Monday, 28 November 2016

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga


 Series: Jasper Dent
Author: Barry Lyga
Page Count: 359
Published: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  5 Stars ★★★★★ 

Jasper Dent's father is behind bars; he's a serial killer who has murdered over a hundred people. He raised Jasper while he killed, often teaching Jasper about how to prevent getting caught and how to dispose of dead bodies. Jasper now lives with his grandmother, has a best friend and a girlfriend, and he still deals with the aftermath of his father's capture and conviction.

When people start turning up dead, Jasper knows that the town has yet another serial killer on their hands. Besides trying to convince the police that he knows what he's talking about, Jasper has to deal with his fear that he is truly like his father; a cold-hearted, sadistic killer. While Jasper investigates the murders with the hope of using his knowledge to catch the killer, he struggles with the fear that people will believe that he is behind it all. But things are complicated when you worry that you might be an evil sociopath, like your own father.

This was such an awesome book! It was dark, it was disturbing, and I couldn't put it down. I read it extremely quickly, I was sucked in from the start. My advice concerning this book is to start reading it when you have a lot of free time on your hands. You won't want to leave it until you've flipped the last page. 

One thing that I loved about this book was how dark and disturbing it was. I often read romances, which tend to be sweeter, less serious or calmer reads. But this was dead serious. I want to mention that there were rather detailed descriptions of assault and murder, so that more sensitive readers can make an informed decision on whether or not this book is for them. Personally, I loved that aspect of the book, because it just felt so creepy. I rarely find books that have genuinely disturbing content, but this one was dark enough that it satisfied my craving for something more gruesome. That's not to say that the crimes were extremely detailed, but they were explained in enough detail that they brought up the creep and thrill factor quite a bit. 

Jasper's struggle was very intense and it kept me reading just as the murders did. Reading about his fears that he might be a sociopath, that he might be fated to become a murderer like his father, it was a well-written depiction of this struggle and I found it very believable. Despite Jasper's fears and some of his darker thoughts, I found him a very likeable character. He seemed like a genuinely good guy, wanting to save peoples' lives and fighting the things that his father told him to believe. While this is an extreme example, I think that this is reminiscent of the issues that many face concerning breaking out of their shell and questioning the things that their parents or guardians told them as children. This sense of connection between Jasper's issues and smaller, real-life issues made Jasper even more likeable, and I absolutely rooted for him to stop the killer and find peace from the start.

Jasper's friend and girlfriend are great characters as well, his friend being somewhat weak and comical, his girlfriend strong, loyal and determined. As for Billy Dent, Jasper's psychopathic father, he was written very well, in a way that I could easily imagine what kind of atmosphere might be experienced in his presence. He was pure evil. I feel like there are such few characters that are so evil, but Billy Dent really really was, undoubtedly, a monster. Because he was such a well-written villain, I loved reading about him, despite his crimes. He was especially creepy because, unlike paranormal monsters and villains, there really are people like him out in the world. I think that's what made this book all the more striking. 

I wish I'd picked this novel up sooner. I have to add the sequel to my wishlist!

I recommend this to mature YA readers. If you like creepy contemporary thrillers, and the content mentioned in this review wouldn't bother you, this is a must-read. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst World an Author Has Created

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best / worst world an author has created

Best World


As if there was any competition for this! Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, and the rest of the series, takes place in a world full of magic and danger and walking talking skeletons. When I read a book from this series, I feel like I leave the real world entirely and I'm just sucked into the book. It's amazing.

Worst World


The futuristic world found in The Selection by Kiera Cass just wasn't for me. Aside from kind of hating the world itself and the values present in the society, I just felt like the world building was a bit superficial. It didn't seem as realistic as it could have been. While I don't base whether or not I like a book or setting based on the values of the society it is set in, I mention this because, due to the poor world-building, it added another dimension of disappointment.

What are the best and worst fictional worlds you've come across?

