Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Edelweiss.
Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...




Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Blaze is sick of being a soccer mom. While her mother works long hours at the hospital, it’s left to Blaze to drive around her younger brother and his friends in a brown minivan, when she’d rather be spending time working on her comic books.

The only good thing about driving her brother to his soccer matches is that his coach Mark is hot, really hot, and when he starts flirting with her, Blaze can’t help but be excited.
Blaze’s younger brother Josh says that Mark is a player, but Blaze can’t help but feel like he really likes her.
Does Mark really like Blaze? How long will Blaze have to continue being a soccer mom? And will her dreams of publishing her own comic book ever come true?


This was an okay story, it was an interesting mix of romance and comic books, and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Blaze.

Although you couldn’t describe Blaze as being selfless, she really did do a hell of a lot of stuff for other people, and she even helped those who weren’t exactly nice to her.
I hated Blaze’s dad, who basically didn’t give a poo about her or her brother, and Mark was an utter turd.
Whilst Blaze’s mother could at least claim that she was working to put food on the table, her father barely spoke to her unless he wanted something, and had basically just walked out on all of them. He definitely deserved what he got in the end.
Mark was a total turd. The way he initially seduced Blaze, and then just totally ignored her annoyed the hell out of me and I really wanted to just punch him or something. Absolute turd!

The storyline in this book was okay. I can’t say I’m really all that interested in comic books at all, but Blaze was obviously pretty passionate about them. I liked that she had something that she loved, and something that she could focus on to get away from all the other poo she had to deal with in her life. At least she got some revenge as well in the end, although Mark could have done with having ‘Turd’ tattooed on his forehead as a warning to other girls.
Oh, and parents – there is a sex scene in this one. Nothing graphic as such, but it’s there, and it’s not a loving sex scene either, it’s more a warning to not do it with someone who doesn’t love you.
Overall; an interesting mix of romance, and comic books.
6.5 out of 10.


Where You Are (Between the Lines #2) by Tammara Webber


Where You Are (Between the Lines, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is.

Emma Pierce is forsaking an up-and-coming Hollywood career to embark on a life she’s only dreamed of—the life of a regular girl. After spending months burying her feelings for the two night-and-day guys who vied for her heart while filming her last movie, a twist of fate puts her in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan with the one she still misses.

Brooke Cameron was a fresh-faced Texas girl when she arrived in LA. Now she’s a beach sitcom star turned conceited heiress on the big screen. Having just survived three months on location with her ex—Hollywood’s reigning golden boy—she’s older and wiser and has set her sights on her close friend Graham. The only thing standing in her way is the girl he can’t forget.

Reid Alexander can sum up his life in one word: boring. Between film projects, there’s little going on outside of interviews, photo shoots, and the premiere of the film he finished last fall. The next-to-last thing he expects is to get a second chance with Emma, the girl who rejected him. The last thing he expects is for his still-bitter-ex to be the one to offer it to him on a platter.

(Mature Young Adult / New Adult)


Where You Are by Tammara Webber

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Where You Are (Between the Lines, #2)(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
This is book 2 in the ‘Between the Lines’ series. **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Between the Lines’.**
Graham and Emma may be together emotionally, but they aren’t physically together. They’ve been separated for almost 4 months, but soon Emma will be going to college in NY, and they will be together again.

Reid and Brooke aren’t happy about this though. Reid still wants Emma, and Brooke still wants Graham, and they decide to gang up to try and break the couple apart.
Can Graham and Emma make a go of things? Will the distance be too much? And with so many people conspiring against them, will neither give in to temptation?


This was an okay story, but it really wasn’t anything special.

Emma and Graham seemed to like each other, but both suffered from Jealousy, which was to be expected with people constantly throwing themselves at them.
I did grow to like Graham a little more with the sections from his perspective, but I thought that the bits from Brooke’s point of view were a bit too much. I really didn’t want to know what was going on in Brooke’s petty mind, thank you very much.

The storyline in this one was okay, but we had somehow managed to progress from a love triangle to a love square, with Reid and Brooke trying to break up Emma and Graham. This storyline reminded me of a certain episode of Friends, where Joey and Monica try a similar thing. But whilst the writers of friends managed to get it over with within 20 minutes, we have to sit through a whole book full of it in this, and I just got frustrated. So little actually happened in this book, and really just wanted to clout Brooke and Reid, and tell them to grow up and keep their noses out of Emma and Graham’s relationship.
The ending of this one was okay, although I wonder what’s in store in the next book. Are we going to get even more people involved in this bizarre game of hoopla?
Overall; another okay love-square romance.
6.5 out of 10.


Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1) by Tammara Webber

Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Reid Alexander is used to getting what he wants – and what he wants next is his newest costar, Emma Pierce. The universe is lining up nicely to grant his wish, until he’s confronted with two unexpected obstacles on location: a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for Emma’s affections.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after years of filming commercials and made-for-TV movies. Winning the lead role in a wide-release film – opposite the very hot Reid Alexander – should be a dream come true. But Emma’s heart is hiding a secret fantasy: she wants to be a normal girl.


Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1)(Source: I borrowed a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Emma is offered the opportunity to audition for a remake of Pride and Prejudice. She’s undecided as to whether she wants it the role though, until she discovers that Reid Alexander (a hot Hollywood actor) has already been cast as the male lead.
When Emma lands the part and starts filming, she finds herself the subject of Reid’s attention, but there’s also Graham – another actor who goes running with her every morning, who also seems interested.
Will Reid win Emma over? Will Emma do what loads of other girls want to do and lose her virginity to Reid? Or is Graham the one for her?


This was an okay story. After reading so many glowing reviews I kinda expected more though.

Emma was an okay character, I liked that there was no pretence over the fact that she knew who Reid was, and I liked that she tried to keep her head around him.
I thought that Reid was a pretty typical actor, a little full of himself and times and used to getting what he wanted.

The storyline was okay, although I can’t say I really liked the love triangle. Way too overdone for me. I didn’t think there was really anything special here though – we had two guys fighting over a girl, and a girl who doesn’t know which to pick, and that was basically it.
I didn’t predict who Emma would end up with, but I didn’t really care all that much. I didn’t have any strong feelings for either Reid or Graham, which was a bit of a shame, it would have been nice if at least one of these boys had gotten me excited or made my heart race a bit.
I’m hoping now that the rest of the books in this series aren’t just more of the same.
Overall; an okay YA love-triangle romance.
6.5 out of 10.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

White Trash Beautiful (White Trash Trilogy #1) by Teresa Mummert

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Gallery Books and Edelweiss.
White Trash Beautiful (White Trash, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
First in a stunning new trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Teresa Mummert.

“I’m not naive. I know I don’t get the happily ever after. My knight in shining armor took the highway detour around this god forsaken shit hole. I’ve made peace with that. That doesn’t mean I’m going to lay down like a doormat and let every cocky prick in the trailer park have his way with me.”

Cass lives a depressing life in a small trailer park in Eddington, Georgia, with her mother and abusive boyfriend Jackson. She works hard to barely make ends meet. But everything changes when Tucker White, the lead singer in the band Damaged, walks into her diner. He tries to show her that there is more to life than the hand she has been dealt, but Cass soon learns that being with Tucker will come at a high price.



White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


White Trash Beautiful (White Trash, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Gallery Books and Edelweiss.)
Cass is stuck living in a trailer with her drug addict-boyfriend, and drug-addict mom. She works at a café for minimum wage, and 9 times out of 10 Jackson comes and takes her tips before she has even finished her shift.

When Tucker comes into the café Cass thinks that he’s just like any other customer, but Tucker actually wants to rescue her from her crummy life.
What does Tucker really want from Cass? Can he really help her out of her awful life? And more importantly – will Cass let him?


This was a Cinderella-story style romance, with some interesting main characters.

Cass was an okay character, but her stubbornness annoyed me at times. Although she knew that something needed to change in her life, she never seemed to try to do anything about it, and then when things actually started getting better it was like she sabotaged herself! Maybe everything had gotten to her after so long, and she couldn’t find the motivation to help herself, but I just wanted her to see that Tucker could offer her something better and grab it with both hands!

Jackson – Cass’ boyfriend was a real nasty piece of work, and was constantly drugged up, and constantly asking Cass for cash that she didn’t have. I seriously wanted her to just get rid of him, but she didn’t seem to see that as an option.

