Monday, 29 August 2011

Review for Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

"The murder of her parents has left Silla damaged and lost, and Silla's insistence that her father is not to blame only alienates her further from her friends and family. When a mysterious spell book arrives, Silla hopes it will lead to some answers about her parents' killer. In her first attempt at magic, in an old graveyard near her home, Nick, the new boy in town spies on her; he recognizes the magic that Silla is performing as the same magic his mother performed with him, before she went mad.

Before long, Silla and Nick connect, though Nick is unwilling to share his history with blood magic with Silla. When Silla's friends start showing signs of possession, Silla, Nick and Silla's brother, Reese, must contend with a deadly, immortal woman who will stop at nothing to take the book of spells from them."

Blood Magic is the kind of book that grabs your attention from the start and refuses to let go until the end. Despite Blood Magic being Tessa Gratton’s debut novel it certainly doesn’t read that way! Tessa already has established a strong, confident, voice that captures teen angst perfectly and woves around it a dark and delicious tale that will leave readers on the edge of their seat, Gratton’s writing is so deliciously creepy, gothic and suspenseful that the setting for the story becomes a character in itself, the magic, blood and murder hanging thick and heavy in the air.

Blood Magic is a fresh and original book with all of the blood, death and despair of the ever popular vampire genre without the cliché vampires. Instead Gratton spins a tale steeped in dark and dangerous magic and her use of blood, rituals and spells makes for some fascinating reading.

The book is told alternately between our main characters Silla and Nick. I really loved both of their personalities and found their growing attraction to be very believable. Silla is damaged and traumatized since finding her parents murdered and Nick is fiery, rebellious and angry after being brought up by his insane blood witch mother who would use him in her twisted spells. Both characters are realistic, broken and less than perfect and their romance is hot and passionate- just the way I like it!

Throughout the book there are mysterious passages from an old unfound journal belonging to a disturbed and powerful young witch called Josephine. At the start it isn’t really clear how her story connects with Silla’s but as you delve deeper into the book the more their lives become intertwined and I was really shocked and wonderfully thrilled by the conclusion.

Blood Magic has all the romance and darkness of a paranormal love story and all the intrigue and mystery of a thriller. This book is chilling, incredibly well written and unlike anything else out there. I really enjoyed it and was very impressed that this was a debut novel. I hope Tessa Gratton writes more books about Silla and Nick in the future and if you haven’t checked out Blood Magic yet I would highly recommend that you do!
My Rating 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis taken from Amazon

Thanks go to Random House for sending me this book for review

Friday, 26 August 2011

Review for Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the last book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Although this review will contain NO spoilers from Forever by talking about the plot there may be unintentional spoilers from earlier books in the series.

"In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in."

First of all I think I’m just going to put it out there that I was disappointed with this book. I’m a HUGE fan of this series and Forever was one of my most highly anticipated books of this year but sadly this final conclusion to one of my favourite series left me cold.

Everything started off well. I was quickly drawn back into this story thanks to Maggie’s ever beautiful writing and was once again caught up in Sam and Grace’s story. The start of the book was exciting and I couldn’t wait to see where Maggie took us.

Then half way through the book I got bored. The romance that I love so much in this series is very lackluster in Forever. Now I know that Sam and Grace had bigger problems to deal with but throughout the rest of this series despite all the crazy going on at these books heart was always Sam and Grace and this amazing love story that had the ability to make me laugh and cry. This book despite being the final goodbye to a world I love didn’t have me shedding any tears- guys I didn’t even get misty eyed. Compared to both Shiver and Linger where I would sob great big my heart is broken tears my lack of emotion towards Forever felt very strange to me and I think was largely because of the lack of feeling put into this book.

I felt that Maggie could easily have cut out 100 to 150 pages of this book as nothing significant really happens in the middle making the book drag on. Then at the end of the book Maggie does a complete U turn and everything ends so abruptly with so many things left up in the air. I’m someone who needs a good conclusion especially at the end of a series that I have loved and invested in so I can feel content and ready to let the characters go. I didn’t feel that Forever’s ending gave me proper closure as so much was left up in the air leaving the reader to interpret what they want out of it. I hate when books do that and to be honest felt cheated from the proper ending Sam and Grace deserved.

