Monthly Archives: March 2012


Review: The Killables by Gemma Malley

Posted March 26, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments

Gemma Malley writes dystopia really well. Her previous series, The Declaration, was one of my favourite additions to the genre and I was extremely excited about reading her next series which opens with the Killables. While dystopian YA is somewhat monopolised by American authors, Malley’s dystopian has more of a British feel about it (The Declaration in particularly is quintessentially English). The Killables however, does have an ‘any-place’ vibe in its setting which I think works for the novel and its themes particularly well.

In a time where ‘evil’ is removed from your brain and you are graded on your  subsequent capacity for badness and evil, The Killables is set a utopian society with a sinister side.  Evie, our main protagonist, is a B (solid, acceptable, could be better, just like me in school a lot!) and engaged to Lucas, an A, and epitome of what the city admires. Evie works in label changing, meaning that when the city’s computer either demotes or promotes a person’s letter, she is in charge of sorting out the system. Anything below a D, deviant, means that person is liable to be marked out in the city as evil, while the worst of the labels, K, remains mysterious as no one knows what happens to them.

She is also terrified she is evil. From her many nightmares to her secret passion for Raffy, her fiancé’s brother.  Evie is desperate to be good and live by the  rules, but when Raffy is branded a K though; everything changes as both Evie and Raffy run from the city.

I found that this was a really interesting book, if a little slower than Gemma Malley’s previous series. As the opening to the series, I definitely found that my interest was piqued and that I really want to read what happens next. I particularly liked that while the ending served as an appetiser for the second book, it also felt like a proper ending that didn’t make me want to squeal.

The concept of this novel is particularly striking; while we’ve had novels about love being forbidden (Delerium is one recent example), controlling evil seems more utopian than dystopian. After all, a society without rape, murder, war sounds ideal. However, reality tells us that as flawed creatures, it would be unlikely to remain perfect and Malley depicts this wonderfully. The idealism of the City coupled with how it treats one resident when they are downgraded to a D and the ranking bias proves that this is not a great place to live.

While Evie and Raffy are in the City, I did feel the story was a little slower and less pacy than I might have expected, however when they run away it really picked up for me personally. The romance between the two felt very sweet and honest; they were a couple I could believe in and root for. That said, their relationship is not a smooth ride and I did find myself mentally wanting to curse Malley for some of the obstacles she put in their way. I definitely am looking forward to seeing what comes next for the two of them and how their relationship survives.

I would also add this book can work as both a YA and crossover novel. As all the teenagers have left school and hold jobs in accordance with the City’s conventions, this lends itself well to adult readers as well as the characters have a slightly more experienced world than in some YA novels.

If you are a dystopian fan then I think the Killables will have a lot to offer you. The Killables offers a window into considering more about what evil even is and would we ever be able to destroy it.  I received my copy for free from Hodder & Stoughton and am as always grateful and thankful for the opportunity. My review is not affected by how I obtained the novel.

Hodder&Stoughton
Amazon UK
Book Depository 

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Review: Dying To Know You by Aidan Chambers

Review: Dying To Know You by Aidan Chambers

Dialogue is hard to write, and even harder to write with intense authenticity. Aidan Chambers manages to write a novel heavilly dependent on short scenes of dialogue and he does it well. Obviously this technique may not be for every reader, but I found it a highly effective and compelling introduction to Chambers’ writing. Karl enlists a famous author, the narrator of the novel, to write letters for him to send to his girlfriend who has requested he write to her. Karl is dyslexic and so conflicted by this and so reaches out to Fiorella’s favourite author who obliges in exchange for getting to know him. In a way, this concept could easily derail and turn into something quite creepy, […]

Posted March 23, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Waiting On Wednesday No. 1

Waiting On Wednesday No. 1

Waiting On Wednesday is a blogger meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming books we just can’t wait for the release of! This week my WoW is: The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin     Goodreads summary: Everything is in ruins.  A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.  So what does Araby Worth have to live for?  Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.  But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find […]

Posted March 21, 2012 by chooseyabooks in wow / 6 Comments
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In My Mailbox # 8

