Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Jellicoe Road Review

Jellicoe Road (On the Jellicoe Road) 

Author- Melina Marchetta
Page count- 419 (hardback)
Publisher-  Penguin Australia
Publication Date- August 28th 2006


Taylor Markham, abandoned on the Jellicoe Road when she was a young girl now lives in the Jellicoe boarding school for the orphaned, criminally inclined, troubled and now erratic, disinterested Taylor has been elected leader of the Territory wars played by her school against the local students (Townies) and the cadets and to top it all off, the cadets, known for their ruthlessness, are now led by Jonah Griggs, the boy from Taylor's past who she never thought she would see again. The territory wars are about to recommence.

But Taylor has other things on her mind like the hermit who whispered in her ear, the mysterious boy from her dreams a cat that looks perpetually scared and a prayer tree, Taylor is trying to piece together the mystery of her past like why her mum abandoned her and how just moments after Hannah her closest friend and mentor seemed to find her. But now that Hannah has disappeared leaving only a manuscript featuring war games, love lost and found and the unshakeable bond of friendship it is up to Taylor to piece it all together.

My opinion

There are some books- and I am talking only a handful- that no matter how long it's been since you have finished them you can't get them out of your head, they find a permanent place in your heart and re-reading them is like visiting an old friend, now, there are even fewer YA books that can leave an effect like this so trust me when I say that Jellicoe Road (or On the Jellicoe Road) is without a doubt one of those books. Melina Marchetta has yet again blown me away with another one of her beautifully told stories, each time I think that her next book could not possibly be any better than the last and each time I have been sourly mistaken. Marchetta's sophisticated, complex and intricately woven stories that deal with many contemporary issues restore my faith in teen fiction. I wholeheartedly believe that Melina Marchetta deserves so much more recognition that what she now gets and I am making it my life's mission to make sure that everyone reads this book.

The story of Taylor Markham on the Jellicoe Road is powerful, tragic and deeply thoughtful that evokes emotion from the very depth of your heart and leaves you raw to the bone but in a good way... if there is such a thing. I cannot put into words how much I love this book and how much it means to me all I know is that this is a story that will stay with me for a very long time now the rest is up to you to find out!

                                                        Rating: 10/10

Monday, 25 August 2014

A New Chapter

So it has been a while since I have posted a review but things have been pretty crazy, getting my A-Level results, I am going to uni! so there has been preparing for that and just general summer life, reading, working, going out etc. So anyway to make up for the lack of reviews I have complied a list of end of summer/ beginning of Autumn book list.

1. Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta 
2. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart 
3. Eleanor and Park- Rainbow Rowell 
4. Paper Towns- John Green 
5. If I Stay- Gayle Forman 
6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Lani Taylor 
7. The book Thief- Markus Zusak 
8. Throne of Glass- Sarah J. Maas
9. Sea of Tranquillity - Katja Millay 
10. Cinder- Marissa Meyer

I think that if you follow this list, the transition of your summer into Autumn/Winter will go smoothly and I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Infernal Devices

The Infernal Devices 

Author- Cassandra Clare
Publisher- Simon and Schuster
Book 1- Clockwork Angel: published August 21st 2010, 479 Pages (first edition)
Book 2- Clockwork Prince: published December 6th 2011, 502 pages 
Book 3- Clockwork Princess: Published September 5th 2013, 567 pages


Sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray arrives in England in the hopes of being re-united with her brother but something dark is waiting for her in London's supernatural underworld. Friendless, hunted and in search of her missing brother Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters. Together they find themselves up against the Pandemonium club a organisation consisting of vampires, warlocks and even humans. Tessa's world has been turned upside down, in a world filled with vampires, Shadowhunters and Warlocks who can she truly trust? and where does she fit in among them?
Drawn ever deeper into their world Tessa finds herself fascinated and torn between between two best friends, but she must be careful as there is a traitor among them and the head of the Pandemonium club will not stop until he gets what he wants- Tessa.
Together with the Shadowhunters Tessa must find a way to stop the Pandemonium Club and save the Shadowhunters, even more so now that one of their own in threatened. 
However in and among all this Tessa soon realizes that love may be the most Dangerous magic of all.

My opinion 

I have been meaning to review this trilogy for a while now but something has kept holding me back but I'm finally writing one so here we go...

Firstly just a fair bit of warning for people who haven't heard of these books, it is the prequel series to the mortal instruments (the City of Bones books) so I would recommend reading those first if you're interested in these!

Secondly I have to say Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter story world is one of my favorites it's so brilliantly thought out every detail included, and this is without a doubt my favorite trilogy.

