Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Review of The Academy #2

First Days (The Academy #2)
By C.L. Stone

Sang Sorenson used to be the invisible girl in class. As a new student to Ashley Waters High School, Sang hopes that her new friends will be the change she’s been craving and will make fitting in a breeze.

But Academy students aren’t there to take it easy. The high school is overcrowded and rife with violence. When fights begin, Sang will uncover the true reason the boys traded in their private school life for a public one.

This year, Sang will no longer be invisible. This year, Sang is a target.

The principal and vice principal are hot to take Sang down, and her own mother is determined to entrap Sang forever in her belief that the safest place to be is in the shadows. Despite this, Nathan, Luke, Kota, North, Silas, Victor, and Gabriel will discover Sang’s unyielding loyalty.

And they will sorely need it.

The Academy, supremely influential.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.75/5

My Thoughts:

I haven’t blogged for a while, purely because I haven’t read anything that has excited me recently. I seem to have ‘readers block...’ that was until I came across the Academy series by C.L. Stone. This is one of those addictive series that you just cant put down, but the great thing is that the books are written and released very quickly, with at least two releases per year! 

The books have a female protagonist called Sang, who lives with her elder sister and parents. The books tell us that her mother is unwell, but apart from being mentally unstable I am not sure what her actual condition is. Sang’s mother forbids her daughters to interact with other people, scaring them with news stories about serial killers and rapists. As a result, Sang has never has a friend but at the same time she feels imprisoned by her mother’s watchful eyes and strict rules. 

The story begins when Sang sneaks out in the middle of the night to spend the night in an empty house. She intends to return home in the morning but wants to stay one night away from her house, by herself; free. Her plan doesn’t go to plan when she is attacked by a dog and the dog’s owner, a boy from her neighbourhood, helps Sang with her injuries. She’s scared of this stranger’s kindness, fearing that he has a secret agenda like her mother’s always told her about boys, but at the same time she cant help but trust him. Soon enough, Sang realises that her mother was wrong, and not everyone is evil. 

Sang becomes friend’s with her neighbour, Kota, and his group of friends and finds herself sneaking out to see them on a regular basis. What i liked about the book is that Sang, who is not used to holding hands, hugging, and any kindness altogether, is welcomed by this group of boys who all care for her as one of their own. In return, Sang is a loyal friend, knowing that they have their secrets but still trusting them with her own. She finds a comfort with her friends that she has never felt before. 

But there is more to the group than appears. These boys are from a private school called the Academy, and they are attending Ashley Waters on an important mission. Although Sang has become close to the group of seven boys, she is not allowed to know the Academy’s secrets. Since Sang is very close to the boys, she becomes a target when she attends the unruly school. Sang is so used to being invisible and unnoticed at her previous schools, that she finds the attention strange.

I am really enjoying this series, and have just purchased the third book. Cannot wait to read more!

Zed (:

Favourite quotes:

"F*** yeah," Gabriel called out. "She's grounded."
"No," I said. "I'm already grounded."
"F*** you," he said. "You're double grounded."

"I mean it," Gabriel said. "Do you know that girl that came after us nearly gave me a heart attack? She said Trouble's in trouble. Again. Second time in a week. And what do I see when we get to the hallway? Trouble jumping from the f***ing second floor, does a barrel roll and hobbles up to get back into the fight. And then I get up to the second floor, and you're on top of some mother****er on top of Silas. You took on the whole goddamn school. F***ing beautiful. So that's like quadruple grounding because you went in twice. I swear if you go over that balcony again, I'm going to break your damn feet so you can't go anywhere near it."

Friday, 25 October 2013

Review of Forever Blue

Forever Blue (Ruby Blue #4)

By Julie Cassar


New love, new magical powers and new threats emerge as Ruby discovers more about who she is to become and why the powers at be want her out of the picture. When the flames of the Fire Court threaten to burn those she loves, Ruby must leap into a fiery battle which could change the lives of all those in Fey and alter the fate of the Royal Courts forever. Secrets revealed and lives hang in the balance in this explosive finale to the Ruby Blue Series.

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.75/5

My Thoughts:
What a lovely way to finish the series. In this book we uncover more of Ruby's hidden talents, confirming that Ruby's link to Fey is no mere coincidence. Although there is not as much ice-cream there's definitely more adventure! The adventures are more fun, and Ruby-Brennan love story is slightly cheesy but fits them well, although I never imagined Brennan could be so gentleman-like.

Ruby's relationship with Brennan gets very serious and I never imagined the surprising ending; no spoilers :P

I am incredibly sad to finish the series but I am just as sure that Julie will write up something even more fun to read soon!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"Hey, Fairies have a knack for getting people to answer their own questions and make assumptions about certain things just be planting the seed. Humans love to hear themselves talk. Sometimes, planting a hint of suggestion is all it takes for a human to run with the idea and come to their own conclusions..."

