Tag Archives: romance

Book Review: Lorali by Laura Dockrill

Published 2nd July 2015 by Hot Key Books.

24910026Goodreads Synopsis: Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.
Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.
But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

My Review: Mermaid books have never really been my ‘thing’ so I can’t say I’ve read many of them. Lorali had been on my radar for a while, but it wasn’t until I listened in person to Laura Dockrill brilliantly pitch it that I’d really wanted to read it! It was refreshing to delve into a new genre – and the writing of an author I’ve never read before. Needless to say, I’d love to read more YA from Laura in the future.

I didn’t realise the book was from multiple perspectives but it was maybe my favourite part of the book – especially the perspective of the sea, which was interesting and a really good way to tell parts of the story.

Lorali is not a typical princess and although I wish more of the book had consisted of it, I adored her narrative; written in a tentative, explorative style that reflects the surfaced mermaid’s confusion and discovery of a new world.

Rory, the boy who finds Lorali on the beach and soon becomes a love interest, was also very likeable, as he was so selfless and simultaneously very vulnerable-feeling. I’ve never read a character quite like him. Lorali and Rory’s love is a driving theme of the plot and I did quite like their chemistry.

The pacing was great and I raced through the book, always wanting to know what happened next. Though I haven’t read many similar books, this is undoubtedly a much grittier mermaid tale than many will anticipate. The world building was fantastic – it felt almost gothic in places, always richly imagined. There are a couple of ‘media clippings’ in the book too by the public about mermaids which made me giggle a bit, too.

Overall, Lorali was an unexpectedly very gripping and enjoyable read. I’m really glad I picked it up. The story was darker than I had anticipated and the ending was shocking; an outcome I definitely didn’t see coming! Lorali is definitely worth seeking out if you’re interested in a darkly fantastical read.

My Rating:

four

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

THE CURIOUS TALE OF THE LADY CARABOO BLOG TOUR: Catherine Johnson’s Diverse Book Recs

I haven’t helped on a blog tour for a while, so this post is pretty exciting! 🙂

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The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo is a YA historical romance by Catherine Johnson, author of Sawbones. It’s out on July 2nd, and for this blog tour Catherine is here on the blog to give some diverse book recommendations!

Catherine Johnson on Diverse Books:

Hello and thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog to share some books.

There are honestly more books with diverse characters than you might imagine. It really is a question of looking for them.  There are even more where the sidekick or the love interest is a POC or LGBT or ‘different’, even though we all are. Different, that is.

So I’ve decided to rule those out – who wants to be the sidekick?  Most of us have been fed up with being the sidekick since primary school.  What we love about books is the chance to be swept away to stand in the shoes of someone else and see where that takes us. That was one of the reasons I started writing historical stories. I wanted the person in the front, in the swooshy frock to be someone who looked like me.

Anyway. The following are all favourites of mine – even though there is one I haven’t read yet….

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1 Liccle Bit, Alex Wheatle

This is a fantastic book. It’s set on a council estate in South London as Liccle Bit –  real name Lemar, he’s small for his age  – attempts to ask the girl of his dreams out and not fall foul of the local bad guys. But there is so much more to it than that. This is how a lot of London looks and sounds and the writing sizzles with life. This is Alex Wheatles’ first YA book – he’s written lots for adults – and I hope it’s the first of many.

2 Running Girl,  Simon Mason

My favourite book of last year and my favourite YA lead character in a million years. Garvie Smith’s IQ is off the scale, but he is also pathologically lazy, a stoner and (from my adult pov) entirely annoying. I could slap him SO many times! But he’s also charismatic and brilliant and he’s going to find out what happened to the girl in question whether the police – in the shape of DI  Singh- get in his way or not.

3 Noughts and Crosses Graphic Novel,  illus. John Aggs, written by Malorie Blackman

I haven’t read this yet but I have pre-ordered the hell out of it. Blackman’s book was truly a blockbuster in every sense of the word. Using reversals to give white readers a sense of what it might be like to be in the minority as well as deliver a cracking story, Blackman builds an utterly believable brand new world and has us willing her characters to win through on every page. I cannot wait to see this as a Graphic novel.

