Hello. It seems every time I write this blog now I am apologising for the delay between posts! If you want to check out the reason click here. So back to book reviewing! For those that follow this blog, Emily Goodwin’s Contagium Series has been a firm favourite of mine and since it was picked up by Permuted Press, I have had to wait nearly two years for the release of the new book. However, Contagious Chaos didn’t disappoint.
We start book three where we left off. Orissa has just been kidnapped and Riley left for dead outside the walls of the prison which houses the deranged men that tried to kill Hayden. Once inside the prison, Orissa finds out that it is an asylum for the criminally insane (as well as just the insane). They are survivors of the zombie apocalypse but due to their slightly unhinged ways, they aren’t as civilised as the compound we know. (Side note, how often does Orissa get kidnapped by psycho people?) This book focus’ on how to escape this place and how to deal with the people inside who are making it dangerous for any other expeditions to occur from the compound. Big decisions have to be made and now it isn’t human vs zombie, but human vs human…
As I have previously stated, I love this series. It was the first zombie book that I picked up that was actually ok. I know many people love this sub-genre but I just never found it that interesting. I was also never over the whole eating people’s brains thing. However, Orissa is such a strong and interesting character that you become invested in her life and her quest to survive. Any book that can make you continue to the next has to be doing something right!
The twists are as usual, sublime and although some coincidences are just too useful, you don’t exclaim at their sheer audacity to exist (*cough*The Templar’s Quest*cough*). The fight of human vs human brings a great moral dilemma and shows how Orissa has to deal with that idea. (Although I am sure it is easier to kill people who tried to kill you than a Joe Boggs.) Obviously, Hayden and the other men have all got military backgrounds, making it easier for them. Still, they all marvel at the fact that instead of helping some of the few remaining survivors, they are plotting their demise.
The end isn’t a cliff-hanger as the other two books were but it definitely changes life at the compound significantly, for better or worse to be determined next time.
Overall a solid third outing for the Contagium Series and check out the excellent new book covers! Being more traditionally published certainly has its advantages! My verdict 9/10. Same standard as the last two and I can’t wait to read the fourth!
It’s been a while since I last posted. Many posts have been started and then life seemed to get in the way. I currently have a second blog that if you are interested in being in publishing might be of some interest to you but it has taken my time away from this one. I found this book through bookbub and was a little apprehensive. It includes a boy who has Aspergers. I find these, if done badly, can be offensive. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was excellently done and I feel many people just jumped on the Autism bandwagon. However, if done well then you bring the readers into this world and it can be beautiful.
Reclaiming the Sand starts off based on Ellie’s point of view. We see that she is in a dead end job, with dead end friends and on the road to living a life probably in prison, already having spent a stint in jail for arson. Ellie is on the brink of joining the local community college to study English Literature but is in fear of not being good enough, something her life in foster care has taught her.
Having committed to a study course, she runs into Flynn. He is the reason she was in jail, he is the reason she thinks she isn’t good enough, he is the reason she thinks she is a bad person. We learn about their teenage relationship through Flynn’s eyes and it shows how adult Ellie is still as confused as teenage Ellie. She wants to be friends with Flynn but doesn’t know how he could fit into her life of abuse, lies and status.
Flynn likes Ellie. He always has. In his head he can’t understand why she is sometimes nice to him and sometimes mean but he likes nice Ellie so much that he can forgive mean Ellie. Even when she pushed it too far, Flynn has already forgiven her for everything she did. The only question is can she forgive herself?
This book is just breath taking in its elegance and structure. It was a stroke of genius to tell the story originally from Ellie’s point of view and to see her struggle to better herself and break free of her ‘friends’. It means that when you see how she acted in high school, you don’t hate her. You feel sorry for her, disappointed in her weaknesses but you admire her even more for the changes in her life that she managed to accomplish.
Flynn is exquisitely written. I have a slight understanding of Autism through a mother working within social services and Flynn is how someone with Autism acts. It never feels forced or contrite and you never cringe at the storyline and what he says. Walters either knows someone with Autism or did extensive research but Flynn is perfect. His attitude towards life is refreshing and his ability to forgive is one we should all hope to aspire to. He knows all the bad things about Ellie and while he might not be able to understand it or vocalise his feelings about it, he does forgive her because he loves her. It is that simple for him.
