Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review of Shattered Secrets

Shattered Secrets (Book of Red #1)
By Krystal Wade


About:

After being kidnapped, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk of a car, seventeen-year-old Abigail Nichols' boy problems seem unimportant.
She couldn't be more wrong.

The boy who saves her holds her heart.

But Derick Crawford also holds secrets.

Magical beings who guide human emotions are fighting an invisible war dating back to the dawn of time, and Abigail's one of them. The more she learns of her heritage, the less she wants to know. Armed with a very old, very massive book to teach them about their history, Abigail and Derick run away to a place where they think they can be safe and happy, only to have their troubles secretly hitch a ride.

Her history book is in a sharing mood, and it tells her to keep a secret of her own.

But has she put her trust in the wrong place?

And will the world survive if she has?



Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

Abigail's biggest problem was that she's always had feelings for her best-friend, Derick, and finally he kissed her but then avoided her ever since. Like any other teenage girl, her biggest problem was boys, until she's kidnapped by psychos who talk about killing her. Derick and another school-friend Mark who has a major crush on Abby, rescue her but the kidnappers are still out there looking for her. because she's not like any other girl, Abby has powers she has no idea of, and apparently so do Derick and mark. What's weirder is that derick's powers came alive when he kissed her, which is why he stayed away since. 

But now abby's life is at risk, she finds out she's superhuman and adopted, and the fate of humanity is in her hands. 

This was a good read, a bit slow-pacing at times, especially when Derick takes Abby to the island safe-house. I thought the immense action at the start died down for too long, and I was tempted to skip to the end, but glad I didn't. The story picked up pace very quickly when there are problems in the safe zone, and it becomes incredibly hard to know who to trust. Especially when Abby trusts this book more than her friends and family. I was wary of the book from the start since it reminded me of Riddle's diary from Harry Potter and Ron's father saying never to trust something with a brain if you can't see where the brain is kept. Overall, a good read, thanks NetGalley!
 
Favourite quotes
"I thought you might be awake. You should not eavesdrop. It is rude."
I opened my eyes and faced the men, anger filling every inch of me. I was going to die anyway. "Kidnapping, stuffing a girl in a trunk, punching said girl and tying her up on a couch with intent to kill her is rude. Me overhearing you say all that is unfortunate."

We're the mysterious Maker's best. I got enough of that from Mr. Crawford. Being all-powerful wasn't exactly in my life plans, not anymore. Could I even return to normal after this? 
 
"What happened out here? What happened on the beach? Don't give me the 'leave it at that' either. I'm not stupid, and i'd prefer not to think im losing my mind."
Derick laughed. We're aliens from another planet, come to eat your brains and kill all your children."

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review of the lost boys #1

The Lost Boys
(The Lost Boys #1)
By Lilian Carmine

About:
An intensely addictive romance novel about girls, ghosts, and forbidden love, ideal for fans of Stephenie Meyer
 Fate has brought them together. But will it also keep them apart? Having moved to a strange town, 17-year-old Joey Gray is feeling a little lost, until she meets a cute, mysterious boy near her new home. But there’s a very good reason why Tristan Halloway is always to be found roaming in the local graveyard. Perfect for fans of Stephenie Meyer and Lauren Kate,
The Lost Boys is a magical, romantic tale of girl meets ghost.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.3/5

My Thoughts:
In general, books are too short for my liking, but I loved the length of this book. I believe this is a trilogy, but I’m glad many of the events unfolded in the one book. There are a number of life –turning events; literally.

Joe Gray, despite her name, clothes and general behaviour, is a girl. One day she comes across a very handsome boy in the cemetery and she immediately feels a kinship with him, but Joe doesn’t realise he’s a ghost, and Tristan is scared of losing her friendship if she learns the truth. The story takes off from there because due to a combination of elements, magic and timing, Tristan comes to life. But because of Joe’s blood, their connection is even more crucial because each month Tristan falls deathly ill and the only thing that can save him is Joe’s closeness. Strange, huh!

When Joe and Tristan enrol in boarding school, they befriend Seth, Sam, Harry and Josh and become part of the boy band; the Lost Boys, and their adventures and funny habits make the book even more enjoyable. Without revealing any spoilers, the end was very dramatic, and I’m looking forward to the next book to find out whether the Lost Boys can continue to keep Tristan safe.

Zed (:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Review of The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us
 

By Kasie West
 

About:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.75/5

My Thoughts:

This is one of the books I’ve been meaning to read but just didn’t get round to it. And now that I have, I can’t believe it took me this long!

