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      30.06.2012 18:25
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      A disappointing novel that had a lot of potential

      I don't think I've ever been so torn about whether or not I wanted to read a book. Back when the cover was released, I fell in love. I know I'm not the only one. Because, seriously? That cover is Gorgeous with a capital 'G'. It totally is. I would die for that dress. Thinking about it makes me practically drool. Honestly. If I had that dress I would be the happiest person in the WORLD. (Ishould hire somebody to make it for me). And it's not just the dress, but the pose and the whole photograph is breath-takingly beautiful. It's so America's Next Top Model! Possibly my favourite book cover. Ever.

      Now, enough cover talk! The synopsis sounded interesting, something that I'd maybe not have noticed if the cover was not what it was, because it's supposed to be a dystopia and I've been a bit bored with dystopias recently. I was so sure the insides would be as beautiful as the cover, but then I read a review from a highly-respected reviewer whose opinion I trust. A lot. And I felt a bit deflated. But that was nothing like the shock I felt when I found out that Kiera Cass, the author of The Selection had actually attacked this reviewer. The review was her honest opinion about the book and everybody is entitled to their own opinion whether it be positive or negative and even though I hate getting involved in this sort of drama, because as a teenage girl, I already get enough of that, it really annoyed me. I told myself that I wouldn't read it because of how the author behaved but...I wanted to read it, y'know? I really wanted to. And you know how there was negative reviews? There was also positive ones. From more reviewers/bloggers I trusted. They were five-star review, raving reviews about how absolutely amazing and amazing and amazing this book was. So what was a girl to do if not read the bloody book?

      The relationship I had with The Selection when I finished reading was simple: love-hate. Well, as simple as love-hate can be! There were various problems I had, but also things I really loved. I'm going to start with the bad things because that's how I roll...(and I'm bullet-pointing because it's easier)

      +The names. I liked America, but Singer as her surname? When she was a singer? What a coincidence! Meh. And...Tiny?
      +It's labeled as dystopian, but didn't feel like one at all, except for the fact that there were caste-systems that were pretty Hunger-Games-style.
      +Prince Max. He was nothing like what I'd thought he'd be! America really hates him at first, even though she doesn't actually know him and because of this I expected him to be this outgoing, cheeky yet shy guy BECAUSE OF what she thinks, but he...wasn't. To be honest, it sounded like he was a lot older than he was. I mean, he kept calling America 'dear' and it sounded all wrong and just a tad creepy. I dunno, it just did. I couldn't picture him as being a future king. He just seemed to naive.
      +The ending was horrible. I actually read the eGalley version on my Kindle, and didn't even realise that it had ended until I saw the acknowledgements. You could see that as being a good thing, because I was into the story and didn't notice, but it just felt unfinished to me. The actual Selection wasn't even like, finished. If I was you, I'd probably read this like, the day before the sequel comes out unless you don't mind huge cliffhangers and having to wait a year or so for the next book.
      +Not another series! If it was just a contemporary YA instead of this complex dystopian business, it could've been a standalone read that Iwould really enjoy. Unfortunately, now we have to WAIT. And I *hate* waiting.
      +Not another LOVE TRIANGLE. It was too cliched for me and didn't work.

      Good things
      +I really liked the idea of it. I don't think there is many stories like this in YA. We have angels and vampires and werewolves and mermaids and faeries, but where are the good 'ole princesses? It has been my lifelong dream to be a princess, so it would be pretty awesome if I could pretend I was in the book, as a princess. Or something.
      +Like Wendy Darling (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/231455953) said, if the author had chosen to write this as a fairy-tale, I think it would've much better. The dystopian aspect made it quite confusing and just didn't work, in my opinion, whereas I think I might've really loved it if it was written as this really romantic, happily-ever-after fairy-tale.
      +Um. The cover.
      +The first couple of chapters were fabulous. Quite swoony if I'm honest. Like I said above, I WANT THIS TO BE A FAIRY-TALE. The first bit would've been a perfect start to a fairy-tale. *dreams on* I'M A TEENAGE GIRL OK.
      +The descriptions of the castle and dresses. Um, drool much?
      +If I put my issues aside, some of the story itsef was actually good fun and something different to read.

      Despite whatever I read, read? said. Despite whatever I said, I *am* going to read the sequel when it comes out and I will let y'all know how that works out for me. Hopefully, it'll be worth my time but I'm not expecting much.

      (high-fives to you if you read all of that and actually got something out of it!)

      "...true love is usually the most inconvenient kind."

