Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Review: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Title: A Rogue by Any Other Name
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Piatkis Books
Release Date: 1st February 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . .A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London's most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance--including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury. A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London's illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness--a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . .even her heart.

I don’t tend to read a lot of historical romance, but after seeing so many people rave about The Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean I decided to give it a go. I’m glad that I did because this book was an absolute gem. Combining humour, defiant characters, scandal and swoony romance, Sarah MacLean has written a fantastic historical romance. One that I would recommend to everyone. The characters are the heart of this book. The romance and plot is entirely driven by the choices the characters make. Bourne and Penelope just leap of the page and immediately pull you into the world surrounding The Fallen Angel and its illustrious owners.

Told from both Bourne and Penelope’s points of view A Rogue by Any Other Name is Bourne’s story of vengeance and retribution. Ten years ago Bourne lost everything in a card game except his title.  Now he’s part owner of the gambling hell, The Fallen Angel. The only thing Bourne wants is revenge on the man who took everything away from him. His plan involves getting back everything he’s lost and the only way to do that is to marry Lady Penelope Marbury.  As it turns out Bourne’s path to revenge involves falling in love with his wife.  This is a historical novel set in a time where women were not given much value and were expected to be proper. However Penelope is not a meek, quiet sort of a person. She was bold, had a backbone and played the game masterfully. She’s pushed into an undesirable marriage but she sets the stakes and makes sure she gets everything she wants out of it. Essentially Penelope is the hero of this story and not her male counterpart. She’s the one that saves the day making this story much more interesting.

MacLean writes such complex, conflicted characters whose actions drive the plot and whose weaknesses prevent them from having a happy ending. Bourne is driven by revenge when we first meet him, but as he gets to know Penelope his priorities change and he learns a few lessons about himself.  He starts of as a terrible husband. I loved that Penelope didn’t put up with his crap. Their relationship at the beginning was tumultuous. Definitely a push and pull sort of a relationship.  As the story goes on Bourne changes his ways. In the end both Bourne and Penelope change each other and grow together. Bourne learns that there is more to life than revenge and Penelope learns to be bolder. Plus the tension in this book is thick enough to cut with a knife. The romance is defiantly steamy and swoony.

The Fallen Angel was the perfect backdrop for this story with its numerous secrets and vibrant staff. I can’t wait to see what other secrets it holds. There were letters at the start of each chapter that were written by Penelope and Bourne. There were a good way to get to know the characters and their back-story. They gave the characters depth.

A Rogue by Any Other Name was a fantastic historical romance. A must read for fans of the genre or anyone looking for a romantic read.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #20

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading The Falconer by Elizabeth May. This book absolutely pulled me in. Its got a fierce heroine, steampunk elements and faeries, all set in Scotland. I cannot wait to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?
I haven't read anything recently. It has been over a week since I've finised a book. I've been in a bit of a book slump. I tried reading a few different books but none of them actually held my attention until I picked up The Falconer. It's amazing how a good book can make you excited to read.

What do you think you'll read next?
I still haven't gotten around to reading Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. I also want to read Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #19

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm reading Waterfell by Amalie Howard. I do like the writing but the main character is bugging me a little. I'm still in the early stages so I'll see how I go with it.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just recently finished reading One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean. I fell down the historical romance rabbit hole and have been loving The Rules of Scoundrels series. Sarah MacLean writes the most interesting character driven stories where the women are always the heroes.

What do you think you'll read next?
I still haven't gotten around to reading Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron or The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I also went to the library this week and picked up Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich. So I might give that a whirl.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Title: Pawn
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 1st December 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Pawn is an unexpected surprise. Twisty and turney, this dystopian adventure is choc full of shocking surprises. This book was defiantly not what I was expecting. What I thought was going to be a book filled with intrigue turned out to be a book where secrets have secrets and no one is whom they seem. Pawn is a game where everyone is playing to win; only everyone has a different set of rules. This book is defiantly dangerous, edgy and filled with secret agendas, even though at times it felt a little over the top.  It didn’t entirely sweep me off my feet but it was a good read.

