Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate


There’s nothing more twisted than fate, unless you count Natalie Hargrove...

Ever since she left the small-town caravan park for the richer and better side of town, Natalie has been plotting her ascension to the position of Palmetto Princess for as long as she can remember, willing to do anything, and everything to ensure that she and her boyfriend assume the role of Princess and Prince. She’s clawed her way up the hierarchy and has finally won the respect, popularity and power that she deserves.

Natalie’s boyfriend Mike, doesn’t share her desire on becoming the Prince of Palmetto high, and when it becomes clear that he may lose to her nemesis, Justin Balmer, Natalie’s just about ready to risk everything.

In a spur of the moment decision, Natalie takes an opportunity that presents itself and uses it to her advantage. Together with her boyfriend, Natalie leaves a drunk and delirious Justin in front of a church, hoping to humiliate him. What she doesn’t tell Mike, is that she’d also tied Justin to a tree, and taken away some of his possessions, after all, she’s only ensuring that he doesn’t wake up and leave before he can be humiliated, no harm done right?

Or that’s what she tells herself when Justin is discovered dead the next morning... Suddenly she finds herself with a murder on her hands, not exactly what she wanted to deal with. Natalie finds herself plunged into a world of dark secrets and even darker deeds.

This is what happens when you cross the fine line between ambition and obsession...

Well, let’s just say that The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is not exactly what I expected; I can’t say that I love the book, but I can’t exactly label it as terrible. For the first quarter or so of the book, I was very interested, yet as the book progressed, I found myself wandering from the story; I didn’t exactly feel the deep desire to finish the book. Towards the end, I was drawn back in, only to be disappointed by the ending. I really expected something with more... flare from Lauren Kate. I’m not saying that the book is bad; I’m just saying that the book doesn’t really live up to the standards of Fallen.

The story, though quick and easy to read, is very confusing, at first it feels like you’ve opened a book in the very middle and then started reading with absolutely no idea what’s happened. Only when you are right at the end do you really understand the story and Natalie’s motivation.

I find that I slightly dislike the main character, Natalie Hargrove. She is very single minded about life, judging by what I’ve heard from her in the book, all she wishes to accomplish in life is becoming the Princess of Pametto. She’s a bit like a broken record, repeating the issue over and over again. In some parts of the book I find that she over reacts. I have to acknowledge her determination and ambition though, she doesn’t ever really doubt herself, though she tends manipulate others around her to get what she wants. When you find out all that she’s been through and what life has thrown at her, you do slightly feel sorry for her though... and you also understand why she’s become the person she is.

TEENY TINY SPOILERS IF YOU CHOOSE TO CONTINUE... :P
Underestimate of the year..They’ll actually ruin the book for you!!! Yep... I’m serious! Dead serious!!!

I personally find the ending completely and utterly pointless and unsatisfying; It’s the coward’s way out! So she runs away, yeah, like that’s actually going to resolve anything and then a sudden death?!? Honestly, I really don’t think that is a very original way of ending the book...

Over all, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is... different, but I just can’t say that I found the book as engaging as I first expected. Maybe Lauren Kate should focus on completing the Fallen series instead, so that we don’t have to wait so LONG!!! :D

Monday, March 28, 2011

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore


“We were nine
Three are dead
I am Number Four”

John Smith is not who you think he is, but he’s not exactly what you’d expect. You see, he’s an alien. And the only thing that can distinguish him from the humans of earth is his Legacies, supernatural powers that are beginning to appear in him.

Earth is no longer the only planet that can support life. Lorien and Mogadore also support life, but just like Earth is, they wear out the planet; the only difference is that Lorien has discovered a way to preserve and save their planet, and Mogadore.... hasn’t. Mogadore’s resources finally ran out and they invaded Lorien, killing and destroying everything in their path and stripping away the resources of Lorien.

The planet is now reduced to look like any other harsh and inhospitable planet, luckily before the planet was completely destroyed, a ship was launched carrying a total of 19 passengers: 9 Children and their cêpans and the captain.

Now they are on Earth, slowly biding their time until they can return to their home planet and restore it to its original magnificence. Unfortunately, the Mogadorians are also on earth looking for flaws in the Earth’s defence that can help when they need to attack, but they also have another motive, they seek to destroy each and every one of the 9 children. Luckily, before they were launched, the children had a charm bestowed on them which prevents the Mogadorians from killing them... out of order.

