Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Review: The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter

The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles, #3)The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Author: Gena Showalter
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles
Pages: 464
Release date: 30th September 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Amazon

Synopsis (Goodreads) I have a plan. 

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us. 

Either way, only one of us is walking away. 

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun. 

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

Review: 4/5 Stars

The Queen of Zombie Hearts is the third book in the White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter and begins not long after where Through the Zombie Glass ends. I have never been a huge fan of zombie books at all but this has always been one of my favourite YA series with wonderful plot developments, great world-building, suspense, adventure and some really memorable characters. I did have a few minor problems with the final instalment though.

It is hard to write this review without giving away some pretty big spoilers, this book started off with a bang, the characters couldn’t seem to catch a break, it was go go go and there was action aplenty! but to balance it out we have the romance between Ali and Cole which I have always enjoyed but this did take centre stage in this book and the zombie slaying wasn’t at the forefront which was a tad disappointing, added to that was the drama which I felt was overdone and not needed.

Ali is still snarky and quirky but at times she was a little immature and whiny, she really grated on my nerves on occasion, she was worrying needlessly about petty things rather than focussing on the real problem – Anima Industries and the zombies, there were a few revelations about her which did come as a shock. Cole continues to be a great leader, he progresses as a character and I liked the responsible way he dealt with certain situations.

The storyline continued to keep us guessing, there were many surprise twists and turns I didn’t anticipate, there was death, betrayal and some intense scenes as Ali and the slayers try to bring down Anima – these are the parts I really found myself enjoying and the ending was done extremely well. The secondary characters are memorable and play an important role in the overall story; this book did have a number of deaths, some that were complete shocks.

Gena Showalter is a wonderful story-teller and despite my few issues, I felt this was a satisfying conclusion to the White Rabbit Chronicles.

Favourite quotes:

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I have five fingers, the middle one is for you.”

“I'm usually a big fan of sexual tension, but this is like an X-rated kindergarten class, with two little jerks crushing on each other, both too stupid to admit it out loud.” 

“I know girls want what they can’t have, and they want to be the special exception responsible for taming the boy no one else can, even though they probably won’t be.” 



Gena ShowalterAbout the author: Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Review: Etherworld (Elusion #2) by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Etherworld (Elusion, #2)Etherworld

Author: Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
Series: Elusion
Pages: 352
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Release date: 31st March 2015

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

In this sequel to Elusion, three teens fight a virtual reality program that threatens to destroy their minds. Dangerous secrets and lies add up to a thrilling futuristic fantasy with an Inception-inspired twist.

Elusion was hailed as an exciting leap in technology—until users began to disappear amid rumors of addiction. Regan’s search for the truth led her and her new love interest, Josh, to Etherworld. Etherworld is a dimension hidden deep beyond Elusion's firewall, where players can hide, and ultimately fight back. Regan's father and others are here working to destroy Etherworld, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return to the real world alive.

Escape means attacking Elusion from within the program. It's dangerous and it’s a puzzle. And even if they manage it, how will they be able to stop Orexis from distributing Elusion to the masses when the people who run it are corrupt?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Etherworld is the final book in the Elusion series and begins where the first book left off. I won’t go into too much of what happens in this book to avoid spoilers but it was just as amazing, if not better than the first book.

Regan and Josh are now in Ether, a bleak world within Elusion, the new virtual reality piece of technology that was created by Regan’s father. Ether is an area within the program that is hidden beyond the firewall, it is where her dad and others have been all this time working to destroy it rather than dead as they had been led to believe, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return alive to the real world.

The plot is fast paced and filled with moments where I didn’t think things would work out for them, we see Regan continue her attempts to bring down Orexis, but this time she has some much needed help. We meet a number of new characters, all who play an important role in the overall story; those we had already met were developed well and were likeable.

Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam have written a page-turning, engaging sequel. In this thrilling finale there is betrayal, conspiracies, a sweet romance and some edge of your seat moments that kept the pacing consistent throughout. There were twists and turns aplenty but it was balanced out by some great interactions between all of the characters.

This series brings a unique storyline to the YA Sci-fi genre, the clichés aren’t as apparent as they were for me in the first book but the originality is something that has appealed to me. The technology aspect is great and I found the world-building to be a lot stronger in this.

Thank you to Katherine Tegen books via Eidelweiss for the opportunity to read and review Etherworld, it is a satisfying conclusion to the Elusion series.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oak) by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, BreatheBreathe, Annie, Breathe

Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oak
Pages: 306
Release date: 7th April 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Amazon

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

"Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet." — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You 

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I have only read one book in the Hundred Oak series but I’ll definitely be picking up more after reading this little gem.

Annie Winters is a girl dealing with heartache and blame after her long-term boyfriend, Kyle passed away, he was the person she would eventually marry, he was her best friend and the one she was planning a future with. As a way to honor him, she is training for a Country Music Marathon that he intended to race. We get a good glimpse into Annie’s pain, we see her push herself to achieve success, she goes through agony but she moves forward never losing sight of her goal despite hating running herself.