The book begins with a bang. Pawn is set in a dystopian society that exhibits a divide between the poor and the wealthy.  Pawn has a lot of elements in common with other dystopian novels. However where Pawn stands out is its unexpected surprising plot that dishes out revelation after revelation. Kitty lives in a society that determines a person place by their rank. Kitty is ranked an III, but is offered the choice to become a VII and a member of the ruling family. To become a VII she has to transform and pretend to be the Prime Minister’s niece Lila.  But as a member of the ruling family she has to deal with a rebellion, secret agendas and the all-powerful Hart family. Kitty’s life is on the line because if she so much as steps out of line its means her death.

The book quickly delves into story. However it is the events at the start and the end of the book that grab your attention.  The middle of the book didn’t capture my attention as much as I would have liked. Aimee Carter ensures that there is a sense of danger and underhandedness incorporated into each aspect of the story as characters scheme and plot. As a result only some of the secrets and revelations were truly shocking.  That being said some of the events to me seemed to be a bit over the top and excessive as there was enough duplicity going on without adding to it. At times it seemed as through the characters were trying to out do themselves with all the backstabbing making things a little convoluted.

Kitty is stuck in a very unfortunate situation, especially in the beginning as Kitty makes a very hard choice about what to do about the rank she has been given.  Kitty journey was also very fascinating as she goes from trying to survive to being a formidable player in a dangerous game.  Kitty is a trooper; she’s street smart, persistent and loyal. She has no illusions about the rebellion. She tries to stay alive and save those who she loves. Along the way she discovers that she may be more valuable to the country than she thought.  My only problem with her was that she was a little too trusting in some situations and very quick to believe in others.

The Hart family was a whole bunch of crazy, manipulative individuals who exceeded in backstabbing. The entire family was trying to get one up on one another. So much destruction and corruption all within one family. It’s really interesting to watch their dynamics especially between Celia, Daxton and Augusta. This was one dysfunctional family whose hobby was murdering each other.   

There was not a lot of romance in this book, however the romance that we did get was something I did not particularly enjoy.  Benjy was a standard sort of a love interest.  He was a little boring in my opinion. There was nothing remarkably special about him and Kitty. Their relationship was already in full swing by the time the book starts so I wish we could have seen more of their relationship. Kitty goes to great lengths to protect him but I felt like I didn’t really understand the depth of their relationship.

A good book with dubious characters and unexpected revelations.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Title: Champion
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 5th November 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Champion, the final book in the Legend trilogy was a thrilling conclusion to a fantastic series. I was very egger to read the last book in the trilogy and I’m happy to report that it does not disappoint.  Everything comes full circle as Day and June’s final battle comes to an explosive conclusion. Champion delivers on the action, but it is also filled with emotion making for a bittersweet end. It carries a lot of sadness and change with hope on the horizon. The entire fate of the Republic is changed along with the fate of Day and June.

Champion is full of conflict, between the characters and various nations as the plot explores the Republic and the changes Anden, June and Day have set in motion in Prodigy.  Champion is more a political book than its predecessors as the war between the Colonies and the Republic comes to a head. There is an impending war as June and Day figure out a way to save the Republic whilst fighting their own enemies.  The Patriots return and the fate of Thomas and Commander Jameson hangs in the balance. Marie Lu’s writing packs a punch as she subtly explores love, loyalty and allegiance between her riveting complex characters.  This book has plenty of action. We also get some answers to some of the stunts Day has pulled in the past.

Not only do we the get to see the Colonies and the Republic at war, we also get to see new lands in this dystopian society.  Champion takes us to Antarctica and Ross City. A city, which has a very unique way of life. It was quite fascinating to read about.  It also highlights Lu’s wonderful world building. No nation is the same. The Republic had an oppressive leader, the Colonies were formed on money and propaganda and Antarctica is vastly different in its own right.

I love all the characters. June, Day, Anden, Eden and the others are layered and complex with plenty of depth. Their relationships with each other are always evolving and complicated. To say that Day and June have a complicated relationship is an understatement. They are torn and tormented between their love for each other and their past actions. June as always is a standout for me. I love her calculated, intelligent nature as she tries to save a nation she deeply cares about. I love the relationship she has with her brother. Day suffers quite a bit in this book, especially considering the revelations in Prodigy. He strives to protect his brother and is fierce in his loyalty. Anden was a revelation in Champion. We got to know a lot more about the young Elector. His struggle to keep the Republic in tact was compelling as was his relationship with June.