Monday, 21 November 2016

Dance with a Vampire by Ellen Schreiber

Series: Vampire Kisses
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Page Count: 208
Published: April 21st, 2009
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  4 Stars ★★★★

In this continuation of Raven and Alexander's story, Valentine Maxwell, Jagger's younger brother, has arrived in Dullsville and appears to be targeting Raven's brother. Raven fears that this might be some sort of revenge plot because of the issues that she, Alexander, and Valentine's siblings dealt with in the past, so with Alexander's help, she tries to uncover what's going on. 

At the same time, Raven is having doubts and worries about her dream of becoming a vampire. She wants to be with Alexander and she knows that he loves her just as much as she loves him, so when Valentine threatens to tell her vampire lover about her secret worries, she fears that her relationship with him might become more complicated, or that it might not even survive at all. 

The Vampire Kisses series is such an enjoyable series. The books are perfect for when you want a short read after tackling a long, complex book or if you're trying to ease yourself from a reading slump. While the writing style might be a bit simpler than in other young adult books, it's still a great read for fans of vampire love stories. 

Even at the fourth volume in this series, Raven is still the funny, quirky, unique character that was introduced to readers in the first book. She is so, so likeable, and I find her sense of style, her hopes and dreams, and her love for vampires endearing. She actually reminds me a lot of myself. It's nice to have goths or alternative individuals within fiction that aren't the personification of the gloom-and-doom stereotype. 

Alexander remains the somewhat cliche, swoon-worthy, gothic vampire, love interest that Raven fell for in the first book. I find him just as endearing as Raven, with his romantic gestures and dark style. However, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with his character in this novel. I was considering Raven's fear that Alexander would, for whatever reason, reject her when she admitted her worries about becoming a vampire. This made me wonder what might be going on in their relationship, if he might not be as sweet as the author shows us on the page. I mean, I think most people would make sure that their partners don't think they might leave them over legitimate fears concerning becoming what is basically a whole other, paranormal or supernatural, species? It seems like common sense, and Alexander must have failed Raven in some way if she was worrying over this so much. 

This book ended with a rather sad cliffhanger, though not a hopeless one. I'm glad that I own the next book so that I can read about what happens next sooner rather than later! This is a series that I like to come back to, it's one that I think I'll read until it ends. 

Overall, a very enjoyable book. While it raises somewhat frustrating questions concerning Raven and Alexander's relationship, I honestly think that these questions add some intrigue and a bit of suspense to the story. 

I recommend this series to fans of YA vampire romances. If you're looking for a short paranormal read, this series is for you.

Friday, 18 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Book an Author Has Published

This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best / worst book an author has published

Best Book


I think that Fallen is the best book that Lauren Kate has published, that I've read. It got me hooked from the start and it made me want to get the next book as soon as I could! 

Worst Book


I can definitely say that the worst I've read by her so far was Passion, the third in the Fallen series. I thought it was so slow compared to the first two books, and because of it, I still haven't picked up the fourth book! It really killed my enthusiasm for Luce's story. 

What do you think are the best and worst books that Lauren Kate, or any other author, has published? 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Matched by Ally Condie


 Series: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Page Count: 366
Published: September 20th, 2011
Publisher: Speak
  5 Stars ★★★★★ 

In Cassia's world, who you marry is determined by who the Society matches you with. When Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander, she's ecstatic. But her excitement fades quickly when she begins to suspect that something is going on, that there might be an error in the system, and that Ky, another boy her age, might have been meant to be her match. 

As she starts to question the Society, she finds herself torn between Ky and Xander, between obedience and rebellion. Breaking more and more rules, Cassia must make a choice. Will she live the life that the Society has planned for her? Or will she break free and look for something more?

This is the kind of dystopian or futuristic novel that I like to read. It's got an oppressive or controlling government, a forbidden romance and lots and lots of rebellion. I think that my favourite part about this whole book was how Cassia started to break rules and defy the Society, because the tension and worry I felt that she might get caught was super intense. 

