Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Weekly Book Round Up! 30th November



This week was slightly hectic in real life which meant things went a little bit quiet on the blog. If there are any news stories I've missed this week then make sure to leave them in the comments! And I love hearing what you guys have been reading as well.

In the News

We have a brand new shiny Vampire Academy trailer! This one features more snarky Rose which I adore. Watch it below.



There are also some new stills from the film which you can see over on FangirlDaily.

Catching Fire has made a record breaking $161.1 million on its opening weekend, making it even more successful than The Hunger Games. Read more over on FangirlDaily.

And MyKindaBook celebrared the relaunch of their website this week. You can sign up and get all kinds of extras from your favourite books and authors over at MyKindaBook.com.

On the Blog

I started off this week by posting my review of Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. I enjoyed it, but it left me wanting a bit more. On Tuesday I posted my review of the incredible Every Day by David Levithan - an absolute must read! I took part in Waiting on Wednesday where I shared my excitement for Trouble by Non Pratt. And on Thursday I caved and admitted defeat at NaNoWriMo.

What I've Been Reading


I finished reading Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan this week. It was my first book by her and I really enjoyed it! I also polished off Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter which is the fourth book in the Gallagher Girls series. It was my favourite so far! I'm back reading Pawn by Aimee Carter which I'll hopefully be finishing this week. It's SO good. And after that I'm hoping to start Champion by Marie Lu!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Failing NaNoWriMo

So this is a hard post for me to write. For the past two years I've loved taking part in NaNoWriMo and I've won both times. This year didn't go so well. I wanted to sort of vent my thoughts about this year's NaNo and come to terms with my failure, hence this post was born!

The first year I did NaNo I had a lot of free time. Having the time to do it wasn't the issue, it was having the physical energy that was going to be my challenge, and also it was the first time I'd ever attempted to write a novel. I finished in within fifteen days and surprised myself completely. To do this day it is still one of my proudest achievements. I put a lot into the planning of my first novel, having chapter outlines and character profiles to draw on. Of course a lot of this goes out of the window once you start writing, but I had enough ideas to keep the words coming. Afterwards I realised some of the ideas needed simplifying (I'd written a sci-fi/fantasy novel where some of the ideas just did not make sense!) but I was pretty happy with how things worked out. To this day I still go back and revisit this novel, tweaking it every so often. I don't expect anything to come of it, but I feel like it was a strong start.

2012 was my second year attempting NaNoWriMo and I struggled. The idea I had didn't work as well as I hoped, and I hadn't done as much planning. I decided to write contemporary which I thought would maybe be easier, as I didn't have to sit out and plan the intricate details of a new world which was something I'd done first time round. I was wrong. Without a new world to describe and new settings to introduce, I found myself really struggling to get excited about the surroundings my characters were placed in. There were parts I did like, for example I explored some dark subject matters and really enjoyed diving into the characters I'd created. I did finish, but only just in the nick of time and I've never gone back to look at that novel.

This year was a struggle from the beginning. I'd been incredibly busy in the run up to NaNoWriMo and I'd had lots of changes going on in my life. My head was a little bit all over the place, and although I had an idea and a little bit of planning, I hadn't really managed to get myself focussed enough. Because I was quite busy, I was trying to write with no energy at the end of a long day. I have so much respect for writers who can juggle jobs and writing, because it's something I just couldn't do. I got bits done on days where I didn't have anything else on, but I couldn't utilise my evenings for writing because I was just too tired. I also hadn't had time to research certain parts of my novel which needed research, and I had to abandon the idea of writing a novel in letters (something I'd always wanted to do because I love readings books like that!) because I found it too tricky to portray what was happening.

Eventually I abandoned my first idea and started a new novel - something involving people with superpowers which I came up with on the spot. It was a fun idea and I think it could still go somewhere, but I just didn't have to time to think about where it was going and I soon ran out of words. And then that didn't work.

I was feeling pretty low and hopeless and decided to go digging around in my word documents for one of my many abandoned stories. In there I found the first few paragraphs of a story I started writing a few years ago. I read it and reconnected with it instantly. Suddenly ideas were flooding into my head and when I put fingers to keys I was churning out a lot of words.

It was too late to use this story for NaNoWriMo, but discovering that lost idea and finding that spark of inspiration was exactly what I needed.

I'm sad I won't finish NaNoWriMo this year. I don't like quitting or failing and I've ended up doing both. I still feel NaNoWriMo is a fantastic start if you're an aspiring writer. The community of people taking part is a brilliant support network and I've always found working to a deadline and having that word count staring at you to be very motivating. But I've also learnt that writing should be done for the right reasons. There's no point making yourself miserable and trying to plough on with something that isn't working. And something good has come out of this year. I have a novel I'm determined to carry on writing past November and see where it goes.

Have you taken part in NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#16): Trouble by Non Pratt


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine and gives bloggers the chance to highlight upcoming releases we're excited about.


Trouble by Non Pratt
Published: 6th March 2014 (Walker)
Buy: Amazon|Hive
Plot summary: A boy. A girl. A bump. Trouble.

Hannah’s smart and funny ... she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.



