Thursday, 21 June 2012

Review: He's After Me by Chris Higgins

First words
I hadn't seen this book before yesterday, but after scouting around my local library, it caught my eye and I decided to give it a read!

So, what's it about?
"I shriek, and now I am running, as fast as I can, down the pitch-dark street. He is chasing me. He's not trying to be quiet now. He's after me."*

When her dad left her mum for his new girlfriend, Anna's life slowly started to fall apart.
But then she meets Jem. Handsome and mysterious, he's a photography student who loves art and music - he introduces her to a whole new world. Soon she's in love and falling fast, but what will she sacrifice for him?
Meanwhile, something - someone - else is happening. Following. Watching.
Not all love stories have a happy ending.

Thoughts and opinions
Now, too begin with, I found myself (incorrectly), disappointed. I thought Jem was a typical 'bad-boy-who-actually-is-very-arty-and-expressive-ect'. As the story progresses, this becomes questionable to say the least.
Anna is likable, however, she is very naive. I yelled at her quite a few times, but she apparently didn't couldn't hear me!
While most of the book is written from Anna's prospective, every chapter or so, there is a paragraph by someone else. We don't know who though. But he's watching and he's waiting. He's after her.
Now, these paragraphs are what kept me hooked for the first part of the story while Anna is falling in love with Jem (which I would say happens to fast, however,I guess it needs too for the story to work, so as far as I'm concerned, its okay really.), but then suddenly the story from Anna's prospective starts to pick up pace.
This book will scare you, and it will surprise you. It'll keep you guessing, and then guessing again.
 If I'm to describe this book, it's like a snow ball. It starts off rolling down the hill, but then as it continues, it gets faster and faster, and bigger and bigger, until right at the end it smashed into a brick wall.
The ending is unexpected, and fast. It picks you up and then drops you, leaving you gasping for breath.
I have a feeling that this is the type of book that will only get better the more times you read it - and I am going to be reading it again. Soon.

More books like this?
STOLEN by Lucy Christopher
THE ETERNAL ONES by Kirsten Miller

Final verdict
With twists, turns and lies across every page, this book picks up the intensity until in finishes with a final, booming explosion.

About the authorHE'S AFTER ME, is Chris Higgins fist book for elder teens, but she has written seven other novels for younger teens including LOVE YA BABE and A PERFECT 10.

Visit her website here:
Buy it off amazon here!

*The indicated quote is taken from the blurb of HE'S AFTER ME

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Review: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

First Words
This is another book I've looked at for what seems like forever, but never picked up to read. After finishing it, I'm struggling to think why on earth I didn't read it sooner! I related to this book on so many levels, so maybe it was just waiting for the perfect time to come into my life...but the important part is that it has.

So, what's it about?
Terra is tall, she's blond, and she has a stunning body. What then, could be the problem? With just one glance at her cheek, a port-wine birth mark flaws her face and in that second, that is all people remember.
Desperate to leave high school and escape her small town and unbearable father, she is graduating early and is ready to leave and start again.
Then Jacob slams into her life. A good looking Goth boy who is about to challenge everything in her life - including herself. Can he make her see what True Beauty really is?

Thoughts and opinions
First, I want to talk about Jacob. Oh Jacob. How I love thee! Thank you, oh thank you, to Justina Chen Headley, for steering away from over used male stereo types, and coming up with someone totally unique. A Chinese Goth boy, is not something we often get the pleasure of seeing. He is written beautifully, and his reasons behind being a Goth, are so true, and it was one of the things I related to strongly. If people are going to stare, give them something to stare at. Make a statement.
Now Terra. Damn this girl is brilliant. It's hard, because I don't want to go into too much detail and give away anything from the story, but there are a few things I will say.
Her boyfriend Erik - I get it. I understand why she is with him, and why she doesn't want to break up with him. Next, her face. The idea that make-up is a mask, is one that I feel is true. That's not coming from someone who doesn't wear make-up by the way, it's coming from someone who won't step out the door with out it. Here, is another place I relate to Terra.
I seem to keep picking up books where the romance develops far to quickly. This, thankfully, was not one of those books. It's a relationship that twists and turns; pauses and races, with two characters that come together yet challenge each other; it's real.
The writing is similar to that of Sarah Dessen. I found it perfectly paced, and just when you though you knew what was coming, it changed and left you wondering again. Very humbling in places, it will make you value what you have, and is another book that makes you want to scream at the 'ideals' society places on everyone.
It will also make you want to go geocaching. Desperately.

More books like this?
SKIN DEEP by Laura Jarratt
JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen
PAPER TOWNS by John Green

Final Verdict 
A heartfelt, thought provoking novel that will stay with you for a long time. Beautifully written and artfully told, the next work by Justina Chen Headley certainly has a lot to live up too - and I'm sure it will!

About the author
Justina Chen Headley's fist book was NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (AND A FEW WHITE LIES) and the second GIRL OVERBOARD. NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL has been her third release.

You can visit her website:
Or follow her on twitter: @JustinaYChen
Check out the internet reading club for teenage girls she co-founded:
Or buy the book of amazon here!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

First words
I've been meaning to read ACROSS THE UNIVERSE for a while, but until now haven't had a chance to do so. This is a Sci-Fi / murder mystery, and I hadn't read any books like this before, and was really looking forward to giving it a go!