All in all an excellent read full of emotion. My verdict: 9/10. Don’t be put off by the seemingly heavy subject matter, give it a go! It wont disappoint!
Ever hear of BookBub? Neither had I until I saw an internet advert. Intrigued I followed the link and found something truly amazing. A website that sends you an email every day with some great book offers. BookBub scours the internet for books relating to your favourite genres (as chosen on their website), they then send you the list and you can follow the link to get it. I have selected that I only read off of Amazon kindle so I get to find out the latest free or cheap books. Loving Mr. Daniels came through a few days ago as there is currently an offer on for it. Try out the website and you might be surprised what you get.
Loving Mr. Daniels starts off with Daniel, the titular character (yes he is called Daniel Daniels), and his horrific story. He picks up his drug dealer and user brother only to then find he is wanted by a drug gang. This gang then shoot the boys’ mother at their family home. Cut to Ashlynn and our main protagonist. She is at the funeral of her twin sister, Gabby, who died of Leukaemia. Ashlynn’s mother can no longer handle a daughter and sends her to live with her estranged father. An important note here is that Ashlynn was ill as a child so was held back a year at school, meaning she is 19 starting her last year of American high school. Gabby also left her twin letters for every big stage of Ashlynn’s life.
On the train to her father’s house and new life, she meets a young man (Daniel) who invited her to see his band perform in a local bar. After getting to know each other they realise that they are both broken individuals but seem to be able to mend slightly with each other. They share a passionate kiss and arrange to meet up for a ‘proper’ date.
On Monday at high school, Ashlynn enters into her AP English class to find her teacher is non other than Daniel…
I don’t feel that my plot section has done this book justice. It truly is one of the best chick flick/romance books I have ever read. It has the taboo of Teacher/Student romance with an unjust feeling as she is technically a year older than high school. It has the typical romance situation of two broken people but with two people who are broken because of a real life occurrence (a girl dying of Leukaemia and a drug killing is more plausible than two people who happen to find each other but were both sexually abused). It doesn’t pander to people who might not be that intellectual reading a romance book for the thrill. Intelligence and reading is seen as sexy and knowing Shakespeare is a turn on for both characters. Daniel and Ashlynn’s love is never seen as sleazy or wrong and their professional relationship is not the reason for their personal one.
Cherry has written a very smart book and it is not the actions of the characters that add the sexual tension but the words. Daniel’s quotes are amazing and are what every girl/woman wants to hear her man say; “I love you because I was born to do so”, “You’re beautiful… I don’t just mean your looks. I mean your smarts, your tears, your brokenness. I think that’s beautiful”. Imagine if your boyfriend said that too you!
I cried throughout the book. Each letter opened by Ashlynn from Gabby made me cry, the joyful events made me cry and the sad events made me cry. Unfortunately I then had to go to work… A fantastic look with puffy and red eyes for bar work!
The interactions between all the characters are great and I think it is this that adds what has been lacking for me in books of this genre. Usually you have the two main characters and everyone else is a side note. Where as Cherry has actually taken then time to create a wealth of characters, all interesting and all vital to the plot. Daniels and Ashlynn actually have lives outside of each other and this is what adds depth to the story.
All in all a great read. One you should definitely pick up and a welcomed relief after the terror of the last book! My verdict 9/10. Give it a go!
As usual with recent books that I have read, this trilogy was recommended by kindle for me. I have read 50 Shades of Grey and The Crossfire Series so I quite like romance novels that have some sort of story line. However, I couldn’t even get past the 1st book. This is highly unusual for me. Even the worst book on this blog I could finish. Time to review!
Blah blah, rip off of 50 Shades… Blah blah, badly written sex scene… blah blah, rip off of Crossfire Series, blah…
As you might have guessed I really didn’t like this book! For the first time ever this review is about a book I did not finish. As I have reviewed over 50 books on here and also read many more on top of that, this is definitely unusual behaviour!
The writing was appalling. Every few lines I was pulled out of the ‘story’ in utter disbelief at how bad it was. How anyone read it and felt the need to continue for another 2 books is beyond me. I genuinely threw my kindle away from me in disgust at how bad it was.
