29 April 2015

Bout of Books 13: Sign Up

Bout of Books
It's Bout of Books time again! I've been taking part in Bout of Books since about mid 2013, and it's by far my favourite read-a-thon. There are always so many participants and awesome challenges to go along with the reading and I always try to take part.

So if you haven't heard of Bout of Books before or you haven't taken part and want to know what it's about, here you go:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Click here to sign up.

Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Rogue by Julie Kagawa
Series: Talon #2
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Source: Publisher [Netgalley]

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Rogue picks up not long after Talon, and Ember, Riley and Wes are on the run from Talon and St. George. Garret has been taken back to the St. George headquarters and will stand trial for his new found love of dragons and he knows he will most likely be found guilty and sentenced to death.

Ember is determined to save Garret like he saved her so she convinces Riley and Wes to help her break into the St. George headquarters and rescue him - just in the nick of time. So all four of them are now on the run from Talon and St. George.

Meanwhile, Ember's brother Dante is working with Talon and he's devising a plan to try to get her to return to Talon - of her own free will or by force if necessary. He's determined to prove himself to Mr Roth who is one of the bosses in Talon. He wants to show Mr Roth that he's nothing like his sister and that he's dedicated to Talon. 

Ember is still determined to get her brother out because she's convinced if he finds out the truth about Talon, he'll come with her. She's reckless and impulsive which gets her and everyone around her in trouble quite a bit. She's also extremely confused about which side of herself to listen to - the human side or the dragon. But Ember is a total bad ass in a fight!

I'm not a huge fan of Riley mainly because of the way he acts towards Ember - it's like he thinks he owns her and I'm so not OK with that. He can be a bit of a dick, but he spends most of his time putting his own life of the line to save hatchlings from Talon, so I don't hate him too much.

Garret is a soldier down to the bone. He can't relax and is constantly paranoid about people following them because of how he was brought up and trained. He's confused about his feelings for Ember because he's been taught to hate dragons, but he's falling for her. He regrets everything he did in his past and wants to make things right.

Wes makes me laugh. He's super smart and hilariously funny, and he's the only one in the group that has their head screwed on properly!

I'm only a fan of one half of this love triangle, and that would be Ember and Garret. Ember and Garret are just so sweet and adorable when they're together. Garret is letting go of everything he's been taught to be with her and I just love the two of them together. As for Ember and Riley, I don't like how Riley thinks he has a claim to her just because she's a dragon. Sorry, but Ember is allowed to make her own choice. She's doesn't have to be with Riley just because he's a dragon.

So they gang go on the run and end up in Vegas where Riley is convinced there's someone who can help them, but Talon and St. George are already hot on their tails so they have to act fast.

The ending left me slightly upset and a little bit heartbroken. I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to happen after that part and the alternating chapters in the next book will definitely be interesting. Also, Mr Roth revealed something to Dante that's left me anxious for book 3! I can't wait to see what's going to happen now!

Overall, Rogue was a fantastic follow up to Talon. It was action packed and kept me on my toes throughout the entire book! I can't recommend this series enough, it's amazing!

27 April 2015

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #5
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Source: Bought

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends... and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

Opposition was a victim of my laziness last year and I completely forgot to review it along with a load of books that I'm slowly getting around to re-reading. But I was in a bit of a slump and Brittany suggested re-reading the Lux series since she was thinking about doing it too, so that's exactly what I did and it was exactly what I needed.

Opposition is the final book in the Lux series and picks up where Origin left off. A bunch of Luxen appeared on Earth and Daemon, Dawson and Dee disappeared off with them. These new Luxen are hostile and are hell bent on taking over the world and killing every human, hybrid and any other weird combination of the two. 

Opposition is the most action packed book of the series. Right from the get go the action starts. Katy is out buying supplies with Archer for Beth when the psycho Luxen descend on the store. Katy spots Daemon and then suddenly Dawson appears and cracks her over the head. Katy wakes up in a house full of hostile Luxen and has no idea what's going on. Dee is acting like she wants to kill her and Daemon is as cold as ice towards her. But Daemon is only pretending to help Katy and himself until there's an opening for him to escape with Dawson and Dee. But when the opportunity appears, Dee decides to stay with the hostile Luxen because she's in pain and doesn't want to feel.

So Dawson, Daemon and Katy are rescued by the last person on Earth they'd ever trust - Nancy Husher. But working with the Government is the only way they're going to be able to stop the Luxen. 

Katy and Daemon are still my ultimate OTP. Those two would go to hell and back for each other. In fact, they have been. They're so completely and utterly in love and I just adore reading about them. 

Beth and Dawson are adorable as well and they're even more adorable due to something that I don't want to mention but it makes them even cuter. 

