Saturday, 21 July 2012

Starters (Starters and Enders #1) by Lissa Price

Title: Starters (Starters and Enders #1)
Author: Lissa Price
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Rating: 3.5/5



Starters takes place in a post-apocalyptic, futuristic, dystopian world where a large part of society has been affected by a biochemical war that killed everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. Starters are children under nineteen years of age, those just starting out in life, and Enders who are over the age of sixty-one. The bridge between poverty and wealth is vast and the Starters must work hard every day in order to survive.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Callie Woodland who lives on the streets with her younger brother Tyler and friend, Michael. Against her better judgement, Callie turns to Prime Destinations to rent out her body so the rich and old can briefly experience virtual youth. However, what seems to be a painless means to gain money for a home and medical care for her brother goes astray when Callie wakes up in her renter’s life and finds out that Prime Destinations is not what it seems to be.

Callie quickly finds out that her renter, Helena Winterhill, is planning to murder someone. Terrified, Callie pretends to be her renter to avoid suspicion in order to secure her payment, but also tries to escape Helena’s plan that would surely lead to her arrest and execution.

Along the way, Callie finds herself developing a relationship with a handsome and cunning rich teen, Blake Harrison, who is the grandson of a senator.

Time is of the essence and Callie soon finds herself being pulled deeper into Helena’s scheme. Under the bright façade of Prime Destinations lies a deeper world than Callie could have ever imagined. Will Callie find herself carrying out Helena’s plan or will she stand back and let the Enders of Prime Destinations win?

Callie’s voice and strength captured me from the beginning. She has been thrown from living a normal life with her family into an unfortunate situation that she faces with great determination. Starters’ focus primarily is on Callie and Helena’s life, but not enough on the development of the other characters. I would have loved to have seen more of the Blake and the other renters.

The beginning of Starters was gripping and emotional, but fell flat in the middle. However, what I did love was the ending. It took me completely by surprise and I was in shock at how much Callie was being played and monitored.

Starters is fully entrancing and impossible to draw away from. The plot contains many twists and turns that reels you more deeply into the book and leaves you wondering will happen next.

Enders, the second and final book in this enchanting series will hit bookstores December 11, 2012. Keep an eye out for it!

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noël


Author: Alyson Noël 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352 (Hardcover) 
Rating: 3/5



New York Times Bestselling author of the Immortals series, Alyson Noël creates a beautiful and diverse world of the Soul Seekers. Fated, the first book in this new young-adult fantasy series, tells the story of a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Daire Santos has been experiencing strange things recently. She has visions of glowing people and animals that follow her. Concerned for her mental health, Daire’s mother packs her bags and sends her daughter off to the remote town of Enchantment, New Mexico. Daire will be staying with a grandmother who she never met, and claims that she has the solution to Daire’s condition. 

During her stay, Daire meets Dace, a stunning young man with breath-taking blue eyes who Daire is certain that she has met before…in her dreams.

However, Daire’s stay will not all be fun and games. Her grandmother, Paloma, straightaway begins to teach her how to harness her spiritual powers of being a Soul Seeker, a person who can travel between the worlds of the living and the dead. Paloma and Daire must work quickly and efficiently at getting her to master her powers. If not, insanity will begin to take over and corrupt Daire’s mind, and will give Dace’s shape-shifting brother an easy opportunity to steal her powers.

Danger is in the air and Daire must welcome her destiny of being a Soul Seekers with open arms. Will Dace be the one for Daire or the one to destroy her forever?

Reading this novel was a challenge in the beginning as the book took up more of a spiritual edge and understanding their ways of culture was difficult. Moving through the book was easier said than done but Ms. Noël did finally capture my attention before I hit the middle of the book. The vivid descriptions and plot line was ingenious and I was pleasantly surprised.

Overall, Fated was an enjoyable book and a satisfying read. Be sure to check out Echo, the next book in the Soul Seekers series which hits bookstores November 13, 2012.

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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows by Michelle Horst

Title: Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows 
Author: Michelle Horst 
Pages: 325 (Kindle) 
Rating: 4.5/5 





Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows is a spectacular young-adult fantasy novel that combines danger, mystery, romance, and thrill into a fast-paced, action-packed book. Ms. Horst is a brilliant author who brings that magical land of Vaalbara to life bursting with vivid colours, images, and much more to meet the eye.

