The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – Old Review

The Lovely BonesThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Published: 3rd July 2002
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Mystery
Page Count: 328

Synopsis: The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.
The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.
Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

2 / 5 stars
During my first year of college we had to read and study The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, as this was a book I already owned and wanted to read I was pretty happy about this and even got a head start on reading.

Honestly, I was pretty happy with most of the book, I liked the whole concept of how her heaven was and that she got to watch down on her family and seeing how they (didn’t) cope with her murder. I thought it was a very interesting idea.

Unfortunately the ending left a sour taste in my mouth, which explains the rating. As many of you know Alice Sebold is a rape victim, and actually managed to get justice for her attacker, which you know good for her! I bring this up because Susie (the main character of The Lovely Bones) was raped before her murder and at the end of the book she comes down from heaven, enters Ruth’s body and has sex, more than once, with the boy that Susie was crushing on before her murder.

To me, that is just one bit what the f*ck moment. Ruth doesn’t consent to this – and has no sexual attraction to him nor his gender. What if she got pregnant? Oh hey mum I technically haven’t had sex but I’ve got a kid on the way… How must Ruth feel having her body violated like that? I ugh I just felt so frustrated with this book and actually through it across the room after finishing it.

Please note I read this book in 2011, and wrote a sentence or two review of it on Goodreads, whilst looking back through my reviews of 2011 I decided to improve on this particular review because I still felt very strongly about the ending.

Alice Sebold: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

When purchasing through this link, I will earn a small amount, once I have enough saved up I’ll put it towards a giveaway.

Reviews: The Grimm Diaries Prequels #7 & #8 by Cameron Jace

The Grimm Diaries Prequels by Cameron Jace
Published: 2012 – 2013
Publisher: Cameron Jace

At this current moment in time 10 of The Grimm Diaries Prequels have been published, I have only read up to #8 as my Amazon Prime account ran out and I haven’t yet re-purchased it.  Unfortunately these last two do not have any covers or synopsis’ so this post has already been significantly cut short, plus as they are only short stories so I can’t imagine that I’m going to have a lot to type up.
I can not promise that these reviews will be spoiler free, especially as they’re short stories!
Reviews for books 1 – 3 can be found here.
Reviews for books 4 – 6 can be found here.

Page Count: ??
Read Date: February 4th 2013
Synopsis: N/A.
Review: Okay so a lot about this book is not available, no cover, no page count and no synopsis but I really can’t keep this in my drafts forever. Do not let this deter you. Honestly this was the best of all eight, I feel this book acurately portrays the authors real skill of writing, when judging on writing skill for the others I’d say he was pretty average at best, but in this one he really shone through and you can see he’s been listening to his readers over time. If you haven’t guessed this short story is based on Beauty and the Beast only the gender roles have been flipped, and it is basically the back story to how the Beast as we know it came to be. It’s such a well thought out process and I really liked how the genders were opposites in the beginning.
5 / 5 stars

Page Count: ??
Read Date: February 8th 2013
Synopsis: N/A
Review: Another with very little information available but do not let it put you off, remember Jack from the previous short stories, well he’s back and having an adventure with the Moon, well the girl in the moon to be precise. It also gives us the back story to Marmalade the Mermaid that he was ever so in love with in one of the previous stories too. Whilst I enjoyed this book much like the others it did feel like a bit of a filler, and it really irked me that we didn’t get an answer to a problem he faced us with in this prequel – if the moon gets reborn then does that mean there is never a moon ever again? or is there a replacement agency we call? I don’t know it just seemed not as well thought out as some of the others. However I did really like getting to see a softer side to Jack so we realise he’s not just a flat character, there is some filling too him.
3.5 / 5 stars

Sorry for the poor look of this, I can’t really fluff it out :c
I’ve enjoyed the prequels a lot and upset I can’t get to finish them without use of the Amazon Prime Kindle Lending Library, I mean I could buy 7 – 10 but hello book buying ban, and they are only short stories too so I’d rather not.
Hope you’re all having a good Summer.

