Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review of Obsidian (Lux Novel) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pages: 294
Obsidian (Lux, #1)Publisher: Entangled Teen 
Released: May 2012

Plot: When book loving blogger Katy Swartz moves to West Virginia everything changes when she meets her neighbours Daemon and Dee who are siblings. Daemon is drop dead gorgeous however he also is a bit of a jerk, he's over protective of his sister and doesn't want Dee and Katy to be friends. However one day Daemon saves her from being killed by a robber and then stops time to prevent a truck from hitting her. Katy soon discovers that Daemon and Dee aren't like other teens, in fact they're not even human they're aliens and now that Katy has been marked by their touch she is lit up like a Christmas tree, a beacon that doesn't want to be found.

Good Points: I first came around to reading this book after noticing that it had already got quite a good response from reader so I decided to check it out myself and I have to say I quite liked this book, I liked the arrogant side to the characters and it was fun to read the ongoing banter between them. The main character Katy who by the way is a book Blogger!! is developed well and I liked the relationship she forms with Dee and Daemon, it was nice to see a contrast between the good and bad of the siblings characters which I liked. The plot kept me excited and as the first book I have ever read by author Jennifer L. Armentrout I was quite impressed, I will definitely be looking out for more of her books. The book's plot had a good balance of action and romance and the humour was just an added extra which makes any book better.

Bad Points: It's quite tense at times (not that that's a bad point) but I don't think this book is suitable for younger readers as it does contain quite a lot of expletives. Okay I was a little annoyed about the whole tortured past thing and the book did have some cheesy moments that I couldn't help but relate to Twilight (I know, I know...) but when you get a character who says he's not shiny but is basically a walking torch you can't but help make the distinction.

To Sum Up... I did like this book and I would definitely recommend you to give it a try. If anything this book is just a good balance of Romance, Action and Humour which work well into the fast paced plot.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Review of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Pages: 464
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)Released: May 2011
Plot: After the sudden death of her parents Renée Winters is sent by her grandfather to Gottfried Academy, a small exclusive boarding school in Maine where only classical subjects are taught such as Philosophy, Latin and Horticulture.  Renée struggles at first to adjust, still unsettled by the mysterious cause to her parents deaths, however as Gottfried Academy's shaded past unveils itself and the mysterious Dante Berlin becomes ever closer to Renée, will she be able to uncover the truth?

Good Points: Okay at first I really liked this book, I liked the idea of including philosophy (something I'm studying currently at college) and Latin together into the fictional plot and Renée's character for the first parts of the book. I also enjoyed the exploration of the unique classes offered at the school and basically I bought the book because of these things. However...

Bad Points: As I've probably already hinted at I didn't like this book. The first parts to the book were okay, the beginning of the plot got me excited and looking forward to reading on however I was thoroughly disappointed when I did. Renée's character becomes the most annoying character I think I have ever read. At first I enjoyed her enquiring mind and I thought she would develop well. Looking back I now think this was just because we didn't know that much about her. Her character becomes vain and a little bit stupid, things stare her blatantly in the face and she ignores them. Also *slightspoiler* she doesn't realise her room mate, yes the person who lives with her is missing for two days! Renée then manages to draw any fact or new evidence back to herself or her own love life with the broody Dante who seriously needs to eat a slice of happy pie. The book at times reminded me of the likes of Harry potter ( detention in the scary woods, weird classes, mysterious deaths around the school which threaten to send the students home) and Twilight ( just the general broodiness of the character Dante) which I hated. Also philosophically I hated it, why oh why did she have to use Descartes?!!?

Life Eternal (Dead Beautiful, #2)To Sum Up... Just no. I did not like this book, I thought the characters were weak and the whole broody male love interest thing with the ordinary girl is sooooo overused that it meant I struggled to finish the book, but I did and I wasn't that excited about the ending either...
Try it out for yourself though, Yvonne Woon's second book Life Eternal is out now.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Pages: 454
Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: May 2012

Plot: 'What if their were teens that lives actually depended on being bad influences'.
Anna isn't a normal teenager, she can see and feel others emotions with her 'sixth sense' and can't help but feel that there is something dangerous fighting within herself. Then she meets Kai and finds out the truth about the past she calls her 'dark days'. However Anna soon discovers that she isn't like the others and her tendency to be good puts her in danger of 'working' for the demons and Dukes who fathered them.
Can Anna control herself, or will her Horns replace her Halo?

