Sunday, 28 June 2015

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Publication:16th September 2014

Goodreads summary:
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

My thoughts:
This book was beautiful. It has become one of my favorite contemporary novels of all time. The way Jandy Nelson intertwined her characters' stories was perfect.

It had a very unusual structure. There were two narrators but they were taking place three years apart. Noah's narrating the events that happen when the twins are 13/14 and Jude tells us the story of when they are 16. I loved this gap between the stories as it made me more intrigued. I loved seeing how much their relationship changed from when they were thirteen years old. I found both story lines to be equally compelling.

The thing I loved most about this book was the writing. It's very expressive and packed with unique imagery and metaphors. Some of the passages are stunning, Jude and Noah's artistic minds shine through in how they describe the world around them.

The plot was very well constructed. I loved how everything from both story lines seemed to connect to each other, even though the events are three years apart. You can see Jandy Nelson really planed the story.  They way she weaves these two timelines together is just brilliant.

My only problem with this book was that I felt like I didn't really connect with Noah. The characters for the most part are developed but I felt like I didn't really know Noah as well as I knew Jude.

My rating: 4.5 stars. I enjoyed this book immensely and will definitely be picking up Jandy Nelson's other book.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1

Publication: April 28th 2015 by Razorbill

Goodreads summary:
Laia is a slave. 
Elias is a soldier. 
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and action packed. I'm definitely going to be picking up the next book in the series.

One of the aspects of this book that i lived was watching the characters grow. It was wonderful to see them change as the story progressed.The two main characters Laia and Elias go through amazing character development and by the end of the novel they are stronger and braver version of themselves. They are more sure of who they are and I really appreciated their growth though the story,particularly Laia's.

The two narrators stories were woven together nicely with the characters having interaction with each other despite their different situations. While both point of views  were engaging I found Elias more fun to read because his story had a lot more action than Laias.

The book is long but it didn't drag or get slow. Each chapter ends on a cliffhanger which left me wanting to keep reading. I flew through this book a a few hours.

It's hard without getting into spoilers, but, I don't think all the romances were necessary. There are two love triangles developing in the story and I don't think they add much to the plot or characters. The story could have been told without them. I think the main romance could have been developed more if the other characters in the triangles were just friends with the protagonists.

The world felt a bit underdeveloped. I don't have a very clear picture of it in my head but hopefully we will get to learn more about it in the next book.

I'm glad that there is going to be a second book. I did like the ended but it left a lot of questions unanswered. 

My Rating: 
4 stars. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were all interesting and the plot was engaging. It's a great start to a new YA series and I'm excited to see where it goes.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury
Goodreads summary:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

My thoughts:

This was one of my most anticipated reads this year and it most certainly did not disappoint! 

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a solid start to what I'm pretty sure is going to be an excellent fantasy series. Sarah J. Maas is yet to disappoint me. A Court of Thorns and Roses is a beautifully written retelling of Beauty and the Beast with an original spin. It has a plot full of twists and turns and amazing characters.

Our two protagonists, Feyre and Tamlin, are wonderfully developed for this being the first book in the series. Through Feyre's narration we gradually learn more about Tamlin and the other Fae. I don't ship them too much yet but I can see why some people do. Maas develops their relationship at a steady pace.

The side character of Lucien brings humour to the story with his witty comments. And the banter that passes between him and Feyre.

Later in the novel we are introduced to Rhysand, a dark and mysterious character that I'm extremely interested in. Spoiler ahead(I think he may be a contender to win Feyre's heart. A love triangle may develop in book 2, which I'm intrigued to see unfold. At the moment I'm not team Tamlin or team Rhysand).

While the first half of the book is slower its worth the wait. The second half is action packed and fast paced.

My rating: 4.5 stars
If you like retellings, magic and romance combined a courageous heroine this book is for you.

Introduction :)

Hey, I'm Aideen and welcome to my blog.

On this blog I will be writing book reviews. I usually read YA books, but the odd time I pick up Middle Grade or New Adult books! My favourite genres are fanstasy, dystopian, paranormal and I do pick up the occasional contemporary.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my future posts. 
-Aideen :)