"Kansas," he said, staring intently into my eyes, his hand caressing my cheek, "You saved me. Again."
I smiled and leaned in to kiss him. "Well...who else was gonna? Can't very well be my forever if you're not around..." I grinned.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review of Untold

(The Lynburn Legacy #2)

By Sarah Rees Brennan

About:It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

My Thoughts:
Eagerly anticipated and definitely worth the wait. I had forgotten how magical Sarah's writing is. How it can transform even the most serious of conversations into something hilariously funny.

In Untold we see how Jared and Kami behave ever since their link is severed. How Jared can't bear to be around her and how much she misses his presence. Jared wants the link back more than anything else and Kami can't help but think whether he loved the link or her...

The fight with Rob continues, where Rob is gathering as many sorcerers onto his side and trying to take Aurimere from Lilian. At the same time, Kami and her team are trying to find ways to protect themselves, and Kami finds herself becoming more alone and uncertain, now that she no longer has Jared to rely on.

The ending is oh so sad... truly heartbreaking but at the same time I cannot wait to get my hands on book 3!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"You know what?" Kami said with a grin. "Mrs. Jeffries at the post office tried to slip me a little somethin' somethin' to praise her scarecrow in The Nosy Parker. It's shocking how corrupt the Scarecrow Trials have become. What about honor, Angela? What about the craft?"
"How much did you get?"
"Well, okay, she slipped me some free stamps," Kami admitted. "Still, my first bribe as a journalist. I'm feeling pretty fancy."

"Cambridge?" he said, using his silly nickname for her. "A scarecrow just tried to choke me. I don't wish to seem overly inquisitive, but do you have any idea what on earth is happening?"

"Right," said Rusty. "So you don't have, ah, magic powers anymore."
"Can you stop prefixing magic powers with 'ah'?"
"I'm not ready to drop the prefix," Rusty told her. "If you like, I can switch prefixes. I'm happy to go with 'um, magic powers' or 'er...magic powers.' Whichever works best for you ladies."

"What are you doing?" Angela complained. "Are you trying to make me jog? You know I think people who jog should be shot at midday."
"Why at midday?" Kami asked absently.

"There's no need to ever get up at dawn," Angela told her. "Not even to shoot joggers.

"I only came here because my boy asked me to - and he only asked because he knew it was what you wanted."
"Yes," Kami told her. "This evening was all my dreams come true. I can never get enough of people looking down their noses at me. You do it beautifully. I wish you had two noses, so that you could look at me down both."

"Angela," she whispered, "are you asleep?"
Angela, lying on her back with her eyes shut and her hands folded like Snow White in a glass coffin, said flatly, "Yes."
"Because I'd like to talk about our feeeeelings."
"I wish I was dead."
"Angela, you don't mean that."
"Kami, I do. And do you know why? Because then you might let me rest in peace."

"You're going to Hallow's Field on your motorcycle?"
"Want a lift?"
"No," said Kami. "I mean, you're going into a situation where something really bad might be happening, and you've decided to make sure they can hear you coming? Better hope being a tavern wench works out, because you, sir, will never be a ninja."

"You have nothing to be sorry for," Kami said firmly. "But if you have any free classes today, please photocopy some extra copies of the paper and I promise to love you always and forgive you for any evil you ever do. Some say love cannot be bought, but mine is available at this time for anyone with a good heart and the ability to use a photocopier."

"...She was just lying in her crib, because babies are unimaginative like that. And I know people think Angela is pretty now, but none of those people ever saw her as a baby. She was god-awfully hideous. I swear she looked like a bad-tempered mutant tomato, and she was making a sound like a cat being fed into a printer..."

After a few rings, he heard Jared's voice in his ear. "Who is this and what do you want?"
"Is that how you answer the phone to every number you don't recognise?" Ash demanded.
"Ash," Jared said. "Shame. I was hoping it would be a telemarketer. How did you get this number?"

"...Ash should take the ladies because he's charming."
Ash looked pleased. Jared raised his eyebrows.
"Are you saying that I'm not a charmer?"
"You are very dear to me, but you have all the savoir of a wildebeest," Kami told him.
"A wildebeest," Jared repeated.
"A dashingly handsome wildebeest," Kami assured him.

"...And you don't ever have to worry about what I feel. The way I feel about you won't change. You can do whatever you like to me. You could turn this town to dust, burn the woods until they were cinders, you could cut out my heart. It wouldn't matter. It would not change a thing."
"What if I ate a baby?"
Jared's mouth curved up at the corners, slow and not cruel after all. "I'm sure you'd have a good reason," he said. "Such as, babies are delicious."