I absolutely loved the ending of the trilogy. I’ll just say that it was completely fitting. It was an end that I kept thinking about long after I had finished the book. It will definitely pull at your heartstrings and make an impact. Champion was a fantastic emotional end to the Legend trilogy.  If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend you pick it up. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman, Megan Spooner
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 20th November 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever? Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it. The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

With an immensely compelling tale of romance, survival and hope, These Broken Stars is a book that will stand out and enchant you. It was one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading this year.  Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner have written an intense story that is equal parts heart breaking, touching and beautiful.  Taking two very different people from very different worlds Spooner and Kaufman have fashioned an emotion filled, heartbreaking romantic story. It’s a books you won’t be able to stop thinking about long after you read it. These Broken Stars will make you fall in love with its world and characters before completing shattering your heart into a million pieces, then putting it back together piece by piece. I was completely enthralled and engrossed. Lilac and Tarver will leave a mark as they tell you their story of survival.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver is a solider. When their ship crash-lands on an unknown planet, Tarver and Lilac need to find a way to get a long and survive until they are rescued.  Survival is not their only issue as the planet holds secrets that might change everything.  I love the universe that was created right from all the people to the technology and life in space.  The world building of this story felt very real, right from the environment, animals, and weather. The writing was beautiful, sharp and laced with humour and wit. It painted a very vivid picture about the world right from the technology, planet, and people.

Between each chapter were interrogation scenes. They served as a perfect backdrop to the story stirring curiosity and foreshadowed what to expect in the upcoming pages.  The real standout aspects of this book are its characters. Tarver and Lilac are complicated, layered individuals that have their own share of insecurities, fears and desires.  Their journey together changes them, challenges them and tests them as they are confronted by their own daemons, past shadows and hope for the future.  I loved how much Tarver and Lilac change throughout their journey, they subtly become stronger as they learn to accept each other and themselves. Especially Lilac who goes from a girl who is unaccustomed to harsh circumstances to one who learns not only about her inner strength but the strength to step out of her fathers shadow and be her own person. I love her tenacity and willingingness to protect Tarver. Tarver was a solider and he slowly learns to believe in the things beyond his control.  

The sacrifices these two make for each other is completely shattering. You can clearly see them falling in love and their walls coming down as they grow closer, find common grown and overcome their misconceptions. The romance was so potent and sweet and filled with the best kind of chemistry. They pushed each other buttons and their banter was delightful. When a certain scene takes place my heart was completely wrecked. I was entirely caught up in this story. These Broken Stars completely holds your attention from the first page. It holds your attention right from the first page.  However Lilac and Tarver didn’t seem like they were just 17 and 18. Their voices felt older, as if they were in their early 20’s. I think most of that had to the society they were raised in.

As soon as I got to the end of These Broken Stars I was disappointed because I wanted more. I’m not ready to let go of Tarver and Lilac. I would love to know what happens next for them. This was also a story that I felt like reading again the minute I put it down. I can’t wait to see what Amie and Megan write next because I’m sure it will be out of this world. An incredible read.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #18

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
I felt like a bit of a change, so at the moment I am reading A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. I been hearing great things about her books so I decided to pick one up. So far I'm really enjoying it.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just recently finished reading Pawn by Aimee Carter. It was a good book with really neat twists, however at times it felt a little over the top. I also finished Champion by Marie Lu which was a bitter sweet end to the Legend trilogy.

What do you think you'll read next?
I not too sure what to read next. I might pick up Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron or The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Traitor
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 1st  November 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice. After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again. But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all

Kierran, Kierran, Kierran. What are we to do with you? The Iron Traitor was a heartbreaking, game-changing book that impacts every character, especially Kierran and Ethan. Their story just got more complicated. Julie Kagawa might be the Queen of Cliff-hangers because this book sure serves up a dozy.  When you get to the end of this book, you will want to shout and count down the days until the next book comes out. The title is very indicative of the story as we explore Kierran’s decent into the dark. This book stirs feelings of unease. Feelings which multiple and grow, only to cumulate in a heartbreaking conclusion. This Iron Fey story sure does deliver, however it is not as good as The Lost Prince.

