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Becca Jayne (Pretty Little Memoirs) "Book Blogger" (Wales, United Kingdom)

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Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy)
Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy)
by Pierce Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars The Next Big Thing!, 19 Sep 2014
Dystopian books seem to be literally everywhere at the moment with all the success of YA books turned-to-film like Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Divergent, and I won't be the only one to say how I would immediately go and see Red Rising on the big screen.
Darrow, our main character, is a Red, a helldiver - an extremely dangerous type of miner on Mars, unlike the Golds, who are better than them in the society. He married his childhood sweetheart at sixteen and like all the Reds around him, he works everyday, making the surface of Mars ready for the future population to live on. He does this because ultimately, he knows it will someday benefit his future children and not just his future family, but others. It's not long before he finds out that everything he knows - and everyone around him - has been a massive lie. Mars is already habitable and has been for a very long time. Now, he is thrust into being the one to save the Reds - he must become the best Gold he can, whilst pervading their system. He has to be the best he can be - better than all the rest - to attack them from the inside of their own region. But the Golds are lethal, treacherous people, who kill or be killed.
Red Rising is a thrilling ride of dark, gritty and remarkable characters and plot. Pierce Brown has created a dystopian world full of phenomenal twists and a roller-coaster of betrayal and a mystic, enigmatic tale. He created a magnificent hero of Darrow, a character that just joined my top favourites in a series - competition for Katniss and Tris!
Overall, Red Rising is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner - they would join the already growing fans of the series and tear them from the shelves. This is definitely going to be the next big thing in YA literature!


The Moment Collector
The Moment Collector
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, yet beautiful., 15 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Moment Collector (Paperback)
Being compared to The Lovely Bones is an extremely praising quote - as above in the synopsis - and I agree with it 100%. I could forever quote all the haunting quotes, moments and pieces of The Moment Collector that sent shivers up my spine. I'm not usually the type of reader that dives into novels with "ghost" in the synopsis at all, but this is my rare exception. How often do you get to read from a ghost's point of view, watching the lives as they pass by?
Maggie and her family move to Gill Creek in the opening to The Moment Collector after Maggie's Mom lost her job. Reserved, organised and book-worm Maggie slowly comes out of her shell when she starts to explore Gill Creek and witnessing her character evolve was one of my favourite things and although the beginning is a little slow paced, it's worth sticking with it. But this story isn't about Ghosts like a paranormal and fantasy read at all - it's one quite like no other. It's a coming-of-age novel about love, friendship and learning how to grow up in reality. There were other characters that brought their presence to the story; Pauline and Liam - and although they weren't my favourite sub-characters that I've read, I think they were perfect for this novel while not taking the spotlight from Maggie who was the sole focus. Her journey from the first page to the last was heartbreaking, but at the same time, beautiful.
Overall, The Moment Collector was the dramatic, complex and emotional read I was expecting. I'm adding Jodi Lynn Anderson to my Authors to watch list because this won't be the last time I read a novel from her. If you're looking for something like The Lovely Bones with a twist, you'll love this beyond words. The ending left me speechless - and I can't wait to hear what everyone loves about this one, too. By far one of my favourites this year.


Multiversum
Multiversum
by Leonardo Patrignani
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Multiversum is not to be missed for Fantasy fans who want a little extra spark in their novels., 3 Sep 2014
This review is from: Multiversum (Paperback)
Multiversum opens right up into the world of Alex and Jenny, seemingly ordinary teenagers if it wasn't for the fact that they could communicate in random moments telepathically, their voices intertwining in each others minds at any given moment. Although they can just barely utter a few words through these moments together - the far from nice experiences - one time, they manage to exchange their locations and place of meeting, and from there, it takes Alex and Jenny on a roller-coaster of an adventure neither of them were expecting.
Alex is just your regular teenager from Milan. He likes sports, particularly basketball - and is even team Captain - and spends his nights hanging out with his best friend. Jenny is like Alex too, a champion swimmer and smart student from Melbourne. But when they try to meet, a disaster strikes when they discover that in each others worlds, Jenny has died in Alex's and in her world, Alex is someone different.
Now startled with this evidence and the constant struggle of trying to reach each other through the Multiverse with no one believing their claims of knowing each other and discovery of living in different dimensions, everything they know and are begins to shatter beneath them.
Multiversum is quite a page-turner, and although in places I got a little lost within their complex world, it was an addictive read. Alex and Jenny are lively and play off each other amazingly and I loved their relationship - the friendship and romantic element - and their story was very compelling. The different dimensions that they lived in was a highlight of the book for me, particularly because it was a unique, enthralling addition to their story unlike any books similar.
Overall, Multiversum is not to be missed for Fantasy fans who want a little extra spark in their novels. A brilliant, read-worthy novel that I'm extremely looking forward to continuing in the series!