Quote-tastic #7

Here is my seventh addition to the weekly meme being hosted by Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

If you want to join me, please click on the link above. Leave me a link in your comment and I will check out your quotes (:
"No," said Kami slowly. "I don't know what I want." She paused. "I thought Jared kissed me tonight."
"You thought?" Angela repeated. "Like, you had a kissing hallucination?"
"It was in the corridor," Kami said. "It was dark. I thought it was Jared but it might-it might have been Ash."
Angela blinked. "Excuse me? Might?"
"One of those mistaken-identity makeouts," Kami said defensively. "They happen."
"Oh, sure," Angela replied. "In Shakespearean comedies, all the time."
"You are full of cruelty and mockery," Kami said. "My heart breaks to think of the day I entrusted you with the fragile flower of my girlish friendship."
(Sarah Rees-Brennan, Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2)



Review of Hunted

Hunted (Talented Saga #3)

By Sophie Davis

In need of a distraction from her best friend's betrayal, Talia agrees to serve as an administrator for the annual Talent Aptitude Tests. She soon learns it isn't the children who are tested she needs to worry about, it’s the ones who aren't. Life altering choices will be made. Loyalties will be tested. When the war begins, which side will Talia choose?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
A truly excellent read. I read the second and third books in the Talented saga within just a couple of days and I must say that the books get even better as the series progresses.

As always, the title is fitting because in this story Talia realises the lies she has always lived with and as a result runs away from her 'family.' She also finds out more about Erik's childhood and Donovan's secrets, and beneath it all she realises that she is stronger than she thought.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:
"I would be happy to practice with you," I replied honestly, mustering a small smile for her. Happy might have been an exaggeration. But saying, "Anything to make you less bitchy," didn't seem like the best way to start off our new found friendship.

Review of Caged

Caged (Talented #2)

By Sophie Davis

After her brush with death at Ian Crane’s compound, Talia Lyons feels like a prisoner, confined in her childhood home. Plagued with seizures- the result of an unidentified drug injected in her neck by Crane’s men- Talia must put her dream of becoming a Hunter on hold. So when Agency Director McDonough asks Talia to go undercover at the School for the Talented, to find the spy who set the trap for her in Nevada, Talia jumps at the opportunity.

Soon she learns that her new-found freedom comes with a price- working with Donavon on a daily basis. As if that isn’t awkward enough, her former teammate, Erik, also shows up at the School. But at least Talia has the unexpected company of her best friend Penny; to not only assist her in uncovering the spy, but also to deal with the complications that the guys create.

As Talia becomes more entrenched in her assignment, she quickly learns the lengths that the Agency and Mac will go in the name of war. With Crane’s influence spreading, Talia learns that there are few Operatives without ties to the Coalition. Forced to face hard truths and dangerous conclusions, Talia realizes that it is those closest to her who are hiding the biggest secrets. As the task of finding the traitor becomes more problematic, desperation and frustration rule Talia’s world. It becomes clear that Talia can’t do this alone. But who can she trust, when everyone around her is lying?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.3/5

My Thoughts:
*I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Following on from the first book in the series, we see that Natalia is living with the McDonough's ever since her disastrous capture by Ian Crane on her solo mission. Since Talia was captured and did not complete her mission, she did not qualify as being a Hunter, but to top things up, it seems that whatever Crane's men injected her with is causing Talia to have seizure, hence why the director, Mac, is adamant on keeping Talia in his house and refusing to allow her contact with anyone else.

Talia's relationship with Mac strains because he is being so overprotective of her, not allowing her to leave his house until they find the cure to her seizures. However, Mac is sure that there is a spy in their midst, which is why he sends Talia to work at the school as an assistant to his son Donovan, who happens to be Talia's first boyfriend. Seeing as Talia hates Donovan for cheating on her, their constant and petty arguments makes the story more interesting. Soon enough, Talia realises she finds comfort in Donovan's daily presence.

Penny, Talia's best-friend is also working closeby, which makes Talia feel even better, even though her mood swings are becoming more frequent and aggressive. Talia's mission is to find the spy by getting to know the suspect instructors, but she cannot seem to find anything that makes her suspicious of someone as the spy.

Soon enough, Erik and Henri come to the school for the Talent fair, and Talia is confused between her feelings for Erik, and the comfort Donovan provided. Plus, she begins to doubt the TOXIC agency's values, especially what lengths Mac is willing to go to.

Caged was a lovely second book, and I was constantly trying to think who the spy was. At the end, we find out who leaked Talia's mission so that Crane could find her, and it was a real shocker. No spoilers, so read the book to find out more!