Aislinn Calder the main character is a beautiful sixteen-year old girl who sees herself as nothing more than an outcast doomed to live through the rest of her high school years alone - and maybe with her imaginary friend, Sid. Aislinn spends most of her time in the forest outside her adopted family’s home sketching a waterfall that haunts her dreams. The natural wonder flows around breath-taking scenery and landscapes in a forbidden land.

Life seems to be fairly normal for Aislinn until she meets Ryan Eames, a charming and handsome young man who immediately takes an interest her. A secretive young fellow, Ryan blows down all the barriers Aislinn has built and turns her world upside down. However, there is more to Ryan than he lets on. Shadowing the Earth plant is the ancient, secret world of Vaalbara. Raighne, aka Ryan is on a mission to retrieve Aislinn and bring her back to her homeland of Vaalbara where she can rightfully take her place as Princess Alchera. She will reign beside her two older sisters, Princess Alandra and Princess Fleur, and her brother, Prince Aurian under the watchful eye of their parents.

Time is at stake and the moment Alchera steps foot in Vaalbara, the clock starts ticking. The Earth is doomed to end and the existence of the entire human race depends on Alchera. She is destined to save ten humans and she will choose them from following her dreams. The Chosen will be saved from the crumbling planet and continue to live out their days in Vaalbara, where their skills will be honed for the next generation of man.

However, the journey that Alchera will have to take is not as clear as she thought it would be. Fate has set out a dangerous course that Alchera will have to face, one that will not only test her physical strength but also her endurance.

However, she will not be alone in this adventure. Alchera will have the assistance from Raighne and of course, her faithful sidekick, Sid.

The journey will be hard and tedious. Wills will be tested, but in the end, will it be enough?

Vaalbara: Visions and Shadows is a magnificent read and you will lose yourself in each detailed page. The characters and wondrous plot will keep you hooked until the very last, riveting word.

*book provided by author for honest review*


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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand


Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 435 (Hardcover)  
Rating: 3.75/5





Unearthly is a magnificent young-adult paranormal fantasy book that brings the genre of angels to life. Cynthia Hand is a brilliant storyteller that weaves a beautiful complicated storyline that will leave you guessing what will happen next until the very last word.

Unearthly tells the story of sixteen year-old Clara Gardner who is ¼ angel blood and ¾ human descent. She has just received a purpose, something that she must do involving a boy that is surrounded by a raging fire, in her dreams. Clara thinks it’s her duty to save him, so she and her family move to Wyoming from California.

When she meets Christian who is –literally- the boy of her dreams, she tries to get to know him and has a bit of a crush on him. However, Tucker, another boy that she meets at school also captures her attention. Christian and Tucker both have to battle for Clara’s heart and when time is counting down to the moment of Clara’s destiny, who will truly have her heart?

Unearthly is a well-paced story that will never get boring. The mystery surrounding Clara’s purpose creates a nice tension and will keep you on your toes throughout the book. The angel mythology unfolds at a good rate as well. Ms. Hand carefully explains the role of angels and the role they play in the war when they are cast out of Heaven when siding with Lucifer.

Unearthly is a breath of fresh air and definitely a great read when you’re in need of one. 

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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Infamous (Chronicles of Nick #3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5/5 stars 

Infamous: Chronicles of Nick



International bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, returns again to bring forward another spectacular novel that will captivate readers from beginning to end.  Her audience of “Menyons” range from 2 week old infants to 102 years-olds.  Ms. Kenyon has inspired thousands to pursue their dreams and follow their hearts.  Her stupendous writing has brought fantasy to life where there is no limit to the world of imagination.

Infamous is the third young-adult paranormal fantasy book in Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series.  Infinity, the first book in the series debuted on May 25th, 2010. The sharp witty humour was undeniably funny and caught the attention of many young readers along with her supporters of her adult romance series, Dark-Hunters.

