Friday, November 28, 2014

Review Time #73

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas 
Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can't bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back...

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king - for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

Do not read this review if you haven't read Crown of Midnight because of spoilers for this book will appear!

I have FINALLY gotten around to reviewing the latest Throne of Glass book. I read this in May and it is now the end of November, I'm sorry I've been horrible at blogging this year. Now this will not be a normal review it will be split up into four parts because there is four separate story lines in Heir of Fire. I'll save the best for last:

Manon and the witches:
We meet a lot of new characters in Heir of Fire and Manon and the rest of the witches are just some of them. Manon is the granddaughter of the High Witch of the Blackbeak clan, she and the witches haven't flown in the sky since magic ceased in Adarlan. The King it seems is up to his old tricks by giving the witches "bulls" which have the ability to fly. 

There wasn't too much about this story in Heir of Fire but you can tell that the King is up to no good with this, hopefully we should see why the witches are important in book 4.

Dorian and Sorscha:
As we learnt in the previous book Crown of Midnight that Dorian has some magic in him. Chaol and Dorian have a bit of a falling out which causes Dorian to turn to Sorscha a healer at the castle to help him. I am saying no more without causing spoilers (sorry!).

Chaol and Aedion:
Aedion Ashryver, yep that is right he is Aelin's cousin. This friendship/alliance/we-won't-kill-each-other-pack-thing these two had going on did a lot to progression of the storyline. Chaol I hate your father and you need to make up your god damn mind on whose side you are on already! Aedion, I grew to like you because of how much you care about Aelin and want the best for her.

The ending of the Dorian, Sorscha, Chaol and Aedion story in this book was, I cannot even explain how crazy it was and I need book 4 because of it!

And lastly Aelin and Rowan
This was the main story of course and I loved how much Celaena/Aelin grew in this book. Celaena went to Wendlyn to find out from the Immortal Queen Maeve of the Fae about the Wardkeys and what they are. But of course Maeve being a Fae and all, she wants to know exactly what Celaena can do with her magic before letting her into Doranelle and telling her.

Rowan is in charge of training Celaena to help her get her magic back after being trapped for 10 years. I really loved the journey that Celaena took during Heir of Fire and Rowan really helped with that and unlocking Aelin from the mask the she created as Celaena. To see her become Aelin was fantastic and written beautifully. I want to say so much more about this topic but I really do not want to spoil the book for everyone :(

After Heir of Fire I am no longer Team Chaolena because of events during the book and understanding a bit more about everything. I guess I am Team Fire and Ice kinda because of stuff that happened that I want to talk about but I can't here :( I need book 4 because of the cliff-hangers (yep more than one). 

So if you have managed to make it through my not making any sense review, congratulations! Heir of Fire was a brilliant and you literally couldn't put the book down, Maas just has a way of words that drag you into the book and don't let you out until you have finished!

Thanks Bloomsbury for the eARC and ARC!

Rating: 5/5

Keely xx

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review Time #72

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
I had no idea GirlOnline would take off the way it has - I can't believe I now have 5432 followers, thanks so much! - and the thought of opening up to you all about this is terrifying, but here goes...

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family - and the panic attacks she's suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love - and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny's cover - and her closest friendship - forever.

I felt like it was only appropriate that I write up a review for Girl Online without being an actual review copy because it is about online blogging and I was pretty excited for it! I have been on my little blog here for almost three years where I have been able to write reviews for books that I love and during this time some wonderful publishers have sent me books to review which I have been very grateful for. I honestly never thought anyone who ever read my reviews, but this has become a place for me to tell everyone about the books I love and books I cannot wait for.

A year ago Penny started an anonymous blog where she could write about her feelings and everything that has been going on with her life as well as all the photos she takes. The only person who knows about GirlOnline is her best friend and room neighbor Elliot. I absolutely loved Elliot he was the best friend that you need and his random facts are also pretty awesome too. 

Penny gets to head off to New York with her parents to help organise a wedding and thankfully she gets to have Elliot come along. However, Penny doesn't want to go because of her fear of flying and her panic attacks that seem to just keep on happening. Penny's family and Elliot are understanding about what she is going through and help her through her troubles. 

New York is one place I absolutely want to visit and I know it is slightly cliche but I want to go in winter because 1) It doesn't really snow here in Australia 2) I think it would be breathe taking and 3) because it is my holiday time in uni. In New York while the whole wedding planning is happening we meet Noah. I knew straight away who Noah was because it wasn't that hard to guess with some of his reactions. I enjoyed seeing how Penny's and Noah's relationship changed and developed throughout her time in New York, while yes some insta-love moments but the romance was kind of like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight which made bearable.

