taketimetoshine: (Fall)
Veronica Roth - Allegiant
The blurb:The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningliess. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend to complexities of human nature - and of herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 06/05/16
Date I finished this book: 11/05/16

What did I think? I have huge respect for Veronica Roth and how she decided to conclude the series. While the story didn't take the route I was expecting, I'm finally at the place where I can understand why the events transpire in such a way. I will admit I wasn't so rational about the dramatic conclusion the first time I read it! I do now feel as though the events are in keeping with the tone of the book and Tris's story. Sometimes ugly crying is cathartic, and to be honest, I'm happy with the ending.

I remember being frustrated with Four the first time I read Allegiant. His POV was so different to the strong warrior I'd been more than I little obsessed with. What I'll take away with me after sitting down and reading the book properly without rushing to get to the end to see what transpires, is that he's not a superhero, but just a guy in a bad situation. He may be strong, but is prone to mistakes and misjudgement. This is okay, he's allowed to rely on others without being weak.

Divergent will always be the series that made me think it's okay to not have a neatly tied up Happily Ever After
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Veronica Roth - Insurgent
The blurb:I HAVE DONE BAD THINGS.
I CAN'T TAKE THEM BACK,
AND THEY ARE PART OF WHO I AM.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever... because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.
My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 02/05/16
Date I finished this book: 05/05/16

What did I think? Insurgent is the second book in Veronica Roth's amazing Divergent series and I admit, I started it the moment I finished Divergent, desperate to know what happened next. Insurgent paints a bigger picture of the world, giving us a chance to learn more about the other factions and their members. Equally intriguing for me was the development of Tris and Tobias' relationship. I loved how Divergent ends with Tobias' confession of love, but just as Divergent wasn't a love story, neither is Insurgent; Roth is not to be distracted by their relationship and doesn't lose focus from the main point of the story.

However, by far the best part of Insurgent is the secret. We learn quite early on that Marcus is keeping a rather large secret that will affect the entirety of the world in which they live and may even be behind the war. The secret generally remains in the background of the story, but Roth brings it to the foreground on occasion, tantalising and tempting, reminding the reader that there is still a lot we don't know. Yet the biggest thing this secret does is differentiate it from similar dystopian books. It makes the Divergent series stand out because there is now more to this series than overthrowing a corrupt leader and therefore also establishes the point of the trilogy.

If you've read Divergent, read Insurgent. It is just as good as the first. Many sequels don't live up to the first book (the Hunger Games trilogy is a good example of this), but Insurgent is different. It isn't repetitive as some sequels are; it has a point all of its own that leads nicely on from Divergent, using Divergent as a solid foundation on which to build. It does take a while to get into it so if it doesn't grip you immediately, don't worry. The second half absolutely makes up for this. It is infectious and impossible to put down.
taketimetoshine: (Believe In Love)
Veronica Roth - Divergent
The blurb:In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


My rating: 4/5
Tagged: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction
Date I started this book: 29/03/16
Date I finished this book: 02/05/16

What did I think? I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite being a little put off by its supposed similarity to The Hunger Games. Whilst the setting is similar as they're both dystopian young adult books, this book has a completely different plot.

I like the setting - that people are placed in one of four factions depending on their personality type - and the fact that main character Tris does not nearly fit into one particular faction, so is therefore considered to be 'divergent'. Tris is a likeable character and is very human, complete with flaws. There are several supporting characters, and the character interaction (particularly between Tris and Tobias) is great. The characters and the story are well written, but the ending of this book feels rather rushed, like the author ran out of words and had to squeeze the ending in. While the ending is exciting, I'd have liked a slower build up.

Summary - This is an interesting book with an exciting storyline, supported by lots of likeable characters. I found it hard to put down and I'm looking forward to starting book 2 tonight
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Jane Austen - Pride & Prejudice
The blurb: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: classics, romance, literature, british literature
Date I started this book: 07/02/16
Date I finished this book: 10/02/16

What did I think? Classic novel Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennett, and her struggle for matrimony in the 19th century north of England. This being the first classic I completed, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Firstly, I have to admit, Austen's writing style and narrative of events has a really nice tone, and offers a broad perspective. Because said narrator is impartial to the transpiring events, one can experience the book broadly, and develop personal opinions of each character, which I really enjoy doing. Furthermore, having a narrator like this makes it so that one can feel as though they are watching the story through a present - but quiet and impartial - character's mind's eye, which really helps to bring the story to life.

