Friday, 30 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper

Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper

Genre: Apocalyptic/Romance/Young Adult

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

The end of the world just might be their perfect beginning... Glenview, North Carolina. Also known-at least to sixteen-year-old Ava Pegg-as the Land of Incredibly Boring Vacations. What exactly were her parents thinking when they bought a summer home here? Then the cute-but-really-annoying boy next door shows up at her place in a panic...hollering something about flesh-eating zombies attacking the town. At first, Ava's certain that Cole spent a little too much time with his head in the moonshine barrel. But when someone-or something-rotted and terrifying emerges from behind the woodpile, Ava realizes this is no hooch hallucination. The undead are walking in Glenview, and they are hungry. Panicked, Ava and Cole flee into the national forest. No supplies, no weapons. Just two teenagers who don't even like each other fighting for their lives. But that's the funny thing about the Zombpocalypse. You never know when you'll meet your undead end. Or when you'll fall dead over heels for a boy... 

**Spoiler Free Review**

I was sent an ebook copy of this book from Entangled Teen Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This was the first time I had ever read a novel with Zombies in it so I was definitely interested by the premise, even though it wasn't something I would normally pick up.

I found the novel quite cute (despite the Zombies!), however, it was rather cheesy at times. Some scenes were quite unbelievable in the book, and I've read since that the portrayal of the southern accent is quite outdated. Being from England, I didn't really notice but I also didn't understand a lot of the slang. It also seemed a little rushed at times and I had to go back and forwards to make sure I hadn't missed something.

I didn't expect to but I did become quite attached to the characters, and definitely bought the crazy ex-girlfriend. I found her character a realistic threat and the zombies were cleverly portrayed. I did enjoy the general storyline of traversing through a forest and survival in an apocalyptic situation. The tension and storyline did keep me turning the page until the very end as I did really want to know what happened to the characters. I found Ava's 'disability' quite interesting as it did add an extra element of danger to an already dangerous situation. 

Overall I found this book not as bad as I thought it might be (I wasn't sure if it would turn into an all too cheesy love story with no other plot) but it also didn't quite grab my attention as much as I had hoped. It was a light and fun read. I would definitely read Alison Kemper's first book and more of her writing, which I found quite enjoyable. However, I'm not certain if the genre was necessarily right for me. The zombies were interesting but I think I would've enjoyed this book a lot more as a teenager (perhaps aged 15 or 16) which I imagine the main demographic is. So I would definitely recommend it to any teen who enjoys romance/apocalyptic novels and wants to read something a bit different to the usual paranormal romance. 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Rain by Virginia Bergin

The Rain by Virginia Bergin

Genre: Dystopian

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

It's in the rain...and just one drop will kill you.

They don't believe it at first. Crowded in Zach's kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach's parents' frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, "It's in the rain! It's fatal, it's contagious, and there's no cure."

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who's been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby's only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he's even still alive.

**Spoiler Free Review**

I was incredibly excited to read this book when I heard about it. I love dystopian novels and the concept of The Rain (In the USA I believe this book is called H2O ), trying to survive in a world where the rain can kill you, intrigued me so much as it sounded like a very unique storyline. I have to say, however, I was pretty disappointed with the book overall, especially as it had the potential to be so much better.

The main character, Ruby, was one of the most irritating characters I have ever read. Some of the things she did, particularly at the beginning of the novel, I agreed with and empathised with her position. However, I feel like she became extremely ridiculous and unbelievable. Some of the decisions she made were just plain stupid. I understand that she is a teenager but that was no reason to make her downright dim, rather than someone who could just make a mistake. Despite the fact that the world is ending, she is always more concerned with her appearance and who she might run into without make-up on than survival, which I think is just ridiculous. As much as some teenage girls so focus on their appearance, I do think that if most of the population was dead, that would be the last thing on their mind, rather than the first. She didn't act like her age and was almost child-like in her decisions. Teenagers are not stupid, despite not being adults.

Occasionally the writing bothered me, but I think that was more to do with the main character than the writing itself. The other main thing that I disliked about this book was that I was under the impression from other people that it was a standalone. I was so unbelievably thrilled to read a dystopian novel that was only one book long. It would've been so unique and interesting. However, I reached the end only to discover that it ended on a (sort of) cliffhanger and the next book is due to come out next month.

