Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Review

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Format: Paperback (Simon & Schuster UK | Owned)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Blurb (Goodreads):

Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalised isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead!

 

My Thoughts:

Why did I pick up this book?

I read the first book not too far back last year somewhere in September and it was the one of my favorites for that year and I though I could not wait to get into its sequel, I still did not manage to read it until recently. And yeap, as expected the second was much more better than the first and I cant wait to discuss it with you all.

The Plot:

So it continues from where book 1 left us and Mara was now in  the hospital, sedated, and her dad was still recuperating from the accident. So due to the bizarre police report that Mara Dyer made, Dr. Kells came in and suggested that Mara goes to Horizons and see if she improves. Of course Mara would not want to do that as that would mean not seeing Noah and she also dont want to stay in Horizons for who knows how long and away from her parents. So, after some discussion, Mara will go to Horizons in the day and home in the evening. And stuff gets intense when she meets Phoebe another patient at Horizons. OMG Phoebe just creeps me put. She puts on a facade of an innocent girl but inside, she’s outright creepy. I really liked how the story went and progressed. It picked up speed and though I was dying to know what was happening, sadly exams and submission deadlines came in and I dont really have time to find out what happens. I really like the pacing and the conclusion was a huge bang. It was not a cliffhanger but at the end of this book questions were answered and I can’t wait to see Mara in action again.

The Characters:

We were introduced to people who are like Mara and they seem pretty sane to me. Except for Phoebe. I really loved how Michelle Hodkin had a personality for each character and I really feel so much more and I was really into the book. The great characters were what made the plot stand out even more. I could not ask for better characters even Jude is a total criminal with no essence of humanity in him at all. And Phoebe, the attention seeking girlwho is being used by the real villain, I’m just blown by how creepy and crazy she was. And Mara, she’s still hanging it there despite what’s she gone through and though she breaks down, she doesn’t give up. And of course with Noah beside her, she’s even stronger.

The writing:

I felt that the writing style here is much more intense because of the nature of the plot and I really love how the language flows. It is very coherent and it was so easy and fun to read and understand the message the author is trying to bring across. I guess this is another element that makes this book sooo sooo enjoyable and I’m just surprised at how it was better than the first.

Rating: 5/5 stars

5 hearts

 

Review of previous book(s):

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

 

 

 

ARC Review: The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling

Review

The Diamond ThiefTitle: The Diamond Thief

Author: Sharon Gosling

Format: E-ARC (Capstone Switch Press | Owned)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Blurb (Goodreads):

No one performs on the circus trapeze like 16-year-old Rémy Brunel. But Rémy also leads another life, prowling through the backstreets of Victorian London as a jewel thief. When she is forced to steal one of the world’s most valuable diamonds, she uncovers a world of treachery and fiendish plots.

Meanwhile, young detective Thaddeus Rec is determined to find the jewel and clear his name. Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel? Or is it really Rémy that he needs to save?

 

 

I received this ARC from Netgalley  and this my honest review of it

My Thoughts:

The Plot:

I find it pretty okay but not full enough. I also felt that the length of this stand-alone was a little too short for a mystery book. I expected it to be at least 400 pages long. I did not really have high hopes for this book as I have not read any of Sharon Gosling’s book and it’s an ARC so there are bound to be flaws in it. Overall, it was a light read. I felt that the suspense did not really build up to the point which made me want to know what will happen next. I guess that was the downside of this book. I felt that more events could be added and more discoveries. I felt that the discoveries made were done too easily. That’s not how mystery book normally goes. The characters will first suspect and when they investigate further, they end up with dead-ends. So I guess that was what was lacking in this book.

The Characters:

I felt that they were pretty flat and I did not feel connected to them at all. They are pretty much two-dimensional most of the time throughout the whole book. I did not love or hate them and just felt okay with them. It was more of a meh feeling.

