Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lying Out Loud

Presenting Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.

Here is the summary of the book:

Revisit Hamilton High in this MUST READ for all fans of The DUFF - co-starring Bianca and Wesley.

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

The DUFF is a New York Times Bestseller and a major motion picture starring Bella Thorne, Robbie Amell, Mae Whitman and Alison Janney.

A companion novel to the DUFF- Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Lying Out Loud tells the story of best friends Sonny and Amy (Wesley's sister) and the arrogant and cool-in-a-hipster way, Ryder. And let me tell you something about Sonny- she is a big fat liar. She has no qualms about it. She does everyday to get herself out of situations and protect herself but most of all she just annoyed me.

Sonny and Amy are BFFs more like sisters. Since they were little and they do almost everything together, even if Sonny lies for a living and is less than honest even with Amy. So when she accidentally uses Amy's laptop and chats with Ryder. She realizes he is not as arrogant as he puts himself out there and starts to like him. But there is a teensy-weensy problem, he thought he chatted with Amy, and has a crush on her not Sonny. A sure recipe headed for straight disaster.

I'll be honest I liked The DUFF better than Lying Out Loud. Somehow Sonny and Amy's story didn't resonate with me much. I do like Kody's writing, so I was able to finish it in one sitting but the characters didn't awe me like Bianca and Wesley's did. They do make an appearance here and it is nice to see them bantering with each other like that and still going strong.

Maybe if Sonny's home life had come into play from the start, then it would have played a major part in establishing her as the epitome of a flawed character but for the major part she came off as selfish and downright mean to Amy when her outrageous plans to change Ryder's mind don't work. She also doesn't seem to know how to sat thank you to the generosity of the Rush's for taking her in without question ...... One lie leads to hundreds more, so I was pretty much annoyed that Sonny doesn't come clean sooner.... So I sort of enjoyed it but it didn't resonate with me like The DUFF did.

"Well paced teen melodrama"

Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: 28th April, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Other Books by the Author(review links):
            The DUFF 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Thursday, 22 October 2015

White Rabbit Chronicles #3 The Queen of Zombie Hearts

Presenting White Rabbit Chronicles #3 The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter.

Here is the summary of the book:

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

Explosive, breathless, nonstop, sizzling ...... I can keep listing adjectives but it still won't be able to explain just how much of a supernova this book is or how much I loved every bit of it. A year ago I would have called this a heart stopping finale ...... In a way it is but now it is not the series finale because there is one more book that comes after it. But back on topic ...... if it was possible, Queen of Zombie Hearts was even more phenomenal than its predecessors.

Riveting. Not one breathing space. Not one moment to spare. Explosive and emotionally charged till the end. This is the fight they had been yearning for. Pitted against Anima Industries, this is not a battle to be easily won. Casualties are many and dire. Some not easily forgotten with heartbreaking losses. But the slayers stand tall against their sworn enemy and not backing out till the end.

Ali had had a rough year. She lost her family, came to live with her grandparents and is now able to see zombies. Not to be deterred, she has friends now, learned to fight the Z's and fell in love with boss-man bad-boy Cole Holland, who is just too sexy, hot and adorable to compare. Love and heartbreak, adventures and excitement, her life had been full of them but she doesn't let the bad ones consume her but learn from them and come out better...... I liked that she was extra snarky here and her quirks make her even more adorable. Cole practically worships the grounds she walks on. They both had a lot of growing up to do but we definitely like the place their relationship has reached. My favorite bookish couple by all means.

Gena Showalter just keeps hitting us with everything here. Surprise revelations. New powers. New characters. Heartbreaking, heart racing and heart-stopping moments aplenty. Loose ends tied and jaw-dropping questions are answered. Definitely the best book of the series with the author pulling in all the stops imaginable. An absolutely phenomenal roller coaster ride of a book that will have us coming back for more. Truly sensational.

"Heartstopping. Sizzling, Phenomenal"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Classic Re-imaging

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release Date: 30th September, 2014

My Copy: bought (ebook)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Alice in Zombieland 
           #2 Through the Zombie Glass

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Four: A Divergent Collection (#0.1 - #0.4)

Presenting Four: A Divergent Collection (#0.1 - #0.4) by Veronica Roth.

