Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spoiler Review/ Discussion on Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 
Publisher: Walker
Release: 19th March 2013
Genre: Steampunk, Paranormal Romance, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary: 

"Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy? Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her."

This is the third and final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and WILL contain spoilers not only from the first two books but Clockwork Princess itself. I usually don’t write spoiler reviews but could not review this book any other way and I found it therapeutic to get my feelings on what happened out there. In short Clockwork Princess was INCREDIBLE go read it and then come back and discuss, okay?


"“You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing tight around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if being dragged behind a carriage and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.”" ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess 

A lot of people rave about The Mortal Instruments series and whilst I do enjoy those books The Infernal Devices is one of my favourite series of all time and so I was anxious and excited for Clockwork Princess and was literally counting down the days on my calendar for this final instalment. I raced through this 568 page monster in less than 48 hours and by the end my eyes actually hurt from all of the tears I had shed. Happy tears, sad tears and tears of pure grief over this series ending.

On Plot, Mortmain, and Links to The Mortal Instruments:-
Clockwork Princess is one of Cassie’s more slower paced novels plot wise. Instead of lots of action and fight scenes the book is very emotionally driven and the focus is mostly on saying a final farewell to these beloved characters. I kind of wished the take down of Mortmain was longer, all of these books were building up to this twisted villain who in the end got snuffed out like a bug. However I was really happy that Tessa was the one to kill Mortmain it was so ironic and felt so right. When Tessa changed into her Angel I literally gasped, I didn’t see that one coming at all and although I was expecting a bigger final battle it was a fitting end to Mortmain.

One of the things I love about this series is the foreshadowing Cassandra Clare does for The Mortal Instruments. In this book we find out that Henry and Magnus actually created the portals which I loved. We also find out how Church ends up in New York and Magnus’s comment on all Lightwood’s looking the same had me in stitches! One thing I did pick up on that I haven’t seen anybody else comment on was how Clary’s middle name is Adele. Clary and Adele (Tessa’s mother) were both Shadowhunters who were brought up as Mundanes and I wonder if Cassandra Clare intended to give us a clue to the Adele story-line by the use of that name. Its little details like this that I absolutely love about the books set in this world. Cassandra Clare’s world building is so rich and detailed.

On Characters, Relationships and Teams:-
It was so hard saying goodbye to the characters in this book; I love all of them so dearly! Charlotte was such a bad ass and I absolutely loved her strength. Henry was adorable and I loved his friendship with Magnus in this book – finally somebody who gets his genius! Sophie and Bridget were courageous and loyal and Cecily was a wonderful new character who reminded me so much of Isabelle! I loved Will and Cecily’s relationship and how protective Will was of his little sister. I also grew to really love the Lightwood brothers in this book as they struggle between family loyalty and doing the right thing. I was so pleased with who everyone ended up with and that everybody got a happy ending – hurray to not killing anybody off! I’m really going to miss this family of the London Institute.

Of course this series wouldn’t be what it is without our beloved trio Will, Jem and Tessa. I’ve never been purely Team Will or Team Jem. I wanted both of them to be happy and loved both boys so much. I always wished that there was a way for Tessa to be with both of them but couldn’t see how that would work so I was mighty impressed that Cassie found a way to make that happen. No matter what team you’re on I feel like both sides have their share of heartbreak and happiness in this book.

“Most people are lucky enough to have even one great love in their life. You have found two.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess 

What blew me away about Clockwork Princess and what made this book so phenomenal in my opinion was the complexity of our trio’s relationship. Will and Jem are like two halves of a whole – literal soul mates. Their relationship was really well explored and described to us in this book and I consider their friendship up there with the greats like Harry, Ron and Hermione and Frodo and Sam. Cassandra Clare made me feel and understand their relationship and what it means to be Parabatai. To my surprise Jem and Will’s relationship became the most important relationship to me in this series. Their heart to hearts was the source of most of my tears over Clockwork Princess.

