Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The world is falling apart, the sky is the wrong colour, food is scarce and birds don't fly anymore. And to make it worse for our main character, Juliette, her touch is fatal. She has been tested on and sent to an asylum. Juliette has been locked up for two hundred sixty-four days with no human contact. Then she is taken by The Reestablishment, the new government that says that the can fix the world. The Reestablishment has plans to use Juliette as a weapon, but Juliette doesn't want to be used as a weapon, she doesn't want to hurt anybody. Will Juliette find the strength to fight, to have a future worth living?

Rate: 3.5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine, so I thought I would try it out. And I've got to say it was pretty good. Some people absolutely hated this book, and others absolutely loved it. I'm in the middle for this one. I would recommend this to any dystopian fan, although there is some romance, so if you aren't a huge fan of that, you might not enjoy it as much.


This book had a unique writing style to it, it was very poetic and Tahereh Mafi used many similes and metaphors. Plus she used cross outs while writing. I actually liked these, as we could see what Juliette was really thinking. The one thing that really annoyed me about the writing was how the author used numbers instead of words, like this: "My eyes open to 2 eyes 2 lips 2 ears 2 eyebrows." Also, the lack of comas, and sometimes Juliette would just repeat things over and over again. But, the unique writing style made for an interesting read.

Our main character, Juliette, was a bit mentally unstable, with good reasons, though. She was bullied as a kid, her parents ignored her, she was tested on, she accidentally killed a young child she was trying to help, and she was locked up in an asylum with no human contact. So it is understandable why she is like this, but I also found Juliette to be a bit weak. Which is actually quite funny considering she is able to break through concrete walls and kill people with a touch of a hand. So, she isn't my favourite character I've ever read about, but she definitely isn't my least favourite.

Now, there was also Warner, who seemed psychotic or mentally disturbed, he was actually kind of creepy. And then there is Adam, the love interest in this story. I liked how he and Juliette had know each other since they were little, I liked their backstory. But, isn't it weird how Juliette can touch both of them? I thought maybe she can only touch the people that love her, but I'm not a hundred percent sure.

Things really started to pick up in Shatter Me when Juliette and Adam ran away from the Reestablishment. Or really when Kenji, James, Adam and Juliette were about to leave for 'super-safe place' (Omega Point) that Kenji was talking about. I never thought Adam was going to die, even when he was shot, you could just tell. And I was really glad that Juliette shot Warner to get away from him. I wish she would have killed him though, he'll just cause trouble in the future.

I was not expecting Omega Point to be this secret headquarters for people with abilities. I thought Juliette was going to be the only one. I was really surprised to find out that Kenji could become invisible. It will be interesting to see how this plays into the next book.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is the best assassin in all the land. But, she got caught. She is sent to the salt mines of Endovier, where she will serve a life time sentence, or so she thought... After a year in Endovier, she is presented a deal; the king is looking for an assassin and is holding a tournament in which the best thieves, warriors and assassins will compete in. If Celeana represents the Prince in the tournament, and wins, she will serve the king for four years then she will be free.

Celaena agrees to compete in the competition, hoping for freedom. But during the competition, something starts killing of the contestants one by one. It is left up to Celaena to figure out what is going on. Will she be able to win the competition? Will she be able to figure out what is killing off the competition before it kills her?

Rate: 5 stars

I am really glad that I picked this book up, it's now one of my favourites. I went into this book with high expectations and I wasn't disappointed at all. The characters and plot were great. The love triangle was actually done well. It had great world building. I'm really excited for this series, it seems quite promising. And I'm quite glad that there are six books, most books are made into trilogies. I would recommend this to any fantasy fan, or just anybody who reads. If you don't normally read fantasy, this is a good place to start, it's a great introduction to the genre.


Right off the bat, we can see that Celaena is quite the talented assassin, as well as a smart mouth. I like how she is such a strong female lead and how she stands up for herself. She says what she thinks, no matter who she is talking too. It was also interesting to see the girly-er side of Celaena, you wouldn't think an assasssin would be too girly. I also liked how Celaena was always making plans to escape, plans to kill. That's how I thought an assassin would think. Even though the book was written in third person, Sarah J. Maas did a good job on showing what each character was thinking. 

