Waiting On Wednesday (#34)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine (check her out!) , that spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

The Land of 10,000 MadonnasToday’s book is The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer:

Publication Date: 19th April 2016 by Knopf

Summary: Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world.

They’re gotten used to this life: two motherless dudes living among thousands of Madonnas. But Jesse has a heart condition that will ultimately cut his life tragically short.

Before he dies, he arranges a mysterious trip to Europe for his three cousins, his best friend, and his girlfriend to take after he passes away. It’s a trip that will forever change the lives of these young teens and one that will help them come to terms with Jesse’s death.

How sad, but amazing does this book sound? I think it sounds like exactly the book I need right now…

Oh, and this cover? Beautiful. LOVE it.

Is there more to say than, I need this book? NOW.

The Sky Is Everywhere (Review #74)

The Sky Is EverywhereToday’s book is The Sky Is Everywhere:

Author: Jandy Nelson

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary: Lennie Walker, seventeen, Wuthering Heights obsessed, clarinet player, band geek. Also, hopeless romantic, prone to scattering poems all over town, and as of four weeks ago – sisterless…. 

Okay, so this book was kind of a disappointment to me. My best friend and many others raved about this book, telling how amazing it was, and how the writing was flawless. The poems were inspiring and whatnot.

But, it really wasn’t. It wasn’t entertaining. I found myself feeling stuck in someone else’s boring life, with no chance to escape. Not something I want.

Yes, the writing was good, but almost TOO perfect. Too elaborate. Okay, I consider myself sometimes well-spoken, but this was very pristine.

The concept, not my type. I mean, really? Girl hides poems, falls in love with two guys, whilst giving the excuse of grieving for her sister. Just don’t.

I found certain points very gripping, and an escape from this book seemed to be nearing the end as I zoomed through pages. Then, I hit a bit where I sat for ages, wondering what the heck was going on. Wondering whether it was worth it.

Not only that, but I felt that the author was pushing to get as many memorable quotes within there as possible, and some of them were beautiful, and others – tacky.

But, that cover is stunning, and I do love it. I mean, the poems were quite beautiful as well, but I found some of them a bit strange.

Overall, a book that I suppose I’d recommend to people who are obsessed with weird romances, and awkward contemporaries, but it just wasn’t my thing.

Take Back The Skies (Review #73)

Take Back the Skies

Today’s book is Take Back The Skies:

Author: Lucy Saxon

Series: Take Back The Skies Series #1

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya.

She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.


So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

OMG. This book is AMAZING. I cried. Many times. Profusely.

I do feel like a minority, as Goodreads has so many bad reviews for this book. But, I loved it. After meeting Lucy at YALC 2015 as well, and one of my friends practically forcing the book into my recommendations, I knew that I had to pick up this book. I’m glad I did.

Everyone says this book was very standard, and dull, but all I saw was this amazing world flourishing inside my mind, with beautiful description and a great plot line.

The ending. I mean, really? Kill my feelings much? Thanks. Many tissues are needed. Everyone finds the epilogue pretty bad, and I have to agree, it is a flaw within the writing. I hated it. But just before that? Well played, Lucy.

But, for such a young author, Lucy Saxon looks to be a very promising author, that I will be keeping my eyes out for. From what I’ve seen, there will be companion books set within the same world, which I’m not quite sure about, as I would’ve preferred others within the same characters.

Overall, an amazingly written book which you should DEFINITELY check out, by an author who is now going to be one of my auto-buy authors, and she was so lovely when I met her.

 

Hex Hall (Review #72)

Hex HallToday’s book is Hex Hall:

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Series: #1 in the Hex Hall Series

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary: When Sophie Mercer discovers she’s a witch, she imagines life will be full of magic, fun and… well… broomsticks. 

But, her first attempt at a love spell goes disastrously wrong and, as punishment, Sophie is shipped off to Hecate ‘Hex’ Hall – a reform school for witches, shapeshifter and faeries. 

By the end of her first day among her fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person on campus and the only vampire. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students and her only friend is the number-one suspect. 

Sophie’s explosive personality shines on the page, bursting through any stereotypes and altering them to you. I don’t think she could’ve been any more like me if she tried.

