Saturday, 19 April 2014

Goddess by Laura Powell

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.
Blurb (From Goodreads):
Strikes. Starvation. Riots. Britain is at breaking-point and Aura is blind to it all. The Cult of Artemis is the only home she’s ever known. Enclosed in its luxury lifestyle, the unrest gripping the country seems to belong to a distant world. Her dream is to serve the Goddess and taking a vow of chastity and obedience seems a small price to pay. But days before Aura is due to be initiated as a Priestess, she meets Aiden, the rebellious son of a cult insider, whose radical ideas and unsettling charm force Aura to question everything – and everyone – she knows.

Goddess by Laura Powell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goddess(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.)
Aura is a handmaiden in the cult of Artemis, and her only goal is to become a priestess. When the political climate is in uproar though, Aura begins having ‘oracles’, during which she speaks prophecies. The high priestess changes these prophecies to her own benefit though, and tells Aura to keep quiet.
Can Aura do what she is told? Or will she stick by her oracles instead?

This was an okay story, but it was a little confusing at times.

Aura was an interesting character, and I liked the way she refused to be swayed from what she knew was right. She was also incredibly brave to stand up to her superiors the way she did.

The storyline in this was quite interesting at points, but I also found myself bored at points too. The twists that were thrown into the story were good, and built tension, but I did feel like there was a bit of a lack of world-building, and I don’t know whether it was just the writing style, but I did find that my attention kept waning.
There wasn’t really any romance in this one, but there was plenty of scandal!
The ending was okay, and I liked that we got both a happy ending, and that things were tied up nicely. I did like this book in places, but it also irritated me the way it couldn’t hold my interest at points.
Overall; lots of ups and downs with this book,
6 out of 10.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions #1) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, their daughter Tandy knows just three things: 1) She was one of the last people to see her parents alive. 2) The suspect list only includes Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone--maybe not even herself.

As Tandy sets out to clear the family name, she begins to recall flashes of experiences long buried in her vulnerable psyche. These memories shed light on her family's dark secrets, and digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs proves to be a disturbing and dangerous game. Who knows what any of the Angels are truly capable of?

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

My rating: 2.25of 5 stars

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Tandy and her siblings are the only people in the house the night their parents are discovered dead.
Who killed Tandy’s parents? And why did they name her Tandoori?

The characters in this were all nuts, and the storyline was pretty darn boring considering that people were dead!

I didn’t like Tandoori, and not just because I wasn’t a fan of her name. She just said the strangest things, she thought the strangest things, her upbringing was bizarre, and she didn’t even show how upset she was that her parents were dead. It was no wonder that she was a suspect!

The storyline in this was okay I suppose, but the execution let it down. Every character in this book was psychologically damaged in some way, and even the stories about their childhood were just bizarre, and not in a good way. I got really fed up of this crazy nonsense pretty early on, and could not finish this fast enough. If these were real people I’d be calling a psychiatrist to section them all, and probably calling social services to have the children taken away, as Tandoori’s parents were pretty shocking parents. Telling your child that they’re ‘damaged’ because they show emotion is absolutely terrible, and disowning your three-year-old for being afraid on a rollercoaster is utterly nutty.
The ending was okay, and I was glad to find out what actually happened. I was also glad that it was over though.
Overall; crazy characters and a messed up storyline,
4.5 out of 10.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.
The Summer I Wasn't Me
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she's afraid that what's left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there's nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path...

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Summer I Wasn't Me(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Lexi is going to an anti-gay camp for the summer because her mother found out that she was in love with another girl and didn’t like it.
When Lexi gets to camp she’s immediately attracted to another girl there called Carolyn, and though she tries to fight her feelings, it’s clear that Carolyn has wormed her way into her heart.
Will the anti-gay camp work? Or will things work out for Lexi and Carolyn?

This was a really cute story about a group of kids sent to an anti-gay Christian camp for the summer, to rid them of their SSA (same sex attraction).

I really liked the main characters in this book, they were all such good people!
Lexi was great. I totally got how she felt when her mother got upset with her for being gay; with her father dead it was difficult for her to feel like she had disappointed her mother, even to the point where she wondered if camp really could de-gay-ify her, just to please her mother.
Carolyn was so sweet! She was such a beautiful character, and it was easy to see how right Carolyn and Lexi were for each other. I really liked Carolyn.
Matthew was also a fave! He was so sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted, even if that went against what everyone else wanted him to want. The way he tried to get Carolyn and Lexi together, and the way he compared Jesus to Harry Potter was pretty awesome!

