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Iona

Where Is Wallis?

My name is Iona English. I am currently a 20 year old Media Production student doing a degree at Brooksby Melton College, which doesn't exactly lean towards the idea of me being a massive and proud book worm, but I am. I love to read. My favourite genre's are YA Contemporary, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, with some Classics thrown in. 

 

Where to find me:
http://where-is-wallis.blogspot.co.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/user/whereiswallis

 

 

Currently reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Robert Rankin
Tender Morsels
Margo Lanagan
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
Catherynne M. Valente
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Kat Rosenfield
Blackout
Robison Wells
Burial Rites

The Declaration

The Declaration - Gemma Malley Anna lives in Grange Hall, the one refuge place for people like her, people who shouldn't exist. She has lived there since she can remember and there she learns how to be useful. How to payback what she owes to the world for using up valuable resources just by living. But then a strange boy named Peter arrives, a boy who has lived outside Grange Hall all his life, and she starts to question things. Like, should she really be sorry for living?What I liked? Anna. Anna's progression through the book is very interesting. She changes quite a bit through out but she never looses her tough, stubborn edge. She can be a bit of a bitch sometimes but she has been given the worst out of life and is just trying to get by as best she can, living by the rules and expectancies of Grange Hall. When you read her diary it's really interesting to see initially how much she loathes her existence. Grange Hall. Ok no I didn't like The Hall but y'know, I... liked The Hall? I liked how well thought out the hall was. It was well constructed by Malley so you could easily picture it in your minds eye and imagine the suffering that goes on in there for the children's 'own good' The characters. Even though this is written as a teen's book there are a lot of multi-layered characters and you get to experience what they are experiencing through the way the book is written. The writing and world building. Like I said before for a teen's book this is a very detailed book. You learn these quirky little things about the building or the people in it and you get told stuff that later you find out is wrong. It makes you really feel like the whole book is just full of character and history and that this may actually happen because I believe people would go crazy and turn on their belief's if they could have a chance not to die.What I didn't like? This book felt like almost a kid's version of Never Let Me Go. It had the same boarding school feel with a sinister edge. And while there is a difference between the two schools, one planning to have you killed for the grater good and one planning to raise you for a life of servitude and only have you killed if you can't do it, they are still quite similar stories. Although, I feel it will become a lot more about the world and less about the school itself in the other books written in this series. To buy or not to buy? If you're looking for a series, buy it! If you're only looking for a one stop book I'd skip this.

Sweet Evil

Sweet Evil - Review to come
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver 1937, London. Jack is poor, lonely and desperate for a change so when he is offered a chance to join an arctic expedition he jumps at the offer. But the arctic summer is brief. As night returns back to the land and the dark creeps in Jack begins to realise something else walks the frozen land outside their little cabin...What I liked? The writing style- It was well written and well descriptive without being OVERLY descriptive *cough*Wuthering Heights*cough*. There was enough detail for you to get into the book and start to know the characters. I especially liked it when they were describing the arctic summer. It is in complete contrast to the Artic later on in the book but it sounds so beautiful you almost want to live there during that time. Almost... You really connect to Jack, the main protagonist. You care about what he cares about, hat what he hates and all the way through deeply worry for his safety. Isaak. If I ever got a dog I'd want it to be like him. What I didn't like? I didn't not like much, but I was reading this on one of the hottest days this year in the midday sun, in the garden with my family. It was hard to get the sense of cold, dark isolation Jack was feeling when I was close to passing out from the heat. To buy or not to buy? Put this book on your Christmas wish list, don't read it in the summer. I imagine in the cold, dreary winter days this book would be incredibly creepy and do exactly what it is supposed to do, scare the living daylights out of you. I just read it in the wrong time of year.

Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)

Insurgent (Divergent Series #2) - review to come

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)

