31 October 2013

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: November 5th 2013
Source: Netgalley

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

The Naturals was one of those books that I was so excited for this year, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to get it and I'm so happy that I got approved for this one. The Naturals didn't let me down. This book was packed with twist that I didn't see coming and kept me up late at night because I was just so desperate to find out what was going to happen next. I seriously couldn't put this book down.

I adored the concept behind this book. Teenagers with powers that help solve crimes? Yes, please! I loved finding out what each of them could do and finding out more about them through Cassie.

Cassie is a natural at reading people and is recruited by the FBI for her talent. I really liked Cassie's character. She was still dealing with the loss of her mother and she can't get over it because she has no idea what happened to her. Cassie is a Profiler and she can tell you a lot about a person just by observing them and their surroundings. I loved getting to see Cassie use her powers, it was fascinating! Cassie is an extremely brave character and is determined to do anything she can to help.

Dean was definitely my favourite of the boys. He was mysterious and brooding, and he was hiding something. Something that he didn't want people to find out because they would judge him. I really felt for Dean. He keeps himself closed off to prevent anyone from hurting him. Dean was also a Profiler and he helped Cassie a lot when she was struggling.

Michael was cocky and he could read emotions (which he used to make people uncomfortable and to get his way). Michael really pissed me off and I just wish he would have backed off and left Cassie alone instead of trying to win her over! He annoyed me so much.

Lia was an interesting character. She was basically a human lie detector, but she was also a very skiller liar herself. She was extremely useful when it came to finding out whether suspects were lying or not, but she also used her power to make people feel uncomfortable. She's protective of Dean and would do anything to stop him getting hurt.

Sloane was an interesting character too. She was basically a walking encyclopedia. She was constantly blurting out facts and statistics, and I loved her. She's so smart!

The one thing I was slightly disappointed with was that we only learnt about Dean and Cassie's backgrounds. I really wanted to know what made the other 3 characters join this group and find out more about them.

I actually really enjoyed the fact that there were snippets from the killers POV. It was interesting and creepy. I kept getting freaked out reading it, but I wanted to know what the killer was going to do next so I couldn't stop!

The whole serial killer storyline was fascinating! I loved seeing everything unravel and trying to figure out who it was. Seeing all of the teens working on the case was brilliant too. I loved seeing them working together and trying to figure out what happened. I totally never guessed who it was though! It was such a shock at the end! I really enjoyed finding out what the killers motive was and why they were doing it.

I'm not too sure what to make of the ending. It was kind of a cliffhanger, but it also wasn't. There's a lot of stuff that I still want/need answers to, so personally, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's going to be a sequel because I WANT ONE!

Overall, this was such a thrilling novel. I was freaked out most of the way through this book but I just couldn't put it down! The Naturals is a book I definitely recommend and I'll be getting my hands on a finished copy when it's released!

29 October 2013

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #3
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
Source: Bought

The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson.

The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there'll be hell on Earth. Literally.

Wandering the deadly realm of Tartarus, every step leads them further into danger. And, if by some miracle they do make it to the Doors of Death, there's a legion of bloodthirsty monsters waiting for them.

Meanwhile, Hazel and the crew of the Argo II have a choice: to stop a war or save their friends. Whichever road they take one thing is certain - in the Underworld, evil is inescapable.

As soon as House of Hades arrived, I dove straight into it. It took me longer than I would have liked to finish it (that was due to decorating and work), but I loved every single second of this book. 

I absolutely adored that we got to hear from all of the demigods in this one! Percabeth, Leo, Nico and Hazel are my favourite though. I love everyone, but those 4 are my favourites. 

My main interest in this book was Percy and Annabeth's journey through Tartarus to the Doors of Death. There were so many monsters down there that I was on edge throughout their whole journey. Percy and Annabeth are so strong, but if they didn't have each other in Tartarus, I doubt they would have made it out alive. They both rely on each other so much while their down there and it just made their relationship even stronger than it was before. 

Leo has always been a favourite of mine since the first book in this series. He's just so funny! I love that Leo had a much bigger part in this one. Leo's jealousy disappeared in this one because of something that happened to him and I really hope that he'll be able to go back in the next book because he deserves to be happy!

I absolutely adore Nico! Everytime someone in this book called Nico a weirdo or something like that I got slightly angry. Nico is struggling with his own problems and we find out something about Nico that made my jaw drop and made me wonder why I'd never noticed it before! I felt so bad for him after that. 

Hazel is such an amazing character as well. She learns from Hecate that she's going to have to face someone at the end of their journey to help save Percy and Annabeth, and that she's the only one that can stop them. Hazel must learn to use her new powers before it's too late.

I really like Jason, Piper and Frank too, but I just don't like them as much as the others. Frank went through an amazing transformation in this one though.

