Saturday, 23 May 2015

Book Review - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Narrator: David Horovitch
ISBN: 9781407486796  
ASIN: B002SQ73FY
 
Synopsis
Enter the magical world of Wonderland, follow the white rabbit and meet the Queen of Hearts, but don't get caught there!
 
 My Review
I have always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, mostly from watching the Disney film as a child. I read the book a few years ago and found it strange and very different but still enjoyable, just different from what I expected. We are hosting an Alice event at the library next week to celebrate 150 years since it's original publication so I though it would be a good time to re-read it, but being short of time I picked up the audiobook to listen to in my car. The narrator is fun although Alice's voice is a bit squeaky at times but once you get used to it, you get swept up into the world. 
The book is wacky and fun with some very strange ideas but that is all part of it's charm. And I still love the story as much now as I did as a child.
 
My Rating
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Book Review - The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan; Film Tie-in edition edition or Random House AudioBooks
Release Date: 29 Dec. 2006 or 30 Jan. 2014 (paperback)
ASIN: B002SQ677Y
ISBN-13: 978-0552779739

Synopsis
HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It's a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES
 


My Review
I have been intrigued by this book for years and always said I would try it, even more so when I saw there was a film coming out (I refuse to watch the movies until I have read the book). It is by no means my usual kind of read, but it has a lot of good reviews and everyone I know who has read it has said it was good, meaningful and emotional. However it stayed on my list a long, long time, so when I saw it in the library on spoken word CD I decided to borrow it. I always have a book to listen to in my car and this filled a gap perfectly. The narrator was brilliant, he had the accent presented perfectly and I found it really easy to listen to. 
Liesel is sent to stay with a foster family as war breaks out across Germany. She goes to live on Himmel Street with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The book is narrated by death which is very different but also a very interesting angle and he tells Liesel's story of how she got there and how she makes it her home. How she grows up and all that she experiences, from seeing Jews being marched through town and persecuted, making friends, going to school and dealing with the effects of war on her family and friends. As it is narrated by death it also means that we get a wider view of events going on elsewhere in the country during the war and presents a bigger picture. But the main focus is always Liesel and she is such a loveable, excitable and somewhat mischievous character that you can't help but like her. My favourite character was Rudy, he is so cheeky, funny and tries so hard that your heart goes out to him, even when he's naughty. 
I found this book to be very enlightening and interesting and emotional. I laughed in a few places and cried in others. I found myself hoping with all my might that the characters would survive, through the many trials and tribulations, and I'm not going to give away the ending, but I have to say that it moved me to tears. 
This book is beautifully written and full of imagery. The characters are so realisitc you can really picture the little streets, shops and houses and all of them moving around and going about their lives. Like long lost friends. 
I would strongly recommend this book to everyone and even the spoken word version as it will sweep you away in the narrative and you won't want to turn it off. 
I just hope the film is just as good.

My Rating
        

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Book Review - Dance of FIre

Title: Dance of Fire
Author: Yelena Black
Series: Dance of Shadows (Book 2)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: 12 Mar. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1408829981

Synopsis
All dancers dream of the chance to try out for the Royal Court Ballet Company. Only two dancers from the elite New York Ballet Academy will have this honour. Vanessa is one of them. She dances with grace and elegance, and a fury that is unmatched. Justin – strong, sexy and caring – will be her partner. But the thrill of travelling to London for this once-in-a-lifetime competition is shrouded by their past and the demands of an ancient organisation. The Lyric Elite needs them to win the contest and to infiltrate the Royal Court Ballet in order to seek out a dark society of Necrodancers. Vanessa will dance like she has never danced before, but not for them. Vanessa is there to find her missing sister, Margaret, and she won't let anything get in the way of that ... Fierce rivals, dark forces and hidden motives weave together.

