Friday, 24 August 2012

Hotblood (House of Slide)

He stole a kiss from the wrong girl...
Left without a soul, 17-year-old Dariana Sanders waited to die. There was nothing left to live for, nothing to feel besides the aching cold that never stopped. Her parent's marriage was in shambles, and her brother, the only one who understood, the only one who knew how to make the cold go away, was gone forever. The only thing Dariana knew with absolute certainty was that nothing could possibly be right again. Enter Lewis Axel Nialls. Luckily for her, impossible is right up his alley. He can save her from the forces that wish to destroy her. Of course who's going to save him, from her

Correction: I gave this book a 3.99 because I like the author and because its point might be compromised because I'm not really in a good mood.

Brief:
I liked this story, and the sense the author was going for. The point was understandable: she was soulless then she switched souls, and I have to say I felt a lot of anticipation reading this book. One, the chapter where Lewis and Darianna meet was pretty interesting at the end, and two, I kept looking forward to school moments.
However....I would be lying if I didn't say the book confused me. Other than that it needed to be whipped by an editor who could add a contemporary spin and voice appearance factor. The story had potential, but it needed to be cooked a bit longer.

Full:
I don't have much to say about this, mostly because my attention wasn't held. I couldn't seem to keep reading this. Maybe it's just me, but reading it straight on didn't work out. There were moments where I was stuck, forced to keep reading, but I kept falling out of the loop.

While I read this, I kept wondering if it would have gone over smoother if the author had stitched the hotblood race and such to already existing elements, as writing a whole new fantasy existence is immensely difficult. One half of this fantasy was absolutely gorgeous, the other, as I've heard people say, left a little to be desired.

The romance was another confusing section. Maybe I just skimmed too many portions but it felt more bit by bit rather than something that picked you up and whipped you around. For a teen romance, it didn't reach as high as I would have liked it to. Their moments were not that many and I wished the descriptions of all their meetings had been intensified.

As fot the characters, Darianna constantly frustrated me. The things she did, the way she acted...I was completely confused. One second, I would thing she was awesome, the next I wouldn't know who she was.
I do admit though, there were enormously great factors in this book, that I couldn't fully enjoy. I was in a rush to finish this and was juggling with other duties so maybe I gave it to poor a try.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel at the end of this book, but I hope I can revisit it later. 

Thanks for reading xx

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Star Bright by Christina OW


A haunting mistake that brought them all together…

Maria’s fear and hate for men is solidified by Ricky’s abuse and his obsession to kill her. In an effort to save her son, she runs away and crosses paths with Dave, a man going through his own tribulations with his wife. He is determined to protect her, show her that not all men are evil and that true love exists. And he in turn, finds a woman worthy to be a mother to his daughter.

Maria finally finds peace in her new roles as a mother, a wife and a home maker but that dream is short lived when a ghost from her past threatens to take it all away from her in the most brutal and torturous way.

But Maria isn’t alone anymore, her father finally shows up to do what he was supposed to five years ago. Protect his daughter.

*Blurb from Goodreads* 

My rating:



4 Pinkish Looking Roses

Run down:
Star Bright is a book the kind of dark situations you may sometimes come across in real life. Though the plot may sometimes come across as far-fetched, the reader has to realize that portions of this book are purely through. It's more of an unwinding tragedy to put it simply, with characters struggling to find their 'happily ever after' in a world where every thing seems to be going wrong.

The characters were developed according to their situations and were interesting to watch. The romace was sweet and you could feel the stress beneath it from Maria's past. The writing was good, with the habitual book flaws and typos, though at times it did not hold my attention.

The Rest:

When I started this book and saw the first quote (written by the author herself), I should have gone 'aww' and decided the book was a bit too cheesy (that was how I'd reacted to the last self-made quote I'd acknowledged in a book). However, I didn't, so I knew it had to be worth it.

