Thursday, 26 June 2014

Review: King of Forgotten Clubs

King of Forgotten Clubs (Queen of Broken Hearts #2) by Jennifer Recchio
Title: King of Forgotten Clubs
Series: Queen of Broken Hearts, #2
Author: Jennifer Recchio
Published: (unknown); 2013
54 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 0.5 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

There’s two hours left before Pak Higgins’ paper on the psychology of needs is due. Two hours to figure out what he needs in his life. Is it the girlfriend that dumped him for being too distant? The friends he’s barely talking to anymore? Or maybe it’s the running girl who crashed through his window at three in the morning with a desperate plea for help.

It’s definitely not the parents who tried to leave him in a boarding school in France or the money he walked away from to cut himself off from them.

But needing is a funny thing. Sometimes it’s the ones you want to run from that you need the most.

My Thoughts:

 Why? Why did I force myself to suffer through this? I read Queen of Broken Hearts and its horrible writing, shoddy plotline and crappy characters just about killed me. When I first saw this on Netgalley I just laughed and scrolled past it. Then I saw it was "read now: and I couldn't help thinking, what if Pak's story isn't so bad? I wanted to give the series a chance for improvement. Everyone deserves a second chance right? Wrong! This series didn't deserve the second chance, especially because this was even worse than the first book... if that's even possible!

I can honestly not tell you what happened in this book. Honestly! If you think I am exaggerating, please go and read this yourself. You'll see soon enough how illogically and nonsensically this is written. The plot moved from one location to another within a couple of sentences and I couldn't follow why or how. The characters were all shallow, idiotic and well, practically carbon copies of one another. If it wasn't for their names (oh, please don't even get me started on the author's choice of names!), I probably wouldn't have been able to differentiate any of the characters at all.

To sum this up rather simply: King of Forgotten Clubs was terrible, the plotline made no sense and the characters didn't make any sense either. I didn't enjoy this. I tried to, honestly I did, but no, I just cannot get into the series. This time I really do mean it when I say that I will not be reading any more of this author's work.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Jennifer Recchio and All Night Reads, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review: Deadly Secrets

Deadly Secrets by Sarah Barrie


 Born and bred on the land, Jordan Windcroft is tough. She's had to be. Her life revolves around running her property almost single-handedly on next to no money, and waiting out her four years of probation — a rap that she took for one of her closest friends.

But there's an end to her problems in sight. Jordan’s probation period is almost up, and if she can just make the cattle sale, there’s a chance she can pull herself out of more than ten years of serious debt and keep her precious farm. The last thing she needs is for Reid Easton to walk into town.

Detective Senior Sergeant Reid Easton drives into Whitewater Creek on a mission to wrap up a three-year drug investigation; his only lead, Jordan Windcroft. The attraction between the two is immediate, but Reid is undercover and Jordan has a secret she can’t risk him discovering. Neither will jeopardise their cause, not for something as transitory as love.


My Thoughts:
The past couple of weeks for me have been exams, exams and more bloody exams and I just haven't had any time to relax with all my studying and its been killing me. I tried to sneak in a couple of chapters every night before bed at least but that became a struggle... Now that they are over - finally! - I get to sit down. Hallelujah!

Deadly Secrets was the perfect book for me to get back into the reading mood. There is a lot that I can nitpick about it. There were some clichés, the middle was a little slow and dragged on a bit too long, the ending was a tad predicable but you know what? I didn't need a perfect book. I needed something entertaining and something fun - which is precisely what I got!

I have to say that I simply adored the characters and they were what made this for me. Jordan is everything you can wish for in a female protagonist: funny, strong, independent (not clingy or obsessive), sassy, savvy, feisty, not afraid to stick up for herself, tough... I can go on! I simply loved her approach to life. She never once complained, despite everything thrown her way and she didn't depend on any knight in shining armour or fairy godmother to come and rescue her. She had everything planned out for herself and I really admired her determination.

The romance not only beautiful and definitely swoon-worthy, but well developed. There was no instalove. There was a bit of insta-attraction but it wasn't acted upon until appropriate. I completely fell in love with Reid as I read more and more about him. He is loyal, sweet, sassy, funny, passionate and fierce. He is the type to love with all his heart and never give up, ever. I loved his relationship with Jordan and I really wish this had a sequel so I could read more of him!

