29 January 2013

REVIEW: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars #1)
by Sara Shepard

Alison, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer were best friends, until Alison disappeared. Three years later, the remaining girls, now juniors at Rosewood Day, are leading separate, but charmed lives.

After living in Iceland, Aria returns home sophisticated and worldly. Emily is a champion swimmer, Hanna is the most popular girl in school, and Spencer's accomplishments make the average type-A valedictorian look like a slacker. But in Rosewood, appearances are deceiving, and when the girls start receiving mysterious texts signed by someone named A, the past threatens to ruin their perfect present. A claims to know all of their secrets—but who is A? How much does A really know? And what can four pretty little liars do to protect themselves from the truth?

I've been watching the Pretty Little Liars TV show since it started and I absolutely love it! So I decided that it was about time that I read the book series.
I noticed the huge differences between the books and the TV show in the first couple of chapters, but I loved both of them. Admittedly, I prefer the TV show. I think there's a lot more suspense and surprise twists, but I think I'll really enjoy the rest of this series.
I liked that each chapter was told from a different Liars perspective and we also got to see each of their relationships with Ali from their flashbacks.
Aria and Hanna are  my favourite two characters in the books and the TV show. I just really love their characters and I can't wait to see their development in the books.
The only thing that annoyed me about this book was that the Liars seemed kind of dense and full of themselves, especially Aria. And Spencer's character in the book is made out to be kind of a boyfriend stealer. 
At the end of the book when they were all at the memorial, their friendship starts to re-develop and then they find out they are all receiving texts from A. So I think that's the start of the Liars friendship again, because they all have this in common.
I really enjoyed the story progression in the first book and I can't wait to see what A has in store for the Liars.
I gave this book:
I just felt that the characters lacked the depth they have in the TV series, but I'm hoping to see some more character development in the rest of the series!

REVIEW: Easy by Tammara Webber

by Tammara Webber

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret.

Sometimes, love isn’t easy…He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

Easy is a New Adult book which is set between YA & A, and deals with slightly more mature content than YA novels.
Easy focuses on our main character Jacqueline who followed her boyfriend to university (who does that? seriously?) only to have him break up with her because he wasn't to sleep with other women. When Jacqueline is leaving a party one night, she is assaulted by one of her friends and he would have raped her if a strange, mysterious guy hadn't come to her rescue.
Jacqueline is behind in one of her classes after her break up and her lecturer recommends a tutor to her. Jacqueline develops feelings for the strange boy who rescued her and her tutor and she doesn't know who to choose.

I seriously fell in love with this book! 
I loved Jacqueline's character. At the start she just seemed like this naive girl who would do anything for her boyfriend (until he broke up with her), and then after her attack, she started to realise she needed to protect herself and she became a strong (emotionally and physically), independent character and I liked her even more.
Lucas was just, perfect. He was sweet, mysterious and just bloody gorgeous! I loved the two identities he had in the book, it made him more mysterious.

Jacqueline and Lucas were such an amazing couple. They had amazing chemistry. I think it helped that their relationship was kind of forbidden, so that added a bit of excitement to it.

Easy dealt with the issue of rape and I think they addressed it extremely well. At the start, Jacqueline was almost raped by Buck, and then he tried it with her again but luckily she managed to escape. But unfortunately, Buck raped another girl in the book. When this girl said she was going to report it to the police, Bucks friends tried to stop her. This really really annoyed me, but not as much as the other girls in the sorority. They were telling the girl that she wasn't a virgin, so she wouldn't have a case and that she probably wanted him to do it. I started to get really pissed off until another one of the girls in the sorority stood up and told her story of being raped and how she was pressured into not reporting it and how much she regrets it. She made it clear that it wasn't the victims fault and they never ask for this sort of thing to happen. 
I really like how Webber made it clear that the victim doesn't want to be raped and that rape or sexual assault should be reported and not swept under the rug. Any person who commits this kind of crime deserves everything that's coming to them.

The ending was just spectacular. I'm glad Buck finally got what was coming to him and I'm glad Lucas finally opened up about his past (even though Jacqueline already knew). They're such a cute couple and I'm really happy that everything worked out.
I gave this book: 

It definitely lived up to it's amazing reviews and I'm glad I decided to read it. I definitely recommend picking up this book.

