Title: A Thousand Pieces Of You (Firebird #1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November, 2014 by Harper Teen
Pages: 368
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Blogger’s Note: I haven’t been doing nothing this past month, I’ve just been reading a fair bit of manga—Nana and Highschool of The Dead. Both were great, but really could have used proper endings. I NEED MORE!!

Final Thoughts:
The first chapter drew me in immediately—something you always want to find. With its promise of revenge, world-jumping through parallel dimensions and science-y (but not over the top) explanations, I was in. I loved the idea that their physical bodies didn’t actually pass between the worlds, but rather their consciousness did, taking over the host body of their other self in whatever world they landed in (therefore, prohibiting from entering worlds they’ve never been born into, or had died in). It was great world-building in my opinion. Still, that didn’t stop the romantic fails from bringing it down. I loved a lot about the book, but the romance—just, no.

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Title: Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance
Author: Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin
Published: February, 2011 by Walker Childrens
Pages: 240
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Fans of romance don’t need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers-known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it’s their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can’t stand to be in the same room. Still, it’s a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It’s not until they’re far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there’s more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile.

Final Thoughts:
Well, this was different. Entering the lives of two tween stars hounded by the paparazzi and under the restraint of their family-friendly contracts, this little book gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to be a celebrity at such a young age and the pressures that come along with that. I wouldn’t call it a perfect read, but I did manage to get through it fairly quick. Still, I found that my enjoyment dipped in the second half, losing a lot of the spark that the two leads had in their earlier scenes.

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Title: The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Published: October, 2009 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 371
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

Final Thoughts:
After loving the movie, I thought I would give the book a go and pick up on all of the extra details that the movie left out. Unfortunately, I found that the pages just seemed to drag for most of the first half. We spent quite a bit of time with Thomas getting to know characters and the dynamics of the Glade, but the Maze barely seemed to come in to it. The movie paced things a lot better in that regard. Still, once we got out into the Maze, things quickly picked up, leaving me rushing towards the finish.

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Title: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: April, 2008 by Razorbill
Thanks: Penguin, AU
Pages: 327
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose has serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor, Dimitri, has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian.

Then a nearby Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir’s on high alert, and the Academy whisks its students away on a mandatory holiday ski trip. But the glittering winter landscape and posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose – and her heart – are in more danger than she ever could have imagined…

Final Thoughts:
Not a lot was achieved throughout this instalment. It felt more like a side story on the way to something bigger. For the most part, I felt like I was waiting for the plot to happen. There’s a fair bit packed into the last quarter of the book, and when it got going, it was good, but in leading up, I thought we spent far too much time with Rose worrying about where her non-relationship with Dimitri was going. Where was all of the Lissa/Rose bond stuff (or more importantly—their friendship) that was introduced in book one?

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Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May, 2012 by HarperCollins
Pages: 525
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable – and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Final Thoughts:
I put off seeing this one at the cinema in favour of getting to the book first. Without having seen the movie yet, it’s hard to know whether or not that was the right decision. The book didn’t hook me. I enjoyed it, but found it lacking in some way from the magic of Divergent. This happens so often: I love the first book, but then things just go downhill from there. Tris became harder to root for, and Four/Tobias (whichever he’s being called), he displayed a shift in personality that I wasn’t entirely on board with. They loved each other, they hated each other, they loved each other again, they didn’t trust each other. Love. Hate. Love. Hate. Waaaaayyyy too much of that back and forth romantic nonsense.

While I wasn’t too fussed with the main two characters, those surrounding them actually became a bit more interesting. I found myself coming to like some and despise others. And in getting to know the side characters more, it gave the series a bit more depth and made the deaths that happened more meaningful.

In terms of the action, I felt that much like the romance, it went through crescendo after crescendo, though in this instance, it can be a good thing. It kept a constant build up and ebbing of tension as the book progressed. The only real downfall I felt was that the dystopian plot didn’t get enough coverage. Being the middle book of the series, it still left me in the dark for far too long. Bits and pieces are thrown out there occasionally, and the ending, yes, it did get me intrigued. But, leading up to it, I couldn’t help but wish I could skip some pages because I wasn’t interested enough and wanted to get onto the next book already. Though, knowing me, I’ll probably leave that until the next movie’s out too.


Title: Spark (Elemental #2)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: August, 2012 by Kensington
Pages: 345
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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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.

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Title: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: April, 2012 by Balzer & Bray
Pages: 445
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.

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