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Kayleigh {K-Books}

I'm a 20-something Psychology Lecturer and Literacy specialist who is obsessed with anything bookish. I run K-Books, a book-blog that has been going for 2 and a half years. I am also a publicist for Spencer Hill Press.

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2)

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) - Laini Taylor

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.

And its snap split the world in two.


Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

 

 

After finishing Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I couldn't wait to get started on the next book in the series. I absolutely loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It is such an original, fresh fantasy novel and unlike anything I have read. I loved that and I had pretty high expectations for Days of Blood and Starlight and I went into this book expecting to be sucked back into this magical world. I could not have been more disappointed.

Days of Blood and Starlight picks up where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off - with Akiva and Karou apart. Karou has taken up residence as the local necromancer and she is happy staying away from everything that happened with Akiva. But Karou's happiness does not last as Akiva turns to her in her dreams... and suddenly Karou's life just got a whole lot more dangerous.

First of all, let's start with what I did like about this book:
The characters and creatures are amazing. They are unique and wonderful. I also really like this unique storyline. It's so different to anything I've read before. Add to that the fact that I listened to the audio edition and I adore the narrator, there were a few things I did really like about this book.

However for the majority I really find this a pretty bad book. I feel like it's just a complete contrast from the first one. It genuinelly feels like a completely different story. I was not impressed. The voice wasn't the same. I started to see Karou as a whiny character that I just wanted to shut up and the reationship between her and Akiva was forced and unbelievable.

For the most part, while I was reading Days of Blood and Starlight I was bored stupid. I almost DNF'd it so many times but due to my love of the first book I forced myself to continue, hoping it would improve. It did not. And forcing myself to continue possibly made me dislike the book even more.

I know this series is a very well loved series and I am so sad that I didn't like this, especially after my love of book 1 but to me this was just a really bad book. I disliked the majority of it and while reading it all I kept thinking of was about what book I would read next and I couldn't wait to move on to the next book I was going to read... and that is never a good sign.

Days of Blood and Starlight was a complete let down for me. I was so disappointed with it and this series had now been filed under "abandoned series" as I definitely will not be continuined and reading book 3. I have even give my paperback copies of the books away as I will not finish the series nor re-read the first book.

Before reading Days of Blood and Starlight if someone has asked me about this series I'd have said read it not because it's amazing. Now? Don't rush and it's a definite miss. You wouldn't be missing anything major if you didn't read this series. It sucks you in and makes you like it just to let you down and make you dislike the series.

 

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright #2)

Because It Is My Blood - Gabrielle Zevin

"Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in."- Michael Corleone, "The Godfather"
 
Since her release from Liberty Children's Facility, Anya Balanchine is determined to follow the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her criminal record is making it hard for her to do that. No high school wants her with a gun possession charge on her rap sheet. Plus, all the people in her life have moved on: Natty has skipped two grades at Holy Trinity, Scarlet and Gable seem closer than ever, and even Win is in a new relationship.But when old friends return demanding that certain debts be paid, Anya is thrown right back into the criminal world that she had been determined to escape. It's a journey that will take her across the ocean and straight into the heart of the birthplace of chocolate where her resolve--and her heart--will be tested as never before.

 

 

"No, you speak the truth. Love isn't right. It isn't right for me either. Sometimes I hate cacao. You don't love Balanchine chocolate. You are Balanchine chocolate."

I read the first installment of the Birthright series what feels like forever ago. I got an ARC from Macmillan of All These Things I've Done and devoured it in one sitting. Sucked into a dystopic world where Coffee and Chocolate were illegal I just couldn't put it down. It was so unique and I just couldn't fathom a world without coffee and chocolate. It completely captured me and I couldn't put it down. I loved every moment of it.

I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about Because It Is My Blood. The Birthright series is a trilogy and I often find with trilogies we sometimes get 'Middle Book Syndrome' where the second book doesn't live up to the first one and feels like a stepping stone just leading up to the final book. I feared that this would happen with this one... I needn't have feared. Because It Is My Blood completely drew me back into this world and I couldn't stop reading. This is fast becoming one of my favourite dystopia series of all time.

I was drawn back into this dystopic world and Anya's world. I feel so sorry for Anya. She really has been dealt a horrible hand in her life and unfortunately things are not getting much better. After leaving Liberty she is forced to flee the country for Mexico. Here she learns to accept her family business and she learns that chocolate isn't the enemy as she had recently concluded.