This is one of those books I discovered through Twitter by following and the author as well as the incredible amount of people talking about it! I love contemporary books that tackle real life issues and I don't think I've actually read anything with teen pregnancy as the focus so I'm really excited to see how it's done.

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Review: Every Day by David Levithan



Every Day by David Levithan
Author: David Levithan Website|Twitter
Published: 2 September 2013 (Electric Monkey)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 372
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Bought

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Each morning, A wakes up in a different body. There's never any warning about who it will be, but A is used to that. Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. And that's fine - until A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.

My Review:
The only book I've read by David Levithan is Will Grayson, Will Grayson - a book he co-wrote with John Green - so I was excited to check out more of his work. I'd heard great things about Every Day so decided to treat myself to a copy! Every Day tells the story of A, who wakes up each day in a new body. They must live as that person for twenty-four hours, trying not to disrupt their life, something which becomes difficult when they fall for Rhiannon and go to enormous lengths to see her.

I absolutely adored the concept of this book and it was executed so brilliantly. The main character wakes up in a new body each morning and is ripped from that body every night at midnight. It's happened their whole life so it's the only way of living they've ever known. A, as they refer to themselves, takes on the roles of both girls and boys and gets to see life from every perspective possible. It's one of those books that's hard to fit into a genre because it's got that element of something more you can't quite explain. A doesn't know why this happens to them, it just does. It reminded me very much of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, two books I adored that did similar things very well.

The great thing about Every Day is that because A takes on all these different characters, you get a wide range of stories and insights into those characters' lives, meaning the story is always fresh and exciting. But you also have one plot running throughout the book which is A's relationship with Rhiannon. We meet Rhiannon when A wakes up one day in her boyfriend Justin's body. Throughout the book the two characters encounter each other with A in several different bodies and they have to overcome that barrier in order to keep up some sort of relationship. It's an incredibly sweet and powerful love story that really explores the idea of being in love with a person, not just a body. I also loved getting to know Rhiannon herself who I was completely intrigued by. She's kind and caring and you can see why A is drawn to her.

One thing often lacking in YA books is a diverse range of characters. One of my favourite things about Every Day is that A wakes up in the body of all kinds of people from all types of background. A encounters different religions, ethnicities, genders, sexualities and disabilites. and because A is living life through their body it means you get an amazing insight into each of those aspects of the people's lives/ It also posed some great questions about how we judge people based on those attributes. A has grown up living as a diverse range of people and has encountered just about every judgment going. I really applaud the author for managing to capture such a wide range of characters and backgrounds.

I also loved the idea of the moral dilemmas A has to face. Being in that body for just one day means trying to disturb as little as possible, but what if you wake up in the body of someone who is about to do something drastic? Do you stop them? And does it matter if you skip school in that person's body leaving them to deal with the consequences?

I was hooked to the pages throughout Every Day as the story became something bigger and A started to face real danger. Not everything is answered and some parts of the book were left open ended but I wouldn't have it any other way. I liked that this book make me think and wonder about what was happening. It's a story I just couldn't get out of my head.

Every Day is a book that's so hard to review because it is just so good. The idea is so clever and so brilliantly executed that is just blew me away as I was reading it. When I finished, all I could think was "that was phenomenal". I can't wait to start recommending it to friends, readers - just about anyone!

Rating: 5*
What to read next: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan
Books like this: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Monday, 25 November 2013

Review: Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate



Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Authors: Michael Grant Website|Twitter Katherine Applegate Website|Twitter
Published: 1 October 2013 (Electric Monkey)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
And girl created boy…

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he?


My Review:
Eve & Adam is a book I'd been wanting to read for a while after seeing it be published in the US a while ago. I was at the library when the UK edition jumped of the shelves at me! Eve & Adam follows Evening Spikers as she recovers from a life threatening accident in her mother's hospital, leading her to discover more about her mum's work at her company Spiker Biotech.

The opening to Eve & Adam really hooked me in. Evening's accident takes place in the opening few pages and you get to see through her eyes as she flirts with death. I loved the action packed scenes and also the mystery of just what was happening to Evening. She herself isn't sure so you get caught up in her uncertainty.

The book is told from multiple POV, predominantly alternating between Evening herself and Solo, a worker at her mum's company. I liked both characters, although I found Solo to be more interesting. He had a great back story and I was always curious about just what he was up to. He also becomes quite fascinated with Eve and there's a romantic interest there. I liked that his loyalties are questioned and that I was never quite sure what to make of him.

The rest of the characters were a bit of a mixed bag for me. I never quite connected with Evening herself. In fact I felt I knew more about her best friend Aislin - who has a reputation Evening's mother disapproves of and a drug dealing boyfriend - than I did her. Saying that, I did like the relationship between Evening and her mother - Terra Spiker. There's friction there stemming from her mother's reputation and she has a lot of questions about what she's really up to. I liked that there were secrets that took a while to come to light because it made for some great plot twists.

I love sci-fi and I thought the ideas in Eve & Adam were fascinating. Whilst staying at her mum's company, Eve is asked to try out some software used to create a human. I thought there were some great ethical and moral questions surrounding that process whilst Eve is going through the motions of creating someone. Do you make them perfect, or give them flaws because everyone should have flaws? What about appearance? Is it selfish to make someone look how you want them to look? I thought the whole concept of the book was really clever.

