Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil. What an absolute stunner. The first few words of the blurb "Embrace the Forbidden" just pure magic -- those three words basically summed up this dazzling deal. Like my last review (Stephanie Perkin's Anna and the French Kiss) I've been meaning to write this for months but haven't had the time ~School, work and reading have really left me little time...but since I've started writing I just can't stop -- I lurvvee it~ This book is the most original take on demons/angels/nephilim I've read so far -- it is truly unique. So here goes -- "there is a head demon for each of the seven deadly sins – lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride to serve Lucifer ~Satan/Devil -- however you want to say it... its all the same -- but please don't delve into the intricacies of it -- I'm not the most religious person~ the nephilim, are the servers of the demons whose sole purpose is being bad influences on humans (to cause the humans to divulge in the seven deadly sins as mentioned above)"

~Wait... how haven't I mentioned any of the characters yet? I'll get to that after giving a spiel about the plot~ During the beginning of the saga Anna lives a pretty sheltered life under the guardianship of Patti, a freelance photographer who adopted her after her birth. A southern girl who is sweet and innocent discovers her dark side after meeting hot-mysterious drummer Kaidan. Living an extremely sheltered life takes it toll as it is revealled Anna is half nephilim and the other half angel ~I guess you could call her middle ground of the demon-angel-spectrum~ Anna demands answers ~Obviously... who wouldn't?~ Kaidan is the first she turns to... Badda bing badda boom *queue "Love is in the Air" music*.. ~So what we've established -- the sparks have definitely ignited between the pair~ But Anna needs to stay away from Kaidan but can't find the strength, she also needs to journey to California to find the last existing angel on Earth. Marna, Ginger, Kopano and Blake (Kai's nephilim friends) are whisked in to help. But let's not forget the demons, Anna's father decides to make an appearance – he has tried his hardest to conceal his daughter's existence from the other deadly sins demons even Lucifer himself. What has lasted 17 years is now uncovered and Anna is made to serve her father by the request of the other demons – many possibilities surrounding her existence and love life arise as Anna fights for survival.

Usually I really hate characters with that southerner drawl – but there are times I disregard these sorts of things, especially for the well written books ~Like I haven't worshipped this book enough~ This book was really well written Wendy Higgins managed to seduce me with Anna ~I'm not going to mention Katy from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Obsidian, Anna from Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss, Ana from E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey, Sydney from Richelle Mead's Bloodlines, Isobel from Kelly Creagh's Nevermore, Nora from Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush, Abby from Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster... Trust me the list of my favorite female characters are endless~ Wendy just injected small amounts of drawl in the right places ~It made the story so much easier – definitely less cringeworthy~ Anna is definitely a strong character – she's loyal and joyful, but she also has a sense of innocence surrounding her ~I think it's because of her heavily sheltered life~ This innocence can be totally understandable but really frustrating ~Especially when it gets to the hot romance scenes~ Wendy really fleshes out Anna especially her feelings towards her adoptive mother Patti, Kaidan – the love interest and Marna, Ginger, Blake and Kopano. I really enjoyed that this girl had an inner journey and broke free of her quiet nature to become a strong and independent girl when things got tough.

Kaidan, Kaidan, Kaidan – ever the bad influence... But don't worry he's a complete package – mysterious, badass, swoon-worthy hotness ~I'm thinking you want me to continue and say he's $9.99 at Macy's or something... Sadly no~ There are sometimes that I absolutely love him but there are other moments when I scream out in annoyance/frustration when he makes the worst choices. Wendy, did you really have to set him up to think bad about himself and better yet; be a conformist nephilim with a streak of all of those juicy things mentioned above. Wendy's writing flaunted Kaidan's qualities frequently – it was just an all out battle of badass vs innocence the whole book. The guy lacks guts and courage and bravery – that is a definite must ~if he could just for one second take that leash that is around his neck I would be proud~ I'll definitely be waiting for the time because a lot of things about him (including the spice scenes) seemed highly reserved – I'm thinking it was to build onto the next book. Yes I did enjoy Kaidan but him holding back the whole book was a little disappointing, regardless he played his gig as the love interest pretty damn well.

The diversity in the secondary character line was impressive to say the least – Kaidan's friends (Marna, Kopano, Blake and Ginger) had different personalities ~I was refusely thanking Wendy for not doing the same cliché of characters in the book – what I mean by that is, she didn't feature like the cheerleaders/jocks cliché into the book~ I liked the idea that each character either personified their sinful qualities or were in a different stage of their individuality ~What I mean is that each nephilim character fought their conforming nature to their demon in their own way~ The banter. ~Yes that did deserve its own sentence~ The banter between the group was hilarious – a definite highlight of the book.