The land of the Fey is lavish and rich and always full of surprises and surreal landscapes. Kagawa balances myth, action and emotion perfectly to create characters and a story worth investing both time and emotions in. The action is superb. I love how martial arts and sword fighting go hand and hand with this series.  There is so much beautiful detail woven into the land of the Fey. Just in this book alone, there are ancient creatures, a goblin market, very thin assassins and one pissed of summer queen. Kagawa’s writing is effortless to read and immediately pulls you back into the world of the Fey. This time around Ethan is pulled back into the land of the fey to find Kierran who has gone missing. Assisted by Kenzie and Kierran’s beloved Annywl, Ethan sets out to help the Iron Prince, only to find out that sometimes the price is too high. This book is all about consequences and the lengths that someone will go to for love. The price for love comes at a cost that might just be too high for either Ethan or Kierran to pay.  Off course Ash, Grim, Puck and Megan are always around to lend a helping hand.

Character growth is abundant In the Iron Traitor. The Lost Prince has affected how characters behave. It has also changed their motivations, especially Kierrans. In this book you can see quite clearly see how the characters have changed and how they will continue to evolve.  Ethan, who once swore to never have anything to do with the Fey, is slowly coming to accept his place among them. He now knows he can’t ignore them. He is learning how to cope with having them in his life. Ethan is also learning to deal with unresolved issues with his sister.  He’s very loyal towards his family and goes to great lengths to help his nephew.  We get to learn more about Kenzi’s family.  Kenzie is intelligent, wise and a force to be reckoned with. She never backs down from a fight and always supports her friends. Once she sets her mind to something she never backs down.  Her relationship with Ethan has some ups and downs as these two navigate their complicated relationship. Kierran is the person you want to shake and yell at. You can see the desperation in his actions. You can slowly see the small steps he takes towards his downfall as he digs himself into a massive hole. Even though Kierran invokes a lot of anger, his actions still elicit sympathy as he is placed in a tough situation.

The cliffghanger will change everything.  I can’t wait for the next instalment.  An emotional book that is a must read for all Iron Fey fans.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Monthly Wrap Up - November 2013

November is over and that means that Christmas is just around the corner. I can't believe 2013 is nearly over. Where has all the time gone?

Book of the Month:

My book of the month is The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. This book was wonderful surprise. A mix of Harry Potter and She's the Man. I definitely recommend this magical tale that is rich and intricate.

Books Reviewed in the Month of November:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Mirage by Clive Cussler
Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London
Perfect Ruin  by Lauren DeStefano
One & Only by Viv Daniels
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #17

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
At the moment I am currently reading Champion by Marie Lu. I've barely scratched the surface with this but it's the last book in the trilogy and I can't wait to find out how it all ends.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner.  It was an absolutely mesmerizing read about survival, hope and love. I completely fell in love with it. I also finished reading The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa. I think that Julie Kagawa might be the queen of evil cliffhangers.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Pawn by Aimee Carter

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Title: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 10th September 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up. Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal. Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

With an emphasis on Egyptian mythology, The Chaos of Stars is a light agreeable read.  The mythology aspect is what drew my attention to this book, and Kiersten White delivers an enjoyable story that focuses on the daughter of Egyptian gods.  Where there are ancient gods there is sure to be drama. The Chaos of Stars takes the protagonist Isadora on a journey of self-discovery as she grows up and learns to love. Isadora learns a lot about family, love and friendship. Despite being a good read, there were a few aspects of the book that were a little disappointing such as the characters and the ending.

Isadora is the daughter of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Her family has a very complicated history that includes adultery, murder and drama, making her upbringing very unique. However, compared to the rest of her family she is mortal.  When an unforseen evil seeks to threaten her, Isis offers her the opportunity to move to San Francisco.  Isadora leaps at the chance to be away from her family only to discover that there is no way to escape family.  The strongest part of The Chaos of Stars is the mythology and the myths about the gods. I haven’t encountered Egyptian gods as much in my reading so I enjoyed getting to know the tales of Isis, Osiris, Anubis, Set and more.  The myths about the gods at the start of each chapter gave us an insight into Isadora’s family history and shed perspective on where Isadora was coming from. Egyptian mythology is vast and rich and I for one would love to read more books about these gods and goddesses.  As much as I enjoyed the mythology and Isadora’s journey, the plot left a little something to be desired. The majority of the revelations and excitement happen at the very end of the book. I would have liked to have seen more action throughout the book.

