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Month: August 2016

Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan

Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan

Resistance is Futile was one of my impulse buys. I saw it in my local Waterstones, quickly read the blurb and it sounded so different to anything I had read before. Mathematics? Sci-Fi elements? Awesome. It’s like Big Bang Theory meets Independence Day.

Connie’s smart. She’s funny. But when it comes to love, she’s only human.

As a brilliant mathematician with bright red hair – Connie’s used to being considered a little unusual. But when she’s recruited for a top-secret-code-breaking project, nothing can prepare her for working with someone quite as peculiar as Luke.

Connie prepares herself for a life of love, friendship… and the possible obliteration of mankind.

I love sci-fi ok? I love aliens, I love space, I love futuristic things… But I’ve never actually read a sci-fi book. Weird huh? So this was a first for me.

Resistance is Futile is a very fast paced book, but the fact that it’s so odd and different made it a 4-star book for me. It’s a sci-fi, romance and action book, crammed into 380 pages. It’s the fast pace that lets it down. Whilst I was reading it, the dialogue was like watching a tennis match. It was moving from character to character so quickly that I couldn’t keep up and I had to re-read some parts to make sure I knew what was going on and who had said what. It was quite off-putting to begin with, but I got used to it after a bit and managed to follow slightly easier.

“Everyone is alien. And even when you are in love with someone, even when you think you know them better than you know yourself; even when you think you know everything about them and them you, and you live in eachother’s souls. Even then you know nothing about them at all.”
– Jenny T. Colgan, Resistance is Futile
 
 

Another thing that let this book down was how suddenly Connie and Luke expressed their love for each other. One minute, they were working on the top-secret project together (yeah, they were flirting slightly) and then the next moment, they’re saying how much they love each other and end up kissing. What? I mean, I’ve heard of spontaneous relationships but this was crazy.

However, this book was extremely funny. There was one line in particular that literally made me laugh out loud – the neighbours must have thought I was crazy.

I also loved the characters and how they were portrayed by Colgan. There was such a mix of characters and each of them brought something different to the table. Arthur was American and bought a balance of humour and seriousness, Evelyn brought sophistication and a maternal figure, Ranjit brought youthful enthusiasm and Sé brought pure seriousness but complete trustworthiness.

The plot was so out-there and there was loads of twists and turns that were a complete shock to me and that ending?! Well, that’s a scene that I will never forget! It was brilliantly written and I had to read it twice to make sure that I had read it properly.

If you want a romance book with a sci-fi twist, then this book is for you. It was a brilliant read and I absolutely loved it apart from the fast-paced dialogue and the fast-paced relationship between Luke and Connie. I thoroughly recommend this book and give it a few months or so, I would love to read this book again!

 

Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto

Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto

I don’t know whether this was better or worse than the first installment in the Halo series: Halo. It was bad enough to get two stars anyway.

The first one had the theme of conquering those who try and come between true love, the second book – Hades – had the theme of darkness and trying to overthrow it, the third one… Well… I don’t even know what the theme was.



Bethany and Xavier have already pushed the boundaries of Heaven with their relationship. In this conclusion to the Halo trilogy, the two take their love to the next, forbidden, step: they marry.

At a time when they believe nothing will come between them again, they are faced with their most daunting challenge yet: the Sevens, a military order of angels designed to maintain balance in the universe. These soldiers won’t stop until their job is done – capture the wayward angel and send her home.


The thing that didn’t work with this book was that it was the third book, it came after Hades – which was the best book in the series. And if you follow a good book with a not-so-very-good book, then it’s going to look even worse. 




“That is when you need faith the most. Not when everything is going your way, not when you have much to be thankful for, but when there is darkness all around.”
– Alexandra Adornetto, Heaven
 
 


One of the parts that annoyed me the most about this book was when Beth and Xavier had to attend college to ‘blend in’. It was such a boring part of the book and it dragged for what seemed forever. Then, Heaven perked up a little bit when the Sevens were introduced. They are Heavens warriors and they are badass. They added a thrill of the chase as they are hunting down Bethany. 

Three-quarters of the way through, something happens to Gabriel which is very shocking and instead of that shocking element being carried on, Gabriel suddenly (trying not to spoil anything here) has a change of personality and it completely goes against his storyline. 


There are quite a few shocks in this story but they last for a very short time because Adornetto doesn’t cling on to those shocking elements that make the reader think ‘YES! SOMETHING GOOD IS FINALLY HAPPENING WITH THIS PLOT!’ Instead, she counteracts the shockingness with some soppy, stupid action that ends up ruining everything.


The Halo series had so potential to be an amazing series but with bad writing and annoying characters, this series just fell to the dirt for me. Throughout Heaven, there were so many good opportunities to finish off this series on a high, but it just flopped, which is a massive shame.


