Wednesday, January 31

Review: The Power

The Power
Naomi Alderman

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: April 6, 2017
Date Read: December 28, 2017
Genre: Adult - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 340

From Goodreads:

'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

"This is the trouble with history. You can't see what's not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something's missing, but there's no way to know what it was."

The Power is a book that I probably would never have picked up myself. I'd honestly never heard of it until a friend, who doesn't really read much, told me about it and that he had found it fascinating. After getting it as a gift for Christmas from him I couldn't wait to dive in. It's not my usual read as I usually strictly stick to YA reads. I am so so glad he recommended The Power to me because it is absolutely incredible.

The Power tells the story of a world where women all over are waking up to find they have 'the power'. They can now inflict agonizing pain, even death, with just a flick on the fingers. Suddenly the world isn't so patriarchal anymore and the men are terrified of the women. Boys are warned not to go out alone where the women are.

The Power is absolutely incredible. Naomi really knows how to write a fantastic novel. Right from the start Naomi's writing style grabbed me and I couldn't put the book down. In the past I've read other books regarding the same topic as The Power where the gender inequality switches to the women being more powerful and I've barely made it through any of them because I just couldn't get into the book and associate with the characters. Naomi has shown her story-telling talent by creating a feminist piece of literature that not only grabs you but really has you attached to these characters. The Power is a feminist novel at heart but one that men and women alike will find intriguing and unputdownable.

The Power follows four main characters, three of them women and one male. I was so thrilled that one of the main characters was male. At first I was surprised because, let's be honest, it's a feminist novel, I expected it to be told from the points of view of only women but having Tunde as a narrator was perfect. He showed the point of view of the men. The intrigue to help the women who have been supressed all their life get their power back, but what also develops into fear that the women could kill all of the men should they wish. It gave another side to this story and made it even more intriguing and interesting.

I'm not usually a reader of anything feminist, I find it hard to read them usually as I find a lot of them are a bit too radical and crazy for my liking. What I loved about The Power is it wasn't like that at all. It tells the story of how culture changes with the rising of the women and how the church changes to accomodate this societal change. I found it fascinating and interesting to see how all of the characters acted due to this change in power. It was really intriguing to see not only how the men reacted but how some of the women in other cultures reacted to the change as well.

The Power is a stunning, thought-provoking novel that I would recommend to everyone. I loved every moment of it and I can't recommend it to people enough. I am so glad I gave it the chance and read it. I enjoyed every second and it was utterly stunning. The Power is a must-read for everyone.

"Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn't. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not, Tap on it and it's hollow. Look under the shells: it's not there."

Wednesday, January 24

Review: Need

Joelle Charbonneau

Published By: HMH Books for Younger Readers
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Date Read: December 26, 2017
Genre: YA - Thriller / Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book

From Goodreads:
What do you really need?

One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin, join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage passes to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn’t you?

Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs—a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

Or could it?

After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating, and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network before it destroys them all?

"No one gets something for nothing, we all should know better."

Need was a book that I had on my radar for a while as it was by an author that I've previously read and loved. I absolutely loved Joelle's dystopia Testing Trilogy and recently read her fantasy novel Dividing Eden and really loved that one too so I couldn't wait to dive in to her YA thriller Need. Now, I was pretty much certain that I wouldn't love Need as much as the others as my feelings towards thrillers are pretty touch and go. Some I enjoy and some I can barely get through.

Need tells the story of Kaylee, a girl who is desperately searching for a kidney doner for her brother. So when a new website comes up for her school called Need it looks like the hope she has been waiting for. Need gives people exactly what they want for a small price... a dare. But when the dare's turn deadly how many of the school's children will survive to get what they really 'need'.

Honestly the storyline for this book is superb. It's fast-paced and addictive and I was honestly so hooked by the storyline... however, I'm sad to say I just couldn't get away with this one. In my opinion, there is a line for how many points of view you can tell a story in before it gets confusing and ridiculous, and ten narrators is just way over that line for me. I understand that there are lots of kids that this website is affecting but I just didn't feel like we needed a point of view for so many of them. I was honestly so confused and I didn't know who was who and it stopped me enjoying this storyline. At the beginning of each chapter I had a state of 'who the heck is this' and in later chapters I was half way through the chapters before I even realised that I had heard from this character before. It was just too many.

I absolutely love Joelle's books and this definitely will not stop me reading her other stuff as I truly believe she is a fantastic author I just really couldn't get past the confusion caused by so many narrators. I really wish I'd loved this one because honestly the storyline is great and I loved the storyline but I just couldn't connect with the characters as I would usually due to there being just too many.

