Friday, 24 July 2015

Flame - Amy Kathleen Ryan (2014)

4 stars

I ordered this because I loved Glow and Spark so much, although it wasn't as good as either of them I still enjoyed this one and thought it was a good end to the series.

This book is told in the same manner as the last, from the three different perspectives of Seth, Waverly and Kieran except this time it has a few chapters from Arthur's perspective as well. I think I didn't like this book as much as the others because it was all kind of expected, I knew I'd hate Anne Mather, I knew not to trust most of the people on the New Horizon, and I just got a bit sick of the constant crap that all three of them were being put through for the entire book, there was no real reprieve of sadness until the very end and it kind of depressed me. My favourite character in this book was probably Seth, I read the first two books so long ago I can't actually remember him being bad so I just enjoyed how basically all he wanted to do was help Waverly the entire time and I looked forward to his perspective because that was always a semi happy bit I could look forward to reading about. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys YA fiction and science fiction, or people who liked Across the Universe or These Broken Stars and want more of that romance on a spaceship stuff that seems to be ALL I AM READING ABOUT.

This book starts with Seth making it to the New Horizon using a OneMan suit and then managing to evade capture. Anne Mather starts an alliance with Kieran so she can get the Empyrean survivors on her side and he can have some control over what happens to them all. Doctor Carver, one of the church elders and council members, makes plans with Waverly to testify against Anne Mather so he can take her down and put his son Jared in charge in exchange for fixing her mother and the rest of the parents on board who seem to have suffered some weird brain damage. Arthur, Sarek, Tobin and all the injured Empyrean members are still alive and on the Empyrean and are hiding from the crew members of the New Horizon that are trying to salvage the ship. Seth is eventually captured by Anne Mather and she deliberately puts him in the brig with no medical help even though his broken hand has caused a severe infection that he is dying from. A nurse is sent down because Jacob Pauley still thinks Seth is his friend and she gets him to the infirmary where they had to amputate his arm. Waverly is captured by Jacob and Ginny Pauley and Jared (who is super creepy and tried to rape Waverly) exchanges Kieran for her. They forcefeed Kieran bags of explosives and a detonator and then send him to testify at Anne Mather's trial with what they want him to say because they also hate her. Waverly goes to Mather's trial but is stopped by Serafina who tells her what the Pauley's did to Kieran, she also tells her that they need to be in range to detonate the bomb so she goes after Jacob. Jacob takes Seth from the infirmary to watch him blow up Kieran and together he and Waverly manage to kill Jacob and warn Kieran to get out of range. Ginny Pauley shoots Anne Mather on stage before she is gunned down herself, Kieran flies a shuttle to the Empyrean when Arthur contacts him and tells him to come back. He manages to vomit up all the explosives, but he can't get the detonator out and they have to try to wait for it to pass through him. One of the New Horizon crew members on the Empyrean is a rebel and helps detain the rest of the crew and help Arthur, Sarek and Kieran negotiate all their ship members back with the rest of the rebels in exchange for the rest of the crew. Kieran ends up having to go back to the New Horizon because the Empyrean has no infirmary and he needs surgery, but this means he cannot come back as they have to leave for another planet Sarek has found and can't risk an attack from Doctor Carver. The book ends 10 years later with Waverly being the first person to test out the new planet Sarek found, being married to Seth with their two children and still in video contact with Kieran who is married to Felicity and they've just had their fifth child and named her Waverly.

Royal Wedding - Meg Cabot (2015)

4 stars

I ordered this book as soon as it came out because I was obsessed with this series for many years and it still holds up.

This book is told in the same diary format as all the previous books and it is still just as hilarious. Although it was really fun to able to read another book about Mia I totally understand why she stopped writing them when she did and surprisingly I think I liked this book less that most of the early ones. I also thought that considering the title of the book is Royal Wedding that she would get engaged pretty early on, rather than like 150 pages in, which frustrated me a bit when she was complaining about why Michael was acting weird when everyone clearly already knew why. My favourite character in this book was Mia, I hadn't read anything new from her in six years and it was so wonderful to have her hypochondriac, sarcastic self back in my life. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked any of the other princess diaries books.

Mia is now working in a centre that she opened in Mr Giannini's (who is now dead) name that helps teenagers with their academic studies. Michael takes her on a romantic getaway for her birthday where he proposes and she says yes. She returns home and finds that her Grandmere has discovered she has a half sister that is 12 and her dad has known about her for her entire life and has been letting her live in New Jersey with her aunt and uncle after her mother died. Mia ends up going to see Olivia, her sister, and taking her to meet her dad who she apparently had been writing letters to for her entire life. Her dad doesn't want to let Olivia go now he has her so he applies for custody and manages to get her aunt and uncle to give her up by threatening them with looking into what all his money he had been sending them was going towards. Mia then finds out that she is pregnant, with twins, her parents get back together and she and Michael get married.

