Hunted

Rating: 4.5 Crickets

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: HarperTeen – an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
Published: March 14th, 2017

Blurb

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones – and in her blood.

She knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

But Yeva’s grown up far from her father’s old lodge, raised to be part of the city’s highest caste of aristocrats. Still, she’s never forgotten the feel of a bow in her hands, and she’s spent a lifetime longing for the freedom of the hunt.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas… or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman.

But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sister’s protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory – a cursed vally, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s heard about only in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin – or salvation.

Who will survive: the beauty, or the beast?

 

When Hunted came out last year I saw it everywhere. Everyone seemed to have gotten a hold of this book, and they were sharing a lot of pictures and reviews. The cover looked so beautiful and the fact that it was a fairy tale retelling made it a book I just had to get a hold of. Fortunately, it was the book featured in the ‘Beauty & the Beast’ themed box by BookBoyfriend in March last year (which was awesome). Unfortunately, it has been sitting on my TBR pile until recently, and am I so glad I finally got around to reading it! This book has definitely become one of my favourites!

My first thought when reading Hunted was “there’s ladies sitting around in a circle talking… not what I was expecting… I’m bored”. Actually, that’s a lie. My first thought was of the snippet of Beast’s POV at the beginning – which I found intriguing and wanted to know more about, but was also a little confused as it was a tad cryptic. But yes, the first chapter introduces us to Yeva, aka Beauty, and she is socialising with the ladies in town at the baronessa’s home. The writing also gives off that old sort of classical writing feel, which is great and it’s beautiful writing, and it definitely brings out the fairytale vibe, but it can also be a bit slow paced? However, by the time the first chapter was over I was fully immersed in the story and couldn’t put it down!    

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A New Beginning…

First of, I’d just like to say a big thank you to those who have stuck with me thus far on this crazy adventure, and to those who are new to the journey, welcome!

To the adventures who have visited this blog before, you will have noticed it has had a makeover…

I started this blog almost a year ago, as a fun way to keep track of the books I read. The problem with this being that 2017 was the second year in my 19 years of living that I struggled to read anything (which for a book lover is a real pain, and actually quite frustrating), and thus made writing book reviews rather difficult. Fortunately, I seemed to have returned to my old self this year and am happily reading away – which isn’t only brilliant because ‘yay I can read the books I’ve been wanted to read for a long time’ but also because I start uni this year, and there are 3 novels and a play that I need to read in first semester.

So, I start this blog again, in 2018, with a hope that it will continue on on (don’t you just love how you can use the same word several time’s in a row and it still makes sense) a regular basis. The obstacle of the ‘reading stump’ has been cleared, and now there is the obstacle of the ‘busy schedule’ – which is not a problem I’ve really had before, I’ve never been this busy, with starting uni (double major), having work, a study group and two other groups that meet weekly, it’s going to be an insane year!!

I’m not sure how well this is going to go, but I’m going to give it a crack – and I hate that I don’t sound confident about it, and that I’m probably going to be a lil unreliable, but I really wan’t to do this and I really want it to work out.

So if you bear with me as we once again set out on this adventure, and just like any adventure there will be obstacles and detours, losses and successes and I’m looking forward to making this year one of the successes!

A Stormy Day

 

The addictive smell of rain
fills the air,
as wet drops fall
from the grey stormy skies.

 

Inside, warm and cosy,
cocooned in a blanket,
with fluffy warm socks.

 

Turning the soft pages,
the words come alive.
Being dragged away from reality,
lost in a land that’s unknown.

 

A black ball curled up beside you,
breathing rhythmically
sleeping peacefully.

 

The calming sound
of pit-pat pit-pat.
With the soothing warmth
from the hot brown drink

 

It’s peaceful. It’s warm,
relaxing and cosy.
This is a stormy day.