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      30.06.2012 18:23
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      Exhilarating and addictive

      *May contain minor spoilers*

      I've been waiting for this book ever since I finished reading Divergent last year, and I am so, SO thankful to the lovely Rosi at HarperCollins UK for providing me with a finished copy to read before its release! I am quite frankly struggling to make sense of my thoughts after finishing! Obvs my most anticipated sequel of the year, and it TOTALLY brought it. You think you've figured out something majorly important, but you haven't at all because the truth is actually WAY more twisted. A situation could be one thing one second, and then be completely different the next.

      Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off (Tris, Four, Caleb, Marcus and Peter having escaped from the attacks and are now on their way to Amity) and we just get thrown into this action-packed world of utter madness. I can't say that it isn't emotional. *wipes tear*. I LOVED that we got more insight into the other factions. In Divergent, we see learn stuff about Abnegation because that's Tris's original faction, and then she transfers to Dauntless and we get to see what it's like for those kick-ass people there, but the other factions who we don't no much about. But yay, we get to see what goes on in Candor (truth serums OMG) and Amity (no leader? WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS?) and also Erudite and why they are evil and want to kill people. Lol. And the factionless! Some *very* interesting things going on there...

      I thought I loved Tris in Divergent, but she was just wow in Insurgent. This girl! Ugh, just major girl crush. Her selflessness AND bravery in the novel was breathtaking. A born survivor, that one is. And people say that girls in YA are weak. Ahhhhhhhhh at Tris and Four! SO. MUCH. ANGST. And swooning. There is *always* swooning. I would've liked to see the two of them together a little bit more, seeing as most of the time they were together they were crazy-annoyed at each other, but I won't push it because I thought the direction that Roth took in their relationship was super awesome. It was like, powerful and meaningful to the point where I had to question if this was actually real or not. It MORE than seemed like it was. Other characters like Uriah (<3), Christina and Lynn were pretty badass, too.

      Also: I noticed that there wasn't really any recapping of Divergent, and it's likely that you'll forget who various people are. I'd suggest rereading Divergent beforehand, like I did, then you're good to go.

      THAT ENDING THO. No idea what to say. Sorry. Read the book. Pull the same face as me. Cry/scream to your heart's content. Veronica Roth is EVIL! And such a graceful writer. The whole book was way more amazing than I could possibly have imagined it to be. May possibly be one of my favourite sequels in the history of EVER. Even right before I started reading I was a bit nervous because SURELY it couldn't top Divergent, BUT, I think it did. The tension in this book couldn't fit on all the scales in the world, guys. Exhilarating and mind-blowing and intense and addictive, I think that you NEED this book in your life.

      p.s. yeah, I don't call this a review either. bahahahaha ;)

      "The collide in an embrace that looks almost painful to me, slapping each other's backs and laughing with their fists clasped between them."

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        30.06.2012 18:18
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        Interesting retelling of a classic

        I found Paige Harbison's debut YA, Here Lies Bridget to be quite enjoyable when I read it last summer, so I was curious to see what New Girl would be like. The premise was certainly interesting--it's a modern retelling of a classic: Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. I haven't read Rebecca yet, but I've heard a lot about it so I was looking forward to reading this.

        It tells the story of our protagonist (who is nameless until the last ten pages or so), the New Girl, who leaves her home in Florida to attend a boarding school in New England. When she arrives there, she is greeted with a much colder, darker atmosphere than the warm, sunny one she's used to, and thrown into a world where her new roommate who doesn't even know her automatically forms feelings of hatred towards her because she has apparently taken the place of a popular student who recently vanished.

        While I really loved Harbison's writing and her ability to create a startlingly chilly setting, I thought that the story lacked order. It felt to me like a work-in-progress, confusing in places with an underdeveloped plot. I didn't really have a connection to any of the characters (and the behaviour of the students was appalling), except the mysterious, manipulative missing girl, Becca. There was something about Becca that intrigued me, and it wasn't especially hard to figure out why all the other students fell on love with her, and shunned the New Girl when she arrived for supposedly taking her place and trying to be like her. I liked the flashbacks from Becca's perspective, because I thought they gave us quite a good insight into what life at Manderley Academy was like sans New Girl. I liked the idea of somebody starting a new school and basically having an impact on everyone, whether it was good or bad, they all took notice. It was interesting to see how it affected Becca, and then how it affected the second new girl when she came on to the scene. I liked Dana the roommate as well, her general craziness and belief that Becca *would* come back had me hooked.

        Also, I would've loved for the author to have gone just that little bit further in regards to the setting, to create an even stronger sense of dread and grimness. Had the focus been on this rather than the excessive drinking, drug use or 'hooking up' in the book, I would've enjoyed it a lot more.

