Friday, 29 May 2015

Review: Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

Title: Unleashed (Uninvited #2)
Author: Sophie Jordan

Release date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: ARC
Pages: 355

Source: Publisher

Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.


I was just as scared to start this book as anyone else who'd loved the first and then read a few reviews of this one. The burning question before starting - where the hell is Sean? Well, Sean is there, but just doesn't feature much in the book. I had high hopes for Unleashed before, but I kind of wish I hadn't read it. It was too different from Uninvited, and the focus shifted from Davy fighting for her life to Davy worrying about her love life.

Davy, Sean, Gil and Sabine are on the run after they escaped from the camp. But as they try to enter Mexico undetected, things begin to go wrong. The coastguards discover them, and suddenly Davy finds herself separated from the rest. She washes up on the USA shore, soaked and helpless, hoping that her friends made it into Mexico. Davy is found by Caden, the leader of a rebel group of HTS carriers. He brings her back to their camp, and shows her what it's like to live there. Davy is torn between two choices. Can she grow to accept Caden and the life he leads or will her heart take her elsewhere to find her friends?

I'm sorry but I really could not like Davy in this book. At all. She's so incredibly shallow and though I get where she's coming from (she had to kill a man, after all), why can't she just be happy she's alive and Sean's alive and they're together? No, instead she has to fixate on the fact that she killed someone and Sean reminds her of that every time she looks at him. Ugh. Poor Sean, I felt so bad for him. The tough Davy is gone, and in her place is a simpering idiot.

But why, why, why did there have to be yet another romance? Why couldn't Caden just be a supportive figure to Davy, a friend she can confide in? No, there just had to be a budding romance between the two of them and I felt so betrayed on behalf of Sean. Because he was my favourite character in the first book and I just don't get why the author went and discredited him like that in this book.

Don't get me wrong, I did like Caden. He's an awesome character, and easy to empathize with. He's the leader of the rebellion and has a lot of responsibilities, but he also cares about everyone around him and he'll do anything to make sure they're safe. He also takes Davy under his wing immediately, and it was sweet to see the lengths he went to, to make her feel safe and comfortable.

The world-building is still great, just as good as the first book. I liked the feel of the rebel camp, and all the descriptions made it seem quite real to me. The writing is good too, keeping me riveted even though at the same time I wanted to stop reading. So kudos to Sophie Jordan for that. But I still wish I hadn't read this.

I wasn't too happy with the ending, either. Again, it was all about the romance and literally nothing else. It seemed like the entire book was about Davy deciding between Caden and Sean, disguised as choosing between staying in the rebellion camp and helping HTS carriers and going to Mexico to be with her friends. So basically I'm quite disappointed in this book, especially since I loved the first one so much.

*Thank you to Megan at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #100: Blood Passage

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios


Title: Blood Passage (Dark Caravan Cycle #2)
Author: Heather Demetrios

Release date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

A jinni who's lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.


A revolutionary with everything to gain.


When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.

Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second instalment of the Dark Passage Cycle.

Firstly some exciting news - this is my hundredth WoW post! Took a while to get here but yay I finally made it to this blogging milestone!
So Blood Passage is the second book in an awesome new series, of which I adored the first book. I'm dying to read this, just the synopsis has my mouth watering.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Release Week Blitz: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here RDL Banner

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!

Nowhere But Here - cover

Amazon | Kobo | BAM | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound 


About NOWHERE BUT HERE:

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.





