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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wake by Amanda Hocking Review


Written by: Amanda Hocking
# of pages: 320

Average Rating: 3.71/5
My Rating: 3.5/5

Read in June 2014

Summary according to goodreads

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs.  She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back.  Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever.  She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove.  They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

My Thoughts

This is one of the first books that I have contemplated giving a half a star on the rating. The more I think about it, I feel that it was more than okay, but it won't be on my favourites shelf. I enjoyed the pacing once you get into the story, and I read it in about a 24-hour period. 

For this first 100 pages, I found that the story seemed to drag and that is was almost unnecessary. There was some background given on most of the characters, but most of the content could have been shortened or removed. 

Mermaids aren't usually my point of interest, and I would not recommend someone who hasn't read this genre before to start with this series. I mean nothing against the novel or the series, it just showed a darker side to the "sirens", and it was not what I had been expecting from the novel. 

There is a book trailer for this novel which I will link (click here), and I recommend checking that out if you are skeptical and want more information. The trailer did I good job of representing the story and isn't too misleading. 

I already own the rest of the series and eventually plan on continuing the series, but I was not immediately drawn to picking up the sequel. After the ending of the first novel I am curious as to how it will continue on. I have heard that the series gets better as you go along, so I have high hopes that I will not be disappointed. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Conversion Review


Written by: Katherine Howe
# of pages: 402

My Rating: 5/5

Read in July 2014

Summary according to Goodreads

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .
Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?

My Thoughts

I received a finished copy of this book at Book Expo America 2014.

This novel starts with a prelude, and at first it left me confused, because I went into this book blind, but it eventually all made sense. After only about 15 pages, I was hooked. 

The way this novel was written was very unique, because it almost had two stories in one. Every couple of chapters it would switch in time to the 1700s, and give you a story from a seemingly unrelated event. I enjoyed this way of telling the two stories because the reader does not get an information dump, and instead learns things from the past, as things in the present start happening. I am not someone that is familiar with the Salem Witch Trials, but this novel raised enough points to get me interested in doing more reading about it. This author did a very good job of flowing the story well back and forth between the past and the present - both with the attitudes of the characters, the language, and the surroundings. 

Although this novel is around 400 pages, I can tell you that you get sucked into the story, and you don't even realize how quickly you are turning the pages. This is a novel that you will not want to put down, and it is so fast paced that you won't. While reading this novel I was never quite sure about how it was going to end, although I did have a good idea. I thought I had been accurate in my assumption, but there ended up being a revelation to the story that I did not expect. In the end all of the loose ends were tied up nicely, and it did not feel abrupt. Both stories - those of Ann and Colleen - got the conclusion they needed. 

Overall I really enjoyed this novel as well as the writing style, and am very interested in reading more from this author. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for something suspenseful with historical aspects, of at least a young adult age.