Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige



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Author: Danielle Paige
Pages: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Received from: Public library
Status: Dorothy Must Die #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and I've been given a mission:

REMOVE
The Tin Woodman's heart,

STEAL
The Scarecrow's brain,

TAKE
The Lion's courage,

And then—

DOROTHY MUST DIE.


Review
Dorothy Must Die is not your average story. It's badass, dark, and is unique from most book adaptations of some of our most beloved childhood stories or classic tales.

The story is about the OTHER girl from Kansas, Amy Gumm, who's lived her life in the shadows of everyone else, often being ridiculed for every little thing: from living in a trailer park to wearing clothes from Salvation Army, from having pink hair to having an alcoholic mother. This isn't a story about a doe-eyed girl from Kansas who wants an adventure- this is the story about the girl from Kansas with pink hair and a pet rat who needs a new life.

After a twister transports her to Oz, she finds that her beloved storybook world is destroyed by Dorothy herself. She learns from the beginning that Dorothy is not the sweet and innocent girl from the books or movies, but a tyrannical leader with a bad temper. Amy ends up with a group of rebel witches with no definition of Wicked or Good, and becomes the driving force behind taking down Dorothy and her army.

What I loved about this story is that it does not centre around a love story, and nor does it centre around a girl needing to be saved by a guy: it's centred how an ordinary girl like Amy can figure out who she really is on her own, even in the most unfortunate and restricted circumstances.

I loved the action, and this crazy, dystopian storybook world that Paige has created. It's a twisted Oz, and it twists all my favourite characters. As a fan of the book and the movie, I should be upset as to how my favourite characters are portrayed, but Paige makes you fall in love with this unconventional story from the beginning.

Through Dorothy Must Die, you learn the hardships of becoming your own person when there is no definite way of knowing what is good and what is bad. Amy learns not only how to use magic and become a kick-ass spy, but she learns that being good or bad doesn't come from retaliating other people's actions, but figuring out what is good or bad for yourself and a person at the moment.

I loved this story very much, although I didn't like how there were lots of wholes with some of the characters in the story. I recommend this book to EVERYONE! Read it NOW!

Rating:



Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Angel Killer by Lisa Voisin







Coming January 5, 2015
DESCRIPTION

Now that shes found him again, all Mia Crawford wants is some downtime with her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael. But the call of duty keeps him awayfrom school and from herwith more demons to smite than ever.

When Michael is mortally wounded by a cursed sword, Mia must perform an ancient blood ritual to save him. But the spell exacts a price. Haunted by visions of war, torture, and despair, Mia discovers the world is in more danger than she ever imagined. Behind the scenes, an evil adversary pulls all the strings.

After redemption, theres Hell to pay.



About the Author





A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.
 
Lisa is also a technical writer, a meditation teacher, and the leader of the Young Writers Club, a local writing group for teens in her home town. A self-proclaimed coffee lover, she can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!
 
Though shes lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.
 

THE EXCERPT
 
Michael leaned against the buildings stucco wall and rested his hands on my hips. Light from the store cast a warm gleam in his crystal blue eyes. He leaned in, and the draw to be close to him was a gravitational force. Hello,” he said.

Hello.” I had to get a grip. Itd been so long since wed talked, I tried to focus on all the things I wanted to tell him. We went to see Fatima.” His fingers caressed the sides of my waist, sending happy tingles through me. You know, in her store…” To my own ears, my voice sounded raspy. I trembled.

Cold?” He drew me closer, his mouth crooking into a grin.

Lost in him, I forgot all about Fatima. You know damn well thats not it.” I twined my arms around his back and touched the spot between his shoulder blades where his wings connected. Its warmth thawed my fingers.

He leaned in and brushed his lips along my jaw line. Thought that was just me,” he whispered, and his breath tickled my neck.Ive wanted to do this for three days.

Our lips met, and I melted into him, not caring that we were on the sidewalk, outside a deli with families shopping inside. Nor did I care that, being an angel, he had to follow very strict rules about contact with humansespecially contact of the relationship variety. Angels had the ability to enthrall humans with their touch, something Michael had to constantly keep in check. But I didnt have to be enthralled to want to kiss him. That was my own doing. All that mattered right now was that he was here. With me.

He pulled me closer and the buzz of his energy filled me heart and soul, blocking out the rest of the world. My hands sought warmth under his leather jacket and found bare skin. I could feel the shiver from my touch surge through him. His mouth pressing more firmly against mine, he brushed a hand along my cheek and tangled it in my hair.

A dreamlike blur of light and color filled my thoughts. But then the image shifted to blood. His.

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

ARC Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin


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Author: Ryan Graudin
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Status: Standalone

Summary (from Goodreads):


730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.


Review

The Walled City was a wonderful book- it was thrilling, fast-paced, captivating, and overall, ORIGINAL. I absolutely loved this book, it's characters, and the intricate story line the author has created.

The story is about three different characters living in the Walled City: the pretty rich boy who made mistakes, the girl that was sold, and the dutiful sister that goes in and disguises herself as a boy to save her sister. It was an interesting story told in three very different perspectives, and I love how the characters all tie together in the story, and loved how they were all developed. One of my favourite things in this story as well is the normal boy-girl friendship two of the MC's have- it's nice to see friendship over that insta-cross lovers-Romeo-and-Juliet stuff.

The story is set in a grim Walled City where the criminals rule, and where living to see the next day was a sort of blessing- or a stroke of good luck. All the characters had their own terrifying problems, and mixed in with this dangerous world, created an amazing story.

One thing to know about the story: there is a Walled City that once existed in Hong Kong- and yes, it was populated by criminals, prostitutes, and a lot of illegal activity. If you look at the picture below (from the Wikipedia page), you can see that it wasn't really a pretty place to live in:



As you can see, its very compact, and you can very well just imagine the gruesome living conditions that these people lived in. Now, I didn't know that there was an ACTUAL walled city till I read the author's note, and I used my imagination to visualize how Jin, Dai and Mei experienced their day to day lives. I have to say, Ryan Graudin not only delivered a compelling story, but she also nailed the atmosphere of the entire story.

Overall, this was an amazing story with compelling characters and a realistic atmosphere. It's a story of survival and how precious life actually is. I absolutely loved it, and I totally recommend it to fans of Josin L. McQuein and Sara B. Larson!

Rating:




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