Good Points: I liked the idea of the book, the main characters and the 'mortals' within the novel were interesting and I genuinely enjoyed reading about them. I also liked how the book didn't fall into the category of making it a fairytale happy-ending-sort of book and there were definitely times where it became quite dark when referring to the back stories of the Neph children which at times were heart breaking. I thought the pacing of the book was quite good and it slowly built up tension and excitement throughout and I have to admit that the book did make me longing for more however, I felt Sweet Evil had something missing...

Bad Points:  I don't know what it was about this book, but I just felt a little disappointed in the end. The plot built the tension and danger up and up making me expectant of a huge shocker ending however was utterly disappointed to be met with a weak ending in my opinion. Also at times Anna could annoy me as well, I know the author wanted to reflect Anna's 'goodie-goodie' side however at times I just thought that it was a little too far- fetched.
Anna's adopted mother, Patti, was another character that I thought was weak.  At the beginning she's all protective and fearful and then the next minute she's allowing her 16 year old daughter who lets face it is more naive than a fluffy bunny to go on a long road trip with a boy she's only just met. I mean come on....

To Sum Up... Okay, If I'm honest despite these annoying little points I did like the book, (but not the cover) and where it is possibly leading in the future books within the series (although please not another love triangle -_-) and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the characters that we have only briefly met are developed into the plot. Hopefully the next book will contain a little more action and Anna might actually get to use the secretive sword. Definitely worth a read though if you like paranormal romances.

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Betrayal (The Descendants #1) by Mayandree Michel

Pages: 603
Betrayal (The Descendants #1)Publisher: Indie published by author
Released: March 2011

Plot: Cordelia, is an ordinary teen, or so she thinks, until one day she dies and is brought back to life and taken into the past by her best friend and strangers who say that she is a descendant from the Greek Gods and one of the most powerful of her kind awaiting to become their Empress.The only problem is Cordelia's memory of her previous life has not returned. Can she get it back before defying the Gods?

Good Points: Okay, I thought the idea of the story was quite good, the author had obviously thought about how she was going to explain the whole Greek gods and vampires and such which I liked. Some characters stood out more to me than others did and I couldn't grumble at the price of the book because it was free! There's a lot of description in this book and a lot of information to take in which was sometimes good, however I did struggle to even finish it.

Bad Points: I understand that the author has published this herself and I think the idea of the book is great however it really needs to be re-jiggled around a bit.
 I found myself actually screaming 'Why?' at the book at some points and not for the good reason. The book would drag out a lot of the time by using too much detail, I think there was even a point in the book where someone asked a question and instead of giving a little description and then the answer, we were left hanging for two pages of description!
 Also Cordelia's character seriously annoyed me and I couldn't understand how any of them would honestly put up with her she's constantly escaping from the house despite them already mentioning that these 'God-like creatures have great senses of people being present' who never notice her disappearing. You'd think they would keep a closer eye on her if their own lives depended on it...

To Sum Up... I really do think that with some extensive cutting to description in this book they're may be a gem of a book hidden underneath. Until then though I wasn't that keen. Nice cover though...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Review of Strange Angels by Lilli St Crow

Pages: 293
Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1)Publisher: Quercus
Released: September 2009

Plot: Dru Anderson has 'the touch'something that helps her and her Dad hunt down the 'suckers, zombies ghosts and wulfen' that roam Earth in secret. However one day when she arrives home and finds her Dad  has turned into one of the walking dead, Dru knows she's on her own and whatever killed her Dad is coming after her next.
Can Dru stay alive long enough to work out who did this to her Dad and which guy she should choose who are both fighting for her affections.

Good Points: OK, now I know this book has a love triangle in it and they are way over used in YA fiction, but to be honest I didn't really care. This book was cool. It had every type of paranormal creature that you want in a book and the strong, funny characters to fight them. Dru and Graves would be the best pairing and I loved the battle scene in the Shopping Mall! Also there is weapon talk *cool* and it's from a girl, who usually don't get to do that in books, they're usually the helpless damsels in distress pining for their prince charming which Dru definitely wasn't. I thought the book was fast-paced and a great read.

