Sunday, 30 November 2014

Weekly Highlights: the 'December TBR' edition

Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things! 

I might have forgotten last week because I didn't have anything to report. Work is getting manic in the run up to Christmas and apart from Christmas shopping - which I've finished, by the way! - I haven't had much of a chance to do anything. I feel like I've been playing catch up with the blog as a result but there's not much I can do about that. 

On The Blog
Review of In The Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin (4 stars)
Review of Terminated by Rachel Caine (4 stars)
Review of Captive by Aimee Carter (4.5 stars)

Currently Reading
At time of writing, I'm two thirds through Stone Cold Tough by Jennifer L Armentrout so hopefully I'll finish that this weekend. After that it's Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison; I'm feeling the need for a light-hearted rom-com before I get into the Christmas spirit.

On My Bookshelf
Amazingly, since I bought the rest of the Hush, Hush series at the event, I haven't bought a single book! This is partly because it's nearly Christmas and I've been told not to, and partly because I've spent all my money on other people's presents!

December TBR
My True Love Gave To Me, The Wolf Princess, and one review book for the new year: Vendetta. Then, depending on how my reading goes, it's up to my TBR jar!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Captive by Aimee Carter

The truth can set her free

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, in a hostile meritocracy on the verge of revolution, Kitty sees her frustration grow as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoat rebels she is secretly supporting keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

The sequel to Pawn, which was an amazing start to the trilogy, introduced the characters and the main story which continues to unfold in Captive. Kitty, as Lila, is trying to do her part in the rebellion but is not trusted by Knox, her fake fiancĂ©. And if he isn't going to tell her the truth, then she wants out; she just wants her happily ever after with Benjy. 

I read Pawn last year so details were foggy but Carter did an amazing job of summarising the best bits of the previous book. The good guys are trying to do what they can with the information gathered in the previous book, mainly the fact that Daxton is also an imposter. But without proof, it isn't much use to the rebellion, so that's what Kitty tries to do. Unfortunately, she is caught and is sent to Elsewhere, the prison and hunting ground for Extra's and criminals. We had seen some of it and heard its reputation in the first book but seeing it fully for the first time was brutal, it was truly an awful environment. 

There was a lot, like an insane amount, of lies and deception. I understand that for quite a few characters it was part of their cover as members of the rebellion, but it was very difficult to keep up with who to trust. Along with several new characters, we also saw a different side to Knox, a more harsh side that made me hate him a little bit. As for Kitty, I could understand her frustration but she also changed her mind about helping the rebellion; she wanted to be involved but she didn't want to get hurt, herself or anyone else. She kept flicking back and forth, which was not only annoying but also endangering to the cause. 

Despite some issues with the secrets and the mind-changing, this was an incredible story, quite possibly even better than Pawn! It was action packed, fast-paced and full of conspiracy and deception. I never knew what was going to happen when I turned the page, who was going to live to see another day, who was going to make it to the rebellion and what was going to happen to Elsewhere. I loved it, I read it in two days, and I cannot wait for the finale, especially after that shocker ending!

Published 1st December 2014 by Harlequin UK. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Terminated by Rachel Caine

Problems turn from dead to worse ...Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn Davis has survived Pharmadene's attempts to destroy her. But in doing so she may have sacrificed something massive - her own humanity. Made even more dangerous than before, even to her own friends, Bryn must stop a group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating Returne addicts altogether. And meanwhile, the investors' undead assassin is on the hunt for anyone who stands in their way. It's time to terminate the oncoming corporate zombie apocalypse for good ...even if it means terminating herself along with it. 

It's been a while since I read the previous book Two Weeks Notice so details were few and far between but I had faith in Caine's writing that I'd be able to keep up and luckily I was; things came flooding back as I got lost once again in Bryn's terrifying world.
The characters are still reeling from the events of the last book, as they recover from their torture and captivity they are experiencing some serious PTSD. Bryn and Riley are still very unsure about their upgrade to super-soldier; through the course of the book, we see them as definitely more zombie-like as they need a hell of a lot of protein to keep the nanites happy. Caine uses this to explore what it means to be human and alive, as opposed to stubbornly hanging on to threads of life. It also pushes the boundaries of Bryn and Patrick's relationship as Bryn is worried about her limits.

