31 August 2013

Review: Faking It

Faking It
Faking It by Cora Carmack

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm being generous giving this 3 stars I think. But I enjoyed it enough for 2 stars to be too low.

It's fun, flirty fiction that you don't really have to think about.

The characters are as likeable as they can be, but are pretty interchangeable - the nice guy and the Rebel Sue. Insert conflict and "unlikely" attraction and BAM, you're done.

There was a definite aversion to the word "nipple" in this book. Think of any other way to describe nipples and you'll find it, you just won't find the word nipple. It kind of made this seem pretty immature. Readers of this series are big girls and can take care of themselves and comfortably read the word NIPPLE.

I don't love this series, but I'm addicted to it. I know I'll read on, almost like the sort of morbid fascination as you pass a car crash that has you gaping out of the window.

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27 August 2013

Review: Viral Nation

Viral Nation
Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This wasn't really my cup of tea.

I didn't click with the writing style, it didn't engage me. So from the start I didn't enjoy it. That said, when the end came I tried again and again to turn the page. It felt like it finished too soon and I wanted to read on as I'd started to like it and even enjoy it. The ending was SO abrupt.

I don't like complex time-travel in books, and this has it in spades. I just get super confused and start over thinking EVERYTHING. Add to that that there wasn't much explanation of the complexities of this brand of time-travel and I was sitting scratching my head like a confused monkey.

But I did like the characters. I liked Clover and how she struggled so much and grew throughout the book. She was a really strong character. I liked her voice.The conflicts the characters faced were pretty good too. The situations were pretty scary in some places. And terrifying in others.

The best part of this book, for me, was the final 15%. Out of all of the book it's the bit that gripped me and made me turn the pages faster.

The worst bit of this book was the killing of all would-be criminals except for child abusers. Just thinking of it makes me sick.

Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this. I think I would read the next book because the ending of this one picked up so much.

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20 August 2013

Review: In Defense of the Queen

In Defense of the Queen
In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fast paced historical mystery with a nice dollop of international espionage and intrigue. A strange mix but it worked quite well.

This book works on its own as a standalone well enough, despite actually being part of a series. There was little to no explanation of what happened in previous books, with a presumption that any readers of this one were already invested in the series, but that didn't matter to me (and I didn't even notice) until a little over half way where motives became difficult to understand and too much was unknown. But by that time I myself was a little too invested in the story for it to overly bother me. That said, it did lessen my enjoyment.

I thought at first that the action-packed plot had peaked too soon, but the author managed to keep the action coming at the same intensely fast pace. Which is good because when the true action hit and I saw how much there was still to go I was a little apprehensive that the story would fall flat at the end. Good job it didn't!

If you look for accuracy in your historical reads then this is probably not for you. But if you're a fan of The Tudors or action or drama or spies of any sort, then pick this up and give it a go.

I received a copy via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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16 August 2013

Review: A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar
A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic and complex read.

The prose is beautifully written and this was a delight to read. The description were sumptuous, beautiful, lavish and luxurious and I found myself instantly transported to Kashgar.

This book switched between two time periods and various characters, but for once I actually enjoyed the changes of perspective. It really really worked and despite it usually being something that puts me off reading a book instead it drew me in further.

The pace is subtle and I didn't realise how very much the whole book had changed between the first page and the last. Suzanne Joinson's writing is simply AMAZING. You journey with the characters, feel as they feel.

I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach as I finished this book, as I am sure Evangeline did at the end of her journey. What happens between the pages is haunting and shocking, yet somehow delicate and quite lovely.

This is definitely one of those books which leaves you with a "what next" feeling.
What happens now? Where do the characters go from here? Where to I go from here?

I won a copy via Goodreads First Reads.

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13 August 2013

Review: Watershed

Watershed by Cd Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a sweet story.

At first I though "Woah! This is moving FAST!" and was a little worried by how fast they fell for each other. But a few pages later I totally understood why it happened on both parts. It was right for it to happen like that.

I loved the turmoil of both characters caused by their own assumptions of each other. It was a real strength that in this story it felt so REAL. Fergus was a right dick and I was so glad when Maggie stood up to him - she developed so well as a character and her hesitation made her actions and growth believable.

This is a passionate, well-paced New Adult romance and I want to read more of Maggie and Gray! It feels as though there's so much more of their story to tell.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy for review - I only wish I'd read it sooner!

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12 August 2013

Review: Saxon's Bane

Saxon's Bane
Saxon's Bane by Geoffrey Gudgion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a deliciously subtle horror - and because of that even if horror is not your cup of tea I'd suggest you give it a go.

