Monday, 2 December 2013

Book Review: A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris

Publisher: Choc Lit
Published: 2013
Format: Paperback
Length: 314 pages
Summary from Goodreads:

Widower Connor Maguire advertises for a wife to raise his young daughter, Bridget, work the homestead and bear him a son.

Ellen O’Sullivan longs for a home, a husband and a family. On paper, she is everything Connor needs in a wife. However, it soon becomes clear that Ellen has not been entirely truthful.

Will Connor be able to overlook Ellen’s dishonesty and keep to his side of the bargain? Or will Bridget’s resentment, the attentions of the beautiful Miss Quinn, and the arrival of an unwelcome visitor, combine to prevent the couple from starting anew.

As their personal feelings blur the boundaries of their deal, they begin to wonder if a bargain struck makes a marriage worth keeping.

Set in Wyoming in 1887, a story of a man and a woman brought together through need, not love.

In a way, reading this book slightly reminded me of the time I watched the movie Oklahoma!, which is an old musical film about people living in the late 1800s/early 1900s America, particularly in the southern regions, hence the title.

The characters in this book lived in a very small, tight-knit community, the sort of small place where everyone knows everybody else’s business. Connor Maguire, the main male character of the book owns a farm deep in the Wyoming countryside, and has a young daughter, Bridget. He is also a widower who is still mourning the death of his wife and Bridget’s mother.
Ellen O’Sullivan, the other main character, is also a widow, and bears the scar of an accident that claimed her late husband’s life. The two characters come together as Connor needs someone to raise his daughter and help him run his farm, or homestead as the way it is described in the book.

There are also other characters in the book such as Oonagh Quinn, who becomes friends with Ellen, and Connor’s brother Niall, who shakes the farm up when he comes to stay.
Although I’ve read a few books that are set in the 1800s, I haven’t read anything set deep out in the countryside of America, particularly somewhere that sounds like it could be the setting of an old Western movie. The subplot involving Connor’s daughter Bridget was also intriguing; she and Ellen don’t get on at first and she is quite rude to Ellen regarding her scar, but I can certainly understand why a recently bereaved child would act that way towards a strange woman, and nowadays similar situations arise regarding children and their step-parents, so I applaud the author for highlighting an issue that still goes on in modern society.

I was intrigued as to how people led their lives back then, especially people who didn’t live in big cities, and small communities like the one that the book is set in. I found Connor and Ellen pretty likeable characters. I’m still not able to get my head around the fact that people could just advertise for wives in those days and women willingly married people they don’t know. However, as mentioned above it was very interesting to learn about how things worked in that part of America in those times and how simple were the lives that people led.

I would read more books like this as it seems like an interesting sub-genre to write about.

Monday, 30 September 2013

September 2013 Reading Wrap Up - I will try and avoid spoilers!

Hi everyone. So I've decided to start doing wrap up posts on this blog. It has been a little dead recently so I thought I'd start sharing my thoughts on the books I have been reading. So here goes...

1.    Plague (Gone #4) by Michael Grant
This book was amazing. Michael Grant clearly has such a vivid imagination. He must sit in a room and think of all the weird, bad things that could happen to a bunch of teenagers and kids and apply them all to this series, because I couldn’t believe some of the stuff that was happening! I definitely liked Diana more in this book. She and Caine are initially introduced as antagonist’s but I actually felt sorry for her quite a bit in this book and some of the events regarding her character surprised me. Toto was also a new character for this book and I found him quite humorous – he has a power for knowing if people are telling the truth or not and it was quite funny to see him wind up the other characters with his powers. Overall, this book was definitely a 5 star book.