I adored seeing more of Luc and Archer. Luc is one of my favourite characters everyone. He know everyone and he has a lot of secrets. He's hilarious and such an intriguing character. Archer reminded me a bit of Daemon, but he's less intense. He's caring, protective and hilarious.

There was a lot more fighting in this one due to the invading Luxen, but it made the book even more exciting. But it also made me slightly apprehensive because I wasn't sure whether Armentrout was going to kill any more of my beloved character. There was a lot on the line in Opposition and the gang had to team up with their most hated enemy to help deal with the Luxen because it was the only way they could get rid of them.

Opposition was an emotional ending to such a fantastic series. I could honestly read about Daemon and Katy and the rest of the character forever. I just adored them and this world so much and I was extremely sad to say goodbye to them. But, on the bright side, there's a new book in the series coming out in Daemon's POV! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for some new scenes and not just a rehash of the series in his POV. I need some of him and Katy after Opposition!

24 April 2015

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark
Series: No
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Source: Publisher [Netgalley]

Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can't imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?

The Boy Next Door was an on a whim read because I was looking for a bit of romance, and going by the cover alone, I knew this one was probably going to be a perfect choice. While I didn't love it, I still enjoyed it and it's definitely a cutesy love story.

Maddy has been in love with the boy next door for as long as she can remember. She spends every day with him, but only as his skating partner. Gabe can't imagine skating without Maddy, because with her they have a chance of winning Gold. Gabe is determined to keep his romantic feelings for Maddy bottled up, but when their coach assigns them a romantic skating routine, everything changes. It becomes apparent that they both have feelings for each other, but Gabe doesn't want to ruin his friendship with Maddy by taking the next step.

Maddy is a sweet character. She's a bit naive and completely lovestruck that she would honestly do anything for Gabe - like break off with his current girlfriend by pretending to be another girl he was with. I seriously wanted to smack some sense into this girl.

Gabe is an asshole. There's nothing remotely redeeming about him. He has feelings for Maddy, bottles them up and then when he decides to act on them, he makes her keep it a secret and constantly hides his relationship with her from everyone. What. An. Asshole.

I did really love that The Boy Next Door centered around Ice Skating. It's such a graceful sport that requires a lot of determination, strength and bravery, and I adored reading about all the different moves and lifts. 

The romance between Maddy and Gabe was sugary sweet. It was extremely cutesy and adorable, but also annoying due to Gabe being a complete asshole about their relationship. But he eventually grew some balls.

The Boy Next Door is a light and cute read that I'd recommend if you're in the mood for some adorable romance. It's a quick and easy, and I really liked it (minus Gabe).

22 April 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
SeriesA Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 7th 2015
Source: Bloomsbury Kids UK

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price.

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A Court of Thorns and Roses has left me speechless. I'm struggling to finds the words to describe it because nothing seems to convey how truly enchanting and beautifully written this book is. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses follows our main character Feyre who mistakenly kills a faerie when she's out hunting for food. A beast appears one night and gives Feyre a choice: either die for her crime, or go with him and live in his lands forever. Feyre chooses to live and is taken through the wall into the land of the fae. Feyre soons realises that her masked captor - Tamlin - is hiding more than his face. As Feyre begins to learn his secrets, her feelings for him grow - despite the warnings she's been told about faeries. Feyre is the only one who can break the curse on Tamlin and his people and she must learn to fight the curse, or doom them all.

Feyre is a stubborn, sarcastic and strong character. She's resentful - her father and sisters don't appreciate her but take the money that she earns from hunting. She has a lot of pressure on her shoulders to kepp her family alive and she lets herself be ruled by her heart.

Tamlin is a powerful, charming and sexy character. He doesn't really know how to talk to women, but he does have his sweet moments.

Lucien is probably my favourite character in the book. He's hilarious and a very comfortable character. He helps Feyre adjust to her new home and he's just a fantastic character. 

Rhysand is very dark and mysterious. I had no idea whether to trust him or not. He's extremely alluring, but he definitely had ulterior motives.

The world building in A Court of Thorns and Roses was fantastic. There was a war 500 years ago when humans enslaved to fae. A truce was eventually formed between the worlds and a wall was built between them splitting it in to two sections: North for the Fae and South for the Humans. I adored learning more about the history of how the world came to be and I was extremely intrigued to find out more about the curse placed on the Fae.