A contemporary love story about a rich guy and a poor girl, their differences, and how they still manage to fall in love. Yes, that sounds like every other cliché in love stories but it’s got some twists, and the way its written sets it far apart than all the other ‘normal’ love stories.
Caymen and Xander (love the names) meet at the Doll shop that Caymen’s mother owns. One day, a wealthy, young guy (Xander) walks in to buy a collectible doll for his grandmother. Caymen has worked at “Dolls and More” for as long as she can remember, and she lives in the apartment above the store with her mother. She hates working there but she has to help her mother to make ends meet.
Caymen’s sarcastic and dry humour intrigues Xander, and Caymen sees that Xander isn’t like all the other wealthy guys her mum has always told her to stay away from, and they may have more in common than she thought.
Loved this book, and the witty comments. I’m looking forward to reading lots more by Kasie West.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:
Skye laughs. “She has a life, Henry. It’s just a boring one.”
“Considering I’m with you half the time, Skye, I’d watch what you say.”
“Caveman has a boring life,” he sings. “She needs some toil and strife.”
“No, I’m fine with boringness, thank you.” In fact I’ve settled into my monotonous life pretty well, only feeling the urge to rip my hair out about once a week now.


“You told me to try to get her to buy one we already had.”
“Not at the expense of her feelings.”
“Feelings don’t cost anything. Dolls do.”
She offers me a small smile and then runs a hand down my cheek. “Feelings, my dear daughter, you will perhaps learn one day, can be the most costly thing in the universe.”
And that’s the kind of attitude that is going to be the financial ruin of the store.

“Yeah, well, I’m over him.”
“That was fast.”
“That’s because I’ve been trying to get over him since the minute I met him so I’m one step ahead of myself.”
She pats my knee like she thinks I’m in denial. I am not in denial.

“I’ve needed my morning hot chocolate, but someone got me addicted to it then took it away.”
“Is that your subtle way of saying you missed me last week?”
“I’ve missed hot chocolate. I just think of you as the guy who brings it to me. Sometimes I forget your name and call you hot chocolate guy.”


He lifts a hand to my elbow, “Are you okay?”
I meet his eyes and want to say, “No, I still feel like crap. My mom is keeping secrets, I’ll probably be homeless in a month, my dad ran out on me, and you have a girlfriend we’re both pretending doesn’t exist.”

“And the winner is Xander.”
“Cheaters! The both of you!”
He clears his throat. “I’d like to dedicate this win to my supreme knowledge of the kitchen layout and tools therein that I have used on many occasions. If it wasn’t for-“He stops mid-sentence and then says, “Oh, hi, Mom.”

“I feel guilty and selfish for wishing a person out of existence but I don’t want this change.”
“You’ll work through those feelings. You’ll melt when you hold the baby in your arms.”
“No, I won’t. I don’t like kids and kids don’t like me. We’ve come to this general consensus long ago.”

“What am I looking at?”
I slip outside and he follows. “I need to find out everything there is to know about that guy.”
“Okay...what do we know so far?”
“Nothing.”
He clears his throat. “Miss Scientific Observer has no concrete facts?”
“I have a feeling.” That if my mom is pregnant I need to know everything I can about the potential father.
“Do feelings prove theories now?”
“Shut up.”

“What’s wrong, babe?” Xander grabs my hand and puts it on his knee.
“Is that the pet name we’re going with? Babe?”
He backs out of the parking stall and starts driving. “You don’t like it?”
“It’s okay. It makes me think of the pig, though.”
“Are you putting in a request, then?”
“I’ve always been partial to sweetie, mostly because I’m not sweet so it makes me laugh.”



 “What is it about me your mom doesn’t like?”
“Mainly that you’re rich. If you could just change that one thing, it would make my life a whole lot easier.”
“I’ll work on that.”
“Thanks. You’re so accommodating.”

Friday, 21 March 2014

Review of Faking Normal

Faking Normal
 
By Courtney C. Stevens



About:
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.


Source: Goodreads

Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

Faking Normal is surrounded by high hopes and anticipation and I'm glad to say it is definitely worth it. Alexi's life has been turned around after an incident last summer, which no one knows about. She's pretending to be fine, faking normal, and everyone seems to buy it except Bodee. 
 
Bodee, aka the 'kool-aid kid' due to his daily change in hair colour‎, becomes friends with Lexi just after his mother's funeral. Bodee also has a secret, his mum was murdered by his father, and Bodee's faking normal too. 
Lex's family bring Bodee into their home, and their friendship strengthens. Both are suffering and both find a peace in each others presence. But will they ever be able to move on with their lives or are they too broken?

Favourite Quotes:

God, I wish I could bleed him out of my life.
If only I could make the outside hurt more than the inside.

That option gives me a degree of deniability. It’s really the only choice. But it’s sort of like choosing between a boat with a hole and a raft with a leak. I still sink.

And Bodee smiles.
Really smiles. Teeth and all. (They’re straight).
And even though I have thrown up, walked through a crime scene, and rooted through the remainder of Mrs Lennox’s life, I smile too.

