Tag Archive | romance

Kisses for Lula – Samantha Mackintosh

Title: Kisses for Lula
Author: Samantha Mackintosh
Published by: Electric Monkey

Publication date: 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery; Romance; Chick Lit
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

7/10

Kisses for Lula

 

Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can’t turn 16 if you’ve never been kissed…

So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelashes? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula’s been jinxed!

And it’s not as if that’s her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady’s handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees…

With only 5 days to go till her birthday, can Lula get the guy, solve the crime and jilt the jinx for good?

 

Although not initially my type of book, I surprisingly enjoyed the drama and mystery surrounding Lula and her family and peers. I found it humorous the amount of drama created by Lula not being kissed by the age of 16 (does this mean I’m jinxed?!?!) but the accompanying side story lines gave this book an added depth which I wasn’t expecting from a romance, chick lit genre of book. I have had very bad experiences with similar books to this one and found them very two-dimensional. This book was definitely the exception! I would definitely recommend it to teens!

Amazon: Buy this book

Blink Once – Cylin Busby

Title: Blink Once
Author: Cylin Busby
Published by: Bloomsbury

Publication date: 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult; Suspense; Mystery; Romance; Medical
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

10/10

Blink Once

 

‘I’m your neighbour, Olivia. Don’t bother trying to talk…Just blink once for yes and twice for no.’

Lying in a hospital bed, unable to move, West meets the girl of his dreams. She is beautiful and mysterious, and she likes him too. But if no one else sees their love, is it real? West has to find the truth, for her sake. Even if she’s never coming back.

 

Oh. My. God. This book was perfection! I absolutely adored it from the first page, West’s quirky and cheeky personality shines through the words and when he meets Olivia and they begin to feel love for each other, it filled my heart with happiness. I almost forgot that both characters were trying to forge a romantic relationship in a hospital setting…which is probably never going to work. The plot twist when West has his surgery though broke my heart and made me feel so much sympathy for him.

I just have no negative words to describe this book, it was that good. Very rarely do I feel so strongly positive towards a book but Blink Once, though fairly short, was a very powerful and moving novel. Once I had finished it, I ached inside wanting to know more about West’s life and he copes without Olivia and copes in his ‘new’ life. I just wish there was a sequel for this book! Highly recommended!

Amazon: Buy this book

Trouble – Non Pratt

Title: Trouble
Author: Non Pratt
Published by: Walker Books

Publication date: 2014
Pages: 381
Genres: Realistic; Romance; Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Loan

5/10

 

Trouble

 

Hannah is smart and funny. She’s also fifteen and pregnant.

Aaron is the new boy at school. He doesn’t want to attract attention.

So why does Aaron offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?

Growing up can be trouble but that’s how you find out what really matters.

 

This book began very slowly and I found myself getting bored with the characters and the storyline as I couldn’t see the point in the plot. However, around the half way mark, it began to pick up pace and I started developing emotional attachments to Hannah and Aaron, although I did feel that it ended all too abruptly with no real conclusion. I do think that Trouble is aimed at the lower end of the Young Adult spectrum though so I would recommend it to readers aged between 12 and 15.

Amazon: Buy this book

Poppet – Mo Hayder

Title: Poppet
Author: Mo Hayder
Published by: Bantam Press

Publication date: 2013
Pages: 378
Genres: Detective; Mystery; Crime; Thriller
Format: Hardback
Source: Library Loan

9/10

 

Poppet

 

The mentally ill patients in Amberly Secure Unit are highly suggestible. A hallucination can spread like a virus. When unexplained power cuts lead to a series of horrifying incidents, fear spreads from the inmates to the staff. Amidst the growing hysteria, AJ, a senior psychiatric nurse, is desperate to protect his charges.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is looking for the corpse of a missing woman. He knows all too well how it feels to fail to find a loved one’s body. When AJ seeks Caffery’s help in investigating the trouble at Amberly, each man must face bitter truth in his own life. Before staring pure evil in the eye.

