Category: reviews

Review: The Illusionists by Laure Eve

Review: The Illusionists by Laure Eve

Review: I really enjoyed Fearsome Dreamer so was excited to read the conclusion, The Illusionists. I think Laure Eve has a beautiful writing style and I love her prose. What really makes this series standout for me is the world building and how vivid the setting feels. Both World and Angle Tar are so well described and so easy to visualise. This really made a difference for me reading the books as I was able to fully immerse myself in the world. It was great to see more of World as well in The Illusionists as in Fearsome Dreamer most of the plot takes place in Angle Tar. Seeing World through Rue’s outsider eyes worked really well as well because she was as new to this as the reader. The characters are really strong in the Illusionist and Wren in particular stands […]

Posted January 30, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: Captive by A.J Grainger

Review: Captive by A.J Grainger

Review: I was really intrigued by the concept of Captive, which tells the story of Robyn, daughter of the prime minister, who has been kidnapped. I read Captive very quickly and within a couple of sittings. I thought Robyn’s first person narration worked well, as did the interweaving of a past incident with her father through flashbacks, as Robyn tries to work out what is going on and why. The overall plot was fairly tight and I thought there were some good twists and developments. There is very little time before the action starts so the reader is immediately pulled in and shocked. In terms of characters, I thought that Scar was just as creepy as his named implied and Grainger really depicted that danger well. Feather felt flat at times, and a little too obviously unhinged however overall the characters were […]

Posted January 28, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews, wow / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: Juvie by Steve Watkins

Review: I was lucky enough to be invited to Walker Books blogger brunch last November and had a wonderful time chatting with bloggers and publishing people, eating yummy food and hearing all about the upcoming books from Walker. One of them immediately caught my attention with its striking cover and compelling concept: Juvie. Described alongside Orange Is The New Black comparisons, Juvie tells the story of Sadie who is accidentally caught up in a drug deal. To keep her sister out of jail, and niece out of care, Sadie confesses despite being innocent. What was meant to just be a slap on the wrist turns into a six month sentence and when we meet Sadie she’s just about to start this. Juvie surprised me as I read it. It is far more about Sadie’s own journey and growth than action. The […]

Posted January 26, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 1 Comment
Divider

Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Review: I enjoyed Samantha Shannon’s debut The Bone Season and was excited to see what was in store for Paige next. I found The Mime Order even more engaging and intriguing than The Bone Season. There’s definitely a very different tone and atmosphere to the Mime Order, whereas The Bone Season was Paige forced into a very difficult situation and fighting to escape, now she’s fighting the society she lives in and has developed as a character into more of a leader. We don’t see much of London in the Bone Season, it’s the secondary location and most of the book takes place in Oxford, so it was great to see and learn more about it in the Mime Order. We learn a lot more about the world and rules and politics behind in the Mime Order and I thought this really […]

Posted January 21, 2015 by chooseyabooks in britishbookschallenge, reviews / 1 Comment
Divider

Review: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

Review: The Murdstone Trilogy by Mal Peet

Review: I was very intrigued by the concept of The Murdstone Trilogy and Mal Peet is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a while so was really excited when I was offered the chance to review Peet’s latest novel, especially as the main character is a YA author and it looked very original. Peet’s narrator, Philip Murdstone is being forced by his agent to write a fantasy novel and fit in with the latest trends. Murdstone who writes about sensitive boys with problems is unsure where to start and at the beginning very dismissive about fantasy. This did concern me at the start a little as I worried the book would be ‘antigenre’, however as the plot progressed Murdstone’s reticence recedes. There is a really great darkly comic and cynical tone to this book and a lot of humour. In […]

Posted January 19, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: I had heard a lot about The Walled City and was really intrigued to read it, especially when I discovered the real-life inspiration of the city of Kowloon. The Walled City is a gripping read and one I found chilling too. Exploitation is a central theme and there is some disturbing content around Mei Yee’s character. I thought Jin was really strong and her desire to save her sister, along with the dangers she was placed in herself were well written and sympathetic. The only character who felt a little flat to me was Dai. There are some interesting developments and motivations for Dai  I thought his self-destructive and self-loathing streaks were well evoked however. I found Jin’s chapters the most compelling personally and Mei Yee’s were very emotional. I did think Dai’s plot was interesting, it was just his character […]

Posted January 16, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Review: All The Bright Places intrigued me from the moment I read the synopsis and its striking cover. I’d heard quite a bit of positive buzz around this title and I love contemporary YA. All The Bright Places is the dual-narrative story of Theodore Finch (a brilliant character name) and Violet Markey. When both teenagers end up meeting on the edge of their school’s bell tower neither jump off it and when they become partners for a school project an unlikely friendship starts. Both Violet and Finch were clear individual characters, however for me Finch was a much more vibrant character and came off the page a lot more easily than Violet. At times I felt like Violet was more in Finch’s shadow, a character who steals his scenes with relative ease. This at first made me a little unsure of […]

Posted January 14, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 2 Comments
Divider

Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Review: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

Review: I was really intrigued when I heard that Stripes were going to be publishing YA and not just YA but creepy horror YA in the style of the old Point Horrors under ‘Red Eye’. I love horror movies (not so much the gory ones) and at the same time hate them because I always get five minutes into a film and remember I actually have an overactive imagination and will get a bit freaked out. Frozen Charlotte involves an old boarding school and creepy dolls and the scares start early with a very creepy oujia board scene (always a subplot that will scare me). Sophie is a strong narrator dealing with the death of her best friend and the weight of the possibility of their oujia experience having a significant part in that death after calling on her dead cousin. She […]

Posted January 9, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 5 Comments
Divider

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Review: When I was a kid, I secretly loved this Disney Channel film with Hilary Duff called Cadet Kelly, in which an artistic teenager is sent to military school and that painted a fairly idealised view of military school with Shawn Ashmore as the romantic lead. So reading the summary for Rites of Passage, I couldn’t help but be intrigued, however I didn’t expect to enjoy Rites of Passage as much as I did. Sam is one of the first female students at Denmark Military Academy, attending after her brother Amos dared her shortly before his suicide. Her other brother is not particularly impressed by Sam taking it up. Where Hensley excels with Rites of Passage is in making it more than a guilty pleasure read set in a military academy with secret societies. The discrimination, hazing and harassment Sam endures is painful […]

Posted January 5, 2015 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
Divider

Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Review: After reading and enjoying Suma’s Imaginary Girls and hearing a lot of praise from blogger/librarian Stackedbooks I was desperate to read The Walls Around Us which has been described as Orange is the new Black Swan. Like Imaginary Girls, The Walls Around Us feels both contemporary and supernatural, almost magical realist in a sense. The Walls Around Us is beautifully written and Nova Ren Suma is a clear talent in the YA world. While at times the novel feels a little confusing – there are two main narrators who reveal the story of a third character, Orianna, and some time jumps all running simultaneously, it is a compelling read and one well worth pursuing. I read this novel in one sitting until about 2 am. Centred around a juvenile detention facility, Violet, Orianna and Amber narrate the story. Each character was […]

Posted November 17, 2014 by chooseyabooks in reviews / 0 Comments
Divider