Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Review: Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

Losing Lila (Lila #2) by Sarah Alderson
Published by Simon Pulse 2012

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life. (From Goodreads)

Having absolutely loved Hunting Lila and giving it the full five stars last year, this was one of my anticipated sequels. Losing Lila did certainly not disappoint, and this has been a fantastic series.

We are reunited with Lila and Alex right away, now on the run from the Unit. Alderson wastes absolutely no time delving straight into the action, and that's something I've always liked when it comes to this series. There's no time to beat around the bush, and it's clear that this is going to be one bumpy ride; even more so than the first book!

There are plenty of plot twists and turns, which had me turning frantically turning the pages at times; none of which, as usual, I expected. Alderson somehow always managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. The romance was also even more of a pleasure to read about this time around, with some cheeky gallivanting mixed in with the action, as well as hints of humour. I particularly enjoyed Suki and Nate: what a charming and hilarious pair.

Now, on to the characters. I felt as if everyone had a significant character development as opposed to how things went in the last book. With Lila's strong resolve to get her mother and brother back from the Unit's clutches, she grows increasingly confident in herself and her power. Demos and the others had a much stronger role to play, what with joining Alex and Lila to bring down the Unit and getting their own revenge. They were their own unit of sorts, and it was interesting to see how the game plan went.

Overall this was fantastic and I feel completely satisfied with how this story went. It didn't seem possible but Sarah Alderson has delivered a more-than-worthy sequel to one of my favourite books of 2011, packed with action and romance. There was never a dull moment!

4.5 stars

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: 17 & Gone (Link to Goodreads)
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Released: 21st March 2013 (US)

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything. 
(From Goodreads)
I'm looking forward to this because I haven't read many mysteries, and I think that combined with the supernatural element makes for a potentially interesting read. I've yet to read Imaginary Girls as well, but I've heard that it's very good!

Leave me a link to your WoW post in the comments :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill 2007

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.
(From Goodreads)


My first review since May, think I might be a bit rusty at this, so please forgive me if I make a few blunders! 

I'd heard of this book before, but it had always managed to take a backseat in my mind. That is, until I hit a bump in the road to "reading recovery" (as I like to call it), and I asked my Tumblr followers for help. This book was recommended by one of my followers, and it finally gained my attention. I was weary when I first picked it up because I'd never read this kind of book before, but I took the plunge.

A box of tapes arriving on the front doorstep sounds intriguing in the least, and I was instantly curious because let's face it, who listens to tapes anymore? Nonetheless, a box of tapes is what Clay Jensen, the story's protagonist, finds on his doorstep. Clay was a very likeable character, and his reactions throughout listening to the tapes were plausible. I felt as if I was right there with him, on the edge of my seat, listening to Hannah's words.

Hannah was the biggest surprise, in my mind. She wasn't at all like I'd thought she'd be. To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect, but I certainly didn't expect what I got. Maybe a little more sadness? Hannah's character mainly came across as bitter, and perhaps even resentful. I understood that Hannah had sent out those tapes to explain why she committed suicide, but I thought she was not only using the tapes for that, but also as a way to lash out at the people mentioned on the tapes. I also appreciated the dual narrative between Hannah and Clay; thoughts and feelings coming across from both sides filled the book with raw emotion.

Ultimately though, this book puts the little things into perspective. The things you might've seen as jokes and you simply brushed them aside: they can have a profound effect on someone. You don't know what goes on inside a person's head, and how these little things can build up gradually. I guess the most terrifying thing that I learnt from this book is that the changes these things can make to someone are very subtle, and they're easy to overlook. A powerful read that's sure to strike a chord in everyone and a must-read for every teenager.

3.5 stars

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Quick Note

Hi everyone, it's been a long hiatus, hm? I've also had quite the hectic summer in which I've only managed to read 2 books! Exams went well and I'm happy with my results. I'm going to start posting again once school starts or sometime shortly after; I'm also writing reviews for my school paper this year so you will hear from me! Sorry for being away so long, but I'll come back this time :)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Letterbox Love (3) + (4)

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey @ Narratively Speaking, where bloggers in the UK can showcase the books they received during the week.

