Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm Coming Back!

Hi there! It's been a while. In fact, it's been just over a year. Oops. 

So as you've probably already gathered by the title of this post, I'm returning to the blogosphere. This last year has been crazy busy for me and in total, I've probably read about 20 books...

I suck.

But hey, it's not all bad! I recently decided to take a look at my old blog and was actually surprised to see it still standing. I figured it would have been deleted by now, seeing as though I haven't actually logged into my account for like, 382 days. Yeah, that's right. I did the math. 

Anyway, whilst I was scrolling through all my old posts, reading reviews and such, I suddenly realised that I miss reading more than anything. Getting home after a long day at work and curling up with coffee and a book... I miss it so much. 

So I've decided to take a stand against life. I refuse to let it get in the way of my reading. While it's true that I may not be able to read at the pace I used to, I've come to realise that it's not about quantity. If I can get through a book per week, I'll be over the moon. 

I mean, 20 books in a year? That's just sad.

Now, I do have to mention that this blog isn't going to revive itself over night. There are things I have to think about, such as schedules and content, so I'm probably not going to post any reviews or anything until January at the earliest. This is mainly because the Christmas period is generally quite busy for me, so I don't want to dive back in right away and then have to retract this whole post because I've crumbled into a stressed mess and am hiding away in a corner somewhere, rocking back and forth as I try to control my crazy thoughts. 

Not a pretty picture, is it?

Getting back on track, this next month will consist of me archiving all my old reviews and completely clearing this blog out. I plan on having a clean slate, with no old content whatsoever. Now, I'm not saying that these reviews will be lost forever as I may decide to post them again at some point, particularly the ones that I no longer own or have no desire to read again, but for the most part this blog is going to feature completely new content.

Anyway, I'm going to spend the next month compiling reviews, deciding on schedules and things, and generally just trying to read as much as possible. My Goodreads is empty at the moment, but will be updated as and when I finish a book, so if you're curious on my progress (and how slow I'm reading at the moment), head on over by clicking here.

Oh, and before I forget, if you've sent me an email at all in the last year, I'm sorry, but I haven't - and cannot possibly - read it. I have over 15,000 unread messages in my inbox, and I can't read all of them. So instead, I'm going to mark them all as read and pray there was nothing majorly important in there. From here on out, however, I'm going to be checking my email as often as possible, so hopefully I won't miss any in the future.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully I'll see you in the new year!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Waiting (So Impatiently) On Infinite by Jodi Meadows.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking The Spine in which we can spotlight upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. My pick this week is Infinite by Jodi Meadows. I love the Newsoul series, and I'm so excited to see how it ends. I'm not really sure how I feel about this cover, though.

by Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, #3
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release: January 28th, 2014
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake - an alarming rumble from deep within the earth - and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Top Ten Best/Worst Series Endings.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish in which we can share our top ten choices from a certain topic. This week it's the top ten best and worst series endings. The first five on my list are the best endings, and the last five are the worst endings. 

  • Requiem (Delirium, #3) by Lauren Oliver - It's not a stretch to believe that I'm one of very few people who utterly loved the way Oliver ended this trilogy. In all honesty, it took me a moment after closing the book to realise that I enjoyed it, but once I understood why she did it, I absolutely loved it. We can create our own ending. That's what makes it so fantastic.
  • Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by Cassandra Clare - Despite my being spoiled by looking at the inside of the dust jacket before reading this novel, I still absolutely loved the way Clare ended things. Much like Lauren Oliver, she finished this trilogy up in a way that will appeal to every single one of her readers. Unlike Oliver, she did it in a definitive way. There is no doubt in my mind which is the stronger of the two endings, but I absolutely loved them both regardless.
  • Finale (Hush, Hush, #4) by Becca Fitzpatrick - It's no secret that the Hush, Hush saga is one of my all-time favourite series', and I truly believe that Fitzpatrick completely outdid herself with Finale. I cried, I screamed, I threw things... this book was so incredible. 
  • Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6) by Richelle Mead - This book completely broke my heart in all the right ways. Though there was a level of predictability, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of this finale at all. This series has a major re-readability factor, too, so I don't think it will ever feel as though this story is truly over. 
  • With All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7) by Rachel Vincent - Though I was a little disappointed with the actual ending of this book, the conclusion of the series as a whole was absolutely fantastic. There was simply a certain part of it that I felt could have been written a little better. Nevertheless, I wasn't completely underwhelmed. All the loose ends were tied up, and all the characters ended up just the way I wanted them to. It was a damn fun ride.

  • Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins - Though it's been a while since I read this trilogy, I do remember feeling significantly disappointed whilst reading the finale. The whole book just fell a little flat for me, in all honesty, and I know I'm not alone in these feelings. I'm still going to re-read these books soon, but I do hope that my feelings on Mockingjay have changed. I don't want to go through that again.
  • Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) by Stephenie Meyer - Now I know I'm not alone in my severe dislike of the way this saga ended. It was flat. It was boring. The movie was better. Many people already know that I loved the first three books in this series but absolutely hated the movies, so to find out that the fourth movie was actually better than the book probably comes as a major shock (if you haven't read/seen it, obviously). The novel was disgustingly anticlimatic.
  • Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4) by Jana Oliver - In all honesty, this book very nearly made it onto my DNF pile. It was... boring. It wasn't the epic conclusion I was expecting, more just a rushed novel to tie up the loose ends. You won't hear me say this very often, but I honestly believe I'd have preferred waiting a year for Oliver to fine-tune everything, rather than wait a mere five months to get the final installment.
  • Ascend (Trylle, #3) by Amanda Hocking - Though I did end up giving this book a four star rating, it was a low four stars based solely off the epilogue. I loathed it. I thought it was xtremely cheesy, and it actually kind of ruined the book for me.
  • Girl Of Nightmares (Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake - The first book in this duology was filled with vividly haunting scenes, and there were plenty of moments when I was legitimately freaked out, so I expected Blake to ramp up the terror in this long-awaited second novel. Unfortunately, this book was tame in comparison. Sure, there was one horrifying scene that had me looking around to make sure no creepy corpse was watching me, but to call this a horror story would be pushing it. All in all, I was majorly disappointed.

And there you have it, my five favourite series endings, and my five least favourite series endings. What did you guys choose? Leave me the link to your post/video and I'll be sure to come and check it out. Until next time, ciao!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

by Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy, #1
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen (Aug. 31st, 2010)
Format: Hardcover, 335 pages
Source: Purchased
Read count: 1
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.
You know when you hear about a book that you think you will love, then you read a thousand fantastic reviews on said book and you kind of psych yourself out thinking that you might not like it that much, so you put off buying it in case you end up disappointed? That's what happened with me and Paranormalcy. This book has gotten tens of thousands of absolutely phenomenal reviews on Goodreads, so I'm sure it's not difficult to imagine why it was sat on my wishlist, taunting me, for two whole years. Even with the release of Endlessly last year, I couldn't bring myself to grab a copy. I was getting very frustrated with myself. Well, I finally managed to psych myself up enough to buy this book, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed.

I did have to knock a star off for a couple of reasons. #1: This is a debut, and it does show in places. Occasionally, the writing goes from being fantastic to mediocre in just a few lines, and it can take a while for it to switch back. That might not bother some people, but being an aspiring author myself, I picked up on it and found it hard to focus on anything else. #2: Oftentimes, I didn't feel like the story was going anywhere. The progression was pretty slow in places, and it bugged me. I did manage to get past both of these things, however, and I definitely think this book is worthy of a solid four stars.

