Friday, 23 September 2011

Review for Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: HarperCollins (UK)
Release Date: 4th August 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Amazon Summary:
"What if you knew exactly when you would die?


Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.


When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.


But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left."

Review
Dystopian books are possibly my favourite type of books to read. There’s something so compelling about these dark and dangerous futures that could so easily become this world’s reality and the terror of that makes these kinds of books highly readable to me. In Wither Lauren DeStefano has created a harrowing world where thanks to scientists tinkering with the idea of a “perfect human” through genetic engineering the next generation’s life span is cut short with men dying at age twenty five and women aged twenty. Because of this the world is desperate to repopulate and so girls as young as thirteen are bought by wealthy men and forced to become their brides. The girls that are not chosen are either killed or sold into prostitution. The world is in panic and marriages have become baby farms with everyone desperately trying to reproduce. This world is shocking, scary and controversial making for an unputdownable read that really made me think.

Our main character is sixteen year old Rhine, with only four years left to live Rhine along with two other girls nineteen year old Jenna and thirteen year old Cecily are bought by Linden and kept prisoner in his father’s mansion. Each wife has very different opinions on being a bride. Despite their life of luxury and privilege Rhine craves to be back home with her twin brother, with one year of life left Jenna despite hating Linden resigns herself to dying in this place, and youngest bride Cecily couldn’t be happier with the arrangement! She worships their handsome husband and immediately takes to a life of luxury hoping to reproduce. The strongest aspect of this book as well as the world itself was the characters they were each so well developed and I absolutely loved Rhine and Jenna who were two very strong female leads.

Wither is a slower paced dystopian, instead of a lot of action and gore it was beautifully told the world and goings on in the mansion scary enough. I loved the way Lauren DeStefano told this story and was so caught up in this claustrophobic, fragile world. I was completely enthralled by Wither and was desperate to see if Rhine got the freedom she so desperately wants. Wither isn’t the kind of book that you hurry through in an action packed frenzy but is the kind of book that you take your time over absorbing and thinking about this terrifying way of life and the fate of the characters. If you’re looking for a controversial, beautifully written book then Wither is the way to go.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Death Cure

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Death Cure by James Dashner (Maze Runner #3)
Publication Date: October 11th 2011
From Goodreads
Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.


What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.


The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

I’m a BIG fan of dystopian books and The Maze Runner series is up there with the best of the best. I’d even go as far as to say it’s as good as The Hunger Games if not better. This series is just so incredible and I can not wait for this final book to the trilogy! The synopsis makes it sound like it could be the best one yet and October 11th although not far away can’t come fast enough! If you haven’t checked out this series yet you cray cray, DO!

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Monday, 19 September 2011

Book Thoughts: The Lying Game and Never Have I Ever

Book Thoughts
Definition: Where Jess groups together a couple of mini reviews on books she’s bought and recently read.

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Amazon Summary:
"Sutton Mercer had a life anyone would kill for – and someone did. But thanks to a view from the afterlife and Emma Paxton, her long-lost twin sister, Sutton has a chance to solve her own murder. Emma slips into Sutton’s old life to piece together her disappearance. But can Emma keep up the charade long enough to discover what really happened to Sutton…or will she become the next victim?


Let the lying games begin."

The first book in this series I had a real love/hate relationship with. The plot kind of reminded me of one of those cheesy teen slasher movies and at the beginning I really questioned how believable it all was and if I was going to continue reading. The thing that I’ve found with this series is that it’s so bad it’s good and there’s something very very addictive about it.

It really took me a while to get into this story and the way that it’s written as it jumps from Emma to Sutton’s perspective at times without any warning or indication that the protagonist has changed and with Emma pretending to be Sutton it can get a little confusing.

I also didn’t really like any of the characters with the exception of Emma. The group of girls the story centres around are the bitchy, mean girl kind making them not very likeable but despite this books faults I absolutely flew through it and ordered and read the second one immediately.