Hi everyone, I know I haven't posted at all in a couple of weeks, and I'm sorry for that. More exams are coming up, and I honestly don't think I can run this blog and do my schoolwork and revision at the same time, so I'm going on a break from the blog again. I don't know when I'll be back exactly, but hopefully by the start of the summer holidays. To others who are also doing exams: Good luck! Here's what I got over the past 2 weeks:


Soul Beach by Kate Harrison (Thanks to Vivenne @ Serendipity Reviews!)


Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door #1-2) by Jennifer Echols 

I also just came back from Bluewater, where I was supposed to go to the Waterstone's Cassandra Clare book signing. I got there only to find out that she'd canceled due to illness. Disappointed that I didn't get to meet her, but I hope she gets well soon!

I'll see you all soon, and I hope you've had a great weekend (especially since the weather's been incredibly nice lately in the UK)!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Feature and Follow #11

Feature and Follow is a meme hosted by Parajunkee @ Parajunkee's View and Alison @ Alison Can Read. It's a way for bloggers to gain new followers and friends.

This week's question:

Q: Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

I'll probably be in my bedroom for the majority of the summer, and summer in England sucks 99% of the time anyway. For the first two weeks though, I may be going up to Devon to stay with my cousin. Devon does seem to have the best weather in summer from my experience, so maybe I'll get a chance to read on the beach! However, I do prefer my bedroom, because it's so cosy :)

Weekly recap:

What's your answer to this week's question? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published Simon & Schuster UK 2011

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.


I honestly don't know why I didn't read this sooner. I love YA fiction that features road trips, and I've read quite a few, but I honestly think this just might be the best one of all.

Amy Curry's life sucks. Her family has all but completely fallen apart due to her dad's death three months ago, and her mum decided to move to Connecticut to start fresh. Amy's been living by herself in their California home for the past month or so, but now the house is close to sold and it's time to get up to Connecticut. Problem is, Amy hasn't been able to drive since the accident. Enter Roger Sullivan, an old childhood friend she can only vaguely remember, but he's cute and seems nice. Amy and Roger are supposed to follow the directions her mum gave her, but they decide to take a little detour to make things more interesting...

Amy is one of the most loveable and real characters I've come across. I found that her narrative flowed incredibly nicely and I never once was bored. The turmoil that she's been experiencing since her dad's death is beautifully written, and Amy gets tons of character development throughout the book in that aspect. She really grew as a character and came to terms with it. She also had a very interesting personality, and she seemed like one of those people who can get along with anyone because they're that likeable. 

Now, on to Roger. He is like the poster boy for boys in contemporary fiction and how they should be. Not only is he cute, he's understanding, a good listener and not to mention that he has an amazing taste in music, which is evident in his playlists that appear throughout the book as Amy and Roger enter a new state on their road trip. Roger also got a little sub-plot of his own, which I found really interesting and I appreciated it. Both Amy and Roger have to come to terms with their own issues, and they help each other along the way, making each other better. That's my favourite thing about this book. 

Another of my favourite things about this book is the fact that there are pages of small notes written by Amy as they pass through each state, which contain facts and funny comments. I really enjoyed those, and they added nicely to the story, not to mention that I learned quite a bit about a few American states! As I mentioned above, Roger's playlists are also featured in their own pages, and they're fantastic. The playlists were relevant to what each new state brought to Amy and Roger, and helped to capture the mood of that particular part of the trip. I looked up some of the songs after I finished reading, and I actually quite like most of them! Things like receipts from various places, postcards and napkins were featured, and I loved the song lyrics at the start of every new chapter.

The host of characters that they met along the way were amazing. They each had their own place in the story, and I enjoyed every one of them. In fact, I can say that I loved every character featured in this book. The ending was beautiful, and felt right. It was a satisfying ending, but at the same time I didn't want it to end because I didn't want to say goodbye to all these amazing characters, especially Amy and Roger. The trip only took 4 days, but they had come so far, both in the literal sense and in relation to character development. One of my most favourite books for sure, and my desire to go on a cross-country American road trip is stronger than ever!

5 stars