On THAT Epilogue:-

“They say you cannot love two people equally at once,” she said. “And perhaps for others that is so. But you and Will—you are not like two ordinary people, two people who might have been jealous of each other, or who would have imagined my love for one of them diminished by my love of the other. You merged your souls when you were both children. I could not have loved Will so much if I had not loved you as well. And I could not love you as I do if I had not loved Will as I did.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess

I know that the epilogue is causing a lot of conflict between the fandom especially for Will fans but you know what guys? No one would be happier with that epilogue than Will. It’s that simple. I personally LOVED the epilogue. I LOVED that both boys got to be happy with Tessa in their lifetimes. There is NO WAY that Will would want Tessa to live out eternity a lonely, grieving, widow and he would be so happy that Jem and Tessa had each other. And I’m sorry but if you think otherwise do you really know Will Herondale at all!? Have we even been reading about the same character!? I can seriously imagine him doing a little jig and singing a song about it up in Shadowhunter heaven. I, unlike a lot of readers, didn’t feel like either love belittled the other but instead created something special, something greater. I think that Tessa, Will and Jem’s circumstance is a unique one that required a unique ending I don’t think a lot of authors could have pulled that epilogue off but for this story it worked beautifully.

Overall Clockwork Princess was a phenomenal if bittersweet ending. I usually hate love triangles but Cassandra Clare has created the ultimate triangle in The Infernal Devices one of respect, love and loyalty that runs from angle to angle between all three characters. I’m now going through a mourning period over the end of what has become one all my all-time favourite series. Clockwork Princess was a masterpiece of a conclusion and The Infernal Devices will always hold a special place in my heart.

“Every meeting led to a parting, and so it would, as long as life was mortal. In every meeting there was some of the sorrow of parting, but in everything parting there was some of the joy of meeting as well.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Letterbox Love (23)

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking for UK based book bloggers to showcase the books that they’ve received each week.

 For Review

The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke (Proof Copy)
I hadn't heard of this one until the publisher got in touch but it sounds fantastic! Mystery, family, and travel - I'm really looking forward to getting around to it.
Dear Thing by Julie Cohen (Proof Copy)
This book sounds incredible and I'm so happy to have a proof copy! I think this'll be one of those hard-hitting, will make you think and weep buckets kind of books and I'm going to be reading this really soon.
Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne (Proof Copy)
I did a little happy jig when I received this one this week! I adored Tanya's debut Heart-Shaped Bruise so I can't wait to read this!
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
I'm so happy this is being published in the UK! I thought it sounded brilliant when it came out in the US so I'm really glad to have a copy. Will be reading this soon!
The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
This sounds pretty intriguing. When I'm in the mood for a good thriller I'll be reaching for this!
Don't Look Back by S.B. Hayes
To be honest I haven't heard anything about this book and don't really know what it's about so I'll be keeping my eye out for some reviews before picking this one up to see if it'll be my sort of thing.


I decided to treat myself this week! I had a 10% off voucher for The Book Depository so I decided to use it while the offer lasted to some books that were at the top of my wishlist! I also had Clockwork Princess on pre-order from Amazon and have already read it. In a word it was phenomenal and I'm going to have a spoiler review/discussion of it going up on the blog next week. Needless to say I'm excited about all of these but Eleanor and Park and Let the Sky Fall in particular!

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Murmurings by Carly Anne West 
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Dualed by Elsie Chapman

That’s it from me for another week! If any of these books have caught your eye and you’d like to find out more about them simply click on the title and the link will take you to Goodreads for a full synopsis, reviews, and to add them to your wishlists. As always thank you to the lovely publishing folk for the review copies. If you’re looking forward to a certain book in particular and want to request a review feel free to in the comments and I’ll do my best to get around to the book sooner rather than later. And if you decided to do a Letterbox Love, Book Haul, IMM, Showcase Sunday, Mailbox Monday or whatever else featuring the books you got this week leave me a link as I’d love to check out your books too! ^_^

 Happy reading till next time!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Marissa Meyer UK visit! Find out about her next book Cress in my interview, and win some signed Lunar Chronicle goodies!

Hold on to your androids UK Marissa Meyer fans! As I not only come in peace but revealing exciting news! Marissa (author of Cinder and Scarlet - books one and two in the Lunar Chronicles) will be visiting the UK for the first time at the end of this month! Hurrah! The time and place? March 26, 6:00p.m., at Waterstones Bromley. There will be an author talk, signing, and Q&A and she’d love to meet you guys! Marissa asked for my help spreading the word on my blog and she was kind enough to take the time to answer some of my burning questions and put together a giveaway for you guys too but more on that later. For now I’d like to welcome Marissa to the blog as she talks about the next book in the series Cress, planning the end of the series and her favourite character to write about…

Click on the image to go to the facebook page!
Interview with Marissa Meyer 

1.) Your books feature a lot of different characters, who is your favourite to write about? 
Probably Captain Thorne. He's this great mix of suave and arrogant, hilarious and obnoxious, and I'm never entirely sure what he's going to do or say next, which is always fun for a writer. I also like to think of him as a mix of Captains Mal Reynolds and Han Solo, so writing him is like paying homage to some of my favorite characters of all time.

