The Young Elites. Marie Lu.

nullThe Young Elites by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the space of a few hours, perhaps not even a few of which belonged to a portion of the long and difficult to endure car trip, I flew right through this. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve really been engaged in a world. I’m glad I finally decided to start reading this. The Young Elites does have its flaws, but on the whole I enjoyed it. There wasn’t really a moment, action or event that did not have a motivation. Although I don’t love Adelina’s character in all I did and could sympathise with her. My favourite character might just be Raffaele. Also there are scenes in this book that are really dark. At one stage I was reminded of Poison Study. Although there is something that nags me (I will say that the switching perspectives in TYE at least was not as pointless as those in Kimberley Derting’s The Pledge) is the switching perspectives. Adelina is written in first person while the others in third. I didn’t hate it but, well.

Overall, good. I want the next one!

**P.s.**  Sorry it’s so short, I wrote it while on my phone in the car as mentioned above lol

View all my reviews

Other Worthy and Brilliant Reviews:

Throne of Glass. Sarah J. Maas.

13519397 7896527

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to begin?

When I started reading this, I was hit by the style of writing. That was the first thing that struck out at me prominently. The second thing was Celaena’s obsession with how beautiful the Crown Prince was and also, the fact that Chaol Westfall already looked like a really interesting love interest. And the third, well, it’s really hard to overlook an arrogance like Celaena Sardothien’s.

The Plot

So….let’s begin with the plot. The Premise:

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness. In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

I won’t lie, I thought part of it, no most of it was predictable. Even when Maas attempted to divert my attention and look at someone else. I just couldn’t help but think at that moment, was that really necessary? It seemed highly farfetched to me, what Celaena thought when she let worked herself into a paranoia about her friend. I sadly, did not believe it or her in that moment. And yet. Without it, Celaena would have seem too ‘Mary Sue’. But coming back to Celaena in a moment, let’s talk about plot. Asides from being somewhat predictable (to the extent where I was looking in between the lines for something more, another plot twist thrown my way and found nothing) that doesn’t mean it’ll be boring to read. In fact, I rarely place a lot of emphasis on plot twists and predictability because surprise surprise, but I actually believe that in order for a piece of writing to be good and enjoyable read, it requires a strong voice, good characters – likeable or not – and presence. The plot was predictable, but it was written well, and it was engaging. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I also let myself flow into the story, and let Maas tell me in her own time what happens. Love Triangles. Yes, I shall bring your attention to the one thing that is seen much too often in YA. Love triangles. I have plenty of issues with these because most of the time, my eyes do somersaults the more I have to read about the love of two men for one girl. Over the years of reading, I have somewhat come to like them because of some more interesting and actually quite affecting love triangles which actually feel decent and real. The one in this book though…fell short of that and this isn’t spoiling much since the back of the book, as well as the first few pages pretty much promote a love triangle. Or at least, it hints at love between Celaena and two different characters. In saying that though, I didn’t like it all, the love triangle, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love the characters. I loved them. I truly did. I love how each character was, but I hated (well mostly) how the triangle developed. Each character was perfect on their own, and I felt it was completely unnecessary to throw them into one. On one side, the relationship between Dorian and Celaena was great at times – I liked how it was – and then at other times it felt forced and unnecessary. The other side of the triangle though, Celaena and Chaol, well, nothing really happened yet plenty did. And to which there is evidence of a great love coming – a great love with layers. Of course, it’s clear I’m all for Chaol, and since I’ve only read Throne of Glass, who knows what will happen between the three in the other books?

The Characters

Celaena Sardothien has a name that sometimes I wish I could strangle her for. It’s a mouthful that I always forget how to spell. But undoubtedly, it has a ring to it. Suitable for Ardalan’s Assassin. She’s kickass. She’s arrogant. She loves pretty things. She has pride. She’s beautiful – well used to be before she was sent to the salt mines in Endovier. She’s pretty much it. The pride of all female assassins. I loved her. Some other reviewers felt that she was hard to connect to. As a reader, I agreed. But when you think about it, think about Celaena’s story, even speculate on her past (which was only briefly revealed in this novel) then you’d wonder, why is she so hard to connect to? Why is she so arrogant? Why is she so prideful of her work? She’s an assassin. For the first book, I did not need her history, not yet, I needed an engaging character and story that will entice me to continue the series. And Maas gives me that. She gives me Celaena Sardothien with her cold ways. Whether she likes killing or not, she’s been trained since she was 8 to kill for her pay. This is the world she has come to know, and the fact that she’s so prideful about being Ardalan’s Assassin and essentially, being the best makes her, in my opinion, a very interesting character. And so I want to know more about her. Just like I wanted to know more about Saba in Blood Red Road. Of course, Celaena is nothing like Saba, like she is nothing like Katsa from Graceling. And yet both Saba and Katsa were strong heroines, and both sort of fell a little in my eyes at certain moments. Celaena though…the lowest point for me was her relationship with Dorian. I couldn’t help but think….really????? I think because they had ‘something’ it ended up clouding my opinion of Dorian’s character – and which, I hope to see more of in the second book, because he seems really interesting….when he’s not thinking about Celaena.

Which brings me to Prince Dorian whose last name escapes me, and scanning through many reviews, somehow…his last name escapes everyone, which makes me question if I was actually told it in the first place? I probably had read it, but with my mind all over the place, I’ve forgotten. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Prince Dorian is the prince of this fairytale retelling – you know I learnt from a friend that this was first written in an online writing site, so I went and did a bit of research, and found my eyebrows shooting to the sky when I learnt this was a fairytale retelling of ‘Cinderella’. In comparison to Cinderella, I do love this a whole lot more. Kickass Cinders, hell yess! And the Prince, despite his almost insta-love for Celaena proved, or at the very least intrigued me throughout the course of the book. When he was not ogling and thinking of Celaena, and actually was doing other things – not often by the way – then I was really interested in him. I was intrigued by his character, and I really want to know more about him. Just not with Celaena. I really don’t have to repeat it do I? I find Dorian I whole heck load full more interesting as a sole, individual, developing character. I want to know more about him. And if he must love Celaena, I want and feel that he can possess more than the shallow seeming feelings I saw of him in Throne of Glass. Is that harsh? I guess. But in Prince Dorian, I can already see a man who is someone a whole lot more interesting than the ‘Prince Charming’ in the old classic fairytale. And that, looks very interesting to me!

But interesting…in terms of love interest is Chaol Westfall, the dashing, grumpy bums Captain of the Guard. Pretty much seems like Celaena’s equal upon his introduction – the whole, I was appointed young kind of thing, just like I became the best assassin when I was young etc. At first, Chaol clearly hates Celaena and what she stands for. He’s a good person, he has morals, everything that an assassin shouldn’ have. And he’s also darkly dashing, not like the flippant seeming Prince either. No, Chaol is he kind of love interest I love dreaming about, but do not always love. Because a lot of the time, the dark, dashingness of a man gets taken away by the sappy love stuff. Well with the exception of Valek in Poison Study and probably a few others who I can’t name because they don’t stand out. But yes, Chaol doesn’t come off as cheesy. No. His interaction with Celaena has the basis for a great love story, but the thing is, like Celaena and Dorian, it’s kind of a little forced. I won’t lie though, I loved it. Every moment they interacted, I just wanted more. Because the relationship that Celaena and Chaol have is slow, a building kind of love. In saying that too, I want to point out my earlier point about the love triangle that this book would have been fine without. I might like Chaol and Celaena together, but Chaol as a character, was wonderful on his own. He is so…I feel like with Dorian, I want to know more about Chaol. I want to see more of him, explore his history, get to know him. Just like how I also want to see more of Celaena’s history, and Dorian’s. I want to see them grow. Normally I would like character development in the books I read, but in TOG, it’s more, you see what needs to be developed, and in the books to come, it’s what I’ll expect kind of thing. I have so much high expectations now for these three main characters, I’m dying to read the sequels just because I want to see these three characters develop. Because each of them I know, has PLENTY of developing space.

