BOOK REVIEW :: crewel by gennifer albin

24 November 2012

Title: Crewel
Author: Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Published: October 4th 2012
Pages:  360 
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, 
Summary: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn't interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
-blurb from Goodreads
“Enter a world of secrets and intrigue where a girl with talent will thrive or be destroyed.” 
Adelice is a Spinster.
But only her parents know.
For some it is the life they have always wanted, to have a gift to weave time on an actual loom, but for Adelice, it means being separated from all her loved ones never to see them again.
For her, it is a curse.
Her parents taught her how to evade people’s suspicions on her test day by acting ‘’normal’’ and it worked...but she couldn’t hide it forever...and then they came for her.
*gapes in shock and amazement*
This book literally blew me away.
My expectations were high and when it came I dived straight into it and couldn't untangle myself from the threads binding me into Arras until I had read the last word. 
To be a Spinster is a coveted position but a dangerous one, do what you’re told and you’re set up for life, step out of line and you’ll wish you never existed.
Adelice was the perfect storyteller and I cannot praise enough the way with words that Gennifer Albin has, the way she describes events is spellbinding and really captures the moment, and she created the perfect main character. Adelice was so real. While all the other Spinsters around her were ‘oohing and aaahing’ over cosmetics and wardrobes all she could think about was her family, or rather - lack of. She was stubborn and a bit of a hot head, bold, witty and one heck of a strong, determined girl, but at the same time she is a naive, scared young girl under the hard outer shell she has created for herself and her flawed character made her even more likeable.
Gennifer Albin’s writing style is just amazing. With every sentence a whole new image springs into your head, dazzling and sparkling and you feel as if it is real. Arras felt like a home to me as I read this book, and when you start it, you don’t want to stop.
The ending was amazing. I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book. I like to think I can always predict book endings but this one completely blew my breath away, it was exciting, anticipating, breath taking.
I only really had one criticism – not even that really – it was to do with the love triangle. Yes, I hear you sigh, I did too, but that was before I read the book. To be honest it wasn't actually that bad. The characters were both individually different but I found that I didn't think there was any need for a love- triangle. If Albin had kept both of them in the story, but made only one of them Adelice’s love interest it would have worked fine. Adelice, the plot and the writing were enough to keep me satisfied!
Crewel was everything I had expected: the characters were strong in their own way, the plot was creative and the writing style was spellbinding. With unique, realistic characters, secrets hidden amongst a web of lies, and one talented but scared young girl about to plunge head first into a tangled mess of destruction, revelation and surprises, what’s to stop her whole world being torn into threads before her?
*thanks to Luisa Plaja for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW: What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang

10 November 2012

Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: September 27th 2012
Pages: 576
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery,

How I Live Now meets His Dark Materials in this stunningly written and intensely moving debut.
Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.
Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.
Now meet Eva and Addie.
They don't have to imagine.-via Goodreads

"Who would you give up to stay alive?" 

That is all I can say.
I have wanted this book ever since I first heard about it, and my expectations just got higher and higher as the weeks wore on where my own copy didn’t even seem possible; and I kept on reading more and more rave reviews about it and then out of nowhere...I got a chance to read and review it. I have to admit I nearly had a mini heart attack when I found out and when it came it looked even more amazing.
Don’t you think the cover is beautiful?
I had a little niggle of worry in the back of my mind at the time that I started it that it wouldn’t love up to my very high expectations but it didn’t.
It succeeded them and got even higher as I finished.

Eva and Addie are sisters - twins,
But they share the same body.
In Addie and Eva’s world everyone is born like them – two people sharing one body.  Although at ‘the settling age’ the dominant person takes over and their ‘other half’ dies.
But they are different.
They are hybrid.
Eva still resides in Addie’s body - the settling didn't work - but nobody knows. They have to keep it a secret. Hybrids are seen as a threat and a danger to everyone else and the government are constantly hunting them down to ‘’cure’’.
 The premise is amazing. Two girls born into the same body:
“Our souls’ ghostly fingers entwined before we even gasped our first breath.”
And Kat Zhang has created a terrifying world to go with the shocking life Addie and Eva live.
As hybrids they are never safe. No-one must know.
 The book is told in the Point Of View of Eva, who lives inside Addie’s head, inside her body. Once she used to be able to control what they did as well as Addie, but now she is powerless, helpless; trapped in a void between reality as she knows it, and endless darkness.
With such a different and hard character to be able to connect to my hat goes off to Kat Zhang for managing to relay both the girl’s feelings and emotions superbly well.
 The characters were so believable;
Eva, strong and determined, the more adventurous and brave of the two: the flickering flame that refuses to be doused. I think she was my favourite character, not because the story was told because
And Addie, the girl who has a power and control she sometimes doesn't want to embrace, the girl who has to risk her life every day for her sister.
These two girls were just so strong and it blew my mind how much stamina and determination they had to keep such a massive secret.
Although Jaime wasn't a main character as such, his story tugged at my heartstrings and
When Eva and Addie  talk to him about his other half I nearly started crying, just the way he talked about him, it was hardly any words but the emotion carried across with them were so powerful, making you feel every emotion he could possibly be feeling.
Which brings me onto the writing;
Kat Zhang has made the writing very easy to understand so almost anyone could read it but behind nearly every word is a meaning, behind nearly every sentence there are unspoken feelings, behind nearly every conversation there are deep emotion that hit us as we read them, and although this made me feel sad, happy, angry and disgusted at the government, I loved every bit of it.