The storyline in this was pretty good, and didn’t go exactly the way I thought (which was good). He little twists and turns in the story were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed this book more because it wasn’t quite so straight-forward. There were some really interesting details such as the fact that the people at the camp wore t-shirts that said - "Say good-bye to homosexuality; say hello to your new life!" (so bad!)
The romance in this was between two girls Lexi and Carolyn, and while I wouldn’t immediately pick a GBLT romance over a heterosexual romance story, I really liked this! Lexi and Carolyn really were so sweet together, and so right for each other that their gender really didn’t make a difference, which is really quite a beautiful thing.
The ending to this was also pretty good, and I was so glad that we got a happy ending! Yay!
Overall; sweet GBLT romance, with some twists and turns!
7 out of 10.

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matched (Matched, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Cassia is about to be matched with her perfect match; the person she’ll spend the rest of her life with. But is her perfect match really her perfect match? Or will a glitch change her life forever?

This was an interesting dystopian story, but it was just missing a little something to make it truly great.

Cassia was an interesting character, but she let herself be led so much. She was so afraid of doing even the littlest thing wrong, that it dominated her life. I got that things had to be like that if she wanted to stay out of trouble, but she took this obedience to such extremes that it was like she was afraid to breathe too deeply.

The storyline in this was interesting, and elements of it reminded me of other dystopian books. The pace was quite slow though, and the writing quite lyrical and drawn out, although I wasn’t quite as sucked in as I thought I’d be. I did like the start of this book, and the magic of the matching banquet, but unfortunately the rest of the book wasn’t quite so good.
I did have some questions during this book, I wondered why people didn’t question certain things, and I was really irritated by some of the things that happened. My biggest dislike in this book was when Cassia’s Grandfather was killed. This was really sad, and really difficult for me to read, and I couldn’t recommend this book to anyone who was still grieving their own grandfather.

The romance was the main storyline really, but it was really slow and drawn out. If anything it was a little too drawn out, and we ended the story with still unrequited love.
The ending was interesting, but again, it wasn’t great. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here, but I have been warned that the other two books aren’t as good, so I maybe shouldn’t get my hopes up that the next two books will be able to accomplish what this one could not.
Overall; an interesting dystopian, but not truly great.
8 out of 10.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Thief (The Scarab Beetle #1) by C.L. Stone

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Arcato Publishing and Netgalley.
Thief (The Scarab Beetle #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…

Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.

Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.

Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.

Warning: This is a new adult series. Readers of the other Academy series may need some caution as this series will contain mature sexual and violent situations and themes.

Thief by C.L. Stone

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Thief (The Scarab Beetle #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Arcato Publishing and Netgalley.)

This book ->

I don’t even know where to start with this book. I cannot even put into words how much I disliked this, but I’m going to try. I apologise in advance if I have to leave you with my status updates!

Kayli. Kayli, Kayli, Kayli. Where do I even start? I don’t think I have ever come across a character who snogged as many boys in one book as she did, or slept in the same bed as so many different guys! I mean, there was Mark, then there was Raven, then Brandon, then Blake, then back to Mark. I mean really? How many guys can one girl swap spit with over the course of a couple of days?

The kissing wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about Kayli though, I also didn’t get why she felt the need to check out guys who had kidnapped her! It seemed that every time she got kidnapped, all she thought about was how attractive her kidnapper was! I mean really? And I have to say that I was also quite startled that when a naked guy walked into the room she was in, we got a fairly detailed description of “his partially erect length”. Sorry, but that was unexpected, and really not appreciated.

Then we come to the storyline. How many times can one girl get kidnapped? How many stupid things can one girl do? How can a teenage girl not have figured out that shooting a nail gun at someone is not a clever thing to do?

How relieved am I to have finished this book? How pleased am I to be able to delete this from my kindle? How annoyed am I that this book just stops without a proper ending?

Oh crap, I can’t bear to even think about this book any more. I’m going to leave you with my status updates!

10% - "I couldn't stop staring at the definition of his sculpted body, the defining lines of his collarbone and the matching indents on the sides of his hips.
not to mention his penis."

