Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone

Series: The Heirs of Watson Island #1
Genre: YA Mystery
Book Length: 448 pages
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 4 stars
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
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You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’d like to thank the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Firstly, I read the whole book in a day and I absolutely LOVED it.
Serena is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in a land called Chardonia. In this world, the land is ruled by Warlocks—men with magic in their blood. Women are seen as inferior to them and are little better than “tarnished”—undesirable women who did not please the men and nonmagical men who are treated as slaves.
The book starts out on Serena’s birthday when she has her blood tested for magical potency. Since her blood is very potent, she is sold to a powerful Warlock named Thomas. Like Serena’s father and the rest of the men in this society, Thomas treats Serena harshly, and that’s putting it mildly. Anyway, the book goes on and Serena’s husband dies in a battle against an Envadi barbarian. Serena, along with Thomas’ other possessions are given to the Envadi Warlock. At first, Serena believes that her new husband will be more cruel to her, but as the book goes on, Serena learns to challenge societal rules, overcome childhood trauma, and learn to love others.
To say that I loved this book is putting it mildly. This book was a completely new take on witches and wizards. It also reminded me a little of The Jewel in that it had the premise of buying and selling women. I’m usually skeptical going in to books that discuss slavery, but I think the author handled the issue nicely.
Serena was a great protagonist throughout the book. She didn’t whine or plainly accept her fate and she wasn’t too annoying. However, I did think that she couldn’t get past the fact that her new husband wasn’t a barbarian even after he showed her time and time again that he would not purposely harm her.
Overall, this was a refreshing read and I can’t wait to read the sequel!

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bracken built an incredible world with this book.
I loved how the book took place in the United States. I also liked how seamless the shift from the present to the flashbacks was. I did find keeping track of the various people chasing Ruby and the others somewhat difficult, but it wasn’t distracting enough that I had to stop and go back to find out who was who. I also thought that the identity of the slip kid was very predictable, but maybe that was just me.
Ruby: I really loved her as a character and thought she grew significantly throughout the book. I also liked seeing events from her point of view as a teenager and as a child.
I feel that Liam and the rest of the characters didn’t just compliment Ruby, but they added a whole new level of dimension to the story. Each character was well-developed and experienced significant growth in the story.
I don’t know what took me so long to read this book and I highly recommend this book.
What are your thoughts?
Jackie

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

This Review Has spoilers. To see it without spoilers see my review on Goodreads
here.
City of Heavenly Fire
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My actual rating of this book is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
That said, no book or series for that matter has a perfect ending, however, Cassandra Clare came pretty damn close.
Honestly, this book could have ended the Shadowhunter world and I would have been fine with it. I mean I would have had many questions, but that happens with any book.
This book more than any other in the series or in general, has made me realize that no matter how small, every detail matters. I really loved how Cassandra Clare tied up all of the loose ends in the story. Those she didn’t tie up, I’m sure she left them for a purpose.
Not many books make me cry, but this was one of them. There were just so many action packed moments followed by very philosophical and emotional moments. I mean, was I the only one who cried when Raphael and Sebastian died? Oh, and let’s not even get started on Simon. When he offered himself up so that they could all leave Edom, I started crying. However, I think the most heart-wrenching moment of the whole ordeal was seeing his reaction at not remembering them all and slowly gaining his memories back.
I think the fact that so many people died in this book makes it even more real and relatable to me. I know for a fact that I would have hated the book if it had ended with Jonothan still alive, The Fair Folk getting along with everyone, and all of the couples living happily ever after. I’m so glad that the series ended with so much character development from everyone and the subtle ever-present threat of retaliation in the background. To me, this ending fits perfectly with my image of Cassandra Clare’s writing style.
I can’t wait for Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)to come out!
What are your thoughts?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I found some of the shifts in point of view, especially at the beginning, quite confusing. Apart from that, I really didn’t have too many other problems with it. However, I did have a hard time deciphering whether Akiva, Karou, and later Madrigal was telling the story.
Characters:

  • Karou:
    I thought she was an okay character and expect her to grow much more as the series continues. I like how she’s very self-sufficient, and although I don’t like it, how well she can juggle her friendships.
  • Akiva:
    Honestly, it was nice seeing the guy as the tormented character for a change, but I think he was too tormented if that makes sense.
  • Brimstone:
    I really love this character. Even before it’s revealed that he has a soft spot for Karou, the reader can see that. Apart from that, he is such an awesome and genuine character you can’t help but fall in love with.
  • Issa:
    I loved reading about her relationship with Karou and how she was a mother to Karou. I really enjoyed reading about her and wish every book had an Issa.

Overall:
I liked the book apart from what I mentioned above and will continue reading to find out what happens and see how all of the characters grow.
Jackie

The Iron Trial: Magisterium – Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

In September, me and three other friends (Roman, Vato and Rachel) went to the Cassandra Clare and Holly Black book signing for the Iron Trial: Magisterium. We got a copy of the book and got to look at different drawings of the characters and the book trailer. It was really fun!