My Review
I wasn't sure by the ending of the first book but I wanted to know what happened next, there were too many mysteries still to be solved not to continue so I ordered this book and waited for it to arrive. 
First of all, I have to admit the cover is absolutely stunning, these books certainly do well on the aesthetic view. I had an evening in and no coursework imminent (a rare occassion) so I decided to get stuck into this book. 
Vanessa and Justin have got a place in the Royal Court Ballet competition, but it's not entirely about dance, they have been sent by the 'Lyric Elite' to try and find the rest of the Necrodancers. This featured a lot more in this book and I still had a hard time accepting the whole ballet dancing to raise spirits thing, I was skeptical for a while but actually the more i read, the more I started to believe it and see where the author and characters were coming from. 
There are a number of new characters and they fit in well, I loved her Russian room mate, strong and a bit snotty but caring deep down. The whole Ballet school and competition is well set up and I found myself picturing the halls and practice rooms. As it is set in London, I could picture a lot of the places they visit as I have been there in reality, which made it seem all the more real. 
Justin really grew as a character in this book and I found myself liking him more and more, he is strong and silent but at the same time you know you can trust him.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this book that will keep you guessing throughout, and right to the end of the book you will be trying to figure out who is the bad guy, what really happened to Vanessa's Sister and if they will get back alive.
Overall this book is enjoyable and fast paced, and just as good as the first, but somehow I am still a little bit on the fence about the whole thing, the dance aspect is fabulous and I love that, but the paranormal aspect is still a little far fetched at times. 
This is a series that keeps me intrigued and I would read more if it came out, and I would recommend people try it for themselves. 

My Rating
     

Cover Reveal - Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds are Forever Cover Reveal


What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … but that doesn’t matter when you live there. Sisterhood, first crushes and scandalous secrets explode in book three of Michelle Madow’s The Secret Diamond Sisters.

Title: Diamonds are Forever

Author: Michelle Madow

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #3

Format: Print

ISBN: 978-0-37321-152-4

Synopsis:

It's cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah's flirt-mance with international pop star Perry Myles continues as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is it "meant to be" with Perry, or has the right guy been in front of her eyes this entire time? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—Brett…and with Adrian and Rebecca's wedding approaching, they feel more pressure than ever to reveal their relationship. Peyton might be figuring out a direction for her future, but she feels responsible for her bodyguard Jackson being fired, and wonders if the best way to find solace for her guilt is in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison's ready to tell the Diamond sisters the truth about the huge secret she's uncovered. And with Oliver, the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life, in the hospital fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamonds more than ever.

Pre-order at: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Books A Million  |  Goodreads

Other Books in the Secret Diamond Sisters Series:

Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters

Author: Michelle Madow

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #1

Format: Print

ISBN: 978-0-37321-109-8

Synopsis:

Three sisters. One billionaire father. What could go wrong?

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Title: Diamonds in the Rough

Author: Michelle Madow

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #2

Format: Print

ISBN: 978-0-37321-136-4

Synopsis:

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side.
Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.


Praise for The Secret Diamond Sisters:

“Sexy and electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps.” -Booklist

“This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride.” -RT Book Reviews

“I opened The Secret Diamond Sisters and was transported to Vegas … there was never a dull moment! It’s the helpless romantic's dream.” -LitPick Five Star Book Review Award

“Highly addictive! Hold on tight, because The Secret Diamond Sisters throws you head first into the Vegas fast lane. Three every day teens navigate the slippery slope of wealth, popularity, and too much freedom, along with family drama, cat fights, and more gorgeous guys than should be legal. A fun ride not to be missed!” – Rachel Harris, NYT Bestselling Author

“Michelle Madow has followed in the platinum heel-steps of Cecily Von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl), Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) and Ally Carter (Heist Society) in what seems like the first season of the Diamond girls’ romantic, shocking and lavish lives.” —Nathan Siegel, Goodreads Reviewer

“Boasting juicier secrets, more extravagant luxury, and higher stakes consequences, Michelle Madow has shown that in her world of decadently sinful Las Vegas nothing is as it seems, and all bets are off.” -Glass of Wine Reviews

Author Bio:

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college.

Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter

(@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Friday, 1 May 2015

Release Day Blitz - Bound by Prophecy

Title Announcement: Bound Series Book 3 by Stormy Smith

Today, Stormy Smith released the name of the third book in her highly anticipated Bound series and we’ve got the scoop!


Introducing….

Bound_By_Prophecy_BookBlitz

If you haven’t picked up Bound by Duty or Bound by Spells, you’re going to want to jump on those now!