When we first meet Isadora she hates her family and all that they stand for. She believes that love brings nothing but pain. Right from the beginning she embarks on a wonderful character arc where she changes from a bitter girl who scorns love and family to one that is able to accept her family for who they are. Although I liked the character development, I wasn’t particularly fond of Isadora herself. There were some aspects of her personality that got on my nerves. She was mean, abrasive, dismissive and entitled at times.  I understand that she was angry at the start of the book but despite her self-discovery she still treated people the same as before. I enjoyed reading about her interior design plans and how she envisioned the changes that she would make to rooms. Her inside commentary about her family added humour to the story.

In San Francisco she meets Tyler, Scott and Ry. Her new friends have an impact on her and bring her out of her shell at little.  Ry started off as an interesting character. He challenged Isadora and her beliefs.  Their relationship was complicated. Unfortunately by the end of the book my opinion of Ry changed. His revelation came out the blue towards the very end and was not really explained properly. I could have handled the twist if it were explored more in detail, rather than just stated and rushed over. The ending of the book also felt rushed as most of the action happened right at the end and left me with quite a few questions about what was next for the characters. It would have also been nice to see more of the gods.

The Chaos of Stars is a good mythology based book. If you are looking for an easy book to read that is light and breezy than this might be for you.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison, Balzer + Bray
Release Date: 15th September 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death. Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to revenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal. But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

The Burning Sky is simply magical and enchanting. There was so much unexpected richness contained within its pages. One things for sure; this book has plenty of personality unique entirely to itself. Sherry Thomas has created a world that you can immerse yourself, full of richness, intricate details and magical elements. The Burning Sky is a must read fantasy novel. There are magic spells, dragons, waring factions, portals, mages, wands and much more.  If I had to describe this book, I would say that it’s a cross between Harry Potter and She’s the Man. Yes you heard that right, there is cross-dressing magical fun to be had.

The book immediately demands attention with a preface that is guaranteed to stir your curiosity. You immediately want to know what this magical tale entails. It starts with a girl calling down lighting and setting in motion events that will change everything and fulfil a prophecy.  Iolanthe’s mage skills have made her a target for Atlantis. Together with Prince Titus she must find a way to survive and defeat destiny.  Themes of destiny and fate play a huge role in shaping the story and the motivations of one Prince. The Burning Sky isn’t your standard book. It’s a book that is intelligent and cleaver right from the world building to its characters. There is no extreme good luck bestowed upon its character, nor is there an all seeing entity that has all the answers. In short there is nothing convenient about this book. Every situation that Titus and Iolanthe find them selves in, they can only rely on themselves and each other. It makes for some very interesting schemes.  Titus and Iolanthe always have to be one step ahead.  

The world building of the Domain and Victorian England are intricate. There were multiple layers all woven seamlessly together into one big tapestry. There is the mage world of the Domain filled with magic and mythical creatures. It was also a kingdom under the tyranny of Atlantis. Along with the Domain, the non-mage world of 1800’s London also played a unique part of this story. The boy’s school of Eton and its student body were a wonderful addition to this story. It’s also where our cross-dressing heroine gets into all sorts of awkward situations. If these two different worlds weren’t enough there is also a crucible that transports people into a virtual reality filled with magic and trials. All three separate worlds fit seamlessly into Titus and Iolanthe’s story. There were so many small details that went into each world. Each world has their own rules and traditions. I also loved that there were footnotes to explain the technical aspects of magic. It prevented the book from information overload and for those who wanted to read the endnotes it provided a detailed view about the world.

The book takes a while to understand all the moving pieces, but once you do, you are in for one hell of an adventure. Iolanthe was not my favourite character to begin with. She is a little hesitant and frightened because of the situation she is thrust into. However she is a revelation as the story goes on. She is strong, vibrant, funny and intelligent. She is loyal and wonderful. I absolutely loved her.  The way she seamlessly becomes a boy to hide from Atlantis and interacts with her classmates is simply marvellous. She makes a convincing boy with all of her sharp wit.  Titus was smart and he was such an interesting character from the get go. He was cocky and arrogant to those around him but with Iolanthe he loyal and dedicated.  He wore his two personalities well. In fact both he and Iolanthe both have disguises and multiple facets, which were wonderful to explore. My only complaint about this book was that the romance felt a bit rushed at the beginning. I love the hate/love relationship these two exhibit. They compliment each other. I can’t wait to see what adventures these two get into next.

