Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol

Author: Amy A. Bartol

Title: Inescapable

Series: Premonition Series

Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 393 pages

Publisher: Create Space

Publication Date: 8th of August 2011





Product Description

My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I’d been hoping that once I’d arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t. I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life. What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

Review
As per most of my kindle findings, I was making my way through the list of amazon kindle recommendations and I found Inescapable. And what a finding I made!

I was initially introduced to the lovely and normal Evie. Just your average freshman starting college, wanting to fit in, experience new things, make new friends and who knows maybe meet someone. It wasn't long until I discovered that she got a little more than she gambled for!

Not long after her start to the freshman college year, Reed Wellington becomes antagonistically interested in her and her immediate departure from Crestwood's campus. Initially I thought "here we go, he doesn't want her around but actually he does yada yada yada". But no. He actually wants her gone!!! After a couple of chapters Reed's determination to get Evie well and truly gone kept increasing. Only matched by my determination to find out where Amy A. Bartol was going with this. And I can assure you that although she eventually lay her plot cards down (most of them anyway) she did it very slowly and very carefully.

Reed was gorgeously mysterious until the very end, and even then he has taken a lot of secrets with him to Amy A. Bartol's sequel Intuition. Although as the story develops we get to know him, he appears to not know as much about himself as he thought until he met Evie. This only adding to the mystery of the plot.

The other characters that Evie soon came to meet and become friends with were all so different and vibrant, that I felt like I was looking at a canvas. All different colours, but all working so well together to depict a intriguing story.

Aside from well structured characters who I very much came to like, I also really enjoyed the flow of the narration. The story was not solely built around the essentials to deliver the plot, it had body and structure allowing readers to become more familiar with the characters; whilst still delivering the odd subtle clue or indication of something to come.
I admit to foreseeing a few of the twists but then again I was scouring the pages for them. Nevertheless Amy A. Bartol successfully caught me out on several occasions and delivered a pretty impressive final blow that had me pre-ordering the sequel straight away!

I found Inescapable to live up to it's name and be somewhat inescapable itself! It was a very good read and I am currently enjoying the sequel: Intuition (review to follow once I finish reading). Although I have not long started and promise to review as soon as I have finished, the story is threatening to become more intricate and complex. I have the feeling that with every book Amy A. Bartol will be taking us one step up every time leading us eventually to grand finale.

If you liked this: Although the style of writing and pace are different, I would suggest the Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick. I would also recommend the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. Admittedly these two series are somewhat different from the Premonition series, but I do believe that they are good suggestions that as reads will not let you down and keep you dreaming.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Existence by Abbi Glines

Author: Abbi Glines

Title: Existence

Series: Existence (Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 170 pages

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Publication Date: 12th December 2011






Product Description


What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.


Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

Review

Ok, if you read that product description would you not want to read it straight away?! Because I would! And I did!

I found Existence whilst trailing through kindle for my next good read, and I definitely found it in Abbi Glines's Existence. I read it in less than 24hours. Hours I should confess that were supposed to be spent looking after my brother, who was recovering from his latest encounter with the hospital. Needless to say that for those hours he got no care from me what-so-ever...

When I first started reading, I admit I had high hopes for this book as the short synopsis had really quite intrigued me. The idea of Pagan falling in love with Death itself was clever and had loads of potential in my view. I will begin by saying that Abbi Glines used this to her full advantage and did not lack in any respect.

The story between Pagan and Death flowed at a steady pace, speeding up when building up to an important and big event. There was never a dull moment, or a time when I felt I could put the book down. Something was always happening, in the form of figuring out the latest piece of information and its implications, romance and suspense.

Pagan is no ordinary girl but does her best to fit in. She reveals herself to be quiet but determined in knowing what she wants, and surprisingly calm in the face of danger. I liked her straightaway but by the end I admired her. As what could be described as a rather pure soul, she believes and clings to her morals fighting for them no matter what. Something that now-a-days is at times lacking.

I don't think I need to mention how yummy Death was. Lethally beautiful and annoyingly cryptically enigmatic, he was very charming. I had always somewhat imagined Death as a thing, with a simple purpose and completely devoid of feelings. Abbi Glines gave him a new dimension and depth, that made him almost human and very endearing.

The complication between Pagan and Death is clear from the beginning, that love would have to conquer death, and death would have to conquer love.

