The Orphan Queen – By Jodi Meadows Review

18081228Title: The Orphan Queen

Author: Jodi Meadows

Release Date: 10th March 2015

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Age Range/Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Number of Pages: 391

ISBN: 9780062317384

Rating:✭✭✭✭

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.


RATING: 4 Stars

MY THOUGHTS

The Orphan Queen was a fantastic, intriguing and chilling read filled with action and mystery! However, I also feel that there could be some improvements. I have to say though, overall I really enjoyed the book!

To begin with I loved all the characters within the book! Wil (Wilhelmina) was brilliant; she is a strong willed, loyal, and an independent protagonist who can also be quite humorous. The character development was one of the best aspects of the book for me, and while the characters were detailed, and had individual personalities, there was an air of mystery around Wil, and of course Black Knife ;). I don’t want to spoil the book, but the plot twists concerning the characters was executed really well. While the character plot twist was not a complete surprise to me, it was still great to read. I am very interested to see where the characters develop in future book(s). Another one of my favourite characters from the book is Melanie. Being the best friend of Will, she also takes part in some action and is masterful in deception within the novel. Her friendship with Wil is vital, and while they may argue with each other the relationship is strong. Melanie is a strong female character, and is headstrong in many of the things she does.
Black Knife is another brilliant character. While most of the other characters have detailed backgrounds, Black Knife remains somewhat of a mystery throughout the novel. I was hesitant on whether this would work as I thought we would be unable as readers to connect with him, however I was very wrong! His character while mysterious, is brave and intelligent, and the relationship between himself and Wil in the novel grows, refining and developing Black Knife’s personality. The relationship between both Black Knife and Wil develops into a romance towards the end of the novel, although this does not takes over the plot.
Moreover, Patrick, another character in the novel – a mentor for Wil, has an interesting and twisted character. The power play between Wil and Patrick adds the plot line, and the end of The Orphan Queen has left me in great suspense!

The world building is sufficiently developed within the book. In areas I felt that the world building was a little rushed, and could have been depicted in more detail, however this did not ruin the book for me as in other sections of the book the world is fantastically vivid. When Wil travels to the ‘Wraith Land’ the descriptions of the mirror lake, and the village around it are brilliant! I actually got shivers when Wil is traveling through it. The fantastical and backwards world within the ‘wraith’ was intriguing, and was one of my favourite parts of the book. The Indigo City is similarly described in great detail, and so these ares of the plot were great to read.
Additionally, the magic and fantasy within the novel were a unique idea. Magic is banned as it creates ‘wraith’, deadly energy that is spreading from the West to the East. While the different types and uses of magic is not delved into deeply, it is skimmed across, hinting at further development in later book(s).

In addition, the plot of the story grabbed my attention from the start. It is action packed, and full of twists that kept my interest peaked throughout the novel. The interweaving problems which Wil and the Ospreys face are well written. I particularly found the ending of The Orphan Queen fantastic – this is the best part of the book in my opinion. Particularly towards the end of the novel I found my heart pounding, and the cliff hanger with which the story ends is brilliant!

While I enjoyed The Orphan Queen there are some aspects of the novel which I thought could be improved. As I have mentioned, the world building in some areas could have been developed on, particularly the journeys to and from the Wraith Land, and some of the action which Black Knife and Wil get into during the night, in the city. Some of the smaller details I felt were missed out; which would have made a good contribution to the story, such as the traveling around the city, as Wil often does. However, this was not a major problem for me, and would not bother most readers in my opinion.

Overall I enjoyed The Orphan Queen and would recommend the book to any lovers of fantasy, action, and romance! While I had some problems with the world building, this did not ruin reading the book (which is why I have rated it 4 lovely stars!), and the character development within the book is brilliant. I look forward to reading the second book in the series The Mirror King!

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Favourite Quote:
“I know very well how pain could last, and fester, and shape a person in unnameable ways”

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Books in the series:

  1. The Orphan Queen (Released 10th March 2015)
  2. The Mirror King (To be released 5th April 2016)

Happy Reading xxx

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The Heart of Betrayal – By Mary E. Pearson Review

After reading and enjoying The Kiss of Deception, the first book in The Remnant Chronicles, I quickly decided to read the second! I completely loved the first book, and the The Heart of Betrayal did not disappoint me. I was ripped apart and put back together again by The Heart of Betrayal.
The Heart of Betrayal was a vastly different read for me, than The Kiss of Deception as I feel we really get a feel for both Kaden and Rafe in this book. Continue reading

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

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

The Archived – By Victoria Schwab Review

10929432Release Date: January 22nd 2013

Publisher: Hyperion

Reader Age: 13 +

ISBN: 978-142315731-1

Number of Pages: 328

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.


4.5 Stars


The Archived is a masterful novel, and is a clever and haunting read. The story is about a teenage girl, Mackenzie Bishop, and how she tries to solve the mystery around a string of deaths which happened years ago in the building which she has recently moved into. The story also looks at how people deal with grief after a loved one has died, and goes into the idea that after someone had died they are catalogued in shelves in the ‘Archive’.

