Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Vitro by Jessica Khoury: Review

VitroTitle: Vitro
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill 
Buy This Book: Book Depository

On Skin Island, even the laws of creation can be broken.
On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.
Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives--and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus's dangerous research.
Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.(Goodreads summary)


As most of you probably know, it can be really hard to write a negative review for a book, especially when you got that book for free. But, you are receiving and reading them with the idea that you will give an honest and unbiased review, which is exactly what I am going to do. I was really looking forward to Vitro, I put in a request for this on Edelweiss and was basically begging to read it because it looked so good. But for me it fell short in every way possible and left me utterly disappointed in it. I have to use gifs to try and emote just how much anger and frustration this book made me feel.

My main issue lies with our lead character Sophie Crue, who receives this email from her mother:

'Sophie,
I need you. Please come at once. I'll look for you on Friday. Do not reply to this e-mail. 

Emergency. - Mom'

And following this email she runs away from her father and jumps on a plane to go to Skin Island where her mother works. What the actual f@!*? Seriously? How can I like this girl when she is quite clearly an absolute idiot. She talks about how her mother won't ever let her go to the island, not even to visit and yet she suddenly thinks her mum has changed her mind. What emergency requires a mother to ask her teenage daughter to jump on a plane and jet off to Guam? If she was really having a life or death emergency I am pretty sure there would be more important and helpful people to call. And SKIN ISLAND? How does she not expect an island with such a creepy name to hold some sinister secret? See, she's an idiot and I instantly hated her for her stupidity. Why does Sophie not question any of this and just run off blindly to go be with mummy? How can I not hate this girl?

Then she gets to Guam and needs to find a pilot who will take her to creepy Skin Island. But, shock horror, no one is willing to take her because Skin Island is suuuuuper scaaaweeee! But, have no fear because Jim Julien, childhood friend turned hot pilot is willing to take her there because, although he hasn't seen her since she was seven, they have this deep connection and will blatantly end up together. And that's when me and my gag reflex started to get to know each other better. 

And then to make matters worse, Sophie is met on one of the smaller islands by a guy called Nicholas. Just some random dude who says he will take her to her mother. But literally won't tell her anything, just drops hints about what really goes on over at Skin Island. He's sending out all kinds of signs that say "I am bats!#* crazy, don't trust me" and Sophie is all like 'Okay strange, creepy guy that I don't know and my mum has never mentioned, I shall follow you blindly and trust you completely... because that's just the kind of idiot I am.'

It was all downhill from there because I didn't like any of the characters and if you don't care about them than you certainly don't care what happens to them. I was forcing myself to keep reading because I didn't want to give up and DNF yet another book. I know I should have saved my time but how can I really judge a book if I don't make it to the end? Well, I would have judged it anyway but this way I feel less guilty about it. I gave it all of my time and it basically gave me nothing in return, other than a headache. 

I felt a major disconnect from the whole story. It felt unnecessarily long and I found myself nodding off as I was reading it. With a name like Skin Island you know instantly that it's not going to be everything it seems. I wasn't drawn in by this, it didn't excite me and I didn't like any of the characters. The most entertaining were the evil characters because they felt like Hitler-type caricatures (with gas chambers and everything) and it would have been comical if it didn't feel so insulting. 

After finishing this book I instantly deleted it from my Kindle and felt all the better for it. 

   2/5 Stars

I feel this book might entertain younger readers because they might question Sophie's choices as little as she does, but I doubt it. I find it hard to write my review without major spoilers to rant about so I will stop before I give too much away. This was a hideous reading experience for me and I can't recommend it. On the plus side it does get fast-paced at the end and there are plot twists and revelations. I'm sure if the first chapter hadn't put me off straight away I might have even enjoyed the end a little... maybe, probably not. 


*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Just HAD To Buy But Still Haven't Read

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke & The Bookish. Each week they host a different top ten topic.

