Monday, 30 January 2012

Review~The Underworld~Jessica Sorensen

The Underworld (Fallen Star #2)
4 out of 5 stars

Title: The Underworld

Author: Jessica Sorensen
Published: April 2011
The Underworld is the sequel to The Fallen Star (Fallen Star Series, Volume 1)
Gemma thought her mind was gone, but she was wrong. And now she is left trying to figure out the truth to what Stephan is planning to do with her and the star, before it’s too late.
But finding out the truth is hard, especially since Gemma doesn’t know who she can trust. There may be only one person who Gemma can turn to for answers, but that means having to go to the one place no one wants to go—The Underworld.
First line: “I wasn’t sure whether I was dead or alive.”
Last Line: “I let out a scream for help, but the only thing that returned to me was my own echo.”
Favourite Line: “I shut my eyes and let the buzzing take me away from this horrible place. I let it deafen out the screams. I let it sweep me away.”
Boy am I glad I stuck with ‘The Fallen star’ and finished reading it or I would not have been transported into this fantastic story Jessica Sorensen has created! I loved this book; I thought it was far better than the first. Where ‘The Fallen Star’ was an introductory book ‘The Underworld’ delves deep into the characters plot lines, and new important Characters are revealed and take the story down fresh paths with exciting twists and turns.
I feel in order to write a good review for this book I will have to mention certain facts about the plot line that may spoil the story, so I urge you go and read ‘Fallen Star’ first then I won’t be giving anything away!
Gemma has the power of a fallen star inside her and as ‘The Fallen Star’ finishes we learn she also has special foreseer powers, she can use crystal balls to see visions of the past and future. Gemma soon discovers that she doesn’t need a crystal ball to travel in and out of visions she is highly unique in this aspect. A minor character from ‘The Fallen Star’ reappears in ‘The Underworld’ however he plays a significant role in this Instalment; His name is Nicholas and he is half Faerie, half Foreseer. He agrees to teach Gemma how to use her powers and how to get into the Underworld to save her mother. Gemma’s mother is alive! She has been living in the Underworld, forced into slavery by the faerie Queen who rules there.
The story of Underworld is centred on this rescue mission however we also learn a little more about the main characters that were introduced to us in ‘The Fallen Star’. I believe the most important being Laylen, we already know he was turned into a Vampire; however there is mystery surrounding his ‘turning’ he does not remember what happened and he certainly doesn’t remember drinking the blood of a vampire! I really like the love triangle that Sorensen has started to create between Alex, Gemma, and Laylen. We know ultimately that Gemma has feelings for Alex; they have their mysterious electrical connection! However I think certain feelings may have started to surface for Laylen.
Gemma and Alex’s relationship develops further in this instalment, Gemma learns to trust Alex, after he sacrifices himself to enable her to learn about her powers. Alex also goes into the Underworld with Gemma to save her mother.  Alex spends this book trying to prove himself to Gemma; everything he does is ultimately for her!  I liked that Sorensen tells us a little about Gemma and Alex’s childhood friendship, that they had a close bond; it hurt Alex to be separated from Gemma.
The only character who I feel lacks in depth is Aislin, she just seems to be there! Apart from being a witch and having the skills to transport the gang from place to place, she doesn’t seem to do much else except for cry all the time. I really hope in the next instalment ‘The Vision’ that we get to see a bit more action from Aislin. Furthermore I feel Sorensen has to explore Aislin and Laylen’s relationship, she has already touched upon the fact that they use too be a couple. It will be interesting to see where Aislin will fit into the love triangle already forming in the gang.
Sorensen cleverly twists the plot of the story towards the end of the book, everything we thought we knew completely dissolves and we are left with the shocking revelation that Alex, Laylen and Aislin play a bigger role in this mystery! The world needs saving and they are all important in making sure this happens.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars: I think this is a brilliant YA series, I haven’t been this excited and eager to read on since the Twilight series! The book is well written with fleshy characters, and a fantastic plot! Sorensen is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series: ‘The Vision’.


