30 November 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Under the Never Sky

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction. 

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY. - Goodreads

HarperTeen recently posted a video of Veronica Rossi talking her debut, how she got the idea, and there are awesome pictures! You can watch it below if you haven't seen it already. I've had Under the Never Sky on my wishlist for a while now, but this video has made me ten times more excited for it! I can't wait to start reading. 

29 November 2011

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Source: Bought/Gifted
Rating: All Time Favourite

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. - Goodreads

The DUFF was one truly amazing read that I wasn’t expecting. I cannot describe my love for this book in just words, so you’re going to have to imagine me doing a happy dance slash binding ritual because I am in love.

The plot sounds fairly simple when you read the synopsis, but Kody Keplinger has thrown in many, many elements to make this story a lot more complex that it is made out to be. This book has serious depth as well as tonnes of humour mixed with serious topics. The DUFF is a relatable story and managed to grasp my interest from the first page. I cannot speak highly enough about this book.

Alcoholism, absent parents, teen sex, friendships, divorce and more all play a role in this book. I applaud Kody for creating such a fantastic novel that many, many young adults will be able to relate to. I must also add that I found it wonderfully refreshing that Kody didn’t create a main protagonist – or group of characters – who was a virgin, or afraid of sex. Too many books in the YA genre do that, and it was great to read about the other sides of the spectrum as teens are having sex, despite what Young Adult literature is leading you to believe. Not everyone is saving themselves for the perfect person, or for marriage.

I loved Bianca as a main protagonist in this story. She had huge flaws, certainly, and I loved seeing her overcome them and work them out with the help of Wesly and her friends. Bianca was a strong female lead and she wasn’t at all whiny. Two huge pluses in my book. She was interesting to read about, and had a lot going on in her life that made me feel for her, and also relate.

Then there is Wesly, who I have developed a HUGE crush on. He may be up there with Dimitri and Tod now. Wesly was charming and I completely fell head over heels in love with him as the story progressed. He started off as the school ‘man-slut’ but as we got to know him more and more, it was revealed that he also had a lot going on with his family and he wasn’t one dimensional in the slightest. I was totally rooting for Bianca and Wesly!

Kody Keplinger has a fantastic writing style that draws you in and doesn’t let you go. I will pick up anything this woman writes in the future because she’s simply out of this world.  

28 November 2011

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Enjoyable

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again. - Goodreads

In the beginning, I found Saving June to be a very difficult book to get into. I’m unsure as to whether that’s due to the writing style or the characters themselves. I know, I’m a bad book reviewer.

That said, once the book got going it picked up, and I actually ended up feeling totally the opposite. I loved this book so much that it hurts. The last one hundred pages or so really picked up and improved and managed to hit the mark for me and made the entire book worthwhile.

Harper wasn’t the easiest character to for me relate with at the beginning of the novel, as we are total opposites. However, my view on her had done a complete 180 and I think that she was a great main character and overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading from her point of view. It was emotional and yet incredibly intriguing to read about how Harper was feeling after finding her sister dead in her car, and while I couldn’t say I knew how she felt from experience, Hannah Harrington does an excellent job of conveying her emotions through beautiful prose.

I also loved Harper's best friend, Laney, and Jake, a guy who knew June before she killed herself. They were both awesome characters, Jake in particular, and I loved the relationship that Harper had - or was building - with both of them.

The road trip overall was awesome, and despite it seeming like a light topic there were lots of deep issues thrown in along the way, the most obvious being suicide, of course. There were several scenes towards the end of the novel that caused me to burst into tears – much to the amusement of my mother – and said tears flowed until the last few pages.

The witty humour mixed in with the raw emotions was well placed and often caused me to switch from crying my eyes out to laughing in mere moments.

Saving June is a beautiful, heart wrenching debut by Hannah Harrington and I will be recommending this to everybody who wants an emotional and gripping read.  

26 November 2011

In My Mailbox - (41)

For Review: 
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Populazzi by Elise Allen
Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Feel free to leave your links below to your posts, and I'll visit as many as I can!

