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Man vs Beast – Robert Muchamore

Title: Man Vs. Beast
Author: Robert Muchamore
Published by: Hodder

Publication date: 2006
Pages: 295
Genres: Detective; Mystery; Adventure; Action
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

7/10

 

Man_Versus_Beast

 

Every day thousands of animals die in laboratory experiments. Some say these experiments provide essential scientific knowledge, while others commit acts of extreme violence in order to stop them. James and Lauren Adams are stuck in the middle. They’re CHERUB agents. Trained professionals with one essential advantage: adults never suspect that children are spying on them.

I love all of Robert Muchamore books, but I particularly enjoy those in the CHERUB series; with a perfect blend of adventure, mystery, suspense, action and thriller, this book kept me on the edge of my seat from page one. The characters are well developed and each have their own unique characteristics which make them interesting to follow, however whilst on their mission, the children are able to act professionally whilst still allowing their characters to show through.

Muchamore’s writing is gripping and thrilling, with perfect length chapters to keep you turning the pages, to find out what happens next. A wonderful book for junior readers.

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Amazon: Man vs Beast

Fallen – Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Published by: Corgi

Publication date: 2009
Pages: 452
Genres: Young Adult; Mystery; Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Fallen

8/10

 

Some angels are destined to fall.

Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar… The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can’t shake the feeling that she has … and with him – a boy she doesn’t remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her – or destroy her?

 

To begin with, I thought that this book was going to be one of those vampire, werewolf books where the girl and the ‘bad boy’ fall in love but discover that they are unable to be together for some reason that the author has made up that makes absolutely no sense. But this book was not like that at all! From the very first page, it kept me captivated with the twisting, turning, mysterious storyline which takes the reader on a whirlwind of emotions from love, to fear, to worry, to sadness.

Luce is your stereotypical ‘bad girl’ main character sent against her will to reform school and the love triangle between Luce, Daniel and Cam keeps a constant tense atmosphere throughout the plot. There are many plot twists throughout this book, though I don’t want to give them away. 😛

 

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Amazon: Fallen

Soulmates – Holly Bourne

Title: Soulmates
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2013
Pages: 527
Genres: Romance; Mental Health; Love
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

Soulmates

10/10

 

Soulmates do exist. But not as you think.

Every so often two people are born who are the perfect match for one another. Soulmates. But what if meeting your soulmate is earth-shattering – literally?

 

This is the story of Poppy and Noah; they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Poppy is a sweet, sensible, middle-class girl suffering with anxiety whereas Noah is a rich guitarist, living on his own with depression. It seems that it would be impossible for the two of them to meet considering their completely different lifestyles, however on that one fateful Big Band Night their lives change for ever and they begin a journey to discover a love that could quite literally end the world.

I don’t think it is possible for Holly Bourne to write a book which isn’t earth-shatteringly good! I mean, this book is seriously amazing. It hooked me in right from the beginning introducing a main character who is mind-bogglingly awesome!

At first I was a little confused with the changing plot lines as I didn’t see the relevance of monitoring Poppy and Noah’s love-life, however towards the end I started to realise and boy was it brilliant?!? It very cleverly interweaved together and made complete sense. I loved it. A highly recommended read for young adults.

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Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

10/10

Am I Normal Yet

 

Title: Am I Normal Yet?
Author: Holly Bourne
Published by: Usborne

Publication date: 2015
Pages: 434
Genres: Young Adult; Feminism; Mental Health
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

 

All Evie wants is to be normal. And now that she’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts, there’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends Amber and Lottie know only too well. The trouble is, if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

It takes a lot to knock Divergent off the top spot in my imaginary ‘best books ever’ list, but this book succeeded right from page one. I’ve never read a book that tackles the sensitive topic of Mental Health but this book not only tackled it, but was able to give an insight into the mind of someone with OCD, generalised anxiety disorder and Emetophobia, all of which I suffer with. And let me tell you, this book pretty much described my life from attending College at the age of 16, right down to the obsessive hand washing. It was such a breath of fresh air to finally find a book which deals with these issues and I think that more YA novels should cover Mental Health topics.

