Monthly Archives: May 2015

Fracture Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #2.5)

Finished on 31st May, 2015

Author: Tahareh Mafi

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3.75 Stars

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Discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel MeFracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam’s focus couldn’t be further from the upcoming battle. He’s reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend’s life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James’s safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It’s time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam’s newly discovered half brother, won’t be that easy. The Reestablishment can’t tolerate a rebellion, and they’ll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

Fracture Me sets the stage for Ignite Me, the explosive finale in Tahereh Mafi’s epic dystopian series. It’s a novella not to be missed by fans who crave action-packed stories with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu.

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I honestly have no idea how to rate this book. As usual, Tahareh’s writing is amazing, but on the other hand we have Adam – which is where the dilemma hits.

Fracture Me cemented my hate for Adam and my love for Kenji and James. I applaud Tahereh for creating a character that we fall in love with in Shatter Me, but becomes absolutely horrible and just a real jerk.

I despise Adam with a passion. Why, you ask? Well, not only is he revealed to be incredibly stupid and impulsive, but he is horrible to the people he loves. In the beginning, we see that although he loves James, Adam is a complete jerk to James. I mean, he isn’t entirely horrible, but he does and says some questionable things. Most of all, Adam’s perception of Juliette is cringe-worthy and I feel like tearing him to pieces. Adam sees Juliette – the girl he claims to have loved for over a decade – as weak, pathetic and incapable of doing anything. To him, she is fragile and to be protected. And when she goes out of that convenient little box that he’s put her in and starts acting like a bad-ass? It scares him. It scares him. I just – I can’t.

If I could punch any fictional character in the face – with a brick – I would choose Adam over Umbridge. Umbridge, people! Surely that should give you some perspective. Adam is a coward and does not deserve Juliette in the least – if they get together in Ignite Me, then I will be seriously vexed.

In spite of all this, I do believe that Fracture Me is a good addition to the trilogy. Aside from solidifying how much of a jerk Adam is, from chapter seven onwards we see what happens to the other characters during the final section of Unravel Me, which I believe is not included in the original trilogy.

I recommend Fracture Me to fans of the series that still like Adam – for they will see how much of a moron he truly is. (I’m so cruel, I know.) But in all seriousness, I would recommend reading this novella if you’re curious as to what happened to the other characters after the battle at the end of Unravel Me.

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Destroy Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #1.5)

Read on 29th May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

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This book… This book.

Warner is just so amazing and complex and ohmygoodnessIcan’teven.

I absolutely loved seeing inside of Warner’s mind, what his childhood was like, why he acts the way he does, as well as his reaction to reading Juliette’s journal. There were a few instances where I shed some tears. Chapter sixteen broke my heart.

There’s nothing much else that I can say about Destroy Me without spoiling people, but if you like the series at all, if you love Warner, then read this book. I don’t care if you have something against novellas – just read it.

Even though Destroy Me is listed as #1.5 in the series, I would recommend doing as I did and reading it after Unravel Me. I found that it was better to get to know Warner as Juliette did, and then switch to his perspective on everything that happened – let’s just say that you will come to understand that certain were not as they appeared and if you didn’t love Warner already, you will after reading this novella.

You can find my reviews for Shatter Me and Unravel Me here and here.

Please comment your thoughts so I can fangirl with you about the brilliance that is Warner!

Unravel Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #2)

Finished 28th May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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Our lips touch and I know I’m going to split at the seams. He kisses me softly then strongly like he’s lost me and he’s found me and I’m slipping away and he’s never going to let me go.

Juliette has escaped from The Reestablishment. Now she’s free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. Haunted by her past and terrified of her future, Juliette knows that she will have to make some life-changing choices. Choices that may involve choosing between her heart – and Adam’s life.

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Shatter Me was fantastic, but Unravel Me is ten times better – which was something that I didn’t think was possible.

The characters, the writing, the plot, the setting… I couldn’t get enough. Unravel Me is a simply phenomenal read and I can’t wait to dive into the next installments.

Warner’s potential was revealed in Shatter Me, but in Unravel Me he simply blew me away. I love him so much! I just- wow. I love how his character, personality and past was revealed. I cannot adequately express my feelings for him – he is such a beautiful and well put together character and I could not – can not – get enough of him. To put it into perspective: my love for him is currently more than that of which I have for William Herondale. Yes, he’s that amazing. Did I mention that he also loves to read?

I really liked how the character arc with Adam turned out. I still think that he was important – crucial even – in getting Juliette where she is now and I did love them together for that. But for where she is at the moment (and for the future), Warner is perfect. Adam was the first love, and Warner is endgame.

