Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: Rip Tide by Kat Falls


Title: Rip Tide

Author: Kat Falls

Series: Dark Life #2

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication date: January 1st 2013

Format: Paperback | 320 pages

Genre: YA | Science Fiction


Ty has always known that the ocean is a dangerous place. Every time he swims beyond the borders of his family's subsea farm, he's prepared to face all manner of aquatic predators - sharks, squid, killer whales….

But Ty is unprepared for the deadliest dangers of the deep. When he and his Topsider ally, Gemma, make a horrific discovery far below the surface, they begin to unravel a conspiracy that will put them in conflict with outlaws, Seaguard officers, and the savage, trident-wielding surfs - plus creatures unlike any Ty has encountered before.

My thoughts:

I was a big fan of the first book in this series, Dark Life, so I couldn't wait to pick this up. I have to say, I'm a bigger fan of Kat Falls than I was when I finished the first book. I loved it.


What I loved most about Dark Life was the world building and the creativity that went into it. I found this to be the case in Rip Tide too, maybe even more so. I absolutely adored the descriptions of the ocean, townships and Rip Tide itself. It was the kind of writing where you can picture everything seamlessly as you read it as if you're watching a film - a really great film at that. So much imagination was put into this book which, in my opinion, made the world it's set in more charming, and the story more enthralling.


I also found the characters to be just as well written. I loved Ty just as ever - he really came into his own in this book. Gemma was just as great. I actually thought she had the most depth to her character compared to the last book where Ty was more of the main focus. Ty was still the main star of the story, but I felt that I got to know Gemma a whole lot more in Rip Tide.


Overall I found this to be a fantastic read that I finished in no time at all - I only wish it was a lot longer!


My rating: 10/10


Kat Falls:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook


Dark Life:

  1. Dark Life
  2. Rip Tide

Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton


Title: Blood Magic

Author: Tessa Gratton

Series: The Blood Journals #1

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication date: 26 April 2012

Format: Paperback | 416 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal


The murder of her parents has left Silla damaged and lost, and Silla's insistence that her father is not to blame only alienates her further from her friends and family. When a mysterious spell book arrives, Silla hopes it will lead to some answers about her parents' killer. In her first attempt at magic, in an old graveyard near her home, Nick, the new boy in town spies on her; he recognizes the magic that Silla is performing as the same magic his mother performed with him, before she went mad.

Before long, Silla and Nick connect, though Nick is unwilling to share his history with blood magic with Silla. When Silla's friends start showing signs of possession, Silla, Nick and Silla's brother, Reese, must contend with a deadly, immortal woman who will stop at nothing to take the book of spells from them.



My thoughts:

Well this was certainly a lot darker than I expected. Very surprising. 

For those of you who have read quite a few of my reviews, you'll know that I love a dark, atmospheric tone to a story. If it's done right I immediately become completely enthralled - that was definitely the case with this book. I was, at points in the story, a little stunned by the level of horror or, I suppose you could call it, savagery. There were a few gory moments and a lot of blood for obvious reasons, but there was also some slightly disturbing moments where characters go a little crazy in their plight for revenge. So, yeah, surprising for a YA book.

I really liked the characters of Blood Magic. I thought they had a great depth to them, especially in their backstories. Silla was a joy to read about with her personality - this book was partly about Silla discovering who she really is on her own, without the support of her whole family. I loved reading about her finding out her true strengths as well as her weaknesses and how she overcame them. Nick was great in his own way. He was more or less clueless at the beginning of the book and yet by the end, he was pretty much the one holding everyone together in my opinion.


What I found a little frustrating with this read was the plot. I felt that it wasn't developed at the right pace for me to get the full level of anticipation I'm used to. Sometimes the plot would progress so quickly that I felt I was missing an entire book, and then other times there would be absolutely nothing happening plot wise and the focus was entirely on the romance side of things. If there was a perfect balance between the magic side of the story, and the romance, I would have considered this one a keeper.


Overall I liked this one and I would definitely recommend it. For the most part, it was brilliant to read. Full of action and suspense with an intense romantic relationship to boot!


My rating: 7/10


Tessa Gratton:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Monday, 9 September 2013

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch


Title: If You Find Me

Author: Emily Murdoch

Publisher: Indigo

Publication date: 02 May 2013

Format: Hardback | 304 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary



A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys. 

Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.



My thoughts:

Before I say anything, I have to first mention that I loved this book and you should definitely go and buy this one because it's a keeper. From the very first line I was completely drawn into the story - I couldn't put this book down for the life of me. This book immediately came across as one that would be full of endearing characters and emotional moments.

There are quite a few disturbing moments in this read but it was definitely necessary and it wasn't in so much detail to make me too uncomfortable reading it. But sometimes, this story was painfully intense. I worried so much about what was going to happen to the characters and whether they would get through the hard times they were going through and the traumatic events they had already experienced.