What I loved about this book is that we not only get to catch up with our favourite characters but we get to know some new ones too and I love the new characters, especially Theo. He is such fun and I just loved every moment that he was in the book. Anya really goes through a lot in this book and you see her really grow as a character and I loved her even more in this book. She accepts her destiny and she does it in such a noble and amazing way. I adore how independent she is and that even though the romance is there she doesn't let it define her. She makes her own decisions and does what is best for her and her family.

Because It Is My Blood is a heart-stopping race and there are so many shocks and twists and turns that I never saw coming. Gabrielle Zevin most definitely had me staring, jaw slacked at the book many times. I loved every single second of this book and I am dying to get my hands on the final book in the Birthright series. One of my favourite dystopia series of all time. A must read.

"Because there's never been anyone else for me but you. There will never be anyone else for me but you."

 

Storm (Elementals #1)

Storm - Brigid Kemmerer

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. When she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot, everything is about to change. Chris is different from the guys at school... really different. He can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. The brothers are powerful and dangerous. And now that Becca knows the truth, so is she.

When the mysterious new kid, Hunter, turns up, Becca thinks she can trust him. But when he goes head-to-head with Chris, Becca's left wondering who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

 

 

 

"Touch was funny like that. How one movement could choke you and kill you, but another meant nothing more than a caress and an invitation. How sex and rape were just a few motions apart."

After devouring the prequel novella for the Elementals series I couldn't wait to get started on the first book, Storm. Elemental really had me addicted to Brigid's fantastic writing style, her magical world and her addictive characters. I couldn't help but start on Storm right away. I absolutely loved Storm. It has everything you could possibly want in a YA Paranormal book. Romance, magic and danger. Storm took me on a journey through this new magical world and I loved every single moment of it.

Becca just wants a quiet normal year in high school. After her awful experience with her ex-boyfriend she just wants to forget about it all. But when she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school car park she doesn't expect that her life will change forever. Suddenly thrown into a magical world that she never expected Becca's life is in danger. Torn between the mysterious Chris and the new guy Hunter Becca doesn't know what to do. Is Hunter as normal as he suggests or is he hiding a deadly secret?

Elemental really gave me a great insight into the series and I feel like reading it really helped me to understand the Merrick family more, especially Michael. Michael really comes across as a jerk in this book and it really helped having read Elemental as it made you understand his perception of the situation more.

Brigid once again blew me away with her writing style. She really grabs your attention and won't let you go. Her writing style really reminds me of that of Jennifer L Armentrout's. It is so easy to just lose yourself in the story. It's so easy to read, doesn't get you confused or make you have to really think about everything in detail. It's easy to just get lost in the book and forget about everything that is happening around you, much like JLA's books.

I really loved Chris and Becca. Our two main protagonists in this book are ones that you love. Becca is such an awesome character to read about and you really go on this discovery with her. You, as the reader, feel like you are experiencing everything with her. Chris is the sweetest most adorable character ever and everyone will fall in love with him. The more I read the book the more I really wanted them both to just get together as it was clear that they were perfect for each other.

One thing I adored about Storm is that although it is a Paranormal Romance novel the romance really takes the back burner. The book is very plot driven and the most important thing is the story is the fact that hunters are coming for Becca and the Merrick's and the romance is really in the background. We still have the hint of a love triangle between Chris, Becca and Hunter but it resolves and doesn't develop into a love triangle, which I loved because I am not a massive fan of them. I loved how the real romance developed so slowly and we don't have anything happen in the first half of the book and it's pretty far into the second half before we see any developing romance. There is no insta-love here and I adored that.

Storm really makes you fall in love not just with Chris but the whole family of Merrick brothers. I fell in love with each and every one of them and I cannot wait to get each of their stories. I want to know what happens with each and every one of them, not just the main guy in this particular book. I also really liked Hunter. I haven't quite decided whether he is a bad guy or a good guy but I really enjoyed reading about him and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with him in future books.

Storm is a phenomenal start to a series. It has absolutely everything that you could ever want in a good paranormal book. There is magic and action, romance and danger. I loved every single second of it and I cannot praise this book enough. It is amazing and I am dying to get my hands on the next installment in the Elementals Series.

"Hey, little brother.” Gabriel came back through the door and flopped on the bed, drawing his legs up to sit against the wall. “Girls are more likely to stay if you don’t fight with them.”"

 

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)

Take Me On - Katie McGarry

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

 

 

"She and I are like two separate halves to a whole. Separate in that two of us could live life apart sf be successful, but when we are together - when we are whole - that's when the magic begins."

Having devoured all 3 of the Pushing the Limits books so far I couldn't wait to get my hands on Take Me On, the fourth installment in the series. I fell in love with West in Crash Into You in the small glimpses we got of him and so when I found out that this would be West's story I couldn't wait to read it. Take Me On did not disappoint. It may just be my favourite Katie McGarry book so far. It was phenomenal and I couldn't help but devour it in one sitting.