Switched - Amanda Hocking So… I’ll whole heartedly admit that this is another case of the book cover being too good to walk away from; seriously this book has haunted me for months because of how pretty the book cover is. And when I found it in a charity shop for £2.50 and it looked like it had never even been read I couldn’t resist. Wendy Everly is 17 years old and a bit of an outcast. She’s never really fit in anywhere, not even her own family. And let me tell you before I write this review that I actually liked the book. I liked it even though I know I shouldn’t, but this review is mainly going to air my bad opinions of it. So if, before you even grow up and hit puberty, your dad kills himself and then your mum tries to kill you and you’re basically raised by your over protective big brother and your too shiny happy aunt you think you would end up a bit messed up. But Wendy just comes across as a normal teenager. She feels like she doesn’t really fit in and yadayadayada but there’s no real signs of any trauma in her life except for when she goes to visit her ‘mum’ in the mental hospital and even then it’s only for a little bit.The next thing is that Finn, the love interest, obviously starts of as this really boring stalker dude who creeps her out, and then the next minute she feels this really intense connection and wishes she had chosen to run away with him and what not. WHAT? Yeah that totally made sense. Then when she does leave she doesn’t even give that much of a crap about the family she did leave behind, she only care at like 2 different points. And if she had so much trauma about her other mother you think she would try and make an effort with her new one even though her new one is a bit of a bitch, but no she’s happy for her real mum not to give a shit. I think the bits I liked were when she was away with the Trylle, because at least that was interesting, but I think I was more interested in their society and in their powers then any of the actual characters. In fact my favourite characters were the only two character’s with any personality Ryan I think that was his name, but I don’t really remember) and Tove. Tove because he was manic and Ryan because he was fun. Everyone else you are told what their personality is like but you don’t really experience. And of course Finn is the typical love interest. Very wooden, has no life other than protecting Wendy.I think I will read the series still because I’m interested in seeing how these characters develop, if they develop, but mainly what happens to the world and everything, because that’s the part I found most interesting.

Immortal City

Immortal City - Scott Speer So this sounds like just a typical teen, supernatural-romance book doesn’t it. And trust me the romance side does read just like that. It’s annoying and teenage. They fall out over stuff that doesn’t really matter, then can’t really be together and blah blah blah till the end where it’s all wrapped up and a bit too convenient for my liking. Same old same old.However what I did like about this book was the murder going on at the same time. The book became a lot more interesting from that side. That part read a bit like one of James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels or a series of 24. It was much more nitty gritty and substantial. So I’d give the romance a 1.5 and the crime a 4. If only this writer had tried to go into crime novels instead of young adult romance. I hope someday he will because he’s got a real talent for that but I don’t think I will continue reading this series. I am just not compelled to find out any more about any of the other characters, except the main detective guy.

The Other Life

The Other Life - Susanne Winnacker Review Coming
Across the Universe - Beth Revis Review to come
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand Wow. Review to come

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan The unconsecrated are never alone. You are… It’s been a while since I read this book. I think originally I quite liked it but since then and thinking about it I have changed my opinion a little. It’s a good book. It’s quite unusual in the sense that it has taken the idea of ‘The Village’ (the film) and placed it in a zombie novel. It was quite well written, from what I remember, and it’s got a very interesting storyline with a GREAT twist at the end, even though I was kind of expecting it in the first half of the book the second half made me change my mind so completely that by the time it came I didn’t believe it would come at all. My only problem with the book was the characters.Mary: For a girl raised in a village where the women are in charge Mary, and let’s face it most of the few female characters in this book, was really kind of pathetic. There were a few instances where she took control, but most of the time she sat around and waited for the men to do something manly that would control the direction of her life. She never really made many choices for herself, or the ones she did were always kind of shit. And what’s with her whole desperation to see the sea? It was the one thing in her life she wouldn’t give up on or let guys dictate and it was kind of a stupid thing to be obsessed about in my opinion, and don’t get me wrong I love the see but it’s not worth everything they put themselves through.Harry: He felt like a really 2D character. Yes, he loved Mary, but aside from being slightly cruel and doing anything he can to get her there really was nothing else to his personality.Travis: Travis was also a really flat love interest. He kept deciding he didn’t want Mary only to turn round and go after her anyway. If he had just been true to himself to begin with then Mary, Travis, Harry and Cass may have had chances to be happy before the ‘BIG EVENT’ that ruins the equilibrium in the village. I also didn’t feel that there was much connection between him and Mary. Yes she thinks she loves him, but she would sacrifice him for the sea and he only loves her because she loves the sea. Ok…The rest of the other characters annoyed me too for the most part, or once I started to like them they died. So all in all I liked this book but the characters just fell flat for me. I think I will read the next book though. I already feel like I like those characters from the short extract I’ve read.

