Tag Archives: dystopia

Book Review: Reckoning by Kerry Wilkinson

Published 22nd May 2014 by Pan Macmillan.

21243216Goodreads Synopsis: In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.

But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?

Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .

My Review: I’m actually really mixed on Reckoning! I definitely enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first, but I’m a little torn on whether I liked or disliked the book overall. Largely, though, I did enjoy it- I think most fans of the dystopia genre will definitely love it.

Reckoning is set in a post-war Britain (Which made for a nice change; most dystopia novels I read are set in the US!) where England has been divided into four realms and is ruled over by the new king, who essentially restored order from the war chaos. Every year, The Reckoning takes place in July for all of the teenagers entering adulthood, and determines where, and how you work for the rest of your life, under either Trog, Inter, Member or Elite (Which felt slightly Divergent-y).  A random lottery of Reckoning qualifiers selects ‘offerings’ for the king, who must live in Windsor Castle and serve him directly.

There were quite a few aspects of the book that reminded me a little too much of other dystopia novels. It definitely disappointed me a little bit… Though of course with dystopia being such a big, popular genre still it’s common to find books similar to others. It did take me a little while to get properly focused on the story, as I just kept picking up on similarities, though I’m probably exaggerating a bit… Reckoning still has many original aspects. After about half of the book though, I did start to get really engrossed.

Reckoning has so many plot twists! I honestly had no clue where the book was going, for the most part. I read one huge twist on a school journey, and had to restrain myself from gasping out loud! xD Wilkinson’s writing lures you into a false perception of things, then shocks you when you least expect it. That’s a big reason why I did really enjoy the story.

I’m mixed on Silver Blackthorn, who is the protagonist of the novel. I struggled to connect with her, for most of the story; a big reason why I love dystopia novels is because I find most of the characters really relatable, though for some reason I just didn’t connect with her, mostly! I think a lot of people will like her character. I think that, just like with some of the plot, I just didn’t really connect with her.

Overall, Reckoning is a really great read if you’re a fan of the genre. I liked the setting for the book, and the plot twists are totally shocking. Kerry Wilkinson’s writing is very enjoyable; I think I will read book two if I get a chance to (Reckoning kicks off a new dystopia trilogy!). I’m really sad I didn’t enjoy this as much as other people… I just didn’t click with parts of the story. However, all the Goodreads reviews of it that I’ve read have been glowing, so I’m pretty sure most people will love this book. ;D

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Reckoning form the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Random bloggy note that’s too short for its own blog post:

Over the course of June and July I’ll be really busy with non-bloggy things; I have to revise for all of my end-of-year mock exams, and if I qualify on the next round on an extra curricular quiz team, I’m basically going to drownnnnn in revising for that, too xD Blog posts won’t always be as frequent from now on (Some of you might have noticed I only managed to get one published last week!).

I decided against going on a hiatus, because I don’t think I could manage leaving my blog for two months or so! However, hopefully blogging a little less over the next few weeks will let me get more reading done, and some more blog scheduling and planning for the future done, too. (: Thanks everyone for reading though, as always!<3

book review: seven second delay by tom easton

Published 1st May 2014 by Andersen Press.

18300258Goodreads Synopsis: Mila has 7 seconds. 7 seconds to fight. 7 seconds to escape.

Seeking a new life on the futuristic Isles, Mila’s time runs out – she’s captured by Agents, who implant her with a phone that broadcasts her every move. Now she’s on the run, hounded by an elite fighting force who is convinced she poses a dangerous threat to society. Her only advantage: a seven second delay.

It’s a race against time.

My Review: Seven Second Delay was such an action packed, and thrilling read!I was looking forward to reading it, and wasn’t let down, though I wasn’t entirely sure at first how I’d find it , a dark dystopian, after having read Easton’s more contemporary, funny book!

It did take me a little while to understand the world; it was about a hundred pages before everything was explained fully. However, the rest of the book did make up for that! The plot is so interesting. The beginning of the book has the reader as clueless about what’s happening as Mila, the protagonist, so it’s really riveting to piece together all of the information along with her. There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns; I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen on the next page. 

