Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review: Spy for The Queen of Scots

Author: Theresa Breslin
Edition: Corgi Paperback
Released: 2nd August 2012
Series: n/a
Pages: 400 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

Jenny, close friend and companion to Mary, Queen of Scots, has grown up at the French court - a place of ruthless ambition, intrigue and deceit. When Jenny overhears a whispered plot, and several mysterious deaths take place, she turns spy for Mary.

Then Mary returns to Scotland to claim her throne, and the girls face even greater peril. There are many who would slit Mary's throat to steal her crown, and Jenny must protect her mistress - while also fighting her feelings for the charismatic nobleman Duncan Alexander.
 

My past experience with historical fiction has been... well, not so good. That's why I'd made it a rule to never pick up another historical book. But then this one came through the post. It wasn't expected. I put it aside, dismissing it - doubting it would be something I'd like... Then, surprising myself, I ended up picking it up. I don't know what came over me but, suddenly, I just wanted to give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. It turned out to be an interesting read that, even though I didn't love, I enjoyed enough to make me consider venturing more into historical fiction in the future.

One thing I adored about this novel in particular was that it was (partly) set in Scotland. I love reading books set in my home country (since they are virtually non-existent!) - it was a breath of fresh air. I also hadn't really thought much of Mary, Queen of Scots, and this helped me understand more of what happened to her. Obviously this book doesn't relay the events exactly like how they really happened (considering it's fiction) but, I'm to believe, that the author did incorporate some truth into the storyline. Which I enjoyed.

The story is told through the POV of lady-in-waiting and best friend to Mary, Lady Ginette - known better as Jenny. I found her to be a very admirable character. She was extremely loyal to Mary and was always looking out for her. However, she did have a tendency to jump to conclusions and, more often than not, she took out her frustration and anger on Duncan. Which I felt was really unfair to him. Even though he was a very secretive and frustrating character himself, I still fell for him. The romance between them was a little all over the place though.

Overall, I did end up enjoying this book more than I thought I would. Though I was led to believe there would be more spying on Jenny's part than there was, the romance was a bit out-of-sorts and the language in the book had me confused at parts - as is common with the few historical books I have read - I am still glad I read it. It was completely different from anything I'd read before and I was constantly intrigued as to how the story would end - given that Mary, ultimately, comes to a graphic end. So, to conclude, I did like this novel. Just not loads.

THREE STARS FOR SPY FOR THE QUEEN OF SCOTS!
Huge thanks go out to Random House for my copy!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Anyone got any YA historical fiction books to recommend? ;)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Guest Post: My Favourite Literary Characters!

Today I'm very excited to feature a guest post by lovely book blogger, Holly. She talks about a few of her favourite literary characters and explains why she loves them so much. It's a great guest post so I hope you all enjoy! :)

I am somebody who is very proud to say that they describe themselves as a bookworm. I come from a background of literature and my Mum is an English teacher at my school and so it has been practically ingrained into my DNA that I love reading and books. Hundreds of books have passed through my hands but only a few characters have ever really stuck with me:

DeathlyPromo HermioneHermione Granger: Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series is my favourite character of all time. For anyone who reads my blog will know I am obsessed with Harry Potter and I think a lot of this comes down to Hermione. Hermione is strong willed, intelligent, and very powerful having an incredible familiarity of the Wizarding world before she has even entered it. She reflects that it is okay to be smart and to like to have a thirst for knowledge. Hermione has such a powerful effect on most readers of Harry Potter because she is the only girl in the trio and yet they would not survive without her for a day – according to Ron. My favourite thing about Hermione that as it becomes clearer and clearer that she is falling for Ron you see the constant worry about knowledge disappear and she realises sometimes there are more important things than books, and facts.

Hazel Lancaster: Hazel is a character that once you finish the book of The Fault in Our Stars, sticks with you permanently. Hazel is a sixteen year old girl who is suffering from stage four thyroid cancer. She knows she is dying and yet she shakes hands with cancer and gets on with her life to the best of her ability. Like her boyfriend who is also suffering from cancer she has a very dry humour when it comes to her illness and essentially does make fun of cancer. Although Hazel’s story is tragic and heart breaking, you cannot help but admire her courage and bravery throughout the book.

