Friday 30 October 2015

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine


In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

I have been a big fan of the Morganville series. So when I heard about this new book I was very eager to read it, so much so I have downloaded it without even reading the blurb. And I hate to admit that I really struggled with this one at first.

I felt that at first I was reading words, not a story, didn't quite understand this new world I was reading about. Which confused me quite a bit and I felt like I didn't know what was going on and where this book is heading. There was a lot of characters to wrap your head around. 

But while I initially struggled, once I got into the book I found it very fascinating. It's completely different to anything I have ever read before. 

Imagine a world where only the Library owns original books, where you are not allowed to own any. The only way to read one is through a blank, I assume that it's almost like a tablet, but instead of powered by technology it works on alchemy. Not only that but everyone writes in their journal, through all their life. It is not legal to read anyone else's and it's almost like second nature to everyone to write down their thoughts and fears and everything that happens in their life. Once someone passes, all their life's information and anything else they ever wrote down is being stored in the library. 
Basically the Library own every information there is and controls it all. 

So while books are highly illegal, there is always people who want to own them, and there is a black market dealing with rare books. Jess grows up with a family of such smugglers. Since an early age he has been a runner, running the books to the buyers for his fathers business. It's a very dangerous business, being caught could mean paying with your life. 

Jess' father buys him a way into the library, well that is if he manages to get through the series of test. This would mean he would work for the library, the other side. But his father wants him to be his spy, who will be able to keep him updated on books and going ons from the inside. At first Jess is not so convinced but while he goes through the tests, he finds himself more and more wanting it. But every single day he fears that he will be found out, that someone will discover what he and his family have been doing.

This is so so far from the Morganville Vampires series. It's a completely different world Rachel has created. And once I started to ubderstand it I was completely lost in the book. It's impossible to say more without going on for hours, because there is so much imagination in this story, world and characters. The characters are all very intriguing, which makes for some very interesting friendships. 

The group of students find them self on countless of adventures, many of them very dangerous. They have to fight, not only to safe some very important and rare books, but also for their life's. But who can they really trust and who is really on their side? This book ain't short of secrets and lies. And there is books and books and more books... 

I have long forgiven the initial struggle at the start of the book, because it has totally made up for it. I enjoyed reading this book and it's made me very hungry for the next one. And I continue to be a big fan of Rachel's work. 

Saturday 24 October 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

'This is a world divided by blood - Red or Silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possssion of God-like superpowers. And to seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. 

But Mare possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. 

Fearful of her potential, the Silvers hide Mare in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. Knowing that one false move will mean her death, Mare must use her new position to bring down the regime - from the inside.

Now Mare has entered a game of betrayal and lies.

This is Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...'

Why oh why did I have this book standing in my shelf for so long? Once again this was a complete cover buy. It's beautiful! And I will be totally honest, I didn't even read the blurb. Maybe that is why I haven't picked it up. But I certainly should have, what an absolutely compelling and unique book. I have always been a fan of a good distil isn't book, but lately they have been a few that have been rather disappointing. Not this one! 

We are taken into a world that is devided in two. The silvers and the Reds. The Reds being humans, who's blood is obviously red. Then there is the ones who bleed silver, who have abilities such as controlling fire, plants, water, minds... you name it. 

The silvers live in luxury while the Reds barely have to work hard to survive. And if you haven't found a job in a world that is short of them, you will be forced to go to war, to the front line, weather you are a girl or boy. Once you are 18 and job less you are having to leave. 

Mare is red. Mare hasn't got a job. And Mare's 18th is just getting closer. But she isn't worried about herself yet, because she is busy trying to save her friend from having to go. While she tries to save him things go from worse to bad for Mare's family. And while Mare tries to hide from what she has done, she meets Cal. 

The day after her life completely changes. She is summons to come to the palace and work for the silver Royal family. 

During her first event as a servant at the palace Mare discovers her own ability. And once again in the matter of days her world is turned upside down. And Mare finds herself in a dangerous position. She will have to make unbelievable choices for herself, her family and friends and for maybe the Reds. But will she know what to do? 

I don't want to give much away because this book has been surprising me at every corner. And I don't want to spoil that for anyone who hasn't read the book yet. 

But what I can tell you is that I have enjoyed every page of this book. There is so many strong characters, so many characters that confuse me. I couldn't guess what comes next even if I tried. This wasn't a book where you could guess the outcome straight away, but enjoyed the ride anyway. I enjoyed the ride because it never failed to surprise me and to make me want to read just another page. 

The world that has been created is beautiful and already I would love to see it on the big screen. I am totally glad this is a series and not over already. 

