Friday, 25 April 2014

Book Review: Unforgotten by Jessica Brody

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447221141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447221142

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await her and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her, a weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect.

Zen and Sera have escaped from the scientists at Diotech who created Sera. They have travelled back in time to 1609 and, so long as they keep to themselves and make sure nothing they do becomes part of public record, they can live out the remainder of their days in peace and safety but more importantly, together. Diotech can never find them. 

But something is making Zen ill, and even before that life was a daily struggle. Every move Sera makes she has to be thoughtful and cautious. One wrong move could expose her as different…something you really don’t want in 1609. And when Zen’s life is threatened it isn’t even a choice - Sera acts to save him and is apprehended shortly after. She is accused of being a witch and put on trial, which means it will be public record. 

Diotech has learned it’s mistakes and has created a weapon specially forged for Sera. They are equally matched and on paper, she cannot overcome him. But Zen will die if she doesn’t do something and so Sera must channel her human side and learn to get creative if either of them have a hope of seeing daylight as free people again.

I absolutely LOVE this series. Zen and Sera are very likeable characters, as are Kaelen and Cody. I could barely rip my eyes away from the pages and I raced through it as quickly as I could just to know what happened. It is fast paced and chock full of action and turmoil. Every emotion is channelled through this book and I think I felt every one. 

Fans of this first book will not be left disappointed and I sincerely cannot wait for the next book. 

Many thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for the review copy.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Book Review: Because it is my Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (29 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330537903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330537902
Freed from jail, Anya hopes that things will get back to normal. But life on the outside is even more dangerous than life behind bars. Some of her gangland family want revenge for the crime for which she has done time: the shooting of her uncle. Forced to flee the country, Anya hides out in a cacao plantation in Mexico. There she learns the secrets of the chocolate trade, a trade that is illegal and deadly in her native New York. There too she discovers that seemingly random acts of violence carried out across the world have a single target: her family. As innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire Anya must act fast and decisively to stop it, no matter what the danger to herself.

Because It Is My Blood was as action-packed and thrilling as the first book in this tremendous series. Anya has just been released from prison and she wants nothing more than to go back to normal. But unfortunately for Anya, nothing can ever be the same. She is still fiercely protective of her family, of her brother Leo who she hasn’t seen in forever for his own safety, and the brilliant Natty, and for good reason, since a few members of the Balanchine family seek retribution for the shooting of her uncle. Anya can’t even seem to find a school willing to take her, what with the criminal record and ties to the mafia, and all. And worst of all, is Win, who seems like he has had no trouble whatsoever in getting over Anya. 

And someone isn’t willing to sit back and let Anya, or any of her siblings, enjoy their lives and a hit is ordered on all three of them. Because It Is My Blood quickly becomes a thick-plotted murder mystery with creeping vines of subplots that both distracts the reader and gives them valuable clues as to what may have happened.

Because It Is My Blood was a rich and engrossing novel and I drank it in, savouring each and every word. I adored Anya’s story in this instalment of the trilogy and loved seeing how much she has grown as a character. I was kept guessing for the most part of this book and the moment it was finished I felt like I could finally let the breath go that I had been holding. 

I simply cannot wait for the final book in this wonderful trilogy. 

Many thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for the review copy.


Friday, 28 March 2014

Book Review: A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (3 April 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1780870477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780870472

  • When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.
    Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy - everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.
    Alex can't help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive...
    But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.

A Kiss in the Dark was raw and frank and I was gripped from the very beginning.

I have been staring at a blank page and blinking cursor for ages now, and still cannot think how on earth to write this review to both do the book justice and convey just how amazing it is. 

Alex and Kate are two teens who meet and form an instant bond. Straight away they fall deeper into their feelings for each other and can barely stand to be apart. But one of them is keeping a secret and the other has no idea. 

Told firstly from Alex’s POV and then Kate’s, we get an incredible insight into both of these characters. A secret, a lie and an impossible situation. Cat Clarke has an amazing talent of showing us gritty story lines in unflinching honesty and I admire her bravery and this book shines because of it. It was rich and vibrant with Edinburgh as the backdrop to the story and the characters simply leapt off the page is startling clarity and Technicolor. 

Once I started this book I could barely put it down and the deeper into the story I got, the more it held me until the end. It is real and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Many thanks to Quercus for the review copy.

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