Hand rider on handlebars, close-up


EXCERPT


From Oz's Point of View. Set up: Emily has been separated from her parents and after a long night of worrying, her emotions and exhaustion catch up to her and it causes Oz to have his first fluttering of emotion for Emily.
WIND BLOWS IN FROM THE NORTH AND A FEW pieces of Emily’s dark hair sweep across her face. One min­ute Emily’s a bright flame, then a gust snuffs out her light. Her body sways like a top at the tail end of a spin and I lunge forward.
Emily’s knees give out and her eyes roll back into her head. I catch her inches before she crashes onto the porch. She’s light as I swing her into my arms and her head circles onto my shoulder, reminding me of one of those rag dolls Violet used to play with when we were kids.
“Emily!” Eli’s on top of me, attempting to yank her out of my arms. “Open your eyes.”
Her eyelids flutter, but remain closed as her hand limply clutches my shirt. Eli rams his arms underneath mine and he makes Emily a rope in a tug-of-war. I should let her go. I should want to let her go, but then Emily goes and screws it up for me. “Oz.” 
It was a damn whisper, but I heard my name on her lips and so did Eli. His eyes flash to mine and Cyrus’s words repeat in my mind. That girl trusts you. And screw us both for that.
“She’s exhausted,” I say. “Hasn’t slept at all tonight.”
Eli’s expression hardens as he glares at me. I’ve seen Eli throw a coma-inducing punch for less defiance and I readjust the sleeping girl in my arms. A reminder if he decks me now, he’ll be putting his daughter at risk.
Temporarily surrendering, Eli cups Emily’s face in his hands and angles her toward him. “Emily, please open your eyes.”
She does. It’s barely a crack and they’re completely glazed.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” Eli affirms.
“I want my mom and dad,” she mumbles.
“You’ll see them tomorrow.” Eli pushes a strand of hair from her cheek. “You’re safe here. I promise.”
She rejects Eli by curling into me. Her head fits perfectly in the crook of my neck and I loathe the wave of protective­ness that rumbles through my body. Emily’s fingers tighten their grip near my shoulders and the impulse is to shield her from the guys gawking at this intimate scene. Yeah, this is club business, but Emily never asked for any of this.

NOWHERE BUT HERE Trailer:




About the author:

Katie McGarry Author PhotoKatie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.


Find Katie on:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr 


Giveaway!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage (The Cage #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd

Release date: May 26th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 308

Source: Edelweiss

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

The Cage does slightly remind me of The Maze Runner, in the sense that the characters have no idea what's going on at first (including where they are) and they have to figure it all out. I enjoyed the premise of this, and I'm definitely curious about what happens next. But I had issues with characters and minor details, so there were things I didn't like as well.

Out of nowhere, Cora finds herself in a desert with no recollection of how she got there. She meets only four other people - Lucky, Rolf, Nok, and Leon. All five of them are very different from each other, but they have one thing in common - they're trapped in an unknown place with no idea how to get out. Using their wits and survival skills, aided by information from Cassian, their guard, they realize they are basically like animals in a zoo to an alien species. But they aren't mistreated at all, and slowly, one by one, they begin to accept their fate. All but Cora. Will she find a way out before she's removed by the aliens for her rebelliousness?

I think Cora was the only likeable character throughout the novel, and even she can get annoying at times. She's strong-willed and determined, and I liked that she never gives up. But she makes some stupid decisions and she's incredibly naive for someone who's seemingly smart. Also, her attraction to Cassian, the guard, kind of reminds me of Stockholm syndrome, which makes the whole thing kind of creepy.

I did like the other characters at first, especially Lucky. He seems like a natural leader and he's the one who holds the group together. Lucky and Cora begin to have a bit of a romance, until circumstances get in the way. Even Lucky, with all his strength, succumbs to his fate in the 'zoo'. Neither him nor the other captives want to leave anymore. They just want to obey the rules set by the aliens. I thought that was pretty pathetic, regardless of what made them feel that way. If Cora can keep a level head and have the sense to remember that she doesn't belong and she needs to go home, why can't they?

There are a lot of things that aren't explained enough, and I ended up with a bunch of unanswered questions. Ideas were introduced and then just left there, so the plot gets kind of messy sometimes. On the whole, I think it was a little overcomplicated. If some aspects were taken out or maybe introduced in the sequel instead, I would have enjoyed this more.

If you're not a fan of sci-fi, I don't think you'll want to stick through finishing this one. I adore sci-fi and that's why I will be continuing this series, to find out more about this world. I'm also hoping for a lot more character development, because I can't sit through another novel of Lucky and the rest blindly accepting everything they're told and Cora running around aware but helpless.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #99: Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray


Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2)
Author: Claudia Gray

Release date: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, traveling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird—the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul, and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap, blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.

When Paul’s soul is splintered into four pieces—pieces that are trapped within Pauls in other dimensions—Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn’t sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.

Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help. The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.

Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul—but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she’s found between the worlds: their love for each other.

