Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley Review

Saturday, 30 May 2015 2 comments
Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley
Publication: April 28, 2015, by HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds... two races…and two destinies.
Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. 
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. 
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. 
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? 

My Thoughts: 

Above the clouds, in a land far away with flying ships and people with blue skin (NO, NOT LIKE AVATAR) is the land of Magonia. Nope, you've obviously never heard about it before since it's one of the most rare bookish and fictional settings that I've ever read about, as well as what you've read before. NOTHING CAN BEAT THIS SETTING, JUST SAYING. Maria Dahvana Headley has thrown readers into this "spaceship" of romance, loss and illness, as well as finding yourself in the world that you may not truly belong in.

From that first paragraph wrapped up in complexity, you're likely thinking that I'm some weirdo who is obsessed with this book. To tell you the truth, I am not obsessed with this story and its plot at all, though I am quite fascinated with how the ideas formed together and created an enjoyable read. Tell the difference? *nods* Hah, sorry for my tough macho image, but I'm trying to impress the aliens of Magonia. Know UFOs that take cows into their ship? Yeah, the UFOs are actually the Magonians, trying to find food (or in this case, milk). WHOA. PROBLEM SOLVED. WHY HADN'T THE SCIENTISTS FIGURED THIS OUT YET?

The thing is, if you really look at this story in between the lines and especially at our female protagonist, Aza, you'll find that there really wasn't any dilemma that she was trying to solve. She's sick, yeah, but once she heads to her "afterlife," or in this case, Magonia where she is picked up by the invisible spaceships that soar all over the world, she's living in peace, more peace than she ever would've had if she stayed on Earth. Do I want my own Magonia? Not really, but it was an interesting fictional setting, much unlike anything I've read. IT'S NOT LIKE THESE BROKEN STARS OR ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, don't expect that at all!
"Life and death aren't as different from each other as I thought they were. This isn't like walking into a new country. This is walking into a new room in the same house. This is sharing a hallway and the same row of framed family pictures, but there's a glass wall between. I'm right here. And not."

To wonderfully summarize this bold novel, it's pretty simple... but deep at the same time. Aza Ray is the carrier of a disease that affects her lungs which no one has ever had before. They call it Azaray (Get it? Her name!) and her life is basically supposed to end once she turns sixteen. One day, she hears something call her name in the air, and it's an invisible ship made up of the world, Magonia. Aza's best friend Jason, makes a conspiracy theory on what may be causing this, and all goes wrong once a tragedy occurs.

As I mentioned above, I adored the setting and concept that Headley was trying to get across. It's definitely one of the most diverse reads (but diverse, I mean different and fresh) that I've read in 2015 and for a while, as the author took the idea of space into a whole other level. Now that's something that leads to why I feel that this is hyped about. And before I get to anything else, ISN'T THE COVER SO GORGEOUS?! I can't get enough of it... I wanted a copy before I even knew what the story was about, haha.

Another thing that's crazy is that people compare this to John Green's TFIOS. WHAT. THE. HELL? I'm sorry, but there is romance and a disease involved, but I cannot compare this to it at all, or even to the same way I felt about it, opinion wise. CRITICS MUST STOP WITH THESE WEIRD COMPARISONS... just saying. That's one point I've been trying to get across since after I snarked a few giggles while reading here and there. But we'll get to the feelings a little later.

"I don't think of the sky as any kind of heaven item. I think of it as a bunch of gases and faraway echoes of things that used to be on fire."

Also being pretty philosophical at times, I wanted to get to Headley's writing because that's another great thing that stayed with me after reading. She makes the story sound real, when if someone else told me it in a conversation, I would've laughed and thought that it was stupid. She took a difficult subject into her writing, made everything seem possible, and that readers are in some kind of spaceship above Earth, watching all of the book's events occurring from that spot. What else could we possibly have wanted in the plot? Better formatting. I'm not talking about the beginning, middle and end sort of eighth-grade writing style, where everything is bread and butter, but less boredom throughout some points and more descriptions. When setting your novel in a place like this (mixing between dual perspectives as well), I believe that it's key to be concise and descriptive. This is creative writing, after all.

But the beginning and end was fun of the details that made me fall in love with the story. I giggled, almost shed a tear watching Jason cope and deal with all of the garbage that he had to deal with, and felt all of the feels. I bet that any lover of any genre will end up enjoying this somehow. 