The storyline is a complete and utter rip off. I know many stories can be linked together (Women’s Murder Club similar to Rizzoli and Isles, Inheritance Cycle is similar to The Lord of the Rings) but this just takes the biscuit! Combine the previously mentioned romance novels together, throw in some bad dialogue and you have yourself a Forever Trilogy.
I always want people to read the books and see if they agree with me but I doubt I could let my own worst enemy read this and not feel guilty so people please, take this review on board and DO NOT READ!!! For the first time ever my verdict is… 0/10. Nothing in this book made it salvageable.
Sorry (again) for the delay in a post! So much has happened it is untrue! Little bit of personal news. I am now a student again! A masters in publishing is in my near future and I am ecstatic that I am hopefully on my career path. So ye. That’s it for me :).
Back to what this blog is for… Reviewing. As you maybe able to tell, young adult and vampire books are my little book secret. So when I watched Vampire Academy and found it was based on a book I was very happy. The film was so-so. The storyline seemed ok but the acting was very poor. It made me want to check out the books anyway. I downloaded the kindle version and can easily say this series is far superior to the film!
Vampire Academy is split into 6 books. We start of meeting Lissa and Rose, a vampire and dhampir. Lissa isn’t like the vamps we see in other books. She can stand a little sun, is not evil and has magic. Usually vamps can influence the 4 elements; water, air, earth and fire. They all have aspects of each in their magic but tend to specialise when they get older in just one field. Sometimes a vampire doesn’t specialise but those are rare cases. Lissa is part of the Moroi bread of vampire. Another strand is a Strigoi and they are the vampires humans have in their horror books and films. These have red ringed eyes, intolerance to the sun, drink blood until they have killed the supplier and are wickedly strong. They also find Moroi blood especially delicious and that is where dhampirs come into the picture. Originally, they were a result of Moroi and humans mating. This union later ceased to exist but it was discovered dhampirs cannot reproduce with their own kind. They rely on the Moroi to keep their race alive, meaning it falls to them to protect their only chance of survival so became Guardians to the Moroi. With these skill sets, schools/academies are set up to teach Moroi how to to control their magic and dhampir to protect Moroi. Rose and Lissa are at such a school. Unusual for this world they also share a bond. Rose can hear Lissa’s thoughts and sometimes put herself into Lissa’s head to see, feel and hear everything she can.
We meet Rose and Lissa outside of the academy where they have been on the run for 2 years. Rose was informed by a semi-insane teacher to run and hide Lissa. Rose has spent her life protecting her best friend and follows this strange advice. However, she never expected Dimitri to be sent after them. Regarded as a god in guardian circles, Dimitri is a young dhampir who is given Lissa as his Moroi to protect, depending on if he can find her. Taken back to school, Rose finds she is severly behind in classes and realises that to really be able to protect Lissa she needs to get her training back on track and be vigilant over her friend to avoid the danger she had been forwarned of. Dimitri becomes her tutor to catch her up on the 2 years she missed in hand to hand combat. With Lissa’s mental health deteriorating, Rose and Dimitri’s growing attraction and a danger lurking in the school as well as the usual high school drama, Vampire Academy has it all.
I haven’t really given the plot to the other 5 books of this series as I don’t want to spoil it for those who want to read the series but I will be reviewing the whole series.
One word for this series. Wow. Just wow. It is rare to find a world and characters that you miss when you finish the last book but, like Rowling, Mead had me hooked for 2704 pages. The world is totally believable, characters loveable and writing sublime. English grads may argue my last point but at no time did I have to re read paragraphs to understand it nor did the writing bring me out of the story once. Like all great books, you forget you are reading and just see the story.
Rose is a fantastic character and her romance with Dimitri is believable and heartbreaking. Her sarcastic wit is never forced or contrite and the bravery shown makes you swell with pride. Lissa is a complicated character and your feelings for her are too. Their relationships with each other and everyone else are expertly shown.
Downsides are a few and far between but some of my main gripes are; why didn’t Lissa notice her best friend was in love yet her worst enemy knew and used it against Rose? Did anyone ever tell Dimitri’s family what happened? Read could have stopped the constant book repeat. If she wanted to fill people in on the last books then maybe a chapter telling people what happened not mid action sequence! And most annoyingly, what happens after the last book finished? I want back onto this world. I want back into the lives of these characters.