Also as you will have noticed by now, I haven't mentioned any boys, oh they are there, and they certainly make for some good reading. But I almost think the story, the world, everything else that goes on is so much more important and worth mentioning. However, I can't figure them out. You know when you read about a boy and you instantly love him? Or when you read about one that is horrible, and you just want to scream at the main character: stay away from him? Well here is 3 of them and almost all of them are very very hard to figure out. I feel like I am on this journey of discovery with Mare. Perfect! 

All that's left to say now is; if you haven't yet, read it!! And I am off to order the next one.

Monday 19 October 2015

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


Maddie is allergic to the world.
She hasn't left her house in seventeen years.

Olly is the boy next door.
He's determined to find a way to reach her.

Everything, Everything is about
the crazy risks we take for love.'

I have seen this book around my Goodreads and Instagram for a bit now and everyone seems to have absolutely loved it. And I can totally see why.

Maddy's life is about to completely change. She has been locked away in her house for 17 years, due to being allergic to the world. She doesn't have any human contact with anyone other then her Mother and her Nurse, and very rarely one of her tutors. She studies online and over Skype and she reads lots and lots of books.

One day she hears a removals truck next door and she finds herself glued to the window watching the new family move in next door. She esp is fascinated by the boy, who seems to be able to climb walls and who moves differently from anyone she ever saw. She is soon slightly obsessing with watching the family.

Eventually the boy next door, Olly, notices her too. And through the window they swap email addresses, not long after they always chat online, so much so that Maddy forgets to spend time with her mother sometimes. But soon talking online isn't enough, she wants to meet the boy. Without her mothers knowledge her nurse and friend lets the boy come and visit. They are not allowed to touch and have to stay away from each other as much as possible.

However how do you stay away from someone who you are falling in love with. And how is a few short visits ever going to be enough. Maddy soon finds herself wanting so much more. But how far will she go? Can she risk her health and life for love?

This is a really sweet book and I couldn't put it down. Its really well written and Maddys little drawings and notes really add a sweet touch. The whole idea of a girl who cant leave her home because it could kill her really gripped me. Maddy, who dreams about the things that we totally take for granted. It sort of puts some things into perspective and makes you wonder if we appreciate the simple things in life enough at all.

Fallen in love for the first time is kind of dramatic as it is, but to fall in love when a touch or a kiss could kill you, that certainly makes for a very dramatic first love.

I really liked Maddy, I love how she just gets on with things, how she accepted her life for what it is. She just gets on with it and makes the best of it, trying to enjoy the little things that make her happy. Personally I cant even begin to imagine how crazy it would drive me and how super lonely I would feel.

I don't think we got to know Olly enough, that's kind of ok too, because this story is more about Maddy then their story. But he certainly sounds amazing, the boy next door that doesn't shy away, even when he finds out that she will never be able to leave the house, to do normal things other friends and couples do. He accepts her for who she is. But he certainly has his own things to deal with at home.

This book is about falling in love in the most unusual circumstances, its about risking everything for happiness, its about friendship, loss and a relationship between a mother and her daughter. What an amazing concept. And I cant help but feel like it could be a smidge better, like the story could have been filled a little more. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed it, but I think I could have loved it some more.

Unfortunately I have guessed pretty soon in the book how its all going to end. Which is such a shame when it then didn't surprise me at all. But that in no way is the authors fault, nothing has really been given away. I honestly wish I hadn't guesses it or I was completely wrong. Better stop guessing all together. Its not as heartbreaking as The Fault in Our Stars, but I think if you loved that one you will enjoy this one too.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Olly Murs - On the Road


Now here is my very different review and its one very close to my heart. How? Well I am a big fan of Olly Murs and as a result have met him several times. Not only that but I have been to 8 of his concerts of this tour alone and me and my friends even have been mentioned in this book.

I don't even know where to begin. I love this book for so many reasons, one being that its an amazing memorabilia. Much better then any tour program or tshirt, esp as a lover of books like me. It is packed with the set list and the list of venues and of course lots and lots of pictures. Which will be so nice to look at in years to come. I literally wish he had done this with his previews 3 tours too.

Even as a fan like me, there was so much in the book I didn't know, about Olly or the tour. Knowing what exactly goes on while he is on the road for 6 weeks was very interesting. Most of all the things us fans don't normally get to see.

Starting with the preparation for the tour in a little studio, where him and his band can rehears all his songs, to the next stop where they get to rehears the show on the actual stage, to going on the road and all the adventures they have while on the road.

