Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

heavenly

Synopsis from FantasticFiction:

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoë’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoë lost in her broken life. Zoë escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoë’s autistic sister. After Zoë is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.

This book is released in August 2009, and well worth reading. Zoe is an 18-year with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Ever since her younger sister was diagnosed with autism her life started to go downhill. Her parents became wrapped up in their concerns for her sister, her brother has turned to drugs and Zoe has begun to party and seek out boys. Until one day when she is out at the park and her sister runs off. After frantic searching she finds her, with Matthais. A few days later she runs off again, and again Matthais finds her. Who is this guy? Her sister’s guardian angel. With him around life changes for Zoe. She starts to grow up and she falls in love, but how can love survive between a human and a heavenly being?

This is a younger adult book, but I recommend it for everyone. Laurens is an amazing writing. I read this book in a day – the story just flowed off the pages, drawing you in. Laurens explores many difficult issues, from autism, to drugs, and she started to explore the idea of Heaven and God. All of which were done sensitively and well.

The characters were lovely. Abria, the autistic sister, sounded lovely, even if she was hard work. And I too fell in love with Matthais. Calm, sensitive and caring, he sounded perfect.

And of course, there was a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of the book, which I didn’t anticipate. And it has made me eager for the next installment.

I cannot fault this book. It was a gripping, enjoyable, great read, and I highly recommend it.

10/10

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Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

breaking-dawn

Synopsis:

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs. Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in TWILIGHT, then scattered and torn in NEW MOON and ECLIPSE – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed…forever?

This is the final part of the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I was wary to begin with because it is a large books – 755 pages, and because I had heard some negative reviews about the book. However, although not as good as the other three books in the series, this is an enjoyable book, and worth reading.

For the final installment we attend the wedding of Edward and Bella, and then the honeymoon – which has interesting consequences. Faced with the repercussions of the honeymoon, the Cullens group together ready to face the Volturi – the vampire royalty. But this is not a fight they can win alone, so they call upon all friends and alliances for the final fight…

Interestingly, a section of this story is narrated by Jacob. I liked this. Although not my favourite character, he is vital to the storyline and Bella’s life. It was fascinating to read the book from a werewolf’s point of view, especially someone as close to the protagonist as Bella. It was well written and I enjoyed it.

There were, however, story lines in this book that I didn’t like/wasn’t convinced by. The main one is the Jacob and Renesmee story. It just didn’t work for me. Although these are fantasy books, for me that was just pushing a little too far towards the extreme.

My favourite character throughout the whole Sage has been Edward. I just love him – the way he looks, how he thinks, how he loves, just a great character. I would love it if Meyer did go ahead and publish Midnight Sun, Edward’s version of the Twilight book. In addition to Edward, I loved Renesmee – everything about her except the name. That too was a little far-fetched for me, however her character was adorable – just too cute.

For the most part, I loved this book. Maybe it was a little too long but it was engaging and fun. A nice way to end the Saga. I definitely encourage people to read this series if they haven’t – they are really good books.

8/10

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

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Synopsis:

Beautifully told through notes left on their kitchen fridge, this is an intimate portrait of the relationship between a hard-working mother and her teenage daughter. Stunningly sad but ultimately uplifting, it is about being a ‘good mother’ or a ‘good daughter’, and is a reminder of how much can be said in so few words, if only we made the time to say them.

What a sad, touching book, that made me cry. The story is told through notes written by both mother and daugher, Claire, in the hardest year of their life – when Claire’s Mum was diagonised with breast cancer. Both are busy so the best way to communicate is through notes left on the refrigerator door. The notes are intimate, with them considering love, life, their relationship and whether they are good people.

I read this book in one sitting. It was quick to read but engaging. And so sad. I really enjoyed this book. We see growing pains of a teenager, as she discovers boys, works hard at school and deals with divorce. Kuipers looks at breast cancer and how it effects the sufferer, and their family. It is so honest and raw. We see pain, heart break and illness. It is a good awareness for cancer. It is realistic and honest, and achingly sad.

There are unanswered questions, and I don’t think the characters could be developed properly as their form of commuication was notes but this was a lovely book and well worth reading.

8/10

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

new-moon

Synopsis:

I stuck my finger under the edge of the paper and jerked it under the tape. ‘Shoot,’ I muttered when the paper sliced my finger. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. ‘No!’ Edward roared …Dazed and disorientated, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm – and into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires. For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning …

This book is the second in the Twilight sage by Stephenie Meyer. In this book Edward leaves, in a bid to protect Bella, although he is not hugely successful. Whilst he is away, to fill the void he has left, Bella starts spending more and more time with Jacob Black. But little does she know, he has a secret of his own… Around Forks at the time there are many mysterious killings, and the sightings of werewolves. Bella soon learns she is still being hunted, and that Jacob’s secret is as deadly as Edward’s. The book sees heartbreak, reunion, werewolves, hatred, vampires, extreme sports and love – plus a trip to Italy!

Before reading this book I read many reviews and comments made by people stating this book is not as good as Twilight or the next book, Eclipse. However, although I agree that this book is not quite up to the standard of Twilight, this book is gripping and exciting. I read this book in two days, and it is a 600 page book. Meyer writes in an accessible and exciting way. Although there was not as much spine-tingling excitement as Twilight, when vampires met head-to-head, there were moments of anxiety.

I enjoyed how Meyer developed other key characters, such as Jacob Black. I liked his friendship with Bella, but I felt once we knew his secret he was insensitive to how much Edward meant to Bella, and just how much she was hurting. I didn’t like how he changed when Edward returned, but I loved how he protected her when he could. As also, Bella was easy to relate to, and when her heart broke, so did mine. Of course, my favourite character is still Edward. In my opinion, there was not enough of him in this book, but I could plainly see why and I think his absence has helped to build up a climax which I am looking forward to reading in the next book.

Although not as good as Twilight, I would thoroughly recommend this book. It was a quick, easy read. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. I have many questions left and I am eager to read the next book in the series. These are top-class books and well worth getting your hands on.

9/10

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

twilight

Synopsis:

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town. But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car. Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward’s coldness. He, and his family, are vampires and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close.

I was nervous to read this book due to the fame surrounding it, but actually, I loved it. I was gripped from the start. All the characters affected me. It took me little more than a day to read it. The story was exciting and breath-taking. I loved how Meyer went against the grain of traditional vampire characteristics, and there were no coffins or garlic in the book. The writing was fluid and gripping. The story is easy to follow and engaging.

The story follows Bella as she moves to Forks to live with her Dad. Not the most popular girl in Phoenix, she is surprised by the reaction she gets in this new town. Except, there is one family who avoid her, the Cullins. Yet they are the most intriguing, especially Edward, who is Bella’s lab partner. He stays away from her, making her think he only has feelings of hate for her, until a van skids on ice and nearly kills her. He saves her and then disappears. She doesn’t understand, so takes up her own investigation into Edward and his family. This leads her into a world of love, fear, blood, fantasy and excitement.

I really connected with Bella; her hate for gym and her clumsiness, and of course her intrigue. It was genuine and easy to believe. And I think I fell in love with Edward too. He was gorgeous, and his love and protection of Bella was beautiful. Hard not to be drawn into that world.

Although essentially a vampire story, it is also a high school love story, and actually believable. This is a book aimed at young people, but I recommend everyone to read it. I don’t have a bad word against it. This is the first in a four-part series, and I can’t wait for the next installment. One of the best books I have read so far this year.

10/10