Review: Lailah (Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly

18324459Source: Amazon UK
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 7th October 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Price: £7.59
Date Read: 7th/8th October 2014 & 1st September 2015

Amazon UK – Hardcover / Paperback / Kindle / Audio Book

Goodreads Summary:

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

It’s been almost a year since I originally read Lailah and I honestly have no good reason for not reviewing this book before. I read Lailah while I was on holiday in the wilds of the Welsh/English border. There was no phone reception or internet, unless you went into the pub and connected to their wifi. Before going away I had pre-ordered via Amazon and hoped for the best that I would be able to get the book on my Kindle on release day. Fortunately for me (and not so fortunately for those I was on holiday with!) I did download Lailah and spent the next two days with my head firmly stuck in Nikki Kelly’s amazing world.

I had heard a heck of a lot about Lailah even before it was published publicly for all to read. British author Nikki Kelly originally published the story online on Wattpad and it was picked up by an American publisher; the American YA audience loved it and (quite rightly) got behind Nikki and made Lailah and the Styclar Saga a sensation. ARC copies of Lailah were pored over, rejoiced over and the praises sung of the story and author for many weeks before and after the publishing of Lailah. Reading it for myself I can certainly see why. I am certainly a massive fan of this amazingly talented Brit myself!

Lailah is a paranormal sensational story written in the first person; I did this and I went to that… Not a format I would normally read but being front and centre of a YA Paranormal-y Romance-y Action-y story really appealed. The book is filled with vampires, angels, demons and angels… A chaotic mix which works perfectly and yet totally confuzzles the reader in a rather please ‘Give me more’ way!

The writing is open and appealing and extremely easy to read and lose yourself in. The story, although some may at first say mirrors others of the same genre, surprises the reader with twists, turns and mysteries which leave you wanting and eager to turn the page. For me it was definitely an ‘Oh God it’s 4am and I have to be up in 3 hours, why the hell can’t I put this book down and go to sleep’ book. High praise indeed! it’s also a re-readable book. I’ve read it I-don’t-know-how-many times so far but I still love it and keep going back to it. I spot things or make connections that I haven’t before. That’s the kind of book I really love; one which will sit well-worn on my bookcase, not gathering dust because it doesn’t have the chance to sit still long enough.

My love for it is something I’ve certainly tried to share and I hope I’ve been doing my bit here in the UK – I managed to persuade my library to buy a copy and it’s not been too long on the shelves so far to my knowledge!

So, have I persuaded you to give it a try? Let me know if you’re Team Gabriel or Team Jonah! Me? I’m Team Lailah; she’s strong and able and should be a team all of her own!

Read Lailah and now you want more? 

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Amazon UK – Hardcover & Kindle

The second book in the Styclar Saga series ‘Gabriel’ is available for pre-order and will be released on the 27th October 2015; not long to go!

From Goodreads:

Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He’s also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

About the AuthoNikki-Kelly-BWr:

NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

Book Review: Vivid by Andrea Murray

Welcome to my spot on the Vivid blog tour! I’m honoured to be a part of this and so happy to be back blogging. It’s been too long!

23703248Source: Paranormal Cravings Reviews
Format: EBook (Read on Kindle)
Publish Date: 13th November 2014 by Booktrope (Originally published in 2011)
Price: N/A
Date Read: 18th December 2014
Genre: Paranormal / Sci-Fi
Links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received this review copy of Vivid for free in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Goodreads Summary:

When Vivian Cartwright was five years old, she witnessed her mother’s death.

Now, sixteen-year-old Vivian only wants a normal life—hard to accomplish when you possess the power to control energy. Her entire life she has feared her power and its connection to her mother’s murder. She has kept her ability a secret from everyone except her guardian, Charlotte, who has hidden Vivian from the man responsible for her mother’s murder.

Her secret is safe until Vivian subconsciously defends herself at school using her power. After this first use of her gift in many years, Vivian’s power seems to take on a mind of its own, increasing in strength and demanding to be used. This increase in power also brings dreams of her mother’s death and the mysterious man connected with it. When she is assigned to tutor the would-be boyfriend of Trista Parmer (a.k.a. the biggest diva in school), Vivian cannot deny the electrifying connection that she feels for the boy, Easton Garrett. In her desire to get Easton away from Vivian, Trista doubles her efforts to humiliate Vivian, forcing Vivian to use her supernatural gift over and over. With each use, Vivian fears she is losing control and discovers her powers are growing—maybe too much—bringing her unknowingly closer to the man who murdered her mother.

Vivid is the first book in the Vivid Trilogy. It is followed by #2 Vicious and #3 Vengeance. Telling the story of Vivian Cartwright, Vivid is written in the first person. This along with the writing engage the reader and draw them into the story through the eyes of the teenage Vivian. Going into it, I did wonder if this would be a conventional and average teen/young adult read; the kind you know the method of the story to before even reading it. Fortunately I was happily surprised and I enjoyed reading to the very end and wanted more. Unfortunately, I am no longer a teen and most definitely not an American teen so a bit probably went way over my head. I certainly screamed “Oh grow up and get over yourselves!” to many of the not-so-nice and bullying people in the story.