I enjoyed the mystery aspects also. The drug investigation was a little bit duller than I would have expected and I wish there had been a more exciting conclusion, however. The switch over to the next "mystery" (I won't say more than that so it won't be spoiled) was dragged out a little too much for my liking. The second mystery however was super creepy and I loved the thriller vibe it gave. I was kept on my on toes the entire time and loved every minute of it.

Overall, I really enjoyed Deadly Secrets. It was a pleasant surprise and a great break from the crappy week I've been having. I would recommend it to New Adult contemporary romance fans that love murder mysteries as well. I am definitely checking out more of this author's work!

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Sarah Barrie and Escape Publishing, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Review: Twilight

Twilight (Twilight #1) by Stephenie Meyer
Title: Twilight
Series: Twilight, #1
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Published: Atom; 2007
434 pages, paperback
Source: Bought; own physical copy
Rating: 2.5 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret. What Bella doesn't realize is that the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back ...

My Thoughts:

 Everyone will automatically see a review of Twilight and either keep scrolling past if they are one of the haters or stop to take to time to read this is they are a Twi-hard. We have all read, seen, heard and been simply bombarded with the hyper storm surrounding this series. The jokes, the furious rants against this - we've heard it all before haven't we? How could you have not really? The first time I read this - early last year perhaps? - I only picked this up for a dare. I had heard all about how crap this was and believed it all. I mocked the hell out of this even before giving it a chance. When I did have the guts to pick it up I was shocked that it really wasn't that bad.

What? Yeah, I know, I was shocked too. Seriously though, it has some really good parts and some really dud parts - like most of the books I have read. The instalove is a factor but isn't that more common than not in YA books now? It isn't really isn't that big a shock. Bella is a bit pathetic and Edward a bit creepy - the watching her sleeping thing was very creepy! - but I say again, is that not common now a days anyway - a creepy love interest? I'm not saying its a good thing but it isn't a big of a drama as everyone is made it out to be.

The vampire lore is actually very well done in my opinion. I enjoyed it. I don't see why everyone gets all upset about the fact that Meyer's vampires aren't able to go into direct sunlight without their skin sparkling. Isn't that an original idea? I don't see how that is such a terrible thing. I thought it was a great spin to the boring classical vampire lore she couldn't have used instead.

There was a lot that I could criticise. The characters themselves are rather annoying, I cannot stand Bella nor Edward personally and their instalove is awfully overdramatic but I won't deny that I don't mind this book. The plotline kept me engaged and the other characters aren't so bad.

Want some advice? Read this book before forming an opinion. If you read it and still hate it, then at least you have reasons for hating it and can use evidence in your arguments. If you liked it? Well, you have a new series to get into! No problems there. Give it a go regardless. There isn't any fun in making false assumptions, don't make the same mistake I did.

Review: Fathomless

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3) by Jackson Pearce
Title: Fathomless
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #3
Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: Hodder Children's Books; 2013
288 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: 3 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant - until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea - a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid - all terms too pretty for the soul-less monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her...and steal his soul.

My Thoughts:
Fathomless wasn't what I was expecting. Does that mean it wasn't good? I don't think so. Its just that it strayed so far from the bar that was set in Sisters Red. This time Jackson Pearce takes a completely different story and spins her magic there. For me both of the two previous book have had a darker streak and a hauntingly eerie mystery as the central plot. This time though we are treated to a poetic story of a mermaid named Lo. It is told almost like a tragedy, with rich words and an air of sadness.

Celia and her two sisters are not like other girls their age. They have powers, strong powers. Anne can see the future, Jane the present and Celia the past. Celia isn't as comfortable using her powers as her sisters are. She doesn't think they are helpful gifts. What good is it to know the life history of everyone she touches?

Lo is a mermaid. Once human she can no longer even remember her human name. Living with her mermaid sisters is beginning to take a toll on her and she knows that she will not last much longer. Not unless she can make a human fall in love with her... and steal his soul.

When Jude falls into the ocean one night, Celia and Lo save him together. But who will Jude fall for?