Mental Health is one subject that so many books skirt around the edge of because it is not widely understood or recognised…which is part of the problem. I’m just so glad that this book is a thing, that Holly Bourne is a real, actual person who I have so much respect for and I’m so glad for Amber over at the mile long bookshelf for writing her review of this book because if she hadn’t I wouldn’t have read it.

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Amazon: Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)

Allegiant (Divergent, Book #3) – Roth, Veronica

8/10

Allegiant, Veronica Roth

 

Synopsis

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This was the second time I read this book and it was even better than the first time I read it. I really love how Roth has composed the chapters in the last book, alternating between Tris’ and Tobias’ viewpoints to give different perspectives on events that are happening. This gives Tobias the ‘air time’ that he deserves as I felt that he has been overshadowed in the previous two books, by Tris.

One thing I will say, though, is grab those tissues, because this book is filled with deaths of characters that we, as the reader, have grown to love.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, but make sure to read the first two in the series first as you need time to build a relationship with the characters before your heart gets inevitably broken in Allegiant.

If you haven’t read my reviews of the previous two books in the series follow the links below:

Divergent

Insurgent

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Buy this book on Amazon: Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3)

Insurgent (Divergent, Book #2) – Roth, Veronica

7.5/10

insurgent

Synopsis

One choice can transform you – or it can destroy you. Tris Prior’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration; instead it ended with unspeakable horrors. Now unrest surges in the factions around her as conflict between their ideologies grows.

In times of war sides must be chosen and secrets will emerge. Tris has already paid a terrible price for survival and is wracked by haunting guilt. But radical new discoveries and shifting relationships mean that she must fully embrace her Divergence – even though she stands to lose everything…

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

Okay, so after I watched Insurgent in the cinema last year, I sort of forgot how different the book was to the movie. And to be honest, prepare to be shocked, I actually preferred the movie. I just feel that the story is more compact in the film, rather than in this book where the action felt very drawn out and confusing to follow even though I’ve read it before. Tris really irritated me in this book because she came across as a whiny teenager rather than the ‘badass’ character which I described her in the previous book’s review. I agree with a lot of what Tobias says to her regarding pulling herself together. Sure, she went through a lot in the previous book, but the whole point of being Dauntless is she’s meant to be brave and get through tough experiences, not moan about them for the entire of the next 500 + pages.

I would still recommend this book, even though it is nowhere near as good as Divergent; I would recommend reading this book after you’ve watched the film if you haven’t already, because it is likely to make more sense, in terms of the sequence of events.

If you enjoyed this book, make sure to read my reviews of the first and last books in the series:

Divergent

Allegiant

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Amazon: Insurgent (Divergent, Book 2)

Divergent (Divergent, Book #1) – Roth, Veronica

10/10

Divergent

Synopsis

Beatrice Prior is on the brink of a decision that will change her life. In a society divided into factions all are forced to choose where they belong. And the choice Tris makes shocks everyone. Including herself.

Once decisions are made, the new members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. As their experience transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends are – and if the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.

Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those Tris loves… or it might destroy her.

Overview *Contains Spoiler*

I’m not going to lie – this is probably the twentieth time I’ve read Divergent and it never ceases to amaze me how Roth manages to keep me hooked each time I re-read it, even though I know what is going to happen. Each time I read it, though, I discover a little detail that I hadn’t noticed in the previous read-through.

Very rarely do female characters have such a strong personality as Tris does; so often, they fall in love and turn into that stereotypical silly, giggly girl. Tris doesn’t which is what I love about her character. She falls in love with Four but she remains a ‘badass’ female lead, and remains true to herself throughout everything that she is put through. This makes her a role model for so many readers. She goes against the Status Quo when she transfers from Abnegation to Dauntless, she is determined not to be cut from her new faction, she doesn’t try and deny her feelings for Four, but underneath what every girl wants to be she has that vulnerability which makes her so relatable as a main character. I mean who doesn’t want to Dauntless when you’re following Tris as a lead for 480 pages?