After what I’ve been through, I’m like a burnt and crumbly cake that some sly baker covers up with beautiful icing. So even if he likes me on the outside, my inside in tasteless crap.

“I won’t let anyone hurt you.”
If a heart can smile, mine does.
“Bodee, thanks,” I say, though I know he doesn’t need it. I’m sorry you lost her.”
“At least I found you,” he says.

When I can’t make myself smaller, I cry and pound my fist on the floor. There’s an art to crying without a sound, and I’m a master. 

“I missed you.”
“You must have, you’re hugging me at school,” he says.
“I missed you,” I repeat. More like I had trouble breathing without you.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review of Panic

Panic
 
By Lauren Oliver

About:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


Source: Goodreads

Rating: 3/5

My Thoughts:

‎Competitive, ruthless games seem to be all the rage now with hunger games, fire + flood, divergent and now panic. Panic is a game with challenges set by unknown judges. People choose to play, usually to get the enormous reward, but as we saw in this story, it's not always about the money.
 
I liked the book and the development of the characters, but at the same time it wasn't as great as the hype it's been given. 
 
The story is told from two points of view: heather's and‎ Dodge Mason's. Both are participating in the game for different reasons, and I liked how we get to understand the player and their personal reason for playing. The game brings them closer together as allies and then friends. 
 
Panic shows the reader that no one really knows anyone else because everyone has their own secrets. Overall, I'm glad I read it. 
 
Favourite Quotes:
 
There’s just something about her. Something about her. Which meant: Nothing about you.

And that was Dodge’s second secret, and the source of his power. He wasn’t afraid. He just didn’t care. And that was very, very different.

She saved the tigers for last. Bishop was taking a sip of her coffee and nearly choked. “You know that’s totally illegal, right?” he said. She rolled her eyes. “So are the pants you’re wearing. If you don’t tell, I won’t.”

No one had ever told her this basic fact: not everyone got to be loved. It was like those stupid bell curves they’d had to study in math class. There was the big, swollen, happy middle, a whale hump full of blissful couples and families eating around a big dining room table and laughing. And then, at the tapered ends, there were the abnormal people, the weirdos and freaks and zeros like her.

She thought all you needed to do- all any of them needed- was to get out. But maybe you carried your demons with you everywhere, the way you carried your shadow.

But that was the point. He was the same, and different. And that made her hopeful in a way. If people changed, it meant that she was allowed to change too. She could be different. She could be happier.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Thief review

Thief: The Scarab Beetle Series #1
 
(The Academy)

By C.L. Stone

About:

Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pick pocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…

Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.

Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.

Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.
Warning: This is a new adult series. Readers of the other Academy series may need some caution as this series will contain mature sexual and violent situations and themes.

Source: Amazon
My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

C.L. Stone’s other series (The Ghost Bird series) is so addicting that I knew I had to read her new series as soon as possible. Thief is a captivating first book in the Scarab Beetle Series, and I am positive that the subsequent books will be just as brilliant.

In Thief we see the story from Kayli’s perspective. Forced by circumstance, Kayli resorts to stealing wallets in order to pay the rent so that she, her younger brother, Will, and her drunk, abusive father have a temporary roof over their heads. However, she doesn’t pickpocket from just anyone, Kayli is a thief with morals. She does not pickpocket from the elderly, women or children, even though they are the easiest targets, but only steals from those that can defend themselves. Not only that, she doesn’t take it all, she will steal a few bills and then leave the wallet somewhere she knows the correct authorities will find it and return to the owner.

The academy boys have tracked Kayli and need her for their mission, to steal a billionaire’s wallet and then replace it at the same party without anything going missing. This billionaire has also been on the academy’s radar since he has been recently mingling with dodgy people and they want to find out what he is up to.

Kayli is prepared to do this job but she is unprepared for the boys themselves and how they accept her despite knowing her secrets. They promise to help her but can she trust their promises? She tries to run away and shut them out but slowly they are beginning to break down her walls and Kayli isn’t sure why they would want her when she is so broken...

This is an excellent start to the series and I am looking forward to the second book, which should be out this summer!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

A snore broke through our mutual silence. I turned my head, spotting Jack on the bed closest to the wall. Daddy, Dad, Papa and other father names never really fit well between my lips and his ears. Jack was the thing we’d settled on. And those moments he wasn’t cursing at me, he sometimes remembered my name was Kayli.
 
“Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me there’s no chance in hell you’ll stop stealing.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. He didn’t know me. I didn’t want to admit to anything. “I didn’t ask for a chance.”
“None of us do. But you don’t throw away one when you get it.”
 
“Promise not to say anything?”
My eyebrows shifted up. “You’d trust me not to tell? You don’t even know me.”
“Doesn’t mean your promise isn’t any good.”
 
