Tag Archives: divergent

Summer Holidays 2014 Wrap-Up

This is the first Summer Holiday Wrap-Up on Bonfire Books, and I hope to be able to repeat it next year and the next and so on. I love to challenge myself, and for the 6 weeks summer holidays I challenged myself to read at least 30 books. Below I am going to list ALL the books I read. I have been a bit cheeky and counted novellas towards my tally- they count right? Surely they must 😉

My school broke up at 12:30pm on Wednesday 23rd of July and I went back on Monday 8th of September. So just to confuse you I’ll be counting books read from the 24th of July until the 7th of September.

LET THE BOOKS BEGIN:

Blood Entwines queen of someday Obsidian Onyx Opal Origin the winter people Opposition rebel heart Devices planet urth Black Ice These Broken Stars daughter of smoke and bone  the assassin and the pirate lord the assassin and the healer1 the assassin and the desert the assassin and the empire the assassin and the underworld Throne of glass Crown of Midnightwe were liars the bone season heroes melt pushing the limits the 5th wave to kill a mockingbird tremors

Overall I read a total of 31 books including the 6 novellas and it was a total of 8,766 pages!! I am literally so proud. It’s my new favourite number 😉

Well, that’s it. Sorry if you were hoping for more. I’m only one person after all. Like I said before, I hope to do this next year and cant wait to see how many books I can read. I’ll also get study leave this year, starting in May; so hopefully I can read a lot of books. And revise, of course! Until then, Tschüß!

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August Mini Wrap-Up

I’m so sorry that this is so late, but I have been really busy moving house and going back to my last year at school. But August marked a really good reading month for me; possibly one of my best ever! I read a total of 14 books and 5 novellas!!!

So, this is going to be a long list. But lets start with what I did read this month:

the winter people Opposition rebel heart Devices planet urth Black Ice These Broken Stars daughter of smoke and bone the assassin and the pirate lord  the assassin and the healer1 the assassin and the desert the assassin and the empire the assassin and the underworld we were liars the bone season heroes

Books I re-read in August:

Origin Throne of glass Crown of Midnight

I am currently reading:

the kiss of deception

I probably bought books in August, but I really can’t remember lol. Here are a few I got for my birthday:

These Broken Stars four we were liars

Although we are currently half way through September, these are the books I want to read before the month is out:

partials the coldest girl in coldtown

So yeah, those are the books I read in August. Pretty good I think, it definitely brought my book count for this year up. By the end of August I was at 79 books. I’m aiming for 100 before December 31st and really hope I get there. I’m just about to do my Summer Holidays Wrap-Up, where there will be a lot MORE books listed. Wish me luck!:)

REVIEW: These Broken Stars (Book 1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken StarsThese Broken Stars

Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Book 1

Hardback, 374 pages

Published December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion

ISBN: 978-1-42317-102-7

Rating:
★★★★★– 4.9 stars

 


It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.”


From the very beginning I had an idea that I would really like this book. I was not disappointed. These Broken Stars follows Lilac and Tarver’s journey as they crash land on an unknown planet. They must gather supplies to survive and focus on getting to a point in the far, far distance. But the “whispers” have other ideas for Lilac and Tarver. They intervene when the pair needs them the most; but when a tragic event rips them apart, will they help them. Or are they running according to their own agenda?


I will start with the negatives. There wasn’t a lot of time spent in space, and I’d definitely class this of more of a survival story than a sci-fi or space novel. I felt that the beginning scene- the Icarus’ crash- was very quick. It didn’t lack detail, no, but I just felt that a couple more pages or even paragraphs could have been devoted to the event. Also, I felt that some scenes were a little repetitive. It wasn’t anything majorly obvious and didn’t take away the limelight from the rest of the story at all as I found myself drinking in every word; devouring every sentence. I wanted this book to last forever- to never end. Can you tell that I liked it?