Here is the summary of the book:

Two years before Beatrice Prior makes her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader does the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is his chance to begin again. Newly renamed 'Four' he discovers that initiation is only the beginning.

Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. And his decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to act but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the perspective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.

Just as the name states this is a collection with a treasure trove of stories of Four/Tobias Eaton. Featuring never before seen scenes and events from Four's point of view. From his transfer to Dauntless, to being offered said group's leadership to his first meeting with Tris and subsequent moments. Four has always been a hard character to decipher, this anthology tries to do that.

We see his determination, his resolve, his strength. We also glimpse fear, vulnerability and self-doubt. The collection highlights these points in its stories that answers a lot of questions regarding the issues in Divergent. Compassionate and kind. It felt great to enter Four's mind and see some of the point of origin of many of his traits that we value.

If you loved the Divergent trilogy then you should very much check this series. Fours; A Divergent Collection would ultimately prove to be a nostalgic return to the series and an express look in Four's mind. Excellent character development for Four and every other side characters present. It was every bit as emotional as it was suspenseful and action-packed and your money's worth too.

"Exciting and an instant page turner"

Genre :      Young Adult, Sci-fi, Romance, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic


Release Date: 8th July, 2014

My Copy: bought (paperback)

Rate:              5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books by the author (review links):
               Divergent #1 Divergent 
               Divergent #2 Insurgent 
               Divergent #3 Allegiant

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Lunar Chronicles #3.5 Fairest

Presenting The Lunar Chronicles #3.5 Fairest by Marissa Meyer.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Levana is one evil Queen. There had never been questions about that throughout the Lunar Chronicles and then comes the novella 'Fairest'. The connecting book between 'Cress' and 'Winter' that affords us that rare look into Levana's roots and bring to the front what really happened to her to make her the way she is. What we find is downright creepy and twisted and sick obsessions of a lonely girl looking for love in the wrong place.

I almost empathized with her circumstances. A disfigured face, absentee parents, abusive sister who ranks higher than her in everything and everyone else who don't know what to do with her. I can only pity her for what she couldn't get from others. But learns to get it all by controlling and manipulating others from behind a glamour. Fairest clearly re-images the story of the evil Queen and Snow White (which i'm pretty sure we'll see in full in 'Winter') down to horrifyingly darker shades.

Levana proved a fascinating villain on her steep downward spiral to evil. She is determined to attain what she desires. Be it besting her sister, or trying to ensnare the already happily married palace guard Evret Hayle by taking the form of his then dead wife and manipulating him into loving her. Showcasing clear sociopathic tendencies, Levana clearly lacks humility and is rather abusive of basic human rights.

Poor Evret. The romance was definitely the most disturbing of the ordeal. Levana clearly doesn't know that you can't force emotions out of anybody. She manipulates him into loving her and then does some very cruel things to serve her purpose. Cinder, Winter and Jacin make appearances and we get to know the environment they came from. What I felt best about this story, the author isn't looking to paint Levana in a good light but show the picture as it is painted. With Meyer's succinct words and the fast pace of the tale, Levana's story was simply fascinating albeit in a sick and a very very disturbing way.

"An extraordinary outlook into the beginnings of the Evil Queen"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Fairytale re-imaging

Publisher: Fiewel & Friends

Release Date: 27th January, 2015

My Copy: bought (hardcover)

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Cinder    
           #2 Scarlet 
           #3 Cress 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Gold Seer Trilogy #1 Walk on Earth A Stranger

Presenting The Gold Seer Trilogy #1 Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson.

Here is the summary of the book:

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Set in 1840s Gold Rush America, Walk on Earth A Stranger is the first book of author Rae Carson's new series The Gold Seer Trilogy. It is also my first time reading of this author and suffice it to say, she wows us. The plot is also something I don't really read much of. Gold is an important commodity here but there is a dash of mystery and romance too giving it just the edge. As her bio suggests this is the story of a girl who must make bold and risky choices to get to her destination in a world where views on the female sect are absurd and zany at best.

