A Book Review: I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga 

4.5 Stars

Blurb

What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

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Publishing Company: Little, Brown and Company

Published on: 3rd of April 2012

Pages: 359 (Hardcover)

Series: Jasper Dent #1

Get it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

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People matter. People are real.

Wow, this book was a thriller! I hunt Killers is a consistently suspenseful and engaging book that had me engrossed until the very end.

What I absolutely loved about this book was how it provided an in-depth look into the mind of a serial killer. Although the main character, Jasper, isn’t actually a serial killer, he can certainly think like one. This allowed me to sort-of understand the psyche of a serial killer. Barry Lyga’s ability to illustrate the mind of Billy Dent (a serial killers in the novel who is also Jazz’s father) through a character who isn’t a serial killer (although I think Jazz is a little sociopathic) is definitely impressive.

His mouth was twisted in a wry grin, his eyes wide and alight with what some people- none of them in this room- might mistake for an impish glee.

In a lot of books, the psychopath or sociopath is presented wonderfully, but you never actually see inside their mind or look at things from their perspective. One thing I definitely understand after finishing this book, is that serial killers are really, really possessive over their victims (or prospects).

I hunt Killers also had a great cast of characters. Of course, since we see these characters from Jazz’s perspective who can spot a lot of telltales we’d usually miss. Hence, our understanding of the characters in this book deepens to a considerable degree.

The characters also complement each other very well. Connie’s fiery personality was refreshing and it enhanced (whilst also being enhanced by) other characters such as Howie, a loyal sidekick who can’t get into the thick of the fighting because of his low blood clotting factor. This means that the relationships between the characters were also quite interesting.

One thing I didn’t really like Jazz’s constant pity for himself. It was tolerable the first few times since Jazz’s worry about becoming his father is understandable, but it eventually got on my nerves. Also, it was really clear to me all along that Jazz’s primary suspects weren’t the culprits. The identity of the impressionist did surprise me though. The plot of this book was great, but not spectacular.

But aRGH that cliff-hanger at the end. I seriously can’t wait to find out what’s next!

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A Tag: The Get to Know Me Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Mariana @Book is Glee! Thank you so much for nominating me for this fantastic tag, Mariana, I’m so excited to do it!

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VITAL STATS

  • Name: Kellie
  • Nicknames: Kells, Bookworm, Ellie, Kellzy, Koala, Flamingo… (I’ve accumulated some interesting nicknames over the years haha)
  • Birthday: July 3rd
  • Star Sign: Cancer (I’m not as emotionally turbulent as those horoscopes alwaaays say…. except when it comes to books)
  • Occupation: Still a student!

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APPEARANCE

  • Hair Colour: Blacky-brownish because my hair is unhealthy 😦
  • Hair Length: Long hair
  • Eye Colour: Very dark brown
  • Best Feature: Eyes? (not sure :P)
  • Braces: Nope
  • Piercings: Nopeee
  • Tattoos: Nopeee
  • Right or Left: I’m a righty!

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FIRSTS

  • Real holiday: When I was two, I was lucky enough to visit California in the US. Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything about it. 😦
  • Best friend: She is super super smart and awesome!
  • Award: Music award for coming third in a piano competition yay!
  • Sport: Running/Cross country, although I’m super unfit now (since I haven’t been running much now :/)
  • Concert: I’ve never been to a concert, but I’d love to go to one in Carnegie Hall some time!

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FAVOURITES

  • Film: This is hard >.< Maybe The Martian or Mulan?
  • TV Show: Teen Wolf (Season 5 is soo intensee), (I did like but never continued watching) How to get away with Murder…
  • Colour: Blueee!
  • Song: Probably something by Taylor Swift tbh 😀
  • Restaurant: Ahh I don’t have one.
  • Shop: Page One! (a local bookstore)
  • Books: Oh no it’s the favourite books question again >.<
  • Shoes: Trainers (I practically live in them)

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CURRENTLY

  • Feeling: Tired (as always hahah)
  • Single or Taken: Sadly, I’ve never acted in any of the Taken films.
  • Eating: Apples
  • Thinking about: This post 😀
  • Watching: Teen Wolf (Season 5)
    Wearing: I’m actually wearing pyjamas rn too haha. Highfive Mariana!

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FUTURE

  • Want children: Haven’t really thought about it tbh
  • Want to be married: I guess
  • Careers in mind: I’m just as direction-less as a scalar quantity. (yay for science references :P)
  • Where you want to live: A cool house/large apartment with bookshelf walls!