On his 21st move, John Smith, relocates to Paradise, Ohio, with his cêpan Henri, hoping to escape the clutches of the Mogadorians. All his life, he’s been on the run, never drawing attention, never starting relationships, because he knows that at the first sign of danger, he and Henri must move out. He didn’t expect Paradise to be any different yet when he first steps into school and meets Sarah Hart; he can’t help but hope that this move will be different, that he can finally settle down and fit in.

But you can’t really fit in when you’re keeping such dangerous secrets, you can’t pretend that everything’s OK and that you’re like everyone else... because you’re not.

They killed Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. John is number Four, and he knows that he is next.

Well there is nothing else to say, it’s completely and utterly AMAZING!! Yep, that’s right it’s easily made a spot as one of my favourite books of all time!!! I was hooked from the very first page which read:

“The events in this book are real.
Names and places have been changed to protect the Lorien Six, who remain in hiding.
Take this as your first warning.
Other civilizations exist.
Some of them seek to destroy you.”

It really draws you in doesn’t it? The pages kept on turning!!! Obviously not-so-intelligent movie directors ( I may possibly tell you about my dislike for movie directors/makers soon on a later blog post) also agreed with me also and it’s already been made into a film starring Alex Pettyfer as John. Just to go off topic, I don’t purposely read books that are to be made into films or even watch films that star Alex Pettyfer, he just shows up! It’s so creepy :P

Anyway, to get back to topic, the character John is pretty awesome, to put it mildly. John just in general is strong willed and determined. And when his legacies begin developing you just can’t put the book down. From the very beginning, the first chapter you already realise that John’s part in the book is going to affect the book immensely, and as the book progresses you just realise by how much. I just can’t get over how awesome his legacies are, though compared to others it may not seem as effective. IT DOESN’T MATTER!!!! Just read it and realise its awesomeness. Hahaha. Apart from that the other characters are all very unique and amazing, you just don’t realise what they can really do until you draw near to the ending of the book.

Now onto another topic: the ending. I won’t say much so no spoilers or anything... just let me say that it’s nothing that you would expect. The book’s plot twists and turns so much my head is still spinning.

Overall a simply amazing book!!! I CAN’T WAIT for the next: The power of Six, coming out on August 23, 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Entice by Carrie Jones


Philophobia; fear of being in love

Zara White knows that she and her boyfriend, Nick, were destined to be together, unfortunately there are certain things that are keeping them apart.

Firstly, Nick is dead. As in killed. Any efforts to revive him were cut short when he was supposedly transported to a mythical place for Warriors known as Valhalla by a Valkyrie. In order to save him and return him rightfully to her side, she turned into the one thing she swore she would never be: a Pixie, or more importantly, a Pixie Queen.

The numbers of male teenagers that have been abducted by the rogue pixies are increasing and Zara begins to realise that the safety of the town is more important than finding and recovering Nick, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting any easier. Every minute that they are apart breaks her heart just that little bit more. The town, as blind to the paranormal events around them as ever, assume that there is a serial killer on the loose and as the number of killings increase so too does the rise in panic. Soon the town is flooded by news reporters, the residents begin to move out or leave for sudden vacations and even the FBI is involved.

Never the less, Zara can’t just leave and abandon Nick, and with the help of Astley, the Pixie king who turned her, leads on how to get to Valhalla begin to emerge, unfortunately it’s not that simple, there’s a traitor in their midst. Betrayed by his own people Astley doesn’t know who to trust especially when even his own mother is a suspect.

Assuming that they can even find a way to Valhalla, and that Nick actually wants to return to her, Zara knows it’s not going to be easy especially when Nick despises Pixies and does all that he can to ensure their annihilation.

There’s also that small matter of her growing attraction to Astley... One thing is for certain though, there will be people that won’t make it out alive... there will be death.

The third instalment to the Need series, Entice is as enticing as ever! It continues from exactly where Captivate left off: Saving Nick. It is unbelievably easy to read and though it may not necessarily be one of the more serious doom and gloom books, it still has potential. I mean seriously... Evil pixies attacking people! My life is finally fulfilled. :P

This book focuses more on Zara and Astley. There are some memorable comments within this book, some even causing me to laugh out loud! I’ve always been a fan of strong, kick-ass, sarcastic and totally awesome heroines and I’ll admit that Zara does fall into some of these categories but I can’t help but feel that she’s dwelling on the Nick issue far too much. It’s completely understandable that she’s devastated over Nick’s death but she could at least try to move on. One thing’s for certain in this book though, she’s become a lot stronger, both mentally and physically. The events that have occurred have helped her grow and gain experience. It’s shown her that life is not always what it seems: pixies are not the little glittery things that float around showering people in happiness and sunshine.

