Heartborn by Terry Maggert: Review

29755190.jpg

Title: Heartborn

Author: Terry Maggert

Published: September 1st 2016

Length: 238

Source: I got this copy from The Audiobookworm in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

This was an audiobook, which made getting through it a hell of a lot easier! It’s been a WHILE since I’ve listened to an audiobook and I really don’t know why!

Let me start by saying that I LOVED the narrator for this! It really helped me concentrate on the story instead of getting distracted by my surroundings. Here’s the synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)

‘Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.

His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.

Until Keiron arrives.

In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.’

For me the most interesting thing is that the author decided to spin something that would be seen as a disability into a powerful quality! Although it is a YA fantasy I found that it wasn’t jam packed with cliches and tropes. It was a unique concept and the book was filled with witty characters and I LOVE that! There was no love triangle business that seems to crop up quite a lot in YA, it felt like genuine story told from the heart as cheesy as that sounds…

There were two storylines involved, the story of Kieron and Livvy meeting and how they impacted each others’ lives. But also the tensions building among the angels in another dimension! That aspect kept the story interesting, as one story had a slow pace we would change chapters and something major would be happening in the other world! The one thing I would say is that it had a bit of a slow start, as the world building was taking place it got a little confusing to keep up with all these new characters.

I would highly recommend this if you enjoy YA fantasy! It was such an enjoyable read (listen :’D) and I’m already looking into other books by Terry Maggert!

Assassin’s Heart

assassins-heart

Title: Assassin’s Heart

Author: Sarah Ahiers

Published: February 2nd 2016

Length:  420 pages

Source: Received for review from Netgalley

 

First of all, the cover for this book is just STUNNING, I mean just look at it! I haven’t read a lot of books that have their main female protagonist as an assassin. I read the synopsis for this one and thought I’d give it a try…

Synopsis: (taken from goodreads)

‘In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.’

There were a few things that I liked about this book, but a few things that were a bit… This story had a few strong characters, I would say the main character Oleander (Lea) was one of them. She managed to come across as a ruthless assassin yet somehow the reader found her relatable. I LOVED Alessio (Les) , I really thought that him and  Lea had chemistry and there interactions were really enjoyable to read. BUT I felt like the pace of the story was weirdly inconsistent. I mean I know the pace is supposed to change as the story occurs, but it was just offff. I didn’t feel the story was unfolding naturally, I don’t know if what I’m saying is making sense but for anyone who’s read it I think you’ll understand what I mean.

World Building: This was a high fantasy and I think if the world building wasn’t as great as it is I wouldn’t have been able to finish it. This story came across as a being fairly religious which was a bit unexpected, each region of this world tend to follow a God, where Lea is from they follow Safraella. The highest order of worship to this goddess is being an assassin or a ‘clipper’ as its referred to in the book! The one consistency I found in this story was the depth of the world building, whether it’s the beginning where we’re still getting to know the Saldana family or the end where I’m not going to spoil anything… My point is that the world building was probably the strength of Assassin’s Heart.

Characters: So this story had some strong characters,it also had great character development.  Although it’s a repeated sort of idea, an individual has something horrific happen to them and they’re blinded by vengeance, only to realise that may not be the answer… Because Lea was relatable, as a reader I could understand why her perspective would change! Les was my favourite character BY FAR, I didn’t know a fictional character could be so charming, I literally felt like I was the one being wooed! I feel like less of a weirdo actually typing this on a book blog, imagine telling someone you felt like a fictional character was courting you, hermahgerd…

Plot: The development of Lea changed the direction of the story, so I was really interested to see what she would end up doing. I feel like I say this a lot of but again the last 30 pages felt a little rushed, that particular point in the story could’ve been stretched out a bit. Let me try and make sense of this, at around 60%, the story felt like it kind of stalled a bit, I feel like that kind of lasted until about 90%. Then BAM, everything happened at once and I was like wait, what, hold up!

APPARENTLY there’s a sequel for this, I felt like the ending didn’t leave much room for a sequel. I would really recommend this to anyone but especially if you like high fantasy, and having the basis of the story be so bizarre!