The plot itself was not extraordinarily intricately complicated, but held unexpected twists and was such an enjoyable and unstoppable read that this only added to its qualities as a great read. A simple and yet clear writing style guided me throughout the story, never making me wanting to pause. 

By the time I reached the end I didn't want her to stop! Such a beautiful story could not end so soon, I wanted more! Mercifully it wasn't long until the sequel Predestined (review to follow) was released temporarily relieving me of my curiosity and eagerness for more. Unfortunately now that I have devoured that too, I am back to square one whilst waiting for Ceaseless (Book 3) in the Existence series.

If you liked this: I would recommend the sequel Predestined (review to follow). Another similar simple and yet beautiful style of writing can be found in the Soul Screamer series by Rachel Vincent. A perhaps more dark and macabre but nevertheless interesting style of writing and intriguing story is that of Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince

Series: The Infernal Devices (Book 2)

Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 512 pages

Publisher: Walker

Publication Date: 6th of December 2011








*** WARNING THIS POST MAY CONTAIN UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS***

Product Description:


Love and lies can corrupt even the purest heart... In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will - the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa's heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them.


Review


I started reading Clockwork Prince as soon as I'd finished Clockwork Angel, eager to continue the story that had so gripped me. I was most definitely not disappointed!

Rejoining Tessa, Will and Jem right where we left them, Cassandra Clare continues the previously begun journey whilst opening new doors.

Tessa attempts to learn more about herself and to figure out the dark corners of her heart, but I was happy to see that she remained true to herself: a Victorian young lady dropped into the middle of magic, science and mystery and with two very handsome young boys.

Although we came to know Will and Jem in Clockwork Angel, I was thrilled when we got even further insight into their past, personality, character, hidden desires and workings of their mind in this amazing sequel. Seeing them develop was great and has left me wondering where they will take us next!

What initially appeared to be an intricately designed plot, turned out to be an out branching devious master plan, reaching in places I had not suspect, with unseen plots and characters that took me by surprise.

Tessa and her friends had me racing down London streets, attending demonic masked balls and trying to figure out what the enemy's plan actually is. Needless to say I have tried and failed miserably.

When reading this sequel I felt  I had never left Victorian London in the first place. The style of writing was faithful to the ambience whilst maintaining a magically scientific mysterious edge.

Clockwork Prince had me gasping out-loud, blushing and shouting "No!" at every twist and turn. It was a sequel that had a lot to live up to, given the extraordinary Clockwork Angel, but it met and exceeded all my expectations! Given Cassandra Clare's success so far in writing these amazing stories, I can only begin to imagine what kind of finale Clockwork Princess has in store for us! Question is how are will we cope whilst waiting to find out!!!

If you liked this: I would recommend The Mortal Instruments series. A not entirely dissimilar or similar series that I would also suggest is "Die For Me" by Amy Plum. Beautifully cast in an architecturally artistic area of Paris, sheltered from tourists another paranormal YA story unfolds.

Until I Die by Amy Plum

Author: Amy Plum

Title: Until I Die

Series: Die For Me (Book 2)

Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Atom

Publication Date: 3rd of May 2012







*** WARNING THIS POST MAY CONTAIN UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS***




Product Description



I wish there was only today, just right now, and no forever.

It seems fitting that I fell in love in Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. And if I pretend, I can almost believe that my life is normal and everyone I care about is safe.

But as long as I'm with Vincent, 'normal' doesn't exist. Gorgeous, charming, and witty, he's everything you could ask for in a boyfriend - but his destiny is so much more.

Even more terrifying than his destiny are his dangerous enemies, enemies who will kill for immortality. How are Vincent and I supposed to be together forever if we're always in danger?


Review


After reading "Die For Me" I immediately checked for a sequel and there it was, 8 painstaking months away from me! I pre-ordered it and read it the day after it came out. I would have read it straight away but I was on shift so unfortunately it had to wait 24hours longer. Once within my grasp though I devoured it in less than a day, putting aside all my very important uni work, ie my dissertation. And needless to say I do not regret a single moment!!!


Picking up our characters shortly after where we last left them, the beautifully complicated story of Vincent and Kate continues.


Vincent and Kate as characters remain faithful to themselves, maintaining the same personality; but as a couple we see them ardently fight together to overcome the obstacles that their being together throws in their path. They juggle this whilst simultaneously continuing to combat their once again rising enemy. Events that are thought to be random and unrelated occur, but are they indeed what they appear? Kate's instinct tells her differently and yet some bigger and greater scheme escapes her.
Action, mystery and romance continue along the touristically untainted streets of Paris, at a fast page turner rate.