Yeah, I actually ended up dreaming about this one last night! I remember something about a spaceship and me, hah. IT'S A MESSAGE THAT IT'LL ALWAYS BE THERE, WAITING FOR ME AND WATCHING ME. Okay, that may sound a little creepy but books are my friends. Woot. You all are my friends!

Just to go over the characters quickly to give you a feel of what they're like: we have dual perspectives. I feel that this made the story 10x better, since we got a viewpoint on both sides of the story, when they weren't even in the same situation. Aza was a little annoying and not my kind of person, but she was bearable. I'm not going to say that she ruined the book—she didn't, but perhaps I would've preferred a little more intelligence in her decision-making. You'll probably see otherwise, or agree with me, but that's all up to you. And then we had gorgeous, sensitive Jason, who was like the puppy begging for food under your dinner table. He loved Aza, it was all real, and I was only hoping for the feeling would be mutual between them both. 

Was it mutual? I mean, kinda, but I don't want to give many spoilers since you'll probably kill me afterwards (or take all of my books away), but I wish that THERE WERE MORE SIGNS OF LOVE. Aza thinking about him certainly wasn't enough for what they had, know what I'm saying? 

So if you're one of those people (LIKE ME) who always are hesitant to pick a novel up because everyone's hyped up about it, I'd recommend really knowing if it's for you. Magonia sure was, although it wasn't perfect, amazing or a favourite read. There were some issues with Aza and the plot, though that can all be diminished if we all play happy and look at just the feels and writing. And of course, the cover with the feather. It's gorgeous, no? Put your spacesuits on, climb the invisible ladder that hangs from the sky, grab Magonia and enjoy! (In other words, go for it!)

What other AMAZING novels are there with stellar settings? THERE MUST BE SO MANY!

The Heir by Kiera Cass Review: KIERA DOES IT AGAIN

The Heir (The Selection #4), by Kiera Cass
Publication: May 5, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.
But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

My Thoughts:

WHAAAAAAAT WAS THIS GORGEOUSNESS? HOW THE HELL DID KIERA CASS DO THIS? OEWJOGJNEPWNGUBEQONGEONGIUGEWBGHJEWBHGEASDFGHIKL! I'm fangirling so hard because there's no other excuse or way I can take my life with now since I'm so obsessed with this. After waiting a whole year for something else by Kiera Cass, I feel like we've all waited enough and it's about time that we get handed some wonderful. AND THIS WAS IT. It was better than the best, and that's actually rare to find in my liking. Soo... let's get out of this general statement and go WAY farther into the stellar world of The Heir, the book that made 2015.

I have to tell you that I was particularly afraid to read this book because I just wasn't ready for it. The One honestly killed me last year after the BIGGEST DECISION EVER MADE IN YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE, and I never would've thought that I would get something else from The Selection in the future, and when I heard about the news for this and for another book afterwards, I was shocked. I have to admit that I wasn't really happy and feeling positive about it because I wasn't sure if I was ready for another bunch of characters and a brand-new storyline. BUT I OBVIOUSLY WANTED TO READ IT, DUH.

"I'm Eadlyn Schreave, and no one in the world is as powerful as me." (Paperback, page 269)

THAT'S A THOUSANDLY MILLIONLY TIMES TRUE. I feel like I cannot emphasize that even more, but we'll obviously get to Eadlyn's character later, but it brings us to my personal homemade synopsis. Basically, this all takes place twenty years after the events of the final novel in America's point-of-view. Here we have Eadlyn, who is the eighteen-year-old daughter of America and Maxon, who is heir to the throne just by seven minutes, where it really was meant to be for her brother, Ahren. It's her turn for The Selection, and she is the first female to lead it, but she sees that she's not ready to fall in love... or is she?

That's how Eadlyn actually ended up by the end of the book... but it obviously took some time and she was arguing about it. Also, I wanted to mention the fact that she was nowhere close to being annoying. I have to say that I actually really don't understand why people are saying that she was a horrible protagonist. She had tons of aspects and qualities in her personality from both Maxon and America! (I swear, I was about to type "Aspen," haha). We'll get to that later, but I'm now warning you that there are themes of: desperation, love, family and sibling-hood. Not that there's anything that I need to warn you about... it's all pure and wonderful things to keep in mind and think about constantly.

