Saturday, 30 March 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This is where we showcase books we have received or bought during the week.

I've only got a few for this week but considering I still haven't finished most of the stuff I had from last week, a few is more than enough.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Oh my God I have been waiting for this all my life. Even before Ally Carter herself knew she was going to write this. I've already finished it, actually. It was awesome-sauce. I'll post my review soon enough.

Crash by Lisa McMann
I don't really know how I'm going to like this one, to be honest. I've read her other series- The Wake Trilogy- and I enjoyed it. But I read it ages ago and I don't know if I'm going to respond to it in a similar way.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Still not sure whether or not I'm actually going to read TtEN in the first place. I wasn't such a big fan of UtNS and I don't really want to waste my time if I know I'm not going like it. Dunno. I'll think about it.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

That's pretty much it for me, folks. Sorry I haven't done as many reviews this week. Seriously swamped with school but I've got a five-day weekend so that should give me time to do everything. Hopefully.

Peace out.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

GFC is (Probably) Leaving Soon

Hey guys!

So, we're all aware that the eventual demise of GFC is coming sooner rather than later. Many bloggers are preparing for this by switching the followers from GFC to BlogLovin' and I've decided to make the changes myself now, as well. I'd really love it if you guys follow the blog through email subscriptions or BlogLovin. Either/Both would be wonderful.

Enter your email address:

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, 25 March 2013

Quickie Review -- The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived (1)
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: 22 January 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

There was a ridiculous amount of buzz and praise surrounding this book's release. You can't blame me for having a ridiculous high expectation for it. Did it live up to the expectations?

I... didn't think so.

Don't get me wrong though, Schawb can write her pants off. She can string words and breathe life and love to them. The premise is unique and awesome and so different from anything we've seen in YA. The world building is great- Keepers and Histories and Librarians. Who knew libraries could get any cooler?

But that's it. I couldn't connect with any of her characters. There was hardly any character development. I wasn't convinced with the novel's romance- Mac and Wesley's, or Mac and Owen's. For a little while, there was an uncomfortable love triangle and I dreaded reading about it. I would have liked to have seen more progress between the characters' relationships because I thought teetered dangerously close to an insta-love.

Schwab may have been so focused on her world building and improving her outlandish plot and premise, and I've always been a character-person anyway. They could've easily prolonged the novel and added extra scenes to develop character- mains' and minors'- relationships between Mackenzie and Wesley, and Mackenzie and her parents. I was surprised when I got The Archived and saw how short it was. It wouldn't have been a problem making it longer, I think.

I'm just sad that I didn't enjoy this as much as other readers did. But I'd definitely continue the series.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Review -- The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure

Title: The Eternity Cure
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden (2)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 30 April 2013
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★★★

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Actually Rating: 4.5


Good God, Julie. That was unbelievable. I knew it would be, but I'm still just absolutely blown away. I'm just really like...

The Eternity Cure picks up a couple of months after the end of The Immortal Rules where Ali left her group, more importantly, Zeke, safe in Eden and is now on a quest to find her sire, Kanin, after he was kidnapped by crazy, whacked in the head, Sarren. She knows exactly where to go and how to find him. Trouble is just trying to catch up with them before Kanin loses his mind.

"Blood calls to blood."

But what if she's been answering the call of a different blood? At the end of the trail, Ali finds herself face-to-face with Jackal, her blood brother. They end up teaming up, trekking across the country, fighting side by side to find their sire, not without the cheeky arguments of course. Jackal is a real jerk. But he's an entertaining jerk, the kind you'd like to have around. He's hilarious, sarcastic, isn't afraid of voicing out the most inappropriate things and has such a distinct cold personality that I just couldn't help but love. I could guarantee you that practically 75% of the things he said made me laugh out loud. He's easily one of the best things about this novel.

Ali and Jackal's search brings them back to Ali's home- New Covington. The very place she's sworn she would forget, yet here she is, back at the sewers trying to gain entry to the vampire city, Jackal grumbling and muttering curses right behind her. Ali encounters some familiar faces during her return. I won't be telling you who it is but it's quite obvious now that I've mentioned it. Anyway, it was nice to see him back, even if he is a lying, backstabbing leech. At the very least it showed Julie's care for fully developing her characters.