There is non-stop action as they run for their lives and hunt down anyone tied to the Foundation Group, trying desperately to keep ahead of Jane, the evil mastermind behind a lot of the Returne and a super-soldier herself. This book had much more of the conspiracy thriller angle as they don't even know who they're looking for. My heart was definitely in my throat for a lot of this, as they are in major trouble as they are chased across the country, unable to trust anyone as they are unsure how high up this goes. As it turns out, quite high up! A great, non-stop thrilling conclusion to Bryn's story.

Published 30th September 2013 by Alison and Busby.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell

Wilfred Mott is very happy: his granddaughter, Donna, is back home, catching up with family and gossiping about her journeys, and he has just discovered a new star and had it named after him. He takes the Tenth Doctor with him to the naming ceremony. But the Doctor soon discovers something else new, and worryingly bright, in the heavens – something that is heading for Earth. It's an ancient force from the Dark Times. And it is very, very angry.

It's been a while since I've read a Doctor Who adventure, so I was a little out of practice of reading rather than watching the drama unfold. But with a book, there is more background to the story than with a standard episode; we learn more about the bad guys, see more of the events that lead up to the Doctor saving the day and learn more about the goings on with the Doctor and his companion, in this case Donna.

While I struggled with reading the adventure, I did really like it. My Doctor is the Tenth Doctor and I love to see anything extra from him, and his relationship with Donna is so sweet and funny. Seeing the Doctor struggle with domestics with Donna's family and how Donna fits back into her family was precious and a little heartbreaking as Donna visits on the anniversary of her father's death. But then things get complicated when a little boy knows more than he should about the Doctor's whereabouts and stars are re-aligning in the sky. 

Apart from the normal alien trying to take over the world, Russell also explored the depth of love between family members and the hardship that comes with Alzheimer's, as we are introduced to new character Netty. The way everything and everyone came together, not just for the Doctor but for each other, was amazing to see and so touching. A little difficult to keep up with in the different format but still a joy to have another adventure to experience. 

Published 7th March 2013 by BBC Books.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Event Write-Up: Black Ice Tour

On Friday 14th November, I worked my first book tour event from the other side of the table. Waterstones Swindon started Becca Fitzpatrick's Black Ice UK tour, which was incredibly fun. First up, it wasn't actually in Waterstones, it was in a nearby cafe. So Jess and I, who I was working with for the evening, hauled all our stuff, including three boxes of books, tickets and petty cash, through the shopping centre to the cafe. We then set up tables, spread out the books all prettily, had a fight with the banner, and waited for people to show up. 

Moira Young had been invited along as well, which was really cool. I had met her briefly last year at her Rebel Heart launch in Bath, but it was really nice to meet her properly. Becca was running late due to insane traffic from London and, bless her, was still jet-lagged from the plane ride over but she made it!

Becca then led the talk on her inspiration for her new book, and how she got into writing in the first place. It was really interesting hearing her talk, hearing about the writing process from the other side and she was a very funny and involved speaker. Moira then took over, talked a little about her series and what inspired her, like being taken to the movies as a child and having an epic scene-like imagination. They then took questions from the crowd, mostly things about their writing and how they chose names and if characters were based on people in their lives. Jess and I could relax during all this, we just sat in the back and laughed along with everyone else.

Then is was signing time, so we both went back to the table to sell more books and waited for everyone to leave before we could start packing up. We also had our books signed and had our picture taken with both Becca and Moira!

Just a basic talk-and-signing but it was very fun to be working it, even if it was quite tiring! I had the best time, the stall did pretty well and I got my books signed; all in all, a successful event!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

In The Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

Anya Balanchine is a teenager with the responsibilities of a grown woman. Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win.
Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. Until a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life.

The final book in Anya's chronicles told the last few struggles of her teenage years and as she enters adult life. Time moved differently in this one, it was spread over a few years as she opened the club, experiences its success and grew up into a young woman. 

Quite a few things happen in this part of the story, from the troubles with the club to relationships issues. It seems to finally be over with Win, which was incredibly sad; even though he gave up on her because of going into business with his father, I wanted them to overcome their differences. It does take a while but they both seem grow up and come to some adult realizations about how they handled their teenage relationship. Then there was the one big mistake Anya recognises as her own and that was her merger/marriage with Yuji Ono so she could take over his sweet company. She went to Japan with Yuji on his deathbed  and was nearly killed. 

Anya really grew up and developed as a character, as a businesswoman and a sister and friend. She had a lot of responsibility with the club and her family and then after her near-death experience, she had to recover use of her entire body. With everything happening, Anya had a lot of time to think about how she handled things with Natty and Win. I really liked how she grew up and had finally learned how to handle the responsibility along with the worry. The finale of Anya's story was just as dramatic and heartbreaking as the first two parts, and I'm really happy to see not only her last few dramatic moments, but also to see that her life has settled into the possibility of a happy ending.

