Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Return Once More (The Historians #1) by Trisha Leigh

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Trisha Leigh.
Return Once More (The Historians, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

Return Once More by Trisha Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Return Once More (The Historians, #1) “Maybe rebellion ran in my blood.”

This was a really good YA sci-fi story, and there were so many twists I didn’t see coming!

I loved Kaia in a ‘OMG what are you doing girl?’ sort of way! She had some crazy ideas, and took some really risky chances, but her heart was usually in the right place, even if her motivation was maybe a little misplaced.

“What was Oz doing observing the Mongol invasions instead of watching the Japanese drop bombs on Pearl Harbor?”

The storyline in this was really good, and I loved the twists that we got thrown! The world building was good, and I liked the rules that the historian’s lived by, and the dangers of breaking those rules.

“You’re only in trouble if you get caught.”

There was some romance in this story, and boy did it get complicated as the story went along! I don’t want to say too much because of spoilers though.

“I never should have met him, because now, nothing in my life could ever live up to the sense of balance and completion offered by his presence.”

The ending to this left us with an absolute bombshell of a revelation! I cannot wait to find out what happens in the next book in the series! Highly recommended!

9 out of 10

“Return once more, Kaia.”

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Dreamland “That was life: one big chain reaction, a series of sparks and explosions.
Always explosions.”

This was an interesting YA paranormal/fantasy story about a girl who could visit other people’s dreams.

Poor Dea had a really rough time in this book, the way she was so confused over what was happening, and what was going on with her mother was really difficult for her, and to be in the situation that she was in was really sad.

The storyline in this started off quite slow but morphed as the book went along, and the fantasy aspect was much stronger towards the end of the story. We did get a bit of travelling to a different world towards the end of the book even, and I liked the whole murder-mystery aspect of the storyline as well.
There was a little bit of romance in this, but not a lot, and other than a kiss this was a clean read.

The ending to this was pretty good, and we did get an ending, whilst there was still room for a sequel at some point. I’d be interested to find out what happens next if a sequel was in the works!

7 out of 10

Monday, 28 September 2015

Water's Edge (Troubled Times #1) by Rachel Meehan

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Rachel Meehan.
Water's Edge
Blurb (from Goodreads):
THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING. Thousands are fleeing the chaos and social unrest. With their own water and power supplies, fourteen year old Nairne and her family are well prepared, but most people are less fortunate. When Nairne persuades her father, Daniel, to house some of the evacuees on their small holding in the south of Scotland she plunges the family into a world of violence, deception and murder. With society at breaking point, she has to grow up quickly as she discovers that the fortress Daniel built to give his children a chance has become the prize in a struggle where winning can mean the difference between life and death.

Water's Edge by Rachel Meehan

My rating: 3.7 of 5 stars

Water's Edge

This was an interesting YA apocalyptic story, with a focus on climate change as the main cause of the problems.

I felt so sorry for Nairne in this story, every time something bad happened, it happened to her, and every time I thought that things were bad, they got worse! She lost so much in such a short space of time, and the world was so unfair to her.

The storyline in this was about Nairne and her family when climate change began to be a real problem. Many parts of England became flooded and uninhabitable, and Nairne and her family offered to take a family into their home since theirs was unliveable. Things just got worse and worse though, and I got so angry with certain people in this book! How some people can be so awful I don’t know, but I really hope they get what’s coming to them!

The ending to this was pretty good, but I need to read the next one to find out what happens next!

7.25 out of 10

Sunday, 27 September 2015

I Wish (I Wish #1) by Elizabeth Langston

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to FictionEtc Press and NetGalley.
I Wish (I Wish, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

What Lacey needs is a miracle. What she gets is a genie with rules.

Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous "genie." He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there's a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.

I Wish by Elizabeth Langston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I Wish (I Wish, #1)
“My official title is ‘Benevolent Supernatural Being.’”

This was an okay paranormal romance, but the pace was pretty slow.