Book one – Bound by Duty

Nominated for Best Book hangover in the UtopYA 2015 awards!


boundbydutyAmelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

add-to-goodreads-button



Book two – Bound by Spells


boundBound by Spells released March 19, 2015 and has been consistently praised for the dual point of view storytelling, as being better than Bound by Duty, and a book no one can put down! In lieu of potential spoilers in the description, take a look at what fans and bloggers are saying:

Serena Chase, from USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog said, "Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you're sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series."

Megsandherbooks said, “I absolutely could not put this down...the lies, the deception, and the never ending struggle to find the truth had me on the edge of my seat eagerly flipping (er... tapping) to get to the next page…If you are a lover of unique stories filled with magic, shifters, action, suspense, friendship, and delusional power hungry villains you MUST one-click this baby!!!”

Fan Jolene Buchheit said, “There were moments when I had chills and moments where my heart was racing. When I turned the last page I was angry, because I can't wait for book 3!”

add-to-goodreads-button


Stormy Bio PicAbout the author: Stormy Smith is the author of the Amazon best seller, Bound by Duty, and Bound by Spells. She calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form. Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn't be stopped. When she isn't working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.
Connect with Stormy:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Release Day Blitz - Stolen Art


Title: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Romance




Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything.

Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.



Fans of Orphan Black, The X-Files, and Fringe will fall head over heels for STOLEN ART.

Recommended: 15+

Excerpt

I rush back up the dark stairwell, shoving the key into the doorknob. It takes a minute for the lock to click and I push myself inside the apartment, securing every lock and deadbolt. I can’t stay here in Hutchinson, Kansas any longer. Pulling my phone from my purse, I text Weston.

Tatiana is here. It’s not safe for me.

I grab the few belongings that have any value to me, sentimental or otherwise, and shove it into my shoulder bag, including the stolen silver necklace. It has value and if I’m forced on the run, I’ll need money to survive.

I know.

What did Weston mean he knew Tatiana is at the bar? Had he seen her? Is he there?

What do you mean, you know? I type into the phone. If he saw her, why didn’t he warn me? I can’t go down out the front door and it’s only a matter of time until she finds me just a few feet away. I grow restless waiting for an answer.

The phone buzzes and displays an incoming call from Weston. "Wes, tell me you’re here." The only thing to do is hop in his car and drive into the night, far from Kansas.

A female’s voice bubbles with laughter. "Oh he’s coming darling, but you should know he won’t get here in time. Amazing how easy it is to clone a phone number and steal his service. The advancements Stem Tech has made is encouraging."


About the Author



Ruth SilverRuth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing multiple series under her name as well as the pen name Ravyn Rayne. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Follow Ruth here

Blog- http://writeawaybliss.com

Facebook- http://facebook.com/writeawaybliss

Twitter- http://twitter.com/writeawaybliss

Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here

Blog- http://ravynrayne.com

Facebook- http://facebook.com/ravynraynereads

Twitter- http://twitter.com/blushingravyn




Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Release Day Blitz - Forget Me Knot

forgetmeknotbanner
Forget Me Knot
Forget Me Knot (Royal Reaper 2)
by Ruth Silver
Publisher: Booktrope
Published: June 23, 2015


Don’t mess with death.

When Wynter explores his newly developed dark angel powers, regret soon fills his heart and mind. Saving a soul isn’t what he imagined it to be, and it puts the grim reaper he loves in grave danger.

Obligated to take the throne as Queen, Mara must face the truth and unravel secrets she may not be ready to accept.

The second book in the Royal Reaper saga takes you on a paranormal fantasy adventure into a world of grim reapers, dark angels, and undead trucidators.
Also available on Barnes & Noble and iBooks

