Friday, September 28, 2012

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima


Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Hyperion Books

Pages: 586pgs

The Story

You can't always run from danger . . .

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden's Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn't mean danger isn't far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery - but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raise ana'Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will ofer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.

The Review

In ranks with some of my favourite books of all time including Lord of the Rings, Eragon and A Game of Thrones, I too absolutely adored Cinda Williams Chima's The Demon King, the first book in the series, and I wished I had read this series sooner than I did because this series alone is a true beauty that stood out from all the rest and this fantasy world Chima has managed to create . . . is something that just fascinates me to the core.

With her second installment of the Seven Realms series, THE EXILED QUEEN sure doesn't disappoint its readers and if anything, from the superb character development to the exciting, fast-paced action sequences, everything just keeps on getting better and better as the series progresses which only pumps up my enthusiasm once more. THE EXILED QUEEN continues the story of where The Demon King left off from, where the book is told alternatively by two of our main characters, Han Alister and Princess Raisa. However unlike the setting we've seen from the previous installment, this time round the majority of the book takes place in Oden's Ford with Raisa disguising herself as a cadet for Corporal Byrne, fearing for her own life, her own kingdom and not to mention she's also trying to escape an arranged marriage, and as for Han, who is now currently traveling with his friend companion, Dancer, he wants to be enlisted into a Wizardry school so he can gain the necessary training for his new and dangerous powers that could - and will - possibly destroy an entire kingdom. But as these two teens tread through many triumphs and downfalls, to the strict and cut-throat politics of this mundane and magical world, Han Alister and Princess Raisa will soon cross paths again and every single decision they choose to make will affect both themselves and for the rest of their lives.

Here's the thing about this particular book series . . . I'm so in love with the characters. Literally I love every single one of them, no matter the wrongs they do to themselves and to others! I mean, much like with another favourite book series of mine, the popular A Game of Thrones, neither character is painted as fully good or fully evil which only goes to prove what a great book series this actually is because I believe every character can have many sides to them, no just one entirely! But out of all the characters the two major ones I love most with all my heart and soul is of course the main characters we see through their lives, Han Alister and Princess Raisa ana'Marianna, who totally deserve more praise than other readers are willing to give them.

Han and Raisa couldn't be anymore different. Han basically lives in the slums whereas Raisa lives in total luxury or so it would seem at first. Han knows nothing more than of the dangers in the world and being the common criminal whereas Raisa knows nothing more than being presentable for her kingdom and looking pretty for the suitors who want to marry her to gain power and status. The list goes on when it comes to these two main characters but as you can see this hero and heroine are completely different and yet when they cross paths with one another, they couldn't be any more than perfect for each other . . . ahhhhh . . . I just adore them so, so much! The same goes with the supporting characters too and in particular with Raisa's I guess "bodyguard" Amon, who is so super sweet to Raisa and so beyond the line of duty that he possesses. I just adore him as well. But to get to real point, what I love more about this sequel compared to the first book was having more moments shared between Amon/Raisa and Han/Raisa, making me LOVE this book even more than I already do right now. So well done Chima for doing that to me!

Overall, THE EXILED QUEEN was so AWESOME in many respects and it was the sequel I expected it to be like so I'm one happy reader! To prove a point here, it's the kind of book that needs to be read by all if you catch my drift even if you might think it's not your cup of tea because in all honesty I believe this book is underrated for the most part which is a real shame since this series is so brilliant in every way, shape and form! I just LOVE it so, so much! Obviously.

The Rating

4 1/2 / 5 stars

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 320pgs

The Story

Belly has only ever been in love with two boys, both with the last name Fisher. And after being with Jeremiah for the last two years, she's almost positive he is her soul mate. Almost. Conrad has not gotten over the mistake he made when he let Belly go even as Jeremiah has always known that Belly is the girl for him. So when Belly and Jeremiah decide to make things forever, Conrad realizes that it's now or never - tell Belly he loves her, or lose her for good. Belly will have to confront her feelings for Jeremiah and Conrad and face a truth she has possibly always known: she will have to break one of their hearts.

The Review

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER is set two years after the last book of the Summer series had left off from and Belly is now off to college with Jeremiah - who is her now long-time and totally devoted boyfriend - and everything between them is going as great as everyone would expected from them. They go to parties, they have their meals together, they hang out with their friends and they study. Basically everything is perfect or so Belly had thought. With many problems arising in Belly and Jeremiah's relationship, Belly cannot help but think back to those past summers that she shared with the Fisher brother's and the path she didn't follow with her Conrad, Jeremiah's brother and the boy she left behind. Being the last conclusion of Jenny Han's Summer series trilogy, while it's not all smooth sailing for the characters but boy . . . it was everything I hoped for and more!

For those who've read my reviews for the last two books of this YA trilogy, you would know how much love and respect I have for this author, Jenny Han. She's hands down one of my favourite contemporary writers out there at the moment! It's not because she's totally awesomesauce - okay, maybe she is - but the reason why I love her writing so, so much is because she's just one of those authors that you're hooked on from the very beginning and she's an author who can paint a vivid picture of the summers you wished you had experienced sometime in your life and make every scene, every word and every little cliche line sound utterly amazing!

Once again the characters in this series are incredible and so realistic too! Belly, the main narrator of this delicious summer tale, has grown so much in this trilogy alone where I hardy recognize her and she's finally learning from many of her past mistakes which was great to see. Sure, she still makes some wrong choices in this third book but she's a grown woman now and eventually she goes for what she wants the most and you can't help but root for her own happiness! As for Jeremiah's character, her boyfriend at the current time, while he didn't exactly turn out to be the nice guy in the end like the one I loved from the previous two books, but he's trying his hardest to make his and Belly's relationship work, which is completely understandable given his situation. But sadly I kind of lost respect for him . . . such a shame really when you come to think about it because I adored him from the start! But seriously . . . enough about him and let's talk about Conrad!