Bittersweet

Bittersweet - Sarah Ockler Review coming soon *EDIT* More like a month later but shhhh...Hudson Avery is an incredible baker, and ex-competitive ice-skater, 17 year old girl stuck in a dead-end job working at her mum’s diner, helping to keep the family afloat after her dad walked out. She’s fed up of her typical small town life and she can’t wait to get out of there. So when she is given the chance to win a scholarship that could send her to any school she could dream of, and all she has to do is brush of her old skates and complete her old routine. The only problem is ice-skating used to be her and her dad’s thing and the minute he left she hung up her skate for good. With a tight work schedule, a not very supportive mum, a little brother to look after, cakes to bake and nowhere to skate she doesn’t think she’ll even have the chance. Until her the one person who can change her life literally crashes into her. This is a very sweet and heartfelt book. It sounds like a typical ‘I’m too good for this place so I’m going to figure out a way to leave’ kind of story but it truly has a very sweet and sad side to it. Hudson and her family are obviously still broken and trying to pick up the pieces after her father left and she’s still struggling to find herself somewhere in-between what both her parents wanted her to be while also trying to figure out her place in high school. She’s lost and desperate to leave. She always seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Stuck in choosing who she wants to be, what she wants to do, who her friends are and who she wants to be with. And Ockler has this incredible way of writing that makes you feel stuck right alongside her.I loved this book, all the characters seemed so real and perfect in how flawed they were but they always managed to stick together in the end and work things out. I loved the books ending. It wasn’t some magical fairy-tale where everything got sorted out but it felt so real and the best out of a bad situation. It really was bittersweet. I would recommend this book whole heartedly. I might even have to buy it. But be warned, you will want to bake copious amount of cupcakes while reading this book.
The Compulsive Spike Milligan - Spike Milligan I love Spike Milligan, he's so clever and witty as well as being quite rude and obviously, painfully aware of his own brilliance. This book is only getting 4 stars though because I don't think it is the best compilation of his works
The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen http://inky-pages.blogspot.com/If I could describe this book with only one word I would describe it as: Quirky. It is most definitely a quirky book, but I love it so for that. It’s been about a month since I’ve read this book so my review is going to be a little vague but I still wanted to write one because this is a beautiful book in my opinion.This story is set in Mullaby, in the south of America. Mullaby is a town with a lot of secrets and when recently orphaned Emily moves there to live with a Grandfather she didn’t know she had she begins to find out her mother, who has only ever been a great human being and activist in Emily’s eyes, isn’t fondly thought of and this makes Emily an unwelcome visitor. Emily is driven to find out what her mother could have possibly done to be so hated and finds an unlikely friend in her neighbour Julia, a woman desperate to leave Mullaby who is also haunted by her past there. I enjoyed most of the main characters in this book. I connected with both Emily and Julia who are really genuine characters filled with inner turmoil. Emily’s Grandfather Vance, the Giant of Mullaby, is lovely, Sawyer is sexy and Win is charming and sweet. The relationships the characters develop with each other are very realistic and sweet. You really feel like these characters are real people.The book’s revelations aren’t particularly surprising but I really like the fact that the author incorporates a little bit of magic into the world without trying to explain it. This is a book that wasn’t written to become the next ‘big thing’. It’s not trying to be some young adult fantasy or be a trilogy or even have a love triangle. It is just simply a slightly whimsical and romantic book that makes you see that not even adults have everything all sorted out and there is a little bit of magic in the world, you just have to look for it. It doesn’t take it’s self too seriously and doesn’t expect a huge fan base, even though I think it deserves it.I would recommend this book to anyone with a sweet tooth who wants to read something that gives them hope, just don’t read this on an empty stomach.