There’s something so addictive about this Mean Girls meets The Lovely Bones meets Sorority Row book and it’s admittedly a fun, fast paced, thrill of a read. All in all there are better young adult thrillers out there at the minute but there’s something very addictive and compelling about this series and that alone may be strong enough to carry me through to the end. 3.5 Stars

Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
Amazon Summary:
"MY PERFECT LIFE WAS A LIE.


NOW I’D DO ANYTHING TO UNCOVER THE TRUTH.


Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone – that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad. And my killer is watching her every move.


I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games – games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me – and now Emma – dead."

This book follows its predecessor on in much the same style with Emma still pretending to be Sutton to unravel the mystery surrounding her twin’s death. Never Have I Ever unearths some new clues and therefore some new suspects and I enjoyed this sequel a little more if only because I was used to the characters and writing style and knew what to expect.

Never Have I Ever picks up literally where The Lying Game left off with no time having passed at all so that the reader is automatically swept back into the action. Sara Shepard takes us in a new direction in this second novel and more is discovered about Sutton and her mysterious death.

This book has all the same thrills and twists as The Lying Game but with a brand new set of clues and suspects. Basically if you loved The Lying Game you’re going to love this one too. All of the faults I found with the first book are still present but so are the things I loved about it too. The Lying Game series is fast turning into my favourite guilty pleasure that maybe I shouldn’t like but I do anyway and I’m already getting impatient for my next fix, flaws and all. 3.5 Stars

Friday, 16 September 2011

Random Ramblings 4: How To Read More

Being the big reader in my family and group of friends I always get asked how I find the time to read so many books. I used to think I read a lot until I found the book blogging community and discovered people who read literally hundreds of books a year. I myself have yet to reach that big 100 books in a year but constantly try to work towards it. Regardless I suppose compared to most people I do read a lot and so I’ve been doing some research on tips on how to read more also with some of my own tips that I give to family and friends. Most book lovers are always trying to read more and more books and find the time to read so I decided to share with you my top tips on how to squeeze more reading into your day to day life.


1.) I think the main problem is the majority of people see reading as a treat something to do for an hour before bedtime but try to look at reading as a lifestyle choice. Readings not just for bed and you’d be surprised with how much you can get read when you choose to read at any spare moment whether that’s on lunch breaks, on the bus or train going to work, waiting for appointments. There are so many small opportunities where you could catch a couple of pages during the day instead of staring into space or playing on your phone. Use them, after all every little counts.

2.) This goes hand in hand with the first tip but carry a book with you everywhere you’d be surprised when you find a quick 5 minutes to read.

3.) Use your TV’s catch up system. Most TV’s have some kind of catch up or recording system these days where you can watch your shows at a time to suit you. Not only is being able to watch them whenever great but you can also skip the commercials. Did you know that the average 1 hour show will have 15 to 20 minutes of advertising? If you watch a one hour TV show every day and skip the adverts then over a week you’ll have gained a spare 1 hour and 45 minutes that can be used for reading.

4.) Cut down the amount of TV you watch. It’s common knowledge that the average person spends too much time watching TV. Whittle it down to those shows you really don’t want to miss as opposed to those you just watch to pass the time and use that time for reading.

5.) Use Audio books and E-readers. Most people don’t read because they don’t have time to but with audio books you really don’t have an excuse you can listen to them whilst doing house work, driving, even whilst showering or taking a bath. On the Kindle there’s also the text to speech option so if you have to stop reading to get some chores done switch to speech and you can carry on with your book whilst being productive.

6.) Set yourself a goal of how much you want to read per day whether that’s in pages or chapters and stick to it (unless you get so absorbed in what you’re reading that you end up reading more!)

7.) Give up on books that you’re not enjoying. The fact that you’re not enjoying the book means that you’re less likely to pick it up slowing down your reading. Give yourself up to 50 pages and if you’re still not enjoying it don’t be afraid to say it’s not right for you and give up. Or sometimes a book is simply just not what you’re looking to read right now but maybe something you would enjoy at a later date if that’s the case mark where you’ve left off, pick up something new and come back to it.

