Review: Vendetta

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)

Publication date: January 1st 2015

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Number of pages: 352

Series: Blood for Blood (#1)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Borrowed. All opinions in this review are my own and are in no way influenced by the source of the book.

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Goodreads synopsis:

When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys’ dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties – the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

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Review:

What do you get when you cross 5 hot Italian guys (well actually apparently only 4 of them were hot) with blood and revenge?

Well according to this book, the mafia.

crazy animated GIF

I’m going to be clear here: I’ve never read a book about the mafia before. They’re (unfortunately) not something you see everyday. I wish there were more because things can get CRAZY.

My first point is going to be on the topic of the plot. I actually thought things were pretty lacking in this department. No, I’m not going against what I said about crazy shenanigans in this book. But until the end, I felt that Vendetta seriously lacked plot. It really just seemed to be the same thing over and over again.

Per esempio:
DO YOU LIKE MY ITALIAN?! Thank you. But anyway –
Sophie: “I’m going to get really excited and/or nervous about a conversation I’m about to have with the 5 Italian guys who have just moved in. But I’m gonna be sarcastic to cover it up.”
Millie: “I’m British.”
Luca: “I’m going to be a complete pig to you Sophie.”
Nic: “And I’m gonna make it better again. But then I’m going to run away.”

And repeat.

Ok, that was a little mean and exaggerated, but I genuinely felt like that little scenario thing was getting repeated through out the book. Like not much actually really happened at all apart from conversations between the characters and maybe with something minor going on in the background.

But then I got towards the end and things got wild.

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See, that’s why I said crazy. All the crazy just happened at the end and it was enough to redeem all the wrongs in the world.

The rest of the book was setting up for the finale really (and an amazing plot twist) and it did do a phenomenal job. But the thing is, you still have to read through that part to get to the good stuff.

The best thing about Vendetta was probably the writing. The characters were believable and all of them really likeable, if not a little bit predictable (see typical conversation above). There was quite a bit of humour involved, and while it wasn’t die-laughing-kind-of-funny, you could still chuckle a tad. I love that kind of things in books and that’s why all dystopians kind of seem the same to me now. A lot of them have no personality.

Another thing I really liked was the Italian involved. Just a few phrases here and there. I get upset if there are books about people in or from countries that don’t speak English and there aren’t phrases from the foreign language in there. It makes me sad.

I read a physical copy of this book and OH MY GOODNESS. I would just buy this book in the shop if I just saw the outside. The edition I read was so beautiful. It was writing on the side of the pages, a really beautiful cover and the spine is amazing.

I really liked the book but I have a deep fear that by the time the sequel comes out I will have forgotten everything that happened. But I would really like to read it. Although I have no idea where it could possibly go.

And I absolutely would recommend this book. I hope this review didn’t come off as too negative but I really didn’t intend for it to. It was a good book and worth reading.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add Vendetta to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Catherine DoyleCatherine Doyle was born in the West of Ireland in 1990. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in English. As a child she was an annoying smarty-pants with an overactive imagination. She feels lucky to have now found a healthy outlet for her tendency to make up stories. Her debut YA novel, VENDETTA, is the first in a trilogy. The novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, where Catherine’s mother grew up.
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Fangirl Inspired Outfit

Trendy Thursday

The Rules:

  • You can make an outfit that can be worn in real life inspired by an character in a book you have recently read and reviewed. If not, you can just make an outift for any book.
  • Design an outfit you think they would wear.
  • Leave a comment down below with the link to your blog.
  • Post the Trendy Thursdays sticker on your blog (or make your own) with a link to my blog (Bookcomet).
  • Try to post something for each catergory.
  • Have fun!

This week’s book is…

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Goodreads synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

“Touching and utterly real.” —  Publisher’s Weekly

 

Add Fangirl to Goodreads

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The jeans:  (source)

The top:  (source)

Cardigan:  (source)

Hair:  (source)

Makeup: 

Probably none really, to be honest,  but… (source)

Nails:  (source)

Shoes:  (source)

Glasses: 1327605_243007371 (source)

The Atrocity of the Real World.