Again, I want to let you understand how amazing this book brought life and awesomeness in The Selection's world to be. The setting and the world is very much like The Bachelorette mixed with Amy Ewing's The Jewel, and after reading I feel like I'm one of the proud candidates trying and prying to win Eadlyn's heart... not that I'm a guy or anything. But really, it's so real and easy to feel like you belong in the eyes of Kiera and you just seem to begin to long and want the best for the characters. AND THEN OF COURSE YOU'LL FALL IN LOVE WITH EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. This time around there's not just Aspen or Maxon, THERE'S 35 GUYS. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO IN THIS EMERGENCY LOVE-LIFE SITUATION OF READING?!

"Ahren looked at Camille like she hung the sun in the sky every morning. It was beautiful, the way he watched her, enchanted by every breath that came out of her mouth. But I felt strangely detached from it all because no one had ever done that for me, and I'd never done that for anyone else." (Paperback, page 307)

I believe that from all of the books I've ever read, love was never expressed in a way like this series does to and for me. And it's not like it's the impossible, fairy-tale love that even Eadlyn herself sees her parents' love as. The author portrays a view that it's something that you have to fight and look for, and it doesn't just come easily to those who would enjoy and love it. Every person is supposed to have a chance to experience love, and even those who don't see it will experience it somehow, like Eadlyn does. I guess at this point of her journey, she doesn't spot it yet, but from the view of readers, I can say that she honestly has those feelings in her heart, and it's not only with one guy. From all of the men who are left, there's something special about each and every one of them, and those who she loves will definitely be the truest winner in the end.

I guess that I don't even have to explain myself and my feelings on the plot and actual storyline because by now, I bet that you've already guessed it. Reading this book made me fall in love, and I now feel like this book was specifically written for this year of 2015. IT'S THE YEAR OF MENDING AND BEGINNING RELATIONSHIPS THAT MOST LIKELY WEREN'T MEANT TO BE HEALED AT THE START BECAUSE THERE WAS NO KIND OF BELIEF PRESENT BY ANYONE. Eadlyn fucking Schreave was kick-ass, just like her lovely mother is, and she showed that to all of us, every reader trying to seek the wittiness and fortune of destiny.

What I just don't get is how people hate Eadlyn. I guess that it'll be and always end up being one of the mysteries in literature that never will be solved because I'm against the norm. I loved Eadlyn—as well as her attitude, quirkiness and not being your proper, posh queen-to-be that we all expected her to transform into. I loved that Kiera changed our expectations of her into something else. Eadlyn wasn't your most perfect heiress who'll rule the world someday by helping the poor, but she led her story and there was so much guilt on her shoulders that there were thousands of moments where she deserved a hug or ten. Having all of the stress of having to rule the world someday mixing in with choosing between 35 men is so much to handle, and I guess that some don't realize that. HER HUMOUR AND AMUSEMENT WAS WHAT ENTERTAINED ME. 

She was a perfect darling, and had so much love for her siblings and her gorgeous parents. *cries again for the millionth time* MOVING ON BEFORE I GET AHEAD OF MYSELF.

The boys were HONESTLY MIND-CRAVING. To this moment, I can't get them out of my head since they're all so hot. KILE, ERIKK (PLOT TWIST) AND HENRI ARE MY FAVOURITES, BUT I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN SINCE THEY'RE ALL AWESOME. And this was extra wonderful because it gave us another view of the actual Selection process from the chooser this time around. Yeah, America was a candidate, but now Eadlyn is the mind-whacker who actually has sense. Remember those moments where we hated Maxon for doing what he did? Yeah, now we know why he did it all. AND THIS CHICK HAS TO DEAL WITH PERVY GUYS WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO KEEP THEIR HANDS TO THEMSELVES! It's a worser case, I must say. But I do have a feeling that Kiera's going to mess with our heads next year and kill us, possibly. Eadlyn better make a great choice.

The ending then came and I died. I'M SORRY, I DIED FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME BECAUSE I COULDN'T HOLD IT ANYMORE. What was this?! So Eadlyn got another fifty-thousand extra pounds on her shoulders again and it was all because of a major plot twist that I cannot even bare to admit or else I'll cry again. *BROTHERS STINK, EVERYONE* You may have thought that love was adorable and it doesn't matter the age, but then that twist will change your mind to think otherwise, just saying. Now I'll sit in my room crying until 2016 for the next book.

