The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 388

Format: Ebook

Rating: 4/5 stars

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A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.“

So before I even started reading this book I knew I was going to like it. There was so much hype going around about it and everyone seemed to be reading it and absolutely loving it. I can say that from the moment I sat down to read this book, I was hooked.

The writing was so beautiful, I mean it really was. I don’t even know how to describe it but it was just such a nice book to read. It had a calming effect on me and I found that I could not put this book down. It was set in the desert, and had a sort of Arabian thing going on that I found really interesting and it just added that element of something different to the story. This was nothing like the YA fantasy that I have read before.

I loved all of the characters. There was some much to each one that I found myself wanting to hear about Shazi’s handmaid and all that was happening with her. I wanted to know about each of the characters, never finding them lacking description wise, they were all formed really well.

Shazi herself was really clever. The things she said would not be something you would expect to come out of a sixteen year old’s mouth. She was so wise and knew exactly what to say at the right times. I really enjoyed reading from her point of view and seeing her inner struggle as the book progressed as to what she was going to do about Khalid made me sympathize for her.

Khalid on the other hand, I can’t say if I ever thought him to be a bad person. I think the author revealed to us that he was “good” before Shazi knew it herself. So I was always kinda rooting for him throughout the novel. He was just a heart throb all over!

Now there were one or two things I had an issue with. I won’t go into exactly what they were, but there were certain moments that seemed to not fit with the story. That were not as believable and just didn’t sit well in it. Also one thing that has been bugging me since finishing the book, was the ending. What a whopper of a cliff hanger! I had no idea going in to this book that it was not a stand-alone. So when it was getting nearer to the end and things weren’t being resolved I was staring to freak out.

So there I am, unbeknownst to me, reading the last page of the book. I turn to the next page and I’m like, where is the rest of it? The book just finished! Now I have to wait an entire year to know what happens next, the torture. However, it was a pretty epic ending. But I’m still not happy about it(she says whaling like a child). I shall wait and I will wait for the next book to come out. Besides that, overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

I would recommend this to lovers of fantasy, with a mature edge to it. There are non of the teenage angst’s found in this book.The romance was fantastically handled and you just have got to read it. This book is suitable for 15+.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

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Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Published October 8th 2008 by Flux

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal,Fantasy, Romance

Pages: 325

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5 stars

Buy it here

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen’s sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren’t so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn’t exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.”

I personally didn’t think this book was very good. When I began reading it, it was almost like I had missed the start or something, because I had no idea what was going on. There was no setting the scene and a very quick character introduction, it left me feeling confused from the first page. There was also the fact of insta-love between Deirdre and Luke. There is no situation where I may find that acceptable. It came across very fake and was not done well, which was disappointing because Stiefvater has written some good books.

The writing was good but there wasn’t much character development. They were very much two dimensional and I never felt like there was anything interesting about them. Deirdre seemed very lost and didn’t know what she wanted. She was a very fragile character and was easily swayed with things. So trusting of Luke when she had never met him before. It never once occurred to me that Luke was actually going to kill her like it said in the synopses. He gave no inclination as to why he was following her, which I suppose was the point of the story but it came across quite random.

There were moments in the story where things just didn’t make sense. Like how it seemed that her mom was a single mother because there was never any mention what so ever of a father, then all of a sudden he just popped up out of nowhere. It was confusing and made the story difficult to get into when things like that happened.

I read this book quite quickly, but it wasn’t fast paced nor did much happen in the story. As I got closer to the end of the book I started to wonder how the story was going to end and be wrapped up well. There just didn’t seem to be enough pages to finish the story well with. The ending came across very random to me and it wasn’t something that I was expecting to happen. It seemed like the author just went, oh I think I’ll just change things around and make the book end the complete opposite to how it should. It just made no sense.

The whole aspect of magic in this book didn’t go very well. It wasn’t described well and I never really got what was going on. It’s made to seem like her being a cloverhand is a big thing when it’s really not. Also this character Aodhan isn’t in the story very much at all. The whole synopses is very misleading actually. Deirdre isn’t even “painfully shy” like it says either, she’s a completely normal teen, just quiet. But then again it’s hard to tell if she’s quiet because the book is set during the summer and there are like no interactions between her and other people.

