No Fourth River – Christine Clayfield [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

No Fourth River is a very powerful story about swimming up to surface, when the world is against you. A story about child abuse unlike anything else, and one very determined woman.

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Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

A world where you are an ugly until your sixteenth birthday. And then, you undergo a surgery and you become pretty. And life is perfect. Except, maybe, it isn’t.

This is one of those books where you visualise a world in so many details, and feel like you’ve lived there all your life. Also a book that captures society for what really is. A very pleasant and enjoyable read.

I received this book as a birthday gift. Have a look at my birthday haul.

Uglies is the first book from the series by Scott Westerfeld. A dystopian world about ”uglies” and ”pretties”. A world in which society is split between beauty. A place where the ”uglies” are separated from the real world until they do a surgery and become pretties. Then, they grow up and join the world of pretties, where they are allowed to do everything they weren’t allowed before. They attend parties and have fun, and they don’t worry about anything.

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait to become pretty. All her friends have already turned pretty before her, and she is excited to join them in this marvellous world. But just weeks before her birthday, she becomes friends with Shay, who is not so sure whether she wants to become a pretty.

When her friend runs away and escapes the operation, Tally has a choice: find Shay and bring her back, or never turn pretty at all. And when Tally goes after Shay, she discovers that the world she believed in, might not be the real one…

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The Last Titan – Craig Wainwright [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★★

A whole new alien world, with fresh new characters and unique superpowers, this is a refreshing adventure read.

This is a story about Daniel – a normal guy that lives on Earth. Well, normal apart from the fact that he is on the run from the government and a local gangster. This is also a story about Andromeda, who comes to Earth, and tell Daniel he’s an alien and has superpowers – and it’s her job to train him and protect him.

A story and a world where silver can hurt you, and incredible strength is a thing, this was such a refreshing read for me.

Craig has mastered the art of scene and character descriptions, and I can’t resist but share with you his description of Daniel:

‘He was six foot seven inches tall, with a well-defined, lithe, athletic physique. Always clean shaven and well presented, with short, closely cropped, light brown hair and a rosy tinge to his flawless complexion…’

I loved how Daniel’s character developed in what he became, but his mindset didn’t really change throughout the book. And on the contrary – Andromeda’s character progress stays the same, but she matures gradually after each chapter.

And as a pair, both of them keep the balance in the book so perfectly even, it’s so satisfying to read those parts.

This book will introduce you to a new world on another planet, new cities and clans, and superpowers, and types of ruling. This book is the Game Of Thrones in space.

If you love adventure books, and alien invasions, and new worlds, and of course, superpowers, then go ahead and give this book a chance. You won’t be disappointed!

I am so glad I had the chance to be among the first ones to read this story. Thanks to the author, Craig Wainwright, who sent me a copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review

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Awakened (Vampire Awakening #1) by Brenda K. Davies [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★

Awakened is the first book from the Vampire Awakening Series and it is written by USA Today bestselling author Brenda K. Davies. This is a book where a guy meets a girl. Girl has a secret and tells it on their first date. Boy is a vampire, but we are 80% in the book until it’s mentioned (even though title clearly states it, and you keep expecting it to happen). When secret is told – boy gives girl a choice to escape. Girls chooses to stay, and boy becomes possessive because he wants her too much. Then he does something to her, kind of against her will. And then they live happily ever after.

If I was a few years younger, I would have loved this book, probably because I wouldn’t have noticed all the glitches in it. But right here, right now – I didn’t enjoy it as much I wanted too.

Strong, sexual language and sex scenes can be found throughout the book. This was a book from my sister Tea’s Wishlist Challenge – and I was embarrassed to tell her I am reading this book – because I knew what kind of scenes she has read…

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Apart from that – the characters were unrealistic. And unlikable. I liked their friends and their enemies more than I liked the main characters.  

Sera – a girl that doesn’t talk to men, and has her own opinion on things, suddenly meets this guy, and he becomes possessive of her, and her character development stops right here. She keeps nodding at him, and obeys his every command. Not much of a heroine, is she?

Liam – a guy that is actually a vampire, but doesn’t tell Sera until things get really serious. He lies to her, is possessive, wants to kill everyone that touches her, and loves her and wants her so much that he has to turn her into a vampire, otherwise he’ll kill her. Really?

Now, if we take the fact that this is a vampire book – firstly, we don’t get to read about vampires until the book is almost finished. And when we do, it is unfinished, and barely even described. I don’t know anything about the way they become vampires, how they survive in the world, how they feed, how they die, but apparently, they can have children, so I guess the author covered everything. Oh, and, also – vampires can walk into the sun, but the more they kill, the more the sun hurts them. So believable – and FAIR.