        Although I didn't like this as much as I thought I would, I'd still recommend it, if only for the writing. And I shall definitely be picking up the book that inspired New Girl!

        Thank you to HarlequinTeen and Netgalley for providing me with an eGalley of this book to review.

        "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

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      • Eve - Anna Carey / Junior Book / 3 Readings / 2 Ratings
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        30.06.2012 18:10
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        A rollercoaster of emotions

        If you know me, you'll know that I love any kind of dystopia, so I jumped at the chance to review this when the lovely Lucy was offering dystopian books for review! There's just something so exciting and creepy about the genre, and EVE was just another amazing-sounding book to add to my wishlist!

        The novel is set in a dystopian future where most of the population was wiped out in a plague. New America is now ruled by the King, and it's a very dangerous place for anybody who doesn't live inside the City of Sand. But luck for Eve and the other girls, they are tucked into safety inside the School, where they are educated to make something of themselves. Their time is spent being taught about how men and boys are all evil. Eve has worked so hard, hoping for a great future, but her dreams are crushed when she sees her nemesis, Arden, trying to escape from the School the night before Graduation. That's when she learns that it's all a lie to cover up a terrible, terrible fate that occurs at graduation.

        Eve's world has come crashing down and now she's all alone, outside the safety of the School's walls, having to fend for herself when she doesn't even have the slightest clue about survival.

        I really connected with both Eve and Caleb, and at times, Arden. I was rooting for them to reach Califia the whole time, and I really enjoyed following them on their journey. All the characters were realistic and well-thought-out, I especially loved the boys from the dugout. The world-building was exceptional, in my opinion. The author's portrayal of a world devastated by plague was intriguing and (very) creepily realistic.

        One problem I had regarding Eve though, was that I thought she had turned into this courageous heroine far too quickly from when we first met her, when she was just a naive schoolgirl. I think this was the only thing that made the novel not reach its full potential* for most of the people who've read it, because it played quite a big role in the story. But I did learn (and love) the fact that Eve was a survivor throughout the course of the book.

        The ending was great. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, or even what I wanted to happen, but it was fabulous nonetheless!

        I came away with mixed feelings about this one. You know the saying "Life is like a rollercoaster"? Well that's exactly what EVE felt like - a rollercoaster of emotions. EVE by Anne Carey is a great debut and addition to the ever-growing list of dystopian books out there right now! I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, Once, due for release the summer of 2012.

        *I can't believe I said that out loud. IT JUST SLIPPED OUT!

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        30.06.2012 18:08
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        Fab debut

        Deception is the fabulous debut from Lee Nichols, and the first book in the Haunting Emma trilogy. I enjoyed everything in it - the atmospheric setting and the fascinating mystery in particular - it's being highly-recommended by me, especially seeing that it's so close to Halloween!

        I was on holiday when this arrived in the post, and I'd seen the cover around Goodreads before, but never got round to adding it to my to-read list. Similar situation to when I got Tempest Rising (another Bloomsbury book! Go Bloomsbury!). I asked around on Twitter, and the general consensus seemed to say that it was AWESOME, and I should read it ASAP!

        I love ghost stories, LOVE them, so the concept of the novel gave me that little bit extra excitement I needed to start reading. A few chapters in and I couldn't put it down!

        I could really relate to Emma, and I felt really bad for her throughout most of the novel. She has to deal with the fact that her parents, brother AND best friend have all abandoned her. Then there's the new school she's trying to fit into... and the people she keeps seeing. The ghosts. She has nobody to talk to, with her new guardian Bennett (who used to be a close friend of her brother and who she has a crush on!) hardly ever around, and I just wanted to grab her and squeeze her tight. When we (and Emma) finally find out that she's a ghostkeeper, somebody who can communicate with ghosts, it's not a total surprise. Emma's been experiencing the weirdest, well, flashbacks I guess you could say they were, for a while now as well as having the ability to see people in the strangest places.

        My favourite thing had to be the cast of characters. From the ghosts, Anatole, Celeste, Nicholas, and the Rake, who came to be like a family for Emma; to her new friends, Harry, Coby and Sara; to lovely Bennett who Emma has been in love with for ages. They were all so well-developed and the kind of people you would love to know in real life. Would've loved to have seen more about Emma's real family though, and the ghostkeeping side of them.

        Oh, and I have to mention the ending. Because it was so, so awesome. AND OMG CAN'T WAIT TO READ BETRAYAL!*

        *I've read Betrayal now - wrote this as soon as I finished the book, which is a first for me! *likes to procrastinate*

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          06.03.2012 19:07
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          Outstanding paranormal YA

          I spotted Everneath on Netgalley and asked Twitter if I should request or not. General consensus was yes, so I did--and I'm so glad! I love stories based on myths, and Everneath was no exception. It's loosely based on the story of Hades and Persephone and a featured a couple of others and I found it all very interesting and also rather romantic.