In My Mailbox # 8

So here is my eighth In My Mailbox which was started at thestorysiren.com as a way to show the books we’ve received or bought this week and swoon over everyone’s books.  I did try and do a video, but it ended up 15 minutes long! Suffice to say, I’ve had an amazing week this week!   Bought: The Summoning-Kelley Armstrong (not pictured above) Received for review:   Heart-Shaped Bruise- Tanya Bryne* Witchstruck- Victoria Lamb ** White Cat-Holly Black **** Soul Beach-Kate Harrison **** The Killables-Gemma Malley *** Pandemonium-Lauren Oliver *** Struck-Jennifer Bosworth ** * Received from Headline UK. ** Received from Random House Children’s Books UK *** Received from Indigo/Orion Children’s Books **** Received from Hodder & Stoughton Many thanks […]

Posted March 19, 2012 by chooseyabooks in imm / 3 Comments
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Review: Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Review: Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

  I should confess before starting this review that when I started this book I had no idea it was part of a series, however it is a book that can stand on its own. There were several points and details that alluded to previous books, however I grasped the plot and characters overall. At first I did find it difficult to get into this novel, however this may have been due to it being part of a series and once I persisted I found myself becoming more engaged with the novel and enjoying it. I absolutely love the retelling of classic fairytales and stories so I knew that this reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde would be right up my […]

Posted March 19, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: You Can Run by Norah McClintock

Review: You Can Run by Norah McClintock

You Can Run is the second YA mystery novel in Norah McClintock’s series following teenager Robyn Hunter. I must confess I haven’t read the first but I found that this book was still easy to read and understand despite this, and has definitely piqued my interested in the series. When Robyn’s classmate, Trisha, runs away and her stepfather asks Robyn’s dad, a retired police-officer and private investigator, to look into her disappearance, Robyn wants to help. Trisha and Robyn had fallen out close to her vanishing and Robyn feels a degree of guilt so with her boyfriend, Nick, wants to investigate. I loved the mystery aspect of this book; little details all tied into the main plot by the end […]

Posted March 18, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Review: Starters by Lissa Price

There is a lot of hype surrounding Lissa Price’s debut novel, Starters, and when I start a book like this I always wonder if it is justified. I have to say on reading Starters that I can see why some of the hype has been generated. Starters is an engaging, sci-fi debut which I really enjoyed reading. It is set in a world where after a war where only the young and elderly lived through vaccinations, and there is a real divide between claimed and unclaimed youths. Orphaned Callie is one of these unclaimed ‘starters’ and applies for a job at Prime Destinations where she can get enough money to buy a home and provide stability for her family and […]

Posted March 17, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium is the sequel to the hugely popular Delerium set in a dystopian world where love is a disease. I have to admit that when I read Delerium last year I wasn’t overstruck by it; I enjoyed reading it and definitely wanted to read the sequel after that ending, but as there were a few ‘love is bad’ books around, I don’t think I gave it enough a chance in hindsight – when I scanned through it before starting Pandemonium, I realised it was actually really good. Pandemonium however, blew me away from the moment I started reading it. After the dramatic ending and separation of Alex and Lena in Delerium, Pandemonium takes place in two separate strands of time […]

Posted March 16, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 6 Comments
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Review: The Look by Sophia Bennett

Review: The Look by Sophia Bennett

The Look is one of those books that will either work well, or not work at all. Combining something many teenage girls dream about  like modelling with a nightmare of cancer is a risk. So full credit to Sophia Bennett for pulling it off. When Ted (Edwina) Trout is spotted by a modelling agency, she is certain it is a joke. Her sister, Ava, is the beautiful one after all. However, after her sister’s shock diagnosis of cancer and with Ava’s encouragement (and at time’s orders) she decides to try modelling to bring in a little extra money and also relate more to her sister, who has always been the fashion aficionado of the two. When, This book was not […]

Posted March 15, 2012 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
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In My Mailbox # 7

In My Mailbox # 7

So here is my fifth In My Mailbox which was started by the lovely Kristi at thestorysiren.com as a way to show the books we’ve received or bought this week. Bought:   Hunting Lila- Sarah Alderson Gifted: This Is Not Forgiveness-Celia Rees My dad bought this for me and I’m really excited about reading it as it seems really good and an intense read.  Received for review:            Partials-Dan Wells* New Girl-Paige Harbison ** The Summer My Life Began-Shannon Greenland  ***   * Hardcopy  from HarperCollinsUK, thank you!  ** E-copy received from HarlequinUK via Netgalley. Thanks, I’ve been waiting for this one for a while and  I loved Here Lies Bridget *** E-copy received from Penguin Publishing […]

Posted March 12, 2012 by chooseyabooks in imm / 3 Comments
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