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Samantha (United Kingdom)

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The Rain
The Rain
by Virginia Bergin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and realistic survival story!, 24 Jan. 2015
This review is from: The Rain (Paperback)
I was recommended The Rain by a friend and after reading the synopsis, I knew this was definitely a book I wanted to pick up. Deadly rain which contaminates all water + survival story = my kind of genre!

The overall plot of this story was intriguing and I was constantly thinking about how would I survive? or how would I stay hydrated? So scary and unthinkable!

I thought the main character Ruby was also a realistic portrayal of a teenager thrown into a life-altering situation. She was initially very stubborn-minded, rash and stuck in her usual routine but as she was exposed to more and more elements of the story she developed as a character and learnt to survive and be a fighter. I thought this was very realistic - I know from my own perspective that if this situation happened today, I'd still be stuck in routines such as being aware of what you look like e.g. putting make up on before leaving the house or wondering where your phone is, even if it doesn't work. These are everyday things we do on autopilot so I think it would take a while to stop doing these things hence why I felt Ruby's character was realistic. I did get a little annoyed with her sometimes though at her recklessness of not checking the sky when leaving a car or house but again, autopilot syndrome I guess.

I also really liked that this was a UKYA book and author. I loved that the book was set in the South West of England and I know of, or could picture, some of the settings in the story.

Overall a fantastic story and I highly recommend!


The Parts That Followed (The Parts I Remember Book 2)
The Parts That Followed (The Parts I Remember Book 2)
Price: £2.29

4.0 out of 5 stars A series I would highly recommend!, 17 Jan. 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed Book 1, The Parts I Remember, and Book 2, The Parts That Followed lived up to my thoughts on Book 1. I really like that this series isn't all about explicit language and behaviour like many New Adult books are, and is more thought provoking and about Kelly learning a ‘lesson’ and the error of her ways. This second book was also very grounded and 'real' when revealing Kelly's grief and guilt about the accident and death of <book 1 spoiler>.

My favourite element of The Parts That Followed, similarly to The Parts I Remember, was that the book begins with how the story will end, or so you think, but A.K. Mills has an amazing way of making you think something but then twisting it as the retelling of the events leading up to that event are told.

This book had me gripped and I read most of the story in one go! That says a lot as I rarely do that.

This is a series I would highly recommend!


PestBye Battery Operated Cat Repeller - Ultrasonic Cat Scarer
PestBye Battery Operated Cat Repeller - Ultrasonic Cat Scarer
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It works as instructions/features suggest, 31 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product is fantastic. It was easy to set up and 'get going' immediately. It took only 24hours for next door's cat to come over and it was straight up the fence in shock after the sensor was triggered on this device and scared it away. I would estimate the cat learnt within only 2/3 day not to do its 'business' in my garden. Battery life is good so far. I've had this running for 2 months now and no sign of battery loss. I've used only cheap batteries too.


Day 21 (The 100)
Day 21 (The 100)
by Kass Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible follow-up to The 100!, 27 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Day 21 (The 100) (Paperback)
Incredible follow-up to The 100. I read both books back to back I was that intrigued to know what was going to happen and how the characters would further evolve.

See my video review for both books here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsbM9pQffaQ&list=UU2tIdm6L4em8dKeCHDZRynA

I've also filmed a book to tv comparison if you're interested in the similarities and differences:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNi7raEYqR8&list=UU2tIdm6L4em8dKeCHDZRynA


Rebel Nation
Rebel Nation
by Shaunta Grimes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Even more twisted and survival based than Viral Nation! This series keeps getting better and better with every book., 1 July 2014
This review is from: Rebel Nation (Paperback)
Rebel Nation seamlessly wove the story from Viral Nation (book 1) and reminded us readers of the main story developments from book 1 but without overkill - an element not usually done so efficiently, well done Grimes! I did however miss the time travel element from book 1 but I do fully understand and appreciate its non-existence due to the focus of the Freaks in the present and concentrating on rooting themselves for the Winter months as well as escaping Bennett's grasp.