Published 24th September 2014 by Pan Macmillan. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Weekly Highlights: the 'Fallen Angel' edition

Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things!

There was no news or new books last week. In fact, apart from the Becca Fitzpatrick/Moira Young event, there isn't much bookish news to report this week. By the time this goes up, the event will have happened but at time of writing, I have yet to attend. I plan to post a write-up next week with all the details so keep your eye out. 

On The Blog
Review of The Mediator series by Meg Cabot (5 stars)
Review of Half Bad by Sally Green (4 stars)
Review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart (4 stars)
Review of Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (5 stars)

Currently Reading
At the time of writing (Friday afternoon), I've just started Terminated by Rachel Caine, the third in the Revivalist series. Details are foggy on the previous books but some things are coming back. Next up is a re-read of Mockingjay before the movie.

On My Bookshelf
Stone Cold Touch by Jennifer L Armentrout
Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

A fluke find on Amazon; I read the first book White Hot Kiss a few months ago and as this was so cheap, and a bit of a guilty pleasure, I had to find out what happens next!

Trouble by Non Pratt

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

Lobster by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find 'The One'. Their lobster. But instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. They must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

These two are hand-me-downs from a friend at work - thank you Jess!

The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
Alone in the world, Sophie dreams of being someone special, but she could never have imagined this. 

On a school trip to Russia, Sophie and her two friends find themselves on the wrong train. They are rescued by the beautiful Princess Anna Volkonskaya, who takes them to her winter palace and mesmerises them with stories of lost diamonds and a tragic past. 

But as night falls and wolves prowl, Sophie discovers more than dreams in the crumbling palace of secrets.

And finally this is part recommendation from Jess, a need to read it because it's Waterstone's Children's Book of the Month, and because the proof was in the staff room. It sounds amazing, a fairy-tale type of story with a winter twist, just in time for Christmas!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome face and hypnotizing eyes. It seems Patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy.

But before long, Nora's defenses start to break down as her curiosity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she's thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and repulse her? And what is up with those V-shaped scars on his chiseled back?

As their connection grows stronger, Nora's own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do her harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?

I read this because I'm working her event tonight, for her new book Black Ice, which I haven't read yet. Hush Hush has always been on my peripheral but I've never had a chance to pick it up. And that was incredibly stupid of me because it was the best sort of dark romance that I adore. It was dripping mystery and danger, keeping us guessing who the bad guy was and what exactly Patch's secret was. The dark and creepy setting was exemplified by the atmospheric windy Maine background, with early nights rushing in and bad weather keeping rescue at bay.

Even though I devoured it, there were a few things that I can easily criticise. For one, the whole 'I don't know if I can trust Patch but he's so gorgeous' thing dragged on for longer than I would have liked. I believe that was just Patch being a secretive douche rather than Nora's lack of self-control but his secret was kept hidden for just a little bit too long. The other thing could be a criticism but I'm actually praising it: the mind-trickery and suspense. As Patch was messing with Nora's mind, the line between fiction and reality was bending, and the non-knowing the truth, while incredibly frustrating, was really well written.

Nora and Patch's relationship was weird from the off, but despite my annoyance with the length of the mystery, I quite liked their developing friendship and lust. It was never a case of Nora falling head over heels, she just acknowledged the attraction; if there's one thing I hate it's insta-love. And Patch was a dangerous presence but never tried to romance her with lies. So while their relationship might be pretty weird, you know with attempted murder and stalking and the almost death threats, it was almost-cliched dark romance but still so entertaining to read and I can't wait to see where they go next.

Published 1st January 2009 by Simon and Schuster.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart

Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.

Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves. 

This is not like Lockhart's other book I've read, it had a completely different feel and tone to it but I loved it just as much. It told of Frankie as she attended her father's old school, trying to navigate relationships and the social, usually old-fashioned, implications of her being a girl. It was very feminist and you really did have to concentrate when Frankie went off on a debate, but it was thought-provoking and very funny.
Like I said, the whole feel of it was all about young feminism, and Frankie was definitely trying to push the boundaries of who is worthwhile, which is difficult at an old-fashioned, used-to-be-boys-only boarding school. As a character, I get the impression that we weren't always supposed to like her, but I really did. Maybe it was her tough attitudes towards the injustice of social conventions and the similarities between our feminist thinking but I completely rooted for her. Frankie is feisty and stubborn, determined to prove herself even though she doesn't really know who against or to what end. She just knows it's not fair to only be seen as "Bunny Rabbit", a cute, pretty girl with no thoughts in her head worth mentioning. As she goes on with secretly taking over the boys' club, she is caught between being who everything expected her to be and who she knows she can be. 