The storyline in this one was amazing! The Argo II was constantly under attack from Gaia's monsters trying to prevent them from completing their quest; Percy and Annabeth were trying to avoid being caught in Tartarus and trying to find a way to survive and the demigods meet some new Gods and creatures along the way. There was just so much going on in this book! And there's a lot more that I haven't mentioned because I don't want to spoil it for anyone!

The ending was brilliant (and thankfully there wasn't another soul destroying cliffhanger). I can't wait for the fifth and final book - The Blood of Olympus - to come out. I'm really excited for it, but I'm sad that it's going to be the last book. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Percy!

Overall, this was a fantastic sequel to The Mark of Athena. It was packed full of action, twists and had me on edge the whole way through the book. Seriously, if you haven't read this series or the Percy Jackson series yet, you definitely should! They're amazing!

28 October 2013

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison
Series: The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #2
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: July 5th 2012
Source: Library

Performing Arts college, here I come again! Hold on to your tights!! Because I'm holding on to mine, I can tell you.

Tallulah Casey is back and ready to Irish-comedy-dance her way through another term at Dother Hall, but now that she's been officially admitted to the performing arts program, that won't cut it anymore. Especially if she's going to help raise enough money to keep the school from closing at the end of the year.

There are also some . . . distractions to worry about: The boys of Woolfe Academy are lingering about. And they are still boys, so they are still confusing.

Will Tallulah be able to test out her new snogging skills and ace her performance in this term's project, A Midsummer Night's Dream? Only time and more Irish comedy dancing will tell.

I'm absolutely adoring the Tallulah Casey series! Although it doesn't live up to the Georgia Nicholson series, it's still a hilarious and bonkers series. I just couldn't wait to get my hands on this book after reading the first one. I couldn't wait to see what was in store for Tallulah and her friends next! 

This one was just as hilarious as the first book. Dother Hall is struggling to stay open due to money problems, so the students are given a task to find a way to raise money. The students were also rehearsing for their production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. 

The book had me laughing so hard. I seriously still can't believe that Dother Hall is a performing arts college! The teachers are bonkers! They don't seem to teach anything that's useful but I suppose that's what makes this book hilarious.

Tallulah was just as bonkers as she was in the first one. After spending time with her cousin Georgia, she's learnt some new things and I just adored hearing some of Georgia's 'wisdom'. 

I adored all of the other characters in this book. Ruby is still my favourite, but Honey, Flossie, Vaisey and Jo are brilliant as well.

I have to say, Cain did start to grow on me in this one. He's still a prat, but he's alright. Alex is still my favourite though, but he's unattainable right now. Charlie is brilliant and reminds me slightly of Dave the Laugh. Hopefully he and Tallulah can be friends. 

The storyline of this one was even more ridiculous and hilarious that the first one. Cain really knows how to anger a village. I just loved everything about this book.

Overall, A Midsummer Tights Dream was a hilarious and entertaining read and I'm excited to see what's going to happen next!

26 October 2013

Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Adorkable by Sarra Manning
Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: May 24th 2013
Source: Library

Welcome to the dorkside. It's going to be a bumpy ride...

Jeane Smith's a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.

Michael Lee's a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.

They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can't they stop snogging?

Adorkable is a book I'd been eyeing for quite some time and wondering whether I should pick it up or not. After reading Debby from Snuggly Oranges review, I knew I just had to get my hands on this book asap so I reserved a copy at my library.

I'm so glad I finally got around to reading this book! It was such a cute read! I got sucked into the story and I didn't want to put it down. 

Jeane was such an amazing character. She was feisty, had an unusual style and was kind of up herself, but I just loved her. Even though she was pretentious, she was also a very likeable character. She was a blogger so I could relate to the slight insanity of always having to write a new post, but Jeane's blog was her life. She'd built a career around Adorkable and she was so mature for her age (well, most of the time). She had me laughing and smiling throughout this book and I just adored her.

Michael was a character that I started off hating but very quickly grew to love. Michael is the most popular guy in school and he really doesn't like Jeane. He's constantly bitching about her and just generally being an ass, but when he and Jeane are threw together and their relationship starts to develop, I started to really like Michael. He was a sweet and caring character. He's so lovely and he had me swooning throughout most of this book.

Jeane and Michael's relationship was an interesting one. They were together but hated each other which made for an extremely interesting relationship. I just adored seeing those two together and seeing their relationship gradually develop throughout the novel.

The storyline was a lot of fun too. I loved seeing how Jeane had built her company and what she does with it; I loved discovering Jeane and what 'Adorkable' meant to her; I enjoyed learning about Michael and I really loved seeing Jeane develop throughout the book. Jeane changed a lot from the character she was at the start of the book and it was great to see that. I also really loved how Jeane encouraged Michael to live his own life and stop letting his parents constantly monitor him. 

