Lullaby by Amanda Hocking

Lullaby

“Gemma had to disappear with Penn, Lexi and Thea after a night of incredible violence on the island. She can still barely come to terms with her new affinity with the ocean – and the siren powers that go with it. Now she’s been transformed, Gemma has no choice but to leave all she loves behind. She swears she won’t lose her humanity, but the call of the sea is maddening and compulsive.

Harper won’t give up on her missing sister. The search draws her closer than she’d like to bohemian Daniel, but she could really use his help. They’d almost given up, until a small news item tells of a horrific murder in a nearby beach town, and Harper thinks she’s found the deadly group. But can Gemma’s curse be reversed – and what if she doesn’t want to come home?”

MY REVIEW

I bought this book ages ago after reading Wake (review here), I had been looking forward to getting stuck into the second instalment of The Watersong Series ever since but seeing as I had many MANY other reading commitments I just hadn’t managed to get round to it.

It began with the aftermath of what had happened at the end of the previous book, it briefly recapped the main events so that I was able to pick up the storyline easily.  As with the first book I have to say that it didn’t fully hold my attention for the first half of the book, I found it very easy to put it down at that point because it felt rather slow.  Towards the end it became much more exciting and held my interest completely so once again the book redeemed itself by the end.

One of my favourite moments was a road trip that involved Harper, Daniel and Alex – it was during this trip that I really felt like I got to know these characters on a deeper level.  Another part that was particularly enjoyable for me was the bond between Harper and Gemma, they were so connected as sisters and I have a feeling that there may be more to this than meets the eye.

The storyline had a dark edge to it with a lingering sense of danger but this was lightened by a hint of romance, firstly between Gemma and Alex and more exciting, for me, between Harper and Daniel. Theirs was a slow building relationship that continuously teased me with ‘will they, won’t they’ moments.

This was a dark read with some lovely characters, I look forward to finding out what happens next!

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Wake – Amanda Hocking

Wake

“Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea and Lexi have caught everyone’s attention, including the eye of practical Harper.  But it’s her sister, Gemma, they’ve chosen.  Sixteen-year-old Gemma seems to have it all – carefree, pretty and falling in love with the boy next door.  But her greatest passion is the water.  She craves solitary late-night swims under the stars, where she can belong to the sea. But lately she’s had company.

Penn, Thea and Lexi spend their nights dancing and partying on the cove, and one night Gemma joins them.  She wakes, groggy, on the beach the next morning and knows something has changed.  Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster and more beautiful than ever.  And as she discovers her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves – or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets.”

I’m a big fan of Amanda Hocking’s books (you can find my reviews here) and I’ve really been looking forward to finding out where this new series would take me.

The prologue seemed dark and a little bit scary and I wasn’t expecting this at all, in fact the whole book was a lot darker than I thought it would be.  When sisters Harper and Gemma were introduced it was clear that there was some friction between them, they had very different personalities and Harper seemed motherly towards Gemma (the reasons for this were explained further into the story).  I was keen to see how things would evolve for them throughout the book.

There were a couple of relationships in the storyline, firstly between Gemma and Alex (boy next door) and also Harper and Daniel (a guy who lives on a boat), out of the two couples I felt more interested in Harper and Daniel and I’m really looking forward to seeing how that progresses in the next book.

The mysterious three girls – Penn, Thea and Lexi – were what made this book so eerie, although I had figured out what they were I couldn’t wait for the moment to arise when all would be revealed.

I struggled to get into the first half of book, it just took too long to capture my interest and felt a bit flat.  I was disappointed by this because I really do love the other books by this author, I suppose I had expected to feel the same as I did for her previous series (completely hooked from the very first page).  However, the second half was where it got exciting – I found myself speeding through the pages to find out what would happen so in the end my faith was restored.

The night that changed everything for Gemma was strange and when it was mixed with the disappearances of local boys and girls I just knew something dark and deadly was going on.  The mythological story told by Penn was interesting and answered many of the questions that I had swirling around in my mind.