Honestly, this book was non stop feels for me. I wanted to cry from the beginning and I finally let the tears fall at the end of the story. Yeah, you'll probably need some tissues handy. You always know you've read a good story when it plays on your mind for ages after.

Besides the overpowering emotions at points, Emily's writing is something to look out for in the future. It was amazing. I always describe writing like this as if it's a film playing through my head. The descriptions are detailed in the best way, I can picture all of the settings perfectly and the characters are just brought to life with the way Emily created and developed them. Fabulous characters guys, you'll fall in love with all of them.

Most of all, I loved that this read was relatable to everybody in some way or another. It's about real life issues - some more extreme than others, but there's going to be an issue tackled in this book that you can relate to, trust me. It really makes you think.

My rating: 10/10

Emily Murdoch:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Review: Miss Me Not by Tiffany King


Title: Miss Me Not

Author: Tiffany King

Publication date: Nov 22 2012

Format: Kindle

Genre: YA | Contemporary


Madison Hanson's past demons have given her a shadow of an existence with little hope. With the sudden tragic death of a fellow student, Madison questions her own life choices, and is now forced to evaluate everything she thought she believed in. When fate intervenes and partners her with Dean Jackson, a popular "all around good guy" from school, Madison gets a glimpse of a life that is filled with sunshine that has the power to break through the darkness she has cloaked herself in. 
With Dean's help, Madison discovers a desire to finally step out of the shadows, and embrace life and all its gifts.



My thoughts:

I found myself surprised by actually liking this read. For some reason, I think I started reading this book without any great expectations. It wasn't the best read ever, most definitely not one to be put on my favourites shelf, but I liked it.


One thing I loved was that it took me no time at all to start liking Madison as the main character. I didn't find her initial attitude at all off putting, even though her thoughts on suicide were a little disturbing from a reader's point of view. I think it was mainly because I immediately understood where the author was going with the points Madison was making. So Madison as a whole was a pretty good character.


I also liked Dean. Madison and Dean really made the perfect combination. He was basically everything she wasn't - she needed him, but Madison also played a part and helped him, just in a different light. I liked Dean for his personality - he wasn't too pushy, but at the same time, he wasn't afraid to cross the line with Madison sometimes and go a bit further than she wanted, just to give her that little more of a nudge forward.


The only problem I had was that things didn't progress at the right pace in my eyes. Madison's relationship with Dean moved way too fast for the problems Madison had. It made me feel that Madison's issues weren't actually a big deal because her relationship took over. I didn't like that vibe. 


The other side to that problem was that Madison completely forgot about her best friend James. I understand that it was crucial to the story, but it just led to me not caring about what happened to James one way or another. He just didn't play a big enough part in the story.


Overall this was a quick afternoon read that i think a lot of people will like. 


My rating: 6/10


Tiffany King:

Goodreads | Blog | Twitter

Monday, 2 September 2013

Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick


Title: Shadows

Author: Ilsa J. Bick

Series: Ashes Trilogy #2

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 27th September 2012

Format: Paperback | 518 pages

Genre: Horror | YA | Zombies


Alex and Tom, un-Changed, face unthinkable horror in their desperate struggle to find each other.

But the biggest terror of all is the monster within. Because no one yet knows which young people Change, or why.

And no one knows who will be next…

My thoughts:

Wow. This book is intense!

I pretty much went into this read with an open mind and no expectations. It wasn't anything to do with the first book in the trilogy, I just hadn't had the best of luck with the books I'd read beforehand. Of course, that meant that pretty much anything would have impressed me at that point. But this book really did blow me away.

The first thing that surprised me was that it's totally different to the first book. It has a completely different layout with different characters and their point of views. The writing gave off a different vibe and the action was just ongoing throughout the entire book. I've seriously never read a book with that much action. Not ever. 

The plot was great. It was so exciting the whole way through and it had me biting my nails at points. This author definitely loves teasing her readers with little cliffhangers at the end of chapters - sometimes they would drive me crazy (in a good way) but it would only get me reading faster. I loved how high the levels of suspense got in various points of the story. Definitely the polar opposite to a dull read.

There were a lot of new characters introduced which made me a little apprehensive. The main problem, or honestly, the thing I'm not sure about, is the fact that at times I felt like the focus was being taken away from Tom, Alex and Ellie. Ellie basically disappeared and even though there's a reason for that, I felt that the new characters took too much of the focus. I really liked getting to know the new characters and I'm so anxious to find out what happened to them, but I definitely wanted more of Alex especially.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic read. Ilsa did what any author should do when it comes to a sequel, she kicked it up a notch, making this one brilliant book.

My rating: 8/10

Ilsa J. Bick:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Ashes trilogy:

  1. Ashes (review)
  2. Shadows
  3. Monsters - published Sep 2013