Haley has sworn that she will never step foot back in the ring. As a champion kickboxer it was her life but after a tragic evening she swears that she will give it up for life. Then West Young walks into her life. West has been kicked out of home and on that eventful evening he stumbles across Haley their lived becoming entertwined. Haley finds herself having to train West for his upcoming fight. Trying to stay professional is becoming harder and harder as the sparks fly between West and Haley and suddenly she is more concerned about keeping West alive than his winning the fight. Is their love worth fighting for?

I love, love, loved this book. I have to admit that I felt like the third book in the Pushing the Limits series, Crash Into You, wasn't as good as the previous two in the series to me and so I was a little bit worried about this one. I really needn't have. Once again Katie has shown that she is the Queen of YA Contemporary Romance. Her writing style is phenomenal and you really end up being so engrossed in this book that you end up devouring it in one sitting. It was just amazing and Katie is officially my favourite contemp author of all time. I just adore everything that she has ever wrote and I can't help but buy everything she writes, regardless of what it is about.

West is such an amazing character. He has grown so much and you really do see the difference in him from the boy we met in Crash Into You to the boy he is at the end of Take Me On. He goes through hell in this book but it makes him a better person and he is able to appreciate that which I loved. He has such a hatred for his sister's boyfriend, Isaiah, at the start and his attitude toward him in the end really shows how much he has grown. I loved that about West and you really won't be able to help but fall for him. I loved West so much and one thing that makes him so different from any of the other Katie McGarry guys so far is that he isn't the one pulling away in the relationship. He knows how he feels, accepts it for love and goes after Haley. He is so noble and self-sacrificing. I just wanted to hug him all the way through the book.

Haley is such a great heroine. She is kick-ass yet vulnerable at the same time which makes her a joy to read about and to follow throughout the story. She has really had such a horrible experience and really believes that her life isn't going to get better. I loved her in the beginning and I love the way she develops when she is with West and the difference not only he has on her life but she has on his life too.

I loved that this book has a professional fighting aspect of it. It's not street brawling. It's professional fighting as a sport and I loved that. As someone who used to do kickboxing when I was at school I could really identify with this part of the story and I loved the importance it had to each of the characters.

Take Me On is one of my favourite books of the year so far without a doubt. I loved every single second of it and as always with a Katie McGarry book I met many characters that I wish would have their own book. I am still holding out the hope for a Chase and Abby book and I would love to read more about Jax. Take Me On was a phenomenal installment of the Pushing the Limits series and I can't wait to see what Katie comes up with next.

"Because you're the girl I've been waiting for. If you want to break up, then you're going to have to do it because I won't. You're it for me and I'm not walking away."

 

Elemental (Elementals #0.5)

Elemental: An Elementals Novella #0.5 - Brigid Kemmerer

As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.
Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy, dangerous, and completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.
But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.
They want him dead.

 

 

 

Elementals is a series I have had my eye on for what feels like forever. I have had this prequel sat there on my kindle for what seems like forever, along with the first installment of the series sat on my shelf for forever. I was so excited to find out that they were getting published over here in the UK. I have had the US edition for ages as it was a birthday gift from the awesome Julie @ Bookarooju last year. She loved the series so much and we have very similar tastes so I obviously couldn't wait to read it. Saying that it wasn't until the UK publisher sent me the first book for review that I actually came around to picking up the book and decided to read this short prequel first... and my goodness why did I not read this book before now? It's freaking phenomenal.

Elemental is the story of Michael, the oldest Merrick brother. The whole community is just waiting for him to slip up and use his Earth Elemental power. He is determined to just keep his head down and protect his family. But then he meets Emily. Although Emily's family hated Michael he can't help but feel for her and Emily is drawn to him regardless of what her family say. Can they beat the odds and be together or will Emily's family keep them apart?

I really loved this prequel novella. Honestly I didn't know what I would think of this one. I had already decided that regardless of whether I enjoyed the prequel I would still read Storm anyway. I have a history of not really liking prequels as I find them either slow and boring or a bit of information overload. Elemental is nothing like that. If you haven't started the series yet I urge you to read the prequel first as it just introduces you to this world perfectly and honestly completely addicts you.

I found that Elemental wasn't a romance story it was a introduction to Michael, which honestly you need because he's kind of an asshole in Storm so it's nice to read this and get to like him before we see him acting horrible. I loved that we were just introduced nicely to the Merrick family and we get the history between the families that will take a big role in the first novel.