Which brings us to Kanin. Can't forget about Kanin. I love that he is a father figure to Ali. Can you even imagine the new levels of drama if Julie had chosen to make the romance between Ali, Zeke and Kanin? *shudders* I love Kanin, I really do but I love their non-romantic relationship even more. A lot of things are romanticised in young adult so it's nice to see love shared between two people who just genuinely care for each other, without worrying about
wanting to make out with each other.

""Kanin is..." I paused, thinking. It was hard to explain my relationship with the Master vampire. Yeah he was my sire, but he was also my mentor, my teacher and... my friend. "It's complicated," I said at last..."

Oh, and Zeke. My dear, beautiful Zeke. He is just perfect, okay? The romance wasn't as cute as it was in Immortal Rules when they were all flirty with each other and everything was new. Zeke and Ali are very different people now. They are harder and tougher because of all they've faced. They are bitching struggling to 'control' their feelings for each other because, after all, a vampire just can't be in love with a human. The romance wasn't as big of a focus as it was in the previous book since Julie threw enough curveballs to keep you busy reading Eternity Cure.

Sarren, the aforementioned crazy, whacked in the head vampire, is the villain in this instalment. And he is a damn good villain. He is just so hauntingly creepy, like I can feel him breathing down my neck, like he's just right behind me, every time he appeared in the novel. Shivers, every time. Worse, or maybe the best, of all is the manner of calmness he has over the screwed up things he does and plans. He finds genuine joy in inflicting pain and believes doing so would make the world better.
""I will make your little bird scream for an hour. Her song will seep into the very walls and will here forever, and everyone who hears it will know how much she wanted to die. The longer this goes on, the longer her music will last, until she is begging for it to end. But it will not end, as long as you are still alive.""

Julie brings us her usual captivating style with Eternity Cure. Like its predecessor, Eternity Cure is split up into parts, each one more action-packed and thrilling than the last. Julie really stepped it up on the novel's pace and I just couldn't. Stop Reading.  
"30 more pages. I can function with 7hrs of sleep for tomorrow. It's fine."
"Oh, I can't stop now. This is a great part and it'll totally ruin the moment if I just stop."  
"Oh, screw it. I'm already awake this late. Might as well finish the whole thing."

Thank you, Julie, for breaking my heart. It's not like I needed it.

A million thanks to the Harlequin Australia and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. No monetary funds or gifts was received.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Review -- Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart

Title: Black Heart
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Curse Workers (3)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 03 April 2012
Date Read: March 2013
Rating: ★★★★☆

In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all

Black Heart is the stunning end to Holly Black's Curse Workers trilogy. This is one of the most unique worlds I've read and Black further develops it and makes it better with this last installment.

Curse Workers was always driven by its fully fleshed out characters but Black blew me away by adding new layers to Cassel's character. I always loved him. His character has such real depth, such raw emotions that I couldn't help but relate to his character. In Black Heart, Cassel struggles to find his place in good or bad. He tries so very hard to ignore his 'evil' tendencies but cons and magic always have and always will be a part of his life. How can he deny himself of what is truly part of him? This inner conflict is one of the most memorable and admirable aspects of the story.
"I can walk into someone's house, kiss their wife, sit down at their table, and eat their dinner. I can lift a passport at an airport, and in twenty minutes it will seem like it's mine. I can be a blackbird staring in the window. I can be a cat creeping along a ledge. I can go anywhere I want and do the worst things I can imagine, with nothing to ever connect me to those crimes. Today I look like me, but tomorrow I could look like you. I could be you."
I had forgotten how much I didn't like most of the characters. Barron is a real jerk of a big brother. His mother cares for Cassel but she's got a pretty screwed up sense of morality. She insists she does things for the well being of her family, and maybe she does, but it doesn't come before her own personal gain. Barron is a real jerk of a big brother. He can be loving and caring towards Cassel but only when he feels like it. He will seriously mess with his little brother's life and have fun doing it, cause hey! That's what big brothers do. But he'll pound your ass if anyone else even thinks of hurting Cassel. Cassel's grandfather is one of the very few characters in this whole trilogy whom I don't want to strangle. He really does loves and cares for Cassel because he's his grandson and family stick together. Well... Until Granddad finds out that Cassel turned his back on his family and workers by helping the government. Then he's dead to him. Is it bad that I think Cassel's family is one of the most realistic portrayals of familial relationships in YA? Minus, the extreme government conspiracies, of course.
"That’s family for you. Can’t live with them, can’t murder them."
Daneca is a horrible friend. I don't even understand why they're wasting their time trying to win her back. She's annoying, haughty, thinks she's better than everyone and one of the biggest hypocrites ever. I never liked Lila. I'll admit, she's a lot less annoying in this book than in the previous ones. I never thought she was good enough for Cassel but if she makes him happy, then... I suppose, they can go be together. *sigh* Black crafted a unique romance with Cassel and Lila. They do make quite a pair. Their romance wasn't as stifling as I thought it was in the previous books, especially Red Glove. It's not to say Cassel didn't do his fair share of whining and obsessing over Lila but I love him, so I can excuse it. 

