Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays- Cristin Terrill

Hardcover368 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Disney Hyperion 


"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

My Review

“Time travel isn’t a wonder; it’s an abomination.” 
“But progress is always dangerous, isn't it? Most of the time, walls don't get dismantled brick by brick. Someone has to crash through them.” 

Wow. It has been a while since I read such an eclectic mix of dystopia, sci-fi and romance; and one that has time travel to complete the irresistible package. 

The book was a totally engrossing read from start to finish. The intriguing start with the protagonist's musings about a drain, the subsequent unravelling of secrets and the fast paced wild goose chase, sprinkled with flashbacks to offer explanations along the way, were all perfectly thought out and written.

The plot was nearly flawless and instead of offering baseless and vague reasoning for various events as usually happens in most time travel books, the explanations offered were perfectly understandable and plausible. 

The characters were adorable- whether it be the strong heroine Em and her sweet and naive counterpart Marina, the ever snarky Finn, the evil Doctor or the eccentric James. Finn was totally gorgeous and his ability to not lose his head or humour in even the most challenging situations was admirable. Em's strength of mind and body and her refusal to crack under the grimmest torture dished out by the Doctor was creditable as well. 

“Remember when you used to hate me?”
I laugh-sniff-hiccup. “Well, you used to be insufferable.”
“I think incorrigible is a better word.”
I lean my forehead against the wall and let myself imagine for a moment that it’s his shoulder, warm and firm, beside me. “You’re so full of it.”
“Hey, I just got tortured for you. Easy on the ego.” 

The book posed the major moral question of whether it is right to sacrifice a select few in order to save hundreds. It is the concept of the 'greater good' all over again. Also, is it possible to think about the rest of the world when all you love is at stake? Is it possible to kill the man you love if it meant ensuring a painless future for others? And what about your own past self- the one who is oblivious of everything and can only suffer heartbreak at the end of it all?

The book was a total emotional roller coater. It had me laughing, crying, gasping in shock and nearly pulling out my hair in frustration. And the endingMerlin! The ending was so nerve-rackingly bittersweet! 

Overall, a highly impressive debut by Ms Terrill. I'll definitely be looking forward to more books from her in future.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: The Fiery Heart- Richelle Mead

438 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Razorbill


Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

My Review

“Don’t take the high ground and assume you already know what you’ll do. The truth is, when it comes to someone you love, you’ll find there isn’t anything you won’t do.” 

Oh. My. God.

It’s obvious now that Ms. Mead wasn’t kidding when she said The Fiery Heart is to Bloodlines what Shadow Kiss was to the VA series. This is the book where the story actually picks up pace, you see the beginning of another magically intricate plot and there is some real character development to boot.

“It’s Adrian Ivashkov logic. Don’t try to understand it. Just roll with it.” 

TFH was actually Adrian’s journey, one that was full of self-realization. He is no longer the party boy we knew in VA. His snarky and smartass side is never far away, but they are no longer his defining characteristics. Rather, we get to see more of his loyalty and passion, the depth of his love for Sydney, and his readiness to do anything for her. Adrian’s POV was addictive. It made me so damn frustrated when the POV switched to Sydney’s. It was hilarious to see his perspective on certain things and at the same time disturbing to see how much spirit affected him. The things he does and tries to do for Sydney were…well…. nothing short of fantabulous.

“Relax, having kids is years away. But can you imagine? Your brains, my charm, our collective good looks... then add in the usual physical abilities dhampirs get. It's really not even fair to everyone else.” 

“An image of Sydney's face appeared in my mind's eye, calm and lovely.
I believe in you.
My anxiety faded.
I took a deep breath and met the gazes of all those watching me in the room.
Who was I to do this?
I was Adrian Ivashkov.
And I was about to kick some ass.” 

“Moroi shied from the sunlight but as I watched Sydney, I knew without a doubt that humans had been made for the sun.” 

Sydney also comes a long way from hating vampires to loving one to death. Her concern for Adrian and her truces to keep him from using too much spirit and to control his rampant drinking were cute.

