Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review: Hexed by Michelle Krys

Hexed by Michelle Krys
The Witch Hunter Book 1
Published by Random House Childrens
I received this courtesy of the publisher.

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
I don’t know how it is possible but for a fast paced book this sure dragged on. If I hadn’t received this courtesy of the publisher I probably would have put it down to be hummed over another day. Indigo Blackwood is a typical popular girl, caring more for what people think about her than being a decent person. Being a cheerleader and keeping her football star boyfriend happy are all that matters to Indie until she sees a boy die right in front of her eyes and her families’ old bible is taken soon after the death.

I really disliked Indigo from the get go, she really just pissed me off in the worst kind of way.  My irritation started early on when Indigo agreed with someone when they called her mother crazy just for owning an occult shop. I happen to like occult things and think wicca is cool and definitely not a reason to hate on your mother. Indigo also was horrible to a girl who seemed lovely and just wanted to be her friend and that was not okay with me. I really just didn’t like anything about Indigo’s personality and I thought she just used people.

Now on to Bishop the leading guy who also fell into every bad boy stereotype imaginable but is still sensitive and caring in a sarcastic kind of way. Just perfect really except for the fact that he felt so unreal it was ridiculous. Bishop sports tattoos and wears leather in super hot weather as is continuously pointed out but he also happens to be a warlock and shows up whenever there is trouble coincidently.

The word coincidence is taken to the extreme in this book one happens every 5 pages. Oh it just so happens that Indigo was driving down the same road as someone who dies, oh Indigo know where someone she’s not even mildly friends with lives. Wow all these magical things just happen and the reader is expected to be like cool, but really it just shows that there was no solid plot. The only thing that kept me from not wanting to bash my head against the wall was that the writing was easy to read and there was a twist that I didn’t expect.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book, I feel like there are so many better witch books out there if you have a good look. I most definitely won’t be carrying on this series unless I hear things get drastically better or I’m in the mood to punish myself.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published by Harry N. Abrams
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
 Looking for a hilarious contemporary that is really realistic and honest without whitewashing emotions? Then this could be the book for you but I must warn this is the type of book you will either love or it will be completely forgettable. I certainly fell on the side of love. Following an unusual type of narration this book is written as if you are reading the book that Greg the main character is writing. He is telling the story of his life and meeting the dying girl also know as Rachel. Greg and his best friend Earl are filmmakers and they slowly kindle an awkward friendship with Rachel due to Greg’s mothers meddling. The only problem is Rachel has leukemia and is dying. Chaos ensues and every thing from dirty jokes to sobbing hugs follows in this hilarious novel.

I really struggled to pick my favourite character between the 3 mains Greg, Earl and Rachel each had such important moment that just made me want to bear hug them and tell them everything would be okay. This goes double for Earl; I think if I was held at gunpoint I’d have to pick him. It is just so hard to pick a favourite become all the characters are so well rounded and developed it really felt like they were real people that experienced all the emotions that anyone who has a friend with cancer would.  I could rave about character development and how much I love them all for ages but there are some things I loved more like the friendships.

The friendship between Earl and Greg was so perfect and really reminded me of my friendship between my best friend and myself. They were the perfect amount of mean and honest I just couldn’t help but laugh whenever they got up to their shenanigans. The awkward friendship between Greg and Rachel really made the book for me too, because that all there was just a friendship and not even a good friendship but for two practical strangers they really tried and I love them for it.

Now for the part of this book that may put people off is that it is about cancer but that isn’t entirely true. Cancer is merely a subplot to the over arching themes and at times I certainly forgot this was a ‘cancer book’ and just thought I was reading any funny contemporary. The main part that makes this book different from others that could be like it is that Greg doesn’t learn anything from Rachel’s death and if we are honest that does happen in life all the time.

All up I think everyone should give this book a go because it is so meaningful in a meaningless way and just gives me all the feels. Just read it!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

Endless by Amanda Gray
Published by Month9Books
I received this courtesy of the publisher.
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock—and the Order—the trio discovers a link that joins them in life—and beyond death.

Looking for a bit of magic combined with some romance and a touch of history then this could be the book for you. Jenny is a slightly odd girl who sees things when she touches people, it is never fully explained what she see but she sees things. After getting a mysterious message while playing with an Ouija board things go from weird to crazy. With flashbacks to Romanov period in Russia and time travel this sure is an interesting book.