25 November 2011

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Release Date: June 7, 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Egmont Books
Source: Bought
Rating: Essential
Watch my review on Youtube!
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies. - Goodreads
The premise for Forgotten definitely intrigued me, even if I was a bit confused by the blurb for a little while.  London’s brain resets every day at 4.33am, and she forgets everything that happened the day before. However, she can see the future instead, as if they were memories.

The overall plot is fast paced, and while it did take a chapter or two to understand exactly what was going on with London’s brain, it was great to read about at Cat Patrick introduced us to this mysterious amnesia. The story is full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and they definitely made my jaw drop each time they arose.

London was a great protagonist. She had long ago come to terms with her unusual illness and it was nice to read about someone who was used to it, rather than a protagonist who was getting used to and discovering her ‘abilities’. London knew exactly how to keep her life as normal as possible, and she remained a strong character throughout the books. In my opinion, at some points she was a little too strong, and I would have liked to have seen a bit more emotion from her. She was also a little bit hypocritical, which annoyed me to begin with until she realised what she was doing.

London’s relationship with Luke, however, wasn’t so great. To begin with it felt very rushed due to London’s feelings for Luke developing very quickly. She said she was falling in love with him on their first date, and I didn’t like that despite the date being pretty much perfect! I would have preferred more build up.

Towards the end of the novel all the mysteries were solved and I liked the outcome of that. However, I did feel that the ending was rushed through, perhaps to keep up with the quick pace of the novel, and perhaps because the book is so short. I would have liked to have had more closure with a couple of parts of the plot, especially regarding a character we learnt of half way through the novel.

Forgotten is a compelling, fast paced read with twists galore. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through.  

23 November 2011

After Eight(-een)s: Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent & Giveaway

Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent
Unbound #1
Release Date: September 1, 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Mira
Age Range: 18+
Rating: All Time Favourite 
As a bloodtracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv's learnt to survive by her own rules.
Rule number one? Trust no one.

But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe.
And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam.

A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game. - Goodreads
Before I start talking about characters and writing style and such, I would just like to say that this book is PHENOMENAL. I was expecting the usual top quality from Rachel Vincent but Blood Bound blew my mind in so many ways. I can’t express how fantastic this story is in just words. Imagine me doing the ultimate happy dance right about now!

The plot of this novel is so well thought out, but it is nothing compared to the world that Rachel Vincent has created. The different abilities play a huge part in this underground world, and it was fantastic to read about them and it gave me chills every time I thought about Binders and Trackers and Seers. I’ll leave you to find out what those titles mean, but I bet you’ll be amazed.

This first novel in the trilogy focuses on Liv, who is a Tracker. Her old friend’s daughter goes missing, and she’s bound to help find her, but she can’t do so without the help of her ex-boyfriend, Cam. From there, the plot gets more and more complex and Rachel Vincent must be a mastermind to have come up with such a well thought out story. There are several different plots all woven into one, and they all connect to each other in some way. It’s truly fantastic, I cannot stress that enough.

Blood Bound is told from two alternating points of view – Liv’s, and Cam’s. I think that this was an excellent choice by the author, as I loved reading from both of their perspectives and learning what was going on in both their heads.

Liv was a fantastic protagonist, as Rachel Vincent’s female leads always are. She’s downright fierce and on top of that loyal towards her friends in a way that I can’t begin to describe. I loved watching her relationship with Cam rekindle, as I just love those two together. I enjoyed watching as they fought their restrictions and found a way to be together despite the danger that they were facing. Being Bound is really a dangerous thing.

I don’t feel I need to comment on Rachel Vincent’s writing style, but I’ll tell you that it’s great anyway. It’s actually more than great, but I’m running out of vocabulary just thinking about this book again. I highly recommend this book to anyone over 18 who wants to dive into a dark, gritty novel with a complex storyline and fiery characters. I’m definitely going to have to reread this before the second book comes out next year, and I already know that it’s going to blow me away again.


I'll be giving away 5 postcards showing the Shadow Bound cover. All postcards are signed by the author.


