Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th WaveTitle: The 5th Wave (Book 1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Links:Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository
Synopsis:
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review:

The 5th Wave was a truly spectacular book. Suspenseful, imaginative, evocative, yet still somehow real with great, strongly developed three dimensional characters, it is a stunning, mind blowing and gripping read from start to finish. And that happens very rarely, a book being written so well that you find yourself completely hooked from the very first sentence to the very last one. You forget all about our reality as you are pulled into this new twisted reality where what is left of humanity is forced to live in fear and fight to survive every day.

Told in multiple points of view, we see each of the characters, survivors, in their different surroundings in this new world torn apart by the first 4 waves. We see them struggle in a desperate society, become people who need to be prepared for the worst to survive, and all the while there is the looming sense of doom at the oncoming 5th wave. With each of these characters POVs, we get to see everything about the world of The 5th Wave and how it, and these characters all come together to form a conclusion that is completely explosive.

Rick Yancey’s writing style is amazing, with a snarky, witty narrative voice that keeps you coming back for more – if the stunning plot line didn’t already do that. The 5th Wave is an electrifying story packed full with action and wrought with unexpected twists and turns which are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Cassie, the main character, is one of my favourite fictional characters ever, due to her strength, courage and resolve to do whatever it takes to save her little brother, something which is truly admirable. In fact, all of the characters in this novel were unbelievably strong and admirable in their own rights. There is not one that I didn’t love (though I especially loved Evan 😉 ). Even the bad guys were awesome.

Rating:  An explosive, fantastically written book that deserves every bit of the hype surrounding it – and there is a lot. I can’t wait to see this spectacular novel adapted for the big screen, out next year! ★★★★★

Review: The Year of the Rat

The Year of the RatTitle: The Year of the Rat
Author: Clare Furniss
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository
Synopsis:
The world can tip at any moment… a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose.

Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father.

Mum, though… Mum’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding.

Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mother, but also the fact that her sister — The Rat — is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around.

Review:

The Year of the Rat was a heartbreakingly sad yet realistic rendition of grief and dealing with the loss of a loved one. This was one of the reasons for which I liked this book. It’s not sugar coated like you see in most books and movies these days. It’s just real.

This book follows the story of Pearl, who we see struggling with the loss of her mother, her relationship with her step-dad and the arrival of her younger sister. The chapters are told from month to month to show the ways that Pearl tries to deal with the crippling grief that she’s left with after the death of  her mother, and how her feelings change towards her sister Rose, ‘The Rat’ who, in her eyes, was the cause of her mother’s death. In this way, there was some character development as Pearl tries to figure out what to do- with her feelings, school, friends – and how to come to terms with all of the changes in her life.

I liked the idea of Pearl’s mum coming back to see her, and how she encouraged Pearl on when she felt that she couldn’t continue. I loved the notion in this novel that even with death separating them, the bond between mother and daughter remained strong and unbreakable.

I loved the beginning of this book. It was sad and gripping and emotional. I also loved the ending, which was utterly heart wrenching and bittersweet. But I felt that the middle just fell a little bit…flat. It didn’t really do the rest of the book justice. It was less emotive and the story just seemed to slip a little bit. But, I still feel like there was truth behind the way that Pearl dealt with things during this period in the book and it picked back up in the last few chapters.  Although the middle of the book was fairly lacklustre, I did enjoy it as a whole.

Rating: Obviously, there were a few problems, but overall I enjoyed The Year of the Rat. It was a lovely debut that I am very glad to have read. ★★★[.5]☆☆

Review: An Ember in the Ashes

 

An Ember in the AshesTitle: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Links:Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository.
Synopsis:

What if you were the spark that could ignite a revolution?

For years Laia has lived in fear. Fear of the Empire, fear of the Martials, fear of truly living at all. Born as a Scholar, she’s never had much of a choice.

For Elias it’s the opposite. He has seen too much on his path to becoming a Mask, one of the Empire’s elite soldiers. With the Masks’ help the Empire has conquered a continent and enslaved thousands, all in the name of power.

When Laia’s brother is taken she must force herself to help the Resistance, the only people who have a chance of saving him. She must spy on the Commandant, ruthless overseer of Blackcliff Academy. Blackcliff is the training ground for Masks and the very place that Elias is planning to escape. If he succeeds, he will be named deserter. If found, the punishment will be death.