That being said overall Forever was a decent read the high point being Maggie’s beautiful writing. I mostly enjoyed the book up until the end and even then it’s not that I didn’t like the ending per se I was just frustrated mostly with the lack of it. If you don’t mind a bit of interpretation at the end of your books then you’re bound to have no problems with Forever but for me personally I wanted and expected more and hate that I have to leave this series with so many what ifs on my mind. Needless to say this book wasn’t great for me and will be looked up on my bookshelf as the ending that wasn’t, I’ll cherish and re-read Shiver and Linger for years to come and will pass over Forever with regret and sadness for what could have been.
My Rating 3/5 stars

Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Fury

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Publication Date: 1st September 2011
From Amazon UK
In book one of the Fury trilogy, Em Winters and Chase Singer discover that a little guilt isn't the only consequence of doing wrong. After Em hooks up with her best friend's boyfriend and Chase's secret harassment of a social outcast spirals out of control, three mysterious Furies-paranormal creatures that often assume the form of beautiful women-come to town to make sure that Em and Chase get what they deserve. Not everyone will survive-and those who do will discover there are worse punishments than death. But when Em befriends outcast Drea and learns more about who and what the Furies really are, she becomes resolved above all to take them down and stop their plans. Little does Em know that, by confronting the Furies, she could become inextricably bound to them for life.

This Wednesday I am waiting on yet another Greek Mythology book. I love the Greek Mythology trend in YA at the moment and am hugely excited because Fury merges together Contemporary YA and Greek Myth which are two genres I absolutely love. I’ve heard some mixed early reviews from my blogger friends who were lucky enough to receive it early but because it ticks all of my boxes I’m more than willing to give this one a try! With it out in just over a week here in the UK I haven’t got long to wait but regardless I’m counting down the days!

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bookish News! Featuring Pandemonium Giveaway, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Velvet and Tesco’s Book Blog...

What better way to start the weekend than by telling you guys about some exciting book news! All info was emailed to me from reliable sources so big thank you’s to the publishers who email me giving me juicy info to share with my readers!

So first up is something I myself am hugely excited about. With Delirium by Lauren Oliver now out in paperback the lovely people at Hodder are celebrating by running a competition exclusive to the UK where you can win one of the first five UK proofs of Lauren’s upcoming novel, Pandemonium, the follow on from Delirium. Exciting much!? Anyone can enter as long as you live in the UK for more info follow the link to enter here.

Also from Hodder we have the final cover reveal for the highly anticipated Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I love this cover almost as much as I loved the book itself and can’t wait for it to be released into the wild on September 29th. Here is also the new stunning UK trailer, for more information on Daughter of Smoke and Bone check out my review here.

Click on image to enlarge

For more September news Mary Hooper is releasing her new book Velvet a creepy sounding historical fiction from this much loved author. She’s planning on making some public appearances in September to promote the new book. Here are the details below. If you’re around the area you really should stop by!

6pm, Tuesday 20th September
Just Imagine Story Centre, 64-68 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0PD
Tel 01245 267748
Tickets: £5

2pm, Sunday 25th September
Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 4BX
Tel: 01225 463 362
Tickets: £5

And for my last piece of gossip Tesco have launched a fabulous book blog! I tend to get a lot of my books from Tesco thanks to their amazing offers and Tesco Books are sure to offer up some really exciting posts with sneak previews, author interviews, giveaways and competitions. I and some fellow UK book bloggers are also set to participate in some posts so keep your eyes peeled for those! Click on this link to take you to the blog and you can follow them on twitter @TescoBooks

That’s all from me for now, have a fabulous weekend!

Jess x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought."

Critical acclaim for Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been building steadily over the past few months in anticipation for its release and I am pleased to say that I concur with all of the early high praise. Due to all the hype I had pretty high expectations for this book before starting it but even still I wasn’t prepared for how awesome this book truly is and how fiercely I would love it.

This review is going to be one of those terribly hard ones to write simply because the books too good to put into words. You can’t explain how amazing it is it’s something people have to experience for themselves. To put it simply this book blew my mind.

Laini Taylor is a remarkable storyteller and has created a rich and absorbing new world that’s completely different to anything else out there. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has a little bit of everything and therefore something to offer any reader, of any age, gender and preference in genre. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a story of war and magic, beasts with hearts of gold and sadistic blood thirsty angels but at the centre of it all is an epic love story that has the power to change everything. Daughter of Smoke and Bone isn’t the kind of book that I would recommend to just fans of young adult fiction but to anybody, anyone who can appreciate a good story.