Oh Conrad, Conrad, Conrad . . . you have won my heart, my soul and you SO totally deserve a whole paragraph all to yourself for staying true to who you are as a person! A gorgeous one at that. Now for the record you guys, Conrad has always had the softer side of me and it's not because he's the broken, bad boy type that we all want to fix somehow (because that's how tortured bad boys are to supposed to impact on us, right?), but no, what I really love about this bad boy (even though he's not a bad boy at all) is just him being . . . well, our Conrad. True and flawed. After his mother's death and after everything that has happened between him, his brother, and even his girl Belly, he needed to find himself before moving forward and I guess in this book he finally gets his life back on track, and he also finally sees what he's been missing all along and that's our Belly. From books one and two readers have been SO frustrated with how Conrad had treated Belly, but in the end he proves himself again and he's now worthy to fight for Belly, and really . . . I think it's Belly who needed to find ways to be worthy of him because whether he's a complete wreck or struggling over his own heart, Conrad is and will always be my summer boy. So be prepared ladies cause this reformed bad (good) boy will have you crying yourself to sleep by the time you finish this book!

Overall, WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER is the kind of book that will always be in my heart and even though everything is now coming to an end. And my GOD it's just so hard to let go of these beloved characters of mine, ones I've grown so familiar with, and it's almost like saying goodbye to a family member or a best friend but it's also gratifying to see every character grow with each book and see them off with the happy ending that they ALL deserve! So if you love the first two books in this trilogy, then this book right here will break your heart in every way possible - but in the most brilliant way too! Adored it so much! Gah!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blog Tour & Review - Blood Storm by Rhiannon Hart


Hello to everyone and welcome to the sixth stop of Rhiannon Hart's Blood Storm blog tour! It's a real pleasure to be apart of this blog tour and my many thanks goes straight to the author of this wonderful series for inviting me to do a post for her. Anyway please feel free to read my book review and be sure to visit the other blogs participating in this blog tour as well as visiting the author's blog, twitter, goodreads and facebook pages with the links that I've provided below!

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Random House Australia

Pages: 384pgs

The Story

In the Second Book of Lharmell, Zeraphina and Rodden must travel across the sea to find the elusive ingredients that will help them to win the coming battle against the Lharmellin - but shadows from Rodden's dark past may come back to haunt him. And while she learns to harness her new abilities, Zeraphina still fights the hunger that makes her crave the north - not to mention avoiding her mother, who wants to see her wayward daughter married to a prince at all costs.

The Review

A big thanks to the author for sending me a signed - yes a signed! - review copy of this book!

From the last time we saw our heroine and hero, Zeraphina and Rodden, the death that they were responsible for, the Lharmellin leader that is, has now caused uproar amongst those living within the lands of Lharmell and for this second installment, BLOOD STORM, there are many deadly consequences lying in their wake and upcoming trials that are beyond their own control. As Lharmellin's people seek a new leader, across the the lands, the deserts and the many seas, Zeraphina and her beloved Rodden must travel together on a journey and in search of a lethal weapon that can and will put a stop to the Lharmellin's plans but nothing is what it seems and sacrifices must be made.

Last year I absolutely fell in love with Rhiannon Hart's debut novel, Blood Song, and there was just something so refreshing in her new fantasy series. Something beautiful, unique and addictive. Comparing this book to her first, I have to say Hart has bypassed the wicked curse of sequels and has blown everything I know about her seductive world right out of the water - changing the game entirely. From the ships filled with pirate-sailor-ish men, deserts flocking with gigantic birds and unraveling secrets bit by bit, it's no wonder why so many adore this series and it's such a pleasure to read!

Princess Zeraphina. That mere title doesn't even begin to justify what she truly represents in this book - a fiesty, a passionate, a proudly-stubborn and a perfectly refined young heroine - and there's so much to her character arc than first meets the eye, revealing nothing more than a heart full of gold and will to survive. Oh and she's half-Lharmellin too! Yup, told you there was more to her. When I first met Zeraphina there was so much lying upon her shoulders but now, with the stakes even higher than before, she's beginning to find herself and learning how to harness her new-found abilities. But as much as I love Zeraphina and her little quirks, there's still another character we hold a torch for . . . Rodden!

Rodden Lothskorn. Let's face it here ladies that name alone is totally swoon-worthy and swoon-worthy he  definitely IS! In the first book Blood Song where we first met Rodden, he was a bit of a mystery to me and quite hard to figure out but now we finally get to unravel those many layers of that mystery, ones behind his dangerous past, and on the bonus side of things, we also get to see a romantic side of him too so that's right ladies prepare to be swooned once more. Both honorable, fierce, intelligent, sweet and equally as stubborn as his leading lady is, Rodden always does right by his love interest and unlike those sexy, frustrating, cliche,  egoistic young heroes . . . Rodden actually treats Zeraphina as his equal and their relationship shiny because of the faith in puts in her. Together, Rodden and Zeraphina are an unstoppable force and while they may still bicker in the fun and most amusing way but they are still there for each other, and in the end this wonderful attraction develops into something so beautiful and raw. Yes, clearly I have a 'thing' for them. And you should too!