It sounds like I hated this book, doesn't it? What with all the character hate, but I loved it despite of that, or maybe because of it. Black's characters are so developed and fleshed out. They all feel so human.

Let's not forget about the mystery, suspense and clever reveals this trilogy is known for. Black has a real gift for secrets and ploys whose punches you'll feel completely because you'd never see it coming. Oh, and she's funny! Her wit shows through Cassel- dark and twisted yet hilarious all the same.

There were some loose ends, well one, that I'm really not happy about. But maybe it's better not knowing. Maybe the end will be one I won't agree with and it's better I that I just imagine what I want to happen...

No. It's not. I want to know.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Follow Friday

The Feature & Follow is hosted by two hosts, Parajunkee Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read.

This week's question:
Activity! Hopefully warm weather for most of us is here soon…so tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot. Or take a picture.

Well, not everyone lives on the same side of the Earth. We're actually hoping for some rain and cool weather since Autumn is supposed to be here by now. But she probably stayed up late last night reading a book and slept in. We're all waiting for her. Seriously, summer was great but I think it's time to move on. Everyone is going to die of the heat, we're in a drought and one city only has water for like less than twenty days or something.

As for my indoor (I'm making it indoor) reading spot, I just like to sit on my couch, curled up by the heater, nice and cozy.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review -- The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

The S-Word

Title: The S-Word
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: 07 May 2013
Date Read: February 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie's looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she's caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie's own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

When I heard of The S Word, I thought, "Oh my God. This is going to be one of the great ones." The synopsis and the file and the cover looked so promising. But upon closer inspection, you realize it's just fool's gold and you're pissed because you got played. But, hey, at least have you this pretty shiny thing. You have no use for it, but nothing you can do.

I'm not always so keen on reading issue-y books. The writing can so easily turn preachy. With this type of genre, the writing style is one of the most important things to get right, just like how in fantasy books, the world building better be freaking fantastic or else you might as well just not have tried. There is a line that most authors cross when writing these types of books. And the thing is, the line is so thin that you don't even realize that you've walked across the other side. You only know that the ground feels different or the air smells staler and there is just something different. You don't know when it happened or how, only that you don't like it. That was one of the major problems I had with The S-Word. Pitcher told me how the characters were feeling, how hard their circumstances were instead of making me feel it. No matter how good the moral of your story is, no one is going to listen if you don't deliver it well, especially with the kinds of issues this book tried to tackle. I just felt like I was getting preached at.

It had the contemporary elements but it also read like a mystery novel. Angie is trying to unearth who the vandal is, the one who wrote 'Suicide Slut' on Lizzie's locker. Angie finds pages from Lizzie's diary, each one incriminating a different character as the guilty one. Angie interrogated these 'suspects', trying to see if they had the means and the motive to pass Angie's entry pages around school. She never really mourned for the death of her best friend- no sadness or grief. She was more focused on finding playing detective than really feeling the loss of her best friend. I don't know if Pitcher did that on purpose, to show Angie's denial and real trauma or just lack of character development. Besides the dialogue was so unrealistic, especially when it came to the conversations between Angie and fellow classmates/ her 'suspects'. I can't imagine anyone speaking like that, especially someone from high school.

Lizzie is already dead by the time the novel starts. We never get to meet her. We only know her from her diary entries. Lizzie's 'voice' is so stiff and unnatural, even more so since this is supposed to be her diary, her unfiltered thoughts. But the writing isn't all bad. There were actually some really great passages but the awkwardness and stiffness of the whole thing just outshone the good parts.

