Review: Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski

april2Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Contemporary, Magical-Realism
Published by: Hachette Children’s Group
Pages: 288
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★
Series: Don’t Even Think About It (#1)

Think Twice takes place two years after the class got telepathy, except…now they’re starting to lose it! It starts small, and suddenly the group have to question what really means more in life: the powers or each other? Losing power is a bigger problem for some, but we still get a glimpse into each Espie’s life and how things have changed for them, no matter how small. I didn’t realise this was going to be a duology but Think Twice is a pretty staple conclusion to the story, even if it did feel more character driven than plot driven.

Continue reading “Review: Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski”

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September Wrap-Up

This month hasn’t be amazing, reading wise! We started university on the 20th September, and even before getting here we were both struck by the dreaded Reading Slump! We managed to read 8 books each, which is still an incredible number, especially given the circumstances, but, unfortunately, it’s not our usual standard.

University has radically changed our reading habits. We’re still reading a lot, but it isn’t exactly the YA we love! There’s a lot of critical essays to devour, so YA has been put on hold and therefore reviews may be few and far between! However, because we’ve started to properly settle in now, we’re hoping to find some time to get back into a regular reading routine. The Creative Writing side of our degree really encourages you to keep reading what you love and to keep up to date with contemporary fiction. If anything, I’ll be using this as my excuse to buy Six of Crows! Also, you never truly realise how expensive books are until you’re a poor student that has to wait until Christmas to get new releases.

Phew! University is tough, and even more of our time has been spent working on our side blog Maddie & Bee, because we’ve been working on our web series, which should hopefully be released sometime this week!

Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

26088387Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Genre: Contemporary, Once Upon A Road Trip
Published by: Macmillan Children
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

It’s not often that we get a story as beautiful as the cover, and Tonight The Streets Are Ours is a perfect example of the cover doing the story justice! This was one of the stand-out reads of the year for me, it was so carefully crafted and made me think about how I treat others, it also has the perfect “imagine a person as an actual person” storyline that I’m such a sucker for. Other books with this theme include Dash And Lily’s Book Of Dares and the obvious Paper Towns. 

Continue reading “Review: Tonight The Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales”

Review: Cleo by Lucy Coats

cleoCleo by Lucy Coats
Genre:
Mythology, Adventure
Published by: 
Orchard Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating: ★★
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

I was first interested in reading ‘Cleo’ because of its obviously Egyptian themes. I’ve only read one other book on the subject, ‘The Red Pyramid’ by Rick Riordan, and was interested to see how another author transformed the mythology. To place Cleopatra in a YA setting sounded like an excellent idea, and I was looking forward to being immersed in the land of sand, gods and temples. But, (I know, I know, why does there always have to be a but?) I had a few issues with the execution. Let’s discuss!

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Review: Shattered by Teri Terry

shatteredShattered by Teri Terry
Genre: Dystopian
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 402
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★★
Series: Slated (#1), Fractured (#2)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

As a finale to a trilogy, this book was something incredibly different. It wasn’t ‘Mockingjay’, and it wasn’t ‘Allegiant’. It wasn’t wild, it wasn’t action-packed, but the calm after the storm of ‘Fractured’. I didn’t know what was going to happen to Kyla, and where she was going to go, but I sure was pleased with were she ended up.

Plot and Pacing
As I said, this was the most mellow of the three books. We found out about Kyla’s past life in ‘Fractured’ and now it was just about seeing what she’d do next. The answer? Find her birth mother.  Continue reading “Review: Shattered by Teri Terry”

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

the maze runnerThe Maze Runner by James Dasher
Genre: 
Action/Adventure, Dystopian
Published by: Chicken House
Pages: 384
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★
Series: The Scorch Trials (#2) | The Death Cure (#3)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

I have a confession to make. It’s terrible, I know, but….I saw the movie first. But after I saw the movie, I was filled with the best feeling ever. MOTIVATION! I could not leave ‘The Maze Runner’ where the movie did – that epilogue section was too much. I needed to know what happened next. So, I decided I would read the book, experience everything as the author intended and then continue the series. So, now that I’ve witnessed both the book and the movie, I can say: the movie was better. (Book-to-movie review coming soon.)

Plot and Pacing
The Maze Runner is your classic dystopian. Some kids are chucked in an arena and have to try and survive. Unlike ‘The Hunger Games’, all the kids co-operate. Order is everything. The aim of the game is simple: escape the maze. Well, we weren’t really excepting them to stay in the maze, right? Wrong. Over fifty kids have been stuck in this maze for two whole years. UNTIL our protagonist Thomas arrives.  Continue reading “Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner”

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

starcrossedStarcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Genre: 
Romance, Mythology, Action
Published by: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 514
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Series:  Dreamless (#2) | Goddess (#3)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

After looking at the cover, I didn’t know what to expect from ‘Starcrossed’. You can’t help but read the title and think about Romeo and Juliet. I was worried that this book was going to be consumed with a forbidden romance that would end in disaster. Safe to say, I was surprised ‘Starcrossed’ was more than just another angsty YA romance novel!

