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Review: Switched

In Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal, Review, Young Adult on January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

Published 2012 (first published 2010) by Macmillan Publishers Ltd,
Paperback, 238 pages
Source: Received from PanMacmillanSA for a honest review.

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

– From Goodreads
 

7/10

From the beginning of this novel I was hooked! It starts out with a bang that carries right through. The storyline was unique as well as the paranormal element.
Wendy gets thrown into this very interesting world of “Trylle” with their fascinating mythology and ways of life. Wendy is temperamental, entertaining, unpredictable and real. With a whole host of diverse and remarkable characters to complete this fascinating world.
The novel reads very quickly and you can easily read it in one sitting, forgetting about the world around you. The writing flows and the story includes everything you need in a YA novel – fun, excitement, romance, intrigue and action.
I can’t point at anything I disliked about this novel, I just wanted something more.
But I can’t wait to read the sequel to see where Ms. Hocking takes us!

“Did you think you could treat me like shit at a dance, then sneak into my room in the middle of the night and tell me that I’m a troll with magical powers, and I’d just be like, yeah, that sounds right.”
Amanda Hocking, Switched

Review: Twilight Audiobook

In Audiobook, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult on January 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Twilight (Twilight #1) by Stephenie Meyer – read by Ilyana Kadushin

Published January 5th 2009 by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Audio CD
Source: Library

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerising voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret. What Bella doesn’t realise is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back… Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight will have readers riveted right until the very last page is turned.

– From Goodreads
 

N/A

I have read the Twilight series several times and I’m sure my readers know that I enjoy the series. But wow the audio book was just bad. For one the voices wasn’t my own so I had a very different Bella and Edward in my head suddenly.

Now I know that their relationship isn’t the best and that it is creepy at times. I know most twilight fans ignore all these facts and just enjoy the story. But this Audio Book made it impossible!

It makes Bella sound even more desperate and Edward even more depraved.

Please if you haven’t read Twilight, don’t listen to the audio book first, and if you haven’t listened to the Audio Book yet, but have read the book, stay away if you want to stay in the twilight bubble 🙂

 

Review: Azuri Fae

In Fairies, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Review on January 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

Azuri Fae (Caledonia Fae, #2) by India Drummond

Published November 20th 2011 by Trindlemoss Publishing
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Source: From the Author for a honest review

Book 2 in the Caledonia Fae series.

A faerie prince disappears in the borderlands, and his father enlists the help of outcast Eilidh and her bonded druid, Quinton Munro. Tantalised with hints of a lost and ancient magic, they learn that time is working against them every step of the way. Is the prince’s disappearance related to the vanishing of an entire Scottish village?

Faced with deception, assassination attempts, and a mad queen who would sacrifice her own child to keep a dreaded secret, Eilidh struggles with an impossible situation. Her people demand she commit treason and betray the man she loves. Will she do what duty requires, or throw away the chance to reunite the kingdom in exchange for the life she hadn’t dared hope for?

– From Goodreads
 

9/10

This series right here is the reason I accept Author request books. Every now and then you find a gem like this!

Ms. Drummond does not disappoint. The world of Eilidh and Munro is explored even more and you get to see the Fae side of life. It is fascinating! 

While creating a world of mystery and romance with epic fantastical proportions Ms. Drummond does not loose sight of her characters. She has a way of giving uniqueness to each character and making their decisions and actions seem natural.

Once again I stress the importance of uniqueness in novels and the ability to take me by surprise! Check and check.
  
Eilidh has quite a few paths to choose from in this novel and you will be on the edge of your seat! The Fae way of seeing things, their traditions and even their royal intrigue does not disappoint and will leave you begging for more! 

Read this series if you want something different and even more so if you don’t like Faeries/Fae! I never have and Ms. Drummond has made me a convert.

“”When I was her age,” Munro said to Eilidh, “I was chasing frogs.”
Oron Chuckled. “When I was your age, I was chasing frogs. Come. We have things to discuss.””

Book 3: Enemy of the Fae (Coming 2012)
 

 

Review: A Wrinkle in Time

In Classic, Review, Sci-Fi, Young Adult on December 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

A Wrinkle in Time (Time #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

Published March 15th 1973 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1962)
Paperback, 211 pages
Source: Library

It is a dark and stormy night. Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are in the kitchen for a midnight snack when a most disturbing visitor arrives.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger tells them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesserac.”