The ending really captured my interest and I’m now quite excited about reading the next book Lullaby which is already on my to read pile.

This was an eerie book that unfortunately took a while to get going, but once it did it was fantastic!

Wake can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Amanda Hocking visit her blog.

Ascend – Amanda Hocking

“Wendy Everly can barely remember what it was like to feel like a normal girl. She’d wished for her life to be different but everything is so much more complicated than she’d expected. And she certainly hadn’t dreamt she’d be getting married at eighteen to a man she didn’t love – all for the sake of duty.

As the big day approaches, Wendy can’t stop thinking about two different men – and neither of them are her husband-to-be. Finn – quiet, strong and determined to do what’s right, and Loki – dark and seductive, a sworn enemy who once saved her life …

With all-out war just days away, Wendy needs to act quickly if she is to save her friends and family. But while her loyalties and duties are to her people, deeper passions are leading her elsewhere.

And as her worlds collide, Wendy must sacrifice everything she loves to save them. But will it be enough?”

I was so excited to read this final book in the Trylle trilogy – I absolutely loved the first two books (reviews here and here) and I couldn’t wait to find out how it all ends.

This trilogy just got better and better and I feel sad that it’s all over, but at the same time I feel strangely satisfied because of the way it ended – for me everything was tied up and resolved so I’m not left wondering what might happen after the book finished.

As with the previous books there was lots of action and breathtaking moments that just kept me turning page after page, I literally couldn’t get enough and read it in just a few hours.  I actually find it quite difficult to express just how much I enjoyed this trilogy, it really was amazing and is definitely one of my new favourites!

The characters have really grown throughout all three books and it was great to follow them as they found their places in life.  There wasn’t a single character that I disliked (apart from the obvious bad guy) and I really wanted the best for them all.  Wendy seemed to have found her power in this book and was much more in control, until she was around certain male characters of course.  We also saw a much softer side to Elora which is something that I had a feeling was there but she did a good job of hiding.

Loki had to be my favourite character of them all – aside from being sexy and strong, he was also very cheeky and funny and I loved that about him.  The morning after the wedding was a particular favourite ‘Loki’ moment of mine, it had me laughing out loud as I could picture the scene so vividly.

I was pleased that it all ended the way I had hoped it would, I’ve heard of some people who were unhappy with how it finished but for me personally it couldn’t have been better!

This trilogy had everything that I was looking for – danger, romance (which includes a fantastic love triangle), sadness, shocks and so much more.  I would recommend these books to anyone and everyone!

Ascend can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Amanda Hocking visit her blog here.

Torn – Amanda Hocking

“Acknowledging that she was different from everyone else wasn’t difficult for Wendy Everly – she’d always felt like an outsider.  But a new world and new family is a little hard for any girl to accept.  Leaving behind the mysterious country of her birth, she is determined to fit back into normal life.  But the world she’s left behind won’t let her go that easily …

Kidnapped and imprisoned by her true family’s enemies, Wendy soon learns that the lines between good and evil aren’t as defined as she thought.  And those things she’d taken for granted may have been lies all along.  With the help of the dangerously attractive Loki, she escapes back to the safety of Förening – only to be confronted by a new threat.

It’s time to make a choice – can she put aside her personal feelings for the sake of her country?  Torn between duty and love she must make a choice that could destroy her one chance at true happiness.”

I was so excited to read this book after absolutely loving Switched (review here) and it didn’t let me down because I loved this book even more than the first, I didn’t think it was possible but apparently it is, and if this trilogy continues to get better and better then I really can’t wait for the next one!

I find it really difficult to express just how much I enjoyed this story, I was completely and utterly drawn in by this book – I ended up reading it in just a few hours because I was so unable to put it down.  There is a revelation near the beginning of the book that actually made me gasp in shock, I really didn’t see it coming but once I thought about it, it all made perfect sense and a lot of things slipped into place.