28 January 2013

REVIEW: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

 Beautiful Disaster
by Jamie McGuire


Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Beautiful Disaster is told from Abby's POV, and Walking Disaster (Travis' POV) will be out in April this year.
I was expecting so much more from this book. I saw how high the rating was on goodreads and I'd seen so many amazing reviews which is why I decided to pick this up. But unfortunately, I was really disappointed by this book.
The main reason I didn't really like this book was Travis.
I had a real problem with Travis. At the start of the book, I actually really liked him. But as the story went on and we got to see another side of Travis, I realised that he was a possessive, violent, jealous asshole who was extremely dependent on Abby. I honestly didn't see the appeal of Travis. Abby couldn't do anything without him interfering. He was driving me insane! I just hated that Abby couldn't have a normal life without Travis coming and messing things up!
Abby was an average character. She was strong enough to walk away from Travis, but she lacked the common sense to stay away from him when she'd broke up with him. So she never ever got the chance to get over him.
The story line was average, but there were some points that I found really enjoyable. The whole Vegas story line and finding out about Abby's past was interesting and I really enjoyed that part. 
I found the ending of the book ridiculous. Seriously. They're 19! Come on! Their relationship moved too fast for me and the fact that it was extremely dysfunctional didn't help either. 
I just found parts of this book unbelievable and I just expected a lot more from this book.
I gave this book:
I really didn't enjoy this book at all, and I definitely won't be reading Walking Disaster because it's from Travis' POV and I really hated him. There are a lot of people who enjoyed this book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

REVIEW: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

I absolutely love cutsey romance books so this was just the perfect book for me.
So the story focuses on two teenagers: Holly and Oliver. They meet in an airport after Holly was 4 minutes late for her flight. She is put onto the same flight as Oliver is on and they just being to talk and bond.
You could tell from the very start that they were perfect for each other. I was so invested in their relationship! Usually I don't like insta-love in books, but this was just so cute and sweet that I just didn't care!
Smith's writing style had me in love with this story and the characters the minute I started reading it.
I loved that at the start of each chapter, there was the time in GMT & EST, so you knew how far away Hadley was from her dad's wedding in London.
I loved their conversations on the plane, and Oliver distracting Hadley (who has claustrophobia) was just so sweet and he's just adorable. And that kiss when they get off the plane!
There was another part of the story line that was extremely important, which is the relationship between Hadley and her father. They've been rocky since her mum and dad broke up and her dad got with someone else. Hadley isn't looking forward to her fathers wedding. But when she gets there, she realises how silly she's being and begins to re-build their relationship. And she also realises that she likes her dad's new wife, even though she was determined to hate her.
When we found out about Oliver's dad, my heart just broke. I wanted to be Hadley and I wanted to run off and find him (which is exactly what she did). I just wanted to give him a massive hug. And then her and Olly had a fight and I was really upset!
But then Olly turns up at the reception for Hadley's dad and his new wife and everything's amazing again!
And they lived happily ever after :) (I couldn't resist).

Seriously, this is definitely my kind of book. It was so short and sweet and I just fell in love with this book, which is why I gave it:
If you love cutsey romance books, this is definitely a book you should check out!

27 January 2013

REVIEW: Vortex by Julie Cross

Vortex (Tempest #2) 
by Julie Cross

Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

I absolutely loved this book! I though the first one would be hard to beat, but this one was just as amazing as the first.
I really enjoyed that we got to learn more about Tempest and what the agents do. I wasn't particularly sure what Tempest was in the first book, but I'm glad that it was explained in more detail in this book. I also loved the in-depth explanations about Jackson's timetravelling ability (even if I didn't understand some of the stuff the first time I read it, but reading it again helped me understand it more). And then later on in the book Eileen (the woman who carried Jackson and Courtney) dropped a massive bombshell about the alternate realities! I totally never saw that coming!
There wasn't a lot of romance in this book, due to Jackson erasing the '09 future he had with Holly and now they've never met. But Holly is in this book. She's in it quite a lot and she's (SPOILER) an eyewall agent! I really felt for Jackson in this book. He had to struggle with hiding his feelings for Holly and then dealing with them when she walks back into his life. He's tried so hard to get over her, and he just won't be able to. And then Adam! No! I didn't expect that to happen at all!
I grew more attached to Jenni Stewart in this book as well. We got to see the real Jenni and she became Jackson's friend.
I loved Kendrick (Jackson's partner). She was brilliant and really funny.
And then at the end, there was a massive twist and a HUGE cliffhanger! What's going to happen to Jackson?! There was so much going on in my head at the end of this book! I was wondering if Holly and Jackson would ever be able to get back together, if they'll ever make it out of where they are and if Jackson was going to be OK.
Oh, and someone unexpected turns up at the end of this book and I never saw it coming!
Seriously, this book was was just as amazing as the first! I gave this book:
I can't believe I need to wait until next year to find out what happens!