21 November 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
The Iron Fey #3
Release Date: October 21, 2011 (UK)
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher
Rating: Enjoyable

In less than twenty four hours, I'll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself. My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back. - Goodreads

The Iron Queen is action packed, and because of this it is definitely my favourite in the series so far. I loved The Iron King, however the Iron Daughter left me very disappointed. TIQ almost makes up for that though, because of the constant action and well written story. The plot is ten times better, and I feel that Julie Kagawa’s writing has greatly improved.

In the previous books I was rather annoyed by Meghan and the silly deals that she made with various creatures in the fae world. I was very cautious going into this book, as I was expecting much of the same. However, I was pleasantly surprised, and I definitely enjoyed reading from Meghan’s point of view up until the book was over. Meghan has grown a lot during this series, and I think most of the character growth has happened during this one book. She is less dependent on others (*cough*Ash*cough*) and she becomes a strong female lead.

I am a huge fan of Puck, and really didn’t see the attraction between Meghan and Ash until this novel. Before, it felt very rushed and just plain silly at times. However I ended up enjoying reading about their relationship in The Iron Queen, and I was kind of rooting for them towards the end.  

Now, as I mentioned, I am a Puck fan. So I can’t say that I wasn’t a little disappointed by this book although I won’t say why in an attempt to keep this spoiler free. I knew what was coming though – thank you to the US bloggers who read the book before us UK people – and I can’t say I was surprised.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book due to the non-stop action. The climax was fantastic, and was almost perfectly written.

20 November 2011

In My Mailbox - (40)

For Review: 
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

Bought (YA):
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze
Wake by Lisa McMann
EON by Alison Goodman
Abandon by Meg Cabot
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe
Forgotten by Cat Patrick
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Bought (Adult):
The Reluctant Vampire by Lynsay Sands
Storm Born by Richelle Mead
Dark Lover by J R Ward
Playing With Fire by Gena Showalter

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

HUGE thank you to Andrea at The Busy Bibliophile! She has an awesome blog, by the way, so go and check it out.

13 November 2011

In My Mailbox - (39)

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

For Review: 
Mercy by Rebecca Lim
Exile by Rebecca Lim
Muse by Rebecca Lim

09 November 2011

Amber's 'Vampire Academy' Dream Team

This is the second post in my new ‘feature’. I previously showed you all who I would have loved to have had in the upcoming Mortal Instruments movie. Today, I’ll show you my dream team for Vampire Academy. This will be in two parts; the main characters will go first, shortly followed by the secondary characters at a later date.
This is MY dream team; I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Feel free to leave your own casting preferences below – I’d love to know who you’d choose! I am basing my dream team on acting ability and looks, or one or the other. Some of these may be impossible, some may actually be in the running, but that’s why it’s a DREAM team!

Rose Hathaway/Sophia Bush

Hair Colour: Dark hair
Eye Colour: Brown eyes
Why Sophia? Rose is beautiful. Sophia is beautiful. Rose is a curvy, badass fighter. Sophia is curvy and could train to be a badass fighter. Of course, she may be a bit old for the role. But this is a dream team. Who cares about age, right? (My runner up, by the way, would be Phoebe Tonkin.)  

Dimitri Belikov/Ben Barnes
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Brown
Why Ben? Just... do you even need to ask? It actually took me a while to fall onto the Ben Barnes Bandwagon. I first considered Jared Padalecki, Taylor Kitsch and Andrei Andrei. But Ben. Ben Ben Ben. He's Dimitri. Not that Jared wouldn't be amazing as well. Because he totally would. Unfortunately, I can only pick one. If he could build himself up a little more than he did for the Narnia movies, then we'd be set to go right now. Ignore the fact that he has shorter hair in this picture. I was going to use a different one, but this one is just... *swoons*

Adrian Ivashkov/Drew van Acker
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Emerald green
Why Drew? You have no idea how long it took me to find him. I've been crawling around the internet for hours and hours now. But I found him in the end. I can imagine this guy being a heavy drinker, smoker and making out with Sophia Bush, can't you?

Christian Ozera/Misha Collins
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Ice blue
Why Misha? Before anyone shouts at me, telling me that Misha is twenty-ish years older than Christian, I KNOW! But I think a younger Misha would have been perfect. I love Misha.