I love love love this cover! Just as beautiful as its predecessor's. I remember that this was one of my favourite new series of 2014, and I'm super stoked for this sequel. The multiverse is a concept that I can never get bored of in YA fiction, and this book seems like it will be on par or even better than the previous one.


Monday, 18 May 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry

Release date: May 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: eARC
Pages: 494

Source: Edelweiss

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Nowhere But Here is just as riveting and emotional as Katie McGarry’s previous books. This new series just proved to me that I will read anything McGarry writes! I love these characters, I loved the story, and I really cannot wait to see whose story we read next.

Emily leads a normal life with her mom and adoptive dad, but she meets her real dad once a year – her real dad who is high up in a motorcycle gang. The Reign of Terror, scary as it sounds, is actually a good, clean gang that goes by the rules. It’s more like a family than anything else, and Emily finds that out soon enough when she spends the summer with her father and the gang, along the way discovering the truth about her parents and also falling in love – something she never expected to happen in Kentucky.

It took me a little while to warm to Emily, mostly because of her refusal to see what’s right in front of her. She wants to stay within her comfort zone, which is acceptable, but she also denies the truth even though everything she knows points towards it. But this is just at first. Later on, she opens up to the people around her, especially to her father Eli, her grandmother Olivia, and Oz, a hopeful prospect of the gang who is like family to Eli and Olivia. I really liked Emily later on, though. She has a strong character and her willingness to face her fears really impressed me. Emily gets thrown into a pretty bad situation and she adapts well to everything despite the odds.

I adored Oz too, of course. He’s perhaps not on par with McGarry’s previous male protagonists, but still incredibly loveable. Like with Emily, it took me a while to warm to him. At first he seemed a little shallow, caring only about his chances of getting in the club. Everything he did was for that, and when he falls asleep on the job while watching over Emily, his first thought is not of Emily’s safety but what it means for his odds of getting in the club. But I loved seeing the slow and gradual mutual liking of Oz and Emily. They spend a lot of time together and though at first they dislike each other, they begin to get closer and closer. Oz’s protectiveness of her is really sweet and his character is impossible to dislike. He’s funny and kind and just as stubborn as Emily.

There are hints of danger throughout the book, which I loved, but I can’t say I was too fond of the plot twist towards the end. I won’t say much about it, but I just felt like it took away a lot of the danger aspect. Regardless, I enjoyed the book a lot. I love the relationship between Emily and Oz, and I liked that family plays a big role in the plot. The other teenagers we see in this book are all really interesting and quite mysterious, so I’m excited for the next book, whoever it will follow. If you liked McGarry’s other books, or just YA contemporary in general, you have to read Nowhere But Here! It’s intense, amusing, and emotional all at once.

*Thank you to Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an eARC for review*


Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #98: Scorched

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Scorched by J. Lynn


Title: Scorched (Frigid #2)
Author: J. Lynn

Release date: June 16th 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Sometimes life leaves a mark.

Most days, Andrea doesn't know whether she wants to kiss Tanner or punch him in the gut. He is seriously hot, with legit bedroom eyes and that firefighter body of his, but he's a major player, and he never cuts her any slack.

But when her life spirals out of control, he's there for her. The only problem is, no one else can save her... only she can save herself.





Even though I'm not reading NA anymore, I just have to make an exception for JLA. Especially because I really enjoyed Frigid and I can't wait to read Andrea and Tyler's story. Hopefully JLA will work her magic and I'll love this too!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #97: Sound

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Sound by Alexandra Duncan


Title: Sound (Salvage #2)
Author: Alexandra Duncan

Release date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Sound is the stand-alone companion to Alexandra Duncan’s acclaimed novel Salvage, a debut that internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called “kick-ass, brilliant, feminist science fiction.” For fans of Beth Revis, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica.

As a child, Ava’s adopted sister Miyole watched her mother take to the stars, piloting her own ship from Earth to space making deliveries. Now a teen herself, Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. If she plays her cards right, she could even be given permission to conduct her own research and experiments in her own habitat lab on the flight home. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnappers, Miyole—along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia—embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia’s abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole’s life forever.

I just recently found out that Salvage is getting a companion novel. I'm definitely happy with the news, because I liked the premise of Salvage and the world that Alexandra Duncan has created. I'll need a re-read to get up to speed with characters and plot, but from this synopsis I'm already excited.