A fantastic fantasy read. Simply magical. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #16

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
Currently I'm in the middle of The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa. I love the Iron Fey series and this book just pulls you back into the complicated world of the Fey.

What did you recently finish reading?
I just finished reading The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.  Such a great fantasy read. This book had a lot of personality. I also read The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. It has a solid mythology but the ending seemed a little rushed and the main protagonist was a little bit annoying.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Champion by Marie Lu.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Review: One & Only by Viv Daniels

Title: One & Only
Author: Viv Daniels
Publisher: Word for Word
Release Date: 8th November 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description: One night they can't forget...Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she's sworn to keep: the father who won't acknowledge her, the sister who doesn't know she exists, and the mother who's content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship -- Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university. One love they can't ignore...Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan's life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess's legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother's footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time. ...And only one chance to get things right.

One & Only is a swoony romantic read staring wonderful protagonists. Dylan and Tess’s story is realistic and different compared to other new adult book out in the market. It’s a welcome change of pace that showcases great character development. This is a thoroughly enjoyable story and one thing is for sure, Viv Daniels makes science sexy.

Tess has always lived a life full of secrets. She is the product of an affair between her mistress mother and her businessman father. All her life she has had to live in the shadows and could never acknowledge her father or her half-sister. Before she goes to University she meets Dylan Kingsley and falls in love with him, however at the end of the summer they go their separate ways. Two years later Dylan and Tess meet up again. All the feelings they had two years ago come rushing back. The only problem is that Dylan has a girlfriend. His girlfriend is none other than Tess’s half sister Hannah. Now Tess has to decide if she wants Dylan back and if she’s willing to follow in her parent’s footsteps.

This book has loads of tension, mainly between Tess and Dylan as they try to define their relationship. Viv Daniels does a great job maintaining the tension and suspense. The line between right and wrong and perceived notions is tightly navigated. Its what the whole book hinges on. The decisions Tess’s made and their consequences were the focal point for this story. The story was about Tess discovering herself and defining herself away from her parent’s relationship and learning how to be her own person.  It’s quite a tough job to portray a relationship that blurs the lines between cheating/steeling and Daniels does it so well because Tess’s struggle is genuine and she wants the best for her sister.

I love the journey that Tess goes on. When we first meet her she doesn’t want to go against her parents and is stuck with the decisions they force on her. She also has a tendency to runs away from relationships and friendships. However when the story picks pack up two years later Tess is a little more defiant, learning how to step out of her father hold and become her own person. She has many struggles that were well explored such as juggling a job and a demanding coursework along with finding time to make friends and be a normal human being. She shows so much growth as she figures out how to be her own person separate from her parents.

Dylan was a great love interest. He was also different from standard NA cutouts.  No tattooed up bad boy here. He was sexy and intelligent, compassionate and supportive. He helps Tess at every opportunity.  He always tells the truth and it’s an interesting contrast to all the secrets that Tess is keeping. It adds more tension to their relationship. Dylan also changes from when we first meet him but he dose not have as much character growth as Tess. He remains a constant. Sylvia and Annabeth were great friends who gave Tess perspective.  Hannah was not someone to hold a grudge and be vindictive. It was refreshing for her not to be a mean girl. I can’t wait to see where her story is going in her companion novel. I loved all of the passion Tess had for science and biomedical engineering. Both her and Dylan were driven and intelligent. They were the perfect combination as they complimented each other so well.

My only problem with One & Only was that Tess and Dylan pick up right where they left off. I wish that there was a longer period of them getting to know each other.  Although they have a definite connection. Also in my opinion Dylan seemed to forgive Tess for just leaving and never contacting him again very easily. I would have liked to have seen that he was more affected by that and maybe even a little angry.

If you want to read a story that stands out in the current NA market than I suggest One & Only. It a refreshing and enjoyable read.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: 1st October 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose.

