Tag Archives: fantasy

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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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.

REVIEW: Half Bad (Book 1) – Sally Green

Half Bad: cover of first novel by Sally Green, predicted to be next Harry Potter or Twilight SagaHalf Bad*

Sally Green

Book 1

Paperback, 380 pages

Published March 3rd 2014 by Penguin

ISBN: 978-0-141-35086-8

Rating:
– 2.5 stars

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy’s struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.
You can’t read, can’t write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.
You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.
You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.
You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.
All you’ve got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.
Easy.”

Half Bad by Sally Green is the begging of a new trilogy. The Half Life trilogy follows a boy called Nathan who, at the age of fourteen, was locked away in a caged as a result of being a mix between a ‘black witch’ and a ‘white witch’. The story opens with a flash back to when Nathan was younger. It is then written in an uncommon style for the next roughly 15 pages; it puts the reader in the speakers (Nathan’s) shoe’s by saying “you have been…” and “you are…”. The story is about Nathan trying to liberate himself of the label associated with being ‘Half Bad’. This is made especially hard by the ‘Hunters’ who are watching Nathan’s every move. One wrong foot, and everyone that he loves will become Hunted.


I have really torn and mixed feelings about this book. For the most part it was okay, but overall, it just wasn’t a satisfying read. I was surprised to see that it is set in 21st century England and not a “ye old” time like what it initially comes across. A lot of facts like this seem very ‘wishy-washy’ and aren’t explored in great detail. An example of this is Annalise and Nathan’s relationship; it felt too ‘insta-love’ and not authentic enough as I feel that neither characters are particularly three dimensional.


This book is written from Nathan’s point of view and is written mostly in first person. I did enjoy reading from a male’s POV but because of the majority of books I like to read a written from a female’s POV, I struggled to get used to it and truly understand Nathan. In fact, I struggled to connect to any of the characters apart from Arran (Nathan’s brother). The connection between the characters were not grounded very well and because of this I felt even more detached from them. The setting too, I felt, was skipped over too much. Almost like the writer just presumed that the reader would just understand where and where the book was taking place. I also found it difficult imagining how this book is going to proceed as it left too many questions unanswered and I felt that even answered questions still had flaws that could easily be spotted.


The start of the book, once I had got into it, was very good. I was enjoying the morals I could pull from the themes in the book. In my opinion, I saw the ‘White witches’ and ‘Black witches’ as connotations of race and the prejudice shown towards Nathan also related .to the prejudice and racism shown to people from diverse cultures in the past. This to me was an important message, that I thought would’ve been shown throughout the book. but, unfortunately, towards the end, was like the beginning of a quest and the racism motif was dropped.


Overall, I enjoyed minimal aspects of this book but tended to get more annoyed and sick of the book the further it went on. I think that the world building was not done sufficiently and was a major let down as I was expecting more fantasy elements in the novel. Again, detail was lacking in this book majorly and too much time was spent on pointless things. For example, the love interest; I believe that I would have enjoyed the book just as much, if not more, without the romance. This is because, I think that the relationship between the two characters isn’t correctly founded or explored enough. I also tended to forget a lot of what I had already read of the book simply because I felt the plot wasn’t enticing or gripping enough. I think it had the opportunity to make a great impact on readers, dealing with the prejudice shown to Nathan in the book. I probably will not be continuing with the series, as it was Half Bad.


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.