Remix by Non Pratt | Book Review

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I loved this book so much – the words flowed like music from the pages and into my head, where they stuck like a particularly catchy chorus and hit me in the feels over and over again.

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: June 4th 2015

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record.

Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

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This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but it certainly won’t be the last. It had this deep sense of reality that can sometimes be missed in YA contemporaries, and that really made it as wonderful as it was.

The characters were just so real and flawed, which was what made them so great. There was something about Ruby’s character that was so real, so genuine – she’s just a teen trying to figure out her life and have a good time while she does so. And Kaz – she’s not as careless as Ruby, she doesn’t seem as ready to jump into things without thinking them through, but she still has a tough time with things. It also explored the difficulties of growing up, not just in regards to friendship, but also family issues, and the stress of knowing where you’re going in your life, which really added to the reality of it all.

I love books that centre around friendship and all of its trials and tribulations, because friends are so important. My friends are wonderful, and make me laugh when I feel like utter crap, and I think it’s such an important topic to be featured in YA books. I liked how this book delved into how Ruby and Kaz’s friendship worked, even with them having such different personalities.

I felt like I went on a journey with the characters in this book, so I was a bit sad when I finished reading it, because I was enjoying it so much! I wanted the story to continue, to find out what happens next to these characters after the weekend is over. But it had to end somewhere, and I think finishing with the end of the music festival was the perfect way.

The overall message I got from this book was: it’s okay to mess up; nobody is perfect, people make mistakes, and regardless of your flaws, you deserve to be loved. Flaws are real, and everybody makes mistakes – how you deal with your mistakes is what shapes you as a person.

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Topic Awareness:

  • Mentions of drugs and alcohol
  • Sex
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Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

Ruin & Rising is the third and final novel in the wonderful Grisha trilogy, with readers finally getting answers to the questions that have built up over the first two books, and it definitely wasn’t a let down.IMG_5062Genre: YA Fantasy

Publishers: Indigo

Publication Date: June 19th 2014

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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I originally started this trilogy years ago and absolutely loved it, but never got around to carrying on with it. However, a few weeks back, I saw the series sitting on my shelf, begging to be revisited, and so I began rereading and immersed myself back into the world of the Grisha once again.

And I’m so happy I did, because it’s such a great trilogy! Leigh Bardugo is a Queen – what else can I say? She’s such a truly wonderful author, with a distinct writing style that hooks you from the get-go. Through-out the series, the way she builds suspense is brilliant, and kept me flicking through page after page for hours on end.

‘I remembered his words from so long ago: Make me your villain.’

The fictional world of the Grisha is so clever and unique! There’s nothing else that’s really like it, and that’s one of the best things about it. The series as a whole has featured such a broad bunch of characters – an unlikely heroine, a villain you love to hate, a love interest that is always just out of reach – and there are so many others I could mention, but the list would just go on and on.

There is one character I’d specifically like to mention: Nikolai. I love Nikolai so much, and his personality really added an extra sense of life and humour to the series.

‘Maybe love was superstition, a prayer we said to keep the truth of loneliness at bay. I tilted my head back. The stars looked like they were close together, when really they were millions of miles apart. In the end, maybe love just meant longing for something impossibly bright and forever out of reach.’

This book broke my heart and taped it back together again, with a few parts missing. The thing is I have a difficult relationship with endings: I love knowing what happens and how everything comes to be, but I hate knowing that that’s it – there’s nothing else for that story and those characters after that final page. It always makes me a bit emotional, and it was no different with this book.

But this was the ending that this trilogy needed – it couldn’t have finished any other way, and though a small part of my heart is hurting, I’m glad it ended the way it did.

If you like YA fantasy novels that have you hooked, you should read the Grisha trilogy!

Have you read this book or any other of Leigh Bardugo’s novels?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Topic Awareness:

  • Death
  • Violence

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | Book Review

The Start of Me and You was such a lovely read! It delved into the world of grief, and how to get back to living your life when you’re still trying to discover who you are (and, of course, it had the sweetest romance!).

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Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Publication Date: March 31st, 2015

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan.

First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal.

Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all.

But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

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First things first, I loved this book. It was emotional but so, so sweet. We see our main character face a bunch of hardships, and watch as she tries to piece her life back together through it all.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the characters. I wish it hadn’t ended where it did purely because I loved reading about them so much! I particularly adored Max – he was such a wonderful, nerdy sweetheart! Can I have a Max in real life, please and thank you?! Haha!

And the friendships! It was lovely how supportive Paige and her friends were of one another, regardless of what was going on. I think friendship is such a vital aspect of life, and I’m glad it’s taking on a more front-seat role in YA books, and not just being all about the love interest.

“In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.”