I liked the romance in the story, but again – I wanted Cass to want it more, and to appreciate what Tucker was doing for her. Tucker was so sweet to her, but she couldn’t just accept his help and his love, she had to make him work for it.
The rest of the storyline was okay – it was a bit of a Cinderella tale – Cass is stuck working a dead-end job and living in a trailer with her addict mother and boyfriend, and Tucker was the knight come to rescue her. Cass annoyed me again though when she repeatedly tried to leave Tucker, because she thought that she wasn’t good enough for him. I really wish that she could have just loved him back, and acknowledged that what he felt for her was real.
The ending was okay, but it seems that this will be a trilogy. Not sure I want to read the next two books if that is the case though. Especially if it’s just more of Cass pushing Tucker away.
Overall; an okay, Cinderella-story romance.
7 out of 10.


After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel


After Obsession
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts, and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other for the first time, in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel strongly that something, or someone, is haunting them. They’re wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it’s neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It’s Alan’s cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life—and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney, but everything around her….
Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love—and introducing an exciting new YA voice in Steven Wedel—this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.

 

After Obsession by Carrie Jones

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


After Obsession(Source: Purchased on kindle from Amazon.co.uk for 99p.)
Aimee has dreams that come true, and she can also heal injuries with her touch.
Alan has been forced to move across the country to live with his aunt and cousin after his uncle went missing.

Aimee has problems with her boyfriend (who is racist towards Alan who is Indian), and also believes that her house is haunted.
Alan also has a problem, in the form of his cousin Courtney who is behaving oddly after her father’s disappearance. After an incident in the cafeteria, Alan and Aimee decide that Courtney must be possessed.
Is Aimee’s house really haunted? Is Courtney possessed? And should Aimee dump her racist boyfriend and start a relationship with Alan?


This book was just dull. Really dull.

I can honestly say that I didn’t give two hoots about the characters in this book, and I really didn’t care what happened to them either. They just seemed really one-dimensional and immature to me. Alan just wanted to play football, and Aimee was pretty pre-occupied with switching boyfriends, considering that her best friend was possibly possessed. I mean really?

The storyline was just so boring. Even when something ‘spooky’ happened – like a knife spinning by itself I just couldn’t get excited or spooked, instead I was wondering how many more pages it was ’til the end of the book. And why did nobody question Aimee’s healing powers? Or move away from the house because it was haunted? Especially seeing the problems her bipolar mother had with said ghost/demon.

There was more to this book than just the possession – there was Alan’s problems with racism, Aimee’s problem with her boyfriend, who kinda beat her up a bit when she broke up with him. There was the storyline that Aimee’s mom was bipolar and people used to think that she was possessed, and a really annoying storyline about…. A cheeto that looked like Marylin Monroe (I kid you not). This lot really didn’t add much to the story though, it just bulked it out a bit, and slowed the pace of this dull tale even more.
I kept putting this book down and then forcing myself to pick it back up again, but I felt like I was wading through quicksand, and seriously wished I’d never even started this book.
The ending was also dull, and just downright unbelievable. Aimee can bring people back from the dead now too? What a wonderful skill to add to her resume, right next to ‘heals with hands’ that nobody ever questions either. Come the Fudge on Bridget. I’ve had enough.
Overall; a very dull paranormal possession story.
2.5 out of 10


The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In the first novel of the Incarnation series, the immortal Serephina grapples with a wrenching truth: Falling in love might mean succumbing to death.People say “love never dies”…but love might be the death of Seraphina.

Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing—taking the lives of innocent people—was wrong. Yet she doesn’t want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.

Sera has just landed in the body of a girl named Kailey who was about to die in a car accident. For the first time, Sera falls in love with the life of the person she’s inhabiting. Sera also falls for the boy next door, Noah. And soon it’s clear the feelings are returned. But she can never kiss Noah, because for her to touch lips with a human would mean the human’s death. And she has even more to worry about: Cyrus is chasing her. If she stays in one place for long, she puts herself—and the people she’s grown to care for—in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?


The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars


The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
Following a mugging and some alchemy, Seraphina has switched bodies every 10 years since the middle ages, and alongside her has been Cyrus – the boy who made her what she is – a soul without a body.
Seraphina has had enough though. She’s had enough of Cyrus, and she’s had enough of stealing other people’s bodies. The body that she’s in is quickly deteriorating, and she’s decided that this body will be her last – when the time comes, she will not be taking another.