I really loved the character of Lo in this story. She was so lost at first and I loved the way her story was panned out. We took a journey with her. We discovered her slowly, her character was taken apart layer by layer and we got to see each part in light and depth. I loved her strength, her determination, the way that she took everything with a seriousness and wanted what was best, even if that was not the easiest way.

Celia and Jude weren't such highlights for me. I didn't understand them as much as I did Lo. Celia's reluctance for her own independence was frustrating and I didn't feel that we got to know Jude in as much depth as we should have.

The romance for me also didn't work. It was sweet but nothing remarkable. The banter was cute but nothing really that funny or notable. I felt like it was a little too underdeveloped since in the blurb it read like it was meant to play a more important role.

The mermaid lore was fascinating - like nothing I have ever read before. I loved the serenity of the sisters' world and I loved their sense of camaraderie. There was an amazing beauty to their dark world and it was very prettily and poetically written so that it reflected the more traditional folklore.

I did enjoy the ending. There is a great twist and a lot of action. The mystery is perfectly summarised though the epilogue left a lot to be desired.

Overall, nowhere near as good as
Sisters Red or Sweetly but a enjoyable and very well-written story nonetheless.

Note: I just want to add that I would strongly recommend reading the two previous books of the series first. It is said that this can be read as a standalone and it can, but there is a very clever character reference that would be lot more thrilling, and overly more enjoyable ,if you had read about it in
Sweetly. Also the Fenris lore might be a little confusing to you if you haven't gotten the back knowledge about them introduced in the two prequels.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: Tease

Tease by Amanda Maciel
Title: Tease
Series: none
Author: Amanda Maciel
Published: Hachette Children's Books; 2014
368 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 2 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

 Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.

At least, that's what everyone seems to think when Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. But Sara is sure she hasn't done anything wrong, because Emma brought it on herself. Sara is adamant that she was the victim - not Emma.

My Thoughts:

 Tease was not the book that it wished to be. It could have been good and there is going to be a lot of people who will love it. Unfortunately, I am not one of those readers. For a book that attempted to look into such a controversial topic it was oddly juvenile and the protagonist was not nearly as emotive as was needed. This had so much potential yet it dragged and I was consequently bored.

I had major problems with Sara, our main character. She was unforgiving, overdramatic, stubborn, rigid, cold-hearted and a bitch to put it frankly. I thought Tease was supposed to be about bullying, making mistakes, moving forward, forgiveness and all that jazz. This however turned into a repetitive and dull whinge-fest. Sara didn't care about Emma. She didn't care she was dead or that she might've, at least in part, influenced her decision to kill herself. She couldn't care less. She thought Emma was a slut. She cheated with Sara's boyfriend and then "stole" him away. This made her death acceptable to Sara. She deserved it... and we heard about this over and over again.

Emma was a boyfriend-stealing bitch right up until the day in March when she killed herself. I didn't do anything wrong, but she totally ruined my life.

While it was nice to read from this sort of fresh perspective - how many times do we get to read from a "mean girl" perspective? - I expected more from it. I wanted more from it. I loved seeing how Sara thought and how she justified her, somewhat awful, actions and decisions but she was simply a whingey brat that I just didn't find fun to read about. I also felt that her carefree attitude was a little over the top. It was almost as if the author wanted you to hate her for what she did... and feel sorry for Emma. I, however, wanted to hate Emma. No, I take that back. I wanted to be able to understand why Sara and Brielle hated Emma, yet I still don't feel like I do. I just feel manipulated.

The plotline was also way too jerky. The flashbacks weren't set out very well and there were parts that I was very confused about what had happened and what hadn't yet. I also felt the ending was too cut off. We spent so much time building up to the trial and then what? We don't get to find out the decision? Not fair! I actually hope there is a sequel because otherwise that was all a waste of time.

Overall, I wasn't very impressed with Tease. I can see that some people are going to love this, and there are going to be others that absolutely hate it. The idea was there but the execution was not. Quite disappointing!

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Amanda Maciel and Hachette Children's Books, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Review: The Brokenhearted

The Brokenhearted (Brokenhearted #1) by Amelia Kahaney

A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage… and her duty to uphold it.

My Thoughts:

3.5 stars

The Brokenhearted was both good and bad. There were parts I loved and parts where I was bored. There were characters that I loved and characters that I loathed. I ended up liking it and disliking it equally, so I'll just say that I sit somewhere in the middle!