I really loved Easton’s writing. He laces his chapters with tension and drama. It’s quite a fast paced book, set over a relatively short period of time, too. Seven Second Delay is pretty addictive, full of narrative hooks. I enjoyed all of the flashbacks woven around the story, that focus on Mila’s life before she’s captured by agents. They let me get to know Mila really well. I would’ve liked more flashbacks, though, because they were brilliant and gave good insights into the other areas of the futuristic world the story is set in. The book is shorter than I’d expected at just over 300 pages. I was left wanting to know a bit more about the world (hint, Tom Easton… sequel…? 😀 )

Overall, Seven Second Delay is a really action packed, fast paced book. It’ll definitely appeal to fans of Charlie Higson, and Anthony Horowitz! I really liked the characters. Mila is great- she reminded me a lot of many other awesome dystopian protagonists, namely the ones in novels by Emma Pass. I really loved the concept of the world, it’s so unique and clever. I would have loved a bit more about it, though… I’ve given this 4 hearts, but i’m really going for 3.75 (I’m awkward 😀 ) because it’s a brilliant read but I wish it could have been longer 🙂

My Rating: 

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I received a copy of Seven Seocnd Delay from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Book Review: The Fearless by Emma Pass

Published 24th April 2014 by Corgi Books.

18160146Goodreads Synopsis: The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect – anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. All Cass has left is her little brother – and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

My Review: I really loved ACID by Emma Pass last year. Ever since I found out Emma had written a new book, I’d been really excited, so I did a little dance when I got the chance to read this on Netgalley!
The Fearless begins with a completely scary prologue, where ten year old Cass and her parents experience the Invasion and are forced to risk everything and leave everything behind to get to a safe place: an island called Hope. I made the stupid mistake of reading the prologue before I went to sleep. It freaked me out. A lot. :O

The world building in The Fearless is awesome: I could really visualise this post-apocalyptic, almost, world- where England and (so far as we know!) the globe has been destroyed by a rapidly growing, almost zombie-ish army. The Fearless felt like a really original dystopian; it’s got that zombie invasion feel, but at the same time, it’s linked to the military and soldier serums and it’s really unique- I haven’t read anything like it!

Cass is a great main character- we see her grow a lot within the first few chapters- where we see her become a teenager intent on finding her brother, from a ten year old girl watching in horror as the Fearless rip her world to shreds. I was terrified for her, but she was a strong protagonist throughout. Emma Pass has expertly crafted another loveable, kick-butt heroine! There’s a… slight love triangle… but I coped with it. I have a tendency to really dislike love triangles, but I was okay-ish with this one! It was a little bit predictable, but I really grew attached to one of the love interests.

Overall, The Fearless was a really great second book from Emma Pass. I’ve been looking forward to hearing more from Emma since loving ACID last year, and though I think ACID is probably my favourite of her two books, The Fearless is definitely worth reading if you loved ACID or if you’re a dystopian fan! Emma Pass’ début novel was already dark and terrifying, and I didn’t think her next book could get scarier, but it did. the Fearless will freak you out, and keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Rating:

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I received a copy of The Fearless from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Book Review: BURN by Monica Hesse

Published by Hot Key Books, 6th February 2014. You can read my review of the first book, STRAY, here!

18682748Goodreads Synopsis: Lona Sixteen Always is about to become Lona Seventeen Always, but she isn’t feeling much older or wiser. Unlike Fenn and the rest of the Path strays, she is struggling to move on with her life. How can she look to the future when she knows almost nothing about her past? Lona feels like everyone’s pressuring her to become ‘normal’ – even her beloved Fenn – and on top of this, she’s been having strange, violent dreams. It almost feels like someone’s trying to send her a message…

Lona’s dreams turn out to be memories – clues hidden inside Lona by her mother, who Lona always assumed was lost to her forever. But she isn’t lost at all: she’s being held captive by Harm – emotionless, psychotic, murderous Harm – and she’s desperate for Lona to find her. But can Lona work it all out in time? And why does Harm need Lona’s mother? In the bid to find out who she really is, Lona will fall headlong into a trap far more dangerous and cunning than she could ever have imagined. The Path was just the beginning.

My Review: Contains small spoilers only in the first paragraph if you haven’t yet read Stray! Whoa. I’ve been really eager to read this since I finished Stray a year ago: If you’re on Twitter you might have seen multiple fangirly tweets. As soon as I received it, I re-read book one so I had everything fresh in my head! This sequel definitely lived up to my expectations. Wow.

