Category Archives: 5 Books

3 Reasons I fell in Love with Anna and the French Kiss Series

So it’s official, I went and fell in love with the Anna and the French Kiss series within approximately 5 hours, after finally (months behind everyone else) jumping on the bandwagon to read. My hands were literally glued to Anna and the French Kiss, which I kept promising myself “one more chapter before bed” and ultimately forgoing sleep to consume the whole book. I read the first two books within the space of a day, and then decided I needed to draw myself away and lasted all of around a week, before succumbing to the calling of Isla and the Happily Ever After. (Oh, and mentally slap myself every time I read Isla phonetically rather than Ey-la – I have problems with saying that name as much as I love it!).

Love-Potion

By the point I reached the end of Isla, this was me; entirely star struck. What on earth had I just undertaken, reading contemporary, fluffy young-adult literature, finding genuine meaning, love, friendship and just all around elation?

So here begins my list of reasons to love the series, rather than composing a review for a set of books most of you have probably read/heard about, and you are honest to god bored of reading another mundane review.

1. THE CHARACTERS

I would literally compare how I feel about all the main characters: Anna, St. Clair, Cricket, Lola, Josh and Isla to how I feel (very nearly) about the Harry Potter characters. They are not perfect, they do have issues and they may not honestly be everyone’s cup-of-tea, however I found them quirky, relatable, fun and most of all likeable. Stephanie Perkins makes real effort to flesh out her characters, give them all backstories and connect them all in different ways, despite the fact that many of them end up living in different cities. Beyond these 6 main stars, she also brings in a plethora of secondary characters to support each individual, add more dimension to their character and make you understand them a little more.

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Just sayin’, six awesome characters here, six awesome characters there..

I can literally probably talk your ear of for a good hour about these characters, but I am going to pick one as my favourite. I have to say it has to be Isla, there was just so many times when I connected with her and understood her.

“Because I thought no one could love me.”

“And why did you think that?”

“Because I didn’t think I was worth loving.”

Hattie takes this in. And then she hits me in the stomach. I yowl in surprise, and she hits me again. “Don’t be stupid.”

Ow.”

“Everyone is worthy of love. Even a dumb sister like you.”  – Isla and the Happily Ever After

YEAH SHE MAY BE A BIT OF A DORKY, INSECURE IDIOT AND YOU WANT TO SLAP HER HERE, but that is okay, I did too and I am EXACTLY the same kind of person. Like seriously, Isla and her nerves (okay, I’m not nearly as bad, but sometimes I do stupid things and make situations awkward). Her doubt of herself, her continual pushing that things are not good enough (school nerd here), and just generally everything about her. Also her inability to handle painkillers – totally me.

“Oh, shit.” I tuck up a leg and smack my kneecap on the table. “Am I acting that loopy?” – Isla and the Happily Ever After

There were so many aspects that I loved, but the part that made me applaud Perkins more was that she made Isla realise who she was without Josh. SHE DID NOT NEED A BOY TO FIND HERSELF. WOOOO FOR FEMINISM. YES. GIRL YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT, GET WHAT YOU WANT AND THEN STILL FIND THE BOY LATER.

Anybody gathering that Isla and the Happily Ever After got five stars from me on Goodreads yet? Winking smile

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”

And I realise…it’s okay. It’s okay if St. Clair and I never become more than friends. – Anna and the French Kiss

Although Isla is not the only book that Perkins does this in, she started it at the very beginning with Anna. SELF-REALISATION FOR THE WIN!

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2. THE SETTING

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“looks like a fantasyland castle – wet sand dripped through fingers, both sharp and soft. Bright construction lights are everywhere, and workers are tinkering around its massive spires in dangerously tall cranes.” – Isla and the Happily Ever After

I mean, I literally visited Barcelona this summer, I saw the amazing Gaudi’s church. (My beautiful photography *laughs* – it’s just so tall and I’m so small, there is undoubtedly neck cramp here. Yes it’s also the background of my blog!). THIS IS WHERE ISLA AND JOSH WERE. I mean, I literally love the fact that I was there, and so were they (I do remember they’re fictional, okay). Barcelona has to be one of my favourite European cities, it is just so beautiful. I think this has to also be why I connected to Isla and the Happily Ever After so much more.

We’re splashing towards the heart of Barcelona. Red- and yellow- striped flags – some with the blue triangle and star of independence, some without – hang everywhere from apartment balconies, soaked with storm. The city’s appearance is distinctly Western European, but it’s also filled with colourful architecture and steep hills. Palm trees and leafy trees. Purple vines and red flowers. – Isla and the Happily Ever After

Not to mention Paris, I love Paris. It has been a long time since I visited, but I have plans to go back next year and the majority of the setting was in Paris. It is such a beautiful, romantic city. Just downright being set in Europe won me over from the start because most YA contemporary teen fiction is set in America, and I don’t mind, but occasionally, I want something different, something European.

3. THE ROMANCE

Oh, Etienne St. Clair where are you? Oh, Cricket, the boy next door and Josh the troublesome artist.

I definitely have to say I found it hard to pick between love interests. As much as I loved Isla and the Happily Ever After, I do not think Josh was my favourite love interest. And whilst I think I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door the least out of them all, I do think Cricket was my love, the nerdy boy next door who cared about Lola and only wanted the best. There was just something so geeky and loveable about him.

I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.Lola and the Boy Next Door.

I mean – weeping – somebody come sweep me off that feet with such a line? Perkins just seemed to make it so effortless when she sweeps you off your feet with her beautiful way with words, and carefully crafted romantic proposals.