Lastly, characters-wise, I want to briefly talk about the others. Lady Kaltain Rompier has rarely been brought up in others’ reviews. Not surprising, since she’s not the main character. Not only that, she’s quite, well, ambitious throughout TOG. And she seemed weak. BUT. I feel that she’s a character that I would really, really, really, like to know more about. Side characters always fascinate me. Even though they are only side characters, like the main characters, I feel like their stories are very important to the overall whole. With Main Characters, you know that they’re going to do something great, or they’re part of some great story, something will happen with them. But with side characters, sometimes they’re important, sometimes they’re not, the ones who are given an important place, who have stories to add to the bigger story and not just hovering in the background, used as fillers by the author, fascinate and intrigue me. Lady Kaltain Rompier was one of those. Nehemia too, though for her, though I sense her role in the story will be as big as Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian, as of yet, I can’t comment on her. For a character, I don’t want to. Mostly because I have yet to formulate a feeling about her and intend to reserve my judgment for later, since while she’s cool and all, I feel like she was barely touched on in this novel. Lady Kaltain though, after what happened with her, I was fascinated, I felt for her, even though she had been overly ambitious, I felt for her, and wanted to know what happens to her next. The King and Perrington surprised me, though I had guessed, I hadn’t guessed that much. But like with Nehemia, I’m waiting for the next sequel (of which I have yet to get my hands on) to make my judgment on them.

Overall, there is a colourful cast of strong characters. Each character, even the King and Perrington (hopefully) have many layers for me to peel back. Because that’s one of the other things I look forward to when I read a book, to see how complex a character can be.


So remember at the start how I comment on the writing being a shocker? Well, when I read the first page, I was shocked. The writing style was so familiar to how I usually see people rping in the rp groups on Goodreads (the more detailed ones). Particularly when Celaena was thinking about how beautiful Dorian was when she first saw him at the very beginning of the book. The familiarity struck me so badly, I was well a little stunned. I had been expecting heavier, denser writing. Or at least writing that was different. I have read quite alot of fantasies, quite a large number of them are high fantasies, with lots of intense world building, or intense characters and political affiliations. Take Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book of that trilogy, and leading on to a sequel trilogy. I will not hesitate to say just how much I loved her books. I loved her story, I loved the way it was told. Sure the whole first book focussed on FitzChivalry’s life from the very beginning, it would seem slow going for others, but to me, I loved the way in which she built up FitzChivalry’s character. Every moment was important, and it wasn’t just the events, it was her way of telling the events. No one can possibly replicate what she did there, and she is perhaps the one of few authors I believe who can weave a story in such a way. That is until I read Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Creature Court Trilogy beginning with Power and Majesty. Gawd, I nearly died with how epic that was. But you see here, both these books are shelved as Fantasy, Adult. So much more complicated, and with a writing style that completely takes your breath away with story. Let’s see, in YA, Kristin Cashore’s Graceling and Maria V Snyder’s Poison Study are two books that can be compared to TOG. Both have assassins, though in Poison Study it was the love interest that was the assassin and not the main protagonist. But yes, these boks ae comparable. And while writing is not particularly spectacular in a hardcore epic literature kind of way, they do capture my attention, and also capture the emotions of the characters in their stories. Sarah J Maas though, is different. Her writing style is very casual, not explicitly ‘epic’ but not bad either. It takes a while getting used to the separate thoughts that come out of Celaena’s head, specially the ones in italics usually admiring the Prince’s beauty. I didn’t love her style of writing excessively, but there is potential there, and I’m interested to see how her writing develops over the next few sequels. Because by no means do I have any plans of not finishing this series. I love epic fantasies, and even if I have some negative thoughts about this series, overall, the positives outweight them!


I can list plenty of fantasies that might be better than this one. Assassin ones too. I mean my favourite all time assassin book is Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows and also Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice. They was just *drool!* but unfortunately a male protagonist (which is not my favourite perspective to read from but hey, but the end of the series, I couldn’t not love it). And in comparison to that, it’s hard for me to compare others. Which is why I don’t. As of this moment, after reading and spending several hours to type out my thoughts here in this Suggestive Read (because I don’t call them reviews on my blog! Check it out : Words That Flow Like Water ) I realised, I want, now more than ever, to read the next one, and the following, because there’s so much more to explore in this world. So much more of Celaena to get to know, and see. Arrogant and dislikeable (though I loved her personally) she’s pretty awesome. And then there are the hints of plots, subplots going on which need to be explored! So, I have no plans of stopping here. But I do realise that not everyone loves a protagonist like Celaena. The thing is, she’s more than she seems. Aren’t all great character the kind that make you hate or love them? Clearly they’ve communicated their personality. Unlike…Bella. For other similar books, I suppose check out the ones mentioned in this Suggetive Read. Assassin books (look for Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, Kristin Cashore, Maria V Snyder) and for Epic Fantasy Reads (Robin Hobb, Tansy Rayner Roberts, etc). Hopefully, you will enjoy reading Throne of Glass, and learning to love Celaena’s complicated like I did too. But then, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea!

[Note]  How does it work out that I own Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire but not Crown of Midnight the second book of the series?

View all my reviews

Endless Knight. Kresley Cole.

16175040Endless Knight
by Kresley Cole

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I totally don’t love this cover much. Yes I like the colour. Yes I like the girl (Evie) in white, and Death, so obviously in black. But I dunno, I feel like the eyebrows on the guy don’t do him justice. My favourite part of the cover is the back of the novel. The guy on the back is totally my impression of Jack. Much better than the one on Poison Princess! See:

And now….to the review.

Endless Knight begins right where it left off in Poison Princess where Jack is gaping at Evie in belief right after she annihilated the Alchemist.

Of course Jack is obviously repulsed, and for a good fifty pages or so, he avoids her. But yet, after it turns out that he stole the Alchemist’s recording of her story, that he realises all that she’s been through. Okay so yeah, Evie’s privacy has been invaded again – I always did think it was a little creepy that Jack stole things that belonged to her so that he could find out more. BUT, it totally makes sense a little later on in the story, and not as creepy as it seems when Evie discovers that Jack’s obsession and apparent insta-love for Evie was actually stemmed from something else.

Which brings me to the fact that, one of the reasons I had disliked Poison Princess (one of the few, I should add), was because there were too many coincidental events, like Evie’s mum dies in time for them to leave, and so on. So I had my eyebrow rising on the bs meter a little. But yet, when you read from a well seasoned writer, you find that your questions are answered as you read. In Endless Knight, the me who was a little unconvinced about bits and pieces of book 1, was convinced in this one. And then the questionable me, discovered that there were even more questions than anwers rising in this installment. Which, I’ll bet, will be revealed in Dead of Winter.

As for the plot. It’s riveting as Poison Princess. And it also is lulling. You lull a lot of the time, which is a little different to Poison Princess where you were on your feet avoiding baggers most of the time. But in this one, there’s a massive lull period, because where else has Evie landed herself, except at Death’s house?

We all knew as readers that there was something between Death and Empress. It wasn’t as evident in Poison Princess, but it was very clear in Endless Knight. As the title of the story reflects, this is Death’s story. Poison Princess is about Evie, her powers and her past. But Endless Knight is about the Empress’s past with Death, and Death himself. It was all very touching, smoking and smexy, and when plot twists are revealed about Jack, there’s a whole lot more Death and Evie time than there is Jack and Evie.