8.) Keep a pile of books that you really want to read on your bedside table or somewhere in sight seeing all those fantastic books that are waiting for you to read them will encourage you to hurry up and finish what your reading. Keeping a wish list is also a good idea.

9.) Set a reading goal of how many books you want to read this year. As you go along and write down each book you read there’s something very satisfying about looking back on all the books you’ve read so far.

10.) Enthusiasm is contagious. Join a local book club, goodreads, librarything or follow book bloggers and youtubers. Let the people who love books rub off on you and it’s also great for recommendations.

11.) Train yourself to read like a speed readers taking in a few words at a time rather than reading word for word like you’re taught as a child. It’s been proven that you actually take in just as much by taking in a whole sentence as you do when you read word for word. Start by taking in two words then three then four. Let your eyes zoom out like a camera and take in bigger portions of writing.

12.) On days off find the time to read in the morning. This is a no brainer but when you read in the morning you’re more awake and alert than you are in the evening and therefore can read faster.

13.) Find a place in your house that you can be comfortable and read distraction free.

14.) Join swap websites, libraries, invest in an e-reader or get a membership reward card from your local bookshop. A lot of people find books too expensive but these are all great ways to save some money so that you can buy and therefore read more books.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. How do you make time to read? If you have any tips or suggestions I’ve left out feel free to share them in the comments!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

I got quoted in a book!!!

So today I was all set out to do a Random Ramblings post but then received this beaut in the mail...



Only to open it and find this...



Wow. I freakin got quoted in a book guys! And not just any book Angel, the first book in this series, was one of my favourite reads last year it was even, ironically enough, my book of the month for September 2010. So to be quoted in a sequel that I’m so so excited for is just amazing to me. This is the first time that the blogs been quoted in a book. I’ve been quoted on websites and press releases before heck I was even quoted in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins but that was before my blogging days and so was only noted as an “Amazon Reviewer” so to have my first official quote in a book is amazing to me and probably the most exciting thing to have happened to me in blogging so far.

I’m being completely honest in telling you guys that receiving praise for my reviews is by far my favourite thing about blogging. I get the biggest thrill from it. Sure I’d be lying if I said that receiving ARC copies and getting invited to exciting events wasn’t awesome but nothing for me is more rewarding than getting a comment, email or tweet from somebody whether that be a reader, the author or publishers saying I really enjoyed reading your review. And getting quoted in a book I feel is the biggest complement.

I set up this blog mainly to keep all of my reviews in one place, as mentioned I used to post reviews on Amazon for years before I started Jess Hearts Books and that was with no rewards, no free books, nothing. I just did it because I loved writing about the books I’d read. That hasn’t changed. I’m sitting here typing this buzzing away at what feels like hard work paid off. I’m sure to some people it’s not that big a deal but for me this is the biggest blogging reward by far. I put a lot of time into my reviews my family can vouch for the fact that I can often spend hours working on one review editing and changing words and phrases around I’m very hard on myself in that I try to make my reviews as thoughtful and honest as I possibly can and I take in peoples comments and study bloggers whose reviews I admire to constantly try and better the way I write so this really does feel like I’m reaping the rewards.

This is a bit mushy but I really want to thank you guys, whoever may be reading this but especially those who comment regularly and give me input on my reviews as that always means the most to me. I wouldn’t get the opportunities I get if nobody wanted to read what I wrote and it still actually blows my mind that people care enough about what I have to say to follow and comment on this blog.

