Book Review: Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1) by J. R. Johansson

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Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1) by J. R. Johansson

Publisher: Flux

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: June 8, 2013

Pages: 360 (hard cover)
Insomnia (The Night Walkers#1)

It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Flux  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

Insomnia is a creative story that most people wished were true. Hell, I wish I could be a Night Walker and know what some people dream about! That sounds pretty cool, right? Right? Anyway, the story follows Parker, who has been dealing with this gift/curse for four years now without sleeping a wink until he meets Mia who changes his life forever. The story starts out with a little too much information before most of the characters or past events are introduced. And speaking of the characters, only the main and strong secondary ones really stand out for me. The rest of them are very stiff and choppy, like unfinished thoughts. This makes if hard to give the book a better rating. Still, not a bad start to a series or a bad début either. Nice job, J. R. Johansson.

While reading this, a few things become apparent to readers. First, there are not very many clues to keep us reading. It’s as if the author is relying mostly only on the dark, crazy actions of what Parker does to keep the book interesting and mysterious. Second, the novel moves pretty quickly with the more important details and events being rushed or skimmed. I get irritated every time this happens because the important parts happen too quick while the less important fillers are played a lot more slowly. Third, it’s apparent that there are a lot of unanswered questions by the end of this. How did Parker become a Night Walker? How come his mom doesn’t know/isn’t one too? Can anyone become a Night Walker? Although we get some information regarding these questions, I think that there should have been more to keep readers a little more satisfied.

Parker is a crazy, sleep deprived character who I really enjoyed reading about. His creepy, stalker-like tactics to see Mia are wacky and very frightening. Especially when his inner demons take hold and show just how desperate he can be to get what he needs and wants. He’s a realistic and unpredictable, I felt like a stalker just reading this! The idea for this is refreshing and new, I love it!  Even though the ending is pretty transparent, I wasn’t exactly expecting that person to be that person. It’s a nice twist to a great book that I recommend to readers who are looking for books that involve dreams and stalker with funny, sarcastic characters you just can’t get enough of.

Four Dreamy Clouds

Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click, here.

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Favourite Book Quotes Of The Week#27

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

September Girls by Bennett Madison

16065555Favourite quotes:

1. You have no idea how important a name is. You have always known your name.

2. She was both beautiful and ugly at the same time. Her face changed the longer you looked at it, and the more you looked at it the more you couldn’t put all the pieces together. Just as it was starting to make sense, it all fell apart. She was a page in a book in a dream where you can’t read.

3. “When you’re all the same, all you have is what you own. And we don’t own a lot.”

4. The moral of the story here is that if you’re ever offered anything that seems like it might lead to sex, there is no turning back. You just have to take it as it comes or you will remain a virgin for life.

5. Being a man is bullshit; maybe trying to be a man had been the problem all along. At a certain point you just have to trust someone. Even if it’s only yourself.

6. The minute you think you’re safe is the same minute you’re fucked.

7. Because isn’t the whole point of loving someone–being in love with someone–that you understand her as well as you understand yourself? Isn’t loving someone almost like becoming that person, and them becoming you? I mean, isn’t that the point, at least in a way?

Book Review: September Girls by Bennett Madison

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September Girls by Bennett Madison

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy/Re-Telling and young adult

Release Date: May 21, 2013

Pages: 342 (hard cover)
School Spirits (School Spirits #1)

 When Sam’s dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he’s all for it– at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she’s different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he’s going to get her back, he’ll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, HarperTeen  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

I can understand why some people won’t enjoy this because there are many times where Sam randomly talks about his dick and how ‘heavy’ it gets and more often than not, about the size of the Girls’ waists and boobs. September Girls starts off very sloppily and a bit disorganized. The second we meet new characters, there’s a bit of info-dumping that also makes it hard to know whether or not Sam is talking about them in the past or the present. If readers aren’t used to the minds of teenage boys then this book may be offensive and just plain weird. But I did like this, don’t get me wrong. It’s just a bit confusing at times.

