Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review of Master Over You

Master Over You: 
A Dark Romance Novel

By Cerys Du Lys & Ethan Winters



About:

There's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours.

My name is Noah. I'm not a nice person. This isn't cupcakes and candyland, love.


I'll take you, break you, and offer you to the highest bidder without a second thought. You're mine now. It's business, nothing personal. You wouldn't understand, and I'm not going to explain it. Sorry, love, you don't mean a thing to me. 

Just know that there's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours. 

Author Note - This dark romance novel contains themes that may be discomforting to some people. If you are sensitive to depictions of violence, then this book is not recommended for you. 

(Ethan Winters official debut release co-authored with USA Today bestselling author Cerys du Lys) 

Man’s POV = Ethan, Woman’s POV = Cerys 

There is a light at the end of every dark tunnel, no matter how dim it may seem.


Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.6 / 5

My Thoughts:

**I received a free ecopy of this book through via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**

Disturbing, intense but mind blowing. Master over you is this and much more. I was warned before I read it that it is rather graphic and at first I thought it was an exaggeration, but after reading it I realised that this definitely needs a warning sign. There’s a lot of bad language so it’s definitely not for children.

Noah is a slave trafficker. He knows he's a monster but in his own mind there are worse monsters out there and its better him than them. He knows he does wrong but he still does it.

When he abducts Chastity White, I was imagining some sort of romance between the two that she'd end up being the girl that changes his way, and so on. But when Angeline turns up and kidnaps them both, now that was unexpected.

Angeline. My God, she is psychotic and crazy and obsessive, and so much more. One minute she's ripping off Noah's fingernails with some ancient mechanical device to punish him, and the next minute she's cuddling him and licking his blood off his wounds. She has a weird blood fetish and her sadistic nature was so creepy but utterly believable. This is probably because the story is told through all three characters' points of view and when Angeline's broken thoughts come across, it gave me the chills.

But there's more to Angeline than meets the eye and that back-story was epic. This book was written awesomely and I can imagine great things to come from these authors.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

Sometimes it is easier to suffer than to die. I think it is because of hope. You do not have hope once you are dead, because you do not have anything. Who is to say that dying is less painful than living? We do not know. We will never know.

I am not responsible for anyone else’s actions. They must deal with their own consequences.

“Noah, you are incorrigible and rude.”
“You fucking kidnapped me. You bit me. You slammed my head against a fucking wall. What the fuck do you want from me, love?”

I’d probably find it attractive id she didn’t have me strapped to a chair after previously almost suffocating me. And biting me before that, slamming my head against a wall, knocking the air out of my lungs...
I don’t think Angeline and I are going to get along, and how cute she looks when walking on the balls of her feet isn’t going to change that, is basically what I’m saying here.

“We need to have a talk, Noah,” she says.
“What the fuck are we going to talk about, love?” I reply. Shit. That’s two things she hates in one sentence. She’s going to fucking drown me with orange juice now.

You either have a monster in your closet, or you are the monster in someone’s closet. There is nothing else. That’s the only rule in this fucked up game of life.

“Maybe it is easier if you hate me,” I say. “I think I will like it if you love me, though.”

On the bedside table, there’s a knife. Looks dangerous. Yeah, I just said that a knife looks dangerous. All knives are fucking dangerous, alright? A fucking butter knife can gouge your damn eye out. Don’t play around with this shit, kids. I’m a professional. I know things.

What I’m saying here is you can have a nice time with someone and it might turn out well in the end, but it’s not fucking magical. Love is bullshit.

Be kind to others, asshole. You believe in God? God wants you to be kind. You believe in Buddha? Yeah, he wants you to be kind, too. You believe in the goddamn power of the sun? The sun wants you to be kind. Even if you don’t believe in any of that shit, it’s a good fucking thing to be kind to other people. It’s called common fucking decency.

Trying is not doing, and doing is the only thing that matters in this sick fucking twisted rendition of the world.