Our main character Karou is a strong and quirky heroine who enthrals those around her with her art and stories about demons and beast like creatures. Her friends just presume she has a vivid imagination but despite her teasing smile Karou has never told her friends a lie. The stories she tells are her life, her life bought up by monsters in a place called Elsewhere running strange and dangerous errands for her guardian and father figure Brimstone who grants wishes in exchange for teeth. Karou knows little about her past and the world where Brimstone is from but now the portals to Elsewhere are closing. Cut off from the only family she’s ever known Karou must at last unlock the secrets of her past in order to understand her fate.

Karou is such a kooky, interesting character who I found so easy to like. Like the world of Elsewhere there are many secrets and layers to Karou. For instance she has blue hair that grows out of her head that colour, tattoos that she’s had for as long as she can remember and bullet scars on her stomach. Why I hear you ask? That’s something you’re going to have to read and find out for yourself but it’s almost as if you unlock Karou as you read on and discover more about Elsewhere and I loved how the intrigue and mystery not only focused on the plot but on Karou also.

Laini Taylor’s writing is exquisite. Her descriptions of a dark and wintery Prague engross and captivate the reader from the start. Laini’s a genius at atmospheric writing and creates a gothic and haunting backdrop for her story of monsters and demons.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a magical and engrossing book that is still going through my mind days later. Laini Taylor has created something different and exciting and I predict that it’s going to be HUGE. It certainly deserves to be. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is easily the best book I’ve read all year and I’m sure it will remain a favourite for years to come.
My Rating 5/5 stars

Synopsis taken from Amazon

Thanks go to Hodder for sending me this book to review

Monday, 15 August 2011

Review for Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller

"A wife. A husband. A lover. A chance to leave her ordinary life? There had been no rain for weeks; the air crackled, the brushfires burned, her childhood ended. The summer of 1970 – a whisper from her mother’s lips told a secret that would destroy her family – a burden too heavy for a young girl to carry. Sylvia Sandon swore then and there she would never become her mother. Now Sylvia is walking the same illicit path towards temptation – into an affair she feels powerless to resist. The man she married, the father of her children, lies next to her in bed. The breathing that once lulled her to sleep now grating on her nerves. Sylvia has a chance to leave this ordinary life. Behind her are the ravaged remains of her childhood, in front the bittersweet safety of family life…or the exquisite torment of infidelity. One woman. Two paths. A forbidden moment of happiness or a lifetime of quiet regret."

Dori Ostermiller’s debut novel Outside the Ordinary World has already been received with high critical acclaim in the US, that, along with the beautiful cover and intriguing family drama described in the synopsis had me very excited to read this one and straight from the beginning I could see what all the fuss was about. Dori’s writing grips you from the start, the beautiful imagery wrapping itself around you like a blanket. Despite Outside the Ordinary World being a debut it’s clear that Ostermiller is already a fine storyteller.

The book is told in alternate chapters flitting from present to past. Both time periods are told from our main character Sylvia’s perspective in 1970 as a child and 2004 as an adult. The alternate chapters each tell their own separate story of adultery. In the summer of 1970 Sylvia is a witness and accomplice in her own mother’s affair, carrying the burden of a secret that could destroy her family. And in present day 2004 Sylvia has grown into a troubled adult haunted by her mother’s mistakes and her own guilt for her part in them, now Sylvia is heading down the same illicit path of destruction despite swearing that she would never make her mother’s mistakes. The alternate chapters are essential to understanding Sylvia as a person and why she makes the choices she does and whilst both Sylvia and her mother’s stories mirror one another both women have very different reasons behind their adultery. Outside the Ordinary World explores the different reasons why somebody might be tempted into the arms of another and the what ifs and maybe the grass really is greener that comes along with stepping out of your day to day life.

Outside the Ordinary World is a very honest, moving account on secrets, family, marriage and the ultimate question can one ever truly escape their past? Many of the characters –especially Sylvia- are very raw and not always the easiest characters to like. But in a strange way I could respect that and thought that it fleshed them out and made them even more believable. Although I didn’t necessarily agree with Sylvia’s actions I could understand her reasoning behind them and ultimately I believe that that’s what Ostermiller wanted to get across in the first place, she wasn’t trying to excuse adultery but explain it.

