Friday, 11 April 2014

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Let me start off by saying that I am a MASSIVE Supernatural fan. I absolutely love love LOVE the Winchesters (well, Dean more than Sam, but anyway...) so when I heard about Anna Dressed in Blood, a story about a teen ghost hunter who moves around America to send the dead back to where they belong, I knew I simply had to read it!

Cas Lowood is no ordinary teenager – he hunts ghosts for a living, a gift he inherited from his late father. Cas moves around America with his mother to send the dead back to where they can rest in peace. When he hears about the famous Anna Dressed in Blood, he knows he'll have to hunt this particularly murderous ghost down too – but what he doesn't expect is to fall in love with the terrifying being that murders everyone who enters her home. Cas is in a race against time, not only to uncover the tragic circumstances that surround Anna's death, but also to find out who (or what) murdered his father, and why they're now after him...

Anna Dressed in Blood starts off well – we met Cas as he's winding up a case before he and his mother move to a new town on the other side of the country. The descriptions in this book were at times, frankly, terrifying. When we first met Anna, I could imagine every detail of her perfectly – something which didn't help me to sleep, I can tell you! The other ghosts and ghouls in this book were no less scary – especially the spirit that pops up near the end. Kendare Blake has a great, punchy, to-the-point writing style which fits this fast-moving story perfectly.

However, although I wanted to find out what happened to Anna, I found the book getting a bit...repetitive towards the end. While the descriptions in the book were great, I didn't think Cas sounded like a teenage boy – Kendare did a good job (way better than the protagonist in Beautiful Creatures at any rate!) but there were times, especially when Cas suffers from the dreadful insta-love disease, that he sounded more like a teenage girl writing in her diary than a bad-ass ghost hunter. I did like the twist of him falling for the ghost though, rather than the typical beautiful ex-cheerleader who befriends him (and yes, that really does happen).

Overall though, I really did enjoy this book. The plot was pretty tight, the writing was good, and the characters all had their own distinct voices. When we find out what happened to Anna, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her, and the ending had me feverishly flipping through the pages to see what happened next. I'll definitely be picking up the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, soon.

Final comments: A good, solid book that's a must read for any fellow Supernatural fans!

4/5 cupcakes

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

*Guys, just wanted to say sorry for being a bit late with this review - I went to see Divergent last night at the cinema (and it was AWESOME!) and by the time we got home, I just rolled into bed. On the plus side, I'll probably be doing a movie review on Divergent soon, so at least that's something else for you to read :)*

I downloaded Perfect Ruin on my Kindle after reading the description – a floating city in the clouds?! As a massive Studio Ghibli fan, all I could say was, sign me up!

Perfect Ruin tells the story of Morgan Stockhour and her life on Internment – a floating city in the sky. Although citizens are told never to get too close to the edge, in fear that they become 'Jumpers' (i.e. they try to jump off the edge and go a bit crazy for their efforts), life is otherwise pretty peachy. Until someone commits a murder – the first murder in a generation, and one which rocks the city to it's core. Morgan is drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery behind the crime, especially when she meets Judas – the boy accused of the murder, the victim of which also happened to be his 'betrothed'. Can Morgan uncover the dark secrets that lie at the heart of Internment, before they claim the lives of those she loves the most?

I thought Perfect Ruin was beautifully written – the descriptions of the city were simply fantastic, and I could really imagine how it would look – especially how the sunlight would fall on it during the sunrise/sunset (don't ask why this particular image stuck with me – I have no idea!). Lauren Destefano paints a vivid picture of life on Internment – from how life in the sky would work, to their annual Festival of Stars celebration – I almost wanted to run over to the window just to see if there really was an island in the sky that I could go to!

The characters in Perfect Ruin were well written and relatable – I really liked Morgan's best friend Pen and her attitude to life - she really made me smile, and I felt bad for her when some of her more troublesome demons were revealed. Although I can see why some people might think that Morgan steps back a little bit too much and maybe doesn't do as much as she could, I can understand her reasons for being so reserved, given her background (which I won't reveal here!). I also found this book refreshing due to the lack of insta-love/love triangle – Morgan stays true to her own betrothed, though I was initially a little bit suspicious of the chemistry between her and Judas. Thankfully, their relationship didn't develop in that sense – I'm just hoping it'll stay that way for the rest of the series.

Final Comments: Overall, Perfect Ruin was a fantastic read and I would definitely recommend it (I've already read it twice!) - I can't wait for the sequel to come out next year!

5/5 cupcakes

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

April IWSG - Catch up time!

IWSG is upon us again! If you've missed my previous IWSG posts, here's a quick overview:

On the first Wednesday of every month, authors from across the interweb post up their fears and insecurities about their writing, and we all provide support/tea/cake/virtual hugs to encourage all your lovely authors to keep writing (because, believe me, you are all awesome and so is your writing!).
IWSG was set up by Alex J. Cavanaugh (you can check out his blog here) and there's now an official IWSG website, which is full of helpful tips, tricks and encouraging posts – you can check out that awesome site here.

I'm afraid I haven't got much to post about this month - I could make excuses for why I haven't written much during the past four weeks, but tbh, it's just sheer procrastination...

So I thought that instead of me re-hashing the IWSG posts I've done before (because that's literally all my post would be, seeing as how I've only done a minimal amount of writing this month), I'd instead take this opporutnity to go make a cup of tea, put my feet up and instead go on a blog hop around other ISWG blogs. It's been far too long since I've seen what everyone else is up to and seeing as how everyone is normally full of lovely cosy advice and steaming mugs of comfort whenever I have a moan/rant/complete breakdown, I thought I'd properly return the favour this month and cheer all YOU lovely authors up instead!

So that's it from me! Kettle - on. Toast - buttered. I'm ready to go!

Oh, but before I leave, here's a few words of comfort for you, just in case I don't manage to get round to your blog ;)....


*Ahem...I'm well aware that this post may seem a little, well, odder that usual - I'm blaming the cold medicine I'm currently dosed up on...