Thursday, December 27, 2012

Under Construction

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you all know that right now, Book Nerd & Critic is undergoing some changes. You may have noticed that the header has been changed, but that is not going to stay, some modifications regarding size need to be attended to. 
For now, the template will remain the same, but don't be surprised if that suddenly changes too. 
All these modifications are being made to help make this blog better, so if you've got any suggestions, please, please, please, with a cherry on top leave me a comment or email me so that I can see what you all want and put it into consideration. 
Also, a few new page elements have been added to the blog, including the new 'Follow by Email', and this way, all new posts are delivered straight to your inbox. I'm following a few blogs by email and it is easier to keep up to date with everything because you don't always need to actually get on their blog to read the posts.
Lastly, a poll has been added to the blog, inspired by the Fallen series being reviewed here. You can select multiple answers if you want. At the end of it, I'd like to be able to see what's most popular and review it, if I haven't already.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of Release: 2009
ISBN: 978 0 385 61801 4 (hbk)
Source: Purchased
Some angels are destined to fall. Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar...
The moment Luce looks at Daniel, she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can't shake the feeling that she has... and with him - a boy she doesn't remember ever setting eyes on. Will her attempts to find out why enlighten her - or destroy her?
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a thrilling story of forbidden love, centuries old battles and, naturally, fallen angels. Though I can't say that this was the best angel themed book I've read, it was still enjoyable. The plot of this book was incredible, it had an amazing story-line. This is a spoiler-free blog so I won't go into too much detail, but it was genius. Lucinda Price comes from a shaky past of anti-psychotic meds and strange shadows that seem to follow her around and always appear before something bad happens, but all she needs is a fresh start. After a fire that claimed the life of one of her friends, a fire that Luce can't even understand or explain, she gets transferred to Sword & Cross, a school for juvenile offenders, threats to society. She meets some new people and when things are finally looking up, she gets caught in a centuries old feud that could cost her her life and the lives of those around her. I hope that sums it up without revealing too much! The characters in this book are very well written. You get to know each one's personality within a few lines but then again, they are all keeping secrets, so you can't really know them until you get to the end of the book. 
It's been a while since I've had to thoroughly criticize a book, but there are a few concerns I need to express here. Though the plot of the book was great, the book itself was poorly written. It wasn't one of those books that captivates you and holds your attention while you read, I found that my mind was constantly wandering. Near the end of the book, when things are heating up, nothing is explained properly and readers are left confused. I was really disappointed that the fight scene didn't have much emphasis and it just was not expressed well. I didn't like it. 
I'm really hoping that the next book and the ones that follow will be better. Look out for my reviews on them in the coming weeks. 

I hope you've enjoyed my review!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Want cheap, discounted books? The Book Depository is the site for you!

