29 August 2016

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Publisher: Audiogo
Publication Date: April 3rd 2012
Source: Library
Narrator: Charlie Thurston

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round.

Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view. And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

I Hunt Killers is a super creepy book about a boy called Jasper Dent who's father is the world's most infamous serial killer. Jasper is determined to prove that he is nothing like his father, so when he is stalking the police and notices some odd things about a body they have found, Jasper is sure it's a serial killer. He joins in the police hunt to catch the serial killer in a desperate bid to shake off his fathers memory. But Jasper is struggling to get his fathers voice out of his head, will he eventually turn out like his father in the end?

I freaking loved this book! It was so creepy and fast-paced, and I just honestly loved everything about it. 

Jasper might possibly be one of my favourite characters now, he's so complex. Jasper is struggling with the two sides of himself - the side that knows what's right, and the side that his father talks to. Jasper constantly hears Billy in his head and does everything he can to block him out, but there are times when Jasper lets Billy in, and when he does, there's no limit to what Jasper could be capable of. 

The story line revolves around a serial killer copying Billy Dent's killings from when he first started. The serial killer - The Impressionist - is copying the way Billy killed and placed his victims. He's even copying their initials and loosely interpreting their jobs as well. Jasper is determined to find out who is copying his father and put a stop to them.

I Hunt Killers had some seriously creepy moments, and I honestly couldn't work out who the killer was! I spent the whole book wracking my brain trying to piece everything together, and it turns out I didn't even suspect this person at all! I did enjoy getting the snippets from the killers POV and getting an insight into what they were up to and what happened when they realised the police were onto their victims. 

The ending was fantastic and after the big showdown with the killer, Jasper was in for an even bigger shock which left me dying to move onto the next book!

I Hunt Killers is a fantastic YA mystery novel! I completely adored everything about it and I'm sure the whole of the Jasper Dent trilogy is going to become one of my favourites.

25 August 2016

Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Series: No
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 2nd 2013
Source: Audible
Narrator: Erica Sullivan

They Said It Was An Accident...

Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:

You're welcome.

Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren't the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer's every move...

Truly Madly Deadly was the next book on my July mystery/crime/suspense spree! I'd had this one sitting on my phone for ages, I think I downloaded it from audible a few months ago and forgot about it, so this one ended up next on my listen to list!

Truly Madly Deadly follows high school student Sawyer Dodd who's boyfriend Kevin died in a car accident. One morning, Sawyer opens up her locker and finds a green envelope. Inside the envelope is a note with the words 'you're welcome'. Sawyer panics and begins to think that Kevin's death was no accident. Someone must know what Kevin did to her and got him out of the picture, and that same someone is now taking out everything and everyone that could harm Sawyer.

The whole story of this one felt a bit amateur and kind of childish. The narrator didn't help either, she had a pretty childish voice and the characters all sounded whiny. But, the tone of this book just came across way too childish and it didn't create any suspense for me at all. I was intrigued to find out who was leaving Sawyer notes and why they were doing what they were doing. Even when it came to revealing who was behind everything, I wasn't surprised. It'd been extremely obvious to me for quite a few chapters and I basically gave up caring after that.

Overall, I didn't particularly enjoy Truly Madly Deadly. It was OK, but probably not a book I would recommend. 

22 August 2016

Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie

Trust In Me by Sophie McKenzie
Series: No
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: September 11th 2014
Source: Kindle

Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy's sister, Kara, they've always told each other everything.

Or so Livy thought.

So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.

Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend's private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.

I picked up Trust in Me right after reading He Will Be My Ruin because it was on offer on kindle, and again, had the same sort of premise. I probably shouldn't have jumped into this one right after reading such an amazing book, because although this was a good book, the story just didn't live up to what I knew it could be.

Trust in Me follows Livy who turns up at her best friends house one afternoon and finds her lying dead on her couch. Julia had always been someone Livy could relying on ever since the death of her sister Kara, so when Livy finds her, she just can't believe that Julia would take her own life. Livy sets out to try to prove that Julia's death was murder, but Livy doesn't realise what she's getting herself into. 