Astley, I’m beginning to really warm to him, within this book you see a completely different view of him, you find out more of his life. His absolute confidence in Zara and his willingness to determination in finding a way to help Zara get Nick back is truly admirable. Plus, he's totally adorable! :) The fact that he’s helping Zara get back the one thing that’s keeping her from him is also unbelievable! One of the cutest quotes from him would probably be:

"I want you to want me because you want me, not because of grief, not because he is not here. I want you to love me for me. I want you to kiss me first and not because you need me to help you, but because you need to kiss me."

Isn’t it adorable?

But of course the book is just not the same without Nick; I completely and utterly miss his sarcastic comments, his arrogance and total bad boy-like ways. **sigh**... Honestly I don’t know how Zara’s going to choose when it comes down to Nick or Astley...

I can’t wait that long for the next book.... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrggghhhh!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink


The ultimate battle between the two sisters draws near, one the Guardian, the other the Gate... one can save the world and the other destroy it, except somehow the roles were swapped at birth...

16 year old Lia Milthorpe should have been the Guardian but due to a mix up at birth, she's now forced upon the position of the Gate. The Prophecy has continued on for many generations but in every single case there is either bloodshed or devastation. Lia and her sister know that they are destined to be the ones to either save or destroy the world. Lia knows that the prophecy must end but while she's busy searching for a solution to end the Prophecy, Alice, her sister and twin is perfecting her skills to defeat Lia.

Lia must travel to Altus to collect the missing pages of the Book, within the pages could lay the answer to the prophecy. The only problem is that Alice and her allies will also be after the page. The Souls are also after Lia, they can and will corrupt anyone close to Lia to bring their Master back into the world of the living. Lia may not be able to resist the call of the Prophecy and when everyone that she knows has the potential to be corrupted by the souls, there is no one that Lia can trust with her burden, especially not her sister. But there’s someone out there that feels they’ve known Lia since forever and the attraction between the two is undeniable.

Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her rightful role as the Gate, and when she’s already killed her own brother for the cause, there is not much else that can stand in her way...

Ok, well first of all, isn’t the cover gorgeous?

Now, onto slightly more serious things... Guardian of the Gate, simply put is amazing! I love the storyline and the characters. Lia and Alice are as different as black and white, night and day... Lia’s kindness opposed by Alice’s cruelty. In the previous book, Prophecy of the Sisters, Alice’s actions were simply unbelievable... i nearly cried when she killed Henry! To tell you the truth she’s still as cruel and heartless in this book, nothing’s changed there. Lia on the other hand has become more courageous, she knows her role’s importance and despite the suspicions of everyone in Altus, she still has the strength to endure and to carry on her mission.

The story is well put together and easy to understand, it’s simple yet amazing at the same time, anyone can read it! The story’s format (is that the right word? lol) is very basic but very unpredictable; the story twists and turns so fast that my head spins!

Guardian of the Gate features many different scenarios and situations, some that you just wouldn’t expect. Every now and then something unusual pops out which just makes the book much more enjoyable.

Spoiler Alert... Read on at your own expense. Mwahahahahaha I dare u!!!!

The relationship between Dimitri and Lia within this book is just so CUTE!!! Reading some of the lines and conversation between the two just causes me to smile... (Literally, I’ve had people stare at me when I smile or laugh at a cute or funny bit) They two were made for each other, he’d give his life to save her!

Overall and absolutely awesome story!!! Unfortunately I now have to wait for the next book, Circle of Fire, coming out in August... grrrr. ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Recent Rise in Paranormal Activity

Yep. You've probably noticed it too...

The recent rise in paranormal obsessions!
First it was Harry Potter, then Twilight and now... well, now the movie producers are just making movies on about every paranormal/fantasy book they can get their hands on...

I mean seriously, isn't that a little desperate? They're bound to make a mistake and cut out some seriously vital parts from the books. And the characters will just completely ruin my mental imagary!

Aparently Fallen, Maximum Ride and now even the Mortal Instrument series are ALL being made into movies... I can't bare the thought that some of my favourite books will be played by unsuitable characters... my worse fear is that the movies will turn out like Twilight... The HORROR! Many people will then most likely judge the book because of the badly made movie and others will just be plain obsessed with the movie characters instead of actually imagining the characters for themselves!