Eve & Adam is quite a short read and quick read, and for the most part I did find it enjoyable. I liked the ideas and the plot twists, but part of me was left wanting more. It's the first book in a series so I think there's potential for more to be uncovered.

Rating: 3*
What to read next: This book is the first in a planned series
Books like this: Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong, Virals by Kathy Reichs

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Weekly Book Round Up! 24th November

Welcome to my latest Weekly Book Round Up! This is where I share all the latest happenings from the past week, both from the news and here on the blog.


In the News

The Authors for Philippines fundraising event, where authors, publishers and book lovers came together to provide exclusive prizes to those donating, raised £55,000 for the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan appeal. Find out more details on the website and well done to everyone involved!

Catching Fire, the second instalment in The Hunger Games film series, was released in cinemas this week.

The line up of books being given away for World Book Night 2014 have been unveiled. See the full list of books, including The Recruit by Robert Muchamore and The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, over on the World Book Night website.

On the blog
 
I started this week with my review of Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton which I absolutely adored! I have the next book, Emma Hearts LA, on loan from the library at the moment so keep an eye out for that.
 
I took part in Teaser Tuesdays this week and shared a teaser from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan - my current read.
 
I also posted a Waiting on Wednesday this week in which I shouted about my excitement for Cat Clarke's next novel, A Kiss in the Dark.
 
On Thursday I reviewed the third book in the Gallagher Girls series, Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover. It wasn't my favourite of the series but I'm still really liking these books. I have the next one out from the library ready to read soon.
 
Friday saw another post in my Sarah's Reading Habits feature in which I shared where I get my books from.

And on Saturday I took part in the Book Blitz for Deadly to Promise by Mia Hoddell here on the blog, and shared my review of Eve & Adam over on Fandomsnews.com.
 
What I'm Reading
 
I'm currently reading Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, although I'm hoping to have finished it once this post goes live! I've had to put aside Pawn by Aimee Carter whilst I rush read some library books that are due back, but I'm thoroughly enjoying what I've read of it so far and can't wait to get back to it, along with Wither by Lauren DeStefano which is also on the back burner. The only book I've finished this week is Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate which I reviewed for Fandomsnews.com.



I did some cheeky book shopping this week when I visited a charity shop. I bought two books I've been wanting to read for absolutely ages. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is the first in the Georgia Nicholson series by Lousie Rennison which I have yet to read and I feel like it's a gaping hole in my YA reading. I also bought Prom Nights From Hell which is a collection of short stories by YA authors. I want to read more short stories and the list of names drew me in.



I also collected Champion by Marie Lu from the library! I'm SO excited to read this one as this trilogy has been one of my absolute favourites.

What have you been reading this week? Have any news stories caught your eye? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Book Blitz: Deadly to Promise (Elemental Killers, #2) by Mia Hoddell




Deadly to Promise (Elemental Killers #2)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy

Plot Summary:

A broken promise is all it takes.


Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime. But with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole life perfecting.

The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise and the success of their mission. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough. The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the E.Ks have a traitor among them.

For one week only, both Deadly to Love and Deadly to Promise are 99c / 77p!
Buy Now: Amazon | Amazon.co.uk

Excerpt

“Have you ever been swimming here?” I asked moving my head to watch his reaction as I brought my feet up out of the water and folded them beside me.
“Yeah, most summers when I came here. We all used to use it as a way to cool off or just have some fun in between training.”
“How about skinny dipping?” I asked my grin growing due to the thoughts running through my head.
“Why? You want to try it?” he challenged.
“Only if you go first,” I laughed but stopped instantly when he removed his shirt and tossed it behind us. My eyes widened in surprise and I started to regret my words. “You’re not being serious are you?” I stuttered as he pulled off his shoes, throwing them over to where his shirt was crumpled.
“You can’t chicken out now Rea. It was your idea,” he said smiling as he removed each sock, teasing me as they ended up with the rest of his discarded garments.
I just stared at him, my lips moving but not making a sound as I tried to find an excuse.
He laughed at me. “Relax Rea, I’m just teasing you. Well unless you’ve changed your mind. In that case I’m being deadly serious.” He had a cheeky grin on his face as he spoke and I pushed him hard, toppling him into the water below.
There was a lot of splashing but Kai surfaced finally, taking a deep breath as he flicked the hair out of his eyes. I was clutching my stomach in fits of laughter as I bent over. The shock on his face was priceless.
“Oh you are so dead Rea, so, so dead,” he said, his voice ragged as the cold water and shock affected his half naked body. I just continued to laugh as he floated in front of me, his head bobbing up and down in a comical way.


Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell


Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ASIN: B00BDQ3QGA
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

Plot summary:

The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Buy Now: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu


Praise:

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

“In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

Links: 



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Love

by Mia Hoddell

Giveaway ends December 06, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Friday, 22 November 2013

Sarah's Reading Habits: Where I Get My Books

Sarah's Reading Habits is a feature here on the blog where I open up a bit more about my life as a reader. This week I'm talking about where I get hold of my books!

