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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Program by Suzanne Young | Review

This review is spoiler free (There are a few minor spoilers from the first 20-30 pages but nothing major/plot spoiling)
 
"Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them."
 
I found the concept of this book really interesting. It reminded me of the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver and slightly of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. So basically in the world where Sloane lives. suicide and depression are a national epidemic which is slowly spreading across the globe. Many countries are opting to run versions of 'The Program'. The Program is where you get sent if you are flagged. Being flagged is being marked as high risk of having depression. You are sent to a facility where you are treated with medication and therapy. You then return to society and all the memories that 'caused' the depression are gone.
 
The main character Sloane is kind of na├»ve. Like not loads, but slightly,but other than that this book is filled with great characters. There is James, Sloane's boyfriend. He is just awesome and wants to do right by everyone he loves. There's Miller who is the cutes cinnamon roll and Sloane's bestie. There's Lacy, Miller's ex who has returned from treatment of The Program. There are many other characters who are awesome but I must mention Brady before I stop talking about characters. Brady is Sloane's brother who killed himself. Many of Sloane's (and her family's) fears and issues are deep-rooted within Brady's death. There are many other awesome (and not so awesome) characters that I could mention but that would spoil it and this is spoiler free.
 
There were many great plot developments in this book. Some where predictable and others were not. The only thing I had to complain about is that there was not enough of Miller in this book. I wanted more. Other than that I thought it was great and gave it 5 stars on goodreads. I recommend this to anyone who likes YA (I would say a trigger warning on mentions of suicide, self harm and depression throughout the story). I wish I could go into more detail but I don't want to spoil this book so you'll just have to read it for yourself.  I cannot wait to get started on the sequel and I hope you read this book soon.
 
-Beth

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Miss Perigrine's home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs | Review

This review is spoiler free (There are a few minor spoilers from the first 20-30 pages but nothing major/plot spoiling)
Miss Perigrine's is the first book in a trilogy by American author Ransom Riggs. The story follows a boy named Jacob Portman who travels to an island of the coast of Wales after his grandfather dies in what is deemed a fatal accident, but is actually a murder.
 
Whilst growing up, Jacob's grandfather told him tales of his life on an island during World War 2. He also told Jacob about the people he met and their peculiar powers. He also shows him photographs, which are included in the book which I feel really add to the readers enjoyment of the book. The rest of the story is Jacob traveling to the island and falling face first into the world of the Peculiars and September 3rd 1940.
 
The pictures included in this book really helped me form a bond with these characters and understand them. This book was full of humour and great characters. The plot and storyline was well thought out and wasn't to complex or too simple. 

I really enjoyed this story and I gave it a 5 star rating. I found the whole concept original and creative. The style of writing was really easy to get into and the pictures helped create a great visual image. I definitely recommend this book and I cant wait to see the movie this winter.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Youtube

EEEK! I have not posted anything review like on here for ages. I struggle to find the time to sit down and write, edit and publish anything at the moment.
However, I am still using YouTube as my platform so if you want to check it out
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXN7LcdNY4z6dI3roTae1Bw?app=desktop

Books that I have read in 2015

I doubt that anyone would've read this in my pages but there is a list of all the books that I have read in 2015. I feel like 2015 has been a great year for books and I have read some amazing ones.

My book reading goal of 2015 was to read 50 books. I managed to beat my goal by reading 56 books.

  1. The kill order - James Dashner
  2. The Bane chronicles - Cassandra Clare
  3. Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
  4. Day 21 - Kass Morgan
  5. Blood brothers - Willy Russel
  6. All the bright places - Jennifer Niven
  7. Forever - Judy Blume
  8. Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman
  9. Callum - Malorie Blackman
  10. Looking for Alaska - John Green
  11. Summer's shadow - Anna Wlison
  12. Four: A Divergent collection  - Veronica Roth
  13. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
  14. More than this - Patrick Ness
  15. The 5th wave - Rick Yancey
  16. Fallen - Lauren Kate
  17. Love and muddy puddles - Cecil Anne Paterson
  18. Invisible - Cecily Anne Paterson
  19. Invincible - Cecily Anne Paterson
  20. Shatter me - Tahereh Mafi
  21. We were liars - E. Lockhart
  22. Apple and Rain - Sarah Crossan
  23. The unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
  24. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens agenda - Becky Albertalli
  25. The DUFF - Kody Keplinger
  26. Of mice and men - John Stienbeck
  27. Paper towns - John Green
  28. All I know now - Carrie Hope Fletcher
  29. Knife edge - Malorie Blackman
  30. A court of thorns and roses - Sarah J. Maas
  31. The heir - Kiera Cass
  32. Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins
  33. The hit - Melvin Burgess
  34. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
  35. Fire colour one - Jenny Valentine
  36. Song of Secrets - Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish
  37. The perks of being a wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  38. In real life - Joey Graceffa
  39. Legend - Marie Lu
  40. Pig heart boy - Malorie Blackman
  41. The accidental life of Jessie Jefferson - Paige Toon
  42. The Martian - Andy Weir
  43. The amazing book is not on fire - Dan Howell and Phil Lester
  44. An Inspector calls - J.B.Priestly
  45. iBoy - Kevin Brooks
  46. Anna dressed in blood - Kendare Blake
  47. Carry on - Rainbow Rowell
  48. Born to endless night - Cassandra Clare
  49. Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
  50. Lying out loud - Kody Keplinger
  51. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
  52. Percy Jackson and the lightning thief - Rick Riordan
  53. Percy Jackson and the sea of monsters - Rick Riordan
  54. The Giver - Lois Lowry
  55. Percy Jackson and the Titans curse - Rick Riordan
  56. Percy Jackson and the battle of the labyrinth - Rick Riordan