Favourite Quotes:

"Overload of emotions? But we just kissed," I said, confused. I thought back to the night on the ledge. Erik was right; he did overstimulate me. I smiled at the thought. Erik was going to have to learn patience. Where was Erik? I frowned. If he was the reason that I was now in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV and a breathing machine, the least he could do was sit by my sickbed. A serious talk about his priorities was in our future.

"You can thank me by abiding by the rules set in place." Mac rolled his eyes in a rare show of normalcy. He never did something so human. The gesture told me that he knew the chances of getting me to follow Toxic protocol in the future were slim. While I hated that people begrudged me his special treatment, I rarely let that stop me from taking advantage of it.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars

The Chaos of Stars
By Kiersten White


Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4.25/5

My Thoughts:

I'm glad to say that this book has lived up to the hype. Very quick to get into and fairly easy to follow. It was a little weird at first, trying to relate to the daughter of two Egyptian Gods, but Isadora has an interesting way of talking that you can't help but enjoy her company. Isadora's parents are immortal and so she always assumed she was going to live forever too. Imagine her surprise when she realises that she is just another mortal, and she has been decorating her own tomb! She can't forgive her parents for not caring enough that they would make her immortal too, so she goes to live with her mortal brother for a short while. Her rebellious nature, especially the cutting off her hair, doing things deliberately just because her mother would disprove, was definitely something I could relate to!

Isadora has a very man-hating relationship and won't get involved with anyone purely on the basis that nothing lasts forever. Her self-resolve begins to dissolve when she meets Ry...and their friendship changes her perspective in a number of ways. I want to know what this weird connection is between the greeks and the egyption gods....there appears to be a lot else going on!

My family always believes dreams are another way of the universe sending messages or signs, which is similar to what Isadora's family thinks. I really liked the concept, especially how her nightmares shaped the darkness that was actually coming into her life.

This is definitely one of my recommended reads, and I look forward to the sequel.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"Did you pray?" she asks.
"For the last time," I say, narrowing my kohl-lined black eyes at her, "I refuse to pray to my own parents. It's ridiculous."

"Don't be so dramatic, Isadora. You can help me with the baby! It'll be good practice for when you have your own in a few years!"
Oh, death, anything but that. There are enough statues of nursing miniature pharaohs everywhere I turn that I vowed long ago never to have kids of my own.

I roll my eyes. "No. It's a joke. Sometimes people tell them to each other."
"Dreams are not a joking matter, Isadora."
"Absolutely. Your brain firing off random images while you sleep is dead serious."
"As long as we are agreed."

"Umm, I've barely even ridden in cars. I don't exactly know how to drive them."
"We can work on that. In the meantime, Deena has a bike she's not using."
"Thanks." I don't know how to ride a bike, either, but that has less potential for killing innocent bystanders.

He waits for a few seconds. "You aren't going to ask me what I'm writing, are you?"
I shrug. "Nope."
"I like that. I like your hair, too. The green is a nice contrast."
"Wanted something different."
"I declare it a success."
I roll my eyes. "My life is complete."

I can't help but notice him, and-oh, idiot gods, I am definitely attracted to him. This is how it starts. This is how I set myself up for pain and tragedy and endings where I want eternities.
I refuse. I refuse it all. I will never attach myself to someone else. I can end everything before it starts and be free and alone and perfectly happy.

"So, I'm not strange anymore?" he asks.
"You're riding in my car, which must mean I'm not a stranger anymore."
"Actually, the more I'm around you, the stranger you get."

"You started a bit late this morning," my mother says.
I whisper Thoth's name, tracing it without looking up at her. My stomach twists guiltily. I slept in five minutes past dawn. "I'm sorry."
"We must always have order in this house. Everything has a time and a purpose. If we maintain order..."
"We never leave chaos an opening to creep in," I finish, and look up at her.

"For the love of these idiot gods, anything but that."

"This song. 'Oh, hey, it's okay that I slept with you and left the next morning without a word, because someday someone will love you.' Seriously?"
He laughs. "I dunno, it has a nice message: we'll all find love eventually."
"That's not the message at all! That's the excuse! He's saying it's okay he used her because someday someone will actually love her, unlike him. Dude deserves to be castrated if you ask me."

Love isn't magic. Just like my family, just like my place in the universe, it's something that I can't keep, can't make last.
I would rather lose Ry before I ever have him.

"Stop it!" I gasp.
"That thing you're doing! With your eyes!"
"Um, opening them? Or blinking? Should I not blink?"
"Just-make them less blue or something."
He laughs, oblivious to my drowning desert. "It's pitch-black out here. You can't see what colour they are."
"But I still know, and they know I know. So just-point them somewhere else."