2.    The Madman’s Daughter (Madman’s Daughter Trilogy #1) by Megan Shepherd
This book had been on my wishlist for a few months so when I saw it brand new and really cheap in a local book shop I knew I had to pick up a copy. I hadn’t read the classic book that this book is based on – The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells so I didn’t know how I would feel about the book. I thought that the book started off quite eerie and was impressed by the first couple of chapters, and when Juliet, Edward and Montgomery arrived on the island. Unfortunately, although there were some creepy scenes I didn’t feel as scared as I thought I would when initially read the synopsis. Saying that, there were some twists toward the end that I did not see coming so I must applaud the author for that. I may pick up the second book, Her Dark Curiosity, when it comes out, as I am still intrigued as to what will happen next.
3.    Fear (Gone #5) by Michael Grant

This book picked straight up from where Plague left off, with Perdido Beach still reeling from the bug attacks. Drake grows even more menacing (if that’s even possible!) and Astrid also changes. Overall I really enjoyed the story and character development, especially with Diana towards the end. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

4.    Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant

This was the final book in the epic Gone series and ever since I ordered it I was almost climbing the ceilings whilst waiting for it – I had to know how it ended and if the kids terror would ever be put to an end. All I can say it was a mind-blowing conclusion and I am still thinking about everything that happened in the book. It’s definitely the freakiest book yet and I cannot recommend this series enough to every one of every age. 4 out of 5 stars.

In conclusion, I feel I have had an extremely good September reading month, and look forward to reading some more horror eque and spooky books for the month of October. I will probably make a separate post about it so stay tuned! Happy reading :)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Book Review: The Reluctant Bride by Beverley Eikli

Publisher: Choc Lit
Published: 2013
Format: Paperback
Length: 353 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
Can honour and action banish the shadows of old sins?
Emily Micklen has no option after the death of her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who represents her only escape from destitution.
Major Angus McCartney is tormented by the reproachful slate-grey eyes of two strikingly similar women: Jessamine, his dead mistress, and Emily, the unobtainable beauty who is now his reluctant bride.

Emily’s loyalty to Jack’s memory is matched only by Angus’s determination to atone for the past and win his wife with honour and action. As Napoleon cuts a swathe across Europe, Angus is sent to France on a mission of national security, forcing Emily to confront both her allegiance to Jack and her traitorous half-French family.

Angus and Emily may find love, but will the secrets they uncover divide them forever?
Aside from Pride and Prejudice, this is my second foray into regency romance and I thoroughly enjoyed Beverley Eikli’s novel of secrets and spies. There are quite a few authors who write regency romances, and as I got sent The Reluctant Bride for review, I was intrigued and excited to how my first experience with a modern author would be like.

Thankfully, I was engrossed by the story the second Emily and Angus agree to marry each other. I know I would certainly be a ‘reluctant bride’ if I were in Emily’s boat; if situations such as these were the norm back then I wonder how many women actually married for love. Angus was definitely a sweetie and sounded like the perfect kind of guy a girl could marry back then.

Emily Micklen comes from a wealthy family and is shocked to find out her fiancé Jack has been killed in battle. As she is pregnant, she and Major Angus McCartney, who delivers the news, agree to marry each other, as it would be the most convenient way of settling the situation.
Angus and Emily grow closer as they spend more time together, and the both uncover secrets about people close to them.

I found the writing style really easy to understand, although at time I was a bit slow to catch up on all the details of Napoleon, I guess it’s because I don’t know that much about the French Revolution and everything that followed, but still, I will probably read more books about it now. Ms Eikli lets you sympathise with the characters and thankfully I liked both Angus and Emily a lot.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed my foray into regency romance, and will definitely check out more books by the author and more works in the genre in the future.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Book Review: Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

Published: 2013
Publisher: Choc Lit
Length: 414
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Jack Stewart thought he’d put the past behind him. On the surface, he has everything success, money, a big house and is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic accident shatters Jack’s world.

Raised an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes up in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his bedside, he’s hungry for revenge. Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.

Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?

Beneath An Irish Sky was quite a different book for me to review. I don’t usually read books that have family secrets and things like that in them so it was definitely a refreshing read. I also hadn’t read anything about Irish travellers; the only knowledge I have of them is from watching Big Fat Gypsy Weddings which was quite a fascinating insight into their community.
I really connected with Luke as one of the protagonist’s; I couldn’t believe Jack’s parents reactions to him. How could anyone behave so vile and insensitive to a young guy who has just lost his mother? They were complete judgmental snobs and I didn’t feel anything for them throughout the entire book.