Perkins does not just craft an easy boy + girl = fall in love and happily ever after. She brings in the fact that people fall in love with people in a relationship and are afraid to leave them when it doesn’t work, but why? She talks about how we might be too afraid to step from our comfort zone. How we might appear to others, but is that truly us? I think despite the fact that this is contemporary romance and at times, fluffy, there are real issues that she tries to deal with subtlety and with love and attention that makes reading these books such a beautiful experience.

“Mademoiselle Oliphant. It translates to ‘Point zero of the roads of France’. In other words, it’s the point from which all other distances in France are measured.” St. Clair clears his throat. “Its the beginning of everything.”

I look back up. He’s smiling.

“Welcome to Paris, Anna. I am glad you’ve come.” – Anna and the French Kiss

There are just far too many quotes to take from all these books (I realise I have taken probably lots from Isla in comparison to Anna and Lola, but there was just something magical about that book for me. 

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How could I resist the charms of these three guys?

Okay, I will admit this series is not perfect and it seriously has its imperfections, but there is just so much to love. So much beauty in her writing.

But I don’t want to give you this broken, empty me. I want you to have me when I’m full, when I can give something back to you. I don’t have much to give right now. – Lola and the Boy Next Door

This is me and how I am currently feeling towards any other book. This is The Absent Historian signing out on a serious book hangover, after falling in love with Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and then having her heart confiscated by Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Now go read it if you haven’t already.

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Filed under 2010 Publication, 2011 Publication, 2014 Publication, 4 Books, 4.5 Books, 5 Books, Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Dutton, E-book, Romance, Stephanie Perkins, Young Adult

Book Review: The Walled City

The Walled City

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Genre: Young-Adult, Crime, Fantasy, Gangsters

The Review

“There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.”

These are the words that drew me in from the blurb of this book. In all honesty, I was unsure about a book that talked of rape, drug culture, gangsters, crime, death and prostitution, never mind the fact that it is a young-adult book. However, that does not mean to say I feel it is wrong for such a book to be published under the young-adult genre. After all, the term includes ‘adult’, the term only refers to somebody slightly below adult years and we have to enable our youth to learn and be educated through some means, and we cannot continue to hide the world from them. So I think whilst this book is gritty, harsh and at times dark and discomforting, it is a book that holds meaning, honesty and a brutal reflection of what human nature can lead to, and I think it is a fabulous addition to the young-adult genre as not the typical read.

The Walled City was unexpected in so many ways. It focused on three youths, Jin, Mei Yee and Dai. They all had secrets, all had a past and the alternate POVS throughout the novel slowly began to unravel their lives, their pasts, their hopes, dreams and needs and I really connected with all three of them. Personally I felt the strongest connection with Jin who is out in the Walled City to find her sister. She is young, but she is determined, feisty and frankly I would not want to mess with this young fireball. She is an absolutely brilliant character and my heart throughout the novel was firmly rooting for her. That is exactly what I want books I read to do too, have me rooting for the main character and living the story with them.

Dai is a mystery, and not exactly the one I expected. He is a likeable, rather tortured character, but underneath the first impression of a prickly, mysterious and rather untrustworthy exterior, he also found a place in my heart.

Mei Yee is the character I connected least with, however I feel that is because we got to know her least. By the end I could see her as an equally strong individual as Jin and Dai, but she faced her own struggles, being sold into prostitution at an early age by her father and being locked in one building for her future, it does appear that she lives a dismal life. There are no real explicit descriptions of the prostitution or lewd events in the brothel, however there are a couple of rather sadistic moments of brutality from a customer and the master to be aware of.

Throughout the novel Graudin is challenging how human nature has allowed this ‘Walled City’ to be created which is a place untouched by the laws of society and police force so that drugs, crime and death can continue. It challenges how human nature can become so depraved. Despite all of this, underneath it are shining moments of friendship, determination, a genuine care for others, doing the right thing and family.

There is a small amount of romance in the novel, but honestly it is not the dominant aspect, in fact it is entirely limited in terms of the plot. This is one of the other reasons why I really enjoyed this novel, because it was a somewhat refreshing look at the young-adult genre without the dominant aspect being romance. It was about friendship, family and trusting others with not just emotions, but your life. Having said that, the romance was entrancing, well-written and it was genuinely built up to. I thought it fit into the narrative with a fluid ease and was not forced in the slightest.

When I finished this novel and found out Graudin had based her novel in part upon a place called Kowloon’s Walled City in Hong Kong which in some ways made her question the type of people that would be there and the happenings, it made it all seem more realistic and heart-wrenching. Obviously the novel is fictitious which leads to the kind of fantasy element, because I would struggle to label this city as ‘contemporary’. Although the genre labelling is one topic that I struggled with when it came to this novel. Despite all this, Graudin is making a clear statement against human trafficking and I appreciated the message of the novel.

Overall, The Walled City was a novel that sent my emotions into turmoil, tugged on my heartstrings and had me racing through the last part of the novel. I almost certainly applaud Graudin on tackling such a sensitive topic, not being afraid to delve into the grit and darkness of humanity and coming out the other side successfully with 5 shining stars that shows human nature is not all bad. An absolutely phenomenal addition to the young-adult genre, and so splendidly written that every word despite being full of grit and tension, was quite beautiful to read; I recommend it to you all!

Survival Chances: 87%

Expiration Date: 2095

Favourite Quotes *quotes taken from an earc subject to change on publication

But there are still more wishes in my soul than there are stars. I wish I could hold Jin Ling’s hand in mine, I wish Sing never tried to run. I wish the boy didn’t make my chest burn, make my thoughts soar like a phoenix. I wish every girl in this brothel could be one of the lucky ones. I wish, like the boy, I was somewhere else. Someone else. And on and on and on.