The romance between Tamlin and Feyre was definitely fiery. Feyre hates Tamlin to begin with since he took her away from her family. She doesn't feel like she can trust him, in fact, she kind of resents him. But Tamlin begins to break down his walls and lets her in, and she begins to see a different side to him. Tamlin promises her family are cared for and shows his softer side. Their chemistry was sizzling hot. They had me fanning myself and swooning. I adored them. It's a lot steamier than the Throne of Glass series. Like, a lot. There's no fade to black moments, and Sarah did a fantastic job with those scenes.

The second half of the book is where things get extremely interesting. Feyre is put through some trials and tests which were heart-pounding and terrifying. The tests played to her strengths, and also her weaknesses. But Feyre had help from an unlikely source, which made things more interesting. It added more depth to said character and I'm still unsure of how to feel about them.

The ending was captivating. Even though it was painful, emotional. heartbreaking and gruesome, I just couldn't stop reading. Even though A Court of Thorns and Roses didn't end on an soul destroying cliffhanger - like most of Maas's books - there was still a moment on the second last page that has left me desperate for book 2. Something happened to a character, and I want to know what he saw, what made him blanch and stumble and suddenly disappear! That's all I'm giving, but it's the main thing making me desperate for the next book. I'm also curious to see how Feyre adjusts and whether there'll be any complications.

Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses is an enchanting and captivating read that kept me up most of the night reading. Sarah J. Maas has worked her magic again with this spellbinding new series. The wait for the next book will unbearable.

21 April 2015

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This weeks topic is:

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

I doubt any of the names on my list are going to surprise any of you. These are authors that I rave about all the time, and I'm constantly re-reading their books or talking about them. 

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout
Jennifer L. Armentrout is probably my all time favourite author. I've completely adored every book she's written - we're just going to pretend Cursed didn't exist - whether it was Young Adult or New Adult. Her main characters are usually amazing and involve a lot of kick as females (which is awesome), but it's mainly her stories that I love her for. While her Lux series is my all time favourite, I love all of her other series and her stand alone - Don't Look Back. She's just such an amazing author and I'm pretty sure I'll love nearly every book she writes.

2. Sarah J Maas
While Sarah J Maas has only been around for a couple of years, she very quickly became one of my favourite authors with her Throne of Glass series. I don't think I've ever cried as much at a series as I have at this one, and it isn't even finished yet! Her writing style is beautiful, the worlds she creates are enchanting and she's also such a lovely person. I just adore her.

3. Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover has the ability to make me sob at every book she's ever written. I'm quite an emotional person, but the sobs she draws from me for her books are on another level. I binge read quite a lot of Colleen Hoover's book a couple of years ago, and I've been in love with her writing ever since. She's an author I constantly recommend to my friends and I'm always excited when I get a new book of hers.

4. Jay Crownover
My favourite New Adult author! Jay has this amazing ability to write extremely hard looking guys with hearts of gold. Whether it's the tattooed lot from Marked Men or the street gangsters in Welcome to the Point, all of the guys are big softies on the inside, and they've all won my heart. She's brilliant at writing chemistry and there hasn't been a single couple that haven't had that spark. Every single relationship is done perfectly and I could read her books for the rest of my life.

5. Marissa Meyer
Meyer very quickly won my heart with her fairytale retellings of some of my favourite characters. The futuristic Japanese setting, the magic and the characters are what make this series so amazing, but it's mainly the characters. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Thorne, Wolf and Kai are all fantastic characters and I love reading about their adventures together. Their journey is coming to an end this year in Winter, but this series will always be one of my favourites and I'll read anything Meyer writes now.

6. Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy and Bloodlines ruined my life. Rose and Dimitri. Lissa and Christian. Sydney and Adrian. Jill and Eddie. I devoured the Vampire Academy series back in 2013 and very quickly moved onto Bloodlines because I needed more. I've yet to read The Ruby Circle because I'm not ready to let these characters go again, but Richelle Mead's writing made me completely fall in love with the characters and their world. I can't wait to get started on her other series and I will read anything she writes.

7. Julie Kagawa
Julie Kagawa has been one of my favourite authors for years. Her Iron Fey series was my first introduction to her writing and I really enjoyed it. And then came her Blood of Eden series which completely destroyed me after book 2. And then came her Talon series. I've still to read her Call of the Forgotten series, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it too and love anything she comes out with.

8. Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo introduced me to the beautifully dark world of Ravka and some of the most interesting characters ever and I love her for that. I'll read anything she writes purely based on how fantastic The Grisha series was.

9. Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus. So far I've only loved his series involving Percy (The Red Pyramid wasn't really my thing), but I have hope for his Magnus Chase series! I've re-read the Percy Jackson series and it's one of my favourites and The Heroes of Olympus almost destroyed me with The Mark of Athena. But he will always be one of my favourites due to Percy.