These Broken Stars unfolded much differently than what I thought it would. Especially because I was expecting epic space adventure. But the characters surprised me the most. I wasn’t really expecting to like them as much as I did. Some people would say that they were a little typical: a rich-kid that realises that life isn’t as easy as what it seems, a war hero who looks down his nose at people who look down their noses’ and a father that hates the war hero and doesn’t want his daughter anywhere him- or any other male- for shit. But I really liked these characters’, I felt that they went beyond the stereotype and I loved seeing the characters development and the shift between them- especially Lilac and Tarver. Lilac becomes so much stronger and learns that she must also shoulder burdens like everyone else. And Tarver realises that people aren’t always what they seem on the surface and that his initial impressions of people aren’t always correct. This was expertly shown in a dual perspective from both Lilac and Tarver. Their voices were easy to distinguish without having to look back and remind yourself of whose voice you’re reading in. The power shift was also admirable in this book and, I felt, was original and added even more to the book. Another really awesome thing about this book was the interview snippets at the beginning of each chapter giving you small, subtle clues throughout- keeping the reader wholly invested in the story.


The “whispers” added an almost paranormal aspect to the story. Adding another layer of suspense to this novel. I loved the idea, even if at the end it took me a while to get my head around the whole concept of them. However, it is explained properly and is broken down so that you eventually understand everything. Something very unexpected happened towards the ending, wrenching Lilac and Tarver apart- I was sobbing at this part so much!   The ending of this book was really great. However, there are a couple of questions that I found unanswered: What happened to Lilac’s “body” when the planet was destroyed? And what were the “anomalies” that were discussed with Tarver in the interview?


Overall this is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and I would recommend it to anyone who loves survival and adventure stories, science fiction and romance. Even if you aren’t all that hung up on those I would still recommend trying These Broken Stars as it is definitely a brilliant thrilling read. The sequel to These Broken Stars and second book in the Starbound series, This Shattered World, is out December 23rd 2014 and follows two other characters. Even though I am sad we won’t be reading from Lilac and Tarver’s POV, I hope they’re still featured in the book somewhere and we find out what happens to them.


Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

REVIEW: Black Ice – Becca Fitzpatrick

Black IceBlack Ice*

Becca Fitzpatrick

Stand Alone

eBook, 392 pages

Expected October 7th 2014 by Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1-44247-426-0

Rating:
★★★– 4.2 stars

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…


This possible the first thriller I’ve read that didn’t include any kind of paranormal aspect. And I really enjoyed it. It was definitely the break I needed from the YA I normally read. Black Ice opens with Britt preparing to go backpacking in the mountains of Wyoming. On the drive up the mountain to friend Korbie’s holiday lodge, a storm hits leaving them stranded. When Britt and Korbie find a cabin, they run for shelter. But when they find that the cabin is occupied by Mason and Shaun- two very good looking guys- they can’t believe their luck. But by the time the girls figure out something isn’t quite right about the pair, it’s too late…


The mystery in this novel was high from the prologue. I went into this book not knowing much about it, so it took me a while to get into the story. But once you do, the mystery and suspense keeps you turning the pages until there are no more to turn. Everything every character did left me questioning their innocence. And the pace of this book was really great, it left no room for plot hole’s or unrealistic details. I felt that the whole book was realistic and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen to the characters at the end of the book.


At first I didn’t really like Britt, she was too self-obsessed and her life revolved too much around her love life. However, as the book continued, Britt changed a lot. She questioned her friendship with Korbie and we saw actually how much it did revolve around Korbie. Also, Britt’s relationship with Calvin was explored thoroughly. I really enjoyed seeing the history between the characters, they were spaced well and didn’t leave me bored or with too little detail on the characters. By the end of the book I really cared for Britt (and all the other characters) and I didn’t want anything to happen to her or the others. Fitzpatrick even had me caring for characters that I knew I shouldn’t, and made me question to what point are you innocent? When do you cross the line and become guilty?


The book was written from Britt’s point of view in the first person. The style was really clean and worked very effectively throughout the novel. I loved seeing how certain events related to certain characters. The way the answers were revealed were very good, as I connected the dots at the same time as Britt did; which made me feel more included in the book as a reader.


Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who needs a break from dystopian or sci-fi. There is some violence in this book, mainly with guns, so I would say that younger readers should leave this book on the TBR pile for a little bit longer. The end of the book was really great and all my questions were left thoroughly answered. The book wasn’t predictable and the events that happened didn’t even cross my mind when I opened this book. The only problem I had with Black Ice was the change of Jude from towards the end and the epilogue. I found it to be slightly too drastic. But other than this Black Ice is a thrilling read for anyone who loves mystery, suspense and a little bit of romance.


Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.


* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Siobhan Davis (True Calling)

DevicesA few days ago, I posted a review of True Calling by Siobhan Davis. She was then kind enough to let me interview her about her novel and about what’s in store for the characters in book two- which Davis revealed is to be call Beyond Reach. And also advice she would give to aspiring authors.

My review for True Calling can be found here.

True Calling is now available to purchase from Amazon and all major on-line retailers.


You’ve probably been asked this question a lot, but what inspired you to write ‘True Calling’?

It all started with a dream. Just not my own! I got hooked on Twilight in 2009 and was fascinated to hear how Stephenie Meyer felt compelled to write the series on the basis of the now-infamous dream. Dreams have always captivated me and I started thinking a lot about their meaning and whether our dreams have the power to change our lives (not just metaphorically speaking).

I wondered a lot about her ‘meadow dream’; probably more than was normal. Who sent her that dream? And why? And did someone (or something) plant that seed knowing full well that it would lead her on a path to a significant life-altering experience? And what are dreams anyway? A malfunction of our brain? An unconscious message from our inner selves? A medium for receiving messages from others? My thoughts jumbled around like this for weeks, and my idea started to grow from this silent analysis and developed from there.

Were any of the characters in the book based on people you know?

Not consciously! I didn’t base any of the characters on people I knew but if I reflect on it now Ariana could be my alter ego – I was quite introverted and shy at aged 17 and I remember wishing I was more out-spoken, just like she is.

How long did it take you to write ‘True Calling’?

The whole process took approximately a year, but I was writing it while I was working full-time so I only had a few hours a day to focus on it. If I’d been solely dedicated and focused on writing, I think it would have taken half that amount of time.

And, at any point did you feel that you wanted to take a break or give up writing ‘True Calling’? If so how did you overcome that?

I never felt like I needed to take a break while I was writing True Calling, I actually wrote the first draft in about six weeks! However, the re-writing/editing part was a whole different ball-game and I felt like giving up on several occasions. But I just took a break at those times and then came back to it. It was challenging to write True Calling because I have a very busy full-time career in Human Resources and fifty/sixty-hour weeks are quite typical! In fact, the completion of True Calling marked the commencement of a very busy period for me in work and the manuscript sat in a drawer from 2010 until 2014! Every so often I would think of it and promise myself that I would do something with it, but then get distracted again. It was only this year that the timing seemed right to finally release it.

I really love the love triangle in the novel, and I also really love Zane ;). Is the relationship between Ari and Zane going to change in book 2?

I’m glad you said that because I know the YA audience is growing tired of love triangles and I feared it might turn some readers off True Calling (part of the problem when you wait four years to publish your book!). But I think the concept is original and it’s not your typical love triangle so I feel it’s enough to engage the readers. Zane has a special place in my heart too.

All the relationships will undergo change in Book 2, it’s part of the natural progression of each character’s story, but in particular I have loved exploring the relationship between Ariana and Zane, and that’s as much as I’m prepared to say!

If ‘True Calling’ were to be turned into a TV show or movie, who would be your dream cast?

There are so many names I could throw out here, but for me it’s always been these three:

Ariana Skyee – Nina Dobrev

Cal Remus – Alex Pettyfer

Zane Anders – Josh Hutcherson

Have you finished writing book 2 and 3? If not, I’d love to be an inspiration for an incredibly awesome and good looking side-kick! Haha.

Book 2 is already drafted but it requires a ton of effort before it could be considered ready to release. Book 3 is plotted but as yet unwritten so I’ll definitely keep you in mind!

