I Haven’t done a Book Club post in nearly a year! What? I’ve been so busy and other things have had to take priority, but I have been reading so I’m taking this opportunity to fill you in 🙂 We’ll start from the less recent and go down to the most recent.
Books I’ve read:
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
The sequel to 20-year-old Adornetto’s ‘Halo’ continues the story of angel Beth Church and human Xavier Woods’ turbulent relationship. This installment packs a punch as Jake Thorn returns the night of graduation when – at an old abandoned building – Beth and her friends stage a séance which goes awry. Jake then snatches Beth, imprisoning her in Hades. This story is full of suspense and plot twists and captivates you from beginning to end. The moment Jake executes his plan and snatches Beth it’s a fast ride of ‘What’s going to happen to her now?’ ‘Will she get out?’, you also get to see the things Beth experiences in Hades, what she has to go through while she is there and how she grows as a character because of that. I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Can’t wait for book 3, ‘Heaven’ to drop in August this year.
Sweep by Cate Tiernan
Sweep is a 15 book long series about a young girl named Morgan who lives in the small sleepy town of Widow’s Vale, whose life changes one day when new boy Cal Blaire starts school. It took me a while to want to read this series as it’s 15 books long, but I can honestly say when I started reading it I wondered why I’d waited so long to start it because I really really enjoyed the story and it was really interesting to me. Morgan finds herself drawn to – but also a little wary of – Cal and the things he stands for, namingly Wicca. This is a series of self discovery. Discovering who you really are, where you fit in, who to trust, your limitations, the strength of your character and your weaknesses and how to overcome them. Morgan goes through all this, and more, over the course of the series, and has to deal with devastating betrayal and unimaginable pain. I really enjoyed this series because it was something different; it’s not your typical vampire/werewolf…etc fiction. Wicca is an actual religion and while the story is fictitious the research and facts behind it are not, and I can only imagine the amount of research that had to go into this series. There was always enough material and plot lines to keep the story going and not once did any of the books in the series feel ‘thin’, it is very well written with enough plot twists, subplots, suspense and some things you just don’t see coming to keep you turning the page and take it to the end. A really exciting series!
My Soul To Steal and If I Die by Rachel Vincent
When I did my last book club post I wrote about the third book in this series and then realised that I hadn’t mentioned the previous two as I was waiting to do a collective review on all of them. So I’ll just clue you in to the first 3 books and then I’ll get on to the 4th (My soul to steal) and 5th (If I Die.)
So The Soul Screamers is a series that starts with Kaylee Cavanaugh. Kaylee has a strange ability where she knows when someone near her is about to die, and when someone near her is about to die she lets out an inhuman wail. This catches the attention of high school jock-type Nash Hudson, and with his help Kaylee discovers that she is not human and they are both Bean Sidhes. They form a bond and with their abilities both have to battle unearthly forces that have infiltrated their world – and Kaylee’s school and family – from another world that runs parallel to earth, but is inhabited by hellions and other things that could have you dead in an instant.
Book 2 ‘My Soul To Save’ continues the story, with Kaylee now knowing what she is and having battled one deadly Netherworld creature and survived.
Boyfriend Nash’s reaper brother Todd asks the two to help him protect his ex girl friend Addison – who is also a well known pop star – from a getting her soul possessed by a Hellion after she sold her soul for her career. In the midst of all the chaos its a race against time to save more than one life, and Kaylee makes one deadly enemy.
‘My Soul To Keep’ is a continuation of the story and how the events panned out. It was full of suspense and little secrets that keep you on your toes and make sense as you read on. This story in particular really got to me, especially in the way that when Kaylee finds out Nash *SPOILER* has been using Demon’s Breath and how that happened. As well as what he’s been giving away in exchange for his fixes, and how he’s been treating Kaylee, it shows that even in stories nobody’s perfect. It was absolutely heartbreaking and, in places, angering to read, and it’s such a devastating betrayal that if that were me I don’t know if I could ever forgive that. Can Kaylee?
In this book, Kaylee is still estranged from Nash who is getting over his Demon’s Breath addiction and is eager to prove to Kaylee, who has her reservations, that he loves her and wants to be with her. Then Nash’s ex-girlfriend Sabine transfers to the school who is a Mara. A Mara is a being that can plant extreme nightmares and feeds off of humans whilst they are sleeping. She is determined to get Nash back and taunts Kaylee through her sleeping, and waking, hours. But Kaylee still can’t quiet make up her mind about her future with Nash so while she doesn’t want Sabine to be with him, despite what she tells herself, she doesn’t necessarily know if she wants to be with him either.
The most recent book in the series is definitely one that captivated me. Kaylee finds her name on the reaper’s list and, being the person that she is, doesn’t let that stop her from one last encounter with a potentially deadly Netherworld creature to save someone else’s life, or in this case, every girl in her school. There was so much Kaylee had to go through and try to accomplish in this story I found myself turning the pages more and more fiercely as the action became increasingly fast paced. It was a race against time, and that made you want to race through the pages to see how it would all end for Kaylee.
There was one particular plot twist that I just did not see coming, but oddly enough it worked and I was kind of glad for it considering everything that happened to lead to that, the trust and bond that had been severed.