10. Cora Carmack
I can't not include Cora in this list. She was one of the first New Adult authors I picked up and I followed her from the very beginning. Her Losing It trilogy and her Rusk University trilogy are books I've devoured over and over again. Inspire unfortunately wasn't my cup of tea, but she'll always be one of my all time favourite New Adult authors.

Honorable mention: J. K. Rowling (She would have made the list, but I honestly only like her Harry Potter series. I can't get into any of the adult books she's written and I'm not entirely sure whether I'll ever like anything else she writes).

What authors would make your ALL TIME Favourite list?

19 April 2015

Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Wait For You #4
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Source: Bought

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

Armentrout's Wait For You series is probably my favourite New Adult series, so as soon as Fall With Me appeared on my kindle I just had to start it. This series is completely addictive.

Fall With Me follows Roxy and Reece who we met in Stay With Me. Roxy has been in love with Reece since she was 15, but after an awkward encounter eleven months ago that left Roxy embarrassed, she's been going out of her way to avoid him. Roxy's best fried is in long term care after becoming a victim of a hate crime a few years ago. Reece informs Roxy that the person responsible for his condition has been released from prison and wants to make amends for what he did. But when Roxy starts receiving frightening messages, she suspects that this guy is the one doing it. But Reece is't convinced. Reece will do anything to protect Roxy and he'll do anything to fix their relationship.

While Roxy and Reece aren't my favourite couple of the series (I doubt Cam and Avery will ever be kicked off that pedestal) they were still fantastic together. Roxy is spunky, hilarious and quirky. She's always wearing a t-shirt with a hilarious slogan or saying on it and she totally knows how to handle herself. But Roxy is carrying around a lot of guilt about what happened to her best friend. She thinks it was her fault and she's basically trying to live his life for him and putting herself under a lot of stress. Reece is an extremely protective and caring guy. He would do anything for Roxy. But Reece is dealing with his own troubles. He's haunted by something he had to do on the job to protect himself, his partner and other people. He's still struggling with his decision.

Roxy and Reece have a lot to figure out before they can fully commit to each other. They each have their own baggage that they need to deal with and they need to try to not let it interfere with their relationship. On top of all of that, Roxy is also dealing with some psycho who has been breaking into her house, moving things around and taking pictures of her while she's sleeping. I kind of figured out who it was pretty early since there was a huge clue that Roxy completely forgot about and didn't mention to anyone. But I was still intrigued to know why this person was going after Roxy. And on top of that, the guy responsible for her best friends condition is trying to make amends, and Roxy doesn't want to hear it. She doesn't know if she can ever start to forgive him because she can't forgive herself.

I loved that there were so many re-appearances of the old characters! Cam, Avery, Calla, Jax, Jace, Tess and even Brit and Ollie all made an appearance! Avery, Calla and Tess are really close with Roxy and I adored all the girl bonding. And just getting to see them all together again was amazing. But I'm pretty sure there's something going on with Cam and Avery due to what happened with Avery at the barbeque, and I really hope I'm right about it because it would be totally awesome! I also really loved getting to see more of Katie and Nick. Katie is hilarious and I adore her quirky personality. She doesn't care what people think of her and I love her psychic abilities. Nick is hilarious, sweet and protective. He was there for Roxy when she needed him and I am super excited for his book!

Overall, Fall With Me was another fantastic installment in the Wait For You series. I'm loving this series more every time a new book is released and I adore all of the characters. I'm super excited for Forever With You because I can't wait to read about Nick and Steph! And I can't wait to see all of my favourite characters again.

Showcase Sunday #96

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. This meme allows book bloggers to show off the books they collected over the last week!

Hello everyone! It's been forever since I've done a Showcase Sunday post! I was considering backtracking and filling this with all the books I've gotten from the end of February, but I've forgotten what most of them were... Oh well! This weeks has been super busy. I've been working a lot, going to the cinema with my fiancé and also meeting up with a friend from work for dinner and a movie. I saw The Duff - which I loved - and John Wick - which was good, but got a bit boring towards the end. And next week I can't plan anything because I've been called for Jury Duty for the first time. I'm so not looking forward to it.

So bookwise, I have 3 physical books that I bought from Waterstones, The Works and WHSmith; 1 book from Netgalley and a few books from Edelweiss.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab
ADSOM was a book I'd been seeing everywhere, so I just had to buy it. I've already read it and I loved it!
After (After #1) by Anna Todd
Honestly, I can't even tell you why I bought this. I'm pretty sure I'm going to hate it, but it was everywhere and I was curious.
Breathe (Sea Breeze #1) by Abbi Glines
Breathe was an impulse buy. I was feeling a bit crap one day and picked this up to cheer myself up.

Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa
Thanks to MIRA Ink!

The Edge of Forever by Melissa E. Hurst
The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian
Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson
Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass
Thanks to Sky Pony Press, Greenwillow Books, Katherine Tegen Books, Harper Teen and Harper Collins!

What books did you get this week?

17 April 2015

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Series: No
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Source: Publisher [Edelweiss]

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

99 Days follows Molly Barlow who has just returned to her small town of Star Lake after running away to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere to escape. Her mother turned her secret into a bestselling novel, and a year later everyone still remembers. 

From the beginning I felt really bad for Molly. She'd confided in her mother only to have her turn around and write a book about her secret and admit that it was based on her daughters life, I mean, what the hell? I don't think I'd even be able to forgive my mum for something like that, especially since it caused all of her friends to turn against her and start giving her a hard time. And as soon as she returned, it started up again. Molly is a sweet character. She's extremely helpful and just wants to get through her 99 days at home before she starts college without any hassle.

So the story line of 99 days followed Molly through her summer at home where she got a job working at a hotel she worked at every summer and trying to make amends for what happened. Gabe (one of the boys involved in Molly's scandal) is happy she's returned and begins pursuing her. Molly has always liked Gabe and I think she was glad to have someone that didn't hate her. But then she runs into Patrick (Gabe's brother and the other boy involved in her scandal) and her whole world goes to shit.

I couldn't really get behind Molly at all when the whole love triangle thing started up again. She was seeing Gabe and then Patrick decided he wanted her back so started making out with her in secret while he was also dating Molly's new best friend Tess. It was messy and complicated, and I just can't get behind someone who's actively cheating and does it more than once even though she kept saying she had to stop. She wasn't just hurting Gabe, she was also hurting Tess who was one of her friends! So even though I still felt bad for her, I didn't particularly like her.

Also, Patrick had a severe attitude problem. In the flashback we got of him he seemed like a controlling, possessive asshole who wasn't too happy when things didn't work out the way he wanted them to or when Molly wanted to do something he didn't. He was a complete jerk and I honestly don't get what she saw in him to begin with or why she would even cheat on Gabe with him because honestly, Gabe was a complete sweetheart and he adored her. 

I wasn't much of a fan of the ending either. I wanted to know whether Molly would end up with Gabe or go back to Patrick, or just not bother with either of them. But it was a completely open ending with no resolution of the romance, which is what I was reading for. I was rooting for Gabe to end up with Molly (after she'd gotten some sense knocked into her), but she just drove off to college with her mum with nothing resolved. I kind of felt cheated by the ending.

Overall, 99 Days was a quick read that involved a love triangle, cheating and bad best friend behavior. I didn't really like the main character and the ending completely let it down for me.

15 April 2015

Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga #1
Publisher: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 8th 2014
Source: Bought

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

I read Wicked back in December when it was released, but I totally forgot to write any notes to write a review for it so I figured I should probably re-read it (Also, it's an Armentrout book so obviously I'd be re-reading it). 

Ivy Morgan is a college student by day and a faerie hunter by night. She's part of The Order which is a group that has dedicated their lives to protecting people from the faeries and sending them back where they belong. One night, Ivy stumbles across a faerie she can't kill and realises that something huge is going on. Enter Ren Owens. Ren knows more than he's letting on and Ivy is determined to crack him.

Ivy is a kick ass female lead. She's knows how to fight and she doesn't let anyone push her around. She's stubborn and stands her ground. She's also absolutely hilarious and completely loves food, which made her even more awesome.

Ren is a very mysterious character. He's hot, snarky, broody and charming. I couldn't help but love him. He's got a lot of secrets and knows more about what's happening than he lets on.

So Wicked revolves around the fact that their are Ancient fae's wandering around in New Orleans when they should have been locked back in their own world. Something huge is going on since more than one Ancient has been spotted and hundreds of fae have been making their way towards New Orleans. Ivy is the only one that spots what's going on, but no one believes her - until Ren shows up. And it turns out the fae are going to try to open the hidden doors that keep them locked out from Earth. 

I adored everything about the story line of Wicked. I loved the setting - New Orleans is perfect for creepy supernatural going on's and reading about Ivy and Ren wandering about in New Orleans made me even more desperate to visit - I'm dying to try some beignets! Tink was probably my favourite character in the book, he was just so hilarious! He had me laughing my ass off most of the time and I don't think the book would have been the same without him. I also really liked Val. She came across as a bit of a flake, but her and Ivy were extremely close.

Ivy and Ren had some super hot chemistry. Ivy was determined to fight her attraction to Ren until a very hot scene between them in club showed Ren how Ivy really felt about him, But even then. Ivy still fought her attraction due to a mistake she made when she was younger that led to something horrific happening. But Ivy and Ren were fantastic together.