It is wrong. He deserves punishment for what he did, and yet the only thing that happened to him was death?
Sometimes I do not think this world is a fair place. Sometimes I do not understand why he was allowed to die, but I was forced to live.

I fell in love with a  monster and she ate my fucking soul. I let her, though.

Shit changes, and then you do things because of the changes, and more shit happens, and then you forget how the fuck you used to be in the first place.

I don’t believe in prayer and hope, though. I believe in getting shit done. If I can save someone, I’ll fucking save them.
If I can’t, I’m sorry.

Enough of this sob story emotional bullshit, though. I’m an asshole. I’m not a nice person. I’m nice tonight, though. I’m nice for her.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thoughts on Bullying and review of 'Every Ugly Word'

Every Ugly Word

By Aimee L. Salter

About:


When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.


Source:Goodreads

My rating: 4.75 / 5

My Thoughts:

Such a sad, thought-provoking read about bullying and the horribleness of it all. Unfortunately, bullying occurs in almost every high school and in this case Ashley is the victim. Bullies don’t realise that their actions can have severe psychological effects on the victim, which can last for the rest of their life. We see the damage the bullies do to Ashley when she talks to her future self in the mirror, and how the future self is suffering too from the lasting effects of bullying. 

In Ashley’s case, there was very little of a support system. Other students knew she was being bullied and were too afraid to side with her, which left her with one friend, Matt. And as we learned through the story, even he isn’t perfect. Matt is Ashley’s best friend but she’s in love with him, which made things a whole lot more difficult. Especially when he starts to date the girl that made her life hell. Even Matt can’t fix it all, and Ashley can’t tell him all the ‘incidents’ either, because she’s afraid he won’t believe her anyway. Instead of trying to help, Ashley’s mother is embarrassed of her daughter and accuses Ash for not making enough of an effort to fit in. And when you think that Ash only has Matt and her mother, there’s no wonder she feels like giving up and having almost suicidal thoughts.  

Bullying is not something to be taken lightly and until I read this book, even I brushed the topic off as something that is part of human nature and will not change. Ashley’s story tells us to be strong and to believe in ourselves and each other. Sometimes it is only having that one person to support you that makes all the difference between fighting and giving up. You may not be the victim and I certainly hope you’re not the bully, but if you do come across any sort of bullying, then you shouldn’t turn a blind eye. If you can’t confront and stop the bully, then support the victim and just let them know that they’re not alone. It takes a lot of courage because there’s always the fear that the bully might change its prey, but you could be saving someone’s life.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“People you love should always be more important than people who judge you.”

But I didn’t have any answers. I had to be alone. And maybe I did need to kill myself, because if it could get worse than this, I didn’t have it in me to survive anyway.

It isn’t what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It’s what you do about it.


As long as I had hope, the good things would stay good. So no, I’d never be a kick-ass movie star heroine. But I was real. And loveable. And for now, that was enough. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review of Duplicity by Nikki Jefford

Duplicity

(Spellbound #2)

By Nikki Jefford


About:

If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn't seem to get that Lee's boyfriend, Raj, is off limits. Then there's the problem of Adrian. He expects one of the Graylees to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is on to them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper. 

If the two Grays work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 3.5/5

My Thoughts:

**I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
Firstly, just wanted to say that I love the cover of this book. It doesn't do much in terms of explaining the story but it is stunning. 
Duplicity, the second book in the Spellbound series was an interesting but slightly confusing read. First Graylee Perez was taken from her body and put into another’s and now there are two Grays, one in Charlene’s body and the other in Stacey Morehouse’s body. It was confusing because I read the first book quite a long time ago so it took me a while to remember what had happened, plus having two Grays in different bodies, one who just came into existence after almost a year from the original ‘switch,’ is enough to confuse anyone! To prevent further confusion I’ll refer to the ‘duplicate’ Graylee that is in Charlene’s body as ‘Gray’ and the original Graylee that is in Stacey’s body, ‘Lee,’ as these are the names used in the book.
I pitied Gray, because she’s come back to find that she’s missed out on the last 8 or so months, another Gray has been filling her place, her boyfriend’s moved on with Lee and basically everyone has been fine without her. Not to mention that someone has put a spell on the town which is making everyone’s powers out of control, Gray coming back (again) isn’t exactly big news. The worst thing is that both the girls are Graylee but Gray is seen as the duplicate; the excess version when really they were all doing fine without her. Talk about feeling unwanted!
Surprisingly, or perhaps it isn’t that surprising really, Lee and Gray do not get along, to put it lightly. Each thinks the other is the ‘intruder.’ Gray feels that Lee has stolen her life, whereas Lee is feeling threatened by Gray’s return, especially since Gray looks more like the original Graylee Perez.
I’m not particularly fond of Raj, he’s too loved up with Lee for my liking, not that it stopped him from kissing Gray because he was ‘confused.’ Ha! Although to be fair it’s not exactly his fault since Gray can’t seem to accept that Raj is Lee’s boyfriend, not hers. Adrian, on the other hand, is far more interesting. Slightly evil, crazy and power hungry, but definitely has more appeal than Raj. I feel that he and Gray may share some interesting chemistry in the next book. Overall, a light and fun albeit confusing read but I recommend reading book one first!
Zed (:
Favourite Quote:
She didn’t come up with anything other than what she felt wasZ a reasonable question: if it was okay for doppelgangers to run around, why couldn’t there be two people with the same mind and memories? Who was that bothering, really?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Review of Outlander book 2

Dragonfly in Amber

(Outlander #2)

By Diana Gabaldon

About:

With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander....

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves...


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.9 /5

My Thoughts:

Full of suspense, adventure and the entertaining Claire-James romance this book has increased my love for the Outlander series.

Dragonfly in Amber was more subdued than the first book in the Outlander series, but still incredibly addictive. The book starts off with Claire back in the 1900s, with her almost 18 year old daughter, Brianna (Bree), on a visit to Scotland. My first thoughts were ‘WTH’ and ‘Where’s Jamie?’ I even thought of abandoning the book if Jamie was dead but clearly I couldn’t stop reading either! We find out that Frank died two years ago and Bree doesn’t  know that Frank wasn’t her father (how she wasn’t curious about her lack of resemblance to Frank I have no idea) until Claire tells Bree and Roger Wakefield of her journey in Scotland what happened up to Jamie’s death.

 Claire’s story starts with her marriage life with Jamie, having accepted her decision to stay with him, rather than go back (or forward?) through the stones to Frank to the 20th century. Although she is pregnant, she and Jamie have taken on a mission to do everything in their power to prevent the fatal battle of Culloden from taking place.

 Although Claire can’t remember much of the Culloden battle, what she does know is devastating. History says that Prince Charles will attempt to reclaim the crown for his family but he will fail because there will never be another Stuart King. The passionate attempts by the Jacobites will essentially be futile since they will lose horrifically at the Battle of Culloden and the ground will be drenched with Scottish blood. They don’t know if they will be successful, but Claire and Jamie decide that they cannot sit back and do nothing, Jamie will not let his people of Lallybroch die without even trying to save them. Jamie’s best bet in making any difference is by stopping Prince Charles, and the only way he can do that is by gaining his trust and learning the plans in order to succeed in thwarting them.

 Their time in Paris was fun to read, partly because it made a welcome change from reading about their barbaric living conditions whilst in prison, or the less than great time in the Scottish countryside. Another reason I liked reading about the events in France was because there was a lot happening and it was often really difficult to determine whose side the different characters were on. Were they on the side of the English? Did they want Charles to succeed? Or, was there another plan? Because if there was one thing that I learnt from this book, it was that everyone had an agenda.

My new favourite character was Raymond, the toad-like sorcerer, who despite his reputation wasn’t a ‘bad guy.’ Well, not as bad as a lot of others. He had a number of quirks, like having a secret room where he kept bones of extinct animals, but his genuine concern for Claire saved her life and I liked him most for that. Fergus, the French pick-pocket, with his admiration for Jamie and utter devotion to serving him was adorable.