The author completely immersed me in Cassia's world, and I dreaded her having to face the consequences of her actions. At the same time, I really hated the government and the Society and I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know if she would rise above them, and succeed in her goals. When I say that I was reading this book at every chance I got, I mean it!

The romance was a little bit cheesy but I actually don't mind some cheesiness within my reads, so this didn't bother me at all. It was a forbidden romance too, which added to the whole rebellion aspect. As somebody who appreciates love triangles, I can say that I think the author wrote the love triangle in this novel extremely well, and I am still undecided concerning who I want Cassia to end up with. I find that those are the best kind of love triangles because they make me frustrated, and wanting to read the next book in the series to see who the character chooses! 

I was sad as I neared the end of the book because I wanted more. I wanted to keep reading about Cassia's situation and story, I wanted to know what would happen next. Flipping the last page left me super disappointed because I enjoyed this book so much! I can't wait to get my hands on the next one, and I hope it's just as amazing as the first book in this series.

I recommend this book to those who like their dystopian reads with some romance! If you also like reading about people starting to rebel against their situation, this would be a perfect read for you. 

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Friday 56

This week I've decided to participate in The Friday 56 because I haven't for a long time!

This is hosted at Freda's Voice

Grab a book
Turn to page 56 or 56% if it's an eBook
Find a sentence or a few, and post them!
(Full rules with original phrasing found on the blog linked above)

I'm currently reading Summer by Jeff Mariotte, though it's in omnibus form, and the volume itself is called Dark Vengeance 


 Page 56:

"He started by flashing his friendly grin, but Kerry was having none of that. "I know what I'm about to tell you will sound ridiculous to you," he began. "Unbelievable, even. But I swear to you, it's true."

What's on page 56 or 56% of the book that you're reading? 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


 Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Page Count: 352
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Quirk
  4 Stars ★★★★

Jacob's grandfather has always told him stories about the people in the strange photographs he owns, and after a while, Jacob realizes that these stories are only fairy tales and that his grandfather's condition may be getting worse. One day, he gets a panicked call and later finds his grandfather dead, after seeing a horrifying creature that his friend claims wasn't there. He and his therapist come to the conclusion that the creature isn't real, that Jacob is just dealing with a lot of stress, and that it would be a good idea to go to the island where his grandfather sought refuge in the war. 

He travels with his father, hoping to find out more about his grandfather's past. When he comes across a ruined house and a small, rather unlikable village, he soon learns that things are not as they seem, and that the strange people in his grandfather's photographs may still be alive after all these years. 

I couldn't resist buying this book when I found it at the thrift shop. With the film coming out and seemingly everybody talking about it, I had to know if it lived up to the hype. I can't say that I share the same enthusiasm as many fans of the series, but it was very enjoyable, to say the least. 

This book didn't blow me away, it didn't amaze me and it didn't seem entirely original. However, the mix of time travel, supernatural or paranormal powers and some sort of evil monster coming after the characters made this book an intriguing read. 

There were several smaller twists throughout the book, however my favourite one took place near the end and I definitely did not see it coming! Those are my favourite kind of twists, and I was very satisfied with it.  

However, I feel that the pacing of the events was a bit uneven and disappointing. The start of the book seemed to fly by very quickly, then the middle dragged on for a bit, and finally the ending flew by just as the start had. It took me quite a while to get through the middle portion, and at times I felt bored. 

I honestly think that the best part of this book is the photographs. They're weird and creepy! They added a lot to the story, and I liked how they were integrated into the book and writing itself. They weren't just random photos, they tied into the story. I spent a lot of time looking them over, sometimes wondering if clues were hidden within the photos. I wish there had been more photos!

While this book was enjoyable, I don't think that it lived up to the hype. I liked the story and the pictures were a fun addition, but I'm not sure if I will read the sequel. 