 

 

Divergent: Review

divergent uk cover.jpg

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: February 2012
Length:  487 pages
Source: Received for review from the publisher through Netgalley
I should probably preface this review by saying I haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy. I mention this because I’ve heard time and time again that Divergent is a little too similar to The Hunger Games. Now in terms of Divergent, I have mixed feelings… So the premise of this book is that basically a war broke out, and to restore peace factions were created. These are basically groups each based on a virtue:
⦁ Candor is based on honesty
⦁ Dauntless on bravery
⦁ Amity on peacefulness
⦁ Abnegation on selflessness
⦁ Erudite on intelligence
The reason for these factions are that if everyone belongs to a particular group, chaos is prevented and there would be a lot more order! The story follows our main character Beatrice Prior who like all 16 year olds has to choose a faction they will become permanent members of. We follow her after she’s made this decision and as she uncovers a secret about herself that is pretty much a threat to her existance if anyone finds out!
As someone who hasn’t read a lot of ‘popular’ YA books this premise to me seemed unique, HOWEVER having said that I found that this book was quite predictable… I generally enjoyed reading the book and got through it quite quickly, however there were some events that really made me step back a bit. Lets get on with the review:
World Building: This was actually done quite well, I really got a sense of this dystopian world and a feel for the faction Beatrice was in and also ones she’s just knows of. What I would’ve liked a little more was for someone to fill us in on what happened that lead to their current situation. Anything would’ve helped really justify this new system to me and also help me understand why anyone saw this as a viable solution. I’m finding it quite difficult to actually review this without accidently spoiling anything. The synopsis/blurb for the book doesn’t actually give that much away and I really appreciated that!
Characters: I actually didn’t mind Beatrice Prior I completely understood her character and her struggle to fit in her parents faction. Tris however got a little annoying at times, and did some things I really couldn’t reason with. Again I’m not going to spoil anything but towards the end she did something very stupid, who knows maybe in the next book they justify this? I also found Beatrice a little more believable than I found Tris. However I really liked Tris’ group of friends, their friendship felt really genuine and when there were betrayals it made sense. There’s also some romance which I really appreciated. When the initiates are going through the grueling physical and emotional stages a little romance story is a welcome distraction!
Plot: Again this is difficult to talk about with no spoilers! I enjoyed the pace of Divergent, I didn’t at any point feel bored or that it slowed down which kept me reading to the end! However the main plot is something I’ve read multiples times before and I think because of that I found the ending a little bit predictable. Having said that, I didn’t find that it took away from the enjoyment, I literally breezed through the last 50 or so pages because as I reader I was engaged in the story! Throughout the book Tris always asks about what the outside world is like, and I’m thinking that may be hinting at what will happen in the next book so I’m very excited to read it!
Is it the best YA book I’ve read this year so far, probably not. BUT I do understand the hype and I see why this is a popular YA trilogy. I know for the most part my review is critiquing the book but I actually really had fun reading it. Its written from the perspective of a 16 year old and the writing style does reflect that. If you enjoy reading YA dystopian I definitely think you should give this a try!

Wolf by Wolf: Review

wolfbywolf-ryangraudin__span

 

Title: Wolf by Wolf

Author: Ryan Grauding

Published: October 20th 2015

Length:  388 pages

Source: Received for review through Netgalley

 

 

Why is it that the books I always delay reading end up being the ones I enjoy the most? Wolf by Wolf is definitely not a light read which is why I think I kept pushing back reading it. It was so well written and managed to captivate my attention, I literally stayed up ‘til 4am reading it!

Here’s the synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)

‘Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

From the author of The Walled City comes a fast-paced and innovative novel that will leave you breathless.’