As the story went along, I was pulled in and out of attention. There were moments when I was anticipating the next chapter for certain characters, while there were moments where my short attention span refused to let me read.

The novel starts slowly, but allows you to quickly unwind the world Maria and Dave live in. They start off in two different places with two different situations. While Dave is a big shot lawyer with a daughter and a wife he really wants to get rid of, Maria is a waitress at a degrading bar, with a son she has to provide for, and a boyfriend who takes abuse to a new level.

I first decided the boss of Maria's cafe was a sexist ultra-annoying person without even reading much about him. The fact that he forces his employees to walk around practically half-naked is cruel and despicable. Maria on the other hand, instantly came across as caring despite her situation. As the novel went along though, her fear made me angry. It seemed to encompass her whole character, and left few points to it:
  • Protective of children
  • Fears abuse and is suspicious of all men
  • Protective of her heart
  • Vengeful
  • Caring to those she isn't suspicious of
  •  At times feisty

Of course, I may be wrong, but in thought, that is what pops out. A main character's personality can often be drowned out in a novel of this large structure, so it is understandable. The years of abuse greatly affected her character. There were moments when her personality shone through though, like at the cafe after Dave's incident.

All in all, her reaction to Ricky was understandable, but it upset me how little she defended herself and her son. Maria strengthened over time, but when Ricky came back for her, the fact that she in the end started begging like she always had made the novel endearing, but disappointed me. I'd expected her to finally stand up to Ricky, but instead, all the men in her life were the ones to solve her problems.

Another issue was how she jumped out of an abusive relationship just to enter one with Dave, though nothing like Ricky, who was quite controlling. Dave showed her a love that was both adorable and frustrating, and though she stood up to him, and all his decisions were good ones, she still did whatever he said like an abandoned puppy. I find myself wishing that all the strength she'd grown hadn't dissolved like smoke.

Dave was a good male character, and his personality was really clear to the reader. There wasn't much confusion about who was and how he felt about things. However, there were moments where his character could have been seen as inconsistent for the sake of the plot. For example, what happened in the cafe when he left. Dave's parental side says that is impossible, while Dave's angry side says it is very possible. If you read it, you can see why this situation is odd.

Other characters, such as Maria's family members were impressive, but their situations were slightly flawed. Edna was a strong character and I instantly loved her when she slammed a chair on Ricky's back. However, during the situation with Maria's father around the end, she proved cruel but honest. The fact was, she was telling the truth. In the end I was forced to decide that Edna was right, she shouldn't have done all those things. I felt sorry for Maria and seriously pitied her situation.

I feel the need to mention the first Jane, Maria's best friend. She was a kind character and likable. However, she wasn't a huge particpant in this novel, though she was in Marias's life. I can't complain much about this, but I feel like she should have been there more. As for the second Jane, her character was slightly inconsistent but she managed to come across as mightily annoying, though her love for her daughter did earn her brownie points. This kind of character usually makes a book more interesting for me though. However, I wished Maria would have confronted Jane and all the other workers who had begun to treat her badly because of Jane.

As for Michael and Izzy (full name Elizabeth) they were ADORABLE. I could paractically see them through the book. Michael was so brave, as the author intended, and sometimes came across braver than Maria, who was much older than him. When it came to Elizabeth, I could just tell she was cute. ESPECIALLY with the way she copied Michael. SOOOO CUTE. Their relationship was one of the sweetest things in this book, and it made me smile watching how Izzy instantly looked up to Michael. I could imagine their future in a YA romance. Izzy falls in love with Michael's best friend or his arch enemy and Michael is determined to protect his sister. *SIGH* It brings me joy.

Now, about the plot. It was great, and the characters translated well, but the repetition in events was a really difficult subject to write, and though Christina OW was mostly successful, there were few flaws as this type of writing is very difficult.