Overall, this was such an amazing contemporary. Definitely one of the best I've read this year. If you haven't read this book yet, I seriously recommend that you do!

25 October 2013

Blog Tour: Panic by J A Huss

Panic by J A Huss
Series: Rook and Ronin #3
Publisher: Science Future Press
Publication Date: October 24th 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Buy this book: Amazon UK; Amazon; B&N; Kobo

Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she left behind six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind.

Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together.

Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?

The Rook and Ronin series has been one of the best New Adult series I've read this year. It's full of hot and steamy scenes, but it also full of a lot of secrets, danger, twists and turns that you never see coming. I never saw anything that happened in Panic coming. My jaw dropped on countless occasions and I was on edge all the way through this book.

Discovering more about Rook's past is what I loved most about this book. I loved that we got to understand her more and found out everything she was trying to hide. Rook's past was even more disturbing and horrific than I'd thought. Everything that Jon put her through was horrific and disgusting. He took advantage of a young naive girl who had no where else to go and it made me sick when I found out what he'd done to her. Rook's life is so messed up because of him. He put her through some traumatic events that I don't think she'll ever be able to recover from.

I've always loved Ronin, but I did start to doubt him in this one. After everything that was said about him and that we were learning about him, I was actually starting to wonder whether we'd seen the real Ronin or not. But you could tell that Ronin's feelings towards Rook were genuine and he just wants to protect her. He was lying to her in and I wish he'd just told her the truth instead of trying to hide it. But I'll always love Ronin. He's so sweet and protective.

Uncovering what Ronin, Ford and Spencer did was interesting as well. I enjoyed seeing what they were part of and what they've done. Some of it was shocking but they were only doing what they thought was for the best. 

Fucking Ford was always trying to worm his way into Rook's life and I just wanted to punch him throughout this whole book. I can't believe what he kept trying to do! I hated him so damn much!

The whole story surrounding Jon and what he did was fascinating. It was so much bigger than I'd ever imagined! The big reveal at the end was brilliant and I was so happy that everyone got what was coming to them because they deserved it after all the horrible stuff they did.

I was so happy to see Rook and Ronin together at the end and I just know they have a long future ahead of them, and I hope that they'll finally be able to get on with their lives without anymore complications.

Overall, this was such a fantastic end to the Rook and Ronin series. It was full of action, suspense and so many damn surprises that I never saw coming! I absolutely love this series and I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of New Adult novels.


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About the Author
Links: Website; Goodreads; Facebook; Twitter

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

24 October 2013

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #3
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 22nd 2013
Source: Bought

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
As you may have noticed, I’ve decided to put my rating at the top of my review this time. This is so that people who haven’t read Allegiant yet will be able to see what I gave it without being spoiled. My review will contain spoilers but I’m going to give a very quick and short opinion on the book with no spoilers before my full review starts.

For the most part, I found Allegiant enjoyable. For me, it didn’t live up to Divergent or Insurgent, but it was still enjoyable. The pacing of this story was slightly slow but there was enough going on to keep me interested. The storyline definitely wasn’t as interesting as the first two books. There was definitely a lot of info dumping in this book and there was a lot to wrap my head around. The ending left me in shock and I had no idea what to do when I was finished. What happened was extremely unexpected and to be honest, I don't like how this book ended.

I debated for almost a day on what rating to give this book. It's been constantly changing and I think I'm finally happy with what I've given it. Overall, I did enjoy this book but I hated the ending. It took me a while to come to terms with everything that had happened (I'm still not fully over it and I don't think I ever will be) and the rating I've gave this book is the highest I can go. Mainly because I didn't feel this book was as good as the first two and because I didn't like how the book ended.


22 October 2013

Teardrop by Lauren Kate

Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Series: Teardrop #1
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 22nd 2013
Source: Netgalley [Publisher]

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

I can't even express how excited I was to get this from Netgalley! If I'd hadn't been in the middle of reading The House of Hades, I would have started reading this straight away! Teardrop is one of those books that I've been eagerly anticipating, and it didn't disappoint. It was full of mystery, suspense and I was hooked from start to finish.

So our main character Eureka has been through something tragic. Her mother drowned in a freak accident and Eureka wishes she was dead too. Her and her mother were very close and Eureka feels like she has nothing to live for without her. She's struggling and finding it difficult to adjust to her new life living with her father and his new wife. I felt so much sympathy for Eureka. She's not dealing very well with her mother's death and the fact that her step-mother is forcing her to do things she doesn't want to. She doesn't feel like she can tell her father how she feels without being judged or without being put on 24/7 supervision. She's trying her hardest to get on with her life, but what happened isn't something you ever forget about. But I did admire Eureka. After she received her mother's artifacts, it gave her something to live for, something to unravel. And then Eureka started to discover more about herself.