I won’t be reading this series again, it just put me in a massive reading slump.



Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

I don’t even know where to start with this review. I don’t even know how to write this review without spoiling anything because I’ve just finished reading this so my brain is full of what I’ve just read. So I’m sorry if a few things don’t make sense but this book is so hard to review without any spoilers.

Hades is the second book in the Halo trilogy and thank God *excuse the pun* that this was slightly better.

Is love a great enough power against evil? Bethany believes so – after all, the love of her angel siblings and her boyfriend Xavier saved her from the clutches of Hell itself.

But when Jake returns to town, he may be able to destroy everything she cares about.

Will Jake’s actions shatter Beth’s faith in love? Or can she overcome heartache and betrayal to find her way back to Xavier?

Ok first of all, yes this book is better than Halo – but not by much.

The main plot in this book is much darker than the first installment in the series and I found the darker approach much better (well, I say darker but nothing bad really happens to Bethany – again.) This is one of the things that I find so frustrating with the series. When evil comes along to try and ruin Beth’s life, nothing bad happens to her. She might get a few scratches here and there and be threatened, but nothing bad is ever done to her and it’s annoying.

There was also some terrible writing in this book. Absolutely terrible. How Adornetto ever got away with it, I have no idea. I actually noted down some of the rubbish writing so I could share it with you guys. So here you, a few amazingly awful quotes from Hades:

– “Little did we know they would find us before we had a chance to find them.” 
If you follow me on Goodreads, you will know that I had a little rant about this sentence. After I read this, I noticed how much unneeded foreshadowing Adornetto did. What’s the point in telling us that bad stuff is going to happen before it does? Why not leave out the in-your-face foreshadowing and give us a bit of a shock?

 


– “I wanted them to know that Taylah was out there still, only now she was free. I wanted to tell them about Heaven and the peace she would find there. But of course, sharing any of that knowledge was impossible. Not only would I be breaking our most secret code and exposing our presence on Earth…”
SHE HAS ALREADY TOLD XAVIER WHAT SHE IS! SHE HAS ALREADY BROKEN THE “MOST SECRET CODE’. What a huge contradiction on Adornetto’s part. This is terrible. And Bethany stupid.

– “Are you okay, Huggie Bear?’ I asked, protectively reaching up to fix his hair.”
Beth just called Xavier “Huggie Bear”. What. What writer even does that? I mean, I’ve heard of ridiculous nicknames for your other half but ‘Huggie Bear’? That should be made illegal. *shudders* Just no.

– “When Big Daddy fell from grace…”
Yup. Lucifer is called ‘Big Daddy’ in this by his followers. I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S WORSE, HUGGIE BEAR OR BIG DADDY! And the description of Lucifer (there’s no way I’m calling him Big Daddy) is all wrong, but I’m not even going to go into that because we’d be here all day.

 

As you can see, I came across some appalling writing and ideas in this book. HOWEVER! Even though nothing bad happened to Bethany (not really, anyway. A few minor incidents here and there, but still…) I found the story much more gripping than Halo.

My favourite part of this book was an exorcism scene. It’s like it was ripped right from the pages of a Supernatural script. Adornetto’s writing during this scene surpassed anything I had read during the series and blew my mind. It was fantastic. The way she described the demon possession, the surroundings of the building and how the creature moved was breathtaking and it’s a scene that I will always remember for being brilliant. I don’t know why Adornetto couldn’t keep writing like this.

I can’t say much else about this book without revealing what happens but just know this: even though there is some terrible writing, Adornetto has got a good story going here, she’s got some really good ideas and the darkness of the book worked so much better than Halo. Yes, there was still Bethany and Xavier confessing their undying love for each other all of the time (shut up, already – no one cares), and the ending was absolutely ridiculous but this book was definitely better than Halo

Now onto the third and final book… Heaven. Fingers crossed that I don’t drive myself mad reading it.

 

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo is one of those books where I don’t know how I really feel about it…
Is love a great enough power against evil?

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel the warrior; Ivy the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone – especially herself.