Elemental was not slow or boring and it introduced us without being boring and giving us lots of in-depth detail like happens in other novellas. Brigid got the perfect balence right. It didn't bombard is with history of the elementals, we learn this slowly in the first novel this was just the thing to get you to grips with the paranormal aspects of the series, introduce you to the characters and get you addicted to the series.

Elemental was perfect. I loved every moment of it and the moment I finished it I couldn't help but pick up Storm. Welcome to Elementals, my new YA addiction.

 

The Warrior (Dante Walker #3)

The Warrior  - Victoria Scott

War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

 

 

There are no words to explain just how excited I was to get my hands on this book. I fell in love with the amazing Dante Walker series when I devoured the first installment in the series, The Collector. Since then I have been dying to see how the series would end... and let me tell you it is not a disappointment.

Dante Walker has been through hell. He has gone from A Collector, someone working for hte devil, to A Liberator, someone working for God. Now he has a huge challenge ahead of him. Complete his training to be A Liberator, save Aspen from hell and save Charlie. But nothing is as easy as it seems and it is uncertain who will survive the final battle.

I have to admit that as much as I couldn't wait for this book I was a little nervous. I've recently read Victoria Scott's other series Fire & Flood and didn't really like it that much and so I was a little bit nervous that those feelings would pass into The Warrior. I needn't have worried. The Warrior was amazing and Victoria Scott's writing has really proved to be amazing. No matter what she is such a fantastic author and her writing is completely addictive.

Once again, I fell head over heels in love with Dante Walker. He is just the most amazing character and the more I read the more I loved him. He is cheeky and sarcastic. Protective and romantic. He is just pure perfectness wrapped up in a super hotness.

The Warrior was utter perfection. I was a little bit afraid of the ending after I've read some not-so-amazing endings of trilogies but Victoria knows how to end a series well. The ending was perfect and she really stayed true to her fans and gave us the kind of ending we wanted. I loved it so much and my faith has been restored in trilogy endings.

The Dante Walker series is a must read for everyone. It seriously has everything that you could ever want in a book. Romance, action, snark. It was pure awesomeness. I am really going to miss this series but it is one that I will read over and over again.

 

Searching for Beautiful

Searching for Beautiful - Nyrae Dawn

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

 

 

 

Searching for Beautiful was my first book by Nyrae Dawn and I was really looking forward to starting it. I had heard amazing things about this author and I adore Entangled Teen books so this one seemed like a good place to start. Honestly I was left a little bit disappointed by this one. As much as I love Entangled Teen books and YA Contemps this one was definitely not the book for me.

Searching For Beautiful had such great potential. I really liked the premise of the book. It sounded so awesome and I set out at the start thinking this is a great storyline. It had me really interested in the beginning. Nyrae is a great writer and her writing style pulled me in and really had me hooked at the start. I loved the use of flashbacks as it was great to see what had happened prior to where we were at the beginning of the book.

Unfortunately even though the premise and writing was good I just didn't enjoy this book. The main character was really annoying and childish. If you know me at all you'll know that I have got to like the main protagonist for me to enjoy the book. And I just didn't. I hated quite a few of the characters and after the first few chapters I was just really bored. Even though I continued and finished the book I found my mind wandering all the time and I was always thinking about what book I would read next and I was looking forward to reading a new book which is never good when you're not even half-way through the current one. I wanted to be taken by this book and engrossed in the storyline and characters but I just wasn't.

I have to say I am very disappointed by Searching For Beautiful. With it being my first Nyrae Dawn book too made it worse as I have heard amazing things about her books. After this one I am unsure whether I will pick up anything else by her.

This is definitely a miss for me.

 

Tempting the Bodyguard (Gamble Brothers #3)

Tempting the Bodyguard (A Gamble Brothers Novel) (Entangled Brazen) - J. Lynn

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint...

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don't protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he's caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she's at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose...

 

 

"You'd better wake up before the best damn thing walks out of your life."

There are no words to explain just how excited I was when this little diamond landed in my inbox. I have been head-over-heels in love with Jen's Adult series since I devoured the first book, Tempting the Best Man, in one sitting back when it was first released. Since then I've been dying to get my hands on Chandler's story... and it is finally here and it doesn't disappoint. This may be the case of Jen leaving the best till last.

Alana Gore didn't expect to be liked in her job. She wasn't surprised when she was hated but she didn't expect to be stalked and to have a stalker threatening to end her life. The only way she has to turn is towards the last person she ever wants to be near. Chandler Gamble suddenly finds himself with hte job of Bodyguard to the one person his family hates... everyone except himself that is. He suddenly finds it very difficult to be professional when he has to protect the one person who tempts him. Will he and Alana be able to stay professional or will they give in to the passion surrounding them?