World Building: This book is set in a time where mankind arguably carried out one of the most horrific acts ever and I think that’s why I was intimated a bit by reading it. The world building in the novel is just fantastic. Our main character Yael takes part in the Axis tour where she travels across the world from ‘Germania’ to Tokyo and the way Ryan Graudin was able to portray these different regions, from Cairo to India was great! The way the book was structured was that it kept changing from a chapter from Yaels past to a chapter in her present. Her past was her growing up in a death camp and going through some things that no one should ever endure, these chapters really tore my soul out! At the same time I really appreciated that the author didn’t decide to base her novel on a ‘milder’ version of what happened but actually went into the details creating an atmosphere that genuinely made me shudder. Personally I think that the chapters interchanging between the two times worked really well, just when things got really dark for Yael we are sent back to the race. For me that made this book a little easier to read. When I read about fictional occurrences no matter how horrific they are at the end of the day I know they’re fake. However when reading about something where millions of innocent people were actually wiped out, it can get a little intense.

Characters: I don’t know if it’s just me but this character really resembled Arya Stark from GoT. She literally says ‘A girl without a face’ ‘The girl who was no one’, and she could also have many faces… just like Arya Stark. I don’t know that’s just something that stood out for me. I really loved Yael and the way she was portrayed . As someone with a purpose, but also at the end of the day human. Overestimating just how heartless she could be, and realising that things weren’t always black and white. She knew this better than most because she had to cross these boundaries many times… Sometimes I feel like the author tries to make a point of how ruthless and tough their protagonists are that sometimes it becomes unrealistic. This was definitely not the case with Yael, sometimes even she’s surprised for harbouring guilt for certain things she does (trying really hard to restrain myself from spoiling the book!) and it makes me as a reader able to connect with her. Another thing I notice in a lot of novels YA or others, is that they neglect to portray their characters as real human beings. Let me explain, when was the last time you read that a character needed the toilet, or needed tissue or something really mundane that would make them that much more realistic? Throughout this book Yael says things in brackets that make her that much more believable, even if it’s just talking about the road rash she got from her motorcycle.

Plot:

The main thing that motivates me as a reader to carry on is the plot, eventually we all want to know where this ends. What’s going to happen? Who ends up getting their way? The plot line developed at a steady pace in this novel that kept me both interested and intrigued to know what happened in Yaels past. I didn’t feel like at any point the race dragged on and the plot delayed because actually a lot of important things happen during it! There were a few plot twists that I genuinely didn’t see coming and by the end I was itching for the next book!

Overall a great book that I feel like not enough people have read. A great insight into what it would’ve been like to be a part of that time and really causes you to reflect on how privileged you are today. With some complex relatable characters and a plot line that kept me completely engaged the whole time. It also had a really interesting twist on how Hitler’s reign would end, I would definitely recommended this book!

 

 

Steel Victory: Review

Steel Victory.jpg

 

Title: Steel Victory

Author: J.LGribble

Published: July 2nd 2015

Length:  215 pages

Source: Received for review

 

It’s been a WHILE since I’ve done a review! There are many things that initially spark my interest in reading a book, and the promise of a strong female kick-ass protagonist is one of them.

The synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)

One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.’

As someone who enjoys reading historical fiction and fantasy this seemed like the perfect match! This book has a fantastically diverse set of characters from wereleopards and weresnakes to vampires… However whenever I read a blurb like this and notice it’s a fantasy alarm bells ring. In my opinion fantasy relies heavily on the execution of many aspects (e.g. world building) to bring this fictional world to life, and I feel like to balance that with the development of an interesting and captivating plot line and to do it all in 215 pages… I have a few points I’d like to mention so, on with the review:

World Building: I generally enjoyed the premise of this book and the idea that we have a free city were different creatures are able to coexist sounded interesting. Now, the word building was there… but it came in chunks and got a bit difficult to get through at times. I also feel like we were given a lot of unnecessary information that didn’t deepen our understanding of the characters nor did it help understand the city’s current situation. Having said that I can’t deny that there was some form of world building, it did help to create a general picture and keep me somewhat interested.