Is there anything you can give away about the next book? What can we expect? Any sneak peaks? New character names? After all, that cliff hanger was a killer!

I can’t give away too much as I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment for other readers. The current working title is ‘Beyond Reach’ and there are even more plot turns and twists plus the themes are getting darker. The underlying theme throughout this series is about one’s true vocation in life and whether it turns out to be the thing you had thought it would be. This will particularly ring true for Ari, and Book 2 is where we really start exploring this topic in more detail. We hear a lot more from Isla in this book and see more of her backstory as well as meet some new characters, like Ruby who becomes important in Ari’s life.

What inspired you to start writing? And what advice or do’s and don’ts would you give to people who aspire to be authors?

I’ve been an avid reader from a very early age (thanks Mom) and English was one of my favourite subjects in school (History was the other). I spend 60% of my job writing and editing so starting to write fiction was a very natural progression for me, and something I had been itching to do for years. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get my butt off the chair earlier, so to speak!

I’m still learning my craft so I don’t feel I’m qualified yet to pass on advice to other writers, but I have reads tons of advice from established authors and the two things that resonate with me are:

  1. Write every day – it’s important to flex the muscle.
  2. Never stop believing in yourself – there are enough people out there who will doubt you, so don’t doubt yourself.

And finally, do you have any other projects you are working on or plan to work on in the future?

Yes! I have tons of ideas for other novels but three ideas in particular are calling out to me. The first is another science fiction story but it’s a completely different story than True Calling. The second idea is a contemporary mystery/romance that will require heaps of research to ensure the facts are bang-on. The third is a historical fiction piece, based around Irish History and it’s something I have longed to write as I have a Degree in History and a love of the past.


More about Siobhan Davis…

Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.

A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.

A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

Visit Siobhan’s website to find out even more about her and her books: www.siobhandavis.com


Thanks for reading. And thank you Siobhan for letting me interview you! This is my first author interview on my blog and I hope you’ve found it as fun and interesting as I have.

Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read True Calling and what you thought of the interview. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.

REVIEW: True Calling (Book 1) – Siobhan Davis

DevicesTrue Calling*

Siobhan Davis

Book 1

eBook, 477 pages

Published 1st August 2014 by Siobhan Davis

ISBN: 978-0-99293-041-7

Rating:
– 3.1 stars

I wonder which situation is hardest.
Mine, because I remember everything, or hers because she can’t.

***

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Forced to flee to Novo two years previously—to avoid the succession of natural disasters which have ravaged Earth—Ariana and her family are part of the chosen few who have been carefully selected to share in this new existence. Other survivors reside in a technology deprived post-apocalytic America; under the constant scrutiny of the ruthless regime, and deliberately kept in the dark about life on Novo.

The new government are strategically focused on the continuation of mankind and development of Novo society. They consequently announce the introduction of a televised e-pageant, ‘The Calling’, which forces every seventeen year old into impending marriage and parenthood.

Devastated at the removal of her free will and forced abandonment of her desired military career; Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her. As a series of tragic events tear her family life apart, Ariana feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for much-admired, fellow Cadet Cal Remus, intensify as ‘The Calling’ gets underway. Hot-headed, but fiercely loyal and protective, Cal shares knowledge which appears to indicate that the fragile fabric of their new society is disintegrating in front of their eyes.

Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase—which has stolen her memories of those left behind on Earth—Ariana is struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane.

Discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.


This book started out pretty mediocre and reminded me of a mixture of Divergent, The Selection and The Hunger Games all rolled into one. But, I have to admit that as the book went on True Calling started to become its own story. It did have some aspects that were very similar to the previous three books mentioned, but it was easy to forget about that and loose yourself in the story. Originality aside, I did enjoy this book despite its faults.