4 Chains, Laurie Halse Anderson

This is one I use in teaching. Look at the first chapter. No, just look at the first line. If you don’t read the whole book after that then I don’t believe you have any kind of a heart. At all. Halse Anderson is a brilliant writer and in this book she takes us back to the American War of Independence and shows us events though the eyes of young Isabel, born a slave.  Fabulous.

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5 Web of Darkness, Bali Rai

A chilling psychological thriller. Why Bali Rai is such  woefully under appreciated UK writer is a massive mystery to me. In this novel, set in a school in modern day Leicester, our protagonist Lily, seems like an ordinary girl,  she’s a little bit insecure and her and her mates spend a lot of time on social media. But the story soon twists as Lily’s life takes a  series of dark turns. This novel handles modern themes, suicide, the internet, and how much we give away about ourselves. It’s one of his best I think.

6 The House You Pass on the Way, Jacqueline Woodson

I have to be honest here, I picked this one up just because the heroine was called Staggerlee – like in the song. She chose the name herself because she felt her given name Evangeline wasn’t fierce enough. That was enough to set me off. And then there’s the writing. Woodson, winner of The Newbery Medal, is an utter genius and this is a coming of age story –  with a lesbian protagonist – that will knock your socks off.

7 If You Were Me,  Sam Hepburn

Another almost brand new book and another one that shows us what London is really like from the point of view of new Londoner Aliyah and her family – resettled from Afghanistan. When her brother is arrested as a terrorist she’s going to fight to clear his name. She finds an unlikely ally in local boy Dan, who has his own secrets. This is a brilliant modern thriller, I can’t recommend it enough.

8 This is Not A Love Story, Keren David

Keren David’s book is unusual for UKYA in being set overseas in Amsterdam and in having a cast of young Jewish teens. It’s about love and identity and dark secrets, but there’s a total and utter freshness and modernity to these young people, to their actions and their choices. It’s like seeing characters come of age as you read.

A couple more very recent books that I LOVE are Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, and Carnegie listed Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman, and can I say I am dying to read For Holly from Tanya Byrne? And I am going to stop now or I will go on forever (and ever).

Catherine is the author of The Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo out July 2 from Penguin Random House.

Thanks Catherine for an awesome post, it was an honour to host it! I better go check out some of these titles now – This is Not a Love Story by Keren David has been on my radar for a while and that’s at the top of my shopping list! 

COVER REVEAL: Vendetta #2 by Catherine Doyle

I’m very excited to be a part of a cover reveal today!

Last year, Catherine Doyle’s thrilling debut, VENDETTA, was released. Think Mafia families, in a Romeo and Juliet scenario, in modern day Chicago. The sequel is out in a few months, but today for the first time, the title and cover are released!

Without further ado… here’s INFERNO!

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I quite like the covers for this trilogy so far, and how the objects give hints as to what might happen! What do you think?

Additionally, if you’d like to check out my BLOG TOUR post for Vendetta, book one, you can click here!

 

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Published 4th June 2015 by Penguin Random House.

23305614Goodreads Synopsis: An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

My Review: I recognised Kinsella’s name on the email I’d received about this – my first thought was I’ll pass on this; her books aren’t my thing. But, out of curiosity, I read on in the email to see her latest was to be a YA novel – and not only that, but one about a girl coping with social anxiety. Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more eager to read it!

Finding Audrey is told brilliantly through the perspective of the main character, who is suffering from depressive episodes and social anxiety disorder. She feels trapped in her house, behind her sunglasses: And everything starts to take a different turn when she meets her brother’s friend Linus and her therapist asks her to start a film project.

I connected with Audrey straight away. She’s a very relatable and believable protagonist. There’s an event that caused her severe anxiety, and it’s suggested that there was some harsh bullying – though nothing is fully revealed. That irked me slightly at first, though I grew to get along with that – because (this might sound weird) but the reader can kind of apply their own experience to it.

Her relationship with Linus that evolves from a few awkward meetings fast became one of my favourite love stories of this year. I’m always very cynical of love interests (Just me being fussy) but Linus was so likeable and I loved the chemistry he had with Audrey – not to mention his encouragement for her.

Audrey’s family is hilarious and I loved them form the first chapter – in which her mum goes a little crazy and tries to throw her gamer brother’s PC out of the window. Audrey’s family’s antics were just so funny – I rarely laugh out loud at books but this book made me, on multiple occasions.