 Jamie is as passionate and stubborn as always, but this book sees his relationship with Claire having some severe ups and downs. Inevitably, they get through it all and become stronger as a result, but there were times when I thought perhaps all might be lost. The ending was fantastically awesome and I kinda knew what would happen (blame Wikipedia and my impatient curiousity!) but it was still brilliant!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“No, thank God. I skulked about against a wardrobe, trying to look like part of the furniture, wi’ the bitty wee comtes and ducs all glancing at me out of the sides of their eyes as though Scottishness were catching.”

He shrugged. “Well, if it does or no, it’s the bargain God’s made for him, and he’s little choice but to make the best of it.”

“Go to hell, Jamie,” I said at last, wiping my eyes. “Go directly to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. There. Do you feel better now?”
“Aye, I do,” he said, his expression lightening. “When ye start to talk daft, I know you’re all right. Do you feel better, Sassenach?”

“Well, I’ll tell ye, Sassenach, ‘graceful’ is possibly not the first word that springs to mind at thought of you.” He slipped an arm behind me, one hand large and warm around my silk-clad shoulder.
“But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul,” he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.
“And, Sassenach,” he whispered, “your face is my heart.”

“Sauce for the gander,” I retorted coldly. “Is being married to me sufficient occupation for you? I don’t notice you hanging round the house all day, adoring me. And as for the household, bosh.”
“Bosh? What’s bosh?” he demanded.
“Stuff and nonsense. Rot. Horsefeathers. In other words, don’t be ridiculous...”

“And what’s wrong wi’ the way ye smell?” he said heatedly. “At least ye smelt like a woman, not a damn flower garden. What d’ye think I am, a man or a bumblebee?...”

“Who would want to intercept His Highness’s mail?” I asked. “Besides us, I mean.”

“You! You bloody frog-faced little worm!”
“Me, Madonna? I have done you no harm, have I?” [Master Raymond]
“Aside from causing me to have violent diarrhea in the presence of thirty-odd people, making me think I was having a miscarriage, and scaring my husband out of his skin, no harm at all!”

“Kill me? God, if I found you wi’ another man, I’d kill him.” He paused, and one corner of his mouth quirked wryly. “Mind ye,” he said, “I’d no be verra pleased wi’ you, either, but still, it’s him I’d kill.”
“Typical man,” I said. “Always missing the point.”

Wentworth. Where he had given his soul to save my life, and suffered the tortures of the damned in retrieving it.

“Most physicians of my acquaintance would say, ‘All I can do is try to heal her.’ You will help her to heal? It’s interesting that you perceive the difference...”

“I can stand a lot! But just because I can, does that mean I must? Do I have to bear everyone’s weakness? Can I not have my own?”

“I’m honest enough to say that I dinna care what the right and wrong of it may be, so long as you are here wi’ me, Claire,” he said softly. “If it was a sin for you to choose me...then I would go to the Devil himself and bless him for tempting ye to it.”

I had always heretofore assumed that the tendency of eighteenth-century ladies to swoon was due to tight stays; now I rather thought it might be due to the idiocy of eighteenth-century men.

So depressing only to wear dark colours all the time; what kind of religion would make its followers wear such plain clothes all the time? Obviously the Devil’s work, anyone can see that. They are afraid of women, that’s what it is, so they...” [Louise]

But one cannot kill a man for his beliefs, even if the exercise of those beliefs means the death of innocents-or can one?

“Between hell now, and hell later, Sassenach,” he said, his speech measured and precise, “I will take later, every time.”

“I land in Scotland near dead wi’ the crossing, ride for four days over the hills to get here, and when I arrive, I canna even come in the house for a drop to wet my parched throat; instead I’m off through the mud, huntin’ lost sheep. And once I do get here, ye want me to send me out in the dark again to piss on the doorposts. Tcha!”

Healing comes from the healed; not from the physician.

“Honor has killed one bloody hell of a lot of men,” I said to the dark groove of his bruised back. “Honor without sense is...foolishness. A gallant foolishness, but foolishness nonetheless.”