My Pick:

Books I just HAD to buy... but still haven't read. 

The Reason:

Every time I buy a book and I'm with my boyfriend at the time, he always complains. He usually tells me how I have hundreds that I have bought but haven't read yet. I always tell him that he is exaggerating, but then I organised my books and realised the seriousness of my problem. So, I am hoping this post will shame me into getting rid of some - maybe, the ones I got from the place near my old library that did 3 paperbacks for £1; it's an amazing deal but I will probably never read half of them.

The Books I Own BUT Haven't Read:

From my bookshelves -  the ones I REALLY want to read


From storage boxes - half of which I will probably never read!

Now to figure out what to do with the ones I will probably never read. I have a grand total of 299 books that I own but haven't read yet - excluding Kindle books.

I am hoping that a lot of you have the same problem and it isn't just me! 

My Top Picks

Books I've had ages:
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1) Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5) Slated (Slated, #1) Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1) Goddess (Starcrossed, #3) Kiss River

How have I not continued the A Song of Ice & Fire series? I absolutely loved the first book, but I think it's the size of them that put me off, especially when I have so many books to read. Duff just looks like a fun read and I have had it FOREVER. Easy, I have heard so many great things about. The Gallagher Girl series is brilliant, I need to finish. Slated looks good and I have the third one as an ARC. Monument 14, have had ages. Goddess - I need to finish yet another series. Kiss River - I love Diane Chamberlain and have four new books of hers that I haven't read yet.

Recently bought: 

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1) The Archived (The Archived, #1) Fangirl Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1) The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) Article 5 (Article 5, #1) Horde (Razorland, #3)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) Delirium (Delirium, #1) Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
Nantucket Blue (Nantucket #1) Ashfall (Ashfall, #1) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Jellicoe Road

Pivot Point, The Arcived, Fangirl, Shatter Me, Not A Drop To Drink, The Darkest Minds, Article 5, Horde, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Delirium, Shadow & Bone, Angelfall, Nantucket Blue, Ashfall, Coldest Girl In Coldtown & Jellicoe Road - because the blogosphere tells me so many phenomenal things about them all. 

Yes, I know I didn't stick to ten but I just couldn't - there are far too many that I really want to read.


On The Blog

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Review
Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi: Review
Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossie: Novella Review
Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi: Review


Giveaways


I am doing a 300 Bloglovin followers giveaway. Enter for your chance to win either a £10 or $15 Amazon Gift Certificate.




I am also taking part in the Valentines Day giveaway for a Kindle Fire HDX.





Monday, 24 February 2014

Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (Under The Never Sky #3): Review

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)Title: Into The Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Atom
Buy This Book: Book Depository Amazon

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.
The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.
Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.
Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission - because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

I really want to do this book justice by giving it an amazing review that adequately describes exactly what it did to me as a reader and how incredible a book it is. But two days after finishing it and I still can't seem to get together one coherent thought on it. It's kind of more of me drooling over it, whilst also wanting to grab random strangers and scream at them unintelligibly about how they MUST READ THIS BOOK!!! 

One of the things I love most about Rossi's books is that I can't seem to predict what's going to happen in them or what they are going to be about. Book two didn't start how I thought it would and book three did not go how I thought it would at all. She always manages to take me by surprise in the best way.

Every character in this book is so perfect that I can't fault any one of them. The main characters are everything I could possibly need, and the characters I am supposed to hate definitely bring out that reaction in me. Perry is as adorable as ever, but also tugged at my heartstrings because of how hard he found it to come to terms with his sisters death, whilst trying to hold himself together for his Tribe. Aria. I am not sure where to start with Aria in this book. I thought this showed her at her absolute best. She's strong and determined and gets stuck into the fighting and action as much as the guys do. There is also one scene where she kicks the crap out of one character that had me cheering with happiness. Go Aria, go Aria, go!

