Friday, 27 June 2014

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Control by Lydia Kang

Cool Stuff
I did really enjoy this book - hence the 4 stars - so keep that in mind whilst reading this review, as I might seem a bit harsh at times.
Control follows the story of a girl named Zelia, set about 150 years into the future (I believe), after her dad is killed in an accident and her sister is separated from her.  She is taken into a place called Carus house, where she is told she will now live with several other teenagers around her age and Marka, their adoptive mother.  I should probably mention that these people (excluding Zelia) have certain traits - like superpowers that are part of their genetics.  I thought it was really cool how everything was explained and had a logical reason behind it, such as these traits and all the experimenting that Zelia does throughout the course of the book.  The main plot is Zelia trying to get her sister back, but uncovering some dark secrets about her father and other people on the way.
As a main character, I first thought that Zelia was quite boring.  However, as the story went on, I warmed up to her and her unique sense of humour.  The book also started slow, but really picked up about a third of the way through - which is when I found myself hooked.
I felt like the romance in the book was a little sudden, and one of the character's seemed to change completely within half a second, which was a little confusing and unrealistic.  Sometimes it was also overly dramatic (mentions of the significant other being like oxygen or water were a bit much).  Otherwise, the romance was pretty cute at times.
Another thing to add is that the "outside" world isn't developed very much in this book, but I believe it will be in the sequel, so I can forgive that.
My favourite characters were definitely Vera and Marka, and I hope to see more of them in the sequel, Catalyst.  I really enjoyed the pacing of the story and just how different everything was to the lives we have now - some of the inventions (yes, I'm talking about the holos) were amazing!

Overall, this book is probably more of a 3.5 to me :)

You can find out more about Control by clicking here - it will take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also going to go into more detail, so if you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now! :)

World After by Susan Ee

A fantastic sequel to Angelfall!
This book was just as good as its predecessor, if not better.
It's hard to say much that won't spoil Angelfall, so if you haven't read that, you probably shouldn't continue reading this review :)

So this book starts right where Angelfall left off - a seemingly dead girl in her crazy mother's arms with her stitched up sister standing guard.  I don't know what else to say about the plot that won't give anything away!  I will tell you that Penryn's world is explored even more in this book and no gruesome details are withheld.  You really get a feel for the situation that the humans are in after this devastating attack on Earth.

I loved how, like in Angelfall, Penryn never loses sight of what her goal is.  She does everything for her cause.  I also loved how she explains why she does everything and makes it all seem so logical (which it generally is).  Penryn is just such a strong character and though at times she can be cold, she is definitely a favourite of mine.

Like Angelfall, there are many surprises in this book - terrible surprises.

And that's about all I can say without giving anything away!  Check out the Goodreads page here!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Very Relatable
First, I want to say that I really did enjoy this book - just as much as I was expecting to.  After hearing nothing but good things, I was not surprised to find this an amazing read.
Something you need to know about me is that I'm not good with realistic fiction, if that's what you want to call it.  It's very tough for me to really love a book that has no fantasy elements.  Another problem I have with the genre is that I can never really tell what the character's goals are, or where the story is going.  And sometimes I finish these kinds of books wondering if anything really happened in the story.
Fangirl wasn't completely like that.  I loved the writing, the characters, the setting and how real the story was.  At times, I did feel like I didn't know where the story was going, but I was so sucked into the main character's life that I hardly noticed.  It follows a girl named Cath, who loves (loves) the Simon Snow book series (which is kind of like the Harry Potter series) during her first year of college.  And, as you can guess from the cover, she writes fanfic about it.  She's not just good at writing fanfiction - she's great, and has a massive audience.  She used to write it with her twin sister, Wren, but she has since moved on from Simon Snow and this distances the two sisters.  The story is about Cath learning to be independent and having her own life without being as close to Wren.
I liked the adorable romance in this book, and if you love romance stories you'll love Fangirl.  Levi was definitely my favourite character - his personality reminded me of a cute little puppy, which may not make sense until you read about him.  I also ended up really liking Reagan, though I disliked her at the beginning of the story.
Strangely, I liked Cath less than Reagan.  I noticed so many similarities between Cath and me that I ended up feeling uncomfortable at times - like I was reading about myself.  It actually scared me at times how similar my decisions would have been to hers.  This was one of the main reasons why I gave Fangirl a 4/5 on Goodreads, rather than a 5.
Overall, I really loved this book and would definitely recommend it for any contemporary or realistic fiction fans!