"...And then I found you, and I didn't fall in love with you."
What the crap? I raise and eyebrow at him, and he grins.
"I didn't fall in love with you. I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we'd choose anyway. And I'd choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I'd find you and I'd choose you."

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review of Gallagher Girls #5

Out of Sight, Out of Time
(Gallagher Girls #5)

By Ally Carter

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan-an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers that months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie's summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It's a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:
This is by far, my favourite in the Gallagher Girls series. It's a lot more sinister, confusing and thrilling than the previous books. Gone are the days when the most important thing for Cammie Morgan was hiding her spy-life from her boyfriend Josh!

The last book ended with Cam realising that she needs to leave the academy and separate herself from all her loved ones to keep them safe as the Circle was after her and anyone protecting her would get hurt in the process. In this book we realise that Cam wakes up in a nunnery in the Alps and has lost memory of everything that happened for the last three months. And that's what the story focusses around; trying to find out where Cammie went, why and whether the Circle found her or not.

We see a lot more of Zach but he's more of the back-up crew than the hero who saves her. Preston Winters makes a re-appearance, as does Agent Townsend. I laughed over his and Abby's arguments the most, in fact I think that was the only humour in this book. Their clashing personalities and competitive natures lightened the atmosphere. So even though there wasn't as much light-heartedness in this book, it was still a excellent read!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"Stop looking at me like that," I told them when it finally became too much.
"Like how?" Liz asked.
"Like you didn't think you'd ever see me again," I said.
"Cam we-" Liz started, but Bex cut her off.
"You don't get it, do you?" Her voice was more hiss than whisper. "Until forty-eight hours ago, we didn't."

So I just looked down at my hands and admitted, "No one seems happy I'm back."
"You are back, Cam." Macey went into the bathroom and started to close the door. "Which means for the first time since you left, it's okay for us to be mad at you for leaving."

You might think in these situations the advantage lies with the grown man with the high-powered rifle, and not with the two teenagers in training.
Well, that, of course, depends upon the girls.

I hated that girl, hated her as much as I hated the Circle. Distrusted her more than I distrusted Zach's mom. Enemies are nothing compared to traitors, after all. It's the people you hold closest who have the most power to make you bleed. And that girl...she was as close as anyone could possibly be.

"Maybe they never had her at all. Maybe they sent her back for some reason," the trustee said, running through the options.
"Cammie is no double agent. She wasn't turned," Abby snapped, but the trustee talked on.
"The truth is, we don't know anything. Your daughter ran away, Rachel," the younger trustee said. "I think I speak for everyone when I say we're very interested to know exactly who came back."

"Cammie," Zach said, "are you sure it's your handwriting?"
For a second, the question seemed strange. Zach had been my sorta-boyfriend for a long time, and yet he didn't know what my handwriting looked like. I guess we weren't exactly love-notes-in-the-locker people. We were too busy being terrorists-want-to-kidnap-us people. It's easy to see how one would get in the way of the other.

"I killed a man," I said.
"Yes, you did."
"He was going to stab Bex, so...I killed him."
"And how does that make you feel?"
It was an excellent question-one the Gallagher Academy had never really taught me how to answer. I was tired and confused, guilty and relieved. But most of all, I felt nothing. And nothing, as it turns out, is one of the scariest feelings of all.

I'd been sleeping. I realised that I'd been sleeping and I hadn't dreamed.
"Zach," I said as I lay there. "Where did you go? When you were looking for me?"
I shifted in his arms, looked into his eyes.
"Crazy." His voice was a whisper against my skin. "I went crazy."

Neither of us spoke again for a long time. It was a sound I was used to. When you grow up in a house full of spies, you grow accustomed to silence. Life is classified. There is always so much that goes unsaid.

"You know," I whispered, "some girls might think it's creepy having a boy watch them sleep."
He smirked and pointed to himself. "Spy."

"Oh." I nodded. "Right. So you're a trained Peeping Tom."
"Product of the best peeping academies in the country"
"Well, now I feel much better."

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Review of Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily
By Jodi Lynn Anderson


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 5/5 !!!