Imagine a floating city in the sky. Internment appears to be a perfect city, high above the earth. However in this seemingly ideal society there is a darkness lurking just beneath the surface. You only need to look hard enough. Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano is a beautiful story set in an unforgettable setting with elegant writing and prose.  It’s a story that slowly pulls you into its web chapter by chapter as the secrets of Internment are unraveled and beliefs are challenged.  Perfect Ruin isn’t a standout book, nor is it one that is going hit you in the face with its unimaginable plot twists and fast pace. It’s an understated subtle book filled with so much symbolism and vision. The story moves at a slow pace that works so well for this book. It allows the reader to fully explore all the facets of Internment and its characters.

The overall story arc is reminiscent of many dystopian based YA novels. There is a utopian society that is not actually a utopia. The world is not as shiny and bright as the characters believe it to be, so in order for a better life a rebellion is staged and government secrets are exposed. Even if the story harkens back to previous novels, the way that this society is built, its characters and writing make this novel a lovely book to read. Morgan has lived a sheltered life.  After a murder occurs on Internment, Morgan’s life begins to unravel. It’s the first murder in a generation and it forces Morgan to discover certain secrets about the floating city and her own family.

There is so much richness in Perfect Ruin. Right from the start you can see how much detail has gone into building Internment. The people of the city have their own specific beliefs complete with traditions and rituals that are so similar to ones we know but different in their own right. They also have their own religion. DeStefano slowly pulls back the veil on this perfect society to expose the evil lurking in plain sight. The more secrets Morgan learns the more they challenge the truths she has always believed in. Since her brother Lex jumped, Morgan has seen the small injustices in her society but the murder pushes her to see the entire city in another perspective. Her dreamer personality and need for more than what the city can offer, place her in an ideal position to accept the secrets of Internment. Her reaction is very different from her best friend Pen. Pen like most of Internments citizens clings to the perceived safety the rules of the city offer and is reluctant to acknowledge the truth.  Basil’s acceptance of the truth stems from his love for Morgan and willingness to keep her safe. DeStefano wonderfully showcases the differing opinions of these characters.  

Perfect Ruin is a subtle book and carries a lot of symbolism. The book gives the phase “on the wrong side of the tracks” a whole new meaning. The poetic beautiful epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter provide insight into the rebellion and the darkness hidden in the city. It’s interesting to see how the Epigraphs start off as a contrast to the characters feelings but by end of the book their sayings align with the characters thoughts. Perfect Ruin makes you think about belief systems. It challenges the entire belief system that a society has been taught. The book also focuses on different types of love. The love between two bothered, the love between families and the love between siblings.  Lex and Morgan have a very close sibling relationship. I loved their relationship. Love is a driver for many of the actions in this book.  

Morgan was a daydreamer. She was very understated in this book. She prefers to be the person to keep the peace. She has a lot of internal strength, given all the personal hardship she has had to face. All the characters in this story was beautify flawed. Lex was a great character that faced many demons. I loved how much he cared for his sister and Alice. Amy was a wiser than she looks. Judas was a very interesting character; I wish we had gotten to know him better. He was a catalyst for Morgan and her subsequent actions.  Basil and Morgan’s relationship was very sweet. I do wish that there was more to Basil though, he was a little uninteresting.

The ending had so much possibility and suggests a new direction for the book. I cannot wait for the sequel. Perfect Ruin is a gorgeous story about a city in the sky. You must read about this floating city.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

W..W..W.. Wednesdays #15

W.W.W Wednesdays is a weekly event bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading 

It's Wednesday and that means its time to let the world know what I've been reading. When I say the world, I mean this tiny corner of the internet that I call my blog. Hope everyone is having a good week.

What are you currently reading?
Currently, I'm reading The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. So far it's a very interesting book and I am eager to see where the story is heading. It's a mix of Harry Potter and She's the Man.

What did you recently finish reading?
Recently I finished reading Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano. A beautiful story that was subtle and understated.  I also finished reading One & Only by Viv Daniels aka Diana Peterfreund. It was a good book but I was expecting more.

What do you think you'll read next?
Up next for me will probably be The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White or The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa. I also want to read Jump by Sean Williams.

Thats all for me. Let me know what you guys are reading.