Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The White Rose (The Lone City #2)
by Amy Ewing
Publisher - Walker Books
Release Date - October 1st 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Matched, this is the second book in the Lone City trilogy, following on from Amy Ewing's shocking and compelling debut novel, The Jewel.

Violet, Ash and Raven have escaped the palace of the Duchess of the Lake, but Regimentals are hunting for them across the city. Nowhere is safe, and they are dependent on Lucien and his secret society for survival. If they can reach the safety of the White Rose then Violet may be able to help Lucien in his plan to rescue more surrogates. For one surrogate, however, it is already too late. Violet's best friend, Raven, is pregnant. And in the Jewel, surrogates cannot survive giving birth.
Another buddy read review with the lovely Tanja from Ja čitam, a ti? We read this a good while back which is horrible especially a) it hasn't yet been released b) you have to what a long time but c) you're one of the first to read it than anyone else. We both loved The Jewel and it was fair to say that we had to read it together. Whilst I think I did enjoy this one more than Tanja did but it's interesting to see two sides to one book.  Both of us came up with a discussion based review so don't forget to check out Tanja's review here. (I'm a little late posting. Sorry!) So after I thought I might have forgotten the story when writing this now, I have surprised as I have written so much. You know that's a brilliant when that happens.

The feelings you expressed after finishing this book?
            Happiness. Shock. Sadness. Inspired. Awed. I had a book hangover. That is the best way to describe it. I was completely in awe of this book from the beginning so I wasn't surprised that I mourned for it when it ended. I laughed, I cried and I was on tender and emotional hooks throughout the whole novel. I wanted to be on that island, only those who have read know what I mean.
It possibly didn't help that there was a major cliff which was so cruel of Amy but I sort of mentally prepared myself for it. Although I hate cliffhangers, I know you do, I mean who really loves them. But it does keep you really hooked till the next book and what I found is even with the cliffhanger from the previous book, you are still immersed into her world from Page 1!

What part of the world-building did you enjoy the most?
          Travelling through each element of The Lone City - seeing that there is something beyond the rich gleaming walls of The Jewel. It sort of reminds of Breathe by Sarah Crossan, the city contained in some sort of dome from the outside. Especially when they reach the island and The White Rose, that's when everything changes. It's quite hard to explain when you really have to read it for yourself. Can you see that I'm not revealing anything, that you must read this series. As well as the Auguries being developed beyond anything you will ever realise.

Which Auguries would you want to be able to control?
          - (Auguries (powers of manipulation in our terms) Colour, Shape, and Growth.) I'm torn between Shape and Growth to be honest. They developed so much in this book into such a beautiful and wonderful gift to have. Rather than abusing her abilities into something ugly and dangerous. Final verdict: Growth.

Your thoughts on Violet's character?
           Violet is a lot more mature than she really is. She is only sixteen years old yet she seems to me eighteen. I think I've come to realise that The Jewel and it's way of life leads me to believe that you have to grow up far beyond your years. That is the brutality and rawness that Miss Ewing writes about, which is quite shocking to say the least but intriguing nonetheless. Sorry lost track of the question - Violet was very brave and very caring. A lot of girls who thought that being the mistress's surrogate was a privilege, but she knew the truth and it was her job to save them. To bring The Jewel down to the ground. Whilst Tanja has issues with her as the main character, I think I connected and loved her development more in this novel.

How did you feel about Violet and Ash?
           Awwwww, I loved, loved how their relationship developed without the barrier of current society and rules. There wasn't any more Surrogate vs Companion. It was just them, stripped to the real Ash and Violet. No more hiding, metaphorically speaking.  Being on the run lead them too themselves more and we finally saw a lot more of Ash's persona more. Including his back story which is truly horrifying. At times being together though let their feelings cloud their judgement to their responsibility and purpose in the novel.

Who's your favorite secondary character?
           I agree on Tanja with this one, Raven! She was such a wonderful, down to earth characters she suffered the most in the whole of the novel. There is a scene that has you crying... I'm not going to tell you whether its for the good or the bad of the story.

