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Eleanor & Park
Eleanor & Park
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Unforgettable, 15 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Eleanor & Park (Kindle Edition)
Despite the hundreds of books I've read in my lifetime, and the diverse range of genres involved, like John Green, I have never seen anything quite like Eleanor & Park... the sweet but raw nature of it is simply unheard of in YA literature, and this is a tale that is not only utterly timeless, but completely unforgettable.

Books are mostly written to make you, the reader, feel things; maybe the author wants to make you laugh, or maybe they want to make you cry, sometimes they just want you to think... but with Eleanor & Park, it seems more complicated than that. Whilst the novel is funny and sad, as well as shocking, it also arouses a certain sense of nostalgia in the reader, and I, even though I'm not sure why or how, felt like I was reading hazy memory of some foggy description. And, at some points, I felt as if there was a muffled mix tape playing in my head as I was reading this... perhaps, a song by the amazing Joy Division or The Smiths? Rainbow Rowell managed to evoke so many feelings within me, as well as paint a vivid picture of the time this novel was set during.

The relationship between the eponymous characters was slow-burning and cleverly built-up. Whilst it was no Elizabeth and Darcy situation, I still felt as if the meeting of Eleanor and Park was perfectly done; the way Park's descriptions of Eleanor and his use of language when talking to her changed as the novel went on was so subtle, and yet, beautifully noticeable. The book dealt with many different themes, most of which I won't touch upon in this review, that just went to show what a strong and independent character Eleanor was. Whilst in fantasy and dystopian literature it is very common to come across feisty heroines, it is a tad rarer in realistic fiction. Eleanor, however, was both a soft, gentle character as well as an extremely tough and opinionated protagonist, and for that, I thank Rainbow Rowell!

Through the bullying and difficult home life scenes, I felt like I really got to understand Eleanor's character and so therefore feel more for her. Sure, I liked and admired the character of Tris (Divergent)... but did I understand her? No. I don't think I've ever understood a character as well as I did with Eleanor, and so that's another reason why this book is a new favourite of mine. Sure, it dragged on for awhile at bits, and I did feel as if some scenes were a bit repetitive, but the three-dimensional characters made up for this.

Overall, I really cannot recommend this novel enough; it has a beautifully way of resonating with the reader and the writing style and tone were perfect. I loved the alternating third person narratives, and the ending left so much open for interpretation! I felt as if it dragged on a bit around the middle section, but, regardless of that, this novel is definitely one that will stick with me for a very long time.

Shadow and Bone: Book 1 (THE GRISHA)
Shadow and Bone: Book 1 (THE GRISHA)
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Escape From Reality, 15 Aug. 2013
When I closed the covers of this book, late at night, I drifted into a vivid dream bursting with midnight blue keftas and beautiful - but blinding - white light. Leigh Bardugo is a master storyteller, who draws you into her richly-imagined world and refuses to release you... even after you've turned the last page. Shadow and Bone has occupied my thoughts - day and night - ever since I began it.

My attempts at explaining the books I love the most always turn out to be feeble... but I'm going to try and give this my best shot. Shadow and Bone is YA fantasy at its most divine, but also at its most engaging. Alina, as a protagonist, is likable and endearing, feisty and determined, as well as witty and admirable. The different relationships constructed between her and all the other characters - such as Genya, The Darkling, Mal and Baghra - are expertly done... And... it's just... however Leigh Bardugo did all this I'll never know! Seriously, she's a legend, I tell you.

The pacing was just immaculate and the climax was superbly written. Reading this book just reminded me of so many reasons why I love reading, the most prominent being: escaping to another world. No matter all the bizarre places I happened to be when I read this book - on a beach, in the middle of a field, on a train - I could easily be transported back to the nation of Ravka after reading only one or two sentences.

With heavy Russian influence, and an interesting blend of adventure and fantasy, Shadow and Bone really stands out when you look at recent YA books. Whilst most seem to be typical, Hunger Games-esque dystopians, Leigh Bardugo's start to this promising trilogy is a unique, cleverly-thought-out tale of a fantasy world I love. The idea of the Grisha powers intrigued me, and the plot of this "swathe of impenetrable darkness" overcoming a nation was definitely unique. I can't wait to see how things pan out in Siege and Storm!