Rachel Hawkins’ writing is so beautifully written so that the words seem to flow across the page, leaving an effortless read where all you have to do is Read. Relate. Laugh. Repeat.

And, Archer. Dreamy Archer. I’m not quite sure what to think of him anymore. My perspective is ruined. Slightly. I think I’m actually still shipping them.

“On the upside, my crush on Archer was totally gone. Over. Once a boy has slammed his kneecap into your ribcage, I think any romantic feelings should naturally go the way of the ghost.”

This book is a very satisfying fantasy, where you can laugh, and absorb the casualness of the setting. It feels like Hecate’s next door, not miles away. I could well be sat next to a warlock right now.

To be entirely honest, I did really like this book and would recommend to anyone who like me has given up on anymore fantasy. I promise that it’s not as dull as some of the others.

Stand-Off (Review #71)

Stand-OffToday’s book is Stand-Off:

Author: Andrew Smith

Series: #2 in the Winger Series

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary: It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.

Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?

I didn’t like this book as much as the first one, simply because I felt it was forced. There wasn’t much of a storyline, and when there was, it wasn’t as exciting. I hate Ryan Dean anyway, but most of the time, characters I hate can still make the book good. Not in this case. His arrogance just annoyed me the whole time, and I found myself screaming at him a lot.

I would have like more comics too, because they’re what really drew the first book together.

Okay, one thing I did like – Sam. He is such a cutie, and I don’t see why Ryan Dean couldn’t love him from the start. I don’t think I could’ve read this book without Sam being in it.

Overall, a very blocky book that to me, felt forced as everyone wanted a sequel. But, you should still read it because there’s Sam.

Secrets In Phoenix (Review #70)

Secrets In PhoenixToday’s book is Secrets In Phoenix:

Author: Gabriella Lepore

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary: When Sophie Ballester and her twin brothers Sam and Todd are uprooted from their home and sent to a remote boarding school run by their Great Aunt Ness, they stumble upon a hidden room that holds a secret—a secret that will change everything.

The people of Phoenix Holt are not what they seem.

In fact, nothing is.

I received this book from Of Tomes publishing for review, and loved it. One of the best books from 2015, and I read it within a day, as I was so drawn in. Enriched with flawless description, and amazing characters, I loved how this book knew how to draw me in, and keep me in.

The world created is a beautiful place, and Gabriella’s writing is simply incredible. I don’t know what I’d do without this book now.  I love all of the characters, and found myself liking most of them (not an easy thing to do).

I actually need a sequel (who doesn’t) and would love to see the development of Sophie’s (and the twins’) skills and how they live their lives after the events…

My favourite line/description: “The trunk was sculpted into two parts: one broad section with a second strip of bark running through it, winding like ivy. The sections were apart and yet always intertwined.”

What I also loved was how it was humorous at points, but then so serious and action-packed at other parts.

Overall, just an amazing book, that everyone NEEDS to check out.

Waiting On Wednesday (#33)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine (check her out!) , that spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

InfernoToday’s book is Inferno by Catherine Doyle

Series: #2 in the Blood for Blood Saga

Publication Date: 7th January 2016 by Chicken House

Summary: Sophie’s life has been turned upside-down, and she’s determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she’s trying to forget, won’t give up on their love – and it’s Luca’s knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace – and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie’s in deeper than ever.

I love, Love, LOVE the first book of this series, and I need the second book! I’m praying that stuff happens with the RIGHT guy in this book – and it will. I love the premise for these books, and it’s so intriguing…

It has quite a few Goodreads reviews so far, all of which are raving about this book… I adore this cover (it’s not Nic on the cover though?) and the scattering of items in a very obviously planned way makes me so excited for what is to come…

Just let me know one thing, who else is pumped for this book? IS THIS BOOK GOING TO HAVE THE PATTERN ON THE SIDE AGAIN? 🙂

 

 

What’s Next? (#29) – The Storm Farm Girl

What’s Next is a weekly event hosted by Icey Books that helps bloggers/readers decide on their next book to read. You decide my next read in the comments!