“I work alone,” I say quickly. I do everything alone: eat, sleep, run, steal, talk, cry. It’s the curse of the second rule: Trust no one. The cost of staying alive.”

We stay like this for a long time. Skin to skin under false stars. The ones that never fall.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Goodreads ~ Amazon UK / US ~ Author’s Website

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Filed under 2014 Publication, 5 Books, Crime, E-book, Fantasy, Little, Brown and Company, Ryan Graudin, Young Adult

Once Burned

Once Burnedf

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Prince #1

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Publication: June 26th 2012 by Avon

The Plot.

She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

The Review.

Once Burned has reaffirmed why I fell so deeply in love with Jeaniene Frost. Reading her books are like taking long country walks, something enjoyable and refreshing and comforting because I always know that I will get lost in the wonderful world she paints and feel enveloped by the presence of her characters. Particularly her male characters who are always well developed and brooding and I always fall in love. Vlad was a character I loved in the Night Huntress series and I enjoyed his relationship with Cat, but here he was a little more cold and reserved, but the little cracks that came about showed his humour and personality that I fell in love with in the Night Huntress series and I’m so infinitely glad that he’s got his own spin-off. The last Night Huntress book wasn’t quite as enjoyable for me, but the new direction with Vlad is something I’m eagerly looking forward.

I want more Vlad. Yes, Frost left us hanging here. She could have given us so easily a summed up happily-ever-after that so many other authors fall into doing and I applaud her for not resolving the issues so easily because I don’t think it would have done the characters justice to do so. Frost is an author I adore so much because she doesn’t focus solely on the romance, she looks at the plot most heavily and the action and adventure that occurs within the novel and all the different events that unravel. The romance is far from being ignored, but she builds it on a realistic level. She starts at the bottom and forms foundations between the characters that can amount to relationships and this is clearly what occurs in Once Burned between Leila and Vlad. We get the sexual tension and eventually the sex between the two as we expect, but things aren’t fine and dandy like some authors create and there a lots of little pieces that I can see Frost carrying through that make for an intricate plot. However, I didn’t get nearly enough Vlad action in this novel. He is a man that’s dark and brooding, cold and calculated, but he’s so suave and archaic and I love it about him. He’s got a strong sense of loyalty and this is a man I would want, he’s not some cave man that claims Leila without a thought, there are reasoning’s to him and he’s smart. I just love everything Vlad.

I led my armies from the front, Vlad said. The proof was all over his body, from the scars that adorned his skin in random white patterns to the muscles that flexed and bunched with his slightest movement.”

Leila is one of my favourite heroines. She’s headstrong, she takes matters into her own hands and she really doesn’t depend upon Vlad. She even goes behind his back and I liked that she wasn’t afraid of Vlad. She was strong in her own right after everything that occurred to her and she certainly was kick-ass with her powers. There was lots of elements to Leila that made her a really likeable character that I could connect with. She also had this humorous edge to her that I loved. And she accepted the powers that she had and what this meant to her character rather than shunning it and going crazy about it, Leila made a refreshing character to this genre and I’m looking forward to her return in Twice Tempted where I hope she pursues Vlad with everything she’s got.

“You’re hot, big deal,” I shot back, refusing to let his knowledge of my most intimate thoughts daunt me. “I’m attracted to a lot of hot guys. If Chris Hemsworth were here, I’d light him up like a firecracker with how fast I’d jump on him.”

“And that would kill him,” Vlad noted.”

The plot was fast-paced and full of action. I really enjoyed that side of things and I liked the peak of Cat and Bones that we saw, but whilst they were present for a very short time, they didn’t overshadow the novel which is Vlad and Leila’s story. Whilst Once Burned does not have to be read in conjunction with having read the Night Huntress series because it is a spin-off and the fact that the Night Huntress series is so brilliant, I would definitely suggest you go over and check it out right this instance. I find that Jeaniene Frost rarely disappoints and she has kept me entranced with her characters from start to finish. Her novels are well rounded with great characters both secondary and the protagonists, scorching romances and whirl-wind, guns-blazing plots that manage to become the focus of the novel whilst not detracting anything from the romance. Frost is an author for all kinds of people and I thoroughly recommend her!

5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, E-book, Jeaniene Frost, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Paranormal Romance, Vampires

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

Mad Scientist's Daughter

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Genre: Science-fiction, Romance, Adult

Expected Publication: February 7th 2013 by Angry Robot

The Plot.

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Review.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot. I mean a robot to me has always been metal pieces controlled with complicated electronic circuits inside and sometimes, occasionally the robot may have a system that allows responses. However, Finn is a robot like no other. He was human, he felt human to me and ultimately I couldn’t displace him as not being human and this humanity that surrounded Finn made his story all the more heart-breaking because whilst our protagonist is following Cat growing up from a very young age to her later years which works surprisingly well across the novel, I felt that there was a strong focus through the novel on Finn and that viewing the world through his eyes would have really changed the workings of the novel because I would love to get into his mind and delve further because he has a complex character that is still hard to pinpoint by the end of the novel. I am frankly enamoured with Finn and this is probably why I sobbed quite a lot when reading The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

“His eyes loomed steadily in the buzzing light of the porch. His skin was much too fair, sallow beneath the swath of black hair that flopped across his forehead.”

Don’t get me wrong, this novel is far from being faultless, but I did really enjoy the novel. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a gritty novel that whilst it delves into the world of science-fiction, it touches on friendship, relationships, loss, grief and a changing world. It isn’t full of flowers and happiness, Clarke shows her versatility as an author as she takes on loss of close family relations, abusive relationships and coming to terms with your feelings for others and the meanings that truly lay behind these. I think the cover perfectly encapsulates the kind of desolation that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter delves into and the moon that becomes a very vital part of the story. If you are looking for a happy novel, then The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is not it and I suggest you run far away. However if you want something that’s gritty, emotional and an all around rollercoaster, but still manages to end of a moment of hope and love then pick up The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because I don’t see how it cannot fail to wow.