I know I've said a few bad things about this book but there were a few positive things that I did really love. The fact that it was set in the UK was extremely refreshing and, being from the UK myself, I felt a lot more attached to the story purely for that reason. It made me empathise with the characters as I understood immediately what it would mean for people in the UK if we couldn't go out in the rain! I could also imagine the places much more easily, particularly the Devon roads. I also really loved the character of Ruby's Step Dad. he was incredibly interesting to read about and I felt he was the most thoughtful and caring character in the book.

As I said earlier, this novel and the plot idea had so much potential to be something wonderful and I just found the main character such a disappointment that it spoiled some of the story for me. I will be picking up the second book (The Storm) to see if that main character becomes any more likeable and to see how the story develops. I am hoping it will pick up more in the second book. I know this opinion may be an unpopular one as I know many people loved this book but I just found the main character too frustrating to look past.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Top Five Wednesday | Favourite Anti-Heroes

This week's Top Five Wednesday is our favourite anti-heroes in literature. Anti-heroes are my favourite type of character because they feel the most real to me. Every single person has their flaws and the ability to do both bad and good things, so it's nice to read a character who does this and makes mistakes like any human does. Of course, in literature, the mistakes are often pretty extreme but then so are their other actions, and that's why we love them so much! Here are my Top Five Anti-Heroes!

Victor Frankenstein - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

One of the most famous anti-heroes in literature. Victor Frankenstein from Mary Shelley's novel certainly portrays the typical anti-hero. His abilities make him a great man, but his inability to think ahead and consider his actions make him the anti-hero of this epic novel. In the end he thinks less of others than himself and does anything he can to preserve his perfect life. What makes his story so compelling is the way this narrative is told from so many, yet one overall, perspective.

Tarod - The Time Master Trilogy by Louise Cooper

This is a trilogy that I know not many people have heard of but I would definitely recommend them to any fantasy lover! The trilogy follows the life of Tarod, someone who had the power and manner to become a great hero, but other people's fear turn him into the anti-hero. He becomes one of the most complex characters I have ever read, attempting to do good yet his morality and view on good and evil blurs considerably throughout the book.

Tyrion Lannister - The Game of Thrones Series by George R.R. Martin

I think this famous character will be on most people's lists. Tyrion is one of the most likeable and witty characters from The Game of Thrones Series. His sense of morals are always hazy yet he always accomplishes the heroic action, despite his size. He is desperate to prove himself yet doesn't care what anyone thinks. His incredible demeanour and fierce loyalty to those who help him, set him apart from the other heroes and villains of the series, making him the incredible anti-hero of the novel.  

Lucifer/Satan - Paradise Lost by John Milton

Satan/Lucifer, from Milton's epic poem, is certainly one of the most famous anti-heroes of all time. Milton's poem tells the story of Adam and Eve and Satan's fall from heaven, after the great battle. Although many would think Satan is the villain of the piece, Milton actually creates a very likeable and relatable character in Satan, whereby his motives are both selfish yet understandable. Even God is portrayed in a more negative light than Lucifer is. The story blurs the line of morality and beautifully tells the tale of this fallen angel (a name which I think often epitomises the anti-hero: 'The Fallen Angel')

Nathaniel - The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

The Bartimaeus Trilogy is one of my favourite fantasy trilogies of all time. The story follows the career of the teenager, Nathaniel, and the alternative history of the peak of London's power. The series is mostly told from the djinni's, Bartimaeus', point of view; an extremely witty and clever character. However, Nathaniel is our anti-hero here. He is a power hungry teen, desperate to prove himself to the world and is willing to break the rules to try. His development throughout the novels is immense and he becomes one of the greatest anti-heroes I have ever read. 

I love all of these characters, within their works, and I think they're some of the most complex and funny characters I have ever read. If you've not picked up any of these then I highly recommend them! Let me know if you agree and who your favourite anti-heroes are!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

#1 The Throne of Glass Series

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

**Spoiler Free Review**

After reading the blurb to this book and seeing the beautiful cover, I just had to buy it. I'm a huge fan of fantasy books and I'd heard really good things about this series so I was really looking forward to reading it. The main character, Celeana, made this book! She is such a complex, realistic, and incredible person. I loved her personality, her witty, sarcastic humour, and her vulnerabilities. There are so many allusions to Celaena's past that you don't know about and it urges the reader to continue to find out what has happened to her.

