Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Warcross by Marie Lu

Series: Warcross, #1

Publication: September 12th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Description:
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My thoughts:
Warcross is fantastic! I absolutely loved this sci-fi book more than I thought was possible. I had so much fun reading it.What a whirlwind! I loved how easy it was to fall into it and then to keep reading. I have been a fan of Marie Lu's writing for years and this I think this is her best work to date! Warcross is a new favourite for sure!

The plot was so well paced. I was engaged the whole time and didn't want to put the book down. Warcross is a book that really had me thinking and theorising the whole time; I was constantly trying to guess who was behind the hacking and stuff. It was plot twists galore but I predicted them but I didn't care I saw what was coming because I haven't been that excited to get such a big plot twist since Crown of Midnight back in the day. The plot is action packed and let me tell you Marie Lu is an expert at writing action sequences. All of the warcross tournament matches were my favourite parts; they were so intense and fun to read. All I could think while reading was this needs to be a movie!

I loved the scifi elements and how techy it was and it was so cool imagining it all and the setting. Warcross- the virtual reality world was very well developed. It has been done before but I think Warcross is just such a fun spin on it. Futuristic Tokyo was such a fun and exciting setting. This is such a visual book. Everything is described so well I felt like I could really picture everything and felt like I was there.

Onto the characters: I really liked reading about Emika. She is so smart, a bit too smart sometimes to be realistic but fun nevertheless. I also loved how quirky and different she is from other YA female protagonists. Emkia has rainbow hair and tattoos and skateboards and plays video games. Some of the side characters could have been fleshed out a bit more but it was a very short book so I can't really complain about that. The cast of characters is very diverse; Emkia is Chinese-American, there is a wheelchair user who has a big role and also gay characters.

I loved the cute romance that was on the side; I didn't think I'd ship it but they grew on me and I ended up shipping it so hard, like new obsession shipping it! Hideo won me over pretty quickly with a British accent and rolled up sleeves and cooking for his parents.

Warcorss was fast paced, I loved the setting and characters and just had such an enjoyable time reading! I need book 2 now! I am so excited to see where Marie Lu brings the story now because it could go so many different ways!

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Series: The Folk of the Air, #1

Publication:January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Description:
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

My thoughts:
The Cruel Prince is a new all time favourite of mine! The Cruel Prince has the perfect mixture of an intriguing and engaging plot and characters you can't decided if you like or not. I had so much fun reading this dark story and was blown away with the second half of the book in particular.

Holly Black did an amazing job with the characters. I love how morally grey they all are, there's no good guy really which makes it so interesting to read.Jude was a great protagonist to read about. I really liked how I didn't always agree with her actions. She tough and determined I'll give her that. I loved how she would go to any lengths to achieve her goals. One of my only complaints is that I would have liked more from Jude's older sister who is half fae. Her story sounds so interesting but she is very absent from the story for the most part.

The plot was definitely slow in the beginning but that does not mean I wasn't completely engaged. The action definitely happens in the second half of the story. There was a good few plot twists which kept me on my toes and I only saw them coming a few pages before they happened. I loved how much political scheming and manipulation was going on; it kept me thoroughly engaged. One of the side plots involving Jude's sister had me theorising like mad. I was so intrigued with her storyline.

I loved how the romance in the book was very side lined and almost non existent for the majority of the story. There was this one scene though were the tension between Jude and one of the other characters was through the roof- so good! I think the romance storyline will be very minor in this series going forward which I like.

The world building was very detailed but never info dumpy. I think having all the court politics and the monarchy and everything really made it easy to get a grasp on the world. It also helped that Jude wasn't new to the world so she wasn't constantly asking for explanations which is what usually happens in books with these kinds of stories.

The ending had me like WHAT!!! I seriously cannot wait for the next book! I wasn't a fan of Holly Black (I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown a few years ago and wasn't a fan) but now I want to give her another chance!

Overall it was a fantastic read and I would recommend it if you are looking for a dark fantasy with lots of political intriguing and morally ambiguous characters. 

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Series: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, #1


Goodreads Description:
"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper's great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn't exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor's control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there's a lot Alastor isn't telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding. It is such a fun quick story that is light-hearted with a hint of creepy. It is the perfect read for autumn/Halloween for all ages. I went in with high expectations because I love Alexandra Bracken's YA books and I was not disappointed with Prosper.

The main character Prosper was very likeable. He was developed enough that he didn't feel like every other MG 12 year old boy. He has his flaws for sure but he was fun to read about and I loved how he liked art. It was actually the antagonist that stole the show for me though. I loved any time Alastor had page time. His inner monologue with Prosper was hilarious and I found myself flicking the pages looking out for his name/dialogue.

The narration of the story was very interesting; it is told in dual POV but Prosper tells the story in first person whereas we hear from Alastor in the third person. I definitely preferred Alator's narration; he was very funny and I could see why younger readers would be laughing out loud at some of the antics he gets up to.

The plot was probably the weakest aspect of the story but I still really enjoyed it. The plot is not action packed like Bracken's other work; in the story we mostly just follow Prosper around as he adjusts to life with a demon inside him; it was still very enjoyable though. Some aspects were very predicable which is to be expected when the intended audience is 12 year olds and I am almost 21. The ending was amazing and intense and I am so excited to see where this story goes in book 2!  

Another aspect I want to note that i liked was that there is an LGBT+ family in the story and it is completely normalised which was great to see in a MG book!

I had so much fun reading The Dreadful Tale of Proper Redding; it was so easy and fun to read, it was nice to have a break from the YA angst and drama I usually read.I
 am definitely going to pick up the next book when it's out later this year!

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

On the Fence by Kasie West

Publication:July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen

Goodreads Description:
For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

My thoughts:
I absolutely loved On the Fence. This was my first Kasie West book and I am so excited to delve more into this authors works! On the Fence was so much fun I didn't want to stop reading it, I was addicted from the first page! I read it in two sittings and I know if I had started it a bit earlier in the day I would have read it in one. Don't pick this up unless you have the time to read it in one sitting because trust me you will not want to put the book down. It is great!

I loved the main character Charile. I found it so easy to connect to her as we have similar personalities. She is me in so many ways but so not me on others and I really liked that; that she wasn't 100% like me. I really admired her courage to do what she wanted and it was so interesting watching her trying to balance her more tomboy side with her more girly side and the internal struggle that comes with that.

Braden was cool but nothing out of the ordinary for a YA contemporary love interest. I think there was a missed opportunity to develop his story more. His family life is hinted at but I think it could have been explored more.

The romance was cute. The best friends to lover trope is what I live for in books like these, it is just such a fun trope ( I mean Percabeth is my OTP and they are the epitome of best friends to lovers trope in MG/YA) I knew going in I was going to enjoy the romance and I wasn't disappointed. It wasn't OTP material but the tension was there and it was very enjoyable to read. It was well paced and while it had it's cliche moments it was good.

I loved the family element but felt that Charlie's brothers weren't very fleshed out, they were pretty flat and I wanted more from them. The same with her dad. Their relationship is touched on but I wanted more.

The ending was a bit quick but it is under 300 pages so what was I expecting really?

Overall I had such a fun time reading this quick read and definitely recommend it if you are looking for something cute to pick up this summer! I am excited to pick up more of Kasie West's books over the coming summer!

Thanks for reading,
A :)