Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1)

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Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.”

-Taken from Goodreads

I love historical fiction as a genre, no matter the historical setting, and I have a strong interest in military history, particularly World Wars I and II. That being said, I felt that this book fell a little flat for me. I was expecting more from a book with such a hype.

The way this book was built made it clear that we weren’t seeing the whole scene. The setup for a twist was obvious from the start, and then, when that twist happened, my reaction was ‘Wait, is that it? Is that all of it?’. It was not as momentous as the setup led me to believe, and that frustrated me quite a bit. You see, I only kept reading in the hopes that the twist would be worth my while. It wasn’t.

Verity, our title character, annoyed me. I didn’t see what the point was to what she was doing. All that information that is given just went over my head. While reading, I was going, ‘Okay, but why are you telling me this?’. <spoiler> You see, there are many, many, many things that are quite specific to England. Therefore, if you’re not British, you’ll miss what the character is actually doing. </spoiler>.

At around 60%, there is a change in POV, that is quite an improvement. The reprieve was temporary for me, however. I found myself just skipping the pages to get to the end. And the end, when it finally came, was not as momentous as I thought it would be.

This is not, to sum it up, a WWII book that I would recommend.

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Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)

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Imitation

“Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?”

-Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Alloy Entertainment for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This had a very interesting concept, what with clones being made and kept in handy for whenever they are needed. Ven is one of them, and she is called into action after someone attacks her original. While it is not exactly explored, the idea that clones are not that identical to their ‘originals’ (genotype does not equal phenotype) is present throughout the book.

While I thought that Ven was a bit too meek at times, taking orders without question, that is how she was raised, trained, conditioned, I don’t know how to define it. It was nice to see her breaking out of it, becoming her own person.

In terms of plot, however, it wasn’t that developed. It was a plot with slow moments and then it would suddenly become full of action. Then it would get slow again. It was a bit too slow at times, verging on boring.

The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)

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The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)

“Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .”

– Taken from Goodreads.

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Random House Children’s Publisher UK for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I started this book with an open mind, but the similarities to Harry Potter were just too many, both in characters and in plot. Characters that grow up in ignorance of all things magical (Call to a lesser degree). When he goes to the Magisterium (this book’s Hogwarts), he makes friends with Tamara and Aaron. Tamara is a know-it-all of sorts, and Aaron is unflinchingly loyal. Does that sound familiar? Oh, and the villain is called Enemy of Death (Voldemort-y much?). There is even one concept that is eerily similar to the Horcruxes devised by Rowling.

Plotwise, it was nothing special, with the trio making friends and getting away with breaking the rules. Even the twist at the end was somehow expected, thanks, again, to Harry Potter.

In my opinion, the book doesn’t match the hype that has been generated about it. I’m not entirely sure yet if I’ll read the sequel.

Slammed (Slammed #1)

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Slammed (Slammed, #1)

“Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.”

– Taken from Goodreads

This book has been shelved several times as DNF here on Goodreads. After starting this, I realized why that was. It was just too cliché, boring and all that. However, this changed a bit around 20% (getting there was nearly impossible, though), thanks to an unexpected twist.

After the twist, however, it went back to its typical NA plot. I don’t mind an obvious plot. I do mind it when I can’t wait for the book to be finished, and that usually happens when the characters and the writing style don’t really convince me.

Layken (what kind of name is that?) was a typical teenager, throwing tantrums and being moody. I didn’t really like her. In fact, I liked Eddie, her friend, far better. Will was another *meh* character. Of course, he is physically perfect, and psychologically messed up.

I have read other books by Colleen Hoover (Hopeless and Maybe Someday come to mind), and, for me, this was the worst. It was all too obvious, and the characters came across as too soft, mellow. That is why I liked Eddie better. Her darker past made for a more interesting character that Layken.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Stormbird (Wars Of The Roses #1)

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Stormbird (Wars of the Roses, #1)

“King Henry V – the great Lion of England – is long dead.

In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king -Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom.

Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England’s territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real.

As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what can save the kingdom before it is too late?”

-Taken from Goodreads

No matter how long or how far I stray into other genres, I always go back to historical fiction at some point. This time, I chose the Wars of the Roses, an event that interests me quite a bit, as I lived in York for a while.

I do not claim to be an expert in British history, so I can’t say anything about the accuracy of this book. What I can say is that this book is not a portrayal of the Wars of the Roses, but it does set the stage for what is to come.

There were some subplots that did not draw my interest that much. Jack Cade’s ill-fated revolution (so far) was one of them. On the other hand, I loved it whenever Margaret of Anjou or Derry Brewer made an appearance.

As I’m not that familiar with British history and its characters, I missed a list of characters, with a brief who’s who.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Deer In Headlights (Good Gods #1)

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Deer in Headlights (Good Gods, #1)

“**18+**

Aphrodite never loses, not when it comes to love.

Immortality has its perks and its downsides. Boredom, for one, is unavoidable, but instead of playing Backgammon, the Greek gods devised a game using humans as pawns. Remember Shakespeare? That was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite versus Ares.

Aphrodite is on deck, and she’ll defend her domain of love by using her magic to get the two human players together. Time is not on her side, and she’ll have her work cut out for her as her opponent does everything in his power to keep the players apart.

Game one is against Apollo, who chooses the loner Dean, a rock star who takes dark and brooding to the next level. His band has finally gotten a break, and he can’t screw it up, not for another one night stand, and especially not with his new drummer’s girlfriend. He swore to the band that he’d keep it together, but from the minute he first sees Lex, it takes every bit of willpower he has to stay away. But Dean’s will is nothing for the Goddess of Love, who’s certain she has a fighting chance to win with Lex as her player. The artist and poet is perfect for Dean, if only she can open her heart and find a way to love for the first time.

There’s always more at stake than winning the game when you’ve lived for thousands of years. The Olympians are the original dysfunctional family, surviving eons of love and lust, betrayal and lies, as friends and enemies, through feuds and wars. From the douchebag Ares, who’s forever trying get Aphrodite into bed, to her best friend Persephone, who she can always count on for a hearty helping of bacon on a bad day, the gods will take you on a lighthearted trip as they toy with humans, laugh and fight, lose love and gain power.”

-Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Indie Inked for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was, overall, and okay read. The best aspect of it was not the developing relationship that is portrayed, but the dynamics between the gods. While they still play with humans, they also play one against the other. And it was interesting how the author chose the myths of Daphne and Adonis to make it clear.

As far as characters go, Adonis was the most annoying of this book. His story is tragic, but there is nothing to be done about it. Except, of course, to hold a grudge, which is exactly what he does for I don’t know how many centuries.

The human world plot was quite predictable, and I could have seen the end coming for miles. The gods’ plot was far more interesting, thanks to the twists worked into it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1)

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Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)

“Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.”

-Taken from Goodreads.

I don’t really know why, but I had higher expectations for this book. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pleasant and quick read. I felt that, while the plot was good, the characters were a bit lacking.

I don’t think I could be friends with any of the characters in this book. Harper, for instance, was too much of a perfectionist and an overachiever, with no real reason for that (I think there might have been a reason, but I almost missed it, it’s not that well explained). As for the rest of the characters, I felt they were quite forgettable.

The strong suite here was, for me, the plot. More specifically, the Paladin thing, and even that felt odd, for some reason.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5