Then the romance. The romance in this book was the kind that snuck up on you, labelled with adult situations and fear for the future. I loved Dave's attempt to win over Maria, but her situation left a dark cloud on everything she wanted. The romance was compromised after Maria's father made a comment on why Dave cared about Maria so much. This bit confused me, as when it comes to romance books, my thoughts are: Dave should love Maria because of Maria. It made me question if Dave was defending himself against the truth, that he was stolen by Maria's looks and how she treated children. If that was it, I  would have been bitterly disappointed.

In the end, I adored this novel a lot. It was new fresh and broached difficult subjects without getting over the fact that it was a book and readers were meant to read and enjoy it. I look forward to more novels from Christina, but wish that next time, her main heroine will be a stronger no-nonsense. BTW, I would have liked the novel more if there was more involvement on Maria's part with Dave's parents and his ex-wife.

As for the novel's name, though it wasn't mentioned in the writing, somehow it fits.

Thanks for Reading :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

I Pledge


whose blog I absolutely love :) 

 
Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

"Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which somehow is managing to track their every move. Whilst Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila’s only thought is of finding a way back to California so that she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they’re being held.

Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the people she’s come to think of as family, Lila plans not just to save her brother and mother, but to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for.

But the plan requires Lila to return alone to California, make friends with the enemy, and to risk losing everything - Alex, her family, and even her life.
"

This feature targets all those obssessed-over YA books that are yet to come out.

I pledge to read Losing Lila by the end of the month (or as soon as I can since I need to spend my money on an absolute awesome b-day pressie).

I'm expecting: 
  • Dramatic moments
  • Romace that makes my heart ache
  • Writing that's digestable
  • Yummy descriptions of Alex XD


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Tag Game (Liebster Award)

This is like a...game/award for bloggers. It involves tagging blogs that you think are awesome in order for publicity (the nice kind) and finding out things about a blogger. Since, the Blogger who tagged me said a thank you, I know I have to too. So, thanks to Bow ties are cool (cool name by the way) who blogs on http://hufflepuffsfind.blogspot.co.uk 
which is pretty awesome :)

The Rules are:
  • The tagged blogger has to give 10 facts about themselves
  • Answer 10 questions from your beloved tagger
  • Ask 10 questions to the people you choose to tag
  • Tag 5/10 people on your blog
  • Tell the 5/10 people you've tagged them
  • You can't tag people back (it has to be new people)


Facts about me (I put eleven):

  • I'm Christian 
  • My favorite color has been orange since forever (there's a past with women's' clothing involved)
  • My first crush was most probably an anime character who grew up to become a psychotic teenager who's aim was to kill everyone
  • I found it funny when in teen wolf, Allison shot a teddy with a taser
  • I looove Teddy bears (I think so anyway)
  • I had an argument with a guy in my maths class about where you can get bazookas (XD)
  • I want to go on a shopping spree all over the US (I live in Europe)
  • I read body language
  • I want to create a charity some day
  • I call my mum mummy
  • I want to be loads of different things.
  • I think guys with earrings are awesome :) 

1.What book have you read more than all of your other books?

Probably Twilight. I used to love it a lot (until I was banned from horrors). Now, (I'm allowed to read it) it doesn't as interesting as I'd thought at first.
2. What is your all time favorite movie and why?

Umm...that's a toughie. I love loads of movies. I liked Beastly, and Kick-ass was pretty good. Beastly was sooo sweet. (Confession time: the main male character looked hot when he was cursed). Though honestly, I don't like witches. Kick-ass was weird in a scary way, and I hate death but it felt really dramatic for me.
3. Coffee or tea?

Tea all the way :) Coffee kind of scares me (so many rumours) and I'm still waiting to try it.
4. If you could chose one fictional character to be real, who would it be and why?

I'm not sure...I would want to bring loads of them to life. I'd probably design one myself then bring him/her (probably a really hot him) to life.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

I don't know...I instantly thought 'being a Christian.' I've done things but it doesn't feel like they measure up to what I want for myself. I plan to add a thousand more accomplishments throughout my life.
6. What is your favorite summer activity?