But once Laia and Elias meet, they will find that their destinies are intertwined and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

In the ashes of a broken world one person can make a difference. One voice in the dark can be heard. The price of freedom is always high and this time that price might demand everything, even life itself.

Review:

An Ember in the Ashes was an absolute whirlwind of a book. This is the kind of book that makes you feel every emotion under the sun- good and bad- in the best way possible and leaves you coming back for more. It tore my heart out, stamped all over it, put it back and repeated. Several times. It is difficult to find a book that can bring out this feeling, bring out so many different emotions in you, make you fall in love completely and wholly and forget all about the real world, but this is one of those rare treasures, and I am so glad that I decided to pick it up.

This is a story packed full with action, suspense and tension all told in the perfect places to create the most breathtaking effect. The writing was spectacular, the descriptions sensational, from the violent scenes of battle to the inner turmoils of Laia and Elias as they strive for their different endgames – Laia to rescue her brother, and Elias to escape.

The two main characters don’t actually meet until a bit later on in the book. Their stories start off separately, yet come together seamlessly. All Laia wants is to rescue the only family she has left – her brother. All Elias wants is to escape the years of torture and training he’s been forced to suffer at Blackcliff Academy. They meet and their stories and plans collide.

The character development of both Laia and Elias is astounding. Told in dual perspective, you can see the strength of each of the character growing steadily from the best vantage point possible. I loved that the romance wasn’t the most prominent facet of the story. It was woven through delicately in the background while everything else- all of the problems, fights and conspiracy – was faced head on explosively.

Rating: This was an absolute stunner of a book. A sensational debut that not only lives up to the hype surrounding it, but surpasses it. I can honestly say that it deserves: ★★★★★

Review: Magonia

Magonia

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Links:Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository.
Synopsis:

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Review:

Magonia was one of the most unique and beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.  It was also one of the strangest, and imaginative books I have ever read. The characterisation in this novel was spectacular- all of them had their different facets, a great factor in what made them all so real.  Aza was  strong and witty, despite her struggles with the rare disease that affects her lungs; she doesn’t let that get her down – in fact, she often talks about her disease in her sarcastic and somewhat dark sense of humorous way. That’s not all there is to Aza, though, she is brave, and develops greatly throughout the book.

The premise was amazing. I loved that the fantasy was blended with the perfect amount of science and realism to make it believable, and it was all woven in such a way as to make it completely compelling.  The story was based off of mythology that was not overused in anyway, and was quite unknown amongst most people. It was completely unfamiliar to me, and I loved that. It was unique – I can honestly say that I had never heard of Magonia before this book. Combine this with beautiful descriptions and absolute creativity and you have the perfect setting.

There was a little bit of a love triangle in this book – sort of. I’ll have to be vague, so I don’t spoil 😀 – though it was done in a way that was understandable and believable, given Aza’s situation. It becomes apparent quite soon in the book that Aza is very close to her best friend, Jason, and I loved how natural and strong their relationship was.

The writing just added to the magic that was Magonia. It was amazing; elegant, gripping, and again, unique in a way that I cannot describe. You’ll just have to read it yourself to find out ;).

I absolutely loved Magonia. I can honestly say that it is not only one of the best books of this year, but one of the best books I have ever read.

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the dawn

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn.
Author: Renee Ahdieh.
Links:Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository.
Synopsis:
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Review:

The Wrath and the Dawn was an enthralling tale, packed full with romance and intrigue. Shahrzad is one of my absolute favourite characters of all time — she is so witty, strong and fiercely loyal, and is certainly not afraid to stand up for herself and what she believes in. She is filled with hate for the Caliph of Khorasan, the man who killed her best friend, and she has sworn to get revenge. Shahrzad doesn’t know why Khalid kills his wives — no-one does, but what she does know is that she will be the one to kill him. But, of course, that doesn’t turn out EXACTLY as she planned. She begins to unmask the monster that is Khalid piece by piece, learning as she does that he is not who she thought he was. Her relationship with Khalid grows slowly but surely, and in a way that is believable — she comes to love him as she sees past the monster and realises that what is behind that mask is something completely unexpected, and not quite as hideous as she originally thought. What I love the most, though, is that she doesn’t just accept that fact and forget all about what he did. She still knows what he has done, still wants him to pay – she stays loyal to her friend – but she finds herself torn. Torn between finding out who he is and why he does what he does, and making him pay for what he has done. Torn between her love for her friend, Shiva – and her childhood sweetheart, Tariq- and her growing love for this mysterious man with a cruel past. And the effect is completely compelling and wholly intriguing.

