Aftermath by Clara Kenise | Review

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for review by the publisher. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way shape or form.

Title: Aftermath29906037

Author: Clara Kenise

Publisher: Merit Press

Publication Date: 1st of November 2016

Synopsis:

Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free

Review:

I finished this book a couple of days ago and it left me stunned.

This book left me with so many emotions, so many opinions but I was unable to put them into words until now. Even now, I’m not entirely sure if this review will give the book the justice which is truly deserves.

This book is one of those books which keep you up at night, thinking about the story which was contained within the books pages. In this case, I was left in my bed thinking of the raw story that I had just read. The book itself was definitely dark, darker than what I was expecting. It is hard to describe stories such as these because I feel that it is inappropriate to say how great the story was when the events in the story were anything but.

During this book, we follow the story of our main character Charlotte who had been kidnapped four years earlier. After the events which lead to her being found in the attic which she had been contained for four years, we follow her recovery and as she enters society again. The themes of grief, trauma and recovery amongst many over themes which the story contains. These themes were explored in such a raw and realistic manner which as a reader, I really appreciated reading and I applaud the author for exploring such themes.

Also, to add onto how realistic this book was, the way that the author wrote the other characters, mainly her family was done very well. Each member of her family deals with her difference in their own way which is expected in this sort of situation. However, what I really appreciated was the fact that once she had been found, it didn’t impact the changes that the family had faced when she was missing. Yes, things improved which would once again be expected but her family wasn’t perfect and they did not return to how they had been before. This alone added to how realistic, raw and emotional this book was.

The topic of recovery is the main part of this story and once again, it was done so well. Charlotte faced many struggles, some that would never get better. As someone who has experienced something traumatic, though not as bad as what Charlotte experienced during this book, I really appreciated the way her recovery was shown. Yes, she would might not fully recover in the sense that all her problems will go away but was able to learn about ways to deal with it, that it was okay to  feel the way she did and that there were many different ways to deal with an event which had had a large impact on your life, or in this case, her kidnapping.

In conclusion, Aftermath is an incredibly realistic, raw  and captivating book which left you on the edge of your seat. It was rather difficult to put my thoughts in words for this review but let me say that this book is a book which I would recommend to everyone! I would easily say that this book is as good or even better than The Lovely Bones. If you haven’t brought this book or haven’t checked it out of your library, I suggest you do so right now. The themes that this story contain are so important in my opinion and I feel as this is a book which everyone should read during their life.

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Grim Nora and the Secret of the Skull REVIEW + Author Interview and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.


Title: Grim Nora and The Secret of the Skull. 30297677

Author: A.M. Albaugh

Synopsis:

When Nora Youngblood’s father dies on her sixteenth birthday, it’s the end of everything she ever knew. But a new journey begins with a skull-shaped pocket watch – the last gift from her father, a professor of archaeology. Where did this mysterious trinket come from, and why would a warlock named Kabos now be hunting her for it?

Nora, now an orphan, finds protection under a wizard named Malachi, his handsome apprentice, Aidan, and a brother she never knew she had. As she learns the truth about her family’s mysterious past, Nora seeks to uncover the secret of the skull, which leads to both a powerful and dangerous weapon. With the fate of the skull in her hands, she’s lured into the hidden world of Dubhgail to combat the treacherous Kabos – who has kidnapped her brother. Can she sacrifice herself to save her brother and her friends?

In this fantasy novel, a teenage girl discovers her magical heritage and soon finds herself facing the might of an evil warlock in another world.

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The Mortal Song REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Title: The Mortal Song30376044

Author: Megan Crewe

Publication date: September 13th 2016

Synopsis:

Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

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The Industry REVIEW

Disclaimer: Thank you TIS Publicity for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. All opinions are my honest opinions of this book.

 

Title: The Industrythe industry

Author: Rose Foster:

Synopsis:

Kirra Hayward is an ordinary sixteen year old – smarter than most, but otherwise completely anonymous. When she stumbles across an unusual puzzle on the internet and manages to solve it, she has no idea of what she’s letting herself in for.

Kidnapped by a shadowy organisation known only as The Industry, Kirra soon discovers how valuable her code-breaking skills are. And when she stubbornly refuses to help them, they decide to break her … by any means at their disposal.