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Blog Tour: Brink of Dawn

You don’t have to do this, Jules.” Troy cocks his head to the side a little, the way he does when he’s worried about me.

 

The warm expression in his eyes melts my heart. What would I do without him?

 

He’s always looking out for me. I used to get into fights, but even when they were my fault, he’d always stand up for me. Now I need him more then ever. The fate of the world is at stake, and he’s still here beside me, standing up for me. He’ll die to protect me if he has to, but I don’t need him to protect me anymore. I need him close, to wrap his friendship around me like a blanket, to connect, to feel human.

 

Lately I’ve had a hard time feeling human without him.

 

When was the last time I did something I didn’t want?” I smirk, but my words ring hollow, untrue—at least for me. I’m always stuck doing chores for other people, and now there’s an entire destiny to fulfill that’s been thrust upon me. I’d rather be normal and have nothing to do with this future, but we don’t get a chance to pick our destiny. At least I didn’t.

 

What’s your mom going to say when she finds out?”

 

Since when are you worried about my mom? You’ve been getting me in trouble since we were in kindergarten. Your name has been etched at the top of her Undesirable List since we were six. I’ve seen it. She keeps it posted on the refrigerator.”

 

Troy arches his eyebrows. “Hey, your mom loves me! I’m the other child she’s never had.”

 

Are you serious?” I shoot him a half smile so he knows I’m joking.

 

Everybody loves Troy. Still, he’s not on the college track, and Mom wants me to go to one of the best colleges so I can make tons of money and become a big shot lawyer, like her or some other Master of the Universe that has no fun and works way too hard.

 

Mom’s back home and we’re here. She doesn’t get a vote.”

 

He frowns. “It’s just that... once you do this, you can’t undo it. It’s forever.”

 

Really. That’s the point.” I shove him lightly in the chest. I’m old enough to make up my own mind, but he’s just trying to protect me, so I can’t get too angry with him.

 

What are your classmates at that fancy private school going to think when they find out?”

 

I pause for a second and look at him. I mean, really look at him, and peer past the handsome exterior: the almond-colored eyes, the chiseled chin, and the long raven hair that falls past his broad shoulders in a tight braid.

 

Beyond his confident shell, deep in his soul, he harbors doubts that trouble him—doubts he’ll never share with me. He’s making believe life will go back to normal once I fulfill this destiny—if I fulfill this destiny—but that’s not possible. Normal has become a bad joke, but I won’t shatter the illusion for him. He needs to sort events into a pattern he understands and imagine a time when life returns to what it was for us. It’s how he’s coping with the situation. I need to be strong for him. I can’t weaken his defenses, even if fears riddle my mind at every turn.

 

I straighten my back. “You know I don’t care about what they think at Bartens. I want to do this. I need to do it.” The wind kicks up, and the cool night air sweeps against my skin, leaving an army of goose bumps in its wake.

 

The almost full moon lights the cloudless sky. We inch toward the store and hesitate at the door. A red neon sign reads Lost Souls Tattoos in the front window. I take a deep breath and shove the door open, and a bell jingles above us.

 

No one’s in sight. Pictures of various tattoos line the walls of the small rectangular shop.

 

Toward the front left is a glass case with a cash register on top, and farther in the back are a massage table, some bright lights, and a chair with wheels on the legs.

 

A woman strolls from a back room. She’s in her twenties, gaunt with sharp features, smoky gray eyes, short hair, one nose ring, and small hoops that circle the edges of her ears. She holds a half-eaten wrap as she ambles toward us. “What do you guys want?”

 

She wears a loose gray T-shirt and tight jeans. Brightly colored tats cover her left arm, mostly eagles and hawks, and on the left side of her neck is a teardrop the size of my palm.

 

I want a tattoo,” I say casually, as if ordering a cheeseburger at McDonalds.

 

She points to a sign taped on the cash register. “You’ve got to be eighteen for me to give you a tattoo, and there’s no way you’re eighteen.”

 

I’m almost sixteen. In the right light I could pass for eighteen, but she probably has a lot of experience with underage teenagers asking for tattoos. Still, I feel a lot older than eighteen and that should count for something.

