Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Book Review: Goddess by Josephine Angelini

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (23 May 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0330529765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330529761

She must rise, or they will fall . . . Helen's powers are increasing—and so is the distance between her and her mortal friends. To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a dangerous traitor is lurking among them, and all fingers point to Orion. Still unsure whether she loves him or Lucas, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, or risk all-out war. The final book in this heart-stopping trilogy.

Helen has released the gods from Olympus. After being imprisoned for thousands of years, their thirst for revenge and retaliation knows no bounds. 

Now it is up to Helen to find a way to conquer them once again. War is coming to the Scions, and with a traitor in their midst the odds are working against them. 

Goddess was an absolute thrill to read. My heart pounded, I sat on the edge of my seat, I cried, I stayed up chanting one more chapter. It was THAT good.

I’ve been a fan of the Starcrossed trilogy since the very first book. After meeting Lucas and Helen and being shown their world, I knew I was in for an epic book series. Not one instalment disappointed, and with Goddess, the pressure was really on not just to deliver a satisfying ending to this amazing series, but to produce a brilliant book on its own. 

It feels like I travelled a journey with these characters, and with a story as big as the Trojan war itself, what a journey it has been. 

Helen is the ultimate Goddess in this book and she carries the story heroically. We get more viewpoints in this book, and while it is refreshing to see inside Lucas’s head (and a few others that I won’t mention here...) it really feels like it belongs to Helen. I rooted for her throughout this entire series and it has been a joy to see her grow. Gone is the awkward, shy Helen Hamilton. In her place is a young woman who is finally embracing her destiny. 

Lucas and Helen’s romance is achingly heartbreaking. At times it was very reminiscent of Clary and Jace and their similar predicament, but it remained very true to itself. I adored Orion and as a character I couldn’t ask for more. As Helen starts to lose her mortal friends, it was beautiful to see Orion step up and be exactly what she needed. 

As for the gods...wow. While Greek mythology has been done a few times now in YA, thankfully  the Starcrossed series is totally unique when it came to their interpretation of the myths. I absolutely adored the mirroring of the major players in the Trojan war with our very own Scions. 

This is the ending we have been waiting for. 

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


Friday, 24 May 2013

Book Review: Rush Me by Alison Parr

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 467 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (8 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gate-crashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL's most beloved quarterback.
While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school.
But when Ryan's rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday-night dinners for half a dozen football players.
Over pancake brunches, charity galas and Alexander the Great, Rachael realizes all the judgments she'd made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love—even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.

When Rachael accidentally gatecrashes the wrong party, she ends up face to face with Ryan Carter. She has no idea who he is, and he is unwilling to believe her stumbling on the party is a harmless accident. 

Chance brings them back together and before she knows it, Rachael has befriended half a dozen famous football players. For the most part, Rachael knows and adores them all. Except Ryan, who pushes all of her buttons yet is there whenever she turns around. 

Pretty soon Rachael and Ryan realise their bickering is mutual attraction and flirty banter. Both have big, strong personalities that do clash. Jealousy and passion  keep things lively with doubt and uncertainty clouding their potential happiness.

Rush Me is both a hit and a miss for me. In a lot of ways I loved it - loved how the football players were like a big, dysfunctional family who are loyal and fierce. I loved Rachael and Ryan’s bickering and their gradual attraction. But, there were far too many cliches and fakeness that just made the story fall flat at times. 

It’s a good, easy read that fills the time but doesn’t really satisfy in the way I wish it could. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press for the review copy.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Book Review: True by Erin McCarthy

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 235 pages
  • Publisher: InterMix (7 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B7NPS60

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost… 

Rory is studious, focused and uncertain around guys. She knows exactly where her future will lead and won’t allow herself to become distracted. Her roommates have different philosophies. They work hard and party harder. They enlist the help of tattooed bad boy, Tyler, to get Rory’s eyes off the books and start living her life...starting with losing her virginity.

Rory is intrigued by Tyler. He smokes. He drinks. Has tattooes. Sleeps around. And yet the more she gets to know him, the more she discovers there is to him. She learns how he protects his younger brothers with a loyalty so fierce it takes her breath away. He is smart with a burning desire for knowledge, ploughs through books and escapes into their worlds. He makes her feel beautiful.

Tyler and Rory fall into a fast and burning hot romance, both of them awakening in ways they never thought possible. But desire is not the only factor in their relationship, and when their different backgrounds threatens to pull the pair apart, Tyler and Rory must decide whether to fight or let go.