You not only get to see what goes on but Olly very openly speaks about everything that's on his mind. How if feels to be on stage, how the success has changed his life, how his friends and family deal with it and of course how he feels about his fans. He even opens up about his girlfriend at the time. All this from someone who likes to keep his life private.

Beside his countless shows, this book also shows us how much Olly has worked to get himself fit for his tour, we go with him to his Madame Tussaud reveal and we get to hear all about how he got the X-factor job.

I must say I have smiled a lot, knowing what Olly is really like, it was so nice to read along and imagine him saying these things. Its all totally him.

I was also very pleasantly surprised about how much there was to read. Sounds silly, but his previous book was filled with so many pictures (not that I was complaining really), I sort of expected it here too. Of course it does have those too but the actual story about being on the road, does take over the pictures in this one.

Finding a snipped about my friends and me in the book was a bit strange at first. Olly calling us grumpy too. But thats what he is like, we can be grumps sometimes and you should never take him to seriously. He soon made up for his joke with a private message on twitter and at the booksignings while signing one of my friends books. Leaving a message for all of us... 
Of course at the signing I also got my own book signed and got some pictures too. Its been a really good day. I have been to a few signings of his weather it was for his album or his other book and he always makes it a lovely experience.

This book is an absolute must read for any Olly fan and for anyone who has been to this tour. Or even if you are just genuinely interested in what goes on backstage at a massive uk arena tour. There is no better person to show you then Olly who is totally down to earth and honest. What you see is what you get with him.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

The Heir by Kiera Cass (The Selection #4)

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

First impressions of the new heir to the throne are awful. She is spoiled, she doesn't want the throne and she doesn't have the ability to put her people first. And she certainly doesn't want a Selection to find a husband for herself. She would much rather want a pool at the palace, seriously, that is the first thing she would change the day she becomes queen. I understand she is still young, but really? So starting a book with disliking the main character isn't a good start.
And to be honest it doesn't really get much better after this. Through most of the book she just wants to resist getting to know the boys in the selection. She is totally convinced she won't find anyone to marry at the end of this and just hopes that after she at least plays along for 3 months, she will then be left to do what she wants. 

The boys are ok, I suppose and as you get to know them some do stand out and are likeable. But nobody really grabs you and makes you fall for him. 

Personally I like Kile but I don't think we get to know him enough. Neither of the boys really. Which doesn't help the book. A book is great when you find yourself a nice book friend. This one fails on this part. 

I feel like Kiera should have finished this on the last book. That's where the story really ended. It just doesn't have the same appeal the other way around. She tries to up the drama by making some of the boys act out, but in no way is it even close to girl drama. 

I almost feel bad about this review because I can't find anything I really like about this book. Even when the future queen starts to like the remaining selected boys, it's almost to late to start liking her. 

And just like the selection, this book only seems like an intro. It's such a shame but I think my relationship with this series has now come to an end. Sorry Kiera? 

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Night owls (also known as The Anatomical Shaoe of a Heart) by Jenn Bennett

"Feeling alive is always worth the risk.

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco's night bus—turns Beatrix's world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive...and possibly one of San Francisco's most notorious graffiti artists.

But Jack is hiding a piece of himself. On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is."

Holy cow I loved this book! From the very first page I couldn't put it down! Those are my favourites, the books that grip me from the start. When Bex meets a mysterious guy on the night owl bus even I am totally smitten and want to know more about him. They get to chat and flirt a little. But out of his bag falls a golden spray paint can. She soon figures out that he is the one who has been spraying words across town, in golden letters. It's all across the news and as beautiful as it is, the police are looking for him. But Bex, and me too, can't stop thinking about the boy, even tho Bex is usually a good girl and not really at all interested in a bad boy. She soon goes searching for him and with some help from a homeless 'friend' they find each other again. His name is Jack and she is the only one who knows his secret.

Bex is still reluctant to give him her phone number . Which results in really quirky and lovely ways for them two to find each other again. Jack however has his secrets, that will slowly come to light within the story. I don't really wanna give to much away about this ones story. 

I really liked Bex, who lives with her mother and brother after the father left them for another women. Bex has had no contact with him at all, but what is her mother hiding? 

I love how this book is so much about art, esp in this totally unique kind of way. Bex has clear vision of what she wants to do and where she wants her art to take her.

But I absolutely love Jack! Think I may be in love a little myself. He is mysterious and he is actually the kind of bad boy that every girl really dreams off, but normally ends up with an actual douche instead. He is charming, funny, mysterious, hot... I couldn't get enough of him. 