Mead has created a series everyone can enjoy young and old alike. The twists are sometimes obvious, sometimes surprising and I never guessed the culprit in the last book. Characters barely mentioned in book 1 play important roles later and I love this.
All in all a fantastic book. The pros far out-way the cons. For this I give this series a 10/10 Read it and don’t judge Mead’s sublime story by the sub par acting of the film!
I have decided after this week that I really like Indie authors. Any of you who follow this blog on twitter will know that I have been doing my usual tweeting and tweeting to the authors of the books I am currently reading. Now, when you do a mainstream author, chances of getting a reply or a re-tweet are very small. Tweet an Indie author and you shall see miracles! Both Lily Zante of A Perfect Match series and now Robert J Crane have tweeted back to this little blog and indeed re-tweeted certain posts. This is obviously beneficial for both parties involved, getting my blog out to new people and the same for them. Obviously being nice does tend to help in one’s review of a book. You might not say it is a good book but you can say the author is nice!
Back to the series in hand. Again, through Kindle, the first three books of this series was offered to me. After reading Caged I was slightly apprehensive of reading another free paranormal book, especially one that gave me three new books. Luckily I was hooked on these from the first chapter!
We meet Sienna, a girl who seems to have spent her whole life inside her house. Her mother has her rules, Rule #1 being no going outside, as well as no talking about outside, always wear a full set of clothes including gloves and to basically listen to her mother all the time. Two men break into her house with guns and surprisingly, Sienna is able to defend herself extremely well with a great sense of wit to boot. Escaping her house, she runs into another man and he helps her to escape. Reed turns out later to be a great friend (watch for the twist) but for the mean time he ends up being knocked out by a hulk of a man named Wolfe. This guy is out for Sienna (another one?!) and nearly captures her at the local mall. However, a few tranquillisers later and the two previous men intervening, Sienna manages to escape. The men take her unconscious body to an institute called the Directorate and here she learns about herself and that she is part of a species called metas. These are humans who have extra strength, speed, agility, intelligence (sometimes) and their own individual power. Sienna learns she is a Succubus, a person who can dream-walk and steal people’s souls/essence from them. This obviously kills them and causes great distress to Sienna in more ways than one.
Throughout the series we have questions raised, such as where her mother has gone too, can the Directorate be trusted, who is Reed and many more resulting in a hair raising, emotional and sometimes funny quest that we venture on with Sienna.
I love this book series. The plot isn’t fully complete as I am currently on book #7 out of 10. I have read the previous 6 in about 2 days. This is how enthralling a storyline it is. I have always been a bit of a geek and these books play on this extremely well. Very large geek references are throughout, from the comic books (Iron Man and Thor) to Star Wars and more. I am sure there are some that go over even my head.
Sienna is a great character. Unlike in Caged where the leading lady was just annoying, Sienna has an Orissa feel about her (from the Contagium Series). Her tongue in cheek wit is great and I wish I had the ability to dish out some of her comebacks. She is so mature in some ways and then in a blink you are reminded she is only 18. For a man writing about a woman, Crane did an excellent job of getting an 18 year old girl insecurities down pat. Her feelings and emotions are some that I can remember from my later teenage years so well played Crane!
Like I said, I haven’t finished the series yet so I do not know what is going to happen and I am finding the directions the books are going in at the moment to be interesting. I hope we get a good ending and I’m trying not to rush them to find out as I am prone to do because I like them so much I don’t want them to end! For me they are as good as Emily Goodwin’s Contagium Series (another Indie author and the next one isn’t out until September this year!!!) and as I loved them this is high praise indeed!
My verdict is 9/10. The same mark as I gave Goodwin’s and an excellent read. I just hope the remaining books stick to the same level of entertainment! Give them a go, especially as the first three are currently free.
As with most of my books recently, this was recommended by kindle and was a free download. I read the blurb and it seemed like a ‘me’ read. This was a bit like Wedding Date and What Happens in Vegas. Both excellent chick flick films and I know people use influences from other sources (Inheritance Cycle a prime example) so nothing to unusual about it. I shall add the 3rd in this series to the mix. It is the sequel to this and the reason I shall add into this review is the fact that it could all be one book. I think it should be one book, it reads well as one book.