The actual story line for Trust in Me was a bit boring, predictable and a bit too dramatic. Livy's husband has cheated on her before, and this is basically all Livy focuses on throughout the whole book. Even though it's been years and she'd forgiven her husband, she basically believes everyone else over him, even if he tries to prove it to her, and is determined to ruin her marriage. Parts of the story felt a bit far-fetched as well. Like, going to an agency to hire a girl to chat up your partner to see if he cheats? I mean, really? And the fact that Julia hid the guy she'd been dating for months and agreed to marry from everyone?! It just seemed a bit too unbelievable.

That being said, I did enjoy parts of it. It was a quick read and I did like getting to see Livy digging into what Julia had been looking at, and it turns out that Julia had been investigating Kara's murder and thought she'd found the killer. So that added a bit of spice to the story.

There were also chapters from the killer's POV and you got to get into their heads and see how they thought and see exactly what they'd done over the years. So that was pretty interesting.

The ending was a bit of a surprise. I never saw it coming at all! I enjoyed getting to see everything come to a head and find out exactly what had happened.

Trust in Me is a decent mystery novel and a very quick read. It was enjoyable, but also a bit predictable and made me roll my eyes more than once. If you're looking for a bit of mystery and something quick to pass the time, I'd recommend this one. 

18 August 2016

He Will Be My Ruin by K. A. Tucker

He Will Be My Ruin by K. A. Tucker
Series: No
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Source: Audible
Narrator: Kate Rudd and Olivia Song

A woman who almost had it all...

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation...

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

I've read quite a few of K. A. Tuckers books (The first two books in her Ten Tiny Breaths series and her Burying Water series - which I loved!), so in July when I was feeling like something kind of mystery/crime and I was looking for a new audio book, I came across He Will Be My Ruin. The premise sounded exactly what I was in the mood for so I grabbed it and started listening straight away, and I was hooked. I honestly couldn't put this book down. I wanted to constantly listen to it and even ended up sitting in the house with my earphones in listening to it and ignoring my fiance... It was too good!

So, He Will Be My Ruin follows Maggie Sparkes as she arrives home from doing charity work to deal with the death of her best friend Celine. Maggie is packing up Celine's apartment and getting all of her art collection prepared to sell when she comes across some things Celine had hidden away. Maggie begins to question Celine's death and begins to wonder if her best friend really did kill herself, or whether she was murdered because of something she found.

The whole storyline of He Will Be My Ruin was just the fresh kind of story I was looking for. I'm not really a big reader of crime/mystery/suspense novels, but the whole of July this year was basically taken over by them. An apparent suicide, hidden notes, secrets and lies, this book just had everything going for it.

Maggie was a bit of a hit or miss main character, but I did like her. She was strong willed, and never let anyone boss her around. She was determined to prove that her best friend wouldn't have killed herself. Maggie knew Celine, and she just knew there had to be some other reason for her death. Maggie basically stopped at nothing to try to uncover what happened to Celine. I admired her loyalty to her best friend and her determination to get justice for Celine.

Celine had a lot of secrets, and although her main one was extremely obvious, I still enjoyed seeing the story progress and seeing Maggie uncover Celine's secrets and seeing how she dealt with them. Maggie thought she knew everything about Celine, so it was hard for her to come to terms with Celine's other life. 

There is a bit of romance, but it definitely doesn't detract from Maggie's main focus. There's two pretty hot guys and Maggie has been away for a while, so I'm not surprised she made use of the opportunities they presented. 

And when it came to trying to work out what was going on, I was constantly changing my mind. I couldn't decide what I thought had happened, and I only managed to completely figure it out right before the book took a dramatic turn at the end! But oh my, what a roller-coaster! I'd had my suspicions, but I just couldn't get my mind to settle because there were so many red herrings!

Overall, He Will Be My Ruin was a fantastic mystery/suspense novel. It's honestly one I'll be recommending to everyone, and K. A. Tucker has just rightfully earned herself a spot as one of my favourite authors, and I will definitely be buying whatever she comes out with next!