Sunday, 29 January 2012

In My Mailbox #43

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at The Story Siren. This meme allows us bloggers to show what books we recieve each week.

So this week Bungle was really good and stuck to her book ban, not sure how long that will last though! Sally didn't do too bad and just bought two books. But Helen was our book buying winner this week with a total of three, not too bad I guess!!

So for review this week Bungle got a copy of Starters by Lissa Price:~

Starters (Starters, #1)

Sally's Mailbox

I was a very good girl and I only bought two books this week.  I bought The Fault in our Stars by John Green which I have heard fantastic things about. It also turned out to be a signed copy - bonus! I also bought Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey, another book I've been meaning to buy for ages.

The Fault in Our Stars  Haunting Violet

For review from netgalley I got Pack and Coven by Jody Wallace and steampunk fantasy The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle Mcquerry so a nice mixed bunch this week!


Helen's Mailbox

For review Helen got: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin and Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters   Ugly to Start With

And for the kindle she got: The Vision by Jessica Sorensen, Moon Spell by Samantha Young and Sojourner by Maria Rachel Hooley.

The Vision (The Fallen Star, #3) Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte, #1)  Sojourner (Sojourner, #1)

So that's what the Midnight Reads team got this week, what did you get?

Friday, 27 January 2012

Review ~ Halflings ~ Heather Burch

Title: Halflings

Author: Heather Burch

Published: 1st February 2012

By: Zondervan

Source: netgalley

First line: Fangs sank into Nikki Youngblood’s leg, setting her skin on fire.

Last line: Now, maybe it was time to learn to fly.

Synopsis: After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Halflings is a nicely written tale that squeezes itself perfectly on to the YA shelf. The tone is fairly light, telling the tale of Nikki who is for some strange reason being hounded (literally) by a variety of dark forces who seem to be out for her blood. As the synopsis suggests, it is the Halflings who come to her rescue which brings in the love triangle and eventually leads to a rather dramatic finale. I enjoyed the tone of this story. It was fairly light and Burch’s writing style flows nicely. I also enjoyed the way that she describes the characters, calling them the lost boys, a race who don’t belong to heaven or earth, so in essence nephilim but the twist was nice. There were however several aspects of the storyline I found myself questioning.

At times it feels as though plotlines are not as well developed as they might be. That said, it may be that there are answers in the sequel to Halflings but I felt that a greater level of explanation and indeed closure in some places might have made for a stronger storyline overall. There were also aspects to Nikki’s personality that didn’t sit right. At times she felt too much like a damsel in distress who was being dragged along for the ride although this does start to change towards the end. Also, I didn’t understand how she went from clueless about the people trying to save her to all knowing without any steps in-between. I thought I knew why she was being targeted but by the end of the book I wasn’t so sure and there were several characters whose back story could have been better fleshed out. As I said, these things may become clear in the next in the series. I’m looking forward to finding out the answer.

3/5 I liked this story but the lack of detail in place sometimes left me wanting. Having said that I still look forward to the pieces of the puzzle coming together in the sequel.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Review~Hunting Lila~Sarah Alderson

Hunting Lila
4.5 out of 5 stars

Title: Hunting Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Published: August 2011

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

Opening line:~ Only when the tip of the knife started to shave against the white of his eye like a scapel about to pierce a boil, did I realise I was the one holding it.

Closing line:~ And I believed him.

Favourite quote:~ I felt his other hand sear hot against my cheek. He bent his head, and in a voice that Jack couldn't hear, said, 'When you came down the stairs and fell into me, that was the moment.' Then his lips pressed against mine.

I loved it with a capital L! Hunting Lila came at the right time for me. It was something a little different and I couldn't stop reading but when I had to stop because of work I found myself thinking of the story and the characters and what would happen next!