Unfortunately, this one wasn't for me but I highly reccomend Joelle's other novels. And if lots of points of view don't bother you then you will probably love this one too.

"Loving you is the only really good thing about me."

Wednesday, January 17

Review: Golden (Heart of Dread #3)

Golden (Heart of Dread #3)
Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Published By: Orchard Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Date Read: December 25, 2017
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288

From Goodreads"
The action-packed finale to the Heart of Dread series

In this epic conclusion to the trilogy, Nat and Wes go on a journey to find the Rift, save the source of magic and defeat the Drau, the pirates, and the RSA—but at a great sacrifice. Wes is dying, and as he's rotting the Drau will let the rot "cleanse" the source of magic, dooming Wes forever. Nat and Wes discover that the source of the magic lies in the Drakon—the key to the Blue, the protector, the soul of the world. But in order to close the Rift, a great sacrifice is needed. In the words of the sylphs, death is life, and now the worlds can be reborn again.

Golden, the final book in the Heart of Dread trilogy, was everything that I could have hoped for and more. I absolutely loved this book and it was most definitely my favourite of the series. It was action packed and charged with emotion. It was utterly perfect.

Nat and Wes have lost so much already and thier journey has only just begun. They need to find the Rift, the source of magic in order to defeat their enemies. But it's all going to come at a great cost... because to save this dying and dangerous world the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston have really created a fantastic story here and I've loved every moment of each of the books and I really can't praise their story-telling skills enough. From the moment I picked Golden up I couldn't put it down. I just needed to know what was going to happen.

Honestly, Golden broke my heart so much. This is definitely the most emotional book of the series and I was so heartbroken and crying throughout a lot of it. But really the ending is realistic and perfect for the series. Wes and Nat have to go through so much but all the trauma and heartbreak was worth it.

Golden was a fantastic end to a fantastic series. I loved every second of it and I cannot recommend this phenomenal series enough. It has everything you could possibly want from a dystopia series, it was wonderful and one I know I will enjoy again and again.

Wednesday, January 10

Review: Stolen (Heart of Dread #2)

Stolen (Heart of Dread #2)
Melissa de la Cruz

Published By: Orchard Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2015
Date Read: December 23, 2017
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
From Goodreads:
Who is Eliza Wesson?

Months after Nat and Wes said goodbye on the shores of the Blue, Nat is learning how to control and use her new power. She and her drakon are the last of their kind—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. When she receives a mysterious distress call, she races to help, soliciting the guidance of her new friend, the beautiful and aloof Faix Lazaved of the Blue.

Still heartbroken over losing Nat, Wes is racing cars on a New Vegas racetrack while his team is scattered and lost. When he finds out that his sister, Eliza, is being held in the golden domes of El Dorado, he does what he’s best at—running to her side—and gambles on luck to see him through one more time.

They soon discover that the answer to both their quests lies in the same question: Who is Eliza Wesson—what is she capable of, and why was she stolen from her family so long ago?

"You cannot let the darkness overcome the light."

Frozen was a book that I read years ago and I really enjoyed it and honestly I can't really explain why I didn't continue reading the series. Well, I finally decided to pick up the sequel and I am so so glad that I did. I really enjoyed Stolen, the second book in the Heart of Dread series. It was a fast paced, action packed sequel.

Wes and Nat have been seperated. Wes has travelled back to New Vegas in order to find his long lost sister, Eliza. But why was she stolen all those years ago? And where did she go to? Wes will stop at nothing to find out and save his sister. Even if it puts his life in danger. Nat has been fighting to protect The Blue. But can she keep up fighting with her drakon or is she destined to be separated from something she loves yet again?

Honestly, I found Stolen to be really slow going at first and it took me a hell of a long time to get into it. Despite this the story was still grabbing me and I was dying to find out what was going happen. The more I read the more I enjoyed it and once I got around half way through I couldn't put this book down. It was fantastic and I just couldn't get enough of these amazing characters.

Wes and Nat are two fantastic characters and I loved that this book was split point of view so we could see what was going to happen to both Nat and Wes since they were seperated at the end of the first book in the series, Frozen. As the book went on I started to love these characters even more. I loved Wes and loyal he is both to his lost sister and also Nat. He is such a fantastic character and the type of character that you just love more and more the more of the book you read. Nat is such a strong-willed character and I really love the journey she has come on. She has grown so much from the beginning of the first book to here and I really love that she is now this amazing kick-ass warrior. She is just fantastic.