The contest itself was a fun part of the book and I really enjoyed reading about it and the setting of the castle. The characters were all fantastic and developed quickly. Sarah J. Maas' writing was beautifully descriptive. I could vividly imagine the castle, its gardens and the people within it. The love drama was intriguing and allowed the reader to see the development of all of the characters throughout the books. As much as I don't often enjoy the romance in fantasy novels, I did love the way this novel proceeded in that way. Maas's characters are all so likeable and interesting that I didn't know who to route for.

I know many people find this book their least favourite in the series and I think that's because there is a fair bit of set up in the book; little is known about the rest of the world although it is alluded to. If you've also found this and it has put you off, then I definitely suggest continuing the series as the world and characters progress so much further in the second and third novel. I also love the fact that these are fantasy novels that aren't too long, and they feel very quick to read.

I would recommend this to absolutely anyone who loves fantasy novels. The second and third book are so much better than the first (and that says something!). I also absolutely love the prequel novellas to this book (which I suggest reading after the second book, Crown of Midnight), and they made my Top Books of 2014 list. Never before has an author made me feel so much through a set of novellas alone. Sarah J. Maas's writing is flawless and she has definitely become one of my favourite authors. I suggest picking up this book if you've never read a Maas book before.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Genre: Children's Fiction

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary: 

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. 

**Spoiler Free Review**

Roald Dahl is one of my favourite childhood authors and the film Matilda was also one of my favourite movies to watch. Sadly I never actually read Matilda as a child, but last year I was able to pick it up and give it a read, and I am so glad I did.

Dahl's writing never loses its charm and, even as an adult, his books are incredibly enjoyable to read. They are not just children's books, so don't be put off! They were definitely written for anyone to read and his intelligent and witty writing keeps any reader attached to his books. I read this in one sitting and it was so refreshing to read one of my childhood authors again. It's quite different from the film but it's just as brilliant. I also can't help but love Quentin Blake's illustrations throughout the book which bring the story to life.

I will always be a huge fan of Dahl and if you've never picked up one of his books before and you love to read, then I definitely recommend starting with this. It's a lovely short children's novel about a child who loves nothing more than to dive into a book. It's easy to read and so well written; if you've never read Dahl book, want to relive your childhood of Dahl, or have seen the film but never read the book then I definitely recommend giving this a chance!

A fantastic book for children and adults alike!

Top Five Wednesday | Authors You Would Like to Meet

Hello! Welcome to another Top Five Wednesday! As I've said before, if you've not heard of this before, it's an idea created by Lainey or gingerreadslainey, as she's known on Youtube. I've linked her Youtube channel so if you click on her name above so you can check it out for more details. Basically, she creates new topics for booklovers, each month, for people to blog or make videos about once a week.

This week is is Top Five Authors You Would Like to Meet. I'm presuming that in this list the author doesn't have to still be alive so don't be surprised to see a couple on here who aren't!

First up:

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin is the well known writer of The Game of Thrones Series. His fantasy writing is one of the most unique I've ever read and I find it incredible how he manages to perfectly write his books so the reader is never confused, but equally doesn't weigh his novels down with too lengthy descriptions. He is the epitome of 'show don't tell' and he does it wonderfully.

I would love to discuss his writing with him and how he shapes his worlds. However, I think the main thing I'd like to talk to him about is what will happen at the end of the series and how emotionally prepared I should be for all my favourite character's deaths.

Richelle Mead

Richelle Mead is the author of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines Series. I found these books incredible, easy to read, with interesting storylines. She seems like such a lovely person and it would be fantastic to become friends with her and discuss her books even more and the ideas behind them!

J.K. Rowling

An obvious one I know. But in case you didn't know, J.K. Rowling is the critically acclaimed author of the Harry Potter series and, under the pen name Robert Galbraith, Cormoran Strike series.

As with many people, J.K. Rowling shaped a huge part of my childhood (and adulthood). She created something wonderful for the world and her characters are so realistic and fantastically written. She is my biggest inspiration, not just with her writing but with how she succeeded after what she went through with her life. I would love to discuss her writing with her and tell her how important she is to readers.

J.R.R. Tolkein

J.R.R. Tolkein is the incredible author of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin etc. The way he created this whole world and all the languages and its history is inspiring and remarkable. His writing is absolutely incredible and beautifully descriptive. It's such a shame he was never able to see his works become the popular films they are now (although I'm not sure how he'd feel about The Hobbit).