 

Mo Hayder is one of my favourite authors for a few reasons, the main one being that she has the ability to keep me hooked and identifying with the characters right from the first page. Never once did I find myself bored and the short, snappy chapters meant that the pace was fast, exciting and thrilling. An hour after finishing this book, I can still feel excess adrenaline coursing through my veins.

‘Poppet’ takes you on a rollercoaster ride in the dark, with unexpected twists and turns in the plot which keep you gasping but eager to continue reading. I absolutely adored this book!

Amazon: Buy this book!

Kingdom – Rachel Wollaston

Title: Kingdom
Author: Rachel Wollaston
Published by: Rachel E. Wollaston

Publication date: 2016
Pages: 309
Genres: Fantasy; Romance
Format: E-Book, Kindle
Source: Review Copy

10/10

 

Kingdom

 

Imaginations are just that: imaginations.

Or are they?

Pepper Fairfield is a high spirited young woman with an incredible imagination. When she accepts a job as a nanny at Calthorpe Manor, she finds that she has let herself in for a lot more than she expected. With mysterious disappearing doors, magical colour-changing bunnies and a couple of sassy sylphs, this house is nothing like what she’d anticipated. Is it haunted? Or is it something even more?

 

In a whirlwind of events, Pepper finds herself fighting against impossible odds, not only for her life, but for the safety of humankind. What this land needs is a hero, but how do you convince a hero who’s sure he’s anything but? If one thing is for certain, it’s that, in an existent world of non-existence, anything can happen . . .

 

Wow, is all I can say about this book. When I was offered the chance to review the debut novel of Rachel, I leapt at the chance, enthralled by the captivating synopsis I was provided with. However, when I began this book, I did not realise exactly how much I was going to be taken on a rollercoaster ride. From page 1, I was drawn into the plot and was unable to put the book down for a strong desire to know exactly what was going to happen next.

The characters are very well developed, particularly the characters of Pepper and Therron who are my favourite people in the novel. Pepper is a strong female character who has the perfect mix of selflessness, bravery and sensitivity towards others.

I very rarely give a book 10/10 but I could not fault Kingdom. It alternated between slower sections (which were still interesting) and fast paced action which left me on the edge of my seat, praying for the safety of the characters.

This is a very accomplished first novel and I highly recommend it! I look forward to reading more books by Rachel.

Amazon: Pre-order this book now (release date is 14th July 2016)

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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Looking for Alaska (Green, John)

7/10

Looking for Alaska

 

Synopsis

“’In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla, and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes – fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too.’ Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up – and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and the pain of living and loving unconditionally. Nothing will ever be the same.”

Overview – *Contains spoilers*

Miles’ character begins innocently but exposed to alcohol and cigarettes, he soon finds himself swept up in the fashion of Culver Creek which largely consists of drinking, smoking and playing pranks on the teachers. After Alaska’s death, Miles and Chip seek to find out whether the car accident was that, an accident, or suicide.

Green addresses topics in this book which other authors may steer clear of, such as suicide and boarding schools. My only criticism with this book is that I found Alaska’s death, a) predictable and b) happening too suddenly. One minute she was alive, and the next thing that they know, she is dead. Although I liked the layout of the book, split into two sections – before Alaska’s death and after her death, it did aid the predictability of her passing away acting as a countdown towards the event. As soon as Miles is introduced to Alaska, the reader knows roughly the end event and the character. Despite this, it was still an enjoyable read and I would recommend this to any teenager.

This book is realistically crafted; it follows the story of Miles Halter and his journey to boarding school. There, he meets Chip ‘The Colonel’, Takumi and Alaska Young. Alaska leads him on a wild ride from drinking and smoking to carrying out pranks on the teachers. That seems to be the fashion at Culver Creek and it is no exception when Miles arrives. He gets swept along until an event occurs in the book which changes everything.

Buy this book on Amazon: Looking for Alaska

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