This book totally kept me on my toes, guessing throughout, always a secret or a surprise around the corner. 
I can't even express how much I enjoyed this. It's been an emotional roller coaster. But I have had a smile on a lot, while reading. It's so beautifully written, it's absolutely adorable and full of heart. It's about love, adrenaline, trust, art, finding yourself and about family. This story will stay with me for some time, I already found myself thinking about it while at work, wishing I was at home instead to continue. Absolutely beautiful, a must read for everyone. 

The only way to describe how I feel about this book is; it made me fall in love along side the characters, slowly, once page at a time. 

The Selection, The Elite, The One by Kiera Class

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

Well I am a little unsure how to start this. I have just finished the third book in this series, The One, but I haven't actually reviewed the other two. So I have decided that instead of just reviewing the last one alone, I will instead include all three books. Which makes it a bit harder because I don't want to spoil any of them.

I have seen these books around for some time, once again the covers just made me fall in love. I cant believe it took me some time to actually read the first one. By that time even book 4, The Heir, was on sale. So I am sorry I am late with this one. You probably all have read these already.

This book had, from what I could see, some mixed reactions although more positive then anything else. But some people compared it to The Bachelor tv show. Never really seing any of those tho, so that certainly didn't put me off, even though I obviously undertstand the concept of the show.
I can see where people are coming from with the comparison. 

It all happens in a world where people are separated in castes, from one, being the royal family, to 8 being the very poor, hungry and forgotten people. People are born into those and are mostly unable to climb up, tho you can get degraded down. It decides what your occupation is and who you can and cant marry.

America Singer is a Five,coming from a family of artist, who earn their living by selling paintings, playing instruments or singing. They haven't got much and even have to go hungry sometimes. But none of this stops her family from being really amazing.

America however has a secret, Aspen, the boy she is in love with. The boy she wants to marry, but Aspen is a six, coming from a family of servants of sort. Being paid for helping other families with cleaning or other meagre jobs. Aspen has even less then America and when they meet in secret, in her tree house, she often brings him food and sings to him. However a girl should marry someone of her own caste or marry up. So they have been keeping their love a secret, quietly planning a future and even a wedding.

One day  the royal family announces the chance of a lifetime for a selected few girls. The Selection! The prince Maxon needs to find a bride, and their traditional way is to have girls apply, using a lottery to send a selected few into the palace to meet the prince and have him choose his future wife. This obviously being the part that compares to the Bachelor.

Not only is this the opportunity to marry the prince and become the queen one day, but some of the girls will end up in higher castes once they get further in the selection.

Of course America is totally against applying. But not only does her family want her to at least try but Aspen does too. He could never forgive himself if she didn't at least try. So she applies, thinking she will never be selected and being extremely surprised when she does.

Her world completely changes over night and even Aspen ends things with her. Suddenly she is living in a palace, is wearing beautiful gowns, has her own maids and can eat all she wants.

I love how she finally ends up meeting Maxon and I love that no matter what America is heself. And Maxon soon finds himrself smitten by her. America is completely honest with Maxon and tells him about her heart being broken but offers him her friendship.

America wants to make it through the selection to change her life, not to marry the prince but to come out in a higher caste. This could change her families life. But she never expected to like Maxon. And while the group of girls is shrinking they get closer. But when Aspen joins the guard at the palace things become complicated. Not only is she now considered the prince's property and could pay with her life if she was caught with Aspen, she also fiinds herself torn between the two boys.

These books in no way are just a love triangle kind of story. There is so much more to it. There is a lot of political drama going on, and the palace is being regulary attacked. There is many secrets that need to be uncovered, about the characters, the history and much more. These books are about friendship, not just Maxons and Americas but the ones the girls build. Its about fighting for whats right and doing the right thing. About changing the future for yourself and everyone else. And the relationship between Maxon and his father that is very complicated and unmissable. In a way its even about bullying.

I don't really want to say more about the story because I might spoil book one or two. All I can say is that I really enjpoyed these. It was an absolute rollercoaster of the heart, and even tho you might guess the end result, all the twists and turns to get there have been often very surprising. I am also kind of glad I haven't reviewed this book straight after the first one, while I did enjoy it, I felt a little like it was an intro, as if more should have heppend. But it certainly does, come the next book. I went from loving some characters, to disliking them and vice versa. Book 2 and 3 certainly kept me on my toes and I enjoyed every minute of it. I am now totally excited about The Heir, finding myself very glad that this series is still going.

Let's not forgot about those beautiful covers. Wow! Those dresses. And that's another beauty about these books. It's very girly, so many beautiful gowns and jewellery. Adorable! 

So if you haven't come across these books yet, you should pick them up, they are very unique and easy to get obsessed with. Plus they will make your book case a little bit more beautiful too.