Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter| Review

Hey guys,

So those of you that have been around for a while may be aware of my love for Alice in Wonderland and anything related to it. So when I saw this gem and the sequel in The Works on the 3 for £5 deal I was all over it. Whilst this book didn't turn out as Alice-y as I expected it to, I still loved it and can't wait to read the next one. But I am getting ahead of myself, here have a read of the synopsis from GoodReads:

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish

Doesn't that sound great? Yeah it does. 

So the first thing I want to make very clear is this is pretty much a zombie story with a main character named Alice and a few wonderland references. It is not as the title and cover suggest an Alice in wonderland re-telling. But don't let that put you off! This book was not at all what I was expecting but it was amazing. 

So you think Zombies, you think urgh zombie apocalypse I've read it all before right? Well think again, firstly this is a zombie story no apocalypse, secondly these are zombies like you've never seen them before. There's a very interesting lore, and there are interesting people who fight them with interesting abilities

On top of that the characters in this book are just great. There is development, complexity and wit. I love the best friend Kat, lot's of great best friend banter there. I also like Cole, I liked his character as well as the way the teenager-y romance was dealt with. Secondary to the plot, not too mushy, and not 'omg i love you and we're going to be together forever' like most YA books. I also really really loved how her grandparents grill the boys she comes home with I thought that was hilarious and a great way of dealing with issues YA's never deal with. 

As for pacing, both this and the sequel were very fast paced with lots of action. I flew through them, I think I read both books within 48 hours, and it only took me that long because I was busy in the daytime. 


Monday, 26 May 2014

The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger| Review

Hey guys,

So if you have seen my recent book haul you may have seen that I found this in my favourite shop, the £1 book shop. This is another one of those books where I have inexplicably learnt the plot of the book without having read the blurb or seen the film. I'm not really sure how that happens but I guess this one is fairly self-explanatory. If you do want a more in depth synopsis here is the blurb from GoodReads:

Audrey Niffenegger's dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry's unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

I was fairly curious about this book simply because of the time travel aspect. As you may or may not have gathered by now I love fantasy, high fantasy, urban fantasy I don't care I just love it. But despite the time travel aspect this book is very much a contemporary, and an adult contemporary at that. So I wanted to see how that would play out, and honestly I thought this book was a little over-rated. I suspect this is partially because it is a contemporary, but I even for a contemporary I thought this book was boring. Yup that's right I said boring. If you'd have asked me before I read this I would never have suspected that time travel could be boring.

The problem is the way the time travel works in this book, is a deterministic everything happens in a certain way and you can't change the past even if you wanted to. This kind of removes any interesting drama that could arise from time travel, and leaves you with a contemporary with no mystery whatsoever- you already know they are going to end up together from the title and first page of the book. So that just leaves you with there rather mundane lives, now how anyone that can time travel can have a mundane life is beyond me, but this book manages it pretty well. I would have even preferred it if there had been a little drama with when he time travels further in the past before Claire- but whilst it's repeated from time to time that he gets beaten up and has to steal, we never actually see how that unfolds. This book was far far to long for something so boring.

There are a couple other things I didn't like, I wasn't a fan of how old Henry behaves around little Claire I know they end up together but that's still kind of creepy. I also don't like how Claire basically has no choice but to end up with Henry. 

I do think that a genetic time travel illness is a cool idea, but the way it was executed really wasn't for me. I think people who are bigger fans of the adult contemporary genre will get along better with it. 

3/5 (and tbh I'm being generous here) 


Friday, 23 May 2014

Wake by Amanda Hocking| Review

Hey guys,

So mermaid novels are not exactly my thing but as I keep saying Kindle freaking deals man. I generally have a rule that if I've heard good things about a book and I see it as a deal, I get it. So when I saw Wake as a kindle deal, I couldn't pass it up. I've seen several booktubers mention it before so why not?

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets. (description from GoodReads)

So as you can see the description is... well cheesy to say the least. And to be perfectly honest the novel felt the same way. Every aspect of it felt 'meh.' It wasn't bad enough that I disliked it but I didn't really feel anything about it. I wasn't excited to read it as it was frustratingly slow paced, so I pretty much forced my way through it. If I'd hadn't finished university and had nothing to do I think it would have taken me forever to read it or I would have given up.

The problem is there is no mystery or intrigue as to what is happening to her. You know the deal from the synopsis so it's very frustrating to spend the entire book watching her try to figure out what is happening. The characters are all fairly one dimensional so yes there is a love interest. And yes there is a sister and her love interest, but none of them were very interesting. I did like the background of the mother. Her situation very rarely happens in books and I liked that it was mentioned, and even that it wasn't the main focus of the book.