As for a brief update I nearly have enough money saved for the laptop I want! Yay! At the moment I only have one day in the week to write posts, and reply to comments etc as I’m borrowing a laptop but I should have a new laptop by the end of October by the latest and that will see the return of In My Mailbox something I’ve really missed doing but just can’t do at the moment as it’s a Sunday meme and I only get to do my posts on either Wednesdays or Thursdays in the week. I’m so excited to share with you my new books again but in the meantime rest assured that it is making a return and I’m still regularly receiving fantastic and exciting new books like todays for example ;-)

This post has gotten really long when I really only wanted to say a quick thank you and share with you guys something that means so much to me so I’m going to finish up. I can’t wait for things to start getting back to normal around here and I can’t wait to get stuck into Angel Fire! Once again big thank yous and if you ever leave a comment on my reviews whether its constructive criticism or simply a great review comment known that it means everything to me and makes all of this *gestures around the blog* worthwhile.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Review for Velvet by Mary Hooper

Velvet by Mary Hooper
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 5th September 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Ghost Story, Mediums
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Amazon Summary:
"Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry is scalding, back-breaking work and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet's very life is in danger..."

Review
I have a huge interest in stories about mediums and spirits especially those set in the Victorian/Edwardian period when spiritualism was at its peak. So reading Velvet a fictional yet realistic account on mediumship during that time was fascinating to me. Mary Hooper mixes fiction with fact and spins a realistic and creepy portrayal on what it might have been like working for a respected and popular medium during that time.

Velvet is my first book by Mary Hooper and I can certainly see why she is such a popular author! Mary has the rare ability to submerge the reader entirely in the past and learn something about life during that time without it ever feeling like a history lesson. Mary makes her characters and situations relatable to the reader and whilst the plot is rich with history it above all is a good story that will captivate any reader whether your particularly interested in history or not.

The main thing I loved about Velvet was the fascinating and at times creepy plot. The story is rich with suspense and intrigue and I, like our main character Velvet, was swept up in trying to find out if the mediums, particularly Madame Savoya, were what they seemed.

Despite all the sinister goings on Velvet still manages to find time for romance something I think all female readers will appreciate and Velvet’s boy troubles make this heroine from another time relatable to modern teens. I really liked the characters of Charlie and Lizzie Velvet’s friends and couldn’t help but feel sympathy towards Velvet after everything she’s had to go through, she’s really a character you want the best for.

The only thing that let this book down for me was that I felt the ending was a bit abrupt. Once the big climax was unleashed everything else sort of trailed off and I would have liked a bit more closure regarding some things.

Overall I found Velvet to be a highly engrossing read that I couldn’t wait to escape into each night. If you’re looking for a realistic ghost story or simply a good historical read I would highly recommend this book and will definitely be looking to read more by Mary Hooper.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Septembers Readers Choice and October Vote!

Readers Choice is my brand new feature where readers of the blog can vote for which book off my To-Be-Read pile they would like to see me read and review the following month. For more details check out my introduction post here.

Septembers Readers Choice is Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

"Amy Goodnight's family are far from normal. She comes from a long line of witches, and grew up surrounded by benevolent spirits and kitchen spells. All fairly harmless, but Amy can't wait to get to college and escape the "family business".


But things take a darker turn when she and her sister Phin spend the summer looking after Aunt Hyacinth's ranch. Amy is visited by a midnight spectre who is clearly trying to send her a message. It seems that the discovery of an old grave on a neighbour's land has been the catalyst for an apparent ghost uprising.


Aided by local friends and Ben, the handsome cowboy who just can't take his eyes off Amy, the sisters investigate. And they soon find that there's something strange and dangerous going on, deep in the heart of Texas..."

Big thank yous to everyone who voted last month being a new feature it’s much appreciated! Texas Gothic came in first with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks a close second! I can’t wait to delve into Texas Gothic and get it reviewed for you guys soon!

Now onto October’s vote! With October being the month of celebration for all things spooky and supernatural with Halloween I’ve decided to go for that theme for Octobers vote. Voting’s open to anyone and everyone whether you’re a follower or not and you can vote once for any reason you like whether you’re interested in the book and want me to review it, loved it and want me to check it out, or simply think it sounds like the best of the bunch! All votes are appreciated so please take the time to fill out the form :)

Octobers Readers Choice Nominees (Spooky and Supernatural Themed!)


Deception by Lee Nichols
When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.

After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

The Taker by Alma Katsu
True love can last an eternity . . . but immortality comes at a price. . . .

