Zenn Scarlett is a novice training to be a full fledged exovet; an exovet is pretty much a veterinarian that specializes in alien ‘animals’ rather than just normal animals as humankind knows them. Recently she’s been making a lot of mistakes that could cost her and her uncle Otha everything, on top of that she hasn’t heard from her father who is working on another world in months, Liam Tucker is acting unusual around her and she doesn’t know what to make of it, and she keeps having these weird experiences with the animals where she feels everything they are feeling; if just for a moment.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it was so very different, I couldn’t put this book down, it dragged me in and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I enjoyed reading about all of the different alien animals that Zenn helped get better, I loved her interactions with Hamish; a coeplet from another world, and enjoyed trying to put together the mystery. There was a lot going on in this book which I loved, there was never a dull moment because something was always happening.

However, I did feel slightly disconnected from this book at times. Most of these times were in the very long conversations that Zenn kept having with characters, I would be pushed out of the story and would start wondering why the conversation was still happening and how could it possibly be moving the story forward. At these times I did get a little frustrated because I became aware that I was reading a book instead of being immersed in a story, most of the conversations were obviously placed to give the reader more information about the world or Earth’s standing and why.

Overall, I mostly enjoyed Zenn Scarlett and cannot wait to read the second book!

In Summary:
– Zenn Scarlett is a very different and unique story. I really enjoyed reading it.
– There’s a lot that is going on in the story which I loved.
– Sometimes I did feel disconnected in the book, conversations would get so long that it would push me out of the story and I would start wondering why the conversation needed to be so long.
– Overall I really enjoyed this book!

Miss J

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[Review #119] The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Cover - Review Title: The Host
Series: The Host
Book one
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Review

I have to be honest, when I first read the synopsis for The Host I had no interest in picking it up, but that was years ago when it first came out and everyone was all ‘Twilight sucks, rahhh’. I had forgotten all about this book and Stephenie Meyer until the movie adaptation was made, I ended up really enjoying the movie so I put this book on my To Be Read list. At the time I didn’t think I would ever get to this book because the sheer size of it was intimidating – over 800 pages in paperback form? Way too long for a typical young adult book!

Let me tell you. This book? This book was freaking awesome, I couldn’t put it down! I was addicted the entire time and couldn’t wait to pick it back up. I didn’t feel the length of the book, I didn’t think it was long winded or boring and I didn’t want to put it down. Even though I had seen the movie first and I already knew how the story went, I was still thoroughly entertained. Wanda and Melanie were interesting, the book was completely different to the movie in the respect of how it’s told on paper compared to on screen visually. Wanda and Melanie’s thoughts and struggles are clearer when we get to read them and I found myself getting pulled straight in.

The Host is very character driven which I loved because the character development of Wanda was fantastic. Getting to see how she changed and grew over the course of the book was interesting. I loved how at first Wanda referred to herself and Melanie as separate people but then as she got to know Melanie and understand her, Wanda referred to herself as ‘we’, two people who are one. The Host was also character driven by other characters in the book, Jamie, Jared, Jeb and Ian, each character had a strong voice and presence. I only just noticed that three of the character had names starting with the same letter, usually when that happens I forget who’s who, but in The Host Meyer had written each character in such a way that there was no mistaking who was who. I found myself wanting to see them in the story, I fell in love with the characters and the way they were portrayed.

Wanda and Melanie were easy to distinguish even though they shared the same body, their voices were very different but equally as strong as each other. I found myself sympathizing with Wanda yet wanting Melanie to succeed. Even though I had seen the movie first and knew how it ended I still felt the need to see both of them happy, I wanted to find out how it ended for them in the book. The Character relationships between all characters were so intense and so moving that you just couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

The souls themselves were so very interesting, I loved the mechanics of how they worked and what kind of species they were. I loved that each world they had been to was so vivid and described in such a way that you could imagine it. I really liked that they were aliens that were ‘outside of the box’, they weren’t ‘green men’ or destructive.

The romance in this book was amazingly interesting, it was weird because Wanda loved Jared simply because Melanie loved Jared and Wanda was in her body and remembering her memories. I really liked Ian, I liked that he fell for Wanda for who she was and how she thought, her appearance took no place in that. The tension between the four of them; Wanda, Melanie, Jared and Ian was realistic and appropriate. It was definitely interesting to see.