I found about this thing called ‘the real world’ the other day. Apparently other people have been living there for a long time.

whoa animated GIF  (source)

But anyway, I was talking with my friend at lunch and (for some reason) we were talking about this couple and I was happily like, “I ship them.” Then I was really proud because I used “cool speak” and beamed at my friend happily.

happy animated GIF  (source)

But she was staring at me like this:

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I got an answer somewhere along the lines of a confused “what?”.

Tragically I can’t remember the conversation, but it probably went little like this:

“You know, shipping.”

“What?”

“SHIPPING.”

“What?”

“Shippingshippingshipping.”

So basically I ended up explaining what ‘shipping’ means. She was amused. Then my other friend came and my friend was like something along the lines of: “Hey! Liv ships something.”

And then I had to explain the whole shipping thing again.

And then I had to explain the whole thing again to yet another unrelated person at the end of the day.

#fangirlproblems

But basically what happened was that I discovered that perhaps the word ‘shipping’ is a fangirl only thing, not “cool speak”. I was pretty crushed. I had been pretty proud.

sad animated GIF  (source)

But deep breaths later I came to the conclusion that I just speak a second language. Fangirl language.

I don’t know if it’s just people around me who don’t know the “flingo” (fangirl lingo. Just came up with that then. COPYRIGHTED. MWAHAHAHAHA) or if normal cool people elsewhere do use these terms as well. Feel free to let me know.

Oh my goodness. People who speak flingo can be “flinguists”. I love my nerdiness. NERD PRIDE.

But I can see this problem arising again with phrases like “OTP”. It’s hard being a flinguist.

 

A Small Madness Review

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness

Publication date: January 28th 2015

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Number of pages: 240

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Source: Received in exchange for review (thank you so much Allen & Unwin!!). This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

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Review:

My head hurts so badly right now. It’s expected since it was ONLY TWISTED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.

There just aren’t words for what this book made me go through. Thank goodness for that, actually.

A Small Madness tells the story of a girl named Rose. I will warn you, that if you are really uncomfortable with the topic of teen pregnancy or particularly, sex, in books then I’m telling you now that you will not be comfortable with this book. This is a raw, gritty portrayal of teen pregnancy and the author doesn’t gloss over anything.

But that’s one of the reasons why this book really touched me.

We see how the way that the main character, Rose, is forced to deal with her pregnancy and how it transforms her. The things she does. I can’t even. It’s so heartbreaking and really does bring up themes that really aren’t dealt with enough in YA.

There are many reasons which drew me to this book. The initial being the both the topic and the writing style. I’ve never read anything before on teen pregnancy and I was pretty curious. Also, from the synopsis I could tell I would like the writing style (I love books written with that kind of detached but yet very intimate and descriptive style). I also love reading books by Aussie authors and the cover is stunning. And totally suits the tone and mood of the book. And this is weird, but it actually feels really nice.

So when I completely (unexpectedly) got this in the mail for review I completely freaked. And I may have ditched the book I was reading in favour of A Small Madness. I know. Terrible. I had just really, really looking forward to reading this ever since I first heard about this, ok? So I sat down and read, starting it late on a school night (with not much time left after homework before I actually had to go to bed) and finishing it within half an hour the next morning. I was just so, so into the story and needed to know what was going to happen.

I also read with my mouth gaping open for a short while. True story.

I just had this feeling of complete and total dread as to what was going to happen (which was thanks to the author’s brilliant writing) and knew that I wasn’t going to be completely with it until I knew what was going to happen to the characters.

Although I was not a fan of the ending. It was a little too open for my liking. I just think that while open endings can work, in realistic fiction it is particularly important to wrap-up the story and preferably provide closure.

If all Dianne Touchell’s books are like this, then I really need to look into reading them.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add A Small Madness to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Dianne TouchellDianne Touchell is a middle child who feared Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy — and any other stranger who threatened to break into the house at night.

She has worked, amongst other things, as a nightclub singer, a fish and chip shop counter girl (not with Pauline Hanson) and a bookseller. Dianne would rather talk to her dog than answer the phone.