It's the truth—I'll be crying and unable to handle myself any longer. Now I'm second-guessing my decision to get this novel and read it right away, the day I purchased it because it just was published and I have to wait another year. After the closing ending in The One, I thought we were all done here and now I just panicked and ruined my own life again. Ugh. But other than my sappy, sad life, this was absolute perfection and probably the best book that I've read this year, just saying. I just want to continue to kiss my paperback copy and use it as a stuffed animal to sleep at night, rereading it a thousand times until I'll hear more news. Meh. I'm a depressed slob, BUT THANK YOU KIERA CASS, I LOVE YA.

Amazing book-hangover causing books you've read lately?

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins Review

Friday, 29 May 2015 2 comments
Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2), by Rachel Hawkins
Publication: April 7, 2015, by Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

My Thoughts: 

Rebel Belle was actually one of my favourite reads of last year, as all of Rachel Hawkins' books are to me. They're wondrous, unique and take magic and paranormal aspects to a new level. With Miss Mayhem, I see it as a little worser than the first book, but nothing close to a horrible sequel leading me to second book syndrome. This was thrilling, wild and full of action all at the same time.

If you've ever read my review of the first book from last year, you'll most likely be able to tell that I was so in love with Harper, David and the whole concept. My eyes couldn't stop lingering from the pages, and I needed more. I even told myself that I wouldn't be able to read anything new for a few days until I got over the tragic book-hangover that Hawkins got me into. I must say that this as a whole was a terrifying sequel. WHOOA. I am never able to get enough of paranormal from Rachel's writing. She's the only character-maker who I can read without barfing from grossness.

"But that would mean wishing he'd never kissed me the night of Cotillion. Wishing we'd never laughed together and held hands and all the other things that I already missed. I wondered if David was thinking that, too, but in the end, he murmured, "See you then," and hung up." (Hardcover, page 153)

We start off here basically right from where Rachel left us off with in the first novel. Harper, David and Ryan all think that everything is now going all right with the whole magic situation, but now Harper's life is again turned around when David is going to be trained by the Ephors. It all goes upside down as she has to make the decision whether to risk her life or suffer for the rest of it.

This was exactly like a thriller novel where all turns horribly with one wrong action. The wrong action here was Harper turning against all of her friends. I mean, she was a good person but she acted pretty cruelly to Ryan, Bee and even David at times. I can obviously comprehend that this is just who she is, (as people noted that she's a Southern brat), and I've grown to love her to even this point, but I realize that it's all because of her that everything went wrong. She's the one who carried the story to slow points since she became clueless with relationships, how to deal with her parents and all of the wrong things in life. 

Like I mentioned above, Hawkins knows how to rule the genre of paranormal. With every book that she writes, she adds some kind of paranormal thing in it, from witches to vampires and werewolves. But she never takes the cheesy route of writing and creates plot twists having to do with the weird stuff like that. She relates it all to real life, like boarding schools (in Hex Hall) and to a more romantic based thing, in this trilogy. 

"'You are trying to be too many things to too many people, Harper Jane.' Aunt Jewel's fingers were cold, the skin papery , but she held me tight as she added, "And I think one day, one day soon, you're gonna have to choose." (Hardcover, page 207)

Looking at the plot, I do have to say that it was the quality that I had a problem with. I mean, the writing sure is stellar and beautiful, but I found there to be some slow moments in the middle that left me rolling my eyes out of exaggeration. No biggie, but it's just a thing to let people know about beforehand since they may not be in for that kind of thing, know what I mean? It's not like I was second-guessing myself and wondering if I should put the book down, it was just a negative aspect.

But other than that small teeny thing, everything else was practically perfect. And hey, especially the characters and friendships. GO GIRL POWER BETWEEN BEE AND HARPER! Hawkins really made them like best friends, and it's not like one of those stories when the main character has a secret and she hasn't told her bestie yet, IT WAS THE OPPOSITE. They battled all of the battles together, and although there were secrets, it seemed like they were two peas in a pod.

And actually, the two exes who readers expect to never become friends again—Ryan and Harper, were both so supportive of each other and it definitely was a bright spot in young adult literature. Hawkins led our minds out of what we usually expect coming from character-relationships, and I was so thankful with the outcome. And it's all because magic was led into his life accidentally. Woot! *throws a party* I'll honestly be sad if I ever have to see them argue horribly or anything like that. Yay for magical stuff! *looks onto the next couple*

Then we have Harper and David. AWWW. Although we were led into some kind of breakup that didn't seem to last too long, they usually were pretty happy with each other and their relationship. They are like one of the only couples in YA lit that I see understanding each other so well since their situations are so alike. It's not like they chose their magical lifestyle and that they have to live fighting for their lives, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah, people have noted that David's gotten weirder and that he's hiding something (which eventually really tells that us in the plot-twisting end), but I support them. I'll give them a 5/5 for today, heheh.