The Proposal starts off at the bachelorette party of Nadine’s sister. Nadine hires male strippers to come to her home to ‘perform’ for her sister and friends. Nadine is a work freak and whilst she should be enjoying the show, she is instead working from home. One of the male strippers,Ethan, catches her eye and whilst watching him, she finds her body reacting to him in a way she hasn’t for a man in a long time.
Cut to later in the story and we see that she has been invited to a work’s weekend away and it is strongly advised she brings her ‘other half’ with her. Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to do well at work, she hires Ethan to be her boyfriend for the weekend. People love him, especially her boss and owner of the company. During the weekend, Nadine and Ethan realise they have feelings for one another and decide to make it a case of seeing each other outside on this arrangement. Needless to say, the obvious happens with fallouts and make ups on the way.
Following this book, the 3rd in the series, Heart Sync continues the story and we see how workaholic Nadine and growing art sculpture Ethan continue their romance. We see the strain of his previous line of work on their relationship and how Nadine needs to learn how to think as a couple. Job prospects can no longer be taken without any thought for what might happen for her relationship. Again, a predictable happy ending occurs after some turbulence and we see a happy and strong couple at the end.
This is a very solid chick lit book(s). Nadine and Ethan are both likeable characters and Zante has managed to create a very palpable chemistry between them. Yes the storyline is predictable but I am yet to run across a chick-lit or romance book that isn’t. After all, if they weren’t predictable, the happy ending everyone reads them for wouldn’t exist.
What did annoy me was how little Zante included the characters best friends in the books. Nadine’s was cast aside easily and only brought in twice selfishly by Nadine. I understand that Zante was trying to show that Nadine was very wrapped up in work and then Ethan too but she didn’t even tell her she was going to Europe for a whole year until a month before she was due to go???? Really?! What girl do you know doesn’t tell her best friend this?
Overall the two books combined are pretty decent and I always say that if the 1st one can make me read a 2nd, it must have been ok. My verdict a very solid and reliable 6.75/10. If you like chick lit books, this is one you should definitely put on your ‘to read’ list.
I have always loved Jennifer Saunders. I blame my mother for this. She introduced me to Absolutely Fabulous, Vicar of Dibley, French and Saunders and on my own I discovered Jam and Jerusalem. Saunders’ guest spot on Friends has to be one of my favourites. She basically plays Eddie from AbFab. The joint effort of French and Saunders is sublime and their solo work is as good. I have already read Dear Fatty by Dawn French (Fatty being Saunders’ nickname) and loved it. So when Kindle biography showed me that Saunders had a biography I had to read it. I don’t like biographies as a rule. I have to really like the person they are about and even then that isn’t fool proof. My favourite comedian is Peter Kay and his biography was a very dull read. Michael McIntyre’s however was excellent! As was Dawn French’s. So with this all in mind it was with slight apprehension that I started this book.
I am not entirely sure how to do a plot section for a biography. This book is about Saunders’ life. There we go. One plot!
I am pleased to say I was not disappointed by this book. With Saunders being a comic writer this book had a lot to live up to. It wasn’t as good as it could have been but not as disappointing as Peter Kays. My main gripe was the timeline or lack of timeline. Saunders would be writing about 1985 then all of a sudden it was 1993 then back to the original story she was telling and back again. I was getting into one story then lost track of it by the time it was eventually finished.
Her book also seems to be better read alongside Dear Fatty. I felt that a lot of interesting things from her start up with French should have been put in. It would be nice to have seen the same stories but from a different point of view. At one point Saunders even says for more into this period of her life check out her other half’s book. This just seemed lazy to me.
I never knew she had cancer until I read this book. Maybe because I was a student when she had it so didn’t pay attention to newspapers or reports I do not know but thought her frankness about it was very refreshing. Yes she had cancer, no she didn’t want a sob story and yes it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and she is now ‘cured’. The people who respond to her phrasing of her remission in a negative way shouldn’t. This is her experience of cancer, her views on her remission so how people can belittle her on this I do not know. Even those with Cancer can’t really comment as again, it is HER EXPERIENCE! Rant over!
Overall, a good read. I learnt things about her I didn’t know before and followed a legends life. My verdict is 7/10. If you like Jennifer Saunders a highly recommended read!
Surprisingly, this blog does have followers from America. I found this post and thought it fitted in well with my blog and hopefully will appeal to all my followers, not just the Americans! Maybe make it into a new book list to read. Happy reading.