It is rumored that the Fallen Movie is going to be made by Disney... NO NO NO!!! Disney... Well, actually I love disney movies, I just think they should stick to their genre: cartoon and kiddy stuff.

Even if they make it especially to target "teens" the characters will all be played by those that are under Disney's contract... for example the Jonas Brothers... **gasp of horror**
Miley Cyrus **kill me now**

and other highly unsuitable characters... i mean seriously can you imagine Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez as Luce?!?! Nope.. it's actually rather barf-worthy!!!

But of course... none of this is actually confirmed but I'll try find out if my sources are correct.. fingers crossed I'm wrong... :(

http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie-news/5290/disney-options-lauren-kates-fallen/

ooo.. i agree with the comments on the link above though... Alex Pettyfer would make an okay Daniel... but who would play Cam?

o well, i'll make up my dream cast in my head... :D

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Frozen, with nothing but her troubling dreams as company, 17 year old Amy Martin has left the world that she knows and loves for another 300 years away.

Amy’s been frozen for nearly 250 years, giving her more than enough time to reconsider, worry and doubt herself on her decision to leave Earth. Unfortunately 50 years before they are scheduled to land, her thoughts are interrupted and she is unplugged, trapped in a container filled with quickly melting water, Amy’s almost positive that she’s going to die.

As luck has it, she’s saved by a boy her age named Elder, only to find herself in an entirely different society. All the people are content to live under an artificial sun, eating recycled food and living simple lives. All the residents of the ship possess the same characteristics, brown hair, brown eyes and slightly tanned skin. With her red hair and pale skin she sticks out like a sore thumb. On a ship where there are no differences, Amy’s uniqueness is putting her in danger. Amy’s experienced what it truly feels like to live and she knows that the people’s willingness to obey is anything but natural.

Elder, the future leader of the entire ship feels drawn to Amy and wants to care for her, and more... but Amy’s memories won’t allow her to move on and she keeps him at arm’s length. Elder disagrees with the way the ship is run, yet has no power or confidence to change anything.

There’s a murderer aboard the ship and even though the attempt on Amy’s life failed, they’ve already succeeded in killing another two. Amy and Elder must find out why and who the murderer is targeting before it’s too late...

Let’s get this straight... I’ve had my eye on this book for a while now and have only recently gotten my hands on it! It’s beautifully written! Beth Revis draws us into an amazing new sci-fi! The minute details and creativity really drew me in. This book had simple vocabulary that was used so effectively which ensures that everyone can read it! There are some scenes that are not too appropriate for those under 14, but hey, I’m just warning you, I’m not your mum or anything ;)

Across the Universe is told from the alternate view points of Amy and Elder. Amy’s ability to cope after being awoken on a brainwashed ship is really quite admirable, she was strong and determined. She’s just been woken after a murder attempt, had some very close run ins with members of the ship, witnessed an entirely different society from that of Earth and several deaths as well. It’s a wonder that she can still manage to think!

Eldest is also very determined, he tries his best to become leader-like, to be the ideal leader of those on the ship. Yet he finds that the world that he’s lived in and most of what he’s been told is a lie! Even with no one to trust, Elder still manages to hold things together and make the right decisions, and maybe, if he tries hard enough he really can become a leader.

Overall, an amazing new novel!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn


On the inside, Kyle Kingsbury is completely beastly, but on the outside, he's perfect: rich, beautiful and popular.

Everything changes when a witch from his English class curses him, changing his physical appearance to match the way he acts. He's now a beast, a horrible creature with mixed features from different animals.

Luckily, a small good act that he does before the curse allows him to find a solution: Kyle must find someone that is willing to love him wholly, and not just for his physical appearance. The catch is that he only has two years. Two years to find his true love and to kiss them before midnight.

The chances of Kyle finding his true love while looking like a vicious monster is highly unlikely and he only has 2 years before he's stuck like this forever.

A modern retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, the story is cute and very easy to read. The characters can all be related to the original beauty and the beast.

At the beginning of the story you notice how much of a jerk Kyle is, but as the story progresses he slowly changes. The support chat group that appears at certain parts of the story is a very modern and slightly humouring touch.

The book is also being made into a movie starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer, it set to be released in March 2011 and I simply can't wait to see if the movie can compare to the book!