Tempting the Bodyguard is without a doubt JLA's best Adult Romance novel to date. Her writing is phenomenal as always and she really draws you in right at the start and you really cannot put this book down. I devoured it in one sitting. I just couldn't stop reading until I had finished the whole thing. It is just so damn addictive.

One fantastic thing about Tempting the Bodyguard is that you have already met the characters before getting their story. You may think you know Alana from Tempting the Player but what I loved about this one is that Jen gave her a whole other side to her that we hadn't seen. In Tempting the Player Alana is perceived as a bitch who doesn't care about other feelings as long as she gets her job done. She is also shown as someone who doesn't let anything affect her. In this one we get to see a much more vulnerable side of Alana and see that even though she may have a steel wall between herself and others everything affects her just as much as any other person.

Chandler is without a doubt the best Gamble brother. I absolutely adore him. I feel like I loved Tempting the Bodyguard more than the others because Chase and Chad had such major similarities when it came to their fear of commitment whereas Chandler has really different feelings and a different approach to everything and I found that so refreshing and it really made Chandler more lovable and will make every girl reading this fall in love with him.

One thing that I loved the most about this installment in the Gamble Brothers series is that this one has a lot more suspense than the others. With the stalking element included it gives it a more addictive storyline and feeling. I felt that I couldn't put this book down, even more so than the others, not only because of the romance but because I really needed to know who was stalking Alana and figure out the mystery of it all. That aspect definitely makes Tempting the Bodyguard more addictive and unputdownable than the other installments of the series.

Tempting the Bodyguard is everything that you will want and more. It has all the aspects you have come to expect from a JLA book. It's sexy, steamy and swoony. It's dangerous and addictive. Not only do you get Chandler's and Alana's beautiful and steamy love story but you get to catch up with the other couples that we fell in love with in the previous books. Tempting the Bodyguard is utter perfection and even though I am sad to see the series come to an end I know that Jen had left the best till last and I am so glad to have finally got Chandler's and Alana's story. Tempting the Bodyguard is my favourite of the series it was phenomenal. It took my breath away and left me breathless. Utter Perfection!

"You can have as many pieces of me as you want. You can have all of me, for forever."

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1) - Laini Taylor

"Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.
When Brimstone called, she always came."


In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

 

 

 

"Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic."

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of the most bizarre, unique novels I think I have ever come across... and it is pure awesomeness. I started to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone previously a year or so ago and I just couldn't get into it so I put it back on my shelf and put it down to not being in the mood for that book. When I got the email from audible that all 3 were now available I knew this was the perfect time to go back to the series and decided to listen to them rather than read them. It was most definitely the correct decision for me.

Karou is balancing two very different lives and has managed to balance them quite well up to now. She is a 17 year old art student studying in Prague but she is also an errand-girl to a monster that is the closest thing to family to her. When her two worlds suddenly collide Karou is pushed into what is looking like a monsterous, centuries-old war. She is stuck in the middle of two races but can she really back one when she doesn't even really know who, and what, she is?

I really fell in love with this book. Laini Taylor's storytelling skills are really superb. I seriously want to look inside this woman's head because I just can't wrap my head around the fact that she came up with this amazing, bizarre, incredible story. Her awesome writing and her creative world building grabs you in right from the start and it doesn't really let you go until you have finished the book.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is without a doubt the most unique storyline I have ever read in my life. There isn't just a range of very different characters but such a range of extremely different creatures. With having such different creatures, ones that you won't have come across in any other series it makes this one so unique and amazing.

Karou and Akiva, our two main protagonists are two characters I just love. Karou is so awesome and strong-willed. I just love how funny and fiesty she is. She's such a joy to read about. Akiva is the character everyone will fall in love with. He is swoony, sexy and romantic. Everything anyone would want in a romantic interest for our beloved heroine. I loved them both.

One of my favourite things about Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the fact that it isn't set in a typical place like the USA or UK. A lot of YA novels are set in these places so it was very refreshing to find a novel that was set somewhere a bit more exotic with a bit more history. For the most part this book is set in Prague and I found that fascinating and fantastic. I loved that it was somewhere new and while reading we got to learn a bit more about the culture there as well.