“Or do you not believe in witchcraft?” I asked.
He laughed, a pure, carefree sound in the sunlit room. “A man who doesn’t believe in God can scarce credit power to Satan, can he?”

Hodie mihi cras tibi, said the inscription. Sic transit Gloria mundi. My turn today, yours tomorrow. And thus passes away the glory of the world.

“Damn Frank!” he said ferociously. “Damn all Randalls! Damn Jack Randall, and damn Mary Hawkins Randall, and damn Alex Randall – er, God rest his soul, I mean,” he amended hastily, crossing himself.


I was out of practice, but deception had at one point been second nature to me. Lying was like riding a bicycle, I thought, you don’t forget how. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review of Outlander

Outlander 
(Outlander #1)

By Diana Gabaldon


About:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


Source: Goodreads

My Rating: A Huge 5/5 

My Thoughts:

Most television series or movies that are based on books stray a fair amount from the events in the book itself. For example, I recently read the 100 book and found it to be rather different to the television series. I find that to be both interesting and disappointing. Interesting because although there are similarities, I am still surprised at turn of events. Disappointing because the show / movie is never as good as the book. However, Outlander appears to be the exception. Although there have only been 7 episodes of the show yet, each episode is like it has been carved directly from the book. Obviously, there have to be some differences, such as the wedding ring being made from a key, but as a whole the show follows the events in the book very closely.
Even the characters in the TV show fit the story perfectly with the ruggedly handsome James Fraser, and the curly haired Claire to creepy Randall (still can’t believe Captain Jack is Frank’s ancestor and that anyone could turn out to be so hideous and evil). I’m looking forward to seeing the televised versions of various scenes from the book, such as Jamie’s fight with his sister, Jenny. But some scenes I can’t imagine being televised, like when Claire helps a horse in foal-birth(?)!
Although the book is very long, it is most entertaining and I hope the rest of the series is just as fun to read. I began to understand the Scottish way of speaking quite easily as the story progressed. First, I was guessing the words, but the more I read, the more sense it made. The book is full of adventures, often life-threatening, and I loved how Claire and Jamie were constantly saving each other. Both stubborn and proud, their arguments and insults were hilarious, especially when Claire lost her temper and used phrases that were unheard of in the 18th century. In both lives Claire’s unwomanly insults shock people, both Scots and English alike.  
Both Jamie and Claire are my favourites, and their love story is funny but sweet. Jamie is protective and caring, but his red hair matches his fiery temper. Although as he says, he rarely loses his temper, he loses it more easily with Claire as she somehow manages to get under his skin one way or another. Similarly, Claire doesn’t realise how much Jamie means to her until its time for her to go back to Frank. I felt that was the tipping point for their relationship because the ball was in Claire’s court. Prior to that there were so many obstacles in her way, preventing her from getting back to the stones that may or may not take her back to her future life with Frank. But when Jamie takes her there himself and tells her to go back, my heart broke for him. And for Claire because she was stuck between two worlds and the decision to stay in the dangerous 1700s with Jamie or to go back to the 20th century to the safety of Frank was finally hers to make. I knew what the outcome would be, but it still sweet to read.
There were so many funny quotes I highlighted whilst reading the story; most were from Jamie. His bluntness, Scottish speaking and lack of tact had me in fits. It's likely that some quotes won’t make any sense until you’ve read the book, so take my advice and get your copy now!
Favourite quotes:
No, I decided. Dropping the teapot was a perfectly normal reaction. Dropping it into Mr. Bainbridge’s lap was merely an accident of placement; I had to drop it somewhere. It was my exclaiming “Bloody fucking hell!” in a voice that topped Mr. Bainbridge’s heartcry that had made Frank glare at me across the scones.
“What are you doing here?” I asked accusingly.At the same time Jamie asked in a similarly accusatory tone, “How much do ye weigh, Sassenach?”Still a bit addled, I actually replied “Nine stone,” before thinking to ask “Why?”“Ye nearly crushed my liver,” he answered, gingerly prodding the affected area. “Not to mention scaring the living hell out of me.”
We have nothing now between us, save-respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies.
“Is that so, then?” Jamie exclaimed. It was his turn to buffet the other man in congratulation. No wonder men got impervious to superficial pain, I thought. It came from this habit of hammering each other incessantly.
“Oh,” I said, elaborately polite, “I’m included in this conversation, am I? I thought you were doing quite well by yourself. Pray continue.”
“You’re no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”
“I don’t make idle threats, Sassenach,” he said, raising one brow, “and I don’t take frivolous vows. Now, can we go to bed?”
“Why, what’s the matter wi’ the poor child?” she demanded of Jamie. “Has she had an accident o’ some sort?”“No, it’s only she’s married me,” he said, “though if ye care to call it an accident, ye may.”
But my own dashing young hero was out in the forest somewhere, swilling ale with an aging poofter of noble blood and slaughtering innocent deer. It was rather unlikely, I thought, gritting my teeth, that Jamie would return in time even to gather up my ashes for ceremonial disposal, before I was scattered to the four winds.
“I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday,” he said softly. “Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away.”
“And if your life is a suitable exchange for my honor, tell me why my honor is not a suitable exchange for your life?”
“Because I do love ye, for all you’re a thick-headed, slack-witted, lack-brained gomerel. And I’ll no have ye dead in the road at my feet just because you’re too stubborn to keep your mouth shut for the once in your life!”
“He said, ‘Sometimes I daresay I’ll enjoy thrashing you, depending on what you’ve done to deserve it. Mostly I won’t. But I’ll do it nonetheless. So remember it, lad. If your head thinks up mischief, your backside’s going to pay for it.’
“He’s right; the lad’s his own son, he can do as he likes. And I’m not God; only the laird, and that’s a good bit lower down. Still...” He looked down at me with a crooked half-smile.
“It’s a damn thin line between justice and brutality, Sassenach. I only hope I’ve come down on the right side of it.”
“I’m going to die,” he said weakly but precisely, “and the sooner the better. Go away and let me do it in peace.”
“Swallow this, me bonny wee dormouse, or I’ll break yer neck. And forbye ye’ll keep it down, too. I’m goin’ to hold shut yer nose and yer mouth; if ye bring it up, it comes out yer ears.”
“Well, he has everything and nothing, I suppose, in terms of faith,” I concluded. “Knew them all, believed in none.”

