Tuesday, 26 August 2014

We Were Liars review

WARNING: Contains spoilers, though they are clearly marked.
We Were Liars is one of those books that is really blown up in the book community as of late. It's surrounded by so much hype, that I thought I'd buy into it all and buy it quickly, before the book lost its appeal and buzz.

Now, when people were recommending this book, they all said to go in without really reading anything into what the book was actually about, this way, you got to experience everything yourself.
Now for me, that was a hard thing to do. Deciding on whether or not you're going to enjoy a book by only the few mysterious sentences on the back cover, which read(on my copy anyway):

'We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.
A tale of love and romance. A tale of tragedy.
Which are lies?
Which is truth?
You decided.'

Soooo, like I said, that isn't much to go on at all, but I still ordered it, and then waited - impatiently - for the book yo arrive so that I could immediately start reading it.
So here are my actual thoughts....

First off , I want to comment on how beautiful the writing is in this book. It's completely flawless. Every sentence had me longing for the next one. The metaphors were sometimes so long winded that for a second, you would think these things were really happening, and I loved that. I grew accustomed to them and grew excited every time I read them.

We Were Liars is indeed a book you should go into without much knowledge of.
It's split into five 'parts' and I think that works perfectly for this book.

It's quite a short book, at just over 200 pages, so I found myself flying through it.
But it doesn't quite seem like 200 pages, it feels more like double that, like you really know that time has passed during the book. It is paced to perfection, and the main setting, on a private island is quite magical.
How this whole family comes together in this one single place every year.

It's a somewhat dark story, yet not exactly.
It's a journey of self discovery with an underlining theme of dealing with the consequences of actions.

The one thing that mostly grated on my nerves was the use of the term 'Lairs' to describe the main foursome. The term is never explained or expanded on.
I want to know how the nickname came into play.

If you've read this book, you know its ending.
I genuinely had no idea the story would end the way it did.
I had convinced myself that Cady's 'accident' had something to do with Gat, like he'd accidentally pushed her, or even attacked her.
It wasn't until the beginning of Part 4, titled; The Fire. That I began to question my previous theories.
What do you think happened to the 'Liars'.
Were they ghosts? Inhabiting Cuddledown because they had always said the place was haunted.
Or were they merely hallucinations on Cadence's part, a way for her to deal with a tremendous loss that she wasn't quite willing to face yet, that her consciousness was trying to give her hints on. 
Either way, it was a pretty cool twist ending.
I couldn't help flicking back through to reread certain passages, to see if there were clues there all along that I had missed.
This books really does keep you guessing until the very last moment.

I love that part right at the very end.
'"I love you, Cady," she says.
She says it all the time since I got sick, but only now do I see that what Mummy means is,
I love you in spite of my grief. Even though you are crazy.
I love you in spite of what I suspect you have done."

Though quite freely admit that this book is a riveting read, I felt it didn't quite engage me the way I hoped it would.
I wasn't truly invested in the 'Lairs' as characters, and I didn't much care for the rest of the Sinclair family wither, but I was intrigued by their stories. My whole attention was focused solely on Cadence. Which is a name I love by the way.

Overall, though I didn't dislike this book, I feel like I can only give this book 3.5 stars.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Night School: Legacy, C.J Daugherty review

The second book in the super suspenseful Night School series.
If you've read my review on the first book in the series, you'll know that I gave that five stars, and I have to say, I'm thinking of giving this book the same rating.

This book has everything I could ask for. Suspense, love, banter, witty dialogue, and flowing writing.
At the end of Night School, we learn that Allie is to be conducted into 'Night School' - the top secret organization that pretty much rules the world.
I was so excited to see what 'Night School' was all about, and how Allie would fit into all of that.