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?“

– From Goodreads
 

1/10

Well obviously I didn’t like this book if you look at my rating. Now let me tell you why:
What was going on? Is it just me or was it very confusing? Jumping from one thing to another? I guess it’s supposed to be like that. That the author was trying something new or trying to be different. But it didn’t work for me.
Meg was annoying and bratty, understandable though as she has to go rescue her father while traveling with her little brother that is a 40 year old in my opinion. And with Calvin the heartthrob… shoot me now.
Ah yes then the three witches? Can I call them witches? Who knows I lost interest in them the moment they arrived.
What was wrong with this book? It’s supposed to be a children’s book? Is this a joke? Did I miss it?
I felt the author was forcing details and events into places where they shouldn’t be. I honestly can’t name one thing I liked about this book.
It is easily the most overrated book I have every read. I wanted to gauge my eyes out by the end.

“If you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.”
Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time 

Guest Review: Babe in Boyland

In Guest, Review on December 20, 2011 at 9:07 am
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman 
As Reviewed by my Guest Reviewer Lauren

Published February 17th 2011 by Dial
Hardcover, 292 pages

This book made me realize that there is a certain subset of young adult fiction that really should be left to the genuinely young and not so adults. This book was just so twee! (not to be confused with tween, although there is a great play on words in there). I want to bitch slap the main characters for being such dense, one dimensional, unoriginal morons.

As I said I am not exactly the target demographic this book was aimed at but I do remember being 15, what I don’t remember is being that naive! But to be on the safe side I gave the book an extra star in case there is a genuinely curious teenage girl out there who doesn’t have a brother, father, male friend or relative and does not own a television and has never watched a movie or read 17 magazine or Cosmo girl and really, truly (like with sparkly rainbow and unicorn wishes) wants to know “What are boys really like?” Yuk!

2/5 Stars
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Guest Review: Bossypants

In Guest, Review on December 15, 2011 at 9:07 am
Bossypants by Tina Fey 
As Reviewed by my Guest Reviewer Lauren

Published April 5th 2011 by Little, Brown & Company
Hardcover, 277 pages

I can’t remember ever laughing out loud at a book before. Oh I’ve given an odd chuckle every now and then but I’ve Never laughed at a book out loud continuously throughout until I read Bossypants. Personally I think it is the equivalent of peeing yourself a little bit in real world laughing.

Tina Fey has a self-deprecating sense of humour that just tickles me. Mix it together with a little sense of the absurd and the fact that she is an accomplished and confident women who is still humble enough to be a bit neurotic about it all and it all adds up to a great read.

5/5 Stars
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Review: Anna and the French Kiss

In Review, Romance, Young Adult on December 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Published December 2nd 2010 by Penguin Group (USA)
Paperback, 372 pages
Source: Won from Danya @ http://atapestryofwords.blogspot.com/

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?”

– From Goodreads
 

7/10

Anna and the French Kiss was a delight to read. It was an emotionally charged novel with a great set of characters, places and events.

It is a sweet story about true love and friendship, which you won’t be able to put down! The story will draw you in and make you feel part of it. The characters are easily relatable and they will make you smile.
St. Clair is well written, swoon worthy and not one of those “cookie cutter male leads” you find in so many YA novel’s these days.

I never really wanted to go to Paris before, maybe just to see the Louvre, but the Author made me fall in love with Paris and now I’m yearning to go!

Overall a must read and a book that will stay on my shelf forever!

“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

“Girl scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys.” 

