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District YA "Leanne" (UK)

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by Michelle Harrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: 5.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unrest By Michelle Harrison, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: Unrest (Mass Market Paperback)
I first heard that Michelle was going to be releasing a YA set book when I was lucky enough to meet her last year at a bookshop signing. I'd heard everyone raving about her '13' series - which I own but am still to read (I'm so slow!) but I was still extremely excited and thought what a great way to introduce me to her work - reading in a style I'm more familiar with. I'm thrilled to say I LOVED it!!!

The cover is absolutely genius! Its very subtle, but so effective. It just shows that loads doesn't have to be happening for it to still make an impact. Bravo to the art team!!!

The book starts with a very creepy chapter that pretty much sums up what you are about to read - this is some unsettling stuff and had me instantly gripped.

As you read you are given snippets of Elliott's life, some of which is very normal then others very paranormal - for me this made the story relate able but then fantastical giving just the right balance to get you into it, and considering the possibilities of what has happened to the character.

I LOVED the place that Elliot ends up working at. I so wish there really was this museum - I would be there A LOT!! Past Lives gets a huge thumbs up from me.
Plus the home location of Elliott is actually fairly close to where I live - I had a major geek out over that - I could have passed Elliott in his fictional world!!!

I had times of not necessarily knowing where the story was going, but this just made reading the story even more enjoyable. It just made me want to read it even more, meaning less time for real life stuff, whoops!!!

I must admit I did guess the twist at the end, but only JUST before it happened, so I spent plenty of time in suspense. It was super clever and not obvious for me at all - I do love a surprise!!

For me this has to be one of the best UK set YA books I have read in a very long time. I adore Michelle's writing style and am praying that she has more YA fiction to come in the future!!!

The Infernal Devices 2: Clockwork Prince
The Infernal Devices 2: Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork Prince, 26 Mar 2012
I cannot express to you the excitedness I felt at seeing it. I ADORE Cassie's writing & Clockwork Angel has to be one of my favourite books, making this one of my most anticipated reads of 2011. She did not let me down one little bit.

The cover is amazing. Keeping within theme of the other book. I really like how different characters are getting the special limelight. This cover features the wonderful Jem - When I first saw it, I felt his head looked a little super imposed but on seeing the final book, its just gorgeous.

This picks up near to where we left off which is always fantastic in my opinion. I hate when you are left feeling a chunk of the story has been cut out. Not the case with this one!!

Having just a few months ago read City of Fallen Angels, which is the same world as Clockwork Angel / Prince, but separated by well over 100 years, there are certain aspects that you can see do not change. Like the Clave. They seem to try and get things right, yet always have someone that wants to stir things up. Kind of made me think of the governments today.

I love how Tessa has these wonderful self conscious traits. Something that seems to be a timeless trait & something that is very relate able today.

From reading it is so evident how much research Cassie put into the setting of the book. I could so picture how she portrays London in the book, especially in this historic era. Everything felt extremely accurate! I think we should crown Cassie an honorary Brit!!!

One character I'd never really thought of before but have ended up loving is Sophie. Her development has been amazing. She is funny and quite feisty at times. I hope her character continues to grow in the next instalment.

I'm still completely torn on the love triangle of Tessa, Jem & Will. I would both love and hate to be Tessa. It would be great to have these two guys battling for your heart, but torture to just pick one!! I think I will stick to my Team Lover Of All, status for now. Although I do feel I know where Tessa's heart truly lies!!

This book is action packed like its predecessor. Still bringing out some great shocks. It concludes with an awesome climax, that once again left me thinking WHAT NEXT??

I read the UK Collectors edition of the book, which also contains a letter wrote by Will and a short story from Jem's Point Of View. Both were brilliant additions, that just give you a little more insight into the characters and their thinking. Definitely worth getting this version if you can!!!

Every Other Day
Every Other Day
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Every Other Day By Jennifer Lynn Barnes, 26 Mar 2012
This review is from: Every Other Day (Paperback)
I was mega excited when I received this book to review. I've had Jennifer's previous books on my shelf for a while, but as often happens I just hadn't gotten to reading them yet. In some ways I think this could be a positive thing as I wasn't reading it expecting other characters to pop up or another storyline to be there.

The cover is awesome. I love the idea of the blood filled hour glass - such a subtle yet sinister cover image.

I'd never thought of an idea like this before and so it was a very new reading perspective for me. When you think of it, it would be so hard to adjust to having super human powers one day and the next being just a mere mortal. You could imagine yourself getting into sticky situations when its definitely not the right day to do so.