          The Everneath is an underworld where immortals 'feed' on the emotions of humans. And Nikki Beckett? She chose to go there. She's been gone for a century, but in the real world only six months have passed. Nikki chooses to 'return' for six months so that she can say goodbye to her family and her friends, which she didn't have the chance to do before, and when her six months are over, Nikki will be exiled to the Everneath for ever. But now she has another choice... she can be stolen away by the Tunnels and have her emotions sucked away or she can willingly go back, as queen. But being queen means she'll have to feed off of others.

          Nikki was fierce and selfless and I found myself really caring about her, rooting for her to find a solution for her problem so that she could stay with her family and Jack. She kept going, even when she knew that she'd end up back in the Tunnels and I really admired her for her determination. And I loved, LOVED that half of the book wasn't just her going on about how plain and boring she is and how exciting and amazing and gorgeous Cole/Jack are when there were way more important things to think about. Thought it was great that bad boy Cole wasn't the one our Nikki found herself falling in love with, although she felt drawn to him, but in fact the actual bad guy. His character was fantastic, he was gorgeous, dangerous and a total rock star. No, seriously, I hear his band, The Dead Elvises, are just amazing. The relationship between Cole and Nikki was very well-written, and I had to giggle at the banter between the two. Jack was lovely, and there was so much more to him than just being the popular hot guy. He was very sweet and I liked that there was no insta-love between him and Nikki, they actually had a history and it was so clear to see that he really cared for her and what he felt for her was real.

          One thing though...throughout the whole book, I felt like there was some big important thing that I was missing, which is why I'd probably give it 4 stars out of 5. I'm not too sure what it was, but it was like... y'know when you miss a day of school, and then you come in the next day and your friends are talking about some hilarious thing that happened in you absence, and you just have to sit back and watch them laugh about it because you weren't there when it happened? That. Yeah. Does that make sense? Because it sounded better in my head.

          But the ending. Oh--the ending was perfect. Totally heartbreaking. *wipes tear from cheek* Well, at least until the last chapter. I kinda hoped it would be a standalone, but judging by those last few pages, we can say that there will probably be a sequel. I kinda liked it how it was, but I will definitely be looking out for the next book. Brodi Ashton has created an utterly gorgeous debut novel. Rich and intricate, Everneath will allure you into the darkness. Highly recommended for fans of paranormal YA and mythology.

          Big thanks to HarperTeen and Netgalley for providing me with an eGalley of Everneath. Simon & Schuster UK are publishing this sometime soon for us Brits!

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        • Fury - Elizabeth Miles / Junior Book / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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          06.03.2012 19:00
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          Dark and exciting

          The students living in Ascension, Maine are currently in winter break. Emily can finally spend time with the boy she really likes and Chase has met a pretty girl he thinks may really like him. BUT. All is not well in paradise because Emily's crush also happens to be her best friend Gabby's boyfriend, Zach. And Chase? Well, his girl may well be hiding something from him, something very big. It looks like both will have to learn that what goes around, comes around. The hard way.

          The story begins with us reading from Em's perspective and alternates between her and Chase pretty smoothly, so that we never get confused which doesn't sound like anything special, but trust me, it is. I wasn't sure what to expect in each chapter and was biting my nails, literally waiting for something to go horrible, horribly wrong.

          I can't really say I could relate to Chase, but the novel was written so well that I could almost (almost) step into his shoes and feel what he felt. I so wanted it so that things would turn out good for him, but we can't all have what we want, right? Em was different. I thought she was quite selfish, making excuses for what she was doing with Zach and thinking that they'd tell Gabby and it'd all be OK, and I didn't really like her as a character, but both her and Chase progressed as the story went on and Em was a lot more likable than what she started off with, having learnt from her mistakes. And although sorry ISN'T enough, I really felt for her when things got out of control at the end. Oh, and some of the secondary characters were really great, JD, Zach and Gabby. They each played an important role in the telling of the story and I thought that they were portrayed with a high amount of skill.

          The contemporary and paranormal genres have been combined together to create Fury, and can I just say how well they worked together? Miles' writing was clever and unsettling, leaving me at the edge of my seat. There were some parts of the story that I didn't agree with, but I can't deny the fact that Fury was an addictive read. I finished it in one sitting and wanted more more more! The storyline is unique and the plot is intricate. I don't think there was once a moment where it failed to deliver what I expected, no, what I wanted.