Review: Bloodlines

In Paranormal, Review, Vampires on November 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

Published August 25th 2011 by Razorbill Fiction (first published August 23rd 2011) 
Paperback, 421 pages
Source: Bought here: http://www.exclus1ves.co.za/stores/

BLOOD DOESN’T LIE. Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty – a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

– From Goodreads
 

9/10

What a surprise! I went into this thinking that I would be disappointed, as nothing could possibly live up to the Vampire Academy series. I was wrong.
This novel was just as good and it has left me feeling like a kid in a candy store whose favourite sweets are out of stock. I can’t wait for the sequel and I am sure it will live up to its predecessor.
Sydney was a very relatable, yet interesting character. And Adrian, oh Adrian what a fantastic and infuriating character (unquestionably one of my favourite characters ever)! Jill and Eddie were also great additions as Main characters and did not disappoint. Even the minor characters were rich with detail.
Sure I could see most things coming (the big plot details), but the little surprises and plot twists kept me on my toes. They say it’s about the little things in life and I have always thought that is what delights me about Richelle Mead’s writing.
I also read this Novel surprisingly quickly and most of it in one day, and found myself sad when it was over. This will definitely be one of those series I collect and put right next to my VA books.
PS: Read Vampire Academy before you read this Novel.

“Takes a lot of tries before you hit perfection.” He paused to reconsider that. “Well, except for my parents. They got it on the first try.” (Adrian)”

“I just rely on natural talent,” said Adrian, strolling up to the start of the Dragon’s Lair. “When you have such a wealth of it to draw from, the danger comes from having too much.”

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #... The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) by Richelle Mead
 

 

Review: Marked

In Paranormal, Review, Young Adult on November 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Marked (House of Night #1) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Published January 15th 2009 by ATOM (first published May 1st 2007)  
Paperback, 348 pages
Source: Borrowed from a friend

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them).

– From Goodreads
 

6/10

*Please note there might be some adult content discussed in this review:

I was really surprised at the new and unique take on vampires in this novel. Zoey is a fun character and easily relate-able. I really felt for her and her family situation, but I must say after the action packed beginning things got a little bit slow towards the end.

Some of the happenings (attempt at a blow job) and vocabulary “boobie” or “poopie” (even my spellchecker wanted to fix these words!) just made me cringe.

But nevertheless it was a fun and entertaining read with several twists and turns. Zoey’s friends were a great bunch of different yet interesting characters that I want to know more about!

I had a few gripes tho, for the life of me I can’t imagine the characters with symbols on their foreheads. Every image I conjure up just looks silly! I might have expected a bit too much from this novel, but I will definitely read the next one to see where it leads.

PS: Note that there are some topics in this novel that are not always Young Adult!

For those who have read it (SPOILERS):

Also I think Erik is only attracted to Zoey for one reason, her filled in tattoo which clearly means she is special. Also he has stalker qualities to him… 

I also want to clarify something, someone that is a “slut” is not someone who looks sexy or kisses your boyfriend, or even likes your boyfriend for that matter. Calling everyone a slutty also doesn’t make it true.

“Don’t you think baby corns are scary? There’s just something wrong about their midget bodies.”

Betrayed (House of Night, #2) Betrayed (House of Night, #2) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
 

 

Review: The Next Door Boys

In Realistic Fiction, Religious, Review, Romance, Young Adult on November 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry

Published October 4th 2011 by Cedar Fort, Inc. 
Paperback, 272 pages
Source: Netgalley

With her body still recovering from last year’s cancer treatments, Leigh Tressman is determined to be independent. Despite the interference from her overprotective brother, physical frustrations, and spiritual dilemmas— not to mention the ever expanding line of young men ready to fall in love with her— Leigh discovers what it actually means to stand on her own and learns that love can be found in unexpected but delightful places.

– From Goodreads
 

5/10

Just like the cover depicts, this is a sweet novel about first love and independence. Leigh is a young woman who recently defeated cancer. She and this novel is very religious (Mormon), not to a point that it distracts too much from the novel, but it definitely needs to be noted.

When I read the description of the book I had no idea that there was going to be a religious aspect to the novel, but it wasn’t a bad surprise. I would just have liked to know. I do see that one of the categories is Christian by netgalley so it is partly my fault.

However this novel is pleasant and a enjoyable enough read. Leigh’s character frustrated me sometimes, as well as the fact that everyone loves Leigh simply in my opinion because she is pretty.

I would have liked to know a bit more about the rest of the characters. But I guess that is why there is a sequel in the works!

So all in all an enjoyable read that could have been much more!

“We only see what’s close to us, but if we allow ourselves to simply feel, and not see, we can understand so much more.”