Friday, 28 March 2014

Exciting news from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

This is a bit different for me at the moment but I couldn't help but posting about some extremely exciting news. The pair have a new series coming out later in the year (September) called Magisterium. What a fantastic name! The first book will be called The Iron Trial and you can see the synopsis below.

About Magisterium Book 1: The Iron Trial 
Callum Hunt has grown up knowing three rules by heart. Never trust a magician. Never pass a test a magician gives you. And never let a magician take you to the Magisterium. Callum is about to break all the rules. And when he does, his life will change in ways he can’t possibly imagine. 

The Magisterium series is a five-book series of fantasy novels, one book for each year of Callum’s life as he struggles between the forces of good and evil, and discovers his true destiny.

The authors have spoken about the new series in a video which you can also see below!

Exciting right!? I for one cannot wait to read the new series. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Salvation by Noelle Adams

About the book
Salvation is a new adult book by Noelle Adams. The book was published on Kindle on 20th February and it is 262 pages long. I received an ebook for review through NetGalley.

Diana isn’t much different from any other girl. She lives in the city working in her dream job and enjoys what she does. Nothing about her stood out and nothing should have made her a target. But, her dad is extremely wealthy and one day she finds herself being kidnapped on the street, being forced into the trunk of a car and waking up in a strange room in a house owned by an Albanian gang.

There is someone else in the room with her but unfortunately, is unable to save her before the gang rape her and leave her. Diana is left to deal with the consequences of the kidnapping with very little hope of ever getting back to normal.

What I thought
Noelle Adams doesn’t mess around with getting right into this book. We barely get to meet protagonist Diana before she’s whisked away in a car by an Albanian gang and hidden away somewhere. As much as I liked the beginning, as it was exciting and tense, I wished that we’d gotten to know Diana a little better at least. Before the kidnapping, she stated that she was a certain type of person but we never got to know her like that which was unfortunate and a bit disappointing.

During her kidnapping, Diana meets Gideon, the other person in the room with her. Quickly he states that he’s not part of the gang, although her certainly looks like one but instead he’s an undercover cop who got caught. He knows what the gang are likely to do to Diana and warns her. I didn’t really know what to make of Gideon at first but he quickly proves that he really does want to help and takes quite a lot before realising he can’t actually help the situation or save Diana from what is about to happen.

After the kidnapping and rape, Diana is a complete mess. She can’t cope with life and finds it far too hard to go back to work and her old apartment. This is where she starts talking about how much she’s changed but as we didn’t get to know the old Diana, it is hard to tell just how much everything had an impact on her. However, although we don’t get to know the old Diana, we get to know the new and changed Diana really well. The kidnapping and rape had such a massive effect on her life and that was clear to see. She couldn’t cope. Didn’t want to cope.

Although the majority of the plot focuses on Diana and what she is going through, I was much more interested in Gideon. He certainly didn’t have it easy after everything that happened and he constantly beats himself up for not being able to save Diana from the gang. He had such a hard time forgiving himself for what happened to her and desperately wanted to make up for that. While it did come across as trying to fix her at times, he was only doing what he thought was right but you could also see how much he actually cared about her too.

There is no clear time frame in Salvation and I would have liked to have known what the timescale was over the course of the plot. I could never tell how long had passed from one thing to another and certainly not from the beginning to the end. It was hard to believe some of the things that happened as it could have been a couple of weeks since the kidnapping or it could have been months. However, over however long the book is set, both Diana and Gideon change a hell of a lot and it was great to see such good character development.

Salvation is a pretty tough read at times as it deals with some really serious issues but it is also an emotional and intense read. I really enjoyed this one even with the problems. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison

About the book
Anything to Have You is a young adult book by Paige Harbison. The book was published by Mira Ink on 7th February and the book is 368 pages long. I received an e-book for review through NetGalley.

Natalie and Brooke and been friends since they can remember and always have each other’s backs. Although they’re best friends, they have completely different personalities. Natalie is the shy, quiet one who is college bound while Brooke is the life and soul of the party.

Natalie finally gives in and goes with Brooke to a party but she gets drunk, wakes up next to Brooke’s boyfriend and cannot remember what happened. Both girls question what really happened at the party that night and it could ruin everything they’ve ever had.

What I thought
Anything to Have You is told through a dual narrative of best friends Natalie and Brooke. Not only do they both tell the story but the time jumps between their Junior and Senior years of high school. To start with, I didn’t really get on with the way in which the story was told. I would have much preferred to have a background given on Natalie and Brooke’s friendship and then for the plot to run smoothly instead. I didn’t mind both of them telling the story but the time jumps broke everything up too much.