Things don’t go to plan though, and Seraphina finds herself in the body of 16-year-old Kailey, following a near-fatal car accident.
Will Seraphina live out the next ten years as Kailey? Should she cut and run? What happens if Cyrus finds her? And will the boy she’s falling for (Noah) love her in a different body?


This was an okay paranormal story, which had a couple of interesting events, most of it was just boring for me though.

Seraphina was an interesting character. I liked the way that she had decided that enough was enough, and how she had made plans to get away from Cyrus. She did have a mind of her own, and I liked that she didn’t let Cyrus control her.

The storyline in this was okay, and the book as a whole kinda reminded me of ‘Infinite Days’ by Rebecca Maizel – where the main character was having one last life as a human before dying.
I did find the storyline to be flawed though. When we first learned Seraphina’s plans to not take a new body, it seemed that that was the plan indeed – she wasn’t going to take a new body, she was going to die. But then it seemed that she’d had a new identity set up for her, and money etc. for use in her new life – so was she planning on dying? Was that all a ruse to throw Cyrus off the scent? Don’t know. This really wasn’t clear at all.
Otherwise this book was a bit dull really. The whole thing felt a bit boring, and although I liked Seraphina, I wasn’t all that interested in her story at all it seemed. This book was very put-down-able.
There were a couple of events that I didn’t see coming, and I have to say that I HATED the ending. Not only are we left with a cliff-hanger, but it also seems that something very, very bad has happened to Seraphina’s new boyfriend Noah too. Not impressed with this ending! I can’t say that I particularly liked this book, and I really don’t want to have to read the next one to make sure that Cyrus gets his comeuppance.
Overall; an okay paranormal story if a bit boring, with a cliff-hanger ending.
5 out of 10.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Relentless (Dark Prophecy #2) by Molly M. Hall - Blog Tour - Excerpt


YA Paranormal
Date Published: 4/29/2013
Dark Prophecy, Book 2

"Out of the darkness and into the fire. The truth changes everything."
The discovery of who and what she is changed Kat Matheson's life forever, revealing a world she never knew existed. A world filled with ominous spirits, mystical beings and dark magic. And a powerful ruler who will stop at nothing to achieve his ultimate goal: her death. Now, in her fight to stay alive, and to protect those she loves, Kat begins the battle to take back what's hers.
Teaming with the enigmatic Lovell, Kat searches for the clues that hold the secret to her destiny. Clues that take her to places she never imagined, exposing her life—and her heart—to dangers she never saw coming…

 
Excerpt:

     Using a poker, Lovell shifts the remnants of blackened logs, adding two fresh ones to the top. Stepping back, he lowers his head and stares into the firebox. Two small flames appear, slowly working their way up from the bottom of the pile. Growing larger, they sweep up and around the logs, the wood popping and snapping as it ignites.
     I look at him in astonishment. "How did you do that?"
     "I'm a man of many talents," he says, pouring water into a mug. He takes a sip. "You can do it, too."
     "What?" I shake my head. "There's no way…"
     "Yes, you can."
     I cross my arms, one hip thrusting out. "How?"
     "Come here." Lovell gestures me forward, positioning me in front of the hearth. He sweeps his hand through the air and the fire goes out.
     I look at him, a comment on the tip of my tongue. He returns the look, one eyebrow raised. I swallow the comment and exhale through my nose. Standing behind me, he places his hands on the side of my head.
     "Clear your mind and concentrate," he says. "Don't think about anything but the fire. Picture the flame where you want it to appear."
     I take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Closing my eyes, I try to empty my mind.  But it's impossible. Too many thoughts, too many images flash in a Technicolor stream.
     "Concentrate, Kat," Lovell whispers. "Nothing but the flame."
     I can't help but wonder if he can actually read my thoughts. I hope not because the feel of him behind me is conjuring images I don't want to think about. Or him to know.
     "Just the flame," he repeats.
     I force myself to think of nothing but a blank wall. Black and empty. When I've succeeded, I picture a flame, small and hot, working it's way through the wood.
     "Keep focusing, Kat. Don't let it go."
     I picture it building and building, growing larger as it consumes the logs. I hear Rick gasp behind me. But I keep the image in my head, holding onto the flame until the logs are ablaze with fire. The logs begin to shift, morphing into twisted, fiery shapes. They pop and sizzle as sap bleeds out of them. And, then, they aren't logs anymore. They've melted and burned, realigning themselves into a shape that becomes slowly human. A head and shoulders and torso emerge. It grows taller and taller. The flames part to reveal a face.
     Aratus.
     He smiles, his silver-blue eyes challenging me. I will the flames higher and hotter and he throws his head back and laughs. I can feel the heat washing over me, the sweat accumulating on my forehead, my neck. I push my energy forward again, and the flames engulf him, igniting his hair, his flesh. His face begins to melt and I feel a surge of power, so energizing, so invigorating, it's intoxicating. I revel in it, thrilling to the force pouring through my blood.
     "Kat!" Lovell's voice is far away, a distant echo on the wind. "Kat!" It comes again, louder this time. "Stop!" He pulls me away from the fireplace, swiping his hand through the air.
     I gasp and stare at the hearth. At the logs, now no more than ashes. At the black scorch marks, reaching towards the mantle. Rick is looking at me with a mixture of shock and awe. "What happened?" I stammer.
     "You almost turned this place into an inferno," Rick says.
     I look at Lovell.
     "That is not what I expected," he says. "At this stage in your training, you should not be able to do that."