Lissa Dragomir/Amber Heard
Hair Colour: Blonde
Eye Colour: Jade Green
Why Amber? Because she has the same name as me. Ha, no, just joking. I think she fits the description pretty well, and she's gorgeous! Maybe a bit old, but who cares?

That's it for the main characters. I'll be doing the other characters soon enough! What do you all think? Who would you choose to star in Vampire Academy?

08 November 2011

Top Ten Books That Were Out of Your Comfort Zone

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

The last vampire books I had read were the Twilight series, and I was left sorely disappointed by them. I was hesitant to read Vampire Academy in case it didn’t live up to the hype around it, and I really was put off vampires by the Twilight series. I ended up loving it, though!  
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

This was one of the first dystopian novels that I read, and I wasn’t sure what I should expect. It was quite scary, getting thrown into a world like the one that he had created. But it was so totally worth it!

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

This was the first novel I had read that was about angels. I knew that they were quite a large trend in young adult literature, but I had never read anything on them before. I was worried about the books being preachy, or heavily involved with Christianity. I shouldn’t have worried though, because although it’s about angels, they’re not preachy at all. I don’t even know why I was so worried. I feel stupid now.  
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

I read these books when I was quite young, around eleven years old. The writing and the story was a lot more mature than the books that I usually read before then, so these were definitely out of my comfort zone. I remember enjoying them, but I think I ended up skim reading The Amber Spyglass. I’ll have to pick them up again soon.  
The Kite Runner Graphic Novel

This was my first graphic novel I had ever read. I loved comics as a child – Beano, anyone? – but I wasn’t sure what to think of this as I’d never experienced anything like it before. I ended up loving it, though, and I enjoyed looking at the amazing art work as I read the story.  
A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

I still haven’t finished this book. I’ve been on the second chapter for over a month now. It’s an enormous book, and the descriptions are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I have enjoyed reading what I have so far though, and I will definitely finish this. In five years.  
A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands
I was very young when I started reading this series. It’s an adult series about vampires (or immortals, as they prefer to be called) and I think I started reading them when I was about twelve or thirteen. It wasn’t like anything I’d read before, because even though I’d read other adult books those hadn’t included love scenes. I love this series, though, and am always impatient for the next book to come out!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This was the first contemporary book I had read in a long line of paranormal novels. I didn't enjoy this as much as I’d hoped, although I think that’s mainly because of the characters rather than the genre it falls into.  
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Again, this was my first contemporary romance in a long, long line of paranormals. Needless to say, I ended up loving it, and I found that I actually love the heavy romance in this book!  
Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling

This was the first ever review copy I received, and I was beyond nervous about reading and reviewing it. Luckily, everything went smoothly and I ended up loving the book and finding out that I really enjoyed the work that goes into reviewing ARCs! 

07 November 2011

Dark Life by Kat Falls

Dark Life by Kat Falls
Dark Life #1
Release Date: May 1, 2010 (US)
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: All Time Favourite
Dive deep into the vivid underwater world of Dark Life!

The oceans rose, swallowing the lowlands. Earthquakes shattered the continents, toppling entire regions into the rising water. Now, humans live packed into stack cities. The only ones with any space of their own are those who live on the ocean floor: the Dark Life.

Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything. - Goodreads
Dark Life is action packed, and it wasn’t slow for a second. There was very little romance, which I enjoyed, although there was still some there. Kat Falls does an amazing job with describing the world, and I was so intrigued by how people were living after the oceans had risen. There are lots of new inventions, and the science fiction of the aspect of the book works really well with the main plot line.

There are also lots of twists and turns in this book, a couple of which I guessed and a few that I didn't. Even though I already knew a couple of the twists, it didn't ruin the story for me at all because it has amazing build up and the action doesn't stop.

Dark Life is told from Ty’s point of view, which I think is a brilliant decision by Kat Falls. I think he was a really good protagonist – brave, loyal, intelligent – and he had a great voice. He was really mature for his age, which I enjoyed because it helped lead the story.