But before I get to the part about romances, I want to talk about the world. The world in the novel is apocalyptic with baggers (zombies), cannibals, and a raging, brutal army. I’m not going to judge the world on plausibility, because helloooo~ I haven’t even lived through an apocalypse yet, so who am I to judge? So this world is more of a fantasy for me. I already mentioned how cool I thought the idea of a story based around Arcana was. They even play Tarocchi in the book – you know Tarot cards weren’t always specifically for fortune telling, right? They were also used as a trick card game. Anyway. So I love the world Cole has built. I love the whole Arcana cards idea, and I think it’s cool. I think she’s done a great job building the world and telling the reader bits and pieces about what has happened and why. I also like the game. There’s a really strong foundation for the story to be told. Which adds to the excitement, fear and thrill of both book 1 and 2. Sure, I still have a ton of questions, but I’ll wait for them to be answered.

The romances. Hm, I don’t like love triangles. Most of the time in YA they’re completely unnecessary and totally flimsy. What I like about the love triangle in Endless Knight kind of reminds me of the love triangle – however sudden it was – in Eona: The Last Dragoneye. It’s the type where there’s the guy around the same age as the protagonist who’s been with them for most of the story, and then there’s the other guy who’s slightly older, and has a history with the protagonist from a previous incarnation(s). So, essentially, both have really strong ties to the protagonist. And therefore, I don’t hate this love triangle much. Most likely because Evie still loves Jack by the end of Endless Knight, even though she does admit, she feels some love for Death.

But the problem I had was, once Evie has the dream about that final betrayal against Death, the dream is very cold and collecting. It makes everything afterward seem a little awkward for me, because Evie is guilty over the fact that she betrayed him, but I couldn’t help but think: it wasn’t that much of a betrayal when your past life did it, and you haven’t yet. But I’ll give Cole tops for creating an incredibly constant and empathetic character in Evie. Which is also probably why Evie is more susceptible to Death as she learns about him. Becuase unlike her previous reincarnations, she has learnt about the tarot or the game since she was a child.

Death is a really fascinating character. And though he is supposed to be evil, he to me did not seem evil at all. Just calculating. He was self-preserving, making decisions based on what would save his life. He is cold and he is a little heartless, but he is lonely. In many ways I do kind of like him more than Jack, because Jack is a big asshole to Evie a lot. Particularly in book 1. But of course, he would always try to save her and protect her, becuase he does truly love her in spite of everything, secrets and all. But Death, Death is suspicious and obsessed with Evie – the Empress – he loves her and hates her at the same time, mainly because she is the only person he can touch, when he can touch no one else. They spend a lot of time together during the second half of the novel, and there’s plenty of time for Evie to get to reknow Death. And she does bit by bit. During the day, there’s so much sexual tension between them, mainly on Death’s part, but also on Evie’s. But during the night, and this is where I got a little confused, because I got the idea that Death and the Empress didn’t get to have sexual relations, yet. During the night, Evie dreams of her past with Death, dreams that were given to her by Matthew, she dreams about sexual things related to death, though now that I think about it, it never did go past kissing – just really intense, hot kisses.

The romance bits with Jack though, happen at the start of the novel before she’s a captive of Death. Once he gets over his shock at Evie’s transformation, they talk things over, and well eventually sleep together. Yep, it’s actualy sex in a YA novel. Not explicitly graphical like in an erotica, but definitely enough details that it can’t really be called vague either. But then we don’t see Jack and the rest of Evie’s crew for the rest of the story once she’s in Death’s lair.

Overall I am babbling on too much about nothing, hopefully this review in some way makes sense and makes the book appealing, because in my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth reading. It’s enjoyable. It has a decent plot. The love triangle is smexy. Relationships are in depth not just thrown in and allied lol. It’s intriguing and I can’t wait to read the next installment!

View all my reviews

The Elite. Kiera Cass.

16248068The Elite
by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off this is a future that’s not really believable, it’s even partly laughable, yet it’s a fantasy that can be believed. Second, I wasn’t really excited by the first book (except for the cover, loved that cover!), nor did I hate it very much. Mainly I guess because it was a less catastrophic and dire novel compared to other novels that feature a reality tv show i.e. The Hunger Games. This series is definitely moreabout the romance and I’d almost say it’s lighter and fluffier. But while The Selection was nothing too special, The Elite ramps up the romance between Maxon and America. Even poor Aspen (though not so poor after what he did at the beginning of the The Selection to America) is thrown into the plot much more often and actually has a roke in being a rival. Though really, as I’ve mentioned in my status updates, I reckon the final coupling will be Maxon and America.

Aspen is like that mannish kind of guy – that’s the feeling I got when I read about him in the first book and this one, and I figured that he had a chance with America, and I didn’t really like Maxon much in The Selection because he seemed a little whimpy and whatnot. But in this book, Maxon looks as though he’s grown some balls (scuse my language), in the sense that he feels much more manlier in this book, and feels more personable, and even though I roll my eyes at the whole Bachelor tv show thing, I can’t help but cheer him on a little when he leaves America alone for a while. I know she needs time to figure it out, but she was so undecisive that of course Maxon would lose his patience eventually. And then there’s the whole “I can’t be a princess” thing where she messes up a lot of things on the show because she has no confidence. I like that I got to see her develop as a character, but I hated her whining and reluctance. But then without it, it wouldn’t be good character development lol!

Lastly, the plot about the rebels…I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on with that, but I guess I’m looking forward to the entire story wound up in The One. I think that’ll be very intersting! Plus, out of all the covers, The Selection and The One’s covers are my favourites!

View all my reviews

Wildefire. Karsten Knight.

by Karsten Knight

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I had mixed feelings about this, there are many cons that nearly, they didn’t outweigh the pros. And then the pros knock ’em down hard. I don’t know what to say. Review to Come.

I’ll forewarn that this review (a first for me in a long time)will contain a tonne of spoilers because I don’t know if I can write it without spoiling.

I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE HER. Ashline has a personality the size and power of her personality. It’s explosive, hot fiery and snarky. She’s has something for everything to say and for this book, I found it amusing. Granted, it was witty. Granted, her flirtations with Colt were tense and flirtatious. BUT they were also TOTALLY cheesy, and not in a sweet, cute kind of way, it could, sometimes be, just downright corny and almost lame. BUT, the other side of me liked Ash because she had this big snarky personality. I also liked that she dated guys (however wrong they were for her) and dumped them when they pushed too hard or were just assholes. It was cool seeing a kickass chick in this fashion. And it makes me want to see her finally fall in love. Like true, deep, forever immortal love. I feel like she deserves it after all.

ABOUT THE GODS AND GODDESSES THING…well I think this idea is pretty cool. I like the whole mythology behind it and what’s more I love how everyone is a god/goddess not just from Polynesia, but from around the world as well. And I liked how they’re reincarnated again and again rather than living forever.

AND SINCE this is the first book of a series, there are loose ties which I’m looking forward to being tied. One of which is what is the past between Ash and Eve (asides from what was reveal in the book), Ash and Colt, and between all the other gods and goddesses.

I Guess I also liked that we don’t actually find out Ash’s goddess status until just after midway. And when she finds out, the flow of the story isn’t interrupted or it’s popped up at some dramatic moment. It’s built up, the moment builds and it gains momentum until Ash goes and finds out for herself what her heritage is.

BUT REALLY Eve was nuts. I can’t decide if her character was formed well, or formed terribly because half the time she was convincing, the other half, unconvincing, or maybe she felt extremely real? I can’t make up my mind.

IT’S JUST TOO HARD. So many pros and so many cons. AND YET I am just dying to read the next book so it must’ve been good! (hide spoiler)]

View all my reviews

Book Spine Poetry #3

Got bored with my last stack of to-reads from the library and was staring at their spines.  Can’t remember the last time I did book Spine Poetry, but sure as hell, felt like doing it again!  (My previous two attempts: Here and Here)  It was a helluva fun.