 “No matter how long or how difficult, we will undo whatever that Moroi boy has done to you."
I managed a wavering smile, tasting blood in my mouth. "You sure about that, Dad? Because he's done everything to me.” 

It was amazing how the two fit together like two missing puzzle pieces even after being so very different from one another. They complement each other perfectly and though I wouldn’t go as far as to say they have the Rose-Dimirti kind of magic, there is some really strong chemistry to spice things up.

“I'm guessing whatever 'ways' you have in mind aren't Jill-appropriate either." 
"Put your books away and I'll show you.” 

The various Eddy-Jill and Trey-Angeline moments seemed kinda forced though. As did Neil’s infatuation with a certain dhampir. It had none of the flair that Christian and Lissa had as supporting characters and seemed mostly stilted .

The ending was…. painful. A cliffhanger of sorts…again. After TFH’s comparison to shadow kiss, it was predictable but nothing had me prepared for Adrian’s reaction. The intensity and rawness of the emotion…it may have made me shed a few tears.

Overall…yet another stupendous book by Richelle Mead and yet another agonising cliffhanger to wait out until July 2014 until Silver Shadows comes out…

Highly recommended- 4/5 stars!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Origin (LUX #4)- Jennifer L Armentrout

Eeeeeee!!!! I'm back!! After a break that seemed aeons long!! And I have a review....for one of the most anticipated YA books of 2013! Yeah...the one with hot aliens and oodles of extraterrestrial conspiracy coupled with a badass female protagonist and nail chewing suspense.

Goodreads Synopsis

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? 

And will they even be together?

My Review

“A certain bone-deep understanding occurred and my hand tightened around the smaller one I held. It weren't stars we were staring at. The sky was falling.” 

It took me several tries to get this review right, primarily because I had no idea how to do it without too much fangirling and partly because it seemed impossible to review it without  giving out major spoilers. But I guess fourth time's the charm...

After Opal's cliffhanger of epic proportions the wait for Origin was a torturous one to say the least and after hearing about the introduction of dual POVs in this one....well, I might have attempted a celebratory cartwheel!

The book starts off with Katy's POV, with her describing the 'hospitality' dished out by Daedalus' creepy crew and it gave an insight into the organisation's inner workings. As the book switches POVs we get to see Daemon's anguish at losing Katy and his family's attempts to sabotage all his insane plans to rescue her. But Daemon being Daemon ends up doing what he wants after all and after several pages of painful separation the two are reunited in the most unlikeliest places. Blake and Luc make a reappearance and a jaw dropping secret is revealed.

Daedalus' master plan had me gaping at my computer screen for several seconds like a stupefied idiot. But boy....does Armentrout have a flair for introducing unexpected twists! The whole idea was ingeniously handled and resulted in the thickening of the plot 50 times over.

The book was also full of cute Daemon/Katy moments and it was fun to see their relationship mature. The ending was pure awesomeness, though it was difficult to say goodbye to some characters I had come to love over the course of the series. The end was a cliffhanger of sorts...again! I could barely restrain myself from going berserk with frustration!

Origin was probably the most important book in the series in terms of plot( which gained some serious momentum and became amazingly fast paced) and character development. Though Daemon is still a cocky smartass and Katy's stubbornness still puts a dumb mule's to shame, we also get to see different sides of their personalities- Daemon's softer and more romantic side...

“So I was thinking, there're eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There're one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day...There're one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?...I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you...I want a year's worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade's worth of hours, so many that I can't add them up.” 

....And Katy's more reasonable one.

Overall, a highly recommended heart palpitatingly awesome read!

Rating: 5/5 stars!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Urgent Notice: Temporary Hiatus From Blogging

Hey folks! I'm not going to be within reach of my laptop for the next couple of months and consequently A Cliffhanger Crisis would be out of commission for a while. But I would try my bestestest best to get my hands on a computer and post new reviews, al-bight a little infrequently. 