I actually found the story somewhat reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - a very normal looking girl, that can do extraordinary things. I did find the urges of Kali more like Faith though - the renegade Slayer who lived for the kill.
The descriptions are particularly vivid and brutal, which had me going Ewwww a few times. Secretly though I do like a gross out session now and again.

Jennifer has a great way of tidying up the back story in a quick way, but done early on. I often find it frustrating when you keep going back over old ground or when you are out of the loop on something. Big thumbs up to Jennifer!!

The world of Kali is quite like ours today, but with supernatural creatures thrown into the mix. Obviously that is a fantasy element, but this didn't feel like a fantasy story to me at all and I think that fact made it even more enjoyable to me. It was a place that was somewhat relate able too and not totally foreign.

The book takes quite a unique turn for a YA book in my opinion and I really enjoyed this. I didn't see it coming and a surprise is always fantastic!!!

The only thing is, I was left wondering if there is more to come and I still don't know.....Is there????

by Brodi Ashton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Everneath By Brodi Ashton, 26 Mar 2012
This review is from: Everneath (Paperback)
I received this just before Christmas from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. I held off reading it too quickly as I had a few other books to fit in first. Boy I should have dropped everything and started this immediately. Let the gushing commence......

Such a stunning cover. That dress - I would sell my soul for that dress. Its just incredible and such a beautiful starting place for this book. I also love that you don't see the full face of the girl. There is just enough to pique your interest, without you having to pick up the book and thinking the book is about the girl on the cover.
I love the dark smoke at the bottom too. Gives a very sinister feel.
The cover has an almost velvety feel, such a nice book to be holding for the duration of your read.

This is a kind of retelling of the Greek legend of Persephone (gees that is hard to pronounce) Obviously I know of some of the Greek myths, but I am by no means an expert. So reading of Persephone was basically a whole new story for me. I have no idea if not knowing the story impacted on my reading of it at all, but I was sucked in straight away and don't feel it was a negative at all.

The story is told from two angles. Before she entered the Everneath & after. Telling the story this way meant getting information slowly. It made the story a whole lot more understandable and gave you time to get your head around what was being said. It was also a great way of building the tension, mystery and intrigue. It was all these factors that made putting the book down so hard. I actually managed to read this book in two sittings, which trust me I NEVER DO!!!

One thing that did frustrate me somewhat & pretty much frustrates me with all my reads is the lack of communication. Why can people not talk??! These characters just don't seem to realise that spilling your guts is so much better than sitting and suffering - but the suffering makes the read a whole lot more enjoyable and I won't be sending it to room 101 for now!!

For me this has to be one of the most exhilarating reads I have read in a long long time. I was left praying that there would be a sequel because if the end was the actual END I would be heartbroken. It actually left me feeling how I felt after watching a certain episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (mega sad) - luckily for us we have two more parts to come!!!

This Book should come with the Book equivalent of a Nicotine patch though - its THAT addictive!!!

The Taker: (Book 1 of The Immortal Trilogy)
The Taker: (Book 1 of The Immortal Trilogy)
by Alma Katsu
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Taker, 4 Aug 2011
I absolutely adore the UK cover. Its definitely the first thing that drew me to it. I even did a blog post based just on the beauty of it. Imagine my happiness when I read the blurb and the story was right up my street too. I love the victoriana style of it, with the Gothic roses and silver coloured branches. The bi-line tells you just enough to get you intrigued and know what the story is about. Also the edges of the paper are black - SO COOL!!!! This alone gets a huge thumbs up from me!

So from reading the blurb it was safe to guess this wasn't a typical young adult book like I would normally buy, but there was just something about it that I just had to read.
It starts off about a guy called Luke & his life as a doctor in a small town in the US. I was surprised on reading it, that it was in a narrated style and I most definitely didn't expect that. Its not till the end of the first chapter you really learn that the story is more about the girl Lanny and so you are really reading from her perspective. It was quite a cool reading twist.

You are thrown straight into a story of mystery, that is most definitely clever and engaging. You feel a part of the story from the get go. I just wanted to absorb every aspect of the it.

The book is set in 4 parts. From the first part, I couldn't really see why it was an adult book. There are some scenes of sensuality and passion, but nothing really gratuitous. Then I got to the second part of the book and it took a very dark, sinister turn. I could completely understand the adult classification then. There really are some harrowing scenes that made me feel quite uncomfortable and I actually had to put the book down to process what I had just read. But still I was absolutely captivated and I needed to know what was going to happen next, how they were going to get themselves out of the situation they were in, why they had done whatever it is that had just happened? Its such an enthralling read.