After what I've been through with this awesome sequel, what had really stopped me in my tracks this time round was its major cliffhanger! CLIFFHANGERS . . . gosh how I've come to hate them and those authors for writing them (I don't really hate you, I secretly love you for killing me truly)! When it comes to a series I always try to calm myself towards an ending of a book, but with everything going swell the author, Rhiannon Hart, just had to twist the knife harder in my heart and make me fall back into that deep black hole all over again. Gosh! BLOOD STORM's cliffhanger was such a powerful one and now I'm left to question every single thing that happened, making me wanting - no DYING - to know what the hell is going to happen next. Please . . . please . . . please . . . let everything be alright in the end. I'm truly dying over here! Truly! *flails*

Beautifully written, dark, romantic, empowering and lapped with such a great sense humour between its characters and the pages within, Rhiannon Hart's BLOOD STORM is by far one of the best sequels I've read in a very long while and it's only gearing me up in high anticipation for the last and final installment coming out next year!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Rest of the tour schedule:

SEPTEMBER 20 Inkcrush 
SEPTEMBER 21 Refracted Light 
SEPTEMBER 22 Little Book Owl (Blood Song)
SEPTEMBER 23 Intrepid Reader (Blood Song) 
SEPTEMBER 26 The Tales Compendium 
SEPTEMBER 27 Larissa Book Girl (Blood Song) 
SEPTEMBER 28 The Eclectic Reader 
SEPTEMBER 28 Beauty & Lace (Guest post) 
SEPTEMBER 29 Treasured Tales for Young Adults (Blood Song) 
SEPTEMBER 30 Ticket to Anywhere (Guest post)
Also be sure to follow this amazing Australian author!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Delacorte Books

Pages: 448pgs

The Story

RAPTURE, the fourth & final FALLEN novel, is the Lauren Kate book the world has been waiting for.

The sky is dark with wings . . .

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn't know if he can do this - live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they've borne has always and only been about her - and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can't wait any longer.

The Review

When it comes to one of my favourite book series, I find that last books are always the hardest to impress me, especially from my own experiences in the past where some books ended better than others. Now for Lauren Kate's book RAPTURE, the last installment of her bestselling Fallen series, I was pretty anxious to get my hands on a copy of it, not only because I was dying to find out the epic conclusion to the Luce and Daniel love saga, but because with everything that these two characters have been through, all I really wanted was a truly bittersweet ending for them both and for the rest of the characters too!

In RAPTURE, Daniel, Luce, and the rest of the fallen angels aiding their quest are yet again in a race against time where they must find the exact spot where they first fell to this earth in order to put a stop - once and for all - to Lucifer's plans of erasing their past lives. Following up from the previous installment, Passion, Luce has experienced many of her past lives that she shared with Daniel through the Announcers, and for once she's slowly beginning to remember what exactly had brought them together in the first place and by the end of this book, she will also finally get to learn why her love for Daniel was so doomed to begin with before it had even begun . . . which will changed everything in her past, present and future!

As much as I wanted to love this book for what it is, unfortunately I was quite disappointed with it. Don't get me wrong here because the book was actually very well-written and it dealt well with its pacing and storyline but as I was reading along the book, at certain points I was getting really confused with the blended-in mythology, a little bit bored and at other times too I often found myself feeling as if this book was lacking something in particular . . . not sure what it was exactly but this 'feeling' didn't help me in the way I felt about the ending either, the one I was hoping for all along. Now from other blog reviewers, many readers loved the ending and I respect that because the ending was written nicely but with me being the little overachiever and having higher expectations than others do, I felt with everything the characters have been through, all of the hardships and the deaths that they have encountered in the past, I was kind of hoping for more to happen in the ending, you know? It was still a good ending but it just wasn't my favourite ending for the finale of a book series since some stories were closed and others were left too opened-ended.

To make up for this loss though, in terms of the main and supporting characters, everyone I've come to love over time has really upstepped their game. Absolutely everyone, I'm not kidding here. From Gabbe all the way to Cam they were full of awesomeness. As for the main character, Luce (or Lucinda), I have to say I loved her way more in this book and she truly shined in it too compared to the other three books in the series. As she's slowly becoming more open to the possibility of her true origins (I totally knew what she was!), before Daniel and before everything else, I have to say that aspect of her made herself even more likable, so I was pretty happy in that perspective because we all know she can be an up and down character for readers.

For Daniel's character, the true love of Luce's present and past lives, he was a nice little surprise too. Truth be told I was more a Cam fan (I mean seriously who isn't?), but Daniel became a far more likable character to me as Luce did in this book alone. Sure he's forever frustrating but still . . . he was totally likable. I loved him not because he was hot (okay maybe that part of the reason why) but rather it was because he was the only boy character who wanted to fight for the sake of true love and boy oh boy he does it with all his might. Then, of course, there's the supporting cast of many, many characters . . . so whether or not we lose some or say to goodbye to others in a much better way than death, it's up to you to go and read it, and to find out for yourselfs who lives and dies! Trust me there will be some tears!

Overall, the last Fallen installment, RAPTURE, will certainly entertain you no matter what happens in the book! Will you worry? Yes. Will you love? Yes. Will you cry? Of course.Will the ending satisfy you? Maybe. Maybe not. But while the ending may not have been a favourite of mine, but it's undeniable that many fans of Lauren Kate will be pleased with this final installment and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what else she'll write up next for us to read!

The Rating

3 1/2 / 5 stars

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Hyperion Books

Pages: 506pgs

The Story

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell - the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked - as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history - it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raise ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains - riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea - the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her - including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Han and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between the clans and wizards.

The Review

This book has been on my to-read shelf for quite some time now and I've been wanting to read it after hearing some really good things about it. Well, after recently ordering the sequel and the third book in this YA fantasy series, I finally managed to read and finish the book in a matter of days, and it surely didn't disappoint me because I really, REALLY loved it!