As an avid reader I am always on the hunt for books. Whilst a small selection of those come from authors and publishers for review, I wanted to focus on where I get my own books when I'm on the hunt for something new.

The library

This is probably where the majority of books I've reviewed on the blog come from. I would check using Goodreads stats or something but I can't be bothered so that's juts a rough guess. I would be absolutely lost without my library. I can't always afford to buy books and my local library network has such an extensive range. What's even better is that I can order all my books to my local library which is a five minute walk away. I'm not always able to get to the main library in town so having that resource on my doorstep is invaluable. If I can't get hold of a book then I sometimes put them in as stock suggestion which is a great way to get latest releases.

Friends

I borrow a lot of books from my friends and it's probably the way I most frequently discover new books. Not all of my friends read YA, so I try and lend them YA books to convert them! But it's also refreshing when my friends lend me adult titles. I'm constantly aware of YA titles that I sometimes miss out on some fantastic adult ones, so having people to bring those to my attention is a great help.

My mum!

My mum is the reason I got into reading. She was the person who lent me My Sister's Keeper and got me hooked Jodi Picoult who is still my favourite author. She also forced Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone into my reluctant hands as a child to which will be forever grateful! My mum is a member of a book group that meets once a month and when she's done with her books she often lends them to me (the ones she thinks I'll like anyway!).

Charity shops

I've always had a weak spot for charity shop books but then I started volunteering in a charity shop and all my restraint went! I buy a lot of books from the shop where I work. It's a great way to pick up a bargain when you're short on cash. I think my best bargain so far was finding Looking For Alaska which I had been dying to read for so long!

Kindle Daily Deals

These are my ultimate weakness. I got my Kindle at the start of the year because I needed my own e-reader. I was quickly drawn in by the daily deals and often pick up books for 99p that I wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford. I prefer buying e-books these days as reading on my Kindle is a lot easier and I also don't have to worry about where to store them!

Kindle Freebies

What's better than a Kindle Daily Deal? A Kindle freebie! I've discovered some fantastic books through them being free on Kindle. I also check out Smashwords for some great indie finds. Since blogging I've had my eyes opened to a world of self-published books and met some amazing authors.

Bookshops

This should be much higher up, and I'm hoping once I find a job it will be! At the moment my funds are limited and I would love to shop in bookshops more. This is definitely the best book buying experience. There's nothing like browsing the shelves and speaking with booksellers. Whenever I go away I try and visit a bookshop and buy a book as a souvenir. It's great to have a book that has good memories attached to it, and you get to discover awesome new bookshops!

Where do you get hold of your books? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review: Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls, #3) by Ally Carter

Spoiler warning! This is the third book in the Gallagher Girls series and this review may contain spoilers from previous books. You can read my review of I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You here or Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy here.




Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

Author: Ally Carter Website|Twitter
Published: 6 January 2011 (Orchard)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Hive

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth....


My Review:
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and with the last book - United We Spy - having just been released, I've bumped the rest of the books up my to-read list in an attempt to catch up! Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover sees the Gallagher Girls deal with Macey's rise to fame and the need for extra protection to her dad running for vice president. But will all the publicity put their school at risk, or more importantly, Macey's life?

This wasn't my favourite book in the series, but it was still an enjoyable read. The book jumps into the plot quite quickly which meant for some great action packed scenes early on. As it had been a while since I read the second book, I did have to go away and look up some of the things from the previous books I'd forgotten because I have a memory like a sieve. Once I'd done that, I was able to lose myself in the story again.

I liked that the book focuses around Macey because she's one of my favourite characters and she's central to the plot in this one. I think one of the things that threw me off a bit about Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover was how bleak the beginning was. Cammie and Macey go through quite an intense traumatic experience, and they both seem to suffer from a bit of PTSD. It made it a bit harder to get into the swing of the book because it wasn't the fun adventure I was used to. I liked that it showed the consequences of what happened to them though. I think where it started to put me off was when the moping was about guys. Cammie spends a lot of the book bummed out about Zach and it was getting a bit annoying by the end.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the introduction of Cammie's Aunt Abby. She's a totally cool aunt and a breath of fresh air compared to her more uptight mother. I really enjoyed her as a character and seeing the influence she had on Cammie. As always with this series, the central friendship of Cammie, Liz, Bex and Macey is one of my favourite things, and it was no different in this book. I just love how they're so comfortable around each other and their personalities bounce of each other so well.

The ending of Don't Judge a Girl was a real page turner. I enjoyed the dramatic climax and I was taken aback by how much I feared for the characters. It was quite emotional! I read this book mainly over the space of an afternoon, and it was an exciting quick read. It didn't quite live up to the other books for me and I had a few niggles, but I'm still looking forward to reading the next book. I've already put a hold on it from the library!

Rating: 3*
What to read next: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter, the fourth Gallagher Girls book
Books like this: Insignia by S. J. Kincaid, Heist Society by Ally Carter

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#15): A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine and gives bloggers the chance to highlight future releases we're exciting about.


A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke
Published: 3rd April 2014 (Quercus)
Plot summary: When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.

Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.

Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…

But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.

I loved Undone and Entangled and Torn is waiting patiently on my Kindle to be read. Cat Clarke is an author who I will try and read everything by because her writing is so powerful! So obviously I can't wait for this one.