Burn focuses largely on Lona’s hunt for any possible family. After the events of Stray, Lona is trying to adjust to life outside of Path, the virtual reality experiment that lets foster children live a ‘perfect’ life. Turning seventeen, she realises there must be a mother still alive, and she’s desperate to find her, but Harm makes an appearance in the story and everything turns really dark and sinister. I was completely blown away, on the edge of my seat for every page. The plot was really thrilling! It captures the broken bond between a mother and a long lost daughter so, so well. I felt tears welling up. A lot.

I fell in love with the story all over again, but there was one thing I couldn’t quite get on with: There’s a death in the first book, right at the ending, and I thought that would really shake all of the other protagonists up. They seemed fine, though… It bugged me for some reason.

Lona was still a kick-butt, loveable character. She develops a lot throughout this book, and I really felt for her as she begins to adjust to a life with no more danger (Or, so she thought…). With a lot of books I’ve read recently, I haven’t been able to connect with characters when the book’s in third person, but Lona’s a character I can instantly connect with and follow easily. Fenn, of course, totally beats Jace Wayland any day ;D Forget Jace and Clary or Tobias and Tris. It’s LONA AND FENN:3. One character I was truly terrified of was Harm… He seriously scared me in the first book, and this one was no different!

Overall, Burn was a brilliant sequel, and it was definitely worth the wait. The plot was pacy and exciting, and much more than what I was expecting. Monica Hesse’s writing is amazing, and more people need to read these books! Strong sequel? Yep. Awesome main protagonist? Yep. Clever and imaginative Sci-Fi themes? Yep. It ticks all the boxes! I can’t recommend this more; It’s definitely worth starting if you’ve read the first book, and if you haven’t, well… Read the first book!! (: I’m super sad now. There will be no more from the world of Stray, according to the author. But, I’m hoping there will be more books from her soon!

My Rating: 

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I received a copy of Burn from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Book Review: Split Second by Sophie McKenzie (Buddy read!)

Today I’m reviewing and crying over Split Second! I buddy-read this with Charli, who runs the To Another World book blog. You can read her review on her blog today, too, if you click on her blog name above! (:

Published by Simon & Schuster, 12th September 2013.

18369082Goodreads Synopsis: Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.

My Review (TINY spoiler in the third paragraph! Apart form that, spoiler free (: ): OH. I was not expecting to be that blown away by this. Whoa. I’ve been delaying writing this review because it’s actually kind of hard to put it all into words, because… whoa.

Split Second is set in a grim but possible future of the UK: A country torn to shreds by the lack of money, and terrorist gangs bent on pushing foreign people out of the country are raging. I was so excited to read about this, though I started Split Second around the same time as BOMBMAKER by Claire McFall, a book set in almost identical conditions. I guess after realising it was really similar, I was a little scared I’d keep comparing the two books. Ditto to Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, also around racist gangs, but the book turned out to be entirely unique and something really memorable.

I think my only big problem with the book was Charlie… I didn’t like the way that she was so snappy and quick-tempered for the most of the book. I didn’t enjoy the beginning as much as I wanted to because I couldn’t get used to her at first!

Nat, on the other hand, I instantly loved- he was really realistic and three dimensional (though, Charlie was, too!). Their romance was really interesting and complex, because they both find themselves growing close to each other whilst at the heart of something really dangerous.

Split Second is full of thrilling plot twists and surprises, there’s literally no way to figure out the end result! Charli and I were tweeting each other about it all the way through reading. We thought we’d figured it out…. and then BAM. Massive twists threw the book upside down and left the book completely unpredictable. Split Second is definitely for people who love to keep guessing!

The ending left me in a bit of a fangirly, emotional mess. That is all. Split Second probably has the most evil cliffhanger in history… it was a brilliant, but mean way to end the book! I’ve spent the last few weeks brainstorming what could have happened next, but I guess I’ll have to wait until book two, Every Second Counts… *cries*

Overall, Split Second was really thrilling and clever. It’s set in a scarily realistic world, and I really loved the plot. It was evil, but it was so good. Sophie McKenzie is just the Master Of Plot Twists And Consequently Making Georgia And Charli Twitter-Cry. ;D The dual narrative was powerful and captivating, and I really couldn’t predict anything! Really highly recommended to fans of crime mysteries and dystopians. Not to be missed! (:

My Rating:

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I purchased a copy of Split Second (SIGNED!! ;D *FANGIRLYSCREAMS*) at a local bookstore.

Page to Film: Adaptions I’m most excited for in 2014!