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

First Published: 1st January 2010
Genre: Young Adult / Horror / Romance
Series: Warm Bodies #1
Page Count: 240

Synopsis: ‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight..

5 / 5 stars

Well… where do I start with this beauty? I feel like I remember every part of this book so clearly, I mean obviously I don’t because I have the worst memory ever but I truly loved every moment I spent reading Warm Bodies.

Which wasn’t very long because I read it all in a day.

Warm Bodies follows R who is dead, a zombie, as he goes about his day to day life. Its basically an internal monologue or diary and its very comical, in a twisted kind of way. I mean he is a zombie after all. Oh and Marion’s writing is so very beautiful, its almost poetical how he goes about some of the descriptions.

One of the aspects that I thought was most interesting was even though they were no longer human, many of them clearly hung onto human aspects of their previous lives, for example we’re shows a zombie wedding, the building of a family, hunting to eat and re-enacting sex, like the main instincts are still there and to me, it all boils down to the different types of hunger we more often than not have as a human – hunger to have someone who we love to spend our lives with, hunger to start and create our own family and hunger for food. I mean sure there is more to life than this but its almost like the zombies have zoned in on these things specifically.

I‘m babbling a little here aren’t I?

Anyway what I am trying to say is that it was really interesting seeing these everyday aspects of our lives to be recreated by zombies, for zombies and from a zombie’s point of view.

Once Julie enters the scene things continued to hold my interest at a pace that held my attention more than any book I’ve read in a long time, we get to see R’s world start to change for the better and the development of the relationship between the two is far from boring. What is also enjoyable is noticing the change and development in R himself as he slowly starts to form and hold onto more and more human notions, whilst being tasked with fighting a war not only with humans that aren’t open to the idea the zombies can come back but also with the elder zombies who do not welcome change.

I could probably go on more and more about this book whilst continuing to praise every aspect from it but I think what I’ve written has done the job and you’ll see I haven’t a negative bone to pick with this at all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t thank my Dad enough for buying it me for Christmas.

Amazon: UK*
Isaac Marion: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

When purchasing through this link, I will earn a small amount, once I have enough saved up I’ll put it towards a giveaway.

Review: Death Dealer by Ashley Robertson + Giveaway

Death Dealer

Death Dealer by Ashley Robertson

Published: July 2013
Publisher: Obsidian Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: A Death Angel Novella (#1)
Page Count: 140

Synopsis: Death: a word Mia Baron was all too familiar with since the murder of her parents when she was a young girl. Her drive for vengeance was the reason she became a Death Dealer—a soul guide through the spirit realm—signing her life away in her own blood. Pain forged a concrete wall around her heart and no one or nothing would ever penetrate it…until she got what she desired most—revenge.
Deacon Gage craves justice for his own horrific tragedy that forced him into the same life Mia chose, with the same promise of vengeance dangling just out of reach. His expert training makes him an Elite—one of the few Death Dealers to ever achieve such a status—and no one can shift his focus from the blood he seeks.
But when the two are partnered for yet another job and a heart-shattering case rips open Mia’s heart, Deacon realizes he’s the only one who can save her…at a price that might be too much to pay: opening his heart to her. The clock is ticking and her life hangs on the balance of whether he can truly let go or will hold onto his desire for blood.
3.5 / 5 stars
I have been lucky enough to receive an ecopy of Death Dealer as part of a book tour hosted by IMR Blog Tours,which does in no way reflect my opinion of the book. 
Death Dealer is only 140 pages so like with all novella’s I’ll try not to give too much away. 
What I first noted and loved throughout the whole of the book was the world building, because whilst it’s set on Earth as we know it, the characters spend a lot of their time in the Spirit Realm which is obviously something we have no knowledge of. I love the description for this world, the dangers it held and how spirits reacted to being here.

Also I really loved the whole concept of Death Dealers, they’re regular people like you and I who are approached to become a Death Dealer who after training is allowed to collect the souls of the dead, transport them to the Spirit Realm and guide them to the correct gate – Heaven or Hell – but of course its not always that easy, some spirits aren’t happy with the decision and well there are other dangers in the Spirit Realm.