What are you waiting on this week? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Teaser Tuesdays: 19th November

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"The great bay windows blazed, the Wood of the door glowed, and above the door was a carving in stone: a gate with a sword struck through it. beneath the carving there were words engraved in the stone: YOU ARE NOT SAFE."

- page 65, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Monday, 18 November 2013

Review: Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton


 Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton
 
Author: Keris Stainton Website|Twitter
Published: 7 July 2011 (Orchard)
Format: Paperback
Pages:
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.

They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?


My Review:
Jessie Hearts NYC follows Jessie and her best friend Emma as they head across the Atlantic to spend time with Jessie's mother in New York. The girls soak up the city whilst Jessie tries to put her ex-boyfriend Tyler behind her. Meanwhile, New Yorker Finn must deal with his feelings for his best friend's girlfriend.

I loved this book. Really loved it. Read it in one afternoon kind of loved it (and I never read books in one afternoon). It was exactly the kind of fun, escapism that I needed, with a brilliantly clever plot that kept me hooked to the pages.

Firstly, I love books that transport you to new places. Reading Jessie Hearts NYC felt like I was getting on that plane with Jessie, and when she was seeing the sights and exploring, I was right there with her. I finished the book and wanted to plan my own trip to NYC right away! What I loved was the inclusion of references to films and TV shows set in New York. I'm a huge Friends fan so obviously I was waiting for those mentions (and I wasn't disappointed!) but I just loved how it incorporated all the pop culture stuff. It really helped me feel like I was escaping.

The book is told in third person and flicks between Jessie and Finn's perspectives. Their stories start out quite separate and they're brought together by being in the same place at the same time. One minute you're with Jessie in a coffee shop, the next you're with Finn in that same coffee shop. There are little interactions between the two characters and you end up rooting for them to finally meet properly and get a chance to speak to each other. I loved how the book played with the idea of fate and being in the right place at the right time.

One of my favourite things about the book was Finn himself who is so just so loveable! When we meet him he's head over heels for his best friend Scott's girlfriend Sam and he just dotes on her all the time. He's caring and sweet and you want to bash Sam over the head for not seeing that. At the same time he's still a great friend to Scott. He's definitely up there with my favourite male YA characters.

Both Jessie and Finn are at a time in their life where they're having to make decisions about their future. I really related to that and how they're spending the summer discovering more about themselves and what they want. For Jessie, that means deciding whether her heart lies in New York with her mum or back in Manchester with her dad, and for Finn he must decide what he truly wants to study as opposed to what his parents want him to. As well as being relatable these decisions also really drove the plot forward and kept me hooked to find out what the two characters would end up doing.

Jessie Hearts NYC is definitely a book I wish I'd read when I was younger (or a book I wish I'd written when I was younger!). It encapsulates a lot of those fears you have as a teen about relationships and family. I loved the relationship between Jessie and her mum and how they have to overcome that tension between them caused my her mum's work and the distance between them. I also loved getting inside Jessie's head as she worries about boys.

There's so much more I could say about this book but for now I'm just going to urge you all to go out and read it. It has everything you could want in a YA novel from friendship and family to a wonderful love story and some great humour. I can see it being a book I go back to year on year to take with me whilst I go on holiday or something. And I can't wait to read more by this author!

Rating: 5*
What to read next: Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton
Books like this: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Weekly Book Round Up! 16th November

In the News
 
A large group of authors have got together to auction of exclusive prizes in order to raise funds for those in the Philippines. Check out the amazing opportunities and bid for your chance to win over on the Authors for Philippines website.

The premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took place in London this week. See the pictures and read more over on FangirlDaily.

It's been an exciting week for Divergent fans with both the reveal of a new poster and a brand new, action packed trailer! You can see the poster here on FangirlDaily and watch the trailer below.




And amongst this week's new releases is Champion by Marie Lu, the final book in the Legend trilogy! I can't wait to read it and will be as soon as it's available at the library. Check out the book on Goodreads at this link.

The cover for Cat Clarke's latest novel has been unveiled. See the cover for A Kiss in the Dark over on the Quercus Teen Facebook page.

And the cover for The Assassin's Blade, the collected Throne of Glass novellas, by Sarah J. Maas was revealed this week. Check out the cover reveal over on Sugarscape.

On the Blog

On Sunday my review of Allegiant went up on both my blog and Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books. To see my thoughts on the final book in the Divergent trilogy be sure to head over there and check the review out! I finally posted my review of Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. I adored it just as much as Code Name Verity! I also reviewed Tregarthur's Promise by Alex Mellanby which was a novel that didn't quite come together for me. On Wednesday I reviewed Soulmates by Holly Bourne which is one of my new favourite books. Go grab it now! I also posted a book playlist to accompany the review.

Friday saw my latest Sarah's Reading Habits post which focused on my excuses for buying books. We all have them! I'm having great fun writing these posts so I'm hoping to make it a more regular feature.

What I've Been Reading


I started the week by finishing Secret Lies by Amy Dunne. This was a title I received for review and I was super excited to read it because it's LBGQT and I am trying to hunt out more titles that feature same sex relationships. My review should be up in December so keep an eye out!