Overall, I loved this book and I would highly recommend it to any teenager/young adult as a must-read book. You don’t have to love dystopian books to get something out of Divergent. This is one book, whose movie I loved on equal terms with the actual book.

If you enjoyed this book, read my reviews of the other two books in the series:

Insurgent

Allegiant

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Amazon: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1)

Shattered (Slated, Book #3) – Terry, Teri

5/10

Shattered

Synopsis

When you don’t know who you are how, how can you decide who you want to be? Kyla was Slated: her mind wiped clean by the oppressive Lorder government. When forbidden memories of a violent past began to surface, so did doubts: could she trust those she had come to care for, like Ben? Helped by friends in MIA, she goes undercover, searcher for her past and evading the authorities who want her dead. But the truth Kyla desperately seeks is more shocking than she ever imagined.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

I began this book with high expectations, and you’re probably going to think this book review is going to highly praise the last in the Slated series. However, that is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a torturous read, but considering the other two AMAZING books in the series, this was slightly disappointing.

I felt that the points at which Kyla regained parts of her memory were very ‘convenient’ and predictable. I felt that Terry was trying to push the plot along by having Kyla regain certain memories just so she could eliminate an extra chapter. I definitely didn’t feel that way with the previous two books, because the plot line just…made sense?

I also found it disappointing that, despite Kyla’s previous reluctance to become a part of MIA, she decided in this book to join MIA which meant that she lost some of her independence in my eyes. I like female characters who have a mind of their own, but I just felt that she was pressurised by Aiden and pressurised by the goings on around her.

The fact that Kyla has millions of different names really annoyed me because each character called her by a different one. Her ‘adopted’ mum insisted on calling her Lucie and then changing her mind to calling her Riley which was the name Kyla changed to after she’d been done with IMET. Aiden and Amy/Sandra called her Kyla, Nico called her Rain and Kyla called herself Riley. It was doing my head in by the end of the book. I mean – seriously – how many names do you want to give your main character? If you’re going to do that, at least make the other characters try and comply with the latest name.

All in all, I would say to read this book series: sure I felt that this book let the trilogy down immensely, but the first two more than make up for it.

Slated Review

Fractured Review

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Amazon: Shattered: 3/3 (Slated Trilogy)

An Abundance of Katherines – Green, John

3/10

An Abundance of Katherines

Synopsis

19 Katherines and counting… When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun – but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

When I began this book, I was excited – after all I have loved every other John Green book that I have read and I thought I would love this one. I was wrong. It started off by making me laugh which I took as a positive sign, however very soon I became bored with Colin’s constant whining about how he is not a genius. I also found the mathematical formulas, which I didn’t understand, an unnecessary addition to the plot, particularly as the character creating them apparently ‘hates maths.’

I found the footnotes distracting and although it is not a necessity to read them, I didn’t dare miss them out in case they were going to add any plot twists to the story line. (They didn’t, if you hadn’t guessed).

All in all, I was very disappointed with this book – it didn’t live up to my high expectations of John Green’s books. I wouldn’t waste your time on this book unless you fancy reading pages and pages of mathematical formulas and moaning on the part of the main character.

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Buy this book on Amazon: An Abundance of Katherines < /br>

All the Bright Places (Niven, Jennifer)

8/10

All the Bright Places

 

Synopsis

Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sister’s death. They meet on the ledge of the school bell tower, and so their story begins. It’s only together they can be themselves… But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. How far will Violet go to save the boy she has come to love?

Overview *Contains Spoilers*

This book was beautiful, sad but beautiful. It deals with mental illnesses in a sensitive manner, bringing light upon illnesses that once were scoffed at, or thought to differentiate between a ‘crazy’ person and a normal person. Theodore Finch is an eccentric character with heaps of talent for music and song-writing and I love his character. I found Violet a less interesting and believable character as almost seemed false in what she was feeling. The romance between these two characters was not one hundred percent believable as their reactions to and around each other, felt to me, incorrect.

However, overall I would definitely recommend this book to teens of all ages, even though it deals with adult themes, it is a must-read story!

Buy this book on Amazon:All the Bright Places

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