The story is told in dual perspective and it follows mostly two of the main characters who come from very different worlds. There's mysterious and almost too confident Han, the former streetlord known as 'Cuff' with mysterious silver bracelets that he has worn for most of his life and ones that are nearly impossible to take off, and then there's the prim and proper Princess Raisa ana'Marianna, the heir to the Gray Wolf Throne. For the last three years Raisa has spent this time with her father in order gain some of her own personal freedom while she still can. Only now, she must be returned to her Queen of a mother who lives back in Fells where Raisa must make the impossible choice of marrying one of her suitors when she comes of age to then be trained in becoming the next Queen. As you can see, these two main characters we follow are from completely different paths and yet their parts to play in this particular storyline were equally as important as the other, so it's really interesting to see their sides of their own worlds and compare them between each other. Now Han and Raisa were so easily loved by me and there was so much to like about them too - even when they frustrated me at times, which in all fairness made them even more human to me. And heck, even the supporting characters such as Amon Byrne (another lovable character of mine) and the likes of Micah Bayar (a character you love to hate) were just as well-written as the main characters were. So all around I loved them all! Every single character.

When it comes to story-wise just like the characters it was so easy to be caught up with the plot and all the little surprises that snaked around each and every corner. I can't necessarily say too much without giving things away but everything in this story has a little bit of everything and it's so very involved and not to mention intense for the characters themselves. But as the story begins to pick up the pace and unwraps the many layers until everything is out in the open, it's great to finally find a book where I can say I have no idea where it will lead to, only that I'm very excited to read more from this series and from this author as well. She's just brilliant in bringing this story to life!

Overall, THE DEMON KING has that familiar vibe of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series only this one is for a much younger audience and I loved every moment of it! If you love a good old read with some action, adventure, magic and basically anything that will satisfy any sort of fantasy reader, then this book will definitely keep you up at night!

The Rating
4 1/2 / 5 stars

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 404pgs

The Story

Meet Calaena Sardothien.

Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom is return for one huge sacrifice. Calaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Calaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?

The Review

A big thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

THRONE OF GLASS was one of those pre-buzzed books that practically everyone was talking about! It was also a book title that I was so, SO excited for this year, mostly because it was described being much like some of my favourite books including A Game of Thrones, Graceling and Poison Study which, as you all should know already, I love and adore completely, so it was pretty much self-guaranteed that this book was going to be yet another winner in my books and in the end it certainly was!

Now before I get to the high praising of this wonderful debut book, I have to be honest with you all . . . this book didn't start off all so sweet for me like I wanted it to in the beginning. The main problem wasn't the storyline per se, because really there was nothing wrong with it at all other than some strange and confusing names where I lost myself in for a little wee bit especially in the spelling alone, but it had more to do with the main heroine herself which I didn't see coming. Honestly I didn't think I would have a problem with this main character in question, but unfortunately I did, at least for certain pivotal moments in the book.

For our main leading assassin 'lady', Celaena Sardothien, I have to say she was a pretty complicated young heroine and there are so many layers added onto her character arc as the book slowly came together, ones I didn't necessarily expect. Now while I do love her diamond-in-the-rough personality and how she tries to not portray any sort of emotion to every situation she seems to put herself in - not to mention I love how her sassy wit keeping all of the young men and women in check - but Celaena made it SO hard for me to come to like her. I don't know why exactly . . . it's rather hard to explain because I DO love my attitude chicks wanting to kick everyone's arse now and again. However, for the first half of the book, I often felt as if Celaena was too stuck-up for her own good and her ego got ahead of her at certain moments. Maybe it's just me thinking this but that's how I felt for most of the time when she came onto the page.

Of course when it comes to our Celaena I totally got that she came from a mysterious and perhaps a 'bad' background with a bad past. I also got that she was mad at the people for treating her the way they did and that she was the best of the best of all assassins and . . . she had to keep her reputation to make others fear her, but she was always putting people down and thinking badly of others without really thinking (you know?) which made her contradict herself at times. Like I said before, I'm probably the only person feeling this right now about her character but . . . that's just my opinion of her. So with overlooking those particular qualities about her, Celaena in the end was kickass. The thing I love most about her . . . she's not perfect and there are many, many things you could say that aren't her best qualities, but her mere determination was what made me believe in her character and while I would've liked to see more of her assassin skills being put to the test rather than her prancing around and not really doing too much like an assassin would do but . . . I'm still pretty impressed with her character and her two potential love interests who were all so swoon-worthy!

For once I'm tolerant of this love triangle presented in THRONE OF GLASS and it was probably the best thing I read in this book (of course the action was epic too!). In the past books I've read involving this cliche YA element, love triangles have a 50/50 percent chance of either being so right for the book or being so wrong, and in this case it was all so, so right! Taming the heart of our leading assassin, we have Dorian, the flirty, handsome and sometimes-compassionate prince who has two very different sides to him and offers so much fun to the book, and then you have Chaol, the quiet, protective and the serious royal guard who also has two very different sides of perfection to him. The thing I love about love triangles - if written right - is how you are given two very hot boys and yet you can't decide which one you love more than the other, and that's exactly how I felt with Dorian and Chaol as both were so good for Celaena for two very different reasons! While I must confess I do have a soft spot for Dorian but I think I'm more of Chaol fan because I like my serious guys and I felt that he understood Celaena on a far more higher level than Dorian ever could . . . so I'm totally on TEAM CHAOL people! No seriously trust me here . . . it's so hard to decide between these two leading men because they're all so perfect! Gah!