Basically, I can't recommend this book enough. I received a review copy from Orion, but that has in no way affected my review. I'm being truthful here; Shadow and Bone is all you can ask for in a novel... and much, much more.

Friday Brown
Friday Brown

5.0 out of 5 stars An Instant Favourite, 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Friday Brown (Kindle Edition)
Two nights ago, I read Friday Brown in one sitting and it instantly became a favourite. Right now, I'm struggling to write a review of it as there is just too much to say... But before I attempt to write this review, I really want to thank Vikki Wakefield for creating this beautiful tale and even more so for creating such a unique and interesting crowd of characters - thank you!

Vikki Wakefield's writing style is so luxurious and poignant that Friday Brown is a real tribute to YA fiction. Every so often (especially after reading the prologue, my favourite section) I'd just have to sit there staring at the page in pure awe of the stunning imagery. This book really is the kind of novel that makes your inner word nerd squeal with excitement. And if that isn't enough to make you fall head over heels in love with this book, then the characterisation is sure to persuade you otherwise...

As I mentioned in the short intro, the characters were such a diverse bunch of beautiful (yet, often, troubled) people. I don't think there could have been a better narrator than Friday, whom, with the addition of Silence, has joined my list of favourite fictional characters, or a better antagonist (can I call her that?) than Arden, a complex girl full of flaws. However, for me, it was the aforementioned Silence who took the limelight; I feel as if I have to quote Marcus Zusak everytime I say his name, "Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.".

Moving on though (I'm trying to avoid the tears), the plot of this novel was a slow-burner, but superb all the same. Starting off with a dramatic prologue that documents the history of a family curse, Friday Brown has a simple but elegant storyline. Primarily a coming-of-age novel, the book leads up to a surprising resolution that slots into place so perfectly.

So, to conclude this 5-star review, Friday Brown is a brilliant novel that I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend. It was suggested to me a number of times by other bloggers before I began, and I too hope to recommend this to as many people as possible. Thank you very much to Hot Key Books for sending me a review copy, but that has in no way whatsoever affected my love for this dazzling tale.

Price: £4.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Like a Strange Dream..., 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Midwinterblood (Kindle Edition)
Midwinterblood was my second Sedgwick experience, and yet another success. Although it was initially tricky to get into, after a couple of chapters this masterly-told tale had whisked me way into the future, and then flung me way back into the past, all the time maintaining a beautiful storyline. If you're looking for an atmospheric read with elements of folklore and hints of horror, then perhaps this is the book for you!

There is just so much to love about this book! It's not a loud, showy novel, but instead it's subtly brilliant, and all the different layers slot together perfectly. There were times reading this when everything clicked together so beautifully, that all I could do was stare at the page in pure awe. Each story (or rather, life of Eric) was woven into the plot so cleverly that I felt totally at ease whilst reading this; not once did I question the author's ability to combine each tale together. (I could never really pick a favourite of Eric's lives, but I am partial towards the artist and child!).

I also found this book (undeniably) chilling. At times I felt drowsy, as if I was drinking some of the tea from Blessed Island itself, and the reading experience of Midwinterblood was oddly like a strange dream. And I guess that just echoes Eric Seven's feelings when he first arrived at the island. So, with this macabre setting, and these haunting events, I doubt I'll forget Blessed Island anytime soon! Small details, such as the rare flowers and the different moons, make it really and truly 'unforgettable'.

Overall, I really, really loved this novel. Although I found it quite difficult to get used to the writing style, I still believe this is a book definitely worth pursuing. Midwinterblood was such a satisfying read, in terms of the fact that everything was resolved so neatly and everything fitted together wonderfully. I did receive a review copy from Indigo (Orion), but that has in no way affected my enjoyment of this book; I really did love Midwinterblood.