Overall, Finding Audrey was a really stunning YA début – I would love to read more YA fiction from Kinsella in the future! The characters were so well developed and despite the book only being just under 300 pages, I really felt like I knew all of them by the end. (Did I mention that I stayed up until two in the morning to finish this? Yep, that happened. Nope, I have never done that with a book before. I was engrossed.) Highly recommended, if you’re looking for a heart-warming tale; a perfect blend of humour and hope.

My Rating:

four and a half

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

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Book Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Published 23rd February 2015 by Harper Voyager.

23849652Goodreads Synopsis: When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.
Nobody.
They were born together and they will die together.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

My Review: From her début novel, I can already tell that Francesca Haig is already a rising star of fantasy: I’m sure I’ll be reading a great many more books from her. The Fire Sermon was an incredibly inventive and original work: I’ve never read anything quite like it.

The world-building was stunning. I found the idea behind the novel actually plausible – after a nuclear war, dubbed ‘the Before,’ the leftover radiation has tampered with the evolution of the human race, and now newborns always come as twins – one stronger Alpha and one weaker Omega. It was such a great premise.

I’ve been really interested in reading about dystopian societies recently, and The Fire Sermon has such interesting politics on the Mainland, where the book is set. I found the way the Alphas and Omegas interacted very thought provoking; as not only is the segregative behaviour very shocking, but it can be compared and related to real life past – and current – situations, and I think that brings a further sense of realism to the novel.

I really enjoyed the plot of the novel, for the most part, as Francesca Haig wrote some awesome plot twists. I can’t wait to see how the situation develops further in the next book. The beginning and the ending were enthralling, but I did feel like parts, especially towards the middle of the story, got a little dragged out – much of the book was the protagonists just running!

The main protagonist, Cass, was really likeable and I did enjoy her story but I don’t think I warmed to her as much as I thought I would. Her background was so interesting; Cass was born the Omega, but she suffered no visible affect. Instead, she has a different kind of mutation… and it made the story so so tense and gripping! The other main character of the story is Kip: and though the reveal of his past was really great I got so tired of his dialogue. I’m not sure if this was just me but he seemed to almost always talk in a really sardonic way. His frequent sarcastic remarks towards everything did irk me a little.

Overall, I think The Fire Sermon was a very stunning début novel. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of fantasy – or if you’re like me and love a book with an inventive world and a societal focus. Admittedly I did find some parts a little repetitive where it was just walking/running away/etc etc… But The Fire Sermon was most definitely an incredible and thought provoking debut.

My Rating:

four

 

Also: In this post I wanted to take a moment to highlight the amazing Advanced Reading Copies / publicity campaign for The Fire Sermon! It was so cool. The premise of the book is that people are born as twins, either Alpha or Omega – so proof copies were labelled as one of the two, and numbered. It was really fun finding my twin Shannon!

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

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Book Review: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Published January 1st 2015 by Chicken House Books.

22317508Goodreads Synopsis: When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

My Review: I was so excited to read Doyle’s début, Vendetta, when it came through the letterbox! All of the online buzz described it as a tense and gripping retelling of Romeo and Juliet, in suburban Chicago, with a Mafia twist. And if that doesn’t sound like the most insanely awesome idea for a book, then you’re wrong. 😀

I loved the beginning chapters of the story. From the first sentence, there’s a strangely chilling mystery. I found myself completely sucked into the story; I started Vendetta on a train, and somehow got through sixty pages, then (reluctantly) put it away. It was difficult to stop reading!

During the first chapters I had grown to really like the main character, and really feel for her; the mysterious, vague foreshadowing about her father’s story kept me reading, as I was sure it was somehow linked to the new family that moves into the town.

Sophie felt realistic for a lot of the story… though, I did get really annoyed at a lot of parts, where the she is too busy swooning over the dudes even after she’s seen REALLY SCARY STUFF relating to them. Like… I would have run far away at some of the things that happen based around the new boys in town: Not gone running to them. Maybe that’s just me…? I just found her reactions so weird and at a couple of points I just wanted to yell, because seriously, stop swooning for a sec and look PROPERLY at these dudes.