I liked Gemma as a character too. She was very scared of a lot of things under the ocean, as it was a whole new world to her, but she battled her fears in order to find her brother. She was a strong character, yet she also had flaws and fears, which I enjoyed.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the book was the villain, Shade. He’s the leader of a group of outlaws, and he was everything that a villain should be. He was pretty scary, rough and mysterious and he had an incredible back story that we’re told about and I loved reading about him so, so much. I hope this back story comes up some more in the next books in the series too, because I’d love to know more.

This book has climbed to the top of my favourites pile, and I cannot wait to check out Rip Tide which is the next book in the series. I highly recommend this to just about everybody. Although this book is classed as middle grade, it does have a more mature feel to it and I think that anyone can enjoy it.  

06 November 2011

In My Mailbox - (38)

hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

For Review:
Tempest by Julie Cross
This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Shadow Bound (Unbound #2) postcards

04 November 2011

Thankful For... Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths

Beth Revis is hosting an ENORMOUS giveaway on her blog, and I highly recommend going to check it out. It includes a rather large collection of signed books, as well as swag and prize packs. All you have to do it write a post about the book that you are most thankful for.
I picked Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths by Lucy Coats and Anthony Lewis.

The reason? This was one of the last books that my Nanny bought me before being diagnosed with cancer for the second time. She used to buy me books all the time when book companies visited the retirement home that she worked at, but when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour, she stopped going to work. She stopped buying me books.

She bought me this when I was about ten years old. I had never heard of any Greek myths before, aside from those featured on the television show Xena the Warrior Princess, which my brother and I were obsessed with. I started reading this, and I got sucked in. I was fascinated to learn all about these Greek gods who could fly, and turn into animals. And about the kings who made deals with these gods only to break their contracts. I loved reading about the monsters, and the creatures, and the woman who gave birth to eggs (Leda, in case you were wondering). The mythology fascinated me.

Ever since the day I began reading this book, I've been in loved Greek myths. It's more than love now, it's an obsession. It's a genuine love of mine, and I found it through the best circumstances. But that's not why I'm thankful. I'm thankful because I can now pick up this book, and as well as reading the stories for the hundredth time, I can remember my Nanny and how she was before she became ill.

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
The Pledge #1

Release Date: November 15, 2011 (US)
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Source: Galley Grab
Rating: Essential

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime. - Goodreads
The story kicks off right away as Kimberly Derting throws us into this dystopian world that she’s created. There’s a lot of mystery during the first few chapters, especially surrounding Charlie, and even after we find out exactly what is different about her there is still an immense amount of information to be discovered.

The plot is fast paced, and I couldn’t get enough. There are plenty of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and I was genuinely surprised about. I applaud Kimberly Derting for tricking me! I loved the adventure that Charlie was forced into, and meeting all of the new characters along the way was an added bonus, because I loved every single one of them. There was a particular scene that involved almost all the main characters, which included Charlie being attacked for being playful. And I found this hysterical, although I can’t say why!

Charlie is the main protagonist, and I must say that I really enjoyed reading about her character. The story is told from her perspective for the most part, and I loved being inside her head. She had a lot of struggles going on in there, and while she didn’t particularly have any flaws that stood out, she did have a lot of problems that made it fun to watch her pull through or fail.

The synopsis tells you that Max is the love interest in this book, so that’s not a spoiler. If you’re my friend on Goodreads then you may have read that Max annoyed me in the beginning. He came across as very controlling and a bit of a git. However, as Charlie got to know him more his character opened up and we got to see what he was really like. He reminded me a tiny bit of Damon Salvatore (TV version!) if any of you want a comparison.

Xander also deserves a special mention, because Xander is awesome. *hugs him tight and never lets go*

I’m sure most of you have probably read The Body Finder and its sequel, Desires of the Dead, because they’re pretty popular books. For those of you that have, I don’t think I need to tell you that Kimberly Derting has a fantastic writing style that just flows off the page as you read. For those of you who haven’t read any books by Kimberly Derting, I just told you all that you need to know.

I will definitely be recommending this book to all of my blogger friends – after you've picked up my other recommendations, of course – as well as others. It’s a great dystopian novel with great world building and back-story, with lots of action and surprises thrown in!