After having to deal with a rather low-rated plot in my opinion, I was sure that the ending would be exactly the same as what I saw from the start. NO. I built up TEARS, people. I couldn't believe that this kind of suspense would be thrown at us and now we have to wait another year until the next and final book in the trilogy. I literally sat there afterwards, thinking about the other POV that needs to be written by the author–DAVID, and what he's up to and why the hell did he do that. Not that I'm upset at him or anything... it's kind of mutual between us since he doesn't seem like the happiest wise guy around. But anyways, I'm SO sure that lovers of the first novel (like myself) will also fall in love with this one. It was fantastic, minus plot and Harper. BRACE YOURSELF FOR MAYHEM AND BEAUTY PAGEANTS.

Any good new paranormal recommendations?

Waiting on Wednesday #2: The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 4 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Good Girls (The Perfectionists #2), by Sara Shepard
Publication: June 2, 2015, by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes the shocking sequel to The Perfectionists—with an ending you'll have to read to believe!
Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn't actually go through with it. It's just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn't the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets?

So... JUNE 2 BETTER COME FASTER. I really enjoyed The Perfectionists, and I'm so excited to discover WHO KILLED NOLAN, and then here we read that someone else the five hate was killed.... WHICH I KNOW WHO AND I WANT TO SEE WHAT ELSE IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Cliffhangers and suspense both rock and stink at the same time. Agh!

What's your most anticipated read lately?

I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore Review

Tuesday, 26 May 2015 2 comments
I Am Her Revenge, by Meredith Moore
Publication: April 7, 2015, by Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

She can be anyone you want her to be. Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception. And she can destroy anyone. When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago. Anyone…except for the woman who created her.With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.

My Thoughts:

For having Vivian, our main kick-ass lead, actually talk about Romeo and Juliet, I now can comprehend that this was the author's point—a retelling in which readers will craze, rave and relate to 100%, even if we're not chosen to get revenge for our own mothers. *_* It's about Vivian's actuality and how she can be copied as an ordinary teenage girl who is stuck in the wrong situation at the wrong moment and time. 

After reading, my mind is possibly blown away. No, scratch that possibility, it's a real thing, and I can tell you that this only happens to me in certain situations and times. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, Meredith Moore has written this book for me, as it feels like. Everything about it was enduring, stunning, and I just didn't want to let go of the plot, suspense and characters. I know who I'll be dreaming about tonight! *whispers Ben and Vivian's name*

"I am irresistible. And everyone notices it. As I pass the eyes over the crowd, a slow smirk on my lips, the buzzing starts. Kids turn to each other and ask who I am." (Hardcover, page 4)

That's my "kind" of character, I tell you. I'll get into a more drastic informed, truly SPECIFIC note later, but that quote just made me giggle and feel like I'm a four year old all over again since this RARELY happens in modern society. No one's aware of anyone unless they're the pure, perfect definition of hot. Vivian surely wasn't perfect, and her character unquestionably notes that to readers. *winks* Again, let me continue with the summary before I actually begin a rant on the stupidity of modern society and technology. ANYWAYS...!

Revenge is the key concept and subject in this novel, as you can already tell. Look at the title, the Goodreads synopsis, it's a big thing. And had vengeance not played such a huge role in the plot, the story would've been corrupted. This vengeance is what Vivian has been trained to do for her entire life. Her mother raised her to not love, to not make friends, nada. And now, as she gains the chance, it's time for her to do her thing. Her mother sends her to an English boarding school where her target is, and she needs him to fall in love with her, pronto. It's Ben, and he's the son of a mega-millionaire, also known as the man who broke Vivian's mother's heart. BUT TIME IS TICKING, AND OF COURSE... SECRETS WILL BE DISCOVERED.

Where do we go from here? Revenge, friendship, trust, drugs... there's so many topics that Moore focused on throughout the novel, and it's the true mixture of being a teen. Of course, not every teen (perhaps only the rare few) have to literally go with the flow in this kind of situation and worry about people watching you from afar, but it's like a guide to what things can become when you don't know your history. Vivian's mother hadn't even told Viv her name, and kept switching things around as they moved through towns, struggling to keep the mission planned the way it's supposed to be planned. Time was a huge factor into "Mother's" dream plan, and it seemed like literal nonsense, but manipulation can go a far way.