What's up guys? I just found an incredible website for buying discounted and insanely cheap books. It's called...drum roll please.... THE BOOK DEPOSITORY! 
This amazing company that I think is based in the UK has more books than you can imagine. Just use the search-bar to look up a book and I guarantee it will be listed cheaper there than in the usual book stores. If it's not, then don't buy it. 
Shipping is free worldwide! Amazing right? You can pay with a credit card or even use PayPal, the safer, easier way to pay! 
Here's how I would advise using this site. Wait until you have a book in your sights, then do some research. Check the price of the book in stores and then compare it to the price on The Book Depository and see if you can get yourself a bargain! I mean, lets face it, we bloggers and authors read A LOT of books, but who wants to keep paying $20-30 or more every time we buy a book?! It's insane. 
The only crap thing is that most books take up to 48 hours to be dispatched and then depending on where you want it shipped to, it can take up to 3-10 working days to reach you. But when you're paying less than $10 for a book worth $30, I suppose it's worth the wait. Like I mentioned before, shipping is free and returns are allowed, just contact the site for more info.
If you like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you can get it from $11 on this site. Amazing huh? 
Have fun! :-) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Group
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 14 356759 2
Source: Borrowed
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story us about to be completely rewritten.
From the New York Times Bestselling Author of Looking For Alaska, comes an incredible story of bravery, true love and terminal illnesses, a story that will leave you heartbroken and amazed at the same time. After announcing that I had finished reading this book (in less than two days, I think that's a record), the first thing my friend said to me (who has also read it), was 'Are you going to be okay?!' 
This book is incredible. Amazing. Though-provoking. Un-put-down-able. I cried, laughed, then cried again, then laughed again, then stared blankly at my bedroom wall while I tried to figure out why life was so hard, then laughed and cried again as I started a new chapter. Other than star-crossed love, the main issue addressed in this book is cancer and how it affects the lives of not only the person suffering from the illness, but also those who love them. The honest way the book is written touches readers with the right amount of emotional acuity and precision. 
There were love scenes, cancer stories, deep conversations, early phone calls and a fixation on An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (not a real book FYI, I googled it) The Fault In Our Stars can easily be named one of the best young adult literature books around. After reading about An Imperial Affliction within the pages of The Fault In Our Stars I wanted to know if it was a book that actually existed. After a thorough Google search, I concluded that this book is made up. But what a task, to create a book within a book and to make the author of said book seem so real. When reading about Peter Van Houten in The Fault In Our Stars, I thought it was a little weird to portray an actual real-life author in a book, until I found out that he actually does not exist, he's just a fictional character from the incredible mind of John Green. The Fault In Our Stars even begins with a quote from this book! 
I'm going to wrap this review up here by saying that you should go out and get yourself a copy of this book, a cup of tea and a box and tissues and prepare yourself for a riveting read. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking For  Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Year of Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0-14-240251-1
Source: Borrowed
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Francois Rebelais, poet) even more. He heads of to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Defined by answers about life and death after a fatal accident, this book is written by a writer of amazing talent. As hinted in the blurb above, this book is an original piece of work as it is split into a before and after, both revolving around one tragic event. This book was insightful (even poetic at times), had well-written characters and was instantly captivating. We are reading a story about a boy called Miles who moves to a boarding school where he finds out what it's like to have friends and crushes, smokes his first cigarette and gets drunk with his roommate. He meets a girl called Alaska with quirks and beauty. She's self-destructive and impulsive and surprises her friends everyday by doing something crazy no one expects. Pulling pranks and being original is her forte and she tends to just do whatever the hell she wants whenever she wants but that's why she's beautiful. Miles falls for her like most other guys who meet her, and she flirts with him shamelessly even though she loves her boyfriend. I'm going to keep this review short and finish by saying that this book is incredible and I would recommend it, especially if you liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 978 0 7322 9428 1 (pbk.)
Source: Borrowed
The RMS Titanic might be the most luxurious ship in the world, but all passenger Tess Davies wants to do is escape her dreary existence as a maid. Trapped in a web of painful memories and twisted family secrets, Tess vows to make a run for it as soon as the ship reaches New York. A new world awaits... and a new life! 
Her single minded obsession shatters when she meets Alec. Handsome and mysterious, he captivates her immediately- but Alec has secrets of his own. As she uncovers the darkness lurking beneath his sophisticated surface, Tess discovers a horrifying truth. Werewolves, once only the stuff of nightmares, are real- and they are stalking Alec. Tess's love for Alec puts her in mortal peril, but an even greater danger lies in front of her before their journey on the Titanic is over.
This book was fantastic. Upon picking it up, I thought to myself, this book sounds a little weird, but I like weird so I decided to read it. I've read the Evernight series, Claudia Gray's other work, and came to the conclusion that I wanted to read more of her books. This one got a few good reviews and I am about to write another one. Claudia Gray has produced an incredibly original book. Werewolf novels have been written before, but ever heard of one set on the Titanic? It's refreshingly original and a nice plot twist. Even though you know that at some point the ship is going to sink, that's the only real obvious spoiler in the book. Most books, readers are able to predict what will happen, but this one was the opposite of an open book. (Of course, I don't mean that literally.) 
Common knowledge is that the Titanic sank on the 15 of April, 1912. Everything about this book was accurate to that era, right down to the language. The inequality between rich and poor, some technological inventions we have today weren't even incorporated into the book, giving us an insight as to how people lived back then. Think horse and carriage, the old irons. So not only was this book a great work of fiction, it can also be considered as educational. 
This book was a prime example of what YA Fiction is all about. With just the right mix of passion, lust, mystery, suspense, inspirational characters and set against a backdrop of one of the most iconic events in history, with a supernatural twist, the book hooks readers from the very first page. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Review: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Ballad
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books, an imprint of Scholastic Ltd
Year of Release: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 407 12112 3
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 388
When his best friend, Dee, fell in love with a faerie, James realised she'd never feel the same way about him. Trying to escape into music, James finds himself surrounded by more faeries than ever. Before he knows it, James is trapped in a dangerous game. One where the only way to win is to betray the one you love...
A ballad is a poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. This book isn't a ballad, however it contains components of one. Many chapters are opened with a poem,  'Golden Tongue: The Poems of Steven Slaughter'. These excerpts are beautiful and many readers went mad trying to find the source of these poems, only to find out that they were written by Maggie herself. The last book, Lament, was told in Dee's perspective, but in this sequel, James is the main focus and the book alternates between chapters given from his POV and a faerie called Nuala. Nuala is quite a character. At the beginning of the book, we believe her to be evil and cunning. James is on her radar and her job is to make a deal with him- giving him her inspiration for his music in return for his life- or years of it, gradually being taken away from him, allowing Nuala to live. Nuala is what is called a leanan sidhe, and this means that she will live for 16 years and 16 years only, making deals with the musically gifted, and taking years off their lives, until, on the night of Halloween on her sixteenth year, she is burnt alive and reborn from the ashes as a new person, with new memories but always with the same twisted purpose. Until she falls in love with her next target: James. She refuses to harm him, even though she will suffer and grow weaker without making deals. We get a tiny perspective from Dee in this book- fifteen unsent text messages to James at the end of a few of the chapters. The two work through their relationship, made complicated by her fling with Luke and James' feelings for her. Nearing the end of the novel, James is put in a position where he must choose between Nuala, the faerie girl he has fallen for and Dee, his best friend and the girl he's loved forever. 
My only criticism is that the book was kind of slow and very complicated at times. It wasn't exactly the easiest book to read. You really have to pay attention or you'll find yourself rereading the previous page to figure out what the hell is going on. 
I hope you enjoyed my review! :) 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Lament
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books, an imprint of Scholastic Ltd
Year of Release: 2008
ISBN: 978 1407 12031 7
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 356
Sixteen-year-old Dee is a cloverhand- someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance. But Dee doesn't realize that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world. And she is his next target.
This book has the most incredible plot. I loved it! It may seem like a childish book, as we have been taught that faeries are for children. They're small, sparkly winged creatures that dance around between flower petals and have a fascination for little kids. They're friendly. These faeries however, are not the faeries you and I are used to. In this sequence, Maggie Stiefvater puts a deadly twist on the original faerie lore. Though we believe them to be kind little things, the faeries in this book are dangerous beyond belief. They can be nice, but rub them the wrong way and you're a goner. They still have the characteristics associated with normal faeries- they like pretty things, music, dancing, flowers etc. but they're possessive. They see a pretty girl and they want to own her, to take her away and keep her forever. They also love games. With humans, that means toying with them. Making them so confused that they don't even know what day of the week it is and then stealing them away. A pretty, musically talented girl called Dee lives an ordinary life playing her harp and performing at gigs, but is put on the faerie's radar, essentially putting her life and the lives of those around her at risk. When she meets a mysterious boy called Luke and falls for him,  she has no idea that he has an ulterior motive- kill her. See, he's an assassin from the faerie world and she's got no way of knowing that she is his next target. Chilling, right? Throw in a heart-breaking love triangle, some strange telekinetic abilities and a malicious faerie queen hell-bent on having Dee destroyed, and ta-da! There's a book that won't leave you disappointed. This isn't the first time I've read this book either. I read it once before, when it was first released, way before I was writing this blog. I was younger then too, so I don't think I fully understood it. Now that I do, I can safely say that if you're looking for something different to read, give this book a go. The sequel, Ballad, has already been released and I will be reviewing that next for you. 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Review: Balthazar by Claudia Gray