Redeeming qualities, there wasn’t really any. I mean I suppose it would be an okay book to get you into the genre, but because I have read so many books like it, it fell a little flat for me. I was disappointed with it needless to say. Stiefvater has written some really good books that I have enjoyed immensely. Sadly this book was not one of them.

I would recommend this book for beginners of the YA fantasy genre, or just the YA genre in general. This book is suitable for teens of any age.

Dark Flame by Alyson Noel

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Dark Flame (The Immortals #3) by Alyson Noel

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on June 22nd 2010

Genres:Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Pages:320

Format:Paperback

Rating:2/5 stars

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Ever is trying to help Haven make the transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and acting recklessly, she poses the ultimate threat — exposing their secret world to the outside. But Ever’s struggle to keep the Immortals hidden only propels Haven closer to the enemy: Roman and his evil companions.

At the same time, Ever delves deeper into dark magick to free Damen from Roman’s power. But when her spell backfires, it binds her to the one guy who’s hell-bent on her destruction. Now there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, and no matter what she does, she can’t stop thinking about Roman — and longing for his touch. As she struggles to resist the fiery attraction threatening to consume her, Roman is more than willing to take advantage of her weakened state…and Ever edges closer and closer to surrender.

Frantic to break the spell before it’s too late, Ever turns to Jude for help, risking everything she knows and loves to save herself — and her future with Damen….“

*Disclaimer: before you read this review I should warn you that it is not a good one, and may come across rant like*

Why I read this book I do not know. My frustration level with this series is so high, I can’t even see it any more. Please, someone tell me why I decided to continue reading this series! Because, for the love of God, I do not know. I thought that Shadowland was bad, well Dark flame was even worse. AGAIN nothing happened in this book. There was no clear story line, besides the obvious that Ever needs to get the antidote. I felt like I had got sucked into a tornado, getting pulled every which way, with no idea how I was going to get out. Suddenly I was chucked out, with no idea as to what had really happened. That about sums up my experience with this book.

In some other reviews I’ve read, people say that this book was slightly better than Shadowland. But I honestly don’t see how that’s possible.When you think of a book, you think opening, problem, conflict and resolution. Or at least I do, this is what I see as a traditional book. Obviously in some cases this is different, with some books ending on a cliff hanger, i.e no resolution. This book did not end on a cliff hanger, it just seemed to taper off. I understand that in a series you can a have a problem that spans a few books. But there is still things happening in each book to help the characters with figuring out that problem. In Dark flame there wasn’t, things happened, but they never seemed to lead to anything. It was like what you would call a stream of conciseness. Where the events happening were just there boring every day lives. I mean I suppose the events that took place wouldn’t constitute as boring per say, but it wasn’t of any interest to me, nor did it seem to help the story along in any way. I feel like I can say that, even without reading the next book, that Shadowland, Dark Flame and the one after could all be compiled into one book, with it still staying around the same size at 300 pages or so. That is how little went on that I feel like I can say this, or how important that which went on was.

There were moments in this book, where the characters would have a little tiff and not be talking to each other. Then suddenly at the start of the next chapter every thing would be okay again. It made absolutely no sense, there was nothing to explain how everything was suddenly alright again and that just annoyed me. When reading a book you don’t want to come across holes in the reasoning or the story, because this takes away from your enjoyment of it. It yank’s you so suddenly out of the world, that you feel lost. And don’t get me started of the relationship between Ever and Damen. It was like a seesaw, going up and down constantly with no way of stopping it unless one of them came to there senses. It was mainly Ever, she just keeps on going about her life and every few chapters would do something to push herself away from Damen. But he was always there just waiting for her to come back, unconditional love pouring out of every cavity. I just can’t enjoy reading about their relationship anymore.