Oh and the cliffhanger ~It can seriously go die in a deep, dark hole where I can't feel it's vibes until the release of Wendy next book~ It fulfilled its purpose perfectly – totally emotional, well written – it was basically like a car crash without airbags... It was so abrupt but just kept me hanging on for more.

Its a bit hard for me to wrap up the book in a few simple sentences... Basically It was a very striking and original and amazing book I've ever read about in the angels and demons genre. The book is definitely slow building but is well worth it during the climax. It is definitely a start of a tale that you could read over and over and over again and simply enjoy. I cannot wait until the next book ~I even had to not abbreviate cannot in that sentence because saying it the long way adds so much more meaning to it~ I recommend those people who absolutely love a YA romance that features heavenly angels, hellish demons and all that's in between. So go out and read it I beg you! One of 2012's best so far ~I'm not gonna list all the other fantastic books of 2012 because that would take forever~


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Revamp Project

Heey viewers!
I'm really sorry for not posting any new posts recently because i've been humming-and-harring about what I want to do with my blog... Yes yes I am still going to be posting reviews on spectacular up-coming/new release books. The whole reason the post is called "The Revamp Project" is because i've decided to redo my previous/earlier reviews (which haven't been very much of a review rather a slag wall – btw are the shorter ones at the beginning of my blogging experience) so they can be up to my newer standards – so what does this mean? Well the reviews i've been planning to do (in my "Coming Soon" section of the blog) are going to be pushed back a little while. But do stay tuned because my "Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins" review is in its final stages so that is going to be posted for the world to see. Also another thing – school has decided to knock on my front door and beat its way into my house (I'm currently beginning my 2nd week of school and I have loads and loads of homework and assignments to complete so that will definitely slow my whole project progress down)

But do pleassse stay tuned to my page and more updates will be on their way


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I've been itching to write a review on this book for a while, but since I have had to hold off my reviews for while to hit the study books... I haven't got around to it so I apologize.

Anna and the French Kiss blew me away, I've read this book about 3 times so far and Stephanie Perkins has managed to suck me in each time. This is one of the good books that must be read.
In the story, Anna is shipped off to SOAP (School of America in Paris) by rich and shallow author dad; Anna is outrageously homesick, lost and insecure as she assimilates into the city of love. Call in the bestfriends (Josh, Rashimi, Meridith and Etienne “St. Clair”) who befriend Anna and drag her out to experience the city – Paris. Anna harbours a crush on Etienne – and vice versa ~This is one of the best couples I have read about so do check it out~ but there are things both holding them back from true love – ~hmmm lets see, well there’s Ellie (St. Clair’s girlfriend) and Toph (Anna’s offshore-crush), also there’s Meredith (who’s been crushing on St. Clair for ages – she’s friends with Anna and St. Clair), St. Clair’s family life but the bottom line – LACK OF BLEEDING COMMUNICATION?!~

So lets start off with Anna Oliphant, originally from Atlanta; she is shipped off to the pretentious school, SOAP to complete her studies. Anna is sweet, brave, wholesome and joyful throughout the book – she is insanely loyal to her new bunch of friends ~Which I absolutely love in a character~ Anyway Anna had her fair share of struggles especially with her long distance relationships with Bridgette Saunderwich, Christopher “Toph” and Matt, the love ”square” ~Yes there are 3 girls vying for Etienne’s love and adoration namely Ellie, Anna and Meredith~ Anna receives constant on-and-off love signals from Etienne – which she dealt with impulsively and bravely ~I was really proud of each choice she made regardless of the consequences – because hey if I were her I would be doing the same thing~ I really empathized for Anna – she was absolutely scared of ending up alone and even admitting her feelings (to herself and Etienne) that could destroy a friendship that was built from the start of the book until the end ~But not only that.. a friendship that she truly depends on~ Some of Anna’s decisions were really rash – lets not go into the holiday break in Atlanta – that was truly disastrous… also her little romance with Dave ~*Shudder* absolutely cringe-worthy~ Usually I hate Southern twang in books, yes everyone Anna is a southerner but Stephanie only put the right amount in deserving places which just adds to Anna ~It’s the small intricacies that count~ Ultimately an amiable heroine with a severe old day movie obsession and a few neurotic tendencies. I loved that Stephanie fleshed out Anna so much – I just felt like I was there the whole time watching Anna carry out her life.