The Book Thief

Rating: 5 Crickets

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Illustrator: Trudy White – of one of many versions of the cover
Cover Photography: Colin Anderson/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Publisher: “this is a Borzoi Book published by Alfred A. Knopf”
Published: September 1st, 2005

Blurb
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel meminger finds her life changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is ‘The Grave Digger’s Handbook’, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish man in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

The Book Thief is a well known book, and one I had heard mentioned on several occasions growing up. Being an avid reader people kept recommending that I read it. However, despite my love of reading, when I saw the size of the book I kept putting it off. When the movie came out I watched it, and so at last I knew what the hype was about. I was determined to read the book one day, but again, I kept putting it off. Until I made a new friend, and as it turned out this was their favourite book, and so they lent it to me, insisting I read it. So I finally did. I knew I would enjoy the book, but damn, was it a good book. I loved it!! I really did enjoy it more than I thought I would.

I loved the structure of the book, with the little side stories that the narrator would tell and the notes to give more information. It kept the book entertaining, and it helped to break up what could have easily been a big bulk of text. This also made the size of the book less daunting because it wasn’t just page after page of solid text. It was also exciting as well when you could see the bold text of the ‘side note’ coming up, wondering what information it would hold.

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Love Letters To The Dead

*Picture coming soon

Rating: 3 Crickets

Title: Love Letters To The Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: April 1, 2014

Blurb
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead – to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart and Amy Winehouse – though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love with the first home,  and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was – lovely and amazing and deeply flawed – can she truly start to discover her own path.

‘Love Letters to the Dead’ – that sentence in itself is quite interesting and it really intrigued me. When it was the title of a book, I simply had to pick it up and read it.

The concept of writing letters to the dead was also entertaining. I am a big fan of writing letters to people, and it’s sad that it seems to be a dying art. I wasn’t expecting this story to be written purely in a series of letters, but due to it being done that way it gave the story a unique style. The letters that Laurel writes are to famous people who have died, which I found quite interesting because I’ve never been good with knowing famous people – so I learnt about people I had never heard of before, and got excited when she wrote to someone I did know. Learning a bit of backstory of the people she was writing to was also really cool, though I did find it amusing, and a lil weird, that she was telling the person their own life story.

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Zenn Diagram

 

Rating: 3 Crickets

Title: Zenn Diagram
Author: Wendy Brant
Illustrator: jacket design by Kate Hargreaves (CorusKate Design)
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Published: April 4, 2017

Blurb
‘The more I touch someone, the more I can see and understand, and the more I think I can help. But that’s my mistake. I can’t help. You can’t fix people like you can solve a math problem.’

MATH GENIUS. FREAK OF NATURE. LONER.

Eva Walker has literally one friend – if you don’t count her quadruplet three-year-old siblings – and it’s not even because she’s a maths nerd. No, Eva is a loner out of necessity, because everyone and everything around her is an emotional minefield. All she has to do is touch someone, or their shirt, or their cell phones, and she can read all their secrets, their insecurities, their fears.

Sure, Eva’s “gift” comes in handy when she’s tutoring math and she can learn where people are struggling just by touching their calculators. For the most part, though, it’s safer to keep her hands to herself. Until she meets six-foot-three, cute-without-trying Zenn Bennett, who makes that nearly impossible.

Zenn’s jacket hives Eva such a dark and violent vision that you’d think not touching him would be easy. But sometimes you have to take a risk…

After returning a book to the library I promised myself I wouldn’t get anymore out until I had made some work of my ever growing TBR pile at home. However, within only a few seconds I had three books in my hand and was still looking for more. Zenn Diagram was the first book I picked up that day, with it’s nice cover and quirky name.

I loved the concept of this book – having a math nerd with a sense of humour as the main character, who had some strange ability to sense things via touch. I’ve read a few books with the whole “nerdy girl” main character type thing, but Eva was unique and quite an interesting character. It was fun to see a character who had a passion for maths but also wasn’t a complete stereotypical character. Eva’s devotion to her family, especially her 4 younger siblings was great to see. Her backstory was also different to one I had seen before, and her view and feelings about what happened to her made her a stronger character, and I loved how she wasn’t all ‘woe is me’.

