Retro Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

since you've been gon

Format: Paperback
Published May 6th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Originally Read: 26th November

From Goodreads
The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Apple Picking at Night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

My review
Morgan Matson is a seriously underrated author! I absolutely loved her other books, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer. I pounced on this book as soon as it arrived on my eclectic bookshelf and read it in one night. When I finished it in the early hours of the morning, it actually inspired me to write a to-do list for my sister and her husband..at 4am! Needless to say, the day after totally didn’t happen, but I really enjoyed the book! I would love it if one of my friends left me a list like Sloane did for Emily(hint hint friends). And it is really realistic too, they were all things that Emily actually had to make an effort to do, and the list definitely caused her to have adventures! Ugh!…if only I lived in this book world!

First, this was the song that was going through my head, as I originally read this book just after watching Pitch Perfect (amazing film!) and when I picked it up to review today, I started singing this song in the style of Rebel Wilson, much to my poor dog, Ollie’s, horror! (Thank you Kelly Clarkson!)

2015-01-24 22.21.05
Ollie (my dog):”Please stop singing Eleanor!”

Next, the main character, Emily. As MC’s go, she is not one I would normally connect to, as she is quite shy and not very confident, and I am not really shy and probably need to have my confidence hit down a little! However, Morgan really makes her relatable, I could completely see why she was so happy to live in Sloane’s shadow. And her development throughout the book is very realistic, especially her views of Sloane. It sort of reminded me of that change kids go through when they become adults and they realise their parents aren’t perfect, apart from she did it with her friend whom she had idolised. And then she continued to love Sloane anyway. 🙂

The only thing that slightly disappointed me is the ending of the book, I felt not much had changed…I mean Emily had totally changed but..well, I fear I cannot say more for fear of SPOILERS but I think that in this book, the journey is definitely better than the destination!

Finally, I thought I would write a list for you, avid reader, to complete! Comment below if you manage to do all (or some) of the things in the list below!

1) Read Since You’ve Been Gone

2) Take part in a blog meme. (A great list of weekly memes can be found here). If you don’t have a blog, take part on Twitter or Facebook. If you regularly take part in memes, try a new one.

3) Read a book you found through a blog.

4) Write a review for a book.

5) Complete one random act of kindness today!

Also, if you have ever completed any of the things on Emily’s List in the book, let me know in the comments! Personally, the items I have completed are 1) “Kiss a stranger”(at a sixth form party), 2) “Go skinny dipping”(erm, long story?), 6) “Ride a dern horse, ya cowpoke”(I am very lucky in that I own my own horse), 9) “Dance until dawn” (Summer Ball at University- I danced until 7am!) and 13) “Sleep under the stars” (I made myself a hammock in the garden- turns out Wales is freezing at night even in the summer!)

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read and therefore,
I am going to give this book
fourstars
FOUR STARS
I really enjoyed it, go buy it, read it, love it!

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet

Format: Paperback
Published February 5th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends

From Goodreads
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

My review
Oh please!! Scarlet, who wears a red hoody, and meets a street fighter called Wolf who offers to help her find her kidnapped Grandmother?! This book was never going to be anything other than amazing! Marissa Meyers writing ensured it was, in fact, AH-MAZING!

This is the second book in a series. You know when you read a second book and it is a huge disappointment, nowhere near as good as the first? Yeh, this wasn’t like that. This was BETTER! This was the book that made the Lunar Chronicles a series that is going to be sitting in prime position on my eclectic bookshelf for a very long time!

The book follows the two main protagonists, Cinder from the first book, and Scarlet who is introduced in this book. At first, I couldn’t really see how their stories were going to connect, but when they did, I was grinning, it was perfect!

Cinder actually gets even more likeable in this book, she breaks out of jail with a fellow inmate, Thorne. Or Captain Thorne as he would like to be called! There isn’t much of the romance between Cinder and Kai, seeing as Cinder has totally lied to and betrayed him, but you can still feel how much he wishes she hadn’t, even as he orders for her to be found and handed over to Queen Levana.