There were plenty of characters to focus on. The side characters all had their own issues, but to me, that's all they ever seemed like- issues. The only way I could distinguish each character was by remembering what was wrong with them- the pervy nerd, the competitive drama queen, cheerleader bitch... Everyone was just screwed up. I know everyone has their own stuff to deal with, but we're not all fucking crazy. I'm sick and tired of authors thinking the only way characters can be 'interesting' is to make their lives horrible.

This is such a screwed up book. With screwed up characters. Can't somebody just be freaking normal?

There were some parts that were good. There's a lot about discrimination, being judgmental, seeing past appearances, vengeance, hypocricy, hate and of course, slut shaming. But Pitcher was just all over the place. I didn't feel like she conveyed any hard hitting messages, just touched on a couple very then quickly moved on to the even more messed up character. The S-Word had very good intentions but Pitcher just didn't know how to execute her ideas well.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill on Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. New installment of a series/trilogy, new book by a favourite author or a new release that captured your attention. Whatever book it may be, it certainly tickled your fancy and got you bouncing on your seat, silently giggling to yourself. Waiting on Wednesday allows us to feature books we're eagerly waiting for.

This Week I'm Waiting On:

The Fall of Five

Title: The Fall of Five
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication: 27 August 2013

After facing off with the Mogadorian ruler and almost being annihilated at the end of The Rise of Nine, the Garde now realize that they are drastically unprepared and hopelessly outgunned. They must master their Legacies and learn to work together as a team, or they won’t stand a chance. The battle may have been lost, but the war for Earth’s survival is far from over.

I love the Lorien Legacies. It's one of the very few sci-fi books I enjoy. It's good we finally get to meet Five, although by the sounds of it, it won't be good for long. Four, Six and Sam and I can't wait. Sarah... Sigh, Sarah, why are you still here though?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Review -- From What I Remember by Stacey Kramer & Valerie Thomas

From What I Remember

Title: From What I Remember
Author: Stacey Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: 15 May 2012
Date Read:
Rating: ★★★★☆

KYLIE: Mexico? What a nightmare! I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY! Wait! Is this a wedding band on my finger
MAX: It started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics and it ended in Ensenada. It was hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded here, with less than twenty-four hours before graduation.
WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring their passports across the border - but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.
LILY: This cannot be happening. It's like some cruel joke. Or a bad dream. I close my eyes and when I reopen them, they're still there. Max and Kylie Flores, freak of the century. In bed together. If Kylie thinks I'm giving him up without a fight, she's dead wrong.

I wasn't really expecting anything much from this to be honest. People have called it the YA version of The Hangover. While I enjoyed that movie, it's not really something I want to read. I can't imagine any way that movie translating well over a YA novel. I still don't know how that would work because I find it unfair to compare From What I Remember with The Hangover. I see the similarities, yes, but the novel was a lot more than that.

It's weird. From What I Remember is filled with cliches, especially the character types and the plot is definitely not anything new to the genre. There's Kylie- the organised nerd, never once disobeyed the rules. Max- our handsome jock, the Golden Boy that everyone is in love with. They are thrown into each other's paths, forced to deal with each other, work together to get out of the shitty situation they're in. They hate each other at first but soon come to realize that people are more than what they seem, everyone has their stuff to deal with, their own secrets. They learn about each other, fall in love and happily make out ever after. Oh, but of course it's not as easy as that. Nothing ever is when it comes to YA fiction. Max, of course has a serious girlfriend, the Queen of the school, Lily and she's not about to give up that easily. The claws are out and drama thrives best under love triangles. It's ok, though. Kylie has got the fight in her, especially with the help of her flamboyantly gay best friend, Will. Throw in an exotic town in Mexico and lots of booze, and it just sounds like something I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

But imagine my surprise when I realized I was actually enjoying From What I Remember. A lot.

The novel is told through multiple point of views. Normally I find two povs too much already. It is rare that the author, in this case authors, can handle the multiple povs and you hardly ever get any good character development since they're focused on establishing each one's voice. But Thomas and Stacey pull it off, with almost five (five!) different characters sharing the narrative. Sure, some are more developed than others with Kylie and Max doing most of the narrating but I loved reading about everyone else's pov, as well, especially Will's. What's important is that each pov enrich the storytelling, not drag it down. Each character has their own unique voice. I never forgot whose head I was in, like I do in so many multiple pov novels. If their voices aren't completely different from the other characters, then there are enough subtleties in their manner of speaking and thinking to distinguish one from the other.