My Thoughts:

Tiger Lily played havoc with my emotions. It is very difficult for a book to bring me to tears but this afternoon I felt like I was going to burst into tears on the train from work! The story is told from Tinkerbell's perspective, which is interesting to see because from the animated Peter Pan movie all I ever understood was that Peter and Wendy fall in love, Hook tries to kill them and Tink gets jealous. To be fair, Tink is a jealous fairy but there is a whole other story there... and it's not all about Wendy!
Tiger Lily's character was truly heartbreaking, how she's an outcast for her village, mocked because of her independence and 'boyish' behaviour, betrothed to a cruel villager and how she tries not to fall in love but can't seem to pull herself away from Peter even though she has accepted her fate. Tik Tok is Tiger Lily's adopted father/mother and his Jodi Anderson!
Zed (:
Favourite Quotes:
Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've heard of. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.
"I'm not a stranger to your love of lost causes, dear one. But you have to be careful who you meet," he said, stoking a pipe thoughtfully. "You can't unmeet them."
"I'm not myself," she offered, guilty. She softened around Tik Tok, and when she did she was, for those rare moments, girlish.
He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like."
From above, the world looks orderly. That is one of the primary benefits of having wings. Being high shapes everything below into peaceful patterns. And even though you know there is chaos below, messiness everywhere, it is reassuring to sometimes think that it all eventually sorts itself out into something that looks elegant.
"Peter I shouldn't keep coming to see you. I'm supposed to..."
Peter shook his head hard, annoyed. "If you have reasons for not coming back, I don't want to know them. I just want you to come back anyway. Ignorance, see?"
"I miss you already," he said.
Tiger Lily wanted to say it back. But she held on to the words greedily, too caught in the habit of keeping herself a secret. And Peter-half sadly, half expectantly-let her go.
"I could never leave," Pine Sap said.
"Why?" she asked.
Pine Sap shrugged, and gestured in the direction of the village. "Because I think people must be the same everywhere. Only these people are my bones."
If there was a true moment that Tiger Lily fell so in love with Peter she could never turn back, it was that night, when he shivered and walked and told her he was warm, and told her he loved her so much. She was fierce, to be sure, but she had a girl's heart, after all. As she walked home that night, she was shaking from the largeness of it. I didn't know why she seemed so sad and happy at the same time. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.
Tiger Lily would go to hover at his door, planning to tell him, and then hesitate, unsure how to do so without telling him too many other things. So she waited, and tried to think of what to say. And she wondered when she had become the kind of person who wasn't brave enough to say the truth to him.
I tried to get in their way, but of course they dismissed me. Slightly said I was having "lady's hysterics." One of the twins mentioned something he'd heard about women going crazy twelve times a year.
He turned and met her eyes. "Yes, I'm going."
"But you loved me?" she said simply.
He stared at her for a long time. He looked much older, more serious. "I'm sorry about Tik Tok." There was no twinkle in his eyes. "Maybe I just love some of you. Maybe not enough." Tiger Lily blinked at him, and she didn't understand how anyone could only love a part. Her greedy heart didn't work that way. She turned to go.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Review of Tolomay's World #2

Tolomay's World and The Mountain of Tegi (Tolomay's World #2)
By M.E. Lorde


In this second book of a set of seven, Tolomay Ramey has travelled the world to get where she is… or more precisely, she travelled through time to get to the renewed Earth, fifteen hundred years in the future of our world. Her goal? To lead and keep safe all candidates coming to the replenished Earth.

A brilliant, giving soul ‘as stubborn as gravity’, Tolomay was the first to survive passage into the clean world, where humanity begins anew.

After three years alone, more have arrived. Now that she has fallen in love with Kenter, the arrogant first male to come, how will Tolomay react to Sandra, the female from the pods who lives and breathes for Kenter’s affections?

What happens when others show up with destructive intentions? Will she have the strength to deal with the more than uncomfortable so-called family situation she’s presented with? Can she adapt to a way of thinking she thought died over a thousand years ago? More importantly, does she want to?

None of those concerns or the ones of her own blond hair and blue eyes will compare to the great horror she uncovers at the Mountain of TEGI.

What will she do when her peace of life and those around her are suddenly threatened? Will the war Tarron spoke of come to pass?

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.75/5

My Thoughts:

The story continues from when two females and a male successfully make it through the swim and reach the 'clean world.' Upon seeing Kenter the girl, Sandra, unexpectedly kisses him in her delight. Tolomay watches and feels hurt and betrayed by the open show of affection since she had given her heart to Kenter, and runs away from the house as soon as she can.

Kenter hurries after her but by this time Tolomay has been kidnapped by people who have the same blond hair and blue eyes that she has. Even stranger is that one keeps calling himself Tolomay's brother. She is taken by her kidnappers through an elevator deep into a mountain, home to hundreds of people who have all been told that the 'clean world' is in fact toxic. This underground realm is led by a cruel, heartless King, who happens to be Tolomay's father and he intends his daughter to lead his people in the upcoming war.