As I mentioned in the start of this review I listened to the audio edition of this book and I have to say that I may just have found my favourite narrator of all time. Khristine Hvam was utterly phenomenal. She completely drew you into the story and made it incredibly hard to stop listening. She never once let your mind waver to anything other than what she was saying. SHe put on these incredibly different voice for each of the characters and different creatures and she just brought all of these creatures to life. If this book got made into a movie I was honestly compare the actors voice for the creatures to the narrators and probably complain that they weren't as food. She was honestly amazing and really made me feel like I was truly witnessing all these different creatures. She was phenomenal. I will seriously going out of my way to find out what other books Khristine narrates as they are now on the top of my list of audiobooks to get.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a fantastic installment in what I am guessing is going to be a mind-blowingly phenomenal series. I can't wait to start listening to the second book and it will most definitely be my next listen. If you haven't read this series I strongly urge you to start it... if you listen to audios this audio is one of the best and would suggest it to anyone. This is the audiobook that I would suggest so non-listeners as I am convinced one listen to Khristine Hvam's phenomenal narrating and you'll be an audio convert.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone has everything you could have ever wanted. It had mystery and intrugue, magic and paranormal creatures, heart-stopping action and breathtaking romance. A must read!

"Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you."

 

Half-Bad (Half-Life #1)

Half Bad - Sally Green

Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

Easy.

 

 

 

Half-Bad was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I do admit that I'm not entirely sure what drew me to it as I'm not really a big fan of witch books but regardless I really wanted to read this one. I'd heard so many amazing things about this book and I really thought that it would be something that I loved. Unfortunately I feel like the hype surrounding this book ruined it a little bit and I was left feeling like it wasn't as good as everyone is making it out to be.

Nathan is a half. Half White witch, half Black witch. Because of this he is treat differently to everyone else. The White Witches don't trust him because he is part Black and the Black Witches don't trust him because he is part White. Nathan has been chained up in a cage since he was fourteen but he needs to escape and find Mercury before his seventeenth birthday... otherwise he may not survive.

Half-Bad had such a strong storyline. I felt like the storyline was very unique and different to any other YA Paranormal books out there and I really enjoyed following the story. Nathan has had such a awful life. Nothing has gone right for him and he has been pretty much exiled since birth. I felt so sorry for him and with this being his story this is most definitely not a happy story. It's actually rather depressing and one of my problems with the book was that it just made me depressed. Even though I really liked the storyline everytime I went to read some more I had a thought of 'Yay I'm gonna go depress myself again... hide the knives before I decide to off myself.' I really found it THAT depressing that although I wanted to find out what happened to poor Nathan I really didn't wanna read because it would put me in a very depressing mood.

Sally Green's writing style is so unique and different that it was quite something to read. It was so good for Nathan's mental state at the beginning and her use of foreshadowing at the beginning of the novel was perfect for this story. Though with me listening to the audiobook of Half-Bad I admit that the writing style transferred as quite odd for the first few chapters. Nathan's voice came off as quite strange and I didn't quite understand why his thoughts were so short and snappy. You don't really understand his mental state in those first few chapters until you have listened to more and found out what happened to him in the past.

Half-Bad is without a doubt one of the most unique Witch novels I have ever read and I did enjoy the story although I was a little disappointed and didn't think it was as good as the hype surrounding it. Due to all that hype I definitely went into the book expecting something amazing and I feel that that ruined my experience of this book. If I had not heard of any hype surrounding the book and I had gone into it with no expectations I probably would have found it more enjoyable than I did. Regardless it does have a strong, addictive storyline and it definitely worth a read but you will need a very happy book to follow this one.

 

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5)

A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance — beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone — a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

 

 

 

“I rose too high, loved too hard, dared too much. I tried to grasp a star, overreached, and fell.”

Taking place at the same time as the events in the previous installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons follows out favourite characters in the north and the east. After finishing A Feast for Crows I couldn't wait to get started on this one. Especially since I really missed these characters while listening to it, I was always wondering what was happening to Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Daenerys Targaryen and others so I was very excited to see what they had been up to.

A Dance of Dragons was such an amazing installment of the series filled with action, intrigue and horror. There were so many twists and turns all over the place there were many times where I was going wait what the hell just happened? There were times where I was ecstatic with glee as to what was happening and others where I was so upset and horrified I wanted to stop reading but I couldn't. It's far too addictive.

This installment was told from the point of view of 18 characters and if I didn't watch the TV show and know the characters as well as I do because of that I probably would have got a little bit lost. Having seen the show and listening to the audiobook helped keep up with the different characters. Telling a story from the point of view of 18 characters is no small feat for an audio narrator and must have been a daunting task. However her coped with it superbly. He was amazing and really gave voice and life to each individual character and was able to do justice to all of the different perspectives so my hat goes off to him. A big bravo!