Kirra knows that to protect herself, she must trust no one, not even her fellow prisoner, Milo. But as time goes by she realises he might be the only person she can rely on …

My Review:

The Industry was a interesting book. We follow sixteen year old Kirra who solves an unusual puzzle online. She is then kidnapped by an organization known as The Industry for her rare code breaking skills. Overall, the premise sounds great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t done as well as what I was hoping for.

I found it quite difficult to connect to the characters. The characters had the ability to be wonderful characters but the pace of the book ruined the chance to really connect to the characters. An example is on page 45, we meet a certain character. We find out a little bit about the character but nothing that really connects the reader with the said character. By page 61, the character is dead and while it is sad, it has no emotional impact because we know so little about the character. However, as the book went along and new characters were introduced and we learnt more about the characters, I was able to at least like or dislike a character but I couldn’t connect to them on a personal level.

As I said earlier, the pace of the book was quite fast, particularly at the beginning of the book. Normally I love fast paced books but this book overall was too fast for my liking. At the beginning of the book, the main character Kirra would be doing one thing and all of a sudden she’s somewhere else but you have no idea how the character got to that point. I feel like that if the author had slowed the book down at the beginning, written maybe 20 or more pages so that she could have explained some of the events, the book could have been wonderful. As the story went along, the pace did improve but the beginning did let the book down

Overall, the book had a good premise which unfortunately wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. I found it difficult to connect to the characters and the pace of the book at the beginning of the book was much to fast for me personally, making the first 100 pages quite confusing. As the book went along, the story improved and I was able to enjoy the book but I felt like the beginning let the book down a bit. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes thriller type books.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Me Before You REVIEW

Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

My Review:

I was quite hesitant to pick this books up. I had heard amazing things about the book but most contemporaries that I have read have been quite disjointing. Me Before You changed my opinions on contemporaries for the better. Me Before You was such an amazing and beautiful yet heart breaking story that left me staying up until the late hours of the morning with tears streaming down my face.

I really love the characters in this book and the way which they were depicted within the story. The characters in this story could have easily been really cliché and while they were to a degree, they were incredibly realistic characters. Often in contemporary books, the characters are depicted quite unrealistically with the biggest problem being whether they love someone or not. In this book, problems such as unemployment and financial issues are included and it makes the books not only realistic but relatable for many people including myself. My favourite character in the book had to be Lou. She is such an unique and hilarious character that you cant help but love. It was great to be able to take the journey with her throughout the book as she grew and matured into a completely different but still wonderful person. At the beginning of the book, I was quite hesitant about Will. I had heard so many great things about his character and when we first met him and he came across to be quite rude which I found to be quite understandable given his condition but I couldn’t help but wonder what everyone saw in him. Luckily (and unluckily) as he grew as a character and we learned more about his situation, I began to love him as so many others do.

The main thing about this story was the message which stood behind this story. The wonderful thing about this book was that the message was different for everyone. Some people took the message of love but for me, it was that you should ive your life to the fullest because you have no idea what will happen tomorrow. It made me contemplate my own life and the way I lived it, the things I did, the relationships I had and my attitude towards life. This message really stuck with me, as it will for many years to come.

You only get one life. Its actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

This quote in particular made me question my life and what I was doing with it. I’m only a seventeen year old girl with so much of my life ahead of me but this quote still made me question the way I lived. At my age, it may seem that its hard to live as fully as possible but there are the small things that make a huge difference. Whether it’s something small like spending more time with your family, or something big like starting a book that you have always dreamed of writing. This quote really made me question the way that I was living my life and I’m glad that I questioned myself. This book influenced me to take those small or large risks so that I could live my life as fully as possible and I’m grateful that I took those chance because so far, it is working out well. I find usually that if a book has the power to influence your life, it is has to be a wonderful to do so and this book is definitely wonderful.

Overall, this book was an incredible and beautiful book . The characters were wonderfully written and realistic. The storyline was beautiful written and something that was incredibly realistic as well. Moyes wrote a marvelous and inspiring book that was just about impossible to put down. I would one hundred percent recommend this book to everyone, even if contemporary isn’t your favourite genre. I rarely read contemporary books, opting for fantasy and science-fiction books and even I enjoyed this book immensely.