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Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed

Crossed by Ally Condie
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Published by: Speak
Pages: 367
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Series:
Matched (#1) | Reached (#3)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

The second book in the ‘Matched’ series starts with Ky digging a grave. Not exactly the happiest way to begin, but I rolled with it. I was also going to roll with the fact there were two perspectives. Both Ky and Cassia got their say: in the end, I preferred neither. (That’s probably a good thing.) (At least I could tell them apart, unlike Four and Tris in Allegiant.)

The rebellion has well and truly kicked off. The transition between ‘Matched’ and ‘Crossed’ was not as smooth as I would have liked, but we were caught up with what had happened pretty quickly. Not much to complain about their. However, as the book progressed, issues started to arise.

First, Cassia and Ky were trying to find a way back to each other. This seemed a lot easier than I thought it would be and they were reunited 200 pages in. I didn’t really understand the landscapes their groups were travelling through – thank goodness there was a map at the beginning!

Some things, although not a lot, were revealed about Xander. (Psst, he’s part of the rebellion!) I was pleased to see that he wasn’t trying to battle Ky for Cassia’s love, but we still have one book left. I bet you three chocolate coins the love triangle plot will rear it’s cliched head within ‘Reached’.

I understand why the book was called ‘Crossed’. There was a lot of crossing over landscapes to be done. There were caverns and canyons and rivers and desserts. Kind of ‘Fire and Flood’-y, without the intense survival skills. The one thing Cassia did have to survive was the elusive blue pill (hence the blue cover.) After the menacing motive of the red pill was revealed, I had my suspicions about blue. (Even though Percy Jackson has taught me that anything blue is amazing.) It turns out, the blue pill is poison, just like the food they feed to old people. Two pills will kill you. Excellent.

Basically, the end goal of this book was to join the Rebellion. Another ‘Delirium’ trilogy parallel emerged when we discovered Cassia was going to have to infiltrate the Society from the inside in ‘Reached’. I look forward to it. But, it took them 370 pages to find the Rebellion. I can’t even explain went on in the middle of the book, I felt kind of lost as I skimmed through the pages. Some of the events just seemed completely irrelevant. What was the purpose of that cave with all the tissue samples? Why did they have to go there?! I don’t know, it was all just general confusion.

Overall, I liked ‘Matched’ better, hence why I give ‘Crossed’ only 2 stars. Even with this rating, I’m intrigued to know how it all ends – it feels like the first two books in the series were really just building up to this finale. I’ve got some expectations! Is that a good thing?

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Harper Teen
Pages: 447
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★
Where to Find: 
Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve had this book on the shelf for ages. AGES. Somehow, the cover just really put me off from reading this book. (I wonder why! Heh heh!) I didn’t know if I would like the concept, or the writing style, especially since the slogan was ’embrace the forbidden’. Not really something to live by.

It turns out that I was right. This book wasn’t my cup of tea.

I think I’m going to find it really hard to describe, just because this is a 450-ish page book and I think only two significant things happened:
1.) A road trip across country with Anna, the protagonist who’s a super religious half-angel, half-demon, and a boy, Kaiden, who’s a demon womaniser. Usually the rule is if you add a road trip to something, it can only get better. Take ‘Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour’ or ‘Paper Towns’ as examples. However, this was not the case. I didn’t really understand the mission of the trip (that was never even fulfilled) and how quickly Anna was willing to get close to her father whom she hadn’t seen in sixteen years. The pacing was really rubbish throughout this whole book. Days would pass in paragraphs, and between chapters, months would go by. It meant that the time periods that were written about seemed rushed, because the relationship between these two characters blossomed (and died) very quickly.
2.) Some sort of demon training. Anna is the daughter of the demon who had to entice humans to drink excessive amounts of alcohol and/or take illegal drugs. Yippee. I felt very uncomfortable reading these scenes, especially when Anna is dancing on top of a bar, trying to please a married man twice her age. It all just seemed very wrong. 

I didn’t like Anna and I didn’t like Kaiden on principle. I hate the ‘you shouldn’t be friends with me’ storyline, Stephanie Meyer already wrote that to death. If I wanted to read about a relationship that occurred regardless of the couple’s safety, I would just read ‘Twilight’.

I didn’t like that Kopano (odd name) was introduced as a point in a love triangle. It made NO SENSE. Since when did Anna harbour feelings for this other demon spawn? Why was there tension between Kaiden and Kope? I think authors need to realise a book can be good without a love triangle present. Actually, it would be refreshing!

I know that this series is a trilogy, and I’ve heard that it just gets better as it progresses. This is odd to hear about a trilogy, especially considering the outcome of ‘Allegiant’ or ‘Mockingjay’. Still, these books are cheaper on Kindle, so I may or may not complete the series. ‘Sweet Evil’ really hasn’t done much to motivate me to continue.

I’d give this book 2 stars. It wasn’t horrific enough to only get one, but there was nothing I especially liked about it to move it up the star rating scale.