Evie is a wonderful heroine. She's witty, snarky, and so very brave, and yet she's got this innocent ignorance about her, too. She definitely has the whole package. Her obsession with trivial things like high school lockers was absolutely adorable, and the habit she picked up from her mermaid best friend's translator - the bleep in place of swearing - was cute as heck. Even in the midst of a battle, she refused to actually curse. It was hilarious, and I seriously loved that addition to her character. However, Evie isn't happy. Though she has access to any place in the world, she wants out. She longs to live like a normal teenage girl - boyfriends, proms, lockers - and we see her grow unhappier as the story progresses. I loved the depth that this added to her character, and when she finally gets what she wants, I couldn't fight the grin. Her excitement was beyond contagious.

And then there's Lend. Despite his... unusual name, the guy is awesome. He's super sweet and lovely, and the connection he and Evie share is beyond cute. I wouldn't exactly call the relationship fluffy, but it's right on the border, and surprisingly enough, that didn't bother me. I'm so tired of insta-love that pretty much anything else is welcome right now, and since most of the books I read feature heavy romance that is deeper than any teen love I've ever heard about in real life, it was a nice change. The romance definitely takes a back seat to everything else going on in the book, but I get the feeling that will change in the sequel. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

I can't talk too much about the plot without spoilers, but the prophecy thing definitely threw me for a loop. I should have expected something along the lines of what happened, what with Reth turning up all the time with the whole "let me fill you" thing, but the truth behind what was really going on was surprising. I can't wait to see what happens after the events of the end of this book, and I really hope we learn more about the truth behind Evie's birth.

Overall, Paranormalcy is a light, fun read that will have readers hooked from the very first page. It has a great set of characters that make you care, and a story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Who couldn't love a book filled with teenage hilarity, cute romance, and pink weapons? I absolutely adored this novel, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who isn't looking for something too deep. Don't make the same mistake I did and put off buying it... it's definitely worth checking out.

Copyright © 2013 Somewhere Between The Pages, All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Book Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines.

The Vincent Boys
by Abbi Glines
Series: The Vincent Boys, #1
Audience: New Adult
Publisher: Hot Key Books (Jan. 17th, 2013)
Format: Paperback, 258 pages
Source: Purchased
Read count: 1
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.

Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.

Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist...
Continuing on my New Adult kick, The Vincent Boys seemed like the perfect novel for me to read. Several recommendations, a vast amount of positive reviews... I knew I had to grab a copy. I didn't realise this at the time, but the UK version is actually a lot steamier than the US version, so I was very confused as to why I'd read so many reviews describing this as a young adult novel. There were scenes in this book that were steamier than some of the adult stories I've read... and that's saying something. I'm assuming I got the uncut version, so if you're not comfortable with graphic descriptions, I'd advise you to get a US copy. The version I read was definitely New Adult territory.

Ashton herself is a character I didn't like, and she was one of many reasons I found myself disliking this book more and more as the story progressed. She's selfish, immature, and cheating on her boyfriend - in all honesty, I probably wasn't supposed to like her. She kept bitching about how Sawyer expected her to be this perfect girl. This is something that made me want to throw the book at a wall. Nobody was forcing her to be with Sawyer - there was no gun pointed at her head, no blackmail in play. All in all, she was just a coward, and I simply couldn't stand her. That is all.

Beau, on the other hand, I loved. He was HOT. A total bad boy, he "allowed" Ash to let her bad side out. He wasn't perfect - far from it - but I do think he was the most likeable character in this book, and that's saying something. I should have hated him. I should have wanted to write a letter to Abbi Glines demanding her to rewrite this book and play Beau off as this horrible boy that is forcing Ashton to cheat on her boyfriend with him. Instead, I found myself kind of rooting for the two of them to get together. While it's true I disliked Ash with a passion, I can't blame her for wanting to be with Beau. He was a fantastic character, and I hated that.

Okay, I'm done contradicting myself, now. 

I'm not going to talk about Sawyer in great detail, because if I do read the second book, I'll want to talk about him there, given that it's his story and all. What I will say, however, is that I loved that Glines didn't make him as perfect as everybody initially thought he was. He had some really ugly moments, and that made him a little more believable in my eyes. Much like Beau, Sawyer (what we saw of him, anyway) was a three-dimensional character, and I'm tempted to read the second book just to see through his eyes. I'm still sitting on that fence, though...

The story itself was predictable, though there was one major twist that widened my eyes. Obviously I can't talk about it for fear of spoilers, but it definitely changed my outlook on the whole love triangle situation. In fact, it made me dislike it even more. I'm curious to see where Glines takes that subplot in the next book - if I decide to read it, that is. 

Overall, The Vincent Boys had a lot of flaws, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. I won't be reading it again, but there may come a time when I decide that I need to give the sequel a shot. Would I recommend it? Perhaps. So long as you can get over the fact that the heroine is a raging bitch that really needs some sense knocking into her pretty blonde head, you'll be fine.

Copyright © 2013 Somewhere Between The Pages, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Waiting (Very Impatiently) On Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking The Spine in which we can spotlight upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. My pick this week is Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. The first two books in the Shatter Me trilogy were absolutely incredible, and I'm so eager to see how Mafi concludes everything. Also, I can't decide whether the covers for these books are gorgeous or creepy.

Ignite Me
by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me, #3
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release: February 4th, 2014
Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner.

And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew - about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam - was wrong.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Kisses & Lies by Lauren Henderson.

Kisses & Lies
by Lauren Henderson
Series: Scarlett Wakefield, #2
Audience: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Dec. 22nd, 2009)
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Purchased
Read count: 1
Rating: 3 of 5 stars
After discovering that someone saw what looked like Dan’s emergency EpiPen in A-lister Plum’s designer handbag, Scarlett and her tough American sidekick, Taylor, sneak into a posh London nightclub, where Plum has a private table. Scarlett is stunned to discover a piece of evidence that might implicate another girl in Plum’s exclusive circle, Lucy Raleigh. Which means Scarlett must cast a wider net in order to catch the right suspect.

Back at school, groundskeeper Jase is hoping to take Scarlett’s mind off her troubles with some heart-stopping kisses. Scarlett can’t help but feel guilty for indulging in romantic rendezvous when she should be hunting down Dan’s killer. However, once Scarlett finds out how Lucy is connected to Dan, she knows she must drop everything and travel to the McAndrew estate in Scotland to hunt for more clues. But when she arrives, Scarlett becomes the target of a dangerous hunt herself.
Though I wasn't the biggest fan of Kiss Me Kill Me, the first book in this series, I did enjoy it more than I enjoyed this sequel. There was something fundamentally off in Kisses & Lies, and I just couldn't get as into it as I thought I should be able to. 

I had some major issues with the plot, and even more issues with Scarlett herself. Now that she's come out of her shell a little, so to speak, she's become this girl that I just can't stand. I can't really explain it in too much detail without spoiling anything, but the way she practically invited herself to spend time with Dan's family? Yeah, I so wasn't feeling that. Despite her kissing him seconds before he died, she didn't know the boy at all. It just bugged me.

Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad book. In fact, I have to commend Henderson on the fact that she ended the mystery quickly. Kisses & Lies sees the discovery of what exactly happened to Dan the night he died, and who is responsible, so if you weren't really a fan of the first book but are still curious about what happened, you only have to read until the end of this novel - the third book starts a new mystery wherein Scarlett is obviously going to be testing out her mad sleuthing skills again.

In all honesty, I'm not sure I'm going to be continuing this series. Though I do own the third and fourth books, I bought them on a whim. I can't stress enough that I'm not saying this is a bad book, I just thought there were several large plot holes, the pacing was a little off in places, and Scarlett annoyed the hell out of me. The twists and turns were well-written, however, and I'm glad that I read until the end as I did find myself shocked to my very core. Despite my thinking the reasoning behind Dan's death was beyond ridiculous, I did enjoy that aspect. 

Overall, Kisses & Lies isn't the strongest sequel, but if you're curious to solve the mystery behind the death, I recommend you read until the end. I probably won't continue with this series - at least not in the near future - but I'm glad that I read this book. I wish I could say more without spoiling things, but I guess that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Copyright © 2013 Somewhere Between The Pages, All rights reserved.