 

No one else is here. It’s late and this tattoo is really important to me.” My voice whines slightly at the end. I wish it hadn’t.

 

Why?” She crosses her arms against her chest and arches her eyebrows upward. Two gold rings, one in each eyebrow, bob up and down.

 

An invisible door creaks open. I’ll only get one chance to persuade her to give me the ink. Her teardrop tattoo stands out and must be important. Grief dulls the sparkle in her eyes and shows in the muscles that tighten her jaw. She’ll relate to my story, if it’s truthful.

 

I need to remember someone who died recently. He was really important to me.”

 

Who?”

 

My grandfather. I called him Sicheii, and he raised me like a father. He died to protect me.” Tears moisten my eyes. The tears are real, as Sicheii’s death is a fresh wound. People tell me the pain will get better with time, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. They mean well, but this hurt will always be fresh. He’ll always be gone, and it’s my fault. The woman’s face softens. “Just for the sake of discussion, what’re you looking for?”

 

Troy drops the satchel looped over his shoulder, smiles, lifts his T-shirt, and reveals his well-muscled chest and copper skin. Across his heart is a blue tat of two twisted arrows in a circle. Each arrow features different feathers and arrowheads.

 

The woman glides toward him and examines the ink on his chest. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and symmetry. She clearly admires it and perhaps wouldn’t mind trying to copy it.

 

Her eyes widen as she lingers over the details. “What does it mean?”

 

I hesitate. What am I going to tell her, the truth? That the symbol represents the ancient Order of the Twisted Arrows? Or that my grandfather unwittingly injected me at birth with alien DNA, which has changed me forever? Or that I’m one of four Chosen thrust into a battle for our world against a powerful enemy called from a different planet?

 

None of those explanations will get me a tattoo. She’d probably chase us from the store. I settle for something bland. “It represents an old society he belonged to. It meant everything to him. It was kind of a... club.”

 

At least it’s not a lie. She’s probably used to people lying to her and would catch a whiff of one right away.

 

She traces the circle with her finger. “Is it some weird Native American thing?”

 

You could say that.” Native Americans use tattoos generally to identify with certain tribes or to honor their animal spirit guide. I’m half Native American on my mom’s side, and Sicheii was her father. I have long black hair, an oval face, coffee-colored eyes that are round but not quite round enough to be beautiful, and a long, pointy nose I inherited from my Irish father. I look Native American except for the ghastly nose.

 

The tattoo artist leaves Troy and slides in front of me. She stands close, no more than a foot away, and traces of vegetable wrap linger on her breath. I’m taller than the average person and stand at least three inches higher than she does.

 

She studies my face for a long moment; perhaps she’s trying to see if I’m serious. “What’s your name?”

 

Juliet Wildfire Stone.” I never used to tell people my middle name. It embarrassed me. Now I realize it’s who I am, part of my identity.

 

Wildfire, huh? I can see that. Where do you want the tattoo?”

 

I roll up the right sleeve of my T-shirt. “My shoulder would be great.”

 

She nods. “It’ll cost you two hundred cash, and you can’t tell anyone you got it here.”

 

Done.” I hand her four fifty-dollar bills.

She locks the door to the shop, guides me to the table in the back, and places a pillow on one end. “You want it the same color?”

 

I jump on the table. “Yep.”

 

She gestures for Troy to come close. “Keep your shirt up. I want to get it just right.”

 

Two hours later, she wipes my arm with a towel. “That’s so weird.”

 

What’s wrong?” My heart jumps. Did she just totally mess up my arm and leave me with some ugly circle thing?

 

Troy’s smiling, so how bad of a job could she have done?

 

Usually it takes a couple weeks for the tat to heal. It always bleeds a little or gets puffy, but your arm already looks perfect, as if the ink had been on it forever.”

 

She hands me a mirror, and I smile. My tattoo is exactly the same as Troy’s. Exactly the same as Sicheii’s had been.

 

I shrug and hop from the table. “I’ve always been a fast healer.”

 

My DNA’s been changed, so my body can regenerate itself almost instantly. I didn’t know that before. It’s just another one of my abilities, as Sicheii would say. I’ve started to think of them as aberrations.

 

I have five so far: I can hear other people’s thoughts and read their emotions; I can possess animals for a short period of time; I have increased strength and speed; can move things with my mind; and heal instantly. There will probably be more, but they scare me. With each new one, I become less human.

 

We’d better head out.”

 

I step toward the door, and she grabs my wrist. “Wait. I want to take a picture of the ink for the wall.”

 

You can’t.” I yank my arm away from her.

 

I won’t take your face. Just the ink.”

 

Tough.” She scowls at me, but I ignore her and march outside.

 

When we leave the store a sharp pain stabs through my head, as though someone has taken an axe to my skull and cleaved it in two. A wild rage burns through me, and all of a sudden I’m inside a villa next to a piano. 

 

Breath catches in my throat, all the strength saps from my body, and I plummet to the ground.