Tag Archives: 4 stars

Touch by Melissa Haag

TouchTouch by Melissa Haag

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book more than I anticipated. I think it is mostly because I was able to respect the characters. Far too often the characters in YA paranormal romances invoke a feeling of envy in the reader because of their romance/appearance/powers/wealth/circumstances etc. This was not the case. The teenagers were sensible and the adults were both loving and flawed.

Touch is about Tessa, a 16 year old who is trapped by a 200 year old family curse. While I callĀ Touch a paranormal romance it is different from most stories in the genre. While the ‘love interest’ propels the plot, there isn’t a ‘fall in love at first sight’ overwhelming romance. I really respect Melissa Haag for this as I think it makes the novel. The complication is that Tessa, as all the women before her, must choose a partner before her 17th birthday. To assist her choice, she catches a glimpse of the future with each potential mate with just a touch. The main catch is that whomever she chooses is cursed to die young.

I want to quickly comment on the cover. While looking at the covers of all the editions, this cover is the most appealing to me. However, after reading the novel this cover is really misleading šŸ˜¦

What I liked most about Touch is that I was often conflicted about what I wanted for Tessa, the protagonist. I was able to share her indecision as she battled with making decisions that would rule her future and change the lives of her family.

I am really looking forward to reading some of Melissa Haag’s other work.

Touch reminds us that the basis for the strongest relationships is friendship rather than passion.

Happy reading šŸ™‚

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All Our Yesterdays

All Our YesterdaysAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Our Yesterdays is one of the best time travel stories that I have read. There are a few twists and turns in the plot and at times I wasn’t sure who I wanted to succeed. This is a well written and satisfying story. The resolution is really well done and leaves you feeling contented when you finally turn that last page.

Usually, I really don’t like time travel stories butĀ All Our YesterdaysĀ isn’t your typical time travel story. It really appealed to me and often after I had put the book down, I wondered what I would do if I had the technology to go back in time.

The characterisation was well portrayed. The chapters were written from different character perspectives and Cristin Terrill was able to successfully differentiate between the characters by giving them their own authentic voice. This isn’t easy to achieve so it is a huge kudos from me to any author who is able to pull it off.

This story is about choices, responsibilities, relationships and consequences. It stays with you and challenges you to think about your own choices and your impact on the future of our planet. So many times it provokes you to think aboutĀ “What would you do?”

Even if you are not a fan of Science Fiction, if you are a lover of Young Adult fiction – readĀ All Our Yesterdays.

Happy reading šŸ™‚Ā 

 

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My new favourite series book 1

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate Daniels is just my type of protagonist – tough, smart-mouthed, attracts trouble and knows how to hold her own. This paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery really took me by surprise. The authors have created a well-rounded world that I easily fell into and followed the story. The story had unpredictable twists and turns that kept me interested and wanting to find out what happened next.

The chapters are really long and the first few are heavily laden with descriptions of the setting which was required to develop such a believable world. I will admit that I was assisted by a rundown given by another reader on Goodreads who explained concisely about the Magic versus the Tech; The Order versus The Guild; and The Pack versus The People. She also directed my to http://www.ilona-andrews.com/kate-danielsĀ which really helped. I also downloaded from Smashwords a companion to the series where one of the authors has written some of the scenes from Curran’s perspective. There is only on scene from Magic Bites but it is well worth the read.

I really would have preferred to have read the ebook rather than the audiobook of this one. It isn’t often that I say this but it would have helped to be able to see the spelling of some of the names and to be able to go back and reread passages after revelations were made later in the novel. Luckily I read this as a buddy read on Goodreads so the other readers were able to fill in the blanks for me.

There is a subtle humour in Magic Bites which really won me over. I always appreciate fantasy authors who don’t take themselves too seriously “Here kitty, kitty” šŸ™‚

Thanks to the sense of humour, encompassing world, feisty Kate and the fearsome Curran that Kate Daniels may just become my new favourite series!

(I’m 40% through the second book already!)

 

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Great indie read! Memory’s Wake

Memory's WakeMemory’s Wake by Selina Fenech

My rating:Ā 4.5 starsĀ 

Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech exceeded all of my expectations. This is one of the best indie books I have read. Fenech takes an interesting fantasy story and enhances it with her amazing artwork and crafted prose.