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Review of Puppet

Puppet

By Pauline C. Harris

About:
Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.

When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.

As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.

As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

I usually find that a book that takes me a while to get into, can’t be that exciting to begin with. Puppet was very hard to get into, I found the whole marionette thing a little bit boring and hard to comprehend. I wasn’t sure if Pen was a marionette or not, which part of her was human, and which was essentially a robot? (The cover freaked me out a bit too) But thankfully things picked up and I’m now glad that I didn’t abandon this book in its early stages as it turned out to be most interesting and adventurous.
 This is a retelling of Pinocchio, and I liked that Pen constantly tried to fight for control but couldn’t seem to grasp it because there was always someone else ‘pulling the strings’ so to speak. She wants a family so bad, and doesn’t realise she has one until she almost loses it. Overall, an exciting read and I particularly enjoyed the twist of events at the end and the James-Pen romance.
Zed (:
Favourite Quotes:

I can understand Jed’s obsession with them, although I can’t really relate to it. They’re mesmerizing and sometimes beautiful, but I don’t really like them. They creep me out more than they pull me in.

Being forced to tell the truth doesn’t make me any better than a criminal with a lie detector. Choice is what matters and my choice has been taken away.

“With Dad, anything’s possible.” He shrugs. “He might be crazy but he’s also crazy smart.”

“…I believe God gives us good things in our lives. Some people call it miracles, others magic, others luck. They’re all just words, but they all seem to mean the same thing.”

“There was nothing I could do,” he eventually utters so quietly I almost don’t hear him.
“But you could have done something.”