Now, when I first read the mortal instruments books I was in awe I completely fell in love with this fantasy world that Clare has so brilliantly executed and when I heard of a prequel series I have to admit I was skeptical as I'm sure we are all when it comes to spin-off series or prequels but it blew me away it was such an incredible trilogy and I liked it even more than the mortal instruments which believe me was something i'd never thought if say.

There is something so spellbinding about the way the characters are presented in this book, and for me one of the reasons I loved it more than the mortal instruments was that it felt like more of a mature read because the characters felt more mature. They are mostly of a similar age but there was just something about them that meant I could relate to them better, and expect to see some familiar names pop up *cough* perhaps a fabulous warlock *cough*

"One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us" 

One of the most common criticisms I've seen about these books is about Tessa being 'too girly' and unable to protect herself which I think is a harsh criticism as you have to remember when reading this book it was set in 1878 and back then girls didn't fight or wear trousers and yes men did protect them yet despite all the cultural stereotypes Tessa develops into a strong self-assured character capable of protecting herself  and that for me has been one of the best character developments I've read. 

The infernal devices is a beautiful trilogy about family, betrayal, self sacrifice, self-discovery  and the lengths we will go to for love.

                                                    Rating: I give these book 9.5/10

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight 

Author- Jennifer E. Smith
Page count- 236
Publisher- Poppy/Little Brown
Publication Date- January 2nd 2012


how well can you know someone after 24 hours?

17 year old Hadley Sullivan is preparing for the worst day of her Life, her father's wedding, and if that isn't already bad enough the wedding is in an unfamiliar country, she's flying out alone,she's never even met her soon to be step-mother oh and she's missed her flight.
She's stuck at JKF airport late for her father's wedding waiting for her flight when she meets Oliver, British born, American student, Oliver who is sitting on her row.
The long night that Oliver and Hadley spend on the plane together sparks an unforgettable connection between the two but nonetheless passes within a blink of an eye. Upon arrival Oliver and Hadley loose track of each other but can fate intervene to bring them back together once more?

My opinion

If you were a fan of Anna and the French Kiss you'll love this book!

Although this book only takes place over a 24 hours period.... a 24 hour period for both the characters and the reader it feels like a life time, I developed such an attachment to this book- and I think I read it in like 2-3 hours but then again it is only 236 pages long- whether I loved this book so much due to the way it was written or how the characters were presented I don't know but the statistical probability of this book making you laugh and cry or just feel an epic bout of sympathy is high.
What I loved about this book was that firstly the author managed to give you a deep understanding of the characters and make you fall in love with them in only 236 pages I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW JENNIFER E. SMITH HAS MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK IN ONLY 236 PAGES as you can tell that baffles me quite a bit. and secondly the chemistry and flirty banter between Oliver and Hadley was a nice thing to read, it was gradually built up and maintained throughout the story.

“It's one thing to run away when someone's chasing you. It's entirely another to be running all alone.” 

Now this is not necessarily one of my favourite books but it was just so easy to read and despite what you might gleam from the title it's not as cheesy as you might think, and to me it was quite a thought provoking book that expresses the beauty of the teenage mind. I mean we've all played out the meeting your soul mate scenario in an airport in our heads haven't we?
*coughs* no? just me?

                                                            rating: 7/10

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer overview:

Author- Michelle Hodkin
Page count- 456 pages 
Publisher- Simon and Schuster Books
Publication date- September 27th 2011


Who is Mara Dyer?

After waking up in a hospital with no recollection of how she got there it's up to Mara to piece together what's really going on in her life. 
She is seeing things that shouldn't be there, seeing people that definitely shouldn't be there...
But after loosing her best friend and completely re-shuffling her life Mara doesn't think life can get any worse, and with her sanity now in question is there anyone out there who will listen to her?

Mara Dyer is not who you think she is.

My opinion

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one of my favorite books/series so this review may be a bit bias (ok a lot bias) but I just really adore this book and the characters.

There is just something about Michelle's writing that captivated me from the beginning, and from the beginning I mean the first page, also the way the story comes out in bits and pieces for you to put together really spurs you on to read more. 

"My name is not Mara Dyer, but my lawyer told me I had to choose something. A pseudonym. A nom de plume, for all of us studying for the SATs. I know that having a fake name is strange, but trust me—it’s the most normal thing about my life right now."

But more than this element of who is Mara dyer? the book just has a brilliant set of characters; you have the loving and protective older brother, over bearing parents, the gay best friend *eye roll* (but he really is amazing) and of course the guy...
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a paranormal/fantasy/mystery book with a hint of insanity, and it lives up to these genre's I was genuinely creeped out at some points, which is partly why i think I loved it so much and I don't want to ruin that for you if you decide to read it. 