True is a welcome addition to the New Adult genre. With so many flooding the bookshelves, it’s hard to find an original one. Going in, I must admit, I expected True to be very similar to other ‘tattooed bad boys with a heart and surprising intelligence’ books. But, it holds its own. There is a rawness to this story that plucks at heartstrings and a romance so hot and tender all at once it has you melting. 

Rory and Tyler were memorable characters. I sympathised for both of them and thoroughly enjoyed reading their story. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and InterMix for the review copy.


Friday, 17 May 2013

Book Review: Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330517929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330517928

During the summer of her GCSEs Kite's world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide after a long struggle with feeling under pressure to achieve. Kite's dad takes her to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve. In London Kite is a confident girl, at home in the noisy, bustling city, but in the countryside she feels vulnerable and disorientated. Kite senses Dawn's spirit around her and is consumed by powerful, confusing emotions - anger, guilt, sadness and frustration, all of which are locked inside. It's not until she meets local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up - talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite deeply misses her friend and would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why . . . Otherwise how can she ever say goodbye? A potent story about grief, friendship, acceptance and making your heart whole again.

The morning of their first day of exams, Kite’s world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn commits suicide. Plagued with questions and a sense of suffocations, Kite’s dad takes her out of the city to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve.

Kite feels as though Dawn’s spirit is around her. She envisions her as an owl, soaring in the sky and leaving her mark on Kite’s window. Kite feels so many emotions she can barely process them, and can’t even cry. It is when she meets Garth, a local boy who helps her in more ways than she could ever expect. 

Kite Spirit was raw and beautiful, a truly haunting yet uplifting story. Kite’s grief radiated off the page and swirled in the air around me, much like Dawn’s presence did for Kite. 

With the rolling hills of the Lake District as the backdrop of this story, it really set the scene for Kite and her bleak mood. But as anyone who knows this area, when the sun breaks through, it is outstanding. 

Kite and Dawn’s history is cleverly revisited by the author in well timed flashbacks. We get a glimpse of the girl Dawn was, and also of the girl Kite was around her. Though totally different and from totally different methods of upbringing, the girls were inseperable. Kite wanted to swing in the circus, Dawn to play her oboe. Through these flashbacks we also begin to understand why Dawn may have taken her own life. 

It was at times hard to read, the story is very raw. But it was a pleasure to watch as Kite overcame her grief, and learned how to say goodbye and let go of Dawn and look into the future of her own life.

The other intriguing part of this book was Kite’s dad’s back story. As Kite is trying to imagine her future, her dad is trying to discover his past. A very well done secondary plot line.

I am sure first time readers of this author will be racing out to get her other books. 

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


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Book Review: Vortex by Julie Cross

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0230757162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230757165
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, all that changes when Holly—the girl he altered history to save—re-enters his life. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents find themselves under attack and on the run. Jackson must decide between saving the love of his life and the entire world . . .

Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into being an agent for Tempest. While still struggling with a broken heart, Jackson proves himself to be a brilliant agent. But all the training in the world can’t prepare Jackson for when Holly reenters his life. Holly, the girl who altered history to save.

Vortex starts shortly after Tempest ends. With the loss of Holly still very raw for Jackson, he throws himself into his training. Jackson must prove himself not only to his instructors, but to many of his other classmates, a lot of whom have seen him in his pre time travel days living it up as an Upper East Side party boy. 

Vortex was a lot more complex than the first book in this series. We have a lot of jumps and more questions than answers.  In this book we get more of a scientific explanation of time travel, and why certain EOT’s and Jackson have different jumps. For this reason, I found I could only read Vortex when I was feeling sharp. No distractions. You will lose yourself in this book like never before and the world around you will be totally shut out. 

The Jackson we see in this book is a lot harder than Tempest Jackson. Because of his training he bulks up and because of Holly, he has extra thick, bomb-proof walls up. I adore Jackson. He’s the kind of guy who takes everything on his shoulders and expects so much of himself. The guy who thinks he has to save everyone and figure out everything else. 

And, can I just say, I love the girl power in this book! Stewart and Kendrick, two completely different women, two totally kickass agents. Stewart is this bilingual chameleon than can work any situation to her advantage. Kendrick is super smart with a softer side, who is determined to work for Tempest and have her home life too. She grounds Jackson and reminds him the world isn’t the hard place he makes for himself. 

Vortex is full of action and suspense. It is utterly heartbreaking and tragic. Really, it is everything. It steals you away to another world (or two) and makes you believe it is possible for people to appear right in front of you from the future. And with an ending like that? Safe to say, I need the third instalment like yesterday. 

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

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