The revelation of what the Taker is, happens quite close to the end of the story. I must admit I did not guess the twist that Alma had in store, I actually kicked myself for not realising. But I always love a surprise and these days its quite rare to get a good shock from a book. Well done Alma!!

The end of the story left me a little deflated, with some questions still to be answered. I have since found out that there will be a sequel - YESSSSS! I am so excited to see what happens next, I really do need these nagging answers!!

This book had me up for hours a night, I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't be woken in the mornings, so it was guessed very quickly I had 'one' of them books that was amazing.
The only reason I won't be giving this 5 out of 5 is because there were parts that I just couldn't relate too (thankfully) and so my connection to the characters wasn't as deep. However I shall be recommending this to everyone. It is a great jumping book from YA to adult, just be prepared for shocks and turmoil.

Jessie Hearts NYC
Jessie Hearts NYC
by Keris Stainton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jessie hearts NYC, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: Jessie Hearts NYC (Paperback)
Firstly the cover is pretty darn awesome. I love the Gold shininess - you really cannot make things shiny enough!! And set with the New York landscape, its so eye catching. I was really impressed with its style!!

This starts with our main character and her friend making their trip from the UK to New York City. I could fully relate to their excitement, having made my first trip to the US last year. Keris summed it all up perfectly. Yes it really is that exciting on planes (or maybe I just have a dull life???)

The book is full of pop culture references, which for an all things entertainment fangirl like I am was so cool. I wanted to say to the characters 'OMG I thought that' or 'I LOVE HIM TOO!!' I was rather thrilled by mentions of Jared Leto (YUM) My Chemical Romance (MCRmy) & Ugly Betty (she is like my sister from another mister!!) My only slight concern is that this book won't have as long a shelf life just because in a few years people may not know how epically cool the people / things are that are written about. I hope that's not the case or if it is that it will educate people in the future on some awesome bands & TV that they have to check out!!!

The story is told from two perspectives - English Jessie and American Finn. It was so enjoyable reading from both sides and seeing the use of language for both. It's amazing the differences that there are in our day to day speech!!
For instance Finn describes the girl he really fancies and says she is a Size 10, straight away I was thinking, so is that US sizing as he is American or is that UK as the book is highly targeted at the UK audience. In the end I had to ask Keris herself. She did confirm that is was US sizing, so the girl was a UK 14 - another thing that really impressed me - not all desired girls have to be a size 8!!!

There were parts to the story that I found a little convenient or just unlikely but put that aside this is a really fun and quirky book.

For me the story was quite similar to the movie 'Sliding Doors' The way that Jessie and Finn are constantly thrown into similar places and situations, yet both being so focused on their own life's they don't see each other. For me this book was essentially about fate and I found that really comforting and hopeful for life and future. Highly recommended for a quick fun read!!

The Chemical Garden (1) - Wither
The Chemical Garden (1) - Wither
by Lauren DeStefano
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wither, 4 Aug 2011
From reading about this online I was so eager to get a copy & then to my horror I found out that it's not released in the UK for what felt like forever at the time, so thank heavens for overseas shipping - I got my beautiful hardback copy shipped over from the US. I'm so pleased I didn't wait!!

The cover is just stunning. Everything from the model, to what she is wearing, to the little bird in the Cage is just Gorgeous! Its just perfect!! And I have SERIOUS envy for the dress - if anyone fancies making me a version of it, I'd be ever so grateful!!

The story immediately captivated me. Straight away I got this feeling of dark mystery, maybe even slightly Gothic feel.
It almost felt like I was reading a history book, but from some strange alternate reality where things have gone very strange.
Having said that though, the date is never really mentioned. The only thing you are told is that buildings in the USA are VERY old and so it must be some years in the future. I'm very intrigued to see if more is mentioned about dates in the next two installments.

This book deals with Polygamy - something I have never read about so really don't have a huge amount of idea on the ins and out, but I think this has been introduced in an ingenious way. Its a subject I don't see being talked about very often and I think its important that the YA market has all sorts of themes to learn about, even in a fictitious way. Obviously these guys marriages are somewhat different to what a normal polygamous marriage would be like in the fact that they don't all know when they are going to die, but still the idea is there and I applaud it!
Reading about polygamy got me thinking about the idea though and I have decided it really wouldn't be for me. I would be jealous as hell of my sister wives, although the friendships that girls in this book do develop are quite wonderful.