I was extremely cautious of Brooks. At the start he just seemed like a normal guy who really liked his best friend. But after that day at the beach he changed. He became more confrontational and aggressive. I couldn't work out why he'd had such a sudden change, but I just knew that it wasn't good. I was very wary of him after that. And then we found out what happened to Brooks and I just felt so bad for him. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's something that can be done to save him.

I was also very cautious of Ander. He was basically stalking Eureka so I had every right to be cautious of him. He was mysterious and strange, and I had no idea what to make of him. I did like discovering about Ander and what his role in everything was. He helped Eureka understand what was happening and how she was involved in everything. It was extremely interesting to find out his story.

The romance was the only thing I didn't like about this book. Eureka/Brooks got off on the wrong foot because of that thing that happened on the beach that lead Brooks to become and arrogant ass. Eureka/Ander was extremely rushed. Seriously, I'm pretty sure she fell in love with him the second she laid eyes on him. And then she became obsessed with him. There's kind of an explanation towards the end of the book as to why they were so attracted to each other instantly, but I just don't like them as a couple yet. Maybe they'll grow on me in the next book after they've spent some time together.

Lauren Kate's take on the Atlantis myth is what really interested me in this book and I thought her spin on it was fantastic. I was so engrossed in this story and dying to find out what was going on! Why wasn't Eureka supposed to cry? Why is there a mysterious boy stalking Eureka who knows everything about her? What does the stone that Diana left Eureka do? There was definitely a lot of mystery and a lot of questions in this book. Everything that I wanted to know at the start was answered at the end. I adored uncovering the story in the book Diana left Eureka and putting together what it had to do with Eureka. It was exciting and thrilling, and I flew through the last 50% of this book because I just had to know what was going to happen.

The ending was packed full of action and twists and I loved it! There were parts that left me shocked and sickened because some of the characters in this book would go to any lengths to do what they thought was right. But it was such a thrilling ending!

Overall, this was such a fantastic book! It was an interesting take on the Atlantis myth and was full of mystery, suspense and was just brilliant. I definitely recommend picking up this book!

21 October 2013

Blog Tour: Dark Migration by Sandra R Campbell

Dark Migration by Sandra R Campbell
Series: Butterfly Migration #2
Publication Date: August 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Purchase Links: Amazon; Amazon UK; B&N

Seanna Raines is on a journey of self-discovery. Only her search does not include college applications or finding a cool summer job. After killing Samuel Bolvayne, the ‘man’ she fears and loves, Seanna is not looking for who she is, but rather what she will become. 

Samuel spent countless lifetimes trying to forge a companion like himself, but his previous attempts were considered failures. Until Seanna. She is his first true success… and his ultimate undoing. Now, without Samuel to guide her, Seanna is lost. To survive, she needs to find out what her transformation means: super strength, the ability to smell human emotions, and an ever-increasing need to devour human souls. Seanna travels to Samuel’s earthly homeland, along the coast of South Africa, in search of answers. Here, she encounters several of his failed experiments, who claim to know the truth. These abominations lead her into a sinister world of chaos and destruction, where the birthplace of evil is revealed.

Seanna clings to the last piece of her humanity while struggling to accept her feelings for Samuel and what she has done to him. Just as Seanna embraces her fate, she is forced to choose between life as an immortal with the one she loves or sacrifice it all to save a world that does not deserve saving.

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I didn't know it was a sequel! When I signed up for this tour I had no idea it was the second book in a series (otherwise I wouldn't have signed up). It never said on Goodreads that it was a sequel when I signed up, but I obviously didn't do enough research. But, I will say that I did manage to grasp what had happened in the first book. Sandra Campbell did a brilliant job of recapping what had happened. There were times when I was slightly confused, but that's my own fault for not realising it was a sequel.

I was totally confused by what Seanna was to start with. I had no idea if she was a vampire, a demon or some other weird creepy creature. But I was very intrigued by her when I did find out what she was. She has some dark and terrifying powers, but also some extremely useful powers. I loved that we got to discover everything along with Seanna because she had no idea what she was either. Seanna was a very interesting character. She was strong, powerful and extremely dangerous. She could rip someone's head off in seconds. She was pretty badass and she was so protective of her friends. She tried her hardest to look out for them and keep them safe.

I wasn't really a fan of Samuel. Hearing everything he did from Seanna made me really dislike him. He's an untrustworthy, lying, manipulative asshole. He was so obsessed with making his creatures perfect and if they weren't, he just discarded them and didn't even give them a second thought. Everything he did to Seanna and her family was awful and he lied about it all! Sure, he may have been protective of Seanna and tried to help her, but that doesn't excuse all of the horrible things he did.

Val was a character who was constantly running hot and cold. I had no idea what was going on with him for most of the book. One minute he could be about to kill Seanna and then the next he was curling up in bed with her naked. I mean, what the hell was that all about?! Can he not sleep with clothes on? His constantly changing emotions were hard to keep track of, but I did kind of like him.