The writing:

I kind of like how Sharon Gosling writes descriptions. They are pretty original and it kind of gave me the ambience of the Victorian era. They matched pretty well and that got me settled into the world pretty quickly.

Please do share with me if you have read the published version of this book if there are improvements to the plot.

Rating: 3/5 stars3 stars

Review: Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea

Review

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) Title: Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea (Between #1)

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Format: Hardback (Dial| Borrowed)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Summary (Goodreads):

 You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

 Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes  along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to  happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. 

 Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something  more?

 Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-  haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you  want to kiss back. 

 Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

 Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a  dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

My Thoughts:

Why did I pick this book:

First of all, I was attracted by its cover which I saw on Goodreads and when I read the blurb, it seems like the kind of book I like to read. Yes I love gothic stuff. I also read the reviews and it seems like a book that I would enjoy and has been pinning to read it until I saw it in the library and I decided to pick it up.

 

The Plot:

Well I must say, it was spooky and gothic and dark. I like it. However, I did not like how things turn out when Brodie (River and Neely’s half brother) came into the picture and the situation was worse than the current one. I felt that the events could be spaced out to allow character to have the opportunity to react to it. Since its going to be a series, I don’t see why is there a need to introduce Brodie to us. I felt that I have yet to know Neely and in came a new character. I felt that it was rather rushed and not properly spaced out. That’s so far the only flaw. The whole paranormal thing really spooked me out. I also like how Violet’s life is somehow linked with her grandmother’s past. With the events happening in town, Violet went to search for her Grandmother’s letters if she left any for Violet to find and she found out that her Grandmother had relations with Jack’s grandfather and also River’s grandfather (if I’m not wrong). I find that whole part really cool and I’m looking forward to more of such stuff in the sequels.

 

The Characters:

The book could have been better if we had stronger characters and I mean Violet and River. No wonder they are perfect match. They simply loose their strength when the other is present. I could not stand it and that is a big no-no. I got tired of them and that hindered my reading. Fine I accept that in the beginning the characters have not grown and the events will help them grow. But no, there isn’t any character development for either of them. Except that they found each other. I guess they did not even have love in their relationship. I guess its infatuation. For both of them. One example is despite River telling lies, she still forgives him. I mean he lied so many times, he’s got a motive up there. She’s just clouded by her own perception of him.

If that’s what you call character development. Then there’s Sunshine. She’s a flashy girl. She practically throws herself at almost any guy she sees.  There’s Luke, Violet’s twin brother. He’s a loose guy, he’s horny and his thoughts were most of the time voiced out. It’s quite sad, they only thing I knew about them at the end (which was obviously stated) that their interest in each other is for real and not to make Violet jealous.  Ughh the characters just fit too perfectly for each other. So we have the weaklings and the loose people. I feel so bad shamming them, but that’s all I read.

 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Review

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)Title: Heist Society (Heist Society #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Format: Hardback (Disney-Hyperion  | Borrowed)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Summary (Goodreads):

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts:

The Plot:

It was confusing in the first and middle part. When Kat first got into the case and I have no idea what they are doing and I hardly saw the link between what they were doing and what does it got to do with that case. When I got through that confusing part, things started to escalate pretty quickly and with the deadline coming soon it just kept me turning the pages. I really love how these teenagers did their planning and their hypothesis for this case and the description of it is so intricate and detailed. I’m impressed by that and I want to read more of this series.

The Characters:

One thing different about this book is that there are no cheesy romantic scenes which is kind of refreshing and I really want more of such novels whereby the romance part is toned down and the main plot is amplified. I felt that these teenagers have very good camaraderie although at times they disagree with each other decisions like when Kat brought in an outsider to help them with their case as they were short-handed. I felt like when you are dealing with such stuff, the only goal they have in mind is not to get caught so I felt that it was normal as their lives were at stakes and they have to make sure their plan is fool-proof. I also like how quick-witted they were when they were in awkward circumstances.