Speaking of the characters, I liked how we got to see not only through Celaena's point of view, but Dorian's, Chaol's and Kaltain's. This part was done really well. We got to see what Dorian, Choal and Kaltain thought of Celaena as the book progressed. 

The characters in this book were great, although I hated some of them. But they were those characters that you loved to hate. I really hated Kaltain and Cain. They both reminded me of different types of people you would see in the real world today. Cain was such an arrogant jerk, I'm surprised Celaena didn't kill him herself after winning the battle. And Kaltain really irked me. She was willing to do anything to get to the throne, including poisoning Celaena when she thought she was in the way.

Now there were also some good characters in this book. I really liked Nehemia, she was a great friend to Celaena. I find in some books these days, the main female role doesn't have a close friend (i.e. The Hunger Games or Legend). Nehemia was loyal, kind, caring and brave. I'm glad she was put into the book, Celaena needed someone like that. Then we had the Prince, Dorian and Chaol, the Captain of the Royal Guard. These two were also great characters. I was glad that Dorian didn't turn out to be like his father or some spoiled Prince. The tension between him and his father was noticeable within the first 50 pages, and we could tell that not only did he not get along with his father, but he didn't really fit in with the rest of the royalty. I loved the banter between Celaena and him. Chaol on the other hand was more refined. I hope we get to see more of his true character in the next book. But in this book, we did see that he did truly care about Celaena, even when she was with Dorian. And I was really happy when he killed Cain when he went after Celaena after she won the final duel.

Now let's talk about the tournament, the whole reason Celaena came to the castle. Celaena had to change her name and hold back during training and the Tests in order to draw little attention to herself (although, people did eventually figure out who she was). I thought the tests were quite cool, my favourite was probably when the Champions had to scale the castle wall. I thought that it was very noble of Celaena when she caught Nox when he fell instead of getting first place. Another one of my favourite parts was when she went up against Verin, disarmed him, and nocked him to the ground, without a weapon.

As the tournament was going on, contestants were being killed off one by one. At first Celaena thought it was Cain, then Nehemia as she was acting oddly, but in the end, it turned out to be Cain. As soon as Celaena mentioned that Cain had gained even more muscle, I knew he was the one killing the contestants off, as before it was mentioned that whoever was using the ridderak to kill the contestants gained their strength. The whole thing with the Wyrdmarks was kind of weird.It'll be interesting to see how they play out in the next book. I was also wondering why Cain hadn't gone after Celaena first since he hated her so much, but we later learned that Nehemia was preventing that from happening.

Now, the final battle between Cain and Celaena was awesome. I was afraid that Celaena wasn't going to win for a bit, since Kaltain poisoned her. And it was a bit confusing with the portal from another world/dimension opening up. But, Celaena did pull through, thankfully, and won.

I am quite excited for the next book, or you know, the rest of the series. I wonder who Celaena will deal with doing the King's dirty work for four years. What would happen if she had to kill people she knew or someone innocent? It'll be interesting to see how she handles things.

Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed this book. I'm super happy that I picked it up, and can't wait to get my hands on the next books.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed is set in the futuristic city of Kersh where all people have a twin, an Alt. But, only one can survive. Between the ages of ten and twenty each Alt will go active, they will be assigned to kill their Alt. The surviving Alt becomes a Complete and has a better life than before.

West Grayer has been training for the day that she will have to face her Alt. But, just before West goes active, tragedy strikes, leaving West wondering if there is a life worth living ahead of her. Is she the best version of herself? Does her Alt deserve to win? When West goes active, she flees. Will she be able to face her Alt? Will she be the best version of herself? Will she survive?

Rate: 3.5 stars

Dualed was a quick, action packed read. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a quick dystopian read that will keep you on edge. Since the book was so small there was not a whole lot of world building, which  I would have liked to see more of. I also wish there was a bit more depth to the book. But all aside, it was still a good book. 


I thought the whole concept of the world that West lived in was interesting. I understood that her society only wanted the strongest among them, but at the same time, making children kill each other can also make you weaker. If you are so preoccupied with killing each other, how would you win a war? Also, the people would be ruthless and cruel, not sympathetic and kind. Wouldn't you want your people to be kind and caring?