Nicholas Gautier (pronounced Go-shay, not Gaut-tee-aa) is a proud 15 year old Cajun with a sharp attitude and a fierce loyalty to his mother, Cherise Gautier, an intimidating 29 year old woman who can make any grown man “wet himself”.  Readers follow their favourite characters, Nick, Nekoda, Bubba, Duck Urine Mark, Caleb, Kyrian, and Acheron through fast-paced, breathtaking adventures from one world to another where danger never seems to be too far behind.

In her previous books, readers have learned and discovered more about the world of Dark-Hunters and other demons and creatures. Infamous breaks down the barriers that surround Nick and spin his world out of control. Time is altered with Ambrose, Nick’s future self being in the Present, and every second of his life is crucial to the survival of man, literally. It is vital that Nick retains his humanity as long as possible as the fate of the world is in his hands. However, Adarian Malachai, Nick’s father, is out for vengeance, and his ultimate prize? Nick himself. The stakes are higher than ever and the bounty that is placed on Nick’s head gets increasingly bigger with every moment he is walking the face of the Earth.

Meanwhile, chaos is breaking out at Nick’s high school. An unidentified creator has designed a website called, theothersideofStRichards.com. The website discriminates the whole student body and releases lies and secrets about one another that start to turn everyone against each other. Even though “violence is never the answer”, fights are quickly breaking out, and Nick is the victim of some of them. Computer geniuses, Mark, Bubba and Madaug can’t seem to infiltrate the user and matters are getting worse. Nick is accused of rape and even though he knows level 40 of “gorilla”, he will need much more to solve this case. Nick and crew start to believe that something “not human” is under all of this. Time is ticking and if someone can’t crack this case, someone or something is going to do something that they will regret.

Alliances between man, demon, and Dark-Hunter are put to the test. Nick starts to harness his true Malachai power and the past will begin to reveal the actions of others. With the help of this fellow friends and Death himself, can Nick survive the day?

When I first saw Infinity on the bookshelves in June 2010, I instantly knew it would be a great read. The exquisite colours on the cover contrasted beautifully with each other and immediately reeled me in. However, what really caught my attention was Ms. Kenyon’s name written elegantly at the bottom. Ms. Kenyon is and will forever be a well renowned author as I had seen her name on posters and frequently in the hands of readers, whether they were walking down the street or either taking the bus to work or school.

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a fabulous author who can only be described as a genius. Her magnificent story lines and intoxicating story plots will always keep you on the edge of your seat, gasping for more. Her riveting novels will appeal to everyone and anyone. If you’re looking for an extraordinary read that will satisfy your craving, definitely look for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books.

Be sure to keep your eye open for the fourth book in the Chronicles of Nick series, Inferno in bookstores March 4th, 2013.  

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Saturday, 12 May 2012

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 441 (Hardcover)
Rating: 4/5 stars

Delirium (Delirium, #1)


Lauren Oliver first made her appearance in the writing industry with her spectacular debut novel, Before I Fall in spring 2010. The young adult fantasy book was an instant sell-out and quickly claimed a spot on the New York Times Bestsellers list within weeks of its release. Oliver’s highly anticipated second book, Delirium which was released in February of 2011 did not fail to impress readers, critics, and bloggers worldwide.

Delirium is a dystopian book and first and foremost a love story. At eighteen years old, citizens of the United States of America must legally undergo a procedure – a “cure” – that will result in citizens being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend or family member.

The main character seventeen-year-old Lena Holoway, is scheduled to have her procedure completed on September 3, in ninety-five days. Her eagerness to rid her emotion of love has consumed her mind from day one. Lena hopes to be accepted back into her family and be seen no longer as an outcast. However, all her beliefs change when she meets Alex, a smart, witty, and handsome young man. At first Lena quickly denies herself any association with Alex as all her life she has learned to keep her distance from others because the threat of the deadly disease, deliria could potentially kill her.

Throughout the book, the young couple rapidly create chaos that could expose them to the government while fighting for the chance to escape the prison that has been their life for the past seventeen years. Their nail-biting journey will keep you on the edge of your seat, begging for more. Delirium will always be on your mind. Although Lena and Alex will sacrifice everything for each other, will love conquer all?