Cat is the protagonist of this tale and she’s a very complex character. Her relationship with her parents is rather turbulent, but I am thankful to say they are not absent. They show concern for her and whilst they aren’t always present they genuinely care for her welfare and their actions dictate that they only endeavour to give her the best with pushing her. Despite all of this, Cat is not a happy character and she comes with her fair share of her problems. Personally, her isolation as a child with only her robot tutor, Finn, for company and then her friendship group of rather unstable, gothic junkies through high-school lead me to say that this clearly influences Cat’s rather wild behaviour. She’s not an easy character to get along with and whilst I can’t say I liked her, I could connect with her and I found her issues and feelings moving and turbulent. She clearly felt conflicted throughout the novel about Finn and what he can actually be to her, after all, he is a robot and she can’t fathom his nature. It’s rather sad their relationship and the pushing and pulling that takes place and it’s always one of my favourite aspects of a romance to see a rocky path to love and these two take a real roller-coaster. Cat through the end of it, manages to stick to her beliefs after being a very flighty and indecisive character throughout particularly when she lost herself. I did like that she seemed to have matured and found a semblance of who she truly was by the end of the novel and this allowed me to like her more by the end.

“You’re welcome.” He regarded her with his dark eyes. Cat crawled forward on her bed and reached across the chasm between them to pull the chair, with him in it, closer to her.”

The one thing that I didn’t like about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is that we had very little background to the state of the world and what had happened. Clare seemed to skip straight  over this and I was always hoping that we get some idea of what this “destruction” was and the extremes temperatures they had which all led to the robots being brought in to rebuild the world. I felt we had a great lack of world building for the past and this was Clare just seemed to drop. Everything else about the novel excelled because it was so character driven with fantastic, primary and secondary characters, but the history of the world seemed to vanish. For me, with this, Clare’s novel would be in a whole other league, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it immensely.

Finn is a robot and that will not change no matter how much humanity you apply to him and this was an interesting concept to deal with. I can see how this may make some people uncomfortable in reading because of that, but if you look at the perspective of his behaviour and his feelings then he’s not just a hunk of metal. You need to push aside him as a robot, and look at the romance and Finn as a person because he can be moving and he raised emotions in me. He was a character I grew to respect and love and he’s the reason I kept crying. If it were not for Finn, I do not think The Mad Scientist’s Daughter would be quite the same and I’m afraid my favourite Star Wars robot, C-3PO has been replaced by a new one who’s after my heart. Clare clearly excelled with Finn’s character and I think she worked wonders on the angle of the robot. She also followed this up with protests and underground groups working to gain rights for robots and the changing environment of the world meant that robots were being accepted and I liked the political aspect of the novel and Finn’s character because he was clearly entangled with these elements.

“I can’t tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind,” he said. “I can’t… There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was… a start.”

Clare does a fantastic job of building up secondary characters and relationships outside of Finn and Cat because the novel does focus on their relationship it does not solely revolve around it. Clare builds a world up around Cat, so we can only see the world and the people that she connects with. Outside of this we are blank, but because Cat seems to run into lots of people it actually works surprisingly well because we don’t feel confined to just a few characters. The strongest characters I feel are Cat’s parents and in particular her father who plays the strongest secondary character in the novel, but this is probably important because he is the “Mad Scientist”. I didn’t think this aspect of the novel was played on strongly enough about him being the “Mad Scientist” because whilst Cat dealt with issues from other teenagers it was never truly explored. The meaning of this name is implied, but it’s never stated obviously and I think Clare could have explored it a lot further to a greater advantage of her novel.

Through The Mad Scientist’s Daughter Clare presents her versatility of an author to broach both into Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction as you may more commonly know her as the author of The Assassin’s Curse and this novel is incredibly different. I like that the two novels were very different and reflected two entirely different meanings and that she didn’t try to apply the style of The Assassin’s Curse to The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because she made them two entirely different things. If I’m honest, I enjoyed The Mad Scientist’s Daughter more because I thought it was more developed in meaning, but that The Assassin’s Curse has the stronger world foundations. Either way I recommend both novels without reserve, but suggest if you prefer young-adult that you stick to Clare’s The Assassin’s Curse.

Overall, whilst I can nit-pick at The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and I do not see it as a perfect novel, it is one that I could connect and enjoy despite my emotional outbursts and this is what makes it one of my favourite releases of the year so far. Perfection does not always equate to enjoyment in my opinion, so I think despite the few points of contention that you may have with The Mad Scientist’s Daughter or people’s queasy reaction over Finn as a robot, you shouldn’t disregard this novel because it is definitely a stunner in the making. There are lots of brilliant elements that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter manages to encapsulate with the emotion, the characterisation, the politics and the pacing that whilst this novel pushes being quite lengthy keeps it moving and kept me reading. I’ll be looking out for more works from Clare because she’s an author to watch out for.

*quotes taken from an uncorrected arc e-copy provided by Angry Robot via NetGalley.

5 books 

 

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Filed under 2013 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, Angry-Robot, Cassandra Rose Clarke, E-book, Romance, Science-Fiction

Legend Unleashed

Legend Unleashed

Legend Unleashed by M. Latimer-Ridley

Genre: Fantasy, Werewolves, Romance, Young-Adult

Published: Published October 26th 2012 by Cranmer Publishing

When an infamous criminal is unleashed from his prison, it has consequences for everyone in Carwick. Temperance Levinthal in particular…

Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life.

Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.

After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.

They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.

However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.

Even Alastair may be more than he seems…

My Review:

I simply adored this book because from the very first moment I stumbled across Latimer and Ridley’s blog I was intrigued by the premise of this book and all the art work, youtube videos and little teasers of the book being formed excited me and when they asked me to review, I just knew I couldn’t say no. I’m so glad to say this book didn’t let me down, not one bit. I didn’t want it to end, I kept stopping just because I couldn’t bare to see the end of this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect, but it’s quirky, original and everything that I adore so for me this is the werewolf book I’ve been looking for, this is exactly what I want a book to do. It drew me in, excited me and I engaged with the characters and it’s safe to say a book of 2012 I will not forget.

This book has a little bit of everything. Romance, fantasy and mystery in abundance. It’s clearly the driving force that makes the book so engaging and whilst I will admit there were points and still points that have left me a tad confused, this book was undeniably a guilty pleasure. Oh and this book was gory too and exciting. It was thrilling on all kinds of levels as well as having this low level romance that bubbled throughout, but didn’t take over the story.

“A bloodcurdling howl echoed throughout the cavern. Claws dug into his back, slicing through the muscles. A piercing scream ripped from his throat. Fangs nicked at his neck; the warm rush of blood blurred his vision and his head was yanked back.”

On top of all the gore, mystery and adventure that happens in abundance there is the romance. Now don’t be put off by this book because first appearances are very much deceiving. When you begin to read it appears to become a point where we meet a love triangle, but what makes the book so entirely loveable is how it completely eliminates this direction and surprises you in doing so. Meanwhile, enjoy the bubbling tensions and antagonisms between the characters because it is so deeply entertaining!

“Halvard stalked over to her, invading her personal space. She gasped and bumped back up against the wall away from him. His handsome face drew level with hers. He was growling.

He brushed a fingertip over her cheek, drawing back a strand of her hair. His striking amber eyes bored into hers.

“I’m not an adolescent pup. I don’t show just any female affection. All you need to do is tell me to stop…”

Temperence isn’t the highly intelligent super-freak that seem to have become normal or entirely stupid, she’s a nice balance somewhere in-between and there was only a rare moment where I wanted to bash her head against a wall because she was so oblivious. However, I think this only makes her character more realistic and how much there was for her to unravel about the time was exciting because little pieces of information were slowly released to you to fit together a puzzle as Temperence was too. There was lots of surprising elements about Temperence that really made her a victim, but she was a strong character even though she was put into this position and I appreciated this about her. She was a very likeable character.

The plot for this story is eccentric and weird, but this makes is so engaging and creative. It drew me away from the real world and really immersed me in every element of Temperance’s story and all the little associations and mysteries of Carwick that surprise you at every turn. One of my favourite little quotes to share.

“Little Alice here is taking a trip down the rabbit-hole with you then,” Winthrop mused.”

Overall, I would recommend this book without a doubt and suggest that everybody get themselves a copy of Legend Unleashed because M. Latimer-Ridley have some real talent and I cannot wait for more from them!

5 books

Nerd Fact

There is an actual mental illness called lycanthropy or clinical lycanthropy where the patient believes they have actually transformed into or can transform into a animal such as a wolf.

 

Extra Nerdy

 

This video has to be one of the quirkiest things I’ve seen. I’m not usually a fan of book videos, but this one works really well with the shadows and giving you a brief, but intriguing overview of the novel. And it’s only 54 seconds long so it doesn’t take much time at all.

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Cranmer Publishing, E-book, Fantasy, M. Latimer-Ridley, Romance, Wereshifters, Young Adult

Poison Study

Poison Study

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young-Adult

Series: Study #1

Publication: March 1st 2007 by Mira Books

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

My Review:

This is what good fantasy should be and this is clearly why I adore the fantasy genre. A quick witted, tenacious and determined heroine and an undeniably exciting, engaging and intricate plot. I think the only thing that could have made this novel better is for it to have been an adult book rather than young-adult. I felt that the market Snyder was aiming this book at slipped from being an adult into being a young-adult only in the relationship of Yelena and Valek. Despite this, I still fell in love with this book.

“He probably held a couple of poisons in reserve just in case he decided to replace the taster. Glancing over my shoulder, I imagined Valek coming into the kitchen to poison my breakfast. I couldn’t even enjoy talking with a chatty cook without being reminded that tasting potentially poisoned food wasn’t the only danger of my new job. “

The novel drew me in from the very first moment and kept me on my toes from start to finish. I found I was always waiting for a new turn, a new development and this really excited me. I like the uniqueness of the idea that Snyder created. The position of food taster is such an old tradition for positions of power and Snyder really moulds it into her own and entwines it with the fantastic world she creates with so many different elements that all build up. The particular strength of the novel being the poison and whilst this isn’t a strong “fantasy” element on it’s own, the world that Snyder creates around and the use of the poisons and then the magic and the power it holds all entwine to connect so many strands of a plot that interweave so perfectly. 

Valek is a character I liked from the first moment I met him. He didn’t have this astounding physical presence of a love interest to fall madly in love with him, but his character was that which drew me in. Snyder did seem to focus more of the personality than the aesthetics which pleased me because sometimes I feel too much time is spent on the descriptions of features and the romance was very subtle. I didn’t feel like there was any insta-love and it really didn’t evolve at the centre of the novel. It was hidden deep and it bloomed slowly until it was just there and unveiled and it really worked. Valek is one of my favourite love interests and I can’t wait to see him in the next novel.

