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Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain


Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul


So I decided to buy this based on reviews I'd read on Amazon, and on here. And it certainly lived up to my expectations! Normally, I'm not a big fan of books with religious undertones- I get enough of that at home, to be honest, but the aspects of religion in the book weren't boring or annoying.

Despain's writing was flowing and clear, and I especially liked her characterisation. To me, all the characters felt realistic and three-dimensional with the exception, maybe, of Grace's friend Amber.

Contrary to many other YA Supernatural novels, the theme of family was explored, and readers were able to see the family dynamics, especially between Jude and Grace. Jude was an amazingly developed character, and the revelation near the end...well I wasn't expecting it at all but it made a lot of sense.

Grace was a likable protagonist, maybe a bit too much of a goody-goody but it was understandable since she was, after all, a Pastor's daughter. Daniel developed into an attractive character- at first I was a bit wary of him but then as explanations were given and actions were made, I grew to like him.

What I liked about this book was that the bad-boy wasn't new or a complete stranger to the female protagonist at the beginning of the novel. This made the love between Grace and Daniel more believable, as they had been so close to one another in the past, which was shown by Despain through flashbacks.

The supernatural aspects were fairly similar to other books but there was a new religious twist on the concept of werewolves. I didn't really like the extracts from the diary of a werewolf's sister (was it his sister?) but that's because the font was quite difficult to decipher.

I did think, however, that the ending was too abrupt, especially the last paragraph of the book. But I guess there'll be a sequel, so I look forward to reading it!


In My Mailbox (Dos)

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. It is hosted by The Story Siren. Go HERE to participate.

This week was a pretty exciting week for me. Five books arrived from Amazon and The Book Depository so I'm pretty excited to read them (well I've read three already).

These were:

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Kartography by Kamila Shamsie

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Tap & Gown: An Ivy League Novel by Diana Peterfreund

The Dark Divine was pretty awesome and the review will probably be up today! Kartography was absolutely amazing, and Tap & Gown was a nice conclusion to the Ivy League series.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights highly anticipated releases.

Gone (Dream Catcher, #3) by Lisa McMann

The third and final book in the paranormal teen series that includes The New York Times bestseller Wake and Fade.

I absolutely LOVED Wake and Fade, the first two books in the series, because the plot of the whole series is so original, and Janie and Caleb are such wonderful, believable characters. This will hopefully be just as amazing!

Also, for those who are wondering when my next review will be up, I'm so sorry it's taking a long time but school's been extremely busy because of mocks, and then results.

On a side note, I ordered the Dark Divine by Bree Despain the other day and I can't wait to read it! Most of the review I've read of it have professed it to be amazing.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

In My Mailbox (Uno)

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. It is hosted by The Story Siren. Go HERE to participate.

The Blue is For Nightmares Collection by Laurie Faria Stolarz

So far I've just read Blue is for Nightmares and White is for Magic, but I really liked them cos they were quite different from your typical YA Supernatural books. Reviews coming soon!

Off the Record by Jennifer O'Connell

I've read The Book of Luke and Plan B, and I liked them a lot so I thought I'd give this a go, although it isn't YA.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting On Wednesdays is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights highly anticipated releases.

Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.

I can't WAIT for this to come out!! I loved the first two books in the trilogy and I really enjoy Kelley Armstrong's writing style.

The series is recommended to all YA Supernatural/Fantasy lovers!

Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson

(I'm not really a big fan of the cover)


Sometimes you have to get lost.

The Girl: Clio, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan.

The Mission: Survive her father's annoying antics. Oh, also find some underwater treasure that could be the missing link to a long-lost civilization.

The Crew: Dad's absentminded best friend Martin, his scary girlfriend Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant research assistant.

What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway?

As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more mysterious than the sea—her own heart.


This book was different to anything I’ve ever read before, and I think a lot of other people would feel the same way, because what other YA book do you know of which features, scuba-diving, treasure-hunting, a cruise around Greek islands and (this is expected) a hot guy. Obviously, with a premise like this, what could go wrong? Here is the time to say the quality of writing was rubbish- but it wasn’t! Johnson wrote eloquently and smoothly, and Clio’s personality came through strongly through the book.

