Thursday, 27 August 2015

Double Review: The Aprilynne Pike Edition :: a yay and a nay Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Source: From the publisher in exchange for review
Purchase: Mighty Ape | Book Depository | Amazon
Read it in: Two hours
Word Rating: Utterly delectable
Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel
::Thank you Harper for the review copy!::

I read this book when it first came out in 2013 and when it turned up on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago I could still remember how much it cracked me up and just how enjoyable it was to read even though it sounds like a book not really up my street.

The writing was crisp, sharp, and with that slice of dry humour it made REALLY fun reading. I cackled out loud more then once and I need to go back and mark my favourite places!

I was fully expecting there to be an angsty romance between Jeff and Kimberlee and I was not only surprised but also really pleased that this didn't happen! Kimberlee and Jeff start off disliking each other, Jeff finds Kimberlee a brat; Kimberlee dislikes Jeff finding her a brat, but by the end of the book they have a really nice friendship going which I LOVED.

Kimberlee was a really interesting character. She was horrible when she was alive and suffered serious kleptomania as well and now that she's dead and has convinced Jeff to help her return all the stuff she stole she slowly started to become a better person and I really enjoyed that.

I wasn't sure how well Jeff's POV would work in this kind of story but it worked SO well and I'm so happy! It gets a bit boring when all the books I read only have female POVS so this was a breath of fresh air!

Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 29th 2014
Source: From the publisher in exchange for review
Purchase: Mighty Ape | Book Depository | Amazon
Read it in: Three hours

The blockbuster film Inception meets Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy in this dark paranormal thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike. This supernatural young adult novel is perfect for fans of Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noël, Richelle Mead, and Kimberly Derting.

Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn't do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern day Oracles are told to fight their visions––to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate's death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.

::Thank you Harper for the review copy!::

If Life After Theft was a breath of fresh air, Sleep No More took that fresh bit of air and stamped on it till it keeled over and died.

The problem with Sleep No More is that it's not necessarily a bad book, it's just a book that could've been a lot better and wasn't. It has such an interesting premise that could've gone so far but it...didn't. AND IT MADE ME SAD. I've come across a little bit about Oracles in fantasy books on occasion, but never a contemporary novel about a teenage girl Oracle trying to solve her school friends murders! SO MUCH PREMISE. And it failed. Miserably!

The achilles heel of this novel is Charlotte. Charlotte is many things, like naive, ridiculously ignorant at times when her life is in screamingly obvious danger, but most of all, Charlotte is an idiot. A MASSIVE idiot.

I found Charlotte an annoying character because although she was trying to do good she went around blindly trusting everyone and everything at face value. When she gets a text message from an anonymous person after one of her school friends is brutally murdered, telling Charlotte she could've stopped it, Charlotte doesn't think, "Oh! Some anonymous person is harassing me about something he definitely should not know about me...I should tell an adult like my Aunt who has brought me up my whole life warning me about how dangerous these types of people are!"

Does Charlotte do that? HAHA NO. She doesn't say anything and just stews over it silently until the anonymous person contacts her again and this time asks her to meet him. EVEN MORE REASON TO TELL AN ADULT, YES?! YES?!

Unfortunately, Charlotte doesn't think so and agrees to meet him.

This person turns out to be a guy in his thirties called "Smith", who won't tell Charlotte his real name but happily tells her he's been watching stalking her since she was a kid and knows she's an Oracle. UM IS IT JUST ME OR IS SOMETHING JUST A LITTLE BIT WRONG THERE???!!! Add to the fact that "Smith" repeatedly tells Charlotte, "not to tell anyone about him otherwise he could be in danger", and there is something HIDEOUSLY weird going on here!

Instead of improving, Sleep No More just got more and more frustrating as well as REALLY slow. I can see other people enjoying this book if you're in the right mind for it, but I wasn't and too many things bugged me.

Instead of being called Sleep No More, this book should be called, Ella is unable to sleep no more because she's too busy silently gnashing her teeth and glaring at the ceiling because this book disappointed her so. Ahem.

Your turn now! What do you like more? Female POVs in books or Male? Both?! SPILL! And am I the only one that finds it SO INCREDIBLY IRRITATING when a character in a book doesn't even THINK of possibly going to a family member/trusted adult for advice/help???!!!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Green Valentine by Lily Wilkinson :: reasonably good with a side of pesky problems

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: August 1st 2015
Source: From the publisher in exchange for a review
Purchase: Allen & Unwin | Amazon
Read it in: Two hours
Word Rating: Problematically adorable
When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She's Lobster Girl and he's Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart.

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.

::Thank you Allen & Unwin New Zealand for giving me a review copy!::

This is not my favourite Lili Wilkinson book, sadly. GREEN VALENTINE didn't pack the punch that Lili Wilkinson's other books had which is unfortunate considering what a GREAT author she is. I really love Lili's writing which is always sharp and dry but still light enough that it makes it really easy reading but sadly in here it just wasn't enough to smooth out the other problems I had with it.

It's definitely Aussie YA through and through which is a part I thoroughly enjoyed!  Aussie YA always seems to have this freshness and skip to it that America and everywhere else just can't manage and so I really enjoyed reading it in here.