This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales (2013)

5 stars

I saw an article talking about this book and how it was being adapted into a movie, so I thought I'd see if it was any good and boy did I love this book.

This book is told from Elise's perspective, she is a depressed teenager who doesn't have any friends and somehow in a lot of the latter half of the book is a lot more rational and calm than I would be if I was in her position. I found myself very involved in her story and thinking about her wellbeing while I was in the middle of this book which led me to read the majority of it one day because it was so interesting. There is a list of songs at the end of the book which are either mentioned in the book or songs that the author thinks would be common in Start and I would recommend that you download the songs and put the playlist on shuffle when you're reading this, I left it till after I was already finished and I'm pretty sure the book would've been a lot cooler if you were listening to it as you were reading. My favourite character in this book was Vicky, I wish that Elise had opened up to her more because when she told her all about her problems at the end I'd wish I'd known the depth of her character for more of the book. I would recommend this book to people who like young adult fiction, especially if you're a bit of a music lover.

The book starts seven months after Elise's suicide attempt, she is back at school and still has no friends except for the two girls she sits with at lunch and has no real interests in her life. She suffers from insomnia and because her parents are not the most observant she sneaks out every night and just walks around the streets listening to her music. One night she meets Vicky and Pippa who are going into an underground club called Start where they play the music Elise loves and people are nice to her. She starts going to Start every week and soon develops a weird friends with benefits type relationship (excpet not with sex) with Char, the DJ. He teaches her how to DJ and starts to let her DJ for an hour or two during each of his sets on Thursdays. Elise soon learns that someone was posting a fake online diary claiming to be her talking all about how much she hates her life and wants to kill herself and the head of Start offers her her own night DJing when he opens it for Fridays. The next time when she goes to Start Char is jealous that she getting Fridays all to herself and won't let her DJ and Pippa returns and yells at Elise for dating Char when she knew she liked him, she breaks down in front of Vicky and her band and goes home and destroys her sister's huge project that she had been working on for months so that she wouldn't be weird like she is. Her mother then kicks her out of her house to stay with her father who lives too far away from Start for her to get there so she calls her friends Sally and Chava who she sits with at lunch to take her to Start and they tell her that they're her friends even though she didn't think so. Once she gets to Start her dad finds her because the online journal posted that she was going to commit suicide that night and one of her classmates informed her dad. Her mum and dad then go to the principal to get the journal taken down and the perpertrator punished, and her dad takes her to Start the next Friday for her first night as DJ. She lets Vicky's band play a set that night because she had promised her and her dad tells Vicky he wants to set them up with his old agent as he used to be in a band. Elise ends up asking Vicky's brother Harry to her school dance with her the next night and she realizes that being herself should be enough for her.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins (2014)

3.5 stars

I bought this book because it sounded like it would be heaps of fun to read, and I was pretty right in my assumption.

This book is told from Harper's persective, she is a southern belle obsessed with cotillion and dances and is very unlike me so I think it's pretty amazing that I still loved reading her perspective considering the strong possiblity she had to be annoying. I found this book surprisingly hard to put down and even though I thought it would predictable, at times it definitely wasn't and I always wanted to know how everything would turn out so it kept my interest. My favourite character was David, there's not even a question. Asides from my weakness for the love interest, I thought he was probably the most relatable character in the book and I found the parts of the book without him a lot less interesting then the parts he was in. I would recommend this book to people who liked The Selection or people who like a girly heroine.

Harper Price is about to be crowned homecoming queen when she goes to the bathroom to put on lip gloss and is given the powers of a paladin from the janitor after he is murdered. She kills his murderer with the heel of her shoe and her new apparent strength and agility. She eventually learns that she is a paladin, a guard to the oracle who she learns is her childhood nemesis David Stark. His aunt Saylor explains that she is a mage also assigned to protect David as male oracles can be extraordinarily powerful and the last one was the one who created the paladin in the first place. They soon find the other mage, Blythe, who is crazy and wants to do a ritual that will make David super powerful and crazy like the last male oracle and David has a vision that shows that everything will go down at cotillion. Blythe manages to put a spell on the punch at cotillion so everyone who drinks it wants to kill Harper so she has to knock out many of her family and friends before she can get to David. She is too late and Blythe has already performed the ritual so David is supercharged and has accidentally turned all the debutantes into paladin. Blythe goes to leave with David but he refuses so she takes Bee, Harper's best friend who was just turned into a paladin, with her. David removes the powers from the rest of the girls and they go downstairs to find Ryan, Harper's ex, with Saylor's dead body. He tells her that she transferred her powers over to him before she died, meaning he has to work with Harper to protect David, who she just broke up with him for.