Stolen, although slower than Frozen, ended up being just as good as the first book in the series. I absolutely loved every moment of it and I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the final book. This is definitely a must-read series.

"Love does not make you weak; it is the absence of it that does."

Saturday, January 6

Tackle That TBR Wrap Up

Over the past two weeks I've taken part in the #TackleThatTBR readathon. I'm really happy with my progress in this readathon and it's really given me a head start on getting those unread books read this year.

In the readathon I read the following books:

Books Completed:

Books Read but DNF:

Here is how these books correlated with the challenges of the readathon:
  • Read a book that you really need to read: Neophyte (Neophyte #1) by Emmalee Aple 
  • Read a book in a series: Golden (Heart of Dread #3) by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Read a standalone: The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Read a book that has been on your TBR for more than a year: Stolen (Heart of Dread #2) by Melissa de la Cruz
 I'm super happy to have read 4 books, and got 6 in total from my TBR. Look out for the reviews coming soon. 

Wednesday, January 3

Review: Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1)

Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1)
Joelle Charbonneau

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Date Read: November 24, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Format: eARC

From Goodreads:
Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Dividing Eden is a book that's been on my radar for so long. I read and devoured Joelle's The Testing series a few years back and fell head over heels in love with her books. I couldn't help but add all of her books to my TBR list. I was so excited when I heard this would be a YA Fantasy as they are my absolute favourite. I adore them. I can't really explain why I waited so long to read this book but I did... and I wish I'd read it sooner as I really enjoyed it.

Dividing Eden tells the story of Carys and Andreus. Two royal twins who never thought they would see the throne. But after their father and brother are killed they find themselves much closer than they ever dreamed. They are put into a competition against each other to find the true King or Queen of Eden. They are determined to work together, but with others trying to influence them can they see the truth from the lies? And can they actually trust each other at all?

Dividing Eden is a fantastic start to what I am certain will be a fantastic series. I really enjoyed reading this book and Joelle's storytelling was just incredible. Right from the start I was captured and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen. I just know I will read absolutely anything Joelle writes as her books are just absolutely fantastic.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. I had already read the prequel novella Into The Garden before reading this so I loved seeing how much Betrice had changed. I loved her in the novella. My opinions on the twins really drastically changed throughout the book. I liked both of them at the start but the more that happened the more I started liking Carys much more. Andreaus just became worse and worse in my opinion as the book went on and now I just don't like him very much.

Dividing Eden was a fantastic start to a YA Fantasy series. I loved the hint to a little bit more magic at the end and I am looking forward to seeing that develop further in the next book. I found some bits of the book a little slow which made it take me quite a while to read this book. I loved the ending adn can't wait for book 2 and highly recommend it but be ready for a slow burning ride.

Monday, January 1

Wrap Up: December 2017

Hey Guys,
Can you believe 2018 is here? That year just totally flew by didn't it? Well first things first let me wish you a...

Hope you all have a fantastic 2018 that's full of love, laughter and books. Now onto my December wrap up.

Book Haul:

Books Read in December 2017:

More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2) by Brigid Kemmerer - 5 Stars
Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston - 4 Stars *RE-READ*
Stolen (Heart of Dread #2) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston - 4 Stars
Golden (Heart of Dread #3) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston - 5 Stars
Need by Joelle Charbonneau - 2 Stars
The Power by Naomi Alderman - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in December 2017:

2017 Challenges Update:

This year I am challenging myself to:
  • The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge
  • The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
  • The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge
  • The Zoella Book Club Challenge
The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge

I absolutely loved taking part in Reading Books Like A Boss' Totally Doable Reading Challenge this year. It was, as said, 'Totally Doable'.

I completed this one back in August and found it so easy to complete as I just read books I wanted and saw which ones fit in. I'd love to do this one again in the future.

The 2017 Debut Author Challenge

Unfortunately, I only managed to read 4 out of my planned 5 debuts this year. I always find I don't read many debuts the year they come out so I'm really happy to have read 4.

The 2017 Continue a Series Challenge

I'm super happy to have completed my challenge of finishing 5 series that I had started. I am so bad at starting series and never completing them so I'm thrilled to have ticked off some more that I've completed. I'm going to do this one again and hopefully catch up on some more series in 2018.

The Zoella Book Challenge

Unfortunately this is another challenge that I didn't manage to complete. I am going to be rolling this one over to 2018 and including the third round which was 'Zoella and Friends' and hope to make more of a dent in this one as this year I only managed to tick off 7 of the 16 books.

Top 3 Books of December 2017:

What did you read in December?
What are your reading goals in 2018?