Half-Blood (Covenant Series)
Half-Blood (Covenant Series)
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars 5++ STARS, 30 Aug 2014
Alexandria (although she asks everyone to call her Alex) has just barely escaped with her life after being on the run from Daimons, not long after her mother was killed by one. So when Aiden, a Sentinel and highly regarded Pure-blood, saves her and takes her back to the Covenant that she left years ago with her mother to live in the normal world, things aren't the same as when she left. Coming back is hard to adapt to, especially with the new changes like her Uncle being the new dean or the crush-worthy Aiden being her new trainer - it's either he get her up to Daimon-fighting standard or she'll end up being a servant for her stepfather - and Alex doesn't want that.
Like some other readers, in parts it struck a remembrance of the Vampire Academy novels, but I think for me it was just because Alex and Rose are such similar strong female characters - not to mention their similarly sarcastic personalities. For me, that's where the similarities ended and it really did stand on it's own for the originality in Greek Mythology and twist on the mythology itself in the modern world.
The more Alex and Aiden spend together in Half-Blood, it's obvious they have a strong connection but it's not like that instant-love that readers hate - it's done without any of the cliches in some YA literature so their relationship was one of my favourites within the book. But Halfs and Pures are highly forbidden, so it's something that kind of halts their relationship in places, but nevertheless makes for a super-cute pairing within the book. Being a fiery, kick-ass heroine, Alex proves she'd beat anyone to the top spot for best lead character and I thought the way Jennifer wrote her was flawlessly done.
Half-Blood was without a doubt in the top-five books I've read this year. Jennifer never fails to write a magnificent, alluring novel with characters I wish were real life people (Alex, Aiden, Caleb, I could go on!). This series has gone straight into my must-read novels and I can't wait to delve into them all. 5++ STARS.


Half-Blood: A Covenant Novel 1st (first) Edition by Armentrout, Jennifer L. published by Spencer Hill Press (2011) Paperback
Half-Blood: A Covenant Novel 1st (first) Edition by Armentrout, Jennifer L. published by Spencer Hill Press (2011) Paperback
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars 5++ STARS., 30 Aug 2014
Alexandria (although she asks everyone to call her Alex) has just barely escaped with her life after being on the run from Daimons, not long after her mother was killed by one. So when Aiden, a Sentinel and highly regarded Pure-blood, saves her and takes her back to the Covenant that she left years ago with her mother to live in the normal world, things aren't the same as when she left. Coming back is hard to adapt to, especially with the new changes like her Uncle being the new dean or the crush-worthy Aiden being her new trainer - it's either he get her up to Daimon-fighting standard or she'll end up being a servant for her stepfather - and Alex doesn't want that.
Like some other readers, in parts it struck a remembrance of the Vampire Academy novels, but I think for me it was just because Alex and Rose are such similar strong female characters - not to mention their similarly sarcastic personalities. For me, that's where the similarities ended and it really did stand on it's own for the originality in Greek Mythology and twist on the mythology itself in the modern world.
The more Alex and Aiden spend together in Half-Blood, it's obvious they have a strong connection but it's not like that instant-love that readers hate - it's done without any of the cliches in some YA literature so their relationship was one of my favourites within the book. But Halfs and Pures are highly forbidden, so it's something that kind of halts their relationship in places, but nevertheless makes for a super-cute pairing within the book. Being a fiery, kick-ass heroine, Alex proves she'd beat anyone to the top spot for best lead character and I thought the way Jennifer wrote her was flawlessly done.
Half-Blood was without a doubt in the top-five books I've read this year. Jennifer never fails to write a magnificent, alluring novel with characters I wish were real life people (Alex, Aiden, Caleb, I could go on!). This series has gone straight into my must-read novels and I can't wait to delve into them all. 5++ STARS.