Bad Points: Little things would annoy me like the constant bringing up of 'the danger' Dru was in that kept being brought up. We get it, let's just get down to it and kill the bad guys already! Other than that it was great :D

To Sum Up... Great fast- paced, action filled first book in a series that I will definitely follow and so should you!

Review of The Declaration by Gemma Malley

Pages: 320
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Released: May 2008

Plot: The year is 2140 and the Longevity drug which sustains life is on everyone's minds.
With most taking the drug, the population is not ageing, people aren't dying and the world is soon filling, its resources depleting. In order to 'save' humanity the government introduced the law that if you choose to take the Longevity drug you must not have children or 'surpluses'. These children are sought out and treated like servants in houses like Orphanages. This is where we meet Surplus Anna who has no surname and has been told to believe she should not exist and it is her only duty to serve those taking Longevity and try and be useful until she dies. Then Peter arrives at the hall, he is confident, cocky and believes he knows her parents and has set out to rescue her. But will Anna want to leave the only life and purpose she feels she has?

Good Points: This book really got me thinking and I think anyone who enjoys philosophy should definitely read it. Anna's character is indoctrinated into the life of believing she is worthless, you pity her dreadful existence inside the Hall and you can't quite fathom why this is happening. And then you remember... greed, a human emotion that has consumed the world into believing that they have the right to live longer than they should. The entire book is thought-provoking and you really gain an insight into the ideals that these people believe are certain. Anna's character is extremely complex and the whole idea of the book I thought was truly original. The book not only left me questioning whether this could truly happen but also, when?

Bad Points: I really did love this book however after I had finished the book and saw that there were sequels I kind of thought, why? This book was great as a stand alone book in my opinion and although I haven't read the next books ( I don't want to jump into any conclusions) I just felt this book was worthy enough of being just one book as it was detailed, thought provoking and well plotted.

To Sum Up... As I have already said I loved this book and have already recommended it to people in my philosophy class! I'll give the next books a chance and read them soon.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review of The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Pages: 498
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra ClarePublisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books 
Released: December 2011

Plot: The sequel to the first book 'The Clockwork Angel' in the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare where we first met Tessa, Will and Jem. The book continues where Clockwork Angel left off, Charlotte is struggling to keep a hold on the Institute from Benedict Lightwood and Tessa, Will and Jem attempt to uncover what the Magister truly wants. However they also uncover more than they seek out, Tessa discovers a shaded past to not only herself but Will's also and as Tessa grows ever closer to Jem, Will becomes consumed with jealousy. Will he tell Tessa and Jem the truth, before its too late?

Good Points: AWESOME! I loved this book, it had everything you could possibly ever look for in a book and more... You definitely get to see a new side to Jem and you see his confidence build through Tessa, something you previously only see when he is with Will and I was constantly trying to pick apart the book to try and work out who will end up with who. Also the shock ending... definitely did not see that coming so quickly. Although there were some things that I could see coming it still left me hanging on for more and now we have to wait until 2013!!! for Clockwork Princess. *cries*

Bad Points: Cassandra Clare is a genius. No literally she is. She can make a book funny, tense, exciting, real and all without never making me doubt the book. Complete and utter love for this series!!

To sum up... If you've read this book, read it again. If you've never read this book, Why? Oh why? You will not regret it. Cassandra Clare has done it again and this time better than ever. 2013 can not come quick enough!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Review of The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Pages: 496
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Released: August 2010

Plot:  (A prequel to the Mortal Instruments series set in Victorian England.)
After the death of her Aunt, Tessa Gray crosses over from America to England to go and stay with her brother Nathaniel . However on arrival she is met by the Dark Sisters who insist that they have been sent by her brother however Tessa is unsure. Tessa soon becomes the Dark sisters captors and Tessa is forced daily to complete a task she believed impossible all in the request of the mysterious Magister who the Dark Sisters work for.
Unknown to her however, Tessa is a Downworlder with the rare ability to shape shift into another person. Trapped in the Dark Sisters mansion Tessa is lost and alone until Will, a blue- eyed stranger breaks her out and along with the help of his friends and 'family' back at the institute they work to answer Tessa's many questions, most importantly, Where is Tessa's brother, Who is the Magister and what could he possibly want with Tessa?