          I LOVED the greek-mythology aspect of the story! I've read about Furies only once before in Starcrossed (by Josephine Angelini) and it sparked a great interest! Imagine if something like that really happened..? If the furies went around, getting their revenge on people for the bad things they'd done to others? Makes you think twice, doesn't it!

          Chillingly dark, Fury will suck you into a world full of drama, intrigue and the I'm sure the furies will be happy to show you exactly how they're feeling about Emily and Chase's choices...

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          15.01.2012 14:05
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          Intriguing and creepy, Variant wins all the awards for freaking me out!

          I wasn't completely sure about what I'd think of Variant, I don't know exactly why. I was expecting some average-ish while still a good read. But anything I ever thought about the book before I read it has disappeared, and replaced with something totally different. Because Variant was amazing. One of the best dystopian-but-not-really-dystopian books I've read. And frankly, it scared the hell outta me with all it's twisty bits and threats and the whole, "NO ONE LEAVES" thing.

          Benson Fisher arrives at Maxfield Academy with only hopes of ending his life as a foster-child, and starting that of a 'normal' one. But when Benson finds out that there are no adults to be found at the Academy, only students who run the school and somehow teach themselves, he doesn't know what to think, and soon realizes that the people with real power over Maxfield Academy aren't keeping these kids for an education exactly...and no one ever leaves.

          I have said time and time again how I LOVE scary books and just the synopsis of Variant gives me chills. I started reading it during lunch in my school library and then the librarian came over to ask about what I was reading and I just stared at him for like, a minute, because my mind was totally freaked out and my eyes were huge and it was like I didn't know how to talk because even though I knew what was going on, I couldn't explain the story because it sounded flat coming from my mouth. Do you guys know what I mean? You have to read it yourself and you will just KNOW.

          Male protags for the win! In a genre where female protagonists are the dominators, reading from a male POV is so very refreshing. While I may be known to read (and love) lots of books with gushy, girly-girly protags talking about nail varnish and dresses, I thank Wells for not going down that route but giving us Benson instead, who's voice was so real and so not girly in any way. I loved how he questioned anything and everything. I would. Especially after seeing the behaviour of the others kids at Maxfield Academy. And he did it without caring about the rules! Rebel, much, Fisher?!

          My favourite part was the mysteriousness of it all, though. You know that feeling when you're kept in the dark throughout a story and then you find out one thing, and then another and another and it all clicks into place and you get so excited about everything? YEAH! Reading Variant was mostly like that. Why mostly, you ask? Because what actually happens is that you *THINK* you've already figured it out and know exactly what's going on, but in actual fact you *DON'T* and then when the big secret is finally revealed you're like: "OMG WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT"

          The twist is mind-blowing. I'm still not convinced I understand all of what happened exactly, but I'm a little bit to scared to ask somebody. The tagline for the novel, "Trust no one," is perfect and extremely accurate. Thinking back to the ending, especially. *shudders*

          Also the love interest/romance with Jane freaked me out. I think nearly as much as it did Benson. O.O

          Robison Wells has created a something so twisted and dark, a world where it's easy to get lost and hard to get out. Variant is so addictive, with intense, enthralling writing that draws you in and leaves you curious to know just what the school is hiding. Every word leaves you wanting more and the novel as a whole delivers the whole package. I say the whole package, but really, there is something missing. The answers to the MEGA-HUGE-GINORMOUS cliffhanger. SEQUEL, PLEASE, MR WELLS!

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          15.01.2012 14:01
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          Must-read for paranormal lovers

          I hadn't heard much about After Obsession before I read it, but I knew it was something to get excited about because I'm a really big fan of Carrie Jone's Need series. And the pretty cover and spooky synopsis were just the icing on the cake!

          I thought that Jones and Wedel did a fantastic job on the book as a whole, but particularly our two protagonists and the supernatural element of the story. Aimee was a strong character, very likable, but it was Alan that I liked the most. His loyalty to his family was touching, and I loved that he'd do practically anything to protect them (hello, confronting the demon inside your cousin? Not really anybody's idea of fun). His Navajo/Native American background was fascinating, refreshing in the world of YA because you (well, I) don't see diversity very often. Maybe it's just the type of books I read? And can I just say how awesome his little 'medicine' bag was? LOL. There is a demon in their midst and I don't know about you guys, but I for one thought that aspect was portrayed with skillz.

          Although I loved both Aimee and Alan individually, I wasn't completely sure about their relationship together - at times it fell a little bit flat for me, like they had no chemistry between them and it didn't seem much like they could be anything more than just friends. I would've liked to see that developed more.