Luna profileLuna Lovegood: Luna is a...different character and she very much stands out in her own way. From her introduction in the Order of the Phoenix, she definitely puts her mark on everyone surrounding her. Her quirky, unique personality clearly reflects how although people do have instant opinions of her, positive and negative, she really doesn’t give a dam about what anyone thinks of her. Luna is very proud of who she is and never lets go of her personality to fit in with anyone else. Luna, like Hermione does read the message that it is good to be different, and to think highly of yourself no matter what people say.


Thanks for the great guest post, Holly! Hermione and Luna are two of my favourite characters as well! And I've heard only great things about Hazel!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: You can click HERE to visit Holly's blog!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Showcase Sunday #21

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.

I only got a couple books again this week but since both look really good, I just couldn't wait another week to share them with all of you. Especially considering that one of them isn't the usual type of book you'd see on this blog! Anyway. Let's get to it!

 
For Review:

The Elites by Natasha Ngan (ARC):
I am SUPER excited to read this one! It sounds so unusual and way different from anything else I've ever read! I can't wait to see what I think of it. Huge thanks go out to Hot Key Books who were amazing enough to send me out an ARC copy for review! :)

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith:
So basically this isn't a fiction book. It's like a journal with an instruction on every page and the overall idea of it is to make you do stuff you wouldn't necessarily ever do. Like make holes with a pencil on one page. Collect stickers off of fruit on another. Stick leaves in etc. There's so much to do and it looks like so much fun! Huge thanks go out to Penguin for sending me this to review on their website Spinebreakers.

So that's all I received this week. But I am loving my new goodies and can't wait to get started on them! Link up to your own book hauls in the comments and I'll stop by and take a look. :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mini Review: Article 5

Author: Kristin Simmons
Edition: Tor Teen Paperback
Released: 31st January 2012
Series: Article 5 #1
Pages: 359 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behaviour—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

This book had been a highly-awaited wishlist read of mine for ages, so I was unbelievably overjoyed when I finally managed to get my hands on a copy. The synopsis of Article 5 created a promising premise that instantly drew me in from the get go. Not to mention the numerous glowing reviews and heavy hype surrounding it at the time of it's release. So I had high hopes going into this book. Unfortunately, I ended up not feeling much of anything whilst reading it. The dystopian story didn't really offer anything new and unusual for me to work with.

The one major highlight in this novel for me was Chase. He was a really likeable and complex character. It's just a shame I didn't get along with the main character, Ember. She was just way too selfish and self-absorbed for me to empathise with. Never stopping to think about how her actions could affect other people and put them in danger... It irked me a great deal. She was also excessively mean to Chase. Which I did not like one bit.

However, there was just something about this book that made me keep reading. Undoubtedly, Chase was the highlight for me in this novel. It's just a pity I didn't really think much of anything else. The dystopian world wasn't new and exciting enough, and the main character was too wrapped up in her own problems. So, it's tricky for me to rate this book. Though I sound really negative, I did still enjoy certain parts of the book and a few of the characters. I just wish it wasn't as forgettable. To end on a more positive note, here's my favourite quote:

"I could not fall back in love with Chase Jennings. Doing so was like falling in love with a thunderstorm. Exciting and powerful, yes. Even beautiful. But violently tempered, unpredictable, and ultimately, short-lived."

THREE STARS FOR ARTICLE 5!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

2013 August Releases!

Since August is almost upon us (only one week left to go!), I thought it'd be a good time to showcase some of the books that will be hitting the shelves! Most of the books I've come across are sequels/later books in series but there are a few standalones that look really good too. I'm quite excited for a number of these so, without further-a-do, here are some of the releases in question! :)


The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon | 20th August 2013
Relic by Renee Collins | 27th August 2013
The Sound by Sarah Alderson | 1st August 2013


Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas | 27th August 2013
Earth Star (Earth Girl #2) by Janet Edwards | 15th August 2013
A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2) by Rachel Harris | 6th August 2013
Deception (Defiance #2) by C.J. Redwine | 27th August 2013


The Uprising (The Forsaken #2) | 6th August 2013
The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson | 27th August 2013
Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire | 6th August 2013
Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan | 29th August 2013


Consume (The Clann #3) by Melissa Darnell | 27th August 2013
Elegy (Watersong #4) by Amanda Hocking | 6th August 2013
Hover (The Taking #2) by Melissa West | 13th August 2013
Winds of Salem (The Beaucamp Family #3) by Melissa de la Cruz | 13th August 2013

A few other honourable mentions include Soulbroken (Legacy of Tril #2) by Heather Brewer, False Sight (False Memory #2) by Dan Krokos and The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abe.
 