Title: Balthazar
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 7322 9208 9 (pbk.)
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 374
For hundreds of years, the vampire Balthazar has been alone without allies, without love.
When Balthazar agrees to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, he has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye's newfound psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel, seductive master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Now Redgrave plans to use Skye's powers for his own evil purposes.
Balthazar will do whatever it takes to stop Redgrave and exact his long-awaited revenge against his killer. As Skye and Balthazar stand together to fight him, they grow closer- first unwillingly, then undeniably. Balthazar realises his lonely world could finally be changed by her...
In a story filled with formidable love and dark suspense, one of the most beloved characters in Claudia Gray's New York Times bestselling Evernight series will captivate readers with his battle to overcome his past and follow his heart.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined Balty and Skye to get together. Skye was a very small character in the last series. In Afterlife, the wraith Bianca possesses a willing Skye in an attempt to escape a certain death trap. This provoked a connection between Skye and the world of the dead and since then, she has been experiencing vivid visions of previous deaths, no matter how long ago, when she comes across the place where that person died. Her sex/anatomy classroom at school? The janitor suffered a heart attack in that room and she experiences it each time she steps inside, forcing her to transfer out of that class. But these visions are only the beginning. They define Skye and now that the word is out, every vampire in the world will be out for her blood. Especially Redgrave, who will stop at nothing to collect and make Skye his forever. 
I liked this book. It wasn't as good as when the story featured Bianca and Lucas as the main characters, but it was enjoyable just the same. Good old Balty was one of my absolute fave characters so it was incredible to have him as a main focus. As Skye and Balthazar fell more and more in love, I fell more and more in love with the book! Though it was kind of predictable what would happen, I enjoyed reading it all the same. 
I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of the Evernight series and loved Balthazar as much as I did. 
Guys, I'm sorry I haven't been posting as much lately, I've been really busy with school and with exams coming up soon, I won't have as much time to read as I usually do. So bear with me and I promise to give you a truck load of reviews when I finally get around to reading the millions of books stacked up in my closet. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Title: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publisher: Puffin Classics
Year of Release: 1925
Source: Borrowed 
Having heard mentions of this book all my life, without ever really knowing what it was about, I finally decided it was time to pick up this book and read it. There are many different versions and cover art of this book, having been written in the early 1920's. If you're interested in reading this book or something similar, visit Puffin Classics, for all the information you need. 
The Great Gatsby is a beautifully written novel. It is recounted in the first person- an uncommon writing style in the 1920's and it is argued that Fitzgerald wrote in this perspective because he wanted "something new". The Great Gatsby is arguably Fitzgerald's finest work, and I agree with this statement completely. 
The story is told in the perspective of Nick Carraway, an exceptionally ordinary man living an exceptionally ordinary life in the town of West Egg. His neighbour, on the other hand, is a little more eccentric. Nick lives next-door to Jay Gatsby, a middle-aged man known for throwing incredible parties in his over-sized mansion. Gatsby has everything- money, people, a reptation- women want him, men want to be him. His parties are usually packed to the rafters with people and by invitation only, so when Nick receives an invite from Gatsby himself without ever having spoken two words to him, his interest is piqued. The two bond immediately and become inseparable. During the course of their friendship, Nick and Gatsby find that they have more in common than they originally thought. Nick's cousin Daisy, who is married to an arrogant, self-centered man by the name of Tom Buchanan met Gatsby five years before the novel begins, when she was just a young beauty living in Louisville. The two fell in love but as he was serving overseas, she was getting married to another man. It's no wonder then, all these years later, that Gatsby would want to see Daisy again. But what events unfold behind closed doors will spark a chain reaction that will not only put stress on Daisy and Tom's marriage and Nick and Gatsby's friendship, but could essentially put lives in danger.  
The Great Gatsby is the best kind of poem and in it's attempt to find a balance between illusion and reality, becomes the supreme American novel, capturing the allures of money, ambition and greed. Lose yourself in the lives of the elite living in the raging 20's and leave me a comment below!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Review: Asleep Without Dreaming by Barbara Forte Abate