Stephenie Meyer is actually a pretty good storyteller in my opinion. The Host was very well written, her characters were strong, the world building was amazing, interesting and explained in a way that you didn’t even notice it was being explained, you could just see the world around Wanda and Melanie. I’m now excitedly waiting for her next books to see what she comes out with!

The Host is definitely one of  the best books I have ever read. It was fun, addicting, the characters and the world were highly developed and the idea for the plot, even though not wholly new, it was original in Meyers own voice and through the characters eyes.

In Summary:
– I absolutely loved The Host. I think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, the world, the characters, the souls, the plot were just amazing.
– The Host was a lot of fun to read, even though the size of it is intimidating (800+ pages) I never felt the length of the book. I was pulled in and loved every minute of reading it.
– This book is very character driven, Wanda and Melanie have strong voices and even though they share a body they were easy to distinguish because their voices were so different. The secondary characters also had strong voices and a strong presence, they also moved the story.
– The souls themselves were an incredibly interesting species, Meyer did a great job of portraying them and their culture and to show just how different they were.
– The romance in this story was epic, I just loved the whole idea of how Melanie loved Jared with her whole body that it interfered with Wanda’s own feelings for Ian. It was a weird romance that twisted and became confusing for everyone involved but was very deep and moving.
– This book proves just how amazing a writer Stephanie Meyer is. 

Jord

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[Review #115] The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Cover - Review Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass
Book one
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Review

Throne of Glass was not as good as I had expected it to be. I had pretty high hopes for this one and was thoroughly disappointed. Yet by the end of this book I am now dying to read book two. Let me explain.

The main thing I didn’t like about Throne of Glass was that it felt inconsistent with what I feel like should be fact in the era that this is taking place in. Even if this story is not fact. My suspense of belief could not stretch this far at the beginning of this story.

If you’re a lowly, deadly, well known, feared assassin -even named the best assassin in the country- that is given a chance at life for whatever reason, and you’re going to stay in the kings castle while proving yourself; you most certainly would not at first be trusted to be left alone in a room where you could- if you really, really wanted to, escape. Nor would you be doted on, given expensive dresses, and the use of the royals personal library at the princes request. The prince would not accept such a request, even though you were working for him. For all of that to be possible you would need to gain the royals trust. I did not see Celaena gain the royals trust before any of this happened for her. If she had gone through the process of gaining trust, for a sufficient reason, first then this would have made more sense and been more believable to me.

I really didn’t like that Celaena was treated like a royal guest when they all feared she would assassinate the prince or the king. She had every reason to kill the royal family. Yet she was brought into the castle, treated like a royal guest, flirted with the prince, and allowed entry to the royal library; the one place that only the king or the prince can give permission to enter. Celaena received all of this far too soon and for doing practically nothing.

The beginning of Throne of Glass started off interesting, then it made me sad because I couldn’t believe any of it. Celaena was not acting like the most feared assassin in Adarlan. She was not scary, never felt like a threat and even though she was constantly mentioning ways she could kill someone I did not believe she would kill a man in cold blood. I never once believed that she was the killer her reputation preceded her to be. She felt like she blew a lot of hot air.

As I read on this story grew more interesting and while I still did not like Celeana or her arrogant attitude; I did start to like Chaol. But my favourite character would have to be Nehemia, she was interesting and I found I would keep looking forward to moments where she was involved. She was fiery, fun, real and interesting. Such a nice contrast to the stuck up, arrogant, self-centred Celaena. I just really could not connect with nor like Celaena.

Celaena cared a lot about her looks and what she wore, she cared how beautiful she was and while this isn’t a bad thing it became annoying when she always noticed clothing and wondered how good she looked. Okay so maybe she never wondered how good she looked but that was because she knew she looked good. All the time. It felt like this was thrown in our faces too often.

The romance wasn’t a lot to swoon over either. I was rather annoyed with it as well because I didn’t feel like Celaena actually liked the prince. I never felt like they had a connection or were drawn to each other, there was never any tension between them. It felt more like he was a love sick puppy and she had him wrapped around her finger.

The ending saved this book for me. The ending came out of no where, it was interesting and I felt like everything got a whole lot better. The writing, the plot, the reason Celaena must stay on. It just got good all of a sudden and now I’m dying to read book two.

Overall, the main reason I didn’t like this book was the main character and the way my suspense of belief was not able to stretch. The main reason I am now dying to continue reading this story is because the plot is a good one. There is a lot of potential in where this story could go and I’m now very intrigued in finding out. I just hope Celaena becomes more likeable, grounded and less self centred.