The world building in this book is spectacular; the world is beautifully described in such a way that you are transported right into Khorasan with Shahrzad and Khalid, you can see what they see, hear what they hear. You forget all about reality. All that exists are the buildings, people, clothes, food and the little hints of magic (something that I hope to hear more of in the second book!) in this world. Seriously, with the way that the food is described, don’t be surprised if you find your mouth watering and your stomach gnawing in hunger. And the clothes are all so gorgeous and richly described – it all makes me so envious!

Each and every chapter is wrought with suspense and told in different point of views to convey the different emotions and thoughts of each character- the whole effect is utterly breathtaking and wholly alluring. The Wrath and the Dawn is a stunning debut and I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. Seriously, I might make a countdown on my phone. 😀

Rating: I absolutely LOVED this book. Renee Ahdieh did a spectacular job, so it’s no surprise that I’m giving this book a big ★★★★★

Top 10 Favourite Books/Series!

Okay! So, I’ve had to think about which books I would call my favourites for a while now, and I tried to pick just ten, I really did, but when you have roughly around 50 favourites — probably more. It’s an obsession, I tell ya– it becomes increasingly difficult to pick just a few — or ten. But, I thought really hard and I have come up with ten of my favourite books from my long list of favourite books to feature as my top ten favourites. Okay? Okay.

1.The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (Series)The hunger games cover

This series was the one that re-kindled my burning love of books after a two year break from reading. The Hunger Games stole my heart and smashed into a thousand pieces at times but you know what? It was worth the pain and I am proud to say that I am a huge fan (I feel like “huge fan” is an understatement but I find that I’m unable to put into words how I feel about this series so I’ll leave it at that).

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. (Series) *Reviews to come.

Books in this series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows.

I bought the first three books late last year and didn’t get around to Throne of Glassreading them until February this year- the problems of having an endless TBR pile: having too many books and not getting through them fast enough- and it was one of those occasions when I just wanted to bitch-slap past me and tell her to go “read ToG now it’s so good, read it read it read it!!”   Again, this is one of those books that breaks your heart, fixes it, and repeats. Again. And again. It’s a literary rollercoaster of the best kind. The writing is so beautiful and gripping and again, I don’t think I can ever put how I feel about this series into words and do it justice. If you haven’t picked this series up yet, I strongly- very, very strongly- suggest you do that. Celaena is one of my absolute favourite book characters ever- she’s so strong and independent. And also: Chaol Westfall. Enough said.

The Wrath and the dawn

3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. *Review here.

I read this book a couple weeks after it was released in May this year and it fast became my favourite book of this year so far. It is one of those books that stays with you even after you’ve long since finished it; everything is so well described, its like you can see the characters and the scenery in front of you. It all becomes very real and the characters become as dear to you as close friends.  Shahrzad is yet another of my favourite characters and her story is so gripping and utterly enthralling. This is a beautiful new take on A Thousand and One Nights and I highly recommend it. The sequel, The Rose and the Daggercannot come soon enough!

4.  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. *Review to come. Fangirl

Yet another book that I have read this year, Fangirl took me completely by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. The characters were all so relatable and fun- I loved them all! I found myself literally laughing out loud at times, but it was also extremely moving at others. The writing is absolutely magical and encapsulated perfectly what it is like to be an awkward fangirl put into a new and unfamiliar environment- I related so much to a lot of how Cath thought and acted, being an awkward fangirl myself.

5.  Obsidian (The Lux Series) by Jennifer L Armentrout.  Obsidian

Books in this series: Obsidian, Onyx, Opal, Origin, Opposition.

This was actually the series that made me want to start a book blog. Katy, the main character, has a book blog and it sparked an idea in my head. I hadn’t considered blogging or even posting reviews publically before reading this series. I just tended to tell people how much I loved the books, but this way just sounded so fun- interacting with other book fans and showing your love of books to the world, convincing people to read your favourite books and helping your favourite authors gain the recognition they deserve.  But that’s not all I love about this series- there is action, romance, Daemon Black, hot aliens (yep. HOT ALIENS). And the way that it is all told and wound together is nothing short of spectacular. I have now made it my life’s mission to read every Jennifer L. Armentrout book available.

6. Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae (series) *Reviews to come.Hidden Wings

Books in this series: Hidden Wings, Descent, Broken wings, Tethered Wings, Gilded Wings.

I. Love. This. Series. So much. Lots and lots. Bordering on mild obsession lots. I read the first two books back in 2013 along with the novella Descent. And for weeks I could think of nothing else other than, “I need the next book. I need to know what happens!” It was torture. So when the last two books were released last year- in march and december- I jumped on the chance to read them. I stayed up until exactly 12:00 in the morning when they were available to download on kindle and then stayed up for a further 2 hours reading. And then i got up and 5:00 in the morning to carry on. All on a school night. Its safe to say my performance at school was less than stellar on that day, but it was worth it. I loved every single character in this series. Emma, the Guardians (especially Kade and Dominic and Malachi. Sigh.)…they were all so badass and amazing and funny. This is another one of those stories that is an emotional rollercoaster ( especially that last book. Tears were shed, guys. Tears were shed) and this one was especially…rollercoasty? Yeah.  My love for these books has grown so much that I even have a Hidden Wings hoodie. I wear it all the time- it’s super comfy; I love it. And I just found out that there will be a book 5!!! *Insert crazy fangirl squeal*

7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (series)*Review to comeThe 5th Wave

Books in this series: The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea (already released), The Last Star (out next year).

This book holds a special place in my heart as the first ever sci-fi book I read. The first of many. From the first page I was hooked and my little anti alien brain was confuzzled. What was it doing? It couldn’t possibly be LIKING this book with unrealistic aliens in, surely. But it was, and my anti alien brain became obsessed, and decided that aliens were the bomb.com. So I fell in love with this book,- it is phenomenal- with sci-fi, with Cassie and Evan and then I made my mum read it,because I needed someone to discuss everything that happened in this book with. This is a book that demands to be discussed. I am SO looking forward to the film and last book out next year!

8. Soulmates by Holly Bourne. *Review to come

Soulmates

I read this book last year and I still don’t think I’m over it now. It was stunning, absolutely beautiful and spectacular. It was funny, romantic, and moving, and the ending was an unexpected twist but still lovely and I really felt that it was necessary- that people need to read at least one book like this in their lifetime. The ending was real, not unrealistic the way that people have come to expect. I loved that there was some explanation and science involved with the soulmates, not just a ‘here you go, these people are soulmates, just accept that without an explanation’ type of thing. I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a swoony romance with a little bit of a twist.

9. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (series)Hush Hush

Books in this series: Hush Hush, Crescendo, Silence, Finale.

I had the honour of meeting Becca Fitzpatrick last year for her Black Ice tour, where she signed my copy of Hush Hush for me. That book has now become one of prized possessions. Patch was one of the first fictional people that I fell completely in love with (another problem of being a fangirl: loving people who’ll never exist. *cries*) and was the first of many, many book boyfriends.

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  The Fault in Our Stars

You know you’ve read a good book when it leaves you clutching it to your chest at 1:00 in the morning, eyes swollen from hours of ugly crying. That’s exactly what happened when I read TFIOS for the first time. I cried for hours. And then when I woke up, I decided to repeat the process by re-reading. My eyes hurt. I’m a huge fan of John Green; I’d even read his grocery lists 😉

These are just a few of my favourite books. I have many, many more. There will be another of these posts at the end of the year- my favourite books of 2015 😀

So It Begins…

Hi guys 🙂

So. Early last week I finally plucked up the courage to start my own book blog ( 😀 ). And all was well until I was greeted with the seemingly – at the time – insurmountable task of creating pages. Now, this might seem like a pretty straight forward task for most people (and it actually was, in the end. Just a case of user error with me. Ha. Ha. Oops) but I seriously COULD NOT figure out why my pages weren’t appearing where they were supposed to, and whatnot. And, no lie, it took me nearly TWO DAYS of trying and just concluding that technology hated me, before I finally realised that I was making blog posts called, “Reviews” and “About”, not pages. Yeah.

And so, with that little obstacle out of the way, then came the problem of deciding what my first post should be. I didn’t want to just jump straight in with the reviews. I wanted to do something a little bit more fun, so I decided that I was going to tell you what my top ten favourite books/series are. That’s fun, right?

But now you have a first post about my lifelong feud with technology and common sense instead, so my Top 10 Fave Books post will technically be my second one 😀