Lockhart did a great job in portraying the differences in gender equality and subconscious attitudes towards them. Seeing things through Frankie's eyes, I saw inequality everywhere, from her boyfriend and his friends, to her mother who only wants to protect her. But the point is that Frankie doesn't need protecting because she is smart and incredibly resourceful but all her family and friends see is a young girl in need of coddling. 

I would happily recommend this for anyone in need for a thought-provoking, yet surprisingly light-hearted read about a bull-headed girl taking on a secret society. There is a kick-ass heroine, cool guys, great friendships and hidden meanings to solve. All in all, a great read.

Published 6th November 2014 by Hot Key Books. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

I had no proper expectations going into this, apart from vague knowledge of some mixed reviews. I'm actually kind glad I had nothing to compare it to, it was quite refreshing to read it barely remembering the synopsis, let alone the reviews. 

What I found was excellent characterisation and writing style. Starts in the present, second person narrative, to draw you in but just more questions than answers. Then goes right back to the beginning, telling you Nathan's life story and succinctly explaining why he is the way he is. Nathan has had a tough life, judged by his parents, feared because of his father - never mind that he's never met him. It just sucked that everyone, even one if his sister's, treated him so horribly. And yet I can't help but think that if the Council made an effort to be nice, he wouldn't hate them so much; kind of creating their own problem, idiots!

The world building was very cool, very well done; set in the British countryside where witches lived in relative peace with the non-magical, or fains, there is a battle going on between the White and the Black. I really liked the not-so-secret witch society, where there were two factions, who were basically good and bad. But of course, from Nathan's perspective and his story, we came to realise that things are not so simple. Nathan has had to fight the Council, the governing witch power, for every little thing, from his classification (as White or Black) to leaving his town and interacting with White Witches. With the Council issuing rules that were basically just for Nathan, the whole thing had a very Big Brother vibe, which was immensely creepy. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this. While I didn't always get along with Nathan - sometimes he had a little too much of his dad in him - I could completely sympathise with his awful situation. But he was tough and broke the rules that needed breaking but still wanted to keep his family safe. Most things, i.e. his Gifting ceremony on his seventeenth birthday, were completed but it left plenty of questions for me to want to find out what happens to Nathan next.

Published 27th March 2014 by Penguin. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

Love You To Death
The first in the series starts off right at the beginning with Suze moving to California to be with her mum's new husband and his three sons. If that wasn't bad enough, her new bedroom already has a tenant; only problem is he's dead. 
Suze was always my favourite heroine; she's sassy and tough and smart, and although she might whine about her ability to see dead people, she has learned to take it all in stride and do what she can to help them. 
Her new Catholic school, founded in the 1700's, should be swarming with ghosts but Suze finds it empty. All due to the hard work of the only other mediator she's ever met, her new principal Father Dominic. I adore Father Dom, he is the complete opposite to Suze in his ghost-handling but they compliment each other.
If Suze didn't have enough to deal with, she is now the target of homicidal ghost who really doesn't want to be dead. But what can Suze do when Heather killed herself over a guy? A great start to the series and only sets it up for more amazing to follow.

High Stakes
There's a pretty new boy in Suze's life: Tad. What he lacks in conversational skills he more than makes up for in muscles. The only problem is his father thinks he is a vampire. Ghosts are one thing, but vampires? Nuh-uh. Suze also has a murder to solve, as well as a not-murder. She is woken by screaming - one way to get her attention - and the woman is adamant that "Red" didn't kill her. Suze goes on the hunt for this so-called Red and stumbles onto the body-filled path of Mr Beaumont. 
Despite having successfully dealt with Heather, the situation with the Beaumont's felt a lot more sinister and serious, maybe just because he was a grown man rather than a pissed off teenager. Either way, Suze gets into a few scraps but just manages to make it through alive. Her relationship with Tad might have been short-lived but her secret crush on Jesse is developing rather well.