I love Captain Thorne too! He's so funny.

2.) What is your favourite fairytale and re-telling?
It's so difficult to choose just one! I love Disney movies, but I'm also fascinated by the dark, eerie versions of fairy tales that don't show up in many of our movies or retellings today. So while I ADORED Tangled, I also love the Grimm version of Rapunzel in which the prince gets his eyes stabbed out by thorns. I feel like there's a place for both types of tales in our storytelling.

I'm always so shocked to see how morbid and dark the original tales are compared to the Disney re-tellings!

3.) Is it difficult to take such a well-known story and make it your own?
I think for me the most difficult part was finding a way to retell it that would make it my own. I'd tried writing retellings before this but they were always too similar to what other authors or creators were already doing, so I never finished them. But when I finally landed on the concept for The Lunar Chronicles, taking popular fairy tales and giving them a futuristic spin, I knew that was the story I wanted to tell. I love how I can use the basic story archetypes to craft something that seems familiar, while still writing a story that, to me, feels brand new and unique. I hope readers feel the same way!

We certainly do! It's so clever how you create a new spin on these old tales that have been re-told countless times. 

4.) Do you know how the series will end? Do you write towards it? Or see how the story unfolds?
Oh yes, I've had all four books planned out since before I wrote a single word. I'm one of those neurotic planner types! And I've had a draft of Book 4: WINTER written since early 2011, so while there's still a LOT of revision that needs to happen, I do have a very good idea of where everything is headed. It helps a lot with foreshadowing and set-up.

*Fan-girls and try's to think of a way to bribe the ending out of Marissa* 

5.) What can readers expect from the next book in the series?
Book 3: CRESS is my retelling of Rapunzel, but instead of being stuck in a tower, Cress is trapped in a satellite orbiting Earth. She also happens to be a master computer hacker and she's been forced to spy on the leaders of the Earthen Union and report back to Queen Levana for years. However, she's become an Earthen sympathizer and is now working to find a way to escape her imprisonment and help Cinder in her plot to save the world.

I am excited! I LOVE the sound of this one already.

 Thanks for stopping by the blog Marissa! 

As if all that excitement wasn’t enough Marissa is providing ONE swag pack for ONE lucky UK winner (sorry International people but with the visit being in the UK we wanted to keep the emphasis on that! We still love you :) ) which will include bookmarks, stickers, temporary tattoos, and signed book plates. To win this fantastic prize simply read the rules and fill in the rafflecopter, good luck!

*  To enter please fill in the Rafflecopter
*  Open to UK residents only
*  End date: Sunday 24th March 2013
* Winner will be contacted by email and will have 1 week to reply else another winner will be selected.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review for The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan 
Publisher: Sphere
Release: 14th March 2013
Genre: Chick-Lit, Fiction, Food, Paris, Romance
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summmary:
"As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.

It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed."

Jenny Colgan is back with another indulgent treat of a book and this one really caught my attention as not only is it about my favourite vice, chocolate, but it is also set in one of my favourite cities, Paris. As soon as I heard what this book was about I knew that this one would be a winner and I wasn’t disappointed! Chocolate, French men, romance and Paris what’s not to love!?

This book follows two wonderful women Anna and Claire and their lives and loves in Paris. The book begins with Anna in a freak accident at work that leaves her in hospital where she reunites with her old French teacher from school Claire who is receiving treatment for cancer. Through their stay the women strike up a friendship and with Anna now out of work Claire sets her up with a once in a lifetime job working for world famous chocolatier Thierry in his chocolate shop in Paris.

The book is told in alternating parts between Anna whose story is set in the modern day and Claire’s which takes us back to Paris in the seventies where Claire goes to work as an Au Pair for the summer. There are similarities in both girls’ stories as they start out as insecure women and you watch them both blossom in Paris and find love along the way. I loved both ladies and their stories so much but Claire’s was my favourite. I was just dying to know what had happened between her and Thierry and if they would get reunited before it was all too late.

Jenny Colgan’s descriptions of the chocolate in this book were mouth-watering to read and I’d definitely recommend reading the book with some chocolate on hand like I did! The way that Thierry made his chocolate with such love and care really made me realise what an art form being a chocolatier is and how hard it is to get right. I definitely have a new found respect for the profession and will never look at chocolate in quite the same way again!