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Have you read Me Before You? If you have, please feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below! Thank you for reading this review 🙂

The Hidden Oracle REVIEW

Title: Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle

Author: Rick Riordan

Synopsis:

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

My Review:

The Hidden Oracle was a incredible book! The plot was amazing and the characters were written so well! Delving into the Percy Jackson world once more was a incredible experience that was done so well that it’s hard to describe in words

The characterisation in this book was done so well! I loved Meg’s character! She is amazingly kickass and sassy. I loved Apollos character, not only for the humour that his point of view contained but also for the journey he took throughout the book. I loved having the chance to read the novel in his point of view because in the Percy Jackson world, Apollo is one of my favourite Gods so I was so happy to have a series mainly about him. I did find it sad that the old characters from the other series weren’t all included. Percy was included thankfully but I couldn’t help but feel sad that Annabeth wasn’t there, along with a couple of the other characters that we loved. While this was a downer for me at the beginning, it did give us a chance to fall in love with the new characters as well.

The world building was done spectacularly as always. Rick has once again blew me away with amazingness of the Percy Jackson world. Not only getting to see new and old characters, we also got to visit camp half-blood again which was wonderful! Rick has created such a wonderful world in his Greek mythology series and he should really be commended on this.

Overall, this book was an incredible book full of amazing characters, a wonderful group of characters and fantastic world building! If you haven’t picked up this book please pick it up right now and read it! You will not be disappointed! If you haven’t read a Percy Jackson book, what are you waiting for? Go pick one up right now!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

The Leaving REVIEW

Title: The Leaving
Author: Tara Altebrando
Synopsis:

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back–with no idea of where they’ve been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They’re sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn’t really recognize the person she’s supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they’re entirely unable to recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max’s sister Avery, who needs to find her brother–dead or alive–and isn’t buying this whole memory-loss story.

My Review:

The Leaving is a book where six kindergarten children go missing. Eleven years later, only five come back with no recollection of what had happened in the past eleven years. I found the concept behind this story to be quite interesting but for me personally, it was not done as well as I would have liked it.

The writing style is quite unique and intriguing. The only problem is that there are often words that are curled and scatter around the page which can be quite confusing for the reader. This type of format in the book also cut the flow in the writing which greatly impacted the story. It made me feel disconnected to the book at certain points throughout the book where this type of format was used a lot.

The characters that were written were done mostly well. I did find myself wishing that there would be more POVs in the form of the other returning children. I found it to be almost lazy to miss them out. I would have much preferred if there were only three children missing compared to the six, with three children we rarely read about. Having the novel in third person made nearly all the POVs feel the same and made the story feel weaker. Having the story in first person for me personally would have created a stronger story and stronger characters. I enjoyed reading about Scarlett and Lucas but I did struggle to read Avery’s chapters. I understand the difficulty she would be experiences but some of her actions were immature, arrogant and petty like throwing her ice-cream out of the car or treating Sam like he’s some type of object, not a person. If she was younger, I would understand her attitude but for someone who is 15-16 years old, I found it quite irritating that she behaved the way she did. I think that someone in her situation wouldn’t be the person that Avery is. Her character is completely unrealistic and was someone I did not like reading at all.

The ending for me was done quite poorly. Throughout the book, we are on the edge of our seat waiting for the ending. I found it quite disappointing that I was able to guess the ending when I was only halfway through the book. For many people, it might have been a surprise but there were so many blatantly obvious clues that I couldn’t ignore. Usually this wouldn’t bother me but the fact that this way a mystery book made this fact bother me. Another part of the ending that left me bothered was the fact that so little of it made sense. I won’t go into because of spoilers but I felt like everything that happened at the end was unrealistic.

Overall, the book had an intriguing and interesting concept that unfortunately was not done as well as what I was hoping for. The writing style while unique, was quite confusing at times and unflowing and some of the characters were written poorly. If you like mystery, you might like this book but I wouldn’t recommend it honestly.

Rating 2.5/5 stars

The Midnight Society REVIEW

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review:

Title: The Midnight Society

Author: Rhonda Sermon

Synopsis:

Witness protection has a protocol for dealing with every situation—except magic.

Fifteen-year-old Cate’s life has been monitored since her new identity was created five years ago. She’s spent countless hours learning how to deal with potential threats and dangerous situations. None of which is any use when everyone around her is suddenly frozen like statues at the bus stop.

As she attempts to make sense of the frightening scene, a mysterious group of teenagers appears out of thin air. They are intrigued she’s not affected, but focus on completing their deadly mission, using baffling powers before they vanish again.

