Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review: Hexed by Michelle Krys

Hexed by Michelle Krys
The Witch Hunter Book 1
Published by Random House Childrens
I received this courtesy of the publisher.

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.
I don’t know how it is possible but for a fast paced book this sure dragged on. If I hadn’t received this courtesy of the publisher I probably would have put it down to be hummed over another day. Indigo Blackwood is a typical popular girl, caring more for what people think about her than being a decent person. Being a cheerleader and keeping her football star boyfriend happy are all that matters to Indie until she sees a boy die right in front of her eyes and her families’ old bible is taken soon after the death.

I really disliked Indigo from the get go, she really just pissed me off in the worst kind of way.  My irritation started early on when Indigo agreed with someone when they called her mother crazy just for owning an occult shop. I happen to like occult things and think wicca is cool and definitely not a reason to hate on your mother. Indigo also was horrible to a girl who seemed lovely and just wanted to be her friend and that was not okay with me. I really just didn’t like anything about Indigo’s personality and I thought she just used people.

Now on to Bishop the leading guy who also fell into every bad boy stereotype imaginable but is still sensitive and caring in a sarcastic kind of way. Just perfect really except for the fact that he felt so unreal it was ridiculous. Bishop sports tattoos and wears leather in super hot weather as is continuously pointed out but he also happens to be a warlock and shows up whenever there is trouble coincidently.

The word coincidence is taken to the extreme in this book one happens every 5 pages. Oh it just so happens that Indigo was driving down the same road as someone who dies, oh Indigo know where someone she’s not even mildly friends with lives. Wow all these magical things just happen and the reader is expected to be like cool, but really it just shows that there was no solid plot. The only thing that kept me from not wanting to bash my head against the wall was that the writing was easy to read and there was a twist that I didn’t expect.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book, I feel like there are so many better witch books out there if you have a good look. I most definitely won’t be carrying on this series unless I hear things get drastically better or I’m in the mood to punish myself.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Book Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published by Harry N. Abrams
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
 Looking for a hilarious contemporary that is really realistic and honest without whitewashing emotions? Then this could be the book for you but I must warn this is the type of book you will either love or it will be completely forgettable. I certainly fell on the side of love. Following an unusual type of narration this book is written as if you are reading the book that Greg the main character is writing. He is telling the story of his life and meeting the dying girl also know as Rachel. Greg and his best friend Earl are filmmakers and they slowly kindle an awkward friendship with Rachel due to Greg’s mothers meddling. The only problem is Rachel has leukemia and is dying. Chaos ensues and every thing from dirty jokes to sobbing hugs follows in this hilarious novel.

I really struggled to pick my favourite character between the 3 mains Greg, Earl and Rachel each had such important moment that just made me want to bear hug them and tell them everything would be okay. This goes double for Earl; I think if I was held at gunpoint I’d have to pick him. It is just so hard to pick a favourite become all the characters are so well rounded and developed it really felt like they were real people that experienced all the emotions that anyone who has a friend with cancer would.  I could rave about character development and how much I love them all for ages but there are some things I loved more like the friendships.

The friendship between Earl and Greg was so perfect and really reminded me of my friendship between my best friend and myself. They were the perfect amount of mean and honest I just couldn’t help but laugh whenever they got up to their shenanigans. The awkward friendship between Greg and Rachel really made the book for me too, because that all there was just a friendship and not even a good friendship but for two practical strangers they really tried and I love them for it.

Now for the part of this book that may put people off is that it is about cancer but that isn’t entirely true. Cancer is merely a subplot to the over arching themes and at times I certainly forgot this was a ‘cancer book’ and just thought I was reading any funny contemporary. The main part that makes this book different from others that could be like it is that Greg doesn’t learn anything from Rachel’s death and if we are honest that does happen in life all the time.

All up I think everyone should give this book a go because it is so meaningful in a meaningless way and just gives me all the feels. Just read it!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book Review: Endless by Amanda Gray

Endless by Amanda Gray
Published by Month9Books
I received this courtesy of the publisher.
Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock—and the Order—the trio discovers a link that joins them in life—and beyond death.

Looking for a bit of magic combined with some romance and a touch of history then this could be the book for you. Jenny is a slightly odd girl who sees things when she touches people, it is never fully explained what she see but she sees things. After getting a mysterious message while playing with an Ouija board things go from weird to crazy. With flashbacks to Romanov period in Russia and time travel this sure is an interesting book.

I requested this book a long time ago off Netgalley and I just never got around to reading it. By the time I picked it up I had completely forgotten what it was about and boy was I surprised when the first flashback hit (I may have checked if I was still reading the same book). It is the time travel and historical element in this book seemed quite rushed and abrupt at times. The past and present in this book seemed slightly disjointed until about the middle where things started to make more sense and unravel.

I really don’t have very many feelings about this book, it was interesting enough to hold my attention long enough to finish it but I was left wondering about some of the plot points. Warning this could be a very very vague spoiler, really it means nothing if you haven’t read it but I like to warn. If you’ve read this did anyone else wonder why only one person had smoke inhalation when they were all there?

My favourite part of this book was the romance but I definitely had my faults with it mainly the insta-love factor. If you’re after a romantic gesture then this is the book for you. Not spoiling again it does say this in the synopsis but Nikolai comes forward in time to be with Jenny, if that isn’t love I don’t know what is. My only problem with Nikolai and Jenny’s relationship was that the whole thing was built around the time travel, the characters didn’t really know each other at all.  It was like this for a lot of aspects of the characters, things were just glossed over.

All in all I enjoyed this book but I didn’t find it very memorable. None of the characters or events will really stuck with me and that’s something I look for in a book.

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