Which one did you like more: The Jewel or The White Rose? 
          Tricky one for me that is - See the The Jewel the introduction to the story and the getting to know Violet. The White Rose for being the perfect sequel that didn't suffer the sequel syndrome and the development of the Auguries.

This was simply a stunning and addictive novel (and series!) and I really really can't wait to read the final and last one in the trilogy next year. 

Rating - 5

Friday, September 25, 2015


The Rest Of Us Just Live Here
by Patrick Ness
Publisher - Walker UK Books
Release Date - August 27th 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
I first came across this novel when I was at a Walker Event in the summer. Patrick Ness read out an excerpt from it in a video and I was instantly hooked. Goosebumps just from him reading it and I knew I had to buy this book. I'd like to mention that this is my first (yes you heard right), first book of Patrick Ness. I guess you could say I'm a little sexist to my reasons, a) because I very rarely read anything by male writers and I find I can't quite connect with them as much as female ones & b) they would usually write from a males perspective and I don't usually read many from that POV only if it's dual POV. I hope I'm not the only one and I'd like to apologise that I'm a little sexist, but what I will say is that I've been proven wrong about my preferences I guess. Patrick Ness is one of a kind for sure. 

Mikey just wants to graduate it's that simple and maybe confess his love to friend, Hanna. He's really not asking for a lot. But Mikey isn't just some kid in a small village, he has a best friend as the son of the demi-god and he's also being hunted and surrounded by zombie deers and big mean police officers with blue eyes. Why him though? Mikey who lives in just some ordinary, small town like any other. There really isn't a lot to say another than a lot of weird stuff happen. Throw in some vampires, oh and the time when there was some soul-eating demons of some kind, and you have yourself a Patrick Ness novel. Weird and wonderful mixed into one novel. You can't say you've read many of those in your day, have you. 

Mikey considers himself to be the outsider of the group. He thinks that everyone in his group thinks of him the last. But that isn't quite the case. Mikey suffers from OCD, he part of this loop whether its washing his hands properly or counting the street lights as he's in the car. These certain traits are triggered by his mum and her blatant act of not really caring and focusing on her campaign to be state senator. His father isn't any better when he's drunk, very rarely is he sober. His sister nearly died from a eating disorder and his Nan has Alzheimer. His life doesn't seem all the great really. But a person that always helps him and is there for him, is his best friend Jared, who by some miracle is a demi-god. Yes you heard right. and he's gay, but he's open about that which I loved. What I felt that every single moment he was fighting to be himself, or some resemblance of who he was before the loops. 

I'd like to first point out in my defense that I thought Mikey was a girl. Your probably thinking how could you think that. Well when all I read is from a female perspective unless occasionally written in dual POV. But that was entirely my fault and not to the disadvantage of Ness's writing. I grant you that it took a while to get accustomed to a different writer and one such as Patrick Ness. What I loved is that he didn't shy away from the being both honest and realistic mixed in with the wacky world of the Immortals either. With realistic elements like the background, Mikey's OCD, young love, family troubles. Some of the story was rather predictable but I think that was part of what Ness was trying to create. It was made to look like that Mikey was going to get to graduation with something happening to him. It was inevitable. He certainly made me laugh, even now as I'm writing this, it's making me chuckle at the ludarisy of the world he makes but in such a good way. In a way he writes it's completely faultless.

Another point was that at each chapter, Ness did this mini story... it would usually go:
"Chapter the Fourth, in which Satchel and Dylan sit in a coffee house with understated live music...." 
which usually follows the story of the Indie kids one named Flynn and one named Satchel, (not the bag, a name) and for some bizarre reason I couldn't quite get it and even another reader said but I went with it and in the end it proved to have a point in the end. It was tied nice and neatly. 