2013-12-27 18.07.19

Book Spine Poetry #3

The Lady in the Tower,

Past Perfect.

The Girl in the Mask,


United We Spy.

Books that lent me their cooperation:  The Lady in the Tower by Marie-Louise Jensen, Past Perfect by Laila Sales, The Girl in the Mask by Marie-Louise Jensen, Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson, and United We Spy by Ally Carter

2013 End of Year Book Survey!

So I saw this on Little Onion Writes‘s blog and I thought it would be a good idea to do it too!

This is gonna be one of the hardest surveys I’ve done, since I’ve never been able to singularly say, I like this the best or that.  I usually have half a dozen favourites.  But that’s because they’re all so goooooddd!!!

1. Best book you read in 2013?

So tough as question.  There are so many good books.  But the best books I read this year are:

The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

Reached  Ally Condie

Sever – Lauren DeStefano

Shades of the Earth – Beth Revis

Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire – Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare (This made the best book list because it was serious one of the best final sequel books I’ve ever read)

Quicksilver – R.J.Anderson

Boundless – Cynthia Hand

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Number one on this list is Lauren Oliver’s Requiem.  I loved Delirium and I was pretty partial to Pandemonium, but Requiem just didn’t cut it for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

Hm, the most surprising book?  Oh that’s easy!  Ally Condie’s Reached.  I had no expectations for it since Matched was okay and Crossed was a bit annoying, even though both were written beautifully.  But Reached… was completely surprising and what I like to call brilliant!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I definitely recommend Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Mind.   This was my favourite and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s into YA novels and Dystopias – and particularly if they liked George Orwell’s 1984.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Best series?  Let’s see the Burn for Burn trilogy is my favourite 2013 discovered series.  But mostly I didn’t discover any newer series that I hadn’t actually started reading the year before.

As for manga, Horimiya by Hero is my favourite 2013 discovered series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Hmmm Marie-Louise Jensen.  Writer of historicals with great flair, she’s probably my favourite new author for 2013.  I would have said Alexandra Bracken, but I read her other book a few years ago so not exactly discovered.  Same as Ally Condie, Lauren Destefano, Lauren Oliver, Jenny Han, Jim Butcher and more.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Harlequin manga.  The manga version of those harlequin romances.  Completely new genre for me!  And a bit roll your eyes kind of stories, but there were a few that I really liked!  For a list check this out:  Here

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Omg this has to be The Darkest Minds!  But also Reached.  The Ruins by Scott Smith was a surprise read but it was pretty thrilling, particularly when it got down to the horror bits.  Any of the Dresden File books by Jim Butcher that I read in 2013 were also a must read in one sitting kind of book.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

So I actually re-read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder in 2013, and I’ll most likely read it again this year!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I had two favourite covers for 2013.  One was Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.


And the other one was Kiera Cass’s The Selection.  I really loved this cover!  The pose, the dress, everything.  I like it even better than the sequel cover.


I guess I really like big dresses and pretty covers!

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

I have a tonne of memorable characters.  Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu from The Darkest Minds.  Sydney Sage and Adrian Ishvakov from the Bloodlines series obviously.  Tris and Four from the Divergent trilogy.  And Ana and Sam from Jodi Meadow’s Incarnate trilogy.

As for manga, I have too many memorable characters.  Some of which are Mizuho from Piece by Hinako Ashihara, Hori and Miyamura from Horimiya by Hero, Futaba from Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka, and Shiho from P.A. by Michiyo Akaishi.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Requiem by Lauren Oliver.  Anything written by Oliver is bound to be beautifully written.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

Marie-Louise Jensen’s The Lady in the Tower had a pretty big impact, I guess.   I really fell into the story and I was sucked in completely.  Past Perfect by Leila Sales also had a great impact.  I loved the story and I really liked how the protagonist eventually dealt with her problems.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to read?

So I can’t believe I keep repeating myself.  Sure I could have read this when it came out but I put it off until 2013.  The book I couldn’t believe I waited until 2013 to read was Reached by Ally Condie – see I repeated myself again! Lol.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

Technically I have three favourite passages, all of them from Jim Butcher’s Dead Beat.  I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I just did eeny-meeny-miny-mo and this is the passage I picked:

“Kumori held up a hand. ‘This is no deception, Dresden. The world is changing. The Council’s end is near, and those who wish to survive it must act now. Before it is too late.’

I took a deep breath. ‘Normally I’m the first one to suggest we t.p. the Council’s house,’ I said. ‘But you’re talking about necromancy. Black magic. You aren’t going to convince me that the Council and the Wardens have suddenly gotten a yen to trot down the left-hand path. They won’t touch the stuff.’

‘Ideally,’ Cowl said. ‘You are young, Dresden. And you have much to learn.’

‘You know what young me has learned? Not to spend too much time listening to the advice of people who want to get something out of me,’ I said. ‘Which includes car salesmen, political candidates, and weirdos in black capes who mug me on the street in the middle of the night.'”

One of favourite passages because it shows just how witty Butcher’s writing is!

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2013?

Longest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

And Shortest…any manga volume that I’ve read.  Novel though, it might be: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson.  I cannot believe what happened in the end.  She’s so daring!!

And The Ruins there’s this one scene, I just had to talk to my friend about because it was so gruesome.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013?

This is so hard!!

Friendship: The girls from Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series.  They have the best friendship!  The strawhat pirates in One Piece have this unbreakable bond.  And strangely, the main characters in The Ruins.

Romance: Adrian and Sydney in Bloodlines; Ruby and Liam in The Darkest Minds; Hori and Miyamura in Horimiya; Eleanor and Stanton in The Lady in the Tower; Ana and Sam in Incarnate; and Sarasa and Shuri in Basara

  19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously?

Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and Quicksilver by R.J.Anderson top the list of favourite books that I’ve read previously.

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?

White Knight by Jim Butcher and the other eight Dresden Files novels that I read previously, all based solely on the recommendation of a friend. He told me that up to about book eight, I’ll start saying, omg this is the best series I’ve ever read.  And now, I can’t say I don’t agree with him, because he’s totally right.

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013?

Manga topped the list, but romance and dystopia/fantasy came a close second.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

On top of all the other crushes including Liam from The Darkest Minds, Adrian from Bloodlines, I guess I have to pick Stanton from The Lady in the Tower, Dan from Past Perfect and Nine from The Fall of Five.  Out of all these book crushes though, Nine is the only one who is not in love with someone. Sohe’s totally up there on book crushes.  Plus, I like his character more and more every time I read the next instalment of the series.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

I have a feeling, I have not actually read any novels that debutted in 2013… I didn’t even realise! haha.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

I suppose any of the dystopias I ‘ve read (most of which I’ve previously mentioned) had pretty strong imagery.  Any of the Dresden Files novels were great too.  

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?

Man I didn’t read it in 2013 but My Unfair Godmother was pretty fun!  In 2013 though,  the most fun book that I’dread would have to be Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013?

The Darkest Minds.  I think I nearly cried.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out?

Hm, I have no idea.  This ones a toughie.  Guess I’ll have to think about it.

My Unfair Godmother. Janette Rallison

8364977My Unfair Godmother
by Janette Rallison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know, I loved My Fair Godmother, Janette Rallison’s first book in the My Fair Godmother series. I started with a very sceptical perspective thinking, wasn’t this about the godmother? And then, when I finished it, I realised I went through a whole lot of everything from magic to misadventure in medieval times, to punked up fairy godmothers to smexy heroes. Yep, I certainly had a lot to think about.

This instalment though, totally upped the score on it’s predecessor. Half the time I couldn’t help but think, Robin Hood AND Rumplestiltskin? No way! Rallison totally knows how to mess with my mojo. In fact, it was probably the first time I’ve read a book without fears that it wouldn’t make the expectations I had from the first book. Granted I can’t remember when I read the first one except that it’s been a while, probably something from six months to a year ago. BUT. I do remember thinking that it was possibly one of the best funny plays on fairytales. So I had no worries that I would be disappointed with My Unfair Godmother. I suppose it was also because in the first place I had no expectations for My Fair Godmother, so there wasn’t much to raise.