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN…

  • God: Not really 😛 (I really hope I didn’t offend you. If I did, sorry!)
  • Miracles: Sometimes
  • Love at first sight: I’m a romantic, so yes haha
  • Ghosts: Sort of.
  • Aliens: Yes
  • Soul Mates: I wish!
  • Heaven: Not really
  • Hell: Not really, but it does provide a good basis for most swear words!
  • Kissing on the first date: Depends on the person, I guess
  • Yourself: Yepp

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Nominations: The amazing…

Anjie @Love Thy Shelf

Alice @Arctic Books

Bookspoils

I really hoped you guys enjoyed learning more about this, and if you’d like to do this tag, please do, because I’d love to learn more about you guys!! ❤

Cheers,

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A Tag: The Playlist Shuffle Tag!

Thank you so much to Mariana @ Book is Glee for nominating. I’ve seen this tag around for a while, and wanted to do it, because it seems like a lot of fun, so thank you for nominating me!

What to do:

  1. Set your music to shuffle
  2. Write down the first 15 songs you hear!

Lastly, cheating is not allowed because then the list will no longer be random. 😦

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Without further ado, here is the list!

  1. Love me Like That (ft. Carly Rae Jepsen) – The Knocks
  2. Make Up Your Mind – Florence + The Machine
  3. Wild Things – Alessia Cara
  4. Somebody Else – The 1975
  5. Hands to Myself – Selena Gomez
  6. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
  7. Colors – Halsey
  8. Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
  9. Photograph – Ed Sheeran
  10. Style – Taylor Swift
  11. Break Up In A Small Town – Sam Hunt
  12. Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey
  13. Love Story – Taylor Swift
  14. Telephone (ft. Beyoncé) – Lady Gaga
  15. Satisfied – Renee Elise Goldsberry, Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton

There’s my list (I have to admit, now looking at this list, I realise my music taste is all over the place haha)! Do you have any song recommendations? If you do, please share them with me! ❤ The lovely nominees are…

Alicia @ #lovebooks

Jorelene @ Page Chronicles

Ali @ Arctic Books

Fatima @ Noteable Pad

If you’ve already done the tag, feel free not to do the tag! But if you do decide to do it, I hope you enjoy doing it as much as I have. 🙂 Thank you to Mariana again!!

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A Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

3.5 Stars | Warning: There may be minor spoilers (a.k.a. Quotes).

Blurb

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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Publishing Company: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published on: 3rd of May 2016

Pages: 640 (Kindle edition)

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2

Get it on…

Amazon / Goodreads / B&N

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I loved the prequel to A Court of Mist and Fury, so naturally, I had high hopes for this book. Before ACOMAF’s publication, I thought of all the amazing possibilities there were for this series, and find myself a little disappointed by the direction this book is headed in. However, I did enjoy reading this book.

The plot of this novel was not remarkable. The first quarter of the book is essentially stagnant and Feyre is melancholic most of the time. Feyre’s broken state came across really clear, perhaps too clear (it was emphasised so much), to the point where I almost lost interest in continuing the story. Thankfully, the pace picked up soon after that. Like Maas’ other books, there is wonderful action contained within these pages… but all of the action is near the end, making the last third of the book extremely action heavy, and the ending chaotic. There are also some twists, but none of them were really shocking.

Even though I talk about being really bored when Feyre got so detached, I still think that part is important, because it paves the steps for Feyre’s eventual rediscovery of her true self. This meaningful, well written character development is definitely what won me over.

As usual, the main cast of characters in this book is utterly amazing. By the end of the book, I pretty much became emotionally attached to Rhys, his gang, and Feyre. Their friendship chemistry is simply awesome and the occasional witty banter made me enjoy their exchanges.

Her eyes fell on the open threshold to the bedroom hallway, and she grimaced. “Why,” she said, “are Amren’s eyes there?”

Indeed, right above the door, in the center of the archway, I’d painted a pair of glowing silver eyes. “Because she’s always watching.”

Mor snorted. “That simply won’t do. Paint my eyes next to hers. So the males of this family will know we’re both watching them the next time they come up here to get drunk for a week straight.”

Each and everyone of Rhys’ gang has a hidden part of their personality that makes them interesting, three dimensional. More about Rhys himself is also revealed and it allowed me to empathize with him at a level I could not before. Another character I liked was Tarquin, and… I hope he survives the next book.

On the other hand, there were other characters who were poorly neglected. For example, Lucien’s fiery personality which I had loved so much in the first book is now nothing more than a few embers, a remnant of what he was before. It was super disappointing. Tamlin, who was also one of my favourite characters from Book 1 just became nothing more than a flat character who had an overwhelming obsession with protection (his “wry humour” has all but disappeared). A lot of characters were sort of… trampled upon just to make way for the main gang.