Demons attack Mia and Deacon at every opportunity in the Spirit Realm and this is great because not only is it interesting to see how the spirits react but also to see them fighting, I love fight scenes especially when the fighter *cough*Deacon*cough* has to prioritise his fighting over checking that someone *cough*Mia*cough* is okay – his internal struggle was lovely.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was some of the “romancy-er” (I know this isn’t a word) scenes were at really awkward times, like you know over the dead body of a murderer. It just felt a little out of place. But seeing their relationship grow – at none awkward times – was great. I just wish characters weren’t as oblivious to their own feelings.

I‘m looking forward to the sequel, now that their relationship has been established there shouldn’t be any of that awkward “why do I feel this way?” and we got a teaser of Blood Promise (A Death Angel Novella #2) at the end of the book which was a nice way to make us eager.

* When purchasing through this link, I will earn a small amount, once I have enough saved up I’ll put it towards a giveaway.

One ecopy of Death Dealer.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio:
Ashley Robertson
Ashley Robertson resides in sunny Orlando, Florida, and loves writing about anything paranormal. She also composes poems and songs, though she learned long ago she doesn’t have a singing voice. When she isn’t writing you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, training in her home gym, travelling and exploring new places, and drinking fine wines and gourmet coffees from her Nespresso machine.Visit her website to learn about her upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at:
2013 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist of the Fantasy genre for her book Unguarded.

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Published: 28th February 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance
Series: Geek Girl #1
Page Count: 378

Synopsis: Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

3 / 5 stars
I received an ecopy of Geek Girl from NetGalley and read it very early on this year, unfortunately as you can see the review hasn’t come until now thanks to college.
Geek Girl is about Harriet Manners who is, well a “geek” and gets the opportunity to spin her life around for what could be the better. 
I say could because before it can become better things definitely take a turn for the worse.
For someone who is a self-proclaimed geek, she doesn’t exactly apply her knowledge to anything that is happening around her and I think this it what bothered me the most.
Basically, Harriet ends up being scouted for a fashion company even though she doesn’t want that kind of life style and it is exactly what her best friend wants out of life. Of course her best friend is going to be upset, and of course Harriet ends up saying yes in hopes to improve her life and put an end to the bullying but in doing so she ends up lying about the whole event to her best friend.
And what do we know about lying? It’s not good. Ever
No matter how organised and planned out the lying is, its not worth it.
I know the girls are only in school and well what can you expect but it just took away a lot of the fun from the story from me because all I could think was “if you were honest, spoke and explained the situation to your friend then honestly she’d be very supportive of what you were doing” but nope. 
*sigh* is it really that difficult to communicate?
As John Green said it one of his vlogs “USE YOUR WORDS” it seriously helps the majority of situations.
So as you can see the characters left me a bit frustrated at times (it didn’t ruin the book luckily) but aside from that it was a fairly enjoyable read, seeing how Harriet ended up solving the whole modelling business and coming clean on live television and proving how she’s not a flat-photoshopped-mannequin but has actual things to say made up for all the nonsense I had to put up with. I also liked the whole relationship aspect with Nick, it was cute. 
I kind of did expect more geek in the book though but it got washed out a little during the fashion-shoot-holiday but I think if there was a flash forward to a few weeks after the television interview at the end, we’d probably see a Harriet who is a lot more comfortable in her own skin.
I would like to point out though that this is definitely a lot closer to the Y in YA and I probably would have enjoyed it more at a younger age, and I’m more than likely to pick up the sequel to see how Harriet handles her new life.

Holly Smale: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
When purchasing through this link, I will earn a small amount, once I have enough saved up I’ll put it towards a giveaway.

Please note: I’m still on holiday – due back today – do you like my new format for reviews?