I have no idea. Either dancing (not always well) or just using my laptop :)
7. If you could be anything, what would you be?

I'd say I want to earn the right to be what I want to be, so I'd pass on wishing to be an author or actress or manga artist (Besides, I'm going to be them anyway). So...I'd probably own a sucessful forever helping charity or be the richest human on earth (and give everything to charity).
8. What is your favorite television show and why?

These days, it's DEFINITELY Teen Wolf. There's something about that show. (And no, it has nothing to do with the over the roof hotness level of Derek...)
9. Who is your favorite character of all time and why? (Doesn't matter if it is from a movie, television show, or book)

I don't know...I just love so many. If I had to pick at random, it would be Joss from The Talent Chronicles. (I love her). She has such an awesome character with the right balnce of shyness and spunk.

10. Do you have any pets? What kinds?

Nope, but I can't really decide which ones I want anyway. Dogs are adorable but one half of me says their teeth are soo scary, while the other half says no molesters are gonna come close if I get a dog with ultra sharp canines. Cat's are adorable, but when I think of all that messy fur...enough said.

Thanks for the questions Bow Ties are cool:
 http://hufflepuffsfind.blogspot.co.uk

Blogs I tagged:
http://simplykarun.blogspot.co.uk/
 http://andreasparanormalreads.blogspot.co.uk/
http://lauricewithlove.blogspot.co.uk/
 http://wortication.blogspot.co.uk/
 http://frozeninfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

Questions you have to answer (Remember to answer why):

  • If you had to pick a date-worthy character to pop out of a book/movie/anything else and be yours, who would it be?
  • If you were given one wish, what would it be? (Hint, I would wish for more wishes)  
  • If you could meet one authour/director of a movie, who would it be?
  • If you had a choice between eating KFC or Macdonalds after starving on an island for days with only sloppy fish (you couldn't bring yourself to eat it) to keep you company, what would it be?
  • If you had a choice between being what you've always wanted to be and becoming a billionaire, what would it be?
  • (Hopefully this will never happen) If you had a choice between loving all your friends with all your friends hating you or hating all your friends with all your friends loving you what would it be? (Feel free to say neither)
  •  Hoop earrings or studs?
  •  What do you love when people do?
  •  What's your biggest fantasy?
  • After reading these questions, what do you think I'm like?

 Please carry on the award :)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

In the Midddle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen



A TEENAGE GIRL. A BROKEN HEART. AND A BOY WHO TRIES TO MEND IT.

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That’s what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near. But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.

At the beginning of the school year, the sickly, but cute Michael sends Willow the first of many cryptic notes during homeroom. He stares at Willow and gives her the creeps. Michael never returns to school after that, but Willow ends up connecting with the poetic boy on-line where they strike up an unusual friendship.

As Willow attempts to fit in and find her niche in the ever-cliquey high school world, she is further confused by Michael who strives to win her over and mend her broken heart. But will he be able to, especially when his own existence remains so uncertain?

*Blurb found on Goodreads*


Right from the beginning, I loved the front cover and design taken up throughout the book (chapter design as well since I got this on kindle). The picture and the title practically yelled how the story went.

It took me a while to read this book, mostly because I got it as a review giveaway, along with a bunch of other books. I had too many books to read and review, since they were all so tempting. Even though I told myself getting so many was stupid, I just couldn't help myself, like a child standing in front of a candy shop, I just had to walk in. Having to balance that with my compulsion to internet surf, read manga, talk to people and keep other commitments (like watching my beloved Teen Wolf) I had to hurry to finish this book the day before the deadline. Well, time to get on with it...

I can't classify this novel as Contemporary, though it says so on my blog label, but it felt different from me, a striking difference to other books. Maybe I'm not used to the genre yet, but this book felt like a fresh yet explainable idea.