Check out Rainbow Rowell's website here or click here to go to Fangirl's Goodreads page and you can see more of my spoiler-y thoughts if you've already read the book by scrolling just a little further :)

Angelfall by Susan Ee

This book was amazing.
A must-read for any dystopian fan.
A must-read for any young adult fan, actually.
Do not be discouraged by the angels - this is by far the best book involving angels that I have read.  I wouldn't even call it an angel book.  And there's definitely no cheesy romance.
I remember when I first picked this book up, I thought it would be a nice, sweet little read, but don't be fooled like I was.  Angelfall is about a girl named Penryn trying to survive in her post-apocalyptic world.  It's set six weeks after angels destroyed most of the earth, and Penryn just wants to keep her family - her paranoid schizophrenic mum and wheelchair-bound sister - safe.  With gangs roaming the streets during the day and angels haunting the night, it's getting harder and harder.  The story follows Penryn's journey to save her sister after she is taken by one of the angels (it happens within the first 16 pages, so I don't think it's a spoiler) and what she discovers along the way.
This book is realistic (as much as possible, when talking about a world taken over by angels), thrilling, unbelievably creepy and surprisingly funny.
I loved Penryn. She is a legitimately strong female lead and tries her best to care for her family, even when it'd be easier to give up.  She never loses sight of her goal to rescue her sister.  I also loved Raffe, the other main character, which I will give no more details about so you can find them out yourself when you read this book.  Because you should read this book.
There was so much happening in Angelfall, and nothing turned out quite as I was expecting it to.

For more information on Angelfall, you can click here to visit the Goodreads page, or check out Susan Ee's website by clicking here.

Next, I'm going to go into more detail about more thoughts, which will include spoilers - so go read the book and then come back!

Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Really Liked It
Asunder by Jodi Meadows is the second book in the Newsoul trilogy.

The trilogy centres around Ana, a girl who is born into a society of 'souls' that have been continually reincarnated for about five thousand years.  Souls always have a different form when they are reincarnated, though usually have something in common, such as generally being born male or from the same mother soul.
As you might be able to imagine, it was extremely difficult for Ana to grow up in a society where she is the only new soul in such a very long time - and this is only made harder by the fact that Ana replaced an oldsoul, Ciana.  For this, Ana is hated by many of the existing souls, and is taken away from the main city, Heart, to be raised by her abusive mother, Li.
The first book, Incarnate, focuses on Ana's journey after she turns 18 and leaves Li.  It is not only her physical journey to Heart (her aim is to find answers about her existence), but her emotional journey - how she overcomes her terrible upbringing and realises her own worth.
Asunder sees Ana finding answers - about her existence, about other newsouls, the origins of the oldsouls and many other things - though more often than not, they are not pleasant.  It also deals with the effects of the final events of Incarnate, which I won't spoil for you!  Tension in Heart is higher than ever, with Ana's continued presence in the oldsouls' lives.  Though hatred for her is rising, she is also gaining much support from friends.  There is a lot more talk of magical creatures in Asunder than in Incarnate, especially on sylph and phoenixes, which I enjoyed and expect more of in Infinite - the third and final book.  I'm super excited for Infinite to come out next year, it will be an epic finale!
I also have to add that the covers are all absolutely stunning.
Incarnate leaves the reader with questions and Asunder leaves you with answers, which naturally, lead to more questions than before.  It was a great read, with revelations on every page, loads of character development, plus a lot of lovely (and pretty realistic) romance. 

For more information on the books, you can visit Jodi Meadows' website, by clicking here or you can find Asunder's Goodreads page by clicking here.

Under this line / break, you'll see some more of my thoughts - including spoilers, so beware!


So, this is my first post on this blog.  I've tried to keep up with a blog many times before in my life but I've never been good at constantly updating due to a lack of motivation I suppose.  I'm hoping that once I get used to how Blogger works, it'll be a lot easier for me to keep posting.  Should I introduce what this blog will be about?  I'm firstly going to transfer my reviews for books that I made on a previous blog, then will continue with more reviews as I read more books.  I'm sure I'll figure out what I'm doing as I go.  I just need this post so that I can figure out how I want my posts to look, so I think I'll delete it afterwards :)
Will Herondale
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