I can't really think of many secondary characters, or main character best friends that are more brilliant than Roar. Who doesn't love that guy? He's so heartbroken in this that it made me sad just to read about it. That was probably the moment I knew that I was way too emotionally invested in these characters - just the way I like it! When he first shows up at camp he is furious with Perry, he can't understand why he isn't a crying mess over Liv's death. He just wants Perry to act like he cares, but he doesn't realise that Perry just needs to hold himself together in order to take care of the tribe. This book definitely shows the struggles between characters, as their loyalties and friendships are put to the test. I have really come to love these characters, it made finishing the series very bittersweet.

The story kept me guessing the whole time, I couldn't predict what was going to happen from one page to the next. This book has a good deal of shock plot points and revelations and I was gripped the whole time I was reading it. It had me laughing at times, and other times had me on the brink of becoming a sobbing mess on public transport.

My favourite part was probably the last third of the book. I was utterly sucked into the story by then and wouldn't have put it down for anything. I was a little scared at times, but I trusted Rossi that she was going to give me a series ender to absolutely love, not one I would want to launch across the room. I can't make up my mind whether this is my favourite or not, it's got stiff competition from Under The Never Sky. It honestly is one of the best series enders I have ever read.

I feel it is only fair to mention something I disliked about a book, but I honestly can't think of anything. There was only one thing that had me crying and wishing it had turned out differently, but it wouldn't have been realistic to the story. It made sense in the story and showed just how much these characters love each other. Other than that there was only one thing that got to me, which was Perry using the expression 'He loved her - down to his soul', which I know is sweet but it still makes me cringe like crazy.

5/5 Stars

I can't fault the book in any way. Rossi provides us with one of the most perfect and phenomenal series enders that I have ever had the pleasure to read. It put me on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster and had me on the verge of tears whilst on buses but it was perfect. This may actually be my favourite book of the whole series. I am so blown away by it that I can't get my thoughts and feelings down into coherent sentences. Just trust me and read this book! 



*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

My Weekly Book Haul: 22/02/2014

STSmall
Friday Finds is something that was started over on ShouldBeReading and Stacking the Shelves over at TyngaReviews, I am in love with all of these as I love finding other blogs to follow and books to read through these! So check them all out and see what you find, Stacking the Shelves has a lot of participants as well which is great. This is basically a way for me to show what books I have received, borrowed or bought each week. All book covers and their summary come from back of book or Goodreads.
http://shouldbereading.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/fridayfinds_bringontheink.png
My Week
I'd really like to be able to say that I had an eventful, fun-filled week but I would most definitely be lying. I worked, worked and than when I got bored of that, I worked some more! It left little time for reading and even less time for blogging.

All I can say... What is it with blogger and absolutely hating photos?!?! They never go where I want and it is infuriating me when trying to do these posts. They used to go to the side and I could out text next to it and now it's being fussy about it. Damn you Blogger!!!


The Physical Haul




I Bought:



A copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resides on almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attacked by a Manticore. -Albus Dumbledore


Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1) Never Too Far (Too Far, #2) Forever Too Far (Too Far, #3)

When Blaire Wynn's mother passed away, Blaire's life changed in an instant. Having cared for her sick mother for the last three years, suddenly Blaire has to leave the small farmhouse in Alabama they shared, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. But what she isn't prepared for is the lifestyle change that comes with the move, and she knows she'll never fit into the new world of luxury and extravagance that suddenly surrounds her. 
Even worse, her father has run off to Paris for the summer with his wife, leaving her stranded with Rush, her new stepbrother, who's irritating, arrogant and… seriously sexy. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous; his famous father's guilt money, his mother's desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no. Blaire knows he is anything but good for her, but somehow she can't fight the attraction she's feeling, especially when she starts to think the attraction might be mutual… Rush is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that Blaire just may have fallen too far.

I hate the covers for these, the original covers weren't that great either but they are definitely preferable to this. But for 3 for £5, I won't complain too much. 