After her mother's murder Lila is taken by her father to live in London leaving her brother to live with his best friend, Alex, in the states. While away from her brother and Alex, Lila discovers she has a talent ~ psychokinesis. After her secret is out in the open Lila flies to be with her brother and his best friend but they are not exactly normal 22 year olds. Working for Unit they are trained US Marines, and when the enemies learn that Lila is the sister of Jack she finds herself on the run yet again but this time with the help of swoon-worthy Alex.

Yes ladies, we have our leading man in Alex. Lila has been in love with him for as long as she can remember and I love that about her and this story. Her feelings for him have grown over the years she has know him, he didn't just appear out of nowhere and they didn't fall in love on the spot. There's is a relationship that has grown over time, moving to more than just friendship. I want an Alex!! I also had a bit of a soft spot of Jack. I loved all the characters in Alderson's story. Even the supporting characters felt developed enough to make me want to care for them.

I like that Alderson wasn't afraid to really make this story YA. Yes at times we are reminded that Lila is younger then Alex and her brother but I really feel with the age of the men and their military background this story is perfect for the upper end of YA. It is an action packed read with a love story that has developed over the years.

The twists and turns in this story were more than enough to keep me reading, and what an ending!! I can't wait to read book 2 not only to find out what happens next but I need another Alex fix!

4.5 out of 5 stars because Alderson has written an action-packed story that has just about the right amount of everything with engaging characters and a love story that is truly believable.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Review ~ Diabolical (Tantalize #4) ~ Cynthia Leitich Smith

Title: Diabolical

Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Published: 24th January 2012

By: Candlewick Press

Source: netgalley

First line: Until the night I was taken, demonically infected, the Guardian Angel Zachary watched over me.

Last line: With my angel at my side, I cross into the divine.

Fave Line: I whisper songs into her sweet skin.

Having already read the first three books in the Tantalize series I was looking forward to reading Diabolical and I’m glad to say that it doesn’t disappoint. If anything, I would say that this is probably better than it’s predecessor.

In Diabolical all our familiar favourites return. Quincie, Kieren and Zachary are still working at Sanguinis, the vampire themed restaurant where Zachary, a slipped angel works at saving neophytes whom he considers to be redeemable. He does all of this in the hope of earning the return of his wings so that he can return home to Miranda. Which leads me to the return of Miranda’s character. Miranda now resides within the penultimate, a half-way house if you will where those ascending to the pearly gates are helped to find peace within themselves before they fully ascend.

From there she is able to observe the goings-on on earth, watching Zachary as he attempts to find his way back to her and also keeping an eye on Lucy, her best friend who continues to search for her. When she realises that Lucy has moved schools it dawns on her almost immediately that something isn’t right. Further investigation shows that the Scholomance Preparatory Academy is a branch of the Eastern European institute of the same name and also happens to be the place that was once attended by Draculus Prime and Lucifer. Using Joshua, Zachary’s friend as a go-between she gets word to Zachary that Lucy is in trouble which leads to a rescue attempt being instigated by Zachary, Kieren and Quincie. Things do not go as planned however and Zachary and Kieren find themselves trapped in the school along with Lucy and several other students. It soon becomes clear that Lucy’s decision to attend is not as clear cut as it first appears and that more than one of our favourite characters is a target in this battle between good and bad.

Diabolical is written from several points of view and we see things this time through the eyes of Kieren, Zachary and Miranda. This is a style of writing that I particularly enjoy and it was great to see Miranda back in the fray and seeing everything from her perspective, especially the role that she plays in ensuring the safety of her best friend. It was also good to see all the characters that I’ve read about so far finally getting together within the one book. There are some excellent twists in the plot and fab new characters, especially Vesper and Nigel and the relationships between Miranda and Zachary and Quincie and Kieren are as sweet as ever. The final battle in the story is nailbiting and more than one characters life is on the line which makes for an exciting ending.

4/5 Diabolical is as good as if not better than the preceding books in the series. If you enjoyed those then you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Review ~ Tempest ~ Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest #1)
Add caption

Title:~ Tempest
Author:~ Julie Cross
Published:~ January 2012

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveller.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

First Line:~ My name is Jackson and I can travel through time.

