Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Series: Beautiful Creatures Book 1
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Release Date: 4th January 2010 (Australia)

My Rating: 5/5

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

This is a unique tale of love and magic with a Southern gothic setting.

The story was an absolute surprise for me because all I could think about was 'Oh no, not another supernatural love story with vampires and werewolves', but I fell in love with the book in the first few pages, and there is not a vampire or werewolf in sight (although, I might add I am a fan of many of these too)!

I love the fact the story is told from a guys perspective and Ethan is a very likable character. He has lived in the same place all his life and his frustration with the 'small town mentality' has come to breaking point. He stands up for what he believes is right, even if it turns the whole town against him. Lena is a strong character who struggles with acceptance in a new town which shuts out anyone even remotely different to what they know. Both Ethan and Lena are character that I think readers can easily relate to.

The characters of Amma and her voodoo chicken bones, loyal Link and the mysterious Macon and the rest of the supporting characters are a high point to the story and I think the characters and their development is what makes this story so likable. The characterisation of the 'popular' high school girls is spot on and hilarious.

I also love all the literary references throughout the book.

Absolutely STUNNING! Can not wait for the sequel!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Surf Ache by Gerry Bobsien

Title: Surf Ache
Author: Gerry Bobsien

Published: 1st November 2009 (Australia)

My Rating: 3/5

This is a story I think alot of teenage girls can relate to. Set in Australia, it is the story of Ella who is struggling with the changes happening in her life after her family move to another state. Making new friends and fitting into a new school and town is difficult , especially when all she can think about are her old friends, her now ex-boyfriend and her old dance school back in Melbourne.

When things start looking up in her new surf-obsessed town, Ella is forced to make a decision; does she want to say being Melbourne Ella, or accept her new life as Newcastle Ella.

This is a story about decisions and change. A good Aussie read for ages 12+

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Series: Fallen Book 1
Author: Lauren Kate

Published: 7th December 2009 (Australia)

My Rating: 2/5

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant, even evil, history.

It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here, though she doesn’t know what it is, nor does she understand Daniel’s frosty demeanor towards her. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.

I have mixed opinions of this book. I feel the first half just took too long and I just wanted something major to happen or for something to be explained. It took too long for the revelations to start. That said, the last 150 pages had me speed reading to see what would happen next.

I feel the sequel will be a lot more interesting and engaging now that the ground work has been laid, almost like this was a prequel. Keep an eye out for it in September 2010.

Essentially, not enough was explained, leaving me with many unanswered questions, and what was explained, took too long.

I really liked all of the characters except for Daniel as I just wanted him to help Luce understand what was happening. I found it frustrating!

Also, I think the cover is absolutely stunning, one of the best I have seen in a long time, and I think it will get people to pick it up in the first place, it's what made me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Series: Hush, Hush Book 1
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Release Date: 1st November 2009 (Australia)

My Rating: 4/5

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

I absolutely devoured this book, I literally couldn't put it down and read it all in one sitting. It was incredibly suspenseful and has a fantastic character in Patch, with his suggestive comments, cheeky smile, and 'bad boy' persona. It's more a thriller than a romantic novel in my opinion, which I thought was a far better way of starting off a series than going all out with romance straight away. I hope the sequel still keeps that thriller essence.

Almost every single supernatural teen book these days is compared to Twilight and I really wish the publishers would stop doing that. I find it off putting (even thought I was a fan of Twilight) and insulting to the authors. Stephenie Meyer didn't come up with the idea of forbidden love and there are plenty of books out there that are supernatural and can stand on their own two feet (so to speak). Hush, Hush is one of them.

My only criticism is that Vee is annoying and not really likable and that I really don't like the book title (sorry Becca!).

Keep your eyes open for the sequel, Crescendo, coming late 2010.

Gone by Michael Grant

Title: Gone
Series: Gone Book 1
Author: Michael Grant

Release Date: 1st April 2009 (Australia)

My Rating: 4/5

In the blink of an eye. Everyone over the age of fifteen disappears. GONE. Not one single adult. No teachers, no police, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

As all hell breaks loose, hunger threatens and bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks in the desert, animals begin to mutate. And the kids themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...

I thought this book was brilliant. I found it exciting, intriguing and suspenseful, and I liked the fact it covers every genre. It is a mix between the the TV show Heroes and John Marsden's The Tomorrow Series. I have also read Hunger which is the 2nd book in the series and it is just as good as the first. It is not for the faint-hearted though, it can get quite brutal, I definitely recommend it for ages 13 or 14 upwards. Look out for Lies: Book 3 in mid 2010.

Read it if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, or The Enemy. Great book, totally recommend it!

Jonas: Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Title: Jonas
Series: Beautiful Dead Book 1
Author: Eden Maguire

Release Date: 11th July 2009

My Rating: 4/5

Something strange is happening at Ellerton High. Jonas, Arizona, Summer and Phoenix. All dead within a year. Jonas Jonson is the first to die, in a motorcycle accident. But there are many unanswered questions, and the three deaths that follow are equally mysterious. Grief-stricken Darina can't escape her heartache or the visions of her dead boyfriend, Phoenix, and the others who died. All the while, the sound of beating wings echo inside her head... Are the visions real? Or do the Beautiful Dead only exist in Darina's traumatized imagination?

This is one of my favourite new series! Paranormal occurrences, death, loss and love, with mystery and intrigue. I have also read Arizona: Book 2 and it is just as good as the first. I really do love this series and look forward to Summer: Book 3 being released in July 2010. A bonus is that, while I do love alot of vampire books, this series is vamp free and it is a nice change to read a supernatural series at the moment that isn't about vampires.

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

Title: The Enemy
Series: Fourteen Book1
Author: Charlie Higson

Release Date: 28th August 2009 (Australia)


My Rating: 5/5


Imagine a world were everyone over the age of fourteen, gets sick. Those that don't die, become zombies, and all they want to do is feed, on the surviving children....

I loved this book! Zombies are not usually what I would be interested in reading about but the concept of kids trying to survive without adults around is great. There is so much suspense! The character building is great and it's not some nice little story where everyone lives in harmony; kids die, characters you come to like die and the grown-ups literally want to eat them. The book starts one year after all hell has broken loose. There is fighting amongst the surviving kids, and a whole new way of life that they need to adjust to, as well as how they will survive in the long term. London is also the perfect setting for this story, with so many well-known locations used in the book, it makes it even easier to picture everything that is happening.

Thankfully the book doesn't end on a cliff-hanger so you're not left waiting for the next book to find out what happens. I however, still can't wait to read book 2!

Ages 12+. For fans of Michael Grant's "Gone", John Marsden's "Tomorrow series" and "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
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