When the group seeks her out the next day, Cate is drawn into a world filled with sorcery and time travel. After she accidentally brings a cheerleader back from the dead, her incredible powers are revealed. Cate is shocked to discover she has a pivotal role to play in a centuries-old battle between two mortal enemies which threatens to destroy her entire world.

With the distinction between good and evil blurred, Cate’s faced with the choice of which side to join to enable her to save her family. Should she rewrite history and risk destroying innocent lives to save the ones she loves?

The Midnight Society is the first book in The Midnight Chronicles series of young adult urban fantasy novels. If you like original butt-kicking heroines, fast-paced fantasy action, and unpredictable time travel twists, then you’ll love Rhonda Sermon’s refreshing, entertaining series starter.

The Midnight Society was originally released as Timesurfers. This book has a new name, new cover and additional content.

My Review:

I was really excited to read to read this book. The synopsis sounded great and since the author was a fellow Australian, it made things for me personally all the bit better. When I began reading the book, I found the storyline to be really captivating, interesting and overall really enjoyable to read. The story never had a dull moment for me and was written really well. I really enjoyed how the world building was done. Even though it was written in modern time, there were so many different aspects that might be overlooked that were done really well.

I really loved the concept of time travel during this book. Often during time travel books, we see the characters travelling to the future and the past with little change when they go back to their present day. I really liked how there were different groups, wanting two very different things. You got to see the difference each day when the past was changed. I liked how real life events such as the sinking of the Titanic were used to show how the past impacts our future for the worst but also for the best.  This concept also added a touch of humour especially at the beginning when the timesurfers’ minds would be left untouched after an event change leading to a lot of confusion and humour. I also really enjoyed the different “powers” that different characters possessed. The different concepts in this book really added to the book being really unique.

The characters in this book were written really well. The main character Cate is an amazing, kick-ass character that you cant help but love. I did find it odd about how she had to have a boyfriend when she was trying to blend into the community though. I really enjoyed learning about each character as the book went along. There were so many twists and turns that were unexpected when it came to the characters. Unfortunately, the only thing I can fault is that I found it hard to connect to the characters in the book. I did enjoy reading about them but I cant say that I really connected to them. Saying that, a slightly younger audience would most likely connect with these characters compared to audience which are adults. The way you connect with a character really depends on your own experience and I feel like many would be able to connect with these characters. Even though I was unable to connect to the characters, it did not hinder my experience of reading the book.

Overall, this book was a action-packed, fast paced and humorous novel that would definitely appeal to a young teen audience. While I did really enjoy this book, I did find it hard to connect to the characters on a personal base but for a younger audience, I feel like this shouldn’t be a problem. This book was really well written and the author should be commended on this. I’m really looking forward to the Sequel called The Midnight Elites which should be released in December this year!

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys REVIEW

Title: The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Synopsis:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Review:

The Raven Boys was a really interesting and captivating book. At the very beginning we learn about the fact that if blue kisses her true love, she will kill him. We also learn who this person is and it was so interesting to see how the story went along as we learnt more about the characters and what occurred in the story. Throughout the book, we get a few scenes that are set in the future mainly about the moment where she would kill her true love. These parts where so captivating because they made you think, how are they going to fall in love? What’s going to happen up until that event? Why is she going to kill her true love? There are so many questions going through your head and it makes you want to continue reading onwards to the early hours in the morning.

Something I loved about the novel was the language used. It wasn’t over the top and it was easy to understand. the language in the book made the novel easy to read and understand, making the book something that a lot of people can read and love. I often find books that while I might understand as someone who is close to graduating school but for someone who has just began reading young adult books, they can be hard to understand and can be quite inappropriate for the age group.

I absolutely adore the characters in this book! I loved how each character had a certain depth to them that was unknown to you until you went further into the novel. A character I loved reading about was Gansey. He had such a depth to him that made him such as interesting character. At the beginning he is perceived as someone who is beyond his own age but it one scene of the book, we see past that to someone who seems so small and shy. It was so interesting to read about not only Gansey but all the Raven Boys. They all had a mysterious side that compelled you to read onwards. This lead to such a creative and beautifully written story.

Overall, I loved this book! The storyline was captivating, the characters were really interesting and the writing was wonderful. This story was a amazingly written book. I highly recommend this to everyone because it such a great book but in particularly, I recommend this book to those who like supernatural based books.

Rating: 5/5 stars!