          There was also some lack of development in subplots that left me a little confused, and there was parts that I felt were unfinished. For example, the mystery with Courtney's father. It wasn't clear if he actually drowned. I remember the family fearing the worst, but it don't think what actually happened was explained. I would have liked it to be though, because the whole reason there is demonic behaviour in their town is because of Courtney and how much she wanted her father back.

          This idea of The 'River Man' was intriguing, exciting and also quite scary. I don't think I'll be rushing to get near any flowing water anytime soon! I guessed most of what would happen in the book quite early, but it was very well written.

          Overall, I thought After Obsession was an interesting read and a great addition to the paranormal genre. I wasn't expecting the darkness of the story, but I will say that it made it that much more creepy, and I loved that. I do hope Jones & Wedel will write more books like this together, fast-paced and spooky!

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          • Fracture - Megan Miranda / Junior Book / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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            15.01.2012 13:57
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            The perfect mysterious winter story

            *may contain minor spoilers*

            Delaney Maxwell is pretty much your average 17 year old girl living in Maine, where we learn that the winters are freeeeeeezing (key info for the story). Until she's not. Delaney finds herself falling through the ice of a nearby lake and she's down there for 11 minutes. Who knows what can happen in 11 minutes? But unlike most people (well, all people), Delaney wakes up from her coma after she's pulled out. Which is totally supposed to be impossible because she was underwater for 11 MINUTES and she should be dead or, at the very least, brain dead but the thing is... she *isn't*. Needless to say, the doctors are baffled. And then she notices that things are happening to her... like I-can-sense-when-somebody-is-about-to-die-things. Um.

            I think this is my favourite 2012 debut of the ones I've read so far. AND THIS IS JUST THE FIRST ONE. Dude, I swear, if even half of 2012 YA debuts are as good as this I am so ready for the rest of the year. SO. READY.

            It was the idea of somebody surviving underwater for 11 whole minutes that made me want to read Fracture. Because ser-ee-ous-ly. That sentence does not intrigue you?! I was really hoping that it would be different from other paranormal YA books out there, that it would make me think about the story a lot and it did. I couldn't get it off my mind for days. I'm currently studying GCSE Psychology in school and I love it. We'll soon be looking at the brain and how it works and basically how amazing it is, which is another reason I couldn't wait to read Fracture. The whole life and death thing. Confused me in the best way. Is Delaney causing death? Or is this something completely out of our league? Or perhaps something much, much scarier? And everybody believes that Delaney not dying is some kind of miracle, but is it really possible to walk away from something like this totally unharmed?

            The characters were all very well-developed and flawed and I found that there were different traits in each character that I could really relate to, Delaney in particular. It made me laugh that she's a bit of a neat-freak, and that her books are alphabetized, a bit like me, and I'm guessing a lot of other book bloggers and readers! The two boys in Delaney's life played really big parts in the story, but for very different reasons. Troy's part in the story gave it that mysterious air and I really liked that. I felt like I couldn't figure him out at times, which was a real breath of fresh air. So glad there was more realness and less predictability to him. I adored her best friend, Decker. There is something so amazing about reading about friendships. Especially seeing how somebody would go to such great lengths to save your life because they care about you so much. I couldn't keep the smile off my face when Delaney and Decker finally stopped denying their strong feelings about each other. I felt so emotional and just happy.

            I loved the way Miranda revealed things to us bit by bit, while still managing to keep us on our toes. The suspense surrounding the book was fantastic. Fracture was touching and exciting and thoughtful - I'm so caught up over how such few minutes can change everything. And the number of real-life problems in there, like what happens when you nearly lose a member of you family just made me question things even more. Eleven out of ten stars.

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            28.10.2011 14:41
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            A fantastic book - yay mermaids!

            I've probably seen Tempest Rising about a hundred times on Goodreads, but never thought to add it to my to-read pile because the US cover was just horrible and I just didn't bother going to read the synopsis. When I opened the package from Bloomsbury, I still didn't notice which book it actually was, and assumed it was just a debut. Then I went to Goodreads to add it and imagine my face when I realised it was the same book with the horrible cover!!!

            Mermaids are just one of the many paranormal creatures that are causing quite the trend in YA books. personally, I think it's fabulous. I adore mermaids - The Little Mermaid is one of my all-time-favourite Disney stories! *gets all fan-girly* Although, I have to warn you, Tempest Rising is nothing like the Little Mermaid!

