Stacking The Shelves #112

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the title to get to the Goodreads page!

Vicious Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2) The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter, #1)

I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any books this week, but I’ve had a bit of a crap week, so I decided to go ahead and buy some. Naughty, aren’t I? Oh well! These three books have been on my TBR for a while now. Vicious because of all of the HYPE! I just hope it doesn’t fall victim to the hype monster…

What did you add to your shelves this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Unhinged (Splintered#2)

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
Splintered

Synopsis:

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Thoughts:

It had been a while since I had read Splintered which is A.G Howard’s twisted reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. So it was with much trepidation that I picked up Unhinged. Now I’m wondering why it took me SO long to read it. It didn’t let me down and now I can’t wait to read Ensnared. I shall be reading it ASAP!

Unhinged follows Alyssa one year after her adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa is drawn back into that crazy world into a battle against the Red Queen. Most of Unhinged takes place in Alyssa’s ‘normal’ world, but much of the Wonderland Weirdness seeps through into Alyssa’s life. I absolutely adored the character of Morpheus in Unhinged. He’s as intriguing as ever as he tries to encourage Alyssa to return to Wonderland.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the normal and the weird entwined. I loved learning more about Alyssa’s family. I feel like all of the characters developed well within this book. I feel like I know them really well now and want to find out what’s going to happen next. I’m torn between Jeb and Morpheus. Both are wonderfully written male characters.

A.G Howard’s writing is just so easy to read. It’s imaginative, original and paints such a vivid picture for the reader. Her characters pull you in and keep you turning the pages!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A fantastic, well written addition to the Splintered series!

Comparing ‘I’ll Meet You There’ by Heather Demetrios

I'll Meet You There

Synopsis:

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Thoughts before you started reading I’ll Meet You There?

CHRISSI: I was really excited to start reading I’ll Meet You There after devouring Something Real. I have to admit, there was a level of apprehension though. ESPECIALLY when it started to get a lot of good buzz around it. I really didn’t want to be let down. So it was with caution but much excitement that I started I’ll Meet You There.

LUNA: Having loved Something Real I was pretty excited about this. To be honest I knew very little before I started reading, Chrissi suggested the new Heather Demetrios and I was like: “SOLD!”

What did you think of Skylar and Josh?

CHRISSI: Oh! Heather Demetrios is an amazing writer. She creates such wonderful characters. I really liked Skylar and Josh, because they weren’t perfect characters. It’s great to read about characters that aren’t shiny and perfect, because let’s face it…who is shiny and perfect?

LUNA: They’re both really developed characters, despite the fact that Skylar has most of the narration you get a really good feeling of who Josh is. I felt that a lot of thought had gone into who they were, how they would grow throughout the book. Sometimes characters read like the one-dimensional words they are made of on the page but Skylar and Josh come across as people.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I really liked how the romance was slow burning. I also appreciated the raw and grittiness of the story. I couldn’t get enough of this book despite it being fairly long!

LUNA: Like Chrissi it was the slow-burning relationship between Skylar and Josh. It’s a complicated, messy, awkward friendship/romance that you get invested it.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I honestly don’t think I could pick a worst bit as such. If I was being really picky I’d say it was a little slow to start, but really… that’s nothing. It didn’t affect my enjoyment, I wasn’t bored. I was just eager to get into the action!

LUNA: There were a few moments, for example in reference to Dylan that I didn’t like. Like when Josh said he wasn’t surprised it was Dylan who had the baby, etc and sometimes the commentators would be called out on it, but then other times Skylar would be making them herself. Like the night she borrows Dylan’s dress and notes that Dylan only has dresses you can easily get out off. It wasn’t just Dylan, except for pure Skylar the girls in this book get a heck of a lot of judgement heaped on them.

Favourite character/moment:
CHRISSI: As with Something Real, I really liked all of the characters. However, I did have a particular fondness for Marge. A side character, but so important in the story.
LUNA: I really liked Marge as well.

Was I’ll Meet You There what you expected?

CHRISSI: I expected an emotional, raw, gritty read and that’s what I got!

LUNA: Overall yes, though I was surprised that I managed to put the book down, with Something Real I barely moved from the sofa.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Without a doubt!

LUNA: Absolutely

We All Looked Up

We All Looked Up

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Simon and Schuster UK Children’s

Synopsis:

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Thoughts:

We All Looked Up was one of my anticipated debuts for 2015. I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis. I was thrilled to be approved to read a copy, and quickly started reading it, hoping that it would pull me out of the reading slump that I was in. It did! I was impressed with Tommy Wallach’s debut novel. The only thing that prevented me from giving it a higher rating was that I didn’t find it to be a memorable book. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, but it’s not one that I will revisit in the future.

