Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Bookish Details:
Pages: 346
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: 12th February 2013

Synopsis:It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny

My Review:
Well, what can I say about Out of The Easy? There aren't words to describe how much I fell in love with this book.

I have a feeling that Ruta Sepetys is going to be one of those authors that every time she releases a book, I will buy it no matter what. She is fast becoming one of my favorite writers.

Out of The Easy is set in 1950s New Orleans. Now, it’s not often that I read historical fiction, but I made an exception for Ruta’s first novel (Between Shades of Gray) and it was a beautiful story, so reading this book was an easy decision for me.

The story follows 17 year old Josie and her life working in a bookstore and cleaning for well-known Madam, Willie, who she has known since she was a little girl. Josie is a fantastic heroine. She is strong and smart and you really feel the struggles that she faces. Her friendship with Patrick and the story between them is written so perfectly. I also love how she is determined not to follow in the footsteps of her mother, sticking to her own ways.

I also adored Willie! She’s definitely one of the most interesting characters I've came across in a while. I love how much she did genuinely care for Josie throughout the story. There were some really heart-warming moments between the two of them.

Each character in this story was captivating to read about. It’s not often I read a book in which all of the characters are so amazing. They are all so unique and they help create a story that will stay with you for a long time.

The pacing of the plot is perfect. Nothing feels rushed within the story and every chapter leaves you needing to read the next one.

What I also really love about this book is that it captures the setting and the time of New Orleans so perfectly, you feel as though you are actually there with the characters.  It has made me want to read more books set in New Orleans, that’s for sure!

I would seriously recommend this book to anyone, even if you don’t usually read historical novels because, trust me, you won’t regret it. It’s like no other book out there. 

Royal Rating:

Friday, 24 May 2013

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Bookish Details:
Pages: 332
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 16th 2007

Goodreads Synopsis:St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

My Review:
No, I haven’t just read this book for the first time. I read it way before I had a book blog. But with a lot of new fans coming to the series because of the film adaptation, I thought I’d take a little time to post my review on book one of this awesome series.

I didn’t start off thinking it was too awesome, if I’m honest. When I read it the first time around, I was surrounded by so many vampire books that the thought of reading another one made me want bury my face in a pillow. So I don’t think I gave it a fair chance. I read half of it, only half paying attention, and then left it.

But when the last book in the series was about to come out and everyone was getting excited, I started to wonder if I’d misjudged that first book. So I went over to the book shelf, picked up book one and started again. And boy did I regret ever dismissing that book as just another, cliché vampire story.

This book is so much more than that.

Let’s start with Rose, shall we? Rose is not your typical YA book heroine, oh no. She’s feisty, tough and confident. Okay, she’s a little more than confident, sometimes, and that is exactly what I love about her. She is not the kind of girl who stays hiding in the shadows, spending hours analysing every interaction with a guy to work out whether he like her it or not. She’s hot and she knows it. Reading that, you might think that she’d be an annoying character, but she is so not. She is strong, determined, and extremely loyal. She will always stand up for herself.

The story follows Rose and her best friend, Lissa, who happens to be a Royal. The two are much more than friends, however, as they share a psychic bond.  Her and Lissa’s friendship is one of the key points in this story. It isn’t just a story about a romance. Friendship is a strong theme throughout.

But, of course, we do have Dimitri. Tall, gorgeous, Russian guy who is seen as a God. And you can really see why. His relationship with Rose is a difficult one, due to the small facts that he’s seven years older than her and is practically her teacher. Oh, and a relationship between the two of them also happens to be forbidden because they are both Lissa’s guardians.

There is so much action within this story, but there is also the typical high school element to things and I think that Richelle does a perfect job in including all of that into the book.

If you read the title Vampire Academy and, like me, assume that this is going to be just another vampire love story, you are so wrong. Seriously, let this book restore your faith in vampire novels. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

Royal Rating:

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Awaken

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. "Waiting on Wednesday" spotlights upcoming releases that i'm eagerly anticipating.

Awaken by Meg Cabot
Release Date: July 2nd 2013

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, the dark re imagining of the Persephone myth comes to a thrilling conclusion.
Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.
But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.
If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

The final book in the Abandon trilogy by the fabulous Meg Cabot! I'm super excited to see how the story ends for Pierce and John.

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