I would love to have a conversation with him about Middle Earth and how he created his idea. He's the sort of person I would love to teach me creative writing!

(Also, I just love the pictures of him with his Lord of the Rings type pipe).

C. S. Lewis

A friend of Tolkein's and an author from my very young childhood, C.S.Lewis. His most well known works are The Chronicles of Narnia, which I first read when I was about 5 or 6. I loved this series as a child, the world he created which paralleled our own. My favourite book is easily The Magician's Nephew and it's so beautifully written. As an adult I love re-reading them and seeing just how much theology symbolism and parallels with the bible he created within his stories. It's incredible.

I would love to have a conversation with him about how and why he decided to go down such a route. I would also just love to be a fly on the wall listening to the conversations between Lewis and Tolkein and how they talked about their ideas. It must have been amazing.

I also hear rumours that they wrote each other into their novels which I think is brilliant! Here's the post that tends to go around tumblr:

  • C.S. Lewis: I made you a character in my book!
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: OMG me too!
  • Lewis: You're the man who created the wardrobe that leads to Narnia!
  • Tolkien: ...
  • Lewis: Who am I?
  • Tolkien: A tree
  • Lewis: ............
  • Tolkien: But, like, a cool tree
So these are my top five authors I would like to meet! I would love to know if any of you would like to meet these authors or which authors you'd like to meet? If you do Top Five Wednesday then feel free to leave the link to your blog or youtube channel below and I'll check it out!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

Genre: Contemporary/ Romance

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back

**Spoiler Free Review**

I received this book for free, from a Goodreads giveaway, in exchange for an honest review. This isn't usually the sort of book I pick up to read, but I have to say, I was definitely interested after reading the blurb. This is Mhairi (pronounced Vah-Ree) McFarlane's third novel and her first hardback book to be published, after the success of her previous two ebook novels.

I finished this book in two sittings and I absolutely loved it. The character's were some of the most believable I've ever read. I often find with contemporary novels that I end up disliking the main character's decisions because they're too ditzy/create their own drama/don't communicate enough, but not this one! Delia was such a likeable, intelligent, strong character that I couldn't help but empathise with her situations and support her decisions. I loved her and Emma and their relationship together. There was just so much of this book that I felt I could relate too. I'm from near Newcastle myself and have moved to London, so the emotions she felt there were oh so familiar! McFarlane's writing was brilliant and witty and kept me amused throughout the novel. She was also brilliant at writing more emotional scenes, like those with Parsnip; it even made me tear up at one point.

The short chapters kept me hooked and made the novel even more enjoyable and easy to read. However, one of the things I loved the most about this novel was the cartoon illustrations throughout. I absolutely adored how they tied in with the novel (in both ways!) and they were so beautifully drawn. To be honest, I'd love an entire book of those comics to read! The only flaw about these cartoons was that I wish there had been more of them in the book!

There were a few slightly unbelievable things which happened in the novel but they definitely didn't detract from the storyline, in fact, they added a quirkiness to the storyline which I really enjoyed.

I would recommend this to absolutely anyone who enjoys contemporary, heart-warming romance novels (and even to those who think they don't!). It was a fantastic book that I was just thrilled to receive. It's definitely made me want to read her first two novels to see if they're just as good. Also, I just wanted to add that this hardback edition is just lovely! The illustration says so much about the story and the golden hardcover underneath is so beautiful!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Genre: Fiction/ Historical Fiction

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

**Spoiler Free Review**

This book follows a young girl in Nazi Germany during the Second World War and her story. I have never before read a novel with so much power, often using only a few words. Zusak’s perfect use of language can only be described as musical. His words are beautifully interwoven with the pages leaving a lasting effect on any reader. The book also has some very cute yet beautiful illustrations which add to the story in a powerful way.

The novel has a beautiful array of characters and imagery and it becomes so easy to believe you are right there. The perspective of death is so unique and means the reader is able to see the human race and the war in a different perspective. It was very quick to read, particularly through the perspective of Death. His obsession with colours and sympathy towards humans, creates stunning and vivid descriptions and gives him an almost human personality. Death himself becomes a likeable character in the book.

Hans Hubermann is such a lovely kind human being and I grew to love him as he was such a loyal character. Flawed but kind and loving. There is so much fear, trauma and hardship, yet impenetrable friendships and connections remain throughout the book. Max develops a beautiful connection with Liesal. Even though the time period is one of so much fear, trauma and hardship, impenetrable friendships and connections remain and tie the characters together.