Going onto St. Clair! He is totally amazing boy lead… he wasn’t the typical male lead of a book – clichéd six-foot tall, rock-star hair, hunky jock. ~Thank god – that was probably what sets him apart from other love interests in other books~ He was short, brunette ~wait the book did say he did have rock-star-totally-careless-but-hot-hair… my bad~ and a history dork… oh and plus he has an english accent ~Surely beats Southerner twang in American books… why am I carrying on about the twang?! Please don’t answer that!~ St. Clair had his insecurities – namely he was scared also to end up alone under his over baring father while his mother is staying in California… His relationship with Ellie ~That definitely pissed me off~ you could see from the start that they were growing apart, he always ended up going back to her when things got tough ~Which I wasn’t impressed with when there was Anna right in front of him~ Ellie and St. Clair were in different worlds to start off with (Ellie, a freshman in university and St. Clair a senior at SOAP) and he still remained with her even when he had strong feelings for Anna… Not his strong point I must say. He and I both have something in common – we are both afraid of heights ~I was impressed when he overcame his fear of heights (maybe only temporary) to proclaim his love~ The bottom line was he was absolutely swoon-worthy.

The relationship between Anna and St. Clair felt so honest and true, it made my heart absolutely ache – romances like theirs rarely exist in real life – but Stephanie made it feel totally real and normal for me. Thank the heavens! Anna doesn’t fall in love at first sight ~That’s what I’m not impressed about most books have silly girls falling for the guys in the first few chapters – but not this one~ Anna’s feelings grow gradually throughout the book. First, she acknowledges only Etienne’s hotness, but accepts he is taken and is content with friendship. ~But as you get sucked in more and more by the desirable vortex named Anna and the French Kiss~ The pair get to know each other – she sees there is more than meets the eye and voila she starts falling for him… only a little at the start but as their friendship grows and they become intimate ~Emotional intimacy guys, not physical yet~ the relationship turns straight to Lovetown. The crackling tension, the humour, wandering through the streets of Paris and old movies combined with endless conversations and brilliant banter – all leads to one thing…LOVE! The book captures the awkward moments, the bad decisions, insecurities and fights in relationships – the ultimate flip of the coin…That is all at the heart of one fantasmagorical book. Stephanie explores this relationship so well the reader just has to crave more – her writing is indeed excellent. A highlight of the book I think is when Etienne first starts to become Anna’s rock --  when he first buys her the banana and an elephant it made my heart just ache and ache and ache. The chemistry between Anna and Etienne is amazing, you can’t help but wish them together, regardless the circumstances.

Both main and secondary characters were fleshed out realistically – thank god, the group of friends Anna hung with: soccer-mad Meredith, artsy Josh, intelligent Rashimi were all diverse which I am truly thankful for you don't want the same group of clichés in all books. I actually came to like Matt, at the start of the book Anna sort of hung a rain cloud over his head – but he definitely came through as a supportive guy for Anna in the end, I question him being with Cherrie Millen though ~they seemed happy so I leave it be~ Bridgette Saunderwich seemed smart at the start – a total cool friend, I liked her emails to Anna at the start but then she gradually stopped – I was proud of her for getting in Toph’s band but that definitely had a flip coin, I hated her lack of guts just to tell Anna the truth about her relationships with her younger brother and Toph… It just proved how unworthy she was as a friend. Toph was a bit touch-and-go sort of guy – he was labelled Anna’s overseas crush – but truly did disappoint, I’m thankful to Matt for revealing all of his (Toph’s) weaknesses – because it was just a cold hard slap for Anna who just lived in a Toph-is-totally-gonna-take-me-back-once-I-come-home-from-Paris-utopia…Let me tell you she deserved it. Now this book didn’t feature a villain as such… I guess you could say Amanda – she was definitely a cold hearted bitch, but she played her part very well – made Anna’s life absolutely hell… She just highlighted Anna’s perseverance and resilience in life.

I’m going to wrap up now, this book was just amazing – I can’t describe in words how great this book was, but its safe to say in the future I will definitely be re-reading it… Its one of those romances that touch your soul – without the sappiness, it makes you want to jump pages and ultimately become friends with all of the characters. Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss made me laugh out loud, shed a few tears, and left me with a kind of silly and content grin (and even sleep deprived and caused a huge headache for staying up until the early hours of the morning reading this book – but let me tell you its definitely worth it). This is one of the best books I have read – it is absolutely deserving of its high ratings and reviews ~I’m even adding to it!~ So make sure you read this book!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Inescapable (The Premonition Series #1) by Amy Bartol

So right about now I'm in a book coma... ~*bleck* Yes, I know I hate it too...~ Usually I go back to my lovely little list of AMAZING books but this time I decided to troll through Goodreads scoping for a good book. ~It took a while -- let me tell you..~ I found Inescapable by Amy Bartol, the book's take on angels and what-not was pretty original (but do note that I haven't read many books with angels in them so that might be very biased) -- the whole each-person-has-a-soulmate-but-the-protagonist-falls-for-the-angel was great. To be completely honest it was exactly like Lauren Kate's Fallen in a couple of ways -- I'll make sure to mention later on..