I Borrowed:

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Cinder, Scarlet & Cress by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This is it blogosphere. I have once again borrowed these books, this time with the third one included, and I am DETERMINED to get to them... soon!!!! Wish me luck! 


The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
The Almost GirlSeventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. But coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.
Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows.  Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail

The Wrong BoyHanna Mendel was going to be a famous pianist. But the Nazis had another plan. Thrown into Auschwitz , she plays piano for a camp commandant and wears a dead girl's dress pinned with a yellow star.
And she is falling in love - with the wrong boy.
The Name On Your Wrist by Helen Hiorns
The Name On Your WristIn Corin's world, your carpinomen - the name of your soul mate, marked indelibly on your wrist from the age of two or three - is everything. It's your most preciously guarded secret; a piece of knowledge that can give another person ultimate power over you. People spend years, even decades, searching for the one they're supposed to be with.
But what if you never find that person? Or you do, but you just don't love them? What if you fall for someone else - someone other than the name on your wrist?
And what if - like Corin - the last thing in the world you want is to be found?
I Received For Review:

Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
Boys Like YouOne mistake.
And everything changes.
For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that…
Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that…
Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt – looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.
Released: 1st May 2014


On The Blog

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Review
Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi: Review
Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossie: Novella Review


Giveaways


I am doing a 300 Bloglovin followers giveaway. Enter for your chance to win either a £10 or $15 Amazon Gift Certificate.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


I am also taking part in the Valentines Day giveaway for a Kindle Fire HDX.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday, 21 February 2014

Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #0.5): Review

Roar and Liv (Under the Never Sky, #0.5)Title: Roar and Liv (Under the Never Sky #0.5)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Atom
Buy This Book: Amazon


Before Perry and Aria, there was Roar and Liv.
After a childhood spent wandering the borderlands, Roar finally feels like he has a home with the Tides. His best friend Perry is like a brother to him, and Perry's sister, Liv, is the love of his life. But Perry and Liv's unpredictable older brother, Vale, is the Blood Lord of the Tides, and he has never looked kindly on Roar and Liv's union. Normally, Roar couldn't care less about Vale's opinion. But with food running low and conditions worsening every day, Vale's leadership is more vital—and more brutal—than ever. Desperate to protect his tribe, Vale makes a decision that will shatter the life Roar knew and change the fate of the Tides forever.(Goodreads Summary)

*This will be a short review as it is only 68 page novella and it also contains spoilers for Under The Never Sky and Through The Ever Night.*

To me, it seems like Veronica Rossi can do no wrong. Sometimes a novella just doesn't feel like enough, especially when you're used to reading 300+ page books. But, for me, this was perfect and gave me a chance to get inside Roar's head.

I absolutely love Roar as a character, in Under the Never Sky he was one of my favourites and continues to be throughout the other books. The chance to read a story from his point of view, and find out more about Liv and him, was just too good to miss. I read this after Through the Ever Night but realise now that I should have read it before.

The novella is set in the time where Vale makes his deal with the Horns; he sells his sister Liv in exchange for food. This novella was a good reminder of why I absolutely hate Vale, in fact this made me hate him so much more. It allowed me to see how Perry and Roar reacted to the news and really, really made me hurt for them.

I didn't realise it was actually possibly, but this made me adore Roar even more, I just about fell in love with him. The book made me hate Liv in a way, and all the decisions she makes but she's right. Every decision is made with her family and Roar in mind, if she doesn't go to Sable and the Horns she knows her family and her tribe will be made to suffer. But Roar's love for her is so strong and obvious that you just want her to pick him. It was also beautiful to see how much Roar loves Perry and Liv, to him they are family and he would do anything for them.

I have to say that I'm quite glad I read this after Through the Ever Night because, if I had read it before, I know that Liv's death would have devastated me a million times more. I saved myself from severe emotional pain by putting it off till after that event!

5/5 Stars