Excerpt

Death crept into the castle. Mara could feel its darkness pressing her down. As she walked to her father's bedchamber, the thought of marrying a man she did not love weighed heavily on her. All the invitations had been sent out months ago. Just as her life was beginning to almost feel normal, her father, King Philip, had fallen ill along with the court of Casmerelda and much of the kingdom. The second wave of the plague violently spread, leaving a trail of death and burning corpses for the living to clean up.
Her father had been bedridden for three days. His fever spiked and his skin glistened. He grew delirious, falling in and out of consciousness. As much as she despised him for what he’d done to her sister’s boyfriend, he was still her father. She didn’t want to be left alone.
“You must marry Astin at once.”
Mara cringed. “I can’t.” Her lips hidden as she wore a piece of ivory cloth against her nose and mouth, the slightest bit of protection from the disease that had taken over the kingdom. “I don’t love him. Please don’t do this to me.”
“Don’t be selfish.” The words struggled to reach his lips. He coughed and heaved, his chest rising and falling quickly as his pulse raced. “I’ll be with your mother soon…”
“You’ll be dead.”
Taking in several deep breaths, he opened his mouth, his words coming out as a whisper. “You will be reigning queen. Mara, you must act the part. Marry Astin and forge an alliance with the country of Morro, for the sake of Casmerelda. Your people need you.”
“I need you,” Mara said, gripping her father’s hand. She frowned, studying the tips of his fingers, a blackened hue lacing his skin.
“You shouldn’t touch me.” He tried to pull away, unsuccessfully. Her grip remained tight, but more significantly, he’d grown weak from the disease ravaging his body.
“I haven’t been infected, and I’ve been at your bedside every night.” Mara ordered the servants to bring more water and rags. It had done little good to break his fever or alleviate the discomfort he must have been experiencing, but it was all she could think of to help.
“Marry Astin.” His words were rough slipping past his lips. He wheezed, trying to speak, but Mara rested a hand upon his chest.
“Don’t.” She didn’t want to have this conversation again.
“For the sake of the kingdom,” he said, pleading with her.
Mara refused to answer. Marrying Astin wasn’t what she wanted. “I have no desire to be queen so young. You will pull through, do you hear me?”
He’d fallen into a deep slumber, unable to answer her.
Ruth SilverAbout the Author
Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. She also writes The Federal Agent Chronicles and Palace Secrets, both of which are adult romance under the name Ravyn Rayne for Blushing Books. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

Follow Ruth here:

Blog- http://writeawaybliss.com

Facebook- http://facebook.com/writeawaybliss

Twitter- http://twitter.com/writeawaybliss

Looking for a steamier read? Check her out here:

Blog- http://ravynrayne.com

Facebook- http://facebook.com/ravynraynereads

Twitter- http://twitter.com/blushingravyn

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Book Promo - Sophomore Year is Greek To Me


Meet Zona Lowell. She’s fifteen. She lives in New York City. And just like that... her life is being turned upside-down.
What would YOU do?
 

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in NYC her whole life, happily hanging out with her two best friends and planning to follow in the footsteps
of her renowned-journalist father, David. But when he announces
they’re moving to Athens for the remainder of the school year so

he can work on an important new story, she’s devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona’s mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.
Author Meredith Zeitlin is ecstatic to announce the upcoming release of her second young adult novel,
SOPHOMORE YEAR IS GREEK TO ME,
a follow-up to 2012’s Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters. Coming April 2015 and published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, SOPHOMORE YEAR follows a girl on an adventure she doesn’t want to take... that ends up changing her life in ways she never imagined.
You can watch the glorious book trailer for SOPHOMORE YEAR IS GREEK TO ME here: https://vimeo.com/118188167.
There’s also a shiny new website with oodles of info: www.mzwrites.com.
 

SOPHOMORE YEAR Links:
Book Website: http://www.mzwrites.com/
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/118188167Amazon Listing: http://mzwrit.es/1789mlj
Barnes and Noble Listing: http://mzwrit.es/1BpHB0J
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MZeitlinAuthor Twitter: @zeitlingeist


Monday, 20 April 2015

Book Review - Gone Girl

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: W&N
Release Date: 3 Jan. 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0753827666 
Audio CD 
Publisher: Orion (25 Sept. 2014) 
ISBN-13: 978-1409158493
Read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne

Synopsis
Who are you?
What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

So what did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?