Last Line:~ I have no regrets.

Favourite Quote:~ And I could see it, a clear picture in my mind: her knuckles white, fingers gripping around a rock, and then the instant relief of letting go. Free falling, feeling nothing but air, no weight. No pain.

WOW! What to say about this book!?! I was so torn about how I felt! I loved how the book started, it got right to the point about who our main guy Jackson, was and the fact that he could time-travel. And with this time-travel comes a relative fast-pace story that could leave some readers feeling confused. I was glad of the journal entries Jackson made as I was able to keep up with what year he was in and what date he was on. But for me there were still some unanswered questions about his time-travelling.

I think it's not until the end of the story that you actually appreciate this book! Cross is able to slowly build a world in the readers mind giving them just enough information to keep them reading to find out what happens next. As Jackson's past unravels I was reading faster and faster to see what he would find out next about himself and his father's secret life.

I loved Jackson as a character, I found him easy to relate to and easy to care for. As the story concentrates mostly on Jackson some of the secondary characters are not as well developed but I think this will come over the next book. I did like Adam, Jackson's friend and time-travelling theorist and Holly, Jackson's girlfriend was like able. I warmed more and more to Jackson's dad and I hope to read more about him.

Although the book is fast-paced because of the time travelling, sometimes I was wanting more to happen and boy did I get it with the last 90 pages or so. This is where the story really picked up and I can't believe how Cross left the story!!! Who is that little red head? Where did she come from? Who are the goodies and who are the baddies? What is going to happen? Will Jackson make the right choice? This last part of the story were some of the best page I've read and part of me wishes the whole book had me as gripped as much as those 90 pages did!

3.5 out of 5 stars because Cross knows how to build a story in a readers mind giving them enough to just keep them hanging on. And if you can get your mind around the time travelling this book is worth the read. I think this is a series that's only going to get better!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

In My Mailbox #42

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at The Story Siren. This meme allows us bloggers to show what books we recieve each week

So the Midnight Reads team went to town this week on the book buying front. Some might see this as a lack of restraint, we like to think of it as a celebration of all things literal. We also anticipate our respective Bank Managers accepting this sentiment in a much more positive light than the former...

Bungle's mailox

So kicking us off with the book haul this week is Bungle who received a fantastic bounty of reads!

This week Bungle got two books for review; Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham and How to keep a boy as a pet by Diane Messidoro.

Fearful that her purse was about to burn a hole in her favourite coat, Bungle also treated herself to two books. She bought Nightschool by C J Daugherty and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

Bungle also won a signed copy of A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton after she entered a competition over at The Cait Files. Lucky thing!!

Helen's mailbox

So, Helen has been frantically downloading books for review to her Kindle this week!

The first three books Helen got for review were Jessica Sorensen's The Underworld (Book 2 in the fallen star series), Courtney Cole's Every Last Kiss ( Book 1 in the bloodstone saga and B.Alston's The Grey Eyes (Book 1 in The Forever Trilogy)

She also got Elizabeth C. Mock's Shatter (Book 1 in The Children of Man Series), Stacey Wallace Benefiel's Glimpse (Book 1 in the Zellie Wells series)and Melanie Nilles' Starfire Angels (Book 1 in the Dark Angel Chronicles). As a brief aside she was also able to make a cute little flowerpot out of her melted credit card which she's sure her account manager will just love!

Sally's mailbox

I went off the rails completely this week too!

For review from netgalley this week I got Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz, book two of the Spellbound series. This of course meant I had to order book one. Was there ever a better excuse to buy more books?!

I also received my Christmas present from Bungle this week which I am really excited about. I chose Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

I also treated myself to The Tempest by Julie Cross, Switched by Amanda Hocking and The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon which I've been meaning to buy for ages!

So, a busy few weeks coming up for the Midnight Reads team I think and so many fab titles coming out in the next couple of few much to do!!