The plot revolves around a pageant called ‘the Calling’, which is primarily a televised event where all seventeen year olds are partnered up to ensure that the population on Novo remains stable. There is also another stage of the pageant where the population choose an ultimate couple who will become like ‘capitol darlings’. The book explains ‘the Calling’ in more detail, but I do feel that at the very beginning of the book there was a lot of info dumping that felt unnecessary and that it could’ve been integrated into the story more slowly- allowing the idea to sink in more slowly. This did leave me a little confused at the start of the book, but I managed to get my head around it later in the novel.


Ariana was an ok protagonist for this book. She protect her family, made tough decisions and was incredibly selfless at times. But nothing about her particularly jumped out to me, making me connect with her and her situation. She also had a typical ‘rebellious streak’ which was to be expected. Her speech occasionaly felt forced and sarcastic to characters when it should be natural and true. However, I didn’t feel that this was as much of an issue at the end of the novel. There was also a love triangle in this book. But- and it is a big but- I felt it was original and this is when it began to claw back some stars lost at the beginning at the book.


This book was told in three parts. The first was from Ariana’s point of view and I assumed that this was how it was going to told throughout. So when part two rolled around told from Zane’s point of view it knocked me. But as I read on, I saw that it was written prior to when we left Ariana and worked its way back up to present time, it knocked me even more. Part three was once again written from Ariana’s point of view and continued where her voice left off. I felt that this aspect of the book could’ve been dealt with slightly better; I think it should’ve been written mainly in Ariana’s voice with the occasional ‘Zane’ chapter to keep the reader enticed about his character and situation and not in parts.


Overall, I did feel as though the whole book was a build up to a climax that didn’t really happen. It was hard at times to stay invested in the characters and the story and I don’t think that this would be at the top of my list if someone wanted me to recommend a sci-fi-romance. It did feel almost unfinished but, for me, the relationship between Ari and Zane definitely kept me invested and I really want to see if it prevails in world where love is seen only as a necessity to keep the race going.


.Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.


* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review

REVIEW: The Winter People – Rebekah L. Purdy

the winter peopleThe Winter People*

Rebekah L. Purdy

Stand Alone (?)

eBook, 320 pages

Expected September 2nd 2014 by Entangled: Teen

ISBN: 978-1-62266-369-9

Rating:
★★☆☆– 2.6 stars

“Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.
 


Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the centre of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, he takes Salome’s life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her long time crush, Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin, who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop.

An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.”


I felt that this is one of those books that you enjoy whilst reading it, but after you finish it, you wonder why you enjoyed it so much whilst you were reading it. I hope that made sense. Anyway. This book opens with Salome falling through an frozen pond when she was six, and eleven years later she’s still haunted by that day. Her fear is life consuming until she meets Nevin, who is slowly but surely helping eradicate Salome’s fear. But he, along with charming Colton and mysterious Gareth, has a secret that links with Salome’s fear and the evil that is trying to kill her.


I liked Salome. I can’t say that I loved her, or I felt that I particularly connected with her. I felt that her fear of all things cold was a little irrational; and sometimes I wanted to shove an ice cube in her face just to see how she reacted. She was also very wrapped up in the male’s around her. Very. Sometimes it felt like she spent too much time worrying about who to go on a date with next, rather that her impending doom from the evil at the bottom of the garden. An evil that I didn’t really get. It could have been really scary and atmospheric, but I just kept picturing Mama from the film Mama. I just felt that it didn’t really come into play much and felt like a very detached part of the book. The fantasy/paranormal element of the book all felt really detached and seemed to just appear, with no reaction from Salome or the characters around her.


The main thing, I think, that made this book such a low rating was the fact that so much time was spent at the beginning of the book building up the mystery of the danger in the woods and the curse and the secrecy behind the male characters that the end suffered and there wasn’t enough detail or description to make an impact and clearly answer questions presented at the start of the book. For example: what happened to Salome’s dad? Hopefully, these questions might be answered if a sequel is written. But without a second book, my rating has to stay below three stars. I did really like the winter setting in the book as I felt that it built up a really peaceful scene, juxtaposing the actual story. This is what made up most of the rating, I did also like the fantasy element introduced, I just felt that it wasn’t explored enough for it to be really magical.


Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.


* This book was sent to me by a publisher in return for an honest review.