I think this series is awesome and I’ve really enjoyed it as a whole. When I was finished ‘If I Die’ I immediately wanted the next book and cannot wait for it to be released. I can’t wait to see how the story progresses!
The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith
I was beyond happy when I heard this new branch of The Vampire Diaries series was coming out, because the way the last book was left had me staring at the book just saying ‘NO NO NO’ in disbelief. Really? Is that what you’re doing? This surely can’t be the last book! And thankfully it wasn’t. This newest offering was again packed with mystical action and adventure but the main pull of it for me was wanting to know what would come of Damon and the cliffhanger of the last book. I was really happy with the end of the book and it wet my appetite for more from The Vampire Diaries and that whole world so I’m eager to read Moonsong, the next book in the series, to follow Elena’s choice. Stefan or Damon? I can’t wait to see.
The Hunger Games
This series is awesome! It centers around an extreme vision of a future world known as Panem, whereby the country is sectioned off into 12 districts. Each district has their own business, so one is textiles, one is luxury items, one is coal mining…etc, and some districts are poorer than others. The main character in the book who we see the story through is Katniss Everdeen. Katniss lives in district 12 and that is one of the poorest districts; sometimes they don’t eat for days. Every year the government, or The Capitol, as they are known hold a televised competition known as The Hunger Games, whereby a boy and girl from each district are chosen and put in an arena and have to fight the other contestants to the death. Only one winner emerges. When Katniss’s sister is chosen Katniss volunteers to take her place. This is her story.
I loved this series. It was action packed and fast paced, but with the incorporation of the love story, could slow down and make that moment stretch on for a long time. I really identified with Katniss and admired her character for everything that she went through and how she maintained her inner strength through all three books. I felt empathy and sympathy for certain characters, anger towards some others, and I even cried at *SPOILER ALERT* both Rue and Cinna’s death. The only thing I will say that wasn’t really clear to me up until the very end of the series was Katniss’s feelings for Peeta. You knew that Peeta genuinely loves Katniss, as he saved her when she was dying when they were children in the district, but all I kept finding myself thinking, are her feelings for him real, or are they just part of the game for the cameras? It was never quite made clear and her train of thoughts on the matter were always so fuzzy as she didn’t know if he was just playing the game or not. Also, I always saw Gale as a potential love interest, I know some people didn’t but I did, and the way that Katniss batts between what she could have with Gale and what she must now have with Peeta (“I couldn’t have a life with Gale even if I wanted to.”) I started to think, hang on, does she want to be with Gale? Does she just see Peeta as an extreme friend after everything they did for each other in the arena, but now she has to be with him regardless? But this is only a side note as the story isn’t over saturated with this aspect; it is more a subplot to the main story of the violence of both the games and the Capitol and whether Katniss can, first win, but also overthrow everything Panem knows.
As the series progresses though, and Peeta becomes one of The Capitol’s puppets, does she just feel indebted to him because he saved her life? However, this is all tied up and answered in the last line of the last book when she confirms that she does in fact love him and it’s done in such a sweet way that you are glad that they ended up together.
The books, due to the nature of the content, are violent and through some of the things that happen I sometimes found myself wincing or tearing through the pages as the action picked up speed. It also shows an extreme vision of just how corrupt and ‘big brother’ The Capitol really are and the events, and revolution, that unfolds because of that.
A great series that I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian kind of novels.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This is another dystopian novel, kind of in the same category as The Hunger Games but the story is completely different.
It is the story of a girl called Lena who lives in a society where they view love as a disease and when you are, I think, 16 or 18 you undergo a procedure to ‘cure’ you from ever having this ‘disease’. And Lena is actually counting down the days and looking forward to the day she is cured. That is until she realises during her meeting before her procedure, that she may be a little different to her society than she first thought. This also coincides with her meeting Alex who is, seemingly, one of the cureds. However, all is not what is seems, and this is a story about realising that everything you’ve been taught is wrong and corrupt. Because it’s not just love that the procedure cures you from, it’s all intense feeling that could induce pain if you were to lose it. So Lena’s relationship with her best friend will disintegrate once she is cured, her relationship with her family, she will never experience heightened emotion or any type of love and will just sit there placid, and happy enough but blanketed by a layer of cotton wool that you can never fight your way through.
Then she discovers that there is another, albeit dangerous and life threatening, option other than living in this corrupt society where they cut out half of your brain to stop you from feeling, and police carry batons and use brute force, sometimes very unfairly. I even felt anger towards their patrol officers during certain scenes.
I freaking love this story and Lauren Oliver’s writing technique is gorgeous, there were points in the book where I was thinking the way something was phrased or the language and imagery she used was beautiful. It was a very easy read but then Lena finds out things about her past and nearer the end of the book it becomes a race against time; will Lena get out or will she be cured? and that had me reading like lightning just to find out what would happen to her. I was very frustrated by the ending as it was left very open ended to the point where you just want to know what happens next, so I’m intrigued and super excited to get my hands on the sequel ‘Pandemonium’ and read on.
So those were the books that I’ve read over the time that I haven’t done a book club post. I am currently reading ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth which I am really enjoying so far, so expect a review on that soon. And if you have any recommendations of books you think I should read please let me know in the comments below 🙂