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There are so many other movies to be excited about,too! Debbie @ Snuggling on the Sofa made this brilliant post about them.

Leave a comment with what you’re most excited for! (: As well as these, I’m also excited about all the Marvel movies out soon, like X Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy! I hope you enjoyed the graphic-y thing (:

Book Review: BOMBMAKER By Claire McFall

Published by Templar Books, 1st February 2014.

BombmakerGoodreads Synopsis: The English government have closed the borders with their Celtic neighbours. Any Celt found in England is branded with a tattoo, found twice they are executed. Scottish Lizzie is the ‘property’ of psychopathic London gang boss Alexander. Can Lizzie escape Alexander’s deadly grip and at what price her betrayal?

My Review (WARNING: Contains one spoiler, third paragraph!)Bombmaker was so thrilling! I was so excited to read more from Claire McFall, after loving Ferryman last year. Ferryman was a paranormal mystery: Bombmaker is very different. It stands out as anoriginal, thought-provoking dystopian, which is amazing because there’s a bit of a Dystopia craze at the moment.

It’s a dystopian vision of England, where the economic crisis has gotten worse; and the country has taken drastic measures by shutting foreigners out. If you’re a Celt, found without a Visa in England, you’re tattooed on the cheek; found a second time, and you’re shot. Lizzie is a tattooed Celt, living life dangerously in England, but under ownership of a psychopathic criminal mastermind, Alexander. Alexander was a terrifying antagonist… the way he used Lizzie as a servant, and his criminal organisation… it all gave me the shivers!

Lizzie was instantly likeable. I felt so awful for her from the first chapters, where Claire shows us what torture she’s under, forced to work for Alexander. She has a talent for making bombs, which is a main reason why she’s useful for him, and she’s also quite rebellious. I loved that side of her. Lizzie was relatable, brave and a really well developed character. I felt like I was living her story in real life, thanks to Claire’s writing and her realistic personality. The only thing I kind of didn’t like about her, was that she seemed to *SMALL SPOILER ALERT KLAXON :)* move on from one guy to another so quickly in the story. I’m not quite sure I felt she should’ve gone with A Certain Love Interest after… though I did warm to him a little bit more later on! *SPOILER OVER :)*

The plot was full of clever twists, and was completely unpredictable. I was aiming to read just half of it, at least: I started it on New Year’s Eve and wanted to finish one more book before 2014, but didn’t think I would. Well, I did, purely because I simply couldn’t put Bombmaker down! I ended up devouring the book in two hours… it was so clever, and thrilling, and full of mystery. The setting was… pretty scary. This vision of a near-future England is terrifyingly possible, Claire’s writing brought it to life so vividly and imaginatively. It’ll keep you awake at night wondering about it, and you’ll be eager for more at the end!

Overall, Bombmaker was a brilliant book to end 2013 with… I absolutely loved it. It was a pacy, tense thriller driven by a great protagonist. Just… addictive! Highly recommended to anybody looking for an original and unique dystopia, that’s set to be a big hit. I’m crossing all my finger for a sequel, or at least a new book from Claire McFall soon… I love her writing so much! (:

My Rating: 

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I received a copy of BOMBMAKER from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

ALLEGIANT

By Veronica Roth, published by Harper Collins.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Goodreads Synopsis: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

NOTE: THERE ARE NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW! 🙂

My Review:  How am I meant to review this? Just…. Veronica, NO! WHY? This review is going to be a very messy one, full of fangirly wails and virtual screams of frustration, just as a warning. I was so ecstatic, when I received this in the post. DIVERGENT was the first ever book I reviewed on my blog (I was eleven, it was an awful, not-even-a-paragraph review, haha) and so the series is quite special. Also, because the INSURGENT blog tour was the first ever blog tour I participated in. So it was really surreal (and SAD!) to be ending this series, as the first book is a main reason I set up my blog. It took me a while to get through it due to homework, and I was left utterly destroyed at the end!

I can’t say why, obviously- but it’s probably the saddest ending to a book I’ve ever read. I knew it was coming- I was spoiled! ): But, it still shocked me. It was understandable why the author did it, but at the same time, not!

