Title: All These Things I’ve Done.
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 26th March 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 368 pages
Wow I can not imagine living in the world Anya lives in. It’s crazy! It’s like being back in the 40s when food was rationed only it’s set some time in the future (2082) and it’s more extreme! Chocolate and caffeine are illegal for one! I mean, my god, can you imagine?? No chocolate? Whaaaa?! From a chocolate lover’s point of view it just doesn’t bare thinking about! And if you want to be a writer? You need a licence to do so! Oh and sending an email? You need a stamp for that. It’s like the world has gone mad! Actually, with the way our society is today? It wouldn’t surprise me if it headed that way too! That is probably why it’s one of my favourite dystopians; because it’s not too far from the truth and is believable. On top of all that, all Anya would like is for her and her family to be safe and to fall in love and be happy but unfortunately she unwillingly gets sucked into the family business making her life, and love life, more complex meaning she has to choose between love and her family. I felt so bad for her having to make such a decision but the ending of the book gives me hope.
I wasn’t sure about reading this to begin with because Anya is in a family which is part of the mafia so I was expecting it to be a little like The Sopranos or something, and it was but I really, really enjoyed it and, once I got to the end, wanted to read it again right away. Such a well thought out plot with twists here and there to keep you riveted to the very end. I love how she seems to have taken today’s society to a whole new level and put a spin on it. Bring on the sequel, “Because It Is My Blood” which is next on my to-read list.
“Everything that happened this past summer, and every summer before it, has all led up to this. To now. Every year Isabel spends a perfect summer at her family friends’ house. There’s the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach …and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad – who she’s been in love with forever – and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who’s ever really paid her any attention. But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It’s going to be an amazing summer – and one she’ll never forget…”
With the winter closing in on us and the summer leaving us behind, what better way than to snuggle up after a hard day at work/school/college than with a good summer read completely making you forget all about the cold chill in the air, and instead sweeping you away into a hot summer filled with romance and all the joys of first loves. The Summer I Turned Pretty is the perfect choice for this.
This was such a joy to read. It made me sigh dreamily, giving me the warm fuzzies as not only was I sucked into Belly’s story, but it also had me thinking back to *that* summer when I met *that* guy and experienced love for the first time. 🙂 I loved that each time Belly remembers what happens during a previous summer spent at the beach house, we’re taken back there in the next chapter to discover what happens.
There is a quote from the book that I absolutely love and I thought I would share it:
“It was a summer I’d never, ever forget. It was the summer everything began. It was the summer I turned pretty. Because for the first time, I felt it. Pretty, I mean. Every summer up to this one, I believed it’d be different. And that summer, it finally was. I was.”
I could really empathise with her feelings as that’s exactly how I felt, too, during *that* summer.
Not only is this book about romance, but it is also about family coming together, supporting each other when it really matters. There’s a moment in this story when, all of a sudden, things take a turn. You just don’t see it creeping up on you but then you realise there had been signs all along and it all just clicks into place. I can’t wait to read the sequel It’s Not Summer Without You to find out what happens next. Would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a sweet teen romance.
I rate this book 4/5!
To purchase this book from Amazon, click here
Thank you to Penguin for sending us this fab book!
Shift – M.R. Merrick.
“Devastated by the loss of his mother, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.
As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.”
As was the case with Merrick’s debut Exiled, the sequel, Shift is just as darkly exciting and magical with just a drop of romance (which *cough* I’m hoping for more of in book 3 by the way Matthew *cough*. Yes, yes I like me a side of romance with my paranormal). Unlike with a few other books that I’ve read, this certainly wasn’t snail paced. There’s a lot going on to constantly keep your eyes glued and your attention permanently focused on the story. As you turn the first page you’re thrown right in to the middle of a scene ****spoiler alert**** where Rayna is trying to fight against turning in to a werecat so from that moment on you’re immediately gripped, sucked in to the story, not wanting to stop reading until you’ve gotten to the very end (which, if you’re a human, becomes tricky when you have to stop to eat, pee and sleep. Damn not being a modern day sparkly vampire! :p ).