As protagonists go, Natalie was sweet enough, if a bit bland. She was quite straight-laced and didn’t party and get drunk like her best friend did. Natalie’s only vice seemed to be Brooke’s boyfriend, Aiden. It was clear from early on that she had a massive crush on him and wanted him first but never acted on it on account of Brooke. She secretly hates the way that Aiden is treated by Brooke but never says anything.

Brooke was actually really, really annoying. She is the girl who seems to have everything but wants anything else instead. She isn’t happy with her boyfriend most of the time and always complains that she wants more. Honestly, I felt like she deserved the bad hands she was dealt in this book because of the way she acted most of the time. As she tells part of the story, I found myself wanting more of Natalie instead of Brooke.

As plots go, this one isn’t anything special. Anything to Have You tells the done too many times story of friends fighting over a boy and it doesn’t really bring in anything new. Natalie finally gives in and goes to a party, gets wasted and wakes up next to a boy… Aiden. Aiden knows exactly what happened but Natalie can’t remember anything. The problem for me was that she didn’t really seem to care, although she clearly knew that she’d had sex and couldn’t remember it. Her actions didn’t fit with her personality at all.

Although the majority of the book bugged me, Paige Harbison really did try in parts with this one. There are times when the plot goes to darker, scarier places and it goes much deeper than just a broken friendship. However, some of the events didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book and that was extremely unfortunate. This book had promise that it didn’t quite live up to. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Down London Road by Samantha Young

About the book
Down London Road is the second new adult book in the ‘On Dublin Street’ series by Samantha Young. The book was published by Penguin on 9th May 2013 and the book is 464 pages long.

Johanna has always been the one to take care of her family and especially her younger brother Cole. Her father is nowhere to be seen and her mother an alcoholic so she’s been acting like Cole’s mother for as long as she can remember. God knows where they would be without her. Jo isn’t rich though and she makes her money working two jobs and dating men with money, as shallow as that sounds, it works.

Even with a boyfriend she actually really likes and takes care of her, she cannot deny the attraction to new bartender Cameron. Her stomach flips whenever she sees him and she’s definitely tempted but knows she has to put her family’s needs first. If it wasn’t hard enough working that close to someone you’re attracted to and can’t have, it gets even harder when Cameron moves downstairs from Jo and begins to break down every single wall she’s every built up!

What I thought
On Dublin Street was the first book in this new adult series and I couldn’t wait for the second instalment. Although it is in the same series, the book follows different protagonists from the first book.

Johanna has a pretty tough life. Her mother is an alcoholic who can’t take care of herself let alone Johanna and her younger brother Cole so it is up to Jo to pay the bills and the feed everyone. Jo had to leave school in order to support her family so she’s determined that Cole will turn out better; everything she does is with him in mind. In On Dublin Street, we get snippets of Jo’s character and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed at first. She openly states that she dates men with money and I didn’t like her for it. However, Down London Road gives a lot more insight into Jo’s life and the reasons for what she does. I had to admire her for working so hard and supporting her family, even when it wasn’t her responsibility.

Cameron is the love interest in this book and Jo meets him at an art showing that she attends with her boyfriend. Cameron comes across as a complete arse to begin with and although Jo is quickly attracted to him, she also cannot stand him! He also judged her on first appearances and wasn’t afraid to show his dislike for the way she lived her life. It isn’t until Cam begins to work with Jo that he realises that he was wrong in judging her and can sense something much deeper is going on. It is only by accident that he finds out what is really going on in her life. Even though he’s pretty horrible to Jo to begin with, you can easily see the attraction on his side and the sexual tension between the two.

As the plot unfolds and Jo and Cam become quite close friends (as he moves in downstairs), the secrets come out slowly. Cam is there for Jo whenever she needs him, even if she doesn’t want to have to turn to him. Cam becomes a really close friend to Cole also and that was such a lovely friendship to see. As Cole doesn’t have a father figure in his life, Cam becomes the friend he can talk guy stuff with and also someone to turn to when things go wrong at home. Not only do we see a friendship blossom between Cam, Cole and Jo but there is the wonderful sister/ brother relationship to love! Jo and Cole are extremely close and really look out for one another, even though Cole is younger than Jo.

The plot of this book does not only surround the building romance between Jo and Cam but the lives of each character. There are some really surprising twists and turns throughout and most of them extremely exciting. I loved how dramatic and intense the story was and it kept me gripped the whole way through. Although not completely about the romance, that definitely helped. Jo and Cam have a quite sweet relationship once it gets going but is also explosive once it gets into the bedroom. I really enjoyed the contrast between soft and sweet and hard and intense!

Down London Road was actually better than On Dublin Street for me and I can’t wait to read whatever Samantha Young does next.