In this book world people die younger and so to live any kind of life they have to start young, much like things were years ago. I found it fascinating that things have kind of reversed in this world. Like our intelligence got so far that the only way to go was backwards. It really is quite amazing!!

The book concludes with quite a hopeful end for our lead character Rhine. I was waiting for some big cliffhanger or some big shock which I didn't get. That's both great & kind of disappointing. But I do remind myself that there are two parts to come in the trilogy so there is plenty of time for me to get some heartbreaks which I am sure I will - EEEEEEK!

This is just an amazing read, I can't recommend it highly enough - read it as soon as you can!!

The Poison Diaries
The Poison Diaries
by Maryrose Wood
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars The Poison Diaries, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Poison Diaries (Paperback)
The cover is beautiful! I love that it has an old diary look, to go with the theme of the book. I love the gold of the title and the small vines coming from the words. Wonderful choosing!!

All the early chapters start with a diary entry by Jessamine. This is a brilliant way to set the scene and get an outline of where the story is going!

The story is so well written. You can feel the isolation of Jessamine and can imagine how sad things must be for her. This is really highlighted on the arrival of a companion for her.

The use of real life locations is fantastic. I'm a big fan of going see places that are used in books, films, TV. I now have double the reason to visit Alnwick - Harry Potter & The Poison Diaries!! I may be expecting to see some magic though - hope I won't be disappointed!!

The idea of the Poison Garden is just awesome! I almost thought of it like Azkaban - I won't explain too much more as I don't want to give any of the plot away, but read it and see what I mean.

The story leads to quite a sad / tragic end, that I think would have made me incredibly depressed, had I not known there will be a sequel - Yep my favourite word SEQUEL!!! I love to see stories develop and twist and turn!

All In all, I found this such a clever wonderful idea, in a historic style. This has left me wanting more!!

A Tangle of Magicks (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson)
A Tangle of Magicks (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson)
by Stephanie Burgis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Tangle Of Magicks, 4 Aug 2011
will be as careful as I can with this post knowing that the book isn't actually out for a little while yet. Lucky for me I got to read this straight after the first book, so the story flowed really well. It would have flowed just as well with a 3 month break though.

There is some spectacular use of magic at the beginning of the book which I found fabulous! If I had magical powers I would want to be able to do what the girls are able too!

This book changes location to Bath (the location for some of Jane Austen's books, also regency era books) I absolutely LOVED this. Bath is one of my favorite places, I actually did a whole blog post on the place HERE! I can confirm the town is EXACTLY how it is described in the book. I did find myself reading and squealing a little as I knew and have visited the spots that the Stephenson's were visiting. This book also answered a question for me - what the Bath pump rooms were used for!! So huge thanks to Stephanie for that!!!

Again Stephanie wrote with funny moments, suspense, peril all of which is hugely enjoyable. I felt a lot of concern for the characters which are signs of a great writer and fantastic story!

The characters were all just as enjoyable to read about & I feel I have found mirror characters for a few of them, which I won't mention just yet. It actually made me like and even bond with the characters even more!! I will say that I could really do to have a tutor like Mr. Gregson in my life - I would definitely benefit from someone giving me some direction!!!

Another fantastic installment, that has left me wanting more - Please Stephanie Can we have some more???!

by Malinda Lo
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Ash, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: Ash (Paperback)
So I have to admit I did find this quite difficult to get into at first. I just couldn't warm to the characters and the story just didn't draw me much, but I persevered and I'm pleased I did. I guess when I heard this was a take on Cinderella, I was expecting more of a carbon copy but was happy that it took its own path. Unpredictable stories are more fun!!

Speaking of unpredictable, I found the characters quite that at times. But that more confused me, than anything. Some of them I just expected to react to circumstances in one way, but they would do something completely different. Kept me on my reading toes though!!

There was one thing in this story that completely grossed me out and that was a hunting scene. I actually had to kind of skim over it, instead of reading it properly. It really turned my stomach. What can I say, I am a lover of animals!!

As mentioned earlier this is in fact a lesbian love story, but it was done in such a way that it was beautiful and sweet. There was nothing done to be risque or make a statement. It was just a lovely tale that happened to be about two girls instead of a girl and a guy!

I did wonder if the characters may have questioned their feelings more, but at the same time it was refreshing to read of teenage girls that just knew what they wanted and kind of go for it, despite peoples possible reactions.

For me this was the perfect way to try reading another style of YA fiction, as I do love anything mythological. Its great to work from a place of interest.
This really is a lovely tale that gets you thinking what may be considered different, just isn't! I would highly recommend giving this a go!!

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