When Annie meets Jeremiah Brown, her trainers little brother he slowly brings her out of her slump but she is wary of this adrenalin junkie; she doesn’t want to lose anyone again but she can’t avoid his charm and his kindness, I adored their interactions and call me a perv but I thought that their smexy times were done really well! The chemistry between Annie and Jere was off the charts so I loved all of their interactions together – it was rushed initially and then slowed to a more believable pace that I loved reading about, they complimented each other well.

I loved the sporting aspect, I'm not a runner at all - I'd trip over my own feet and it was gruelling to read about what they go through to achieve their goals; I was cheering Annie on as she trained daily so that she could honour Kyle and it was great to see everyone support her along the way. It was nice to see family play an important role in this book.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is filled with wonderful, engaging writing and relatable characters that you can’t help but cheer for. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Annie’s progress and finding herself through her grief, it wasn’t easy for her but I admired her dedication – she was a fabulous character that I could really relate to.

I did struggle in the initial stages of this book because of my Netgalley copy – it was missing certain letters which skewed words, I found it hard to get used to but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the overall book. I also found the ending to be a little anti-climactic, all the preparations were over with in a brief moment; I would have loved more.

Overall, a highly recommended, well written sporting romance. Thank you kindly to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review Breathe, Annie, Breathe.



Miranda KenneallyAbout the author: 

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

2015 YA To Be Read Pile Cover Love


I am one of those readers that chooses a book based on the cover! I am completely obsessed with a pretty cover and there are some amazing YA titles due to be released that have left me gushing. I have listed a few below – what are your thoughts?

Like/dislike?

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Cladia Gray
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2)
 Release date: 3rd November 2015 by Harper Teen

The White Rose by Amy Ewing
The White Rose (The Lone City, #2)
 Release date: 6th October 2015 by Harper Teen

Etherworld by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam
Etherworld (Elusion, #2)
Release date: 31st March 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

Storm by Amanda Sun
 Storm (Paper Gods, #3)
Release date: 30th June 2015

The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)
 Release date: 13th October 2015 by Balzer & Bray

Siren’s Fury by Mary Weber
Siren's Fury (Storm Siren, #2)
 Release date: 2nd June 2015 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows (The Dregs, #1)
 Release date: 6th October 2015 by Henry Holt and Company

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Review: The Return (Titan #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Return (Titan, #1)The Return

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan #1
Pages: 335
Release date: 16th Februray 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Amazon

Synopsis (Goodreads):

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series.

Review: 4 ½ out of 5 stars

I adored Seth initially in the Covenant series but by the last book he became a pain in the butt and completely psychotic – of course within reason but I wasn’t his biggest fan so going into The Return had me feeling quite anxious about whether or not I’d like it or not but by the end, I wasn’t disappointed.

I will start off with my biggest complaint, which seems to be the same for all the JLA books I read lately and that is it was trademark JLA with the snark and repetitive sayings that let it down a smidgeon for me; the cheesy sayings seem to be repeated in each of her books so they are starting to run together and the characters sound the same as one another. Other than this, I loved everything about it.

It has been a year since the destructive events that took place in the Covenant series and Apollyon, Seth has pledged his servitude to the Gods – In particular Apollo. He holds onto a lot of guilt, he doesn’t feel worthy and he is trying to make amends for his actions; we see a lot of growth in Seth, he has been tasked with finding and taking care of Josie; I was very curious about what she was and even more shocked about who she was related to! This aspect was very interesting.

Josie reminded me very much of Alex – including her looks but with less feistiness, Josie seemed sweeter and was able to look past Seth’s history and accept him for who and what he was – I liked that she made her own decisions, she became quite the badass by the end of the book. She had no idea about the world she was about to be introduced to or even what she was so I liked her reaction to this huge piece of news.

We get some steamy smexy scenes and a nice start to a budding romance – I loved the cuddling scenes, thankfully no love triangle and hopefully it stays that way. This book is definitely New Adult.

There are some fabulous secondary characters including Erin, Apollo, the return of Deacon and Luke who I adore and now they are back at the covenant there is also Solos, Marcus and of course Alex’s father. The interactions between all of the characters were done well.

The plot is fast paced and entertaining, the world-building was done well & was very similar to the Covenant as we get the same setting – I enjoyed learning about the Titans and the new changes within the Covenant. Written in dual POV’s it was nice to get both Seth and Josie’s thought processes. The writing is trademark JLA and kept me engaged from the very first page.

A great start to the series, I’m more than eager to get hold of the next book.



Jennifer L. ArmentroutAbout the author: # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. 

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. 

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Hi everyone!! thank-you so much for stopping by today.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW for this week is Six of Crows which is the first book in The Dregs series by Leigh Bardugo.

Six of Crows (The Dregs, #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Dregs
Amazon pre-order
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release date: 6th October 2015


Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.