The Good:

Anthem, our protagonist - Looking back on reviews of my fellow GR friends I can see that this was the biggest disappointment to them. No one seems to like Anthem. Sure, her name is not exactly applaud-worthy, in fact, I am pretty sure I cringed every single time I read it. But you know what? I really loved her character. She was feisty. She was strong. She was stubborn in the best possible way. Best of all? She loved with all her heart. She made some silly choices but she acknowledge them and moved forward, always fighting and never giving up. I admired her perseverance and her strength. Her passion was amazing and I came to really admire her.

Ford - What a sweetie! I loved him. He wasn't pushy or overbearing when it came to Anthem. He was a strong and supportive friend that protected her and looked out for her when she needed him. He was brave and loveable and funny. He could always lighten the mood or situation. I loved that he was purely a great friend and didn't try and push anything more on Anthem.

The Bad:

Anthem's new heart
- I love the idea of it and how it affected the rest of Anthem's body, giving her some awesome powers, but I didn't appreciate that we weren't told exactly how it worked. I wanted to learn some of the mechanics behind it. I mean a hummingbird heart in a human? That's a big deal, a huge scientific break through! It wasn't obviously just a hummingbird heart however - their hearts are too small for a human - so what did they do to enlarge it? Add the tissue into a human heart? Do something technical with the DNA? I wanted to know!

The predictability of the final "twist" - It was too obvious that something was amiss and it was easy to point a finger on exactly what that was. Waiting for that "twist" to be revealed then became a bore in parts. The end, however, was still very, very well done. Even if I saw some of it coming it was still an emotional chapter. Amelia Kahaney did do a very good job with the writing.

In the end, I did enjoy this book, especially the characters, but I felt like it could have been more. There were parts left untouched and there is nothing more annoying then untapped potential. However, despite the negatives I eagerly await the release of The Invisible and would still recommend this to fans of the genre.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Review: Cold Spell

Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings #4) by Jackson Pearce
Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

My Thoughts:

Cold Spell was a great ending to a great series. I am so disappointed that there isn't going to be any more books to the Fairytale Retellings series. No more Fenris and no more Reynolds boys! Sigh. Oh well, all good things come to end, right? And what an ending this was!

This was a far better instalment than Fathomless was. The characters were far better - more kickass, funnier, snarkier. I really loved them all. Ginny? Strong-willed and not afraid to give up. Lucas? Hilarious and adorably loyal. Ella? Hell kick-ass and really sweet. Flannery? Feisty, strong and pretty damn awesome. Callum? Simply adorable and surprisingly smart. Kai? Well, that where all my problems lay. I just couldn't get his character. I don't know if I really got him and Ginny as a couple either, honestly. I didn't feel a connection to him as much as I did the other characters, who were all very lovable.

The plot was a little slower than I normally like but I wasn't bored. There were times, especially spent in Princess of Kentucky's home, that I felt was a little pointless. I didn't really understand the Travellers' connection to the Fenris and Snow Queen but I enjoy the fresh angle and perspective they bought with them. The rest of the plot however was intriguing. I loved that it could make me feel sad, happy, giddy, frustrated, confused, elated and all these other emotions in such a short span of time.
Jackson Pearce is simply a bloody amazing writer.

Cold Spell was everything I was hoping for and was a perfect ending to a great series. I would easily recommend this, though I would advise that you read them in order. Yes, this can be read as a standalone, but I really don't think you would appreciate it as much as you would if you were to read the other three books first.

Review: The Holders

The Holders (Holder #1) by Julianna Scott

Title: The Holders
Series: Holders, #1
Author: Julianna Scott
Published: Strange Chemistry; 2013
320 pages, kindle edition
Source: ARR from the author (Julianna Scott)
Rating: 3 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):
17-year-old Becca spent her whole life protecting her brother from, well, everything. The abandonment of their father, the so called 'experts' who insist that voices in his head are unnatural and must be dealt with, and the constant threat of being taken away to some hospital and studied like an animal. When two representatives appear claiming to have the answers to Ryland's perceived problem, Becca doesn't buy it for one second. That is until they seem to know things about Ryland and about Becca and Ryland's family, that forces Becca to concede that there may be more to these people than meets the eye. Though still highly skeptical, Becca agrees to do what's best for Ryland.