Emery Lord has touched upon a number of heavy things in this novel, and has done it so well. Not only is our main character Paige trying to deal with the grief of losing her boyfriend after he drowned, she’s also having to come to terms with other events that take place throughout. The way we saw how these tragedies effected Paige was realistic, giving enough detail to be genuine but not going so deep that it changed the tone of the book.

I only had two very small issues with this book (and they were less issues and more just slight annoyances). I can’t talk about it much because it’s bordering on spoiler territory, but I will say I feel there was a certain emotional change in Paige that felt very abrupt, and a bit in-genuine. There was also a slight immaturity to her when it came to her crush on Ryan, but I’m totally happy to overlook it all because they were very minor issues, and I really did love the book.

“In books, sometimes the foreshadowing is so obvious that you know what’s going to happen. But knowing what happens isn’t the same as knowing how it happens. Getting there is the best part.”

I’d recommend The Start of Me and You to people who like YA contemporaries that dig a little deeper than your average romance! It’s the perfect book to read in the summer, or on a cold afternoon when you’re reminiscing about past sunny days.

Have you read any books by Emery Lord?!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Topic Awareness:

  • Mentions of death (drowning, illness)
  • Illness (Alzheimer’s, strokes)

The 100 by Kass Morgan | Book Review

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The 100 was my first read of 2018, and I really enjoyed it! I do have something to admit though: I watched the TV adaptation before reading the book. I know, I’m a terrible bookworm!

*****

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopia

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: March 18th, 2014

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries — until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth’s radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents — considered expendable by society — are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life…or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she’s haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor’s son, came to Earth for the girl he loves — but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind’s last hope.

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I was so determined to enjoy The 100 because I really love the TV adaptation, and I’m happy to say I did! For different reasons, both the book and TV show of The 100 are good, and I’m so happy I discovered this wonderful story that Kass Morgan created.

As with any book that’s been adapted for TV, there are a number of large differences between the adaptation and the book. For once though, instead of tearing my hair out about it, I actually liked the differences (though this is possibly because I already love the characters and story, regardless)! It was interesting to see how the TV show and book went about telling the same story.

“Maybe here in the ruins of the old world, they could start something new.”

There were certain elements of this book that annoyed me a bit – let’s just say, Clarke is such a bad ass, but there are certain things that obscure this in the book, whilst it comes through clear in the show. It wasn’t anything overly major, just little things.

This book is told from a number of different point-of-views, and one of the most major differences (and one that I can actually talk about without spoiling anything) is the characters, but in particular, Glass. Glass doesn’t exist in the adaptation, but her chapters in the book play an important role – she gives the reader an insight into what’s going on away from the main plot.

I really enjoyed Glass’s chapters (though her story broke my heart), and I found she’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much. I understand why she wasn’t included in the TV show – the role she plays is rather major, and it needed to be broadened, so she probably wouldn’t have worked for TV. But in the book her chapters were really good!

The writing flowed really well, and I found it easy to read. I liked how we also had flashbacks in most of the chapters – though I wanted to be in the present and find out what was happening, it was also really interesting to read about moments from before that had shaped the characters to be who they were.

The 100 was an interesting, easy read, and I’d recommend it to fans of dystopia/sci-fi! I’d definitely recommend watching the TV show too, because while the book is good, the series is great. They really developed and broadened out the plot and characters on the show, but all the possibility for greatness was there in the book.

This is a series I definitely want to continue reading, and I’ll hopefully read the second book soon!

Have you read The 100 or seen the show?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review

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Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Publication Date: August 27th, 2013

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? 

And will they even be together?

 

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This was my first time reading the fourth installment in the Lux series, and to say I was kept on the edge of my seat for the whole book is an understatement. I found myself putting my life on hold just to read this book – the suspense was too much to handle!

Did I love this book? Heck yes. But there’s something about it that makes me feel really quite sad. There’s a complete shift in tone from the beginning of the series, and we see Origin taking a much darker turn. Though the change sort of broke my heart, it was also a necessary thing. We see our characters grow from their experiences, and this series wouldn’t have been as amazing it is if that hadn’t happened. It also added this sense of reality that made the reading experience that much more intense.

It’s almost as if this novel signals the beginning of Lux 2.0, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s just different. Our characters have grown-up, and it really shows.

‘Words were one thing. Actions were a totally different ballpark.’

The thing I have always adored about this series is the humour. I loved the easy banter between the characters, and I really believe that the wit our author infuses into this series is what makes it so good – along with the lingering edge of mystery, of course. Even though Origin is a much more serious novel, it still had that wonderful element of humour. It was featured a little less prominently, but it was still very much involved.

The plot was just wow (and those plot twists!). It felt like a million things happened in this novel, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat – there was so much suspense because I genuinely had no clue what to expect.