This book gives the reader plenty of food for thought and delves into the torment and destruction of infidelity holding nothing back. If you’ve ever wondered how someone could so easily risk everything Outside the Ordinary World is a book that will take you through the motions. A stunning debut that I would recommend to anybody who’s ever wondered, what if?
My Rating 4/5 stars

Thanks go to Mira for sending me this book to review

Friday, 12 August 2011

Introducing my new feature: Readers Choice- Where YOU take charge

Hello fellow readers!

Today I’m extremely excited to finally be bringing to you a new feature I’ve been mulling over for some time now Readers Choice. So here’s the deal I wanted to think of a way to interact with you guys more, if your here I take it you’re a book lover and I know a lot of my followers are also fellow book bloggers. Having a book blog is mainly all about recommending to your readers books that you’ve enjoyed. If you follow my blog I take it we have very similar tastes and so once a month I want to turn the tables and have YOU guys recommend a book to ME. On the second week of every month I will do a post similar to this one with a list of 6 books from my to be read pile, sporting a little something from each genre I’m interested in. The books in question will all be books I haven’t picked up yet for whatever reason but want to. I’ll post the title, author, cover and synopsis and you my lovely readers can vote and on the second week of the following month I will announce the winner and read and review it for you. Voting will be open to absolutely anybody whether you’re a follower or not I’d love your input. You can also vote for any reason you want whether that’s because you’ve read and loved the book, are interested in the sound of the book and would like me to review it for you, or even if you simply think it sounds like a good book and I should give it a go.

I really love this idea of interacting with you guys more, reading books I might not have picked up next, finding out my readers opinions on books and most importantly giving you guys the chance to have your input on Jess Hearts Books and reviewing one book a month that your personally interested in. Obviously for this feature to take off its going to need a LOT of reader interaction so if you like this idea I would REALLY appreciate you taking the time to vote and have your say :-)

I think I’ve covered everything and I’m sure you’ll get the general idea more and more as the months go on. If you want to make a request for future Readers Choice Nominees that option will be available in the form and if it sounds like something I’d enjoy and I haven’t read it yet then you never know it may just appear in a vote!

So I’m going to stop rambling and put up the vote for Septembers Readers Choice. Fill out the form bellow to vote and the winning book will be announced, read and reviewed next month with a fresh batch of books to vote for, so without further ado it's over to you! :D

Septembers Readers Choice Nominees

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Amy Goodnight's family are far from normal. She comes from a long line of witches, and grew up surrounded by benevolent spirits and kitchen spells. All fairly harmless, but Amy can't wait to get to college and escape the "family business".

But things take a darker turn when she and her sister Phin spend the summer looking after Aunt Hyacinth's ranch. Amy is visited by a midnight spectre who is clearly trying to send her a message. It seems that the discovery of an old grave on a neighbour's land has been the catalyst for an apparent ghost uprising.

Aided by local friends and Ben, the handsome cowboy who just can't take his eyes off Amy, the sisters investigate. And they soon find that there's something strange and dangerous going on, deep in the heart of Texas...

The Single Girl's To-Do List by Lindsey Kelk
Rachel Summers loves a to-do list:

• Boyfriend
• Flat
• Great job

NOT on the list:

• Being dumped

Best friends Emelie and Matthew ride to her rescue with an entirely new kind of list – The Single Girl’s To-Do List. Rachel doesn’t know it, but it will take her on all kinds of wild adventures – and get her in some romantic pickles too. And then it won't be a case of what but who she decides to tick off…

• Mr. bendy yoga instructor
• Mr. teenage sweetheart
• Mr. persistent ex
• Mr. deeply unsuitable

The Single Girl’s To-Do List gives Rachel the perfect heartbreak cure – and proves love is out there if you’re willing to take a chance.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home, continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an other-worldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her - and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson
Libby has a good life with a gorgeous husband and a home by the sea. But over time she is becoming more unsure if Jack has ever loved her - and if he is over the death of Eve, his first wife. When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve. But in doing so she unearths devastating secrets. Frightened by what she finds and the damage it could cause, Libby starts to worry that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved ...

Entwined by Heather Dixon
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

This vote is now closed check out the results here!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Review for Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur

"Before I used it, the key had infinite possibilities.

Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn't want to go to school - and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse.

Now I was ready for something to be different. Anything, really.

One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future.

I decided that tomorrow I would see what that key opened up. It had my name on it, after all . . ."

Despite Eight Keys being aimed at the tween audience I was really eager to give it a read due to all the critical acclaim for LaFleur’s debut novel Love, Aubrey and I was surprised by how much as an adult I enjoyed it.