REVIEW: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
by Rick Riordan

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy - after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera - it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can't blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find - and close - the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader - but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

This book just about killed me. THAT. ENDING. My heart is still in pieces.

So Percy and Annabeth are finally reunited after what feels like eternity. They are one of my favourite couples ever! They've changed so much from the Percy Jackson series and I think their relationship is going to be much stronger after being apart for so long.
So the whole story line of this book focused on the prophecy made about 7 heroes. The heroes are a mixture of Greek and Roman and they're on a quest to prevent Gaia from being resurrected. Annabeth is on her own quest as well. She has to follow The Mark of Athena to find the Athena Parthenos (a statue of Athena that was stolen) to bring peace between the Greeks and the Romans. 
There was so much action in this book that I just couldn't put it down! It did take me a while to get into it (but that was because I was still thinking about Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz). But when my brain started focusing on only this book, I just because so absorbed in the story that I just wanted to keep reading and not put it down until I was finished.
I was really rooting for Hazel and Leo (sorry to everyone that likes Frank), but I think that Leo and Hazel would just be perfect together (since he's the grandson of her first love!).
Gaia caused a hell of a lot of trouble in this book that almost led to the end of Jason and Percy! My heart was in pieces at this part of the book. I love both of them and just like Piper, I wouldn't be able to choose between them. Gaia also caused the attack on the Roman city leading to a massive fight between the Greeks and the Romans.
When Annabeth set out on her own quest, my stomach dropped. I just knew something bad was going to happen and I was really wishing that Percy would go after her. 

Leo is definitely one of my favourite characters in this book. When him, Hazel and Frank were trapped underground fighting the Eidolons and he was doing his amazing mechanics and making these ancient machines work was just awesome! I just really love Leo.
And then Hazels prophecy about her, Percy and Jason started to come true and I was almost in pieces because I didn't want them to die! (Thankfully they didn't, because I think I might have).
And then we come to the ending. Annabeth is having to face some spider/woman creepy monster thing to get the Athena Parthenos and she's having to use her wisdom to trick the monster. Annabeth's plan works and the monster tumbles all the way down to Tartarus.
The Argo II (Leo's ship) brings the rest of the heroes to rescue Annabeth and the statue.
This next part is a MASSIVE spoiler to highlight the text if you want to know.


At least the 4th book is out this year and I don't need to wait to long to find out what happens!
I gave this book:
If you haven't read this series yet, I really suggest that you pick it up. It's a mixture of Greek and Roman mythology with a lot of action and heart-breaking twists. So this is a series that I highly recommend.

20 January 2013

REVIEW: Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz

Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz
Series: The Gatekeepers #5
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: October 4th 2012
Source: Gifted

All that's left is the endgame... 
For a moment, it looked like they had won -- the five Gatekeepers had united -- and then a deadly typhoon tore them apart, scattering them through the door and across the world.

Ten years into the future, the Gatekeepers find themselves struggling through a desolate world to find one another; to stop the evil force that waits for them; to save the world as they did ten thousand years ago. With enemies dogging their every step and the doors broken, the Gatekeepers' only hope is... Oblivion. 

The five have arrived at the end of the world.


Oblivion is the final book in The Gatekeepers series. In the last book we left the 5 in Hong Kong where a tornado was tearing apart the temple they were in.

The Gatekeepers series is basically about a group of 5 teenagers that are gatekeepers. They guard the gates that were made to prevent the Old Ones from escaping, and if they are opened, they have to come together to defeat the Old Ones.

This book is split into different parts. There are 10 different parts of this book and in each part we heard from a different member of the 5. 

The Village - The first part of Oblivion focuses on Jamie. Jamie comes through a door in and end up in a village in England only to find out that he’s jumped 10 years into the future. The future is a horrible place where there are not very many people left.
He discovers that the 5 are being hunted by the old ones (demons, basically) and the village want to turn him over to the police – but they’re scared because they don’t want to give away their location in case people come and attack/destroy their village. Someone in the village gives the police a tip off and Jamie escapes from the village with the help of a man called The Traveller and a girl called Holly.