Overall, THRONE OF GLASS may not have outshined itself in the way I wanted it to, but it's about time we have some female assassins presented in young adult books! With plenty of action, friendship, romance and fantasy being blended together in all the right places, this book right here is a must on your to-read list this year and I'm seriously looking forward to seeing how far the author Sarah J. Maas is willing to go for her new series which, rest assured, will be just as kickass as this first installment right here!

The Rating 4/5 stars

Monday, September 17, 2012

Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 372pgs

The Story

London, 1881

Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help but being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

The Review

FIRELIGHT is the debut novel written by Kristen Callihan and she enters the book world with such an explosive start to first adult paranormal series which was wonderfully crossed between a historical and a gothic romance with a little naughty twist to the story of Beauty and the Beast, and my oh my it was quite the little gem this debut novel was. I don't know exactly why I adored this book so much - whether it was because of the shrouded mystery that was happening throughout the storyline or it was because I loved reading about this strong female lead whom I was very, very happy with - but all you need to know right now is that this book is awesome and I, Erin, owner of this wonderful little book review blog, command you to go and read it . . . in the nicest possible way of course!

Miranda Ellis and Lord Archer first meet when Miranda is nineteen-years-old. Intending to kill her father, Lord Archer encounters Miranda being surrounded by a group of men and immediately he's captured by her and her beauty. But once these two people meet and have an awkward introduction to one another, there isn't a day that goes by where Lord Archer cannot forget this beautiful, fiery, red-headed young woman. So when several years later pass between them, Miranda is informed by her penniless father that she is to marry a man named Lord Archer and despite her opinion of him, she instead marries him. But behind the mask he wears, there are many dark secrets surrounding her new husband and Miranda will do almost anything to find out what those secrets are . . . even if she ends up falling hopelessly in love with him in the process.

Miranda Rose Ellis was a highly-spirited young woman with a fiery secret, but for a very long time she has managed to keep her secrets well hidden and I admired that quality about her so, so much. Her secretive, mysterious side that is. Miranda in all honesty was a favourite character of mine from the get-go. From the first page, in the exact moment when I was introduced to her, I knew Miranda - even the younger version of herself - was going to be a mighty fighter in the future and just like I suspected, she continued to be this fiery personality throughout the entire book, one of whom continued to fight for those she loves the most. Now I don't know what it is exactly that I love most about her, but there was just something magical and addictive about her character and the way she was portrayed. I admit, she was certainly one of the most passionate female characters I've ever read about. At least in a long while yet. I just loved her - what can I say?

The same mushy feelings passes along to her new and highly seductive husband, Lord Archer, whom was the beast we all wanted to tame. When you read this book . . . you will know what I mean. His mask and his whole demure alone had this Phantom-of-the-Opera-esque way about him and this author had really got my curiosity going, especially since Archer is such a stubborn character but he's also the most complexed one as well. Straight off there was such depth in his character arc when I met him in the beginning and I loved him wholeheartedly for attracting my attention non-stop - whether it was his emotions, his intellect, his honor, his respect or his simple love of Miranda . . . just everything about him was perfect. No matter the mystery and no matter the darkness swarming over him. Readers . . . you're going to eat your heart out with this man!

Overall, I would highly recommend Kristen Callihan's FIRELIGHT book to lovers of the dark historical and paranormal romance kind. With the book very well-written, descriptive in every scene, action-packed and every bit as romantic as one would expect it to be, I can see many readers enjoying - and not to mention adoring - this book and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading more from this awesome author!

The Rating5/5 stars

Friday, September 14, 2012

Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 416pgs

The Story

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome - also known as the werewolf virus - is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

Kathleen Peacock's thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.

The Review

A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

HEMLOCK is something you're either going to love or hate. Aside from the mixed reviews I've read in the past few months, I still generally believe that this book has a lot of potential and I was definitely intrigued by its storyline, even with the genre of werewolves already being in the YA trend overload. With paranormal elements blended in with some extra hints of mythologies, mysteries and murder, HEMLOCK offers up an exciting debut novel from Kathleen Peacock and while it's not exactly something amazing nor original on our current bookshelves, but this book was still executed very, very well in my opinion.

As the narrator and heroine of this new tale, Mac (which is short for Mackenzie) was an okay girl. She was a character you didn't particularly care for in the beginning - I will definitely admit that - but she was rather someone who'd eventually grew on you as the story went along and that's not such a bad thing because we can't always connect with everyone we meet immediately in a book. That's a well known fact. But getting down to her main character arc, I was sometimes frustrated with Mac and there were other times too . . . where I found myself admiring her strength and the faith that she seemed to put into her friends, so it was great to see these different changes in her not to mention some development in Mac's character.

The only real complaint I have about the characters were the two love interests, Jason and Kyle, whom I wasn't a fan of. For sure, they were your cool people and were the complete opposites to one another which I liked most about them (c'mon we lose those opposites!), but they just didn't offer enough oomph that I was looking for from them in the beginning. Though secretly I did have a soft spot for the caring boy Kyle . . . but that is all I can say on the matter!

Overall, HEMLOCK was a book I liked but didn't exactly love since I preferred the second half of the book to the beginning of it, where a lot of the action was really happening. But with a storyline to keep you interested, some plot twists and some investigations leading to murders and all sorts of deadly betrayal, I think many readers will enjoy this one and I'll be looking forward to reading more of this trilogy to see where everything leads us towards!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arise by Tara Hudson

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 404pgs

The Story

Amelia - still caught between life and death - must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua's Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers . . . and becomes increasinly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.

Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life . . . a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

The Review

The second installment of the Hereafter series, ARISE, continues the tale of Amelia, a teenage ghost who is currently living in-between the worlds of life and death along with a human boy named Joshua, a Seer, who can not only speak to Amelia in her ghostly form but he can also see and touch her as well. And he's dating her too! But as Amelia struggles with her natural state of being and trys fending off as many demons (and other spirits) as possible who want to claim her and her soul, and adding onto the fact that she is dealing with all sorts of new Voodoo magics, she will also need to question her future with Joshua - whether to stay with him forever and continue on with a lie or leave him behind for his own good?

ARISE was definitely a worthy sequel to live up to the most hyped up first book, Hereafter, a book that I adored so very, very much. While I still believe Hereafter remains to be my favourite book of the trilogy so far, because it was one of the best ghosts books I've ever read, but I still loved how the author dealt with this book this time round, making it much more thrilling, mysterious and completely dark and eerie which was then wrapped up neatly with familiar blends of the paranormal and a small romance . . . all into one. I really enjoyed it! With the characters being further developed as well as meeting some new additions to the cast as well, but probably my favourite part of all and the two things that had really stood out to me the most was the new setting and the new magics we were introduced to - that being New Orleans and Voodoo magics. There's something crazy about New Orleans and the Voodoo magics (which they are known for having) and I don't know about you guys, but I find it all so very fascinating! I mean, New Orleans is very spiritual in terms of ghostly spirits, the night of the dead and with their cemeteries too . . . so you know, I can't help but be fascinated by everything about New Orleans, so it totally fits in perfectly for a storyline such as this one and I'm really happy the author chose to write this because it was awesome to say the least!

Amelia, our ghostly main heroine, remains to be the strong but careful type which isn't exactly a bad thing because she's a ghost and everyone wants a piece of her in the afterlife - or what's left of it anyway. But it's more than that! Amelia is also the type of person who really and truly cares about everyone around her - even when if they're alive and she's dead - and I actually came to like her even more than I did from the previous installment, which surprised me. But in this sequel she has somehow . . . matured and she went with her gut instinct when it came down to the dangers in her "life" . . . so I really loved Amelia this time round!

As for Joshua's character, Amelia's human and living boyfriend, he was yet another character that stayed true to his character arc and he was still as swoon-worthy as always. Oh Joshua - how can you not feel for this guy? He loves Amelia and takes everything in their relationship so seriously, even if its the impossible love kind, and boy he's the sweetest thing ever in this sequel! *Squee* I admit, there is still plenty of scenes between him and Amelia, though I wished there was more of him in this sequel . . . still . . . what I did read of him was so worth the read!

Overall, ARISE was the perfect middle book and didn't disappoint me in the slightest way. With fantastic new characters being introduced and voodoo magic playing a major role in this entertaining sequel, I have to say I'm eagerly waiting to read what else Tara Hudson has up her sleeve for the final conclusion of the Hereafter series because I know it's going to be awesome!

The Rating

4 1/2 / 5 stars

Monday, September 10, 2012

Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 288pgs

The Story

"I wait for him, the cold seeping through my clothes, until it finally dawns on me that he's not coming back. And I wonder why he chose her instead of me? Why he went looking for her when I was right there."

Tai and Juliet have been best friends forever - since they met at kindy and decided to get married in the first grade.

They understand each other in the wya that only best friends can.

They love music, beach walks, energy drinks and, they are slowly discovering, each other.

As they dream of adventures beyond the HSC - a future free of homework, curfews and parents, a life together - their plans are suddenly and dramatically derailed.

For Tai is sick.

And not everything you wish for can come true.

The Review

A big thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Two sixteen-year-old teenagers, Juliet and Tai, have been best friends for their entire lives (ever since kindergarten where they shared first kisses at and even got married in the first grade), and they've always had feelings for one another. Only . . . they didn't do anything about it until now. But with them being in their final year of high school at Eden Grammar and when Tai gets really sick, everything is about to change for these two teenagers - especially when it comes to their futures and their newfound relationship.

Here's the thing: I don't do sad books but I still read them anyway. There's just something so realistic about sad contemporary YA books with real life-like characters that always hits home for me since they usually deal with difficult human issues. Still, that doesn't go to say that books like these ones make me want to dance on rainbows and sunshine. Because . . . they don't. Now I was very happy when I was sent this book by the publisher because it sounded like such a great read and on the bonus side it's also written by a fellow Queenslander writer, so I was all for it because you gotta love more Australian writers! Not only was this book an amazing read, had a great dual perspective between the two main characters and dealt with so many issues that I could personally relate to, but it was also an incredibly, incredibly sad read. So sad in fact that it reminded me of the likes of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and you and I both know how sad that book made me feel. So be prepared my dear blog readers - this book will make you go on the verge of tears and leave you going, "Why, why, why?!."

For our two main characters, Juliet and Tai, they were equally fantastic! They weren't perfect characters - that's for sure - but again who isn't in day-to-day life? When it comes to Juliet, I loved reading about how happy she was to be finally dating her best friend, Tai, and it did bring a smile onto my face at times. But when Tai is suddenly diagnosed with cancer, that's when we get to see how strong Juliet's character really is and what depths she will go to in supporting her best and boyfriend Tai. I mean most people would be running away from this very hard issue and find themselves not knowing what to do but . . . Juliet was just always there for Tai no matter what happened - both as a girlfriend and as a best friend too, which I loved most about her character on a whole.