Now, there's also the problem with innocent people being killed off from a stray bullet. And I find it so weird that bullets flying and people dying is normal, part of their culture. It's just wrong. Anyway, we have the people that have died for no reason, Chord's younger brother, West's mother, Luc. West's mom was a Complete (obviously) and she was killed, she was one of the strong ones. Great job, Kersh, you just killed an innocent person, a strong fighter. I think that it is wrong that everybody in the city should be afraid of their Alt, afraid to die.

I was glad when Dire pointed out that the way things worked was good to make soldiers, but not to keep people humans. He said that balance was good and that if living without the memory of killing someone is weakness, then maybe weakness is good. I was glad that that was mentioned in the book, but then Dire sent West off to be a Striker (assassin). So does he really believe in what he said?

When West became a Striker, I was glad that she did show some emotion after her fist strike. I didn't think she was a sadist, and I thought it was a realistic reaction to what she did. I thought that it was odd that she was able to kill all of the people she did fairly easily, but when it came to her own Alt, she just ran. I know that it would be a bit different, but it took her a lot longer than expected to get it together and kill her Alt. 

And what's with the female protagonist of every dystopian novel being stubborn and always pushing people away? Wouldn't you want help when someone was trying to kill you? I understood that West didn't want what happened to her brother, Luc, to happen to Chord, but I wish she would have at least accepted some help, which I guess she did in the end. But I wish she accepted it sooner. I also found it very obvious that they were going to be a couple in the end.

The last chapter off the book was more like an epilogue, it jumped ahead a few months from the chapter before. I was surprised that West became weaponry assistant, her aim wasn't the best. She was always struggling with that fact throughout the book. Maybe she improved?

Like I said above, there was not a lot of world building or depth to the book, which, like I said I would have liked to see more of. I would like to know what happened to the rest of the world, and why her city is the way it is. I also wish we could have seen a bit more of West's life before she went active. Her friends were mentioned a few times, and I would have liked to see them. We really only had West and Chord, plus a few minor characters, I wish that there were some more characters.

Overall, this was a quick, action packed read. Although short, it was enjoyable.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Going Bovine is a very original and weird book. Our main character, Cameron, isn't very popular at school, and has family troubles. He is trying to get by in life, with as little effort as possible. That is until he is diagnosed with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, more commonly know as mad cow disease, which, by the way, is fatal. 

Cameron's only hope of survival is if he listens to a punk angel, Dulcie (who may just be a hallucination), who tells him that he must search for Dr. X, a doctor who has figured out how to travel through time and space. But, Dr. X has brought something back with him, dark energy. The world will go up in flames if Cameron doesn't reach Dr. X and get him to close the wormhole. Not only would Cameron be saving the world, but he would be getting a cure for the disease that he has, which was created by Dr. X.

So Cameron sets off on a wild adventure across America to try and find Dr. X with Gonzo, a dwarf who is very paranoid about dying, and a lawn gnome who is supposedly Balder, a Viking god. 

Rate: 3.5 stars

This book was interesting, odd, creative and random. Going Bovine had many interesting characters, all of them really, which made for an interesting, yet enjoyable read. A very unique read, something very different. I would recommend it to fans of John Green. 

SPOILERS up ahead.

First off, I loved the titles of the chapters like, "Chapter Twenty-six In Which Some People's Happiness Gets Its Butt Kicked and Gonzo and I Make Our Escape" or "Chapter Fifteen Of What Happens When I Am Assigned a Mission of Crazy Importance or Just Plain Craziness. Because Sometimes It's Hard to Know the Difference." I thought that they were really creative and funny.

This book was totally quirky with all the different experiences that Cameron encountered. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The scene with Balder at the Konstant Kettle. Freeing the snow globes. The whole Part House experience. Or my favourite, the whole CESSNAB/happiness cult thing (Don't hurt your happiness). 

Going Bovine kept me wondering wether the whole adventure Cameron was going on was real. He had these moments where he would be back at the hospital, or somewhere completely random, like the house down by the sea with the old lady from the hospital. 