“You look stunning,” I blurted.

Mortified, I blushed as a rush of heat spread through my body. I must have swallowed more brandy than I’d realized.

Yelena was a fantastic character. She was stubborn and hard-working and I valued her all the more for learning to stand up for herself and trying really hard. At first she seemed a little wet and easily pushed over, but actually she matured and grew as a character as she began to settle into the castle more and acquaint herself with the other characters. The fact that she was smart and intuitive only added to my liking of her character as well as the physical ability to defend herself and not be afraid of herself whilst not being emotionless. Snyder crafted a well thought out heroine and made her likeable. Not only was Yelena a strong, likeable character, but she didn’t attempt to struggle through on her own and shun other people. I feel sometimes heroines have to have this dependency that mean other people are not needed, but Yelena sought help to aid her growth when she needed it, but that didn’t mean she was incapable of solving problems all on her own.

“We owe you one. Anytime you need help, just let us know.” Ari said. His words gave me a bold idea. Brazell might be gone, but he was still a threat. I thought fast, searching for reasons why my plan wouldn’t be to my benefit.

“I need help,” I said.”

Ari and Janco really added to my enjoyment. I find that there always has to be two happy go lucky lads there to mess around and be serious enough to be there is a crisis. They kind of reminded me of Fred and George from Harry Potter because they were incredibly loyal, but at the same time willing to have a joke and tease with Yelena. Synder created a dynamic that I hope to see in the next two novels even though Yelena will be moving in a different directio, the loss of their characters would be a real shame for me. It also goes to show that Synder could build up a real background of secondary characters that added to the story enjoyment and I think every character had an individuality and story that came across to me as a reader which drew me into the world of poisons and food tasting.

To balance out all the action and excitement, Synder had some really touching and emotional moments built from the friendship bonds that Yelena made with the other characters and this really rounded the story to touch on elements of sadness, pain and sorrow with the light heartedness really touched me and made me keep turning the pages to see the character development. I also think the pain and anguish in the novel which sometimes led to anger and vengeance made the characters realistically human and relatable.

“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It’s called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don’t do it halfway. Don’t linger in whiner’s limbo.”

Synder also built up a good world and there were lots of levels to the world. I think a little more description of the surroundings would have helped me visualise the setting a little more, but I think that Synder didn’t overload us with the information. She also had lots of poisons to learn and seem to have spent time and thought into working out the names which made the whole novel more realistic.

Overall, ‘Poison Study’ has to be one of my favourite fantasy novels of this year. It’s a shame I haven’t read it sooner, but I intend to read the next couple of books soon. And I heard there are plans to write three more after the ones, so there is even more to come. Yelena is everything a heroine should be, Synder has a world that is the basic foundations for fantasy and a plot that whilst might have elements of predictability is ultimately something contrived in uniqueness and only leaving me wanting more!

5 books

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Filed under 2007 Publication, 5 Books, Fantasy, Maria V. Snyder, Mira Books, Paperback, Romance, Young Adult

Divided in Death

Divided in Death

Divided in Death by J.D. Robb

Genre: Crime, Romance, Futuristic, Adult

Series: In Death #18

Published: August 31st 2004 by Berkley

Reva Ewing was a former member of the Secret Service, and then a security specialist for Roarke Enterprises—until she was found standing over the dead bodies of her husband, renowned artist Blair Bissel, and her best friend. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas believes there was more to the killings than jealous rage—all of Bissel’s computer files were deliberately corrupted.
To Roarke, it’s the computer attack that poses the real threat. He and Reva have been under a Code Red government contract to develop a program that would shield against techno-terrorists.
But this deadly new breed of hackers isn’t afraid to kill to protect their secret—and it’s up to Lieutenant Eve Dallas to shut them down before the nightmare can spread to the whole country.

My Review:

Thrilling, emotional and just all around brilliant. Robb ticked every box for me this time and continues to astound me. With her In Death series currently topping a phenomenal 30+ books I’ve been rather left wondering if there are any more directions this woman can take her books at 18. I thought surely at some point she’s going to have to drop and whilst I’ve preferred some books in the series more than others they continue to be of a top-class quality that always keep me excited, engaged and hanging on until the very last moment.

“There’s an oatmeal cookie in there. I see no reason for the existence of oatmeal, particularly in cookies.”

This novel was no different. Not only does Roarke’s top secret work for the government get challenged, but Eve’s very childhood begins to unravel even further, dragging in sordid secrets, Roarke’s past and the government. It really entangles her very role as a Lieutenant and her case with her personal life and it makes for precarious balancing. Roarke also hits a rocky road and this causes turbulence between Eve and him. Admittedly I wanted more and more of the trouble in their relationship, particularly when they pushed each other away because it made for a really tetchy, nail-biting story line that had my stomach churning.

“If you ended up naked and dead with another woman, I’d do the Rumba on your corpse.”
“You can’t do the Rumba.”
“I’d take lessons first.”

Robb for me really outdid herself with the intricateness of this novel and I felt like we interwove lots of different elements that she’d been foreshadowing for a while. However, she really has left me wondering where she can take the series from here because whilst it’s clearly not over there seems to be an awful lot of subjects and territory covered on both a criminal and personal level so far across the In Death series.

Eve is an incredibly relatable character and she’s focused, driven but at the same time she’s not perfect and you recognise the humanness of her character that really helps to make her relatable. She’s feisty and that cannot be doubted, but at the same time she’s vulnerable beneath that surface and when she gets thrown off her track she’ll get back on, but without a falter that you see as the reader. It’s rather brilliant.

“She was halfway through with the oversized mug when she realized she was still wearing her underwear. Now she did curse. After downing the rest of the coffee, she peeled off her tank and panties and tossed them into a sopping heap in the corner of the shower.”

