The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got an overdue boo review for one of the best novels I have read thus far this year. This is a spoilerish review. This means that the majority of the review will be spoiler free except for a little spoiler section at the end. There will be warnings. This book is a sequel, however this review won’t spoil anything from the first book. Let’s get into it!

26073072The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: The Fixer (#2)
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 360
Source: Borrowed
4.5 stars

The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she’s about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed this sequel. The energy was high and the intensity stayed at that level too. I found this book to be less repetitive than its predecessor. YAY improvements! The higher stakes felt more like background for a large majority unlike the first book which was at its forefront. However, the way that the events build and layer up was done so well and this definitely showed how intricately plotted it was. It’s even more intense and action packed than the first book. It’s such a fun and smart book.

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The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a book review today of the mystery thriller The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I’ve got a little spoiler section at the end of the review which you should definitely not look at until you’ve read the book. Read it, then come back so we can all squeal about about that. So it’s safe to read the rest of the review if you haven’t read the book. Enjoy!

22929578The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: The Fixer (#1)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 372
Source: Library

4 stars

This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

It was a bit of a slow start but the situation was very mysterious and definitely intriguing. The plot kept me engaged, although it could be dense sometimes and I needed to reread passages. It’s just a lot to take in. Despite being very plot driven and twisty, I found that there was great development of characters and relationships.

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Yellow by Megan Jacobson // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I read a contemporary and I loved it! So today I have a review of Yellow by Megan Jacobson and it’s going to be a spoilerish review. There may be aspects of the review that some people consider as spoilers (I don’t really though) so if you don’t want to take any chance at being spoiled, you can just read my “GENERAL THOUGHTS”.

Yellow by Megan Jacobson25698127

Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Publication: February 1st 2016 by Penguin Teen Australia
Pages: 259
Source: Bought
5 stars

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn’t haunt her. Things aren’t so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

Let’s talk about this little gem. Prepare for plenty of gushing.

This is a beautiful book; inside and out. Just look at that cover – an absolute stunner. The writing and storyline captivated me the entire time. I almost read it all in one sitting. This was one of my most anticipated reads and it didn’t disappoint.

It covers a lot of heavy themes such as depression, bullying, addiction, loneliness as well as feminism, friendship and self-image. Despite all the struggles and dark stuff, and the honest grittiness, I found it to be a heartfelt and uplifting story.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a mostly spoiler-free review of this 800 page monster, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Yes I read an adult novel and I enjoyed it! Now let’s dive into it…

685403Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Series: Outlander (#1)
Genres: Historical fiction, Romance
Publication: June 1st 1991 by Dell Publishing Company
Pages: 850
Source: Borrowed
4 stars

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I got through this faster than I thought I would. Despite some problematic scenes, I enjoyed most of the book. It wasn’t as graphic as the impression I got from a lot of readers and I’m pleased about that. My thoughts on this  book and the characters in particular may be unconsciously influenced by the TV show adaptation as I have watched the first season of it and those thoughts may merge with my experience reading this novel.

Nonetheless, this was a truly emotional read with the many close encounters of torture, assault, rape and a whole lot of violence. I know this turned a lot of people off the book but I believe it helped illustrate the harshness of Claire’s situation. However, it did get to a point where it was a tad too much and its prevalence became repetitive.

 

 

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Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’m back for the week until my exams start again and I’ve been delaying this review too long. This is going to a spoilerish review because I’m going to talk about some things that may seem spoiler-like but personally I don’t think they are. So a warning nonetheless. I hope you enjoy!!

Image result for maid of secretsMaid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Series: Maid of Honor (#1)
Genres: Historical fiction, Mystery
Publication: May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.

Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?


REVIEW

SPIES! ASSASSINS! MURDER! And historical fiction – literally (almost) all my loves. A fun read but I honestly expected more. It engaged me most of the time but there were some cringeworthy scenes. Set in Tutor times, some events or reactions to certain events didn’t seem plausible, especially in terms of punishments (can you tell I wanted more gore?).

I was very optimistic going into this book because it promised some thrilling adventures, crime and mysteries. Sounds great right? And it delivered to some extent.