The Writing:

I loved how detailed it was but like I said earlier I had problems with the first and middle part. This could be probably I’m not used to such genre and hence not familiar with the terms used or the reasons behind their actions. That was a downfall if not this book could be a 4 star instead of a 3.5 star.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Review

Title: Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School #1)

Author:Gail Carriger

Format: Hardback (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers| Borrowed)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Summary (Goodreads):

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

My Thoughts:

The Plot:

One good thing was that, there wasn’t any long winded intro that took forever to get into the actual plot. Yeap so that book starts off with Soph short for Sophronia Angelina Temminnick being sent off to finishing school because of her un-lady like behaviour and then the carriage she was in was being attacked. She was very cool-headed and handled the situation well. There’s steampunk in it and it was so cool with all the machines and Soph was performing her own undercover. Which is like so damn cool. The school is in an Airship and the school has vampire and werewolf as teachers. I like how all these gel together and there was high school drama in it too. What can I ask for more in this book? Definitely need to read the next one. There were times where not much action was going on but it was great as sometimes I need a breather from all those heart-stopping action and excitement.

The Characters:

They were great we have Soph who’s always curious and sneaking and snooping around. Then we have Dimity whose the friend who always support Soph and we also have Soap who works in the boiler room and he makes a great accomplice. And there’s Monique I keep imagining her as a sour grape. Its like she’s super jealous of Soph and she does not listen to teacher’s instructions most of the time.

The Writing:

The writing style is a little different from other books and it took me quite a while to get used to. I also find it very unique and would like to read more of her books.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Review: Venom by Fiona Paul

Review

Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1)Title: Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1)

Author: Fiona Paul

Format: Paperback (Speak| Owned)

Find it on: Goodreads | Book Depository

Summary (Goodreads):

Love, lust, murder, mayhem and high society converge in one thrilling debut

Part Gossip Girl, part Edgar Allan Poe, and wholly beautiful, elegant and suspenseful, this novel set in Venice during the Renaissance is a true romantic thriller. When Cassandra Caravallo visits her friend Liviana’s crypt and finds a murdered courtesan inside, her world is turned upside down. Before she knows it, Cass is involved with Falco, a grave-robbing artist, and on her way to discovering corruption in the elite Venetian society.

But will she find the man who’s been savagely murdering beautiful young girls before he finds her? Will she stay true to her fiance, who’s off studying law in France? Or will she succumb to Falco’s charms? Beauty, love, romance and murder combine in a novel that’s as seductive and stunning as Venice itself.

My thoughts:

The Plot:

OMG! The plot was so great. With the mystery and murder it just kept me wanting for more. What’s more its set in Venice during the Renaissance period. Meaning there’s masquerades but Cass life is not all that glitzy after her friend died and when she went to visit her at the cemetery, her friend’s body was not in it but instead of another girl. The starting was so full of suspense and I can wait to keep on reading. Along the way she met Falco and he helped her with the investigations. And while she’s investigating, she impersonated a few roles and I found it very interesting. She also gets to places she has never been before. Its like she stepped into the shoes of those people and she learnt from there. She really grew from all these experiences. It’s just so damn cool impersonating.

The Characters:

We have pretty strong main characters in this book. Cass she’s the kind of girl who doesn’t really do gossip and she’s rather independent. One thing I liked about her was her fearlessness. For example, she went to the cemetery alone at night. Then we have Falco. I hope Cass goes with Falco cause he brings out the best in her unlike her fiancee who’s so inflexible when it comes to certain things. I really hope to see Cass and Falco together in the next two books.

The Writing:

I really loved the writing. Fiona Paul just gets straight to the point. She seldom beats about the bush by describing something with flowery, over the top words. Yes and since she cuts all the beating about the bush, it gets me more absorbed into the book. I find that over the top and draggy descriptions, is a total turn off for me and one of the top pet peeves.

Rating:

4.5 / 5 stars