Friday 28 November 2014

TOP 5; Young Adult Romance Series

There have been so many books that I've loved prior to this blog so I thought it a good idea to start posting my favourites across different genres and types. I'm starting off with posting my Top 5 of YA romantic novels but that have a series as well for you to continue on with! 

1. The Academy- Introductions (The Ghost Bird #1), by C.L.Stone | 

"With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.

The Academy, ever vigilant."

I love this series so much...I've only read the first few books as of yet but am really looking forward to completing the series. It's original and just so captivating and an intriguing yet heart-wrenching read. I wouldn't really claim it's a full on romance but there is the building of ones blossoming and it's definitely a novel about love, if it not be romantic love. I just couldn't leave it out. From the beginning you feel for Sang and the boys are so mischievous and yet as a reader you trust them without a doubt. The plot continues and grows in danger as the books progress and I am so thankful for stumbling across these as this series is a real gem! (Oh, and the first book is free!)

2. Reason to Breathe (Breathing #1), by Rebecca Donovan | 

"  "No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection while pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises - not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth - but at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.  
Reason to Breathe is an electrifying page turner from start to finish, a unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope."
Reason to Breathe is a book that stays with you upon completion. I can still remember being shocked and just left speechless when finishing this in the early hours of the morning and then the agonising few months wait to read the second book.  There was such a fresh approach to the relationship of Emma and Evan and is a stunning beautiful read, but also devastating! This series will stay with me forever and one I look forward to re-reading for the emotional roller-coaster all over again.

3. Crash (#1), by Nicole Williams | 

"Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude's everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart.

Okay, so I read this a good time back so can't really go into too much detail but I gave it 4/5 stars when I read it so it must have made an impression! It does seem like your cliché YA Romance but it definitely has a unique flare. Jude is an extremely annoying, frustrating, cocky bad boy that you just love to hate and Lucy really gives him a run for his money. Their love story is engaging and captivating and definitely worth the read. I've yet to read the follow on books but when I do, I'll definitely be posting about them!

4. Unlovable (Port Fare #1), by Sherry Gammon | 

"Port Fare, New York, has fallen into the clutches of true evil. The Dreser brothers have arrived with a scheme to increase drug sales in the area by whatever means possible. Seth Prescott is part of MET (Mobile Enforcement Teams) a branch of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). He's been assigned to work undercover at Port Fare High, and things aren't going very well, until senior Maggie Brown enters the equation. He's harbored a secret crush on her from day one, and now that she is in the center of the case, he's trying to stay clear and objective while walking the line between business and unrequited love. 
Maggie is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with jutting bones and dark-ringed eyes, but is she an addict, or is there another reason for her appearance? She struggles with her feelings for Seth, fearing he is just another person who will eventually let her down, as everyone in her life has done thus far.
Maggie has spent her life caring for her alcoholic mother. A task that has left her heavily burdened and alone. Before long, her mother's health takes a turn for the worst, sending Maggie's life into a tale-spin. 
While Seth works relentlessly to inject fear into the dealers and flush them out into the open, Maggie fights to stay alive as the hunt turns deadly.
Seth and Maggie's romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak, and self-discovery. "

 I've read a few books now about undercover cops and them falling for some poor innocent girl when they're on the job so wasn't sure how I'd react to this one- but oh my!! If you read any novel about an undercover narc falling for a teen, this has to be the one you read!! Their story is addicting and beautiful and Maggie is such a character in her own right that the reader cannot help but want to fight for her happiness and her survival. Their story continues in the next book and is just as fantastic a read. 

5. Going Under (#1), by Georgia Cates | 

"Jesse Boone is a self-proclaimed bad boy and doesn't march to the beat of anyone’s drum but his own. Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life but his determination to leave it behind is fervent. He sees an opportunity to snag a college football scholarship when he’s transferred to East Franklin High School but Forbes Henderson has other plans. The player Jesse intends to replace doesn’t plan on giving up his spot as starting quarterback so a rivalry is born. Jesse is determined to show his nemesis that he’s not only going to take his position as first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.
Claire Deveraux is perfection at its best. She’s beautiful, intelligent, and unaware she just became Jesse Boone’s conquest to settle a score with her boyfriend. Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jesse Boone. She fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises of rocking her perfect world. If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jesse, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jesse learn that the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge?"
 This is another YA novel that appears to follow the Cliché Train but it is a definite surprise. Jesse is a whirlwind of secrets and surprise and Claire isn't all she seems either. There's more to this novel than simply a love story of cat and mouse but more a lesson on knowing when it's okay to let your guard down and trust someone, Both characters break free from their stereotypes and we're left with a raw heart-wrenching story. Parts are predictable but there are a few surprises throughout. The drama continues in Book 2...

Sunday 16 November 2014

REVIEW; Insanity, by Cameron Jace


Genre: Thriller, Fantasy, Young Adult

Recommend: Yes/No


Alice Wonder is a patient in Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum after murdering her classmates, including her boyfriend. Locked up with only her flower as company, she dreams of escape and attempts to trick the guards in an effort to run away. Her family believe she is insane but Alice is given a chance to prove her sanity when another patient takes an interest in her. Professor Caterpillar convinces Alice that she is the real Alice from Wonderland and that she is needed to help him. There is a mass killer on the loose, going by the name of the Cheshire Cat and according to the Professor, only Alice can help him catch the monster and in doing so find the real Wonderland. Alice is allowed out of the Asylum to pose as a student as she helps decode the clues and edge closer to catching the killer and saving lives.

My Thoughts:
I was really intrigued by the blurb of this novel and it sounded like exactly my type of mind-bender novel... however, unfortunately I just didn't 'get' it and DNF'ed at 51%. It really takes a lot for me to give up on a book but when I've been attempting to get through it after a few weeks and it's a struggle to pick up, I can't ignore them signs. 

I loved the start/introduction of the whole story. The writing appeared to be quirky and Alice was an intriguing character. 

Overall, the whole plot/story seemed rushed and just stitched together in a haphazard way that I couldn't follow. I expected this to be a mental challenge but it seemed too bonkers for me. I just lost interest and got frustrated at it. I couldn't engage properly with any of the conversations between the characters and it left me feeling like they had no depth or substance to them. 

I found Pillar's involvement with Alice and how everything occurred after she agreed to help him, just unbelievable and disjointed. I don't mean unbelievable in a realistic way as this is a Fantasy novel but their interactions just didn't come off as sound and the circumstances/events that are created just didn't fit with how the novel began. 

I give one star simply for the beginning of the novel as it really set my hopes high and was captivating but unfortunately it got too crazy as I went on and I just couldn't continue. It may be a novel I'll return to in a few months to give another try as it has got such great ratings.