Suzanne LaFleur captures what it’s like to be an eleven year old girl perfectly. Right from the start I was back there with Elise understanding what she was going through and feeling. Eight Keys is a charming coming of age story about family, friendship, and crossing that difficult and unsteady road from childhood into the teen years. LaFleur expertly captures the growing pains of leaving childhood games behind and muddling through your first year at a new grown up school. Mixed in with insecurities, bullying issues and a lovely secret legacy left behind by her late father and Elise has a lot to contend with and a lot to learn! This story is narrated with charm, honesty and innocence making it hugely relatable and endearing to a young reader.

Suzanne has a magicial and moving way of telling a story and is a hidden gem amongst her genre. If you’re starting out at high school at the end of this summer or are a parent of or know somebody who is I would whole heartedly recommend this gorgeous story on growing up. I only wish that Suzanne LaFleur was writing books when I was younger!

Overall Eight Keys was a sweet and tender read that has the rare ability to capture the hearts of everyone even this slightly older than aimed for reader!
My Rating 4/5 stars

Thanks go to Puffin for sending me this book to review

Synopsis taken from Amazon

Monday, 8 August 2011

Review for Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

"Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts, especially since her mother has worked as a fraudulent medium for a decade. Violet has taken part in enough of her mother's tricks to feel more than a little jaded about anything supernatural. The ghosts, however, believe in Violet and she's been seeing them everywhere. One ghost in particular needs Violet to use her emerging gift to solve her murder ...and prevent the ghost's twin sister from suffering the same fate."

Despite hearing a lot of praise for Alyxandra Harvey’s The Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet is my first book from this author. Eighteenth Century London is a time period that fascinates me particularly society’s interest in mediums, séances and the like and Violet’s story really appealed to me from the start because of this. Add on top of that a mother whose a fake medium, Violet whose spent her whole life not believing in ghosts to suddenly being haunted by one and best of all a delicious murder mystery and this book might as well of had my name written all over it with big pointing arrows saying read me!

Haunting Violet was everything I hoped it would be and more. In some parts it was gothic and chilling which is what I would expect from a good ghost story. But at the same time it was romantic and luxurious with Violet attending elaborate debutante balls and parties. I quickly became absorbed in this book thanks to Harvey’s atmospheric writing style.

There’s so much going on throughout this book. Whether that’s with Violet trying to solve a murder, her learning to manage her new psychic abilities or choosing between her heart or a society marriage. There’s never a dull moment to spare and I loved the fast pace of the plot.

As well as the snappy writing and suspenseful plot Haunting Violet is chock full of endearing characters. Violet is a heroine you’ll really fear for, bookish and clumsy, I easily liked her. Violet’s best friend Elizabeth is also hugely likeable with her bright and bubbly personality.

As for the murder Alyxandra Harvey really keeps you guessing. Although I did suspect the murderer there were so many other suspects that it really kept me guessing. I won’t say anymore than that other than the intrigue of the murder will definitely keep you reading!

I adored everything about this book from learning the tricks of the trade behind fake séances to the extravagant parties Violet gets to attend. This is a historical ghost story at its best and whilst I think this book works well as a standalone I really hope Alyxandra writes more books about Violet in the future simply because I love her so much! In the meantime I’m definitely going to be checking out Alyxandra’s other books!
My Rating 4.5/5 stars

Thanks go to Bloomsbury for sending me this book to review

Synopsis taken from Amazon

PSST!! Haunting Violet is available on Amazon for only £1.99 on the Kindle, what are you still doing here? Go snatch it up now whilst the offer lasts! ;)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Book Thoughts: Ultraviolet and Birthmarked

Because I receive so many books to review I decided to create this feature Book Thoughts. I don’t always have time to review every single book that I read so in Book Thoughts I group together 2 or 3 books that I purchased myself and give a brief summary on my opinions after I’ve read them. Think of them as mini reviews! I’m going to keep them quick and snappy whilst still informative and I hope you guys find them helpful! :-)

Ultraviolet by R J Anderson

Ultraviolet is honestly like nothing I’ve ever read before. Our main character Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens after killing her classmate, popular and perfect, Tori. Except Tori’s body hasn’t actually been found and all Alison can remember is noise, pain and- she knows it sounds crazy but hey if the shoe fits!- Tori disintegrating piece by piece in front of her.