Title: Asleep Without Dreaming
Author: Barbara Forte Abate
Source: PDF (from author, this was a requested review)
Summary (from Goodreads)-
Fourteen year old Willa Burkett has been waiting her whole life to leave Hoosick Falls- a nowhere place that fails to hold even a single good memory. But, when a series of vengeful incidents stir Willa's mother Stella to impulsively pack up and go, it is only to fins themselves stranded in yet another ugly, near extinct town, only now with a broken down car and no ready way out. Unable to move on until an alternate plan shows itself, they accept a job working for Omega Pearl Bodie, a proprietress of The Moonglow motel- a long forgotten, steadily decaying relic, where mostly nothing happens- except now, when everything does. It is here in this place of desperate loneliness and restless boredom that Willa will have her world rocked to the core in ways she doesn't immediately comprehend. The craziness of the life she's left behind all but eclipsed by the dark turn of the here and now, as Willa attempts to keep one step ahead of the ever-twisting whims of a mother prone to keeping secrets and telling lies, a murderous arsonist returned to the scene of his earlier crimes to dole out revenge one fiery victim at a time- and Jesse Truman. A boy with indigo eyes that Omega Pearl has hired as a handyman at The Moonglow- who Willa longs to save- if only she understood what it is he needs saving from.
As soon as the book starts, we are introduced to a young Willa Burkett and her mother Stella- a lying, controlling, selfish, manipulative witch of a woman. Immediately, we are given the impression that they come from a past of nothing but bad luck and bad experiences that have left them both scarred. So when their shabby, rundown car falters and breaks down in the middle 0f the highway, they're not all that surprised at this unfortunate turn of events. Unable to continue their journey to California in a runaway attempt from their home in Hoosick Falls, they have no choice but to set up camp in a low budget motel, run by a woman known all around town for spreading gossip. The Moonglow. No money, no home and now, no car, Willa and Stella are stuck in another stupid, old town. Things can't get worse than this, right? Wrong. Turns out, there's an escaped prisoner on the loose, who goes by the chilling name of Norman Hitchcock. The town is suppressed by fear and it doesn't help matters any when unexplained fires start burning down essential buildings in town. Possibly the only positive thing that comes from this situation is Jesse Truman, the young, hot handyman working at The Moonglow and Willa has her heart set on him. But Jesse is hiding something, something Willa would never have imagined in her wildest dreams. A shocking past and an unexpected turn of events will cause Willa to question everything she's ever believed in, everything she's ever known and face the all important question- does she really have anyone? 
When Barbara Forte Abate requested me to review this book for her, I was so excited because I knew I was in for a great read, thanks to The Secret of Lies, which I reviewed last year. So a few days and 7 cups of green tea later, I regrettably reached the end of this chilling read. It was disappointing to finish because I enjoyed reading it so much that I didn't want it to end! Another flawless read by Barbara Forte Abate, this author just continues to amaze me with her extraordinary talent for writing and creation of characters. You can truly relate to the characters in her books in the most beautiful ways. 
The perfectly woven web Abate has created through her writing comes to life before your eyes as you read... and read, and read, and read- this book was just impossible to put down. I felt like I could connect with Willa and felt her emotions throughout the story- her anger towards her self-centered mother, her longing to be with Jesse, her sadness, her curiosity sparked by the fires- I felt it all because I was able to understand, as I'm sure most readers will. 
I give this book the highest of recommendations, especially if you are a mysteries fan. Thank you, Barbara Forte Abate, for giving me the opportunity to read such an amazing book. 
Visit Barbara Forte Abate's Official Website

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review: Afterlife by Claudia Gray

Title: Afterlife
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 978 0 7322 8970 6 (pbk.)
Source: Purchased
It's going to be okay, Lucas, I thought, willing him to hear me past the divide between this world and the next. Wasn't he about to cross that divide to return to me? So maybe we were close enough for him to listen. We're dead, but we can still be together. Nothing matters more than that. We're stronger than death. Now nothing else ever has to come between us. You and I never have to be apart again. 
Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality: they have become what they most feared. Lucas is a vampire, and Bianca is a wraith. Together, they've overcome every obstacle life has thrown at them and fought pitched battles against enemies- mortal and otherwise. Now they must face their biggest challenge so far. They must discover if their love is strong enough to survive what comes after life... 
Packed with romance, suspense and page-turning drama, Afterlife delivers a heart-stopping conclusion that won't disappoint the many fans who have made the Evernight series such a runaway success. 
In my review on Stargazer , I said that I couldn't decide whether I liked these books or not. Well, I have officially decided. I like them. No, not like- love! They're amazing! This epic conclusion to the heart-stopping Evernight series is positively flawless and will not disappoint those who have become fans of these books (which isn't hard). The beatiful characters and captivating plots come together fabulously to make an amazing series. This book picks up right where the last one left off. Lucas is dead, by Charity's hand. Except, he's not just dead. He's in transition- becoming the one thing he hates and fears above all else; a vampire. Bianca, a new wraith is all the while trying to come to terms with what she is. She, Balthazar, Vic and Ranulf remain by his side until he awakes. Controlled by blood hunger and fear, Lucas is not the same person he was and never will be. They decide to take him to Evernight, where he can freely call upon the sanctuary it offers. But given his Black Cross background and his history with Evernight Academy, they doubt Mrs Bethany will look after him. Instead, she surprises them all and accepts him into her home. But what they don't know is that she has an ulterior motive that, in the balance, holds Bianca's life and the existence of the other wraiths she has grown to accept and love. Banding together to fight one last epic battle against the only people that stand in the way of their happiness, Lucas, Bianca, Balthazar, Vic, Ranulf, Bianca's parents and eventually, Patrice, prepare themselves for their last battle.

Not only was Afterlife packed with suspense and drama, it was also incredibly funny and I found myself laughing aloud to a lot of the funnier lines. I recommend this series to all those who are fans of the supernatural and paranormal, share a love of crazy-hot vamps and just all-around enjoy an epic love story. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Title: Hourglass
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2010
ISBN: 978 0 7322 8968 0 (pbk.)
Source: Purchased
Bianca has found refuge again with the Black Cross, and she and Lucas work desperately to keep her secret. In this company, being a vampire is a death sentence, and the two of them live and train alongside the hunters without anyone noticing her increasing need for blood. 
Even though she's with the boy she loves more than anyone else in the world, Bianca can't help worrying about the family and friends she left behind. Caught between three feuding worlds, it's starting to feel as though she'll never be entirely at peace again. 
When another betrayal puts the lovers in mortal danger once more, they realise that all they truly have is each other. But with the secret of Bianca's birth taking hold, not even Lucas can help her win her toughest fight. 

Nothing I say in this review will be enough to say how much I enjoyed reading this book. It was positively fabulous. It was the first book in the series to be set away from Evernight and that just made it all the more suspenseful. I finished this book within a matter of days- it was un-put-down-able and without a doubt my absolute favourite in this series so far. Black Cross- the secret organization that specializes in hunting and killing vampires has taken Bianca and her friend Raquel under their wing and are teaching them the ropes. Little do they know, Bianca is a vampire- the creature they despise- and if they knew the truth, she would be slaughtered without a moment's hesitation. No one has noticed her increasing need for blood and she can only go five days without it before the craving gets to be too much. The physical signs begin to show too- she's weaker, paler, and her reflection in mirrors is beginning to disappear. If she doesn't get blood soon, there's a good chance the Black Cross hunters will catch on. After a whirlwind of events that unfold one after the other, Lucas and Bianca are forced to leave Black Cross and make it on their own. No money, no home and no food, they're pretty much stuck. After borrowing money from a few friends and living in Vic's basement, the two seem pretty much set for a while. That is, until Bianca starts getting dizzy spells. She's gradually getting weaker and is losing her appetite for blood. She doesn't know what's happening to her and Lucas is worried. With no way to contact her parents or the friends she once had at school, Bianca and Lucas are on their own. 
Okay, I'll stop there. I hope I've given you a good enough summary of the book to make you want to get into this series. It's great. Mystery, suspense, vengeful vampires, a steamy romance and an earth-shattering conclusion all make this book so beautiful and I would highly recommend it and the series. If you're a fan of the Vampire Academy series, you'll love these books! 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Review: Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Title: Stargazer
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2008
ISBN: 978 0 7322 8968 3
Source: Purchased
"I kissed Lucas again, more slowly this time. We held each other tighter, and I started to wonder how much closer we could get- and then I remembered what it had felt like when I drank his blood."
Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all- vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them. But Bianca fell in love with Lucas- a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school. 
Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross- or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies. Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning...

I'll be straight- I'm conflicted. I can't decide if I like these books or not. They are by no means the best vampire-romance stories I've read and they aren't to die for and Lucas isn't all that hot and they are kind of cheesy, but on the other hand, there is a truth to the story and the plot is incredible and it is well written, so I honestly don't know. I liked the first book better, I always like the first book of a series best, but this one had more action, secrecy and suspense than the last one, which was good. 
Lucas has been forced to run away from Evernight and Bianca can't go with him, despite how much as she would like to. They are in love. What seems petty and selfish and stupid to her superiors is actually true and pure and she will do anything to be with Lucas. They arrange meetings, but these don't always work the way they want to. Lucas belongs to Black Cross- an organization based on killing vampires- and his schedule is understandably unpredictable. Instead of Bianca having to sneak away from the school to see him, she puts her faith in Balthazar- a 300 year old vampire intent on finding his sister Charity who is in town. They strike a deal. Balthazar is respected and has authority. If he and Bianca fool people to believe they're dating, he can get permission to take her off campus. She can meet up with Lucas and he can focus on hunting down his sister. It's a win-win. But when other supernatural forces attempt to penetrate the school and target Bianca, they realise that they have more to fear than getting caught.
I really liked this story-line. It was much more interesting than the last one, but then again, I did find it kind of cheesy at times. I will recommend this series if you are a vampire fanatic, but don't read them if you're sick of all those vampire books because this one is pretty much exactly like the rest of them. 
(You can find links to relative websites in my review on Evernight)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Evernight by Claudia Gray

Title: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Year of Release: 2008 (USA), 2009 (Aus.)
ISBN: 978 0 7322 8967 6
Source: Purchased
Bianca wants to escape. She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow are too perfect: smart, sleek, and somehow predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. Then she meets Lucas. He's the not the 'Evernight type' either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs and wants Bianca to be careful- even when it comes to caring about him. 
"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would." 
But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them both apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed. 

Upon picking up this book, I thought this would be just another stupid vampire book. Truthfully, it wasn't the best vampire based book I've read, but it definitely wasn't the worst. It had a fantastic plot and Gray is a very talented writer. What many authors fail to realise is that when writing in the first person, you must take on the role of that character and become them, writing in their point of view and not your own. It's not an easy thing to do and takes a lot of practice, but Gray was able to do this beautifully. 
The book was a little predictable, but what I didn't expect was to find out the vampire was the girl in the story and not the boy, like in so many other vampire love stories. Twilight, The Vampire Diaries- they all star a boy as the mysterious vampire and the girl as the love-struck idiot. It was surprisingly refreshing. Lucas has a secret of his own that I wasn't expecting. It's like two people who are so in love, but are torn apart because of who they are. This made it so interesting that I practically read the entire book in under three days. 
At first, you think that all the students at Evernight Academy are evil vampires and Bianca is a clueless human. You would never, ever expect that she would turn out to be one of them. If you did, leave a comment, I want to talk to you because you're awesome. 
If you are looking for a book about a vampire boarding school, I would definitely recommend the Vampire Academy series over this one. But I do suggest you read it for yourself if you're really into the vampire, supernatural stuff as much as I am.
Visit Claudia Gray's official website here! 

Review: Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships by Susan Shapiro Barash

I don't think this book requires me to provide a blurb, the title speaks for itself. I picked up this book because I was having problems within one of my friendships and was looking for some advice and a little insight into what to do. This book seemed like the most reliable. I wasn't planning on reviewing it, but I enjoyed it so much, that I thought all you women out there should really know about this one. Even if you're not stuck in a complicated friendship, this book really will help you to do the right thing by you. You may think you know a friend, but this book is a real eye-opener. 
Find out whether to tolerate, ditch or keep your friends based on this whimsical, eye-opening and thought-provoking book that will have you renewing your self-confidence and worth by deciding which friends are good for you and those who don't deserve you. Many self-help writers will often skip over the difficult situations that many will come across because they are not able to provide a decent resolution. Susan Shapiro Barash however, was wonderfully intelligent, honest and compassionate in her writing. 
She provided beautiful examples of what women could be going through within their friendships with books, T.V shows, papers, all modern day things that related, consisting of fiction and non-fiction examples. 
You will find names for all of your friends within the pages of this deeply satisfying and enlightening book. 
(Sorry if I've gotten too deep with this review, I was listening to Ed Sheeran while writing it.)
I do recommend this book to all women who need a little advice, trying to figure out if you should keep your friend, or if it would be better for you to leave her/him. If there was one thing I learnt from this book, it's that if your friend makes you frown more than she makes you smile- tell her goodbye. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

"I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day... or who did the heart breaking and wondering why."
Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. 

This book is one of my favourites by far. It's deeply compelling and fair style of writing present a beautiful, coming of age story. A book with a fascinating sense of emotional acuity and precision, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is beautifully written and often inspirational. It offers a unique insight into the life of someone who is not popular and good-looking, but rather shy and quiet and small. As my personality is similar to that of Charlie's I could often relate to what he was feeling in particular situations. I think that more people are able to relate to the character of Charlie because he is a much more realistic character set in a much more realistic story. Not all high school themed books have beautiful, popular girls on a cheer leading squad with boyfriends who are the captain of the football team and then ignore the other boys whose personalities are similar to Charlie's. It's not realistic, nor idealistic. Charlie is a more sensible character and it was a nice change. Especially since it came from a boy's point of view, it made the book more enticing and was a bit of an eye-opener. 
Charlie is someone who is thrown into a world where he has no experience and is trying to navigate it the best way he can. So we do develop a bit of a soft spot for him. When he meets Patrick and Sam, they become friends instantly despite the age gap. With these two amazing characters by his side, Charlie finally feels a sense of belonging. And with Sam, he now needs to learn how to deal with crushes. 
I highly recommend this book and would love to hear your views on it if you've read it.
The movie The Perks Of Being A Wallflower will be released on September 20 this year and stars Logan Lerman as Charlie, the lovely Emma Watson as Sam and Ezra Miller as Patrick.
You can view the entire cast and crew here:
Leave your comments below! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Forever
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 9780545259088
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 386
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives. 
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt. 
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present and the future are about to collide in one pure moment- a moment of death or life, farewell or forever. 
This book was probably the best one in the series. I absolutely adored the characters and was devastated to be leaving this amazing series behind. I have become so attached to the characters. This book made me laugh, cry, sigh, yell out in frustration... etc. Cole's one liners and hidden adoration of the other characters just strengthened the crush I had already developed for him. 
I particularly love the cover art of these three books and how each one reflects the story of the novel. In Shiver, the cover portrays a wolf looking out from behind a tangle of branches. We know this to be Sam longing for a human life to be with his summer girl. In Linger, we see a girl walking away from a wolf in the woods that is staring at her retreating figure and after reading the book, we understand that she is trying to deny her fate for as long as possible. And finally in Forever, we see a boy watching helplessly as a wolf stares back at him from the woods.
Really, the only thing I wanted from these books was to see Isabel and Cole get naky  together like every reader hoped they would. And all they did was share a few brief, yet passionate kisses that hardly sufficed. Grace was adorable, as usual, and Sam was tough and loyal. Cole was funny and broke my heart, Isabel was the same and her dad was still an asshole idiot. 
So, to summarize, I really enjoyed this book and was very satisfied with the ending, minus the Isabel/Cole part. 
Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Year of Release: 2010
ISBN: 9780545123280
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 360
the longing. 
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.
the loss.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life as a wolf while denying the ties of being human.
the linger.
For Grace, Sam and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces- wolf and human- with love baring it's two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
I do think I like this one better than the first one. In this book we get two new perspectives accompanying Sam and Grace's- Cole, the new wolf and Isabel. This book is more intense than the last one and has more mystery to it. You feel sad to see the characters you have grown to love get hurt, as they often do throughout this book. Not only do we see both Sam and Grace in a new light, we also get the opportunity to welcome Cole and Isabel into the story and we grow to love them too. No doubt you're all crushing on Cole as much as I am. 
Beautifully written, even poetic at times, and inspired by famous poetry, song lyrics and lots of coffee, Linger is an enchantingly dangerous and mesmerising combination of love, loyalty and the constant battle between human and wolf, all the while afraid of the possibility of loss that is ever present. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