Bennett's character in Rebel Nation was even more evil than book 1 - a task I didn't think possible! There was one scene in particular that was so craftily written by Grimes that I thought I knew what Bennett had done, but I wasn't sure - I was also hoping he hadn't - and it turned out he did! I still can't believe it! He's so evil!

I further continued to enjoy Clover's character in Rebel Nation, as I did in Viral Nation, and continued to feel that her autism made her character more interesting and her behaviour in certain situations added to the chaos of the post-apocalyptic world and the dystopian theme. Mango, Clover's dog companion, again was my favourite character, he didn't get as much focus in Rebel Nation but he continued to understand and help Clover's behaviour and thoughts. She's certainly building herself a good support system now with Mango, West and Jude - there was more development of the Clover and Jude relationship in Rebel Nation too which was sweet.

Overall Rebel Nation did not disappoint with its dystopian content, more details were presented about the Company and their evil doings, the Freaks rebellion as well as the world outside of Reno and other survivor settlements. This rebellion has officially kicked off and I guess we'll now have to until Book 3 to see how it all continues. Once again I've been left wishing I had the next book. Grimes writes a superb cliffhanger again!


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Price: £2.29

3.0 out of 5 stars A modern day Gatsby-esque drama including vintage mansions, wealthy families with the drama and infidelity all mixed together., 28 May 2014
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is a modern day Gatsby-esque drama including vintage mansions, wealthy families with the drama and infidelity all mixed together.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is narrated through Violet's perspective, a 17 year-old book-loving, intelligent teenage girl who's quirky and vintage style all stems from her grandmother Freddie. After Freddie's death a couple of years ago, Violet now likes to remember her grandmother by wearing her vintage clothes and imagining she's speaking to her in her head. But since Freddie's death, Violet's family has let their historic mansion turn to ruins and when Violet's parents run off to Europe to divulge themselves in art, Violet and her brother Luke are left to think of ways to earn money. Since they've never worked a day in their lives and their family is major part of small town, Echo's, heritage they post a flyer advising their guesthouse for rent. Cue River, the mysterious handsome 17 year-old stranger, who rides into town and rents Violet's guesthouse. But River is not to be trusted and as Violet starts to become interested in him, she learns that River is a compulsive liar and he's hiding a dark and horrific secret.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was an addictive read to begin with, I loved the Gatsby-esque similarities and location, and the beginnings of Violet's and River's relationship was intoxicating. Unfortunately though, as the story progressed and River's secrets began unravelling, the story started to become very predictable and began to feel a little rushed. Overall, a gorgeously descriptive and imaginative story but I would have preferred the action and horror aspects of the story to be a little more rounded and un-rushed.

If you're looking for a story with a vintage flair and will-they-won't-they romanic storyline then this is definitely a book to check out!


The Forbidden Library
The Forbidden Library
Price: £3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Forbidden Library is an enthralling adventurous story of a young girl discovering a magical world where reading is power., 5 May 2014
Alice is a 12 year old whose coming to terms with the disappearance of her father - but Alice knows the truth, her father was mixed up in some mysterious magical mayhem. Before his disappearance, Alice overheard a conversation between her father and a monstrous looking fairy which suggested that the fairy had a sinister plan which involved their family. Only days after this conversation, Alice's father disappeared and Alice makes it her mission to hunt down that fairy and find out what led to her father's disappearance!

Along the way, Alice discovers the magical world hidden to most humans which includes fairies, talking cats and dragons. She explores dark and dangerous worlds in order to discover the truth behind her father's disappearance and consequently finds out that she has magical powers of her own as a 'Reader' - someone who can enter books and became part of the story just by reading a few words.

The Forbidden Library was a magically adventurous Middle Grade fantasy book which beautifully described the settings and monsters involved within the story. The illustrations add a lot of depth to the writings and further help imagine this magical world.

The Forbidden Library is one of those stories which can be enjoyed by both children, teenagers and adults alike.