Relationships were explored well such as the one between my favourite characters, Clio and Aiden. I loved how it wasn’t love-at-first-sight, and how realistically Aiden was portrayed, such as when he didn’t understand why he didn’t want to be with Elsa, which is such a typical guy thing we can understand rather than, say, Edward Cullen in Twilight preferring to abstain from sex with Bella before marriage. The relationship between Clio and her father was also handled well- the embarrassment she felt when with him, the frustration she felt when he was ordering her about…these are all typical teenage emotions which rang through true and clear in the book, making it seem more realistic.

A particular character I disliked was Elsa, but that’s primarily because she was ‘stealing’ Aiden away from Clio. It’s a testament to Johnson’s writing that she was able to incite such emotion in me, showing how good her writing is.

One complaint I have is that Elsa, who was supposed to be going to boarding school in England, mentioned that she had a pub at boarding school. As far as I know, no boarding schools in England have their own pub for sixth-formers, so this was a bit unbelievable- maybe Johnson could have done more research, although I did read somewhere on her blog that she travelled to Europe to explore the islands featured in Girl at Sea.

Most of the characters, however, including Elsa, were three-dimensional and their actions were believable. Therefore, Girl at Sea is recommended to any fans of exotic places, cruises, treasure-hunting and romance, of course!

Rating: 5/5

Monday, 18 January 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading this week?

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to pile on a little extra. This weekly meme is hosted by J.Kaye.

This week I plan to read:

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
I am SO looking forward to reading this because it's received amazing reviews, and the premise is really interesting.

Firespell by Chloe Neill
Well I know I'm going to love this cos it's set in boarding school :) And I read some reviews, and it looks pretty good so that's next on my to-read list.

Inside the Mind of the Gideon Rayburn by Sarah Miller
I've had this for quite a while now, and I'm only bothering to read it now which is quite bad, but hopefully it should give an interesting insight into the way boys' minds work :P. It's received favourable reviews anyway, so it must not be bad.

That's it for me, how about you?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Luna, by Julie Anne Peters

Regan's brother Liam can't stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night-in the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister's clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam's family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen's struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

I, for one, have never read a book dealing with transsexualism before, so I was very curious when I started to read Luna. I found it to be an amazing book. I thought it was very believable, very real, especially the family dynamics (notably the interactions between Regan's dad and Liam) and it gave me an insight into the difficulties experienced by transsexual people as they attempt to show who they truly are to society, and to be themselves which can result in humiliation and scorn. However Luna (formerly known as Liam, Regan's brother) manages to overcome these pressures of society and break free which, obviously, is an extremely brave thing to do.

Regan, from whose point of view Luna is told, is a likable character as there are aspects of her life we can relate to such as her feelings for a new boy at school, but then she also has to be there for her brother as she's the only person who knows about her.

I really enjoyed Luna because I thought Luna's story was dealt with well, especially through the use of flashbacks which showed how Luna was always trying to break free from Liam. I thought it was well-written, and also the right length and I look forward to reading more novels by Julie Anne Peters in the future.

Favourite scene
When Ally, Liam's best friend, comes to their house to play video-games after being told about Luna. I especially liked this scene because although she was wary at the beginning, Ally was able to accept that her best friend was a girl inside (and soon outside, too) and able to act the same around her, even though she thought she was in love with Liam. So it was great that Luna was starting to be accepted by the people closest to her. And that's what's matters the most- being accepted by the people you care about.

Favourite character
Definitely Regan because she was so strong, being there for Luna, lending her clothes, allowing her to change and put on makeup in the must have been so hard for her to accept it, especially since Liam was her brother and she was so busy helping him, that she didn't have very many friends. She was very self-sacrificing which is a very admirable trait.

Rating: 5/5


So my name's Iman and I read. A lot. Right now, I'm supposed to be revising for my mock GCSEs which are pretty important- but I do have my French books open in front of me, so that can count as revision.

Anyway, I've been reading tons of YA fiction recently- yesterday, in fact, I read Luna by Julie Ann Peters, Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott and Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors. So then this morning, I thought, hey why not write a blog reviewing all these books? It's an excuse for reading more (but only if people actually read this) and meeting fellow lovers of YA fiction (and possibly all fiction since, as you may have read somewhere on this blog, I plan to not restrict myself to just reading YA fiction).

I think I'll start writing a blogpost tonight or something, so it should be up by Tuesday. We'll see. So I hope people actually read this, and I hope my reviews are useful and maybe you'll be encouraged to read some of the books I'll review, that'll be pretty cool.