Characters: There were some characters in this book that I appreciated whilst others that I thought were maybe a little irrelevant. Again I think that when writing a short story it’s difficult to include a lot of characters and allow each character to develop throughout the story. At some points I really couldn’t keep up with who is who. Maybe if there was less focus on some of the extra characters to provide development of Victory and most importantly Toria I would’ve been able to connect with these characters a little more.

Plot: I enjoyed that we had two different plot lines, we have the whole Humanists situation and we also have the impending Roman invasion. I also liked that the author linked these two towards the end of the book, the link made sense and felt realistic. I personally enjoy reading more about the military sort of battle aspects ( wow my English skills) that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed reading historical fiction. The author was able to create tension and suspense in these scenes and actually, managed to fit in quite a bit of content into this story without making the reader feel like their lost.

Maybe one of my biggest problems with this book was that it didn’t really know what it was. Sometimes it read like a really dense historical fiction others it was an action packed fantasy and sometimes it slowed down to a contemporary feel. I’m not saying these genres do not belong together in a book but when it leaves me a little confused as to what tone the author wanted to set at that that particular scene the books’ not really coming together for me as a reader. It weren’t a particularly bad book but it also didn’t blow my mind…

In other news I wanted to post more of a discussion blog post and the topic is ‘rating reviews’. I initially started rating the books but recently decided against it and I wanted to elaborate on that in a little more detail. Let me know in the comments below what you think of a rating system!

Passenger: Review

Alexandra-Bracken-Passenger

Title: Passenger

Published by : Hachette Children’s Group

Publication date: March 31st 2015

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Source: Received copy from Hachette Children’s Group through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

 

Did I enjoy reading this book? YES! Did I think it what somewhat over-hyped? YES….

Let me just get on with this review because I have a LOT to say! If you enjoy reading time travel but you do not really want a theory or premise that is overly complicated ora book that incorporates a lot of info-dumps I definitely think you should read this. IF you enjoy world building and aren’t annoyed when an author goes into extensive descriptions about seemingly unimportant things EVEN though it makes for great world building, this is something for you… For me personally I found that world building and relationships took centre stage in this novel and they were the two aspects I loved.

This is a book that has a beautiful blend between cultural diversity and intense world building that I really enjoyed. It’s sad that a book with an African American as a love interest and a co-protagonist (yes I will refer to him as such throughout this review) is so rare that when it is present it makes you respect the author. But that is truth, out of all the YA books I’ve read in the last couple of months or maybe year I have RARELY come across a diverse set of characters.

What I also loved about Alexandra Bracken is that she found a way to incorporate a hundred different cultures yet not offending one. In a world where literally anything will offend someone somewhere it was great to read to the end of the book and think well done Ms Bracken… As a Muslim I was slightly hesitant when I read they had to transport to Syria, I thought oh God no, something somewhere is not going to sit well with me, BUT I DIDN’T! First of all I liked the fact that for once Muslims are portrayed as compassionate people, even if their beliefs may seem bizarre to an observer she portrayed them as HUMAN BEINGS. I find that a lot of times (sadly) when Muslims are in a book/film it’s because they’re terrorists, are somehow linked to a terrorist plot or you’ll just find them frantically yelling in Arabic and being judgemental. When we come across Hassan I’m so relieved that this is not one of those moments again….

World building: Honestly this has to be the best world building I’ve read in a while. When I’m reading I find that the smallest of details help form the scene for me and this did just that! You’ll read a paragraph describing a violin and it’d just help you understand the character and the intensity of the atmosphere more! I also liked how she managed to space out the travel to different regions so that it weren’t overwhelming at all. Each region was captured in the pages allocated to it!

Characters: I loved our main characters, I loved that we had an interracial relationship and the development we see in their relationship. One thing I will say is that I found it somewhat lacked chemistry, it always seemed to be about lust and how his muscles popped and her hair sparkled but I don’t think we got to discover the depth of their feelings as much as I would’ve liked.

Plot: THE CLIFF HANGERRRRRRRRR. Do I really have to wait until July 2017????? There weren’t any mind blowing plot twists but I did like the action being evenly spaced out throughout the book. The build-up to the plot at times slowed down and there may have been a bit too much concentration on the world building causing the development of the story line to suffer at times.