While she did irritate me at times (namely the scene about three quarters in when everything is amazing but then she says that one word which screws it all up), I really liked Juliette and seeing her character develop. I love the realizations that she came to in herself and where she ended up when the novel left off. I am really excited to see where her character goes and what she will do. She has the potential to be an absolutely amazing, kick-ass character – made even more so by how far she’s come.

Honourable mention to Kenji (you are the bestest friend ever), Sonya and Sarah, Brendan, James and Winston. You guys are amazing.

I don’t know how she does it, but Tahareh’s writing is not only unconventional, but beautiful, poetic and entirely quotable.

I recommend the Shatter Me trilogy to anyone, really. I feel that it has a lot of different elements that could appeal to a wide variety of readers.

To hear more of my thoughts, be sure to check out my review of Shatter Me here.

The Sway (Hidden #1.5)

Read on 24th May, 2015

Author: Amy Patrick

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5 Stars

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A member of the Dark Court, Vancia has spent her life among humans—together but separate, hiding in plain sight. Now Pappa says it’s time to put her glamour to use against the unsuspecting humans and worse, agree to an arranged political marriage with the reclusive Light Elven prince.

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Amy Patrick knows exactly how to mess with my emotions.

The Sway is a brilliant novella that focuses on Vancia, Lad’s proposed bride-to-be, and takes place before and during the last few scenes of Hidden Deep. (You can find my reviews of Hidden Deep and Hidden Heart here and here).

I love Vancia – so much. She is just such an awesome character who was not flushed out at all in the first two installments of the Hidden trilogy. I loved her perspective and I wish that I had read The Sway before Hidden Heart. I just- she is absolutely amazing.

I also loved finding out what Davis was actually like. He’s mentioned in the first two books of the trilogy, but this is the first time that we actually met him. It was… Interesting. Let’s just say that I am certainly not a fan.

In Hidden Deep, I shipped Ryann and Lad; in Hidden Heart, it was Ryann and Nox; and now… I’m conflicted. I really do love Ryann and Nox, but then after reading The Sway, I’m partial to the idea of Nox with Vancia and Lad with Ryann… You could say that I’m somewhat of a mess right now.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Amy Patrick, the author of the Hidden trilogy, for gifting me with a copy of this book in the anthology Faery Tales: Six Novellas of Magic and Adventure.
The Sway will be available for individual purchase after June 15, 2015.

Be sure to check out this series and let me know your thoughts! Who do you ship? Have you wound up as conflicted as I?

ARC Review: Hidden Heart (Hidden #2)

Read from 23rd-24th May, 2015

Author: Amy Patrick

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Release Date: Today (24th May)

4.5 Stars

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17-year-old Ryann Carroll thought she knew who she was… a small-town Southern girl just trying to survive her parents’ messy divorce and find some peace for herself. She thought she knew what she wanted… a summer job, a car, a first date that didn’t suck, and NO complications from a serious relationship— any guy in her life would simply be icing on the cake.

But now… she’s not only in love, her boyfriend Lad is a member of a secret race that’s lived secretly among humans for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore. Things could hardly get more complicated than that.

More importantly, she’s learned the world’s top celebrities… those actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians who seem a little too beautiful and talented to be true… actually are. They’re not human, and they’re using their glamour and the increasing popularity of fan pods to control more and more humans. But why?

With her best friend Emmy leaving soon to join the fan pod of a famous actor, Ryann has to find out the answer. And she can’t do it alone. But after a shocking murder, Lad can no longer fight his destiny or his duty, and Ryann’s not sure whether his top priority is their relationship or his people.

In this second book of the Hidden Trilogy, true friendship will take Ryann from rural Mississippi to the glittering city of Los Angeles. And true love will take her to places she never expected to go…

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You can find my review of Hidden Deep, the first book of the Hidden trilogy, here.

First of all, I would like to give a huge thank you to Amy Patrick, the author of the “Hidden” trilogy, for supplying me with an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this novel.

I really appreciated the world building of this series. Hidden Heart really showcased the fan pods – the dynamics, purpose and execution of them were brought to light in a scarily realistic manner. It was not hard to believe that this could happen in our society, our world, in the present time (or near future).

Although I loved Hidden Heart, it did take me about a hundred pages or so to really get into it – mainly because Ryann (the protagonist) was really frustrating me. She was stubborn and made some decisions that I didn’t necessarily agree with. However, she did have some growth and character development throughout the novel which I appreciated and the story really picked up towards the second half of the book.

As for Lad… I don’t even know. Hidden Heart made me fall in love with Nox, and now I ship him with Ryann way more than Ryan and Lad – I loved Lad in Hidden Deep, and I appreciate that he was her first love, but in real life, first loves are often not the last – or only – love someone has in their life.

I also currently love Nox’s character more than Lad’s. I don’t understand how anyone can read Hidden Heart and not fall in love with Nox. That end revelation only solidified my love for him. However, as much as I’d like to believe Nox is endgame, Amy has left space for it to go either way.