But enough about us... What did you get this week?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Review ~ Replication ~ Jill Williamson

Title: Replication

Author: Jill Williamson

Published: 1st January 2012

By: Zondervan

Source: netgalley

First line: Martyr stared at the equation on the whiteboard and set his pencil down.

Last line: She only wished she could see the look on Dad’s face when Marty asked.

Fave Line: “So, if the function of x is nonnegative and continual between the interval of a and b, you find the integral of that function by doing the antiderivative and plugging in the numbers a & b respectively to get an exact number as opposed to a general solution like you’d get from an indefinite integral” ??

Replication is a sci-fi tale which revolves around two main characters. Firstly, we have Martyr who is classified as a Jason. Martyr lives underground in what appears to be a medical facility in Alaska. Having never left the facility he lives there with 55 other Jasons, some of whom he cares and looks out for because they are considered to be broken. Patiently he waits for his expiration date to arrive when he knows he will fulfil his purpose. Martyr has one ambition – to see the sky before he dies. Abby is a teenager who has recently lost her mother to cancer. She’s a complex character from the outset. She writes lists of pros and cons, using the lists to help her reach decisions and form opinions. When we join her she has just arrived home from a school trip to find that her father, a scientist, has gotten a new job in Alaska and that he has emptied and shipped their home thousands of miles away without even informing her.

After arriving in Alaska and receiving a pretty negative response from her new schoolmates she gains the unwanted attention of JD, one of the school jocks who it turns out happens to be a genius and one who cannot understand Abby’s total disregard for him. She also becomes friends with Kylee a fellow geek who she bonds with immediately. Out of curiosity she visits the enclosure, Jason Farms, where her father works and gradually realises that her father is participating in research that goes again her and her late mother’s beliefs. It is only when Martyr escapes that Abby becomes aware of the full horrors of what is happening at Jason Farms and the implications this has for those around her.

There are many aspects of this book that I loved. The characters I thought were rich and easy to imagine. I loved the almost OCD aspect to Abby’s personality and Martyr’s character is heart-breakingly sweet and naive. There are little things like not knowing what night is, what a cat is, that make him so vulnerable and of course you end up rooting for him all the way.

What left me feeling uncomfortable were the religious overtones that pick up pace through the book. Light vs. dark, good against bad, ethical and moral choices are almost fundamental aspects of YA whether you’re reading about angels, demons, ghosts, vampires or any number of other immortals. The same applies to the sci-fi/dystopian genres. I love books that encourage readers to question their opinions and beliefs but I also think that works of fiction should not prescribe a certain train of thought, rather they should encourage individual reflection. And that unfortunately is where I found this book lacking. I can appreciate that there are some sections of the wider readership who will find this appealing but for me, I felt it made for uncomfortable reading and detracted from a pretty good plotline.

2.5/5 – I loved the storyline and adored some of the characters but my enjoying it was hampered by the underlying messages in the book.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Review ~ The Fallen Star ~ Jessica Sorensen