I can somewhat understand at where the people in the close community of Baronsmere were coming from; travellers in general don’t  appear to have the best of reputations, so I was interested in learning more about the community.
Luckily, I really warmed to Luke and Annie, although the latter is dead (this isn’t a spoiler as it is mentioned she died on the back cover), my heart broke whenever I read about Luke reminiscing about he and his mother’s time together, and the bond they shared.
We also get to hear from Jack Stewart, Luke’s father who doesn’t know he has a son until his estranged wife dies, and it’s a struggle for him and Luke to have an easy going father-son relationship, and they have plenty of disputes.

Luckily, I quite liked Jack, although I could understand why he acted the way he did with regards to the Luke situation; he just found out he has a 20 year old son and is unsure how to act around him, they most likely weren’t going to bond with each other straight away. I also really warmed to Emer, an Irish counsellor who is a friend to Luke and becomes Jack’s love interest; she just has a warm, caring personality and it was a pleasure reading about her and Jack’s relationship grow as the book went on.

Books that tend to have family secrets don’t tend to draw me in, but this one gradually did and has made me want to read more so I can get a feel for the genre more. I recommend it to anyone who likes reading about family secrets and small communities, as it is really an interesting story in that way, and really delves into culture and class differences well. 

Monday, 22 July 2013

New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay - Review

Publisher: Choc Lit

Published: 2013

Length: 202 pages

Format: paperback

Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment. Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin. Jesse is the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen and he plays guitar in an awesome rock band! There’s just one small problem, Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse grow closer. But what does it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around. Does she?

This is my second time reviewing a book from Choc Lit and I really enjoyed New England Rocks. This was my first Christina Courtenay book, but it definitely won’t be my last, as I really found her writing style easy to read and engaging. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Rain; she was a little bratty and I wasn’t sure if I would warm to her, but after a few chapters I really started to like her and her ‘don’t care’ attitude. I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to join an all-boys sports team like she did.

It was also really fun watching her and the American characters bond, especially with the culture clash, her being from the UK, and the American characters not understanding her British slang most of the time. I also really loved her and Jesse as a couple. He was just so sweet and perfect sounding and their relationship was really fun to read about as they grow closer and begin to fall for each other. I don’t think I can find a single fault with Jesse; he was just great in every way!

Although I could tell where the story was heading pretty quickly, I definitely enjoyed the ride and Rain is definitely a fun rebellious character, other girls in YA need to become more like her!

Overall, I look forward to reading more in this series and Christina Courtenay’s other novels.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Diantha Jones - Author Interview

Here I got the chance to interview the lovely Diantha Jones, as part of my stop on the blog tour for her book Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (which is a really great, mythology based book, by the way!) 

1.   . Hi Diantha, I really enjoyed Prophecy of the Most Beautiful. Where did you get the idea for the story?
I really wanted to create my series around the Oracle of Delphi because after months of research, I realized she was very under-represented in literature. It only seemed natural that each book be about a different prophecy, which I then connected to a larger prophecy. Sounds like a lot, and it is. But trying to solve the prophecies is half the fun of the series, I think.

2.    What’s your favourite Greek myth?
I get asked this question so much and my answer is always the same. The love story of Cupid and Psyche. It's so cute :D

3.    Would you ever consider writing books based on other mythology?
Who says I'm not already considering it...It's a definite possibility, is what I'm saying.

4.    Have you seen many movies that involve Greek mythology?
Of course! I loved “The Lightning Thief” which is based off of the Percy Jackson series. I'm really excited for “Sea of Monsters”. Then I've seen “Clash of the Titans” and “Wrath of the Titans” which were major disappointments unfortunately. “Immortals” was total garbage, so overall my mythological cinematic adventures have not been awesome.

5.    If you could spend the day in the life of one Greek god or goddess, which one would you choose and why?
Probably Aphrodite, or Zeus. Aphrodite because she's the goddess of Love and I'd love to see how many men I could make bow down in the span of 24 hours. Zeus because I love being in charge and it would be fun to be king for a day.