I don’t know who I was annoyed at the most: Gabriel or Bethany. I got very annoyed at Bethany because whilst I was reading it, I was yelling at her to not fall in love with anyone because she’s got a job to do. I mean come on, if I was an angel I would not want to let some boy stop me from doing my job. Hello! I would work for God. How awesome is that? I’d have powers and wings. No mortal boy is stopping me from being an awesome angel. Bethany was so stubborn and would go against anything that Gabriel said. He’s Gabriel, you do not want to mess with him (yes, he’s exactly the Gabriel that you’re thinking of.)
However, I wanted to yell at Gabriel because even though being an angel would be super cool, I can completely understand why Bethany would be fascinated with Earth. It’s completely different to anything that she’s ever experienced before and because she’s a young angel, she’s going to be influenced very easily. Gabriel would be so stern with Bethany and expect her not to pique an interest in anything. I know he’s an archangel and everything but come on, give the girl some slack.
“One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favourite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion?”
– Alexandra Adornetto, Halo
 
 
Even though I could see both of the characters points of view, I admit I was absolutely sick of hearing how much Xavier and Bethany loved each other, or how gorgeous Xavier was. We get it, you find him attractive. Get over it already. I also hated how overprotective Xavier was. If I had a boyfriend and he was like that, I would tell him to stop and that I could handle carrying my own school books. And I hated when he decided he could just answer for Bethany is class. I seriously wanted to punch him. But everything was ok, it was fine that he was overprotective because he was attractive *sarcasm* (I hate books like that, that get the male to do everything for the female because we’re apparently so weak we can’t even carry our own books.)

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book as well. It started to get good when Jake Thorn was introduced but again another cliche of a British guy being evil. Us British people aren’t all evil ok? I finished this book in two days and even though there were some very annoying bits with the romance and the characters, I found the whole idea of the book very interesting.

I am in no way religious (if I was, I’d be a Buddhist) but I like reading books about heaven, hell or limbo. I find it fascinating when it gets a fantasy twist put on it and I think it was this that made me keep reading it. I like reading about evil trying to take over and the good guys trying to fight it.

I also found Adornetto to be very descriptive in her writing. Sometimes I found it brilliant as it made me imagine the setting of Venus Cove much more clearly and made me understand the characters better, but on the other hand, sometimes it got annoying because she would repeat herself when describing things. However, I would say that the descriptive side of the book is more positive than negative in its storytelling.

Because of this, I will be reading the second book in the series: Hades. I don’t think I will thoroughly enjoy the second book because I wasn’t a big fan of the second, but let’s hope that I like it enough to not put it down for the second time.

 

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

You what drew me to this book in Waterstones? No, not the fact that it was on the stand labelled ‘Zoella’s Book Club‘. It was the amazing cover which was designed by Rachel Vale (everyone, please give her a round of applause for she is so talented!)

I turned the book over and gave the blurb a quick read. Finally! A book about friendships and the struggles that they go through.

Caddy and Rosie have always been inseparable. But that was before Suzanne. Now Caddy wants to be more than just the quiet one. She wants something to happen.

I was brave…
Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone different. Someone free.

She was reckless…
But sometimes downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

We were trouble…
And no one can break your heart like a best friend.

Whilst I was reading this book, I stated on my Goodreads that “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this book.” That was whilst I was on page 45. Now that I have finished it and I’ve had time to reflect, I can say that my opinion has only slightly changed.

It is true, Beautiful Broken Things was like a breath of fresh air. There was no unconditional love and a boy and a girl feeling like they couldn’t breathe without each other. This book was purely about three girls overcoming obstacles in their friendships and about trying to save one another.

First things first, I think using Caddy as the narrator was completely wrong. She describes herself as “dull” in the book and I completely agree, she was dull. I wish the book had been written from Rosie’s perspective – that would have been much more interesting.

“But people we love come and go, Caddy. That doesn’t mean we loved them any less at the time.”
– Sara Barnard, Beautiful Broken Things
 
 

The character of Caddy (or Cadnam, which is her real name. By the way, who even calls their kid Cadnam? That’s just mean) is selfish, childlike and annoying. There’s a whole scene to do with Coronation Street and trigger warnings that – every time I think about – get me really really angry. Sometimes, I just wanted to scream at her to stop talking. However, I can see why Barnard chose Caddy to be the voice throughout the book. Most of the books plots happen between Suzanne and Caddy.

I loved the character of Suzanne. I felt like she was the character that had the most depth – not because of what happened to her, but because she was the character that was written the best, the character that was most real (again, not because of what happened to her.)

You know what I love most about this book? It’s that it’s relateable. My best friend and I have been best friends for nearly ten years and every time either of us gets close to another person, we instantly get jealous and we’re like “back off, she’s my best friend.” And this is what the beginning of Beautiful Broken Things is like.

There are some dark moments in this book but I think Barnard talks about them with great depth and doesn’t shy away from anything, she doesn’t skim over what happens. She writes about it in a matter-of-fact way that is definitely needed for this book.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely read it again. I love the whole premise of the book and I loved the character of Suzanne. The only thing that let this book down was Caddy. I just didn’t like her character at all. But once you get past the teenage horribleness of her character, there’s a very very good book.

Warning: this book contains scenes of physical/emotional abuse