The Archived was a intriguing read, and I found the idea that after you die you are kept as a ‘History’ interesting. The book is beautifully written, and has detailed and vivd descriptions of the ‘Narrows’ and the ‘Archive’. After I first read the blurb I was slightly hesitant at the idea of people being kept as ‘Histories’ on shelves, and was unsure how Victoria Schwab would carry this out in the novel. However the idea grew on me after I started reading.

All the characters in the novel are conveyed across cleverly. Mackenzie’s character is intriguing, and interesting, yet I think that she is also realistic and so easily relatable. She is a closed off character, and she feels all of her emotions very strongly, and so is often driven by her ‘gut’. I also loved the relationship which she has with Wesley in the novel! Wesley’s character is more light-harted that Mackenzie’s, and he is also very supportive of Mackenzie. He enables for Mackenzie to open up and relate to someone else, even though this takes time. I have to say I loved Welsey character, and he definitely made me laugh at times during the novel!

“What we have here?” he asks.

“Required reading,” I say, starting to scrub the counter.

“It’s a shame they do that,” he says, thumbing through the pages.”Requirement ruins even the best of books”

“Have you read it?”

“A few times”. My eyebrows arch, and he laughs. “Again with the skepticism. Looks can be deceiving, Mac. I’m not all beauty and charm”

“Mom looks caught off guard by the smile, the open, easy way he does it. I know I am. He doesn’t even flinch when she takes his hand.

“I can see why my daughter likes you”

Wesley’s smile widens as his hand slips back to his side. “Do you think she’s falling for my dashing good looks, my charm, or the fact that I supply her with pastries?”

Owen’s character confused me when he was first introduced. I kept on fluctuating between thinking that he was the reason all of the Histories were being let out, to thinking that he was a victim of all of the unrest which was taking place in the Archive. When his whole involvement in the plot of the story is revealed (which I won’t talk about!) I was not surprised, but could finally understand the mystery around all the deaths.

I enjoyed that the story delves into and looks and many different ideas. The different ways that people deal with death in the book show how these emotions can affect people in drastically different ways. As well as the idea that people do some things to escape is very realistic. I also thought that the Archive and Narrows is a fantastic idea which is built upon well in the novel. The use of showing the past with small excerpts of Mackenzie talking about Da I also thought cleverly helped the world take shape, and shows how Mackenzie developed into the person she is currently during the book.

However, I didn’t rate The Archived 5 stars because I also think that the novel is boring at parts. I found it difficult to get into the story at the beginning, and found the beginning of the book quite slow. However, as the story begins to reveal itself it becomes much more interesting, and I advise you read through the beginning because the story is brilliant once you get into it!

The Archived is a beautiful and dark novel, which I throughly enjoyed reading and would recommend!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Powerless – By Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs Review

PowerlessRelease Date: June 2nd 2015

Publisher: Dial Books

Reader Age: 13+

ISBN: 978-1492616573

Kenna is tired of being “normal”. The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.


Rating: 3/5


Having never previously read any of Tera Lynn Child’s books, or Tracy Deeb’s books I was interested in Powerless. The idea of a world of superheroes, and villains really intrigued me, and what can I say, I do enjoy a good superhero 😉

The book begins with us believing that the main protagonist, Kenna Swift, is an ‘ordinary’ who works with her mother in a top secret lab. Her father was a top superhero, who died when she was young, and we see that she has some problems with how he died, leaving it a mystery of what happened throughout the novel. Her life is turned upside down when she discovers some secrets about the superheroes she works with, and her mother, leaving her to question everything that she believes about the superheroes and the villains.

Overall I did enjoy the book, the story is action packed, and moves at a quick and exciting pace which I enjoyed. Similarly, the characters are funny, and in my opinion the story can be quite comical and light hearted in parts. The characters are conveyed well, and you can understand their thinking process as their personalities are developed in great depth. However, there were certain aspects that annoyed me, and I think can be improved in Powerless.

The main character, Kenna Swift is a strong female lead; who takes charge and does not back down, even though due to her ‘ordinary’ status she is often treated as a child and ignored or spoken to condescendingly. I do, however, feel that many of my questions about her during the book were left unanswered, and so I couldn’t completely understand or connect with her character. Similarly I found that the other characters in the book didn’t have much background/context, and the idea and story itself didn’t have a very strong base (I was not 100% sure where the story is set). While the story was detailed, I couldn’t understand where everyone else (who are outside the main group of characters) is in the book – for example, does Jeremy have any family? Doesn’t the general public have a reaction when houses are ransacked or burned down? Also, where are the rest of the villain community? Even though the story clearly shows there is a division between the heroes and villains, where do the villains live and why do they have safe houses in superhero ‘territory’? While I enjoyed the book, I think there could be more context and background, as well as more world building. I also had a problem with understanding the relationship between Draven/ Dante and Anton, as well as why and how was Deacon taken by the superheroes, especially if he is the son of the villain leader. However, this is the first book of a series so these questions might be answered in further book(s), which I am waiting for in anticipation!