The ending of the book is heartbreaking and draining but beautiful and true. I have to say I was unable to read anything for several days after I read this because it was so powerful and stayed with me for so long. I have never read a book that was so beautifully written and so powerful. Zusak has a way with words that I've never seen before. If anyone is even remotely interested in historical fiction then you definitely need to pick this book up. It is just incredible and the characters are the most realistic I have ever read. I'm looking forward to picking up I am the Messenger to read even more of Zusak and his beautiful writing.

This book also made it onto my Top Books of 2014 and it definitely was one of the best books I read last year.

Friday, 16 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Out of the Ashes by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

Out of the Ashes by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

#3 The Ending Series

Genre: New Adult Fiction/ Dystopian/Romance

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.


As much as I had high hopes for this book, I genuinely didn't think it would be able to surpass the first two books, but I'm happy to say I was wrong. I found the third book in this series so engrossing and engaging that I just couldn't put it down. It far surpassed the first two (which really is saying something as I really enjoyed them!). If you want to see my reviews for After the Ending (Book 1) or Into the Fire (Book 2), please click on the links to read them!

I don't often have spoilers in my reviews but as this is the third book in the series, it's becoming more difficult to say what I love about these books without spoiling them. So again, if you didn't see the warning above, this review does contain some spoilers!

This book leaves right off where Into the Fire ended and I ended up reading it in one day because it had so many twists and turns that were gripping. I absolutely love the development of the powers and the dynamic of the group as they travel across the country. The first part of this book I found a little slower than the others but it really picked up and showed a lot more of the world that we hadn't seen before.

I spent the whole book just hoping Zoe & Jake and Dani & Jason would end up happy together. And the scene where Jason gives Dani the ring was so unexpected to me and I just loved it. I have to say that the characters were mostly so happy by the end of the book that I was just dreading something would go  terribly wrong for them. 

Although I was pretty sad at a couple of the deaths in this book I felt they added a reality which didn't quite feel as present before, as many of the characters just seemed 'safe' to me. I loved the introduction of the monitors which added suspicion to every character you'd loved in the series. This is definitely my favourite book of the series so far, the characters have developed so, so much from those we were first introduced to in After the Ending, and they feel so familiar and realistic. Although there are a lot of characters to remember, and I occasionally find I muddle up the points of view, they all add so much to the story. I enjoyed the introduction of Jake's point of view in this book, as well as a couple of other characters. Which meant we got to see more of their background and the thoughts behind their quietness.

The ending was pretty sudden but there was a lot of sudden twists towards the end of the book which I found brilliant and didn't expect. As always with this series, it ended on a cliffhanger and I'm just so excited to read more. I cannot wait for the final book to come out this year! Anyone who enjoys dystopian/new adult/romance should definitely pick this series up. And even if you didn't like the first book, I would keep reading, as they definitely get better as they go along.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Into the Fire by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

Into the Fire by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

#2 The Ending Series

Genre: New Adult Fiction/ Dystopian/Romance

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

Goodreads Page

Goodreads Summary:

The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning…
…all that remains is hope.

**Spoiler Free Review**

Into the Fire is the second book in the Ending Series, a set of dystopian, New Adult fiction novels. If you would like to see my review of the first book After the Ending, then please click here! This series is a dystopian/new adult set which focuses on a group of survivors who survive the virus which has wiped out the rest of the population. It has also left many of the survivors changed and, in this book, they're discovering more about their new lives and what led the world into this dystopia.

This book was engaging from the very first page. It introduced a host of new characters whilst previous characters developed so much they became as tangible as real people. Once again I thoroughly enjoyed the alternating chapters, especially when new characters were introduced. The fact that the novel delved into different character's pasts really interested me and it was great finding more out about some of my favourite characters.

 I also loved that this book explored more of the world in which the characters have found themselves, and the fact that it looked at exactly why the virus happened. The writing was as fast-paced and vivid as the previous book and it kept me turning the page until the very end. There were so many plot twists to this book that I just didn't see coming, and they filled in so many gaps which the first novel had left open. It was only after they were revealed that I mentally kicked myself for not picking up the hints sooner.

You know a book is good when you start feeling strong emotions towards the characters, and this book did exactly that. I started to despise some of the 'evil' characters in this book, especially those who were introduced towards the end, and I was so desperate for other characters, in particular Dani, Zoe, Jason, and Jake, to win and get their happy ending. 