Panic
Panic
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Panic by Lauren Oliver | Contemporary Thriller, 31 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Panic (Kindle Edition)
Panic is an explosive, heart-pounding contemporary that will have you peeing your pants with terror when the characters participate in games which put their life in danger in order to win $64,000.

I was over the moon when I’d been approved to read Panic from Netgalley and put it straight to the top of my TBR. I’d heard so much hype surrounding the book and once I was in a dystopia mood, I went straight to Panic. However, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, Panic is not a dystopia! All the listings and pre-read comments on goodreads have all categorised this book incorrectly because it is actually a contemporary. I completely understand why people categorised Panic as a dystopia based on the vague synopsis given and Lauren Oliver’s previous work, The Delirium Series – however this mis-categorisation led to me picking up a book I wasn’t in the mood for. However, once I’d accepted that Panic was a contemporary and moved on, I quickly got immersed into the story and began to enjoy this story for what it was.

Panic reminded me in a way of John Green’s characters because Panic’s characters were all from different backgrounds and had their own issues – which ultimately led to their participation in the ‘Panic’ games. Katie McGarry’s writing also came to mind at moments, especially during the romance and relationship elements of Panic, due to the explosive dynamics involved. I would definitely recommend Panic if you are a fan of either of these authors as you’ll no doubt see the similarities too and therefore enjoy this story.

Overall Panic was an enjoyable read, at times the story development was predictable- however I somewhat expect that when reading a contemporary so I didn't feel like it was too much of a negative of this book.


The Summer I Found You
The Summer I Found You
Price: £6.08

5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend for fans of Katie McGarry’s books (Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, and Crash Into You)., 24 Mar. 2014
Before reading this book, it was the cover that drew me in. I absolutely love the softness of the pink and the ‘put-together’ feel of the heart shape element. After reading the book I can see elements of the cover representing aspects of the story and that makes me love it even more now.

The Summer I Found You is an enjoyable read about romance, self-discovery, learning to live with life changes as well as body changes. Both main characters have a new life that they have unwilling been handed. Aidan has returned back from war with the loss of an arm and Katie is coming to terms with being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Both have their own issues and are coming to terms with this new element of their life but when they meet each other, both find the other refreshingly easy to get along with and as an escape from the issues they face.

As regularly readers to my blog and watchers of my YouTube channel will know, I am not a big contemporary reader but this book was amazing and had me hooked from the first page! I really enjoyed the easiness I felt when reading this book, the writing just seemed to flow and I was swept away whilst discovering Katie and Aidan’s feelings for each other. I also enjoyed the element of self-discovery and coming-to-terms that both characters went through, this added another layer to the story and I was willing both characters along – even if I wanted to smack Katie sometimes for being so stupid!

The Summer I Found You is an enjoyable fluffy love story but with important underlying messages. I would recommend for fans of Katie McGarry’s books (Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, and Crash Into You).


Beautiful Creatures: Dangerous Dream
Beautiful Creatures: Dangerous Dream
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Ridley and Link are back!, 24 Mar. 2014
Dangerous Dream by Beautiful Creatures authors, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, is introduction back into The Caster Chronicles world and cleverly transitions the narration from Ethan over to Link and Ridley beginning their spin-off series – an element I thoroughly enjoyed and felt tied the two series together nicely.

Ridley and Link are as argumentative and unruly as usual whilst maintaining their version of a functional relationship. That is, until Link says three ‘little’ words that sends Ridley running away and leaving Link to wonder where she is. Ridley being Ridley, ends up in an unexpected situation which then leads us into the story of Dangerous Creatures (Out 20th May).

Dangerous Dream was an enjoyable read and I loved each and every page. I really enjoyed The Caster Chronicles (maybe not so much Beautiful Chaos but all the rest were good) and therefore I was glad to have a small narrative by Ethan before switching over to Link & Ridley’s narratives for the Dangerous Creatures Series. Ridley and Link were always my favourite characters in The Caster Chronicles so I’m super excited they are getting a spin-off series - I can’t wait to learn even more about them, especially their thoughts now they are both narrating. Fabulous – A must read!


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