We All Looked Up centres around four seniors who have very different outlooks on finishing high school. Peter is the typical sporty guy. He’s worried that everyone is right about high school being the best years of your life. He is worried that it’s never going to get any better and that scares him. Eliza has had enough of high school and the rumours and the reputation she has that go with it. Perfect grade Anita is concerned that she’s abandoning her dreams to go to Princeton. Then we have Andy, who isn’t sure at all that college will be all that it’s cracked up to be. The seniors may not need to worry though. An aesteroid is hurtling through space meaning that life could potentially be wiped out. Without knowing if their futures will ever happen, the seniors have to deal with the present!

I thought that We All Looked Up was a good contemporary read. I love reading contemporary books written by a male as it a genre that is heavily populated with female writers. Although I didn’t like it as much as I had anticipated, I still thought it was a decent read with some very witty, laugh out loud moments!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars!

A good debut, worth reading if you’re not bored with end of the world stories!

Made For You

Made for You

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Harper Collins UK, Children’s

Synopsis:

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, this is another book where I’m not even sure where to begin with it. It’s a scary but also sickening story about a psychopathic killer. It’s one of those books that you feel really wrong saying you love, purely because of its subject matter, not because of Melissa Marr’s writing- her writing is fantastic. The suspense builds brilliantly. I couldn’t put it down, despite being disturbed by the story.

Made For You is narrated through three different points of views. Eva, who is our main protagonist, Grace, her best friend and ‘Judge’ the killer. We don’t know who the killer is, but we know that Eva knows the killer. Which just freaked me out. I was trying to guess who the killer was, but I didn’t get there. The killer is revealed at around 80%- to the reader…

The characters were well developed. I liked Eva and Grace and I was disgusted by the ‘Judge’ chapters. Those chapters sent shivers down my spine! Seriously creepy! They really added some grit to the story though and made it a truly great, well written thriller!

I would definitely read more from Melissa Marr again, I was very impressed with her writing!

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Fans of gritty thrillers would enjoy this fast-paced read!

Top Ten Books From My Childhood (or teen years) that I’d love to revisit!

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week the topic are the top ten books from my childhood or teen years that I’d love to revisit.

As ever, click the book image to get to the Goodreads page!

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The Demon Headmaster- Gillian Cross- I recently reread this book for University and I still loved it as much as I did as a young child. I have fond memories of my sister reading this book (amongst many she read to me).

Matilda- Roald Dahl- It wouldn’t be a post about my favourite books as a child/teen without Roald Dahl. His books WERE my childhood. Matilda is one of my absolute favourites!

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Anything Enid Blyton. She was one of my favourites! Her books may feel a little dated now, but I think children still enjoy them!

I adored the Goosebumps series! Just SO good!

Double Act Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1)

My sister isn’t responsible for getting me into Jacqueline Wilson as a child. She had influenced a lot of my reading choices, but definitely not Jacqueline Wilson. She was far too mature for that when Jacqueline Wilson was gaining massive popularity. I still see Jacqueline’s books in the classroom and it makes my heart so happy! :D

However, she totally influenced The Babysitter’s Club. I have so much nostalgia for this series. <3

529252  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Another sisterly recommendation was Sweet Valley High. These covers look oh so dated now!

I started the Harry Potter series in my teens. I grew up with it!

To Kill a Mockingbird Lord of the Flies

Both To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of The Flies were my English Literature reads when I was fifteen. I absolutely adored both of them and have revisited them since. I’m sure I’ll revisit them again in the future.

Which books were your childhood/teen favourites? Do you like/dislike any on my list? Let me know! :-) Feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by.

The Walls Around Us

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Algonquin Books!

Synopsis:

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Thoughts:

I have heard such mixed things about Nova Ren Suma’s writing. So, me being me (always wanting to form my own opinion) had to check out one of her books. I decided to go for The Walls Around Us which is a paranormal young adult read. Nova Ren Suma’s writing is different. It’s memorable. Even though I didn’t like the story as much as I wanted to,  I was incredibly impressed by the writing.

I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’m going to be really careful reviewing this book. It’s definitely a disturbing read. I always worry that I’m going to find ghost stories too much (I have a very vivid imagination), but what was creepy about this book was its characters. The plot itself doesn’t really go far, which is why I have given this book three stars. The characters though. Woah.

The story is narrated by Violet and Amber. Violet is a dancer and is destined for big things, but there’s something that stands in her way. Amber is locked up in a detention centre with a story to tell… It’s a strange tale, like nothing I’ve ever read before. It took me a while to connect with it, but when I did there was something about it that made me not put it down, despite the fact that I didn’t think it was a brilliant plotline. I can only recommend that you let the writing take hold of you. Enjoy it, because I haven’t read many authors like Nova Ren Suma before!

I’m definitely intrigued to see what the rest of her work is like.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

A strange, yet appealing pyschological story!