Next, I wasn't expecting I would say this, yet I am: Jane Austen is really funny. Frankly, I didn't expect to get the jokes interjected into this book, for they are from a differing era to my own, yet I found myself laughing along with some of the witty comments inserted into the story.

However, I would say there are too many sub-plots. Granted, they all tie together at the end, yet I would have preferred it if the book focused plainly on Elizabeth rather than Elizabeth and every one she's ever known. I found myself wishing the book would circle back around to Elizabeth and Darcy, but sometimes there were some rather big gaps away from the main plot line, which bored me quite a bit.

In comparison, I did really like the characters. Elizabeth is really nice to read about, for she is unlike all of her friends and sisters, and decides it is not a man she needs to live. Also, she likes reading, so what really is there to dislike?

Likewise, Darcy is really fun to read about. I love it when a character is so universally hated, only for the truth to dub them all wrong for prejudicing said character in such a way. This is exactly how it worked for Darcy, and I really loved it. Also, the switch between good/bad Darcy is really sudden, yet really natural, further accentuating the poor lighting the characters and the reader have seen Darcy's personality in, perceiving him not as the man he is, but instead the man he appears to be. In turn, this also offers a good message - do not prejudice! You could be prematurely judging the love of your life!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but did - unfortunately - feel as though the pacing was rather slow. There were moments when I found myself feeling rather bored, for the pace had hardly furthered, yet, granted, there were moments in which I was fully enticed by the novel.
taketimetoshine: (Stitched Heart)
Oooh good question. I'm as guilty as the next person at times for reading the same old books over and over, because they're familiar and comfortable but sure, sometimes it's good to put it down and read something new.

One of the books I really love that no-one else seems to have read is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I love it and I can't believe it's not as popular as I think it should be!

It's about a magical circus open only at night. It offers a new take on magic and love, and it’s beautifully written. Plus, the plot and characters pull you in and beg you to read the the entire book in one sitting.
taketimetoshine: (Default)
Rachel Vincent - Alpha
The blurb: The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can--that will--change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.But life never waits until you're ready

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 31/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 06/02/2016

What did I think? The book is very much all about Faythe, her struggle to grow up and the whole choosing between Marc and Jace. I would have preferred slightly more about the secondary characters - mention of secondary characters felt rushed just to wrap things up. There were parts where I was getting a little sick of Faythe, it was just a little bit too much me me me.

The pace of the book was fast and action packed, it starts with a bang and ends with one, with some really emotional scenes in between.

The book obviously ends with Faythe's choice, who she chooses is pretty obvious to me in the last few chapters which is why I was dreading the end, hoping desperately that somehow she would choose the other guy instead of whats-his-face - which is probably why I didnt like this as much! I am a big Team [x] fan (like I'm gonna give away the ending!)

On the plus side, whilst everything has been wrapped up (the big bad slain, boyfriend chosen...) there seems to be a lot more to tell and I've heard that Rachel Vincent is writing more stories in the 'verse
taketimetoshine: (Believe In Love)
Rachel Vincent - Shift
The blurb: Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option...

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 27/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 30/01/2016

What did I think? This book continues the story just a couple of weeks after the ending of Prey - Faythe and the rest of her Pride are still devestated by the loss of an important Pride member and are preparing to go to war to get their revenge and stop Calvin Malone's attempt to take over the Pride Council. But attack comes in an unexpected form when they are set upon by the Thunderbirds - a Flight of bird shifters who are determined to destroy the Pride. The Pride have no idea why they are under attack and they are at a major disadvantage when their enemy can fly - they can't afford to lose more members if they are going to have a chance in the upcoming war. When the Thunderbirds manage to kidnap Kaci it falls to Faythe to discover what they want and to figure out a way to rescue her.

I have been a massive fan of the Shifters series ever since I read Stray but with each book I've been amazed that it has managed to be better than the last. Shift didn't disappoint and I was drawn into Faythe's world from the very first page. I love the way Faythe's character has grown throughout the series - she still has flaws and makes mistakes but she is truely starting to show her full potential.