After that, we all promised to read the book together, but it really didn’t end up that way. Vato finished the book first, within a week, Rachel hasn’t yet started reading it, as she is reading the Heroes of Olympus, and Roman’s reading speed is like a snail and is on chapter 13 currently, and he is in the middle of reading Clockwork Prince. I was reading Jessica Sorensen’s books, so I started as soon as I had finished the Violet and Luke series, which was about three-four days ago. I finished it last night.

Storyline/Plot:

It is a middle-grade book, so I wasn’t expecting Cassie to go all long-word-and-complicated-storyline on me, but I was surprised with how long it took me to be actually interested in the book. It was a big jump for me going from 16-19  YA books to 9-12 children’s books. It was sort of painful. One of the main parts in a book for me is how the author(s) manage to fit in romance, and I was surprised that they didn’t fit any in at all (I know they are 12 and all that but still). I gave this three out of five stars on goodreads.

Characters:

Call: Call was hilarious, and being a grumpy teenager myself, I related to him slightly.

Tamara: She got on my nerves, seeing as she was go goody goody, but she got better during the end.

Aaron: I liked Aaron, but his reaction to everything was always annoying.

Writing:

The writing was good, but I still found it difficult getting into it. The big twist at the end of the book was surprising and fascinating, and I as curious how they will continue the suspense in the next books.

– Anna

The Selection – Kiera Cass

Kiera Cass

Kiera Cass

This is going to be about the entire series, The Selection, The Elite, and The One.

Well.

Storyline/Plot:

I have to honestly admit how surprised how different I thought this book would be. I originally thought it was going to be one of the Matched/Delirium type of books *sigh* but it was actually one of my favourite series of this year, joining first place with the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. It starts off well, but then when you fist meet Maxon you know you will regret ever having a crush on Aspen. Maxon is so cute and sweet and hilarious and I would 100% join The Selection if it meant marrying him.

Characters:

America: Despite how much I liked her character, I really wanted to slap her. How obvious can it get that you are IN LOVE WITH MAXON NOT ASPEN. Oh dear. I really wanted to scream in her face (but she is fictional).

Aspen: Is like Adam from Shatter Me. I started of loving him, and ended up hating him. He starts off really cute, and then in the end it’s like GO AWAY ASPEN.

Maxon: He is so perfect and I’m so happy when him and America got together I was dancing around.

Writing:

This book gives you a lot of feels. It really gets to you and stabs you right in the heart/soul. I wanted to cry all the way through it. When I got to the bit in The One where America confessed her undying love for Prince Maxon I legitimately thought I was going to cry or scream. Kiera really understands the way people fall in love, but she also knows how to make characters rip your heart out and yell sarcastically at it.

– Anna

Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

(This is a round up of the entire series, not just this book)

Okay.

Okay.

I just finished this series and I am speechless.

By Tahereh Mafi

By Tahereh Mafi

Everyone needs to read this series its phenomenal.

Storyline/Plot:

Holy cow. The story starts (In Shatter Me) in one of my favourite settings for a book. A mental asylum. Don’t even ask why, but I love the loss of dialogue and how you just just see into every detail of the characters thoughts, without them hiding behind anything or worrying about anything cliché. The story moves on to when we meet Adam and so on, which is great and all that. The story really kicks off in Unravel Me (the second book). Its where you fully meet Warner and just all of your emotions get mixed around and blew up. All through Unravel Me, I was just on the edge of my seat. Ignite Me, however, was bloody damn amazing. This book just gets you thinking so much. I was shocked and mind blown and every emotion.

Characters:

Juliette: She is one of the most relatable characters I have ever read of. She has different personality perks that almost everyone can relate to. She doesn’t fit into her on skin, she is confused, she doesn’t know what to do about relationship problems. She is like a teenage goddess.

Adam: Adam is a funny character for me, as he started off as such a good character, and everyone was in love with him (especially Juliette), but then near the end of the series I was like *sigh* ‘Shut up Adam no one cares what you think.” I think this was really good how Tahereh managed to change my opinion of a character so quickly.

Aaron/Warner: This brings us to Warner. I take Drama for a GCSE, and not too long ago I was asked to do a performance based on the statement, ‘There is a thin line between love and hate.” This basically sums up Aaron for me. At the beginning he was a massive ass to everyone and he was annoying and argh, but then 100% of my love was directed towards him at the end.

Kenji: He is probably one of my favourite characters I have ever read. His comments were fantastic and he got me laughing out loud. I loved his cocky-ness and in all honesty he reminded me slightly of a character called ‘William Herondale’ who I know we are all familiar with, so that is a massive perk in a character. He was a great best friend, and he was really well thought about.

Writing:

The writing was amazing, the way she wrote the book and the chapters was exceptionally figured out. The worst thing I think you can have in a book is over usage of cliché, and I didn’t sense any at all in this book. Tahereh Mafi is exceptional, and my golly her books are phenomenal.

Btw I cried in Ignite Me (I don’t normally cry when reading books)

– Anna