Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

Oh look! I have another post this week. Another book review because this is a pretty short one. Anyway, I have a spoiler free review for Olivia Decoded, the sequel for the Olivia Twisted series. I don’t have many thoughts so let’s get straight into it!

28220969Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes

Series: Olivia Twisted (#2)
Genre: Mystery
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Entangled: Teen
Pages: 320
Source: Borrowed

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.


PLOT

I’m really conflicted about this book because although I found myself engaged to the mystery, I was annoyed at the plot and the characters. I missed the hacking in the first book. It wasn’t great in my opinion but hacking is hardly explored in YA so it was different. The storyline in this book is creepy but it wasn’t as unnerving as I would have liked.

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Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I have FINALLY finished the Embassy Row series by Ally Carter. So, today I have a review for the finale of the series. It’s spoiler free so if you haven’t read this book yet and want to know my thoughts first, read ahead! If you haven’t read book #1 or 2, I recommend reading them first before reading this review. Just as a precaution because I don’t want to accidentally spoil you. But there aren’t any major spoilers from the previous books if you’re worried. Let’s begin!

30254923Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Series: Embassy Row (#3)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: December 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 327
Source: Borrowed

The princess is dead. Long live the princess.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I found the concept of this series real great with the conspiracies, lost princesses and secret societies. However, the overall execution didn’t impress me even and I was disappointed after each book in the series. I believe this novel was much too short to deal with all the conflicts and ideas explored so there wasn’t enough depth and development. Perhaps I’m rating this book a bit higher than my actual feelings. I feel like it’s more of a 2.75 but I’m feeling generous. Plenty of angst, plenty of drama. Let’s get into it.

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Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I have another review for you today on book #2 of the Zeroes series. This is a spoiler free review for THIS novel but it might spoil the overall outcomes from the FIRST book of the series (Zeroes). This is the first review I’ve done on this blog for a book did not finish (DNF) which was surprisingly longer than I expected. I’m not here to bash the book. I was just bored and disappointed in my reading experience. If you don’t mind negative reviews, proceed!

28954123Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

Series: Zeroes (#2)
Genre: Science fiction
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 448
Source: Borrowed

DNF @ 60%

They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.

These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they’re trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.

But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.

Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.

Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I found this sequel to be so boring. I didn’t find the plot interesting and I really tried to get through. It’s a pretty big book and I made it just over the halfway mark so I think I gave it a fair go. I skimmed the rest of the book but I’m still confused about the ending. I’m not saying that I hated the book, I was just in complete boredom reading it. The first book had so great ideas and I saw the potential, but the execution wasn’t quite there. I wasn’t especially impressed with the first book, but I was intrigued enough to continue to see how it would go. I found both books to be disappointing. The entertainment value I found in the first book isn’t there for me anymore. I think it’s one of those cases of it’s me not you so go forth and give it a chance if you’re into unlikely superheroes and unique powers – I admit the concept of the series is interesting. Usually, I find it difficult to not finish novels, but I’ve heard that the ending is very open ended and super frustrating. I don’t think I regret not finishing it.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // Book Reviews

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Today I’ve got a reread review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. This is going to be a spoiler free review just case there is someone out there who hasn’t read them yet and still needs convincing. Let’s begin!

72193Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Series: Harry Potter (#1)
Genre: Fantasy
Publication: June 26th 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Pages: 223
Source: Bought
5 stars

Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I can’t even begin to express my love for this book, this series and the world in general. No review of my creation can comprehend its greatness but I’m still going to try. Also my infatuation with this series makes it difficult for me to recognise its flaws. The thing with this book is that every aspect is done so well that it’s difficult to pick out a stand out. The plot, the world, the characters are all so great and I think the weaving of it all is what made the reading experience so wonderful.

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead // Book Reviews

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I’ve got my review for Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. This is going to be a spoiler free review for THIS book but you will be spoiled from previous books in the series if you haven’t read them. I do recommend this series. It’s lot of fun so if by chance you haven’t read the first 3 books, go do that then come back and we can discuss all the things!

5996153Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (#4)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: August 25th 2009 by Penguin Razorbill
Pages: 503
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters … Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I was so excited about reading this book after the thrill of the previous one, I’m completely let down. This book was more emotionally-based rather than plot-driven and expansive like Shadow Kiss. So this could be a case of it’s me, not you. Although it was an emotional read, I couldn’t fully immerse myself in the story and even the plot itself seemed a bit detached.

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Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

This is going to be a spoiler free review of the third instalment in the Vampire Academy series, but you will get spoiled for the first 2 books if you read this review.

2802316Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy (#3)
Genre: Paranormal
Publication: November 13th 2008 by Razorbill
Pages: 443
Source: Borrowed
4.5 stars

WHAT IF FOLLOWING HER HEART MEANS ROSE COULD LOSE HER BEST FRIEND FOREVER?

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa – the last Dragomir princess – must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken…

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most… but will her choice mean that only one can survive?


PLOT

The foreshadowing was wonderful but the turns in this novel were unbelievable. I had so many thoughts and feelings running through my head all through the novel. I loved all the action and adrenaline filled scenes. Also the ghost subplot was so interesting and it definitely gives a different aspect to the vampire world that we know. I don’t want so say much, wary of spoiling, but it’s good.

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The Girl is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines // Book Reviews

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I’ve got a review for the sequel of The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines so if you haven’t read the first book, it might be a good idea to read that before you jump into this review. However, this is a spoiler free review so if you haven’t read this book, you can still read on!

12923321The Girl is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines

Series: The Girl is Murder (#2)
Genres: Historical fiction, Mystery
Publication: July 3rd 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
Pages: 336
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

Iris Anderson and her father have finally come to an understanding. Iris is allowed to help out at her Pop’s detective agency as long as she follows his rules and learns from his technique. But when Iris uncovers details about her mother’s supposed suicide, suddenly Iris is thrown headfirst into her most intense and personal case yet.


REVIEW

I found myself enjoying most of the book for the first half. However the quickened pace towards the end made me lose interest a bit as the scenes were short and uneventful. There were many turns in this novel that left me gobsmacked and others that were predictable. I felt the suspense and danger were very much present throughout the novel however, I felt the resolution was too fast.Read More »