The cliffhanger ending left me on the edge of my seat and I immediately had to pick up the third book. Pogue and Fairleigh are incredibly talented writers who know how to write a gripping and fascinating book. Their storyline has stayed with me so much after reading the books that I've even started dreaming about it!

I also just want to add to this review how stunning I find the covers of each of these books. They're so beautiful and suit the story so well! I was reading these in e-book format but I am definitely going to get them as physical books at some point.

I am just so glad I had the third book at hand, ready to read. This series is great, I highly recommend them!

Same warning as was in my After the Ending review: this book does contain adult scenes and language and, therefore, I'd only recommend it to more mature readers.

Top Five Wednesday: Anticipated 2015 Releases

Okay, so this Top Five Wednesday is actually last week's (7th January) but as I missed it, I thought I'd post it now! This week is the Top Five Most Anticipate 2015 Releases and I have a few I'm definitely looking forward to.

1) The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

First up is The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon which is the sequel to The Bone Season. The first book is an adult urban fantasy novel. I recently received the first book as a present and I already can't wait for the second. It's current release date is the 27th January and I'm highly anticipating this book. I can't wait for it to come out this month!

2) Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter is due to be released some time this year, but doesn't have an exact publication date yet. It's the fourth and (I believe?) final book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Her series are several overlapping, futuristic, re-tellings of traditional fairytales. The first book, Cinder, tells the story of Cinderella in a futuristic 'New Beijing'. If you're interested in fairytales or science fiction then I'd highly recommend these books! 

3) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I absolutely love Sarah J, Maas, after having read her high fantasy books, the Throne of Glass series, and I'm eager to read more by her. This is a fairytale re-telling of Beauty and the Beast and I believe it includes faeries and the fay in this book. It sounds really unique and interesting and I love re-tellings of fairytales so i'm very excited for this book! It's due to come out on May 5th 2015.

4) Before the Dawn by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

This book is the fourth book in the Ending Series by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue, which is due to be released in late 2015. I've recently read the first three books and I really enjoyed them. I'm desperate to know what happens next and I can't wait to continue the series. The first book is called After the Ending, which I wrote a review for. Click here if you'd like to read my review! It's a dystopian series with an interesting twist.

5) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

This book is the first one without a title so far, and it's the fourth book in Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series. It is due to be released in Fall 2015 and it's the book I'm most excited for this year. It's an incredible high fantasy series with strong characters and beautiful writing. The first novel revolves around a female assassin who is liberated from prison by the Prince, in order to participate in a tournament for her freedom ... or her life. The third book was the best I'd read so far and it made it into my top books for 2014, which you can see here. I recommend for anyone who's not read this series yet to pick it up before the next book is released!

 I hope you enjoyed my Top Five Anticipated 2015 Releases and the next Top Five blog post will be next Wednesday!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Series You Want to Start This Year

I've decided to start doing 'Top Five Wednesday' on this blog. If you've not heard of this before, it's an idea created by Lainey or gingerreadslainey, as she's known on Youtube. I've linked her Youtube channel if you click on her name above so you can check out her channel for more details. Basically, she creates new topics for booklovers, each month, for people to blog or make videos about once a week. Unfortunately I missed last week's topic, but I might make an extra blog post for that one at some point. 

But anyway, this week's topic is 'Series You Want to Start This Year', so let's get started!

First up is:

1) The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
This trilogy consists of The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men. I don't know a lot about this trilogy other than I've heard brilliant things about it. I do know it's a Young Adult Science-Fiction trilogy and the covers are just so beautiful! I also recently read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and I loved it so I'm looking forward to reading even more of his books. I bought this trilogy not too long ago from TheBookPeople*. So I'm looking forward to finally getting around to this trilogy! 

*for £6.99! A bargain for three books if you ask me!) The Book People is a British online book retailer and their books are always brand new and incredibly cheap, even the hardbacks! So I'd definitely recommend them. I'm not being paid to advertise them, I just think more people should know about them.)

2) Under the Never Sky Trilogy by Veronica Rossi

This science fiction trilogy consists of Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, and Into the Still Blue. I recently acquired all three from The Works and I'm really hoping to reading them this year since I have the whole set! I've heard wonderful things about them and I'm hoping they'll live up to the hype they've been given.