There was something about him I was drawn to. He made an effort that made it impossible to hold up any wall against him. He simply climbed over it and offered to help you knock it down. Instant and overwhelming.
 
I stretched out, and took Corey’s face in my palms. “Tell me you’re not messing with me. I swear to god, I’ll kick your ass...”
“No one’s kicking anyone’s ass.” Raven materialized next to me. “What are you doing? What’s with this shirt? And let my boy go. I do the ass kicking around here.”
 
“Is that hope I’m detecting in your question, little thief?”
Brandon made a noise that sounded a lot like a growl. “If he’s not a bad guy, she’s hoping for a date.”
Eyebrows lifted on faces around the room. Raven smirked. “In that case, yes. He’s a dealer. And a rapist. And a murderer. He murders babies. Girl babies. And puppies. And he rapes them. After they’re dead. Sometimes.”
 
“Gay guys are awesome,” I said. “You can do all kind of cool things together and it never goes into a weird zone.”
Brandon huffed. “You’ve got strange ideas.”
 
Maybe it was best to pretend it never happened.
I was a thief. I worked alone. Alone was best for me, for someone who didn’t fit in anywhere. It never hurt. It never made promises it didn’t mean. Alone was who I was.
 
He isn’t perfect. He makes mistakes. We all do. If you’re willing to learn from and make up for those mistakes, and try to do better next time, doesn’t that deserve a chance?”
 
“No one’s listening.”
“You never know who is listening. That’s something you should learn. Watch what you say all the time. Talk like the world is listening in. Usually because someone is.”
 
“What do you want?” Blake said.
“I need a new maid. The old one left.”
Blake’s eyebrow rose. “Left? Old Mrs. Jennings? She said she needed the money.”
Doyle zipped his hand back and forth in the air as if to cut off the conversation. “Left. Died. Whatever. Same thing. This place is disgusting.”
 
I needed to know I was wanted for who I was. And I didn’t know who I was outside of Kayli the thief.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review of Fire and Flood

Fire & Flood
By Victoria Scott
 
 
About:
A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?
Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.5/5
 
My thoughts:

Tella’s brother is sick and the doctors don’t know whats wrong with him. Suddenly she receives a message from a stranger saying that she has been selected for the Brimstone Bleed and the winner will receive a cure for any disease. Tella isn’t sure whether to believe this message or not but she sets out on a journey, determined to do whatever she can to help her brother Cody.

This is the first book I have read by Victoria Scott and I’m glad to say I was not disappointed. The book reminded me of Hunger Games because of the whole fierce competition and only one person wins kind of thing, but at the same time it was very different. Tella has no idea what the Brimstone Bleed is, and she’s going into this competition practically blind since her parents never told her anything about it either.

But Tella isn’t alone since each contender has a Pandora, which is like an animal guardian, but these anmals have been experimented on so they each have different abilities. For example, a lion that can breathe fire, a skunk that can become invisible... The Pandora’s objective is to protect and help their contender win in whatever way they can.

Tella isn’t a fighter, or a warrior, in fact she’s pretty much a typical 16 year old girl (even though I’m not sure how old she really is). She wants nothing more than to have a good pamper day with her best friend, Hannah, but at the same time she loves her brother and is determined to win this cure for him.

You can see how her character develops and the circumstances grow more serious as the “game” progresses. Contenders and pandoras get injured and even die, but the race continues.

Overall, an excellent start to what I’m hoping will be a brilliant series!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

What if it’s true? I want to believe it’s real. I want to believe there can be an end to Cody’s blood tests and MRIs. That my mom will learn to sleep again, and that my dad will stop quietly raging. I don’t want to smell antiseptic anymore or meet another kindhearted nurse who’s great at hitting a vein on the first try. How about, instead, you leave Cody alone? How about, instead, you make him better?
 
These aren’t my clothes. Oh my God. Someone changed my clothes while I was asleep.
My first thought is: What creepazoid takes someone’s clothes off while they’re sleeping? The second is what undies I’m wearing - whether it’s an old pair or my good Victoria’s Secret stuff.
I’m not proud of this last thought.
 
For fifteen minutes, I plan my funeral. My pastor will give my life eulogy. He’ll say I wore way too much makeup and that I had a borderline obsession with sticky notes. They’ll serve Greek food at the wake, because Mom will insist it was my favourite, and Cody will ask why he has to eat this crap even after I’m gone.
 
I could shove it in Cody’s face every chance I got. I’d be like, Hey, Cody, enjoying that doughnut? You wouldn’t be if I hadn’t saved your ass. And, Hey, Cody, nice wedding you’re having here. You know what you’d be doing today if I hadn’t saved you? Not getting married.