 

Molly Hall
Author Bio:
I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England. And there are still a lot of places I want to go.
I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining something more exciting as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, but never quite managed to complete it. Mostly because I was too busy reading and creating fantasy worlds in my head. It’s actually my love of reading and imagining that led me to take up writing full time. I thought I should finally give all the characters in my head a voice.
Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.
I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy. And I probably would never be able to unwind without That 70′s Show.
When I’m not reading and writing, you'll probably find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.


Contact Links

Twitter - @mollymhallbooks



 
Buy Links



Simply, Mine by Jane Carrington


Simply, Mine
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Best friends Meagan Davis and Jake Nichols were born on the wrong side of the tracks. Living in a rundown trailer park--her with a welfare scheming, neglectful mother and him with a father wounded in the Gulf War and suffering from PTSD--they forge a friendship they think is unbreakable.
When Jake returns from spending the summer with his grandparents to begin their senior year, he realizes he needs and wants more. Meagan misreads his subtle hints and becomes terrified that she will lose her best friend. Prideful and too stubborn to admit her feelings, even to herself, they begin a game of jealousy that threatens to destroy everything.
And just as Meagan realizes her love for Jake--he gives up, thinking he has been wrong about her all along. She tries to push past her pride and reach out; he insists that things can never be the same. He begins an intense physical program to prepare him for the Army after graduation--a decision she feels is a mistake. Depressed and lonely, Meagan begins to piece her life together without Jake, taking refuge volunteering for a children's art program and discovers she wants to be a teacher.
While their career plans begin to fall together, the gap between them grows so wide that only an epic winter storm has the power to bring them together. Will they be able to repair the damage to their friendship and admit their feelings for each other?


Simply, Mine by Jane Carrington

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Simply, Mine(Source: Downloaded for free from amazon.co.uk.)
17-year-old Meagan and Jake have been best friends forever. They both live in a trailer park with their less than reliable parents, and spend most of their time looking after other people than looking after themselves.

Now that they are seniors they need to consider what they will be doing next year, and where their futures could take them. Meagan is resigned to getting a part time job to put herself through some sort of higher education, whilst Jake thinks that his only option is to join the army.
Meagan doesn’t want Jake to join the army, but he doesn’t seem to be listening to her, because she isn’t saying the only thing that he wants to hear that will stop him from joining the army – that she loves him.
What does the future hold for Meagan and Jake? Can either of them leave their parents and get on with their lives? And will Meagan ever realise how she truly feels about Jake?


This was a good YA contemporary romance, about two teens trying to battle their way out of the trailer park that is their lives.

I felt really sorry for both Meagan and Jake in this book. Meagan’s mother was absolutely disgusting, and the way she treated her three kids was just awful. All she wanted was for Meagan to quit school, get a job, and buy her a new TV, and most of the time Meagan was more of a mother to her younger brother and sister than her mother was. Her mother blamed everything on Meagan, even things that weren’t her fault and it was really unfair.
Jake likewise had problems with his father who was ex-army and suffered from PTSD.