Leah "Lee" Westfall is our impossible girl ..... In an era where being a woman holds no value, she gets lucky to have parents with liberal minds. She is independent. Being an only child, she is more than adept at doing a man's work. She has a homestead she is very proud of and a best friend Jefferson, who wants to be more .... She can also detect gold. which is an ability she can't do without. But when she looses it all to the avarice of a man, who would only control her for her abilities, she runs away. She decides to leave it all behind and joins a wagon party on the trek to California where gold has been found aplenty. If she has to shed her female sensitivities and become a man, then she would do just that.

Although I expected to see some major twists happening on the journey to the west. Like something related to her gold sensing abilities or her Uncle catching up to her before they reach their destination but the story pretty much had a one track mind, so it felt a little disappointing there But the journey to the west is important and the characters driving the story forward diverse. Really the only reason this book stands tall is because of its cast of characters and the unique characteristics they possess and bring on the journey. Most of all it is a journey of self-discovery for Leah and gives off the perfect vibe of an independent heroine. The romance also took a back seat but there is potential and Carson's words made quite the impression. Hopefully what was missing in the first book would be found in the next book. Recommending this book to any and everyone who love a strong heroine or a bout with history.

"Vibrant and steeped in history with the promise of gold"

Genre :     Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Release Date: 22nd September, 2015

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Presenting Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson.

Here is the summary of the book:

Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

Inception in a Young Adult paranormal package ..... Thats how I would categorize Robert L Anderson's first book. Odea Donahue can walk dreams since she has known how to. That's a nice take on the concept. But she has to follow 3 sets of rules in order to do so - Never be seen, Never walk the same person's dream more than once and Never interfere. So far so good but then mysterious new boy Connor comes to town and Dea just can't help but be attracted to him as he unknowingly pulls her walls down.

Starts out too slow. It takes its sweet time to gather its momentum, Dreamland proved to be an inquisitive experience Poor Dea never really knew the origins of her ability, leading a hard life in the process. Too confused of her origins and powers when push comes to shove. While she is no damsel in distress, she was too ignorant. But characters aside, the dreams and the dreamworld were some pretty cool additions to the plot. No one really knows the exact science of dreams so it was a great addition by Anderson.

And as far as a first book is considered, Dreamland can be categorized as a good stepping stone but not quite there yet. Even with its dreams and marvelous parallel dream worlds, the pacing is overshot. It takes too long to establish its roots and aside from Odea none of the other characters get much room to flourish. I liked the ending, felt rushed but I liked it. While i'm mixed about this book, I definitely wouldn't mind a sequel if it is in the roster. Nonetheless, Dreamland was an entertaining read.

"Inception in YA paranormalia"

Genre :     Young Adult, Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 22nd September, 2015

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon | Book Depository

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Lunar Chronicles #3 Cress

Presenting The Lunar Chronicles #3 Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Here is the summary of the book:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

It is not an easy task to maintain a varied cast of characters, keep their identities separate, develop them and then introduce and incorporate newer ones with every book. But Marissa Meyer does just that and her fairytale re-telling Lunar Chronicles is proof of such. We saw Cinder (Cinderella), then Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), its Cress' (Rapunzel) turn now and she is just out of the world ..... literally.

The unwitting spy for the Lunars, Cress lives in a satellite that orbits the Earth and may well be the biggest damsel in distress ever and fantasizes about one Captain Carswell Thorne. Adorable. Coming off as naive at first Cress soon evolves from the damsel to a heroine throughout the events of the book. She is a genius with technology and very resourceful too. Be it her past, present or her future, it was unique to experience the story through her eyes. And if surprise storms come her way ..... well then damn, she braves it like a pro.

Thorne gets his moment finally. He is not the perfect guy. He is sarcastic and doles out charisma in spades. He is also of course fun to around. To see him fantasized about by Cress and their eventual realizations of reality and romance was a nice and sweet backdrop to the ugly war with Queen Levana.

Of course, Cress and Thorne are not the only ones here. Cinder, Scarlet, Kai and Wolf play their parts too. They all help in telling what happens next in their fight and rebellion against Levana and the Lunar Oppression. As with its predecessors, the pacing of the story is on point. Meyer does a great job of keeping her characters separate and unique You may scoff at the length of the book but once you start reading, all such thoughts go out the right ear as you just won't be able to keep the book down ..... not once.