My Review
I had heard so many good things about this book and one of my colleagues has been nagging me to read it for years, I've had the book in my locker for many months and just never got around to picking it up. Then the Spoken word CD was returned to the library I work in and I thought I might as well give it a go. I always have a book on CD in my car and this seemed like a great opportunity. I have to say that the readers did an amazing job, they brought the characters to life and really gave them a voice you could believe in.
THe rest of my review will be on the story itself not the audio recording. 
The book starts of right in the action and pulls up a number of questions and mysteries that you want answers to, for the first part of teh story I was hooked, I wanted to know what had happened to Amy, whether Nick was involved and just how and why Amy disappeared.
I couldn't have been more invested in the story and I could see why so many people hyped it up, but then we moved on to part 2 and immediately I was like 'What!?', but I was willing to go with it, I didn't like the new development of characters but I kept going. After a while I started to get into the story again and found myself enjoying the storyline once more. There were still things I just had to know and there were some things that really piqued my interest. 
And then part 3 started and I couldn't believe where the author was going with the story, I didn't like the direction it took and I found myself just wishing the story would end. I began to get bored, in fact at one point I turned the CD off and listened to the radio again just to get away from it. But I still had that bit of interest and I had to know how it would end. I kept hoping Flynn would flip the storyline again and come up with a really fulfilling and satisfying ending. She didn't!
This book actually made me really angry, I was gobsmacked by that ending, it was the most disappointing ending I have ever read and i couldn't believe that it would finish that way. I literally threw the CD box across my car seat (not so it would damage it, but enough to make me feel better) I can't even describe how much this ending really bothered me. I just expected and wanted so much more, and there seemed to be quite a few plot holes that were totally overlooked, details that I'm sure would have solved the truth behind the 'crime' easily that no one picks up just because Amy says differently. 
So this book is amazing for the first part, really good story and build up and suspense and then it all goes downhill. 
I know my colleague at work felt differently, she quite liked the ending, but she could see why it annoyed me. It's one of those things you will have to decide for yourself, but I have to say I wouldn't recommend it.

My Rating
 
   

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Book Review - Dance of Shadows

Title: Dance of Shadows
Author: Yelena Black
Series: Dance of Shadows (Book 1)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: 12 Feb. 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1408829974

Synopsis
Vanessa doesn’t believe that her sister is a runaway. She wouldn’t leave her family behind without saying a word. The only way Vanessa can discover the truth behind her mysterious disappearance is to follow in Margaret’s footsteps, but to do so she risks her sanity and maybe even her life . . .

Vanessa Adler is one of the talented few to get a place at the acclaimed New York Ballet Academy. Between backbreaking rehearsals for the school’s production of The Firebird she desperately tries to find out what happened to her sister before she vanished. There are rumors that the pressure of performing the lead role, the same role Vanessa is now rehearsing for, drove her mad. Other girls have gone missing too. Can the role be cursed? Vanessa’s new relationship with leading-man Zep only seems to complicate things further. What is he hiding from her and can she really trust him?


My Review
This book has caught my eye a number of times over the years but I never fully picked it up, but last week I was out on the mobile library and when we stopped for lunch in the middle of the countryside I realised I had forgotten my book so I searched the shelves and this was there. I decided to pull it down and give it a go. I've always rather liked dance themed books, for some reason ballet especially appeals (I have never done ballet but i like to read about it), So I settled down with my sandwich and this book and decided to give it a go.
Within the first five or six pages I was intrigued and interested in knowing more and that feeling only grew the more I read. In that 1 hour break I managed to read almost 100 pages, and I couldn't wait to read more. I brought it home with me and finished it that evening and the next morning (neglecting coursework I probably should have been doing, hehe)
I just could not put this book down I had to know what was going on, where Vanessa's sister was and who was really on her side. I kept changing my mind and just couldn't decide. However I did figure out who would betray her before it was revealed so my intuition is still working right. 
All the way through this book has the feel of a paranormal mystery without actually involving monsters or demons etc. I really like that with a book, those that can feel abnormal and create that atmosphere without having to shove it down your throat. It just adds to the feel of the book. But then it's like someone flipped a switch and in the last 70 or so pages the book goes totally paranormal, like off the chart crazy. We have legends of a dance that can summon demons and then suddenly we have students being possessed, teachers summoning spirits, and all at once everything is about the idea of the 'necrodancers', which whilst a slightly cool idea seemed a little bit forced and I didn't really agree with it. The ending just felt a little rushed and mixed up. 
Overall though the book was very good and I am intrigued enough to read the next book (in fact I've already ordered it at the library, asking them to by a copy for their stock) and I want to find out if Vanessa can finally find her sister and what will happen to them all next, but it wasn't the ending I was expecting.
Overall a very addictive read with some very good moments that will just keep you flicking the pages, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

My Rating