Guitar Girl

Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning

Seventeen year old Molly Montgomery never planned on becoming famous. Molly’s band, The Hormones, was just supposed to be about mucking around with her best mates, Jane and Tara; writing songs about Hello Kitty; and being a girl. But when the group is joined by the deliciously dangerous Dean and his friend T, things onstage – and backstage – start happening, fast. Soon The Hormones are front page news, and their debut album is rocketing up the charts.

Molly is the force behind the band, but the hazards of fame, first love, screaming fans, and sleazy managers are forcing the newly-crowned teen queen of grrl angst clost to the edge. Fame never comes for free, and Molly’s about to find out what it costs.

The StormThe Storm by Virginia Bergin:

My name is Ruby Morris. I don’t go out when it rains.

Once you’ve survived an apocalypse, the old rules don’t seem to matter so much.

Like today, I drove a Ferrari that wasn’t mine, but no one cared – (There was no one left to care.)

If I want to eat only Nutella, then I can – (There’s nothing else left to eat.)

And if I want to go to wild parties in mansions, I will – (This only happened once.)

Of course, there are bad things too. Like everyone you cared about being gone, having no one to trust, and worst of all, not being able to stop thinking about THAT KISS with Darius Spratt. But I’ve survived this long and I’m not going to die now.

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell:

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

What do you think I should read next? Let me know in the comments below…

The DUFF (Review #69)

So, today’s review is going to be a little bit different. I’ve got Sam here with me and we’re going to do a joint review, because, well, why not? Sam will be in italics, and I’ll be in normal font, because I’m normal and she’s not… 😉

The DUFFToday’s book is The DUFF:

Author: Kody Keplinger

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars/ 4 out of 5 stars

Summary: Meet Bianca. Hamilton High’s resident DUFF. Apparently.

Seventeen year old Bianca Piper knows she’s not the hottest girl at school, but when school jock and man-slut Wesley casually refers to her as a DUFF – Designated Ugly Fat Friend – the gloves are off! But then before she knows it, Bianca finds herself in a secret enemies with benefits relationship with Wesley. There’s a thin line between love and hate then Bianca has crossed it. She just never thought she was capable of breaking anyone’s heart.

Okay, so I (Katherine) clearly loved this book more than Sam did, and I loved it for all the right reasons. At the time, I was suffering with severe Romance Necessity – an issue only solved by reading a contemporary/romance novel. I picked up this charmer and was instantly drawn in. Its cliche moments just made the whole thing so much better, and Bianca and Wesley are one of my OTPs. The writing was stunning, and the storyline flowed perfectly.

Even though my rating is obviously not as high as Katherine’s, I still did enjoy this book. However, I did find it very cliche which isn’t something I always go for. I agree with Katherine and think that it was written well and thought that it gave a good message throughout the story: “You’re only as awesome as you think you are” (a quote from Wesley). The only problem that I had was that I found it too cliche; but if that’s what you like, go for it!

Overall, a funny romance novel that will sweep you off your feet with its characters, writing and storyline. A good book when you’re looking for a cliche, sappy love story.

Juvie (Review #68)

JuvieToday’s book is Juvie:

Author: Steve Watkins

Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Summary: Sadie has always been the responsible one. Not like her older sister, Carla.

Caught up in a drug deal – wrong place, wrong time – Sadie has to take the blame to keep Carla out of jail.

Sadie was supposed to get community service, instead, she is sentenced to six months in juvie.

She has sacrificed everything for her sister. Can Sadie find the strength to forgive her, too?

I took this book on holiday to Florida this summer with me, and would relax after a busy day of thrills and absorb myself in the harsh, cruel reality of how everything goes wrong within seconds.

Seriously, this book was hard-hitting. Sadie, the protagonist is thrown straight into a world not meant for her, but for the actual culprits. Whilst we learn about her time in juvie, we also learn about what happens leading up to the sentence.

Her world, life and existence came crashing down, all because of some random strangers, and this just showed how much we should treasure life, because anything could happen. Make the most of now.

The writing flowed beautifully, and Tired Me understood everything.

But. There’s almost always a but. The ending was appauling in my opinion. Just why? What a dull ending to an exciting book.

Overall, this is a book that does show how life is precious and makes you realise how lucky you have it. This is a book I would recommend.