The secondary characters continued to develop and take on a storyline of their own. Peabody seemed to become a living, breathing Eve when she went off on her own mission, whilst we uncovered a very different side of Dr. Mira that was surprising, but tackled some very serious issues at the same time. I always have to say, Robb tackles controversial issues in a sensitive manner that really delves to the bottom of an issue and doesn’t allow people to shy away from the problem and I like the message she sends with her novel.

If I haven’t said this a thousand times already, you need to go pick up the first novel in the series because I promise you it won’t disappoint.

  • Kick ass heroine = Double tick. 
  • Mystery = check.
  • Swoony male = Double tick.
  • Romance = check.
  • Well written = check.
  • Good secondary characters = check.
  • Futuristic setting with good backstory = check.

What more do you need? I urge you to give this series a try, I really do because it has to be one of, if not my favourite series out there.

 

5 books

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Filed under 2004 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, Berkley, Crime, Futuristic, Hardback, J.D. Robb, Romance

Lover Eternal

Lover_Eternal_ A.indd

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2

Publication: 2010 by Piatkus

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood…

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetite. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin.

Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. When Mary Luce is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world, she must rely on Rhage’s protection. Knowing that Mary feels the same intense animal attraction, Rhage must make her his alone…

My Review:

Prepare for my gushy-ness over this novel. Okay, it might not be perfect, but it’s from my favourite author, J.R. Ward and it’s my favourite character from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Rhage. He’s just so dreamy and sexy and ooooh, which is why I love this book so much! So I can’t get much happier when it comes to the re-reading of this novel. To be truthful, the only reason I started a re-read was to re-read this novel. That’s how bad I am!

Nevertheless, I think we’re developing much more on the series from the last novel, Dark Lover and if you didn’t like Dark Lover, I’d still suggest moving onto this one because I think we have a deeper emotional connection and a much more developed plot and the world building continues to be great. The story lines just seem to get better. Whilst I could have done with less of the Lessers again, they really do add to the whole “air” of the novel.

Do you want to know why I love Rhage so much? I honestly cannot summarise him with actual words because he leaves me with none, but I’ve picked my favourite quotes of him to show you!

“Oh, Mary. Will you let me pleasure you? Will you let me take that sweet arousal of yours where it wants to go?”

Yes, he is a man all about pleasing a lady and he’s so suave.

“What you had is nothing compared to what I want to do to you. I want my head between your legs so I can lick you until you scream my name. Then I want to mount you like an animal and look into your eyes as I come inside of you. And after that? I want to take you every way there is.”

Can the room get much hotter? Rhage is all around just a sex machine. However, that is not the soul reason I love him. He’s so incredibly kind and caring and sensitive. He’s been cursed and it dominants his life, but every moment he lives in fear of hurting one of his brothers and then when Mary comes into his life he’s terrified off hurting her. Over this novel we really watch Rhage grow as a person and he comes into his own. I think this is why by far he’s my favourite character because he makes such a monumental change. He may seem like the bad-boy who is hard-core at fighting and has lots of women, but there is a real emotional and tender side to Rhage that Mary reaches out to and soothes.

“He softened his voice. “I’m not going to hurt you. But you don’t belong here, and I want to know who you are.”

Her throat undulated under his hand, as if she was swallowing.”

Not only that, but Ward’s descriptions of everything are so vivid and the words she uses are fancy whilst really working to drag you into the forefront of the setting and really visualise everything. It’s one of the reason’s I really love reading her books so much. One of my friends on Goodreads said to me after I’ve been through a bout of “bad books” don’t I have a few “sure thing” authors who I know will be good, and J.R. Ward was certainly one of them for me to say, yes!

Mary is by far one of the greatest women I’ve read about! She struggles through so much with cancer, losing her mum and yet she always manages to put other people before herself and stay up-beat and strong. I couldn’t pick anybody better for Rhage and not only does she help Rhage, but as you progress through the series, you really see her blossom as a character who reaches out silently to others and really tries to help. It’s a truly beautiful quality in a person and I think to top of my love for Rhage, the two beautiful personalities of their characters mesh well and make for a fantastic book!

“Sometimes, pretending to be normal was the very best antidote to weirdness. Fake-it-until-you-make-it was more than psychobabble bullshit.”

And with that, I shall end my rather short, gushing review of Lover Eternal. This is certainly a love romance to pick up this tissues with and one I should probably have added to my top ten romances I’d think would make it in the real world because Rhage and Mary are so beautifully perfect and this novel has a very touching emotional element to it!

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 2010 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, J.R. Ward, Paperback, Paranormal Romance, Piatkus Books

Pushing the Limits

Pushing the LimitsPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Genre:
Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult
Expected Publication: July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen

 

So wrong for each other…and yet so right. No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Review:

I just couldn’t put this down! From the very first moment I began this book I was drawn in and it literally became an addiction to finish. I stayed up late into the early hours of the morning to finish this book and I can safely say it has been an awfully long time since that happened! The last book I remember doing that with was one of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books.

Whilst I wouldn’t call this book the perfect piece of literature (which I don’t believe there is) and it did have faults, I found that this book really evoked a response and an eager need to read in me, which I feel like I’ve been lacking in quite a few of the books I’ve read lately. So the refreshing feel this book brought me, certainly moves towards its appeal!

The models on the cover are close to how I depicted Noah and Echo in my mind, and I think it represents their relationship well.