Continuing on, I will be discussing this novel in four stages (since right now I'm obsesed with order):

Plot
Character
Romance
Writing


Plot

The base storyline was both creative and entertaining. I loved how the author threw in her ideas to carve a story like this. However, (I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing) the plot was circular around Willow, and most of the few sub-plots I noticed in the first half of the story had a strong connection to Willow.


Willow's breakdown over her mom's growing life was an interesting and emotional twist that added to the attractiveness of the story. I was sympathetic to her all the way through that ordeal, but did wish Michael had gotten more involved around this part of the novel.
  
Unfortunately, big events weren't always thoroughly stressed. Some things were easily forgotten because the author did not repeat them the way they could have been. (I can't give examples for fear of giving away massive plot twists but please send me a message if you want to know what I mean).

Characters

The author's ideas for characters were interesting and worth paying attention to. However, the characters were not always sent across properly. The author described who they were and didn't let us see what they did. Unfortunately, the author took prioritising her characters to an extreme. For example, compared to other characters around Willow's age, Tessa and Jacques were highly developed. This proved to show inconsistencies in the strength of her characters.

There was also the problem of how a teenage essence was not fully carried across (though this book was involved in a lot of growing up). Her age seemed slightly unstable and unsure, though I could tell she was a teenager.

As I started reading the book, I began to feel a forbidden emotion for Tessa. I get that as the novel begins she's supposed to be the meanie, but she was the kind of character that made me smile. (Sorry, can't help it). During the first few chapters where she played a part, Willow, our main character, began to annoy me when it came to Tessa. She seemed kind of judgemental and took Tessa's words the wrong way. Saying "That sucks." after someone tells you about their tragic lifestyle is not offensive. I mean, what exactly is she supposed to say? But of course, around the end, I felt a lot of  pity for her. It was sad to watch how she tried to function without basic family needs.

There were times when Willow’s character came across as whining and ungrateful. The best example was her birthday ordeal. At first, when everyone cancelled on her, it was completely understandable for her to be pissed and upset, but when she began to claim that it ‘ruined’ her birthday, it became annoying and less relateable. This could have been solved if she got over it the next day, but she was still complaining, even after her brother and mother came home with 16helium balloons and a chocolate cake. If I got that for my birthday, I’d be screaming with happiness, yet she still complained about being all alone. For goodness sake, you are not alone! She has a right to be u[pset over her situation, but overreacting makes you annoying and unrelatable.

There were also other times when she came across as annoying. She did not stick up for her friends as she should have, and she tended to treat them as if she didn't really care about what they were saying. With Tessa for instance, at times she treated Tessa really badly without even acknowledging it. Other times, she'd treat her supposed 'best friends for life' from her old neighbourhood, as if their problems were minuscule compared to her own. (Such as when they were having an argument over a guy and Becca felt as if she were caught in the middle). However, some strategically placed sarcastic character-oriented sentences made her quirky and interesting.

Continuing on with the however, at times Willow proved to have spunk. Like when Brian gave her that little threat, what she called being 'indignant' was what I called sticking up for herself. I had to root for her then, I would be severely disappointed in myself if I didn't, though I did wish Willow spoke to her mom as soon as she found things out.
 
Then there’s her family. Her totally piss-taking family. For a second, I had to wonder if her mom was blind not see the way her daughter felt about Brian. It was pretty obvious she didn’t want him around, yet she still chose to invite him to her daughter’s birthday. Honestly, that was just cruel. (I admit this bit is more a rant than a flaw in the novel). Though, I guess I can't be angry at her considering the way things turned out in that particular chapter.


Brian... I never trusted Brian, and I kept wishing Willow  would do something about him as she made discoveries about who he really was. His personality though was perfectly placed and fit into the story easily. There was something completely natural (but jarring nonetheless) about how the author fit him in.