The ending was full of action. The fight scenes were fantastic and I loved seeing Ivy get all bad ass, but then THE BETRAYAL! I never saw that coming and I was completely sidelined by that twist. And then at the very end Ivy discovered something about herself that I'd worked out half the book ago, but w/e, at least I knew I was right and it'll definitely make book two interesting!

Overall, Wicked was a fantastic New Adult paranormal read. I love that there's a bit more variety in NA appearing now and I'm hoping for some more paranormal! I'd definitely recommend Wicked if you love some paranormal and don't mind more mature romance.

13 April 2015

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Series: No
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7th 2015
Source: Publisher [Edelweiss]

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book I've been seeing around a lot of blogs over the past few months. The hype around this book has grown and grown until I just couldn't help myself any longer and I had to know why it was getting all the hype. First of all, this book deserves the hype it's been getting. It was fantastic, adorable and hilarious. And second, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ IT?

So, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows our main character Simon Spier who is gay but hasn't told anyone yet. He's been emailing back and forth with a guy called Blue under a secret identity and they can both relate to each other. But when one of his emails is discovered by his classmate Martin, Martin decides to use it to his advantage and blackmail Simon into getting him a date with a girl. So not only is Simon in danger of being outed before he's ready, Blue's identity is also in danger. 

Simon Spier is the most adorable character ever. I fell in love with him the minute he disowned his sister for not know what a Death Eater is (I've done this countless times to family and friends). His geeky, adorable personality makes him so likeable and he's also such a hilarious character. But Simon is also struggling with coming out to his friends and family. He's not entirely sure how they'll take it and he's not sure how to actually do it since he's been keeping it to himself for so long. 

Simon's friends were amazing. Abby was by far my favourite. Abby was hilarious and she always seemed to be there for Simon when he needed her. She knew exactly how to cheer him up and she was an amazing friend. Nick and Leah are Simon's BFF's that he's know for years. Leah has feeling for Nick, but Nick has feelings for Abby which kind of makes things weird between them. But they're both always there for Simon, even if Leah does kind of over-react sometimes, but Leah, Nick and Abby are all a huge part of Simon's journey in the book and they couldn't be more awesome.

I loved Simon's family too. His parents like to think of themselves as hipsters and call themselves 'cool parents', but Simon found it extremely difficult to tell them he was gay mainly because of the way they acted. His parents did have a lot to learn, but they were brilliant. His sisters Nora and Alice were amazing too. When the three of them got together they were  extremely close. I loved hearing about Simon's childhood and how they used to sing the chipmunks song together (They're called Alice, Simon and Eleanor - I almost died. It's perfect) and I just loved all of Simon's family.

And then we have Blue. I loved the emails between Jacques a.k.a Simon and Blue. They were adorable and they really helped each other. They were keeping their identities a secret because neither of them had told anyone they were gay yet and they also didn't want to change things by revealing who they were. But their emails grew more personal and it was amazing seeing both of them falling for each other without knowing who they actually were. They fell in love with each other's personalities first and it was such an amazing thing to read about. I was slightly surprised when Blue revealed his identity, but as soon as Simon met Blue, everything just fell into place and I almost cried over the adorableness of the moment. 

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Martin. When he started blackmailing Simon I didn't like him, but just like Simon, the more time they spent together, the more I began to like Martin. He was funny, goofy and could have been a brilliant friend until he went and done the unforgivable. I get that Martin was angry and confused, but what he did was wrong and it'd take a lot to forgive that.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a fantastic coming out story that revolves around friendship, family and love. It was hilarious, adorable and even though it was mostly lighthearted, it dealt with some more serious things like blackmail and bullying, but Albertalli did a fantastic job of fitting it all together and not lowering the seriousness of blackmail and bullying. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the best book I've read this year so far and I can already guarantee that it'll be on my top books of 15 list - most likely in the top 5. I've even bought myself a finished copy even though I technically couldn't afford it, but w/e, I NEEDED IT. If you haven't heard of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda yet, or you just haven't gotten around to it, I'd definitely recommend getting to it ASAP because it's such an amazing read and it'll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I can't recommend it enough. Also, it will make you crave Oreos like never before.

10 April 2015

Movie Review: INSURGENT

So before I begin my review, I just want to say that I wasn't a huge fan of the Divergent movie. I came out of the cinema after seeing it thinking that it completely sucked. So my expectations for Insurgent were very, very low. It did surprise me because it was a lot better than Divergent, but it still wasn't what I'd consider a good film.
ALSO, I'm going to include spoilers in my review because there are some scenes I want to talk about - especially the ending - so if you don't want the film ruined, please don't read this until you've seen it.