The storyline in this book was pretty good. Both Meagan and Jake wanted to do something with their lives rather than spending it in the trailer park, but neither really had the means to make that happen. Jake and Meagan argued quite a lot over his plan to join the army, and I could really see both sides of the argument – Jake saw it as a way to get an education, whilst Meagan saw it as something that would put his life in danger. It was really difficult to see what the solution really was for this pair.
The romance storyline was okay, but Meagan really had no idea that she loved Jake, and so we saw each of them going out with someone else, basically just to make the other jealous, so this romance was more of finding their way to each other, rather than the love that came after.
There was a reasonably happy ending in this one though which was good.
Overall; a good YA contemporary romance story.
6.5 out of 10.


The Blemished (Blemished #1) by Sarah Dalton


The Blemished (Blemished #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A beautiful world comes at a price...

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.


The Blemished by Sarah Dalton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Blemished (Blemished #1)(Source: Purchased from Smashwords.com.)
15-year-old Mina is blemished. This means that she has a genetic predisposition for a disease, and in a world where only perfect babies are cloned, this makes her a lesser member of society.

After cloning cured diseases such as diabetes and mental health problems, all babies are created and birthed in a lab, and are called GEMs, whilst those with imperfect genes are sterilised and not allowed to breed. Mina has just over a year until she will be sterilised, and will then go on to be a servant – cleaning and serving the GEMs.

Mina has a secret though – she has telekinesis, and her father wants to train her to use it. Daniel, a boy at her school also has a gift – he has visions. Mina and Daniel together wonder if they could maybe make a difference in the world, but things are never that easy.
What does the future hold for Mina and Daniel? What is ‘the resistance’ all about? And is there more to life than being sterilised and worked like a slave?


This was an interesting dystopian, with a hint of romance.

Mina was an okay character. She didn’t like being a blemished, but she wasn’t afraid to stand up for her beliefs either, and if she could have run away from it all, she would only do it if her friends and family who she loved were with her.
There were quite a few nasty characters in this story, the worst being one of Mina’s school teachers. I really wanted Mina to pay her back for what she did to her, but I also didn’t want Mina to anger her further!

The storyline in this book was okay, although I did wonder if a bit more explanation of certain aspects of the world building would have helped. Otherwise, the idea of the blemished was quite clever, and I liked how possible and realistic the story seemed.
I wasn’t expecting a love triangle in this story, but there was one! In fact it was almost like two love triangles, because there was Daniel-Mina-Sebastian, and then there was Mina-Daniel-Angela. I can’t say that I was really romanced by either of the boys in this though, and I really didn’t have much of an opinion over which one Mina should pick, to be honest, I kinda felt like she didn’t really have strong feelings for either of them until the end.
The pacing in this book was okay until the end, when it seemed to get really slow, which was a bit annoying. The ending was happy enough, and things were tied up pretty nicely. I don’t really feel the drive to read the next book though, so I think I’ll probably just leave this series here.
Overall; and okay dystopian with a touch of romance.
6.75 out of 10.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)(Source: I won a hardback copy of this book. Thanks to Sandra at Waiting for Wentworth.)
16-year-old Blue’s future love life does not look good, mainly because every psychic that has ever come across her has told her that if she kisses her true love, she will kill him.
Standing at a church on St Mark’s Day with her aunt, waiting for the spirits of the soon-to-be-dead to walk past, she sees a spirit – which is unusual for Blue, as she is not psychic. The spirit tells her that his name is Gansey, and then disappears.

When Blue later meets Gansey, she discovers that he is a high school student investigating ley-lines, and is trying to re-open them around the area where Blue lives. Blue decides to help him and become part of his team, but she’s not prepared for what they are about to discover.
What is the secret of the ley-lines? How do they open these magical pathways? And what is Gansey’s end goal?


This was a very strange story, and the pacing seemed very slow.

Having read this I’m wondering if I’ve missed some intricacies to the plot or something, or maybe we’ll get more explanation in the next book, because for a 409 page book, not a lot really happened.