The Fallen Star (Fallen Star, #1)
4 of 5 stars

Title: The Fallen Star
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Published: April 9th 2011
By: createspace
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she's around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma's life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn't be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.
First line: “In the midst of a dark, forest, haunted by the winters chill, I found myself running for my life.”
Last line: “I was gone.”
Favourite line: “I can see them,” I whispered, awestruck by how beautiful the stars were.”
The Fallen Star is the first book in Jessica Sorensen’s Fallen Star series, It is the story of Gemma who when we meet her is just starting to feel emotions, she has up until this point lived her life like a zombie. With these new feelings comes an adventure full of twists and turns!
The book started slowly and there were moments when I thought mmmmm I really don’t think this is for me. The first few chapters were quite strange and different, due to the fact that the main protagonist had never experienced emotions! I felt she was quite cold and distant and I wasn’t enjoying the book, however the more emotions Gemma started to experience the more I started to warm to her. We learn later on in the story why Gemma has no emotions and how she feels about these revelations, it’s at this point everything makes sense. The realisation dawns that Sorensen had to make Gemma cold and distant in order for her character and story to develop.
I started too really like Gemma, she faces some scary situations in this book and well obviously she’s scared! I liked that she was petrified by what she saw because I know I would also be petrified! She handles everything in a very human way, even though she doesn’t consider herself a normal human.
The first half of this supernatural story is spent asking questions, why does Gemma not have any emotions? Is she human? Why does she have violet eyes? These questions begin to be answered and more problems start to surface when she meets Alex. Alex is tall, dark, handsome and mysterious! He also appears to hate Gemma; however as we all know sometimes hate is misinterpreted. I loved the tension between Gemma and Alex, and the invisible electricity that runs between them that only they can feel. They share two kisses in this book, but they fall back into their arguments very quickly, also we do not know whether Gemma should really trust Alex. He has lied to her about her past and kept certain information secret; at the end of the book we are left questioning whether Alex is really a bad guy! 
Along with Alex we meet his sister Aislin and also their friend Laylen, I felt Sorensen was merely introducing us to these characters in this book, and I predict their stories will develop further in the following instalments. As with many other author’s Sorensen has the difficult task of introducing us to her new world, and The Fallen Star is primarily an introductory book. She leaves us on a cliff hanger, which was extremely clever because you instantly want to read the next book in the instalment.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked The Fallen Star, if you are looking for an exciting series of books with twists and turns, this is for you! I have already started on The Underworld, the next book in the instalment!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

(two word) Review ~ Dreamless ~ Josephine Angelini


Title: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: July 2012 (UK)

Goodreads says:~
As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.

I Say:~

Heartbreakingly Beautiful!!*

*I could happily leave this as my review but a more detailed review shall be posted in the near future.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Review~Vivid~Andrea Murray


Title: Vivid
Author: Andrea Murray
Published: December 13 2011
By: Andrea Murray; Epublished

When Vivian Cartwright was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s death.

Now, sixteen-year-old Vivian only wants a normal life—hard to accomplish when you possess the power to control energy. Her entire life she has feared her power and its connection to her mother’s murder. She has kept her ability a secret from everyone except her guardian, Charlotte, who has hidden Vivian from the man responsible for her mother’s murder.

Her secret is safe until Vivian subconsciously defends herself at school using her power. After this first use of her gift in many years, Vivian’s power seems to take on a mind of its own, increasing in strength and demanding to be used. This increase in power also brings dreams of her mother’s death and the mysterious man connected with it. When she is assigned to tutor the would-be boyfriend of Trista Parmer (a.k.a. the biggest diva in school), Vivian cannot deny the electrifying connection that she feels for the boy, Easton Garrett. In her desire to get Easton away from Vivian, Trista doubles her efforts to humiliate Vivian, forcing Vivian to use her supernatural gift over and over. With each use, Vivian fears she is losing control and discovers her powers are growing—maybe too much—bringing her unknowingly closer to the man who murdered her mother.