The ‘Naturals

The ‘Naturals by Aaron Patterson, Melody Carlson, Robin Parrish and K. C. Neal

Publication date: October 14th 2012

Publisher: StoneHouse Ink

Number of pages:49

Series: Season one of the ‘Naturals

Genre: YA Paranormal

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

***This book is a Serial. Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes released every three weeks. This book contains four episodes out of an estimated twenty total episodes.***

The ‘Naturals
Season One: “Awakening”

A small town full of secrets. A coming darkness. Teenagers with supernatural abilities. Think you know the story?

Think again.

As Summer ends, the students at Silverwood High are getting ready to go back to school and resume their normal, everyday lives. Too bad “normal” is no longer an option.

When these teens get their very first tastes of what destiny has in store, will they embrace that destiny… or flee from it? Will they be selfless… or ruthless? Will they master their abilities… or will their abilities master them?

This is their awakening, the first step of an epic journey. But it’s only the beginning of something bigger than they could ever imagine.

Four teenagers. One town.

Four authors. One story.

The sleepy little town of Silverwood is about to wake up.

* * *

IN THESE EPISODES…

AVERY: Episode 1:
Soulful, artistic Avery is intrigued when Silverwood High’s strapping, athletic newcomer takes an interest in her. So why is she convinced that there’s more going on with this guy than a simple crush?
by Melody Carlson

MARSHALL: Episode 2:
Brilliant but nerdy Marshall is used to being the odd man out, the last one picked, and the bully’s favorite target. But his luck may be changing when he discovers that he can do something that should be completely impossible.
by Robin Parrish

HAILEY: Episode 3:
Soccer prodigy Hailey wants desperately to hide every aspect of her home life — and the anger and regrets that fill her heart. But she’s about to discover that concealing her feelings isn’t a possibility anymore.
by K.C. Neal

ISRAEL: Episode 4:
Homeschooler Israel is part of a dysfunctional family. They look normal on the outside, but it’s a carefully constructed lie that’s leaving plenty of scars. It doesn’t help that he’s having disturbing dreams and experiencing bizarre sensations.
by Aaron Patterson

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Review:

This was actually pretty good. Forget being a book series, this NEEDS to be a web series. That would be the most epic thing ever. Someone please tell me it’s been made into a web series.

I was so surprised at how much I liked this book. I liked all four episodes and was actually disappointed each time that they ended.

I guess it’s no impressive feat to say I read it all in one night. Less than an hour actually. But that might be something to do with the fact that it’s only 49 pages. But it saved me from a reading slump. You know when you can just feel them coming on?

I would totally read the other episodes as well. I really need to investigate about getting hold of them.

I’m afraid this is a tiny review. I haven’t really got much to say or to write about, apart from the fact that if you get the chance to read this, then by all means do.

Although I can’t decide whether I liked episode 3 or 4 best (Hailey or Israel).

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show. 

Add The ‘Naturals to Goodreads

 

The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publication date: March 12th 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (2#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.

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Review:

There may be spoilers for the previous book…

Clever, dazzling and intricately woven, Marie Rutkoski stuns again with The Winner’s Crime. Now, Kestrel has to tread more carefully than ever.

The first and foremost thing I love about these books is Kestrel. She’s witty, brave and generally quite awesome. I love the way that she doesn’t have to be a supreme physical fighter to kick butt, but rather she wields her skill with strategising and her intelligence. It’s pretty great that she can still be such a strong heroine while not being a Katniss (The Hunger Games) or Tris (Divergent) in the way that there is less emphasis on physical fighting. Not that emphasis on physical fighting is a bad thing, I’m just saying that I like that it’s something a little different for me.

I’m guessing that if you read the above paragraph you won’t be very surprised that I preferred the parts of the text that were centered around Kestel (or Kestrel and Arin) rather than just Arin. Even in the last book I wasn’t a major supporter of Team Arin. He just falls kind of flat for me and I don’t a) find him particularly interesting, or b) like him that much. I find that he can be a little bit too moody and he just doesn’t really jump out at me.