Reviews: The Grimm Diaries Prequels #4 – #6 by Cameron Jace

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #4)Mary Mary Quite Contrary (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #5)Blood Apples (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #6)
The Grimm Diaries Prequels by Cameron Jace
Published: 2012 – 2013
Publisher: Cameron Jace

At this current moment in time 10 of The Grimm Diaries Prequels have been published, the last four do not yet have covers so I will hold off posting reviews until they do because it does help make the post a lot prettier and I’ll be posting them three at time as they are only short stories so I can’t imagine that I’m going to have a lot to type up.
I can not promise that these reviews will be spoiler free, especially as they’re short stories!
Reviews for books 1 – 3 can be found here.

Page Count: 97
Read Date: January 26th 2013
Synopsis: Little Red Riding Hood’s untold and true story. Why she was wearing a Red hood. Who her Grandma really was. What the wolf actually wanted. Where she fits in the Dreamworld. And what Ladle Rat Rotten Hut means.
Review: Meep, I adored this book so much. It definitely felt like one of the longer ones but it portrays Little Red Riding Hood as Death! Well, its actually her Mum to start with but once she reaches a certain age, Little Red takes over and this story follows her as she learns about what her Mum has been doing each night whilst she’s been scared of Wolves and it also gets tied into Hansel and Gretal too. Ah I loved it, the development and interwining of each of the fairty tales is fun.
4 / 5 stars

Page Count: 31
Read Date: January 28th 2013
Synopsis: The Devil’s take on fairy tales, exposing the origins of some of the most important, yet never explained, elements in the fairy world. Darker things the Brothers Grimm didn’t want you to know about. More hints would just spoil the fun. Let’s just say that at some point in the Dreamworld even the devil was about so sell his soul.
Review: This shorty story if from the point of view of the Devil’s who is very bored with hell and ends up getting his hands on a mirror that can bring out the evil in people, so of course he starts to have some fun with it by pointing it up to Heaven which cause its to break into a million shards as it falls to Earth and enters the hearts and eyes of many, turning them evil. For the majority of this story we follow Elizabeth who has a shard in her eye, over time she becomes more evil and bloodthirsty until she is engulfed in this madness and only finds happiness in killing beautiful young maidens! Pretty disturbing huh? Well it gets worse, she ends up killing one who is her own blood, Mary. Mary is immortal and returns raining hell on not only her Mother but many people and uses mirrors to travel around inflicting pain and sorrow. Obviously the Devil enjoys this but as she gets very unruling and uncontrollable he stops her by trapping her in a mirror – the mirror. So do you see how it all ties up – Mary Mary Quite Contraty nursery rhyme > Bloody Mary ghost story > Mirror Mirror on the wall. I loved it! So cleverly done.
4 / 5 stars

Blood Apples
Page Count: 30
Read Date: January 29th 2013

Synopsis: In this short diary, Prince Charming tells how Snow White was really killed — or was she? — and how he came to meet Rapunzel’s and Jack the Beanstalk. Is it true that he really knows who wrote the original fairy tales and handed them over to the Brothers Grimm? And more importantly, Prince Charming explains why apples are red.
Review: Blood Apples is from Prince Charming’s point of view and with the help of Jack and his mermaid girlfriend Marmalade they rescue Snow White from a tower (Rapunzel’s tower that is), unfortunately things go a miss and the groups get split up. The girls one way and the boys another and when Prince Charming finally meet sup with his Snow White, she is already dead from poison, he kisses her and poisons himself. You see where I’m going with this? Its pretty much Romeo & Juliette only this Juliette (Snow White) is immortal and Romeo ends up alive too. Its a pretty good story but not one of my favourites, as you can probably tell. There are some nice quotes above love though, and the meaning of adage. 