A Dance of Dragons was amazing. It left me hanging and I need to read the next installment like yesterday. I flew through these books and I am very distressed by the fact that the next book has not yet been published. I loved every moment of these five books and I can't wait to read more. For now the TV show will just have to give me my fix of this rather insane obsession I have with this series. If you haven't read these books I urge you to do so immediately.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.” 

 

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4)

A Feast for Crows  - George R.R. Martin

With A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth volume of the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and stands as a modern masterpiece in the making.

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

 

 

 

“Words are wind, Brienne told herself. They cannot hurt you. Let them wash over you.” 

After finished the third book in the Song of Ice and Fire series I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next and instantly started listening to the audiobook of the fourth installment. The previous book in the series brought me so much happiness with the sudden death of a certain character and I couldn't wait to find out how that would effect everything in this book.

After the events of A Storm of Swords everything in the game of thrones has changed. Stakes are higher and those fighting for the throne are more determined than ever. A Feast of Crows is told from the perspective of 12 characters and it follows the characters in the South for the majority of. A Feast of Crows takes place at the exact same time as in the next installment, A Dance of Dragons, which follows the majority of the northern and eastern characters.

I really loved A Storm of Swords and I could barely stop listening to the audiobook, hence how I listened to a 33 hour audiobook in 5 days. It was filled to the brim with complex relationships, lots of violence and action with a dash of trechery and betrayal. Everything you have come to expect from a George RR Martin book. I really couldn't stop listening to this book as I just had to know what was going to happen to my favourite characters, and even what was going to happen to the ones I hate. A great thing about George's books is that his characters are not good or bad but a mixture of the two. A Feast of Crows makes you question everything that you thought you knew about the characters and had you second guessing who the bad guy is and if any of them are really truly bad.

A Feast for Crows is a fantastic installment in an addictive series. My only issue with it is that I really missed reading about those in the north and the east, particularly Danerys. Danerys is most definitely my favourite character and the one I want to end up in power and all the way through A Feast for Crows I was constantly wondering what was happening with her and the other characters that were not the narrators in this installment.

I can't wait to continue with the series and read A Dance with Dragons and find out what was happening in the other parts of Westeros while all this was going down in the South. I will most definitely be starting it as my next audiobook.

“Most have been forgotten. Most deserve to be forgotten. The heroes will always be remembered. The best. The best and the worst. And a few who were a bit of both.” 

 

Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1)

Geek Girl - Holly Smale

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

 

 

 

"They're still just clothes. They can't make you something you're not. They can only help to say who you are."

I've had Geek Girl on my shelf for what feels like forever. I've been meaning to read this book for so long and finally I picked it up as my first read in the UKYA Readathon ran by ProjectUKYA. My reaction after reading you ask? WHY DID I NOT PICK UP THIS SOONER? It was so awesome. I found this book so addictive that I couldn't put the book down.

Harriet is a Geek. At least that's what everyone at school tells her. Harriet is super smart and she knows lots of things but regardless of her brains everyone at school seems to hate her, apart from her best... well, only... friend. So when Harriet is spotted by a modelling agency she is given the chance to reinvent herself... and she takes it. But will a bit of make-up and some new clothes be the answer?

I love love loved this book. I really loved Harriet. She is so awesome and I compeltely identify with her. I am such a Geek and a lot of her 'geek' behaviours I notice that I do that all the time. Harriet's journey is such a great one to go through with her. She grows a lot in the book and although some of her decisions are questionable they are necessary for her to realise that being herself is actually ok.

The thing I adore about this book is that it's uplifting, motivational and just darn right hilarious. There were so many times that I was laughing out loud and the message behind this book, that it's okay to be different and be yourself and be a geek, is just so incredible. Especially for younger readers.

Holly Smale's writing style is superb in this book. I really felt like Harriet, a fifteen-year-old girl, was telling the story. Harriet's voice was so authentic of a fifteen year old. A lot of YA novels that are written in first person sometimes don't feel so authentic. The decisions made are definitely that of a teenager don't get me wrong but sometimes it does feel like an older person telling the story and then the teenage voice coming out in the dialogue and character interactions. I didn't feel that way at all with Geek Girl. It was just perfect for Harriet.

Geek Girl was such an amazing book and is the perfect read for any YA Contemporary fans. It's such an easy and quick read as you're just so engrossed in the story and Harriet's journey that it will be over before you know it and you'll be left reeling dying for more. It has everything you could possibly want, humour, friendship, personal discovery and a dash of romance. I loved it.

"You need to stop caring what people who don't matter think of you. Be who you are and let everybody else be who they are. Differences are a good thing, it would be a terribly boring world if we were all the same."