The ending was a bit confusing. Cameron was told by Dr. X that his whole experience wasn't real, and I didn't believe that at first. But if you think about, a lot of the things that happened to Cameron aren't possible or are highly unlikely to happen. It's not possible for a garden gnome to talk, let alone be immortal (well mostly, he could be killed by mistletoe, which he was. I think he should have lived). Also, we meet the Wizard of Reckoning face to face, who I think turns out to be Cameron, from another dimension I suppose? Then in the second last chapter,  Cameron seems to be back in the hospital. And in the last Cameron is floating in the dark, which I presume is the author's interpretation of death. But Dulcie is also there. 

Overall, this book was enjoyable. A good stand alone novel. It makes readers want to do something with their life.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Ten years ago, a fatal disease sweeps through main character, Adelina Amouteru's nation. Most who caught the disease died. Others like Adeline survived, but were never the same. Adelina' once black hair has turned silver and on top of that she has lost an eye. Adelina lives with a cruel father that favours her sister, since she came through the plague unscathed. He believes Adelina is a disgrace to the family since marked people like her, malfettos, are supposedly bad luck. Some malfettos are rumoured to posses powerful gifts, they are now called the Young Elites. Adelina's father tries to coax powers out of her so that she could be of some use. But when Adelina shows no signs of powers, he accepts a deal for her to be taken to another family to be a mistress.

Adelina does not want to be taken to be a mistress, so packs up her belongings and flees. Her father realizes that she has left and catches up to her. Tired of her father's abuse, Adelina does not want to go back. So she releases powers she never knew she had and kills her father accidentally. Adelina flees the scene and is on the run. She runs until she is caught one night and put in jail where she will soon be burnt at the stake.

On the day she is to die, a Young Elite, Enzo Valenciano, helps Adelina escape her death and the hands of the Inquisitors, specifically Teren Santoro, the Leader of the Inquisition Axis. Adelina learns that Enzo is a member of the Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites who want to change the way malfettos are treated. They try and find other Young Elites before the Inquisition Axis can. Enzo helps hide from Teren and helps her control her abilities. He soon realizes that Adelina has a powerful ability, more powerful than anything he has seen before.

Rate: 4 stars

This fantasy novel is a great start to a trilogy. It has a very medieval-ish feel to it. The main character, Adelina, is very dark and struggles between what is right is wrong. I thought that it was great that the main character was fighting an internal battle as well as an external battle, it made for quite an interesting story. What also made the story interesting, was that Adelina was not necessarily on the good side because of her darkness. We rarely see stories narrated by someone so dark. If you are into fantasy novels, or just looking to try fantasy, this would be a great book to read. I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out.

SPOILERS will be discussed ahead, so only continue reading if you have finished the book.

This book keeps you on your toes since we don't know if can trust the characters. They all have their dark sides, Adelina especially. I thought that Adelina's relationships with the other characters was interesting. Adelina cares about her sister, Violetta, but she also envied her since their father treated her well. I was actually surprised that Adelina gave Teren some information about the Daggers' plans to save her sister. And I was even more surprised to find out that that Violetta had powers. She was unmarked after all. 

All the powers that the Young Elites had were different and unique. I also liked how in the Dagger Society, they were given nicknames based on what they could do. But, I thought that they should have saved other malfettos, not just the Young Elites. I understand that they did not have time for everybody, but they would just watch people die.

An interesting twist to the plot was that Teren was a Young Elite as well. He could heal himself so that made him hard to beat (not that he was beat). I thought that it was weird that he was killing other malfettos and Young Elites. He was one after all.

I can't believe that Adelina was able to use her abilities to kill people. I didn't think illusions could do that, but she killed Dante after all. 

Now let's discuss the ending. I can't believe Adelina helped kill Enzo, accidentally or not, I think she should have been able to tell the difference between Enzo and Teren since she was the one making Enzo look like Teren. Now that she has been kicked out of the Dagger Society, I think she is going to start her own. I don't think she'll just sit back, she'll try and do something herself.

Then there is the epilogue. We caught up with another Young Elite in a different city. It appeared that she had the ability to bring people back from the dead. So in the next book, I think Enzo will be brought back to life, but I think his personality will change somehow. 