Anyhow, minus some of Sophie’s actions which confused me: I did really enjoy the story. It had the perfect setting, and everything was revealed in really clever ways. There were lots of unpredictable moments and I was up all night finishing Vendetta. The story has that chilling, foreshadow-y feeling throughout and the story spiralled very quickly into a dark and violent crime story. The new family that move in, including the five mysterious new brothers, were so interesting to read about. The story made time to build a great back-story for each one of them, which was brilliant; while maintaining a good enough pace to keep me engrossed.

Overall, I am very mixed about some bits of the book, but in general it was an enjoyable book and an exceptional début. I finished it thinking, whoa. I adored Catherine Doyle’s writing, and I would love to read more by her in the future. Some things were left unsolved in Vendetta, which I know will be explored more in the next two books (Vendetta is the first in a trilogy). I think I will carry on with the trilogy, as I’m just very interested to see what direction Doyle will take her daring, action-packed story in.

My Rating:

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

Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Published September 2013 by Electric Monkey.

17451795Goodreads Synopsis: Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There’s never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that’s fine – until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.

My Review: Upon finishing Every Day, I was in… an emotional mess, to say the least. I know it’s a book I will go back to and read over and over again. In one word, it was beautiful. Levithan’s poetic writing style; his unforgettable characters; the original concept; the wild love story – It was all so beautifully written and captivating. Every Day is one of the best books I’ve read this year. Close contender for the best book I’ve read this year.

I’m not sure why I’d left this on the TBR pile for so many months, since reading the blurb when I bought it when it was first released had me really intrigued: Waking up in a different body every day, having to leave no trace of your true self anywhere, not being able to attach to anybody… The whole concept just sounded like a brilliant premise for a novel.

As I was starting, I got a bit worried I’d just get really confused – having to get used to a whole new character that protagonist A is inhabiting for every different chapter. However, David Levithan just made it work. I kept track of everybody and I was left thinking about all of the characters A inhabits just for a day, long after I put the book down.

A, the protagonist, has no gender, no ethnicity, no true body aside from each one A inhabits every day. A is just simply… A. Despite not being able to picture a face for the A, I found A to be one of the most memorable YA characters I’ve ever read about. A has such a memorable and complex personality that I instantly resonated with. On the other hand, Rhiannon is just an average teenage girl – but I fell in love with her character as much as I did with A, I think! She felt so three dimensional and I loved how she believed in A and went to huge lengths for him. They had such a great chemistry.

I can’t even write about the ending without spoiling it or crying so I’m just going to leave a gif here for David Levithan.

Overall, Every Day was evocative, emotional and beautifully written YA books I’ve ever read… I’m so glad I picked it up on a whim. I devoured the whole story in two sittings, but I really didn’t want to let it go at the end. I think I say that a lot in book reviews, but I really, really mean it – David Levithan had me completely caught up in the wild, devastating, but gorgeous love story he’s crafted, and I was much more attached to the protagonists by the ending than I thought I would be. Every Day really makes you think, about everything. About identity, living in other people’s shoes, and so much more. I know I’ll be rereading this over and over – if you haven’t already read Every Day, I really recommend it be the next book you pick up (:

My Rating:

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I purchased a copy of Every Day at a bookstore.

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead might actually be the best book I’ve read this year: and I don’t think I can even do the book justice. About a week ago, I picked the book up again, and I reread it. I’m in the middle of my second or third reread now… It’s just amazing, and you can tell it’s a pretty special book, because I don’t think I’ve gone back to reread a book so quickly.

Published 1st May 2014 by Hot Key Books.

20703051Goodreads Synopsis: It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person – any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain – he died young, and so did Laurel’s sister May – so maybe he’ll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people – Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart… it’s like she can’t stop. And she’d certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it’s like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time – and how her family has shattered since May died.

But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can’t keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won’t be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.

My Review: Love Letters to the Dead completely blew me away. It’s nothing less than an absolutely stunning début novel- there aren’t actually many words that can do this story justice, I think. It was emotional, captivating, and beautifully written.