I never really understood why Seanna couldn't decide how she felt about Samuel. She didn't know whether she loved him or not. I was constantly shouting at her for being so damn stupid! After everything Samuel put her through I honestly don't understand why she doesn't hate him. It makes no sense! Sure their scenes together were hot and steamy, but I just couldn't connect with them as a couple.

The storyline of this book was really interesting. It took me a couple of chapters to piece together what had happened in the previous book and then I started to enjoy it more. I was really interested in finding out what Seanna was and what had happened to Samuel. Seanna's main power was interesting and I enjoyed seeing her use it. I was also curious about Val and what his connection to Samuel was. Kendrick provided some well needed entertainment. He was such a fantastic character. I was also extremely curious to find out more about Lucy, I was positive that there was more going on with her.

There was a lot of fighting and action towards the end which really sucked me in. Seanna is such a badass when she fights. The action scenes were slightly gorey, but not too bad.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. I'm thinking I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd read the first book as well, but I didn't have time for that. I'll get around to the first book at some point and then I may even re-read this one. I'm hoping there'll be a next book as well because after that ending, I want to know what's going to happen to Seanna!

Links: Website; Facebook; Twitter

Sandra R. Campbell lives along the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay with her new husband and weight challenged cat. She can trace her passion for the macabre back to reading Edgar Allen Poe as a child, with her pet crow, Big Fellow, by her side. She has since submerged herself in a wide range of dark literature. An avid thrill seeker, Sandra is always looking for her next big adrenaline rush, and when spelunking, climbing, diving and monster hunting fails to deliver, she turns to the creation of through-the-rabbit-hole worlds and sends her characters on their own adventures. Her first NA paranormal thriller, Butterfly Harvest, was published in September 2010. Sandra also writes children’s stories, is an active member of the Maryland Writers’ Association and the head of a MWA critique group.

19 October 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: September 10th 2013
Source: Bought

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair anymore - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's learning that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

After reading Eleanor & Park, I knew I had to get my hands on another Rainbow Rowell book. Fangirl had just came out and I'd seen so many people raving about it. And then Jess from JessHeartsBooks recommended me it and I knew I had to get it asap.

As soon as I started this book I was hooked. I loved that it was about this girl called Cath who was obsessed with a book series that was coming to an end (it brought back all my HP feels), and I could just totally relate to her. I knew exactly how she was feeling and I loved how easy it was to connect with her. Cath was a brilliant character. She really shy and going to University really scares her. It's made even worse by the fact that her twin Wren doesn't want to room with her, so Cath is on her own. I loved seeing Cath develop throughout the novel and start to become a little less shy. She starts to make friends and experience the real world for once instead of the world she writes in her fan fiction. 

Oh, Levi. Levi makes my heart melt. He's so charming and adorable! Levi manages to wriggle his way into Cath's life and he helps her a lot. He helps her come out of her shell and encourages her to live in the real world. I just adored Levi so much. Even though he did make a really stupid mistake that caused a lot of trouble for him and Cath, I still loved him.

Reagan was such an amazing character! Seriously, I love this girl. She was so hilarious and irritable, but I freaking loved her. Reagan worked really hard to get Cath to live in the real world and experience life, and she succeeded. Cath and Reagan became really close friends and I just adored their friendship. Reagan has some hilarious lines that had be laughing so hard.

I was unsure of how I felt about Wren for most of this book. She'd completely changed when she went to University, but I understood that. She wanted to experience new things and make her own friends instead of always relying on Cath. She wanted to make her own life. I understood all of that, but I didn't like the way she did it. Wren got herself into a lot of trouble and caused a lot of people to worry about her. There was something deeper going on though and that's why Wren was acting out the way she was.

I adored every single part of this story. I loved seeing Cath adjusting to University life; learning about Levi and Reagan; Cath's family problems; Cath's obsession with Simon Snow and of course, Cath's fan fiction. By the end of the book I'd grown to love Simon and Baz. The one thing I was slightly disappointed about with it was that I never got to find out what happened at the end of the last Simon Snow book! After all the build up with the snippets from the books and Cath's fan fiction, I was slightly disappointed that I didn't get to know what happened. But, oh well. It wasn't anything major, but I would have liked to have found out.

Fangirl has been one of the best contemporaries I've read this year. Rainbow Rowell has now earned a place on my auto-buy list. I'll buy anything written by her now! If you haven't read Fangirl or you haven't read a Rainbow Rowell book yet, I seriously recommend that you do. She's such a fantastic author.

18 October 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: September 3rd 2013
Source: Bought

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

I'd been looking forward to this book for such a long time! I came across it randomly on Goodreads one day and then I just couldn't wait for it to be released! I hadn't even planned on buying it this soon, but I saw it in Waterstones and I just couldn't resist (the cover is so pretty!). 