I'll like to reiterate that I will no longer things as black and white when it comes to female and male authors or characters for that matter. I think it's what I've enjoyed in the end and I guess the majority falls to the female side. But Patrick Ness has opened my eyes and I think I'd like to give some of his other books a go too. Maybe A Monster Calls I hear is good. The Rest of Us Just Live Here in 3 words being in W = Weird, Wackey and Wonderful. 

Rating - 5

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Everything Everything
by Nicola Yoon
Publisher- Corgi Childrens
Release Date - September 1st 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
My lovely girl, Glass and I have been reading a lot lately and we really wanted to pick this one up together. If I'm honest I didn't know what to expect. they only thing is that everyone has enjoyed it. From the gorgeous cover, illustrations done by Nicola's husband, to a debut and refreshing voice to YA. I present to you my review... Also make sure you visit Ja čitam, a ti? for Glass's joint review with some added extras to mine.

Storyline -
The story begins with eighteen year old, Maddy. She lives in a white room with a white couch, with bookshelves that only provide the colour in her room and a window which is her only view to the outside world. Carla has SCID, a illness which prevents her from going outside, she could be ill severely at any moment. She is allergic to the world. Imagine a life where she can't kiss, can't touch, can't go to the beach, to have a normal life. She only gets the stories of the outside from her books, movies and her nurse and best friend, Carla. But her life changed when she looked out that window and saw that a boy, his name was Olly. How can you have a relationship between houses - a note on the window, IM-ing after 8pm, is that a life at all?

But I found it endearing as well as the use of emails and illustrations as another to communicate with them aside from dialogue. It really does break up the novel. It was the only way that Maddy could really get to know Olly which was both special but sad as that was the only communication she could really have. No phone, no face to face. But at least it was something. So I'll write an email to show you just how much I loved him... 
Subject: Hello
Sent: September 16, 15:08 PM

Hello Olly, 

You don't know me but I guess you could say I'm a fan of you. I'm another one your readers for sure. I want you know that your my hero. You really are such a wonderful boyfriend for Maddy. Hope everything is well with your father, it so was so tough seeing you, your mum and your sister struggle with him on a day-to-day basis. That moment when Maddy actually risked herself for you in that moment. You know the one I mean. I stopped breathing at that time and I think you did too. You look after her won't you! She's been a pleasure to get to know and your story will be one to remember.

P.S What did you mum put in that Bundt cake?

Maddy writes in all her books, that if one day it is left behind, then they should look to the front page and see what who to return it too. Let me give you an example:
Picnic with me (Madeline) in a pollen-filled field of poppies, lilies, and endless man-in-the-moon marigolds under a clear blue summer sky
A walk outside with me (Madeline) just down the block a back.
Me (Madeline)"
This would be how my one would:

      Walk in a park or down the beach with me (Emma) enjoy the the lovely UK weather whether that the typical rain or a occasional sunny day. Feel the grass or sand beneath your feet. Make sure you laugh and smile. Add in something about books and the fact your talking to a complete gushing fangirl when it comes to books. Oh and that I have a tendency to stop for 5 minutes and take loads of pictures on my DSLR. Sorry habit of mine. (Please advise that if you are my boyfriend holding hands and kissing is completely acceptable. Oh yes) 

Maddy got one the chance to go outside with Olly and the place she chose was Hawaii to see the state fish known as,  The Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. (I bet you can't say that) If we had one chance where would you want to go, who would you go with and why?

       I would want to go to San Francisco, why because when I was younger I loved Charmed and I still do and I always wanted to find and see their house and go across the Golden Gate Bridge. I would most certainly go with my love of my life. Wouldn't be without him there.

Everything Everything is a gorgeous novel. What Maddy had is real, this isn't fiction. I googled it myself. Hehe. I really felt for Maddy though, her mum didn't help, you know when you read that that she will make you feel so angry and frustrating. But the key to this novel is that it does have a HEA. It's sound damning in the beginning, but it really does leave your heart fluttering until the end. Both Glass and I needed a hug after that. Such a beautiful debut from Nicola Yoon and one author we will both be keeping an eye in the future.

Rating - 5

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