The new characters made great additions to the regulars and I was pleased to have some of the questions I had left over from the first book answered in this one.  You can see each character growing as the story progresses and I feel that by the end of this book I had a much better understanding of each of them.

Wendy’s love life is as complicated as ever and the addition of another gorgeous guy and arrangements that have been in place for many years just confuses things even more for her.  Expect some heart pounding moments and exciting meetings that will keep you reading page after page.

This book also had a bonus story at the back, called One Day: Three Ways and it followed Finn, Tove and Loki on a day that is clearly going to be important for the next book.

This is an amazing story full of danger, excitement and love, I am so looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy Ascend which is due to be released in the UK on 26 April 2012.

Switched – Amanda Hocking

“Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth.  Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is – she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in…

She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life – and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone.  Her mysterious ability – she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why…

When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night – her world is turned upside down.  He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers, and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist: Förening, the home of the Trylle.

Finally everything makes sense.  Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special.  But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger.  With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust.  But dark forces are conspiring – not only to separate them, but to see the downfall of everything that Wendy cares about.

The fate of the Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever…”

After I read and loved the My Blood Approves series (review here) I wanted to read more from Amanda Hocking.  I loved the cover of this book and the synopsis really intrigued me.

Straight away I was fascinated by Wendy and wanted to find out more about her life, she is feisty and confident yet seems lonely, like she doesn’t fit in.  Finn is also very interesting, he is the classic mysterious type that you just want to discover more about so you can figure out why he’s doing the things that he’s doing.  The chemistry between these two characters was subtle but very exciting, I could really feel the attraction between them as I read.

The idea for the story was very different to anything I’ve ever read before – I never thought a story about trolls would interest me so much but I was completely captivated by this wonderful magical world and the lovely way it was written made it very difficult to put the book down.

I ended up staying awake late into the night (or should I say early in the morning) because I got to that stage in the book where I literally couldn’t put it down.  Then when I got to the end I was so frustrated because I didn’t want the story to finish, it was so exciting and imaginative that I just wanted to stay in that amazing magical world with them.

There was a bonus short story at the back of this book called The Vittra Attacks which will make sense when you’ve read Switched – this was a great extra read and I have a feeling that the information gathered in this short story will be extremely relevant in the the next book.  Speaking of the next book, I have already ordered Torn and I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can find out what happens next.

This book is enchanting and different, it had me completely hooked from start to finish.

My Blood Approves Series – Amanda Hocking

“Seventeen-year-old Alice Bonham’s life feels out of control after she meets Jack. With his fondness for pink Chuck Taylors and New Wave hits aside, Jack’s unlike anyone she’s ever met.

Then she meets his brother, Peter. His eyes pierce through her, and she can barely breathe when he’s around. Even though he can’t stand the sight of her, she’s drawn to him.

But falling for two very different guys isn’t even the worst of her problems. Jack and Peter are vampires, and Alice finds herself caught between love and her own blood…”

Wow! This series is amazing, I actually read all four eBooks in a few days because I was so addicted to the story and just look at those gorgeous covers, I love them almost as much as the storyline.

This is another series that I had planned on taking my time over but once I got started I just had to continue, the characters are all so appealing and exciting that I needed to know what would happen next for them.

There were similarities to other vampire stories that I have read but that didn’t make it any less interesting, there was plenty of different aspects to the story that compelled me to keep reading.  These books had everything that I look for in a good vampire story – action, danger, love, hate, lust, and best of all a tantalizing love triangle.

The love triangle was fantastic to read about, it is complicated for so many reasons and Jack and Peter are really different so there are times when I couldn’t figure out who Alice was going to choose.  Even at the end of the fourth book I felt like she could still go either way.  I also loved the dangerous side of these books, there were times in each book that were very dark and really got my heart pounding.

These books are addictive and exciting, I look forward to reading the next (and final I think) book in the series.