While there is not much world building, the relationships between the different main characters are written well and in depth. There are hints that there is a strong romantic relationship between Kenna and Draven, as they slowly begin to know each other. I thoroughly enjoyed the constant action and fast pace, leaving little space for boredom. Out of the characters in the novel, I enjoyed Rebel as she was a fun and lively character. I also enjoyed Jeremy’s character, which was quirky and often light hearted.

The book is well written, with easy and well paced dialogue, making the book nice to read. The writing style is blunt at times during the story, however I think this worked in favour with the storyline and the fast pace of the story, emphasising the action taking place.

The ending left me asking many questions, and wanting to read the next book! What we know about Kenna is questioned, and we are left wondering what has happened to Rebel, and what her father has done to her.

Powerless is action packed, funny, and swiftly moves through a complex and dynamic story idea. While it may be underdeveloped in certain areas of world building and context, the characters are brought across strongly, and the story  reads nicely. The writing is strong, and easy to read, which makes the book a good read!

Overall I rate it 3/5 stars

Happy Reading xxx

All the Bright Places – By Jennifer Niven Review

Reall-the-bright-places-jktlease Date: January 6th 2015

Publisher: Penguin Books

Reader Age: 15+

ISBN: 978-0-141-35703-4

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.


Rating: 5/5


All the Bright Places is an emotional rollercoaster which had me both laughing and crying. Jennifer Niven delves into family, suicide, and how life carries on even after everything you are has changed. All the Bright Places is beautifully written, and had me immersed in both Finch, and Violet’s world from the first page! The ideas and thoughts developed and explored throughout the book are thought provoking. Yet, I have to admit, I found the book bitter sweet (not that this is a bad thing), and I was heartbroken at the end.

During the book we read from both Violet’s and Finch’s point of view. I loved Finch’s character, finding him funny and impulsive, yet responsible to a certain extent. His character is quirky and different. While it may seem that Finch’s character is almost selfish at the end, I saw him as quite selfless. Even though he was dealing with a lot from both his family and from school he helped Violet and really saw life as quite a beautiful thing. He was also in my opinion, quite a complicated and secretive character, who didn’t want anyone to see how he was truly feeling most of the time; or felt that no one could understand what he is going through. The character development throughout the book was fantastic, and Finch’s thought processes  show just how complicated he really is. Similarly, I also enjoyed Violet’s character. Throughout the book I felt that she bloomed, as she became more confident in who she wanted to be, rather than what she used to be, or what her sister used to be like. Even though towards the end of the book I felt that Violet could have done more, I also understood her uncertainty of what to do. The romance between the two characters was also realistic, and was not an ‘insta-love’. Certain parts of the books were heartwarming, which made me all the more emotional towards the end of the book (and yes, I did cry). The romance between Violet and Finch is perfectly paced, not slow, yet not immediate, and the work up towards the relationship emphasises how they help each other in different ways. Finch gives Violet a push to get her to live again after her sister’s death, and Violet helps Finch achieve happiness, and what he calls ‘a perfect day’. Additionally Finch is quite romantic at times during the novel, making the relationship between Finch and Violet much deeper, and heart-wrenching.

As I said before the writing is beautiful, and the descriptions are vivd. There are many parts of the book which I love, but certain parts are just beautiful, I don’t know how else to describe it!

“The thing I realise is that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave”

“You are all the colours in one, at full brightness”

“‘But I bring it up to let you know that this is the way I feel right now. Like Pluto and Jupiter are aligned with the earth and I’m floating’                                                                                                                                                                                     In a minute, she says, ‘You’re so weird, Finch. But that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me'”

The idea behind the book I thought was also clever, with both Violet and Finch going and searching for places around Indiana. Additionally I felt the story about the bird which kept flying into the window, that is repeated several times throughout the novel, was a representation of Finch coming back ‘awake’, yet feeling as if he can’t quite find himself, which is reflected when he changes his ‘character’ (from 80s Finch to bad-ass Finch e.t.c) during the book. The book also explored the idea of death, and Finch continuously brings up the idea that people have a ‘shelf-life’ and so he feels that he should live his life to the fullest.

Overall I really enjoyed the book, and fell in love with both Violet and Finch! The relationship between both characters is heartwarming, and funny. Jennifer Niven also in my opinion successfully explores other darker themes throughout the novel, while simultaneously looking at the better things about life. The novel is gripping, and I am not ashamed to admit that I finished it quickly! Other books which look at similar themes, or are written in a smilier way are The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Eleanor and Park By Rainbow Rowel. If you enjoyed these books I think you will enjoy All the Bright Places! Rating: 5/5 🙂 Happy Reading xxx superthumba934ec02b4890d4e2db95526305735ae.jpg