I felt quite sorry for Lacey in this story, coping with her mother’s depression was bad enough, without having the worries of paying the mortgage and keeping her family fed. The way that everybody kept telling her that ‘all she thought about was money’ was also unfair because she needed to think about money or they’d end up on the streets!

The storyline in this was a bit mushy, and I didn’t really like the romance. The rules concerning when genie’s could grant were pretty awful – no such thing as ‘can’t kill anybody, can’t make anyone fall in love, and can’t bring anyone back from the dead’, oh no, these rules were much worse! What use is a genie if he won’t use magic, can’t do anything that a human can’t, and won’t make you rich?! Not much use in my opinion.

The ending to this was okay, but it did leave certain things open, which I wasn’t really happy about.

6 out of 10

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Macmillan Children's Books and NetGalley.
Tonight the Streets Are Ours
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either.

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

“Using all your awesome powers of self-reliance, you can find your own way home.”

This story started out quite slow, but it improved towards the end.

Arden really did put herself on the line for her best friend Lindsey in this story, and Lindsey seemed perfectly happy to let that happen. I felt quite sorry for Arden in this respect, because while she shouldn’t have put her future on the line for Lindsey, Lindsey really shouldn’t have let her do it! What kind of a best friend is she?!

The storyline in this was pretty slow, and then we got a really quite random road trip happening, which was a little bit crazy really. Why Arden got this idea in her head I don’t know, but what she did was actually quite dangerous, going to try and find someone you have never met or spoken to before? She could have ended up dead!

The book did improve towards the end though, and I liked how Arden’s ideas about a certain person proved to not be accurate at all, and she also learned something about herself and her relationships.

7 out of 10

Friday, 25 September 2015

Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC, and NetGalley.
Finding Perfect
Blurb (from Goodreads):
How far will you go for perfection?

For “Perfect Paige” Westfield, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames.

Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor Paige—if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.

It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it…

Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Finding Perfect

“Promise you’ll start paying attention to how amazing you are.”

This was a sweet YA contemporary romance, featuring a girl whose parents pushed her too hard.

Having the nickname ‘Perfect Paige’ seemed really hard on Paige, as it was a lot to live up to, and a failing grade in calculus really threw her. I think if her parents hadn’t put so much pressure on her she wouldn’t have been so stressed, and her mother not allowing her to have anything that might be considered ‘junk’ food was quite harsh on her also.

“My mom… she doesn’t understand failure. Like, not at all.”

The storyline in this was quite predictable. From the moment Ben asked Paige to set him up with her best friend Zoey it seemed obvious that it would be Paige and Ben who ended up together, and that he would tutor her in calculus as she was failing. This pair were quite cute together though, and there was some really sweet moments between them.

“His brain – and his heart – was tied in knots, neither one of them able to solve the problem of Paige.”

The ending to this was again a bit predictable, but I was happy that things worked out okay in the end.

7 out of 10.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Mirrored by Alex Flinn

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A modern, multi-generational tale of Kendra, the witch from "Snow White," who trains Violet, an ugly, lonely, and heartbroken girl in the 1980s who transforms herself into "the fairest one of all" but still cannot win Greg's heart, and Celine, Greg's daughter with Violet's high school rival, Jennifer.

Mirrored by Alex Flinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mirrored “Mirror, mirror, in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?”

This was an okay Snow White retelling, but I did have some issues with it.

The first part of this story is told from the point of view of Violet, who is bullied because she is ugly, to the point where she is attacked, her best friend deserts her, and her life is generally unbearable. I have to say that I felt really sorry for Violet, and I appreciated the way she went out of her way to help injured animals, even if she didn’t really understand what she was doing.

The second part of the story is then told from the point of view of Celine, who is more beautiful than her step-mother Violet (yes, the same Violet from part 1). Things then get pretty bad for Celine, because Violet has turned a bit violent, and hates that her step-daughter is more beautiful than she.

