SUMMER LOVIN’: Books I’ve Devoured!

Summer Lovin Collection

With Fall approaching (I’m not even sure if it’s already here!), I’ve decided to compile a short list of the books that I feel were stand-out to me in the season of Summer! I’ve read more than three books, mind you, and while I did like a lot of them, I feel like these three were simply engrossing and they are the books I still think about, weeks after reading them. I’ve done a proper review for only one of these so naturally, I won’t yap on and on about that particular book but for the other two, I have yet to write reviews so I’m going to treat this post like a collection of mini FIVE-STARRED reviews 😉

1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent Cover

Blurb provided by GoodreadsOne choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

MINI REVIEW

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Fun, fun, fun. This book was an absolute blast, and I cannot for the life of me understand why it’s the least favourite of so many people?! This was the best instalment in the trilogy, in my opinion. It had so many conspiracies, new characters and twists and turns and it was just so enjoyable to see Tris transform into someone I never thought she would. Granted, her actions and mentality were a little annoying because of what happened in Divergent but I thought they were warranted for and it created a more vulnerable side to Tris.

Another reason why I thought this book was infinitely better than the first and third was the constant appearances of Uriah. Yes, Uriah. I. Love. Uriah. I think I even love him more than Four? Described as the devilishly handsome jokester, he lightens the scene with his easy humour and grin. How could you not love Uriah, right? To sum it up, this was definitely a blast to read as it kept me up late at night and was definitely the strongest in the only trilogy I read this summer! 🙂

2. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road Cover

Blurb provided by Goodreads: Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

MINI REVIEW

I’ve been saving this book for years. And when I say ‘saving’, I mean I bought it several years ago and kept it on my shelf, hoping for that one special day where I felt ready to crack it open. I know, I’m making reading sound like some kind of invigorating religious experience BUT I KID YOU NOT, this book was a very big deal to me because 1) I have never read a single bad review of this book and 2) I loved loved loved Melina Marchetta’s previous book, ‘Saving Francesca’.

To get straight to the point: I loved this book. This was grief, loss, love and friendship done right. It was realistic, heartbreaking and raw. A story within a story; I was so, so, so engrossed with the tale of Taylor Markham and her Jellicoe school friends and their intriguing “turf war” games with the Cadets and Townies, intertwined with the mystery and history of the five friends twenty years ago who shaped the dynamics between these friends and Taylor’s broken family life.

This book touched me to the point where 30% in, I promised myself I would re-read it again before the year ended because even though I flew through this masterpiece, I know there is more to absorb and savour. Having re-read ‘Saving Francesca’ a couple of times, I know I won’t have trouble re-reading Jellicoe Road as Marchetta writes beautiful prose. This book definitely made my Top 5 favourite books of all time.

3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You Cover

Blurb provided by GoodreadsLou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

MINI REVIEW

I’m going to try and write this mini-review/gushy commentary without crying. This was the last book I finished and I swear to God, I spent so many hours upon finishing it, just thinking about everything that had happened. I was a Jojo Moyes virgin, and now I am not. And my God, reading her book was a magical experience. This was my first chick-lit in a while and I’ve only ever been exposed to Sophie Kinsella and the odd Cecelia Ahern. I didn’t realise how much I missed reading from a perspective of an adult since starting this book.

It’s about a 26 year old girl, Lou Clark, who is pretty much going nowhere. Sounds harsh, no? But she’s pretty content with what she has–the semi-detached seven year relationship with her boyfriend Patrick and her job in a cafe. Until said cafe closes down and Lou is out of a job and in a scramble to help out with her family. So, she takes a job as a carer to a 35 year old quadriplegic, Will. Will, who is so incredible infuriating, and thoughtful and intriguing. I have to say, Will Traynor is one of the most interesting characters I have ever read in my entire life. In this book we explore the beliefs and attitudes of people, people who were comfortable with what they had until what they had was gone. Will has only been a C5/C6 quadriplegic for two years. Before that, he was a rich attorney living in London, with a gorgeous supermodel-like girlfriend and a love for travelling and extreme sports until they day of his accident… Everything changes, obviously. Not only in his environment but something in himself changes and he can’t seem to shake it off.