The only thing that I liked was the ending – the point about how children are possible seemed to have worked out well. Not believable, but it was nice to see that as a theory. And it was also a great layout for the next story to come – which I will be reading, just to see if this writing will improve.

What is your favorite vampire book?

 Buy AWAKENED now (ebook is currently FREE)

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) – Ransom Riggs [BOOK REVIEW]

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★★★★

It doesn’t hurt me to say that I have watched the movie before I read the book. What hurts me to say is that even though I loved the book, I enjoyed the movie way more. But I am not here to compare the book and the movie, because I loved them both in a different way.

‘’I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.’’

Jacob was raised by his grandfather, who told him stories about the amazing house he used to live in, and all the children that lived with him, that had amazing abilities and were different than ordinary people. Grandpa Portman would even show Jacob pictures of the children and their peculiarities – he would tell him stories about the invisible boy, the girl that could float if she didn’t have iron boots, the girl that could breath out fire and the children that could easily lift the heaviest rocks. He would also talk about the danger and the big monsters that the children were so scared of.

And Jacob believed and loved these stories – he shared an amazing bond with his grandpa. Until, of course, he grew up. Suddenly, he was old enough to know this isn’t true, and stopped believing. His grandpa would try to convince him, and warn him that the monsters are coming, but the only conclusion he had is that his grandpa lost his marbles.

But then his grandpa dies, and Jacob sees the monsters himself. Despite everyone believing that he is crazy, just like his grandpa, Jacob now has no choice but to find these strange children – and get answers to all his questions.

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The book moves quite slow, and it is not until half of the book that we actually get to meet the children. As a person that watched the movie, this was extremely frustrating, as I kept waiting and waiting, and nothing special happened for 90 pages.

The author puts photographs in the book, and they are perfectly put in the book to explain how a character looks, and to describe the scene better. This was the strawberry to my cake in this book. I immensely enjoyed the beautiful photographs and how perfectly well they fitted with the book and detailed the characters. The only character that I couldn’t imagine was Miss Peregrine – her picture is not at all what I expected. At first, I thought about sharing some of those pictures here – but then, I assumed you might enjoy them more if you explore them yourself while reading the book, as they come – as I could never be able to do that as well as Ransom Riggs did.

For the ones you watched the movie first – the movie is not at all the same as the book. So lower your expectations, otherwise you will be disappointed. The movie seemed to have put three books into one, and swapped people’s abilities, and made up some scenes and places.

The book, however, had parts that you wouldn’t see in the movie, and its own magic of detailed descriptions to your favorite stories and characters.

I hated Jacob. Not just at the beginning, but all the way through. Mister ‘’I-am-too-good-for-everything’’ , Mister ‘’My-family-is-so-rich-I-will-try-my-best-to-get-fired-from-work-because-my-uncle-owns-the-shop’’. No – Just no. As much as I enjoyed his story, his character is very egocentric and unlikable. I actually liked Grandpa Abe so much more, even though he was only partially and ghostly present in the book.

Miss Peregrine didn’t reveal much of her character as she does in the movie. We don’t get to read a lot about her to be honest, and she was the one person I expected to see more of.

We get to hang around with the children a lot though, and meet Emma, the girl that has fire powers, and that used to be Grandpa Abe’s lover and now Jacob – which is more than weird, but oh well…

‘’She moved to pinch me again but I blocked her hand. I’m no expert on girls, but when one tries to pinch you four times, I’m pretty sure that’s flirting.’’

We get to meet Millard, the invisible boy, Olive, the girl that can float without her iron boots, Fiona, who can make plants and trees grow in seconds and many other lovely children with even lovelier abilities.

This is an amazing story about extraordinary people, children who will amuse you with how cute they can be, a bit of (well, a lot of) time travel and a great valuable lesson that everyone in this world is peculiar and extraordinary in their own way! A must-read to all of you that love some fantasy stories and different worlds.

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Pale Blue Scratch – Jay DiNitto [BOOK REVIEW]

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I was lucky enough to be approached by Jay DiNitto himself, and he sent me a copy of his first novel – Pale Blue Scratch (you can read the e-book for free here) in exchange for an honest review. This is a book unlike anything else I have ever read, and it left me impressed. I dearly enjoyed it, and maybe you will too.