So, there we go! I hope you've all found a few to add on to your wishlists! Personally, I am really excited for The Bone Season, Earth Star, The Uprising and Crown of Midnight! What about you? :)
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Review: Icons

Author: Margaret Stohl
Edition: HarperVoyager Paperback
Released: 16th May 2013
Series: Icons #1
Pages: 429 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

[following is a diluted version of the synopsis. click goodreads link to read longer one.]
[my review's rather lengthy... so feel free to skip parts! just had too much to say!]

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol′s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn′t know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside - safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can′t avoid.

She′s different. She survived. Why?

Despite being excited for this book, I was really hesitant to start it. I hadn't been able to finish Stohl's other book, Beautiful Creatures, so was scared the same thing would happen again with this one. And I really didn't want that to happen. Icons had way too much of a promising storyline to not be good and I was dreading such a unique concept going to waste. Thankfully, it didn't. I adored it.

Don't ask me how I can love this book but not her other series. I'm just as stumped as you are. Maybe it was the mood I was in whilst reading this book that did it... or maybe the storyline of Beautiful Creature's just wasn't for me. I guess we'll never know. One of the major factors that'd led to me setting down her previous novel had been the pace. It had been far too slow for me. But in Icons, the pacing was neither too slow or too fast. It was perfect. Something or another was always happening and I was never bored.

I've got to say, I think the main reason I liked this book so much is all down to the storyline. I've never read anything like this before. And that's becoming rarer and rarer for me to say now concerning the dystopian genre. Sure, it still has the whole corrupted government thing going on but that didn't deflect from how I felt of the plotline as a whole. I loved the idea of Dol, Ro, Tima and Lucas all being linked and able to affect each other in different ways. *taps nose signalling she will go no further into the matter* I hope, in the rest of the series, the author further develops their relationships with each other and the group as a whole. I think it could make for some really bittersweet, heartwarming moments.

So since, for me anyway, the plotline took most of the spotlight, I didn't care too much for the characters like I normally would. However, that's not to say they were bad characters. Not at all. In fact, I adored them for one reason in particular. They were all flawed. Lucas more so than the others maybe... but that just made him all the more relatable! Some people may see him as selfish and compulsive at times, but not me. I empathised with him and knew his heart was always in the right place, even if it wasn't all that obvious. Which is one of the main reasons I was - and still am - Team Lucas. However, I'm not completely sure if this book has a love triangle as such... I'll just have to wait for the sequel to find out!

As for our main character and narrator, Dol, she was also very likeable. Maybe not as likeable as Lucas but her voice and opinions were perfect for leading me through the story. Ro and Tima also added a little something extra to the group with their very different personalities. Ro was all fire while Tima, hard steel. I can really see potential for a great sequel if Stohl focuses on developing, not only the storyline and the relationships between the characters, but all of the main characters separately.

If I were to say anything against this book then it would be that the terminology confused me at times. Every once in a while I'd have to take a step back and think about who or what was being talked about. I caught on pretty quickly, however, so it didn't prove to be too much of a problem. Overall, despite the mixed reviews, I adored this book and think it was a great kick-off to Stohl's solo career. I loved the storyline and the flawed characters and am now super excited for book two as I can see so much potential in it.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS FOR ICONS! :D
Huge thanks to HarperCollins for sending me out a review copy of this book!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 22 July 2013

Book to Movie Adaptions: Trailer Talk!

So we've got two major movies coming out later this year - adaptions from very popular and well-loved YA books. City of Bones and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I loved both these books - they are beloved favourites of mine! - and so I have really high expectations for the movies. Today I thought I'd *ahem*fan girl*ahem* over their trailers. ;)

City of Bones Trailer

 
RELEASES AUGUST 23RD 2013!
 
AHHHHHHH! HOW COOL! I know this trailer has been out for forever now but I still can't get over how promising it has made the movie look. I remember back when this movie was still in the casting stages and all I could think about was who was going to be cast as Jace. When Jamie Campbell Bower was, I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed. I knew nothing of him and he looked nothing like the Jace in my head - I feared he wouldn't capture his character. But from this trailer... Wow, he's already done a good job. He looks so bad-ass! I just LOVE the part where he says "Have a little faith" - such a Jace thing to say! Funnily enough, when Lily Collins was cast as Clary, I was really happy. I've always found her to be a great actress and I knew she'd give justice to Clary's character - and this trailer proved it. So, yes, I adore this trailer and can not wait for the movie! WE'RE GETTING SO CLOSE! xD
 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Trailer


RELEASES NOVEMBER 22ND 2013!