15% - Where the feck did that come from? unexpected, and unappreciated. I like a little warning when people are about to start discussing -I quote "his partially erect length"
no thanks."
18% - "I am so bored."
19% - "she's putting bullets in guns for them? is she crazy?! has she never heard of something called 'finger printing'? if they use those guns and bullets in a theft that goes wrong they've got her finger prints all over them!! not a good idea!!"
21% - "Weak in the knees?! What the hell is wrong with you?! He's an ass!"
39% - "OMG how many guys can one girl flirt with at once? Is this turning into an orgy or something?!"
47% - "bored."
51% - "I don't believe he's really gay."
53% - "she's kissing someone different again? Is she trying to go through every guy in the gang??!!"
55% - "this girl is nuts. has no-one ever told her not to fire nail guns at people?!!?"
59% - "why does everyone want to kidnap this girl?!"
60% - "what is her obsession with checking out guys who have kidnapped her?! talk about a one track mind!"
67% - "seriously? who are you trying to kid?!"
71% - "she's kissing someone different again?? what is with this girl? Is this bloke number 4 in one book?!"
75% - "Oh poo! still 25% to go! ☹"
77% - "now she's kissing the first bloke again. damn this girl gets around!"
78% - "she shot him in the knee with a nail gun, but he still wants to screw her. talk about messed up."
84% - "will the torment never end??? ☹"
85% -
86% - "oh gosh! you can shoot him, but don't wreck his yacht! what is it with this stupid book?!"
87% - "yes! jump! off a cliff hopefully."
90% - "she's taken? does that mean she's going to make a choice out of the 5 guys she's hitting on?"
91% - "really? give me a break!!!"
93% - "It ends at 93%!!!!

Overall; just yuck,
2 out of 10.

Secret Society (Secret Society #1) by Tom Dolby

Secret Society (Secret Society, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Secrets, secrets are no fun.
Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .
An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.
They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything. Even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown, and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks.
Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect�until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

Secret Society by Tom Dolby

My rating: 2.25 of 5 stars

Secret Society (Secret Society, #1)

(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
A group of teens in Manhattan join an exclusive, secret society, one which is about to change their lives forever. For the better or worse.

This book started out okay, but went downhill fairly quickly.

I didn’t really like any of the characters, they were all pretty stupid at points, and didn’t seem to really understand the ramifications of joining this secret society. They seemed to quite happily go along to some random address, get a tattoo, and then take the gifts and opportunities as they presented themselves, never really wondering what would happen if things turned sour.

The storyline in this sounded good, but the execution was just off. The pace was too slow, the conversations that the characters had were dull, full of info-dumps, and just generally pretty boring, and even thought I wanted to know what happened, reading this was like wading through quicksand.
There wasn’t much in the way of romance, and the other storylines were all very similar, and basically revolved around how stupid these kids were to believe that they were getting something for nothing.
The end took a bit of an odd little twist, but I was just glad it was over really.
Overall; dull,
4.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.)
Zeke is gone, and it’s up to Allison, Kanin, and Jackal to stop Sarren once and for all. Can they do it in time though? Or will Sarren really bring about the end of the world with his engineered virus?

This was an okay end to the series, but I didn’t love it.

Allison was an okay character, although it was a little difficult to really get a read on her. One moment she was all for saving the world, and the next she just wanted to kill every human in sight. Vampires ay?

The storyline was okay, but we did get a bit of a middle book syndrome creeping into the first 70% of this book with lots of fairly dull travelling going on, and very little actually happening. When things finally did start to get a little more action packed the book improved, but it seemed a long time coming.
There was some romance, and eventually Zeke and Allison had an important chat. I won’t say any more.
There were a few twists, one of which I liked, and one which felt like a bit of a cop-out to me.
The ending was okay. I liked the action part, but I wasn’t quite so impressed with regards to the final cure. Again, I’m not saying any more!
Overall; okay end to the series,
6.25 out of 10.