Endgame (The Conference) - The next chapter is to do with the old ones and it’s basically about them saying that they’re going to modify humans to make them the perfect fighting mutants/machines.

Blood & Sand - In the next part of the book we are with Scarlett who came through a door in Egypt with Richard (Matt’s friend) and they are almost captured by the old ones army but a group of people working for the Nexus (they’re the good guys) rescue them and take them to a safe hiding area. Whilst they are escaping from Egypt, they are double-crossed the man helping them escape ends up dead

The Tree - The next part of the book focuses on Pedro and Scott. Scott is Jamie’s twin brother and he’s extremely resentful that he got stuck with Pedro when they came through the door instead of his brother. Scott was always the weak link in the 5 and was always going to be easy to manipulate (especially after the torture he went through in Nightrise).
The people torturing Scott eventually get him to turn on Pedro – but Pedro doesn't know this yet. Pedro escapes from where he is being held and finds out that he is in Italy. Pedro is taken in by a family who know who he is and he eventually escapes from Italy, whilst Mount Vesuvius is erupting, and is swept over by a massive wave. Scott makes it out of Italy as well, but on a private plane with the enemy.

Matt - And finally, we’re on to Matt. Matt is basically the leader of the 5, since he was the first one to discover what was happening and go on a search for the rest of the gatekeepers. Matt and Lohan (Scarlett’s bodyguard – or whatever) came out of a door in Brazil. The only way survive in Brazil is to sell slaves for money. Lohan has been selling Matt so that they can get money and then after collecting the money, he rescues Matt. This continues until they are captured and both of them are made to be slaves.

Wheel of Fortune – And we’re back to Scar and Richard who have escaped to Dubai. The find a plane in the airfield, but the pilot has been captured by the ruler of the Dubai royal family. Scarlett and Richard head up to the casino to try to get the pilot released – but Rasheed has other ideas and demands that Scar to become his wife. They are given rooms in the palace and Rasheed’s wife frees the pilot and helps them escape from the palace. Scar has to use her powers to save them from Rasheed's men. They make it to the airplane and set course for Antarctica.

Legacy 600- Matt becomes ill and Lohan is desperate to find an escape from their torture and then a plane lands on the airfield right next to where they are. Matt causes a diversion with his powers and he and Lohan escape and head for the plane. Once aboard, Matt sets course for Antarctica..

Dark Water – This part goes back to Jamie, The Traveller & Holly in England. The Old Ones army is searching for them and they’re making their escape on a canal boat. They come a cross a village down the river that still has people living in it who look extremely healthy. They join the villagers for dinner and soon discover why they are so healthy. They've been killing people for meat and they planned to do the same to The Traveller, Jamie & Holly. The Old Ones catch up with them and there’s a big fight scene in the village – but Jamie, Holly & The Traveller manage to escape.The Old Ones catch up with them again, but they manage to escape through a tunnel designed by the Nexus and make their way to safety. Jamie has to get near to St. Meredith’s church (because there’s a door there that will take him to Antarctica). A group of them travel through London (which was hit by a nuclear bomb) and go to a safe house near St. Meredith’s.

The Good Priest – We’re back with Pedro and he’s managed to survive the tidal wave. He’s on a boat and making his way to Anzio where he will then travel to Rome. Pedro is taken in by Carla Rivera. She believes in the stories of the Old Ones and knows that Pedro is one of the five. Her son, however, doesn't believe him and leads Pedro to The Vatican under the illusion that he’s going to help him. But instead, he poisons Pedro – but Pedro is a healer and manages to throw up the poison and then heals himself.

