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23 August 2014

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

5 words: Silly children playing dangerous games.

I was pretty love/hate with this book the whole time I was reading it. From loving the turmoil with the relationships to hating the actions of these stupid, irresponsible children, I was swinging backwards and forwards from a rope swing tied to a branch.

There was something that just angered me so much about how these stupid little children endangered the lives of everyone. Their stupid game, in the name of "boredom" just made my blood boil.

What's wrong with picking up a book? Or getting a summer job? Or doing some volunteering?

Or doing anything at all that doesn't involve vandalism, theft, animal cruelty, dangerous driving, under-age drinking, drugs, man slaughter, tomb-stoning... The list of irresponsible, dangerous, IDIOTIC things these stupid little children get up to is endless.

But I found that I enjoyed the other stories in this book, although they were greatly overshadowed. I loved the relationships between siblings, the love of a family, the way friendships don't always last.

As much as I enjoyed reading Panic, I can't help but to hope it's a stand alone. I think that's where the power of this story lies.

20 August 2014

Summoners and Assassins at Seven Stories

Seven Stories is a magical venue which is perfect for events such as Summoners and Assassins. It's intimate and special and there's a certain atmosphere. And just the atmosphere and the surroundings alone guaranteed a fantastic evening. Add to that two authors who clicked together, and behaved like the best of friends from the very start and I knew it was going to be amazing.

Look at the flying books! FLYING BOOKS.
My little sister introduced me to Seven Stories when she did her work experience there at high school. Back then it was only children's books and authors, but the venue has changed a lot since then. It's a very special place.

I went to the event with my best book friend Steph. We're pretty in sync and if it wasn't for a last minute change of top we would have been dressed the same. That's what years of bookish friendship does to you, it's like a psychic bond. Being the book-addicts we are, there was a large pile of books for signing. And yes, there's gonna be a giveaway. Or two. Yaaay for giveaways! Steph will be joining me here soon with some guest reviews.

All the books! Well, not quite. There were another few.
The talk was hilarious. The authors seemed to click, it was like listening to a conversation between friends. And it wasn't all about their books. There was everything from Harry Potter to Gossip Girl, Sailor Moon to The OC, and it was all wonderful. They even talked about their first days of writing, from Harry Potter x Sailor Moon fanfiction with Mary Sue as the lead, to early assassins called Blood who were sarky and witty and everything a young teenager wants to be.

It was like listening to your friends talk, openly and honestly and with enough humour to have the whole room laughing. While the authors were very similar, they were also very different.

And I discovered that I've been pronouncing Chaol wrong this whole time. But at least I wasn't the only one!


09 August 2014

Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder's mother is cursed with a spell that's driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.

Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city's secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they're not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

5 Words: Dark, dead, magic, life, love.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read this, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I was in for something light and fluffy, something I wouldn't enjoy much but would pass the time. But instead what I read was dark and deep and thought provoking. It was fascinating. And I couldn't put it down.

I liked the character of Thea. And I loved Nan.

I was absolutely not expecting Zombies. That was one heck of a surprise.

I loved the exploration of love and relationships and the bonds that tie people.

One thing that could have improved this story a lot would have been world building. I wasn't sure what to picture or how to picture it. I ended up with a post-WW2 UK/USA mess in my head. I also would have liked less banter between Thea and Freddy. It just didn't seem to fit so well with the rest of the characterisation.