Merrick’s writing just gets better and better and even more un-put-downable as the story unfolds and we learn more and more about each character. I love books that have witty and sarcastic retorts and Shift has plenty of that, of which I think mostly take place between Chase and Rayna or Chase and Vincent 😀 and I have to admit, a couple of times, I kinda found myself wanting to bash Chase and Vincent’s heads together ha ha ha. Chase, Rayna and Willy’s characters progress even more in Shift as does Chase and Rayna’s relationship. Chase is battling with his new found powers, Rayna’s battling with her shifter self and poor old Willy…well let’s just say he goes through some major changes too which totally had me in shock and had my jaw dropping about 3 feet to the floor which brings me back around full circle to say there’s a lot of surprises in store for you when you read Shift, trust me. It’s demon-hunters, shapeshifters, witches, vamps and fairytales all covered in awesome sauce and wrapped in a little red bow. This is a series that all lovers of the paranormal genre should definitely have on their bookshelves/ e-readers.
I rate this book 5/5!
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They’ve overcome the secrets riddled in Patch’s dark past…bridged two irreconcilable worlds…faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust…and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they’ve worked for—and their love—forever.
We at Secret Lives all love Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series and were very privileged to meet her at the Eternal Twilight 6 convention.
Here are 3/4 of Secret Lives (Lauren, Dayna and Steph) with the awesome Becca Fitzpatrick.
She is SO lovely! We are very excited to announce that *drum roll* we have a signed copy of Silence to giveaway! Yup, a SIGNED copy! Sound good? Well all you have to do to enter is post a comment on this blog (a long with your email address so we can contact the winner) saying why you like Patch. You have until the 19th of November to enter. So get those thinking caps on and get entering! We’ll announce the winner on the 20th. If you’re under 16 please ask permission from your parents.
Good luck to you all! We can’t wait to read your entries!
Forgotten Souls – Tiffany King.
Any chance Krista Miller had at a normal teenage life is now gone. Less than a year ago she lived under the radar, avoiding any relationships that would send her emotional sensitivities out of control. Little did she know that her life was destined for something more. Something that will test her very soul.
After facing certain death at the hands of the man responsible for their mysterious past, Krista and her friends learn the truth behind their origins and the purpose for their newly discovered abilities. Now, they must band together to fulfill their inherited, sacred duty. As Guides and Protectors, they must save Mankind’s Forgotten Souls before they are lost forever.
Forgotten Souls is the suspenseful sequel to Meant To Be (Saving Angels series). In Meant To Be, Krista discovers a life she never knew she had along with some very special friends, including her soul-mate, Mark. In Forgotten Souls, Krista and co meet Haniel, an angel who is sent to train them ready for saving forgotten souls and to ultimately defeat *pauses for effect* The Dark Angel.
In Meant To Be I thought of Krista as being quite vulnerable, innocent. Now in Forgotten Souls she has really come in to her own. She is stronger, more confident and since the events of Meant To Be, she seems to have matured beautifully which I think is evident in the writing. The relationship between Mark and Krista has really grown and things get a little steamy through out the book (there are some very funny moments actually that had me in stitches but I’m not a fan of spoilers so I’m not going to tell you what happens. You’ll have to read it for yourself 😛 ) although there are, shall we say, complications ahead. The group get to find out more about their history and what it entails to be a guide or a protector – something I had been dying to hear more about. They also realise that trying to juggle being a teen and a guide/protector is pretty tough. We also get to meet other guides and protectors who all come together to help Krista and the rest of her friends defeat The Dark Angel.
Once again I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster of twists and turns – with the ending being the most shocking of all making me cry for at least the last 10% of the story and had me hoping that in the 3rd and final book, vengeance will be had and a certain soul saved. The second and third time I read this it was almost too painful to turn that first page because I knew what was to come and wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through the heartache again but, well, I guess I like torturing myself ha ha ha. I am aching to read the final installment of the series. I just hope there’s going to be a happy ending.
I rate this book 5/5.
You can buy Forgotten Souls here