HOLY CRAP! I am not kidding when I say this is literally - LITERALLY! - the best trailer I've ever seen in my life! It's AMAZING! I'm near enough in tears every time I watch it because it's that freakin' good! It was released two nights ago on the Yahoo Movies website at 10:15pm and I went on a twitter rampage as soon as I'd finished watching it. Then I watched it again. And again. And again. And again. The movie is going to be phenomenal! Did you see Finnick?! DID YOU SEE HIM?! I DID! He's gorgeous! *swoons* He's one of my favourite ever characters in this series and I'm so glad he looks the part! DID YOU SEE HER KILL THAT TECHNO THING WITH AN ARROW?! It was so awesome! And her dress! LOOK AT HER DRESS, GUYS! Oh, and Peeta! PEETA! AND DID YOU SEE HER DIVE AT THE END THERE?! OHMYGOD, I DON'T THINK I CAN STAND MUCH MORE OF THIS! I need this movie now!

here are *some* of my tweets... ;)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TRAILERS?! FAN GIRL WITH ME IN THE COMMENTS! xD

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I warn you now, when the Divergent trailer comes out I will be physically unable to stop using caps lock and exclamation marks...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Showcase Sunday #20

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.

I only got two books this week but because both of them made me SUPER excited - the proper *happy dance* sort-of excited! - when I took them out of their packages and have been long awaited wishlist reads of mine, I felt like I had to show you them as soon as possible! ^.^

Book Swaps:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys:
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, ZOE! You are AMAZING! I have wanted to read this book for so long that all I can do now that I have a copy of my own is stare at it in a daze. I'm going to start reading this as soon as I can. Thank you SO much again, Zoe - for the cute little geek badge as well! xD

Won:

Article 5 by Kristin Simmons:
Do you know those giveaways where, if you win, you choose a book of your choice from The Book Depository? Well, this is how I got this one! It was one of the first choices that popped into my head when I was told I'd won the giveaway and I am so glad I went for it! I've already read it and... woah. At first I really had no idea how I thought about it once I'd turned the last page - my thoughts were so scrambled! - but know now that I loved it! Chase, you are one swoon-worthy boy! :')

So that's all for me this week. Leave links to your own book hauls and I'll hop on by and comment! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review: ACID

Author: Emma Pass
Edition: Corgi Children's Paperback
Released: 25th April 2013
Series: n/a
Pages: 429 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

ACID - the most brutal police force in history. They rule with an iron fist. They see everything. They know everything. They locked me away for life.

My crime? They say I murdered my parents. I was fifteen years old.

My name is Jenna Strong.

Unlike people who bring along fluffy contemporary books on holiday with them, I bring action-packed dystopians. This year, ACID was amongst them. So it's usually all good lying poolside with a book in hand, right? Well, you'd think so... Only, I made one major mistake. I started reading this book indoors. So, yes, ACID is partly to blame for my sorry excuse of a tan!

Why was this book so gripping, you ask? Well, that would be down to the thrilling and exciting plotline! The sort of plotline which twists and turns and has your heart racing with each flick of the page. So much happened in this book and it was just so much fun following the main characters along on their journey. You just didn't know where they were going to end up next. And who would be tailing behind them.

The narrator, Jenna, is a tough, brave, determined, smart and, ultimately, kick-ass heroine who was a great lead for the story... Being the only female inmate in a violent, dangerous prison has resulted in her becoming a hard, seemingly impenetrable, non-feeling person and, throughout the course of the novel, we begin to see the more troubled, more vulnerable, more caring character inside of her surface. Especially when Max is around. The romance between her and Max was a nice addition to the story.

I only had two problems with this book. But they are seriously minor. The first is that I would have quite liked the romance to have been a little more developed. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't insta-love in the slightest! I'm just the sort-of person who likes the romance to be played out slowly - with a few special moments between the two characters every now and then to the point where you just want to scream: GET TOGETHER ALREADY! Since quite a lot happened in this book, the other slight problem I had was that I would sometimes forget who some of the characters were and what their part was in the storyline. This may just be me since I do tend to have a memory like a goldfish at times. -.-

To conclude, ACID was a fantastic debut from new author, Emma Pass. It was fast-paced and exciting and the characters, complex and enjoyable. Though I would have preferred a slightly more developed romance between Jenna and Max and I'd sometimes forget who some of the characters were, these were both minor problems I could deal with. I can't wait to see what else Pass has up her sleeve now I've read and thoroughly enjoyed this book!