NOW. My Unfair Godmother introduces Tansy Miller as the damsel in distress. She’s new to town and her boyfriend Bo get’s her caught by the police after he and his friends took her along to vandalise public property. And then she’s tricked by the Chief of Police’s son into ratting her boyfriend out.

Curtains open, and Chrysanthemum “Chrissy” Everstar once again enters the stage. According to Chrissy, Tansy’s life is pretty pathetic, she even had a pathetic pie charge of Tansy’s life. She offers Tansy three wishes to make her happy. And Tansy wishes for Robin Hood. However, what she wishes for comes back to her in a different form. Rather than someone like Robin Hood, Chrissy wished Robin Hood from the Middle Ages. And then there’s havoc and Tansy’s labelled by the very same Police Chief’s son who’d tricked her in the first place as someone who couldn’t help but be attracted to bad boys, including Robin Hood who is not so good and selfless as all the stories say. By the time Tansy solves the Robin Hood problem, she makes her third wish and that’s when she’s wished not just into the Middle Ages, but into the Rumplestiltskin fairy tale to gain the ability to make gold whenever she wanted.

I’M SURPRISED. I can’t believe, honestly, how well Rallison combines both the Robin Hood story and Rumplestiltskin story to make this awesome instalment. So many times while I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think, these two don’t go together, and yet, they totally fit. Omg this is totally crazy. It was ingenious. I even had to wonder how Rallison thought it! Rallison writes and plots it so well, I can hardly find any flaws. While yeah half the time I felt it was unbelievable, because well, Tansy felt it was unbelievable, so if I was feeling that it was unbelievable, and Rallison wanted me think it was unbelievable, which leaves me hanging and as Kyouko from Skip Beat!, Vol. 01 would think, I can’t be drawn into their acting! Though, in this case, writing. Rallison writes her characters well. There’s so much personality and character that you really get drawn into their stories. You feel sorry for Tansy and you also feel happy for her. It was great! I absolutely love stories that draw me in.

NO WAY. I can’t believe the love interest was called “Hudson Gardner”. I don’t know if this is a normal name in the US. Even if it is, I find separately there’s nothing wrong with the same “Hudson” or with the last name “Gardner” but when it’s put together I get this feeling of ridiculousness or over cheesiness that makes the combination sound almost terrible. Reminds me of the name of the protagonist in The Selection who was called “America Singer”. It’s not a bad name, but I don’t know, I just didn’t really like that he was called “Hudson Gardner”. And the baby! -Read the novel to totally understand the significance of the baby! – I can’t believe Stetson was in the running for the name choice. BUT. I will say because he had such a small role, I didn’t get the chance to like him with the name “Stetson”. Hudson, on the other hand, grew on me as the name of the love interest. I guess it fit his personality…eventually!

HELL YES. Look, this is fun-stuffed book of highschool romance, highschool girl issues, fairy tale mayhem, and headstrong whacky fairy godmothers. If you’re into fairy tale retellings, totally give this a try! It’s a little different to some, but it’s definitely funny. If you’re into highschool love stories, then this is also one of those! If you love good dialog, full of wit, then this has it (though there are so many, and nearly in all instances, I can’t help but wonder, for once, was it a bit too much? And yet, they were all funny, so Rallison, you’re totally forgiven)and if youwant good vs evil action, then this has it too. This has so much, I can’t believed it’s packed into a 350-something paged book!

View all my reviews

Fire With Fire. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

10662420Fire with Fire
by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say? This sequel…well there are no words for it. But the more I read it, there more creepier it sounds. The more I read it, the more I like the supernatural side to it. The more I read it, anything I thought about the first book is wiped from my mind and replaced with new thoughts. The first one was the baby, it was an introduction, getting to know the characters and laying the foundation. This book, well, this one was about what happens after the foundation is laid and the introduction is made. This is the build up to the climax (even though it’s filled with build ups and a climax of its own). And then there’s the cliffhanger. Boy oh boy, I did not want to see that cliffhanger. BECAUSE IT JUST MEANS I HAVE TO WAIT HOW MANY MONTHS UNTIL THE FINAL SEQUEL COMES OUT. And seriously, I absolutely cannot wait.

The Plot
Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

The Characters
Okay, so again the characters are great. They have their own personalities, head strong and their doing their thing the way they do their thing.
Lillia actually seems a whole lot more bitchier in this one compared to Burn for Burn. And while Kat has attitude problems as always, she’s the much kinder one in this. Then there’s Mary. Oh Mary, I totally accept all your feelings in this because (and I really didn’t expect this in the first one – it was totally not noticeable! Actually, it was much more obvious in this one, because there were clues here and there, yet in the first one she seemed much more normal and not as much the loner since I remember people commenting on the “new girl”)(view spoiler) it fits the character. Reeve on the other hand, well I liked that we get to know more about him. But still! I want to know about him and Mary! Alex – oh poor Alex. I wonder what will happen to him in the end! Rennie (view spoiler) gets more and more pitiful in this one. I wonder what will become of her.

The Setting
Jar Island. Some lonely island.

I always did like Han’s writing. So no complaints. It’s very contemporary and also very YA, with plenty of personality and voice.

I have my faves and my not so faves. Ultimately I want Mary to settle her issues, I want Lillia and Reeve to be together (now I do! Even though in Burn for Burn I was so for Lillia and Alex) and I want Kat to fulfil her dream of going to Oberlin. You know while I was reading this I had actually watched the original Carrie movie by chance. And I compared it a little. Mary is so like a Carrie. There’s even a scene, the scene where she tells her Aunt that she can do things that’s so like how Carrie told her mother that she could do things without touching them. Even Kat makes an allusion to Carrie. Soooo if this is anything like Carrie then, I wonder what will happen at the end. I freaking want to know now, seriously, there’s so much to keep one hanging onto every word written. There’s so much revenge and hate, and also there’s so much pain. There’s also so much mystery around Mary and Reeve, as characters, not necessarily them together.

View all my reviews

Asunder. Jodi Meadows.

by Jodi Meadows

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to read this because there were so many other things going o n but I honestly loved every mome nt and as soon as I get the chance I’m going to review this properly. In all honesty I actually think this was even BETTER than the first lol

The Plot
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.

I found the plot absolutely flawless – generally this is my opinion – but there was nothing I could fault it for. Nothing I could get overly aggravated about. I simply, just loved it.

The Characters
You know there are annoying characters with pet peeves and a sobby past that should be a character that I feel sympathy for and yet for some reason I don’t. But Ana, Ana is not one of those. Ana is anything but that. Sure, she has some pet peeves about her that had the potential to piss me off, but didn’t. Sure she has a sob story, which felt real and allowed me to feel empathetic to her rather than eye rolling. But Ana is different. All her feelings felt honest, not wishy washy or thrown out there to garner sympathy. I really felt close to her. And I liked her for it. Which makes me like Jodi Meadows even more for creating such a character!
Sam is the same. You know, I hate clingy, broody guys, but I don’t hate Sam. Nor is Sam the kind of clingy, broody guy that can be found in such books as Twilight and the City of Bones. Sam is passionate – I feel that’s a word that suits him well. He’s caring and he often over thinks things that annoy Ana, yet when they talk, they do talk about it. Plus for a guy who takes up a lot of space in the book and in Ana’s current life, I don’t actually feel like he’s there for no reason. I gave extra stars for that! Lol.
And others…the supporting characters are all interesting. I was a bit surprised about Cris, not really about Stef, and the birthing of newsouls, I liked how the image of ‘mother’ changed the perceptions of the new mother to her child. It’s interesting.