Throughout the story, the writing style is really weird. It seems like Bennett Madison is trying to write the story really fancy-like and ‘professional’ (not really the word I wanted to use but it’ll do) but with a mix of teenage boy humour added in which, in fact, doesn’t quite work well in the author’s favour. Even if the writing wasn’t as awkward, there isn’t much dialogue as I would have liked. It seems like the chapters are all just really long monologues rather than a realistic story with dialogue. Another thing that I felt could have been done better is the ending, it drags on for far too long about things that, in my opinion, don’t matter in the slightest.

In between the chapters that are narrated by Sam, there are small, two or three pages devoted to the Girls. This gives readers a chance to get to know the Girls better and a little in sight on what their lives are like. Which leads me into the characters. Most of the characters are okay with simple characteristics for some and more complex things for others to keep everything fun. For some reason, I can’t get enough of Sam. Although the character has some faults and mishaps, I have a soft spot for him and his weirdness. It’s easy for me to relate to him and his ways of coping with his parents separating and things like that. The character of DeeDee is also another one that I like. I love how different she is and the way she treats Kristle even though they’re not-really-sisters-but-kind-of. The relationship between these two characters, DeeDee and Sam, is too cute. It’s realistic and confusing and amazing. Every second they’re together, I get really squealy and happy and sometimes angry with the way Sam sometimes acts. But I still love him.

September Girls is not a book for everyone. It’s a new take with girls being beautiful and blonde and most definitely ‘hipsters’. But I did enjoy it, there are some good things about this story that can be seen if you just look past all of the guy-ish things that may annoy readers. I recommend this to anyone who like retellings and stories about summer and don’t mind male humour that comes along with this. Besides, what kind of person doesn’t like mermaids and their beautiful selves?

Three Clouds

Three Clouds

Album Review:Say Hello by Alexander

Alexander- 'Say Hello'

Say Hello by Alexander

Record Label: I Am Mighty Records

Genre: pop/rock

Release Date: April 26, 2013

Songs: 8

Say Hello - Alexander

Hailing from Newcastle, Indie Rock 4 piece ‘Alexander’ are releasing their debut album ‘Say Hello’ in early 2013 on I Am Mighty Records. The band have been creating a buzz across the UK already. The first single ‘You Lost Youself’ taken from the record is out now, with a beautiful acoustic version of the song as a B-side. Taking influence from the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Futures and Two Door Cinema Club, ‘Alexander’ are bringing a punchy and appealing sound to the indie UK music scene.

First of all, I would like to thank the record label, I Am Mighty Records (More importantly, Dave) for giving me this album to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

There isn’t one word that can sum up a band like Alexander. For the past few hours, I’ve been thinking of a way to rate their album, Say Hello and decide what kind of audience this will appeal to. When I listened to this album for the first time, I was skeptical. I was expecting a band that didn’t exactly know what they wanted or where they were heading. But Alexander didn’t give me that, instead, they gave me the exact opposite. The album starts off with upbeat, catchy songs with, Say Hello and Maybe I Was Wrong then ends on a much softer note with, Old Fashioned Romance, leaving listeners in a daze of things that could have happened but didn’t. This is definitely an album to go buy!

One of my pet peeves for music is repetition. Of course, songs are supposed to repeat certain lines (the chorus of course). But I can’t stand it when songs are mostly just the same phrase repeated over and over again without a verse or something to break it up. Sadly, this is the case with, Find My Way Out, and Without A Parachute. For both songs, the title is just repeated over and over again. Also, the bass in most of the songs gets lost and is quite easy to forget about. I wish the band brought out the bass a little more to remind listeners that it is still there.

For as far as the good things about this album go, there’s a lot of personality in this. I can’t express just how much I love the guitar pieces in every one of these songs especially in, Find My Way Out. There is such a cool solo part in this one! Another thing I like about this album is how sweet it is. A Sweet Song has to be one of the sweetest songs I’ve ever heard. It has to be illegal not to fall in love with its lyrics about young love and life. The drummer knows his stuff! It’s interesting and different, drawing attention yet not overpowering the songs as a whole. I feel this way about all of the drumming parts especially in, Find My Way Out and You Lost Yourself. 