Velaris was a lovely setting. I’d love to visit Velaris if it existed. *Sigh*, the troubles of a reader.

The Rainbow of Velaris glowed like a fistful of jewels, as if the paint they used on their houses came alive in the moonlight.

In general, the night court proved to be more complex than the spring court and thus, it captivated me a lot more easily. Outside of Velaris, there are also tribes of Illyrians. The traditions of the Illyrians were really interesting. Although the traditions are brutal and unjust (clipping their wings is just cruel beyond measure), it did show me another side to this world.

Before the events in A Court of Thorns and Roses, there was a war between the King of Hybern and the courts of Prythian. The characters who had a part in this war were often mentioned, and I really wanted to know more about them but it was not talked about much in ACOMAF. Hopefully, more parts of that particular story will be revealed in the next instalment since the war sounded pretty epic. In all seriousness though, a brief but informative history would make ACOTAR’s world much more believable.

Finally, the romance. The romantic arc in this book was a little frustrating. So much attention was placed upon the romance, that some attention was taken away from the plot, which is equally important. Also, why does Maas mess with my shipper heart all the time. In this book, my favoured ship sunk, but it’s ok, because I also love the ship that did survive. The romance between Feyre and her love interest is developed in a way that is simply beautiful. But let’s be honest here, all of the possible love interests for Feyre are 100% hot and also awesome.

And he’d be here during the summer, flying over the meadow, chasing me across the little streams and up the sloped, grassy mountainside. He would sit with me under the stars, feeding me fat summer berries. And he would be at that table in the town house, roaring with laughter— never again cold and cruel and solemn.

The romantic arc is a little similar to the overarching romantic arc in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, so if you didn’t like the romance in those books, you might not like it in this book. Nonetheless, I do urge you to try out this book though, because there are definitely some great parts. 🙂

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A Book Review: The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski

4 Stars

Blurb

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

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Pages: 496 (Hardcover)

Publishing Company: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published on: 29th March, 2016

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3

Find it on…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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The Winner’s Kiss is a spectacular ending to this series. I didn’t really enjoy The Winner’s Crime that much but this book was a big step up. Unsurprisingly, this book still managed to captivate me in the way that had me reading late into the night.

One of the issues I had with the last book was Kestrel’s mediocre military strategy. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly really impressed by her plots in this book, but I was able to see Kestrel’s mind in action and that was really cool. I was not impressed by Arin’s war strategy either. The reason for my lack of admiration for these strategies is because they are mostly based on what they know about the General as a person. This also makes the General’s character seem foolish as their plans succeed 95% of the time. Unrealistic. I expect a person with the General’s reputation for intelligence to be able to realise why he’s losing and make some less predictable moves. Sure, this is a flaw of his character, but this flaw is unrealistically debilitating.

The romance in this book was a great asset to the story. Rutkoski develops this romance in an very believable way that is really touching. It makes the characters so much more human because yet another aspect of their character is revealed: the softer, the more romantic side. Arin and Kestrel are one of my favourite OTPs. ❤

The shadow of her old self curled into the shadow of him.

It’s not just the romance that was touching. The friendship and the relationships between characters in general were pretty realistic. Kestrel’s relationship with her father was brutally honest.

There is also a tinge of awesome humour in this story, especially regarding Arin the tiger. It lightened the otherwise sombre atmosphere and made the read extra enjoyable.

“You thought there were Valorians in the woods. You weren’t frightened then.”

“Not exactly.”

“Then what are you afraid of?”

“Spiders,” he said gravely.

She elbowed him.

Rutkoski is also a skilful writer and her writing kept me immersed in the story the entire way. This was a truly fantastic novel- a feast for the mind. I really recommend you check it out of you like YA fantasy!!

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Announcement: I’m going on hiatus for a little while…

Hey guys! ❤

I have exams coming up this month and the next, so I’m going on a hiatus until my exams finish. That means that I won’t be able to write reviews or do book tags/ awards until after my exams. However, I have scheduled some quotes (and some reviews I have written beforehand), so there will still be something being published haha.

I’ll miss you guys!

Kellie xo

P.S. I’m so scared for my exams. *shudders*

A Book Review: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

4.5 Stars

Blurb

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

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Publishing Company: Broadway Books

Published on: 5th of June, 2012

Pages: 372 (Paperback)

Find it on…

Amazon / GR / Barnes & Noble

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“That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.”