When I read the first chapter, I seriously thought that I was going to love this book. It just roped me in straight away and I was dying to find out what was going to happen to Tana, Aiden & Gavriel. But as the book went on, my interest in the characters started to disappear. The only one I was particularly interested in by the end was Gavriel. 

Tana wasn't really a stand out character. Sure, at the start she seemed like a brave and strong character, but as the book went on she started to annoy me. She was so convinced that she was doomed that she just couldn't see sense, and then she put herself in danger and everything that happened to her was her own fault. I can't really say much more about Tana without spoiling everything, but I will say that I don't get why she did that at the end and didn't just give in. It didn't make any sense to me.

Aiden is an ass. I never liked him at the start and my feelings pretty much stayed the same throughout the book. Maybe I started to like him very slightly at the end, but he's still an ass.

Gavriel is really the only character I loved. He was a crazy, insane vampire and I just adored him so freaking much. I was actually much more interested in hearing his back story and how he became a vampire. I was always much happier when Gavriel was in the story, I kind of got bored when he wasn't. He made the book much more interesting in my opinion.

The story started off on a high with that fantastic opening chapter that sucked me in. And then the rest of the book had its ups and downs. There were times when I was really interested in the story, and times I couldn't be bothered reading it anymore. I just didn't feel like I connected with any of the characters apart from Gavriel, so it was hard for me to be interested in the parts he wasn't in. It took me almost 5 days to read this book! That's a really long time for me, I can usually finish a book in a couple of hours, but this one just didn't capture my interest fully. 

However, the whole idea of the Vampires in this book interested me. There's kind of like a Vampire ruler that they have to consult which I found really interesting. I also really loved learning about how people became Vampires and reading about characters going through it. And the whole idea of Coldtowns intrigued me as well.

The last couple of chapters before the ending are really what bumped this book up a star. They were exciting and there was also a twist that was extremely unexpected and I only realised when Tana did. So it was definitely a great and unexpected twist. 

The last chapter didn't go the way I'd hoped it would, but I kind of expected it because of Tana's feelings. It kind of annoyed me, but it was an alright ending.

Overall, this was a good read. I found parts of it really interesting and other parts boring, but there was a very interesting, crazy vampire to make up for it. It definitely wasn't the best vampire book I've read, but it wasn't the worst. I'd say it's worth a read.

17 October 2013

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Series: The Darkest Powers #3
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: April 6th 2010
Source: Bought

Chloe Saunders is fifteen and would love to be normal. Unfortunately, Chloe happens to be a genetically engineered necromancer who can raise the dead without even trying. She and her equally gifted (or should that be 'cursed'?) friends are now running for their lives from the evil corporation that created them.

As if that's not enough, Chloe is struggling with her feelings for Simon, a sweet-tempered sorcerer, and his brother Derek, a not so sweet-tempered werewolf. And she has a horrible feeling she's leaning towards the werewolf...

Definitely not normal.

The Reckoning has been my favourite book of the Darkest Powers trilogy. I felt like this one was more exciting and full of twists! Plus, there was also that thing that happened at the end that made me super happy! So yeah, definitely my favourite book of the trilogy,

The Reckoning picks up not that long after The Awakening, and Chloe, Simon, Derek & Tori are in a safe house with people who want to bring down The Edison Group. 

Chloe is a brilliant character. She's such a powerful necromancer and she's such a nice person. Sometimes she's too nice though because she can never say no. She's a people pleaser which gets her into trouble sometimes.I just wish Chloe had learned to stand up for herself sooner.

Derek is still my favourite of the brothers. It was pretty obvious in this one that he cared for Chloe, but he wouldn't do anything because of Simon. Derek may be hard on Chloe, but he's always got her best interests at heart. Simon is a really sweet and caring character, but I never saw the chemistry between him and Derek.

Tori has quickly became one of my favourite characters in this series. I hated her in the first book because she was such a bitch, but then we saw why she was like that in the second book. So in this one, I finally got to see the real Tori and she was actually a really nice person. Sure she could still be bitchy, but she was a much nicer person and I enjoyed reading about her.

The whole storyline around this one revolved around taking down The Edison Group and rescuing Rae and Chloe's Aunt Lauren. There were a lot of unexpected twists and surprises in this one that I didn't expect. I was always on my toes because I didn't know what was going to happen next! It was so thrilling and exciting. 

The ending was fantastic! I loved the action and everything that happened in the Edison labs was brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat because I didn't want any of the characters to get hurt, and I wasn't sure what was going to happen because of the amount of twists that were in this book. But it was a fantastic ending.

Overall, The Reckoning was a perfect ending to this trilogy. I adored everything about it. If you haven't read this trilogy yet, I definitely recommend it. It's thrilling, exciting and full of amazing characters.

