Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publication: August 18th 2015 by Dial Books

Goodreads summary:
Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
- need a liver transplant
- drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard. 

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle. 

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more. 

My thoughts:
I liked My Life Next Door a little bit more but I still really enjoyed The Boy Most Likely To. It's a companion novel so it can be read as a stand alone but I'd recommend reading My Life Next Door first because you will end up spoiling yourself.

I think Tim's character development was well paced. At the start of the novel his dad tells him he has until Christmas to change his life or he's not paying his health and car insurance and he's pulling his college fund. Tim does change throughout the novel but not in the way I expected him to and I loved that. But The Boy Most Likely To isn't just Tim's story,it's Alice's too.

Alice was my favourite character. She's definitely a complex character with lots of layers. She was portrayed very realistically and I liked that. She has a big burden on her shoulders because she feels it's her job to keep the family running smoothly because her mother is pregnant and her father is in hospital. With 7 other siblings she has her hands full but she does her best. She's very closed off and often referred to herself as Tin Alice which I thought was an interesting way of showing how she sees herself as heartless, but during the story she does grow and change and learns that she doesn't need to do everything all the time.

Huntley Fitzpatrick knows how to write a realistic family dynamic. Each of the Garretts are so easy to love.They're all so different from each other. I'd love to see a book about Andy or one of the others someday. They are one of my favourite fictional families I've ever read.

I loved how we got to see what Jase and Sam were up to after the event of  My Life Next Door,because when I finished that book I wanted to read more about them.

 I didn't understand why one character,Hester, acted the way she did to some of the other characters. I don't know if she was supposed to be written like that, but I didn't like her at all, she was very cold towards the others and I think realistically a person in her situation would have acted differently.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book,it was a quick enjoyable read and I can't wait to pick up What I Thought Was True,which is the only Huntley Fitzpatrick book I haven't read yet.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

This is a review of the full series and is spoiler free!

Publication: 2009-2012 by Hyperion

GoodReads summary of The Demon King (book 1):
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

My thoughts:
Seven Realms has adventure, magic, action, mystery and a hint of romance so it is no wonder I absolutely loved this series so much. I can't believe I waited so long to read them. I marathoned the four books over the last 2 week and each one was better than the last. I can't wait to pick up more of Cinda Williams Chima's books!

I don’t have a lot to say that isn’t going to spoil you other than it was fantastic and amazing and if you like fantasy, read this.

The plot and writing are both great but I think it's the of memorable characters that makes Seven Realms so amazing. Han, a streetlord thief,and Raisa, the princess heir, were both excellent protagonists. Their character development over the course of the story is slow but after finishing and looking back you can see how much they've changed. Each one has distinct characteristics that sets them apart. While I loved Han and Raisa I also loved the side characters such as Dancer,Cat, Margret and Willo just as much.

Being a fantasy story the series obviously has a big plot. I think Cinda Williams Chima did a fantastic job of weaving the multiple story lines together. I was eagerly waiting for characters to cross paths, and when they did I got so excited. The only problem of the multiple plots was when I was reading from Hans POV I wanted to get back to reading Raisa POV and visa versa.

The story is set in world that is very fleshed out. I kept wishing there was map (I'm not sure if there is one but there was none in my editions on my kindle) so I could track the characters progress as they moved from place to place on their adventures. I loved that we were not stuck in the same place the whole time, there was a lot of moving around. We got to see different cultures of the different queendoms/kingdoms in the Realms which I really liked. I particularly liked the pieces of the story set in the mountains with the clans. Book 2 had a very Harry-Potter-like-feel because we get to go to Odens ford which is a wizards school.

I think Seven Realms is a fantastic series and I definitely recommend for fans of Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, Fallen Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. It can be emotional and intense at times but you must read this series,trust me, it's phenomenal.

My ratings:
Book 1,The Demon King: 4.5 out of 5.
Book 2,The Exiled Queen: 4.5 out of 5.
Book 3,The Grey Wolf Throne: 5 out of 5.
Book 4, The Crimson Crown: 5 out of 5.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson


Publication:May 4th 2010 by Simon and Schuster

Goodreads summary:
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

My thoughts:
I absolutely loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, it was such a fun quick read. It's definitely a summery book. 

This is my favourite Morgan Matson book (I've also read Since You've Been Gone). After I read her books I just really want to go out and do things. Her books inspire me to want to travel and see the world, to push boundaries and not be so scared to do things and that's what I love about her stories.

The characters were definitely the highlight of this book for me. I loved both Amy and Roger. Amy's character development was wonderful. At the beginning of the book she's been through a lot,she's very closed off and lonely so watching her friendship with Roger grow was a pleasure. The story takes place over 5 days but their relationship never feels rushed.

I loved Roger because he was so ordinary. In most YA novels the guys don't feel real,they're super hot and are bad boys who in the end really have good hearts,they're all the same. But Roger is completely ordinary,he felt so real to me, like I could bump into him on the street.

It wasn't just Amy and Roger that I liked, I also loved all (well most of) the people they met on their trip. There was such a variety of characters and I felt like each one was different from the others.

Something I really liked about this book was all the extra things Morgan Matson included like maps, receipts, playlists, photos etc. They made me feel like I was on the trip with Amy and Roger because I got to see all the place they went to alongside them.

The ending was satisfying but with like all contemporaries I wish it was longer.

My rating:5 out of 5!

Friday, 7 August 2015

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Series:The Winner's Trilogy

Publication: 3rd March 2015 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Goodreads summary:
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement... if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

My thoughts:
I loved The Winner's Crime even more than The Winner's Curse. The story went in a totally different direction than I thought it would which I was really glad about. There's a big focus on secrecy and conspiracy. I was intrigued the whole time,I couldn't put the book down.

We get introduced to some new characters, some I loved (Verex) and some I hated (the emperor). Tensen, the minister of agriculture for Herran, plays a big role in the story as Arin's spymaster. I really enjoyed their "kind-of-father-son" relationship.

I really loved that there was a lot more focus on the politics between Herrai and the Valorians because the majority of the story takes place in the palace in the capital.

There was some parts of the story that I found incredibly frustrating. Particularly the lack of communication between Arin and Kestrel about her engagement to Verex. 

I loved and hated the ending!! I loved it because The last 50 pages were crazy and couldn't stop reading because so much was going on, but I hated it because it was the end and now I have to wait until 2016 for Te Winner's Kiss! 2016!!!

Overall I felt like The Winner's Crime was an excellent sequel and I'm eagerly anticipating the third book! 

My rating:4.5 stars out of 5!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Series: The Winner's Trilogy,#1

Publication: March 4th 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Goodreads summary:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed The Winner's Curse, I fell into the world quite easily considering it's a fantasy. Straight away I was captivated by the world and the characters. I've seen people classify The Winner's Curse as a fantasy and it does read like a one but there is no magic in the story,which I found really interesting.

The plot wasn't super fast paced or anything but I was enthralled from the first chapter. The pace really picked up in the second half when we delve a lot more into the politics. I loved this because political story lines aren't something I have seen a lot of in YA novels.

I found that characters were a bit hard to connect with nevertheless I loved Kestrel. She isn't your usual YA heroine, which I loved. She isn't physically strong and she can't fight but she's  incredibly smart and observant. She's a strategist not a soldier and that's what I liked about her.

There is a romance between Kestrel and the slave (I won't tell you his name because it is kind of a spoiler). I didn't feel that much chemistry between him and Kestrel. There was no insta-love which was good and they're relationship developed nicely,but to me it felt more like a friendship. I loved them each as individual characters but I didn't really care for they're romantic relationship as much as I had hoped to. I may grow to like though in the next book which I'm looking forward to.

My Rating: 4 stars, would have been 5 but I couldn't connect with the characters.