All Our Yesterdays
All Our Yesterdays
Price: £4.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, Powerful and Unbelievably Clever, 15 Aug. 2013
Often I say I've read a book in one sitting when what I actually mean is that I read it in one day... With this book though, I genuinely read the whole thing in one go without stopping - it was just SO addictive! Being the huge Doctor Who fanatic I am, I'm usually quite fussy about my time travel/sci-fi novels (as you can see from my bad experience with Tempest by Julia Cross), but this time around I fell in love with Cristin Terrill's complex, powerful and unbelievably clever tale! I really, really recommend it!

I am a sucker for this kind of novel... assassination attempts, the prospect of a hellish future, an apparently dangerous time travel machine? What more can you ask for from a sci-fi?! Other than a brilliant cast of characters and an addictive writing style... oh woops, this novel had that too! Yep, as you can tell, this book completely and utterly blew my mind. It's difficult to believe that All Our Yesterdays is the author's debut, but far more exciting to think of what else the author has planned for us... but back to the book in question - where should I begin?

Told through two different narratives from two different timelines, both Em and Marina are engaging and likable. I usually have issues with multiple narrators, but Cristin Terrill pulled this off masterly leaving me at complete ease whilst reading the tale. At points it did get a tad too complex, particularly when the characters from the present/future were having conversations with their past selves, but other than that, the terminology and time travel concept was fairly easy to get a grip of. Basically, this book is perfect for all sci-fi geeks! It does have a bit for everyone though, with a small romance as a sub-plot and action scenes scattered throughout... it's ideal for fans of The Hunger Games!

This review is getting extremely ramble-y (sorry!) but there is just so much to cram into these four or so paragraphs. All Our Yesterdays is certainly a novel that packs a punch & the climax was a perfect blend of tension and action! If my jaw wasn't permanently dropped whilst reading this, I may have been able to exclaim some of the many thoughts rushing through my mind... the author tantalises the reader to the point of frustration, but oh how I loved it! The sense of urgency created throughout just makes this novel utterly devourable.

Overall, as you can tell, this is definitely a novel I recommend. It's a must-buy for all sci-fi nerds and even if you don't like time travel then I still recommend borrowing it from someone who does! Some passages were difficult to stomach, in terms of not everything being entirely clear, but I recommend this book nevertheless. Sorry for this dreadful ramble, but my thoughts are all over the place! Any chance of a spin-off novella Cristin Terrill?

If You Find Me
If You Find Me
Price: £3.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Debut, 15 Aug. 2013
This review is from: If You Find Me (Kindle Edition)
If You Find Me is a rare kind of book. This is not just because of how achingly beautiful it is, but more because of how achingly real it is. It's just so believable and raw I was constantly left wondering whether this did actually happen in real life. Although I had a few tiny problems with it around the middle section, I really recommend this stunning debut... it's just so - and I know I keep saying the R word - real!

Okay, here goes: this isn't a book that just lives up to a hype, this is a book that completely obliterates the hype. Right from the beginning (or should I say the "end"?) Emily Murdoch draws the reader into her well-crafted tale. The descriptions are flawless, the dialogue stunning and the characterisation perfect; I felt at complete ease whilst reading this and I just knew it couldn't go wrong. Something about the writing style reminded me of both Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield and Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher... and, even though those books are quite different, I'm sure all fans of those contemporaries will ADORE this one!

For me, what really made the novel was the style. Every letter, every piece of punctuation, every word seemed to be there for a reason - everything about the novel seemed to mean something. Carey's voice was one I savoured, the way her past was gradually revealed bit by bit was more like an experience than a book. Sometimes the aftermath of a novel is too bitter and you decide that (even though you initially loved it) it actually wasn't that amazing... well, If You Find Me wasn't like that at all. I ended up reading it well into the night, and woke up the next morning with Carey's tale and Nessa's spidery voice echoing in my mind.

Overall, I don't have much to say about this book other than the fact I loved it! To begin with, the constant references to beans bugged me, but after awhile I realised they were probably meant to be some symbolism of Carey and Nessa's old life. The only reason I'm not giving this novel 5 stars is because I found the small romance in this quite forced (in a sense)... I didn't really feel for it, that's all! But unlike many of the reviewers on Goodreads, I did really adore the ending... sometimes blunt and questionable is the best way to finish.