            I think the love-triangle-y-thing in Tempest Rising is one of the best I've read - I found that both Mark and Kona were very different, each with their own good qualities, and it was hard for me to choose which one I preferred, and which one Tempest should be with, buy I'm pretty sure that she made the right choice at the end :)

            Tempest.. absolutely loved her. She has such a lovely, strong voice and I loved accompanying her on her journey of growing up and becoming a mermaid. On the outside, Tempest has a perfect life, but on the inside she's falling apart and I really felt for her. The prophecy regarding her was very intriguing.

            The novel started quite slowly, which almost stopped me continuing to read more than once, but I'm glad I did because the rest of the book was outstanding. I think what made me carry on was the authors writing style which was beautiful. There was the most gorgeously-portrayed scenes and I was enchanting by all of it. Tempest Rising is lively and incredibly alluring, a debut that is highly-recommended by me! Especially to fans of mermaids or sirens or anything that lives in the sea. Lol.

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          • Passion - Lauren Kate / Junior Book / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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            28.10.2011 14:38
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            Interesting and insightful addition to this series

            First of all, I have to mention that I do not like the cover at all. When I first saw it, I honestly thought it was a mock cover that somebody did for the novel because there was a few of those floating around at that time. I know we can all agree that Fallen was breath-takingly beautiful, and Torment was it's younger, more subtley pretty sister but Passion is like the ugly stepsister. Doesn't fit in with the other two. Hmm. I don't know, I think it's just the dress. OK, I just realised that that sounds a bit mean, but it's just my honest opinion. I do like it, it's just I expected something different and just more. You know what I mean? #meh

            When this came, I was so incredibly excited to read it, despite the not-very-pleasant-to-look-at-in-my-humble-opinion cover! Torment finished on a huge cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to find out what happened when Luce went through the announcer! That was such a kick-ass moment, one of my favourite in all three books! And I was really looking forward to reading about Luce and Daniel stories from 'before'.

            Most of the novel was not at ALL what I expected it was going to be like when I first heard about the new book. First of all, it was a prequel. I was a little bit unsure about it when I heard that it was going to be a prequel, but having now read the book, I'm so glad that Lauren Kate chose to go that way. Relieved too, as there was a small part of me that thought that there were a chance that Passion would get boring after a while. The prequel thing just spiced it up a bit! LOL

            The visiting of Luce's past lives was just as I'd hoped it to be: totally made of awesome-sauce! It was fascinating to see how different she was in her past, where she lived, the people who surrounded her, and most importantly, how Daniel came into the story! I loved seeing Daniel's perspective of the story as he's trying to catch up with Luce on her little time-travelling adventure. It was nice to see his side, and how he was feeling - you could literally feel all the emotion in his words, it was so touching. I think that having finished Passion, I can now say that I feel like I understand him more and if I ever didn't like him, then Passion has me planted firmly on the right side! Then there was the aspect of the 'curse' which I found to be complex, full of interesting detail and generally really good to read about.

            But then we are thrown onto ANOTHER cliff at the end and ARGH I REALLY NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT OKAY?

            Passion was fresh and fascinating, a total page-turner! There were some incredibly beautiful moments in the book, the kind where you just want to reread them over and over and bathe in the beauty - one of the reasons I find Kate's writing so engaging! Fans of Fallen will DEVOUR this, and I'm pretty sure if you're any kind of paranormal YA fan, you'll devour it too!

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            28.10.2011 14:12
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            A great modern retelling of a famous ghost story

            When I started to read The Hollow, I didn't expect it to be as great as I thought it was.

            All of the characters in The Hollow are extremely well-developed and original. I loved Abby's character the most and I thought that the fact that she like to create perfumes in her spare time was both fascinating and exciting. And unlike many teens nowadays, she actually had an ambition: to open up her own perfume shop! The author included some of the most beautiful paragraphs I've ever read, describing the scents of Abby's perfumes in the most gorgeous manner.

            I adored the setting and the feel of The Hollow. The choice of setting was intriguing, it really set the mood for the novel and it was portrayed in such a quiet, tranquil town - lives up its name, Sleepy Hollow! I hadn't actually heard of The Legend of Sleep Hollow before reading this, but I can tell that the author has done her research because a lot of the plot is based on this legend, and that's what gave it all of this depth.

            The love story aspect of the novel was particularly wonderful, I'm SO looking forward to what's going to happen regarding it in the next book!

            BUT, those are my thoughts after finishing the book. Whilst reading the first 100-or so pages, I thought it was very slow-paced and it was quite hard for me to keep reading. I'm glad I did carry on though, because it turned out to be awesome. I do a lot of that, disliking books while I'm reading them, and going on about something that annoys me, and then gushing about the whole thing at the end. I should stop. Haha.

            The Hollow is haunting and evocative. Definitely one I'll be recommending a lot! Looking forward to reading the sequel!

