Book Review: Sweet Evil

11808950

Book: Sweet Evil

Author: Wendy Higgins

Genre: YA paranormal

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Find this book on Goodreads

Characters

Gosh, where should I start?! I liked Anna up until the part in the story that she got creepily obsessed with Kaiden. Sorry girl, but no. Some of her decisions were downright stupid, and at times I wanted to transport through my book and give her a good shake. I absolutely adored Jay, what a sweetie. He was charming, he was funny, he was loveable. I liked Patti, but some of her decisions were also dumb (sending your daughter on a road trip across country to see her demon father with a half-demon who’s sole purpose is to influence people with earthy pleasures because their father is the Duke of Lust????? Didn’t ring a danger bell for you????). Kaiden was an asshole and I didn’t like him at all. He was manipulative, he was mean, he didn’t want to be with Anna but didn’t want Anna to be with anyone else. Ugh. Kopano was a sweetheart and I wish with all my heart Anna would have liked him over Kaiden tbh!

Plot 

I didn’t mind the plot for this book, however a lot of it was Anna getting to know Kaiden, Anna losing Kaiden, Anna stalking Kaiden (or pretty much anyway), Anna grieving over having lost Kaiden. Everything she ever did was about Kaiden! Ugh. I wanted to learn more about the angels and demons, which we do learn bits and pieces from both Kaiden and Anna’s father, but I still felt it wasn’t enough. This book definitely has an interesting premise, and it’s certainly unique too. I am interested to see where the rest of this series goes.

Writing 

Higgins’ writing wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It was good enough to suck me in and keep me wanting to read more, and it was quite addictive, however there was just something lacking for me.

Overall thoughts and recommendation 

I liked this book. I’d probably recommend this to something looking for a fresh perspective on angels/demons or who wants a book they’ll devour quickly!

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: Confess

22609310

Book: Confess

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Find this book on Goodreads 

Characters

 I loved both Auburn and Owen! Auburn did annoy me in parts of the book; I wasn’t happy with some decisions she made and honestly wanted to slap her across the face sometimes, but overall, I did like her character. I certainly didn’t like Trey (I actually guessed what would happen with him), I didn’t like Lydia, I didn’t like Owen’s father. Emory was great and I also loved Auburn’s son!

Plot 

I found the plot of this book very fast paced and enjoyable to read. I loved the idea of the confessions and the art studio. I loved the underlying themes being dealt with. The plot wasn’t entirely predictable which was also great!

Writing

As always, I have no complaints with Colleen Hoover’s writing. She knows how to write a good, engaging love story without making it overly cliche. The art and the confessions in this book certainly made me love this even more and I certainly appreciate that Hoover always puts something extra into her stories.

Overall thoughts and recommendations

I really enjoyed this book. I recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read a Colleen Hoover book and is wanting to read one, and of course I would recommend this to existing Hoover fans. I’d also recommend this to anyone new to the New Adult genre!

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: Emmy & Oliver

13132816

Book: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Find this book on Goodreads 

Characters

I really liked the characters in this book! Emmy has the perfect mix os seriousness and sass (let’s face it, her sass made the whole book). Oliver was lovely and I really liked him as the romantic interest. Caro and Drew were also great! Drew is the gay best friend, which is a little of a stereotype in YA now, I’ve noticed, but I can look past that. The only thing I didn’t particularly like were the parents, however I can understand why they acted the way they did.

Plot

Now, I don’t know if I can say there is much of a plot here. This book was very character driven, and the relationships between the characters was at the forefront (which isn’t a complaint since it was done well). I suppose the only things that were really part of the “plot” was the questions of what would happen to the father, and what would happen to Emmy once her parents found out about her surfing and college acceptance.

Writing

Benway has written this novel in such an addictive way, I found this so hard to put down. It was gripping, it was easy to read and it was sarcastic and funny. I loved it.

Overall thoughts and recommendations

I really enjoyed the way this all fit together and certainly recommend this to anyone interested in stories about rekindling lost friendship and love.

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: And Then There Were None

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE APB

Book: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Find this book on Goodreads

Characters 

I genuinely cared about what happened to almost all of the characters in this book (except the old lady, I really didn’t like her). When I first started reading this I thought it would be so hard to remember the names of all the characters but I found it rather easy. Christie definitely knows how to create complex, multi-layered characters with enough “off” about them that it kept you guessing who the killer actually was! (I did guess, however that little twist was brilliant!)

Plot 

I haven’t read a lot of mysteries, but as far as I’m concerned Christie had this plot perfect! It was the perfect mix of mystery, intrigue and action and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. There were quite a few twists in this that I certainly did not see coming, and I loved the idea of murdering the people based on the nursery rhyme (can we talk about how MORBID that nursery rhyme actually was?! OMG). Definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and second guessing myself after every turn of the page.

Writing 

Going in to this book I wasn’t sure how I’d go with the language; I’ve never read classics before (even if this is fairly recent) but Christie’s writing was wonderful. It’s very obvious she’s extremely talented and the way she wrote with such a mysterious air around each character was mesmerising.

Overall thoughts and recommendation

I really really liked this book! Christie certainly knows how to twist a story, write a good plot and write some complex characters. This was my first Agatha Christie novel and I don’t regret it one bit! If you’re new to Agatha Christie and/or haven’t read her books before, I highly recommend this book as it’s a great introduction to her work! Can’t wait to read more of her works in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: Everything, Everything

18692431

Book: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Find this book on Goodreads

Characters 

I had a few problems with our main character Maddy which is the reason this got only an average rating. Madeline is one of the biggest “special snowflake” characters I’ve ever read about in a YA novel, and trust me they’re everywhere. Madeline is half Afican-American, half Japanese and she suffers from Severe Combined Immune Deficiency. I have to admit though, it’s great to see a bit of difference in some YA characters, but I don’t know. I found Madeline to be extremely stubborn and naïve. Of course she’d be naïve not having lived in the real world, I understand that, but holy moly. Maddy literally takes everything her mother says at face value and doesn’t question anything. I don’t know why this annoys me so much, I think it should just be common sense to questions things people say. I didn’t mind the love interest, Olly. Although I personally hate parkour so I was instantly turned off by that (no offence). I loved Carla, and obviously after the plot twist I didn’t particularly like the mother.