Love Letters to the Dead is written entirely in what the title suggests. Protagonist Laurel is starting a new chapter of her life, and at the same time, is still grieving for her sister, May. She pours her riveting, moving life story, and everything that she can’t say to anyone else, into letters to Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, and Judy Garland, to name a few people. Each and every letter is heart-wrenchingly powerful, and I found tears welling up reading most of them. Ava Dellaira has a fresh, gripping writing voice. It’s going to captivate anyone who reads this, I’m sure!

The romance in this book was heartbreaking, and heart-warming at points. It was beautifully told. Laurel’s relationships with characters in this book was mesmerising. I can’t say who she falls for, but I will say that the love story was a roller coaster and I couldn’t close the book. What touched me the most, though, was the story between two supporting characters. It deserved its own book; it was really unforgettable and emotional.

We get to know Laurel’s sister, May, really well over the course of the story. It’s quite hard to describe how I felt about May, but she is an unforgettable character. Her bond with Laurel is so memorable and unlike anything I’ve ever read about. Laurel is such a strong protagonist, because as the story progresses, we find out that she’s been through a lot more than we thought she had, and each new event shocked me so much. I felt really close to Laurel, and I loved her personality that really shone through in all of her letters. She’s a new favourite contemporary protagonist, and I really miss reading about her now that I’ve finished the book.

Overall, Love Letters to the Dead was an absolutely amazing début. I was a little apprehensive about starting it because I wasn’t sure how I’d find it… but there was no need to be. Love Letters to the Dead captivated me; Ava Delliara’s story captured me from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the very last page. All of the characters are so well fleshed out and memorable. I completely agree with what Steven Chbosky’s said on the front cover of the book: Ava Dellaira is a bold new literary voice. I’m really hoping to read more from her soon and I can tell Love Letters to the Dead is going to be a book I reread over and over again. It was mesmerising.

My Rating:

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

book review: Split Second by Kasie West

You can read my review of book one, Pivot Point, by clicking here!

*This review contains spoilers for book one in the synopsis, and slightly in my review!*

Published 11th February 2014 by HarperTeen (US).

15792316Goodreads Synopsis: *synopsis contains spoilers for book one!* Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that. Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

My Review: *contains spoilers for book one in the FIRST paragraph- rest is spoiler free:)* Split Second was such a fantastic sequel! I was so excited about starting it after reading and falling in love with Pivot Point, the previous book, last year. Set after Addie’s huge choice made at the end of Pivot Point, Addie is off for a break from the Compound in the Norm world at her dad’s house. But now, as she’s faced with new, scary difficulties, her friend Laila’s also in a dilemma with her brother.

Split Second is told in the alternating narratives of Addie and Laila. Even though that’s clearly shown, I did get mixed up and got parts confused at first! I think I’m like that at first with a lot of dual narrative books, though. I really did love both girls’ voices. It’s hard to stop reading Split Second- the story and the writing draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the end.

Addie and Laila are a dynamic duo of friends and their voices are both really unique and stand out. They’re both so different but similar at the same time… I’m not sure how to describe their friendship. I just love it way too much! I also really loved the subplot in this story about Laila’s little brother, and I really loved the love interests. All of the characters are so easy to like- obviously except for the not so nice dudes, who I shared hatred with Addie and Laila for!

The plot is completely unpredictable. I couldn’t actually believe that outcome- I’m kind of glad I wasn’t reading this in public because I gasped pretty loudly when that plot twist at the ending was revealed. Argh. It ripped my heart to a million pieces- one thing that you grow to love is… NOT what you think it is. Um… But I’ll shut up now because I really don’t want to spoil it. xD However, it is amazing. I’m always really worried about sequels to brilliant books, but honestly, Kasie West’s Split Second was a really strong sequel and it’s hard not to enjoy it.

Overall, Split Second was a really great read. I loved the plot; it’s unpredictable, and unwinds in a really clever way. Of course, I loved Addie; she’s really easy to relate to, and then Laila is just Laila, and Laila is awesome. (: Kasie West’s writing is addictive, pacy and thrilling; I really can’t wait to read more from her in the future! The only thing that kind of disappointed me is there wasn’t much detail on the Compound and why and how it was started, which was what I guessed this installment might be about. I’m hoping there will be a book three though, and that’s where we’ll find out! Really highly recommended- and make sure to check out Pivot Point (my review here), and read that first before Split Second! (:

My Rating: 


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I received a copy of Split Second 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.