‘I will always be in love with you. That’s not going to change today or two weeks from now. I will be just as in love with you in twenty years as I am today.’

I felt so emotional reading this book. I laughed, I cried, I cringed – I felt everything. The ending nearly destroyed me, so if you’re planning on reading this series, prepare to have your heart ripped out and torn to shreds.

Overall, this was a great book! I loved it, I loved our characters – even though they’ve grown-up, they’re still just as sassy as always. I’m literally in awe of Jennifer L. Armentrout right now!

I really can’t recommend this series enough!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Onyx & Opal ( Lux #2 & #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Reread Double Review

 

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Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Dates: 3rd June, 2012 & 11th December, 2012

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Onyx (Lux #2) Goodreads Synopsis:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Opal (Lux #3) Goodreads Synopsis:

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger… and they know it.

Okay, I’ve never written a joint review before, so you’re going to have to bare with me on this one guys!

For the past month, I’ve been revisiting the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I read the first three books quite a few years back, and absolutely loved them – but because I’m a bookworm and my TBR pile is completely out of control, I lost track of the series and never got around to finishing it.

And so, after some awesome people commented on a post (where I moaned about heading into a dreaded reading slump) and suggested I try rereading a book, I quickly got swept up in the world of this series, and haven’t been released yet.

I’ve just finished reading the fifth book (the last book guys – how am I going to cope with no new happenings with my fave characters?!), and I loved it. But enough with the backstory – let’s get on with reviewing the second and third novels, Onyx and Opal!

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There are two reasons I decided to review these books together:

  1. I have very similar thoughts on them both
  2. …which is due to the fact I finished Onyx and started Opal no more than a minute after, so it’s a bit blurry where my thoughts for one end and the other begins. (I’m a bad bookworm and blogger, I know, I’m sorry. I’m working on my organisational skills, I really am haha!)

I feel the first thing I should say is that I really loved these books – I’ve reread them a number of times, but much like with Obsidian (which you can check out my review of here!), I still love them just as much as the first time I read them. They were so fun to read – I’m pretty sure I was laughing at something every other page. They’re full to the brim with comedic quips and sass, and I loved it.

I loved our characters – Katy was a great main character (and she was a book blogger, so of course she was awesome); Daemon was just the ultimate book boyfriend really, and Dee was a sweetheart. The only thing I’ll say about Blake is this: ugh.

There’s something incredibly addictive about the Lux series, and I feel like it’s definitely Daemon Black down to how awesome Armentrout is at spinning a great story. The plot was completely unique (I’ll say it again – who would’ve thought hot aliens would work?!), and that’s one of the best parts about it.

There was a mysterious element to these books – particularly the third. I sped through both books because I knew what happened, and I couldn’t deal with the suspense. I’d say the first two novels in this series are almost ‘fluffy’ reads, and it’s the third one where it starts to get serious. (And I’d just like to point out I don’t say fluffy in a bad way at all – I adore the first two books, I just mean they feature lighter topics than the rest of the series).

There’s an awesome combination of things in the novels of this series that just make them work: the originality, the characters, and the humour. I loved Onyx and Opal, and if you haven’t read the Lux series yet, what are you waiting for?!

Topic Awareness:

  • Violence (scenes of intense pain)
  • Death

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

‘Dog-eared pages were the Antichrist of book lovers everywhere.’

Starcrossed (Starcrossed # 1) by Josephine Angelini | Reread Review

 

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Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher: Harperteen

Publication Date: May 31st 2011

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

How do you defy DESTINY?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is – no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood… and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together – and trying to tear them apart.

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I’ve really been in a rereading mood these past few weeks, and couldn’t resist revisiting a series that I absolutely adore, which is the Starcrossed trilogy by Josephine Angelini.

To start with, Angelini is a great author. Her writing flows really well, and the story moved along at a good pace. I found myself flying through the pages of this book, and felt completely absorbed within the story line, much like the first time I read it.

The plot of this novel is such a wonderful thing – it’s all about the Greek Gods and myths, which I absolutely adore. But the path this author took with the plot was completely unique, and I love it. I’m not a fan of the plot twist (actually, it breaks my heart), but there needed to be something there (which I know sounds pretty cryptic, but I can’t say much otherwise I’ll be heading into spoiler territory).

‘The Gods know what it is to be eternal, and they love to toy with mortals who use absolutes.’

Our characters are just awesome. Helen was a good main character, and I love Lucas and Hector, too. I actually thought all of the characters in this novel were great, and all had their own interesting personalities.

As I’ve already said, this was a reread for me, but I still love it just as much as I did the first time. It was so lovely to revisit a book that I love so much, and I loved having wave after wave of feels hit me whilst rereading it.

Topic Awareness:

  • Violence
  • Death

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!