What’s Left of Me is a beautifully crafted tale of two girls in a very difficult position to say the least. Woven into the story are secrets, lies, and a truck load of emotion that will make you smile, cry and feel angry.  With evil minded governments, hybrids and innocent, powerless young girls fighting for their lives, it’s a roller-coaster of a ride but I absolutely adored it.
 Poignant, powerful, perfect

What did you think of this book?

*Thanks to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Interview with Author: Suzanne LaFleur.

07 November 2012

Please give a warm welcome to the amazing author of Love, Aubrey and Eight, Keys....
Suzanne LaFleur!

What gave you the inspiration to write Love, Aubrey?

I usually say I write on impulse rather than from inspiration or ideas. When I started writing Love, Aubrey, all I knew about the story was that Aubrey was alone and someone named Savannah was missing. I wrote from there to find out why. I thought the story came out of nowhere. When, a couple years later, I looked back on my life at the time, I realized that I was writing about things I was afraid of: primarily, losing loved ones.

Had you always wanted to be a writer?

I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was nine.

What did you eventually become, before becoming an author?

I became a published writer at 24 just before finishing grade school, so writing was actually my first full-time career. I've also been a teacher for a long time, though in most cases I taught part-time in addition to writing.

Who inspired you to write when you were a teen and who inspires you to carry on writing today?

When I was in elementary school, I had a teacher who really encouraged me to write and I know that helped me a lot. When I was a teenager, I did a lot less free-writing because I had a lot of homework, but I do remember putting together parodies and skits with my friends so I have to give credit where it's due simply to my friends for being fun and supportive. Today it's still my friends being eager for my new manuscripts that keeps me writing, and definitely all the kids who write to me saying they're waiting for my next book.

What is your usual routine for writing in a day and how much do you usually get done?

I tend to be a very flexible writer and write when I feel like it, but I've had a bit of a routine this summer...around ten in the morning I walk to my local library, warm up with some maths problems and computer games, and then write for an hour or two. I would say I usually write 3-8 new pages or get through many more pages of revisions. 

Are any of the characters you created based on your personality or someone else's?

I have to confess that Elise in Eight Keys turned out to be an awful lot like me, which family and friends will tell me after reading it. That wasn't intentional. It also wasn't at all intentional that her friend Franklin is a lot like a friend of mine. I make a point not to base characters on people I know, but fiction does come from the heart so it's not unusual to see echoes of personalities or relationships on the page.

Which book you have written has taken the longest to write and why?

Eight Keys took about three times as long to write as Love, Aubrey. I re-wrote it a lot of times.

Favourites/Shorter Questions:
Where is your favourite place to write? On the couch in my pyjamas.
What is your favourite writing snack/drink? Crackers and cheese (just like Aubrey!)...plain water for me.
What is your favourite YA book at the moment? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Who was your favourite author when you were a teen? Lois Lowry

Weirdest place you have ever written? Sometimes I write at the gym. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but there are nice tables there that look onto the pool and I like water, even if it's inside.
Strangest moment when you have had a spark of inspiration? I'm not stories usually stew in my mind so long I can't pinpoint a particular moment.

Quick Fire Questions:
Inside or outside? Inside (sometimes)
Book or E-book? Book (always)
Laptop or Pen and paper? (can't decide)
Aubrey or Bridget? Aubrey (I saw through her eyes)
Books or films? BOOKS (no question)

Thanks so much for  answering my questions Suzanne!
Have you read any of her books? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments below.:)

REVIEW: Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Maas

03 November 2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury**
Published: August 2nd 2012
Pages: 404
Book: For Review*
Format: Finished copy
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA), Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Action.
Meet Celaena Sardothien.Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?