Overall, I thought the book was quite good. It leaves the readers hanging on for the next book. The epilogue did a great job at building up for the next book. Hopefully the next book will be just as good as the first, or even better.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

***The following synopsis and summary contain spoilers for The Darkest Minds and Never Fade.***

In the final instalment of The Darkest Minds trilogy, Ruby and the other members of the Children's League that survived the bombing, travel to the Ranch, one of the League's other locations. The remaining adults of the League are against Psi kids (other than Cate), so Ruby and Liam's brother, Cole, for their own organization. Ruby tries to formulate a plan to get all the other Psi kids out of the so called rehabilitation camps, showing America how they were abused, as well as uncovering the cause of IAAN. But not everybody agrees with the plan that Ruby and Cole have formulated. Others have their own idea of a plan. Will Ruby be able to execute her plan?

Rate: 5 stars

In The Afterlight gave us a satisfying ending to this amazing trilogy. There were no loose ends, unlike some other series that I have read (*cough* Champion by Marie Lu *cough*). Plus the ending was fairly happy unlike other novels (*cough* Allegiant *cough*). It was just as action packed as the last two books and we saw some more amazing character development. If you haven't read In The Afterlight, let alone The Darkest Minds and Never Fade, go pick it up, these books are amazing. And don't come back until you have read them because there are SPOILERS ahead.

Can I just say how happy I was to see Zu turn up! Just what I was hoping for. I liked her relationship with Vida. At first Vida wasn't very nice to Zu, Vida became just like a big sister to Zu. I loved the scene where they were dyeing their hair. I thought that was a nice touch. And when Zu finally spoke for the first time in the series, I was quite happy. I thought she might when Vida talked to her about speaking.

Cole played a huge role in this book. He helped Ruby lead the group of kids at the Ranch. They ended up spending a lot of time together, and I really think that hurt Liam and Ruby's relationship. Cole was always putting Liam down as well. I was kind of annoyed with Cole, so I wasn't that sad when he died. Although I was glad when he finally told Liam that he was a Red, I think that improved their relationship a bit.

I was also glad that Liam and Ruby finally talked about Ruby erasing Liam's memory. I was just waiting for that to happen in Never Fade and then in In The Afterlight. I was happy that they were on the same page again after doing things behind each other's backs and not talking for each other for a while. I can't believe that Liam didn't tell Ruby about bringing Alice in to help with the media side of things. I found that, and Alice, really annoying.

Speaking of new characters, let's talk about Lillian Gray. I thought that I was going to like her, but once Ruby fixed whatever Clancy did to her, she became kind of annoying. We found out the cause of IAAN and learned that the so called "cure" was not really a cure. I thought that the cure would have been something completely different, not some implant in the brain that didn't really solve the problem.

In this book, we think that Ruby actually has Clancy under control for the most part. But that's not the case. We learn that the cause of Ruby's sleepwalking was because of Clancy's influence. And of course he used her to call the PSFs and to tell them to look out for Cole when he and Liam were out on a mission. HUGE plot twist.

After that little episode with Clancy, Ruby leaves for Thurmond so that she can put her plan to set the kids free into action. I loved how she was able to influence the PSFs so that they marked her down as a Green again, she was in complete and utter control. I also loved how she and Sam (a friend from the first book who's memory she erased) made up. I was really happy about that. And after a few days, she finally was able to get to the Control Tower to shut down Thurmond's system.

I absolutely loved the ending. Like I said above, there were no loose ends and it was reasonably happy. Thank you Alexandra Bracken! All the kids were released from the camps and were able to join their families once again. I loved how Ruby was able to get back together with her grandmother and even her parents. I was so glad that everything was resolved, even the issues with the government. Also, I thought that Ruby was wise to erase Clancy's memory. Now he can't mess any more things up. I also really loved that the book ended with Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Vida and Zu driving off in the car. Oh, and Chubs and Vida, who else saw that coming?

Overall, this book wrapped up the series perfectly. I have love this series and I am sad to have finished reading it. Although I'm sure I will reread it. One of my all time favourite, if not my favourite series with some of my absolute favourite characters.