It is safe to say that I am fascinated by the history of Britain. I know all sorts of obscure trivia. And this book has added to it! Hooray! I absolutely LOVED the historical and archaeological aspects of this story.

The pacing is excellent. The story undulates naturally as the plot unravels. Folklore and tradition play a huge part in this fantastic tale, and this draws you in deeper. You feel a slowly building sense of dread as the story progresses.

But it's not all doom and gloom. In fact, it's far from it. This story is exciting and funny and thought provoking.

The characters are complex. You like some, dislike others, and that's just you getting started. You really get involved. There is passion and anger and religious zeal, but not one bit of it is overbearing. It's all how it's supposed to be.

Thanks to Rebellion via NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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08 August 2013

Review: Witchfall

Witchfall by Victoria Lamb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm kinda reading these in the wrong order... Random House approved this one before Witchstruck. And it doesn't even matter. In fact, it probably made me rate this better, because my god, is it well written.

Witchfall is very well written and if I hadn't already known it was the second in a series then I probably wouldn't have guessed, this book is SO well written. There are always hints to the past (the previous book) but it never overshadows the present, what's happening in this book.

There was plenty of mystery and a cast of mainly great characters - I guess I only wasn't sure about Meg's brother as he seemed a bit here-and-there with his loyalties.

The baddie is bad and the good characters aren't all that good. This leant a real sense of realism to this historical fantasy, even with the twists fantastical involving historical personalities.

Well worth a read. Now I'm off to read the first one!

Thanks to Random House via Net Galley for a copy of this in exchange for review.

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07 August 2013

Review: Dark Lover

Dark Lover
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WARNING: This book will enthral you. You won't be able to do anything until you finish it. Not eat, sleep or work.

This book is amazing. Believe the hype, read it, and love it.

I liked the characters and the way they changed throughout the book. They're not simple. They're astonishingly complex. The vampires are different from what's floating around in the fantasy genre at the moment and it's it's refreshing. The world that is built is so believable that I was expecting to bump into a six-foot-something-built-like-a-brick-shit-house vampire last night after dark.

And my god. This book was HOT. Wow.

I always find it hard to review really good books that send me all fan-girly, so maybe I'll up-date this in a day or two once the silly grin is off my face.

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05 August 2013

Review: Bitter Chocolate

Bitter Chocolate
Bitter Chocolate by Lesley Lokko

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another perfectly indulgent offering from Lesley Lokko. This would suit perfectly well as a New Adult and when I classify books as New Adult it's Lesley Lokko's work I generally use as a guide.

If you need something to get invested in, something to make you think, something to make you feel every emotion under the sun and something to stay in your head, then look no further.

Bitter Chocolate reminded me a little of [b:Sundowners|906497|Sundowners|Lesley Lokko|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348987258s/906497.jpg|891642]. They have some similar elements such as the different lives and people converging and a very artistic/designer character. There is a mix of poverty and wealth and the struggles of going between them - and best of all it feels so REAL. There is romance and hardship and love and hate. And there are three very confused young ladies, unsure of how their life is going to pan out and whether they're making the right (or more often wrong) decision.

It's best to set aside some time for Lesley Lokko because once you start you'll be hooked and won't be able to read anything else until you finish the book. Then you'll want to pick up another.

This book is a book for all seasons. It's great for summer when you want to chill, winter for when you need something comforting, autumn for those lengthening nights and spring for the freshness of the world. AWESOME.

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02 August 2013

Review: Carnival

Carnival by Rawi Hage

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vague, rambling, beautiful, shocking, disturbing, intelligent, fantastical...

Pick a word, any word. It will probably go towards describing this book in some way.

This is a very grown-up book. It's one of those books that you have no chance of understanding while still growing-up and probably won't understand even when you're grown. I'm still not sure what I read. This book is confusing and disturbing, but I finished it pretty quickly. I carried on reading. Even when I felt like I was going to be sick I still turned the page. And I don't know why. Something about Fly hooked me.

Fly is the main character, the narrator. And he's pretty crazy and messed up. A taxi-driving circus orphan raised by and living-with a series of misfits and freaks for the majority of his life, I was never sure if Fly honestly saw the world as described or if he was just as high as a kite. His high-or-bat-shit narrative was quite difficult to follow and I found myself reading most pages more than once.

I'd say read this book once so you know just how sane you are. And be wary of taxi drivers. And circus-folk.

I won a copy of this from Goodreads First Reads and also had access to a digital copy via NetGalley. Thank, Penguin, but this wasn't quite my cup of tea.

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