December Wrap-Up

Only three books this month, if you would like to read my reviews please click on the book cover.

Superhighway by Alex Fayman

superhighway

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The lie tree

Game Changer by Tim Bowler

Game Changer

My Top Ten Books of 2015

My first year of book blogging has gone well, I’ve read some great books by some fantastic authors and thought I’d share my favourite ten with you all!

boost#10: Boost by D.A. Paul

“I liked my face. Ethan liked my face. A lot of people liked my face. Besides, makeup was really just glorified face paint.”

I really liked the mix of paranormal and thriller elements in this book. The absorption of the dead was a great and interesting idea and was put across well. The main character, Lidia, was also very relatable and made this book even more enjoyable.

empire's daughter#9: Empire’s Daughter by Marian Thorpe

“But the world changes. In all the women’s villages of the Empire, this week or next, a soldier like myself will arrive to ask to live in the village, to take up a trade.” Casyn paused, for a breath, a heartbeat. “And to teach you and your daughters to fight.”

Empire’s Daughter is a lovely novel about Lena and how a war in her country changes the lives of herself and many other women in villages all over the Empire. This has a historical feel with a great storyline.

oakandmist#8: Oak And Mist by Helen Jones

“Then the scream came, loud and ragged with pain, arching up from under the pines.”

Alma is cornered between two trees in the park, she is pushed and is transported to a place called Ambeth where the people are beautiful and the world is full of magic. The world is very vivid and the landscape created is one of my favourite parts. There are some great characters that go on a fantastic journey.

No Quarter#7: No Quarter by Helen Jones

“He caught her hand turning it to kiss the burnt red mark on her wrist careful not to touch her bracelet stone.”

No Quarter is the second book in the Ambeth Chronicles series and has more of the Dark characters in (which I absolutely love). There were also some major plot points which were handled really well and made the world and story all that more interesting.

Cuckoo Song - Frances hardinge#6: Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

“The first things to shift were the dolls eyes, the beautiful grey-green eyes. Slowly they swiveled, until there gaze was resting on Triss’s face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.”

This book is about Triss who realises she is different after falling into the Grimmer. Leaves fall out of her hair and she cries cobwebs. Cuckoo Song is so strange and original that it makes a such an amazing read. This is written by one of my newly discovered favourite authors Frances Hardinge who writes exquisitely.

potion diaries#5: The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

“Strange. She’d always expected a love potion to be red, not blue.”

Taking a break from the dark and mysterious. Number 5 on my list is The Potion Diaries. Samantha Kemi must save the Princess and her family name by making an antidote to a love potion. However it’s not as easy as it seems. The mix of magic and modern technology was fascinating and I absolutely adored it!

demon road#4: Demon Road by Derek Landy

“Twelve hours before Amber Lamont’s parents tried to kill her, she was sitting between them in the principal’s office, her hands in her lap, stifling all the things she wanted to say.”

Derek Landy is one of my favourite authors of all time and when I found out he was writing  a new series I am not ashamed to say I cried. I was lucky enough to get a signed limited edition of Demon Road. Amber must run from the parents that are trying to kill her while getting to grips with the red demon within herself.

Tinder by Sally Gardner#3: Tinder by Sally Gardner

““My captain once said that you meet people in your life who you believe will be your companions on the road, only to discover that they fall by the wayside. Others who you meet without design climb mountains with you.”

This is a great book complimented superbly with fantastic illustrations. Otto Hundebiss is wounded in battle but cheats death. On his travels he meets Safire a beautiful and mysterious girl. With the power of the Tinderbox Otto would give anything to be with his love. The plot unfolds magically, with a sense of poetry in the way it is written.

The Dead House#2: The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

“Yesternight, upon the stair,
I met a girl who wasn’t there
She wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish she’d…

…Carly.”

Three students were killed, 21 injured and one, Carly Johnson, disappears during a fire at Elmbridge High School 25 years ago. Carly and Kaitlyn are not normal sisters, they share the same body. Carly gets the day and Kaitlyn has the night. This is a fantastic YA Horror read! I couldn’t stop reading, the story was so gripping and unique.

The lie tree#1: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

“The boat moved with a nauseous relentless rhythm, like someone chewing on a rotten tooth.”

This was a fantastic YA read by Frances Hardinge and takes the top spot because of the fantastic way that she writes. In this book, Faith must untangle the truth from the lies using a tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. This is a fantastically dark and twisted book that needs to be read by everyone!

REVIEW: Game Changer by Tim Bowler

Game ChangerGame Changer by Tim Bowler
ISBN: 9780192794154
Published: 3rd March 2015
Paperback, 177 pages
Genre: YA, Real Life, Thriller
Rating: 7/10
Buy on Amazon

Game Changer is about Mickey who is frightened of open spaces and the outside world. Mickey is determined to overcome his fear with his sister by his side. So going to a noisy, public place shouldn’t be as much of a problem with Meggie there. However, things go terribly wrong when Mickey encounters a gang trying to hide a terrible secret.