“Forcing me to tell the truth doesn’t make me a better person!” I state. “Not at all. Choosing to lie or tell the truth is what sets someone apart and you’ve taken that away from me.”


The bullet doesn’t hit me because it was never intended to, but my heart breaks all the same.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review of Darkness

Darkness

By Elizabeth Arroyo


About:

Seventeen-year-old Carly Lopez suffers from post-traumatic stress, though the “post” part technically doesn’t apply…not when the killer is still out there. 

As the only survivor of the killing spree that left four dead girls in its wake, Carly fails to unearth her buried memories of that day and is consumed with guilt. After a year of silence, the killer is back, and Carly will stop at nothing to catch him. 

With each new death, Carly’s reality shatters, propelling her deeper into the darkness where the dead haunt her—but where the truth lies. Her only firm grasp of reality is Hunter Jackson, whose mysterious overprotectiveness of Carly forces her to doubt the reason behind her guilt.

But Hunter has a secret.

And when Carly discovers a horrible truth, she questions her involvement in the murders. Was she directly responsible? Did she help the killer? Carly soon learns that finding answers may mean risking more than just her sanity.


Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.8/5

My Thoughts: 

**I was provided with a free ecopy of the Darkness via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**

This is such an awesome read! Everyone thinks Carly is a freak, probably because she has psychotic outbursts in class and was committed to the asylum twice since her best friend’s murder. But they have no idea how bad it really is. Carly sees shadows, hears voices and has terrible nightmares that could be mistaken for lost memories.

Worst of all is that Carly was there when her best friend Olivia was taken but she can’t remember the killer’s face. It’s like her mind refuses to remember that part, and it’s killing her because she feels responsible for the deaths since Olivia’s. And so, Carly is secretly trying to investigate these murders to find out who this killer is. The more she delves into the killings, the stranger her own behaviour gets until she finds it hard to distinguish between what’s real and what isn’t. In trying to rid herself of guilt and help other girls, will Carly lose herself?

'Darkness' is brilliantly written, and it kept me on the edge until the last page. Yes, it was confusing at times but I loved that because it helped me understand how chaotic Carly’s thoughts were. Yes, there is something abnormal about her brain, something that sets her apart from other ‘normal’ teenagers, but that doesn’t mean her opinion shouldn’t matter. What I liked most about this book was how it shows that even though Carly has a mental instability, she’s still an intelligent girl that cares about her family, falls in love and basically deserves to be loved back.

It’s horrible how her mother blames Carly whenever Carly has even a hint of a relapse and she wants to institutionalise her, like as if she can’t handle it so she prefers to shove the responsibility on to someone else. Carly knows she’s not normal but clearly it stings when her mother won’t even try to handle it. Her brother, Christian, tries to be supportive, but he’s really concerned about Carly and knows that the more she goes investigating, the greater danger she will put herself into. And dear Hunter; so adorable and protective, but he doesn’t want to get too close to Carly either. I don’t’ want to reveal too much about Hunter’s role but he certainly has his share of secrets too…

Darkness is a thrilling book and was such a delight to read that I am now looking at other books available by this brilliant author.  

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes

“Don’t bother trying to figure me out. I can’t even figure me out.”

Hunter laughed. He also had dimples. She was doomed.

“…Are you, like, in between selves at the moment? I mean, it’s totally okay, I’m used to being around weird and have nothing against weird.” She’d been around herself for seventeen years. She’d perfected weird.

“Someone has to be putting him up to it. I’m sure he wouldn’t choose me to hang with unless he lost a bet or something.”
The doorbell rang again.
“Oh, grow up, Carly. Life is not like the movies. We popular guys don’t sit around making bets to de-hymenize the unsuspecting awkward female, or have time to try to schmooze a dweeb.”

Poor guy. He’d decided to help the wrong girl. She wasn’t a survivor. She just hadn’t caught up to her death yet.

“How are you?”
“Why do people ask that when they really don’t want to hear the truth?”

“Are you crazy?”
“Yeah, what’s your point?”