Delirium is a wonderful emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian future. Be sure to watch out for the next book in the Delirium series. The release of the next book, Pandemonium is just right around the corner and should be in bookstores on February 28, 2012.

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Fateful by Claudia Gray Book Review

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 325 (Paperback)
Rating: 4.5/5 stars



In this captivating young adult fantasy novel, Claudia Gray spins a beautiful web of mystery, romance and danger where main character, Tess Davies is caught in the heart of it all.

Fateful takes us aboard the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in April of 1912. Eighteen year old maid Tess Davies who has been trapped under the employment of the foul, mean-hearted Lisle family for years looks towards America as a chance for a start of a new life.

Days before boarding the Titanic, Tess meets Alexander Marlowe, a first class citizen who saves her life and then warns her to stay away. Alec's strange encounter seems unsettling to Tess, but ironically, she bumps into him whilst aboard the ship.

Alec clearly has a terrible secret, but Tess is drawn to him nevertheless. The two quickly find themselves falling for each other despite the difference of their social classes.

Throughout the book, Alec and Tess face incredible danger and challenges that will test the will of their love. Fear is intense and the stakes are high, but will the couple conquer their task before the ship's inevitable fate?

When I first picked up the book, Fateful, I instantly knew it would be a great read. Claudia Gray is a fabulous writer as she never fails to impress with brilliant story-lines, magnificent characters, and ingenious twists and turns that will leaves you gasping for more.

The Titanic has always been a topic of interest for me as the depths of the infamous ship and its voyage is still yet to be explored. The mysteries and legends surrounding this tale stretch across generations and still captivate people far and wide.

Fateful with stay with me for a very long time. Needless to say, this book consumed me from the beginning of page one to the very last word. Supernatural creatures, power struggles, and tragic romances come alive together in this riveting novel. Gray has brought a whole new life to the "unsinkable ship" and shows how love can conquer all. Fateful is definitely a book you don't want to miss!

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Saturday, 14 April 2012

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Review (Movie)

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Review (Movie)
Rating: 3/5
Official Website: http://percyjacksonbooks.com/
Fan-Made Website: http://www.percyjackson.org/

Percy Jackson had a massive fan-base from the beginning of its journey to the big screen. Based on the young adult series by Rick Riordan the production had a lot to live up to.

We follow Perseus (Percy) Jackson the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea, on an epic journey to save his mother from the Underworld where she is being held captive by Hades. And, find Zeus's master lightning bolt which he has been accused of stealing to clear his name. But, he is not alone on his quest. He has the help of his two best friends (his only friends who are not trying to kill him) where they help him uncover the mystery behind the ordeal. Annabeth, the demi-god daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and Grover the satyr, are the two companions Percy had chosen. The team of three have to face twists and turns and the wraths of angry gods, but Percy could not have chosen a better team to support him all the way through.

To say that the book and the movie are completely different is just scratching the surface. Each introduces us to a whole different world of magic and adventure that can arise the senses. I would have say, like most scenarios, the book has the better view on the story line than the movie. But, I wouldn't be ready to put it into the junk pile yet.

The movie offers a variety of items that the book does not include. I absolutely loved the sharp snaps of humour that was thrown in, it kept me entertained and laughing until the very end. I especially had to comment on the choice of actors that was cast. They gave a whole new light to the characters and connect in a way that really made the movie click and enjoyable. How the scenes and detailed features really made the movie to life. It was like everything had leaped off the pages of the book and into reality.

Like most novel-to-movie adaptations, a lot of parts were cut and rewritten to fit the 100 minute time constriction. Many of the page turning events were missing and left me somewhat disappointed. I know that it had to be done, but the lack of action was heart crushing. (Metaphorically speaking)

The one thing that really got me confused is the ages of the characters that the actors are suppose to be portraying. Rick Riordan written Percy, Annabeth, and Grover to be about preteen to almost teen age category. The movie had casted the characters at around seventeen-nineteen. Although this does not have a major impact on the story line, I have yet to wonder what will happen to the forthcoming movies.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief gives a new look on Greek mythology that will tantalize everyone's taste buds. The next movie in the series, The Sea of Monsters, will come out in mid 2013 and I'm definitely looking forward to it!

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