Wednesday, 27 February 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Title: Dark Parties
Author: Sara Grant
Publication Date: December 2011 (UK)
Pages: 264

 Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

 My Thoughts...
It’s funny, because I’m thinking about what I have to say in this review, and it might seem a little strange because I have two almost opposing viewpoints about Dark Parties... but anyway, here we go...

I have to say, it took me a long time to get into Dark Parties. For a long time, my progress with it was pretty slow-going and it took me a relatively long time to get through it compared to how fast I normally read a book. I just felt like the whole story – plotline, characters, dystopian setting – was very two-dimensional. It all felt very flat – there was no spark that caused me to really connect with the story or become emotionally invested in the characters’ plight.

I felt like we had been thrown straight into Neva’s world, which can be a good thing sometimes, but here it just left me feeling a little lost. A bit like if you suddenly joined a new school, but a term after everyone’ve missed orientation and no-one’s going to explain the way things work anymore because everyone already you’re left feeling perpetually behind and wondering if there’s something important that you missed. This is how I felt about inhabiting Neva’s world – the ‘Protectosphere’, essentially a big bubble which supposedly ‘protects’ everyone from the evil world outside – the distinct lack of world-building meant that I never really got a proper taste for the Protectosphere and therefore never really understood the characters’ sense of urgency for rebellion.

Neva was an okay protagonist, but there wasn’t anything unique about her. True, she was brave, curious, determined to fight against a corrupt government, but so is pretty much every other heroine in the YA dystopian genre. I didn’t feel any chemistry between any of the characters –not Neva and her best friend Sanna, not Neva and Braydon who supposedly had some great connection since they kissed at the ‘dark party’ in the opening chapter, and not even between Sanna and Braydon who were meant to be dating.

Nevertheless, as the story progressed and the end of the book neared, things took a turn for the better and more exciting. I can’t go into detail for fear of spoiling it but things did get a lot more tense and grittier. I felt my heart beating as I imagined the dark and frightening situations Sara Grant had placed her characters in – almost the emotional connection with the story that I had been hoping for earlier on.

If only this turn of events had appeared earlier! It was not quite enough to erase all the problems I had earlier on with Dark Parties but it was enough to make me feel like I had enjoyed the book once I finished it.

All in all, although I feel that Dark Parties fell a little short of its potential – the dystopian world of the ‘Protectosphere’ paired with the mystery of the ‘missing’ could have been so much more exciting – the explosive ending leaves me with hope that if there was to be a sequel , which the ending certainly invites, it could be amazing. Indeed, Sara Grant has done very well with her debut novel and Dark Parties definitely shows her great potential as a writer!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

BLOG TOUR: Power by Theresa Jones

Title: Power (The Descendant Trilogy #1)
Author: Theresa M. Jones
Publication Date: February 2013
Links: Amazon  Goodreads 

Thousands of years after the battle between the angels, when Lucifer was defeated by Michael in the Heavens, the war is still being fought on Earth by the humans who have their Power, the Angel’s Power. 

Allison Stevens is a 21 year old single mother who gets thrown into the middle of this battle when Damien, the Leader of the Rising, decides to hunt her down and kill her because he fears she is the descendant prophesied to save the world. 

David, a member of the Order, takes Allison under his wing in order to show her the ropes, and hopefully groom her into being the one they have been waiting for. The only problem is that they start to grow more attached than a teacher/student relationship should allow.

But that isn’t all. Damien wants to open the Seven Seals and bring about the apocalypse and it’s up to Allison to not only save herself and her family, but save the world, all while trying to keep her heart from breaking.

No problem… right?

POWER is the first book in a New Adult (Mature YA) Paranormal Romance Trilogy and is the debut novel for author Theresa M Jones.

Author Bio...
Theresa M Jones is just a regular small town, Texas girl. When she isn't at work at a local Medical Equipment provider,you can find her at home with her husband and two beautiful (and rambunctious) kiddos.

In her spare time- as if there ever was such a thing as "spare time" - she reads and reviews books on her book blog, and writes paranormal romance novels.

POWER (The Descendent Trilogy #1) is her debut New Adult (Mature YA) Paranormal Romance novel. 

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Easy by Tammara Webber

 Title: Easy

Author: Tammara Webber

Pages: 322

(UK) Publication Date: 3rd January 2013
First Published: 25th May 2012


' "I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly before turning around. It was Lucas who stood there. His gaze was penetrating, not wavering for a moment, and my pulse hammered under his silent scrutiny. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been so full of pure, unqualified desire."

Lucas is the stranger who saved Jacqueline from an attack by a fellow student - she'd never noticed him before then, and now he's everywhere. But can Jacqueline trust him - or will the secrets he's hiding come between them?'

My Thoughts...
I’ve been really excited to read Easy ever since I first heard of it, and by the time I finally got the chance to read it, so many people had loved it and called it ‘amazing’ that I was sure I would feel that way too. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Sadly, I was a little disappointed by Easy. Perhaps it was because of my high expectations of it...maybe.

It’s not that it was a bad book; it’s just that it didn’t really work for me. Evidence of this is the fact that I am writing this review having finished Easy only about a week ago, yet I am struggling to remember much about it...any strong feelings the story, or the characters, elicited...all I’m getting is an overall sense of ‘meh.’

 I quite liked the beginning of Jacqueline’s and Lucas’ relationship but as it matured, it grew almost a little boring. I mean, the romance was nicely written and there were some hot romantic scenes but I just felt it was all a little bit cliché.

I didn’t feel like there was much substance to the plot either – it felt like just another hot teen romance with that ‘good girl/bad boy’ kind of vibe, although it did have the point of dealing with some serious issues.

I commend Tammara Webber for writing a book tackling the serious issues of assault and rape, and one positive I can say about Easy is that it does highlight the fact that it is not the victim’s fault and you should not be afraid to speak out and fight back, however I feel the topic could have been more powerfully and emotionally portrayed. I felt like it was very much side showed by Jacqueline’s romance with Lucas, which took the spotlight of the book, and I have some doubts about the realisticness of Jacqueline’s reaction to being assaulted – she didn’t really seem that deeply impacted or frightened by her experiences as I imagine you would be.

I don’t really have much more to say about Easy...sadly, I was disappointed by it, but the vast majority of people who have read it loved it, so please don’t be discouraged from picking it up and giving it a go for yourself! All I will say is that as a ‘hot teen romance with that “good girl/bad boy vibe”, dealing with heavy issues’, Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry is MUCH better.