The Pledge

The Pledge - Kimberly Derting I did like this book very much; I like the world the author has created and the characters within it. Charlie is a very likeable character, her friends are very interesting, her parents are what parents should be and her little sister is so cute. The world that it is set in is very clever. I am a big believer in knowledge being power and in this world that idea rings true. Charlie has a supernatural ability to understand all the languages she hears and in a world where the language you speak defines your class system that is a very powerful ability, but also an incredibly dangerous one as Charlie constantly risks her secret being exposed by understanding more than she should and not looking away when she is spoken to in a higher ranking language, which could mean a death sentence. The ideals of this world were very interesting to me, it was like an extreme of our society, where you cannot ever escape the class you are born into and everyone knows exactly what class you are in by what you wear and how you speak. I also liked the idea that the women monarchs were the ones in control and men were seen as irrelevant. Obviously I would not want a society where women rule over men but it is interesting to see the roles reversed from our society (complain all you want the western world is still male dominated.) I liked how Charlie acted around Max, she was not an insta-love girl, she even got plenty angry at him for lying to her and kept pushing him away; more worried about her friends and family then some strange boy interested in her, but I felt like Max was a very insta-love character and I didn’t understand his need to protect her from the second he saw her. I liked how the book switched from characters perspective, and not just the girl and her love interest but other important characters. It gave the book a more ‘this is an epic dystopian novel about a revolution ‘ feel rather than a ‘this is a novel about a girl falling in love with a guy while a war rages around them’ I don’t know why but the latter has never really appealed to me, I like romance, but I prefer characters to be involved in the war rather than their relationships be the driving force behind a war. So in general I really liked this book, it is a young adult book which dips its toes in to the sci-fi/ dystopian/ fantasy genres and does it well. Although I do feel like it did it a bit fast and there could have been more time for some character development. The twist you find out about Charlie is not a particularly original one and I would have preferred it if the book had had another reasoning but whatever. This book is definitely worth a read; however I will say one thing and I hope I’m not alone in thinking this, why the bloody hell is It getting a sequel? I mean really. You don’t need to make a trilogy just because everyone else is doing it. This would have been a great standalone book or even a book in a series about the world but not with the same characters all the time. But alas the trend of trilogies continues. At least there wasn’t a love triangle.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I 'literally' feel like my heart has been walked all over by Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. I will write a better review later when my heart hurts less. UPDATED- one spoiler at the very endThis book has left me honestly distraught and many people will not understand getting distraught over literary fiction, but if you can cry over a film why can you not cry over a book? I am a true believer that words have more power than anything else. And the words in The Fault in Our Stars have been strung together in such a beautiful way that they have reached deep inside me and changed the very fabric of who I am. That is worth crying overI almost do not want to read another book or watch another movie because I am terrified that I will forget Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, or at the very least that their impression on me will fade, and at this moment in time I could not bear that.This book is brilliant in a terrible and wonderful way. I spent the first half of it laughing and thoroughly enjoying the relationship between Hazel and Augustus, as well as the other characters, and wishing I were more like them. They are two incredibly unique characters who I almost now regard as friends and if I should ever meet anyone who is as witty or intelligent as them I would feel blessed. The second half of the book however, or there abouts, destroyed me; heart and soul. I did not see that twist coming until a few pages before it was announced and even then I wanted to curl up and deny it. Everything that made me so happy unravelled then and there. If this book does not make you cry I don’t know what will.There were moments of course when Augustus annoyed me, and moments when I wanted to stop everything there, go back to when their relationship was as close to perfect as it could be in their situation, and just forget what was happening, but of course I could not. All I could do was read it to the end, although I could not believe that there would ever be a happy ending or any ending worth the pain.I thought the ending Green came up with was perfect. It is literary symmetry. The way Hazels and Augustus’s book ended is very close to the way their favourite book ends. Without any knowledge of what happens to the characters left alive, but enough so that you can make up your own mind. I still want to go cry in the corner about this book. It is so powerful that I think it is now my most favourite book ever, or definitely in the top 10, but I will read it over and over again savouring the relationships and characters because, as in life, this art reflects that not everything is perfect. You cannot suspend a happy moment in infinity. Everything ends, but then new things begin and while you have to suffer through life, people come into our lives and make it just that bit more worthwhile; even when they leave we are the better for having knowing them. That is how I feel about the characters in this book and how I imagine they feel about each other. SPOILER ALERT!!!! Augustus Waters, you have changed my life. Even though you are nothing more than a character in a book, I will remember you and so will many others. You achieved what you wanted. To be infinite. This book is just as much about you as Hazel SPOILER ALERT!!!!!Sorry for the shitty review, I’m still distraught and on the verge of a breakdown.

Wither (Chemical Garden)

Wither (Chemical Garden) - Lauren DeStefano I had heard a lot of good reviews about this book, it seemed to be one that had a well-built dystopian world and well developed character. And as I, and apparently most female teenage/ Young adult readers, have now become obsessed with dystopian novels I had to read it.But once again it feels like this book has something missing. I have noticed with a lot of dystopian and fantasy novels nowadays that either the world or the characters are sacrificed to get a story written quickly. With this book I felt like the world was a bit sacrificed. I liked the characters, although they were nothing special and I have now forgotten their names (Note to self: Take notes when reading for review purposes) but I really did not like the world they were set in. It seemed very flimsy. Ok so in order to make sure that the human race was immune to everything we managed to create a race of super humans that have children with an abnormally short lifespan? That makes sense…. Not. But what makes even less sense is in this dystopian world future is the fact that women’s life expectancies are shorter than men’s, when it is currently the other way round. I mean ok I understand that our main protagonist is a teenage girl who doesn’t understand much about genetics but that feels like a bit of an excuse as to why there just isn’t an explanation for things.This world was obviously built around the characters to give the author a way of telling the story she wanted to write, and I have no problem with that, except for the fact that it is blindingly obvious. The world is just badly created. I mean, as if the entire world decided that in one generation they would all have their babies made into the super babies and as if the entirety of the world EXCEPT for the United States ONCE AGAIN GETS DESTROYED. I’m getting a little tired of everywhere but America being wiped off the map. What about Europe, Russia or China, who are all equally capable of fighting back and surviving?If you ignore the fact that the world is ill conceived and concentrate on the characters this story is almost enjoyable, hence the 3 stars, but I got it for cheap on my kindle and would not recommend it to anyone who was going to pay full price. It is just such an easily skippable book.