The chocolate wasn’t the only thing about this book that made me hungry, Jenny Colgan completely brings Paris to life on the page and made me hungry to travel there and have an adventure like Anna’s and Claire’s. The French certainly know how to enjoy their food and not only the chocolate but all of the meals Anna ate in Paris sounded to die for. I fell in love with the descriptions of the food and the Parisian life style so much that I’m now really eager to travel there myself.

However this book wasn’t all romance, food and adventure. At its heart The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is really quite a bittersweet read with the lovely Claire fighting cancer. I felt that the author got the recipe just right as there is enough fun and sparkle to balance out the sad parts so that this didn’t become a completely heart-breaking read.

Once again I was totally enchanted by Jenny Colgan, her books are amongst some of my favourites, she is a must read author in my opinion! The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris is a novel you’ll want to savour but you’ll end up gobbling it down in one single, satisfying, bite. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Review for Sever by Lauren DeStefano

This is a review for the final book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy and so may contain spoilers from the previous books.

Sever by Lauren DeStefano 
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release: 14th February 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, YA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary: 
"With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.

Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

In this breathtaking conclusion to Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, everything Rhine knows to be true will be irrevocably shattered."

After reading Sever, the third and final book in this series, I can say without a doubt that The Chemical Garden trilogy is one of my all-time favourites. Every book has direction and is incredibly strong and each book I’ve enjoyed equally so much so that I couldn’t pick a favourite if I tried. One thing I will say for Sever is that Lauren DeStefano is at her best in this book, in a word her writing is glorious.

Characters old and new are reunited in this final instalment and I felt like every single character became fully developed and we saw a different side to them. Cecily has come on leaps and bounds and has developed into a loving mother and wife and a headstrong, brave, young woman. After the events in the last book Linden finally sees his father for who he is and finds the courage to stand up to him.

The villains in this book Vaughn and Madame are also shown in a new light as we see a more humane side to them. Vaughn in particular is so emotionally complex and I ended up feeling a wide range of feelings toward him by the end of this book. I love a well-developed villain and Vaughn has got to be one of my all-time literary favourites.

The only issue I have with this book is one I’ve always had with the series and it’s that the romance isn’t great. I’ve never really been a fan of Rhine’s love interest Gabriel - I was hoping that something would happen to make me love him in this book but with him not making an appearance until the end this didn’t happen. Needless to say if you’re a fan of Gabriel you might not be impressed by the lack of him in this final instalment. The love story to this series could have been so much more than it was especially when you read the gorgeous love stories between Cecily and Linden and the beautifully described memories Linden shares of his late wife Rose whose memory is brought up often in this book and is very cherished. I just don’t understand why Lauren DeStefano didn’t take the time to develop Rhine and Gabriel in such a way.

I don’t want to talk about the plot too much in this review as it is so easy to spoil what happens. But rest assured that everything is resolved and tied up nicely with plenty of shocking twists that I didn’t see coming at all but now that I look back the clues were there all along. I also really loved how DeStefano went into how the world ended up this way in detail something a lot of dystopian authors brush over - if discussed at all.

Overall I thought that Sever was a stunning if brutal conclusion to what has become a beloved series of mine. I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to make harsh decisions in the name of staying true to the heart of this series and the book ends on a hopeful and beautiful message. I’m not ashamed to say I wept several times whilst reading this book and stayed up until the early hours to finish it. I’m so sad to say goodbye to this world and its characters and will be picking up anything that Lauren DeStefano writes in the future without hesitation.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Letterbox Love (22)

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking for UK based book bloggers to showcase the books that they’ve received each week.

 Proof Copies for Review

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Accidental Husband by Jane Green

I've not heard much about the Jane Green but I've enjoyed some of her other books well enough so I'm looking forward to getting to it. I've been hearing some AMAZING things for If You Find Me from across the pond and can't wait to see what the fuss is all about. I'm a huge fan of Jodi Picoult's books so The Storyteller brought many squeals of joy on its arrival. This one sounds like such an impossible situation and I've heard whispers that it's her best yet so I can't wait to delve into it soon and I'm such a fan of the cover! 

For Review 

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
 Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
 Losing It by Cora Carmack

Why hello there new Jenny Colgan all pretty with your purple and gold cover tempting me with a story of chocolate and Paris. I'm reading this right now and loving it! The bestie has read Etiquette and Espionage and has been raving about it so I'm pretty excited to check it out. And yay! For some more New Adult with Losing It.


Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Boundless by Cynthia Hand
The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
My Mad Fat Diary by Rae Earl (Won)

My pretty, shiny, US hardcovers of Hallowed and Boundless arrived this week so I can now continue on with this series, huzzah! I fell pretty hard for the first book Unearthly and can't wait to read these two. I also feel immensely satisfied that the whole series matches, it's a rare thing these days for a series to reach the end without a cover change. I might have fell into Waterstones whilst I was out shopping for Mother's Day pressies and couldn't leave without picking up a copy of The Bunker Diary after seeing it around the blogs lately. AND a copy of My Mad Fat Diary arrived this week which I won from the publishers. I absolutely loved the TV show so I'm looking forward to reading the book, I had a sneaky read of the first page and it's already made me laugh!

 Bookmark Pretties!

Being the bookmark fiend that I am when Dani @ Pen to Paper tweeted about these Gorjuss Bookmarks this week I went straight online and hunted myself a couple down. These two were my favourite but they are all so cute that I can see myself collecting them all! I know, I know, I don't need any more bookmarks but you guys! LOOK HOW PRETTY THEY ARE!

Butter by Erin Lange (For Review) 
Radiant by Cynthia Hand 
The Prince by Kiera Cass 

Butter sounds pretty hard hitting and incredible. It's about a boy who's going to eat himself to death, literally, on purpose. I did a little happy dance when I got approved for this on Netgalley. I also downloaded some Novellas. Radiant - to go with the Unearthly series mentioned above. I recently read The Selection and found it a cute read so I'm looking forward to reading The Prince before The Elite comes out.

That’s it from me for another week! If any of these books have caught your eye and you’d like to find out more about them simply click on the title and the link will take you to Goodreads for a full synopsis, reviews, and to add them to your wishlists. As always thank you to the lovely publishing folk for the review copies. If you’re looking forward to a certain book in particular and want to request a review feel free to in the comments and I’ll do my best to get around to the book sooner rather than later. And if you decided to do a Letterbox Love, Book Haul, IMM, Showcase Sunday, Mailbox Monday or whatever else featuring the books you got this week leave me a link as I’d love to check out your books too! ^_^

 Happy reading till next time!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Review for Shadows by Paula Weston

Shadows by Paula Weston
Publisher: Indigo
Release: 3rd January 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Angels, Mature YA, New Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Goodreads Summary:
"Love. Nightmares. Angels. War. A fast-paced, compelling debut novel from a fresh new voice in YA.

It’s been almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant.

It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams, he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense.

Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth – and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly – who can she trust?"

I love Aussie authors and settings, and I love paranormal Angel stories so when I heard about Shadows a book that features both I knew it would be a match made in heaven *cheesy pun totally intended* and so Shadows automatically became one of my most anticipated releases of 2013.

What surprised me with this novel was how mature it read. Our heroine Gaby is eighteen, lives with her best friend, and is out of school and working making Shadows appealing to an older YA/ New Adult audience. This wasn’t something I was expecting and was a really pleasant surprise as I enjoyed the mature writing style and characters.

I’ve read a lot of Angel books over the years and I think with so many of them out there it’s a tough genre to keep fresh and so I was really impressed that Paula Weston managed to add something new to the genre. Gaby thinks she is a normal girl, well normal regardless of her dreams about her killing demons every night with some hot guy she’s never met ever since the accident that killed her twin brother. When Gaby meets Rafa the guy from her dreams she discovers that she’s a descendent of fallen angels, a skilful demon fighter and holder of an important secret if only she could remember what it was. Her memories were altered on the night of the accident and she is in the centre of a war between the Rephaim who need her secret for either savour or destruction. Although Shadows covers themes that can be found in other Angel series I did find the overall plot to have a refreshing twist on the Angel legend.

What I loved most about Shadows were hands down the amazing characters and banter between them. I liked that Gaby wasn’t a helpless heroine and I loved the chemistry between her and Rafa. Rafa was protective of Gaby but also gives her space to do her own thing. Their relationship was fiery but also very grown up and respectful and I felt like Paula Weston got the romance spot on. There was also a great cast of secondary characters like Maggie and Jason who I loved just as much as Gaby and Rafa.

Shadows was consistent throughout but the last part of the book really amps up the action and is full of twists that sets things up nicely for the sequel. A lot of questions have been raised in my mind and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in Haze.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Review for Requiem by Lauren Oliver

This is a review for the final book in the Delirium Trilogy and so contains spoilers from the previous books.

Requiem by Lauren Oliver 
Publisher: Hodder
Release: 21st March 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Goodreads Summary:
"Battling against a society in which love has been declared a disease, Lena now finds herself at the centre of a fierce revolution. But the Wilds are no longer the haven they once were as the government seeks to stamp out the rebels. And Lena's emotions are in turmoil following the dramatic return of someone she thought was lost forever...