The characterisation of the characters is something that Sugg really managed to get spot on. The way Penny's and Elliot's friendship was created was something that I think everyone should have, the looking out of each other and being there when things do go wrong. The relationship she had with her family was written so it felt like they were your family too at times with everything going on. And finally the relationship between Penny and Noah was really great despite the insta-love moments and seeing how it developed was also great.

This book reminds me of high school and all the dramas that everyone has with friends, highly embarrassing moments (like the time I had a Marilyn Monroe moment with a skirt, oh wait that was last year at uni) and boys. While yes this was a light contemporary YA that I have probably read hundreds of times before but what made it different was that Sugg managed to combine with real issues that happen to everyday teenagers and adults; anxiety and cyber-bulling. This is the generation of the internet and cyber-bulling has just always been around since I was heading into high school, I myself was a victim of cyber-bulling but then again I think everyone is with the way the internet is today. 

I loved how you get the GirlOnline blog posts as Penny writes them so you know what she is talking about and the comments that she is receiving about them and how it has become apart of her everyday life.

Overall Girl Online was a fantastic debut from Sugg and I really look forward to see what else she can produce as an author. Girl Online is perfect for everyone still in high school and out it helps you understand what it feels like when someone is suffering a panic attack and how cyber-bulling really effects someone. It was a fun, light and quick read, so go get your hands on a copy!

Rating: 4.5/5

Keely xx

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review Time #71

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

Stop right here if you haven't read These Broken Stars because there will be spoilers! 

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac, a captain and a rebel, looking for a reason why Avon isn't terraforming. The military wants peace for everyone on Avon, while the rebels want access to the medical supplies, food and education. When Flynn kidnaps Lee, he doesn't realise the series of events that he sets off.

Trying to stay alive and getting away from the rebels shouldn't be a big deal for Lee since after all she is a captain in the military but when her and Flynn find something it changes the course of how they see Avon and those who run it. In These Broken Stars we find out what Lilac's father has been doing to these slow moving terraforming planets and what happened to Tarver, well it seems that these things are happening on Avon too.

The only choice that they have is to work together to stop Avon from a civil war and from being destroyed like the planet that Lilac and Tarver were on. Lee enlists the help of Tarver and Lilac to try and figure how to expose LaRoux to the world and what the whispers actually are. 

What I loved about This Shattered World was how Kaufman & Spooner manage to create such a different world and make it seem as though it is a real place. The way the Lee and Flynn were characterised makes you understand them and what they are really feeling about everything that has happened to them. 

The ending of This Shattered World makes you wish that you had the next and what I think is the final book in this trilogy! The These Broken Stars story and plot line follow through into This Shattered World allowing you to glimpse into the bigger picture of what is happening in this world that has been created.

Thanks to Allen & Unwin for this ARC!

Rating: 4.5/5

Keely xx 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Tag: Top 10 books that have stayed with me

Eugenia from Genie in a book has tagged me for this book tag! Now I'm cheating slightly because I have increased my list to 13 and which contains 9 Aussie authors!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

I have loved this book ever since I read it year 9 and again for my HSC in year 12. The way it is written just sticks with you for a long time after finishing the story.

Wildfire by Fiona Wood

I could just connect with this book on so many levels and I really want to re-read this book!

Head of the River by Pip Harry

I think the main reason this has stuck with me is because of the drugs in sport aspect and studying what I study I just understood the characters and everything that they were going through.

Steal my Sunshine by Emily Gale

I love history and this novel brings light to an aspect of Australian history which I hadn't really learnt much about before.

Losing It by Julia Lawrinson

I read this book in year 12 which is the same year that the main characters were in so I connected a lot to this book and it was also hilarious. 

Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson

I cried more in this than TFiOS (I think I became immune to the whole teenager with cancer situation) and like before I also read this in year 12, the same year which the characters were.

Gracie Faltrain Gets it right (Finally) by Cath Crowley 

From this book I finally knew what I wanted to study at university and if it wasn't for this book I may of never found the degree that I am in.

Once, Then, Now by Morris Gleitzman

Set in WWII I started this series in year 8 where I also read Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French. These books helped me learn about history and love it.

Starfish Sisters by J.C. Burke

This book dealt which real teenager issues which as fantastic and it had to do with sport as well!

Speechless by Hannah Harrington 

This book was simply amazing and so relevant with everything that was going on in the world at the time.

Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

This series got me reading again and this is where my love for spies started and how I started comparing all book boyfriends to Zach Goode because it is Zach.

Study Series by Maria V. Synder

This book is what got me into fantasy again after HP and this series also increased my love for spies (Valek <3)

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I loved the focus on sport in this book and how Jordan dealt with being the only female on the football team and proving that girls can do it as well as the guys.

So that is my top 10 (13) books that have stayed with me! I tag:

Keely xx