Noah and Echo were two fantastic characters! Echo is a troubled teen girl, but I didn’t feel any of the usual rather annoying teen problems. Through Echo we tackle the issues of mental health and the view of the world. We look at the social pariah status she obtains from rumours and how popular people who were once her friends discard her for her choices. I think McGarry crafts Echo’s character to tackle issues in society in an emotional and realistic way. Not only does Echo move along a real journey over the book, I felt like I connected with her whilst reading.

We constantly split between both Echo and Noah’s perspective and this disrupted me at first, but then it began to flow really well and integrate the emotional response of both teens to get a rounded view on the plot.

Noah is a bad boy. However he has a side that is really in need of comfort. I’ve seen people point out that not everybody in foster care can end up in such a situation, but obviously his parents death had a profound effect upon his life and thus crafted his lifestyle choices. I don’t think Noah is a stereotyped foster care case, but he is a representation of a population of children that fall through the cracks in the care system. I found Noah suave and cheeky and whilst his mind might have been sex focused, he never pushed Echo passed a point she didn’t want to. He also stopped things when he recognised her inexperience which I really enjoyed seeing because it showed that teenage guys can be responsible.

They are two very endearing characters and their search for “normality” and a place to call safe and home is something that everybody wants and McGarry really brought this contemporary young-adult novel down to a level that could connect across the young to the slightly older generations! Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this book to my nan, I’d say anybody up to your thirties/forties is still likely to enjoy this!

This book is certainly emotional so be prepared for a roller coaster of a ride. You might need a tissue or two because I know I did! Also, be prepared to hate Echo’s parents. I can safely say, Ashley was the wicked step-mother in this story. She pretended to be nice and friendly, but somewhere beneath that it really felt like a facade and even by the end of the story, my feelings towards Ashley were not ones of kindness. Her father has redeemable moments and I could appreciate his character by the end, but they are certainly not loving parents that you could wish to be your own!

However, my favourite adult figure has to be the therapist Mrs. Collins who was smart and witty and always had Echo and Noah’s best interests at heart. I had to laugh at her road rage and driving skills, especially upon Noah’s many recommendations to teach her how to drive. For me Mrs. Collins was the saving of both Noah and Echo and she really was my third favourite character!

The only think I’d have to say against this book would be sometimes the pet names Noah seemed to create for Echo could be a tad overbearing. However, I think this is more McGarry trying to reflect teenage thinking because it seems the rage for you to call you girlfriend “baby” or “cutie-pie” or something else sickeningly sweet.

I can safely say I adored this one! It has to be one of my favourite young-adult novels of the year and I will be rushing out to get a copy for my shelves when it comes out. I suggest you do the same too! All I can say is, McGarry has certainly made an entrance with her debut novel.

My Rating:

5 books

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Author: J.K. Rowling

Series: Harry Potter #1

Genre: Fantasy, Young-Adult

Publication: 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Plot:

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

Review:

What can I say? I have adored this series since I first picked up the books about the age of 6 or 7. I was a very advanced reader and I remember hearing all the rave about these books. To be truthful, the first time I read this book it took me over a year to read it because I have lost it, but then when I actually sat down to read it, I was stunned that I’d allowed myself to lose it. From the first moment I started reading it I fell in love and became immersed in the world of Hogwarts. After re-reading again recently with a group of friends I can say the magic is still there. This book has to be one of the best additions to the young-adult and children’s genre of the 21st century and I can only say that Rowling really creates a magical world! This should definitely be what our literature is remembered for and if Harry Potter doesn’t become a classic, I don’t know what should!

I think re-reading the books brings a very new experience to the books. You certainly see things from a new angle and witness things that make you smile. I think you can still appreciate the books no matter your age and whether it’s for the first time or the hundreth, the magic is forever there.

This book for me has everything! We get the humour and quirky aspects that Rowling’s characters bring and the dynamics of their relationships bring a smile to your face. Then we get all the adventure and magic of their journey and it becomes highly exciting. There is not one point where the story drops to be dismal or disappointing. We witness a real journey for these characters and their friendship is highly endearing to watch. I truly cannot help but fall in love with the story and the characters.

The characters? We get such wonderful characters. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley are our three protagonists with Harry at the centre of all our attention. We witness how very different they are, but this draws them together as friends and their friendship becomes one of very firm grounds. It has to be my favourite part of the series that it stretches across all of the books and never fails. Then we have the likes of Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, even the Dursleys and Malfoy. The characters have real sustenance and honestly at times Rowling makes me almost forget these characters are not real people.

How can we not love these three? For me, I think they’re pretty perfect for the characters.

One point of contention I do have is the name. It is and will always be ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ never  will it be ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ which is America’s attempt to Americanise Harry Potter. I am very proud of Harry Potter for its British heritage and it certainly thrills me that we have the setting for it in England. Another reason why I cannot help but love Harry Potter because of its origins. It truly makes me appreciate the story more.

We get a fantastic plot along the way and if you enjoy fantasy and magic then this book is certainly for you. For anybody to say they dislike these books it’s surely a crime. However I’d suggest getting all the books to read—even if the last ones do get quite hefty—before you start reading because you’ll not one to stop reading once you start! Nevertheless do not allow that to deter you because they are engaging the whole way through!

These books to me are probably my most cherished possession and I look after them dearly. I often find the Harry Potter series to be a place of comfort for me to go and reside in. If I’ve had a bad day, I usually stick on the films, but reading the books brings so much more pleasure and thrill to me.

Harry Potter takes you through a descriptive tale that stretches your imagination while you follow a tale of friendship, love and good versus evil. It’ll never leave a dull moment and if you’ve watched the films, you’ve only more to gain from reading the books.

My Rating:

5 books

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Filed under 1997 Publication, 5 Books, Bloomsbury, Fantasy, J.K. Rowling, Paperback, Young Adult