I recommend this to those who like time travel stories and YA books with creatures and people with strange powers. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Scene in a Book

Yes, I know I am technically posting this on Saturday, but I got home late from work and I really wanted to take part in this meme this week! 


This meme is hosted at The Butterfly Reader and Blue Eye Books

This week's topic is best/worst scene in a book

Worst scene


 The scene where Edward leaves Bella at the beginning of New Moon completely pissed me off! It also made me really sad. I had to put the book down for a few weeks, I was so upset, haha. 

Best scene


So technically I think that all of the scenes in this series are the best scenes, but I really liked the scene where Valkyrie sees that Skulduggery is a skeleton for the first time. I actually think it's kind of funny!

What are your favourite or least favourite scenes in a book?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Switch by Douglas Davey


  Series: N/A
Author: Douglas Davey
Page Count: 252
Published: October 24th, 2014
Publisher: Red Deer Press
  5 Stars ★★★★★

Things change for Sheldon on the day that he finds himself undeniably attracted to another guy. While he's definitely attracted to his girlfriend, Jenny, he can't ignore what he's been feeling and struggling with, and he fears that he might be gay. After some research, he discovers the word bisexual, and decides that it fits him much better than either gay or straight.

When he decides to come out, things don't exactly go as planned. Instead of the calm acceptance he expected, his girlfriend freaks out, he becomes distanced from his friends and his peers start to bully and threaten him. He's afraid for his well being, and even for his life. When he finds a group of classmates who are similar to him, he doesn't feel so alone anymore. But will things work out for him? 

I don't even know how to describe how much I loved this book. I got super excited to find a book featuring a bisexual person, a bisexual boy at that, because bisexuals, and in my opinion especially bisexual guys, are often underrepresented in fiction. Not only is he bi, but the author actually explicitly uses the word bisexual! I was super happy to find a book that didn't dance around with the words 'gay' and 'straight' and surpass bi altogether, as many books I've read often do.

Anyhow, aside from my excitement over representation and all that, the story itself was amazing. It seems like an ordinary story, a contemporary young adult novel describing coming out, bullying, and finding a community. But to me, it wasn't. This book discussed the actual things that LGBTQ people deal with, sometimes on a regular basis, and it did so honestly and with a unique and likeable voice. It dealt with the emotional turmoil that Sheldon, the main character, was feeling, and included themes of self harm and biphobia, which were both heartbreaking and breathtaking in their portrayals. I love how the author wasn't afraid to include biphobia from other members of the LGBTQ community, which is so often glazed over, and that while Sheldon dealt with self harm, it wasn't over-dramatized or exaggerated, but incredibly realistic. I mean, I actually cried. And I was in public too! I think that sums up how emotional this book was for me, personally. 

Something that really stuck with me was the idea that anyone could be like Sheldon - struggling with who they are, afraid of what their future holds, dealing with rejection. The book also included footnotes on many pages, with Sheldon as an older adult giving commentary on his life situation after coming out. That also added to this idea of anyone possibly dealing with what Sheldon dealt with, because it was kind of like a reminder that there are older LGBTQ people who have lived through a much less tolerant time. For example, the author says, in the interview at the end of the book, that this was set in 1988. While it seems like only a short time since then, lots has changed, and to have a look at what things were like back then was eye-opening, and I appreciated having a historical setting.

Unfortunately there were a few negative things, such as some typos, but nothing major. I was happy to see pansexuality mentioned, however the footnote defining it made it seem like pansexuals are attracted to absolutely everyone, which I'm guessing was not the author's intention, but rather a strange wording or misinterpretation of the wording itself. The majority of my thoughts on this book, however, are incredibly positive, as you can see. 

I most definitely recommend this! If you're interested in LGBTQ narratives that take place in the past, this would be a great pick. For those looking for books about bisexuals, coming out, and bullying, this is the perfect book.