15 August 2016

Do You Remember the First Time? by Jenny Colgan

Do You Remember the First Time? by Jenny Colgan
Series: No
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: April 11th 2013
Source: Bought

Life doesn’t have a rewind button. Ever wished it did?

As her best friend Tashy cuts into her wedding cake, 32-year-old Flora realises she is disillusioned with life. Suddenly, her well-paid job, cosy flat and stable relationship with sensible Olly don't amount to a whole lot. Flora wants to be 16 again. She closes her eyes and wishes. Her wish has come true.

Waking up the next morning is a shock. But now Flora has the chance to right some wrongs. Trading crows feet for pimples, love handles for a torso Britney Spears would kill for and dull dinner parties for house parties where White Lightning and snogging are the order of the day, Flora revels in a life where things are far less complicated and just much more… FUN.

It's not all laughs though. Will what she does change the future? How can she get back to the present and her ordinary life? And does she even want to?

Do You Remember the First Time? was an 'on a whim' purchase because it was on offer for kindle. The storyline sounded extremely intriguing and unusual, so I just had to get it. And it turned out to be a pretty enjoyable read!

Flora is beginning to realise she is unhappy with her life. Her job and her relationship with Olly aren't making sense to her any more. So,, when her best friend Tashy cuts her wedding cake, Flora closes her eyes and wishes she was sixteen again. The next morning, Flora wakes up and she's sixteen again! But, it's only her, her mother and her father that have changed ages. Everyone else in Flora's life stay the same, and Flora has jumped back a month before Tashy's wedding. Flora has a second chance to change her life, but what does she want to do? And will Flora get back to the present, or will she be stuck to live her life from sixteen again?

I wouldn't exactly call Flora a likeable main character, but she was definitely interesting. She was unhappy and just going along with the way her life had turned out, but then she magically got a second chance at being sixteen. Sixteen year old Flora could be extremely selfish at times, but she also had her selfless moments that started to make me like her. She was funny, and it was extremely interesting seeing a 32 year old in a 16 year old body.

The story line was easy to follow and it basically gave Flora the opportunity to think about her future and decide whether she wants to keep it the way it is, or whether she's going to use this chance to change her future. Does she really love her job? Is Olly the right guy for her? Flora has a lot of decisions to make about her own life. She also takes the chance to try and rebuild the relationship between her mother and father, and she tries to see whether she can fix them. 

The ending of the book wrapped up nicely and ended exactly how I would have expected it to. It was a fun and interesting read, and I really enjoyed it.

11 August 2016

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Source: Gifted

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

Brittany was lovely enough to send me a signed copy of Rebel Belle when Rachel Hawkins did a signing near her, and we decided to buddy read it since we hadn't done one of them in a while. I failed at the buddy read and finished two days later than Brittany due to my iZombie obsession (I freaking LOVE that show!). Anyways, Rebel Belle follows Harper Price. Harper is a perfectionist and has been looking forward to being crowned Homecoming Queen. But after she finds herself in the middle of a fight in the school bathroom, she becomes a Paladin - an ancient guardian with awesome fighting skills. And, on top of being an ancient guardian, it turns out her task is to protect David Stark - Harper's least favourite person ever.

Rebel Belle was a really funny, light and enjoyable read. I really liked Harper. Even though she could be very over the top sometimes when it came to being perfect, she was an extremely likeable character. She doesn't really want to accept her role as a Paladin to begin with - but who would? - and she struggles with the fact that if she does, she'll basically have to give up her life and her plans to protect David. She's also struggling with people comparing her to her sister, and she's desperate to do something that will make people see her as herself.

I really love the story-line in Rebel Belle. I loved getting to see Harper train to become a Paladin. She could be so fierce when she wanted to be! I also actually just loved getting a glimpse into Cotillion and all that kind of stuff. I never really understood Cotillion, but I did love reading about it and seeing how much it meant to Harper. Getting into the whole Paladin/Oracle story was extremely interesting. Hearing from David's aunt about how it all came about and why male oracles are hunted was intriguing and I loved seeing them uncovering more about themselves.