 

Dark Days

Dark Days - Kate Ormand

The future world has been divided into sectors--each the same as the other. Surrounded by thick steel fences, there is no way in and no way out. Yet a cyborg army penetrates each sector, picking off its citizens one by one, until no one is left. Behind the sectors' thick walls, the citizens wait to die. Few will be chosen to survive what's coming; the rest will be left behind to suffer. A new world has been created, and its rulers are incredibly selective on who will become a citizen. They want only those with important roles in society to help create a more perfect future.

Sixteen-year-old Sia lives in one of the sectors as part of a family that is far too ordinary to be picked to live. According to the digital clock that towers high above her sector, she has only fifteen days to live. Sia has seen the reports and knows a horrific death is in store for her, but she is determined to make the most of her final days. Sia refuses to mourn her short life, instead promising herself that she'll stay strong, despite being suffocated by her depressed mother and her frightened best friend. Just when Sia feels more alone than ever, she meets Mace, a mysterious boy. There is something that draws Sia to him, despite his dangerousness, and together, they join a group of rebels and embark on an epic journey to destroy the new world and its machines, and to put an end to the slaughter of innocent people.

 

 

 

"You were somewhere I couldn't get to you and that... that kills me. If anything had happened to you there, I wouldn't have been able to protect you from it."

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me how much I adore a good dystopia novel. It's one of my all time favourite genres and if I had to choose one genre to only read that genre for the rest of my life Dystopia would probably be the one I choose. I've been looking for a really unique dystopia book to get my hands on for a while. After reading so many dystopia books you find that some of them start to seem the same and have the same kind of storyline... Dark Days is one of the most unique and fresh dystopia novels I have ever read. I loved every single second of it.

The world has been split into sectors. Each is the same as the others and they are all equal. They are surrounded by steel walls with no way in and no way out. A new world has been created and those who are not chosen for the new world will be destroyed by the new worlds cyborg army. Sia lives in a sector and has been given 15 days before the cyborg army descend. Sia has a list of things she wants to do before she dies. Just when she has resigned that she is alone and living her last days she meets Mace, the mysterious and strong boy who gives her a reason to live. Will Sia give up and wait to die or is life worth fighting for?

Dark Days is such an amazing book. I do admit there is one thing that is similar to other dystopia books and that is the fact that the world was split into sectors. There is a few other YA dystopia novels that have that happen but that is where the similarities start and end. The rest is just pure originality. I loved that we don't actually see what leads up to the announcement that the cyborg army is coming. When we start the story they are already counting down to the end.

Sia is such an awesome character. I really loved her and she grows so much throughout the book. She goes from being pretty resigned over what is going to happen to wanting to fight for her life and will even sacrifice herself if it means she can save the rest of the sector.
Mace is awesome. I loved him. He is most definitely the character that all of the girls will love. He gives Sia a new lease of life and gives her something to fight for while also wanting to protect her. He accepts that she doesn't always need protection but wants to save her anyway.

Dark Days is pure originality wrapped up in a well-written package that is everything that a dystopia fan could wish for. Kate's writing is so amazing and completely entraps you from the start and keeps you hanging on so much that you finish the book in one sitting. I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen and I couldn't put the book down.

Dark Days is without a doubt a must-read. It's jampacked with heart-stopping action that has you on tenter-hooks, not able to turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen and breathtaking romance that will leave you breathless. I was sucked in and took on the journey of my life. Kate Ormand had me completely and utterly in love with this book. She sucked me in right at the start and kept me enraptured until she spat me out at the end begging for more. I'm still not sure what 'more' is. The end of the book is perfect. I'd love a sequel but if there wasn't one then that would be okay too as it really is a fantastic well-rounded ending. I just want more writing from Kate.

Dark Days is a must-read. Add this one to you pre-order lists people as this one is not to be missed.

"But now I've met you, and now I have something to live for again. I don't need to go back home. You're all I want. I'll do everything I can to keep up both alive. Everything. I can't lose you."

 

Made of Stars

Made of Stars - Kelley York

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

 

 

 

Couldn't get into it at all. I had many problems with this book. It was very slow and I just got really bored that I had no motivation to pick it up.

It's told in splin perspective and I felt that neither character had a 'voice' it just all sounded the same and you couldn't decipher which character was actually talking.

DNF.

 

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

 

 

 

Didn't finish.
These Broken Stars has such a fantastic premise. It's like a titanic... But in space. Awesome right? I thought so and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. However I just couldn't get into it at all.

These Broken Stars is a very character driven book and for me I am a plot-driven reader and for me because there's more characterisation than plot I just found myself getting a little bored. This book just wasn't for me and I ended up 'did not finish'-ing it.