Plot 

The plot of this book was relatively fast paced, and I did enjoy the storyline. The Hawaii chapters were by far my favourites! I had already been spoiled on what the plot twist was going to be, but I’d sort of guessed it even if I hadn’t known. I felt like that kind of cheapened the story. I’m glad there was a “happily ever after” but I just feel cheated after that twist.

Writing

The writing in this was very easy to read and extremely gripping from the beginning. The little drawings and lists added throughout the novel also added to the experience.

Overall thoughts and recommendations

Whilst this isn’t my favourite YA contemporary novel of all time, I can understand the hype. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes John Green or Morgan Matson.

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: Firsts

I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review thanks to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley 

23480844

Book: Firsts

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Genre: YA Contemporary

Expected Publication: 5th January 2016

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Find this books on Goodreads 

Characters 

I personally found Mercedes, or Mercy as her friends call her, relatively hard to relate to. She made some very very silly mistakes that I just couldn’t see myself making, hence why I couldn’t relate to her. I was waiting from page one for the whole thing to blow up in Mercy’s face and the fact that she was so naïve and gullible as to assume she had complete control of the situation was a little laughable. I also couldn’t relate to her because of her as a person. She pushed the people around her away that cared about her (Zach mostly) which infuriated me throughout the entirety of this novel. She was bitchy, she was manipulative and sometimes she was just plain dumb. However, I did feel sympathy for her after what happened. Whilst I certainly would never treat anyone like that, the way she was treated doesn’t surprise me at all. And the fact that she thought it a good idea to sleep with multiple girls’ boyfriends, whether she thought she was helping  them or not, just seemed too idiotic to me. I wasn’t sure what to think of Faye. She intrigued me from the moment she entered the picture but I can’t say I wholly liked her character. I think the only characters I really liked were Angela and Zach, both of whom were lied to and walked all over for majority of the book.

Plot 

The plot was extremely predictable. Everyone can guess just from reading the description of the book pretty much exactly what was going to happen. I liked that we finally got to find out what happened with Luke, although that was kind of predictable as well. I have to admit, the plot was still good, though.

Writing 

Writing comes easily to Flynn. I had no problems devouring this book (to my standards anyway) and the ease with which Flynn wrote this is definitely why it was so easy to read. It’s relatively light and fluffy, but serious when it needs to be.

Overall thoughts and recommendations 

I did enjoy this book, despite the flaws I found. I would recommend this to anyone who likes easy to read contemporaries that explore a few deeper themes.

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx

Book Review: Asking For It

*WARNING: SPOILERS*
asking-for-it Book: Asking For It

Author: Louise O’Neill

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Find this book on Goodreads 

Characters 

There were literally only 2 characters in this entire book I liked; Conor (the boy next door) and Bryan (Emma’s brother). Emma was unlikeable from the very beginning. She was judgemental, she was bitchy, she was narcissistic and she was just plain rude, as were all of her friends, however, it wasn’t hard to sympathise with her. I think it was a great tactic using a very horrible character as someone we are supposed to feel sympathy for, and let me tell you, it worked. It was absolutely disgusting the way the characters treated Emma after she was raped and the fact that people actually treat rape victims like that makes me so so mad. Her parents were horrible people who cared more about what other people thought of them than the safety and well-being of their children, and actually CONGRATULATED Emma when she dropped the charges against the boys. What? The friends were all horrible as well, and didn’t even ask for Emma’s side of the story (however Emma did brush aside her friend Jamie’s rape so I can understand why they did what they did). Conor was a sweetheart who Emma treated like shit; honestly I don’t know what he saw in her. I think the scariest thing is, the characters, no matter their horrible flaws, were real. I literally know people in real life who are like this. It’s rare to come across characters that really feel real, and I think O’Neill did a spectacular job of creating characters we related to, whether we liked them or not.

Plot 

The plot fell a little short for me. From the beginning, I didn’t really know where O’Neill was going to take us plot wise. I expected the incident to be in the first couple of chapters and the rest of the book to be about the repercussions of rape and the following trial. The repercussions followed, however I was disappointed there was no trial. I do however find this more believable, as most cases of rape either aren’t successful or accusations aren’t put forward in the first place. I think theme wise O’Neill has written an extremely important novel, and the exploration of consent, rape culture, victim-blaming and the affect social media  has in today’s society was very thorough and (for the most part) very real. (I don’t believe the pornographic images of Emma would have stayed on Facebook but anyways…) I kind of wish O’Neill had written about a trial, however the point she was trying to get across is still very easy to understand through this plot.

Writing 

This book was hard to read, not necessarily because of the writing, but because of the issues raised and explored throughout the novel. I feel O’Neill wrote eloquently and in a sophisticated manner and that it really is true that “O’Neill writes with a scalpel.” I like that O’Neill didn’t sugar coat anything; her writing was raw and sharp, it was real.

Overall thoughts and recommendation 

I really enjoyed reading this book and would certainly recommend this book to teenagers 16+ (NOTE: this book is NOT for younger readers). Definitely an important message being explored, and it’s definitely something we need to be talking about.

Thanks for reading!

Taryn xxx