Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Legend - Marie Lu

Legend (#1)
By Marie Lu
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: November 29th 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 305
ISBN: 039925675X

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets. (Goodreads)
 Pretty decent dystopian novel! I kind of got the 1984-esque big brother type vibe from the novel which was pretty cool. I also easily connected with the characters and enjoyed how Lu alternated view points each chapter. It really allowed for the book to flow steadily along. The romance aspect again was kind of meh and drew away from the story, but it wasn't overwhelming and prevalent to the point that I couldn't hammer through it. I thought the ending was a bit predictable but none the less enjoyable!
4/5 Carls

Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer
By Morgan Matson
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 468
ISBN: 1416990674

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love. (Goodreads)

This book was seriously so good, this is the first book to EVER make me cry... and not just a few tears. I bawled like a little baby, just tears everywhere. This book gave me so many feelings, it was a roller coaster. I knew going into the book that it was going to be sad but I am shocked at the effect it had on me. Morgan Matson has quickly become one of my all time favourite authors, she is an auto read for me. The characters in this book were so relatable and I felt everything Taylor felt, it felt like I was right there with her. I loved Henry as a love interest, but I also liked how the focus of the story wasn't solely on the relationship. This book was more finding yourself, family oriented, with some love and friendship thrown in to show the importance of all. Taylor's father was just... everything, my heart broke for him. This book just reminded me of why its so important to cherish the little things in life because you never know what could happen. Even though I knew how this book was going to end, I still couldn't put it down. 

I highly recommend this book, but please be warned, it is very sad and if it can make me cry, then you better have some tissues near by!

Me reading this book... multiple times

But not really...

Thats more like it
5/5 Albi Cats

Sunday, 17 August 2014

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

If I Stay
By Gayle Forman
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: April 6th 2010
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 262
ISBN: 014241543X

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and the forthcoming Just One Year. 

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving. (Goodreads)
 Seriously this book was so good! Definitely not a light hearted read, its very very sad but also beautiful. I honestly don't know what I would do if I were put in Mia's situation. She suffered so much loss in such a short period of time and was left literally with a life or death decision. I was back and forth for the whole book on whether she was going to decide to stay or go. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, Mia's family was amazing. I also really enjoyed how the story flips back and forth between past and present, I think it added a lot of depth to the book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it, but be warned its a sad one!!

5/5 Albi Cats

The Death Cure - James Dashner

The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)
By James Dashner
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: October 11th 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 325
ISBN: 0385738773

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure? (Goodreads)
 For me this series just kind of progressively went downhill after the first book. The ending of book two left some promise, but that was really the end of it all. I did not like this book, it just seemed to lag on and I found my interest dwindled as it went on. The ending was just very bland, I wanted more but didn't get it. The entire time I fully expected a big twist in Dashner-esque type fashion....but it never came go fruition. Ultimately it just was a disappointing ending to what was huge potential after the first book. Most of the questions of the series were answered whichever as nice but I just felt like there was some substance missing. Worth finishing the series but not something I will ever read again!

2/5 Carls

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 - TBR

Hello Everyone!

Bout of Books 11.0 is on its way! This is by far my favourite readathon to participate in!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My Goals:

  1. Read a total of 5 books
  2. Read two graphic novels
  3. Read three books of three different genres


  1. The Walking Dead Graphic Novel - Volume 12
  2. Saga - Volume 1
  3. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion
  4. Robopocalypse - Daniel H. Wilson 
  5. Frostbite - Richelle Mead

Are you participating in Bout of Books 11.0? If you are, Good luck, read lots and Have fun!!

Fire & Flood - Victoria Scott

FIre & Flood
By Victoria Scott
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: February 25th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 305
ISBN: 0545537460

Time is slipping away.... 

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go. (Goodreads)

I LOVED this book! Loved it loved it loved it! I can completely see now why people say that this book is kind of like a mix between the hunger games and Pokemon... its amazing!

I found this book had a quick start, and I was only a bit skeptical on how quickly Tella came to accept that she was going to take part in the Brimstone Bleed, however, once the race began I was so completely engulfed in this book that I couldn't put it down! I wasn't a huge fan of the romance, however, I didn't feel like it was overpowering in the story so it didn't really bother me that much. I loved Tella and the majority of the other characters, minus Titus for obvious reasons! Guy reminded me a lot of Derek from Teen Wolf and so I really enjoyed his character as well. I do have to say that my favourite aspect of this book was the Pandoras! I am a HUGE animal lover and the fact that they are such a big part of the story was fantastic. I would 100% love to have Madox as my Pandora!

I definitely recommend this book if your looking for a fun quick read thats full of action! Loved it!!!!

Realizing what the Brimstone Bleed will really be like..

Seriously just a constant state of crisis!
5/5 Albi Cats

California Bones - Greg Van Eekhout

California Bones 
By Greg Van Eekhout
Reviewed by Jeff
Published:  June 10th 2014
Publisher: Tor Books 
Pages: 304
ISBN: 0765328550

When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian.

When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.

Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch's storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian's sword, an object of untold power. 

For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There's Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.

Extravagant and yet moving, Greg van Eekhout's California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality--different from the world we know, yet familiar and true. (Goodreads)
 I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. TOR was kind enough to send a copy for me to review and it did not disappoint. As per my understanding this is Van Eekhout's first attempt at writing a novel for adult readers and he did one hell of a job. The magic scheme was well thought out, granted I wish there was a bit more explanation and development, but super unique none the less. I could have gone for a bit more world building as well but I don't think this book was written in the idea that it would be an epic or trilogy, in which would require such a build. I put it along the same writing style as Daniel Wilson, very concise and action packed. Very to the point and a high energy read!
4/5 Albi Cats

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ruins - Orson Scott Card

Ruins (Pathfinder #2)
By Orson Scott Card
Reviewed by Jeff
Published: October 30th 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 530
ISBN: 1416991778

Rigg has the power to change the past. But nothing can prepare him for the future...
The adventure, suspense, and time travel continue in this second installment in the critically acclaimed New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestselling Pathfinder series. (Goodreads)
 As much as I disliked pathfinder, I actually rather enjoyed ruins. To me, the struggle to get through pathfinder seemingly was in order to introduce ruins. The world building and theory building was mainly to allow ruins to flow freely, which it did. I finally began to grasp exactly how the time travel aspects worked, and that meant I was able to engage with the characters and this made the novel rather enjoyable. The uniqueness of the said world, and the characters involved make this series an interesting one, and given the ending to this book, I will be picking up the third when it comes out.
4/5 Carls

The Best of Me - Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me
By Nicholas Sparks
Reviewed by Jamie
Published: October 11th 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 292
ISBN: 0446547654

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past. (Goodreads)
This is probably one of my favourite Nicholas Sparks books! It has a very Notebook-like plot, but it has many differences. I absolutely loved Dawson as a character, he was rough around the edges, but not so rough that it was annoying. I really loved how after all those years he never loved anyone else besides Amanda. I actually really liked all of the characters in this book, even Amanda's mother grew on me by the end.

The ending of this book was a jaw dropper! It took me by surprise and it was sad, but perfect. I can't wait to see the movie!!

Amanda and Dawson <3

The ending of this book...
5/5 Albi Cats