The Kiss of Deception – By Mary E. Pearson Review

4769638Title: The Kiss of Deception

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Release Date: July 8th 2014

Publisher: Square Fish

Age Range/ Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 489

ISBN: 9781250063151

Rating:✭✭✭✭✭

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight–but she doesn’t–and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom–to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive–and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets–even as she finds herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles.


RATING: 5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS:

Fantastic. I absolutely loved The Kiss of Deception! As an avid reader of fantasy, romance, and action, this book was wonderful. I may be slightly overexcited about the book, but the story line caught me from the beginning. Before I read it I had heard a lot of good things about the story plot and world building, and I have to agree, you should read this book!

The Kiss of Deception is the first book from The Remnant Chronicles and focuses on 3 main characters, Lia, a prince and an assassin. The book is mainly focused on Lia’s POV, however there is also the POV’s from both the prince and the assassin. Lia is Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, she is very headstrong and at the beginning of the novel runs away from her home to escape her arranged marriage.

First off the writing in the book is incredibly clever. I don’t want to give too much away, but through most of the novel you are not sure which boy is the assassin and which is the prince. It is difficult to describe unless you have read the book, but I hope that makes sense. Lia meets both boys and we know one is called Rafe and the other is called Kaden, however it remains a mystery which of them is the assassin and which is the prince. This is difficult to pull off but I though that Mary E. Pearson did this brilliantly. As the story moved on I made a guess on which boy was which, but I won’t tell you any spoilers 😉
Additionally, unless you had guessed from the beginning of the book, during the end there is a massive plot twist. While I was not completely surprised, I was still shocked.

The characters in The Kiss of Deception were all well developed. I really liked Lia’s character, as she was strong and often sarcastic and funny throughout the novel. Even when she is put into difficult situations she pulls through. Overall I thought she was a brilliant character. Similarly I enjoyed both Rafe and Kaden’s characters. Both characters were mysterious, and we only get to know them towards the end of the book. Out of the two I am not sure I have a favourite. I tended to swing between both of them, however after finishing the novel I am team Rafe 🙂
Another character in the book was Pauline. She has a vastly different personality from Lia, however she was also an enjoyable character. The friendship between both of the girls was funny, and heartwarming.

As I am sure you have deduced, there is somewhat a love triangle in The Kiss of Deception. The romance is more between Lia and Rafe, however there is competition between both Rafe and Kaden. The romance between Rafe and Lia slowly progresses and is incredibly sweet. While I would say the romance is a main contributor to the story, it is not the only drive and so, in my opinion, did not take over the story, even though it is a main drive.

The world building throughout the book was vivid, and descriptive. I love the world which Lia lives in. The map at the beginning of the book was a nice guide on how the world is set out. The world was fantastical and richly described.

Overall I loved The Kiss of Deception, and so rate it 5/5 stars. The story was captivating, describing a world full of magic, with romance, betrayal, and mystery woven in. If you enjoy fantasy, romance and magic I would defiantly read this book!

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Favourite Quote:
It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered”
page 279 (Paperback Edition)

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Books in The Remnant Chronicles:

  1. The Kiss of Deception (Released July 8th 2014)
  2. The Heart of Betrayal (Hardback Released July 7th 2015)
  3. The Beauty of Darkness (Expected to be released during 2016)

I will be ordering the next book and can’t wait for the finial book in the series! 😀

Happy Reading xxx

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Birthmarked – By Caragh O’Brien Review

BMS+SUKcoverBlog1Title: Birthmarked

Author: Caragh O’Brien

Release Date: March 30th 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 361

ISBN: 9780857071392

Rating: 3.5 Stars

In the future, in a world baked dry by the harsh sun, there are those who live inside the walled Enclave and those, like sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone, who live outside. Following in her mother’s footsteps Gaia has become a midwife, delivering babies in the world outside the wall and handing a quota over to be “advanced” into the privileged society of the Enclave. Gaia has always believed this is her duty, until the night her mother and father are arrested by the very people they so loyally serve. Now Gaia is forced to question everything she has been taught, but her choice is simple: enter the world of the Enclave to rescue her parents, or die trying.


RATING: 3.5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

Birthmarked was a thought provoking and vivid read. The novel, which is set in the future, is set around a girl called Gaia, and her attempt to rescue her parents, while discovering the true reason and use of the babies which are taken from her village and given to ‘The Enclave’.

Birthmarked was an interesting and fascinating read. The world building in the book was vivid, and so it is easy to picture the world Gaia is living in. The difference in society between ‘The Enclave’ and ‘Wharfton’ are clearly shown. I particularly loved the descriptions of the markets and sellers which are bright and particularly realistic. Similarly the houses, and streets create a detailed picture of the world. Even though the book is set in the future, there is relatively little technology, which I thought was less realistic, but apart from that it I enjoyed the world which Caragh O’Brien creates in the novel!

While the book was about Gaia finding her parents, there is also some mystery around the code which her parents created, and the reason behind The Enclave needing babies. I particularly enjoyed the mystery around the code, however, I was unsure on the idea of the parents of the babies being kept secret. I have to say I was unsure through most of the novel what the problem was with revealing the names of the children’s true parents, it would help the children themselves and ensure no future children were born with deficiencies or diseases. I only completely understood at the end of the novel the reason the parents names were truly needed, and so kept from the Enclave.

