Friday, 22 August 2014

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Book #2)

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman is the second book in the If I Stay duology. It is set three years after the events of If I Stay and both Adam and Mia are becoming rising stars respectively. Its been three years since Mia had left Adam, but as they find each other again Adam is determined to find out the true reason behind her departure.  

So since I enjoyed If I Stay loads, I'm happy to say that Where She Went was just as amazing.  The story is told from Adam's POV and there is a clear change in writing style which is true to Adam's character.  I really felt sorry for Adam because after all the time he had spent with Mia and being there for her through the grieving process and her rehabilitation she leaves him without so much as an explanation.
.What the f?

It was awful how much Adam's life had deteriorated and that he relied on pills and smoking for relief.  I think one of the worst things was that Shooting Star  had become massive and it had been something he'd wanted his whole life; but even his biggest achievement in his career were lyrics written from the pain of losing Mia.  I loved that we had the lyrics to the band's songs at the beginning of each chapter because it represented the way Adam's life had felt so hollow without Mia and put into words the feelings that he felt were so difficult to describe.

 Gayle Forman demonstrated through Adam that his fame and success through his band was having a massive toll on him and he was losing himself because of it.  I think Adam realises that he had  forgotten the real reason  he joined Shooting Star.  His love of music.  He feels like all he is now is just the face of a band and although he is a enormous star it has all lost its meaning.  I think Gayle Forman was portraying how we all feel that being a 'celebrity' can only make a person happy, but if you're no longer sure of who you are or what you stand for, then what's the point of it all?

 Mia and Adam's characters were incredibly realistic and although the situation is rare I felt like they acted in a way most people would.  Their relationship is the highlight of the series and I'm glad that they did become a couple by the end of the book because we'd already suffered so much heart break throughout the series. If you've read  If I Stay but aren't sure about reading the sequel, I'd say you should definitely give it a try!  Its a very satisfying end and wraps the series up nicely; I think I'm definitely going to be reading more Gayle Forman books in the future!

Favourite Quote: 

"Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it’s the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until
your hand is open. But my hand has been clenched into a fist for three years now; it’s frozen shut. All
of me is frozen shut. And about to shut down completely.”


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (Book #1)

If I Stay Review

If I Stay which is written by Gayle Forman is based on Mia Hall, a 17 year old whose family are involved in a devastating car accident and the way in which she deals with this through an out of body experience whilst in a coma. The story revolves around Mia deciding whether or not she will stay or let go and die.

I went into the book blind and I think it made the book an even better experience than if I hadn't. I was expecting a cutesy contemporary read and it’s quite clear early on that this book was far from that. It was a romance book as such but the plot was so unique and there were so many heart wrenching experiences that it definitely was not a typical romance novel.

Mia loses her family early on and although I found it extremely upsetting, we had only known them for a short period of time. But as the book progresses and Mia has flashbacks of moments she had experienced with her family; it was almost even more heart breaking because you understood how inseparable her family had been and the way they all gelled together.

If I Stay is such a beautifully written book and there are so many captivating passages throughout the book and they connect so well with the emotions and atmosphere at the time. This is one of my favourites: “I do have a point to all this,” she continues. “There are like twenty people in that waiting room right now. Some of them are related to you. Some of them are not. But we’re all your family.” She stops now. Leans over me so that the wisps of her hair tickle my face. She kisses me on the forehead. “You still have a family,” she whispers.”

I loved that we had a real insight into how Mia formed her relationships with both Adam and Kim. I think it’s almost her way of weighing out the pros and cons of leaving and whether what she has left is enough for her to deal with what she had to lose. I think it was really intriguing to see that there were moments where Mia just wished she never had to make the decision in the first place because in a way we all wish we could decide when we die or not, but if we were actually given the chance, what would we choose?

If I Stay is a book which you contemplate on for days afterwards and I know I won’t be forgetting it for a very long time. If it isn't clear yet, I highly recommend this book with a box of tissues because there will be tears. It was such a beautiful story exploring the makings of family, love and loss.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Oppositon by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux, #5)

Opposition Review
Hey guys, this is my review on the final book of the paranormal Lux Series, Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout .  This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014 and it didn't disappoint.  At the end of the fourth book we were left with the biggest cliffhanger of the series as Daemon, Dawson and Dee leave Katy,Archer, Luce and Beth to join forces with the Luxen who have just landed on Earth. 

I absolutely loved the direction the book took and I'm really sad to see the series end but the good news is the first book of the series has been optioned for film!!! 
So hopefully it won't be long before we can relish its brilliance all over again.

So one of the amazing things about Opposition was that it was told in dual POV and this was especially important as at the beginning your unsure of what to think of Daemon and whether or not he has seriously joined the dark side or whether its all just an act.  Although  I was still confused as to why Daemon was acting so distant and cold to Katy and why he hadn't stopped Dawson from releasing the source on Katy which ended up with her getting hurt.

I think Daemon and Katy's relationship was beautifully portrayed in Opposition and when obstacle upon obstacle was thrown at the couple they overcame them.  I think this book showed the way in which Daemon and Katy were really willing to put everything on the line for one another and that although they had many cute moments together; when things were really tough they were there for each other and it was wonderful to see them take strength from one another.

Dee had been one of my favourite characters in the series and when we find out that she was actually under the control of the Luxen unlike Daemon and Dawson, I was so unbelievably sad.  She was one of the first people to really accept Katy and their friendship had already been through so much especially while Dee had held Katy responsible for Adam's death, so I really felt for Katy.

When we find out Katy's Mum had died, I felt incredibly sorry for Katy.  She had already lost her Dad to cancer and knowing that she had now been orphaned was absolutely heartbreaking.  It was probably the death that initiated the most feeels out of me in the series and even though Katy's Mum hadn't been present much in the last two books it was such an moving and powerful scene. I applaud Jennifer L. Armentrout because I was genuinely in bits and also worried that it could of pushed Katy over the edge.

I think even though many parts in the book were extremely intense, the book was still as hilarious as the rest of the series and maybe even more so.  I think what I found the funniest was many of Archer's interactions with Katy and Daemon which just had me.. 
One of my favourites was:   “It’s not like I’m going to run up and hug him.” 
His expression turned bland. “I’d sure hope not. I might get jealous.” 
“You’d get jealous if she hugged a tree,” Archer tossed out. 
“Maybe.” Daemon coasted to a stop in a parking space behind the car. “I’m needy like that.”

At the end of the book, when the whole crew are together it was amazing just seeing how much all the characters had evolved. One of my theories had been that Dawson and Beth would have a baby girl and would name it Ash; so when that happened I was just ..So Happy! 
 I think the series is one I would recommend to everyone and is an extremely entertaining, fast-paced read.  The series was a whirlwind of emotions and I mean its about aliens, who doesn't love aliens?


For those of you who don't know, Jennifer L. Armentrout has posted an excerpt from a few years after the end of Opposition as a thank you for the Lux Series reaching number four on the New York Times List. Here's a link to that and congratulations to Jennifer L. Armentrout, you deserve all the credit you get!

Link to Jennifer L. Armentrout's post