As for Tai's character, you couldn't help but feel so heartbroken over this poor guy. He too is finally dating his best friend, Juliet, and it's everything he hoped for and more in a relationship. It's almost like a fresh start for him. But that's the thing . . . it is a new start for Tai and he's just starting his young life with hopes of graduating high school, going to schoolies, going to uni and making plans with Juliet like most young people should do at their age. But with his illness clouding his future plans and with only one year to live, Tai had to endure so much more than your average, older teenager and I admire him for this courage and his strength to keep pushing forward with his life, even at its grim circumstances. But boy oh boy, when he and Juliet are together . . . it's just meant to be and I loved them as main characters so, so much! Oh the joy and tears!

Overall, Jessica Davidson's novel EVERYTHING LEFT UNSAID is something of a bittersweet read and many readers will connect with it one way or another! With a story all about first loves, bestfriends, friendships and a one person's battle of terminal illness that will change everything around them, I would highly recommend this book to everyone because it was a brilliant read and made me want to cry in the best possible way!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Pages: 864pgs

The Story

The first volume in the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. There is passion here, and misery and charm, grandeur and squalor, tragedy, nobility and courage. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

The Review

After watching HBO's adaptation of the first book in this planned seven book series, I've been so obsessed with it ever since. I'm in love people . . . in LOVE! I'm in love not only because I love the high fantasy genre and all the little vivid details in the setting, but mostly it was because the TV show was so freakin' EPIC and I just knew - just knew - I had to read this book series to fully comprehend and be captivated by this wonderful world of George R.R. Martin's! And in saying that, the A GAME OF THRONES book was equally incredible as the TV show itself and it's one of my favourite books of all time too!

I won't get into the plot of this book because if I explain it in greater detail I know many of you will probably go, "I don't speak your language" and for the most part, I'll probably fangal forever about this world so I'm just going to get down to the basics about what I loved about this book, so I can - hopefully - convince you to read this great piece of literature to find out for yourself just how awesome it really is. Because that's exactly what it is . . . awesome!

Okay, so one of the things I loved most about George R.R. Martin's work was his prose. He was able to pull off his writing with such confidence and never - if rarely - overloaded you with meaningless expressions just to add detail for the sake of it, you know? So it was finally great to find an author like Martin who knew what he was doing in this fantasy genre of his and knew what his readers wanted from his books, which was obviously more from him! In some ways, Martin has this amazing ability in giving you smaller pieces of the puzzle (some long and complicated ones) but he also manages to hold back on part of the mystery of A GAME OF THRONES which I love. I honestly think he does it on purpose to drive us fans crazy in figuring out what people are really up to in the story and to drive me nuts in the end. Yup, this man is a genius for doing that to me!

But the main thing I loved about this book, other than its pure brilliance in writing and even in the TV show, was all of the perspectives we get to witness from Martin's characters and all the ones we soon get to meet along the way. I mean literally every single character - young, old and some aged inbetween - have their own story to tell and somehow and in some way every one of those character stories has a crucial part to play in this mystery of the Game of Thrones world, and the fact that these characters are neither depicted as black or white (neither entirely good or entirely evil) only adds another unique element to the book series and is something many readers will come to appreciate overtime. But there's so much more to these characters than meets the eye and every one of them are my favourites - especially when it comes to Ayra, Tyrion and Jon Snow (I have a mega crush on Kit Harington who plays Jon in the TV show okay, so it was no real surprise that I loved book-Jon as well. He's one fine babe if I do say so myself. Oh and Robb Stark of course. Can't forget him!).

Overall, A GAME OF THRONES was EPIC and if not better than the TV show itself because we get so much more backstory and history from the characters than what you get in the actual show, so I really enjoyed that part of the book. And, on the plus side for the show's fans, the TV show stayed very true to the book and for the time that they have for the show . . . I think they had successfully gathered the most important stuff from the original book and put it into the show to get the gist of what's happening . . . so I'm really, really pleased about that too. So to everyone reading this review, please, PLEASE go buy this book ASAP because I already have book 2 waiting for me to read and I'm sure it's just going to get better and better if it continues down this wonderful path!

Also on a side note, for all those people who are thinking of reading the book before watching the TV show, I highly recommend that you watch the TV show first. Usually I'm the type of girl to read the fictional work before I actually watch the adaptation of that particular book, but there's a lot to take in when it comes to this series and I think, as a reader, you will truly benefit in watching the show before the books so you can understand who's who (trust me there's a lot of characters from a lot of different families and so on) and to also help understand the world of Game of Thrones and how everything works in general, so I'm truly thankful that I got to watch the show beforehand because I really appreciated this book far more as I knew the characters and what was going on.

The Rating

5/5 stars

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 348pgs

The Story

I don't do dangerous. Smart, uber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me . . . something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for good. It's like part of me is missing - and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one change Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me . . . NIGHTWATCHERS. When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising . . .

The Review

A big thanks to the publisher on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!

DARK KISS is the first installment of Michelle Rowen's new YA series the Nightwatchers. While I was hoping for more oomph from the storyline and even with some things inside the book offering nothing particularly new to the angel and demon genre, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this book. And to think, it all started with a deadly kiss. I mean, who doesn't love deadly kisses to take over the storyline?

While parts of the plot were predictable, I admit, but I was so immersed by the author's own take on her gangs of angels and demons, and even the small but very vivid descriptions and imagery helped make each and every scene come alive. They were SO entertaining to say the least. Now I won't reveal too much of the plot because I want you to find out for yourselves about what happens, but basically this book is all about how Heaven and Hell is co-existing with each other, and where human souls are being captured and are smack bang in the middle of everything that's going on between upstairs and downstairs. But the question is: How do the soulless humans continue to live on in their world of angels and demons? What happens to them once their soul has left their bodies and has been collected? Do they die? Do they live on? Do they change? Well, that my friends is the one question that will be answered in this book and you'll get a great explanation to such a question too. A great, great one.