I loved the fact that this book is told from the point of view of somebody who is seen to be mentally unstable. As the layers of this story unfold you can’t help but question everything Alison tells us. Especially as the story gets more and more crazy and unbelievable! Is there some kind of strange phenomenon going on? Or is Alison simply an insane and imaginative narrator? R J Anderson certainly keeps you on your toes and I absolutely raced through this book for answers. Anderson’s writing is so beautifully descriptive and this books ending completely blew my mind. I adored this books uniqueness and individuality and it comes with my highest of recommendations and a warning that once you pick up this intense psychological thriller you won’t want to put it down!
 5 stars.

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien

Unfortunately this book fell a little short for me. There’s no denying that Caragh M. O’Brien’s writing is gorgeous her descriptions really sucked me into our heroine Gaia’s harrowing world but unfortunately the rest of the book didn’t really do anything for me.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting from this book but with it being a dystopian I went into it expecting something futuristic and instead Gaia’s world despite being set 300-400 years in the future if anything has gone back in time and instead of the “code” that’s talked about on the cover being all high tech and extreme like I imagined it was all fairly simple and dull compared to what I’d built up in my head.

That being said when I got over my disappointment surrounding the books plot and the code I could appreciate this book for what it was. Gaia’s a strong likeable heroine and the future she inhabits is brutal and terrifying. O’Brien isn’t afraid to make her world unfair and cruel. With Caragh’s haunting writing she really paints a picture in your mind of a shocking future that’s easily believable. Is this the best dystopian story I’ve ever read? No. But would I recommend it? Sure.
3.5 stars.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Book of the Month! Featuring Purple Covers, Magic, and Pet Lobsters

Hi guys, welcome to July’s book of the month and monthly round up! This is a feature to sum up for you my reading and recommendations for the past month and to share with you the exciting things that have been going on on the blog and books I’m looking forward to in the following month.

July's Book of the Month is...Ultraviolet by R J Anderson

Last month I hit a bit of a reading and blogging slump. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked and a couple books I was really looking forward to just didn’t hit the mark for me. Being less passionate than normal about what I was reading definitely affected my book blogging and I just didn’t feel motivated to blog at all. However this month’s book of the month was the first book I read in July and remained my favourite and only 5 star book. Ultraviolet is a highly original, mind splode of awesome and I absolutely devoured it, this book is crazy good and I’ll be doing a book thoughts post on it shortly.

Best Plot: Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Best Writing: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Best Cover: Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon
Best Characters: Katy Carter Wants a Hero by Ruth Saberton
Best Ending: Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Best Romance: Katy Carter Wants a Hero by Ruth Saberton
Most un-put-down-able: Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Most Memorable: Ultraviolet by R J Anderson
Best Moral: Katy Carter Wants a Hero by Ruth Saberton

Books read this month
43.) Ultraviolet by R J Anderson (5*)
44.) Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon (4*)
45.) Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey (4.5*)
46.) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (3*)
47.) Katy Carter Wants a Hero by Ruth Saberton (4.5*)
48.) Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton (4.5*)
49.) One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt (3*)

Top 3 Most Recommended Books: Ultraviolet, Katy Carter Wants a Hero and Blood Magic

Bookish Highlights of the month
Not many to be honest! It’s been a not so good book month. Book related it was possibly going to see the last HP movie and book shopping with the bestie after :)

Bookish Lows of the month
Reading slump, blogging slump- it wasn’t the best.

Book’s I’m looking forward to in August
Nothing like a bunch of sparkly new releases to get me back in the reading mood! Let me see... well first of all the book I’m most excited about has to be Bloodlines by Richelle Mead I’m a HUGE fan of Richelle and the VA books and Bloodlines is probably my most highly anticipated book of the year never mind the month! There are also a few chick-lit titles I have my eye on like Bad Sisters by Rebecca Chance, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by Claudia Carroll and What You Don't Know by Lizzie Enfield. I’m sure there’s more but those are the ones that stand out in my mind! Can’t wait! Love a sparkly new book me!

So there you have it my July reading summed up for you guys. Have you read any of the books I’ve read this month? What were your thoughts on them? Leave me a comment and let me know and don’t forget to treat yourselves to Ultraviolet! – You won’t regret it! ^_^ Here’s to a month of better reading and more productive blogging. Reviews on all the books I’ve read this month will be on the blog soon now that I’m back in the swing of things :D
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog design by Imagination Designs using images from the Valentine Owls and Valentine's Day clip art kits by Pink Pueblo