Heart, a fictional place in a fantasy setting. You know I could almost swear this was a dystopian, yet I know it’s not! Right?!?

I enjoy Meadows’s writing, there’s a very honest feel to it, especially more important, since it is written in first person. I think the feelings conveyed are beautifully written and I am submerged once I’m engaged. It’s startling, a little frightening that I can be that consumed by the writing and by the plot. Guess, it goes to show that this is a pretty wicked read!

I was definitely not disappointed by this sequel unlike some other sequel, looking at you Insurgent. I would definitely recommend this to all those who read the first one, and I would also recommend this to all those who want to read the first one and who have to absolutely get onto it straight away so that they can read this one! And then read the third one when that comes out!

View all my reviews

Touch of Power. Maria V. Snyder.

10445208Touch of Power
by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I read somewhere in a review that the reader didn’t feel the love between Avry and Kerrick, and sad as it is, I also felt that way. Sure there were sweet and mushy moments, as well as moments that were heavy and tense, but I didn’t quite feel Kerrick’s change.

The Plot
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….

Plot: full of twists and plots that intrigue. That’s what I love the most about Maria V Snyder’s works.
Magic: Was cool, but like I’ve mentioned before somewhere, it sounds like the same healing system in The Shifter. Then again, it’s also different, because Healers in this series are constantly healing themselves, but in The Shifter, if I’m not wrong, the healers could only heal each other and not themselves.

The Characters
Avry reminded me alot of Yelena from Poison Study, they’re very similar yet they are also quite different. While liked her overall, I didn’t feel like her reason for disliking Prince Ryne was strong enough. I was constantly looking for that reason for her strong hatred, and yet…when the reveal came, I felt hardly a thing. Sure it was a reasonable reason, and I get her pain, but it didn’t seem bad enough for her to really hate him.
Kerrick was a bastard at the start. For a smart guy too, he also fails to perceive one of the many reasons why Avry refused to heal Ryne. Yet, while I did say I didn’t really feel the change between Kerrick and Avry, I didn’t think he was a badly created character, just not the best.
Supporting characters are a bunch of males, fellow soldiers who follow Kerrick and are around to keep an eye on Avry. Belen is Avry’s strongest ally despite being Kerrick’s man. He watches over Avry, advising her whichever he could. Flea reminded me of a little brother-like figure. (view spoiler)

The Setting
The Fifteen Realms.

The Writing
Is exactly like what you see in Poison Study, simple, yet imaginative. There’s no flowery poetry, there’s nothing fancy. The language is straight forward, with a strong, female voice.

I’m intrigued. I do love the adventure I get when I read Maria V. Snyder‘s works, and I am curious enough to read athe sequels of Touch of Power.

View all my reviews

Shirley Marr.

Shirley Marr

Shirley Marr.  That’s the name that popped into my head the other day after I wrote my inspirational authors’ page on Jim Butcher about a week ago.  I figured I was thinking along the lines of which Australian author out there, who is not Melina Marchetta, Jaclyn Moriarty and John Marsden has inspired me with their writing?  An author, also, who is not Isobelle Carmody,  writer of possibly one of the most amazing sci-fi dystopian series ever, or Marianne de Pierreswho also wrote a series dystopian series that I love, and who is not Rebecca Lim (author of the Mercy series) and Justine Larbalestier.  

Shirley Marr.  That was the name that popped into my head.  Now, Marr is a relatively new author with two books under her belt and is currently working on another.

I don’t know if you lovely, lovely readers out there remember, about a month ago I posted a suggestive read of one of her books – Fury.  Now I absolutely, positively, crazily love this weird and whacky, light and dark, sane and insane book about a murder.  I was literally blown off my feet by it, I was that surprised.


But you know, Fury isn’t you’re everyday YA novel.  Rather, it’s like this:

  1. The story is about a girl murderer.
  2. Eliza Boans has a sense of humor.
  3. Eliza Boans is a murderer.
  4. Eliza Boans shouldn’t be likeable.
  5. The story is about a murder.
  6. This is insane!!!  Yet completely likeable, loveable (not in the cute, lovey-dovey way, but loveable in the omg-it’s-freaking-awesome-because-no-one-else-has-tried-to-do-it-before kind of way)

So, obviously it’s kinda a little bit special – if you get my meaning.  Shirley Marr has evidently got her own sweetly dark style to her works, that’s for sure.  It’s dark stuff, and light stuff, mixed in one.  While her second book was completely different to her first, the style was there — no, SHIRLEY MARR was there, written all over the cover, imprinting her words within its pages.  Yep.  Book two was darkness mixed with lightness, and a dislikeable likeable female protagonist.  It’s been described as (on goodreads under her profile) a paranormal love story for girls who don’t like paranormal love story.  And hell yeah!  It totally was!  It was freaky and kinda insane.  I loved – and sympathised – and hated the protagonist.  She was so whiny, so envious of her best friend, yet at the same time, everything she said was justified and she still loved her best friend just as much, which felt so realistic for me, I was like – omg, why are you so good Marr?  So it was kinda official at that point, that Marr is just as good as Richelle Mead, Sarah Dessen, Jim Butcher, and a whole bunch of other authors who can flawlessly create a different kind of main character per series.

by Shirley Marr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marr I envy you :). Again, you have captured me in another spellbinding story. While I loved Fury and was excessively enamored with its story and character, I realised how incredibly well developed Marr’s characters are. Amy Lee of Preloved is the same. She has her hates and loves, her intricacies and pet peeves. She was annoying and yet so very attractive as a sympathetic character. In the end, I really liked her character, even if I didn’t at first.

Preloved is not like Marr’s first novel. While yes, it was an emotional rollercoaster, Preloved is about a girl and her encounter with a ghost. It’s about her and her best friend, who she doesn’t always like. And it’s about her and her relationship with everyone else around her.

It might be a slow start, but it’s certainly not a boring start. It’s certainly a book worth reading. 🙂

Yeah, so that’s how I reviewed it when I first read Preloved.  It’s been a while then, but my opinion of Shirley Marr, Shirley Marr’s stories, and Shirley Marr’s writing has not changed.  It has a lasting impression and even if her characters are full of personality and can be a handful half the time, surely, surely that is a sign of an inspiring author?


(From Fury)

“I was thinking that if it really was my fault, if every reaction could be traced to an action before, then at the very beginning would be me at the canteen queue with my twenty-dollar note instead of my packed lunch. In turn I could blame my mother for not caring enough and maybe I could blame my father for making my mum stop caring. Maybe all this was supposed to happen. It had been happening all along. It was too hard to try and stop it now. In a twisted way, there was cold comfort in that.” 

“You don’t give your mum enough credit for raising you, Elle. Look at you. Teenage sweetheart with a sugar shell and strychnine centre. We might as well finish speaking the truth now.” 

(And from Preloved)

“There is no ending to this story because, as I’ve realised, stories don’t have endings, only beginnings.” 

“If you’re hoping to party like it’s 1999 because Prince told you the world was going to end in 2000, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. We’re still here.” 

See?  Well, this is just a taste, but lol, totally, reading her books are like definitely worth it!  They’re short too, only about 300 pages long there abouts.  And I have to say, I’m looking forward to more works by Shirley Marr, afterall, she has become one of my favourite Australian authors, and I’m in total envy of her!  Oh and yes, if it’s something unusual within the YA sphere that is what you’re looking for, then Marr is it.  She’s certainly got a flair for the good, the dark and the fluffy – well maybe not fluffy per se, but something akin to it.

Burn For Burn. Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian.