I absolutely loved this book and finished reading in just over a day. This book was so different from the first, because here we see that Tolomay has an actual family, and they plan to keep her with them. We get to read about all their bizarre customs and Tolomay's difficulty in trying to win their trust so she can escape. We also discover that Tarron is not her real father, not that this changes how Tolomay feels about him as he did bring her up. I liked how Tolomay's kind and bright nature changed her brother's views about their life, and brought light to them too. The characters all felt so real especially the evil Father (King) because although it is hard to imagine how someone could treat their people with such cruelty, Lorde made it very believable.

The ending was fantastic; I can't wait to read the next book and find out if they manage to find Tarron, and who manages to escape! I do hope David doesn't get left behind, and I want to see how Kenter reacts to Eric..... :S

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

I could not see him, not now. My back settled against a surviving piece of wall near the logs he had stacked just this morn. Not a tear escaped. I refused them their glory. The only thing present of me in this place was the breathing of the air in my lungs and the death of my heart.

"Do you think it I brought her here for the pleasure of your tortures? No brains live in your rotting skull..." (Tolomay's Father to David)

"We have spoken of this before. You are my son, yes, but you know this in that you are not nearly the favourite of my children and are in fact the least, now including, and most especially, your sister."

Throughout the rest of dinner, eyes fell upon Eric and me. I was glad to share the burden and he knew my need to. I found the heart of a friend in this place without a soul.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Review of Talented

Talented (Talented #1)
By Sophie Davis

When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Offered a choice between accepting their fate and exacting revenge, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible for their deaths: Ian Crane. Luckily, Talia was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia is poised to graduate from the McDonough School for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... Talia herself.

Her greatest asset may also be her undoing; while a formidable weapon in the field, Talia’s talents prevent her from both shutting off the mental connection she shares with her questionable boyfriend and blocking out the thoughts of a beguiling fellow recruit. But Talia can’t afford to have the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl, when her life is far from normal.

She must regain the single-minded determination that has brought her this far, or it may cost Talia her life when she finally faces Crane. And even after being molded in to a weapon of war, she’ll still have to find the strength it takes to pull the trigger.

If James Bond and Sookie Stackhouse had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED: an adventure about powerful teenagers who aren’t afraid to embrace their fears and fight for what they believe in.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

I was hooked to this book from the first few chapters. Talented is about a group of teenagers who have certain skills or 'talents' that make them the perfect spies for the Agency. Some can morph into animals, visualise the future, mind-read or hack seemingly unbreakable codes. Natalia has the ability to read and manipulate minds, and is one of the most powerful manipulators her school has seen. Tali joined the school for talents to enhance her abilities so she can ultimately track down and kill Ian Crane; the man who ordered the deaths of her parents.

Talent has an unusual story, but what I liked most was the secrets that were slowly uncovered through the book, Tali's struggles on her missions as a Hunter, and the dramas of her love life! Ever since she was a child Tali has only had one real friend and confidante; Donavon. They speak mostly with their minds and Tali feels comfortable knowing that the one person who knows all her secrets and whose secrets she knows is her boyfriend too. She thinks she has the perfect love, until she discovers that he's having an affair with someone else. Tali thought she knew everything about him but soon realises that no one is as they seem.

An excellent read and I'm looking forward to finding more about Tali's adventures; particularly around Donovan and his father's hidden agendas.

*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* 

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

The night sky looked as if it were falling, one star at a time. It took several seconds for my mind to process what my eyes were seeing; stars weren't falling out of the night sky, but bombs were. Swallowing over the lump in my throat, I forced the unpleasantness clawing its way to my mouth back down. The people who panic in a crisis are the people who die, I reminded myself.

What do I believe? Some days, I feel as though I am cursed; cursed with an affliction that cannot be healed; cursed to explore the mundane minds of those surrounding me; cursed to know what people honestly think about me; cursed to be burdened with other people's darkest secrets. Other days, I believe that I won the genetic lottery because, after all, who wants to be ordinary?

I loved having a real friend in Donavon, and Mac and Gretchen were going out of their way to make me feel like part of the family, but they weren't my family. They would never be my family. I forced myself to repeat the name of the man who I'd learned ordered the death of my family, over and over; Ian Crane. Then, I would promise myself that one day, I would return the favour.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Quote-tastic #6

Here is my sixth addition to the weekly meme being hosted by Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

If you want to join me, please click on the link above. Leave me a link in your comment and I will check out your quotes (:

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.”  

“Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.”
“I'm not a bit changed--not really. I'm only just pruned down and branched out. The real ME--back here--is just the same.”  