            By the way, I've read a lot of mixed reviews of this..from people who have it one-star right up to people who said it was one of their favourite YA books. Please read other reviews because not everybody has the same taste as others and this might not be your thing!

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          • Naked - Kevin Brooks / Junior Book / 4 Readings / 4 Ratings
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            28.10.2011 14:06
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            An absolutely stunning novel

            Um, Kevin Brooks. I've read nearly every one of his books and loved them. I wasn't too sure about NAKED, because I wasn't sure if the synopsis sounded like something I'd usually read, but I thought I'd request it and give it ago because it's KEVIN BROOKS. And seriously, with a title like NAKED, and a front cover (of the ARC that I read) that is just black with the words "Live fast, play dirty, get naked" in a rather large and excitable font, I'd have to tell be honest and tell you I was more than a bit intrigued! (which might be why I started to read in in my English. And my teacher didn't say ANYTHING. He is awesome.)

            I wasn't expecting it to be THIS AWESOME. First of all, I'm not a person who knows much about punk, I'm really not, but Brooks made me feel like I'd been in love with it since I was a teeny tiny baby. And the SETTING. From the first first paragraph, I fell in love. The writing was full of passion, and tension and reading it felt almost indulgent (if you know what I mean by that. I don't expect you to though). The spirit of the seventies was captured so perfectly - it didn't take me long to actually feel like I had had gone back in time. I think it may have to be my favourite of all his novels.

            The characters were written so beautifully, they were almost too good to be true. I managed to both hate Curtis and be absolutely mesmerized by him at the same time. Lili too, but not the hate part. Curtis found her and showed her around the music world, took her behind the scenes and let her live the glamour of being in a band like Naked. Introduced her to drugs and drink until she was a completely different person to the innocent girl we met on the very first page. But it was William who stole my heart. From the moment he appeared on the scene I knew that he should be the one to have Lili. She thought that Curtis had changed her life, but it was nothing in comparison to the way Billy did, and that was just pure magic in itself.

            It's not a secret that Kevin Brooks writes about difficult topics, and that's the part that makes me love his novels so much. In NAKED especially, there's secrets, and violence, and it's crazy, in the best possible meaning of the word!

            NAKED tells the story of Lili's experience in the summer of '76; it's gritty and intense and edgy and so, so unique. Kevin Brooks will forever be one of my favouritest authors. Especially when he writes from a female's perspective (LUCAS LOVE). This is a story that I promise will not be one you'll forget.

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            28.10.2011 14:03
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            An intriguing, exciting thriller

            I got a proof of The Truth About Celia a while ago, and it sounded great. And then loads of blogger friends were raving about it so I knew that I had to pick it up soon.

            As soon as the story opened, I couldn't stop reading. It pulled me in, hook, line and sinker and I had to read on because I really wanted to know what was going on with Celia's 'condition'. I was practically having a race with myself, trying to finish it as fast as possible!

            You'd think that Celia Frost was an ordinary 14 year-old girl. But she's not. Celia has a rare blood condition which means that even the smallest of cuts could mean death. Her mother, Janice, has told her time and time again that she is different from all the other teenagers, and that she has to be extra careful at all times. As you can probably imagine, Celia is getting pretty sick of it all, and is beginning to question why her mother just took her out of the hospital after an unfortunate 'incident' (with a bully at school and a knife) and why exactly they are packing up their stuff and moving on to yet another place when she DIDN'T JUST DIE and it actually appears that the doctor can't find anything wrong with her blood...

            I felt sorry for Celia because of the fact that she doesn't have a place to call 'home' and that made me really sad. Her life was so unstable and seriously, would you like to be moved to a completely different place at the sight of a potential risk? I was practically shouting 'YOU GO GIRL!" at the book when Celia started to rebel and do what she wanted to do, despite her mother's panicking. But then as the story progressed and I realised that her mother had a very valid reason for lying about Celia's condition, it was Janice that I was rooting for. For most of the book, it's Janice that we think is the bad guy, but honestly? She's got NOTHING on the real one.

            The relationship between Sol and Celia was a particularly lovely aspect of the novel, and I'm really glad that she did have the opportunityto call somebody a 'friend'. And Sol's family were just the coolest. His mum and two brothers made me laugh at various occasions.

            I'm not really sure what else to say, because there's a rather huge twist in the book that I don't want to accidentally reveal. Just let me say this: it's like, The Truth About Celia has a bomb slowing ticking away somewhere in the background, and when it finally goes off, you'll get the shock of your life. This is a thought-provoking, fast-paced, thriller bursting with lies. I know I'll be watching out for a certain author!

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