The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

The Fault in Our StarsI am ashamed to say that this book was sitting on my to-read pile for months, having been told it was a tear jerking book, I couldn’t quite bring myself to read it.

However, I eventually worked up the courage and I am so glad I did. This is my book of the year without a doubt.

The books follows Hazel Lancaster, a teenage girl living with terminal cancer, following her diagnosis her life changed.

She now attends a Cancer Support Group somewhat reluctantly, her only friend in the group Isaac, a teenage boy with cancer in his eye.

However, one week everything changes when Isaac brings along his friend Augustus Waters, known as Gus. Immediately Hazel and Gus grow close and share their thoughts, including Hazel’s favourite book, An Imperial Affliction – which both Hazel and Gus can easily relate to.

However, the book ends suddenly and Hazel is desperate to know what happens to the characters. Henceforth, Gus and Hazel embark on a journey to Amsterdam to meet the author.

This trip allows Hazel and Gus to grow even closer with some shocking truths being revealed…

From the start of the book I thought Hazel was a brilliant character, as it is written in first person readers immediately grow close to the character and in my case, grow to care for her. (I don’t care if she is a “fictional character”). Gus was also instantly likeable, with his humour and quirkiness I often found myself laughing out loud. Both characters had real depth and showed unusual viewpoints, for example their ongoing jokes revolving around”cancer perks”.

John Green writes this book beautifully, his prose allows readers to truly visualise the scenes which further adds to the emotions felt during the book.

With an unexpected twist that with leave all in tears, this book is  the most tear jerking and heart wrenching novel I have ever read, yet I would not hesitate to read it again.

TFIOS has secured it’s place upon my list of favourite book and the plot and characters will stay with me for a long time. It stands out from other books as it is so different, the characters seem so real and the plot line is so realistic coupled with beautiful prose this book will tug at your heartstrings.

Ultimately, I would recommend this book to all and encourage all to read John Green’s other books.

The film adaption is currently being filmed with a release date set for next year which I am awaiting with excitement, hopefully the film will live up to my expectations following the novel.

I cried and I’m sure you will too, so get your hankies ready…

City Of Lost Souls – Cassandra Clare

**This is the Fifth book in the series and therefore this review will contain unavoidable spoilers for the previous books**

What price is too high to pay, even for love?

After reading the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, I fell in love with the complex plotline and all the characters. I then enjoyed reading the other two books in the then trilogy. However I was a little apprehensive to hear  Cassandra Clare announce a further three books for the series.

When I read City Of Fallen Angels (book number four) my apprehension was justified.  Where the previous book had tied up all the loose ends, COFA seemed to be somewhat of a filler book – however that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it but it certainly wasn’t as good as the first three.

With this in mind, I cautiously approached City Of Lost Souls – henceforth known as COLS.

I began reading and at first I wasn’t convinced, however the  book improved as the action began and the plot thickened.

COLS starts where COFA ends, this allows readers to be reminded of events of the past book without struggling.

The plot follows the characters who are introduced in the previous books. The narrative in this novel is more varied with different character’s perspectives at different parts. Cassandra Clare uses this effectively in the middle of tense, nail-biting events which means the book is nye-on-impossible to put down!

Although the book is a bit dull to begin with, readers must stick with it in order to reach the better chapters later on. So much changes for the characters during the course of this book and ultimately has set up the series perfectly for the final instalment, City Of Heavenly Fire…

I would most definitely recommend the series to anyone, especially with the City Of Bones film premiering later this year. Stick with the series and make sure you read this instalment – which is Cassandra Clare back at her best…

Seeking Crystal – Joss Stirling

I was very fortunate to be able to visit the Hay Festival this year, whilst there I met my favourite author Joss Stirling. It was great to be meet Joss and very interesting to hear her speak about her books, her inspiration and her ideas.

Joss explained how she has playlists for each book she writes and how her travels greatly influence her plots.

Whilst here I was also lucky enough to get Joss to sign my copies of her books!

I also met a publicity manager from Oxford University Press (Joss’ publishers), after discussing books and reviews, she promised to send me  a proof copy of Joss’ new book – Seeking Crystal – so I could review it!

She also encouraged to to set up this blog so I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank her!

So now, here is my review…

“Sparks will fly, Passion will ignite.”

The 3rd book in the Benedict Boys series

The latest instalment in Joss Stirling’s Benedict Boys series definitely doesn’t disappoint! The book is entertaining and keeps you gripped right from the first page.

The book is written in first person perspective by Crystal Brook, the famous Diamond Brook’s youngest sister. Another main character in the book is the 5th eldest Benedict son, Xav. Xav is introduced in previous books by Joss and I had always liked him as his humorous comments throughout the previous books made me laugh. Xav still has his humorous ways, yet he is also shown in a different light – with closer attention paid to him in this book you learn a lot more about him.

Both characters are Savants, Xav a healer and Crystal able to find objects, however Crystal is unimpressed with her powers and considers herself as something of a “Savant dud”.

The book is very exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout; all the characters are well written and totally convincing. As the plot progressed my feelings changed, at some points I loved all the characters whilst at other times certain characters annoyed me – I was echoing Crystal’s feelings on the other characters.

The plot twists and turns, which leaves readers constantly guessing and hungry for more. The book also links very well to the previous books, with the same characters featuring and old storylines causing a slight impact on the plot.

The book’s plot is brilliant and definitely keeps you riveted and coming back for more – I actually found it impossible to put down. When the “villain” strikes, their identity comes as a shock and helps make the book more interesting! The “villain” is well written with depth and readers are given the reasoning for the evil acts they commit.

I love the plot, the characters and the whole book!  I love all Joss Stirling’s books – hopefully she will write more! Can’t wait to read more of her books!

Although this book is the third in a series, you don’t need to have read the other books to read this – Seeking Crystal can be read as a stand alone novel.

The books is released in October and I would would thoroughly recommend reading it!