I love the game that the characters are playing. The book so wonderfully shows the consequences of the actions of the characters and it’s all so carefully and cleverly plotted. It’s just so unpredictable that you really don’t know what move the characters are going to play next and what’s going to happen. And yet I feel like I know the characters so well.

…And I’m about to contradict myself. I did see the ending coming. But I didn’t mind so much because I was unsure and it did still hit pretty hard. One scene in particular towards the end between Kestrel and another character was really painful.

But enough about the sad scenes – because PUPPY! If there is a cute puppy in any book then I can just about promise you that I will love the book. Dogs are the best thing ever (sorry cat lovers) and they are the most cutest, loyalist creatures. AND PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE.

These books have made me really interested in playing the game Kestrel plays in the book: Bite & Sting. It sounds so cool and I’d love to know what it’s based off. So if you know…please do share.

I did feel very sorry for Verex though. To be honest I wouldn’t even have minded if Kestrel’s love switched to Verex rather than Arin. And I could not stand Jess in this book. I don’t really sympathise with her whatsoever.

All in all, I thought that this was a stunning sequel that actually surpassed The Winner’s Curse in my opinion. If you loved the first book, you will love this one.

4.5/5 comets
KABOOM! That only leaves one continent (one little flaw). 

Add The Winner’s Crime to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner’s Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier…

Review: Quintspinner

Quintspinner by Dianne Greenlay

Quintspinner (Quintspinner series)

Publication date: December 28th 2011

Publisher: Self-published

Number of pages: 379

Series: Quintspinner (1#)

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

A secret and unauthorized trip through the chaos of a 1717 London marketplace takes a bizarre twist for 16 year old Tess. Unexpectedly witnessing the murder of a renowned Seer, Tess becomes the keeper of the old woman’s legendary spinner ring and its supposed power of prophecy.

Returning home, Tess bears the brunt of her father’s rage when he is informed of her disobedient excursion. An ensuing altercation with her father leads Tess to the discovery of a family secret that stuns her. Even so, she never imagines that she will soon find herself forcibly betrothed to the murderer and trapped on a ship bound for the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies.

With increasing dread, she realizes a growing attraction that she has for a handsome sailor puts both their lives at risk. Moreover, she quickly discovers that her ruthless fiance covets her only for her ring and its power, and will stop at nothing to obtain it for himself.

The stakes for survival become unbearably high when she is thrust into the hands of a marauding band of pirates, and she must make an agonizing and life-threatening choice for herself.

A tale of pirates and treasure, love and betrayal, all bound together by a dash of ancient magic, Quintspinner has been described by readers as “a wonderfully entertaining, fast and furious ride; Lord of the Rings meets Pirates of the Caribbean”.

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Review:

It completely, utterly and totally baffles me as to why I am the first one to leave a review for this book on Goodreads. How can such a good book have no reviews on a website where practically every book has a review?

So this was one epic historical fiction. There were pirates in this book. In fact, the book I’m writing at the moment has pirates in it. And I know, not even from just writing my own pirate book, that Dianne Greenlay must have put a LOT of effort into research. Seriously, that is so apparent. Her settings and descriptions of the ship and everything was just so detailed and unrealistic, something I’ve found is an easy thing to lack in historical fiction books.

Perhaps my favourite thing about this book, however, was the authenticity. Dianne Greenlay was not ashamed of showing what the times were really like. From anything from the thoughts of men to racism. It was a very honest read and I really thank her for that. I don’t think teenagers need to be shielded as much as we are from a lot of things (which probably sounds biased, coming from a teen herself).

I loved the way that the story was such that it could go in any direction at any time. And it totally did.

I really adored Tess. She was smart and brave. What more could you want? And I loved how the text wasn’t centred entirely on her relationship with William.

My only little nitpick is that perhaps the book was a little boring in the beginning. But then I got into it major time about half way through and I became a reading force to be reckoned with.

And I think that maybe the slang/accents were a little bit too heavy.

While I really, really enjoyed this book, I don’t think that I will be reading a sequel. I am not really interested where the story left off or with the ring side of the story.

If you like genuine historical fiction served with pirates and adventure, then I really don’t know why you haven’t read this yet.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add Quintspinner to Goodreads