Shift is action packed from the word go and kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page. I really didn't know how the book was going to end and there were some great twists that I wasn't expecting. I have no idea how the relationship issues between Faythe, Marc & Jace will be resolved after the events of the last book. I feel for each of the characters and just can't see a way to give all three of them a happy ending.

The style of Rachel Vincent's writing has created an absorbing world that hooks you from the moment you pick up the book. I don't think I've ever felt so emotionally invested in the outcome of a series before and for that reason I am both longing for and dreading the final book Alpha. I'm sure Rachel will manage to surpass my expectations but I really don't want my journey with Faythe, Marc & the Pride to come to an end
taketimetoshine: (Have The Answer)
Rachel Vincent - Prey
The blurb: Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game...Play? "Right." My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother "and" an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 23/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 26/01/2016

What did I think? So far, this was my very favorite book in the series! Faythe is faced with the prospect of losing Marc forever - death is even worse than exile. Also, Kaci is refusing to shift and her health is paying the price. If Faythe can't talk her into shifting soon, she won't live another week! On top of everything, the dynamic between Faythe and Jace is rapidly evolving. In the wake of Ethan's premature death, Jace has become stronger and is amping up his plea for a chance with Faythe. He knows that they can make each other happy. But where does that leaver her and Marc??? Although Marc doesn't die, Faythe hasn't told him that her and Jace have slept together in the midst of their overwhelming grief over Ethan.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Ethan's first long-time girlfriend, Angela, is pregnant? Ryan is back - did his mother let him out of the cage - for Ethan's funeral and a war between the North American Prides is about to begin.

I'm willing to bet that Greg Sanders will be able to call upon some of the Strays that he has helped (after finding out about the plot to track them with GPS microchips) when the war hits full swing!!
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Rachel Vincent - Pride
The blurb: I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend--and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride--along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I "think" I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

"If" I survive my own trial...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 19/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 22/01/2016

What did I think? I really enjoyed this book. It had a plot that kept you on the edge of your seat and there are some great new characters - some of them you'll love and some you will loathe.

Faythe..has a big mouth. I found this irritating in the first book but in this one I could understand why she let rip on occasion especially when she is up against such prejudice and sexism. You will want to scream at the injustice set against her with the trial. It's just not fair but it creates an insight into the farce that is Werecat politics. This might all sound a tad negative but it's very entertaining drama. I think that by the end of this book she did grow up because she lost something...and gains something else.

Some great scenes with Marc and I glad that this book demonstrated how the Strays have it bad. If they were only guided or educated by the elitist Pride then perhaps the situation wouldn't be so bad. They would have more control but they are too ignorant to see it. However, Faythe is starting to catch on...seriously, Faythe maybe a hot head but it is apparent to me that the females in this series would make far better Alphas than the men.

Great book, full of twists, turns and emotional outbreaks...can't wait to read the next one!
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Rachel Vincent - Rogue
The blurb: Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 15/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 18/01/2016

What did I think? Rogue is the follow up to Stray and picks things up a few months after the events in the previous book. Faythe and Marc are together as enforcers and as a couple, and life is going on as normal in the pack. When a number of toms are found murdered in Pride territory, their necks broken, these deaths are found to be linked to the disappearance of a number of strippers. Faythe and the rest of the werecats are plunged into a race to find the killers.

This book is well plotted and the comparisons to Kelley Armstrong's Bitten and Stolen are far less evident. The action moves at a fast pace and many of the characters are interesting and well drawn. The character sketches of the minor characters are great and I love the character of Marc but I'm continually left wondering why he loves such a selfish, immature character as Faythe. Yes she does grow up a little bit in this book and she is finally taking a greater involvement in the Pride, but she's doing it under duress and with no real intention of wanting to continue long-term. For a girl of twenty-three she's about as mature as someone five years her junior and her actions continue to hurt the people around her. My one real gripe with this series is Faythe, the angsty and angry, childish heroine that I wish I could shake some sense into. I know that Faythe is probably drawn the way she is as it gives the author lots of scope for future character development, but it makes it hard to love a book when you don't like the heroine. I like this series, but I don't think I'll love it until Faythe grows up a bit more. Here's hoping the cliffhanger ending of this book will lead to this happening in the next.

June 2016

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