The majority of the first book seemed to me to be an introduction of the characters and gave insight into a few of them. Character-wise, I went between love and hate for many – Abby most of all – though with the amount of bullying that starts off the story I was ready to scream at someone. Oh teen life, I don’t miss it at all! As a teen though I would have loved to have Vivian’s powers. That would most definitely have been majorly fabulous and I would have kicked arse. I look forward to seeing how these develop at the trilogy continues and the difficulties and further trials Vivian will face.

At around 142 pages, Vivid is a relatively short but good read which I would definitely recommend to those who love teen / young adult / paranormal / sci-fi fiction.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

About the author:

andrea murray

Andrea Murray

Andrea Murray has been teaching English for longer than most of her students have been alive. She has taught everything from junior high language arts to concurrent credit freshman composition. She lives in a very small town in Arkansas with her precocious daughter, energetic son, and race car-driving husband. When she isn’t writing or reading novels for her students, she’s probably watching reality television or cheesy science fiction movies. In addition to the Vivid Trilogy, she has also written Omni, her new YA dystopian romance.

Twitter // Goodreads

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This blog tour was organised by Paranormal Cravings Reviews

Review: Finding Her Way Back by Heather Van Fleet & Giveaway Link

Welcome one and all to my stop on the Finding Her Way Back Blog Tour. Before we start with the review, do we all have refreshments to hand? Good!

Source: Author / YA Bound – Blog Tour CommanderFinding Her Way Back
Format: E-book – Read on Kindle
Publish date: 7th October 2014 by Swoon Romance
Price: N/A
Date Read: 6th October 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this review copy of Finding Her Way Back for free from the blog tour commander in return for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts I share in this review are my own.

Please be aware that this book contains language and situations that are adult in nature.

 

Finding Her Way Back (FHWB) is the first novel by Heather Van Fleet I have read but not the first which Heather has written. In the past she has written books for two other series; Perfect Timing (When It’s Least Expected & A Long Time Coming) and Predetermined (Resisting Fate & Seizing Fate). If FHWB is anything to go by, I have high hopes for the others.

Coming home from her first 9 months of college to help she-devil older sister Anna plan and prepare for her wedding, 19 year old Callie is unprepared to come into contact with her former-skater-boy and ex-best friend turned muscular sex-god Ky. The booty-licious chubby-sexy Callie though is constantly thrown into contact with Ky and a friendship once more develops. With so much history between the two though and family tragedy and secrets aplenty, can the two of them stick together and move their swiftly blooming relationship on or will Callie’s hesitance and fears pull them apart?

I guess like me you’ll have to read it to find out. It’ll be well worth your while.

In perfect honesty this review is terribly hard to write – I’m still (almost a week later) trying to recover from the book hangover it’s left me with. I blame you, Heather!

Basically this book is fantastic – it is hard to read and no doubt like me you will start shouting at the characters (I do apologise to anyone standing outside that open window who wondered what the heck was going on when I shouted out ‘Dammit Callie, not again!’ for the tenth time). This book made me laugh, it made me cry and practically everything in between. It isn’t a sunshine sparkles and rainbows book; it’s real life. It’s hard and grim at times but this book contains so much sweetness and friendship and love and a tonne of hilarious moments you end up giggling your way through the book – outright guffawing at times. Some lines are so sweet and amazing though, they stay with you.

Licking his lips, eyes glazing over completely, Ky leaned in so close that our noses were pressed flush now. “Because, Calla Lily Bennet, I. Am. Yours. I’ve been yours for years. And I won’t stop being yours. Ever.”

Ky, Finding Her Way Back by Heather Van Fleet

I completely love Heather’s way of writing and talking about her characters. You can see that this book is her baby and she is so in love with it and her characters. From the main characters of Callie with her attitude and Ky with his respect and love for Callie, right down to Brent, Tracey and everyone else, they are all so detailed. The writing draws you in and doesn’t let you go. The characters keep you there and their situations, attitudes and stories keep you. Oh and if you’re anything like me, the immature humour certainly helps.

I am completely in love with Callie and Ky. They are perfect for each other. Given that these two characters are meant to be in their late-teens / early-twenties I was amazed at the overall level-headedness of these two, Ky especially. Callie has been hurt by love in the past; both familial and in relationships. In the past she has pulled away from her former best-friend Ky and this has hurt them both. Ky – shmexy, wonderful man that he is, is more than ready to pick Callie up and show her what she has been missing and how much he loves her. I want that!! Unfortunately, Ky is well and truly taken by the wonderful author it seems… Maybe she will share?

Overall this is an utterly fantastic book which I am certain will divide the audience as all good books do. Some may love it, some may dislike it but honestly, it is what it is. It shows honestly that life isn’t easy. Finding a book which takes life and puts it in a way the audience can understand and relate to is pretty damn hard to find.

For this and everything else I love about this book:

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ – Bl**dy brilliant

 

About the author: 

heather van fleet
Midwestern native Heather Van Fleet lives in a small town on the Iowa/Illinois border. She’s a wife to her hubby–and high school sweet heart–Chris, as well as a mom/mum to her three little girls, Kelsey, Emma and Bella. When she’s not obsessing over her fictional book characters, cooking dinner, or running around chasing her crazy kiddos, you can usually find her with her head stuck in her Kindle, sucking down White Chocolate Mochas like they’re water.

You can find Heather on her Website, on Twitter or on Facebook. Go add yourself as a fan too on her Goodreads page!

Giveaway:

Take me to the giveaway please!

The tour continues – click on the picture below for the tour schedule

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This tour was scheduled by the wonderful…

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