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger (2010)

4.5 stars

I bought this book after I saw the movie and loved it, and reading this book in one day gave me the same feeling.

Part of the reason that I loved this book may have been due to picturing Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell as the characters the whole time, but I think even without that excellent visual it is still a really fun read. Bianca is such a relatable narrator that it makes this book very easy to read and it's easy to understand her decisions without heaps of unneccessary or extra explanation. I also really love the swearing because teenagers swear, I hate it when you read a book about teenagers and they're constantly saying damn or theres just no expletives at all, it makes me feel like I'm just reading about my friends rather than fictional people. My favourite character in this book was Bianca, she was so sarcastic and loveable and insecure and I think the book wouldn't have been half as good with a different main character. I would definitely recommend anyone who liked the movie to give the book a try, and otherwise if you like a good teen romance then give this a try.

Bianca reluctantly goes to a party with her friends Casey and Jessica where Wesley Rush talks to her because she is the DUFF, the designated ugly fat friend, and if he talks to her it will give him a better chance with Casey and Jessica. A few days later she overhears her dad begging her mum to come home over the phone and then when she goes out she kisses Wesley as a distraction from it. A few days after that she comes home to find her dad had started drinking again after being sober for 16 years because her mum had sent divorce papers over in the mail, Wesley calls because he is supposed to be coming over to work on a group project but she goes to his house instead and she starts having sex with him as a distraction from her home life. Her and Wesley become friends with all the time they're spending together and one night he comes over to her house but her dad comes home early so they play scrabble all night. When Wesley goes to leave Bianca's dad calls her a whore and hits her after she tries to take the whiskey from him so Wesley punches him in the face and takes Bianca home with him. She wakes up the next morning and realizes that she's in love with Wesley, the biggest womanizer in school so she tells him she can't sleep with him anymore and leaves. She returns home, her dad stops drinking and she starts dating her long time crush Toby Tucker but she is often comparing him to Wesley, who bursts in on them making out a week later. Bianca tells him he couldn't possibly have feelings for her when he constantly calls her duffy and is really just sleeping with girls to try to fill the void his parents leaving made. He then stops sleeping with girls and sneds Bianca a note that says (my favourite part): Wesley Rush doesn't chase girls but he's chasing you. Her and Toby end up out at the underage bar and he tells her that she's clearly in love with Wesley and to just go be with him, which she does.

The Bride Wore Size 12 - Meg Cabot (2013)

3.5 stars

I bought this because I loved the rest of this series, as well as basically all of Meg Cabot's other books, and it lived up to my expectations.

This book is just like the others in the series except with the added benefit of Heather being engaged to Cooper, it makes everything so much more fun and Heather extra neurotic at times. Although I find all of Meg Cabot's books to be pretty similar, sometimes finding it hard to differentiate between the love interests between each book, I still find them all really fun to read and this book was no exception. I also loved how she put Lizzie Nicholls in it, even if it only was for a few pages I thought it was a great idea and it makes me so happy when authors connect characters between their books. My favourite character in this book was Gavin, he constantly cracks me up whenever he is around and I think his banter with Heather often lightens up the situations. I would recommend this series to you if you like lighthearted mysteries and don't mind romance.

Heather is busy planning her wedding at the start of a new semester when one of her RA's, Jasmine, ends up dead in her bed. She learns that she was communicating with the editor of the student run paper and was about to give him something big, she assumes on their  new resident, Price Rashid. It turns out that she was recording a party that Prince Rashid was throwing because the majority of the RAs were there and drinking, while many of the underage students also were. Heather eventually finds out that Howard Chen, another of the RAs who couldn't afford to go to school there if he wasn't also an RA, was the killer. She then marries Cooper at a ceremony with basically everyone she knows attending due to Cooper's sisters.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion (2013)

3.5 stars

My friend lent me this book because we kept seeing stuff about it everywhere and she thought I'd enjoy it, I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed it and I can understand why it's so popular.

The book it told from the perspective of Don Tillman, who it is implied has some from of Asperger's or autism so it is quite interesting in that respect. That's really the only thing that makes this book any different to other romance novels though, instead of it being overly romantic it is usually quite funny in most of the situations Don and Rosie get into. My favourite character in this was either Don on Rosie, Don is adorably cute when he's thinking about Rosie, and Rosie was just plain old hilarious most of the time the best parts of the book are definitely when they are together. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a quirky romance.