I finished Every Day by David Levithan which was SO GOOD. I'll try and have my review of that up asap because it blew me away.

I also finished One More Day which is an anthology of short stories I received for review. I don't read a lot of anthologies so it was a really refreshing read. It comes out in December so keep an eye out for my review.

I'm still reading Wither by Lauren DeStefano and really enjoying it.

In the real world

So I have a NaNoWriMo confession... I was really struggling so I decided to start a new novel. I'm kind of using the word counts to both (sssshh!) but I'm so behind now I probably won't catch up even with that. I've just had a busy time recently and I've had to put writing on the backburner. Hopefully I'll have a free day coming up where I can squeeze some words in.

In the post this week I received some awesome pin badges from Quercus as a thank you for my review of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. How cool are they?! Thanks Quercus! Here's me wearing mine with pride.

 
 
What have you been reading this week? Any exciting news stories grab your eye? And what did you think of the Divergent trailer?! Let me know in the comments!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sarah's Reading Habits: Book Buying Excuses!

Sarah's Reading Habits is an occasional feature here on the blog where I delve a bit more into my mind as a reader and the habits I've picked up over the years.

This week I'm talking about excuses. I buy more books than I should, given how many I already own and haven't read, but somehow I always find a way to justify it to myself. Here are some of my most common excuses!

"I'm supporting the author"

Authors are amazing, and yet we're constantly reading what a tough industry it is to break into and survive in. By buying a book I am ensuring that author gets to write more of them. I think that's the best excuse, yes?

"I'm supporting my local bookshop"

Again, bookshops have been in the spotlight lately thanks to the Books are My Bag campaign. By buying a book from my local shop I am helping make sure it is still there in the future (so, you know, I can buy more books).

"It's SO CHEAP!"

We all love a bargain and I am an absolute sucker when it comes to Kindle sales and Kindle Daily Deals. Obviously it's only 99p for a limited time to I have to buy it right then, right? Right. And don't even get me started on The Works.

"Buying the e-book stops books cluttering up my room"

If I don't have to worry about where to store it then it's not a problem. Plus I can't see the books on my Kindle that I need to read, so it makes for a less intimidating TBR.

"I'm supporting a charity"

Charity shops are dangerous places for book lovers and it's where I get a lot of mine. I can't possibly feel bad buying them when I know the money goes to an awesome cause though can I?

"So-and-so said it was SO GOOD"

So a book is staring me right in the face and I know a friend or blogger I trust said it was amazing. I'd be a bad friend for not getting myself a copy.

"It's a present for someone"

And who cares if I'm buying them it partly so I can borrow it when they're done?

"I'm buying it with a gift card so it doesn't count"

It's not real money, plus someone gave you that gift card out of the kindness of your heart so it would be rude not to spend it. Same applies for birthday money.


What are your excuses for buying books? Or do you even need excuses?! Let me know in the comments!


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Book Playlist: Soulmates by Holly Bourne

I'm on a book playlist roll at the moment and I had loads of ideas for one after reading Soulmates by Holly Bourne. You can check out my review of the book at this link. Below are songs I thought captured the book. Enjoy!
The Flood - Cheryl Cole



But you can't hold on to water
If fills you up but never stays
It's only good to wash away, today
And your loving me like water
Your slippin' through my fingers, such a
Natural disaster love
 
Never Tear Us Apart - Paloma Faith



I was standing 
You were there 
Two worlds collided 
And they could never tear us apart
 
Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror


 
When we collide we come together
If we don't we'll always be apart
I'll take a bruise; I know you're worth it
When you hit me hit me hard
 
Sparks Fly - Taylor Swift


 
The way you move is like a full on rainstorm
And I'm a house of cards
You're the kind of reckless
That should send me running...
 
I run my fingers through your hair and watch the lights go wild.
Just keep on keeping your eyes on me, it's just wrong enough to make it feel right.
And lead me up the staircase
Won't you whisper soft and slow?
I'm captivated by you, baby, like a firework show.
 
No Air - Boyce Avenue




If I should die before I wake
It's 'cause you took my breath away
Losing you is like living in a world with no air
Oh

I'm here alone, didn't wanna leave
My heart won't move, it's incomplete
Wish there was a way that I can make you understand

But how do you expect me
to live alone with just me
'Cause my world revolves around you
It's so hard for me to breathe 
 
About the book
 
 
Soulmates by Holly Bourne
Published: 1st September 2013 (Usborne)
Buy: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
About the author: Website|Twitter

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Review: Soulmates by Holly Bourne


 Soulmates by Holly Bourne

Author: Holly Bourne Website|Twitter
Published: 1 September 2013 (Usborne)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 544
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Bought

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.

Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.

After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love…


My Review:
I've been dying to read this book for ages because there was a lot of buzz surrounding it, and it's UKYA which always gets me a bit more excited! I bought myself a copy of the paperback a while ago, and it won a poll on my blog for which book I should read next. Soulmates follows Poppy, a complete sceptic when it comes to love, as she finds herself swept away by guitarist Noah. But this isn't a traditional love story. Poppy and Noah's relationship will affect everyone around them, because their love is causing havoc.