So, what's it about?
Stored. Un-moving. Frozen in time for 300 years. Sent out into the depth of the universe. Ready to start again on a new planet. That was the plan.
Fifty years before the spaceship Godspeed is due to land, a seventeen year old girl is woken suddenly, violently and with out warning. It's a murder attempt, and hers is only the beginning. Who would try to kill the people who are there to help build the new planet?
But this is only half the problem. Once Amy is awoken, she can not be frozen again. She's on board a spaceship with her parents still frozen in the chambers below. Alone and afraid, she's named a freak and a outcast by the residents of Godspeed.
Apart from one boy. "He want's to protect her - and more if she'll let him..."*

Thoughts and opinions
I think there's a few different fundamental parts to this book
First; the Sci-Fi parts. I adored them. Godspeed is a brilliant ship, and it's beautifully imageined and incredibly well described. The reasons for Godspeeds creation, the reasons behind the new planet, and the way in which Amy and everyone is frozen, together form the base line of the story. It's done with a precise amount of complexity and simplicity keeping interesting enough to be guessing things for yourself, but simple enough that you don't have to keep flicking back and re-reading everything.
I would say the romance in this is more of a sub-plot, and the story isn't built around it by itself. Saying that, the romance has potential to progress through the next book, and I'd like to see more of it! The next book in the series A MILLION SUNS is out now, and I'm actually really exited about ordering it. Lots of questions are left unanswered at the end of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and I defiantly want to see where Amy's relationship goes.
Of the few small things that could possibly be improved on; one) I felt it was a little slow to start, and two) some parts of the 'romance' I thought were a little rushed or un-explanatory / followed up.
Its written from both Amy's point of view, and Elder's. He's due to be the next leader of Godspeed, and through him, we learn more about Godspeed and how the people are managed. He is brilliantly written; strong but unsure of himself, and trying to think desperately how to show Amy that Godspeed isn't as bad as she thinks it is.

Final verdict
A exiting, imaginative and fast-paced, debut novel by Beth Revis, that's made me want to read some more Sci-Fi -  it will leave you waiting for the next book with bated breath!

About the author
This is Beth Revis's first novel, and the next book in the series is A MILLION SUNS. The final book, SHADES OF EARTH, is due to be released in early 2013.

You can visit her website at:
Or her blog at:
Follow her on twitter: @bethrevis
Or buy the book off amazon here!

*The indicated quote is taken from the blurb of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. 

Friday, 15 June 2012

Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

*Be aware, this book contains spoliers if you haven't yet read the first book in the series ,DIVERGENT!* 

First Words 
I absolutely adored  DIVERGENT, and have been eagerly waiting to buy INSURGENT. As soon as I started reading the first page I knew this was going to be good!

What's it about? 
"I have done bad things. I can't take them back, and they are part of who I am."*

After the Erudite's attack on the Abnegation, both Tris's parents are dead, the Dauntless are divided and Tris is haunted by the results of the battle. While under the Erudite's control, her friend, Will, tried to shoot her. She had no choice - she shot him before he could kill her.
Wracked with guilt, and trying to cope the loss of her parents, Tris is compelled to learn the truth behind the attack and discover the thing that her father may have gave his life for. But in doing so, she might just have to sacrifice everything ... and loose everyone.

Thoughts and opinions 
So firstly, I'm going to go ahead and recommend you re-read DIVERGENT before starting this book. INSURGENT jumps straight into the action, and while things are explained, it might be easier to keep up from the first page if DIVERGENT is fresh in your mind!
Either way however, this is another incredible book by Veronica Roth! It really does dive straight in, which I always love, and every page is full of action and suspense.
I feel Tris goes through some changes in this book; she becomes a stronger and more determined person, whether it's through guilt and anguish or not is debatable. At the end of the last book, we see her making tough choices, and they certainly don't become any easier through this one. At times, for a second, I wanted to yell at Tris a little, but then I stopped and thought about it, and then understood exactly why she was doing what she was doing, and got back to waving my 'Go-Tris-Go!' pom-pom's.
Tobias (or Four) and Tris's relationship comes under imminence pressure as the story progresses. Tris needs to find out the truth, but Tobias disagrees and has his own plans. More secrets are revealed, and lies are kept, but I have to say through everything, I still believe they are meant to be together. You'll have to read it for yourself to see if their relationship can survive the struggles, but I will just say, I really love how Tobias is written. He's different to other male leads in his strong belief in doing the right thing, but his love for Tris is deep and true.
Lots of plot twists and results that I certainly didn't see coming will happen, and at the end you'll be staring at the wall, starting to count down the days until the final book is released!

Final Verdict
Brilliant sequel that takes takes the reader on a whirlwind of action, anguish and romance. Definitely lives up to DIVERGENT!

About the author
INSURGENT is the second book by Veronica Roth, the first being DIVERGENT. The third book in the series is currently due out in the Autumn of 2013.

You can visit her blog at: 
Follow her on twitter: @veronicaroth
Or buy the book from amazon  here!

*The indicated quote was taken from the blurb of INSURGENT