3 / 5 stars

Review: Princess by Courtney Cole

Princess (American Princess, #1)

Princess by Courtney Cole
Published: May 17th 2011
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance
Page Count: 178
Synopsis: Money can’t buy happiness… even in a world that begins with a Tiffany teething ring.
Sydney Ross has it made. As the 17-year old daughter of Illinois senator Randall Ross and socialite Jillian Ross, Sydney was born with perfect teeth and a killer trust-fund. Everything about her life is idyllic…the life of a princess. The Ross’ are richer than God and twice as beautiful, the picture-perfect All-American Family.
Except that it is all a lie.
After a positive pregnancy test, Sydney’s life unravels in the space of just one breath. Life as she knows it is over and survival itself begins to look questionable as life and death literally hang in the balance with each sordid twist that she is dealt.
After the shocking climax, Sydney is brought to her knees with one seething question: Who in the world can she trust when no one is who they seem to be?
Caution: This book is not set in a Mayberry kind of world nor is it a simple book about teen pregnancy. Princess is somewhat twisted and edgy. You might need to fan yourself during some parts and a box of tissues during others. It contains love, suspense, heartache and loss. Oh- and some adult themes and language, too.
4 / 5 stars
I won a copy of Princess a while back, and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I do not think I have read such a short book that took me on such a roller coaster ride, and boy it didn’t have a dull moment. As you can see it’s provided with a caution note on the synopsis, which I read that before reading the book and honestly I still didn’t expect anything which it threw at me. 
Princess really isn’t your usual teen pregnancy book, in fact it isn’t any kind of usual, I’d even go as far to say that some – if not the majority of the second half – of the book can be defined as f*cked up. Though certainly not the kind where you’re left disappointed or annoyed; its exciting, fast paced and surprising too. The reason I didn’t give this a full five stars was because I did feel some elements were over the top, or unbelievable but once you suspend your belief, which to be honest I’m sure a lot of us do whilst reading, it really doesn’t effect the story.
Sydney is from a wealthy and neglecting family, her mother only cares about what she is eating – got to maintain that slimming image for the world – and her father is far too busy being a senator to get much of a mention towards the start of the book. However, once she gets pregnant it all changes, both her parents engulf her but not with care, instead with well …threats I guess? Basically she can’t stay pregnant, and has to get an abortion to maintain their perfect family image. Even her boyfriend and his family are backing her parents decision but Sydney is having none of it and after a final push and shove from her mother she is out with a small amount of clothes that may be suitable for pregnancy, all funding cancelled or withheld from her apart from the small change in her purse, and driving to see her distant cousin she’s never met and only spoke to briefly on the phone. So much for maintaining their perfect family image huh?
Stephen, her distant cousin, lives in a rough area of town and doesn’t have much of an income but he takes her in a provides a roof over her head and she starts to work. The story then flashes forward to a point when Sydney is heavily pregnant – pretty sure she is still working at this point because from what I recall there is a mention how she gets tips because people empathise towards her for being pregnant and working on her feet all day – and her relationship with Stephen has grown. I know what you’re thinking, this still sounds like a pretty normal teen pregnancy storyline but this is where things get a kick, or should I say crash? into wacky. I’ll try and sum up these main points of the story a little shorter and not give too much away.
First up, Sydney is in a hit and run “accident” and looses her child, her parents “get rid” of the dead child before Sydney even wakes up from the accident and Stephen is there holding her hand and caring for her every step of the way. Sydney receives a few odd text messages / calls from various people for various reasons that add to the plots roller coaster, she’s stalked by the car that hit her and eventually taken captive, with the young boy who lives next door and tried to save her. We find out who her kidnapper is, who the “genius” behind the whole she-bang is and for what reasons too. I’m not going to expand on this further because like I said it surprised me and not many books do that because my brain simply does not turn off, but this book succeeded and I think that’s because of how quickly (don’t forget its only 178 pages) it turns left and right and loop-de-loops.
Oh I should probably note that my mention of Stephen and Sydney’s relationship growing is important because they do eventually become an item (this isn’t a spoiler, its obvious from their first meeting) and yes they are distant cousins, I’ve read a few reviews where this has been a major no-no for that reader and whilst for me that would be a major no-no in real life (and this is just a story, trust me you wouldn’t want any of this to be real!), it just doesn’t seem wrong for this story, you read it and it makes sense. He’s the first person to love her for truly her and not for who she is supposed to be or for what family she comes from. Its kinda cute.
Courtney Cole: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
* When purchasing through this link, I will earn a small amount, once I have enough saved up I’ll put it towards a giveaway.