Every so often you read a book where you want to pause whilst reading it and applaud. Soulmates was one of those books. I absolutely adored the idea of the story and it is honestly one of the smartest books I have ever read. Imagine every cliche about young love you can think of; instant attraction, sparks flying, feeling sick, not being able to cope without them. In Soulmates each of these ideas is a physical reality for Poppy and Noah. Being near each other is causing physical reactions to their bodies, they're relationship is causing electrical storms, freak weather and power cuts, they touch and there's sparks. This is not your average love story. It's sort of the anti-YA-love-story book. And that was incredibly refreshing.

So the idea of the book is fantastic, and it's delivered brilliantly through an exciting cast of characters. Poppy is brilliant. Within a few chapters I knew I loved her, and she has definitely become one of my favourite female YA characters. She's incredibly sarcastic and smart, and stands out with her sceptical views on everything from her overly middle class hometown to society's attitude to love and romance. I adored her brutal honesty and how she really speaks her mind. As well as Poppy herself, we get to see her relationship with her three best friends - Lizzie, Ruth and Amanda. I found their friendship to be incredibly true to life and instantly recognisable. I could picture my own secondary school friends in each of their places because I think they summed up that teenage friendship perfectly. There's awkwardness, jealousy, and pressure to do well at school. I loved the British college setting with the girls working towards their A Levels because it made it so much more relatable.

The book is told in first person POV from Poppy's perspective, but every couple of chapters you get an insight from the government workers who are tracking Poppy and Noah's relationship. This was where the book became even more genius for me. These added chapters helped give you the bigger picture, filling you in on the extra bits of information that Poppy and Noah are oblivious to. It gave you a hint at what was to come and really ramped up the tension and suspense.

Whilst the book itself is a fantastic take on love and the idea of soulmates, the main relationship between Poppy and Noah is still incredibly enjoyable. I really loved some of the scenes between them, especially once they become more comfortable around each other. Noah is completely lovable, and he plays in a band which is always pretty cool. I think my favourite scenes were the ballet and final gig. The characters are sixth form age and a lot of the story focuses on the taking of their relationship to the next level and what consequences that would have. It was great seeing the characters address those dilemmas sensibly and the "will they, won't they" situation really drove the story forward. I really liked Frank as well, Poppy's classmate who is thrown in as a sort of anti-soulmate. They have a great friendship based on a similar sense of humour, but it's nothing compared to this dramatic reaction she gets around Noah. I think it was great to see that contrast so you could see just how powerful the idea of soulmates in this novel is.

I also loved the references to other literature and pop culture and how that compares with Poppy's idea of love. She's studying Romeo and Juliet at school, and then she and Noah end up watching the first Twilight film, so you've got all these comparisons of how love is perceived thrown into the mix to get Poppy's message across. I think the fact I was reading Twilight at the same time as this book was an incredibly appropriate coincidence!

The ending of Soulmates is an absolute adrenaline rush. I couldn't put it down. All that build up throughout the book brings you an incredible climax that is well worth the wait. And the last few chapters will absolutely shake you up and tug at your heartstrings. I've already started recommending this book to people and I think I will continue to do so for a very long time. It pushes the genre boundaries because it's a contemporary with a little bit of something extra which I think will add to the appeal. It's just such a brilliant idea which has been incredibly well executed, and is the perfect remedy to anyone who's found themselves sighing with frustration at stereotypical YA romance.

Rating: 5*
What to read next: Holly's next book, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, will be published in 2014.
Books like this: Shift by Em Bailey, Hold Your Breath by Caroline Green

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Review: Tregarthur's Promise by Alex Mellanby


 Tregarthur's Promise by Alex Mellanby

Author: Alex Mellanby Website
Published: 1 October 2013 (Cillian Press)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 220
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle

Source: Received free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Cillian Press!

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Abandoned by his mum and with his dad in prison, 16 year old Alvin is facing life on the streets. Taking refuge in a school hiking expedition across Dartmoor, Alvin sees it as a way of avoiding his problems, but he didn't account for Miss Tregarthur and her dreadful Promise. Following catastrophic events, Alvin finds himself, together with his old friend Jenna, lost in an unknown time and place, leading a group of school children in a desperate fight for survival. Disease, death and disaster follow them as they try to decipher the Promise and search for the way back home. But Miss Tregarthur has not played her last game.

"'Her face twisted in a hideous snarl as she howled: 'YOU - Alvin Carter - YOU - keep my promise''"


My Review:
When I first saw the plot summary of this book I was intrigued, especially after it was compared to Lord of the Flies, a book I enjoyed. Tregarthur's Promise follows Alvin and his friends as they end up fighting for survival after a school trip goes wrong.

I feel like this book had a lot of potenital, and could have been something really interesting, but in the end the strange mish mash of ideas just didn't work for me. The start of the story had my attention. We're introduced to Alvin who comes from a drug dealing family with a reputation for violence and he was someone I was looking forward to discovering more about. Unfortunately I strugged to connect with the characters throughout the book. There were rare moments where two characters would sit and have a heart to heart and you got a glimpse into who they were, but besides that I just couldn't engage with any of them. There were also a lot of characters to get your head around and they're all introduced very quickly which made it hard to keep track. Even Alvin didn't know who half the people were.