I’ve had to delete a lot of this review- I keep going on about the ending! So here’s a summary of my emotions in one simple GIF, so I can get on with the rest of this review:

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Okay- onto the dual narration: I was not expecting a split perspective, at all! I wasn’t very sure how I’d find it. Of course, I adored Tris’ narration. I love Tris to pieces- she’s such a brave, strong character, who I’ve grown to love throughout the series. However, I didn’t get on with Four’s narration, as much. I love Veronica’s writing, so it wasn’t that: I just felt that Four didn’t do that much in this book. I don’t know why! It seemed more like he was just leaning on Tris, and he played a big part in the book, obviously, but I feel that I’ve lost a little love for his character, which I’m so upset about!

In the first two books, there’s always been an air of mystery surrounding the reasons why Chicago had become a dystopian society, divided by Factions and ruled by a controlling government. Finally, we know the truth! The Big Reveal was done pretty quickly, and earlier on that I’d expected. I was thinking there had just been a war between some area in Chicago, blah blah…. they divided the city, end of. I don’t know why I was expecting that- the real reason was just… Wow! I loved the idea behind it, and it was all very clever, I think- and very unpredictable. There were no hints at all (I don’t think…?) dropped into the trilogy to make anyone guess it.

Plot-wise, the book was… okay. Obviously, it had a lot of twists in it, (THE ENDING. I’m sorry to repeat but THE ENDING). I was eager to read on to find out what had happened, after the shocking events of Insurgent. However, I found Insurgent, a little bit all over the place, in terms of plot. Whilst Allegiant had a great one, full of reveals and twists, there was a lot to process for the reader. I read this over about a week and a half (Reading only a couple of chapters per night- too heavy to take to school!) so it didn’t always have my full attention at parts. So, it might be just me!

Overall, ALLEGIANT was a conclusion to a trilogy I’ve loved that I have very mixed feelings about. Firstly, I want to cry and scream WHYYY?! at the top of my voice- because of the heartbreaking twist, and because the I didn’t like a few aspects of the book… but I do want to hug the author too, because the book was, actually, a satisfying finish, to me. It had its faults… For instance, I had to re-read lots of passages, because there was a lot to take in- and I lost a bit of love for Four in this, because I just wanted him to do something! Apart form that though, this book will rip your heart into tiny pieces and emotionally destroy you and turn your inner obsessive fangirl into overdrive. So buy it! And tread with caution. And make sure you have tissues.

My Rating:

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It took me so long to decide whether this book deserved a 3.5 or a 4. I really didn’t like some parts, but at the same time, I’ve fallen in love with the book, and it was an epic conclusion. I know there have been many varied ratings, though!

I received a copy of ALLEGIANT from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no was at all did this affect my thoughts.

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown

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Today for Halloween Reads, I’ve got a vampire book! I don’t normally read vampire books, but this one was great. Although this looks like a low rating, it’s actually a good one!

By Holly Black, published by Indigo.

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownGoodreads Synopsis: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

My Review: I don’t think I’ve read many vampire books before. Twilight, Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak… that’s about it, I think! I’m not the biggest fan of them; probably because Twilight caused the YA industry to overflow with them, and I just avoided them, really. However, I requested a copy of Coldtown because the synopsis really captured me. It seemed very different to any other Vampire book I’ve heard about!

Coldtown really is a unique book. The concept is nothing like I’ve ever heard of, not just in the gothic genre: Quarantined towns of blood-suckers, rumored to be eternal parties for the undead; broadcast 24/7 on TV. Well… at first, I thought HUNGER GAMES!!!, but then, I was really wrong! The plot and all aspects of this novel were really original. I found some parts not explained as well as others- for instance, I couldn’t get to grips with the background of Gabriel, our lead vampire. I’m not sure if that was just me, or if it just wasn’t revealed in enough depth, though. However, it was a really thought-provoking concept: Because it was very realistic, and slightly political. The reason it’s a scary book is because the events are way too possible, if vampires exist!

The writing was, quite simply, very beautiful. From the start, I was hooked onto this novel, because the writing was so fluent, so descriptive… I just admire Holly’s writing so much! The book was written in a very interesting way. Flashback chapters, of course, have been done before by many authors; but in this book, pretty much every other chapter is a flashback for a certain character. That gave a really great insight into the character’s backgrounds, without lengthy, boring explanations during scenes set in the time of Tara’s adventure. The flashbacks were sometimes emotional, sometimes terrifying- and let me get to know Tara, primarily, very well. While they were so great to read, they did occasionally slow down the novel at points. Holly would leave a chapter on a cliffhanger, write a chapter focusing on another character or on something in the past, then go and tie ends together. It’s a great narrative hook, but at points it did frustrate me a little!