What they find at St. Brigid's is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together the information of their family's heritage, their estranged Father, and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they've been waiting for. However, they are all--especially Becca--in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

She meets Alex, a Holder who is fiercely loyal to their race, and for some reason, Becca and Ryland. There's an attraction between Becca and Alex that can't be denied, but her true nature seems destined to keep them apart. However, certain destinies may not be as clear cut as everyone has always believed them to be.

Becca is lost, but found at the same time. Can she bring herself to leave Ryland now that he's settled and can clearly see his future? Will she be able to put the the feelings she has for Alex aside and head back to the US? And can Becca and Ryland ever forgive their father for what he's done?

My Thoughts:

 This was my second attempt at starting The Holders. The first time I couldn't get into it, whether due to my frame of mind at the time or what, I am not sure. My second attempt was far more successful though, and I was able to fly through it without much effort.

Its easy to fall for the completely lovable characters in this. I enjoyed the fact that even though they were rather "simple", they each had tangible personalities that were realistic and genuine. They could easily be people you met on the street and that makes the story seem so much fuller, so much richer, because it adds to the layer of reality.

I am so happy to be able to say that this is one of the best romances I have read it awhile. It was kept on the sideline at all appropriate moments, the action overtaking when necessary, and was genuinely sweet. Becca and Alex had chemistry which didn't feel forced and while it does appear a little suddenly - well, sort of - it wasn't by any means a case of your usual insta-love. Alex himself is simply to die for. I loved him dearly. He was honestly a sweet, caring, loyal, funny guy that cared about Becca because he did - not because she was hot, or had the best magical powers, or she had the whole "wounded" thing going on. I think more authors need to read this and learn from it how romance should be written.

What let me down was how damn predictable this book was. Breadcrumbs were dropped along the way leading up to a few certain "twists", the only problem being that these breadcrumbs were so obviously hinted at that author may as well have stuck little arrows in the margins of books saying Here's a clue! This really let me down because I was then waiting impatiently for the "twists" to be revealed. When they were, however, things took a turn for the better and the plot began to chuff along at a much faster pace.

Overall, this isn't the book reminiscent of Harry Potter, as it is being said, but it was enjoyable and I am happy to have read it. The characters were great, the romance was spot on and I will definitely be seeking out
The Seers.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Julianna Scott, through the YA Buddy Readers' Corner, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Title: These Broken Stars
Series: Starbound, #1
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Published: Allen & Unwin; 2013
374 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: 2.5 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

My Thoughts:

 There is nothing quite like picking a well-loved and incredibly popular book which has gotten plenty of four and five star reviews from all your trusted friends and... well, hating it.

The Goodreads description promises us an epic survival journey with These Broken Stars complete with an epic dystopian space society and a gorgeous romantic subplot. Is there anything else that they could have added to sell me? No way! Its sounds perfect. I love myself a good a dystopian book set in space - not that I have really read that many - because I get positively giddy thinking about the endless possibilities. There is so much potential with this sort of book. Space is practically an unexplored continent - take it and run!

However, this is last thing that Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner had on their minds. They seem to get their kicks of out of clichéd romance, dull plotlines and implausible scenarios. *cue my disinterest* I should have known that this was all an overhyped empty promise from the get go. I mean, how many good dystopians have you read that have had such beautiful covers anyway? The girl is floating in a freakin' ball gown of all things - how did I not pick up that she would turn into a rich and spoiled brat?

My problems with this book started with the lack of interesting characters, the lack of space-related scenes, the lack of an intriguing dystopian society, the lack of a thought-out romance and the overall lacking-ness of this book. I wasn't impressed much at all to be impressed. The writing was dull and didn't capture me in the slightest either.

I had a lot of problems with the sudden romantic jump the two characters took and also the alien spin - it felt completely random and there simply for the sake of drama. The romance was just cringe-worthy to be honest. It was all that forced flirtatious action where everything is planned so that they have to touch or so Tarver has an excuse to cuddle under the blankets with Lilac for warmth or watch her get changed, and Lilac has a chance to mop Tarver's brow because he is oh so sick, the poor thing. *gags* This sort of lovey-dovey romance is more vomit-inducing than cute.