"If I learned how to manipulate those desires, I could make any boy my slave. And I must never become a victim of love. Love dismantles you. I'll never let it break me apart. Not again, at least." (Hardcover, page 51)

Readers are most definitely able to witness the struggles of Vivian trying to be herself, and find herself at least, as she was always a slave for the largest period of her life. This caused her to be clueless, and it made her feel superior at first, but after things got discovered, she shattered into pieces. Thankfully, there are characters there for her who patched her back up, like Arthur, Ben and Claire. (I'll get to them later, I promise!)

It basically took me a day to read this book, and because of my demand to study, IT TOOK ME TWO DEVOURING SITTINGS. I honestly could've went straight with this for the longest period of time and I wouldn't get a headache or get bored because IT WAS AMAZING. Honestly, there are only rare situations where I feel like I'm able to fly, panic and fangirl to the maximum without splurging my brains out of weirdness. Okay, I'm already weird, so scratch that last part out. But, all I can say is that Moore is a phenomenal author—she writes like she's Vivian, and this is her story. It had just a bit of everything, and she honestly knows what she's doing here. And especially to readers.

Where else can I go with this? I'm still speechless, since I have a million things to say and then you'd all get bored of my insightful rambling for ages. But next off, to the characters, this is the part that you've been waiting for from this whole review. Everything is a 6/5 stars, but the characters were an aspect that we really need to go in depth with, since they're a cast fit for a movie. PERFECT PEOPLE WITH IMPERFECT ATTRIBUTES. THAT'S WHAT I LOVE.

And I also love myself a bad boy and girl. Playing hard to get? That's my kind of thing, and it's truly adorable to read that playing back and forth with Viv and Ben. They both were so similar in many ways, but the fact that it was all an act (at least, it seemed to be) killed me. To be honest, I saw a love triangle evolving, and Arthur the gardener was part of it. WOOPS, I MEAN "BOY." I didn't like him so much compared to dreamy BEN, but he was that kind of guy best friend that every chick needs in order to survive high school and beyond. Get what I'm saying?

Then we have: Vivian. Like I mentioned before, she's kick-ass. She's not the type of chick who just has that luck to get by things and not get caught. As her stupid-butt mother told her, she has to work for what she gets, and then she'll eventually get it. That's like the basic motto of this whole book, and eventually she realized it, but in the wrong ways that her mother actually meant in the beginning. She was superbly intelligent and didn't even need drugs to get in her way of her plan. It actually turned out waaay better than what we all planned it to be.

I'm almost done, I swear. THAT ENDING KILLED ME, THOUGH. Did I see that coming? Absolutelyfuckingdooplynot. Do I like what happened? Absoluetlyfuckingdooplyyes. YES. It was a perfect standalone ending, with suspense into wondering what happened later, but our questions were answered and there was a tweak of romance and emphasis after everything. I guess that the title and cover make SO MUCH MORE SENSE after thinking about it afterwards.

Think about a perfect novel—simply one of the best you've ever read. If this one comes to mind, then you're actually on the right track, my wonderful friends! I Am Her Revenge was unlike anything else I've read in a LONG time, and it's the pure definition of a me-read. Thrills, mystery, suspense, friendship and a tweak of romance equals all of this, plus a million other fantastic aspects that you'll have to see for yourself once you DEVOUR this!

What's your favourite suspense read?

Lailah by Nikki Kelly Review

Monday, 25 May 2015 4 comments
Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1), by Nikki Kelly
Publication: October 7, 2014, by Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Vampires, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted
Rating: ½

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

My Thoughts: 

I find myself being the kind of chick who's willing to go for almost any kind of YA read. Whether it's contemporary or fantasy, I have some favourites for each genre, and I can't get enough of it all. But this isn't about me here (but it is about my opinion), it's about the hype surrounding this novel. I mean yeah, it was published onto Wattpad and went viral, but I feel that there's no need for all of the useless hype and craze surrounding this book. *breathes in and out*

Lailah could've been much better and could've went in a whole other direction, I feel. I'm totally not into paranormal romances these days, and even if this book did happen to capture my attention (and be released) back in the day of my amateur YA-happy days, I still probably wouldn't have liked it. Yeah, there's vampires, angels, and all of that info-dumping about the causes and effects of these weird situations. It's everything you can possibly expect a simple paranormal romance to have. There wasn't anything special about it and I felt rather bored with the entire concept. 