Kylie could be a little bipolar at times. She can be hot then, freezing cold. Happy and content one second, the next she's made herself feel really down, if not depressed, by over thinking and doubting everything she's done. Confident one moment, then bam, she's retreated back into her shell and she's all meek and shy. It sounds ridiculous and problematic to handle but something about Kramer and Thomas's delivery made it work. Again. It actually made Kylie much more relatable, in my opinion. I can easily see myself doing what she did and thought when put in those situations. There's nothing really exceptional about Max, to be honest, especially when compared to the other male characters that populate the contemporary genre. But for some reason, I really liked him. He was flawed really well that I just couldn't help but like him. Kylie and Max's romance build up was great. It didn't feel forced. It was genuine and easy and just cute.

Will was my favourite. I looked forward to reading his chapters. He was a hilarious person with a great attitude. You know how girls always want a gay best friend? Will is the bestest gay best friend you can ever find. He really cared for Kylie, supporting her but not taking her shit. He knows when to push and when to just let her go on her own.

Thomas and Kramer make an awesome team. From What I Remember takes you on a fun adventure filled with humour, romance and great tales of self-discovery.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This is where we showcase books we have received or bought during the week.

This week I've got:

Iced by Karen Marie Moning
I absolutely loved her Fever series. But this is Dani's series from now on. I can't imagine enjoying reading a book in Dani's perspective. She narrated very briefly during one of the Fever books, while Mac was MIA and it was just plain annoying. The reviews have been less than stellar as well. Something about the pedophilic relationships Dani gets herself into. *shudders* Plus, no more Mac and Barrons.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Oh, the rave reviews are through the roof for this one. And look at the pretty cover.

Partials by Dan Wells
The second book, Fragments, came out a while ago and I hadn't even heard of this series before that. Let's see what all the hype is about.

This is Not a Test

Black Heart by Holly Black
I've been meaning to finally finish this series. It's the final showdown between Lily and Cassel. Don't hold back, Cassel. Bring that bitch down. Besides, the cover looks gorgeous. Thank goodness they redesigned it.

Everbound By Brodi Ashton
I quite enjoyed Everneath. Apparently this is a bajillion times better. Cole, though. I hate Cole.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
I've finally got it, people! Finally! I have to tone down my expectations though or else I'm going to end up being disappointed.

ETA: I forgot I also got This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.
Everyone seems to love Courtney Summers, right? 

I'm excited for my books this week. Too bad, I won't actually get to read them until I finish the review copies I've got. Well, at least one of them.
  • Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon
  • The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
  • The End Games by Michael T. Martin
  • Insomnia by J. R. Johansson
  • Night School by C. J. Daugherty
What do you think of my books, if you've read them before? What books have you got? Leave them in the comments!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Review -- Fall For Me by K. A. Last

Fall For Me

Title: Fall For Me
Author: K. A. Last
Series: The Tate Chronicles (1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: 17 January 2013
Date Read: February 2013
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

“Angels aren’t supposed to fall in love, especially with each other. But for the record, you were worth it.”
Grace Tate is a Protection Angel and Vampire Hunter, and she has always followed the rules. But some rules are made to be broken…

Until now the fight against evil has been simple, and falling in love was never part of the plan. So what happens when it’s beyond Grace’s control, and when she least expects it she falls for the wrong person?

All hell breaks loose, that’s what.

At Hopetown Valley High, not everything is as it seems, and the one person Grace thought was her enemy becomes her most important ally.

Blood will be shed, lives will be lost and friendships will be tested. It all comes down to one decision, and when Grace tries to save all those dear to her, she realises not everyone can be—or wants to be—saved.

This review will contain spoilers.

I don't enjoy writing bad reviews. While in some ways they are easier to write, in others they are much harder. I find it kinda depressing. No one wants to encounter something they don't like. And while it may seem like I am enjoying myself, being snarky or mean in my review, I am truly not. It is the only way I, as a reviewer but most importantly a reader, can let out all the pain and disappointment I harboured during this reading experience.

The writing is mediocre, at best. The story is told through Josh and Grace's changing point of views. I almost always forgot whose perspective I was reading. There wasn't much difference in their voices and the only way I could determine who was narrating was the pronouns used. What's more, every time the pov changed, she'd start it off a couple of hours, or a few moments before the previous pov ended. I had to time travel back in time to reacquaint myself with not only a different perspective, but also a different time. I don't know why Last decided to do this. It was annoying, it ruined the pace and removed the reader from the moment. The thought that this apparently had all happened within the time frame of one week just makes it all the more ridiculous.