In Summary:
Throne of Glass was not as good as I expected it to be.
– My sense of belief could not stretch to the lengths the author intended it to.
– I really did not like Celaena. She was arrogant, self centred, vain and felt weak as a character. I never once believed she was an assassin, let alone the best assassin in Adarlan. I could believe she was someone that had the skills to fight; but a killer? Not in the slightest. I just could not connect with nor like Celaena.
– I really liked Chaol though. And Nehemia was my favourite character; she was fun, real, fiery and passionate. She actually had a real reason to be where she was.
– The end of the book had me hooked. It suddenly got good. I liked where the plot was going and now I can’t wait to see what happens next.
– Therefore I am willing to continue on with this series.

Miss J

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[Review #110] Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead Cover - Review Title: Bloodlines
Series: Bloodlines
Book one
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Blood doesn’t lie…

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning…

Review

I loved Vampire Academy (Shall be known as ‘VA‘ from here on out), and since this is a spin off I thought I would love Bloodlines just as much. Well I did enjoy this book but I didn’t quite love it. There were multiple reasons for this.

I liked to see that Sydney was very different from Rose, she was a different narrative and very different character. Rose even seemed different through her eyes than I had imagined her when I read VA. Sydney’s character has her own voice and I loved that, she was very different and particular. As she wasn’t brought up around normal people so the way she acts socially is amusing. She is very blunt in nature and is completely unaware of certain things, for example; when a guy is trying to flirt with her or ask her out she is completely oblivious and the poor guy gets no where, she takes everything everyone says literally and sometimes the metaphors fly right over her head just because she’s never had to deal with it before so is not used to it. This quirk is what sold me on loving Sydney as a character. In Bloodlines we saw some of the same characters we had already met in VA; Adrian, Jill, Eddie and of course Sydney. But then there were also new characters which was nice, as this is a new series I had hoped for some new characters so I was glad to get a few.

One of the main reasons I did not absolutely love Bloodlines like I expected to was because I had nearly all of the twists figured out before I had read half of the book. Some of them I thought were obvious to readers that had read VA first, so I was a little saddened to see those were meant to be reveals. I knew Sydney was unaware of a lot of things to do with the Moroi for the obvious reason that she is not a Moroi and has never been integrated into their society, but even so I felt like I knew all the secrets she didn’t and we hadn’t been told what had happened yet. I had figured it out way before Sydney.

I felt there were a few other reveals that were obvious and weren’t reveals to me at all. Everything was too obvious to the VA reader, subtle hints weren’t subtle at all. This made me sad as I didn’t get to be amazed like I wanted to be. Anyone who hasn’t read VA first would definitely not have picked up on the hints though, just because of lack of knowledge about the world these series’ are set in. I guess this is the way it had to go though. And even though I was saddened by this, it only knocked one club off of my rating; making it four clubs and not five.

Besides all of that I was able to enjoy Bloodlines purely because Sydney was a fun character to read. I loved her interactions with Adrian, I loved the way she worked things out, and her struggles with keeping to the Alchemist ways of life without defying their rules. This made the struggles Sydney had to endure interesting, yeah I kind of did get annoyed at they way she thought about the Moroi sometimes but it makes complete sense as to why she thinks like that. It was the way she was brought up. Her background was very interesting. The only thing that I’m confused about is why the Alchemists aren’t trained in fighting; if they’re trying to keep the vampire society and human society separated and the humans safe, then they’re bound to come across a situation where they will need to protect themselves, or protect other people. So surely it makes sense to have been trained in some sort of defense. But no, Alchemists do not have any knowledge on fighting, they are just all incredibly smart in academics.

I think this is something I missed in this book, the constant fighting and bad-ass-ness of it. While I did enjoy Bloodlines a lot I also felt like it wasn’t as exciting as reading Rose’s story, mainly because we don’t get to see more vampire action. I liked the constant threat of the Strigoi in VA, and so far in this book the threat isn’t the Strigoi. I missed the fighting, the constant life threatening situations, and action. In saying that, Bloodlines is in no way boring. It’s just different. Which is to be expected since it is a completely different character and life we are reading. So in that respect this book is very well done, it is separate to Rose’s story and you cannot compare Sydney to Rose at all, and I quite liked that.