The Geography Of You And Me
The Geography Of You And Me
by Jennifer E. Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars "..one of the best YA books I've read this year, and maybe even more than that.", 5 Aug 2014
Lucy lives in New York City and she is a dreamer, always wishing that she could travel the world and be anywhere but stuck in the city, although she considers NYC a great love of hers, and even though she's always being left behind there while her Parents travel the world, she still loves it regardless. Owen is fairly new to the city. His Dad is the new Building Manager of the building Lucy also lives in, and he isn't so keen on the city after moving around quite a lot after the loss of his Mom.
The two of them are thrown together when they are stuck in an elevator in their building one day in the midst of a wide-spread blackout of the city and further into other cities. It's then that Owen takes off his headphones and him and Lucy talk, unveiling more about their similar lives, surrounded by the emotion of feeling like they're always searching for something and are stuck in one place. After being let out of the elevator, the blackout is still surrounding the city and Lucy and Owen explore up to her apartment in display of the postcards her Parents send her from their worldly travels, discuss life and how they ended up where they were in life and up to the roof where Lucy had never been before, but still shows Owen just how beautiful the city is, in the only place they can see the stars that are usually hidden by the skyscrapers. It's then that he starts to see the city isn't what he thought it was and starts to see more into the wonder of it all.
Those moments kick off the events and story that follows through the countries, postcards and meetings for Lucy and Owen, showing how what they had defied miles - their connection and how that rare moment of the blackout changed their lives - and I truly couldn't help but fall head over heels in love with it all. The characters...the beauty of the travelling aspects and cities...the writing...Jennifer E. Smith has definitely outdone herself yet again with what could only be described as one of the best YA books I've read this year, and maybe even more than that.


Waterfire Saga: Deep Blue
Waterfire Saga: Deep Blue
by Jennifer Donnelly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I can easily see myself watching and loving Deep Blue as a film., 5 Aug 2014
Deep Blue is all about recreating our image of Mermaids. There wasn't a moment where I thought; oh, that's been done before, because it was quite a unique reading experience. When I did a character profile list back in early May, we met the characters; Serafina, Neela, Ling, Becca (name-twin!), Ava and Astrid. In the book, they play very different roles from each other in the history of the book and for the majority of the beginning of Deep Blue, there's a lot of back story and world-building that goes on to show us more into the world of the characters. Our main character, Serafina - who though very headstrong and tough, is frightful and scared for her home underneath it all, unveiling a whole new layer to her character that slowly shows itself over the course of the book.
There were great uses of puns for the Mermaid's, with witty, playful and clever takes on their world, like Currensea as money. But it also uses some girl-power type themes being very female-driven, which was one of my favourite things about the book. It's going to set a great example for younger YA readers with that friendship aspect. I was constantly trying to remind myself that Deep Blue is set...under the sea. I kept forgetting that all this was underwater, so it was definitely a new and diverse way of envisioning the world in the eyes of the characters.
Although it's not my usual genre choice, I really enjoyed Deep Blue. It was a fresh idea that surprised me, made me laugh and learn tons about a deep, enchanting history and all that would come with the sequel. I felt that book one has set a good jump into book two, getting all the things we as readers needed to know in our minds and leaving us with the anticipation for more. If you're looking for something exciting and a modern take on what lurks in the ocean, Deep Blue is going to be the book for you. Plus being a major franchise for Disney, I can easily see myself watching and loving Deep Blue as a film.