I didn’t think Passenger needed to be 486 pages long, there were some cuts that I think should’ve been done in order to maintain the engagement of the reader. Admittedly I lost interest a few times because the world building got a bit much but I still enjoyed reading this novel. For me the time-travel could’ve been a bit more developed, I was really interested to see how Alexandra Bracken would go about this concept that has failed so often in the books I’ve read. I hope that maybe in Wayfarer we delve into this concept a little deeper!

Me Before You: Mini-Review

Let me start by saying something I haven’t seen mentioned in the reviews for this book, it’s funny. It’s a book where the jokes actually made me laugh, as in out loud (I tried reading this whilst on the bus, I actually think I looked kind of crazy, laughing hysterically at one page and visibly upset by the next…)! It’s a beautiful read that has you completely invested in the fate of these characters, you can’t help but care about what happens to Will and Louisa.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m here for all these action-packed, dramatic thrillers/mystery’s and what have you. So initially I really didn’t think this book would be my cup of tea. But oh… it is! Everything from the characters, to the relationships involved in this book just made you never want to let go of this world, even if it breaks your heart to a million pieces. What I really liked about this book was that we got an insight into Louisa’s family life, we got to understand the environment she grew up, her relationship with her family and how much they depend on each other. I can’t possibly say anymore without blurting out a spoiler but I HIGHLY recommend you read this book!

—————————SPOILER -SECTION———————–

Questions by readers:

  1. Does this book have ableism in it,
  2. Who is ‘me’ and who is ‘you’ in this book?
  3. Why was Lou able to break through to Will when no one else could? What attracted Will to Lou?
  4. How did Lou’s incident in the maze shape her and how does it compare to how Wills accident shaped him/determined his future?

 

  1. I definitely did not see that this book supported ableism in any way, shape or form. I think if anything it showed that there is a community that you can always connect with, no matter what you’re suffering from, not matter how bad it seems, there are other people going through the same thing who maybe have a different perspective and who you may be able to find comfort in talking to. I do understand this point however ‘why does he always encourage Lou to do better, move on to bigger plans whilst he doesn’t actively try to make a change in his’? That did frustrate me quite a bit at the beginning, because you really want to tell him, why don’t you take your own advice for once, right? Here’s my viewpoint, I can never know what he’s going through, no one knows what quadriplegics have to endure, the physical/emotional pain, no matter how hard I try to imagine I can NEVER come close to even really understanding what people have to go through. Having said that I think what Jojo Moyes is trying to get through is that not everything has a sparkly happy ending, in real life things go differently, people can adjust to changes but they may not be happy with how they have to live.
  2. I believe Me Before You refers to Louisa before she met Will, it’s to emphasise the impact he’s had on her life.
  3. This was actually a good question. As you read on you can see that Will hasn’t come across a lot of Louisa’s during his time. He tried to push her away during the beginning but slowly he started warming to her. In my opinion it’s because Louisa UNDERSTANDS Will. She knows he doesn’t want her pity, she knows when to give him space and she also knows that she doesn’t have to tiptoe around him, she could be just as sarcastic and snarky to him as he is to her. Will after his accident has been so used to people doing the opposite of this, always feeling sorry for him, consistently asking if there’s anything he needs, basically being too attentive. With Louisa I guess he feels ‘normal’, or he feels more like the Will before the accident? I don’t know if what I’m saying makes sense but that’s what I personally gleaned from this.
  4. It’s really interesting to see that they both have different coping mechanisms. We don’t really know much about Louisa’s personality before her incident in the maze, but present day Louisa is ridiculously cheerful, always optimistic but has also closed off. She’s become someone who’d much rather stay in her comfort zones even if it means not pursuing a career/life she’d be happier living! With Will it’s the complete opposite, we have a character who’s been making the most of every moment in his life and he can’t imagine living any other way. Which is why (understandably) he becomes depressed, closed off and pretty much suicidal after his accident.