Oblivion – This is the last part of the book. Oblivion is the place in Antarctica where the final showdown will take place. It starts off with a description of Oblivion and the army that has assembled to fight the Old Ones. Then we move on to Scott who is living inside the fortress at Oblivion. Scott is starting to wonder if he made the right decision siding with the Old Ones, but he isn’t given a choice when he’s told he has to trick Matt into meeting with him so that they can capture him. Matt and Lohan arrive at Oblivion & Richard and Scar are already there. The leader of ‘The World Army’ – The army of people from all over the world that have made their way to Antarctica to fight – attack the fortress only to realise too late that they were being tricked and half of their army is slaughtered. Matt receives a letter from Scott asking him to meet with him, and Matt agrees. Matt and Richard go along to meet Scott and they are captured by the Old Ones army. Scott is completely regretting his decision now. The World Army leaves and Scarlett and Lohan sneak into the fortress to rescue Matt and Richard.
Then we flick back to London where Jamie and the rest of the people with him are about to attack St. Meredith’s so that he can go through the door to get to Oblivion. And then back to Rome where a cleaner helps Pedro get to St. Peters. Back in Antarctica, Scott sacrifices his life to re-open the doors so that the rest of the five can be re-united. Matt is being tortured by the Old Ones and they want Matt to watch Richard being killed, but they didn’t count on Richard stabbing Matt and killing him – Richard could see how much Matt was suffering and he knew he had to prevent it.
Back in London there’s a massive fight going on at St. Meredith’s. Jamie grabs Holly and makes his way through the door. Back in Antarctica Scarlett and Lohan are stunned by what Scott has just done, and then Jamie, Holly & Pedro make their way through the door. Jamie is distraught that his brother has died. And then – Matt and Scott show up! (I know what your thinking, ‘Did they not just die?’). The answer is, yes they did. But there are two versions of the gatekeepers and if one of them dies, they are replaced by a gatekeeper from over 1000 years ago, and they’re basically the same people. So the five fight together and use their powers to destroy the Old Ones and create a new gate that hopefully won’t be opened ever. The five make their way onto a new journey. The book ends with Holly and Richard who are now 70/80 years old raising a glass to the five.

Seriously, this book had so much action packed into it that I couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t a dull moment in this book at all and that’s a great accomplishment for a book that’s 668 pages long.There isn’t one of the characters in this book that I don’t like (well, maybe Lohan, but he is a criminal and a murderer so I’m allowed to not like him). But I love all of the 5. I’ve grown such an attachment to these characters since I first picked up Ravens Gate when I was in 2nd year at High School. This story was so unique with the five gatekeepers with their special powers fighting against a demonic force that threatened to take over the world again. We were introduced to a new gatekeeper in every book, so I was give a chance to form a bond with these characters. I think that’s why I really didn’t want to read Oblivion. I just didn’t want this story to be over. But wow. What an amazing end to a series. I cried a lot at the end of this book mainly due to Matt & Scott dying (because I totally forgot about the other gatekeepers), but I was distraught that two of my favourite characters were dead. I honestly never thought that any of them would be killed, and it was just a huge shock.

I’m still in shock from this book & that’s why I think it’s taking me longer to get through the other books I’m reading because this book was just spectacular. I just keep thinking about the ending and I still can’t believe that the series is finally over.

This whole series has been amazing, but Oblivion is by far the best book in the whole series. This book should get like, a gazillion stars! I seriously recommend this series if you've never picked it up. It’s full of action, suspense & twists that you never see coming. This series has definitely moved higher up on my favourite series list.

17 January 2013

REVIEW: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publication Date
Source: Bought

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

OMG! This was definitely the best vampire book I've read in ages! It's set in a world where Vampires rule. Our main character, Allison Sekemoto (or Ally) is a human. Her and her friend go out to collect food and they are attacked by a group of rabids (diseased vampires). A vampires comes across Ally and offers her a choice of Life or Death. Ally chooses Life and becomes a Vampire.

The world that Kagawa created in this book was amazing. I found myself being sucked in the minute I started this book an I just didn't want to put it down until I had finished it!

So, our first character - Ally. She's a strong rebellious character and when she was human she was determined not to be controlled by the vampires and would do anything to fight for what she believed it. She was always looking out for her friends. She was also a tough character and very intelligent. When she became a vampire, she threw everything she believed in out the window for a second chance at life. I'd do the exact same thing in her position. I grew an attachment to Ally and I really cared about her.

The next main character we met was Kanin. Kanin is the vampire who turned Ally. It also turns out that he was (is) a Master Vampire - Vampire ruler. He's a very strict character who has to have everything done his way or he has a 'hissy fit'. 

SPOILER (highlight text)
Kanin was the vampire responsible for the rabid vampires and all the other vampires are after him.

Ally and Kanin are on the run from the other vampires and they split up. Ally heads out through the ruins and through the forest and she comes across a group of humans. Ally pretends to be human and they allow her to join their group - although not everyone in the group likes Ally. Ally starts to develop feelings for Zeke (one of the humans in the group). 