The Infernal Devices 3: Clockwork Princess
The Infernal Devices 3: Clockwork Princess
Price: £6.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Practically Perfect!, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I finished this book curled up on my bed late at night. I finished this book with a sad sort of smile tugging at my lips. I finished this book a week ago, but only now has it properly settled in. Let me tell you one thing, Clockwork Princess was practically perfect. This, Suzanne Collins (because I was sadly not a fan of Mockingjay), is the proper way to end a trilogy. But *sigh* somebody please tell me what to do with my life now! This book has left me lost... And how often does that happen?

As far as I'm concerned, this book had everything... And by 'everything' I mean everything. From shocking plot twists to beautifully-written conversations, this book ticked all the boxes... Made me laugh ☑ Made me think ☑ Made me (almost) tear all my hair out in sheer frustration ☑

As always, Cassandra Clare was spot on with the characters, and I think I grew to love each of them even more than I thought possible! Tessa and Will - with their book loving antics - were just brilliant throughout... And Jem? Well, Clare has certainly left a lot open for TDA! Cecily was the perfect addition to the plot, after entering the storyline right at the end of Clockwork Prince. She was feisty, sarcastic and hilarious... But let's be honest, what else can we expect from a Herondale? Gideon & Sophie were as lovely as always, needless to say, and were a superb sub-plot. As for Gabriel? I was absolutely determined to hate him, but I just couldn't! I was convinced he was a spying, good-for-nothing traitor, but alas he was just too likeable. (Although I did admittedly laugh at his pain when Gideon threw a scone at his head).

As for the actual plot... I'm lost for words... Well, not really, but you get what I mean. Who could have guessed all those twists and turns? I don't want to spoil anything, but just let me say: this was the perfect resolution to a brilliant series!

Spotify (Kindle Tablet Edition)
Spotify (Kindle Tablet Edition)

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 7 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Of course to have this on Kindle, you have to have Spotify Premium... So don't buy this if you don't have premium as otherwise it (sadly) won't work. From my experiences, it doesn't have any glitches, and performs well. Adding tracks to a playlist can be a bit of a hassle at times though & the screen doesn't rotate which can also be a pain. Overall this app isn't flawless, but is useful for when you're out and about. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, you can read and listen to spotify at the same time).

InkPad Notepad (for notes)
InkPad Notepad (for notes)
Price: £0.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On The Tin, 17 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: InkPad Notepad (for notes) (App)
I wasn't expecting anything special from this app, it does what it says really. It has no glitches or anything, and it's perfect for writing short notes, ideas and stories down. I'm really satisfied with this product so far, but just recommend you keep the kindle 'locked' when you're typing.

by Marie Lu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Beginning to the Trilogy, 16 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
To begin with, I couldn't tell if this was really going to be my sort of book... Sure, I love dystopian epics... But this one seemed a bit, you know, cheesy. After reading the first few chapters, I was still uncertain - it didn't seem extremely special... A bit wooden and predictive to tell the truth... And then it hit me. I was wrong, oh-so wrong. Legend turned out to be a fast-paced ride full of twists, turns and secret conspiracies! Oh, how I loved this book.

The novel is told through two different narratives: Day and June. Each of the characters has their own back-story, and their own aim. Day, a criminal from the slums of the Republic's Lake Sector, is trying to get a cure for his dying brother... Whilst June, a progidy living in one of the Republic's wealthy sectors, is trying to avenge her brother's death. What's not to love? Seriously... Did I mention this was loosely based on Les Miserables? The way the chapters alternate between each character's voices, is both addictive and insightful. Marie Lu is a genius, I tell you.

And so, although I mentioned that I wasn't initially too keen on this, it was well worth the read! It's not the best dystopian I've read *cough* Divergent *cough* but it is definitely up there with my favourites. Legend is the perfect beginning to a trilogy I think can only get better and better... And so I can't wait to buy Progidy!

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