The problem I had with this though, is that while Violet is quite obviously a little deranged, and has become the stereotypical wicked step-mother, I still felt sorry for her! The whole reason she was that way was because of her mother’s belief that beauty was important, and the fact that she was bullied so much as a child! It wasn’t exactly her fault that she turned out the way she did! A lot of people had a hand in making her the way she was, and she was originally the victim.

“Another mom would have said something about looks not being important or that I’d get pretty one day when I was older. That she said neither proved that she didn’t believe those things.”

Anyway, the second problem I had with this book was the slow pace, and probably a little bit of wrong-author for me, as I found this author’s other books to be similarly dull and slow. I also didn’t really buy the romance, and found the ending to be a little obvious, and yes, I know it’s supposed to be a retelling, but the author tried to throw in a twist that didn’t fool me for an instant.

6 out of 10

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) “The gold sense sparks in the back of my throat, sharp and hard. It creeps down my throat and into my chest, where it diffuses into a steady buzz, like dancing locusts.”

This was a YA fantasy story, about a girl who could detect gold.

I felt quite sorry for Leah, the things she went through with her parents and her uncle was awful, and what she was then forced to do was also pretty shocking.

The storyline in this was about Leah leaving her home to find gold (there were other reasons but I don’t want to drop spoilers), but I felt like Leah’s ability to feel gold was almost forgotten in favour of other things that were going on during her journey, which wasn’t what I was expecting. The pace was also a little on the slow side for me, and I did lose interest a bit.
There was a little hint at romance in this, but not a lot really.

The ending to this was okay, but there was plenty of room left open for another book or more.

6 out of 10

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
What We Saw
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

  What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What We Saw

“Nothing is exactly as it appears. The closer you look, the more you see.”

This was quite a shocking story, in which a girl is raped, and everyone would rather believe the basketball team when they say they didn’t do it, than believe the victim!

“Deacon may lose his scholarship anyway.”
“No way!” Will yelps.
“Terrible shame,” says Connie. “Over a dumb rumour. Well check the source, I always say.”

I felt quite sorry for Kate in this story, but I also felt like she maybe shouldn’t have trusted a certain person as much as she did. I did like the way she stuck to her guns about telling the police what she knew.

The storyline in this was basically about Stacey being raped, and everyone insisting that the basketball team were innocent, not guilty, and then Kate’s blossoming relationship with her best friend Ben. I have to say that I was quite disgusted with the way that everyone assumed that Stacey was lying instead of being on her side, and I really felt quite sick about that! Saying that someone is lying when they claim to have been raped is really quite awful.

“I only know that when you wear sexy clothes, guys get all turned on, and if you’re drunk and they’re drunk, you have to be really careful.”

There was some romance in this, but the question over whether Ben knew something about the events of the night Stacey was raped kind of put a bit of a cloud over the romance for me.

“It was all a big misunderstanding.”

The ending to this was okay, although it wasn’t a ‘happily ever after’. It was a satisfying ending though.

6 out of 10

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Unquiet
Blurb (From Goodreads):
For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she's beginning to suspect she is not a good person. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is.

The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Unquiet
“There may be two versions of everything, but only one can stay. Only one reflection is real.”

This was an interesting of a YA sci-fi story, with a bit of a sad ending.

Lirael had a rough life in this story, not only was she thrust into a life that she didn’t want, but she was forced to kill, and forced to act like it didn’t bother her. Even having friends put her in a difficult position, to the point where being alone was her only defence.

“By the time they realise that our sleeper program is in effect, that we are coming to take over their world, it will be too late.”

The storyline in this was split into three; Lirael’s time at the cottage, her time as a sleeper, and the time when things changed. The story really was quite different between these three sections, and showed three very different times in Lirael’s life.
There was a little bit of romance in this, but only a very little bit.

“Close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere else, okay?”

The ending to this was really sad, and I actually found myself crying. I found the pace of the story to be quite slow, but the emotional ending made up for it a bit, although I really wish things could have been different for Lirael.

7 out of 10.