FOUR STARS FOR ACID! :D
Huge thanks go out to Random House for providing me with a review copy of this book!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 19 July 2013

Do YOU Give Review Books More Priority?

So you may be wondering about the title of this post... Well, let me explain.

Apart from needing an intriguing title to reel you all in, I've had a particular question in mind for a while now that I think is long over due a discussion post. That question, you ask? Are we, book bloggers, obligated to read review books from authors and publishers first and foremost before any other books that we, ourselves, may have bought or been gifted from other sources?

As you may have gathered this question is slightly more directed toward book bloggers, but even if you are not a book blogger, I'd still be really interested in knowing what you think! Before we get started, however, I'd just like to say that I'm not asking this question because I don't have my own answer to it. On the contrary, I already have my own opinion on this particular subject and are just merely curious if you, too, agree with me. Or disagree with me.

Personally, I do feel obligated - and give more priority - to reading and reviewing books given to us from authors/publishers for reviewing purposes first. I mean, they've been so gracious sending us the books, so it's only fair we post up a review as soon as we can, right?! HOWEVER, if I am craving a particular book that is not on my review pile or feel under pressure from all the review books I have to get through, I will read other books just to take a break from it all. If I don't then it usually leads to me going in a reading slump. And nobody wants that! So the question now is, is that the right thing to do?

I think it is. How are we, as reviewers, meant to give a fully honest review on a review book if, during the time we were reading it, our minds were elsewhere. Speaking from past experience, reading a book you feel obligated to read first while constantly thinking about a book you just bought that's been on your wishlist for ages is just not fun. Nor is it fair to that review book. You're just not able to give it the proper attention it deserves.

Whenever I start to feel guilty about reading my own book instead of one from my towering review pile, I always ask myself: Wouldn't authors/publishers prefer a review written after a slightly longer period of time where I've actually given that particular book a thorough chance - when I've properly been in the mood to read it - rather than a review written after only a short period of time where I've possibly rushed through the book only to move on to the one I've been thinking about all along?

But this is just my opinion. Now I want to hear - or rather, read - yours! :)

Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Why? If you are an author or in publishing, what do you think? Anything to add? Comment below with your thoughts! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rainbow Spines Book Tag!

This tag has been all the rage in the book blogosphere lately, and so I was really happy when the lovely Sunny (over at A Sunny Spot) tagged me! Basically, the idea of the tag is to find book spines in all different colours - the colours of the rainbow - and talk a little about each of your choices. I was kind-of stuck on what books to show for indigo and violet but, oh well, I worked with what I could! ;)


RED:
For red I chose two books. Blood Red Road by Moira Young and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. I ADORED Blood Red Road but TGWCFiaSoHOM was so strange that I put it down and didn't pick it back up... Both have gorgeous covers though!

ORANGE:
For orange I decided on The Elite by Kiera Cass. It's got a really pretty cover (as does its prequel!) and the spine is no different!

YELLOW:
For yellow I went for Fated by Alyson Noel. I actually rather liked this book - despite it receiving mixed reviews. You may be able to tell from the photo that it isn't in the best state... It sort of landed in some salt water and shrivelled up a little. :3

GREEN:
I had a few green spines to choose from for this one but I ended up going with Seizure by Kathy Reichs and Mist by Kathryn James. Both great books that I recommend!

BLUE:
For blue I have The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke and Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I fairly liked TAC but, as some of you may know, the Inheritance Cycle books and myself don't quite see eye to eye. ;P

INDIGO:
This is where it got tricky. Indigo isn't exactly the most common spine colour! The closest I could get was Wither by Lauren DeStefano - a book that I really loved (even though the same can't be said of the sequel)... Indigo is a bluey purple, right?! :3

VIOLET:
Violet was also really tricky but I finally managed to find Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins which has hints of violet up and down the spine. Sidenote: I absolutely loved this book and completely recommend! ;D

So there we go, the rainbow spines book tag! I'm really hesitant to tag anyone because I know loads of people have already done it but, just incase, I tag Aneeqah over at My Not So Real Life and Kezia at Pansycake Reader - if you've already done it or just don't want to, it's fine! ;P

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: Rat Runners

Author: Oisin McGann
Edition: Corgi Paperback
Released: 7th March 2013
Series: n/a
Pages: 387 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy this book!

Four young criminals. One simple task: steal a mysterious box from the daughter of a dead scientist. They have to follow her, bug her phone, hack her computer, search her home, all without her knowing.