Title: When God Was a Rabbit
Author: Sarah Winman
Publisher: Headline Review
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 9780755379309
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 324 
This is a book about a brother and a sister. 
It is a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between.
More than anything, it's a book about love in all it's forms. 
Expanded over 4 decades, When God Was a Rabbit is a different, mesmerising, incredibly thought-provoking read. Refreshingly original, the story follows the life of Elly, from the time of her birth to her middle-aged life, the friendships she is able to form and the unshakable bonds she shares with her family, particularly her brother Joe. Winman has a way of seeing the world, a way she incorporates into her characters, that is so pure and true and beautiful. Even through the most horrific complications, Winman presents them to us with an air that is almost... magical. The problems are still there, of course, but it doesn't seem so terrible when you read through her eyes. It's imaginative and, comforting, in a way. You are not alone. 
Elly's childhood innocence is observed with emotional acuity and precision. She knows not of the hardships of life, the hurt of a broken heart, the experience of how two best friends can so suddenly become strangers under the influence of distance and time. But gradually and eventually the cold hard truth of life catches up with her, killing her innocent essence and unveiling the things that will later cause her to regret the desperation of growing up. Sarah Winman's experimental nature is evident in the way she approaches her writing, her creation and development of characters and the sense that she is not afraid to try something new, to stand out and be different from other authors. She presents herself in the book with a sense of righteousness and it feels as though you are right there in the story, perceiving everything in your own way.
It includes an array of interesting, individual characters that are relevant to society today- homosexuals, prisoners, cancer patients- they're all there. It is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read. 
What attracted me most to this book in the first place was, not only the many positive recommendations, but the unique and compelling title. The time when God was a rabbit was the peak of childhood innocence. And although unclear at times with no real story-line or plot, the whimsical characters and string of events that act as a backdrop to a peaceful family, are unlike any book I have encountered before. Somehow, it always comes down to one thing. Love, in all of it's forms. Winman's soft, narrative voice guides you through a perfectly woven web of life, gently annotating the good and bad parts in a way that is both beautiful and precise.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razor Bill
Year of Release: 2012
ISBN: 9781921518478
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 418
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she's been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California- tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist. 
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her old-age Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi- the fiercest vampires, the ones who don't die. But it's her fear of being just that- special, magical, powerful- that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with cute, brainy Brayden. As perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else- someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney's loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her. 
Should she trust the Alchemists- or her heart?
As soon as my mother came home Tuesday evening bearing a freshly printed copy of The Golden Lily, my heart skipped a beat. As many of my friends and family members are well aware of, I am a huge fan of the Vampire Academy franchise. I am even proudly responsible for converting a few people into fans of the books. After reading Bloodlines early last year, it was a long time coming for the second installment to this highly anticipated book. For those of you who aren't aware, the Bloodlines books are a spin-off series from the original Vampire Academy series. Fans will undoubtedly be aware of these books- Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice. These six books all have the status of being international best-sellers and I am pretty sure they were all on the New York Times Bestseller list. The Bloodlines books take a much different approach from the original series, a risk that won out in the end. Readers have the pleasure of reading the story from the point of view of Sydney Sage. She's an Alchemist, a human who's job is to bridge the world between vampires and humans. Controlled and restrained by a lily tattoo on her cheek, Sydney belongs to the society of the Alchemists and this tattoo gives them complete control over her life. Where she goes, whom she works with and how long. 
She realized this only too late- the Alchemists own her. Her beliefs dictate every decision she has ever made. Alchemists are taught to not get too close to vampires- Moroi, Strigoi or Dhampirs. But her new vampire friends have become something of a family to her, much to her dismay, and it hurts her to know that she can never truly give in to these feelings of belonging, for fear of being disgraced by her Alchemist superiors. Fighting conflicted feelings, Sydney knows all too well what her duty is- protect Jill Dragomir. And that is exactly what she will do.
I have always thought that it is not so much the story-lines Richelle Mead creates- though those are brilliant- it is the characters she manages to incorporate and portray so well. Their individual personalities, charisma and many upon many witty lines, these characters truly make the stories the amazing works that they so are. Adrian Ivashkov is a perfect example. He is witty, charming, attractive, and I'm sure all female readers feel drawn to him. (Don't worry, I do too!) His reputation given to us when we are first introduced to him in Frostbite shows an arrogant, sarcastic, rich, sleazy, taking everything for granted party boy. Not to mention how many women he goes through. But later on, we see that there is more to him than the limits of his reputation. He is just trying to break out of a cage that society has locked him in, free of any redeeming qualities and deeming that he will never be useful for anything. 
So aside from the amazingly complex list of wonderfully admirable characters, The Golden Lily was incredibly funny (no thanks to Adrian) and I found myself laughing aloud so many times and so uncontrollably that I was actually rendered to setting the book down. (Gasp!) I shamelessly devoted 10 hours of my Saturday to reading this book. 