Blue seemed like a fairly normal girl, other than her name and the fact that she lived with a bunch of psychics. Blue wasn’t a psychic herself, but instead had a gift that allowed her to magnify power somehow, making her a very useful tool for both her psychic relations, and spirits.
Blue was pretty down to earth all things considered, and didn’t immediately fall all over herself to help Gansey and his crew. She didn’t whine, she wasn’t always seeking attention, and she didn’t think that everything was about her either. She generally just tried to help, and knew her own limits which was nice to see.
Gansey on the other hand was absolutely obsessed with these ‘ley-lines’ and seeming would let very little get in his way of opening them, and allowing them to lead him to this legendary king that he was so sure he was supposed to find and awaken.

The storyline in this book was quite odd. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything like this. I have to say that I found the whole thing very strange, especially in the beginning, and I’m really not sure what else to expect from this series. Basically, Gansey is trying to open these magical ley-lines, to find this legendary king, and awaken him. Fair enough, but I’m not sure how this is going to take so many books. Having read over 400 pages of this one, I can’t really say that that much has happened. The pacing just feels really slow, and I really expected us to have discovered more than we have in this first book. It’s been a while since I read a book by this author so I can’t remember if her other books were this slow (I think they might have been), but the pacing in this just made me feel that nothing was happening which was really frustrating.
Otherwise the plot was okay, but I thought more could have been made of Blue’s prophecy that she would kill her true love with a kiss. We did find out very early on that Gansey might be Blue’s true love, but very little happens with regard to this, and so we are very much left hanging on this front.
I thought the ending to this book was okay, but again, I feel like so little happened in this book, that it was more like reading part 1 of a book rather than book 1 of a series.
Having finished this I’d say that it’s okay, but I’d be pushed to say more than that. I have very lukewarm feelings towards the sequel, because although I want to know what happens, it seems like a lot of effort for little reward.
Overall; an okay YA fantasy, with a very slow pace.
6.75 out of 10.


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
17-year-old Kami is determined to start up a student newspaper at school, and she’s also determined to find out more about the Lynburn’s, who have returned to town after 17 years abroad.

Kami lives in the small village of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and there have always been old tales, and strange forebodings around the Lynburn’s who live in a large manor house overlooking the vale. Now, the Lynburn’s have returned to the village, and Kami wants to investigate to see if the old stories hold any truth.

Kami has another secret though. For her entire life she has had someone who she can talk to in her head – Jared, and although she doesn’t tell anyone about him anymore, he’s still there, and he’s like her best friend. The strange thing is, one of the Lynburn boys is called Jared too, and they soon discover that Jared Lynburn is the voice in Kami’s head.
What is the Lynburn’s secret though? Why have they come back to the Vale? What do they want? And why do Kami and Jared have this telepathic connection?


This was an interesting paranormal mystery story, but the pacing was a little slow for me.

Kami was so pro-active it was painful. She was constantly on the go, constantly thinking things at breakneck speeds, and totally barmy to boot. She thought nothing of walking through dark and scary places at night, and even went out in the middle of the night to follow some screams coming from the woods. Has she never watched a scary movie? Does she have no fear? Is she manic?

Kami’s best friend Angela was a really strange character. All she wanted to do was sleep, and she maintained that she generally hated people because they were annoying. I mean, has anyone ever wondered if she’s depressed? She kinda seems like she could benefit from some happy pills.

I had moments where I liked Jared, and moments where I didn’t. He was more annoying than anything, and seemed to be harbouring some serious negative energy and low self-esteem.
Looking back I think that all three of these characters could do with a referral to a doctor, or a psychiatrist. Medication’s what you need!

The storyline in this book was okay, but the pacing was too slow for me. By the 60% mark I was getting really annoyed at the lack of answers we were getting, and just wanted something to actually happen.
The idea of Jared and Kami speaking to each other inside their heads was good, and like a friend pointed out, it was good that they didn’t immediately fall in love with one another when they met in real life, in fact, they kinda didn’t like each other.
There were some good parts in this book, I really liked the part where Kami threw a rock through Jared’s window (unintentionally), and we got a bit of a backwards Romeo and Juliet moment:
“Hark, what stone through yonder window breaks?” “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk.”

When we actually found out what was really going on, the revelation wasn’t all that exciting or spectacular for me, and I actually found the second half of the book a bit dull.
The way the book ended was a bit of a cliff-hanger, and although I didn’t really want to read the second book after reading this one, I kinda feel like I have to now just to find out what happens!
Overall; magic and mystery, but a bit slow for me.
6.75 out of 10.