I apologise that this took so long to post, I just couldn’t bring myself to rewrite everything and I kept avoiding it! I have an updated TBR that I should be posting on Monday, so if you want to know what reviews I will be posting in the next couple of weeks keep an eye out for that!

Blood Princess: Review

Blood Princess by Rebecca Piercey

Title: Blood Princess

Author: Rebecca Piercey

Published: March 31st 2016

Length:  234 pages

Source: Received for review

My ratings:5/10

Anyone who reads the blurb of this book would definitely be interested by at least what route this story will take. Whilst just flipping through the pages to get a general structure for the book I also noticed that it alternated between perspectives, Laura and Shane’s. I don’t know about you but I find it absolutely pointless when the same book is published twice just to get a different perspective! I am sorry but I cannot afford to pay for the same story just from someone else’s view and I will most definitely not sit down and read it! So I thought it was really refreshing to see how each character handles the same situation!

I would like to start by saying I wish the blurb didn’t have as much as it did on it. I would have enjoyed it more if the blurb had only half the content it did, because there were moments within the book (towards the beginning) that the blurb has already spoiled for you. It is a short read, only 234 pages so I think that’s where a lot of the problems for me stem from. I really liked the beginning it was a captivating start to this story and it gave the reader an impression of our main character Laura.  When a story makes the main protagonist an assassin, for me I really need to be able to see this character as one. Her mentality, her physical/mental strength, her personality and for me, at the beginning this book made Laura quite a credible assassin. No spoilers but I would most definitely not mess with this one or even get anywhere near her. However as the story progresses we see her wall slowly slipping away, both due to certain events that she’s been through and the people she surrounds herself with.

Characters: The main problem I feel with this book is that its too short! We don’t have enough time for the development of our characters, we also don’t have enough time for the development of various relationships within this book so everything lacks a bit of complexity and results in me not being able to connect with each character as I would have liked to! The one relationship I really did love was between Laura and her brother, throughout this we can see that they have a pretty much indestructible bond, no matter what happens they both have each others backs! BUT I would have still loved it if the other relationships in the book were more established.

Plot: This is one of those action-packed books that I LOVE. Within every chapter something is happening! Having said that, I think it was slightly too fast-paced, again I think that comes down to the length of the book and having to fit so much into it. It could’ve balanced between the action and developing the characters/story a bit more because I felt like every other page had too much going on! I enjoyed the ending, probably one of my favourite endings I have read this year! I also like how the author went about the ending, she challenged the characters involved more ( really trying not to blurt out a spoiler right now!).

Overall it was a decent book, with some plot twists I couldn’t see coming and main characters that don’t blend in with every other YA fantasy! I loved the writing style and the action but would’ve liked a bit more from our characters, it all seemed a little too rushed!

Unmarked vampire: Review

unmarked vampire

Title: Unmarked Vampire

Author: Belinda Laj

Published: March 2016

Length:  450 pages

Source: Received for review

My ratings: 6/10

 

 

 

 

I thought Id try a different format to my reviews which will hopefully help me cut down on how much I write so it looks less daunting to read! Here’s what I thought of Unmarked Vampire:

This book had a really interested premise and when I read the blurb I knew I had to take this on for review! So without spoiling much the first chapter our main protagonist Julian Laurent wakes up in a coffin, he has no recollection of dying and actually no recollection of his past but… He wakes up in the hallway of an academy, The Damned Academy. I honestly loved the first chapter I thought it was such a great way to start this book, it really had me interested and engaged and I wanted to know where does Julian go from here?

We start off with Julian having no recollection of his past and pretty much until the end of the book we don’t really know about happened, but through the book we get little snippets of information. I appreciated the fact that Julian doesn’t know what going on, because I felt like I could connect with the character and the environment a lot more. This book presented a conflict that I thought was a lot more interesting than I’ve seen in other books. Whilst reading most YA novels we have a clear and distinct ‘villian’ whose intentions are pure evil and immoral etc. I found that with this book we really don’t know who is the ‘good guy’ and who we should be hating. So throughout the book I was back and forth between these two characters that both seem caring, protective and helpful to our main protagonist but its only until the end of the book that we really see that distinct separation between the two.