Amy Plum has once again recaptured the parisian atmosphere, and has used it as a canvas to paint her tale. "Until I Die" beautifully picked up the threads of the story where it had been left and continued it without missing a beat or changing style. The originally unique story, leads to a thickening plot which promises to become even more gripping in the sequel "If I Should Die".
It is clear that a greater plan is at work in the background, and I cannot deny that I have speculated and have made some guesses. However the truth of the matter is that I am still guessing, and that this time come what may, shift or no shift, I will be reading the sequel the moment I have it in my clutches. I now torturedly await the release of "If I Should Die" in March 2013.

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Author: Amy Plum

Title: Die For Me

Series: Die For Me (Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Atom

Publication Date: 5th of May 2011






Product Description



My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.
Suddenly, my sister, Georgia and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.
Mysterious, sexy and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.
Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies. . .immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.


Review


Reading the product description I thought I'd found another demon/angel YA. I was intrigued and wanted to read it but I thought I had sussed out what Vincent Delacroix and his kind were. Boy was I wrong!!!


Amy Plum created a unique story that kept me going until I knew everything. Set in Paris her style of writing had me believing I wasn't in Kansas (actually the Uk if I'm to tell the truth) anymore, but in a little charismatic cafe on a french Rue, observing the characters sat on a bench opposite me.


I immediately felt I could relate to Kate, a girl happy to go out and enjoy night life; but who, given the chance, would much rather curl up with a good book and a steaming cup of coffee on one of the artistically architectural streets of Paris.
When she meets Vincent he's shrouded in mystery as an individual. But as a reader I kept trying to pick up clues that would tell me which could he be, of the magical candidates I had selected. Instead of becoming clearer, as I read on the clues confused me and the layers of mystery multiplied! Leaving me somewhat baffled but even more determined to find out where this was heading. Admittingly and rather frustratingly, Vincent Delacroix was not inclined to reveal his secrets to me or Kate for a while, but when he did we had a great shock, and an even stronger desire to know more.


I can only conclude by saying that Amy Plum created a unique story set on the most perfectly chosen stage. Every page emitted strength of character, artistical beauty and history that only Paris could offer. All this only only complementing and adding more to the story and it's characters.
By the end my mind had traveled to Paris only to be awoken by the sound of BigBen. Now I want to physically go there myself to soak in the atmosphere and imagine with open eyes the story I have read.


If you like this: I have read the sequel Until I Die (review to follow) and strongly recommend it. I would also suggest the "Fateful" series by Cheri Schmidt, which have a fairly similar style though somewhat softer than the strong beauty of Die For Me. Similarly I would also recommend considering the more modern and sarcastic alien love story  "A Lux Novel" series by Jennifer L. Armentrout; and the lethally marvellous series "Existence" by Abbi Glines where love must conquer death, and death must conquer love.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian

Series: A Lux Novel (Book1)

Genre: Fiction/Paranormal YA

Length: 335 pages

Publisher: Entagled

Publication date: 29th November 2011 (Kindle) 31st May 2012 (Paperback)





Product Description


Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.



Review


I came across Obsidian whilst I was supposedly supposed to be doing research for uni course work. Needless to say that a few pages in,  my motivation went out the window swiftly followed by the actual course work.


I was hooked right from the word go. With a quick paced intriguing story line, gorgeously exasperating aliens and a heavy dose of sarcasm that had me laughing out-loud, only to then re-read the passage again; I incredibly enjoyed Obsidian and finished it in less than a day!


The main character Kat, is a young teenager who keeps to herself but who is most certainly not afraid to fight back if provoked, and no amount of drop-dead-gorgeousness will save you from her blunt and to the point opinion!


Daemon is not that different. But when you add to the equation his unworldly good-looks and the "I don't give two jots about anything" attitude, he'll exasperate even you! Only to then win you right back the next moment with a winning smile and something beneath all the alien machoness, that you can't quite put your finger on.


When these two meet Jennifer L. Armentrout brilliantly describes the chemistry/irritation between them making it almost palpable! One of the reasons I couldn't put it down was because I honestly wanted to know if they were going to gauge each other's eyes out, agree to disagree or allow the spark to grow into something. As the story develops, so does the interaction and the intricacy of the relationship. Whilst initially they clearly get on each other's last nerve, events force realisations upon them, opening new perspectives and insights.


