ARC Review: Haunt Me – Liz Kessler

Synopsis:haunt-me-cover

Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn’t the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide – life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are
determined to find a way to be together.

Joe’s brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school – but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are – including the kind of girl he falls for.

Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin’s decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever?


I received an eARC edition of this book courtesy of Orion Children’s Books/ Hachette Children’s Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book made me rather uncomfortable at times, my mind did not bode well with Joe and Erin’s relationship. I just couldn’t fully comprehend why on Earth it happened, because apart from artistic/writer’s license, I could not picture why one could and would come up with a human being falling for a ghost like some weird Caspar the Friendly Ghost remake…

Because that’s what this book felt like, with a side of bullying, and suicide and OD. It was all rainbows and sunshine. However, I do have to  say that Kessler did a good job of presenting all of these topics in a non-pretentious way.

In saying that, though, I thought that Erin was too reckless nearing the end of the book. I mean okay, she was introverted and had been bullied for the majority of her life, but going to the lengths she tried to; to be with the only human being her age (if one may even call Joe that, because I honestly don’t think so) who cared enough to show her affection was incredibly childish and thoughtless.

But I do guess that the above also explains the plentiful insta-love which occurred within this novel, which of course I found rather pathetic; but I am going to put it down to the MC’s unstable psyche, and excuse her from both incidents.

The relationship itself , well… it annoyed me. Joe and Erin felt like the same person sometimes and I think a bit of the whole “opposites attract” thing that most books have going on nowadays would have worked better, which was why I was quite relieved when Olly came into the story, which was  coincidentally also when the pace of the book picked up for me and reading became more bearable.

I honestly have no clue why this book didn’t work for me like it seemed to for the majority of its readers, but I do have to say that Kessler’s writing style kept this book from falling into the depths of hell with all the other books that had somewhat displeased me this year. It was fresh, and original and honestly worked perfect with the story and was a pleasure to read

My Rating: A Generous 2/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals) – Michelle Madow

Synopsis:

Witches are real. They’re descendants of the Greek gods.
Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods… but she doesn’t know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole and four others — including mysterious bad-boy Blake — are gifted with elemental powers. But the comet has another effect — it opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it’s up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town… and possibly the world.


I received an eARC edition of this title courtesy of Barclay Publicity via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So there were aspects of the book I really quite liked, for example the aspect of the powers intrigued me. And I loved how colours played a part of  the magic – I thought that was an interesting addition to the idea of elemental powers which, whilst totally alright on their own, did require some originality to them which Madow certainly provided .

Also – Greek mythology. I do love me some good Greek mythology and this book provided it sufficiently enough for me to be satisfied to the point where it made the rest of the plot bearable to finish which it may not have been otherwise.

HOWEVER. *MAJOR PROBLEMS AHEAD*

We were greeted by an irresponsible heroine – allowing a guy to cheat on his girlfriend? No way José – the protagonist  had no respect for the girl code. Or any code if we’re  being honest  as she cruelly  strung along both guys for the majority of the novel.
Also, irresponsible, thoughtless teenagers – whilst realistic in the aspect of teenagers not being in the most thoughtful of ages.  These  kids were wayyyyyy  too sure of their powers right after finding out about them which  just struck me as REALLY odd . If I were them I’d be petrified of using my power at first and would definitely NOT feel comfortable using it 48 hours after acknowledging the fact that it even exis ted. But that may just be my reasoning and I may be wrong about it …

There was also my old friend; insta-fricking-love. Done in the worst possible way with the aforementioned cheating. Man, I wanted to puke a little because I just really did not like the love story/ non-existent chemistry of the characters.

But even then, I somehow managed to finish the book in one, one and a bit hour sitting which in itself was quite a commendable effort. Although I do not see myself  returning to this particular title in the future, I might check out the other titles in this series or Madow’s other work in order to see whether this read was a case of “it’s not you it’s me” syndrome.

My Rating : 2/5 Stars. 

“My world had gone from normal to magical in only a few days

Nicole Cassidy

ARC Review: If I Should Remember – K.D. Van Brunt

Synopsis:

Memories make us human. Are we still alive if we can’t remember?

Seventeen-year-old Zoe Laleigh has accepted that sometimes the only way to survive today is to wipe away the past. That’s what her loving parents and dedicated psychiatrist are helping her do—forget. What, she’s not entirely sure. All she knows is when an entire year of recollections goes missing, there’s definitely something wrong.
Sometimes the past isn’t so easily forgotten…
Through a flood of dreams, Zoe realizes something happened. Something terrible and tragic. Her lost year is a monster hiding in the shadow of her nightmares, taunting her, but unwilling to reveal itself. When her family relocates, she hopes a new town and new school will help her regain a sense of normalcy. If only it were that easy.

Strangely enough, only her dog, Rin, seems to understand her… (cont. on Goodreads)


I received an eARC edition of this book via NetGalley courtesy of Limitless Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 
I felt like this whole book was rushed when it came to its execution. Whilst it had potential plot wise – the love story/triangle/mess that began on the second page just ruined it for me to the point where I wasn’t buying the story at all….

I didn’t buy it further on in the book either because things just got rather messy plot wise, so much happened and yet none of it was particularly gripping or exciting. Let’s just say the endgame  was predictable from the start…

And even then, the execution of the final few chapters could have been better and perhaps drawn out a bit more. I feel as though so much happened and yet I got very little information on it at all. It would have been nice to see the story develop a bit more instead of being snapped closed without much actual closure.

The only reason I’m giving this 2 stars is because of the plot twist. Whilst I knew Zoe wasn’t completely okay mentally…. I didn’t realise how bad her situation was until the only interesting bit of the novel happened – aka the one and only big reveal.

There were attempts at more of these, with some past experiences of the boys being revealed, but none of them, simply put – managed to shock me. For me, they were easily predictable and believable, nothing out of the ordinary and nothing new.

Another perk of this book was the fact that it didn’t take long to read at all. I started and finished it in one day. Which was a commendable effort on my part. But also, I think that it only happened because this was quite a light read despite aiming for a darker effect.

My Rating: 2/5 Stars.

He knows stuff about me, but he won’t share it with me.” 

Zoe