Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beyond Reach (True Calling #2) by Siobhan Davis

Beyond Reach (True Calling #2)Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis
Published April 30th 2015
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancĂ© Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.

“Everything changed the moment I found you. I changed.”

It’s been so long since I’ve been this emotionally invested in a book/series. I cannot wait for the next book especially because that ending…cliff hanger!

I had thought the first book True Calling was pretty great, Beyond Reach was even more amazing. I would first like to thank NetGalley for approving me to receive this ebook ahead of its release, and would also like to thank the author Siobhan Davis herself for being in contact with me.

One of the things I really love about this series is the characters. It is impossible not to feel the pain, love and longing radiating from Zane. He continues to protect Ari and care for her even when it pains him to do so, even when he knows his feelings for her may be unrequited. Ari herself is just a jumble of emotions: she loves Cal, but at the same time, she cannot deny the feelings stirring inside her whenever she is with Zane; she may not remember being in love with Zane before her move to Nova, but the connection they had is still there even if the memories are not. Cal…I have always been a bit skeptical about him. Sometimes I like him, other times not-so-much. This is why I never like love triangles; I almost feel like I am the one caught in the middle of the two, trying to decide which guy I want to be with – its too much for a girl to handle, especially Ari who has other things she needs to deal with. However, Davis makes the love triangle work in this series. In other series, it feels as though love triangles are just thrown in for the heck of it, not really there to serve any real purpose to the plot but Davis does not do that, and that is really quite refreshing.

I could talk about this book/series forever; I have grown so attached to the characters and their story but if I were to keep talking, I would probably end up spoiling something which I really do not want to do. This second installment is fast-paced and heart wrenching. It is full of so many twists and turns, some you may see coming but also others that are like a huge slap in the face, completely unexpected. The world building was fantastic and I loved how we got to see more of what was happening down on Earth.

The only complaint I have is the ending – the huge, massive cliff hanger. I complain because I am dying to know what happens next and the thought of waiting for the next book is dreadful. However, it was a perfect place to stop because there’s no way someone can read that ending and decide, “I don’t want to read the next book.” This series has a little bit of everything and I highly recommend it.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

True Calling (True Calling #1) by Siobhan Davis

True Calling

True Calling by Siobhan Davis
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 2014



Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

Firstly, the cover is captivating. I absolutely love it!

Now onto the actual book.

True Calling is a science fiction dystopian novel that has a little bit of everything. Action, romance, mystery. I found it to be a real page turner myself, knocking out 75% of the book in one sitting, completing it in 2 days.

However, at the beginning as I read, the plot felt very reminiscent of, well nearly every dystopian novel I ever read. What immediately was brought to my mind was The Hunger Games. But don't let that deter you because the book does have its unique points. Let's face it, it is really hard, in my personal experience, to find books in this particular genre that are truly original. Everything seems to have been written already over and over to the point of exhaustion. So with that in mind, I am not too critical of the book having similarities with others because it is bound to happen with pretty much any book.

The reason this book gets 4 stars and not 5 is partly due to the fact that I felt as if the author spent a lot of time telling rather than showing. The first bit of the book was just explanations of everything, the world they live in, the old world they left behind, how things at Novo work. I felt like we could have learned much more about the world of Novo if there had been less telling, more description and showing. I think that would have helped make the world building even more interesting.

There was some predictable developments but there was also ones that caught me off guard, which is always good. I liked the characters though I am never quite sure how I feel about Cal. At first, he seemed kind of arrogant, but then I started to believe he may actually have true feelings for Ari. However, I can't help but have this nagging feeling in my gut that something huge is going to go down in that relationship and by huge, I mean bad. Something awful. But, I'm no psychic, I could be totally wrong. And Zane, can't forget him. I don't want to spoil anything about his role but I do feel so extremely bad for him.

I really enjoyed how the story was told from both Ariana's and Zane's perspectives and that their views were divided into parts rather than alternating constantly in chapters. It made the story easier to follow this way and everything just flowed really well.

The whole concept of The Calling, the population regrowth plan is outrageous and honestly, I would feel the same way Ariana did. It does not seem very fair and there are other ways they could have gone about increasing the population. Thankfully though, this is just a story and not real life. The romance took up a lot of the plot which I was both okay and not so okay with. I would have liked to know more about Novo itself and all the secret plans going on, but I am also a sucker for romance so it wasn't such a major deal for me. However, I have grown to strongly dislike love triangles because they sort of kill me inside, having to choose between two people, and gosh darn it there's kind of one in this novel xD

Overall, despite how the book shared similarities with other novels in its genre, I really enjoyed it. I could not put the book down, refused to do anything else but read it; always a good sign, right? I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

4 out of 5 

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's KeySarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Published 2007
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting French families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard-their secret hiding place-and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

Sixty Years Later: Sarah's story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own romantic future.

“How was it possible that entire lives could change, could be destroyed, and that streets and buildings remained the same, she wondered.”  

There are so many thoughts going through my mind upon finishing this novel. It was so heartbreaking, which I knew it would be going into the novel. I loved how the stories of Sarah and Julia intertwined.

The chapters alternate between the war era and sixty years later. We watch as Julia, a journalist, tries to find out more about what happened during the 1942 round-up of Jewish people in France. Readers also get to see the roundup as it is happening through the eyes of young Sarah. I much preferred Sarah’s story, even though I feel a tad awful saying that considering it was so horrific.

It is just so horrible to think about what the Jews, and others who were targeted during the Holocaust, went through. But events such as the Holocaust must not be forgotten. Even though this is not a real personal account of someone’s experience in the Holocaust, while reading this novel, you tend to forget that. Yes, Sarah is not real, but it feels like she is. Of the millions who died so tragically and those who managed to survive, one can imagine there were people who really went through something similar to what this fictional little girl had. And that’s what makes this story so heartbreaking, that real people suffered this way.

Julia’s story was just okay. I found myself wanting to get through her chapters just so I can go back to Sarah and read her parts. However, I felt extremely bad for her because, quite frankly, her husband was a complete arse. There were so many times I wished for evil things to happen to that man…I really cannot go into why I dislike this man, Bertrand, so much without giving a lot away but just trust me on this, if you read the book I am sure you will not be a huge fan of him either. I also was not sure I liked how the novel ended. I feel like it seemed maybe a bit rushed, like there were things left unexplained or unsaid.

Overall, this book is heartbreaking, there’s no denying that. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I really would have loved more Sarah and less Julia.

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