Yeah, this totally sucks big time....

Being deprived of laptop and books? I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Searching For Tomorrow- Katie Mac


What happens when you find the one person who completes you, and then life conspires against you? How do you set your grief and anguish aside? How do you pick up the shattered pieces, put those pieces back together again, and try to move on?

Katie and Tripp met on the playground the first day of third grade when Tripp tried to rescue Katie from Zack, her twin brother. A lifelong friendship that later blossomed into love began that day.

Broken beyond her own ability to repair, Katie boxes her grief up and attempts to raise her three girls the best she can on her own. As time slowly passes, Katie relives her times with Tripp while struggling most days to even get out of bed. She is reminded of him at every turn.

Zack is Katie's twin brother and was Tripp's best friend. Having lost his own love, he dedicates himself to helping Katie put her life back together. Throw in a mother-in-law who torments at every turn and poor Katie can't even find a chance to breathe, much less a desire to somehow search for tomorrow. 

Author Interview:

Tell us 5 surprising things about yourself.

1.     I am a PK. If you know what that means, then you know what that means
2.     I have always wanted to be a red head with long, beautiful corkscrew curls.
3.     No matter what I’m doing, I would rather be outside, day or night, hot or cold, rain or shine.
4.     I was awarded two separate scholarships when I graduated high school. One was a teaching fellowship and the other was for writing.
5.     I love to cook, almost as much as I like to eat. I spent a couple of years as a private cook for a local family and loved every minute of it

What is your writing environment?

At the moment, I have a makeshift office in my pantry! If need be, I can shut the door and cut off part of the noise. I hope to have a more permanent space soon.

One of your favorite quotes.

                  To whom much is given, much is required.          

Random things about my novel.

Just a bit of nonsense. I am Kathryn Anne, and my two sisters are Rebekah Elizabeth and Sarah Margaret. My husband is Channing, and my son is Zachary. One of my daughters is Elizabeth, and I still have to work my daughter Brittany into the book. Highlands is my most favorite place in the world to go when my soul need refreshing. Last, but not least, I actually had a great-grandma Tiddy!

What does love feel like? 

Warm, fuzzy, secure, safe, sheltered

How did you meet your significant other? 

In the lobby of the bank that I worked in. I was on all fours under a Christmas tree tightening the screws in the base. What can I say? Baby got back!

If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be? 

Any trip I take with Hubs is romantic. One of his favorite things to do is to whisk me away to wine and dine me.

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

Absolutely! Ask me how I feel about my grandson Grayson!

Author Links


About this author If you are reading this, I think you should know that "About me" sounds so very pretentious to me. I guess that is what I am supposed to write about, so here it goes!

Katie Mac is a simple country girl who likes to spend time with her hubba, hunka hubby, her three kids and her friends. She loves to cook and really loves to eat! During the spring and summer, you will more than likely find her outside puttering around in her garden. When the veggies start coming in, she will probably be sweating over a hot canner in the kitchen, canning all the goodies she is blessed with. Katie likes to hike and go camping, and as a Girl Scout leader, she gets to do this pretty often! On cold winter nights, you will probably find her wrapped in a warm blanket, lost in a good book, while sitting in her rocking chair on the front porch!

Katie was born and raised in North Carolina, and while she loves to travel, she can't imagine ever leaving the mountains that she has come to call home. Not a day goes by that Katie doesn't thank God for abundantly blessing her. He has been so good to her, and she is very grateful. She holds Jeremiah 29:11 very close to her heart and believes it with every fiber of her being. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Katie loves flip flops, chocolate, sweet tea and dirt between her toes. As far back as she can remember, she's had a book in her hand. Reading has carried her to places she will never go. It has introduced her to people that she will never meet. When life is great and when it is rough, she's always been able to find a book to carry her through. She finally decided to write down some of the stories in her head (yes, be scared) and heart after dawdling around and wasting years dreaming. She hopes you enjoy reading those stories as much as she loves writing them!

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