Say Hello by Alexander is not what I was expecting. But I’m glad that they surprised me with their sound. Their music doesn’t appeal to one set of listeners and not even one genre of music. I recommend this album to everyone who likes alternative rock and acoustic stuff mostly because these music lovers will enjoy it the most.   My favourite songs on Say Hello by Alexander are, A Sweet Song, Maybe I Was Wrong, Say Hello, and You Lost Yourself. Alexander has definitely showed the world what they’re about and only a sliver of what they’re capable of. Whatever they release next will hopefully be nothing less than amazing.

4 awesome Treble Clefs

4 awesome Treble Clefs

Sorry there isn’t links to all sings but there is an album teaser! Click Here.

Songs Of The Album

1. Say Hello

2. Maybe I Was Wong

3. You Lost Yourself

4. Find My Way Out

5. A Sweet Song

6. Vapour Trails

7. Without A Parachute

8. Old Fashioned Romance

Favourite Book Quotes Of The Week#26

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

The Immortal Rules (Blood Of Eden#1) by Julie Kagawa

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Favourite quotes:

1. “You don’t dwell on what you’ve lost, you just move on.”

2. “Did he teach you how to bore you opponents to sleep? Because I think I missed that lesson.”

3. The closer you got to someone, the more it would destroy you when they were inevitably gone.

4. “And sometimes, hope is the only thing that gets us through the day.”

School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins

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Favourite Quotes:

1. I don’t know what heaven smells like, but if it doesn’t smell like freshly baked cookies, I will be really disappointed.

2. When you don’t have much family left, you’ll do anything to protect what you have.

Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

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Favourite quote: “There are more important things in life than studying.”

Double Crossed by Ally Carter

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Favourite quote:

1. “You’re late.” Kat said as soon as Hale put the phone to his ear. She wasn’t the kind of girl to wait for hello.

“What can I say? Macey McHenry has been throwing herself at me…”

“See, that’s the kind of thing that would make me jealous if she weren’t way out of your league.”

“You know, if I had feelings, that might have hurt them.”

2. “Why don’t I know You?”
“Does anyone ever really know someone else?”
“You think your cute,” she told him.
“You think your gorgeous. But I’m the one guy here who knows better.”
“So I’m not gorgeous?” Macey challenged.
“Of course you are,” He started away, turned back at the last minute. “But I’m the guy who figured out that’s not all you are.”

Book Review: Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans (Blog Tour!)

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Click here for other great blog tours! 

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Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: March 15, 2013

Pages: 206 (Ebook)

Afterlife Academy

Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.

Dying wasn’t on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson’s to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she’s stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she’s stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.

In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all…

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.

(My Opinion)

Afterlife Academy is told from the perspective of Riley Richardson, who is, in fact, a very different kind of girl (the popular kind). Instead of being the popular girl with the perfect life like she’s used to, she is ridiculed at the academy because of the fact that she looks a lot different than everyone else. And to be honest, I think that Riley deserves it for the awful things she did to everyone while she was alive. Afterlife Academy is that kind of book that’s sort of funny but also sort of annoying. Although I like the story, I think that it’s lacking in a lot of areas.

For the most part, the writing in this is really awkward. It sort of stops and goes, with very short three word sentences ending when they should not have ended. Another thing I don’t like about this is that there is so much repetition  In almost every chapter, Riley explains to us how everything is either grey or very, very wrong. An example of the repetition is:

“The canteen looks exactly the same as it always has. Apart from the greyness, obviously. Grey lino flooring, grey tables and black chairs, grey counters.”

In the example above, it shows that saying everything is grey ins’t enough, but telling us everything in the room that is grey is the best way to get the image across.  Because of this, it makes the story harder to read since I’m being constantly reminded just how grey everything is and just how colourful Riley is. A very hard thing for authors to accomplish is to make their readers hate their main character and then quickly fall in love with them. This is very tough to do because it requires the right amount of emotions. Unfortunately, Afterlife Academy doesn’t his its mark. I can see where Jaimie Admans is trying to go with Riley, making her seem like the mean girl who finds her way and stuff like that. But throughout the whole story I felt very little sympathy for her. Instead of falling in love with her and rooting for Riley to have her ‘happy ending’ I felt more annoyed with her then anything. She keeps whining about how everyone is mean to her when she actually deserves it. The relationship between Riley and Anthony feels very forced and a bit on the random side as well. I couldn’t relate to it because I didn’t understand how anyone would like Riley after all the crap they put them through.