I can assure you that if you are a fan, you will not be disappointed by The Golden Lily. Richelle, how long are we going to have to wait this time for the next one?
Links; - The official website for the Bloodlines series. - The official website for Richelle Mead.
You can find my review on Bloodlines somewhere in the 2011 part of my archive, if you're interested. I promise you, it's not nearly as long as this one. :)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Review: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Silence
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year of Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-85707-228-3
Number of Pages: 438 
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome their secrets, riddled in Patch's dark past, bridged two irreconcilable worlds and faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust. All for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for -and their love- forever. What a great read. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick ticks all the boxes- thrilling? Check. Suspenseful? Check. Captivating? Check. No need to say more, this book didn't let down, and definitely exceeds the expectations of fans of the Hush, Hush series. 
We see a different side of Patch in this book. The side of him that will sacrifice anything- even himself- to save the woman he loves. Their love is put to the test in ways that cannot be explained, but somehow, even after everything they have been through so far, things get even more challenging. 
Cannot wait for the next book! The ending was magnificent and leaves you in a suspense that  hurts when you think about the decisions Patch and Nora will be forced to make. Sexy and incredibly seductive, Silence is the perfect romance novel displaying an impossible love made even more difficult by their heritages. 
A phrase I said often while reading this one: "OH. MY. GOD." Those who have read it will understand, I'm sure. I recommend this series highly and please comment your opinions below!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year of Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84738-720-7
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 427 
Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. But Patch has been acting anything but angelic lately. He's more elusive than ever and, even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Miller. Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who's moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him- despite her lingering feelings that he's hiding something.
Haunted be images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations as she searches for answers. But some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything- and everyone- she trusts. With just as much- maybe more- suspense and mystery than the last book, Crescendo was fast-paced and thrilling. Sexy and seductive. The first chapter suggests secrets and mystery and I found- just like last time- that I simply could not tear my eyes away from this book! There was a lot more humor in this one and I found myself laughing aloud in certain areas of the book, too. I keep a notepad and pen on my bedside table, which is also where I keep each book I am currently reading so that I can jot down things I like and dislike about a book while I read, which helps me write my review later. While reading Hush, Hush and Crescendo, the pages just keep filling up with my messy handwriting of all the things I loved about these books! I really admire Becca Fitzpatrick's style of writing, the characters she creates and the story lines she puts into action. Genius. Above all, I was incredibly impressed with the direction Becca took with the story. I didn't know so many secrets could come out in one book! It was like boom!, boom!, boom! and I was like "woah, slow down!". I was continually being shocked by all the things Nora was uncovering. Once again, very refreshing compared to other teen fiction books and definitely the best series out the the angel-themed bunch. 
Definitely a good read, although you will need to read Hush, Hush first to understand it properly and pay close attention. It can get a bit confusing! Highly recommended.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year of Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-84738-694-6 (hbk.)
Source: Purchased
Number of Pages: 391
Falling for the fallen...
'I knew the names of all my classmates... except one. The transfer... He sat slouched one desk back, cool black eyes holding a steady gaze forward... His eyes sliced into me and the corners of his mouth tilted up. My heart fumbled a beat, and in that pause, a feeling of gloomy darkness seemed to slide like a shadow over me. It vanished in an instant, but I was still staring at him. His smile wasn't friendly. It was a smile that spelled trouble. With a promise.'
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgement. 
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and knows more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of a centuries-old battle between the immortal and those that have fallen- and sooner or later, she's going to have to pick a side... I loved this book. From the very first page, you get a compelling sense to keep reading. Becca Fitzpatrick is amazingly talented and a beautiful writer. This book was amazing. Upon being first introduced to Patch, even though he doesn't "technically" exist (pffft), you are instantly attracted to his character which is seductive, funny, compelling, mysterious and enchanting. There is something alluring about Patch. You can sense he has a dark side and it's really no use ignoring the urge to spend an entire day reading to find out what it is. Just as Nora is mesmerized by Patch, readers to are drawn to his mysterious, bad-boy bravado. If I could describe this book in one word, besides amazing, it would definitely be addictive. I couldn't put it down!
The ending was really something. I couldn't have asked for a better closure. Well done Becca! One of the things I liked most about Hush, Hush was that is was so oddly refreshing. There is nothing better than a book about a forbidden love, but paired with a mysterious, thrilling story-line, it makes for a killer book. Throw a century-old battle in there and you've got yourself a best seller. Money well spent. I loved every moment I spent with my nose stuck in this book. Aside from the actual story, I loved the cover art too. Truly beautiful. Better than an apple. (Sorry Twilight).
I highly recommend Hush, Hush if you're a fan of paranormal romances, thrillers or just looking for something a little different to vampires and werewolves. Enjoy! Links;