Concerning the characters I thought DARK KISS's main female protagonist, Sam, wasn't a very likable person at first. She really wasn't. But as I went through the pages I soon changed my mind about her, especially when her character arc began to get more fleshed out in the book, and then once you begin to understand her situation some more she (eventually) becomes someone you can easily identify with and you soon care about her too which is good. Out of everything I read about Sam, probably what I loved most about her character despite her naive side, was how she struggled with where her loyalities lies and she doesn't sit back either . . . she strives to try and get her soul back. Yes, her soul was stolen. *shakes head* And no, I can't tell you more than that. You'll have to read the book to find out!

As for the two boys whom are supposedly Sam's love interests (though do we really need another love triangle here?), we have Kraven who is your typical bad boy with his devil-may-care attitude, and the other being Bishop, the tall, blonde and blue-eyed boy whom captures Sam's attention in a very, very good way. Unlike Sam, I couldn't really warm up to these two boys (sad but true), though I can imagine how they could be easy on the eyes judging by their looks department if you know what I mean. Now the only complaint I have about this book was the romantic side of things. Like what I felt about the two boys, I just couldn't see the attraction nor the connection Sam felt with them . . . more so with Sam and Bishop's relationship. I love Bishop - don't get me wrong here - because he added this sexy mystery to the storyline but . . . for them to have such strong feelings for one another, I just can't see how that was developed in the shortest amount of time. I guess it's insta-love once again. But hey, what can you do? Still, the boys are hot and readers will swoon over them in no time. Trust me - that's the honest truth lying here.

Overall, DARK KISS was something I thought I wouldn't like but ended up loving! Fast-paced, action-packed and very hard to put down, Michelle Rowen offers up yet another fun start to a YA series and I'm so eager to read the next sequel!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Monday, September 3, 2012

Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 320pgs

The Story

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which somehow is managing to track their every move. Whilst Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so that she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held.

Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the people she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not just to save her brother and mother, but to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for.

But the plan requires Lila to return alone to California, make friends with the enemy, and to risk losing everything - Alex, her family, and even her life.

The Review

A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Exciting, page-turning, romantic and a non-stop, action-packed adventure, it's fair to say that the author, Sarah Alderson, has done it yet again with her much anticipated sequel of her debut book series!

After the shocking and unsettling events found in Hunting Lila, we are back again with Alex and Lila who are still on the run from the Unit, along with some familiar faces, who are trying so desperately to keep each other safe as long as possible. But it's not long before the Unit are hot on their trails once more, which causes this new couple and their most unlikely crew to be forced right back into the explosive action and dangers that comes along with it. Despite how much Alex wants to protect her, Lila can't help but think it's becoming increasingly too difficult to evade the Unit as long as they have and she needs to do everything within her new, developing powers to put a stop to them once and for all . . . and rescue her brother and mother that she left behind. But the question is: Is she capable of destroying the military base with hundreds of soldiers armed at the ready? Is she capable of doing what others deem as impossible or must she be willing to putting everything - including her love for Alex - on the line to save many, many lives in the process?

Once again, I utterly adored Lila as a main heroine. Sure, she made some pretty silly assumptions in her mind and allowed her thoughts get ahead of her at times, but she remained strong throughout the book and she was so courgeous than what we've previously seen from her in Hunting Lila. She has grown a lot since then, and there was this constant part of her that showed us that she doesn't allow people to push her over the edge (not this time) and she was willing to take action and protect those she loves no matter the cost - even sacrificing her own life to do it, which I guess is why I love her so much. And along with that, along with her power and her special bond between her family and friends, with such a strong support system behind her you couldn't doubt Lila even for a second, because everyone around her didn't allow her herself to doubt her own actions . . . it makes me kind of jealous in some way, because I think we all wished for that kind of support in our own lives, right? Yes, I believe so.

Now onto Alex. Honestly when it comes to Alex's character I'm lost for words. Absolutely speechless. While I wanted some more sizzle and some bang scenes from him (sounded so wrong there but hey a girl can only dream), but trust me here when I say that we still get plenty enough of Alex in this sequel and my oh my . . . he's still the hottie devil that I remember for! For this series alone we have to admit there's no Lila without some Alex in it - after all he's her rock from the beginning til the end of this book - and even while they share their ups and downs, and have some silly, silly misunderstandings, Alex is never willing to back down without a fight when it comes to Lila and she's seriously one lucky girl to have Alex by her side, let me tell you. Life. Is. So. Unfair. But not only do we see that kickass and serious side of Alex, but we also see an intense, insecure and a sensitive side to Alex which only melted my heart in complete goo. I love you, Alex. I love YOU!

Now while I love me some Lila and Alex scenes, whether it'll be kissing or doing something Die-Hard-wise, but what stood out the most in this sequel was the supporting characters and I'm glad they played a much more significant role than the main heroines did. It surprised me to say the least. Take for example Suki and Nate, one of the most honourable mentions here for the supporting characters. Both of them added this perfect combination of one-liners and some hilarious comic relief to the book and I was all welcomed to it, and hell even Key, Lila's brother and father offered some great comedy as well, so I'm really, really happy that we got to see those other sides to them! They were so FUNNY!

Overall, LOSING LILA lived up to my expectations and was the perfect follow up to one of my favourite books from last year's list. Even though I loved Hunting Lila a little bit more than this sequel, but with sequences flowing like a movie up on the silver screen, I can definitely say without a doubt that Sarah Alderson always surprises me in her ability to write some awesome fast-paced work, and I'm very eager to read the third and final book of the series . . . need more of Alex and Lila, okay?!?! MORE!

The Rating

4 1/2 / 5 stars
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