Ready Player One was a wonderful whirlwind of an adventure. In fact, this book pretty much had all the elements of a typical tournament-adventure-science-fiction novel so it is a little cliché in that sense, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this. If you’re looking for something that breaks away from the general formula however, Ready Player One may not be the book you’re looking for.

The characters in the story were definitely pretty cool. Every main character in this story is different from each other, and these differences can be seen through their language. What’s so interesting about this particular cast of characters, is their interactions with each other. In real life, how people act changes depending on who they’re interacting with, and inReady Player One, this is really clearly reflected which makes the characters much more realistic than a lot of characters from other books in the same genre.

Even though the characters themselves were quite realistic, I found that some parts of the relationships were unrealistic, specifically the easy transition of their relationships from the simulation world to reality. In the novel, Art3mis actually talks about how a person’s true personality is not always reflected in the simulation of themselves in Oasis. I think that this surely applies to relationships as well. A good relationship in a virtual simulation does not automatically mean that the relationship will be good in real life. On the other hand, the main characters do stay true to their personality in the simulation, so I can understand their ease around each other in real life, but there is still a suspicious lack of awkwardness.

Identity was also an integral part of this story. I was partly surprised by the true identity of some of the characters. I had guessed some aspects of their identity, but the other aspects were cleverly veiled so that I didn’t question whether those aspects were true.

Also there were a lot of 80’s culture references. I don’t know much about the 80’s so I didn’t understand most of the references, but there were info dumps which I liked as it helped me to understand the culture more. The only reference I unquestionably understood was Ultraman. Surprisingly.

There were also some deeper concepts in this story I liked. For example, Ready Player One really takes the “don’t judge a person by their physical appearance” to a whole new level since everyone’s avatar can look different from themselves. I really liked the characters’ lack of judgement when it came to physical appearances. They paid more attention to a person’s personality, which is part of the reason why I liked this cast of characters so much. Another concept was escapism versus facing reality. The world in which the main characters live in is not a very nice world, so people tend to log on to Oasis for escapism. Halliday sort of addresses this issue at the end of the book. Both are pretty interesting concepts that can’t be immediately answered.

Overall, Ready Player One was an enjoyable read, and I recommend this to passionate fans of the 80’s or readers who are looking for a thrill. 🙂

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Thank you to my friend Lilian for recommending this book to me!

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An Award: Book Fangirling Blog Award

Thank you to Larkin @ Wonderfilled Reads for nominating me. This is a unique award that I am really excited to do. If you haven’t seen this blog before I really recommend you go visit it. Her blog is amazing!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions they set for you.
  • Set some new questions and nominate five more bloggers.

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The Questions

Which fandom do you identify yourself most with?

I normally identify myself most with The Hunger Games fandom since I used to have a tumblr blog devoted to this fandom. I also identify myself as part of the HP fandom a lot of the time though. I love both fandoms equally (and they’re not the only ones I’m a part of)!! ❤

What are some positives and negatives to fandoms in general?

One of the positives is definitely that you can find a lot of other people who are just as passionate about the books or tv series or movie… As you are. There are always great discussions, great canary, fan fiction that one might not have discovered without being part of the fandom.

In terms of negatives, there can be some conflicts between two fandoms sometime and they don’t always end peacefully. Thankfully I haven’t witnessed many of these conflicts.

Is there one fandom that you will never understand or want to join?

I’ve always wanted to join twilight fandom!!!!!!!!! Just joking hehe. 😉 I have read the books, but I don’t feel passionate enough about it to join the fandom.

Do you collect and fandom items? What are they?

I don’t often collect fandom items since it’s hard to find them over here, and shipping is very expensive. But my friend did go e me this really cool THG cup with a design that changed when it is heated.

What book, tv show, or movie do you think deserves a hardcore fandom but doesn’t have one?

I feel like The King of Attolia should deserve a hardcore fandom. That book is a masterpiece, I loved it so much. Actually, I think The King of Attolia does have a small and less well known fandom. I don’t think the fandom is that hardcore though.

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Five New Questions…

  1. Which fandom do you think creates the best (subjectively) fanart/fanfiction/gifs…?
  2. How many fandoms do you identify yourself with? What fandoms are they?
  3. Do you have any fandom items? If you do, what is your favourite item?
  4. Favourite OTP from your favourite fandom?
  5. What book (series)/fandom/tv series/anything will you remain a fangirl for until the very end?

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I nominate…

  1. Astra @ A Stranger’s Guide to Novels
  2. Ali @ Arctic Books
  3. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
  4. Brigitte @ The Book and the Bone
  5. Maddie & Bee @ Heart Full of Books

As always, if you’ve already received this award, feel free to not answer my questions! 🙂

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