Zeke is really sweet & he's such a trusting person. He's got a great personality and he's just genuinely a nice guy. 
Ally's feeling for him continue to develop but she's scared of getting to close to him in case she bites him and she really doesn't want to.

The whole story line in this book was gripping and full of action. There was another vampire in the book called Jekel who had a grudge against Jeb (Zeke's dad) and his men were looking for the group throughout the book. 

I was rooting for Zeke and Ally throughout the whole book and the ending was really sad for me. Ally had to leave the group to go and help her creator Kanin, who had been captured, plus we didn't even get to know if Zeke was going to be alright or not!

I absolutely LOVED this book! 
I highly recommend that you pick up this book if you haven't already. You definitely won't regret it!

11 January 2013

REVIEW: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City  by Elizabeth Richards
Series: Black City #1
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: November 13th 2012
Source: Bought

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-old Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Oh my god! What an amazing book! I was so excited to read this book after all the amazing things I'd heard about it and I wasn't let down.

The book is told from two perspectives: Ash -  who is a half-blood Darkling (half human/half vampire) and Natalie who is a human  and is the Emissary's daughter (very important and powerful family).

The story revolves around Ash and Natalie's romantic relationship which is forbidden and it also focuses on the government of this world.

The main characters in this book were really interesting. I'm only going to talk about a few of them that I though were extremely important to the book.

Natalie - Determined & strong young woman, naive at the start but she soon begins to catch on to what's happening. I really admire Natalie's strength. She had to watch her father being murdered by a darkling and her sister being tortured and I really don't know how she's managed to stay so strong. I admire her for that.
Ash - Sweet, scared & dangerous (well, he is half vampire).
Ash doesn't feel welcome in the human community because he's half vampire, most people hate his kind. 
Sebastian - Just die. Please? If you've read this, you'll understand why I hate him so much.
Evangeline - Well, she comes and drops a massive bombshell about Natalie and Ash's relationship, so I consider he to be an important character. (Plus, she's a half-darkling as well).

In this world, there is a massive wall separating the humans and the darklings and the government are doing everything in their power to keep the wall up. They pretend that they want the wall down to keep the darkling's from fighting, but really, they just want to kill them all.

The government use some EXTREME tactics to kill the darklings, even going so far as to kill a few humans. The humans they killed were addicted to a drug called Haze (which is produced by vampires and they can give you the drug by biting you). The government developed a special type of Haze that contain a disease that would kill darklings if they bit the humans that had taken it. 

The death of these people was put on Ash to start with and he managed to get out of that situation. Natalie and Ash soon discovered that it was the government (and her own mother) killing humans and darklings.

The whole story line was gripping from the corrupted government to Ash & Natalie's secret, forbidden relationship.

And then, Evangaline (another half-darkling) comes out with this massive twist about Natalie & Ash's relationship and how it might not actually be real. I was so shocked! I never saw it coming! It was such an amazing twist and it definitely added some conflict to the novel.

The ending was full of action with a big fight scene which ended with Natalie & Ash being tried for murder. The part after that was really sad and I was nearly in tears!

I completely loved Black City and it's definitely a book I'd highly recommend!

6 January 2013

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 7th 2012
Source: Bought

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I started and finished this book on New Years Day because it was just that amazing! I didn't want to put it down until I had finished it. I loved the world that Kiera Cass created and I felt myself being sucked into the story. 

Everyone in this novel is part of a caste. The higher your number, the better your life is. The caste ranges from 1 to 8, with 8 being the poorest. America is a 5.

I loved America. She had a great spirit and was a determined character. She was such a nice, genuine person that you couldn't not love her. I was really jealous of America when I was reading this book. She got to live in a palace and spend her days wearing beautiful dresses and ball gowns and of course, she got to spend time with the beautiful Prince Maxon.

I absolutely loved Maxon. From the very first scene that we got to meet him, I instantly liked him. He wasn't anything like what he had been described as and he was such a genuine and nice person. He seemed like such a perfect guy and I really felt sorry for him. He has to pick a partner in front of millions of people and the girl he really likes wasn't interested in him that way to start with. I really hope America comes to her senses and realises she really likes Maxon. But there's someone in the way.