This was a nice, quick read from Tim Bowler about how Mickey’s life becomes affected by a gang and how his mental health issues make this harder for him to cope with. I thought that the issue of Mickey not being able to go outside was handled really well throughout the whole of the book. It was also nice to have the novel narrated from Mickey’s point of view to be able to see how he struggled with everyday tasks.

“I’m trying to pretend yesterday didn’t happen. Trouble is, they won’t let me.”

I feel that the relationship between Mickey and Meggie was the main focus of the book and how they help each other overcome obstacles. This worked well however I would have liked the main focus to have been on what was the gang was going to do to make it that little bit more darker.

I didn’t like how we had to wait until almost the end of the book to find out what Mickey had seen the gang do. I felt that it made the first part of the book drag a bit. However, once we did find out what had happened the pace picked up and it became an enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed some of the action scenes and felt they were the best in the book especially because of the way Mickey narrated them.

Merry Christmas

I would just like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you have a good holiday, see you in a few days!

In the Present. (2/3)

living-in-the-presentAt this moment in time I’m sat in front of my computer screen, ill. Let’s face it, it was gonna be me. I’m wondering whether I should go back to bed, or go outside into the world and do what I should be doing right now. It’s a decision I really don’t want to make but I know I have to. That’s what the present is I guess.  A decision and then another and another. Do I decide to go and make myself a cup of tea when I know I’ll forget about until it’s too cold to drink, or do I stay where I am and wait a while until I really want it?

Everyone is always on about how you have to make the right decisions, and how it might be the most important decision of your life but who cares? Isn’t life meant to be an adventure?

REVIEW: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The lie treeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
ISBN: 9781447264101
Published: 7th May 2015
Paperback, 413 pages
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 10/10
Buy on Amazon

When Faith’s family move to the island of Vane, she fears that all is not well. The fourteen-year-old daughter of a well-respected natural scientist, Faith cannot put a foot out-of-place. However, when her father is found dead under mysterious circumstances she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. She soon finds out about a strange tree which feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets.

My first ever Frances Hardinge novel was Cuckoo Song (link to review at the bottom of this post) which I thought was amazing! She has not disappointed with this novel as i loved every single word! I could honestly read Frances Hardinge books all day, she just has this style of writing that is perfect, she not only tells the story but adds snippets of information that are relevant to todays society.

“The boat moved with a nauseous relentless rhythm, like someone chewing on a rotten tooth.”

I loved the idea of the Lie Tree and how it grew as the lies became more out of control. I also liked how all the characters were formed on Vane, their reactions to what happen are well thought out and are realistic to the time and setting. I especially liked how the Sunnderly family was different and how they had to adapt to life on Vane.

I liked Faith and her relationships with other characters. Especially how she reacted when the knowledge of women was involved. I liked how her relationships with her mother and Paul Clay changed.

This was a fantastic novel!

To read my review of other Frances Hardinge novels click on the book cover below.
Cuckoo Song - Frances hardinge

REVIEW: Superhighway by Alex Fayman

superhighwaySuperhighway by Alex Fayman
ASIN: B00T6PMP9O
Published: 3rd March 2015
E-book, 224 pages
Genre: YA, Thriller, Science-Fiction
Rating: 6/10
Buy on Amazon

Thanks to the author, Alex Fayman, for sending me a copy of Superhighway in exchange for an honest review!

Alex Fine has lived in an orphanage for most of his life. Just as he is about to enroll in West Coast university he discovers that he has the ability to transport himself through the optical passageways of the internet. Alex can manipulate data and travels to different places in the world, but what will he do with this newfound power?

I really like the idea however, I’m not quite sure if it was executed well in the beginning. I mean I understood parts but there were so many different storylines floating around that I didn’t quite know which one I was meant to be following. However, a the story progressed it zoned in on one storyline with made it a lot more interesting.

“Moving at the speed of light through the darkness of a vast fiber optic spider web always evoked a hypnotic state of peace.”

The idea of electroportation was very interesting and original and the way that Alex used it was well thought out. I also liked how Alex cared about what was happening and had morals that he tried to stick to and when he didn’t he became very angry and upset with himself. There was one tiny detail that really annoyed me and that was the fact that he gives away so much money for minute things. I know he has lots of money but this is one way to get caught.

There were some graphic scenes which I really enjoyed (I sound like a psychopath but who cares). I just thought that they added a sense of danger and gave Alex something to fight for, if anything I would have loved for there to have been more of these scenes. Overall, I did enjoy the concept and the second half of the book.

Thanks again to Alex Fayman for sending me a copy of Superhighway in exchange for an honest review!