As there were aspects about the book that I loved similarly there were some aspects I weren’t too fond of. For the most part I really couldn’t stand the main character Julian Laurent, he really was obnoxious, annoying and quite frankly rude. But as his character develops you really begin to see him mature, and I partly blame his character for the fact that he doesn’t remember much from his past. I really loved the plot twist, REALLY loved it, it was for me completely unexpected and when you do find out about it everything from before clicks into place and makes sense. There were some grammatical errors, misspelt words but there were very few of them so I was able to overlook that.

I felt like there were some slow chapters in the middle but I kept on reading because although not much was going on we found out more about Julian and the Academy. My favourite chapters were the first and the last and I honestly think that the opening chapter for this book is one of my all time favourites. This is far from being a perfect book with some cheesy dialogue, and our main character having some over the top reactions but all in all I do think this is a decent book. If you’re looking for an interesting read that explores Angels, Demons and Vampires and a world where they coexist I definitely think you should pick this up!

Support the author and follow this link to buy her book!

If you’ve read the book what did you think? Comment below and let me know!

 

 

Half Bad: Review

   71stxe1duvl-_sl1500_  

Title: Half Bad

Author: Sally Green

Published: 2014

Length:  400 pages

Source: Bought

My ratings: 7/10

            

 

My reviews are way too long… I look back at them now and wonder who the hell would actually sit and read 5 paragraphs of me rambling ‘:D. So I’m going to try and keep them short because that means that I can spend time writing more reviews! (I am rambling already…)

————————–Spoiler free section————————-

With this book I felt like you would either like it, or hate it… It’s definitely not a light fluffy read, but the thing that makes this stops this book from being over bearing is the writing style. I really enjoyed reading this book and it was purely down to Sally Greens writing style. For this non-spoilery section I’m not going to go into too much detail because I think the best way to read this book is to just read it!

—————————-Spoiler section——————————

Here’s the thing, I really think this concept had such great potential, don’t get me wrong I liked the book but I thought it could’ve been better.

World building: When there isn’t a blurb to the book I’m reading the first couple of pages and for me they are the make or break. It’s when I decide whether I should carry on reading or if I am not invested in the story enough to. The author definitely understood this because one of my favourite chapters in this book is the first where Nathan is in the cage and I could not put the book down after that. I struggled with this one, because this world has been intergrated into our own, where witches live with fains. What I did love about the world building is how clear the system/hierarchy is. From the beginning we are getting notifications from the Council where they explain how witches are classified. I always look forward to letters integrated in novels and this was much needed when the pages were getting a bit intense. The end where Nathan finally finds Mercury and they’re in Switzerland they’re up in the mountains, I could just imagine Mercury’s cottage!

Characters: This novel really interested me because I feel like for Nathans character the main focus are his coping mechanisms and how incredibly strong he is mentally/physically. Here we had a character that has gone through experiences that were honestly depressing just to read about but our main protagonist always finds an escape. For example I really loved when Nathan is still in the cage and his escape from this torturous routine is just to focus on the minute detail of every chore and I could totally relate to that! No I have never been captured by the council but when I am doing something incredibly boring, e.g writing up something I focus on the small details to take my mind away from how mundane the task is. Ughhhh Jessica, that little witch! She was so horrible to him even when he was so young, who tells an 8 year old that their mum died because of him!

Plot: I’ll be absolutely honest, there were some chapters in this book that were quite uneventful, I think this is where some people lost interest. I would’ve liked more action in this book but I was genuinely interested in finding out more about the character that I didn’t mind these chapters. The second person narrative really helped engage me and I really enjoyed how it switched from second-person to first throughout the book.

I thought that this book was a very easy read, I got through it fairly quickly and that was also due to the writing style. I certainly haven’t read a book like this before, and I never expected to feel this connected to the main protagonist. If you’ve read this before let me know in the comments what you thought of the book?