First line: “When I was five, I watched my mother die”
Last Line: “I will find her. She’s my blood”
Fave Line: “He’s not the first teacher who has tried to help me, to save me from a future life as a lonely cat lady.”
Vivid is the first instalment of Andrea Murray’s YA Series, she is self-published, which we at Midnight Reads are very excited about because we are one of a selected group who have had the privilege of reading this book before anyone else!
Vivid is slightly different from YA material I have read before, we have Vivian our main protagonist; she is strong and independent, and with her powers is certainly in no need of saving. I think we find so often that our heroines in fiction appear to be in control and resilient, however they always seem to be saved by ‘the white knight’. I liked that Vivian saves herself, she doesn’t need a man too look after her, a really positive message to young women; we can be strong and achieve! Vivian’s powers are astonishing, and I liked that we were with her when she started to discover how to use her special gift. I find in so many paranormal and Sci fi material that when a character has a power it is not always explained why they have it, what it is and where it comes from! However Murray attempts to explain the bizarre phenomenon that Vivian experiences, where her power generates from.
Behind Vivian Murray has a cast of secondary Characters, Aunt Charlotte who has raised Vivian after her mother mysteriously dies! Vivian and Aunt Charlotte share some really special moments in the book, Charlotte is effectively the only mother Vivian has ever known and it is clear to see they have a mother/daughter bond; however they are also really good friends. I enjoyed reading Charlotte’s struggle to find a balance between being a strict mother and not trying to laugh at some of Vivian’s naughty antics!
Another character is Abbey, Vivian’s best Friend, the camaraderie between the two girls at the beginning of the book is a treat to read! I was smiling and laughing at some of their conversations on the page, these sections were really well written and their close friendship is believable. Abbey was a funny character and she lit up the page for me when she appeared, she had witty one liners and comical expressions, she made me smile!
Easton Garrett takes position as the male lead in the story, and boy is he gorgeous! I liked that their relationship develops quickly, although a long drawn out romance is always yummy! In this case it was nice that they both knew how they felt quite quickly. Easton is a baseball player, therefore he has an athlete’s psychic and Murray constantly reminds us of this, I wasn’t complaining! In all seriousness though Easton is a lovely boy and Vivian is really lucky to have found him because he accepts her power, he even accepts that she won’t tell him everything about it and this does not faze him. Even though Murray introduces a strong male lead he does not over power our heroin and I admire her for this. 
The Story would not be complete without a Villain who everybody loves to hate; this comes in the form of Trista Palmer, and boy do you hate her! What a horrible young lady, never mind Vivian wanting to smack her I wanted too! Trista is queen bee at the local high school and rules by publically humiliating her fellow pupils, Vivian and Abby being her favourite victims. Luckily she gets her comeuppance at the end, however as soon as Vivian deals with Trista she soon discovers that there are bigger and scarier villains afoot.
Murray leaves the story in suspense; she introduces and answers some questions in this instalment however she leaves us with bigger and more profound questions to be answered.  We also see the death of a really important character at the end which was heart-breaking to read!
4 of 5 stars! I really enjoyed this story, it made me smile and laugh and it also made me cry! I liked that Vivian was a strong female character who fought and protected herself! I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the Vivid series! And hopefully find out the answers to those intriguing questions!


Sunday, 15 January 2012

In My Mailbox #41

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted over at The Story Siren. This meme allows us bloggers to show what books we recieve each week.
Hello everyone. This week you met our new reviewer Helen and I'm thinking from now on In My Mailbox is going to be brill here at Midnight Reads. We always look forward to see what we all got so lets get to it.....
Bungle's Mailbox
I know I said I was going to be good and not buy books but I failed yet aging this week but in my defence I only spent £4.00 on 3 books!!!! Which were:~

The Hunger Games trilogly by Suzanne Collins.
I've heard a lot about this series and after seeing the trailer at ther pictures last week I thoughtt was about time I gave them a read!

I also got a bumper pack from Harper Collins 'Spill the ink'

Unravelling ~ Elizabeth Norris
A Confusion of Princes ~ Garth Nix
A Dog Called Homeless ~Sarah Lean
A Brighter Fear ~ Kerry Drewery

Helen's Mailbox

Helen did rather well this week to say it's her first week here at Midnight Reads. This week she recieved:~

For review


Vivid ~ Andrea Murray


Slumber (The Fade, #1)  The Fallen Star (Fallen Star, #1)
 Turned (The Vampire Journals, #1)  Blood Will Tell (Warriors of Ankh #1)

Slumber ~ Samantha Young
The Fallen Star ~ Jessica Sorensen
Turned ~ Morgan Rice
Blood Will Tell Samantha Young

Sally's Mailbox

So this week I got a copy of Tankborn by Karen Sandler -- I loved this book when I reviewed it so really chuffed to have a copy on my shelf at last.
I also got The Fairy Letters: Letters from Prince Kian to Queen Breena by Kailin Gow which looks fab!

The Fairy Letters (Frost Series Novella)  Tankborn

So that's what we got this week! We are looking forward to seeing what you got this week.
Happy reading :)

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