(L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

I'm afraid I have cheated again by adding 3 quotes rather than one...but in my defence the quotes were very short :P

Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Darkness Strange and Lovely review

A Darkness Strange and Lovely
(Something Strange and Deadly #2)
By Susan Dennard

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

A Darkness Strange and Lovely is book two in the Something Strange and Deadly series. In this book Eleanor realises that in order to protect herself she needs to use her powers, but the more she uses her magic the more addicted she becomes to using her powers. We also get to see Elijah's demon friend, who I can't seem to figure out. Oliver was definitely in love with Elijah but I can't figure out whether Ollie is a good or a bad guy. At some points he seems like he truly cares for Eleanor but at other times it seems like he is only looking out for himself and that he has some secret motive.

I felt really bad for Eleanor because she has so much going on with her. She's had her hand amputated, lost her brother and had to sell everything to pay for her mother's medical bills, a mother who has disowned her. On top of all that, Marcus is still after her and she can't help but feel the pull of her power, but the more she uses her powers, the farther away she is getting from the Spirit Hunters who hate all forms of necromancy and black magic. Plus, that iron fist at the end is definitely going to create problems for her, I can tell.

Hopefully, the next instalment will come out soon and then we can find out what is worse than necromancy, whether the Spirit Hunters manage to find Jie and if Eleanor frees Ollie.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

"I'm serious. I've seen a lot of souls pass through my home, and I've seen a lot of loves still hanging on. Those long-lasting ones" - he tapped his heart - "are the ones filled with tenderness and smiles."
"Oliver, the demon poet," I said drily.
He rolled his eyes. "One last piece of advice, El: if this Spirit-Hunter does not love you back, then good riddance. Real love isn't about drama or heartbreak. Real love just is."

She gave me a sad smile. "And she was like a sister to me-my closest friend in all the world. But...she died almost seven years ago."
"Oh, I am so sorry."
"Do not be. We must lose everyone we love at some point or another. C'est la vie."

Review of Sia

By Josh Grayson


When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Expected publication: 20 November 2013

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts:

***Free copy of this ARC was obtained through Net Galley.***
The story begins with a teenage girl waking up on a park bench and realising that she cannot remember anything. She can't remember where she is, where she lives or who she is. The only thing she knows is that her name is Sia, and that's just because the iPod she has with her has her name on it. Confused and lost she runs into a few scary situations until she meets another homeless lady called Carol. Carol helps Sia to survive on the streets, takes her to the soup kitchen and supports Sia by being a friend.

The story continues with a male volunteer shouting at Sia for being in the soup kitchen. Sia is confused and doesn't understand why this boy hates her so much and in her scared state runs outside where she has a car accident. As a result of the accident, the hospital locates her family and tell Sia she has amnesia and they are unsure when she will regain her memories.

As Sia goes back to her old life she realises that she was one of the meanest girls at school, a typical head cheerleader dating a jock and always being the centre of attention, treating the less well-off kids like dirt. The more Sia gets to know who she was like, the more she wants to change herself, and she starts off by making more effort with her troubled parents, who are having severe financial problems not to mention her mother has a serious alcohol addiction. It was funny to see how everyone reacted to her loss of memories. For example, when Sia returns to school wearing the simplest outfit in her closet with sneakers and without makeup or jewellery her cheerleader friends have a panic attack and get to work in making her more 'presentable.' Although Sia's mother insists Sia does not go back to see her homeless friends, Sia still manages to meet Carol and the others and gives them gifts of food.

The angry boy turns out to be Kyle; someone Sia treated badly in her old life, but Sia makes amends and helps Kyle with his fundraiser. The rest of the story is about Sia trying to rectify all the mistakes she made in her past by helping others, primarily through the fundraiser. At the same time, she manages to close the bridge between the different cliques by giving them a common goal; to help all the victims of the San Francisco earthquake.

Overall, I found this book very easy to get into and to read. It had a quick pace and at times was a bit too simplistic and slightly unrealistic. For example, I found it hard to believe that Sia's mother gave up alcohol so quickly. Plus, why didn't Sia go to the police when she couldn't remember anything? You would think that was the first thing to do... But there was a lot going on in the story, so I understand why it was kept so simple. The moral of the story to me was that everyone should be given a second chance. Sia got a second chance through her amnesia and in turn, she forgave her old friends for the way they were treating her after she lost her memories. A good read, and I love the cover!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

She smiles. "True friendship is when two friends can walk in opposite directions, yet remain side by side."

"All of a sudden, it's like I don't even care about being popular." She frowns. In a serious tone, she asks, "Though that's probably just a temporary thing, don't you think?"
It's such a cute question that I have to laugh. Can't change the world in a day, right?

"I'm happier now," I say. "I don't have to pretend all the time."
"Pretend? What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about always having to have the right clothes, the right make-up, the right walk, the right boyfriend- everything. It's exhausting, putting up that fa├žade. Life's much easier now that I'm not a full-time beauty queen."