6.    What are your top hobbies?
Besides writing, reading for sure. But I love to watch movies and television. Two shows I absolutely adore are Supernatural and Sons of Anarchy. They're both amazing. Online shopping is also fun, but I have to control myself because I can get a little crazy sometimes.

7.    Who is your favourite character in Prophecy of the Most Beautiful?
Chloe is my favorite character, though I am Team Strafford :) I feel she's a lot like me (though some things are different). But we're both protective of those we love and would do anything for them. Chloe can also get tough when she needs to, which is the same for me. Though I'm probably tough when I don't need to be too.

Thanks Luce!

Visit Diantha at these places: Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads Amazon Pinterest DJ's Book Corner

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones Review

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (Oracle of Delphi #1) by Diantha Jones
Published: 2012
Publisher: Diantha Jones
Pages: 393
Format: e-book
Summary from Goodreads:
She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.

Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of "Whack Job" in her home town of Adel, Georgia. With the onslaught of prescription medications and therapists threatening to push her over the edge, she wishes for a life far away from the one she has, a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone's jokes and mockery.

Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.

After living through an attack from her worst nightmare, she awakens to find herself far from home, surrounded by glorious riches and servants…and a few demigods who enjoy killing things. Upon learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future, and the great Pythia that the gods have been anxiously awaiting to arrive for centuries. 

Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given and to keep her family safe from a demigod Princess that wants her dead, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters, evading divine assassins and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. In the hopes of discovering the Most Beautiful and the truth of her destiny, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I accepted a stop on the blog tour on a whim, after not hearing about the book previously and I was sort of worrying about it; what have I let myself in for if I have not heard of this book before? But thankfully I ended up being taken on a ride through the magical places that Diantha Jones describes and brings to life in Prophecy of the Most Beautiful.

There are a lot of characters like Chloe Clever out there right now –  a sort of outsider person who discovers they have a great destiny, but luckily I warmed straight to Chloe and was anxious to find out more about her fate as she was. I think I definitely liked Strafford and Chloe the best; he could be a bit possessive of her at times but throughout the book they have a really sweet relationship, and there were tons of ‘aww’ moments between them.

The only other books I’ve read that are based on Greek mythology are the first two books in the Percy Jackson series, and this one was definitely a great adventure, taking you from modern day Georgia to ancient Greece, which was really fun to read about. I will definitely be checking out more books to do with Greek mythology now; the ancient Greeks really seem like fascinating people, and the book made me feel like I should have studied Classics at school!

Overall, if you’re looking for an action-packed adventure with great, likeable characters then this is the book for you. I, for one am excited to read the sequel, and can’t wait to read more of Chloe and Strafford :) 

                                                   The Oracle of Delphi Series
                    Click the link above to visit the series page for synopsis' and reviews
                                                                 Book One

Paperback: Amazon US Amazon UK

Diantha Jones was born the day thousands of turkeys sacrificed their lives to fill millions of American bellies on November 22 which also happened to be Thanksgiving Day (Her mother says she owes her a turkey). She is a journalism graduate who wants to be a career novelist (of books, not Facebook posts). When not writing or working, she is reading on her Nook, being hypnotized by Netflix or on a mission to procure french fries.

The Oracle of Delphi fantasy series is her first series. She is also the author of Mythos: Stories from Olympus, a companion series, and there is another fantasy series in the works. She also writes (new) adult fantasy/paranormal romance under the name A. Star. Invasion (An Alien Romance) is her first title released under this pen name. Future releases under A. Star include, the Love & Steampunk series, the Purr, Inc. stories, and more.