I'm not a big fan of America's first love interest Aspen. I didn't really bother with him at the start because I knew America would be chosen in the selection and I was glad when they broke up. I really didn't like Aspen's personality and I honestly don't think he would be the best person for America to be with. And then when he showed up at the palace I was really annoyed. America and Maxon were starting to get together and she was beginning to forget about Aspen and then he shows up as a guard! I couldn't believe it! I thought I'd seen the last of him when they broke up! But I suppose it adds a bit more drama to the book but I really hope America doesn't get back with him or she risks being thrown out of the competition and losing Maxon. 

I was so happy when America got chosen to be in the Elite! But I can't believe Maxon kept Celeste in! I hope he gets to see her true colours in the next book before she has a chance to try to get rid of America (which she totally will because she really doesn't like her!). 

There was some action in the novel with the rebels from the North and South attacking and raiding the palace. They were searching through the palace for something but none of the Royals know what they're looking for and I'm really intrigued to find out what it is that they want so badly! It has to be something really important if they're going to such lengths to try to get it. 

America is having a really good effect on Maxon and he's changing the rules and creating new rules to allow the lower castes to be able to get food to feed their families and I thought that was extremely nice of him after he listened to how much America struggled to get food and they people in castes below her were even worse off.

I also really liked how she never said she loved him or thought it at all throughout this book and that's the part of YA books that I usually don't like. But I really enjoyed their relationship because she knows that she doesn't feel that way just now but she might be able to grow to love him after she gets to know him better and forgets about Aspen!

I absolutely loved The Selection and I can tell this is going to be a series I'm going to love! I definitely recommend this book and if you haven't read it already, you definitely should! It's such an amazing book and I'm so excited for The Elite!

5 January 2013

REVIEW: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush Hush #4
Publication Date
Source: Gifted

Will love conquer all?

Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank's absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels - destroying Patch.

Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside.

Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin. But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

This is the fourth and FINAL book in the Hush Hush saga and I'm SO sad! I absolutely love this series and I'm really upset that this is the last book! I'm going to miss reading new stories about Patch and Nora and their very complicated relationship/life. I loved all the trouble and action in these books and I'm very sad to see the series end.

There were a lot of surprising plot twists and surprises (and one MASSIVE twist that I didn't see coming at all!) that kept me on my toes and kept me excited throughout the book!

Nora and Patch's relationship was rocky in this book (but when is it not?) and I enjoyed seeing how much effort both of them were putting into keeping their relationship going. It was extremely hard for them in this book because Nora is the leader of the Nephilium army who are revolting against the fallen angels, and Patch is a fallen angel. So they had a bit of trouble, but nothing they couldn't work through.

I really love Nora's character. I think she's extremely relate-able and she's so determined and strong-willed. I love how Nora's grown and changed over the series and she's no longer the naive little girl from biology in the first book. 

Patch is definitely my favourite character in this series and he always has been. I have a serious crush on Patch. He's dangerous, mysterious, extremely protective and just goddamned sexy and I seem to really like that when it comes to characters in books. Definitely not the kind of guy I would go for in real life, but definitely my favourite kind of male characters in books. A lot of the things he says to Nora leave me weak at the knees. 

I love the kissing scenes between Nora & Patch, although it always left me wanting more! Their scenes were just, really sexy, and it always hinted at them going further, but they never did! Becca Fitzpatrick is amazing at writing sexual tension. 

Then we have Dante. I really hated him. Right from the start I knew they was something up with him and that Nora should have just told him to go away. But alas, she didn't and then Dante revealed his true nature and threw them all under the bus.

I really loved Scott & Vee as well. They made such a cute couple (finally!). They've been circling each other for a while and it was great to see them finally get together!

There was a horrible death scene at the end that left me in tears. I couldn't believe it was the end for this character after everything they'd been through. It was completely heartbreaking.

And then Patch and the bike! Just when I thought my heart couldn't break anymore, Becca Fitzpatrick ripped it out of my chest. 

There was plenty of action throughout this novel and I was hooked. The action was exciting and I was just dying to get to the end of the book to find out what happened!

And then Becca Fitzpatrick had a final huge twist for me that I did not see coming whatsoever! I don't think I remember picking up on any clues in the rest of the series but I will definitely be re-reading it at some point to see if I can spot any because there have to be some! 

The ending was sweet and heartbreaking and just beautiful. I did feel that the epilogue was slightly rushed but it was cute. I'm so upset that this series is over. It's been one of my favourites for years, but I know it's one I'll read over and over again. I have loved every minute of this series and I highly recommend it. Thank you so much Becca Fitzpatrick for writing characters that I absolutely loved and for writing such an amazing story!