This book is set in Tutor times in England where our protagonist Meg gets caught pickpocketing. Yes her situation sounds bad. But her punishment is becoming one of the closest secret spies for the queen, a maid of honour. Not very realistic but I was able to look past that because SPIES. I thought punishments during Tutor times were harsh and I thought this book was going to be brutal – spoiler (not): it was not.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

It’s taken a while but I’ve got my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review. It’s going to be half spoiler-free and half spoilery so if you haven’t read it yet, don’t fret because it’s all spoiler-free until you see big, bold text of “SPOILERS AHEAD”. That will probably be the sign to skidaddle and read it if you want so we can discuss the book in detail. Also I would very much highly recommend reading the Harry Potter series (7 books) before starting this review because a) spoilers of those books are highly probably and b) they are phenomenal books that I most highly recommend to the highest level possible.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Series: Harry Potter (#8) **
Genre: Fantasy
Publication: July 31st 2016 by Pottermore
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
3.5 stars

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


REVIEW

This is so difficult for me to rate. Firstly, I think you’ll get the best experience out of reading this book if you go in without any expectations and try avoid spoilers because the way its summarised on some site does make it sound more absurd than it is. You know what? I enjoyed this. Was I disappointed? Yep. There were many problematic parts and I didn’t like the inconsistencies, but overall I enjoyed this experience. I’m a bit iffy whether to consider this story as canon, because though it contributed to the Harry Potter world, there are many parts in the story that points to fan fiction.

There were so many nostalgic areas, but the the plot was ridiculous and unrealistic at times, that made we laugh. A lot. And not in a good way. The main plot line of time turners was crazy… and weird. Was this good or bad? Both. My logical mind couldn’t deal with it sometimes.

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The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore // Book Reviews

Helloooo

I’ve got a new book review on book #3 of the Lorien Legacies seriesThe Rise of Nine. Dun dun duhhhh. This is going to be a spoilerish review so it depends on what you consider as a spoiler. I’m going to be talking about the characters in this book and some of you could think that the introduction of some of these characters are mild spoilers. If so, you can (a) read the book then come back just in case and we can discuss all the thoughts or (b) read this review and skip the bullet points.

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Series: Lorien Legacies (#3)
Genres: Science fiction
Publication: August 21st 2012 by HarperCollins
Pages: 360
Source: Borrowed
3.5 stars

In Pittacus Lore’s The Rise of Nine, third in the New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series, the stakes are higher than ever as John, Six, and Seven try desperately to find the rest of the Garde before it’s too late.

The Mogadorians who destroyed the planet Lorien continue to hunt down the Garde, the small group of Loric survivors who have taken refuge on Earth. The Garde must come together. They are Lorien and Earth’s only hope.

During the dangerous mission at the Mogadorian base in West Virginia, John found and rescued Nine. But even with their combined powers, special abilities known as Legacies, the pair barely escaped with their lives—and they lost Sam in the process.

In order to save our world and their own, John and Nine must join forces with Six and Seven who have been battling the Mogadorians in Spain, and who are now trying to locate Number Eight in India.

Power in numbers will save us all.


REVIEW

When I started reading this I was like different POVs overload but I guess with so many important characters, this method is necessary… or convenient. As I kept reading, it kind of worked for me. So the chapter alternate between the narration of Four, Six and Marina’s (Seven) and it was generally systematic, so that made it easier to follow. Each character had a different font, but I wonder if I read the book with the same font, would the voices be as distinct and unique.

In the beginning I was trying to figure out who were the “Nine” that rise, which involved a lot of counting. In this book we got introduced to almost all the living Garde members and I’m glad we got to see more of their legacies develop, though it’s tough trying to remember them all. I think is book was definitely a step up from the previous and I felt more urgency that didn’t really exist reading The Power of Six. However, I felt a lot of scenes were unnecessary – like the talking scenes where they wouldn’t even come up with a plan, e.g. Four & Nine talking, fighting, arguing. Then they get caught *shakes head in disapproval*. WOW, surprise much? I don’t see how the “wing it” method was helpful in finding and discovering how to defeat Setrákus Ra AKA enemy #1.

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