And the next book; The evolution of Mara Dyer, just had me speechless, the plot and the twists and some of the STILL unanswered questions will have you even more hooked.

Rating: 8/10

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss overview:

Author- Stephanie Perkins
page count- 372
Publisher- Dutton Juvenile 
publication date- December 2nd 2010


Anna had a good life, the perfect job, the best friend, the crush but this all changes when she gets shipped off to boarding school in Paris by her film worthy novelist of a dad. Needless to say Anna is less than pleased about this change of plans, things were just going so well for her, or so she thought...
Anna is homesick and insecure about her lack of French finesse when along come a mismatched crew of best friends who expose Anna to what Paris has to offer and to St Clair, Anna's Parisian life isn't looking so bad now, but so much can happen in a year, can Anna find where she truly belongs and who she is?
And maybe who she truly belongs with?

My opinion 

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins just screams CUTE, and you'll probably see everyone say that but it really is just a damn cute book.

I really loved this book, when I first started reading it I was like 'eh it's not that good' but after a few chapters I was hooked, completely immersed in it. It's such an utterly charming, funny, romantic, feel good book that made my face hurt from smiling so much. It's a book about first love, friendship, family, the transition into adulthood and all the problems surrounding these.
The book has a brilliant set of characters that I wish were real so that I could be friends with them they aren't perfect and they do have their flaws but that's why I loved them so much I mean is there such thing as a perfect teenager? and the love story in the book is beautifully presented with just the right amount of swoon and teen drama added to it.
The main protagonist Anna is a very relatable and genuine character that's sarcastic and witty and I just loved her really, and well It wouldn't be a chick-lit without a completely swoon-worthy boy to drool over; French named, English accented and American schooled Etienne St Clair ticks all the boxes, I don't know how to describe him for you other than very hot.

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.  

The romance between Etienne and Anna was cute (there's that word again) but it really was, their personal and relationship development and their magnetism was a really entertaining and pleasurable thing to read.

My favourite aspect of this book was how Anna calls St Clair "Etienne" whilst everyone else refers to him as 'St Clair' because it really shows the connection between these two and that distinct moment when Anna stops calling him 'St Clair' is a very defining moment in the book.


And the next two installments; Lola and the boy next door and Isla and the happily ever after, which follow a new set of charcters but fear not, feature our beloved Anna and Etienne!

                                                                 Rating: 9/10

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines day

Hey guys, in erm honor?! Of valentines day I will post a review for Anna and the French kiss tomorrow. It's a really good book and I think it's fitting for this valentines weekend. 
I hope you've enjoyed whatever you've done today and enjoy the weekend 😘😊 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Sea of Tranquillity

The Sea of Tranquillity 

Author- Katja Millay
page count- 426
publisher- Atria Books
Publication date- November 13th 2012


Self inflicted mute Nastya Kashnikov want's nothing more than to get through life in her new high school as a mystery, she want's a clean slate, she also want's to make the person who tore her life apart to pay, but can she have both?

Josh Bennett is no mystery, everyone knows his story, by the age of 17 he has had everyone he loves ripped from his life and now he doesn't let himself get close enough to anyone in case they're ripped from his life too. But this all changes when Nastya implants herself into his life, giving him no choice but to care.

When the world's of these two teens collide everything changes, secrets are revealed, mystery's uncovered, but can these two find it within themselves to see past their tragedies and find solace in one another or will their pasts come back to haunt them?

Told in dual points of view this book is incredibly moving and unforgettable.

My opinion 

 The Sea of Tranquillity by Katja Millay is beautifully written.
Admittedly the book has a slow build up but I believe that reflects the reality of life, your stories come out slowly in life and that's reflected amazingly in this book. For a debut novel Millay has come out with a bang.

I cannot find the right words to express my feelings about this book it was beautiful, emotional, light hearted and heart wrenching at the same time, overall just an incredibly moving book. It's about two damaged teens, the survivors of equally devastating and traumatic tragedies, who come together and somehow find safety, love and happiness in each other and slowly begin to heal each other.

“We're like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that's what I need. Someone to explain me.”  

The characters are complex and beautifully presented and they each have so many layers that are pealed off chapter by chapter until they are presented to you in their rawest form: the main character Nastya is both vulnerable and tough as nails which is why I loved her so much, she was strong and intelligent and sarcastic, and it's hard to find protagonists like this in YA novels.
Secondly we have Josh, who was angry and damaged but strong with a heart of gold at the same time. Josh was such a beautiful character, I wish there were more Josh Bennett's in this world.

                                                          Rating: 8.5/10