I requested this book a long time ago off Netgalley and I just never got around to reading it. By the time I picked it up I had completely forgotten what it was about and boy was I surprised when the first flashback hit (I may have checked if I was still reading the same book). It is the time travel and historical element in this book seemed quite rushed and abrupt at times. The past and present in this book seemed slightly disjointed until about the middle where things started to make more sense and unravel.

I really don’t have very many feelings about this book, it was interesting enough to hold my attention long enough to finish it but I was left wondering about some of the plot points. Warning this could be a very very vague spoiler, really it means nothing if you haven’t read it but I like to warn. If you’ve read this did anyone else wonder why only one person had smoke inhalation when they were all there?

My favourite part of this book was the romance but I definitely had my faults with it mainly the insta-love factor. If you’re after a romantic gesture then this is the book for you. Not spoiling again it does say this in the synopsis but Nikolai comes forward in time to be with Jenny, if that isn’t love I don’t know what is. My only problem with Nikolai and Jenny’s relationship was that the whole thing was built around the time travel, the characters didn’t really know each other at all.  It was like this for a lot of aspects of the characters, things were just glossed over.

All in all I enjoyed this book but I didn’t find it very memorable. None of the characters or events will really stuck with me and that’s something I look for in a book.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Book Review: Camp Boyfriend by J.K Rocks

Camp Boyfriend by J.K Rocks
Published by Spencer Hill Press
I received this book courtesy of the publisher.
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
Lauren Carlson spent years being a space nerd and enjoying it only to have a full makeover after moving across states to Texas and becoming one of the popular girls. After getting sick of the fake feeling about her life and friends Lauren is really looking forward to going but to the summer camp she’s gone to for year. Camp Juniper Point has always been Lauren’s favourite place where she can constantly be herself and she’s really looking forward to that again after a trying year. Not to mention that Laurens camp boyfriend (ie they only date when at camp) Seth will be there and this year she hopes to make the relationship last longer than the last day. As always things don’t go down the way Lauren planned and this is where the love triangle comes into play.

I didn’t really have high expectations where it came to this book if I’m being honest. I love a good romance but I’ve come to despise the typical insta-love meets love triangle troupe that honest just makes me want to slam my head against the wall. Thankfully even though there is a love triangle in this book there is no insta-love both sides of the triangle know each other well.

I don’t really have a lot to say about this book all in all it wasn’t the best best thing I’ve ever read or the worst it fell solidly in the middle ground. Nothing really stood out to me, I liked all the characters but they weren’t memorable, the writing was fine but not beautiful like some books are and the romance was just sweet. The only thing I can really say is that the ending felt a little rushed compared to the rest of the book, which was quite evenly paced and just trotted along. I did like most of all from this book that I wasn’t sure who I wanted to get with Lauren more, nature boy Seth or deeper than he seemed Matt.

All in all if you are looking for something cute and fluffy that wont tug on the heartstrings or leave unanswered questions then this could be the book for you. I would recommend it to a friend if they wanted that.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Book Review; Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington
Published by Orchard Books
I received this courtesy of the publisher

Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

What would you do if every day at midnight you switched lives to become a different person? This is what Sabine goes through every day, in one life she is a perfect daughter and student with a perfect boyfriend, and in the other she is a girl who does what she likes without worrying about the consequences. Sabine lives with the strange ability always dreading the shift until one day she breaks her arm and it does not carry through into the other life. This kicks off a series of reckless experiments but when things go to far Sabine ends up in a mental hospital and meets Ethan.

With a thought provoking plotline Jessica Shrivington really know how to write a powerful book that packs a good gut-punch.  I was so enamoured in this book that I flew through it in a day. With such compelling dynamic characters I found it impossible to not fall deeply in love with it. Ethan was my favourite character with his slightly dark aura but constant respect for Sabine he really made the book for me. I just got all mushy over him. He constantly gave Sabine the support and advice she really needed, they just made such a beautiful couple and their romance was heart wrenching. It made me cry. 

Sabine was also a really relatable character I completely felt for having to deal with such a difficult situation and resorting to such drastic measures that she felt was way to fix things. I was left slightly confused though as to why Sabine was the only one who shifted, it was never explained why she shifted or if she was the only one. This was something I could deal with but I think it would have added the to the story if it was explained a little bit more. I really just chalked it up to Sabine having no idea why she shifted so it wasn’t mentioned.

To sum things up this book was just amazing, it pushed all the right buttons for me, touching my heart and making me think about decisions I would make if I was in Sabine’s situation. I would definitely recommend this to any and would like a compelling story that they won’t want to put down.

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