Despite my initial frustrations, I really admire Ryann’s loyalty to Emmy and I feel that it is a large part of what kept her grounded as a character.

I’m not sure what to make of Vancia. I wish that I’d read The Sway (a Hidden novella) before Hidden Heart as I would love to know what’s going on inside her head. We don’t really see much of her in the first two installments of the trilogy, but enough to get me intrigued. I feel that she will be a featured character in the next book, which I hope is the case.

Davis. Although I didn’t mention anything in my review of Hidden Deep, I had my suspicions of his true nature even then. – He was dating Ryann’s mother and despite exchanging a few phone calls, had never met Ryann in person. Also, he turned Ryann’s mother lovestruck, which is certainly a feat in itself. Everything about him screamed too good to be true…

I highly recommend the Hidden trilogy to fans of urban fantasy and faerie lore.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me/The Juliette Chronicles #1)

Finished on 22nd May, 2015

Author: Tahereh Mafi

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5 Stars

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I have a curse.
I have a gift.

I’m a monster.
I’m more than human.

My touch is lethal.
My touch is power.

I am their weapon.
I will fight back.

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the first time – and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a riveting dystopian world, a thrilling superhero story, and an unforgettable heroine.

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Shatter Me is a beautifully written novel set in a dystopian society that hits alarmingly close to home, yet also touches on the paranormal. It certainly lives up to the hype.

The writing in Shatter Me is extremely unique. Some may (and have) found it hard to get into, but I absolutely loved it. The novel is written almost as a stream of consciousness – complete with crossed out words and phrases. It’s rather hard to describe, but I found that through it I really connected to Juliette – perhaps even more so than I would have if it was written traditionally.

On that note, I really liked Juliette as a character. Despite being isolated, discriminated against and hurt by the world since she was small, she is so innocent, so pure, so good. I loved seeing her experience love for the first time and look forward to seeing her continual growth and character development.

Now, the big question: Adam or Warner?

I really liked Warner, but at this point in time I don’t like the idea of Juliette and him in a relationship – while it may be interesting, it would not fit into Juliette’s character or moral values (at this point in time). However, I have been told that he gets a lot better as the series progresses and he does have a lot of potential, so I’ll see how it goes – I really want to find out why people ship them together so much.

I wasn’t expecting to love Adam, but I did. Warner must turn out to absolutely brilliant if so many people ship them over these two. Adam is fantastic, loving, compassionate, protective, and exactly what Juliette needs while still being a great person in his own right. I am really interested to discover the story behind the white bird (and if Warner dreams about it too).

The world building is so well done that it isn’t hard to believe that the destruction of their world could easily happen to us. In short: the ozone layer is decimated and because of that the environment is all but screwed, the animals have all been killed off or have been genetically mutated and the human population is starving under the rule The Reestablishment – a military organisation that took advantage of people’s desperation and lured the world into complete submission through empty promises. Now The Reestablishment are a dictatorship bent on destroying books, culture, language and anything that makes the human populace unique.

A brilliant read, I highly recommend Shatter Me to people looking for a unique, beautifully written dystopian with a touch of paranormal – or just someone looking for a good read. Shatter Me is a story of a girl who has been abused, tossed out and abandoned by the world, yet is still able to find light and hope and goodness. It is a journey of self discovery and fighting back. I look forward to continuing on with this series.

Nothing But Shadows (Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

Read on 20th June, 2015

Authors: Cassandra Clare & Sarah J. Maas

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5 Stars

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Simon challenges the setup of the Shadowhunter Academy and in doing so learns the story of James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild and the unusual way that they became friends and parabatai.

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As I repeatedly find myself saying, these installments just keep getting better and better… There is absolutely nothing about Nothing But Shadows that I didn’t like – the characters, the storylines, even the title…

I loved all of the characters. Aside from Simon, Catrina and all our other favourites, we see more of Ragnor (who is just as brilliant as I recall from The Bane Chronicles), James Herondale, Matthew Fairchild, as well as Thomas and Christopher Lightwood (cousins). The main cast from The Infernal Devices were also referenced and some had cameos.

Despite its short length, Cassandra and Sarah really fleshed out these characters and added hidden depths that you do not see coming. I’m completely in love with James (he’s an adorable bookworm for one and his “legacy” is super awesome too) and half in love with Thomas – but they’re all absolutely brilliant.

A fast, enthralling read, Nothing But Shadows had me hook, line and sinker. As I was reading, I either bookmarked or highlighted pretty much every other page.

I highly recommend Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy to any and all existing Cassandra Clare fans. That said, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is not a standalone – there are spoilers for people who have not read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Also, it’s a much more enriching reading experience as you are able to pick up on and appreciate the cameos and references that are scattered throughout these installments.