I believe that this is the first book in a series, and I will say that the ending did promise for better books in the future but to be perfectly honest I doubt I'll continue. I just didn't really care about any of the characters enough to want to read more. Maybe mermaid books just aren't for me? I should probably stick to assassins.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness| Review

Hey guys,

You may start to see a running theme here but I saw the knife of never letting go on a kindle sale for 99p, and I just can't resist books for 99p. I've come so close to buying this trilogy before but there have always been other books that I wanted to read more. That's mostly because I didn't really know what this book was about, I've heard a lot of good things about the trilogy but I think it's one of those series' that everyone assumes everyone already knows about it and don't explain it. So to avoid that here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

I didn't immediately love this book, like I do with a lot of books. I usually know if I'm going to really like a book or not by the first 100 or so pages depending on the length and genre. I was bit baffled by the purpose misspellings and such, but once it got into the swing of things this was really enjoyable.

Like all fantastical books, or SiFi in this case, there was a lot of set up and world building. This may be off putting to a lot of people but I'm so used to reading fantasy that I mostly just think of this as a good thing- a promise of more books to come that will be even better. The world building and such only slow the pace for the first half-ish of the book, and then everything picks up.

I liked the character development, Todd pretty much acts like an idiot for a good proportion of the book, but that's to be expected if you have grown up on lies and he does start to realise everything is different.
I also really like the friendship bond that develops with Viola (and Manchee lets face it) and that you slowly learn more about her.

There's a good proportion of heart break, suspense and action and whilst I found the ending predictable, it was no less enjoyable. I'm definitely going to continue on with the trilogy


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott| Review

Hello there!
So recently there has been some booktube buzz about Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott, and since I saw it for 99p on Kindle I decided to give it a whirl.

Time is slipping away.... 

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

                                                       (Synopsis via GoodReads)

This book has been pitched as The Hunger Games meets Pokemon, and I can see the influence. Particularly The Hunger Games is a clear inspiration to the author, I mean some of the lines are borderline plagerism. For example,  "May the bravest contender win" is very similar to The Hunger Games' "May the odds be ever in your favour." That said I don't get the impression that the author was plagiarising or trying desperately to be like the Hunger Games, to me it felt more like a nod to Suzanne Collins, a casual 'Hey, I realise this is similar to a well known book but stick with me'. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't pitch this book as 'like The Hunger Games' I'd be more likely to pitch it as 'like that American TV show The Amazing Race but with actual danger.' The Pokemon link is even more tenuous, and to be perfectly honest it felt more like a mix between the abilities of a Pokemon but the link of the daemons from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

On to the actual book itself then. The one thing I wish I'd known before going into this book is that this is the first book in a trilogy. I thought this was a stand alone and that completely through off the pacing for me. If I had known before hand perhaps that would have been different, but even so I think the abrupt ending would still be an issue. Whilst I loved the content of this book, it felt like half of a story, there was no real cliffhanger or conclusion, it just sort of ended. I don't think this would be as much of a problem if I was reading the whole series and I could chain read the books, but as I'm reading it upon first release I'd expect a better ending than that. Don't let this negativity give you the wrong impression though, this is a fast paced novel with a lot of action and it is a very addictive quick read.

I also really enjoyed the characters and their development throughout the book. You would think it would be difficult to get to know other characters in this kind of a competitive book, but there are a number of good and bad characters that you get to know pretty well over the course of the book, and you do see how the race influences them. And of course there is boy love interest because no YA would be complete without it. I really liked how it was handled in this book though, it was a sub-plot secondary to the action and it remained that way throughout.

I think this is one of those trilogies that will get better as they unfold, there's a lot of set up in this book and the promise of more dystopia-esque drama in the future.

4/5 stars


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

I'm Back

Hey guys Louisa here,

So I am back to the internet land after not being active at all due to finishing my last year of uni, even before that I wasn't really involved much- I put minimal effort into my videos and I haven't made a blog post in I don't know how long.

But I'm back now, and hoping to produce more and better stuffs whilst I have the time over summer. If you haven't checked it out already here is the newest video I made which is basically a giant rambley word vomit about various stuffs (Totally selling that aren't I?)

I didn't mention anything about this blog in that video but I think I'm going to post full reviews of all the books I read on here. I may post random other things if something occurs to me but it'll mostly be a book blog to go along with my channel. So it's worth subscribing to the blog and the YouTube channel as there will be stuff on both. You can do that with the links on the right. (Shameless self promotion, no post would be complete without it :p) 

That's all for now,

Monday, 5 May 2014


We just posted a new video: Series I Will Never Finish! Go check it out here:

How do you feel about these series? let us know in the comments! Subscribe if you aren't already, we would love to see you interacting with our YouTube Channel :)

Much love