The lack of explanation into the dystopian society that Lilac and Tarver came from was infuriating. I had, no have, so many unanswered questions: how did they discovered hyperspace? How did we come to live in space? Are these "our" planets - Venus? Mars? Neptune? - or a creation of the authors? We don't get to know much about any aspect of their society and it left me feeling empty - like a large chunk of the book had been skipped.

The ending also ruined it for me. I cannot say much about it because it as a huge spoiler but under no circumstance is okay to do what these authors did to the characters of
These Broken Stars. It isn't fair to us readers or the other characters.

Overall, I have to say that this was a huge disappointment for me. I don't see how everyone has come to love this. I will probably give
This Shattered World a go though since it is set with different characters. Lets hope that it is an improvement to this.

Review: No Place Like Oz

No Place Like Oz (Dorothy Must Die #0.5) by Danielle Paige

Title: No Place Like Oz
Series: Dorothy Must Die, #0.5
Author: Danielle Paige
Published: HarperCollins; 2013
196 pages, kindle edition
Source: Gifted to me (from Sarah)
Rating: 2 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

 After returning to Kansas, Dorothy Gale has realized that the dreary fields of Kansas don’t compare to the vibrant landscapes of Oz. And although she’s happy to be reunited with Aunt Em, she misses her friends from the yellow brick road. But most of all, Dorothy misses the fame and the adventure. In Kansas she’s just another prairie girl, but in Oz she was a hero. So Dorothy is willing to do anything to get back, because there really is no place like Oz. But returning to the land she left comes at a price, and after Dorothy is through with it, Oz will never be the same.
My Thoughts:

No Place Like Oz introduced a simply fascinating world with potentially great characters, but it wasn't that great. I know, I know, its a Wizard of Oz retelling - it has to be great, right?


I never thought that I would dislike a retelling of this nature. I mean not only do I simply adore the movie, but retellings are one of my all-time favourite genres. I thought this would have easily been a new favourite of mine.

No such luck however.

Dorothy was a bitch. I'm sorry, excuse my language, but seriously? She whined, she whinged, she yelled at and was simply rude to everyone who even dared to be nice to her. Her aunt and uncle cared about her and wanted nothing but the best for her, so how does she repay them? With mind control and then embarrasses and mocks them. She is horrible to everyone for no reason other than the fact that she thinks she is so damn high and mighty. She is so obviously better than them... expect she isn't really.

Another downer was that the plot was too rushed. A big problem I find with novellas in general, but what makes this worse is that No Place Like Oz easily has enough storyline to fill an entire novel double its size. It didn't need to be rushed. There were so many parts that could have done with more description, more elaboration and more planning.

What got this up to two stars is simple: the idea. I mean its an absolutely amazing and original idea. We have had Wizard of Oz spin-offs before, but never have we had a futuristic book set with Dorothy going back to Oz. Well, I have never heard or read any. Its a wonderful idea and I simply loved seeing the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodsman and Glinda and the whole crew back together. I wanted more, more, more about what had transpired in Oz while Dorothy was gone - more about the Forest of Fear trees, the Yellow Brick Road, the Wizard, the pixies, the Scarecrow's reign - I wanted to explore it all.

In the end, I felt like this wasn't enough. It lack that special something that I was expecting it to have. I didn't like the characters, especially Dorothy, and the plot was a little too dull for me to be too engaged. I look forward to Dorothy Must Tell regardless, but I hope it is better than this was.

Review: Sidekick

Sidekick by Auralee Wallace
Title: Sidekick
Series: none
Author: Auralee Wallace
Published: Escape Publishing; 2014
173 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 1 star
 Description (from Goodreads):

Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.

Things are certainly looking bleak for the down-and-out socialite until a good deed throws her into the path of the city’s top crime-fighter, Dark Ryder. Suddenly, Bremy has a new goal: apprentice to a superhero, and start her own crime-fighting career.

Ryder has no need for a sidekick, but it turns out the city needs Bremy’s help. Atticus St James is planning the crime of the century, and Bremy may be the only one able to get close enough to her father to stop him.

Now all she needs to do is figure out this superhero thing in less than a month, keep her identity secret from the man who could very well be The One, and save the city from total annihilation.