The small illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are beautiful. They give Memory’s Wake a fairytale feel. Thankfully the literary devices and the style of prose develop a more complex story that while inclusive of fairytale elements, is a far cry from a clichĆ©d reinterpretation of a fairytale. Memory’s Wake also includes full page plate illustrations. Usually I am not a fan of illustrated novels because I often find that the artist’s interpretation of the characters and mine differs. As the illustrations are by Fenech, who was an artist before she became a writer, the characters are visually represented just as they are in the text. Fenech has created a phenomenal multimodal text.

There are an interesting mix of characters in Memory’s Wake . I’m in an unusual predicament where I can’t decide who my favourite character is. Each of the four focal characters have just enough flaws to make them loveable. Yet each also has his or her own unique quality that makes them special.

Memory’s Wake is a story of lost and hidden identities, betrayal, lies and the desire to uncover the past. It is a must read for all lovers of Young Adult fiction.

I can’t wait to read the second book

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ONCE – Once I read a heart-wrenchingly innocent Holocaust narrative

Once (Once, #1)Once by Morris Gleitzman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The audiobook of Once is enchantingly narrated by the author, Morris Gleitzman. He brings to life the naivety of the unreliable narrator, Felix, as he searches for his parents in Nazi occupied Poland.

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Must listen/read: The False Prince

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)

Who are your favourite narrators?

Which books have you stayed up all night to finish?

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this audiobook. It was worth it! The False Prince was a surprisingly good tale. I had downloaded the audiobook a while ago and I reluctantly put it on one night for lack of anything else to listen to. I will admit that it took me a few chapters to get involved in the story.

The False Prince has the right mix – just enough intrigue, twists, predictability, surprise revelations and cunning plans to keep you engaged and eager to discover what happens next.

Charlie McWade is a brilliant narrator. His interpretation of the characters is brought to life by his dramatisation through the dialogue. He gives each character a voice that represents their personalities and role in the narrative. Often I would forget that I was listening to a narrator and not a cast representation. I also really appreciate it when narrators make you forget that you are listening to someone imitate the opposite sex – Charlie McWade achieved this. My only disappointment is that, according the Goodreads, he has only narrated a few books but I will be putting all of them on my To Listen list.

After my sleepless night, I also pleasantly surprised to discover an additional scene like a secret track on an album. What a fantastic idea! Usually when I finish a book I’m bitterly disappointed either because it is finished and I wanted more or because I had just wasted so many hours of my life. This additional scene was the perfect remedy. The additional scene that was a bit of an origin story was like an after dinner mint with my coffee – I don’t really need it but it makes the end of a meal just a little bit sweeter.

My greatest fear with The False Prince is that I cannot see how the rest of the trilogy could possibly live up to the first installment. Where does Jennifer A. Nielsen have to go with this story?

The False PrinceĀ is the thrilling first audiobook in a brand-new trilogy with danger, deceit, and hidden identities that will keep listeners hanging on to the edge of their seats.

From <http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12862980-the-false-prince>
Happy reading šŸ™‚Ā 

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These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)These Broken Stars by Amie KaufmanĀ and Meagan Spooner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

These Broken Stars, co-written by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is a perfect bridge into science fiction for lovers of paranormal romance and fantasy, like me.Ā Ā It is one of those stories where you sit down and think ‘I’ll just finish this chapter’. The next thing you know, three hours and ten chapters have just disappeared. This is just what I needed to read this week – a book I could lose myself in.

Set in a futuristic universe, where cross-dimensional travel is the norm, Lilac, only daughter of the richest man, and Tarver, a decorated soldier, find themselves crashed on a planet. Together they must survive long enough to be rescued.

Kaufman and Spooner affectively use foreshadowing at the beginning of each chapter by flashing forward to Tarver’s interview after the rescue. Surprisingly, this adds to the reader’s desire to keep reading rather than acting as a ‘spoiler’.

There Broken Stars examines, without conclusions, what it means to be you. I wasn’t expecting this existential discussion on ‘who am I?’ while reading the novel. Am I my memories? Am I my body? Am I the combination of both? An interesting twist.

A story of love, class distinction, survival and identity that is well worth a read. Check out the first installment in the Starbound trilogy, These Broken Stars.

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