I do feel like Bloodlines has set up the series more than anything else which makes me excited to read the next books in the series because I know that it can only get even better from here on out. Sydney now knows as much as VA readers know so I know that book two won’t have disappointing reveals. The only thing is I hate waiting for books to be published. That is why it took me three years to read this book; I knew I would want to read all of the books in close proximity. For now I will have to try and hold off a bit as I’ve heard book three ends in such a way that you will want to invent a time machine just to get your hands on book four sooner.

Overall I still highly enjoyed Bloodlines and had a lot of fun reading it. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to love it as much and wasn’t surprised throughout the book but I’m optimistic The Golden Lily will be even more amazing than this book.

In Summary:
– I love that Sydney is a very different main character to Rose. There is no comparing them in any sense so there is no way to get confused. Sydney is very amusing to read and her small quirks are what sold me on her.
– Bloodlines is a very different story to Vampire Academy and that’s what makes it so great. It’s set in the same world, with familiar characters yet the story is completely different. I loved it.
– Some of the reveals are obvious to the VA reader, Sydney isn’t aware of them because she wasn’t brought up in the Moroi society and doesn’t know Rose’s story in detail so she misses all of the clues. This was the only reason I didn’t rate it five clubs; because I knew what was happening even though Sydney didn’t, I don’t think this ruins the story for a VA reader though.
–  To me Bloodlines felt more like the book that is setting up the rest of the series, it’s catching Sydney up to speed on what VA readers already know but it’s also forming character relationships and setting a base down. It’s still a good read despite this and I can’t recommend this enough!

Miss J

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[Review #108] Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Cover - Review Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Series: Anna and the French Kiss
Book one
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA Contemporary, Chick Lit
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Review

Wow. When everyone* was saying Anna and the French Kiss is probably the best book they’ve ever read; I didn’t believe them. When everyone* was giving this book 5 stars; I thought my opinion would differ. When everyone* was saying Etienne St. Clair was one of the most swoon worthy love interests; I thought ‘how so?’.

Why did I think all of these things before reading this book? Because I’m not that huge on romance taking the forefront of the story. But after reading this I realised this story was a love story. It wasn’t a story where the romance stole the plot. It was a story about love. And in fact it corrected me on the term ‘romance’, there was a lot of romance and swoon worthy moments, it was set in Paris of all places, and was about falling for your best friend when you only became best friends in the first place just to get closer to each other. Wow.

Anna and the French Kiss was amazing. I loved this book. I loved how Paris was described, it made me want to pack up and move there even though I have no reason to. It made me hope I someday find someone that will understand me and take notice of me just as much and as intensely as St. Clair did with Anna. This book definitely made me swoon. Etienne St. Clair made me swoon. Paris made me swoon. This book is 100% swoon-worthy. It’s a 5 star book in another league. Not because it was the most amazing book I’ve ever read, but because it was the most amazing love story that I have enjoyed reading.

I have decided that Etienne St. Clair is by far the top love interest over any book I have ever read. I absolutely loved how much he cared about Anna, I loved that they could have stupid and ridiculous conversations and they both just went with it, I loved the tension between the two. I just really did not like how he could not break up with his girlfriend. He never once physically cheated on her but he did mentally. And that kind of annoyed me. I was sitting there going “Why the hell are you still with your current girlfriend and not with Anna you idiot?!?!” *RAGE*. Other than that I loved him.

At first Anna’s attitude to being forced to go to school in Paris annoyed me. I mean it’s Paris. I would have loved that, it would have been a dream. Sure I would have been scared, but hell, I would have gotten over that. Anna slowly accepted it and got used to living in a foreign country that spoke a foreign language. As I read on I realised just how much I could relate with Anna, I loved that she was honest with St. Clair when it suddenly became too much. I loved they could fight and their relationship still held up, they were honest with each other and understood where the other was coming from. There was no shooting down, there was just acceptance and trying to understand.

I quite liked Stephanie Perkins writing style. It was witty, I laughed multiple times, and all of the conversations cut right to the point. The writing drew me into the story and helped me fall in love with the characters, the scenery, and the story.

Overall I highly enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, just absolutely loved it. I definitely recommend reading this book!

In Summary:
– I loved, loved, loved this book!
– I loved how intensely St. Clair liked Anna. I liked their best friend relationship and how they felt safe around each other. I liked them together. It gave me butterflies.
– I just really did not like how St. Clair could NOT break up with his current girlfriend. It was crazy. And such a ridiculous reason. Sure it made sense but I still felt like he was hiding behind it.
– I cannot get over how much I loved this book.

Miss J

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*I am exaggerating. Not everyone has read this book.