Website   Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads  Amazon  Pinterest  DJ's Book Corner

Email Diantha Jones at: theauthor (at) diantha-jones (dot) com

Sunday, 16 June 2013

30 Day Book Challenge

After vowing not to participate in any book challenges for this year due to university work, I have finally caved and want to participate in one. It is called the 30 Day Book Challenge, in which you attempt to read a book a day. Since I would find this virtually impossible unless all the books I read were super short, various other YouTubers have suggested reading 200 pages a day, over the course of 30 days, which I have decided upon doing, seeing as though the majority of the books I've chosen are longer than 200 pages. The books I am attempting to read are:

1.   The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory – 400 pages
2.   Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris – 384 pages
3.   Dare You To by Katie McGarry – 352 pages
4.   My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher – 221 pages
5.   Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – 484 pages
6.   Emerald by Karen Wallace – 288 pages
7.   The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – 375 pages
8.   Ill Wind by Rachel Caine – 414 pages
9.   Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy – 384 pages (e-book)
10.                Kissed By An Angel by Elizabeth Chandler – 698 pages
11.                Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper – 298 pages
12.                Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones – 268 pages
13.                The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink – 352 pages (hardback)
14.                The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter – 293 pages (e-book)
15.                Immortal City by Scott Speer – 406 pages
16.                The Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore – 336 pages

17.                Petals in the Ashes by Mary Hooper – 192 pages

The Grand total of pages comes to 6145 pages. It will be a miracle if I manage to finish all these books within this time period, but since I have finished university for good, I might as well try it out as it gives me something to do. I will leave a link to the YouTube channel of Nerd in Translation below, who came up with the challenge, and good luck to everyone who's doing it! Happy reading.

Nerd in Translation's YouTube channel:

Book Haul - 16/06/2013

I haven't done a proper book haul on the blog in a while, so I thought I would share all the books I have bought and received in the past two months.

For review, I received The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

I bought:
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers
Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan #1) by Maria V. Snyder

From swaps:
Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean (Vampirates #1) by Justin Somper

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa (From a Facebook competition)
The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter (My first ever win from Goodreads)

I am super excited to read all of these books, and they should keep me busy until my next haul. Feel free to let me know what books you got in the comments below, and have a great week! Happy reading.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Hubble Bubble by Jane Lovering - Review

Published: 2013
Publisher: Choc Lit
Length: 290 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Be careful what you wish for…Holly Grey only took up witchery to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery … and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.
Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.

Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want.

Hubble Bubble was quite a strange book for me to read and review. After reading the synopsis, I wasn’t quite sure if it was a paranormal romance or a chick-lit book, but upon reading the first few chapters I grasped that it was a sort of mixture of both, but more on the chick-lit side.

Holly is a thirty-something woman from Yorkshire who is content without a man or children in her life. She goes along with her friend Megan to a nearby woman’s house who promises to make all the women’s wishes come true. Eventually, Holly discovers that the wish brings many different things into her life, including Kai, a Welsh journalist who is looking for his birth mother who abandoned him.

Holly was an okay character for me; I admired the way she lived an independent life, and wasn’t desperate for a man to complete it, on the other hand she could be slightly selfish and inconsiderate to others, such as Cerys, Kai’s daughter who was expecting twins.

I also enjoyed her and Kai’s romance; it really is a fun love story when the woman doesn’t want a relationship in the first place, and is feisty instead of letting the man walk all over her, which thankfully, Holly does not do.

I think that overall, Megan, Holly’s best friend was my favourite character of the book. Some of the stuff she came out with was just so random and quirky, and I loved it when she took in a scruffy little stray dog.

It also had a few dark elements to it that I would not normally expect from a chick-lit book, but as it also has some fantasy elements thrown in, I guess it would be fair to say it contained them.

Overall, this was a light, funny book that is great for all the single women out there, and I recommend it.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon - Review

Published: 2010
Publisher: Pocket Books
Length: 413 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary from Goodreads:

‘Will you marry me?’
I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning, or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed. I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. ‘Lily?’ he prompts. It’s been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak…

Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can’t forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart – and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I anticipated. I don’t read adult chick-lit that often, my main reads are dystopians and YA fantasy books. However, from time to time I do like to read chick-lit, both YA and adult because I like the escapism you get with most of them. And Pictures of Lily was no exception.

At the start, Lily isn’t happy to move from England to Australia, since her mum has a habit of getting with a new man pretty much all the time and Lily is pretty fed up of it. However, she ends up meeting Ben at a wildlife park who is twelve-years older than her, but despite that, she finds herself falling for him as they spend more time together.