"Fluttering my eyelids closed I placed my hand over his chest in return. He wrapped his hand over the top of mine, pressing it down more firmly. It was like his soul was enveloped around me tightly, and I imagined cupping his light, watching his purity dance in the palm of my hand." (Hardcover, page 146)

Imagine the purity all right, because this had no sense of purity. It was just a knockoff of everything else you've read all mixed up together in one, just with a gorgeous cover that I still can't keep my eyes off until today as I'm writing this review. Every time I take a peek at it now, only the negative memories float back to me, sadly. Don't readers choose to purchase and devour a book out of utter interest and happiness? What's happening to this genre now?

Whoa, just take a look at the first sentence of this synopsis: "The girl knows she's different." Ohmygosh. We have never ever heard of this thing before! *says sarcastically* Of course we have. IN EVERY. SINGLE. PARANORMAL. BOOK! Kelly definitely should've taken that aspect in a whole other route. Ugh. Moving on with my own personal tiny snippet of a summary, we have our sassy (but cool) main character, Lailah. DUH. She actually doesn't realize that her name is Lailah until later in the novel, but you could say that she's an immature clueless freak at the start of her story here. She has visions of this guy (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES?!) and then one day on her way home from work, she encounters this vampire dude named Jonah (who's pretty hot if you ask me) and what do you think this'll lead to? You've guessed it, and I bet that there's no need for me to waste sentence space and time to say it. Keep it to yourself. *winks* ;)

In a paragraph, that's one way to explain what this book provided for readers. You're probably thinking that it was horrible for me and I'm a weirdo for giving it a 2.5 star rating if all I'm doing is complaining so far, but you have to comprehend that there's some positive sides to it, too. Always remember, that if there's a dark side, there's always some kind of good, light side somewhere. Okay? Okay. *hates using cheesy quotes but it's the only way to proclaim my thoughts out loud* In one sentence, I'll tell you that I hated the concept and setting: I hated the concept and setting. That's a 1/5 star rating since I dislike vampires and angels, both smashed together into a book. And of course, one guy is one creature and the other is the other creature. Love triangle, you speak of?

"No, love, the darkness inside him cost him his existence, [...] His life was taken from him a long time ago; you need to separate the two." (Hardcover, page 238)

When beginning to flip through the pages and hope for the best, I believe that it did start off as the best. Okay, it literally wasn't the best the best, *hopes you're getting this* but I was liking it. The plot seemed that it was about to explode into a million action scenes that would gather my feelings and hopes and wishes and throw them around like confetti, but I found it all rather boring. It was too philosophical, too wordy and weird for the genre itself, and it stayed that way towards the end. Why did I not DNF it instead?

THE CHARACTERS, OF COURSE! Woot. I finally can grab myself and throw my words into this paragraph, forming it in my mind with pure happiness. Lailah's character is what helped me stay. Think of If I Stay, that kind of staying and not leaving anyone/anything behind. *thinks about it* Lailah was kick-ass, totally not annoying, and she resembled the total opposite of Bella Swan in this case. And plus, in the love triangle, there weren't any humans! Mostly. *laughs* She was normal, and unusual both at the same time. What other bad-butt protagonist could you possibly ask for? *thinks of Celaena Sardothien* 

Then we have the men—Gabriel and Jonah. So I grew to actually LOVE Jonah although he was really creepy at times. *thinks of the moments* BUT GABRIEL WAS TOO SENSITIVE AND SYMPATHETIC, LIKE A WHINY PUPPY. Jonah was the hardcore man who could back Lailah up in any situation. And he's just like her, kick-ass and real. But I'm afraid that the love triangle thing here is a little too cliché for this situation and for the genre itself. I don't recommend reading this if you're against them. 

"Love is light. Hate, evil is darkness. Polar opposites. It would never matter what she did, even with a being such as Gabriel, he could never love her like that." 

Despite the bad, negative factors that I've continuously mentioned throughout this review, Lailah wasn't horrible, but it wasn't that good, either. I can add that it was well written, though the concept just isn't my kind-of-read and I do believe that many others will fall in love and pet it happily day and night. You may even want to read the sequel. *gives a suggestion out* But for me, and voicing to the many paranormal-haters, this wasn't as good as expected. Stay away from hyped-up reads if you feel it's not for you, there's a tip!

What is a hyped read that didn't go well for you?