I’ll just say that I started this book with the knowledge of what was going to happen in the end, but it didn’t stop me from crying and loving everything Jojo Moyes had done. This book is not a conventional romantic love story, heck, I don’t even think it should be described as one! This book is a story about choices and how we see ourselves and how we have the power to choose what defines us. This book will remain with me for a very, very long time.

 

And so, that was a cluster of mini reviews on the books that I’ve enjoyed the most this summer! I’m not sure if this will be a seasonal thing, seeing as it’s summer all year round where I live but, hey! Who knows right? School has just started and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things–studying, reading, reviewing and more 😉

Advertisements

Blog Tour: Tortured Souls (#1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Torturedsoulstourbanner

Star Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Published on/by:
 June 29th 2014 by Sea Dragon Press (first published June 28th 2014)
Format: eBook
Page Count: 227 pages
Blurb: 

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn’t an option.

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it’s ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can’t keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie’s longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he’s never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can’t ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

Amazon * Goodreads

NON-SPOILERY MINI REVIEW:

What do you get when you have a sweet, relatable main protagonist with insane spirit powers, a kind and swoon-worthy love interest and a weirdo serial killer? You get oodles of fun, that’s what. This book was extremely enjoyable with comical secondary characters and plenty of spooky spirit encounters to keep you on your toes. I really loved the interactions and the fact that the characters were not perfect and had flaws too. The pacing of this book was great and I found myself speeding through the pages which I feel is essential in a good book. While I enjoyed the banter and the pacing, I do have to say that I wasn’t too keen on the development of the romance, mainly because it was a pre-existing crush and so we didn’t get a lot of build-up and explanation about their attraction with each other in the beginning. Overall, it was really fun and I’ll definitely pick up Book 2 of ‘The Orion Circle’ series!

GET THE TORTURED SOUL EXPERIENCE IN A PLAYLIST!

I’ve been listening to this playlist while reading the book and I can say with certainty that I’m pretty impressed that each of these songs fit SO WELL with the story.

  1. Iridescent by Linkin Park
  2. Without You from Rent
  3. When I See You Smile by Bad English
  4. Whisper by Evanescence
  5. Criticize by Adelita’s Way
  6. Through Glass by Stone Sour
  7. Silent Lucidity by Queensryche
  8. Home by Daughtry
  9. Heaven nor Hell by Volbeat
  10. Die Trying by Art of Dying
  11. I’ll Follow You by Shinedown
  12. Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold
  13. Enter Sandman by Metallica
  14. Hero by Skillet

Check out the playlist on spotify!

GIVEAWAY!
$25 Amazon Gift Card
1 Signed Print Copy – US Only
5 sets of signed bookmarks – US only
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: A copy of Tortured Souls was given to me by the author for an honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Insurgent (#2) by Veronica Roth

Book review image photo (5)

Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: BETTER THAN THE FIRST + CAN I MARRY URIAH?
Published on/by: May 1st 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books (International First Edition)
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 529 pages
Synopsis provided by Goodreads: Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

NON-SPOILERY/GUSHY REVIEW:

I don’t even know why I’m writing a review on a book I read about two weeks ago. But then again, I don’t know why I’m writing a review on a book EVERYONE and their grandparents have read. But alas, I kinda have some things to say and after finishing Allegiant last night…boy, do I have some things to say.

Insurgent was even BETTER than Divergent. It delivered on all the emotional goods and really broadened the Divergent world as well as provide for great developments between friendships, romantic relationships as well as family dynamics. There were twists and turns, shocking revelations as well as conflicts. Lots and lots of juicy conflicts. I devoured this book in a matter of two days, which goes to show you how much I loved it. 

I wasn’t apprehensive starting this, despite all the reviews expressing disappointment over this sequel, mostly because of Raeleen from padfootandprongs7, who said in a video once that she had initially hated Insurgent because of the year long gap she had to wait to read it, but after marathoning the series in a recent read-a-thon, her love for it trumped Divergent’s. 

And so, I went into this book with good faith and an anxious heart and was so incredibly happy that I loved this even more than I thought I would! Obviously I cannot say too much, as this is the second book in a trilogy but just…ugh. It was a bittersweet kinda love, honestly, as there were deaths. Deaths of characters I adored. One great thing about Veronica Roth’s story-telling is her ability to not hold back and for that I applaud her and dislike her. 😉 

Definitely a full 5 stars for my favourite instalment in the trilogy!