So vampires and angels, huh? Unusual pairing but certainly not unheard of. Ok, so what's the story, then, book?
Book: Well, there are good angels sent down to Earth to fight and kill vampires. The Fallen angels are also down on Earth but they're Team Vampire.
Is that it? No interesting backstory?
Book: No.
Oh. Ok. So what about that whole Blaze species thing? Vampires who's got nearly pure souls, who are good. What's the deal with them?
Book: I'll tell you later. It's a mystery.
How later? Is it later now?
Book: No. I can't tell you now. Its mystery is basically the only thing moving the story forward.
Mystery and twists and whatnot, I suppose then. But, be honest, it'll be a good reveal right?
Book: Lol what. No. I never said that.

The Blaze are a species of vampires, ones who's got pure, white souls when they should have none. The subject of their origin kept being pushed under the rug and I'm all for a bit of mystery but I swear it wasn't until ten pages left when they finally revealed what exactly is the deal with the Blaze. The blood flowing in their veins gives them supercreature strengths and they can stand out in the sun without self-combusting. This makes their blood very sought after by normal vampires. Charlotte turns up at Hopetown Valley High and Grace and Archer immediately trust everything she says. In all of Grace's six generation experiences she's never even heard of Blaze, no one has told her anything about this vampire species but she's totally on board with helping Charlotte, without a doubt, without questioning what motives Charlotte might have. She basically Fell and broke all angel rules for Charlotte like one day after meeting her.

With the prologue, we find out that an angel fell in love with Grace and that's against the rules, so he chose to fall. He's rather be Fallen than not be with Grace, which makes no sense because either way he can't be with her and at least when he's not Fallen, he still gets to spend time with her. But, no. He's stuck on Earth to spend all eternity, so very anguished that he'll never see Grace ever again. I'm sure you have some ideas about the future of the Fallen angel and I will tell you right now, you are correct.

But whatever. So years past and Grace gets a mission to be sent down to Earth to rid the world of vampires. She gets born into the Tate family line as one half of a twin, born and reborn into the family for generations, fighting hard alongside her sibling. Why is the Tate family so special that they get this responsibility?

Grace is an annoying, lovesick heroine who's too innocent and naive for her own good. She's one hell of a cryer. She cried all the time. I'm worried about her decision making skills, as well. She's brash and doesn't even figure in consequences or logic when she's making decisions. She's supposed to have the wisdom of an angel, plus the knowledge of having experienced six generations as a human here on Earth. But her voice is so immature and undeveloped. If I hadn't known she's been here for six generations, I would think she's 14/15 years old. Her wants and desires change faster than the weather here in New Zealand. Sometimes, we have four seasons in one day in NZ, rapidly changing from one to the other. She can't live without one guy one moment, then the next, she's all but banished him away and latched herself onto another guy.

I expected Fall For Me to be heavily dominated by romance and I can live with that. I was ok with it. What I was not ok with, is the stupid insta-love, the eye-rolling cheesy romance and the pathetic excuse for a love triangle this book have. Triple whammy. Grace and Josh have been secretly pining for each other since the seventh grade but neither did anything about their feelings because both thought they weren't good enough for the other. Years past, they belong in different cliques and Josh has a girlfriend.
"Our conversations never really consisted of more than two words. ‘Hi Josh’ was pretty much the extent of it."
But at the start of the school year, he breaks up with his girlfriend and yay! Isn't that convenient?Josh and Grace's love can finally develop! Whoop-de-doo.

But, Katrina, technically, if they had a crush on each other since seventh grade then that's not insta-love, is it now?

Oh, don't give me that crap. As far as I'm concerned, Grace goes to school, crosses paths with Josh, then BAM, suddenly they've kissed, are going out and proclaimed their love for each other not two hours after Josh very publicly broke up with his girlfriend of three years, or something. Do not tell me its not insta-love. And remember the Fallen angel from the beginning? Well, if you had guessed that he would be in Grace's human life, being miserable to her when he's still in love with her and Grace just kinda clueless to it all, but also, secretly in love with him deep, deep down, then...