I began falling for Ben pretty much as soon as Lily did; I thought he was a really sweet guy, and thought it was adorable when they took in an injured koala pup and nursed it back to health. All the way through the book I was just dying for Lily to get back with Ben, although she had a pretty decent boyfriend of her own as the book went on. However, despite their age gap I loved them as a couple and my heart warmed whenever I read their scenes together. I will definitely be checking out more of Paige Toon’s books now.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Book Haul

These are the most recent books I have bought this month. They are

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
The Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore

Blood Red Road by Moira Young - spoilers

Published: 2011
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books
Pages: 417
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads:
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
First of all, I just want to say that I was a little put off at first by the writing style of this book. It is written the way Saba and the other characters are supposed to speak, and as a result a lot of words are misspelled on purpose, such as ‘afeared’ meaning afraid. Also when characters talk, there are no speech marks for when they start speaking so it takes a little bit of getting used to.

At first, I found myself adjusting my reading style to the style of the book and after about fifty pages I hardly noticed the no speech marks as I was so engrossed in the story by that point. I really liked that the story was a dystopian tale that took place in the middle of a desert in the beginning; this gave the reader a chance to form their own imagining of where Saba lived, and you never knew what she’d encounter in the desert.

After reading The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, which also largely takes place in a desert I was a little apprehensive as to where Blood Red Road would go with the story, since I was a little bit disappointed with The Scorch Trials, but thankfully, Moira Young plunges straight into the story straight away as we follow Saba on her quest to find and retrieve her brother, Lugh.

I really loved the characters of Jack and Emmi the most, especially as Saba is quite mean to her little sister in the beginning but gradually begins to appreciate her and care for her properly. As for Jack, I loved the way he and Saba spoke to each other; he was a great bad-boy character and even though it took a while for her to admit her feelings, it was well worth the wait as they finally reconcile. He is definitely one of the best book boyfriends I’ve ever encountered.

Finally, I loved the way the plot just took you in so many different twists and directions, and how you never know what trials and dangers Saba and the other characters will meet on their journey (especially when some of them were truly evil people who deserved what was coming to them), but overall, along with the good characters, they made the story worthwhile, especially when the majority of the book takes place in a desert.

I loved this book and can’t wait to get my hands on Rebel Heart. A fully deserved 5/5/ stars.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

2013 New Releases

I've recently realized that I've forgotten to make a post all about the new year releases I am looking forward to and am dying to get my hands on. So in no particular order!

1. Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans
I haven't heard that much about this book: only that its a dystopian and that cover is just beyond awesome. Plus, I haven't read a lot of books that have limbo/purgatory etc as the main theme so I'm definitely excited to see what the story has in store.

2. The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) - Julie Kagawa
I am sooo excited for this book, especially since I loved the author's first book. I just loved the blend of dystopia and vampires, they are like two of my favourite genres so I loved the story. Allie is a great kick-ass heroine, just what the YA genre needs. Cannot wait.

3. Spintered - A. G. Howard
I'm really excited for this book as the concept sounds really unique. To be honest after having read the first Alice in Wonderland book I can't say that I loved it, but I'm interested in this one because the story sounds really cool and imaginative. Plus, it has pretty purple designs on each chapter header and the cover is just stunning.
6. Fractured (Slated #2) - Teri Terry
I can't wait to read this book because I loved the first book Slated. It was full of twists and turns and just leaves you wanting to uncover the mystery. Also, you don't find that many dystopian books that aren't set in the USA, so its always refreshing to read some set in places like the UK, like this one is.

7. The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd
I haven't heard that much about this book, only that its a retelling of a H. G. Wells story and that its sort of gruesome, which is always exciting to read about. I really love the USA cover, much more than the UK edition so I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out.

8. Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows #1) - Yelena Black
I'm really looking forward to this one, firstly because I've read the first three chapters and they were pretty gripping and exciting so I'm definitely excited to see where the story leads to. The other reason is that it seems to be marketed as a Black Swan type of story; I really loved that movie so I'm definitely interested in reading more books set in the ballet world. And that cover just blows me away!