About the book:

“I would disassemble this body and cast it onto the coronal burn of the sun if it means I get answers.” Thus proclaims the determined Elisabeth Reese, journalist, professor, and joke-cracking nun working in alternate history San Francisco. She has one goal: to rebuild a failed time machine that caused a lethal explosion during its initial demonstration. With her reluctant protege, a young budding scientist, she searches for the machine’s plans left behind by its exiled inventor. But her pursuit is disrupted, threatened by area conflict. A faction of the deadly Al Sayf al Ahmar-the Red Sword-has been rising to power. Lead by the hulking Crazed Herald, Maalik du Mahdi, the Red Sword heed a prophecy that will culminate in a battle between two “one-armed wild men.” Du Mahdi is believed to be the first of the pair, while his counterpart could be anyone…even a small, peculiar nun from across the bay. All Elisabeth wants is to witness the impossibility of time travel, but first she must battle the odds and fulfill the present. Part steampunk and part mystery, Pale Blue Scratch explores the conflict between the senses and logic, and the lengths one may go to resolve it.

Pale Blue Scratch - Jay DiNitto book novel books review blog wordpress writer author diary of difference

My thoughts: 

As I mentioned above, this is a book unlike any other that I have read. It is a great mix of fiction / action / fast-paced scenes / philosophy / psychology and a little bit of time-travelling.

Even though we have two main characters – Elizabeth and Vincent, this book focused more on Elizabeth, for various reasons.

There were times when the scenes were slow, and somewhat a bit dull, but there were also times when there were fast-paced scenes that make me bite my nails. Though, as a whole, I found the story to not quite fit my taste. It felt like Elizabeth didn’t have a great or a strong enough reason to do this adventure.

Elizabeth’s character – now this is something quite amusing! I have never met a character like this – so twisted in a cute hypocritical way. A nun with an adorable sense of humor, that goes around on a mission to make a time-travel machine, and happens to hurt people on her way… I loved her character in a very weird way (don’t judge!)

Now Vincent didn’t quite hit the mark. He seemed more of a plain character, like a little copy of someone else, somewhere, once upon a time. He gave the impression of a person that, unlike Elizabeth, didn’t quite knew where he belonged and what he’s doing. It felt like it didn’t bother him at all. And that’s alright. The moment when this started to hurt me was at the end – when he didn’t change a bit.

Even though a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to read much about time-travelling as I would want to, this book was quite amusing and it covered various random topics that I quite liked. I loved that variety when one moment you talk about religion, the other moment a great action scene happens, and then here we are again, discussing life philosophy.

All in all, to sum it all up – I greatly enjoyed this book! It was definitely unusual read, and unique in every single way. And if you love fiction / action / a bit of time-travelling / humor and philosophy, this might be easily your new favorite book!

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The One And Only – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

When bio-terrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer is a wife and a mother. She also happens to be the only person that could save the people on Earth from dying! In moments when she is planning to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council, Ruby and her husband Clay are sent to one last mission.

With the last assignment being a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they need to analyze the zombie infection and consult with scientists, it seems like they are about to go on a long-deserved mini honeymoon.

But everything goes wrong! They get kidnapped, the biggest world powers all plan a war ahead, and it seems that only the ones that have Ruby are likely to win the war. They all fight over her, and she has no clue why. What makes her so special?

Review:

First of all, I have to thank the author, Julia Ash, for sending over this amazing book to me, in exchange for an honest review!  

The beginning of The One and Only is extremely breathtaking! I believe that the beginning might be the best part of the book, actually! The flow of the story is well-thought, and I especially loved the scenes where the author refers to the past, and made me feel like there was another book before that. It is quite easy to catch up with the beginning and the brief details of the past, but if in the future there is a prequel that explains it all – I would love to be the first one to know about it!

Now, the characters are probably the reason that made the book the way it is! We have Ruby, who is our heroine, a brave lady, ready to give all the love, courage and wisdom in the world. She is a mother, a wife, and a brave fighter that never gives up and is never afraid to stand up against evil.

On the other hand, we have her husband – Clay. He was… alright. I suppose? His love for Ruby and their daughter is incredible, but somehow, I could think of him as a manly enough figure in their relationship. He was smart and brave, but not as smart and brave as Ruby.

I couldn’t somehow connect with him.

The character that intrigued me the most is Ox. I loved how Julia has shown us the psychological profile of this man, and the way he thinks. It was lovely reading about his part of his story, and even though he was on the wrong side, it is what he believes in. And the way it is written in so extraordinary, that at times I could see myself giving him an excuse.

The only part that I couldn’t agree with, and I am refusing to accept is – THE ENDING! I will withdraw myself from spoilers, but that’s not how things should have ended! That is not the ending I wanted, that is not the ending I was hoping for. No, no, no. It made me upset, and angry, and I wanted to break something very bad! That was a huge disappointment for me and it changed my whole perception of the story and the book itself.

If you ever get the chance to read this book – you should expect a lot of twists, a lot of ups and downs, and if you are like me and are trying hard to not bite your nails – well, you’re about to fail. This is not your typical book about zombie apocalypse. This is not your usual book about a heroine being kidnapped. This is not your usual book of how a person saves the world. This will be nothing like you expected, and everything you hoped for.

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