Tana was a brilliant main character. I was rooting for her to get through everything okay right form the start, when she wakes up in a bathroom after a high school party, and finds her friends massacred by vampires. She was a very self dependent, down-to-Earth and understandable- so she was very realistic. If you strip away all of the vampire trauma from her life, she is a very relatable character that I think teens will love! Her journey in this book involved life decisions, a fair bit of violence, friendships, and a pinch of romance… there wasn’t a moment I was bored of her!

Overall, Coldtown was a really good book, and it’s probably urged me to read some more books in the vampire genre. I enjoyed reading about the main character, and the idea for the story was scarily realistic, thought provoking, and interesting. It was a really fun read, great for Halloween- but a couple of things did let it down. The writing style, despite being quite clever, slowed down the pace at points. Also, I didn’t find some aspects explained as well as I’d have wanted it to be (Hopefully if I re-read it soon I’ll understand things better!) and so that made it slightly less awesome. But, it was an awesome book. Highly recommended to fans of gothic fiction!

Also, I will be going to the Foyles event to see Holly Black in conversation with Sarah Rees Brennan on Coldtown on the fourth of November! If you’re interested, go buy tickets on the Foyles website! If you’re already going, leave comment, so I can say hi! ;D

My Rating:

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This seems like a low rating, but it really isn’t!

I received a copy of Coldtown from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Because It Is My Blood

By Gabrielle Zevin, published by Macmillan.

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)Goodreads Synopsis: 

“Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”- Michael Corleone, The Godfather.

Since her release from Liberty Children’s Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It’s a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve–and her heart–will be tested as never before.

My Review: *I may accidentally drop spoilers about book one in this series here! You have been warned!* 

What an awesome sequel! I was really worried that this wouldn’t live up to the sheer perfection of the first book, All These Things I’ve Done, but it really did! Because It Is My Blood is a book I’ve been so excited for, all of this year, since I read the first one back in January, and have been impatiently tapping my foot, waiting to read about what Anya Does Next. This book has definitely disproved that statement about Sequels of books not living up to their predecessors. Because It Is My Blood was just as brilliant; a real roller-coaster-ride of a book. It was a perfect blend of thriller, dystopia, and family drama!

Anya was, and still is, one of my favourite female dystopia protagonists. She’s so three-dimensional, and despite living so far off in the future, very relatable. It was very interesting to see what she’d do after the ending of All These Things I’ve Done- as, boy, that was an evil cliffhanger! I loved her just as much in this installment: She’s a very down-to-earth character. I enjoyed following her as she was thrown back in Liberty- a rehabilitation facility for children; then as she escaped, assisted by awesome supporting characters, to Mexico to lie low for a while.

Gabrielle Zevin really played with my emotions in this book! Firstly, Anya’s brother. He was a loveable character in book one, who was then taken away for safety. Oh, was I upset at that- I thought I wouldn’t hear of him in this book! Fortunately, I did, but, I can’t say what happens to him in this book. All I can say is: Gabrielle! That plot twist made me cry and want to throw the book across the room, then made me laugh and do a little happy dance at the end. The author’s also made me learn not to trust any minor character in this book. I’m really scared as to what may happen in book three, now.

The plot was very different, to All These Things I’ve Done! I was ever so slightly annoyed at the fact that another love interest made his way into Anya’s life. I was pretty terrified that that might take over the rest of the book- but, luckily, it didn’t, so yay! The new love interest (Well, I guess he is. It seems that Anya sees him as a friend, but he’s competing with Will a bit, to me) was a very likeable character, though, and he and his family, who run the plantation Anya hides in, opened the gateway to yet more conspiracy theories and drama. I loved that! This sequel was pretty much unpredictable.

Overall, Because It Is My Blood was a really strong sequel to an amazing book. I don’t think I could pick out any major flaws! This series is an amazing thrill ride, and any crime/drama/romance/dystopia loving teen will also love it, I’m very sure. I loved reading more about Anya, and I think the book was great, but too short for me (maybe that’s just because I was so immersed in it, and wanted more!). With some new characters I’ve grown to love, and some old characters I’ve grown to hate (thanks to some double-crossing and plot twists!), I really can’t wait for the next book, which is called In The Age of Love and Chocolate. 

You can check out my review of ALL THESE THINGS I’VE DONE, HERE!

My Rating:

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I received a copy of Because It Is My Blood from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.