Monday 27 October 2014

REVIEW; The Fab Life (The Kihanna Saga #1), by Mercy Amare


Genre: Romance, Teen, Drama

Recommend: Yes/No


Kihanna Evers has been sent to live with her newly found father, Mark Evers- the founder of a hit social networking site. Moving to live in his mansion in California, she becomes acquainted with her fashionista stepmother and inappropriate step-brother.
At first dazzled and repulsed by the vast amount of chandeliers that adorned her house, Kihanna wastes no time in planting her feet in her new world and becoming her own. 
Staying true to herself, she opposes her stepmothers attempts to treat her like a Barbie and she doesn't fall victim to intimidation from the school Queen Bee, Jacqueline. Inexperienced in the relationship department, Kihanna finds herself to be sought after by many of guys that are most wanted themselves. 
Thrown into a world of money and appearances, Kihanna soon realises not everything is how it seems and everyone hides a secret or two.

My Thoughts:
Where to even begin with this one... 

  • Punctuation: Oh my dear... The punctuation throughout this novel drove me mad. The amount of times where a paragraph was constructed of tiny sentences that made little sense with a follow on sentence afterwards, when there should have been a comma rather than a full-stop to split it up. There were also some grammar errors and mistypes but this may be simply due to the conversion to e-book. The dialogue also needs major work; it all just spewed out as if it were a first draft and had no realistic padding to it all. So much of the novel is a stream of consciousness that is meaningless or mind-numbingly contradictive and/or boring. 

  • Kihanna: I wanted to give her a smack with a brick at times. She was just so unlikable. At first I liked her attitude towards her step-mother and for standing up for herself but then she really got annoying. If she were 14 years old, her personality would've fit but for 17 she just came across so self-absorbed. She was so ungrateful to her stepmom even though she wasn't actually that bad- yeah, she may have wanted to take some control but it was just to protect what was important to her. It's also overkill on the "new girl" being "gorgeous/hot" without even knowing and having every. single. male. character. lust. after. her. ""Why would he be nervous? It's just a concert." "Because he likes you." I shake my head. "He does not. He's just being nice." They all laugh. "Whatever you say."" *smacks head off desk* Just no. She claimed to be so different and hadn't even kissed anyone by the age of 17, she was pure and had saved herself and yet after two months of being with Ty she was going to sleep with him!? Waiting that long and then being willing to that is just so craaaazy and idiotic and just didn't ring through with her personality. She didn't even hold true to herself on the clothes and wardrobe front. 

  • Secrets: We all love that dark character with a secret? The mysterious one who drops hints throughout the story and we try to guess what it is. But not when it's just thrown in randomly and with whatever characters take your fancy!! ""You didn't know me a year ago," he snaps. "You don't know what I've been through or what I've learned in that time."" So Toby is a lighthearted flirt, and then completely out of character blurts that, and then reverts to the inappropriate flirt again without even another flicker of a haunted past... And then of course there's Gabe and Ty with the messed up pasts and secrets too but let's just skip over them. 

  • Plot: The whole plot in general was all over the place. It was like someone who was writing their first novel and wanted to mash up all their ideas into the one book. Kihanna had too many love interests, (The pool guy was totally irrelevant and not a necessary addition) and there were too many sub-plots happening that it didn't all tie together. There was the romantic story, the aspect of Kihanna entering her new life and getting to know her father, her mother dying (cliché, guessed it from the start), uncovering the secrets of Gabe etc, dealing with making new friends and dealing with the bitch... but of course to top it all off it ended in a murder attempt!!! The part where Kihanna drinks a few shots of Tequila and immediately loses it is too far fetched as well, granted she had never drank before but it just didn't fit with a realistic representation of getting drunk. 

I thought I'd like this book but it just fell short on too many levels. There was a lot of potential but the author tried to cram in too much rubbish and not focus on building a sustainable, plausible and solid story-line. The pace was all over the place and it was a struggle to even finish. I don't really like writing bad reviews and have always tried to write negative ones with constructive criticism and hope I have this time as well. It was too cliché and all over the place with a lack of structure. The characters were plentiful with a lack of purpose and definition and depth. There was a constant repetition of language and phrases which made it a dull read. 

Overall I feel this would succeed a LOT more if aimed at younger teens. It just didn't do it for me as a YA novel and therefore would not recommend to more mature readers. (Or readers with a habit of tearing books apart and analysing them in way too much detail!)

Saturday 25 October 2014

REVIEW; Lovely Vicious #1, by Sara Wolf


Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Drama

Recommend: Yes/No

Isis Blake, 17 years old and heartbroken. As a result she has promised herself she will not fall in love again. Forced to move to Ohio with her mom, who is suffering with PTSD after being in an abusive relationship, she has lost weight and dyed her hair and is attacking the world full force with her "I Don't Care" attitude. Throw Jack Hunter into the mix; the most coveted guy around but who won't date anyone in high-school and has earned himself the name of "The Ice Prince."

Isis has had it with players and boys taking girls for granted, so when she is faced with Jack she initiates a war by punching him... in front of everyone. She refuses to fall for him and goes out of her way to let him know how much she hates him, as he retaliates accordingly. 

She soon realises she has started a war with the wrong person, as Jack ups the attacks as she delves further and further into his life. Soon they become entangled in their web of pranks and secrets, and find more common ground than they had initially expected. 

My Thoughts:

I loved this book so much! When buying it, I had expected it to hover around the three star mark but it had so much more depth than I had anticipated and was over-run with humour and quick-wit. The dialogue was executed well between Isis and Jack and their individual banter permeated the whole story. 

Isis was a force to be reckoned with. I loved how Wolf depicted Isis as a cold and tough person but who was shielding her hurt and vulnerability. She has been victim to so much but wasn't slipping into a self-pitying depression but was fighting back. It was a fresh approach that I hadn't come across in many YA novels before. She had also had to swap roles with her mother, and nearly become a parent to her after her mother's suffering and Isis was a character you really couldn't help but feel so much sympathy for and root her on as she fought out her beliefs against Jack. 

Jack Hunter. WOW! He too had a deep past that was slowly uncovered and he wasn't hiding a typical or predictable past. He wasn't necessarily a "bad boy" or hiding a deep dark past, but rather he had had his fair share of trauma and was dealing with it in his own way. Hence when faced with trauma-stricken Isis, sparks of every kind began to fly.

I think this novel really eradicated any predictability. You could claim it was obvious that girl hates boy, boy hates girl, they get together in the end. But there was SO MUCH MORE to it than that. 

I read this in two days and wanted to scream when I finished it- WHAT. AN. ENDING! The last few scenes were pretty eventful enough and you think you've had the plot twist and then out of nowhere- punch in the feels. I love/hate cliffhangers as do most readers but that ending is up there with one of the best (even though it hurt so much!) twists I've read. 

This is definitely up there in my list of favourites and one I'd recommend to anyone that loves YA, NA, Drama, Plot-twists, Humour. It exceeded so many expectations and I am so looking forward to reading the remainder of the trilogy as it's just astounding. 

Friday 17 October 2014


Hey everyone,

I realise it's been some time since I've posted a review and just wanted to post a little explanation as to why. I have still been reading and I've two books I still plan to review before the month ends, however in the past month I moved back to the UK for University and have been just too busy with sorting out the house and "official" things and catching up with all of my friends.

Once my course settles down into a proper routine, I hope to be back posting reviews on a more regular basis!

:) Aoibh