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated.

Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pack life is about order, but Bryn is about to push all the limits, with hair-raising results. At the age of four, Bryn watched a rabid werewolf brutally murder her parents. Alone in the world, she was rescued and taken in by Callum, the alpha of his pack. Now fifteen, Bryn's been as a human among werewolves, adhering to pack rule. Little fazes her. But the pack's been keeping a secret, and when Bryn goes exploring against Callum's orders, she finds Chase, a newly turned teen Were locked in a cage. Terrifying memories of the attack on her parents come flooding back. Bryn needs answers, and she needs Chase to get them. Suddenly, all allegiances to the pack no longer matter. It's Bryn and Chase against the werewolf world, whatever the consequences.

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
The undead can really screw up your senior year ...

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction

This vote is now closed check out the results here!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Fateful

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Fateful by Claudia Gray
Publication Date: 29th March 2012
From Amazon UK
A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.
The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets.
When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.
Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

This Wednesday I’m waiting on this gorgeous sounding historical fiction/ paranormal romance. Lucky for my friends across the pond this book is hitting the shelves in the US later this month but for us Brits we’ve still got a bit of a wait with it not coming out until March next year. I think it will be well worth the wait though because I LOVE our stunning UK cover so much more than the US one. An epic paranormal love story set on the doomed ship that was the Titanic? Erm yes please!

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Review for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Release Date: 5th January 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Contemporary, Chick-lit, Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Amazon Summary:
" Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. "

Review
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the kind of book that sets the butterflies off in your stomach and makes you feel warm from head to toe. It’s romantic, funny, sharp, and ultimately uplifting. Set over a 24 hour period in a day of the life of our heroine Hadley except little does Hadley know that today is no ordinary day because in such a short amount of time her life is about to change forever.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a love story and not just Hadley and Oliver’s. This book gets to the heart of human relationships and gives an honest portrayal on the lives and loves of many different characters in this book not all of them necessarily the romantic kind. Hadley and Oliver’s whirlwind romance which is triggered by a series of mishaps and chance on a flight from New York to London shows how when we meet the right person at the right time it has the ability to change everything and turn what should be one of the worst days of our lives into one of the best all because of that one person who opens your eyes and makes you see things differently.

Despite this book being narrated by a teenage girl I believe it’s being pitched as a crossover novel and I can certainly see why! This book has the ability to charm any reader of any age reminding us of the innocence and recklessness of young love and that invincible feeling that comes along with it. Jennifer E. Smith captures what it’s like to be young and in love in its truest form and I read this book with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face I was that swept up in Hadley and Oliver’s story.

Hadley is the perfect leading lady. She’s naive, vulnerable and very easy to relate to. And then there’s Oliver who will charm the socks off any red blooded female who reads this book, he’s witty, thoughtful and the perfect romantic hero. Both characters are so easy to like and I was rooting for them both as a couple and with their own separate affairs.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the best contemporary romance I’ve read all year and is the ultimate feel good read. I defy anyone not to fall in love with it. A book that will touch even the most reluctant romantics and will 100% make you believe in love at first sight.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Review for Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razor Bill
Release Date: 25th August 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review

Amazon Summary:
"Sydney protects vampire secrets - and human lives.

Sydney belongs to a secret group who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the world of humans and vampires.

But when Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, she fears she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. What unfolds is far worse. The sister of Moroi queen Lissa Dragomir is in mortal danger, and goes into hiding. Now Sydney must act as her protector.

The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one . . ."

