Jan
22

Title: Secret (Elemental #4)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: January, 2014 by Kensington
Pages: 328
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

Final Thoughts:
This series has me hooked. I’m dreading finishing it off, but I can’t wait to start Sacrifice. There’s just something about these characters and the way they interact that gets you so invested. I know I bitched about book two not advancing the plot, but I’ve changed my tune. When I realised the Elemental stuff wasn’t making much of an appearance again this time, I had already become engrossed in the characters that I didn’t care. So much happens with them in these three hundred or so pages that I can see how a paranormal plot heavy book could have torn away from all of the great revelations and personal growth that came through in this book.

Jan
17

Title: Spirit (Elemental #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: May, 2013 by Kensington
Pages: 301
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Final Thoughts:
Any doubts I had about this series are gone. Hunter hooked me right back in, and he wasn’t even one of the brothers. His perspective wasn’t one that I expected to enjoy, him being one of the characters I didn’t particularly enjoy in Spark. I guess I just didn’t know him well enough. He was easily more likeable than Gabriel, leading me to fly through this book picking it up at every chance I got. I think a main drawcard was the addition of Kate. She wasn’t the standard, plain-Jane love interest. She was an assassin. When I read that, I knew this book was going to be different.

Jan
12

Title: The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: September, 2014 by Penguin Books
Pages: 300
My Rating: ★★★★½ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Cassie Sullivan and her companions lived through the Other’s four waves of destruction. Now, with the human race nearly exterminated and the 5th Wave rolling across the landscape, they face a choice: brace for winter and hope for Evan Walker’s return, or set out in search of other survivors before the enemy closes in. Because the next attack is more than possible – it’s inevitable.

No one can anticipate the depths to which the Others will sink – nor the heights to which humanity will rise . . .

Final Thoughts:
It’s safe for me to say this was one of the best, most intense books I read last year. I feel bad for not writing this review sooner, but I read it while on holiday and by the time I got back to my laptop I was halfway through The Bell Jar, and writing the review just disappeared completely from my silly brain’s agenda. Brett has told me that all YA trilogies have the essential “Empire Strikes Back” midpoint with tonnes of plot-twists to keep the reader enthralled and get them geared up for the finale. The Infinite Sea is such a fantastic sequel to The 5th Wave because it takes this E.S.B. formula and kicks you in the bloody balls with it. Bullseye!

Jan
05

Title: Spark (Elemental #2)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: August, 2012 by Kensington
Pages: 345
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…

Final Thoughts:
Gabriel Merrick is one angsty guy. There were times where I was grunting in frustration at some of things he was doing. He didn’t seem to like being isolated from his brothers yet his short temper would get the better of him and he’d do more and more to wedge the distance between them wider. There was very little time spent with the other Merrick boys because of this. Most of it came down to his lust for fire…and the girl in his Math class, Layne. Bickering, romance, fist-fights and self-doubt ensued. While it took me a while, say a hundred pages, to get back into the story, once I did, I found it a heap of fun. The Elementals is a series I’ll certainly be continuing. I’ve got Spirit sitting in front of me right now.

Dec
09

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: February, 2013 by Orion
Pages: 325
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Final Thoughts:
I left this one until last, the first chapter not exactly drawing me in a few months ago compared to that of Attachments and Landline. Since finishing those, I’ve had my paperback staring at me, telling me to hurry up before Rainbow has another book squashed in on my wobbly shelves beside it. Now, after closing the last page on Eleanor & Park, I couldn’t see why I’d put this one off for so long. Even though I’ve thoroughly loved all of her books, something about this one just sparked something in me that made me want to read and read and read.

Nov
27

Title: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: April, 2012 by Balzer & Bray
Pages: 445
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

pSixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle’s mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died… and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth’s destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

Final Thoughts:
Coming off the back of a not-so-riveting read, I jumped right into this and got hooked. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line things soured a bit for me and all of the promise I had seen in the earlier chapters started to fade away. Plus, certain things irritated me like the instaluv, and main character, Janelle’s constant use of the saying ‘because I’m like that’. Yes, I got that she was like that, but I got to a point where enough was enough and I just couldn’t go on agreeing with her blindly simply because she was the main character.

Nov
24

Title: Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Published: February, 2013 by HarperTeen
Pages: 352
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Final Thoughts:
I have wanted to read this one for a while now. I’m a fan of time travel and stories with alternate timelines so I thought this would be just the thing for me. While it may not have lived up to the self-imposed hype I’d given it, Pivot Point was still enjoyable in its own contemporary romance kind of way. It has a mystery and a bit of suspense, but for the most part, it plays out very much like a lot of other YA romances. I guess the real point of difference comes from the fact that there were two stories running parallel to each other that we switched back and forth between every second chapter.