In addition to the mystery surrounding the parents of the children which were ‘advanced’, there was the scientific part of the story which I thought was clever. The initial need for the ‘advanced’ babies was because of the reduced population, and so reduced gene pool, which I thought was realistic. This lead to the specific gene that The Enclave wanted to find. Again how they have the technology to find and define specific genes and strands of DNA, yet they publicly kill people through the method of hanging contradicted, in my opinion, the time period which the story is set in.

The characters themselves in the story were good, and I really like Gaia’s character, and her morals. Gaia’s characters was bold, and decisive which I liked about her. She was strong, and held a solid belief in what she believed what was right and wrong. Although, the other characters could have been more developed.
Other main characters were not very detailed or developed, only Gaia’s character was very deep, and she is the main protagonist of the story. While we get to know other characters throughout the novel, none of them have very developed personalities. This was however balanced out somewhat by the vivid world building.
Additionally there is a small romance between Gaia and Leon, which is mysterious! 😀 The romance is not not the main drive in the story, but still plays a part, and develops slowly.

Overall I liked Birthmarked, and I thought the world which Caragh O’Brien was intriguing and brilliant! The story kept me reading on. I have rated it at 3.5 stars due to the lack in character development outside the main character Gaia. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

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Favourite Quote:
“There are some things, once they are done, that we can never question, because if we did, we wouldn’t be able to go on. And we have to go on, every single day”
pg 112 (UK Paperback Edition)

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If you enjoyed reading Birthmarked, and would like to read books which are similar, here are my recommendations:

  1. Defiance – By C.J Redwine
  2. Breathe – By Sarah Crossan
  3. Exodus – By Julie Bertagna 
  4. Imaginations – By Tara Brown (A.E Watson)
  5. The Testing – By Joelle Charbonneau

All the books above are similar to Birthmarked in at least one way, and are all good reads!

Happy Reading xxx

Matched – By Ally Condie Review

matched-ally-condie-book-coverTitle: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Release Date: November 30th 2010

Publisher: Penguin Group

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 366

ISBN: 9780142419779

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.


RATING: 3.5 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

Matched is a book which I have had quite a while. I will admit this was not the first time that I attempted to read the book.  A couple of years ago I attempted the book, and out of dislike for the main character, and out of boredom I stopped reading early on in the story. However, I decided that I would have another go, as I know a couple of people who liked the book, and I did get through the book this time, and enjoyed it!

After reading through the whole of the book, I enjoyed the story and the romance between Cassia and Ky. The idea of a future society where everything is controlled is very similar to The Giver by Lois Lowry, however the romance between the main characters, Cassia, Ky and Xander features more prominently. Similarly, through the novel it shows how peoples love for each other mean that they bend the rules.

The criticisms that I had with the novel was that I found the story could slow at times. While Cassia is breaking rules of the society she lives in, there is not much action in the novel, and neither is the novel very fast paced. The book for me took a while to get into, however further into the story I found it became more interesting.

What I enjoyed about Matched was the romance between Cassia and Ky. It was not an ‘insta-love’ and throughout the book more is revealed about Ky so you feel as if you are beginning to understand him. Their relationship was sweet, and you can see Cassia slowly falling for Ky :). I also enjoyed the futuristic world, which was easy to imagine as the world building was good. Similarly, throughout the novel certain privileges and objects are taken away from Cassia and her family showing more clearly how every aspect of their lives is controlled by the government.

While the romance between Cassia, and Ky is the main story line, their relationship also opens up onto showing what is wrong with the society. I was left questioning at the end who put Ky into the matching ceremony, and why? Also I was left intrigued at who they were at war with.

Additionally Ally Condie’s writing style is enjoyable and beautiful to read. Towards the end of Matched I really got into the book; as more is revealed it left me questioning what was happening, and wanting to read the next book in the trilogy – Crossed!

Overall I rate Matched 3.5 stars. While I did enjoy the novel, I found the beginning slow. However if you enjoy a futuristic world and romance I would not let this put you off reading it, and I recommend the book!

MatchedQuote

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If you enjoyed Matched and would like to read books which are similar, here are my recommendations:

I thoroughly enjoyed each of these books, and highly recommend them!

Happy Reading xxx

August New Releases/Anticipated Books

These are the new book releases this August. If you need some inspiration or ideas for reading have a look at these books! The release dates on each of the books are for the UK, these might not be the same as the US or International release dates.

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Am I Normal Yet? – By Holly Bourne 

23592235Title: Am I normal Yet?

Author: Holly Bourne

Release Date: August 1st 2015

Publisher: Usborne

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 434

ISBN: 9781409590309

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All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list… But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?


Legacy of Kings – By Eleanor Herman

51td4ndmmcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Legacy of Kings

Author: Eleanor Herman

Release Date: August 18th 2015

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 384

ISBN: 9780373211722

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Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise. Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters. Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


Until Friday Night – by Abbi Glines 

22522202Title: Until Friday Night

Author: Abbi Glines

Release Date: August 25th 2015

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult

Number of Pages: 352

ISBN: 9781481438865

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To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer. Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away. As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else. West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…


Happy Reading xxx