Don Tillman wants a wife, so he creates a questionnaire to help him easily eliminate bad candidates and find good ones with the help of his friend Gene. Gene sends Rosie to Don for something unrelated, however he mistakes her for a wife candidate and takes her out to dinner. He discovers that she is trying to learn who her biological father is and because he is a professor of genetics he decides to help her, even though she is not a suitable candidate to be his wife he likes her and wants to spend more time with her. After many different situations together Don eventually realizes he wants to marry Rosie despite her not fulfilling any of his criteria and he proposes to her. She rejects him because she says he doesn't feel love like everyone else and he doesn't really love her, this causes him to realize that he does in fact love her and he convinces her to marry him and they move to America together.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet - Bernie Su & Kate Rorick (2014)

5 stars

I bought this when I saw it in Big W and freaked out my sister when I started yelling out of nowhere, I loved the youtube series and, unsurprisingly, this book.

I loved the series so much that I backed the kickstarter and now own the DVD set so it is no surprise that I loved this book. It also helps that I grew up on The Princess Diaries so I am a big fan of the diary format of a book, I love being able to just read all of the characters emotions and thoughts as they go through them, and it often involves large amounts of sarcasm so it's win win. I thought this provided great fun little details that the vlogs didn't give and I found it very easy to read in a short amount of time. My favourite character was probably Lizzie, she is just so funny and smart that now when I think about pride and prejudice I'm like Elizabeth rocks, whereas earlier I was all about Darcy. I would recommend this to any fans of pride and prejudice, regardless of whether you've seen the series, and to any fans of young adult romance.

This book follows the plot of the youtube series, which follows the plot of pride and prejudice, which if you don't already know I'm a bit sad for you. Here's a super short version with lots of details left out because I'm tired; Lizzie meets Darcy, Lizzie is annoyed by Darcy, Darcy grows to like Lizzie, Lizzie is lied to about Darcy so she dislikes him more, Darcy confesses his feelings to Lizzie, Lizzie rejects Darcy, Lizzie learns the truth about Darcy, Lizzie starts to like Darcy, Darcy confesses his feelings again, this time Lizzie reciprocates (and they share a glorious glorious kiss that I waited literally months for).

Outlander - Diana Gabaldon (1991)

4 stars

I got this book as a christmas present because I was enjoying the tv show, and although it is very similar to the show, I still really enjoyed it.

I really enjoyed this book but I suggest that if you're interested in reading it you try the show first because they are incredibly similar, especially at the start of both and the book is really quite long. I didn't think it would be able to interest me as much as it did because it is set such a long time ago but I didn't have any trouble powering through it once I was really involved. It took me such a long time to getting around to reviewing this that I can't really remember all the characters that well, but I'm pretty sure my favourites were Jamie and his sister, Jamie because he was always making me smile throughout all the drama in this book (until the last part) and his sister because she created an excellent dynamic between both her and Claire and her and Jamie. I would recommend reading this book if you like good drama and romance and don't mind a historical setting.

Claire Randall is thrown back in time away from her husband Frank to Inverness Scotland where she meets Jamie Fraser when he saves her from Frank's ancestor Captain Jack Randall. He is part of Clan MacKenzie who all take her back to their home Castle Leoch where she can work for them as a nurse. Randall wants to take Claire in for questioning so Dougal, the second in charge, weds her to Jaime to prevent that. Claire falls in love with Jamie and when he leaves for another job and she is left at Castle Leoch on her own and she is put on trial for witchcraft along with her friend Geillis. Jamie saves Claire from being burnt at the stake, but as they are leaving she sees Geillis has a smallpox vaccine scar, indicating that she was also from the future. Claire then tells Jamie the truth about where she's from and he takes her to the stones where she originally travelled through time and leaves for a motel so she can make up her own mind if she wants to return. She picks Jamie and he takes her to his home, Lallybroch, where she meets his family. Jamie is still a wanted fugitive and is taken by the British to Captain Randall, who then captures Claire when she tries to rescue Jamie. Jamie then gives himself to Randall if he frees Claire, and Randall rapes him all night until Claire, Murtagh and their new ally MacRannoch save him. Claire patches up his wounds and they then travel to a monastery in France where Jamie has family so he can heal, but he is psychologically traumatized and Claire ends up drugging him and reenacting his rape so he can fight back this time. The book ends with Claire telling Jamie she is pregnant, even though she previously thought she was barren.