Romance-wise, Harper's boyfriend Ryan has to be one of the most patient guys ever. Harper was constantly disappearing and lying to him, and at one point, she actually attacked him (not entirely her fault). But if I'd been him, I'd have given up on Harper loooong before he did. However, I did really love her relationship with David. It was obvious the had chemistry, but they were so focused on hating each other and then sorting out the Paladin/Oracle thing that it took a while for them, but I did really love them together.

The ending was slightly predictable, but also extremely intriguing as it left off in a situation that is probably going to be super awkward! I really need to get my hands on Miss Mayhem!

8 August 2016

Head Over Heels by Holly Smale

Head Over Heels by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #5
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Publication Date: April 7th 2016
Source: Netgalley [Publisher]

Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.

She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs. 
She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies. 
She knows that both chess and snakes and ladders were invented in the same country.

And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go.She’s got it ALL planned out. So her friends seem less than happy, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen! If only everyone else would stick to the script…

But is following the rules going to break hearts for GEEK GIRL?

Head Over Heels was another fantastic installment in the Geek Girl series. Ever since I read the first book back in 2013, it became one of my favourite series and I'm always dying to get my hand son the next book to see what Harriet is up to next!

Oh how I adore Harriet! She's so funny and awkward, and she just makes these books so easy to read and love. Again, I loved her constantly spouting facts and just being her general geeky self. She just makes these books so funny and I adore her.

Harriet is a serial planner, and she decides to take it into her own hands to plan all of the meetings with her friends. She has everything mapped out and tries to make all of her friends follow her plans, but her friends are less than happy with her. Also, Harriet finally does something unselfish for once! Go Harriet! Wilbur is in a bad place and Harriet does whatever she can to help him out.

Harriet is still getting over 'Lion Boy' - who I was hoping would appear - but there's also a new relationship brewing that Harriet can't see. She was so oblivious and it was so obvious to the reader and I just wanted her to figure it out!

I adore all of Harriet's friends, and I loved that Rin made an appearance in this one too! She was brilliant in Model Misfit, so I loved getting to see more of them together.

I need the sixth book like now! Harriet is going to have an amazing time in Australia, and I'm anticipating a Nick appearance? Yes? GIVE IT TO ME NOW.

4 August 2016

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Series: No
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens
Publication Date: May 5th 2016
Source: Bought

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Morgan Matson very quickly became one of my favourite authors after I read Amy & Roger. It's still one of my all time favourite books, so whenever she has a new book coming out, I need to get a hold of it ASAP. So I picked this one up in London and read a third of it on my flight back up to Glasgow. It's the perfect summer read, and I completely adored it.

The Unexpected Everything follows Andie. Andie has her whole summer planned out. She's heading off to do her pre-med internship to get herself away from her dad and all of his political business. But when a political scandal costs Andie her internship, both her and her dad will be spending summer in their house together for the first time in years. Andie is determined to find something to do with her summer, she comes across a vague job advert which leads to her walking dogs for the summer. After a run in with a super cute guy and his dog, Andie begins to let herself go and finally start to loosen up. 

The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read. Andie doesn't like to get too attached to any guy she dates. She keeps everything low key and doesn't get too personal with them. She was struggling with putting on a perfect front around her father when she hasn't spent quality time with him in years. She's harboring a lot of hate towards her father and isn't looking forward to spending the summer with him, I really liked Andie, although she did have her moments when I'd have loved to shake some sense into her. She's been struggling ever since her mothers death and because her father was absent, she built up a lot of resentment towards him. 

I completely adored Andie and her best friends: Palmer, Bri and Toby. I adored getting to see the four of them together. They were so close and I just loved getting to see them hang out. Their text conversations were hilarious! Especially Toby with her emojis! 