Tris was always one of my favourite book characters. She's selfless, loyal, brave, a bit headstrong, but overall, a brilliant character. In all honesty, I'm not sure Shailene Woodley was the right casting choice for Tris (in my opinion). I've never really gotten a bad ass vibe from her, and Tris needs to be a bad ass. She always seems to come across as weak and naive, and that's not Tris. I do like Shailene Woodley, I just don't think she has what was needed for Tris. 

Four is a complex character. He's got a lot of secrets and lot of things he's dealing with on his own, but I always liked him. However, I do feel like Theo James comes across pretty wooden as Four. He always seems to have the same expression on his face and there aren't many changes in his emotions. I was hoping he would have improved since Divergent, but I don't think he has.

Peter is a character I loathed in the books. I absolutely hated Peter and would have loved to see Tris kill him. But Peter saved this movie for me - well, Miles Teller is more to thank for that. Peter is an ass, but he's open about it. He knows everyone hates him and he literally doesn't care. Peter is only about doing what will save his own ass, he doesn't care what happens to anyone else. Miles brought a lot of hilarity to Peter's character and has done the impossible and made me love him. PLEASE HAVE LOTS OF PETER IN ALLEGIANT.

Caleb is another character I didn't like, mainly because he's a spineless git who deserved what he had coming to him. Ansel Elgort does a fantastic job at making me hate Caleb even more. He totally got Caleb's spineless, terrified nature down and showed that Caleb genuinely thought what he did was right (even though it totally wasn't and Tris should just disown him).

Jeanine Matthews is a ruthless bitch. She's basically killing Divergents to open her stupid box thingy to get a message and she doesn't care. Kate Winslet does a brilliant job of portraying Jeanine. She totally got her bitchy, ruthless attitude down and seriously makes me hate Jeanine. 

Uriah is very absent from Insurgent which upset me. Uriah was probably my favourite character in the series and he's basically just been sidelined. He was missing from Divergent all together and they've just thrown him into Insurgent because he's important in Allegiant. He didn't have a lot to do in Insurgent which really upset me. 

Did anyone else think that Naomi Watts playing Evelyn Eaton looked like 10 years younger than her son? It was so trippy! I kept thinking that Theo looked a hell of a lot older than Naomi and it was just so weird that she was his mother. But I like Naomi Watts and I think she did a good job as Evelyn. Her role was slightly changed in the movie because the ending was completely different from the book, but I'm sure she'll have a bigger part to play in Allegiant.

I'm going to put my hands up and say I totally forgot what happened in Insurgent. It's been about 2 years (I think) since I read it and I could only vaguely remember what happened. But there were quite a lot of scenes in the movie that were in the book, but the movie went a completely different way at the end.

I liked getting to see Amity at the beginning. Their faction looks like so much fun. Everyone is care free and gets to wear bright clothing instead of the dull colours of the other factions. It started off alright with a bit of awkward chemistry between Tris and Four after she cut her hair off, and not much happens until Eric and his buddies show up in cars that I'm totally sure were stolen from the Peacekeepers in The Hunger Games (they honestly looked exactly the same) and Peter sold everyone out to protect himself. The chase scene was pretty ridiculous because Four, Tris and Caleb were on foot and Eric was in a car - he totally could have caught them if he'd floored it!

The fight scene against the factionless on the train was pretty good. Lots of throwing people against walls and punching. I enjoyed that. And we also got to see the first reason that Caleb should never have been saved. Tris had been tackled by a factionless and she was hanging out of the train door with a knife to her throat (?) and Caleb literally just stood there watching his sister almost get killed. I would have been screaming obscenities at the screen if I hadn't been in the cinema. Tris should have punched him for that. Actually, Four should have because it would've hurt more.

Jeanine is busy fiddling with her stupid damn box trying to figure out how to open it, and obviously, only a Divergent can. So she sends Eric and the rest of the douche squad out to find them (see the Amity bit at the top) and bring them in so they can try to complete all 5 simulations (one for each faction). And it takes her forever to realise that she needs a strong Divergent, but not once does she think of Tris. And I'm pretty sure I remember Jeanine specifically hunting down Tris in Insurgent? Am I wrong? I just didn't get how she could have totally forgotten about her altogether.

So the box is the thing that's got the message from the outside world in it, and Tris eventually gave herself up to save more people from dying, and was put in the simulation while Jeanine and her TRAITOR brother watched. It was an interesting way to do it, but it still confused the hell out of me. And then we got to the point where Tris 'dies' and I'd totally forgotten about that and I don't think it even bothered me one bit. Peter wheels her out acting like his usual jackass self, Four sees her and his face still remains like stone (seriously, I got no emotion from him at all). And then they go to escape, but NOOOOO, Tris can't leave without the damn box even though 5 seconds before she was all "Let's get out of here."