3) The Gone Series by Michael Grant

Unfortunately, I'm still one book short of owning the whole series but I'll hopefully be able to get the last one at some point so I can just marathon the whole series. The books this includes is: Gone, Hunger, Liers, Plague, Fear, and Light. I've been really intrigued by this series for a while as the premise sounds so interesting. It's a dystopian series set in a fictional town in America where every person over the age of 15 disappears. I've been looking forward to this series for a while but I am slightly intimidated by the length of the series and books as it'll take a lot of commitment to go through them. I do worry that it might drag on for too long but I won't know until I start reading!

4) Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
This is another dystopian series containing Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and an extra novel of novellas (I believe?) called Extras. This is one of the original dystopians that came out several years ago before they became incredbily popular in Young Adult fiction, so I would love to read one of the forerunners of modern Young Adult Dystopian fiction, to see where other authors got their inspiration and to see how it all started!

5) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

Finally I'd like to re-read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I first read these books when I was nine but I haven't read them in about five years now and I think it's about time I gave them another read. I absolutely love these books and since I recently saw the final Hobbit film (which differs immensely to the book!), it has inspired me to pick up these amazing books once again. I may even try to get around to reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkein too!

I have to say that the Mara Dyer Trilogy would have also been on this list, had I not already read it this year! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my Top Five Wednesday blog post, and I'll be posting my next Top Five blog post, next Wednesday, so look forward to that!

BOOK REVIEW: After the Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

After the Ending by Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue

#1 The Ending Series

Genre: New Adult Fiction/ Dystopian/Romance

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

Goodreads Summary:

The Virus spread. Billions died. The Ending began. We may have survived the apocalypse, but the Virus changed us.

**Spoiler Free Review**

I've read a lot of dystopian fiction over the past few years and it is definitely one of my favourite genres so this book appealed to me immediately. It was actually recommended to me by my sister when it was free on the Kobo store (which it still is if anyone is interested! Click here). She loved it and so I picked it up soon after and it had me hooked. 

The book follows two main characters who are friends on different sides of the country, Zoe and Dani, and alternates between their perspectives. It is set in America when a deadly virus hits, wiping out most of the population and leaving those who survive different.

The writing in this book flows very well and it makes the book very fast-paced and incredibly quick to read. It also has really great characters throughout the book. Although I found one of the main characters a little hard to connect to at the beginning of the novel because of her thought processes, I soon adapted to the story and began liking her more and more. It was occasionally quite confusing because there are a lot of characters, and switching between characters meant it was sometimes a lot to take in as there voices sounded a bit alike. However, after a while it becomes more clear who everyone is and all of the characters develop so much throughout the book. I am impressed that two authors wrote this book as it feels so cohesive to read and their writing style flawlessly flows into each other's. 

I know many people, like myself, have read a lot of dystopians which often have the same feel and it does get a little dull. However, Fairleigh and Pogue took After the Ending in a direction that I've never read before in a dystopian novel like this and I love it! The introduction of what happens to characters who survive the virus is something I absolutely loved about this book and it made me immediately go out and buy the next two books in the series. I would definitely consider these books an addictive read even if the plot and character development occasionally has a couple of holes in it (although it is a four book series so more is explained in later books).

Normally I'm not a huge fan of romances and I haven't read many New Adult books but I found the romances in this to be part of what made the books so unique and they often kept me turning the page just to find out what would happen. Because the main characters are in their twenties, like myself, both their romantic relationships and relationships with other people were a lot more relatable than some Young Adult novels I've read recently. And I found this to be a refreshing part of the storyline, even if I didn't always agree with character's decisions! 

Just another note, I have put this book in the genre of New Adult rather than Young Adult as this book, and others in the series, have explicit scenes of an adult nature and also the occasional use of strong language. If you're not sure if you should be reading this book because you think you might be too young then I'd ask a parent. However I think anyone over the age of 15 should be okay reading this book, but that's just my opinion! 

If you're a dystopian fan or even just a New Adult fan, I would definitely recommend this book. It's quite a light read, despite some darker themes and it's incredibly quick to read. I love the story more than I thought I would and I've already flown through the second book. As I said previously, it is a four book series and the final book is being released some time this year and I can't wait!! If you do read all three books there's also an omnibus of prequel novellas to keep you going until the final book. I would at least recommend anyone who has a kobo to go and get the free ebook now and at least try it because they really are great books.