Night school as a series suffers from the ever present 'love triangle' plot point that seems to be a part of every series these days. Nowadays, I've come to loath them, and yet.. with Night School: Legacy, I don't feel that way at all.
I am genuinely torn between Carter West and Slyvain Carrel.
Carter is fiercely protective and loyal, and Sylvain is smooth and smoldering. I felt like I was going to get whiplash with the amount of times I keep changing who I though Allie should be with.
And without giving anything away, I'm quite favorable to who she's with right now.

The second to last chapter, I could envision so strongly.
Allie dragging her wounded self along the snowy road. It was so epic!

I love what the side characters like Zoe and Katie brought.
Zoe with her bluntness and Katie with her manipulative skills.
Also I just wanted to hug Nicole, she seemed so sweet.

Talking of characters, we get a slightly bigger look at the enigmatic Christopher Sheridan.
I couldn't help but want to believe me, I really want him to be a good guy.

Allie is changing into an incredibly strong character, and with what nearly happened to her at the end of this book, I'm literally chomping at the bit to start the third one Fracture.
I can't wait to be back with Allie and following her through the tough experiences of both Cimmieria Academy and Night School.

So yeah, five stars again it is from me.
I love this series!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Night School, C.J Daugherty review

Unfortunately, I'm not writing this review as a new reader. I've read this book twice before, and loved it!
That means that though I'm writing what I think about it now, I'm in no way sure of what my original thoughts and reactions were to this book.
It's a little difficult to judge plot and things because I already knew what was coming. Hey Ho, let me give it a go.

Night School is one of those books that seemed to sneak up on me.
I'll be honest and say I mostly brought it because of the beautiful cover.

I really did fall in love with this book though.
Within the first opening sentences I was hooked on Allie.
I love badass heroines, not like the usual YA save the world badass heroines, but the ones that are actually 'trouble'. I love those sort of characters!
Allie Sheridan has very easily climbed her way into the top ranks of my favourite female leads. She's brave and strong, yet empathetic and a loyal friend.
I think C.J Daugherty has created a very real girl, that I would certainly aspire to be like.
I love her small quirks, the way she counts things. It's so original and cool.

After finishing this book, I became a little obsessed, you know, in that book related way. I trolled through C.J's website, and she actually has an 'Extras' sections that has short little stories that are set before, after, and inbetween the next books. She also has reverse POV's of certain scenes, and that stuff just makes me love a book that much more.

The setting of this book is amazing. I can imagine the whole of Cimmeria Academy perfectly!
I love the idea of 'Night School' being this huge secret organization, and I can't wait to read more about it in the next book.
I love that we're finding out more about Cimmeria, Night School, and Allie's place in all of this at the same time that Allie is.

Love triangles have become the overused norm in YA novels these days, and the second I spot them, I let out a huge disappointing sigh.
This book is no different, and yet, I feel like this one actually works to this books advantage.
I love both Carter AND Slyvain.

Allie's brother Christopher is a bit of an enigma in all of this, and yet we get a fleeting glance of him on the bad side, which only raises more questions. I can wait to read more into that side of things.

All the smaller characters were equally well rounded and added more realism to this book.
I love Jo's character, and Rachel's, even Isabelle's.

I do admit that this book also threw me quite a bit.
I already had a preconceived notion of how this book would go.
I thought it was going to be supernatural. 
I kept waiting for something to jump out, a werewolf, a prophecy.. something along them lines. But it never happened.
After reading it for a second time though, I was glad for it.

I can't find fault with the writing at all. I love C.J's writing style, it flows so beautifully and I always end up reading for far later than what I intend to.
The banter in this book is so perfect! Every piece of dialogue feels genuine and real.
As I've said before. I much prefer books that don't shy away from teen swearing. I think this book benefits because of that.

There are so many questions left unanswered, but it's all in a good way.

I honestly can't wait to read Night School: Legacy, to see how Allie does in 'Night School' and how her relationships with Carter and Sylvain both progress.
Undoubtedly, I give this book five stars.

Can I just express how much I love the closing lines of this book!

And actually, if all things go as planned, I'll be going to meet C.J Daugherty in London next week. Fingers crossed!!