What drives the story is the mystery and it did hold my attention somewhat as I wanted to find out just what was going on. Caught in the midst of an earthquake, Alvin's teacher Miss Tregarthur gives him a mysterious message about a promise she's made and leaves it for him to decipher. The mystery of the promise isn't revealed until quite late in the book and I did like finding out those answers to what was happening. Sadly the middle of the book was just a bit too slow pacing wise and meant by that time my attention was already starting to waver.

I do like survival stories so I was interested at first to see how the characters coped with the situation they're in. You see them learning to hunt for food and feed themselves and adapt to their surroundings which was entertaining. I also could appreciate the exploration of the characters when faced with that situation, which I think is where the Lord of the Flies comparison comes in. Suddenly these kids have to defend themselves and try and create some sort of organisation and leadership. I think Zach's character development in these scenes was the one real highlight.

I was on the fence about Tregarthur's Promise until the second half of the book, where the culmination of ideas just got a bit too out there for me. It's one of those books that's a bit hard to define genre wise because of all those ideas. I struggled with the world building and believability and would constantly finding myself questioning elements of the plot which didn't work for me. There were just too many things going on at once for me to be able to lose myself in the story.

It's a short book and it was a quick read, and it's not that I hated it. I just don't think enough of it clicked for me and I couldn't connect with the characters enough to invest myself in their situation. I wasn't keen on the ending either, which seemed rushed and unbelievable. There was a cliffhanger thrown in which will possibly grab people's attention enough for the sequel, but I'm not sure it's a series I'll be continuing with.

Rating: 2*
What to read next: This is the first in a planned series
Books like this: Lord of the Flies by William Golding


Monday, 11 November 2013

Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein




 Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Author: Elizabeth Wein Website|Twitter
Published: 3 June 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 469
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Hive|BookDepository
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women's concentration camp, Rose's story is one of courage in the face of adversity.

My Review:
I'd placed a hold on this book before I'd even finished Wein's previous novel, Code Name Verity, because I knew I would need to read this one as soon as possible afterwards. Rose Under Fire documents Rose Justice's journey from pilot to prisoner through her diary.

First of all, I think this is billed as more of a companion novel to Code Name Verity than a sequel, and you could certainly read it on its own without having read CNV. Saying that, characters that appear in the previous book to crop up in this one, and if you were to go back and read Code Name Verity afterwards then you may find some of the references in Rose Under Fire spoil that story. I'd definitely recommend reading Code Name Verity first so you get to enjoy the mention of the characters that appear in both novels. Plus Code Name Verity is a must read anyway.

Rose Under Fire introduces us to main character Rose Justice who is an air transport auxiliary pilot in the second world war. I absolutely fell in love with her from the very beginning of the book. Most of the story is told through her diaries so you get to hear her voice as you read. But what was most wonderful about Rose was that she loves poetry. Incorporated into the story are poems, both those she has written herself and ones she has picked up along the way. These really gave you an insight into her life and demonstrated her flare for writing. I loved her positive, forgiving attitude throughout the story as well.

Through Rose's poems and writings you get this real appreciation of the art of writing and how much of a priveledge it is. Rose is often denied access to pens and paper in her time in captivity so you really feel how passionate she is when she's finally able to express herself on paper. I think it's a sentiment that any reader or writer will appreciate. I adored the fact Rose is documenting her story in this one particular notebook which she treasures so much. It made the whole thing feel so special.

Obviously with a book set during the war, you are going to come across some pretty tough times for the characters. After having my heart shattered when I read Code Name Verity, I was pretty fearful for what would happen in Rose Under Fire, and how that would affect my emotions! It was about a hundred pages into this book when something that happened that shook me up and set up the rest of the story. Rose finds herself in a very bleak situation, and throughout Rose Under Fire you get to see the harsh conditions of concentration camps through Rose's eyes.

Whilst the camp scenes were incredibly hard to read, they also provided the sense of camaraderie which became one of my favourite things about the story. We see Rose bond with the girls in her bunk. It's not all smooth sailing and it was interesting to see the clashes in nationalities and backgrounds, but ultimately these girls pull together. The friendship between Rose and Eloide, and Rose and Roza were two of the highlights of the story for me. These people are forced together by circumstance yet they find ways to connect with everyone and help each other through. The friendships definitely provided some uplifting moments. Like Code Name Verity, I loved that book focussed on the stories of women, especially in a role such as a pilot. Rose was a real inspriation.

So this book completely shattered my heart in the same way Code Name Verity did, but I wouldn't change a thing. I was moved, inspired and uplifted by the wonderful characters and vivid storytelling. I was completely lost in Rose's story and what happened to her as well as the stories of those around her. Of course what is even more powerful about what happened is that it is based on real events. The names of real prisoners at the Ravensbruck camp are listed at the front of the novel and it's a stark reminder of what really happened to these people during the war. If you are reading this review and thinking to yourself "oh I don't really like historical" then I urge you to give it a try, because Rose Under Fire provides so much more than just a history lesson. There are fantastic characters and friendships that anybody will be able to appreciate.

Rating: 5*
Books like this: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

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