15 October 2013

Foretold by Jana Oliver

Foretold by Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers Daughter #4
Publisher: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: August 2nd 2012
Source: Bought

In the fourth Demon Trappers novel, Riley faces the final battle for humanity and Beck's heart—and Hell is the least of her problems Now that Riley’s managed to (just barely) fend off Armageddon, everything’s changed. Well . . . most things. After their passionate kiss before the big battle in the cemetery, Beck is back to treating her like a little girl, as if nothing ever happened. While she’d love to just tell him off and move on, Riley vowed to take care of Beck the way he’s taken care of her since her father’s death—but she’s about to get a whole lot more than she bargained for. When she’s commissioned to go with Beck to his hometown and help him care for his dying mother, they stumble too close to a dark and murderous secret, one that Beck fears will drive Riley away from him forever. As chaos breaks loose, Riley may be Beck's only hope for redemption... and survival.

Meanwhile, up in Atlanta, it’s quickly becoming clear that Heaven may have won a battle, but the war is far from over. Riley and Beck face a stormy future, as Lucifer's ex-right-hand-man, Sartael, proves himself to be more resilient than anyone thought. He has Atlanta in his grip and is about to begin a brutal war with the prince of Hell. As the seconds tick down toward a final confrontation, it's up to Riley and the man she loves to finally defeat their old enemy, or lose everything they've fought for.

I fell in love with The Demon Trappers series when I first started reading it in April this year. This was the first book I've read about Demon Hunters and I thought it was brilliant. I loved the characters and the constantly surprising storyline. Everything about this series was amazing, and I really enjoyed it.

Out of the whole series, I'd have to say that Foretold is my favourite. There was a lot more going on with the storyline, a lot of surprises and twists and a lot more fighting. Riley and Beck head to Beck's home town to help care for his dying mother. Beck has some secrets that he doesn't want Riley involved in, but keeping them a secret is much harder than he'd originally thought. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Sartael is still trying to fight for power and he has Atlanta in his grip. He's determined to take down the Prince of Hell. It's up to Riley and Beck to defeat Sartael, or they'll lose everything.

I still loved Riley in this one. She's so badass and strong, and she really proved herself in this one. She' also very caring and protective and will go to any lengths to protect and save the people she loves. I just love her character.

I still loved Beck too. He could still be an ass, but he was trying to protect Riley from his past. He didn't want her tangled up in it, so he was trying to scare her off. I wanted to smack him for doing that. Riley is much tougher than she looks and she could totally have handled it. Other than Beck being stupid, he was also very caring and sensitive. He was determined to prove his innocence.

The story line in this one was much more interesting. I loved finding out more about Beck and his past life. He had a really hard life when he was younger, and I felt so sorry for him. But it was really interesting finding out about his life and seeing his hometown. Something terrible had happened in his hometown when he was younger, and Beck got the blame. It was interesting to see that storyline unravel. Ori was training Riley so that she would be ready for her fight with Sartael when he finally breaks free. The demons were wreaking havoc in Atlanta, and it was inevitable that Sartael would break free.

The fighting at the end was brilliant and I loved everything about the ending. It was amazing, but I just really wanted more of Beck and Riley! I love those two together, and I wanted more! But it was still a fantastic ending to this series.

Overall, this was a brilliant novel and a brilliant end to this series. If you haven't read The Demon Trappers series, it's one that I definitely recommend giving a go.

14 October 2013

Finding It by Cora Carmack

Finding It by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #3
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: October 10th 2013
Source: Netgalley

Kelsey Summers is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Spending a few months travelling around Europe - with no parents, no responsibilities and a no limit credit card - Kelsey's having the time of her life.

But when she completely embarrasses herself in front of the hottest guy she's ever seen, she soon realises there's more to life than the next party.

What she doesn't realise is that although she's on a journey to find herself, she will end up finding The One...

Finding It has definitely been my favourite in the 'Losing It' trilogy. I was so excited when I got approved for this on Netgalley that I just started reading it straight away! I was so excited to learn more about Kelsey and meet Hunt!

The first chapter of this book had me laughing and I knew straight away that I was going to love it. Kelsey is travelling around Europe with her father's credit card having the time of her life. She's enjoying the now and trying to ignore the future and forget her past. And then Kelsey embarrasses herself in front of the hottest guy she's ever seen, and she starts to see things differently. Kelsey and Hunt go travelling across Europe together and while Kelsey is on a journey to find herself, she might just end up finding The One.

Kelsey was a fantastic main character. She had a lot of family problems and she was trying to forget something that happened to her when she was younger. She was so fully of life and she was so strong. I adored Kelsey and she's definitely my favourite female character from this series.

Hunt has to be my favourite male character (very closely followed by Cade). Hunt was so mysterious and sexy, and he had his own troubled past. He was just so sweet and caring, and I just really loved him.