I found Obsidian to have a very good balance of sarcasm, action and romance with a steady extraterrestrial background theme. I admit that I guessed some of the twists and turns this story took, but some really took me by surprise!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it. I would say that I'm looking forward to the sequel (Shadows) but I have already devoured it :p (a review of the sequel is to follow soon). So I will say that I am absolutely itching to read Onyx to find out how this thickening plot that Jennifer L. Armentrout has woven proceeds!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Author: Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel

Series: The Infernal Devices (Book 1)


Genre: Paranormal YA

Length: 496 pages

Publisher: Walker

Publication Date: 6th September 2010 






Product Description

Magic is dangerous - but love is more dangerous still... When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by - and torn between - two best friends, and quickly realizes that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Review:

This book was recommended to me by a very good friend who also happens to be a book reviewer, and is the first book by Cassandra Clare that I have ever read.


The intricately complex world she created completely ensnared me with: magic, action and fighting, inexplicable technology, romance and a dash of murder mystery.

Tessa Gray was a character that I quickly came to like, admire and root for; although occasionally I admit to wanting to physically jump into the book and bash her head against the wall for completely missing the obvious! But then again getting laughably irritated with the characters, as readers is a good indication of how involved we come to feel as the story advances and the plot thickens.


Cassandra set her story in 1878 victorian London, and I admit that initially I thought that this had been purely done to make things more interesting, but that it would not be necessarily much respected in the language, character's thoughts, events etc. I was very wrong. Tessa's thoughts, behaviour and reactions are faithful to those of victorian young lady. Her companions and other characters that we meet along the way, also very much reflect what could be expected back then combined with hint of knowledge of the unknown.


Unlike most paranormal YA although the love theme is present and important, it is not overpowering. It's more like a constant undercurrent, that starts like a weak stream and slowly builds into a strong flowing presence. This steady growing love, promises to be pivotal in the sequel.


To say that I absolutely enjoyed every bit of this steady paced book is an understatement, and I would definitely recommend it to those who like this genre of paranormal YA. Normally this would be exactly the kind of story I would gobble up in a day but due to work it took me 3 days. I admit to staying up until 3am just to get a few more chapters in, and that consequently I turned up for shift work looking like a zombie. But honestly it was really worth it!!! I have already sunken my teeth into the sequel: Clockwork Prince, which promises to be just as good as its prequel.

If you liked this: If you have already read this book and have also devoured the sequel (Clockwork Prince) I would recommend her other ongoing series: The Mortal Instruments. The first of this series is The City of Bones.
To recommend other books in the exact same style and genre is difficult. Personally I don't want to recommend books that I don't feel are exactly along the same lines, so to avoid disappointment I will refrain from making erroneous suggestions. However if something does spring to mind I will immediately inform you all.

C.S.Lewis




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Welcome!

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I am a library mouse, a close relative of the bookworm. This is actually a family nickname for me seeing as from when I was very little I used to basically live in the library!


Needless to say that I love to read, and if I'm not working I can usually be found with a book (or kindle) in hand, cup of tea and music. I'll happily read any genre though I have weakness for fantasy and YA.

For me books are an amazing way to escape to another world, where anything can happen and you can be anyone! I know that this may sound a little bit childish and most definetely not something a 25 year old should be saying. But what can I say?! Aren't we all big kids full of dreams inside?! I would have to agree with Mr G.Pascoli with his "fanciullino" theory, whereby we all have an inner child that dreams and through which we stay young!

I have toyed with the idea of creating a book blog for a while now and got the final shove from a very good friend and bibliophile. A big big thanks to you! So here we are!

The purpose of this blog is to create an environment where book lovers can congregate, swap opinions, speculate on plots and generally chat. This ofcourse without spoiling the book for those who have not read it yet. So please put a spoiler notice at the top of your post should it containg any.
I will try to review on a frequent basis books I have read and make recommendations. I will also update you on any upcoming book events, challenges etc that I am aware of.

Everyone is welcome to participate, put forward ideas and make recommendations of their own. I am always up for a new read and needless to say have an ever-growing reading pile. But do not fear! I am a fast reader and will unfortunately more often than not, refuse to put the book down until I know how it all ends!

This is my first try at a book blog so all advice and tips are welcome.

I hope you all have a nice day and bring on the reading! 





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