Down to her friends. Near the middle of the book, I discovered that I totally hated but understood Erica and Taylor's judgemental behaviour towards Tessa. It showed a slice of how people generally act when it comes to judging people they do not know.

Honestly, getting off point, I liked Jacques and wished he wasn't stoned all the time. He could have made a great male lead in another book with his cheerful and slightly goofy personality.

Okay, problem time. There were times when the author seemed to be so busy making the novel dramatic that she forgot to keep the characters in shape. Michael's mom for instance. A lot of the things she did were said, not done, and her emotions weren't properly expanded on. Really important moments weren't given out properly. (I'll expand on this later).

Romance

I have to admit, Michael was pretty darn awesome. Though he was strange (not that I'm complaining) and there were chunks of the novel where he was virtually none existent I loved him (though unfortunately, he did dim my care for Willow and made her less likable with is ever encompassing awesomeness). I found even myself getting butterflies from some of the things he said. Like once, when he said:

"I know, but I still wanted to see you." Michael brushed a wisp of hair from my forehead and let is fingers linger. "I needed to see you," he leaned in closer, "to touch you."

I think my heart stopped at that bit. Why do I find that so hot?

Going on, when I found out about his 'situaton,' it actually made me sad. Half of me wishes the author hadn't added that detail, while the other realises that's how the world works, and it's almost endearing to give it to one of the most important characters.

There was also the way the author wrote about Michael, which made it almost feel like I was Willow, having a crush on him, liking him but not sure it I could trust him (maybe that's just me being paranoid), yet grieving over every chance we missed to be together. I can say at least one thing: Julie Ann Knudsen can definitely write romance.


However, as the novel went along, the way the author ignored us during Michael and Willow's crucial bonding time was both understandable and frustrating. At times it felt like the author had laid a rock foundation but had left large pits and attempted to cover them with blocks of Styrofoam. It didn't provide enough safety when it came to readers loving her book. This goes back to the situation of saying and not doing.

Writing


This book was one of those novels where the author failed at using the first person to describe her main character's appearance without making her less likable. There are also moments when things were laid down a bit thick to the reader, with too much procrastination.


There was also the case of the author treating first person like third person. If Willow was in such a daze she didn't hear her friend speak, then it shouldn't be written before she pays attention. Her friend could repeat the question after Willow says, "What?" or something like that.

I liked how the author wielded the problem of her mother changing. However, a lot of the tragedies were not written in a classic emotional style. The act and the story were there but at times the emotion was M.I.A.

This book seemed like it was meant to teach the readers a lesson. However, it seemed to give a more vantage point view due to the writing style. The main character wasn't as relatable as other main character's in this genre usually are. However this style was encouraging as the reader sat by and watched with a cinematic view, (now that I think about it, this book was a lot like a romantic movie, Julie Ann should try her hand at playwrighting) judging her actions. So, this book was unique when it came to how it spoke to the reader. This style was risky and kind of subjective to how the reader saw it, especially during peer pressure involved situations. Essentially, I hated some things, but they were par to the story so I couldn't really complain.

Though the 'cinematic view' the author gave us was interesting, it came with it's flaws. The author had a tendency to write the story play by play with a hint of a third person style thrown in for like. I'd like to continue reading her works in first person, but several flaws came with it, such as once, she said: "My big blue eyes got bigger." That can be used, but using it twice reaches the borderline of dangerous writing.

I admit, around the end I got scared (black dress, black sandals, what was I supposed to think?) but the  novel ended up finishing beautifully, without ripping my heart out. It was the best ending the book could have had, and it gave even me butterflies

All in all, I was condescending when I started this book, but ended up discovering something I didn't expect as it felt like, I went on the journey with Willow, discovering what she'd always been missing and realising that I absolutely adore this book.

Quirky bits

This book thought me something about dry cleaning

Oh, by the way, God can't die (Something Willow said)

Willow and Julie have the same middle name!


Thank you for reading :)