Good Points: I got this book when it first came out and I must say I was worried that it wasn't going to be anywhere near as good as The original Mortal Instruments series. However, I shall eat my words!! This series has long surpassed my expectations and soon became my favourite of the two.
The Victorian England setting is rich with detail and you feel as though you quickly become a part of it. The mischief and battles are just as good as MI and the characters in my opinion are even better in this series, I especially responded more to Tessa's character than Clary's mainly due to her obsession with books, and Church and Magnus are back too! I also loved how the family names from MI cropped up again in Clockwork angel, leaving the mystery behind of who will end up with who and who their children will be in the future series. I also thought that the bond between parabatia was shown more clearly in this book (between Jem and Will) and we get even more information about the universe of the shadow hunters.

Bad Points: There were none. This is one of the best books I have ever read and I cant believe Clockwork Princess isn't out until 2013!!!

To sum up: Cassandra Clare has once again lived up to being my favourite author and this series I predict will be one that I read over and over again !!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Review of The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter.

Pages: 304
The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)Publisher: Harlequin Publishers
Released: April 2011

Plot Summary: Kate's mum is dying and her mothers last wish is to return to her childhood home to die.  Kate has always had it rough and now she has to cope not only with her mothers deteriorating illness but starting out in a new school and a new town pretty much by herself. Then she meets Henry who swears he is the Greek God Hades and can save his mother in return for him spending nearly half the year with her, alongside the task of completing 7 challenges. Will Kate be able to succeed where countless others have failed?

Good Points: With the tag line 'Every girl who has taken the test has died, now its Kate's turn' and the fact that the book contains Greek Mythology I was immediately drawn to read the first book in the Goddess series. Also the fact that I bought it for 99p on Amazon was a bonus. Okay, I liked how the book was planned and some of the characters that were introduced,especially James. I also thought that Kate's character was strong and you could definitely see a range of emotions that helped develop her character.
The book is basically just a light hearted read that you can easily get through and the plot builds well into a good story that if you like the 'Paranormal Romance' genre that you should at least try.

Bad Points: The Greek mythology was hugely modified, I hated the name Henry and I thought the way Carter had portrayed Henry (supposedly Hades) was just a little bit wimpy. The book contains no action and is mainly just the building of the relationship between Henry and Kate which is slow.

To Sum Up... Eventually I will read the next book however it'll just be to see if the mythology plays out a little better. I understand that yes, the author wanted to revise a new look to Greek mythology however it just wasn't for me.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Review of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Pages: 545
Publisher: Harper Collins Book Publishing
Released: 1st May 2012

Plot Summary: The sequel to award winning Divergent by Veronica Roth. Tris and Four have escaped after the events of the attacks from Erudite and are on their way to Amity, the peaceful faction. Tris must now embrace the fact that she is Divergent and on the run whilst coping with the grief of her loss and ever revealing secrets that will change her world forever. Action packed and thrilling, Insurgent packs in a whole lot of drama.

Good Points: I really enjoyed how the characters developed and you got a feel of what Tris was going through after the loss of characters in the first book Divergent. I also liked the struggle-some relationship between herself and Four and the problems they run into. Insurgent starts pretty much where Divergent left off which I thought was quite unique and you definitely benefit if you read the books consecutively as it feels like one volume. The exploration and detail into some of the other factions such as Amity also helped to create a sense of the segregation and difference between each state and I was pleasantly surprised by the factionless way of life as well and the characters that were introduced. There were lots of 'shockers' within the story which added tension to the plot preparing for the final book in the trilogy which will be released next.

Bad Points: I really got fed up with the constant introduction of characters and developing them into the storyline to be quickly killed off a couple of pages later. If this had just happened once or twice I wouldn't have been that bothered but it seemed to happen frequently. Although yes, you could argue that in some cases it was necessary and showing the effects of war but in my opinion it just took on a repetitive streak that copied the brutality of such series's as the hunger games. I enjoyed the book , however was a little disappointed.

To sum up: Despite these few criticisms I did enjoy the book and will look out for the concluding book in the trilogy when it comes out.

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