So obviously it's never a contemporary without a bit of romance - enter Clark (cute guy with dog). Andie runs into him a couple of times when he's out walking his dog and he calls the dog walking company that Andie works for in the hopes of seeing her again. They don't get off on the right foot during their first date because of all of Andie's rules, but as the summer goes on, Andie begins to loosen up and their relationship blossomed. I completely adored Clark. He was slightly older than Andie, and he was a published fantasy novel author! He was just so adorable and awkward, and super sweet. I loved them together.

I also loved getting to see Andie and her dad rebuilding their relationship. At first, it was very strained between them and neither of them knew what they were doing. But as the book progressed and they began spending more time with each other, their relationship began to rebuild itself. Her dad was determined to do whatever he could to get to know his daughter, and he realised how much his political career had been affecting them both.

The bromance between Tom (Palmer's boyfriend) and Clark was brilliant. They hit it off straight away - mainly because Tom is a totally fanboy and loves Clark's books - but also because they had so much in common. It was really nice to see Tom with a friend since he's around the girls so much. He finally had someone he could goof around with.

The scavenger hunt was probably one of my favourite parts of the whole book. It was just a lot of fun and it made me want to get all of my friends together and do something like that. It just looked so amazing.

The Unexpected Everything was an amazing summer read. Matson did it again! I'll probably re-read this one every summer along with Amy & Roger. I completely adored it.

1 August 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Source: Bought 

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court – but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms – and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future – and the future of a world cleaved in two.

A Court of Mist and Fury was probably my most anticipated release of 2016. I read ACOTAR waaaay back in November 2014 and I have been DYING to get my hands on it for quite a while. 

So, ACOMAF picks up after Feyre has defeated Amarantha and headed back to the Spring Court with Tamlin. She is determined to show her people her strength, but Tamlin wants to protect her and keep her safe.

My feelings towards Tamlin began to very quickly change. He was being extremely controlling and was suffocating Feyre. The minute he blew up and destroyed the study was the moment my feelings did a complete 180 and I ended up hating him. I couldn't believe how he was treating her, and no matter how many time she tried to explain how she felt/get him to allow her some freedom, he locked her down again. And the ward to keep her in the house? Don't even get me started.

Now Feyre on the other hand, to begin with she had completely changed. She was becoming complacent with how Tamlin was treating her and I couldn't believe this was the same girl who had taken down Amarantha. She had completely lost her badassness and I wanted to shake some sense into her. However, once she had managed to escape from Tamlin, she started to blossom. She became the badass Feyre I knew and loved.

Now Rhys was the character I was most looking forward to getting to know. He was so mysterious in ACOTAR, and his very abrupt disappearance at the end left me extremely intrigued and I couldn't wait to find out more about him. Rhys uses his deal with Feyre to get her out of difficult situations and give her some breathing space, but when it really matters, Rhys gets her out for good. I completely adore Rhys. He's alluring, confident and a bit of a jackass, but he's just totally amazing. He's got a sweet side to him that he hides as it allows him to appear fierce and be feared, so that he can keep people from finding out his secret.

So Feyre and Rhys's relationship was my favourite part of the book. The chemistry between them was unbelievable. Their banter was basically what I lived for. I adored how they complimented each other and how Rhys wouldn't take any of Feyre's shit and made her see she didn't need to be a wallflower. He gave her opportunities and allowed her to embrace her power instead of hiding it. 

I also adored the rest of Rhys's Night Court. Cassian, Azriel, Mor and Amren were all amazing. I loved their dynamic and how they just accepted Feyre as one of their own, and I just loved them all.

The whole "trying to stop the bad guy from taking over the world" storyline was done extremely well. There was a hell of a lot of action, and I just adored going on adventures with Feyre, Rhys and the rest of the Night Court. 

And then there was the ending... OH MY GOD. OH MY GOOOOOOD. Like, I did not see any of that coming AT ALL. Not only was it an extremely shocking ending, it left me completely bawling my eyes out. It ending in such a cruel and heartbreaking way, and I just desperately NEED to get my hands on book 3!