Mean Spirits
Four teens have suffered a fatal accident and Suze has solve the mystery of what happened - she gets close to the lone survivor who was driving the other car. But some things don't quite add up and she has to go mediate some ghosts looking for revenge with the help of Father Dom and Jesse. Plus Suze's best friend from New York is visiting and Suze is struggling to keep her ghost-hunting a secret.
I really like this one, the ghost-hunting story is quite personal and leaks into Suze's normal life, which is both awkward and harmful. It's also quite a tough one when a teen lad is deciding that the popular kids don't deserve to live. 

Young Blood
Suze is working as a baby-sitter over the summer at the resort, where she meets the second mediator of her life. Problem is he's a whiny little brat whose been labelled as a crazy person. Suze straightens him out and gains a student, pity her teaching methods aren't exactly up to scratch! Plus his older brother Paul is a bit of a nuisance, a hot nuisance but still up to something that worries her.
And then there's Maria and her slave-runner, deadbeat husband Diego who fear repercussions for finding Jesse's body. Because it's always nice to be woken up by the ghost of the almost-boyfriend's ex-fiance holding a knife to your throat.
I'm a romantic, it doesn't matter that Jesse's dead, I think they have a great relationship and I want them to be together. This is the first that we see that might be a possibility. Until of course Jesse disappears and Suze is grief-stricken and so desperate to get him back that she mediates herself! And that's where two things happen: one, Jesse realises how important Suze is to him and two, we find out what the deal is with Paul and man is it a doozy.

Grave Doubts
Paul has decided to stick around California, for reasons he will not share but is definitely up to no good. And since they didn't leave Paul in the best of places, you know the corridor between heaven and hell, Suze is understandably hesitant to trust him. Paul and Jesse come to heads again. In fact, Paul must be some kind of stupid because he throws their "relationship" back in Jesse's face, because Paul is an egotistical jackass and thinks he's better than Jesse because he has a pulse, and Jesse throws down in the best way. Bad timing, as the house is full of guests, but it is the funniest and most dramatic fight scene with added awkward when it looks like Paul is being held down by thin air.
Sleepy has a new friend from college, pity he has a ghost following him. Suze then has to deal with a dead guy who thinks his brother should have died instead of him, as well as Paul antagonizing Jesse, and only has one last-resort option: use her newly-discovered shifter powers and travel to the dead realm. 
Things really heat up in the penultimate book, both between Suze and Jesse, and with Paul and his weird, super-mediator attitude. I love the development of Suze's relationship with Jesse, and in herself and her new place in Cali. She might only be sixteen but she's put up with a lot and yeah, still acts like a dramatic teenager but is tough-skinned and practical and I adore her attitude.

Heaven Sent
Suze finally has Jesse's heart but Paul is determined to break them up. They have a delicate understanding that Paul won't try and suck Jesse into the aether if Suze takes weekly mediator lessons, which is basically an excuse to try and get under her shirt. But Paul has a trick up his sleeve: he has found a way to travel through time to stop Jesse from dying. Reading this as an adult, I realised that Suze sounded like a stroppy kid having a tantrum, but she is also in love and love is very selfish. 
I don't want to ruin anything but the second half of book is that they do succeed in traveling through time. Suze clearly wasn't prepared for seeing Jesse alive, it completely knocked her back and she realised she couldn't stand in the way of him living a full life. But it's Suze and it doesn't exactly go well. Finally, I have to talk about the ending. My romantic heart bursts when I think about it, which I still think is the best way Cabot could have made a happy ending for them. 
I adore this series so much and I really enjoyed re-reading something that was so much a part of my teen years. A highly recommended series for fans of old-school teen novels, fantasy romance and a proper kick-ass heroine.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Weekly Highlights: the 'November TBR' edition

Weekly Highlights is a feature borrowed from Faye of A Daydreamer's Thoughts, where I get to highlight my posts of the week, show you my new books and talk about bookish things! 

Not a lot to report this week, considering it was half term! I was in work for some of it, kept very busy in both stores. Been quite slow in my reading this week, not for any particular reason other than I had headaches - stupid unseasonable weather!

On The Blog
Review of The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Review of Dark of the Moon by Siobhan Curham

Currently Reading
Nearly finished Half bad by Sally Green - it's taken me a while to get into but I'm really liking the writing style and the characterisation.

On My Bookshelf
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart
Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.

Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves.

My second E Lockhart novel, I'm really excited to see what else she can bring to the table! Thank you Hot Key!

November TBR
First up is The Disreputable History, as it's being released on the 6th. Then it's Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick before I go work her event on the 14th (Swindon Waterstones, if anyone's interested). And finally Captive by Aimee Carter is being published 1st December. I would also love to get through In The Age of Love and Chocolate and Beautiful Chaos.