Sunday, 30 December 2012

Review: Unspoken

By: Sarah Rees Brennan
Plot Summary:
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
This book, despite what it says at the bottom of this review, did not take me a month to read. It took me a few days, because it was painfully addicting.
If you’re sick of dishmop, emo, boring heroines, then look no further; Kami is the girl for you! This is the first book of Brennan’s I’ve read, so I don’t know if it’s the author’s style or Kami’s character, but I loved the voice. She’s charming and witty and British. The whole cast of characters speaks in this quirky, funny way that had me grinning throughout the whole book. Even the dad. It was awesome!
The plot was fast-moving with a bit of mystery sprinkled in, keeping you on your toes the whole time. It’s a very easy read; it’s one of those books where you only intend to read a chapter or two and end up reading a hundred pages, and it feels like no time has passed at all. I found there was a good balance between the focus on plot and the focus on relationship/friendship drama, for people like me that need both a character-driven and plot-driven book to keep engaged.
Speaking of relationships, Brennan is so clever with the romance I just want to give her a hug. To have two characters fall in love within the span of a three hundred page novel is difficult, and many romances in teen books get the word “instalove” thrown at them because the two characters fall for each other too quickly. Yet Brennan kinda cheated in this way – Kami and Jared had known each their entire lives, and in a way, already loved each other. Yet at the same time, they grew to know each other in person, yet they already had those feelings established. Brilliant. I actually wish I had read this book before I had clicked the “published” button on my own novel because of an aspect of this connection was so, so similar to my own I almost feel I had ripped it off. (This isn’t a criticism or anything, just a comment.)
If you’re looking for a fun, breezy book with a hint of magic, check it out!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Plot Summary:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I wish I was Laini Taylor.

And here’s the part where you go, “Uh, Diana, I think you mean that you want to be LIKE Laini Taylor –”

Oh, no. Not at all. If I were to be just LIKE Laini Taylor, it would mean I would know my whole life that I was a sad shadow of the real thing, and would never be truly as awesome. I would always be reaching, and never really getting there. How horrible.

But seriously, Laini Taylor’s writing is some of the most luscious and poetic I’ve ever read. When I finished reading Lips Touch: Three Times, I attempted to write in this way, and I simply could not do it. It came off as cheesy and purple prose-y. Theoretically, Taylor’s writing SHOULD be cheesy and purple prose-y when she goes on about wooden puppets, ballerina tutus, yellow umbrellas, sugar dust and tinkling music, but it isn’t. It’s pure magic – whenever I read it, I feel exactly the way I’m supposed to feel.

For the most part, her characters are just as enchanting and interesting as her writing. Everything from this book is like a fairytale, from the streets of Prague, to the mythos of the angels (which is so far from the Christian conception of angels I wouldn’t even really advertize it as an angel book) to the dreamlike Karou, who really is like a modern-day princess heroine being pretty and brave and kind.

If you’re wondering, the reason I didn’t give this five stars was because I didn't care for the love story, which unfortunately, dominated the story to the point I couldn’t overlook it. But even still, this aspect did not overshadow my love for the book – I can’t WAIT to read the next one! 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

YA Books Being Made Into Movies

I love how, just within the past few years, ya has exploded. It's finally become its own standalone genre, and has become a wildly successful one - apparently, there are more adults that read ya than teens. I've also noticed that because of this, more teen books are being made into movies, which I just find so amazing! I read so many young-adult books (even being passed the intended age audience), and the action should just look great on screen. A few I've come across are:

The Mortal Instruments:
Beautiful Creatures:
And apparently Divergent is being made into a movie as well! I don't even know how that could go wrong - such a fast-paced, action-packed book like that should translate well to the big screen. So far they've only casted Tris:
But still, I'm pretty psyched. Eek! I wish the best of luck to all three movies. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

"The Keeper's Curse" Now Available

Now that I'm about 98.9% sure all has gone the way I believe it has, I am here with a public service announcement:

*ahem* Hear ye, hear ye, people of the ebook reading community! My book "The Keeper's Curse" is now available at all major retailers for just $0.99! Amazing, this is.

*rolls up scroll* That is all. What a great way to start off my 21st year (yes, it's also my birthday - awesome coincidence).

Have a nice day, everybody.