13406425Burn for Burn
by Jenny Han

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, I really got sucked into this in the end, and like all the reviews that I’ve read, there is a bit of supernatural, but it’s such a small bit that you don’t notice it until the very end, and then it’s like bam! So I found it really hard to describe/allocate this book into a genre, is it contemporary? Is is supernatural? Is it what? So I’m just going to combine it and say it’s a contemporary supernatural. But really, it’s such a contemporary novel, such a YA fiction that I find it hard to see it as a supernatural story…and yet I’m curious about the supernatural element.

The Plot

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she’s ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. And she’s ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won’t stop until they each had a taste.

The Characters
Lillia > the kind of character who’s part of the bitchy crowd, yet she’s not half as bitchy as the rest of them. Not only that, she has something to protect, and I don’t hate her. I find myself, instead liking her. Also, even though she acts against Alex, I think I really would like to see them get together.
Kat > The cool kind of ostracised girl, who kind of doesn’t care about what others think about what others say about her. I loved learning about her past with Rennie in pieces. That was cool. Plus she’s not so bad, she’s actually pretty nice.
Mary > Mary was so whimpy. But because of the changing perspectives of the three main girls, I didn’t get half as annoyed at Mary. In fact, I liked her more. In fact, I didn’t even feel as though she was just whimpy, rather she was whimpy with a very good, very valid reason – though I have to say, to begin with I thought her reason was more than cliched, that is, until I saw more of her past, understood more about her relationship with Reeve.

Others – The Targets of Revenge:
Alex > is the nice kind of guy, who is really good friends with Lillia, and who I suspect, is in love with her. Throughout the whole novel though, I felt as though there was too much revenge on Alex over the other two revenge targets. It’s weird since out of Alex, Rennie and Reeve, Alex perhaps has the least reason for any of the girls to be mad at. BUT. In saying so, while there was so much going on, so much development in character for every main character, development of relationships, of the past and the present, I still think there’s a long way to go to full understand and unravel the stories between these six characters.
Rennie > is the bitch and self-professed Queen of the School. She’s also Lillia’s best friend and Kat’s ex-best friend. And Kat”s after her. See this here is the dilemma, right now, right til the end of Burn for Burn, Rennie is still your 2D kind of mean girl, except you can tell she’s also not, and somehow I feel in subsequent novels to follow, I can’t wait to find out more about her.
Reeve > is probably my favourite out of all the revenge targets. Why? Because even though he’s your average jock asshole, through Mary’s memories, he becomes some one else entirely, and that’s when I realised, I might actually like this character more than any other character in the story. When he blurts out “Big-Easy” at the end of the novel, right before he passes out and is sent out to the hospital (an outcome that was not supposed to happen as a result of Kat’s, Lillia’s and Mary’s revenge), I was like *gasp* and then, flipping over the final pages, I see Mary in shock and grief, and then it ends. And I’m like OMG. What the hell did that mean? Does that mean Reeve recognise the now gorgeous and thin Mary? Or was he thinking about her? Or what??? I AM DYING TO KNOW> so Reeve, is officially the character I’m genuinely most interested in, second to Mary, Lillia, Kat, Alex and Rennie.

The Writing
Look when it comes to Jenny Han, you know you’re in for a rollercoaster of ups and downs, past and present. You’re never gonna be wanting, and you’re definitely not short on character development. That’s what I love about her work. But this is a combined work. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I’ve never read Ms Vivian’s work, but I have read Ms Han’s. SO as a combined work, for me I can only judge from one perspective, together, though, they’re brilliant. I loved the writing in the novel, I thought it was wonderful, delectable and page-flipping!

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Absolutely cannot wait to read Fire with Fire and no doubt the one after that Ashes to Ashes.

View all my reviews

Cate of the Lost Colony. Lisa M Klein.

7936035Cate of the Lost Colony
by Lisa M. Klein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This caught my attention even though it was a historical. It seems lately I haven’t really been reading historicals, yet they are one of my favourites types of reads. This is an example of a good historical. It seriously made me want to know more about this particular piece of history.

I quite liked the plot overall. It is well paced and well plotted, there is drama and at the same time (which I thought was a winner) the character’s feelings reason out the dramatic events. So I didn’t get angry because of something stupid. Instead felt the need to keep reading for the purpose of feeling comfortable. I really wanted to experience Cate’s life. I wanted to know what happened.
(view spoiler)

Cate: Or Lady Catherine is an destitute, but well-born daughter of society who was given the chance to be one of the Queen’s ladies. Taking the chance, she debuts in court and spends life loving and caring for the Queen. She makes friends and enemies, and becomes a favourite of the Queen. She has a strong personality, and though I feel that sometimes she’s naive, most of the time, she acted out of good intentions. I thought she was a rather well rounded character, strong, wilful, yet wary and sharp. I enjoyed reading about her.

Sir Walter Raleigh: As a historical figure, generally I never thought he could be written so well, or so convincingly. But I liked this interpretation of him. I loved Klein’s approach to him. It made me want to fall in love with him too (especially when she added the little memorandums and notes from his travel log).

Manteo: Honourable and clever, kind and good, Manteo is the good guy. There isn’t much in his pov, yet, throughout the story, you can’t help but cheer for him too. Especially when he starts calling Cate (in his head) his “Moon Maiden”.

1587 England and the colony settled in Virginia.

This is one of those historicals that were written so well, and so accurately (though I don’t much about this particular piece of history since it was not in my study curricula) that makes me want to know more. I really have the urge to go and do a bit of research. Lisa M. Klein did a wonderful job! Her writing is exquisite in bringing Cate, Raleigh and Manteo alive, and she never spares a chance for detail. There is just so much detail, it felt so real.

If you like historical fiction, this is a must read. If you like a sweet romance, this is a must read. If you like a coming of age story, this is a must. This is a must read, period.

View all my reviews

Pandemonium. Lauren Oliver.

by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked Delirium better. There was something more alive and magical about it. I wasn’t very convinced in this one. I kept wanting to go back to Ally Condie‘s Reached and rereading various passages. But, I will say, the cliffhanger is just making me want to read Requiem and rumour has it that it’ll be divided between Lena and Hana. Makes me wonder who Alex will end up with and who Lena will. I did like Julian but he sounds a bit whimpy, but nice. I like that vulnerability. I was annoyed by Lena, but unlike Tris from Veronica Roth‘s Divergent, Lena stays true to her character, her thoughts, loves and fears. She’s great in a way, but still not my favourite female character.

This was a good read, I’m dying for the third book. I want to know what happens. And I want to know now.

View all my reviews

Delirium. Lauren Oliver.

by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first read the premise I thought…Another Matched?

But it had so many good reviews, and I realise I should give it a try. AND well, surprise! It was actually good.

Now I’m not obsessively in love with it but I must admit that for a story singularly based on love it is very good.

I could laugh…there are books that are just about love that drive me insane, because they are so bad at it…cough cough Twilight but this was nothing like that…well it was and it wasn’t.

It was because Lena Haloway is not supposed to fall in love, because in her world, the deliria that comes with it is a drug that kills. But of course like any girl she does. She falls in love with the one guy she isn’t supposed to.

Before I go on I’d like to say I absolutely hated how it ended! but also makes me want to read the next one.

Anyway…so she falls in love, and because it’s illegal things happen, and it isn’t long until Lena makes a choice she cannot turn away from.

I think what got me through this novel was Lauren Oliver’s beautiful writing. I can understand now why it’s such a hit. She writes so beautifully, and beautiful writing makes me weep – not literally, but the kind of weeping that comes in the form of words, more like word weeping or gushing – whatever. But that’s just it…her writing I’d give 5/5. Oh yeah and the way she structures her novel, giving Lena’s memory as an introduction to the chapter, then moving onto the current events, then ending with an understanding. I liked it, made the novel flow effectively, gosh I feel as though I’m at school.

Anyway, as for the story I’m not going to comment – pick it up and read it for yourselves! And warning this is nothing like Matched, which I loved for its beautiful almost timeless romance, but that’s it.