None of you even know how enthusiastic I was about this book to start off with -- It was one of those books that you don't do a double take on ~YOU JUST GRAB IT!~ -- I mean Hello?! High rating, really great reviews and let me just say a lot of other people were totally into this book... But sorry, I couldn't bring myself to like it...

The book opens to Evie, a strong-willed, inderpendant, lovely girl who is starting freshman at college who immediately runs into 3 different guys: Russell (a freshman (from down south) who has a football scholarship) and Reed (the bad boy and *please insert most-beautiful-sexy-dangerous-attractive-adjective here* guy)... Both the love interests. Anyways she also meets Alfred "Freddie" -- her "friend" however some quotes early in the book divulge the true being he is...

I'm going to divulge a nice little secret -- Reed is the strong, personification-of-hotness angel we are waiting for... and Evie falls for him like a brick in the lurvee fountain. And then there's Russell who is the soulmate who Evie is ment to love and cherish -- but here's the twist -- Amy decides to throw in the "bombshell" -- Evie is half-angel... So here's the decision -- should she be with Russell who grows old (and she doesn't) or be with Reed (and live for ever and ever) -- hard choice.

What doesn't help matters is that Evie can't decide what she wants, she loves one, cares for the other -- can't leave any of them -- and there is definitely no way that this girl can expertly juggle men. So the story drags and drags and drags.

Personally, I don't like Russell at all, as soon as he opened his mouth I just thought, damn he's going to be the love-sick puppy type of guy that follows Evie unconditionally around the whole book -- and what totally exhibited the book to damnation -- Russell has that Southern twang (totally and utterly annoying -- and his manners were perfect [which pissed me off even more -- because no one is perfect?!] -- safe to say he was a total hick. I mean he stood up for her but that just isn't enough -- I just received the friendly vibe off him, oh and how he went about his romance -- those moves of his are totally cringeworthy!

Reed, Reed, Reed -- what can I say I like you one minute, hated you the next... You started off cold-hearted and mean but there were valid reasons for you to be like that... I didn't like that you were totally over-bearing towards Evie.. But once the words "I love You" came from her mouth -- you were totally screwed -- Amy change him up a bit he was way to serious and arrogant for Evie -- I mean yeah there is protective and then there is overly protective... ~That definitely got on my nerves~ Alright, lets add some sugar to the lemon... Reed was incredibly sweet to Evie and went out of his way to make her really happy -- I mean he defeated endless amounts of threatening angels -- that deserves some points. He spoiled her and mentored her in the how-to-be-an-awesome-angel-for-dummies sort of way. I guess he was swoon worthy -- i'm only guessing because I didn't totally fall in love with him -- not like other guys in other books.

So lets back-track to Evie, she was somewhat a highlight character of the story, her perspective was really down to Earth -- she spoke from the heart -- but her words didn't really add to my reading experience a lot... It was sort of disappointing really Amy didn't explore or indulge the characters in any way (to a deep extent).

Do you know how I mentioned it being like Lauren Kate's Fallen in some ways, well here we go.. (For those who have read both books pay attention):
1. Luce meets Daniel and totally falls for him -- however he is really secretive and doesn't want to tell Luce his secret [Evie meets Reed *queue the spice and sweetness* -- he is cold-hearted and overly arrogant that they are both flighty] -- THIS MIGHT BE SOMETHING IN ALL ANGEL GENRED BOOKS... idk

2. Luce is alone and doesn't know anyone in Sword & Cross Boarding School -- especially in the girly sort [Evie doesn't gain any girlfriends until about 1/2 way through the book]

3. Daniel & Co. vs. Roland & Co. [Reed/Zeph/Evie vs. Alfred] -- I knowww all stories have to have this but I had to point it out...

Pressing on, I didn't like the ending at all; I mean defeating the enemy bit of the story was average and then to top it off Amy goes and makes Russell step up to the table -- which I don't think is entirely fair on Reed's behalf -- Amy made it seem that surely only Reed had dibs on Evie and then she pulls this crud! ~Oh I was annoyed because I hated Russell right from the get go. This book was averagely good -- and if you are an Angel-genre-lover then go ahead and read it -- if you think its worthy... Anyway it didn't really affect me that much like some books do -- I didn't love it at all... I guess it was somewhat likeable but this book wasn't for me.