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Passenger

Rating:  3.5 Crickets

Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: January 2016

Blurb
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the colonies-and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them – whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

Passenger first caught my eye as I was scrolling along book accounts on Instagram and the photo appeared before me. I loved everything about the cover! The whole ‘boat in a bottle’ idea, tied in with the city vs boat reflection along with the fancy writing… it’s simply wonderful. Finding out that it was a book about time travel (which is something I haven’t read a lot of) I was sold! Passenger quickly made it’s way to the top of my TBR pile and I made sure to keep my eye out for it. Unfortunately I still don’t possess my own copy, but I did find it in the library (hence why the book looks a lil’ battered…)

I had mixed feelings about this book while reading it. On the one hand I loved it and was enjoying the journey that it was taking me on. On the other hand, there were times in which I found the writing a bit simple? I’m not really sure how to explain it. While this did cause me to be a tad bored at times, overall it remained a book that I’m eager to place on my shelf, and one that I definitely recommend reading.

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Lost In A Book


Rating:
3 Crickets

Title: Lost In A Book
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Paper Rocket

Published: 31st January, 2017

Blurb
Hidden in the Beast’s library, Belle is about to discover a mysterious book and visit a glittering new world. But everything is not as it seems, when the time comes, will Belle be able to find her way back home? Or will the story take hold of her – and never let her go?

I was so excited when I discovered this book – I had seen several people posting pictures of their own copy and talking about it, so when I actually came across it in store I simply had to buy it. When I was little my favourite Disney Princess story was actually Sleeping Beauty, but as I grew up Beauty & The Beast slowly came up to possess that top spot.

I love the title, Lost In A Book, it was certainly one of the things things that drew me in and this was before I fully realised it was tied in with Beauty & The Beast. I was definitely looking forward to reading more about Belle’s time in the castle, especially when the library was involved (who wouldn’t want to visit that library???).

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Life Blood

 


Rating:
5 Crickets

*this is the 2nd book in a series, as a result there will be spoilers to the first book*

Title: Lifeblood
Author: Gena Showalter
Illustrator: Unknown
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Published: 28 February 2017

Blurb
“My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.”

With her last living breath, Tenley ‘Ten’ Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future – and the enemy wants her neutralised. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die.No pressure, right?

But Ten’s competition is Killian, the boy she can’t forget – the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she’s never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice: Love… or victory.

This is the second book in the Everlife series by Gena Showalter and words cannot even describe how I feel about this series. I had high hopes going into Lifeblood, and all I can say is I was not disappointed! In fact, it probably exceeded my expectations! I’ve come across a lot of the ‘middle book syndrome’ type stuff recently, where the second book in a series just kinda slumps, but just like with Firstlife, I was completely hooked from the beginning right through to the end.

There were times while reading this book where the situation could have gone one of a few ways, some of which I felt were predictable and a bit overdone but the most likely to happen. However! There weren’t any of the cliche moments, and I was not disappointed by how the events unfolded.

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Ice Like Fire


Rating:
3 Crickets

Title: Ice Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Illustrator: Erin Fitzsimmons and Jeff Huang
Publisher: Balzer + Bray – an imprint of HarperCollins
Published: 13th October 2015

Blurb
It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared – thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous; Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. The last time the world has access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders Meira and Theron on a mission to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe – even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves.

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Jannuari – leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. So when Meira leaves to search for allies, Mather decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect his people from new threats?

As the web of power and deception is woven tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom – and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter but for the world.

It seems like only yesterday, yet a whole lifetime away, when I was putting up the review for Snow Like Ashes. Now I’m doing the sequel, and hopefully won’t be too long before I’m doing the third, Frost Like Night.

I was excited going into this book. I enjoyed the first book to the series and I had high hopes for this book. And while I did enjoy reading it, it was also a bit of a let down.

I easily got into the first few chapters – I liked how the story started off with Meira fighting snowmen in a clearing, to me the scene just felt right and it was a good reminder of the characters personalities.

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