Told from the alternating viewpoints of Lena and her best friend Hana, Requiem brings the Delirium trilogy to an exhilarating end and showcases Lauren Oliver at the height of her writing powers - emotionally powerful and utterly enthralling."

Lauren Oliver manages to break my heart every time with the endings to her books and after the HUGE cliff-hanger at the end of Pandemonium with Alex’s return I was so anxious to read this final instalment to the trilogy and find out who Lena decides to be with and how it all ends.

Requiem is told in a dual narrative between Lena and Hana. The book picks up only a few days having passed since the events in Pandemonium and so things are still unresolved between Lena and Alex who have avoided one another since. I really enjoyed reading from two perspectives and thought that it worked really well for this book. Lena and the invalids are in the Wilds plotting a rebellion and Hana is in Portland soon to be married to the Mayor – a powerful and sadistic man. Surprisingly I actually preferred reading Hana’s chapters the most, I’ve always loved her as a character and it was great to be back in Portland to find out what has happened to the people Lena left behind. Hana’s storyline was also really interesting and intense to read as she discovers the skeletons in her future husbands closet and finds herself in even more danger when it seems as though her procedure might not have left her cured after all.

Like all of the books in the Delirium trilogy Requiem broke my heart. Early on in the book Alex and Lena have the talk they so desperately need and it hurt my heart to find out what had happened to Alex and to see how hardened he had become. Lena spends most of this book caught between both boys and although I’m firmly Team Alex I do love Julian and my heart went out to both of them in this impossible situation.

A lot of Requiem is slow moving and it’s not until the last 70 or so pages that things really kick off with the rebellion and at times I felt like Hana’s chapters were all that kept the pace moving. It’s within the last few chapters that Lena and Hana’s stories finally collide and the girl’s reunion was beautiful and brought a tear to my eye. The ending to this book is left very open and I know a few people who’ve been annoyed by that but enough was resolved to leave me satisfied and I found the way it ended reflected the message of the story about taking a leap of faith, not being able to predict where life will take us, all we have is now.

The final paragraph has Lena talking directly to us the reader and what she said really resounded with me and once again left me in tears. Overall I think that Requiem is a final book that readers are either going to love or hate but I found it in theme with the message at the heart of this series making it a moving and beautiful conclusion.

Friday, 1 March 2013

February Round-Up and Book of the Month!

I can't believe that it's March already! I have a theory that as you get older time flies by quicker! I am looking forward to saying goodbye to the snow and colder weather though, as we move into Spring. My goal for February was to read 8 books, I managed 10 in January and with February being a short month I thought that 8 seemed fair, but I once again read 10 books! I have no idea how but I'm not complaining. I'd love to keep this up so I could reach 100 books read this year - a goal I've always aspired to but never reached but I'm not going to put any pressure on myself because that's when I tend to go into reading slumps. ANYWAY lets take a look at what I've been reading this past month...

February's Book of the Month is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion 

For those of you who saw my gushing on Goodreads and Twitter this is a no brainer really (hardy har! I'm ALL for the cheesy puns!) I picked this one up because I liked the look of the movie trailer and my friend Ellie was reading and loving it. I didn't expect it to become one of my all time favourite books! I went into it expecting your average zombie novel full of gore, I wasn't expecting this book to move me to tears or to be so freakin' funny, so beautifully written and so thought provoking on what makes us human. If zombie's aren't your usual thing I'd still urge you to give this a try because it's so much more than a zombie novel. LOVED IT!

Read in February 
11.) Double Crossed by Ally Carter (4*)
12.) Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (4.5*)
13.) Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (4*)
14.) Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (5*)
15.) The Valentine's Card by Juliet Ashton (3.5*)
16.) The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (5*)
17.) Requiem by Lauren Oliver (4*)
18.) Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick (3.5*)
19.) Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (4*)
20.) Dead Romantic by C.J. Skuse (3.5*)

February's Book Awards
Best Plot: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Best Writing: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Best Cover: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Best Characters: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Best Ending: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Best Romance: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Most un-put-down-able: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Most Memorable: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Best Moral: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Top 3 Most Recommended Books: Warm Bodies, The Indigo Spell, Perfect Scoundrels

Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading/Being Released in March 
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare!!!!!
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan
Butter by Erin Jade Lange

 How was your month in reading? Did you read any of the books I’ve read? What are you looking forward to reading in March?

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