With that being said, there actually are a few things that I like about the book. The character of Anthony is so amazing and sweet. He’s a very caring person who I honestly think makes the story rather than Riley. He’s still kind to those (Riley) who have made fun of him and made his life a living hell for several years when he has every reason to be rude and hate them for it. For as far as humour goes, my favourite part has to be the group therapy session. This part made me laugh because it’s so realistic when you put a bunch of teenagers together. They snap at each other and defend one another and tease them.I also like all the sneaking around. It creates a somewhat mysterious setting.

Overall, not a bad read. I like the second half a lot more than the first because that’s mostly where all the action is. Most of the characters are lacking emotion and a personality and feel like ink on a page but I did enjoy the karmatic things that the author put in the novel. They made me smile. I recommend this to anyone who likes after-world novels. Especially if you love romances that just randomly happen.

Three Clouds

Three Clouds

Book Review: School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins

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School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Pages: 304 (Ebook)
School Spirits (School Spirits #1)

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Disney-Hyperion  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read the Hex Hall series (but I so want to) so I went into this book without much of a back story. With that being said, School Spirits is a good novel. It’s not the greatest nor is it the worst with the story mostly concentrating on Isolde “Izzy” Brannick and how she deals with a ghost case somewhere in Mississippi. From the beginning, the ending is pretty predictable, even the ‘bad guy’ is easy to spot the second they are introduced in the story. Rachel Hawkins could have done a much better job making it less predictable. But I do like most of the characters, especially Dexter, he’s so goofy.

Out of all the demon slayer type of books that I’ve read (which is a lot) School Spirits has to be one of my least favourites. There is just so much wrong with it other than its predictability. Finley is supposed to play quite a huge part in the novel but she doesn’t. Instead of finding clues and other things related to Finley’s disappearance, there’s only about ten pages devoted to her. The rest of the book is mostly just them missing her. I also don’t like how unrealistic the friendships are in the book. Izzy has been taught for fifteen years not to trust mortals yet, she throws all of those lessons out the window for people she’s only known for roughly two months? That’s insane and unbelievable. What’s even worse is that she tells them what/who she is and what she does because she thinks it’s a good idea. If her friends were supposed to know what she is, she would have told them in the beginning and not  near the end. Telling her friends that these monsters are real kind of defeats the purpose of keeping them safe and out-of-the-way. And the mother just kind of goes with it saying (and I’m paraphrasing this) “Okay! You can tell them all about what we do! They can come with us! Who cares what the council might think about humans knowing that monsters exist.” What kind of monster slayer says something like that?!

For me, I think that the romance moves pretty fast as well. It feels like Rachel Hawkins rushed the ending and stuffed as much lovey-dovey romance stuff in it as she could to make up for the quite disappointing ending. There isn’t much demon-slaying going on throughout the novel either. I wish there was to level out with the amount of unrealistic predictable things.

What I like about this book are some of the characters, like Dexter. There’s just something about a guy named Dexter that you have to love. Whether it’s his psychotic tendencies, his arrogance, or his goofy, hilarious jokes at the worst times imaginable, everyone loves a guy named Dexter.  He’s so funny, saying the worst things during intense moments that I can’t help but laugh. I also like the writing style because it’s quite fun and entertaining, helping the book create a chill, laid back feel. The relationship between the mom and Izzy for the most part is relatable. Their struggles not only with each other but with themselves shows just how broken people can be when a loved one is suddenly taken away from them.

Overall, School Spirits is an okay read, definitely for people who like a bit of supernatural things in their stories, but I don’t recommend it for people into demon-slaying books because there just isn’t enough of that going on in here. And although this is a fun, entertaining read, it isn’t very realistic or intense.

Three Clouds

Three Clouds