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.