Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: 7th February 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other. 
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana. As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner

Scarlet is a brilliant book by Marissa Meyer.  This time around, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles is a retelling of the classic fairy tale little red riding hood. Scarlet delves deeper into the lunar universe and unravels another piece of the puzzle surrounding Cinder and her companions.  In addition to providing answers to questions raised in the previous book, Scarlet introduces many new characters that have a great story to tell.  This series is fast becoming one of my favourites due to its unique take on fairytales combined with science fiction. The story is beautifully built right down to the smallest details such as spaceship models and ID chips. Meyer has masterfully created a futuristic world that is sure to captures your entire imagination. I enjoyed this book immensely. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is a meme created by Tynga at Tynga's reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

This is my first Stacking The Shelves post and I'm excited to be participating. It's been a relatively quite week for me. This week I bought a couple of books, that I probably shouldn't have considering I have a bunch sitting on my TBR pile that I haven't gotten around to yet, but I couldn't resist. I can't wait to start reading them, especially the new J.K Rowling book. 

Let me know what you guys got to read this week.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 29th January 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

Prodigy is an exhilarating adventure that surpasses Legend in every way. Marie Lu serves up a perfect mix of action, romance and suspense within a nation that’s on the brink of a revolution.  Loyalties are tested and the truth is exposed as Prodigy delves deeper into the detailed world that Lu has built. The history surrounding the Republic and the Colonies is explored including the reasons behind their formation.

Told from a dual point of view Prodigy takes on more of a political plot than its predecessor. Picking up where Legend left off, June and Day are on the run from the Republic. They travel to Las Vegas to meet up with the Patriots. In exchange for the Patriots help they agree to assist in assassinating the new Elector Primo Anden.  New elements such as the Patriots and new Elector Primo add another layer to the wonderfully complicated story. Lu skilfully uses the uncertainty in the Republics bureaucracy as a way to explore themes of duty, loyalty and identity.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: 3rd July 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job…but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand-new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father is just a fun book. It will make you smile and laugh and take you on a journey that is out and out entertaining.

Lexington Larrabee is a spoiled, bratty socialite from a very wealthy family. She has a knack for causing trouble and ending up in the tabloids. When she crashes her car into a shop, her entire world is turned upside down. As a consequence her father decides to take away her trust fund until she undertakes 52 different low wage jobs.  52 reasons is a story that has been done in various mediums over the years, where the rich spoiled princess ultimately learns about not taking money or people for granted. Despite the predictable plot, what make this fare compelling are the complex characters, witty observations and a heartfelt message about family and love.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 7th February 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description: Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is a unique concept in the plethora of dystopia novels available nowadays. It makes quite an interesting read.

Set in a dystopian society where love is considered a disease and a cure has been developed, Delirium is essentially a story about the cost of love.  It follows the story of Lena Haloway, whose ideals are changed when she falls in love just before she is cured. Her encounter with love helps her unravel the secrets behind the government’s propaganda and her own past. Not only is this story novel and unique, it is also thought provoking. It provides a commentary on fundamental emotions and what affect the absence of love has on society. The book elicits questions about how relationships are psychologically different from the norm.  Oliver also discusses how loveless relationships would function. For example, marriages are depicted as business deals made by the government.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 2nd July 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5

Description: Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop. So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if t here’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company. She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

The Distance Between Us is a delightful read that is sure to capture your heart. Kasie West delivers a novel with charismatic characters, sharp dialogue, and a story that immediately sweeps you off your feet to leave you feeling good about everything. From the first few lines I was immediately captivated and wanted to immediately know what was in store for these characters.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Release Date: 2nd January 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything? Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more? Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is charmingly sweet and utterly romantic. It’s a whirlwind of a story that makes you want to faithfully believe in love at first sight.  Jennifer E. Smith presents a beautifully written narrative with pitch perfect characters, dollops of emotion, dizzying highs and lows, loss, love and family.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review: Love Notes From Vinegar House by Karen Tayleur

Title: Love Notes From Vinegar House
Author: Karen Tayleur
Publisher: Black Dog Books/Walker Books
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: “There are some things you should know about me if we are going to be friends. Like I don’t believe in ghosts.”
Freya Jackson Kramer has done some stupid things before, but this is the first time they’ve been splashed across Facebook. When she escapes to Vinegar House for the holidays, she thinks she’s leaving her troubles behind. But Freya’s troubles are just beginning.
How will she deal with her manipulative cousin, Rumer? How can she avoid the ex-love of her life, Luke Hart? And what secrets lie in the locked attic? This is a book for readers who believe in ghosts, for readers who disbelieve, and for those who are still sitting on the fence

Love Notes From Vinegar House by Karen Tayleur is an enjoyable Aussie read with a creepy gothic atmosphere, suspicious characters, and a witty perceptive protagonist.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory

Title: Strombringers (Order of Darkness #2)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 1st June 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description: Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked with searching out and reporting signs of the end of the world. Breaking his journey in Piccolo, he finds a place filled with superstitious fears: of the unknown, of the forces of the sea and sky, of strangers. With him are his loyal friend and servant, Frieze, and his clerk, Brother Peter, as well as the Lady Isolde and her mysterious servant-companion Ishraq. The five of them are followed into the town by a huge children's crusade, led by a self-proclaimed saint. Its young leader promises that the sea will part before them, and allow them to walk dry-shod all the way to Jerusalem. Luca and Lady Isolde are swept up in the growing excitement; but something dangerous is brewing far out to sea.

Stormbringers is the second instalment in Philippa Gregory’s Order of Darkness series. I was looking forward to reading it as I greatly enjoying reading Changeling last year. However, this time around Strombringers was a little underwhelming, despite its well-crafted rich historical world. The mysterious overtones and mystifying occurrences that made the predecessor so appealing and gripping were missing in this book.