For example, at a press interview:

“Did you know that she was cyborg?” asked a woman in an unhidden tone of disgust.
Kai stared at her, appearing confused, then let his gaze dance over the crowd. He shuffled his feet
closer to the podium, a wrinkle forming on the bridge of his nose.
Cinder bit the inside of her cheek and braced herself for adamant disgust. Who would ever invite a
cyborg to the ball?
But instead, Kai said simply, “I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant. Next question?”
Cinder’s metal fingers jolted.”

At one point, I wondered if Cinder and Thorne were going to get together, but that sort of wore off when her story connected with Scarlet’s. For which I am grateful! They are, after all, a retelling of the fairy tales! One true love and all that! Here is one of the great quotes between the pair!

“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”

“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”

I also have to add in a bit about Iko in this review. Iko was Cinder’s Android, but her Aunt had her disassembled. However, Cinder saved Iko’s personality chip and she becomes a SPACESHIP! Which makes for some really funny statements on poor Iko’s behalf. Iko would really like an escort android body so she can be pretty, being a ship is not what she wants!

“Cinder,” Iko said after a few silent minutes of explorations. “I’m enormous.

And then there is Scarlet. Oh, Scarlet, where do I begin! Scarlet lives in future France on a farm with her grandmother. I can’t really say a lot about Scarlet without spoiling the story, apart from perhaps, stubborn, willful and quick witted. Her connection with Wolf the street fighter was a little insta-love, but as the story progressed there were definitely some pretty high walls thrown between them, which made it believable.

“She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”

Overall, the book is one of my favourite reads of January, so…

I am going to give this book
Fivestars
FIVE STARS
It was amazing, mind-blowing, let me live in this story world for ever and ever and never leave!

Add to your TBR pile on Goodreads

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Cinder

Format: Paperback
Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

From Goodreads
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My review
Honestly, I was reaching the end of my love for Dystopian novels. It was beginning to feel like everyone was jumping on the bandwagon to try and get a bestseller, whether they had a good story to tell or not! Then I read this book! Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella (I know, I know, also overdone!) with a dystopian twist, and to my greatest surprise, it was…good? Yeh, I was pretty shocked! I read it one evening when I was skiing out in Switzerland. I had hurt my knee off piste, my friends were all at a club having a great time and I was on my own killing time in the chalet, feeling pretty sorry for myself (even though I probably had absolutely no right to be!). I picked Cinder out of a huge bag of books I had taken that had been sitting on my TBR pile and fell into another world!

First, the main character. Finally, a properly three dimension MC! Cinder is a cyborg in a society where cyborgs are looked down on. But don’t worry, she is totally amazing, not at all your typical downcast mc with a bad past, she doesn’t spend all that much time feeling sorry for herself, really loves her little step sister who falls ill with the plague and is an amazing mechanic. She has a plan for her future and can really look out for herself. She is definitely not perfect, and I really fell in love with her.

Her evil stepmother is really horrible, but…I can sort of understand her. She is trying so hard to fit society’s norms, and absolutely loves her daughters. Even though she does something mean to Cinder which I cannot say due to spoilers, I cannot 100% say that I do not know people who would do as she does.

Unlike Queen Levana! Wow, there is somebody it takes no effort to hate! She is manipulative, pretty (with her glamour on) and plain evil. And yet, I think there may be more to her…As I think we will see in Fairest!

The plot is great, never a dull moment, it really flows. I love that Marissa keeps in a variation of the glass slipper being left on the stair.

Keeping the best bit for last…Prince Kai! Sigh! He is being added to my list of favourite book boyfriends! He is out of his depth, but is trying to be strong and is definitely trying to do his best for his people, even if it is a slightly misguided attempt. I really got their romance, I totally believed in it.

So all in all, great book! I ordered Scarlet and Cress immediately, so I think this is definitely going to find a place on my eclectic bookshelf!

I am going to give this book
fourstars
FOUR STARS
I really enjoyed it, go buy it, read it, love it!