The triangle isn't so evident until towards the end of the novel because for most of it, Josh and Grace are sickeningly sweet with each other. It's not even that kind of sweet and cute where it's Aawwwww-can't-even-handle-sweetness-gonna-die-it's-just-so-cute type of cute. No. It's more like ARGH-CAN'T-HANDLE-IT-I'M-GOING-TO-KILL-MYSELF type of 'cute'.
"You’re so beautiful, you glow,” I said, closing the gap between us.

That gif sums it up pretty well, I think.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Review -- The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis

Seven Wonders

Title: The Colossus Rises
Author: Peter Lerangis
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 05 February 2013
Date Read: January 2013
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

One Boy
Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die.

One Mission
Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him.

One Problem
The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years.

Seven Wonders
Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


Jack McKinley is our main character, thirteen and one of the Select tasked to find the Loculi, ancient artefacts from the lost world of Atlantis hidden in the Seven Wonders of the world. Along with Jack, members of the Select include Marcus, Aly (I think) and some other kid. I don't even remember his name.

The characters were all very bland and one dimensional. I feel like Lerangis just followed some recipe to write a middle grade adventure book he found in the Internet. Jack is the typical kid who thinks he's just a Nobody when it's clearly obvious he's Somebody. Marcus is ridiculously strong, athletic and big. He also annoyingly puts 'brother' or 'sister' before people's names when he talks to them. It sounds stupid. Just please, stop. Aly is a movie geek and the punk (as punk as a thirteen-year old can get) of the group. The other kid is the nerd, their go-to guy when a task involving the use of a brain needs to be done. He speaks backwards whenever he's nervous, or you know, for fun. That's pretty much what the characters were about. They just all had their parts to play and they played it, not so well, I might add.

A lot of time was spent setting up the Karai Institute. Most of the book was whether or not the kids could really trust the Institute, the ones in charge of the Select. Are they really doing this to protect the Loculi or do they want it for themselves? That kind of thing. It took time away from building a good, solid Atlantean mythology. I could only go so far until I got tired of it and I just wanted them to find the dang Loculi already. Once they got around to the Seven Wonders part, I really couldn't care less about any of it.

The Colossus Rises is packed with action. But it got to the point where the characters did things just for the sake of adding another action scene and just generally have another way of endangering their lives. I know they've done quite a lot of very idiotic things. Veering off a jungle path and rock climbing up a mountain just because you're guide pissed you off? Really? Really?

I can see it's intended audience enjoying The Colossus Rises very much. I am not it's intended audience. I'm probably too old for it now but I mean a good children's book can be enjoyed not just by children, right? I had hoped I would be entertained the same way I was with Percy Jackson or Artemis Fowl. It's nowhere near as good as other series in the same genre. I most likely won't return to this for the next instalment. But like I said, middle-grade readers might enjoy it more than I did

An ARC was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

I've Been a Bad Little Blogger

I've all but disappeared during the month of February. How many reviews did I even publish? 2?


It took longer than I had anticipated for me to acclimatise myself back into the habit of school- homework, teachers, focus, getting up early in the morning. It was just really bad. I didn't have as much time for reading, enjoying what I was reading then blogging about it, as much as I did.

Plus, I was in the worst reading stump ever. Even though I was always complaining that I didn't have time to read, I kinda didn't really... want to, either. There was just no desire to read (gasp!) anything at all. The ones I have been reading were no good. Seriously. The next few reviews will consist of nothing but books with 2 stars, mediocre at best. It felt like I had lost the enjoyment I got from reading, like I was dead inside or something, because I just wasn't responding to any of the books I was reading. It got to the point where either I just couldn't find good books, or I had stopped finding entertainment in reading. That was more than enough to stun me into not reading anything. I mean, I've had Eternity Cure for almost two weeks now and I've only started reading it now because I was terrified that if I had read it during my stump, I wouldn't enjoy it at all. I was dead inside, remember?

I was just feeling really, really down about it all. Yes, it was difficult times indeed...

But fear not, my dears, because I'm back and ready to roll. I'm not necessarily out of that stupid stump and my bad reading streak isn't really over yet (hopefully, it will be with Eternity Cure). I am, however, not feeling so down anymore and am more enthused to write again.

I won't proclaim any promises of the amount/frequency of future posts because I will most certainly not keep it. But I will be more present now, in relation to posts, commenting on other blogs, networking and whatnot.

We'll see how it goes, yeah?

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