Dark Metropolis
Dark Metropolis
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars for fans of the 1930's-esque world., 5 Aug 2014
This review is from: Dark Metropolis (Hardcover)
The first thing I picked up on in Dark Metropolis was how dark and bewitching the storyworld was. With it's glittering atmosphere, yet dark and thrilling side, the book was enchanting from the very start.
Set in a 1930's-esque world, sixteen year old Thea's mother had been cursed by a spell that's making her insane. With no one to help them, Thea takes it upon herself to make a living for them both in a malefic city, where you can't escape the dangerous and selfish rules. She starts spending her nights being a waitress at a wicked club called Telephone Club, attending all who enter. The beginning of Dark Metropolis is fast-paced, but when Thea's best friend; Nan, goes missing, things get even more enticing. Thea will stop at nothing to find her. It's then that she meets Freddy, a patron at the club who appeals to Thea, and he agrees to help her weave her way through the city's secrets, keeping his own still.
The world of Dark Metropolis is alluring, yet vicious, and it's never safe. And when Thea and Freddy close in on the city's secrets, it's far too late to turn back.
I was enthalled from the very start of the book right until the last page. It was definitely the fast-paced, heart-stopping wickedness and evil clawing at every page that kept me reeled in. Thea was a brilliant lead character and seeing the world that she lived in inside DM was fascinatingly lucid. Though at times a little gory with it's dabblings in Zombies and spells, I was overall surprised at how much I liked it! I definitely recommend it to YA Fantasy lovers and of course for fans of the 1930's-esque world. Just one look at that cover and I want to frame it!


The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy)
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy)
by Marie Rutkoski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars A definite favourite this year., 5 Aug 2014
The high hopes I went into The Winner's Curse with were met with exceeding enchantment and allure into the Historical backdrop and charismatic characters. Kestrel was especially interesting, although being set in the third person POV didn't give me a full look into her thoughts and I wasn't sure what that would mean until Arin was introduced and I saw why there was a different point of view situation where we could see into both of their worlds. Although they were both about to collide massively.
Kestrel is the General's daughter, and she has everything she could possibly want. She also had a question weighing on her shoulders; to join the military like her father or get married. But when she sees a slave auction in progress and the slave up for grabs being Arin, she sees something in him that she hasn't quite seen in anyone else. Promising he can sing, she buys him even to the dismay of her best friend; Jess. Although the consequences that follow were something Kestrel couldn't have pictured. She feels a connection with Arin, even if he is secretive and distant. But when they talk about music, especially Kestrel's piano that she adores, they seem more matched than she ever thought. But it was becoming obvious that they had a certain connection and scandal hits the town, forcing them to be frightfully honest about how they saw each other. But Arin has ulterior motives, even if he is growing to hate being dishonest to Kestrel. His plans are wild and outrageous, but he's not the one in control. He still tries to save Kestrel when the plan goes forward, and sends her world spiralling out of control into a one she doesn't even recognize. One completely opposite to the life she has lived all her life. The roles get reversed. People get hurt. And still there is still a spark between them, even if Kestrel is filled with hate and Arin with slight remorse.
The Winner's Curse is unlike anything I've ever read - genius, enrapturing and with a hopelessly destined love. Filled with enamoring qualities and a world with stakes higher than ever, where the roles of rich and poor are tested like a game. An incredible - possibly even the best - Historical YA book I have ever read. A definite favourite this year.
I can't wait for The Winner's Crime, book two of the trilogy!


Always Emily
Always Emily
by Michaela MacColl
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.74

4.0 out of 5 stars ..any Brontė fan will adore it., 5 Aug 2014
This review is from: Always Emily (Hardcover)
Charlotte and Emily couldn't be more different, and that is definitely clear from the start. But one thing that is undeniably clear is how they became so known for their name and place in history.
A true romantic and hard-working girl, Charlotte is always thinking straight and toward her planned future. She follows the traditions and rules and aside from her love of writing, romance plays a huge part in her story, but the thing she wants the most was for Emily to feel at home at the Academy as she does. But Emily is different, she craves a wild adventure, seeks freedom and doesn't want to be tied down to anyone or thing. She had a wandering mind and spirit that couldn't be contained in any space or time. It's no surprise she loved writing like her sister, but that was probably their only similarity personality or hobby wise.
Charlotte wants Emily to be more observant and conventional to the times, but Emily wasn't one to follow the rules. I could definitely see why the sisters are loved and how inspiring the scenes in their hometown conjured up their love for writing, especially on the moors that inspired some of their works.
Mysteries always hook my attention and Always Emily lived up to my love of them. I found myself turning page after page as the anticipation grew with the telling of the story. Adventure-seeking Emily and traditional-bound Charlotte are spun into the secrets and enigma, building to a novel that any Brontė fan will adore as they work together to piece the pieces of a mystery together. This was my first time reading about anything Brontė, and I'm definitely going to do more research and reading into the sisters that made a massive name in Literature and our novel-loving hearts.


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