Review
Bloodlines is the first book in a new spin off series to Vampire Academy. Bloodlines follows on one month after the events in Last Sacrifice and mixes the old with the new making it readable whether you’ve read Vampire Academy or not. This book follows Sydney an alchemist whose job it is to protect humans from the secret vampire world. Sydney is still in trouble with her people after her part in helping Rose Hathaway and is sent on a new mission to redeem herself by keeping vampire Princess Jill hidden in the human world. Sydney, Jill and two familiar faces to Vampire Academy fans Adrian and Eddie must protect Jill at all costs but with humans sporting magical tattoos similar to those of the alchemists and Moroi (the good vampires) murdered in unusual circumstances the stakes are higher than ever.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Vampire Academy series and couldn’t wait for this spin off. I was a little worried that this book wouldn’t live up to my love for VA but I’m happy to say that it did! Richelle Mead’s writing is as fast paced and snappy as ever and Bloodlines has a good mix of the old to keep fans satisfied and the new to make it fresh and exciting so that it’s not just a copycat of its predecessor. Events from Last Sacrifice follow on in a natural, smooth way but Sydney and Co also unearth a lot of new problems and a whole new exciting plot Richelle Mead evolving this amazing world even further, delving more into the alchemist side of things but still keeping the plot intermingled with the Moroi (good vampires), Strigoi (bad vampires) and Dhampirs (half human, half vampire).

Fans of Vampire Academy are probably eager to know if there will be any appearances or talk of our old favourite characters, Rose, Dimitri, and Lissa and I’m happy to report that there is plenty of mention of them and even a special appearance from Rose early on in the book. It was really interesting to see Rose from Sydney’s point of view as Rose was our protagonist in Vampire Academy and I have to say that the last sentence of Bloodlines had me wiggling in my seat with excitement for book two- I won’t say anymore than that but if you’ve read the book you’ll know what I mean ;-)

That being said however nice that it was to catch up with old friends Bloodlines is very much about Sydney, Jill, Adrian and Eddie and I found myself not missing the old cast as much as I thought I would because I was so wrapped up in their story. Richelle Mead has also hinted at some potentially very interesting and exciting future love interests and I’m very excited to see where she goes with that.

Overall Bloodlines was a fantastic first novel to a brand new series that will enthral Vampire Academy fans and entice new readers. Richelle has set up an absorbing new plot that runs smoothly alongside past events, and characters old and new who are as strong and hugely likeable as the first cast. Bloodlines is a must read for anyone and I can’t wait to see where Richelle Mead takes us next.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Book of the Month! Featuring Spin Offs, Murder, and Love at 40,000 feet

Hi guys, welcome to August's book of the month and monthly round up! This is a feature to sum up for you my reading and recommendations for the past month and to share with you the exciting things that have been going on on the blog and books I’m looking forward to in the following month.

August's Book of the Month is...Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is not only my favourite book read in August but by far the best book I’ve read all year. I adored this breathtaking magical love story and can’t wait for it to come out later this month so you guys can finally see what all the fuss is about! To find out more about Daughter of Smoke and Bone and why I loved it so much stop by my review here. I predict that it’s going to be HUGE!


Best Plot: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Best Writing: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Best Cover: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Best Characters: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Best Ending: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Best Romance: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Most un-put-down-able: Bad Sisters by Rebecca Chance
Most Memorable: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Best Moral: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Books read this month
50.) Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller (4*)
51.) Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur (4*)
52.) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (5*)
53.) Bad Sisters by Rebecca Chance (4*)
54.) Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (4.5*)
55.) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (5*)

Top 3 Most Recommended Books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Bloodlines

Bookish Highlights of the month
The most exciting thing for me had to be starting my new feature Readers Choice and discovering my favourite book of the year so far! The package I got from the lovely publishers at Headline for Statistical Probability was also lovely as it included some cute goodies (one being a very yummy heart shaped lolly!)

Bookish Lows of the month
writing my review for Forever I love that series so writing a bad review for the last book was hard.

Book’s I’m looking forward to in September
All my Christmas’s have come at once for September there are so many fantastic new books out that I’m looking forward to and this list could go on and on but here are a few of my must reads!

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Heist Society by Ally Carter
An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson
The First Wife by Emily Barr

Yep, see what I mean?

So there you have it my August reading summed up for you guys. Have you read any of the books I’ve read this month? What were your thoughts on them? Leave me a comment and let me know and don’t forget to treat yourselves to Daughter of Smoke and Bone later this month! – You won’t regret it!
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