Normally I adore Lili's casts of characters but here they all felt a bit lifeless and flat in GREEN VALENTINE. I think Astrid was one of those characters who you either immediately connect to and love to bits...or just feel meh and annoyed by her so you shouldn't judge her for yourself until you read the book! Astrid got on my nerves THE WHOLE BOOK. I didn't like her attitude towards people that weren't 10000000% eco-friendly as she would make out they were the most despicable disgusting things on the planet, which is all very well if ASTRID was 10000000% eco-friendly but she wasn't, so what right did she have to judge other people so harshly? Add to the fact that was incredibly irrattating at times and acted like and idiot whenever Hiro was around and that she was also a pretty rubbish friend and well...I didn't have the upmost love for Astrid.

If Astrid got on my nerves, Hiro DESTROYED THEM. *gnashes teeth* He was such a dickhead at times and made Astrid upset on purpose multiple times and EVERY TIME something went the way he didn't want it, he'd throw a massive tantrum and sulk for ages. He judged people WAAAAY to quickly and *hated* so many people but then he'd lash out at Astrid if he thought she was being the tiniest bit judgy and it was so FRUSTRATING!!

I thought the ending was much to rushed, partly I think because there was so much drama and angst between Astrid and Hiro that the ending kind of leapt out of nowhere, tied everything up in a big pink happily ever after bow that wasn't very believable and then that was the end of the book. COLOUR ME DISAPPOINTED.

It's not all bad though! I did enjoy this book and for all of GREEN VALENTINE'S pesky little problems I didn't regret reading it at all.

And if you liked this you'll LOVE Lili's other books...and if you DIDN'T like this book I'm pretty sure you'll love her other books anyway! *sly wink*

Have you read any books by Lili Wilkinson?!
Think you'll read GREEN VALENTINE? 
Annnnd tell me before you go! What annoys you more: an annoying main character or an annoying love interest??!!

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Different Kinds of Reading Slumps :: Introducing THE SLUMPY MONSTER


 I am currently in the the jaws of a hideous monster THAT IS SLOWLY SUCKING ALL THE READING JUICES OUT OF ME.


Sometimes called a Reading Slump but I think THE SLUMPY MONSTER sounds better.

I am slowly but surely shrivelling up into a grumpy, wizened walnut of a bookworm and it. is. horrible. Someone save me!

So in my distressed state I've written a list of all the different reading slumps I can think of. There a many different types of this foul and disgusting monster so I have written a list! Behold the list!

- 1 -
The, Lives-under-your-bed-and-sucks-out-your-reading-juice-while-you-sleep-so-when-you-wake-up-and-you-JUST-CAN'T-READ-you panic-wildly-and-start-hyperventilating-and-you-won't-be-able-to-read-a-WORD, Reading Slump.

There a not many more horrible things then waking up one day and just feeling like you'd rather eat a toaster then pick up a book. And the more you try and force yourself to read the worse the reading slump gets. From personal experience it's best to just to put the book (and the toaster) down and back away till you're a safe distance away and pretend books don't exist. This task is made slightly difficult if, like me,  your existence IS books but PFFFT, tiny problem, tiny.

 - 2 -
The, Hits-you-over-the-head-with-the-weight-of-a-seven-story-library-and-leaves-you-with-the-capibility-of-a-squashed-snail, Reading Slump.

This reading slump is sure to generate tears, incomprehensible rage and just that oh, so delicate emotion of feeling like your brain is about 3.7 seconds away from exploding whenever someone mentions the word, 'book'. You actually feel like you might injure yourself if you even look at a book so I really advise you to not go anywhere near a library least your brain might explode from all the angry emotions.

- 3 -
The, Oh-I-ate-to-many-wonderful-books-and-now-everything-tastes-of-disapointment-and-angst-and-unfortunate-things, Reading Slump.

You know when you read amazing book after amazing book after amazing book after amazing book? And you feel AMAZING and so HAPPY...and then you read a book that is so hideously BAD that you're not even sure how it got PUBLISHED and you want to crawl under your duvet and stay there till the next ice age. And you absolutely can't even THINK of picking up ANOTHER book because you're terrified it'll be as bad as that BAD BOOK and you don't want to give yourself any more brain damage then necessary. So basically: GOODBYE BOOKS! See you sometime in that ice age I was just talking about.
- 4 -
The, 'YES!!-I-just-got-over-a-horrific-reading-that-left-me-as-capable-of-reading-as-a-goldfish!'-but-then-you-see-all-the-books-you-have-to-catch-up-on-and-fall-into-an-even-more-horrible-reading-slump, Reading Slump.

Now THIS reading slump is not ONLY horrible it's CRUEL. It's like being whacked in the stomach by an elephant and then having it sit on you and have a nap for good measure.

- 5 -
The, I-hate-words-i-hate-books-I-HATE-READING-AND-ANYTHING-CONNECTED-TO-IT, Reading Slump.


Basically: I NEED YOUR HELP! I need fabulously frabjous recommendation FAST!! Quickly now before THE SLUMPY MONSTER gobbles me up! I need wonderful books that have blown your minds to smithereens, crushed your souls and have made you curl up in pain that the book is over!

(oh and before you go, tell me what YOU do to get out of a reading a slump!!)

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