Kelsey and Hunt made such a fantastic couple. Hunt helped Kelsey have a fantastic experience in Europe and she did things that she wouldn't have done without him. They were just so great together.

I loved reading about Kelsey and Hunt's journey across Europe. I loved discovering the different cities along with them and it really made me want to travel. I also really discovered learning about each of the characters. It was a slow process before they both opened up, but I really loved it.

The twist with Hunt was something I kind of had an inkling about. I wasn't 100% sure, but I did consider it. I was still really shocked when it all came out because I was so invested in them, and I didn't want anything to ruin them! But it was definitely an amazing twist.

Overall, this was such an amazing book. Definitely my favourite in the 'Losing It' series. Cora Carmack is such an amazing author and I'm really looking forward to reading more of her books when they come out!

12 October 2013

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 2nd 2012
Source: Won

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Shatter Me was a very strange and unique novel. I was extremely unsure when I first started reading it whether I would enjoy it or not. But after a couple of chapters, I got used to the odd writing style and the story completely sucked me in. 

Shatter Me follows out main character Juliette who has be locked up and hasn't spoken/touched anyone in 264 days. Juliette's touch is fatal and she was locked up for murder. The Reestablishment has decided that their way is the only way to fix destroyed world and they will do anything to keep people under control. Juliette is offered a choice and she must decide whether she wants to be a weapon, or whether she wants to fight.

I really liked Juliette's character. Her touch can kill people, and she's determined not to use it. Juliette is such a kind character and she only wants to help people. Her parents never loved her and even when she tried to help, she ended up hurting people. I felt so sorry for her because she's such an amazing character and she doesn't deserve everything she went through.

The two guys in this book were completely different and I had completely different opinions about them. I adored Adam. Adam was just amazing. He and Juliette had known each other when they were younger, and Adam always cared about her. He was such a sweet and caring character, he would do anything for Juliette.
Warner on the other hand was an ass. I hated his character the second he appeared in the book. I wanted to punch him throughout the whole book. He was so determined to control Juliette and was so horrible to her! I'm not a fan of him at all.

The writing in this book was so unique and interesting. There were sentences crossed out and repeating words, but I loved it! The crossed out sentences allowed me to get to know Juliette better and see what she was thinking. She thought a lot of things, but then said the complete opposite out loud. There were also things that she didn't want to tell people, and I loved getting to know Juliette better. It was definitely an writing interesting and unique writing style.

The storyline was interesting as well. I loved learning more about the world Juliette lives in and about her power. I was extremely intrigued to find out how Juliette got her power. I was also really intrigued by Warner (even though I hated him) and I wanted to know what he was up to.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the ending made me even more intrigued to find out what's going to happen next! I definitely need to get my hands on a copy of Unravel Me soon!

10 October 2013

Forgiven by Jana Oliver

Forgiven by Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers Daughter #3
Publisher: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: March 1st 2012
Source: Bought

Riley Blackthorne. Kicking hell’s ass one demon at a time... 

Riley has made a bargain with Heaven, and now they've come to collect.

Lucifer's finest are ruling the streets and it seems that Armageddon might be even closer than Riley imagined. But with her soul and her heart in play it's all she can do to keep herself alive, let alone save the world. Riley's not afraid of kicking some major demon butt, but when it comes to a battle between Heaven and Hell, she might need a little help...

Forgiven was a brilliant sequel to Forbidden. After everything that went down in that book I was pretty excited to see what was in store for Riley next. She has a target on her back from Heaven and Hell and Riley is the only one who can stop the battle between them.

Riley is one of the most badass characters ever. She's the only female trapper but she doesn't let that stop her. She's one of the best trappers too (which makes her even more awesome!). She's so stubborn and feisty and I just adore her spirit. She's very determined to show that she has what it takes and she has so much on her shoulders for such a young girl, but she manages. 

Beck is amazing! Sure, he can be an ass sometimes, but he's only trying to protect Riley. You could totally tell that Beck's feelings for Riley had grown and I was desperately waiting for those two to just get together! Both of them are so damn stubborn that they refuse to admit their feelings. But I just adore Beck so much. He's constantly looking out for Riley and helping her, and he's so sweet!

After what had happened in the previous book I was hoping Ori was gone for good, but no, he still managed to worm his way back. Although he did kind of redeem himself in this one I still want to punch him for what he did in the previous book.

The story line was packed full of action yet again. With Heaven and Hell on the brink of war, the demons rampaging out of control and the Vatican Hunters in Atlanta - the trappers definitely had a lot on their plate. There was never a dull moment in this book for me and I was engrossed in this book from start to finish!

Overall, this was such an amazing book and I really enjoyed it! If you haven't started the Demon Trappers series yet, it's one that I definitely recommend!