The message in the box was quite a bit different from the book, which also led to the ending being completely different and left me with no idea how Allegiant is going to work. As soon as the woman finished saying "It's time to come and join us" the gates in the fence opened up and everyone started swarming towards the gates and leaving the city... I mean, what? How is that going to work with Allegiant since Evelyn took over everything in the book and no one was allowed to leave the city. It makes no sense and I have no idea how they're going to do Allegiant unless they've decided not to follow the book at all.

And then at the very end Evelyn shot Jeanine - she had it coming but I'm sad they took away Tori's big moment.

Overall, I wasn't much of a fan of the movie. It was better than Divergent, but still left me with a 'meh' feeling. Peter (Miles Teller) was the saving grace of the movie for me.

So, there you go! That's my thoughts on the Insurgent movie. I would have went a bit more in-depth about the plot but the review just kept getting longer, and longer, and I didn't want it to get overly long! So if there's something I've missed, let me know in the comments and we can talk about it there!
Also, let me know what you thought about the movie as a whole.

8 April 2015

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Series: No
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: March 24th 2015
Source: Publisher [Edelweiss]

For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder. 

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Liars, Inc. follows 3 best friends: Parvati, Preston and Max. The three of them decide to form Liars, Inc. where they provide people with forged signatures, test papers/answers and alibis in exchange for money. Preston asks Max to give him an alibi so he can head off to Vegas to meet up with a girl, and Max complies. But it turns out Preston never went to Vegas, he's missing and Max is accused of his murder. Max and Parvati work together to try to discover what happened to Preston before Max is charged with his murder.

I received an e-arc of Liars, Inc. from Edelweiss and I wanted to jump straight into it as soon as I'd downloaded it. I loved Paula's debut novel The Art of Lainey, so I couldn't wait to read her next book!

Max is a kind and caring character. He looks out for his friends and he's just a genuinely nice guy. Max is determined to figure out what happened to his best friend and he would do anything for him. Parvati was an intriguing character. I was never too sure how to take her and she was a pretty hard character to understand, but I did like her. Preston was a complete enigma. I hardly knew anything about him and all of the secrets uncovered about him and his past showed you that even the characters didn't know him.

Liars, Inc. kept me on my toes! Even though I'd kind of figured out some of the puzzle pieces, it didn't take away my enjoyment of the story. I loved discovering things about Preston along with Max and I loved trying to figure out what had happened and what was actually going on.

The ending was fantastic! I never predicted that huge twist and I couldn't believe it! Well done, Paula! You totally pulled the wool over my eyes! I was on edge during the big reveal scene and I had no idea how everything was going to play out. I was also pretty surprised with how deep the mystery and deception went, but everything about it was amazing.

Liars, Inc. is a fantastic YA mystery that will keep you on your toes and you'll be guessing until the very end. It was a heart pounding read and I absolutely loved it. It's one I'll definitely be recommending to everyone this year!

6 April 2015

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Series: No
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Source: HarperCollins [Edelweiss]

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

Dara and Nick were inseparable until and accident left Dara scarred and caused the sisters to fall apart. Nick is home for the summer and picks up a job at Funland. A young girl called Madeline Snow goes missing, and then Dara does too. Nick is convinced that the disappearances are linked and tries to piece everything together before it's too late.

Nick has no memory of what happened the night of the accident. She's such a stubborn character and is classed as the sensible, down to Earth sister.

Dara is what people would call the "fucked up" sister. She's mysterious, wants to have fun and gets herself involved in some dangerous stuff. 

Lauren Oliver's writing style has always been amazing, and it's even more beautiful in Vanishing Girls. Her writing style is so compelling that it traps you and drags you more into the story. Vanishing Girls did have a pretty slow start and I wasn't entirely sure about it, but around a third of the way in the story completely hooked me and I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going on.

It was an extremely strange story and half the time I wasn't entirely sure what was going on, but I couldn't stop reading. I never saw the twist that Oliver threw coming. Even though I was completely into the story, I just never expected that to happen. And it made the story even more amazing because of that twist. In all honesty, after the twist was revealed, I was kicking myself for not guessing it. It seemed so obvious after that. But it was brilliantly done and added a whole new level to the story.

Vanishing Girls was an interesting and intriguing read that I couldn't put down. I was pulled in by Oliver's writing and the mystery aspect of the story and it was an extremely enjoyable read.