Well, no one ever said being a superhero would be easy...

My Thoughts:

DNF 25%

I'm sorry but I cannot read another word of this. I don't know what I expected but this was terrible and that is putting it nicely! It made little sense and rivalled
Queen of Broken Hearts with its level of crappy writing.

How I am supposed to take a books seriously when:

1. It opens with a scene where our protagonist, Bremy, is at a bank trying to get a loan for $100 and wondering why the teller won't let her. The next thing we know the friggin' circus comes into the bank, complete with tumblers, contortionists, midget cross-dressers and scary clowns, and start performing - yes, in the bank. I mean, what? They all then randomly pull out guns and threaten the costumers.

This alone was off-putting. It was absolutely ridiculous! Not to mention that it poorly described and plotted so I could barely follow what was actually happening.

2. Bremy needs to pay off her landlord, a mobster who isn't exactly the most patient person, so she decides to go to the local strip club to see if she can get a job there serving drinks. When she walks in the stripper girls immediately approach her and start hissing at her. The owner of the club them tells the Vipers - yes, he calls them Vipers! - to back off. Bremy just stands there wondering who would be the first one of them to eat her because she is sure that of them are vampires . This is set in the modern non-vampire-infested world so why the hell would they freakin' eat her!?

If this craziness wasn't off-putting enough, Bremy's dumbness most certainly was. When she describes the strippers, she describes them as wearing only three colours: red, black... and fishnet . If that was meant to be humorous it didn't work. It makes Bremy look even more stupid than she already did.

I cannot honestly read another word of this rubbish. I wouldn't recommend this. I won't be finishing this off and I doubt I will bother reading anything else by
Auralee Wallace if this is what her work is like.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Auralee Wallace and Escape Publishing, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1) by Jenny Han


Rating: 2.5 stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Thoughts:

To All The Boys I've Loved Before was not the book I expected. What has happened to the 2014 contemporary romance genre? I think we a have a crisis similar to the 2011/2012 Dystopian Disaster on our hands! Sigh. So what went wrong with this? Well, just about everything:

1) Our protagonist, Lara Jean.:

Lara Jean was supposed to be sixteen but she acted as if she was twelve. She was immature in every possible way: her thoughts, her actions, her decisions and her sense of humour. She was also incredibly naïve, gullible, easily upset and cried way too much. She was a very dull and dislikeable character.

2) The fake-dating and love triangle:

I didn't understand the point of the "contract" or Peter's need to string along Lara Jean. I get it was to make Gen jealous but seriously? There are others ways to do that. Other ways that are much less cliché and boring, I might add. We all know that fake dating turns into a real life crush so why bother with all the drama? We know it will happen sooner or later.

Also, Josh did not need to be involved in Lara Jean's petty dramas. It would have been nice if
Jenny Han had taken his character and explored the emotional strains of long distances relationships with him and Margot. The love triangle was really not at all necessary.

3) The predictableness:

We could all guess who sent those letters within the first few chapters. It was written as clear as day. There was no way it could have been any other person, so what was the point of making it into a big mystery?

4) The other characters:

Margot: I didn't understand her at all. I understand her tough but savvy attitude after their mother's death was a coping mechanism and that's completely acceptable, but I just couldn't understand her or her relationship with Josh. I needed to see or get to know her more and felt that her character development was really needed to help build the sisterly bond between her and Lara Jean.

Peter: Two-faced much? I never quite figured out if I liked him or not. He could be sweet at times, like when he was with Kitty and how he bought those donuts especially for Lara Jean, but the rest of the time he was a real ass. He was egotistical, stubborn, rude and I just wasn't a fan.

Josh: Waste of a character. I felt like he had no real personality at all. He was there to create drama and that's all really.

Did I enjoy anything about this book? Well, yes I did - surprisingly! I adored the character of Kitty. God, she was such a sweetie! Her determination and toughness was adorable and she was a real delight to read. I also enjoyed some of the sweeter moments with Peter. When he was in his better mood, he really could be really nice and he had a few funny moments.

All that saying, I didn't really enjoy this book and wouldn't recommend it. I might pick up P.S. I Love You so I can see how it ends but I won't be pining for it.