Now let’s get to the real reason I continued with this series, Jude, oh my lovely Jude how Ever has messed you up (sigh). I feel sorry for the poor fellow, fawning over her when she’s inevitably going to end up with Damen. He is such a sweet guy, always there to help her when she comes to him, which she does a lot more than she does with Damen might I add. Ever always seems to be keeping something from Damen and it never turns out well. It makes me wonder where the hell Noel is going with this story. But you know what, I’m not hanging around to see. I’m done with this series and it’s plot-less story’s. I may go and find a summary of the next two book to see how it ends, because to be honest I am a bit curious. But not enough to actually read the books, that is.

I would not recommend this book or series to read, because it was crap. But if you are going to insist on it here is the first book, which I have to admit wasn’t all that bad. This book is suitable for 15+.

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

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Shadowland (The Immortals #3) by Alyson Noel

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on November 17th 2009

Genres:Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Pages:339

Format:Paperback

Rating:3/5 stars

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Ever and Damen have gone through countless lives and fought off the world’s darkest enemies so they could be together. But just when an everlasting future is finally within their reach, Damen is struck down by a curse—a dark spell separating him and Ever for eternity. Now sharing so much as a single touch could bring about Damen’s death…and send him plummeting into the Shadowland, an eternal abyss for lost souls. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses her herself in magick. And in her quest, she gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them from the darkness inhabiting his soul, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…”

So I decided to pick up this book because, this summer I am on a mission to read all the sequels that I never got around to when I got out of reading a few years ago. But that meant that I had completely forgotten what was going on and upon starting this book I was mightily confused. But no worries I remembered the jist of things, and I also remember why I stopped reading this series. Because it was crap. That’s not to say there aren’t some good elements, oh wait…no there aren’t any. I have to say that this book was not very good, and I went into it knowing that this could be the case, but was hoping it wasn’t. I just felt like nothing much happened in the book and it just didn’t go anywhere. I have decided to read the next book and from where I’m at at the moment, it’s like it’s same book, picking up where the last one left off. You may think this is a good thing, but it proves my point that nothing much happened, because there is nothing to distinguish the difference between the two books. No big moment or catastrophic event, and that isn’t to say that all books need a big moment or catastrophic event. But again it shows that nothing happened in this book.

During the whole book Roman, our main evil dude, kept telling Ever, our main good girl, that he had the answer to all her problems. That there was a riddle that she had to solve in order to get the antidote. It kept building up during the whole book and then at the end was just a major let down. There was no riddle, it wasn’t some big reveal either. I almost missed that it had been REVEALED so to speak, because it didn’t seem like it was all that big of a deal. There were certain points in the book where things got a bit melodramatic for my taste. Like when Damen gets all jealous over Jude and basically breaks up with Ever(not a spoiler, it says it in the description). She’s all sad and he’s all sad and Ever has no real feelings for Jude or not as much as she has for Damen. She keeps telling Damen this, but he wont listen to her. This was not only melodramatic but stupid too and quite annoying frankly.

I have to say that the only redeeming quality of this book was Jude. I really liked his character and the interactions between him and Ever were nice. I could see a whole different story that could have been formed around them and sort of wished for him and Ever to get together. I know, it feels like cheating on Damen. You know in a book where there’s a love triangle, and you know that the girl is obviously meant to be with one of them. But you just don’t care about the one she’s meant to be with and just want her to get together with the other one. That’s how I felt about Jude and Damen. From the moment Jude came into the story I didn’t care about Damen any more. I felt like the author could have worked harder at making me like Damen more, because he wasn’t very likable in this book. Ever is obviously meant to end up with Damen, so it would be a good thing if her readers liked the main male love interest.

I do have to say that Noel writes well. That’s not to say that she writes good story’s, but that her writing was able to suck me in and keep me reading for a long time. I basically read this book in two sittings, it just flew by. That is something I must commend her on, that even though nothing happened and the book wasn’t at all very interesting, that she was able to suck me in and keep me reading until the end. I suppose that’s the reason I’m reading the next book, also the fact that I’m curious to see what happens between Ever and Jude.

I would recommend this book to fans of Twilight and Hush Hush. If you like paranormal romance with characters who live forever then this is your book. Find the first book here. This book is suitable for 15+.

Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

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Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

Published by Candlewick on January 24th 2012

Genres:Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages:336

Format:Ebook

Rating:3/5 star

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“Can a twelve-step program help Sadie kick her unrequited crush for good? Abby McDonald serves up her trademark wit and wisdom in a hilarious new novel.

Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly one-sided. The object of her obsession — ahem, affection — is her best friend, Garrett Delaney, who has been oblivious to Sadie’s feelings ever since he sauntered into her life and wowed her with his passion for Proust (not to mention his deep-blue eyes). For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett’s constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to art films to ’80s indie rock — all to no avail. But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder — until he calls to say he’s fallen in love. With some other girl! A heartbroken Sadie realizes that she’s finally had enough. It’s time for a total Garrett detox! Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including the hunky chef, Josh), and a customized self-help guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, mortifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love.”

When Sadie’s best friend and all time crush Garrett goes away on a writing camp during the summer, Sadie is left feeling alone and abandoned. She had applied to go to the same camp where she hoped that her and Garrett would finally become a couple, spending 6 weeks writing and romancing. But to her disappointment this is not what happened and she is left with a whole summer ahead of her and no one to spend it with. From the encouragement of her mother, Sadie gets a job at the local cafe, where she meets an assortment of strange and unique people. She quickly learns the ropes and is soon part of the family, shooting out espresso’s and having a laugh. After a disastrous few hours of working by herself, Sadie has a melt down and finds herself on the floor covered in various drinks, clutching her phone to her chest waiting for a phone call from Garrett. Upon finding her, her friends and fellow workers hold an intervention and so begins Sadie’s summer of change and moving on from her infatuation with Garrett Delaney.

I have to say that this book didn’t blow me away. I was expecting a lot more romance from this it than what was given. That isn’t to say that this wasn’t a nice book to read though, but that’s all it was, just nice. I felt like there was some pieces that didn’t need to necessarily be in the story. Like with Sadie’s Dad, he wasn’t really around when she was growing up and that wasn’t really addressed fully in the book. I felt that that part of the story was unnecessary because, it seemed like it could have been more important and could have been expanded more upon than it was. You could tell that she was hurting over it and then the story just ends without anything really being resolved in that department.

Other places that weren’t really filled in properly were with the characters. It’s said by Sadie a few times that Josh is a real messier, but that’s never shown in the book. We never really see very much of him at all and I felt like the relationship between those two could have been developed more than it was. Again with the character of Luann, we are told that she is a vintage queen and that she’s always coming to work in crazy outfits, but it’s never described to us what she’s wearing. I know that may sound silly, but think about it. The author never shows us anything she always tells us whats happening. No descriptive writing was seen in this book, or should I say no detailed descriptive writing. I felt like a lot of the book was very blank and I wouldn’t be able to say that I was able to visualize much of what the story was like. I just don’t think the author was very good at painting a picture.

However, I did enjoy seeing how Sadie progressed as she was getting over Garrett. It was fun to see her try new things and to find out who she really was under the plain clothing and boring books. It was a sad moment when she came to the realization that she had completely molded she self into the person she thought that Garrett would like, losing herself in the process. When getting to know who Garrett was I really didn’t like him, he was a pompous a**hole, who thought he was above everybody, including Sadie. I loved how the book ended, it was really cute and a perfect way to see the end of Sadie’s summer. Even though from my earlier paragraphs it may seem like I didn’t like the book, I actually thought is was quite nice, it will never be the most amazing book I’ve ever read, but it was enjoyable at the time.

I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys light reads but doesn’t care all to much about good writing.If you liked Sara Dessen’s books then you’ll like this. This book is suitable for any age group really, but would recommend for people in there early to mid teens.

Are We There Yet? By David Levithan

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Are We There Yet? By David Levithan

Published by Harper Collins on July 12th 2005

Genres:Young Adult

Pages:254

Format:Paperback

Rating:4/5 stars

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“Sixteen-year-old Elijah is completely mellow and his 23-year-old brother Danny is completely not, so it’s no wonder they can barely tolerate one another. So what better way to repair their broken relationship than to trick them into taking a trip to Italy together? Soon, though, their parents’ perfect solution has become Danny and Elijah’s nightmare as they’re forced to spend countless hours together. But then Elijah meets Julia, and soon the brothers aren’t together nearly as much. And then Julia meets Danny and soon all three of them are in a mixed-up, turned-around, never-what-you-expect world of brothers, Italy, and love.

Are We There Yet? isn’t about a place on a map, it’s about a place in the heart. David Levithan has written a magical story of a journey definitely worth taking.”

First off I just want to say that this synopses is completely wrong. Both brothers are nice guys, but Elijah is just the better one, or so Danny believes. When they find out they are going to be taking this trip together Danny is not very happy about it, but takes it as a good opportunity for a vacation because his boss has been telling him he must before he can get a raise.His whole world is completely taken up with work and getting things done, so very unlike his laid back pot smoking brother. With a seven-year age gap between the two brothers you can see why this situation could turn sour. But it is not the nightmare that the description entails. Elijah is more than happy to take this trip with his brother, mainly because he is just so super mellow he sees everything in the best possible light. Taking off to Italy the boys experience new things from a different culture, but not in the same way. Danny is commanded by a guide-book while Elijah would just prefer to wander, get lost and find something beautiful. Danny is often peeved by the goodness he sees in Elijah and feels like he can’t live up to him even though he’s the older one.  When Elijah meets Julia things change, even though Danny didn’t want to be on this trip suddenly he misses Elijah who is off spending all his time with Julia.Through a series of events Danny starts to understand his brother more and eventually will come to realise things are not always as they seem.

As you can tell our main characters are Danny and Elijah, who are brothers. Danny is a 23-year-old workaholic who believes as a crisis controller, that any problem can be solved with enough forethought. Elijah is the complete opposite, he doesn’t think about much of anything let alone problem solving. He would much prefer to lie in his room with his best friend Cal and get lost of a haze of  pot smoke. But with both of these characters there was a lot more than what you saw on the surface. Not just a workaholic, but a man who was deeply lonely with no real sense of how to be  a friend. Underneath the relaxed exterior, there was a boy who didn’t want to take on the stress of the real world so instead looked at the pretty things and let the hardships fade into the background.

The characters didn’t really do very  much in this story, other than wander around Italy. The only conflict that seemed to arise was when Danny met Julia and things got a little mixed up. Julia seems to be the instigator in this story when things happen, and without her the book wouldn’t have ended the way it did. She takes Elijah on an adventure and changes him in a way that can’t be undone. Although we don’t see much of her she is a very unique person who captures both of the brother’s attention, you could almost say she is as much of a main character as Danny and Elijah are. Through all the trials and tribulations, Danny discovers new things about himself and his brother and was my favorite character in the book. He seemed just that bit more relatable in his struggle to be a better person and love his brother despite his grievances towards him.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. There wasn’t anything amazing about it, I just found the characters and setting relaxing to read about. However is wasnt something that got me really excited reading and I wont be rushing to re-read it any time soon. That isn’t to say it’s not a good book, because it is and I loved it. I flew through this book in no time at all, it was a really good quick read to start off my summer reading. My favorite part in the book was when Danny and Elijah are in the Pantheon near the end of the story. They have this wonderful bonding moment looking at the beauty of the museum and thinking about each other and the events that brought them to that point. Also when Elijah first meets Julia, he’s just helped someone who fell in the street and they have this moment where they just look at each other, and its like they are the only two people on the planet. Words cannot explain how good this was and how unique and different the writing was to anything I’ve read before.There would be a few things I would change, like Julia in general, but then the book wouldn’t be what it is now and my enjoyment of it would be different. I don’t know what positive changes could be made, in the sense that the story could be improved, because its pretty good as it is.

I would recommend this book to someone who wants a light, quick read with no drama or teen angst, which you find far to often in Young Adult Fiction.If you like the work of John Green then you’ll love David Levithan. This book is suitable for 15’s and over, due to drug use and sexual references.