With the near completion of the series Hard truths are revealed and newer characters introduced with Winter and Jacin. Iko who gets a new body and wins the outstanding prize for spunkiness, takes us by storm You can't help not like her revamped self. With its explosive finale, i'm more than ready to learn what happens in the final book 'Winter'.

"Addicting. Just can't get enough of Marissa Meyer's world"

Genre :     Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Fairytale re-imaging

Publisher: Fiewel & Friends

Release Date: 4th February, 2014

My Copy: bought (hardcover)

Rate:             5/5 (It was Amazing)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 Cinder    
           #2 Scarlet 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository

Eden of the Lamp #1 Eden's Wish

Presenting Eden of the Lamp #1 Eden's Wish by M. Tara Crowl.

Here is the summary of the book:

All twelve years of Eden's life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won't be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth's pleasures--but quickly learns that this world isn't as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power--even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp's magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

A genie who doesn't want to be a genie. She is 12 years old Eden and is already fed up of being just a wish-granting machine eager to be free of the lamp. All 12 years if her life she had spent as a princess inside the lamp with her two masters Goldie and Xavier, only getting to go out when she is summoned for a granting. One whiff of Earth's majesty and she is mesmerized and grows desperate to escape ..... but needs 999 granting for her freedom.

The story is rather predictable and filled with all the tropes you find in the middle grade category Kids, I think would appreciate this story way better than me. A fast and easy read, though you can very much sympathizes with Eden't plight. She is a child, who loves to discover new things. She wants to see the world is always taught about. She has a kind soul, is energetic and has a wise mind but sometimes came off as a brat, going of against her teachings and rebelling.

It is rather enlightening to see the world through Eden's eyes, her time at school, meeting Tyler and Sasha and about mortal live in general is interesting to read about. Of course she is still very young so learning about the consequence of wish-granting, the history of the magic lamp and the presence of darkness in a world she only perceived as light comes of very hard for her. She goes through profound changes through her escapades and is rewarded for it in the end as well

"Fun and magical"

Genre :     Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: 1st September, 2015

My Copy: publisher & netgalley

Rate:             3/5 (Liked It)

Buy:         Amazon 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Lone City #2 The White Rose

Presenting The Lone City #2 The White Rose by Amy Ewing.
                                                         Here is the summary of the book:

Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

Begins after the cliffhanger ending of The Jewel. The White Rose successfully proclaims a better sequel. Sporting an excitingly captivating next leg of the series, tensioned to the seams. Violet, Ash, Raven, fearing retribution and in danger to losing their lives leave The Jewel under cover of the darkness and make way to the Farm. Meeting new allies, uncovering malevolent intent and the history of the auguries. There is a revolution afoot and 'The White Rose' shows us but a glimpse of this oncoming venture.

Amy Ewing introduced us to her surrogates and just how different and important to her story they are but still we raised eyebrows at the way she laid out her tale in 'The Jewel'. 'The White Rose' on the whole serves us a better and an evolving sequel. The history of the city is laid bare, the mysteries of the auguries explained and the characters showing newer mature thinking. The characters are given more room to breathe and flourish and the romance takes a back seat on this trip with plenty of surprises to keep things afloat.

There is a marked sense of maturity in Lot 197, who us readers better know as Violet. Tackling each of the moment of danger with surprising resilience and alacrity. The consequences of a revolution, there is no guarantee their plans will succeed and they would attain their desired liberation. Decisions have been made and sides have been chosen. Violet and crew definitely don't want to go back under the thumb of the cruel and indifferent royalty and be chosen for death. Away from the influence of the Duchess of the Lake, Violet displays an aggressive strength in her. Much more sure of herself, she is no longer the damsel in distress and we readers like that very much.

The Jewel introduced the city to us in its exotic shades. This sequel gives it the room to breathe, gives it its purpose and the push needed to pull this story forward. Impossibly jaw - dropping endings and choices aside the books sets its sights higher with well balanced, well paced and a well entertaining sequel.

"Enticingly captivating to vivid proportions"

Genre :     Young Adult, Romance, Dystopia

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: 6th October, 2015

My Copy: publisher & edelweiss

Rate:             4/5 (Really Liked It)

Other Books in the Series(review links):
           #1 The Jewel 

Buy:           Amazon | Book Depository


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