But WatchWorld run this city now. On every street are cameras, X-ray scanners, microphones. Terrifying Safe-Guards can see through walls, hear your heartbeat, analyze the smell of your sweat. Their motto? If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear.

But Nimmo, Scope, Manikin and FX, who work in the blind-spots of the city's shady underworld, are soon caught in a maze of deception, treachery and murder... will they make it out of the rat-runs alive?

Whenever I read about books with a seemingly promising action-filled plot, the child in me who grew up loving the Alex Rider novels lets out a little squeal. However, though I'm not denying there was a good majority of action in this book, I just didn't really feel much of anything toward it whilst reading. Not toward the characters or, well, anything at all. Nevertheless, I didn't hate this book. It was just a rather so-so read.

I think I'll just continue with the things I didn't really enjoy about the book first. Apart from not really connecting to the characters or seeing the sense in some of the decisions they made, probably the most major flaw that got to me was that I felt like the plot line had no direction. At times I was just like: There's no need for all of this! *pulls frustrated face* I also found it a little hard to follow a few of the action scenes every now and then.

Nevertheless, there were some slightly redeeming qualities. For instance, the dystopian setting. Albeit a little confusing at times, the idea of WatchWorld was intriguing and different. And slightly terrifying - especially since you can totally picture something like that happening in the future! Also, expanding on my point about the characters, though I felt indifferent toward them, it's not like I disliked them in any way. The scene where Scope was tidying FX's 'Hide' had me laughing silly. Maybe if the characters relationships had been more developed then I might have liked them all more. Saying that, they were still all courageous, smart characters.

To conclude, Rat Runners was a mediocre read for me. It wasn't tedious... but it wasn't exactly loveable either. The characters felt a little bland and the plot line frustrated me with the lack of direction it had. However, the world-building was admirable and unusual and a few of the main characters did have some redeeming qualities. I feel this book could be enjoyed more by tween readers who enjoy action novels, but I'd still say give it a go if it sounds like something you'd enjoy. I'll leave you now with my favourite quote:

"'Someone's always watching,' Nimmo replied, as he dropped a rope down to them. 'But there's plenty they don't see.'"
 
TWO AND A HALF STARS FOR RAT RUNNERS!
Huge thanks go out to Random House for my review copy! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Showcase Sunday #19

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.

I'M BACK! *showers confetti* Miss me? ;) I've certainly missed you! Let me assure you, two weeks of not being able to blog is not fun! I kind-of started pining for my laptop after only a few days... *hugs laptop to emphasise point* Now that I'm back there's nothing to stop me from going bloggy mad!  *takes deep breath to calm self* So guess what was awaiting my arrival when I came home last night? Packages upon packages of books! What did I do, you ask? Well, even though it was near enough 3am and I was unbelievably tired, I dived straight in and opened them all up! Want to see the goodies in question? Well, here they are! :P
 

For Review:

Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl:
Despite not liking Stohl's other book, Beautiful Creatures, I'm still really excited for this one. The premise is just fantastic and so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it! I have seen some mixed reviews on it, however, so, hopefully, I'll be on the side that does like the book! :) Huge thanks go out to HarperCollins for sending me a review copy!

When the author contacted me about reviewing her two books, I jumped at the chance. The series sounded perfect for summer and I remember a couple years back reading some good reviews on Anatomy of a Boyfriend. So I really can't wait to dive into this duology and see what I think!

Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur:
This isn't usually the type of book I would read but, lately, I've been trying to broaden the genres I read in and, since this book has quite a promising concept, I went for it. It sounds really unique as well so that's a plus! Oh, and the cover? So pretty! Thanks go out to the Spinebreakers team for sending me it! :D

Book Swaps:

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield:
Oh. My. Gosh. I seriously LOVE Hawwa! She was kind enough to give me her copy of Friday Brown! I am SO excited to read it because it has received so many AMAZING reviews! I really hope that it won't let me down! I have seriously high expectations. *fiddles nervously* xD

The Declaration Trilogy by Gemma Malley:
Not only did Hawwa send me Friday Brown, she also gave me the whole Declaration trilogy (with the new edition covers)! I read the first book a year or two ago and really enjoyed it (review here) so am super excited to continue this series! I'm most likely going to re-read book one to refresh my memory though. ;P

So there we go. That's my book haul for this week. As always, if you leave a link to yours in the comments, I will happily stop by! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo