Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Dare you to- Katie McGarry

Published: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
456 pages
Goodreads page

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Its been such a long time since i read Pushing the Limits that i honestly couldn't really tell you what happened in that book, so i guess its lucky you don't necessarily have to have read that book to enjoy this one.

The second book in Katie McGarry's pushing the limits series follows Beth and Ryan as they meet and fall in love.
I found the story a little slow at first and Ryan as a character seemed really cliche at the start, but as the book went on i grew more attached to the characters and ended up really enjoying it.
I liked Beths side of things and her story, i found her 'rough' background was the most interesting part of this book.
The last 100 pages i couldn't put the book down, i had to know what was going to happen with her mum. I found that i cared more about knowing what became of her mum than i did the actual love story to be honest.

Overall it was a well written and interesting love story. It had several typical aspects of a teen romance but if you can overlook that its worth a read.

Four stars

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

A stolen life- Jaycee Dugard

Published: July 12,2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
273 pages
Goodreads page

On 10 June 1991, eleven-year-old Jaycee Dugard was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in Tahoe, California. It was the last her family and friends saw of her for over eighteen years. On 26 August 2009, Dugard, her daughters, and Phillip Craig Garrido appeared in the office of her kidnapper's parole officer in California. Their unusual behaviour sparked an investigation that led to the positive identification of Jaycee Lee Dugard, living in a tent behind Garrido's home. During her time in captivity, at the age of fourteen and seventeen, she gave birth to two daughters, both fathered by Garrido. 

Dugard's memoir is written by the 30-year-old herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, utterly honest and unflinching narrative, Jaycee opens up about what she experienced, including how she feels now, a year after being found. Garrido and his wife Nancy have since pleaded guilty to their crimes.

Im not going to call this a review because i feel like with a book like this i can't really look at it and say what is good and whats bad.
The whole story is terrible, its terrible that she had to go through what she went through. Its terrible that she has this story to tell.
I can only say that i think she's brave for telling her story, i was so sad whilst reading this for what Jaycee and her daughters went through, but glad that she's now free and can live her life freely and share her story.

It baffles me that humans exist that can do that to someone and it breaks my heart.
Being a mother i can't even comprehend this happening to a child. 

Im glad i read i give it the rating for the courage it must take to tell a story like this.

Five stars

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone- Laini Taylor

Published: Sep 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
418 pages
Goodreads page

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Ive heard quite a lot of good and bad things about this book, it seems to have a lot of mixed opinions. I was kind of surprised that i enjoyed it considering it has the paranormal romance type feel to it. I however enjoyed it for a few reasons:

The first thing i really enjoyed about this story was the setting. It wasn't your usual American high school setting,  it was set in Prague which made reading about the scenery all the more interesting.

Secondly, the way the story was written flowed so brilliantly, the deeper you got into the story the more mysteries and secrets intertwined. I felt myself wanting to know as much as i could about the world behind the door.

Thirdly, the love story was tragic and beautiful and even though I'm not one for paranormal romances i found myself swooning for Akiva and his fiery eyes. 
The names of the characters where interesting and refreshing and although i don't know if i actually pronounce any of them correctly i still enjoy the uniqueness all the same.

Overall i think if you have been avoiding this because of the paranormal romance aspects its definitely worth giving a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised. 
I for one and looking forward to the next book and seeing where this story takes us.

Four stars

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Three Sisters Three Queens- Philippa Gregory

Published: Aug 9, 2016
Publisher: Touchstone
556 pages
Goodreads page

As sisters they share an everlasting bond; As queens they can break each other’s hearts.

“There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.”

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

This is the 10th book that i have read by Philippa Gregory and i swear she can do no wrong. Every one of her books sucks me in and i am fascinated with the way she makes history so readable and interesting.

Her newest addition to the Tudor novels was especially fascinating to me because we got to see what things where like in Scotland during the Tudor rule. Margaret was a super interesting character to follow and the relationship she had with her sisters was definitely a rocky one.

The only small fault i had with this book was that i thought the ending was a little abrupt. It didn't really sum up or give me an ending of Margaret. That however is a very small complaint because as is usual with Philippa Gregory she has an incredible way of keeping you reading and wanting to know more.

Overall its a great continuation to her Tudor novels and if you haven't read any of these books yet what are you waiting for?! You are definitely missing out.

Five stars

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Martian-Andy Weir

Published: Feb 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
369 pages
Goodreads page

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

This book was strangely captivating. Its basically just a survival story of this man Mark Watneys time on mars (fictional).
Some of the things that are talked about in this book are a little confusing there are a lot of technical things talked about. There were a lot of moments where i was reading and thinking 'how is this so interesting?' but it really was! I really could not put this book down even at the most boring of parts in the book.
 I had to know what would happen with him.
I feel like book will stay with me for a long time and i can't exactly explain why.
I love Marks character he's funny and witty even in such a dire circumstance and reading about the people pulling together to help was really just a great read. Even the way Mars in explained it just paints such an amazingly fascinating picture in your mind.

I definitely recommend you pick this book up!

Five stars

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Top books of 2014

Because i only read 29 books in 2014 i thought id narrow my favourites down to top 5. I unfortunately only read a few books that really stood out to me in 2014.
So here is my top 5 books of 2014 in no particular order.

I am malala-Malala Yousafzai

Ready player one-Ernest Cline

Gone girl-Gillian Flynn

The white princess-Philippa Gregory 

A thousand splendid suns-Khaled Hosseini

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Marked- P.C & Kristin Cast

Published: May 1, 2007
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
306 pages
Goodreads page

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

I really didn't have high expectations going into this book. Its a book about vampires, and i think that ship has somewhat sailed but it was sitting on my shelf so i decided to give it a read.

I was quite surprised at how easy this was to read. It definitely wasn't perfect i had a few issues but i think it was pretty great considering the fact i thought it would be terrible.
The authors put their own twist to the vampire genre whilst still keeping to tradition (definitely no sparkling vampires here) which i liked.

The main character Zoey was likable and didn't bug me, unfortunately the same can't be said about her friends. I did find them a little annoying and the way two of them constantly say twin after everything they say to each other really bugged me, like ok we get it you call each other twin can you shut up now?

Other than that the story line was intriguing enough to keep me reading.
I would call it a guilty pleasure read to be sure.

Three stars