The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods #1) by Elizabeth George

The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The first young adult book by a #1 New York Times bestselling author

Whidbey Island may be only a ferry ride from Seattle, but it's a world apart. When Becca King arrives there, she doesn't suspect the island will become her home for the next four years. Put at risk by her ability to hear "whispers"--the thoughts of others--Becca is on the run from her stepfather, whose criminal activities she has discovered. Stranded and alone, Becca is soon befriended by Derric, a Ugandon orphan adopted by a local family; Seth, a kindhearted musician and high school dropout; Debbie, a recovering alcoholic who takes her in; and Diana, with whom Becca shares a mysterious psychic connection.

This compelling coming-of-age story, the first of an ongoing sequence of books set on Whidbey Island, has elements of mystery, the paranormal, and romance. Elizabeth George, bestselling author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels, brings her elegant style, intricate plotting, incisive characterization, and top-notch storytelling to her first book for teens.

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
Becca can hear other people’s thoughts as whispers, a fact that her stepfather has been using to try and swindle people out of their money. Left on a ferry to a small island by her mother, with the plan to go and stay with a woman who turns out to be dead, Becca is alone and fairly lost, until someone takes her in.
When will Becca’s mother be back? Or will her step-father find her first?

This book was so long and rambling, that I found it really tiresome.

I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. It seemed like every thought they had was written down in the book, and I just got so bored.

The storyline was just lost for me. I thought we would get more about Becca hearing other people’s thoughts, but that seemed to be a minor storyline. The storyline about Derrick being in a coma seemed to make up the majority of the story, and I’m sorry, but it just wasn’t interesting at all, and the thing with her step-father turned out to be fairly dull too.
There was some romance, but I thought it fairly laughable. At least in the movie ‘While You Were Sleeping’ the girl fell in love with coma-guy’s brother, in this she falls in love with the guy in the coma, and when he wakes up - he likes her too! So not convinced about that.
The ending was a little odd, and I’m pretty sure it was a bit of a cliff-hanger. I was just glad that the boredom was finally over.
Overall; dull and rambling,
4.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Nantucket Red (Nantucket #2) by Leila Howland

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.
Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
Cricket isn’t sure what will happen with her relationship with Zack during the school year, as Zack has decided to go to boarding school. It seems they don’t want to do the long-distance relationship thing though.
Will Cricket and Zack get back together next summer? Or will other people come between them?

This was an okay story, but I didn’t like it as much as the first one.

Cricket was an okay character in this, although she did make some odd choices and some big mistakes. Why she agreed to not do the long-distance relationship thing, and to not date Zack until summer again was quite beyond me. I thought that they loved each other enough to make long-distance work, but they obviously weren’t so sure.

The storyline in this didn’t really hold my attention, and I got bored quite quickly. I didn’t really care about Cricket’s college and hockey issues, and I didn’t even feel swayed by the problems she was having with Jules, especially as they seemed to basically disappear overnight!
There wasn’t all that much romance, but what there was didn’t really interest me unfortunately. I just didn’t feel it this time, and I wanted Cricket to work things out with Zack and stop being so silly!
The ending to this was okay, and we did get a happily ever after of sorts, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I expected to though.
Overall; not as good as the first.
5 out of 10.

House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
House of Ivy & Sorrow
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

House of Ivy & Sorrow(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Jo lives in a house surrounded by ivy and sorrow, with her grandmother who is a powerful witch. Jo’s mother died 10 years previously due to a curse that was put on her family, and Jo’s Nana is determined that Jo will not die from the same curse.
Who cursed Jo’s mother? Will Jo’s fate be the same? And who is the strange man who seems to be following Jo around?

This was an interesting story about witches, and I liked the little twists.

Jo was a really interesting character. I loved how she stood by her grandmother and protected her, and I really admired the way she wasn’t squeamish when it came to spells, and didn’t get upset over having to collect spiders or bugs *ick*.

The storyline in this was good, and while it was utterly predictable in places, it was also really unpredictable in others. I really liked the story concerning the curse, and I also liked the way that Jo and her Nana opened their home to people who weren’t biologically family, but who they cared for anyway.
The little quirks to the witchy-magic side of things was also good – like the fact that witches can only have girl babies, and how prices can be paid for magic in somewhat unconventional means.
The romance in this was pretty light, and didn’t feature too heavily as part of the storyline. I did like the little romantic moments, but there just wasn’t that many of them.
I liked the ending, and I thought that it was done pretty well. It was again a little predictable, but I liked it all the same.
Overall; a good YA story about witches,
7 out of 10.