As for the setting…I liked it, Oliver does nothing to give leeway, as though the author was indecisive, everything is tight in Lena’s world. It’s restricted. The rules are inflexible. It feels real.

Lena Haloway though has an admirable character, one that every girl can empathise with. Maybe not in the same topic – love, but in the struggle against one’s own dead set ideals that they’ve known all their life and the change brought by someone or something that challenges that.

So read it if you love Dystopian fiction. Read it and weep. Read it if you loved Matched, or the Hunger Games. Just give it a try!


View all my reviews

Anna and the French Kiss. Stephanie Perkins.

6936382Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anna and the French Kiss is funny, and light and most definitely entertaining. A great summer read that’s fluffy in all the write places.

Anna is sent to France for boarding school by a father she couldn’t care less about, and away from her best friend, mum and brother, and, oh yeah the great job that she had and the great guy who she was actually about to get somewhere with.

But when Anna gets to France, things take a turn, and maybe not for the better.

Okay so yes, this book is light and fluffy. It’s set in Paris and it is romantic. It has its ups and its downs. It’s funny and sad.

It’s everything. So yes pick it up and give it a try.

That’s the good part. The bad part is…

IT is freaking stuffed with clichés! Every page there is at least one. NOT that that is a really bad thing. It can be bad because its repetitive, but good too because, well, it makes the dialog familiar.

If I liked a boy who was willing to cheat on his girlfriend – sort of – then who’s to say he wouldn’t do it again?

Kissing in public when the guy already has a girlfriend – over romanticised? Or just plain stupid?

And my biggest pet peeve about this novel is that Anna keeps on crapping on about how ‘beautiful’ Etienne is. God. Twilight much? Oh yeah the scene where they sleep in the same bed without doing anything…reminds me of twilight, but I think the innocence of the scene makes it less nauseous for me.

HOWEVER that does not mean you shouldn’t read this book. You should def’s read it because a) who knows when you need some overly dramatic, highly clichéd, fluffy read? and b) It’s pretty good.

And it reminds me of something Meg Cabot might write – minus the over the top clichés (The Mediator Series) or Jenny Han (The summer I turned Pretty) or Isabelle Merlin (Three Wishes) or Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise, Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction) or Jennifer Echols (Going Too Far) or Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You). I’ve just picked some authors and books that are similar – mind not the same – that anyone has read and liked, would like this one. I would have put Sarah Dessen down, but this novel seemed more romanc-y than teen angst – as in dealing with the more serious issues that Dessen’s books do deal with asides from the love angle of course.

View all my reviews

North of Beautiful. Justina Chen.

3238153North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A powerful book of prose, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley explores the discover of the self in her protagonist, Terra. Terra has a port wine birthmark on her cheek, and in between dealing with a subtly abusive father, her suppressed mother, and her own problems, it is no wonder that she hides under layers of make-up.

That is until Jacob comes along. A good looking chinese boy with a scar on his cheek. Unlike Terra though, he chooses the reason why people look at him, instead of shrinking away. When Terra first meets him, he’s decked out all in black, goth style since no one expects a chinese guy to be goth.

As the book progress through three parts, each named aptly for Terra’s development, Headley in her easy pace, brings forward Terra’s fears, desires and concerns.

This was an amazing book. It reminds me so much of something, anything Sarah Dessen writes, and at the same time it doesn’t. Headley’s beautiful and emotive writing makes Terra real. It doesn’t matter that readers may not share the same affliction, just that her (Terra’s) are struggle under search for her identity feels real. Any girl, or guy, if they every choose to pick up this book, can relate to the insecurities and uncertainty that Terra feels. The family situation can also be related. I think this makes the story even better.

This is a book for anyone who loves Sarah Dessen, or who isn’t afraid of some angst fiction

View all my reviews

Sea. Heidi R. Kling

by Heidi R. Kling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sooo Sienna is still having nightmares from when her mother died three years ago. It makes her afraid of the Sea and flying. But when her father surprises her with a ticket to Indonesia to help out with an orphanage looking after children from the tsunami, she isn’t so sure until she realises she could be helping others even though she can’t quite yet help herself.

In Indonesia though she meets a boy named Deni who has his own sufferings. Can she help him?

So hesitation…hesitation…hesitation. I did not want to pick up this book in the first place. I might read romances but they have been worse of late, particularly YA. So I was hesitant. But then it was a choice of reading this book or another one which sounded the same…more promising premise…possibly very disappointing lusty finish. Whatever I thought. Since neither seemed great.

Several hours later
This was not what I expected! Okay so I kinda want to cut the cover into tiny pieces because it is sooo deceiving. But I can’t because it’s the library’s book.

Heidi R. Kling writes a beautiful novel about the tragedy of the 2005 Tsunami in Indonesia. Her character, Sienna though a little wimpy to begin with grows as she experiences more and more of the extent of the tragedy.

I loved how the focus was not entirely on the ‘couple’ but on the disaster.

It is beautifully written.

(view spoiler)

I think this is a great book that mixes fiction with fact. Kling sets the scene well and as a reader, you actually feel as though you were there.

Three stars because according to goodreads it means ‘I liked it’ which I did. It could have been four stars on another scale because it was well written, had an interesting protag, well developed plot, and I did not feel as though her time (the protag’s) was rushed when she was with Deni in Aceh.

As for other books similar to this, I would have to say that once I finished this one, North of Beautiful by Justine Chen Headley was the first to come into my mind. Although they couldn’t be anymore different. I think the gradual unfolding of events that lead the development of the protagonist was what put me in mind of that book particularly.

View all my reviews

The Indigo Spell. Richelle Mead.

8709526The Indigo Spell
by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Omfg. I loved this so much!

The Plot
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

So there were several things that annoyed me about this sequel, yet still I enjoyed reading it. All of it. What I didn’t like was Adrian’s shifting, maturing character. It seemed so different, yet sometimes it seemed strange, yet I still liked it. Though I preferred him Bloodlines and The Golden Lily. I still liked his personality, like the little anecdotes he brought up about Russians and the monopoly board.
About the plot though, I thought it was good. I seriously didn’t see it happening, that thing with the witches. I literally felt Sydney’s surprise when she learned the truth.

The Characters
I really do like Sydney’s character, but she’s so OCD about everything. And sometimes it irked me in this sequel. Though I noticed. After a particular event (view spoiler) she does get a bit erratic, and I’m surprised even at myself that I actually felt Sydney lose a bit of control.
Adrian still has the same personality in this sequel, but it’s a little more mature which was cute to watch. I don’t know yet what I think about his matureness. I thought the dream scenes were totally Adrian all over, and it was very hot, very sweet too!
Jill, I liked better this time round. I’m not sure why, but it seemed easier to deal with her, read parts where she was included.
Trey and Angeline are in this one and well it was obviouc, in my opinion, what happens to them.
Eddie surprisingly wasn’t in this much. I also, surprisingly, didn’t miss him much, which is kind of sad?
And lastly Ms T! (I can’t remember how to spell her name. I’m sure there are a few “e’s”, a “w” and a double “l” in there somewhere) Who doesn’t love the old witchy woman with a tendency to call our favourite character Miss Melbourne rather than Miss Melrose, and prefers to not take ‘no’ for an answer, especially when she knows the other will come around. She’s pretty significant in this one.

The Setting
Palm Springs, USA.

The Writing
It took me a while to get into the flow of Mead’s writing. But after several novels written by her, I have to say, I just can’t say anything bad about it. It’s definitely not quite the poetic kind of writing. And it’s pretty effective for feeling the emotions of the protagonist. But I think it was Mead’s ability to create a variety of different characters that won me over!

Read. Read. Sure there are things to hate, but damn, when I say I’m dying to read the next sequel, I literally cannot hold on. I want it now!

View all my reviews