Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy – Book Review & Author Interview

The title of this book only hints to the treasures that lie within. Fans of YA fantasy will love this!

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi. 

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her. 

I have been lucky enough to be invited to be part of the AToMR tour of Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy. This first book in the Crescent Chronicals was sent to me to read and review, which you can read below.

However I was a little cheeky and asked if Alyssa would be willing to do a short interview about the book as well on my stop of the tour, to which she agreed! So before the review I thought I would share what she has to say about the book!


Alyssa Rose Ivy

Author Interiview

You have written other YA novels. What makes this book stand apart?

Alyssa: Flight is a bit of a departure from my Afterglow Trilogy. One of the biggest differences is that Flight is a more mature YA, and has edgier content. Another difference is that the paranormal society in Flight exists completely within our own world, where as The Afterglow Trilogy has a more epic fantasy aspect to it.

What was the most difficult part about writing this story?

Alyssa: The most difficult part of writing Flight was deciding what about New Orleans to include. I love the city and it holds tons of memories for me, so it took some effort to decide what places to include in Flight and which ones to save for later books in the Crescent Chronicles. 
What part was the most fun to write?

Alyssa: I went to college in New Orleans, so writing Flight was an experience in nostalgia. I had a lot of fun reminiscing about college and remembering just how many cool parts of New Orleans there are. 

What is you favourite scene in the book?

Alyssa: My favorite scene is when Allie first discovers who Levi really is. I love her reaction, and it’s fun to finally reveal what he’s been hiding. 
What do you want readers to take away from this book that they might miss? 

Although Flight is a fun paranormal romance, I hope readers pick up on of the more realistic experiences that Allie and her friends experience as they make the transition from high school to college.

Book Review 

The title and cover of this book I feel tell you a lot. Flight certainly promises some sort of air travel, and the rather attractive young couple on the cover promise some romance. But I never learn not to judge a book by its cover. This does have all of the above, but it also has something more. Something much more!

I can’t really say its nothing I haven’t read before. The young lover with an attitude problem (Levi), insecure protagonist with family problems (Allie) and the new best friend (Hayley) all work really well together to make this a well written YA paranormal romance. But the introduction of a completely new supernatural race, and the teasing glimpses of the rest of the supernatural world in New Orleans promise to make this a series to keep an eye on. 
I started and finished this book in just three nights. Although the build up to the supernatural element of the book was slow, with the first third dedicated to introducing us to the characters and New Orleans. But when it got going, I flew (as always… pun intended) through the pages lapping up each new dimension to this new fantasy world. 
There were some unnecessary characters and plot items that, I feel, took up too many pages in the opening chapters to then be of little or no importance later on. The main example being best friend Jess, who lit the opening chapters with her vivacious personality and behaviour, yet dwindled into nothing before the book really got going.

The ‘will-she-wont-she’ bad boy romance did feel a little cliché to start with, but I urge you all to stick with it to the final pages for a great little twist that left me stunned!

Overall, I started this book with too many preconceptions of just another YA paranormal romance, to have all my expectations smashed and replaced with something a lot more gritty, well written and enjoyable.

I give it an 8/10.

At just £1.97 for Kindle download, this has to be worth a look (if you are in the U.S. you can download it for $3.11). I will defiantly be checking out the next book in the series!

As this is a book blog tour, there is also some other fab blogs getting involved, each offering something a bit different. Also writing a review today is Tee over at A Diary of a Book Addict, make sure to pop other to her blog and see what she makes of it.
Thanks for reading,
Love Rie x

Chronicle – Film Review

On Thursday night, whilst visiting my best friend Sam in Plymouth, we decided to have a visit to the cinema. The trip to the Vue in Plymouth was organised originally with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in mind, but as you can tell by the title we had a change of heart.

Summary courtesy of IMDbThree high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

I first saw the advert for this film in the cinema and thought it looked right up my street. Teenagers with telekinetic powers sounds like something right out of one of my favourite fantasy fiction books. Yet this movie was more than that. It was weird!

This is a Hollywood feature film, with a predicted $12 million budget, it was not lacking on the special effects department! This wasn’t some 3D thriller that jumped out at you and made you scream, but a really cleverly directed narrative with believable special effects inter-spaced with hand-held camera POV shots from one of the protagonists that worked really well. Not once during the movie did I sit back and think “that looked so fake”, but this is 2012, and graphics are getting better with every movie.

But what makes it more than any old Hollywood clone, was that it had a narrative. The characters were well rounded, if not stereotypically challenged teenagers (Sam & I both agreed that if every ones teen years were as bad as movies suggest, we would all be psychologically damaged, if not dead). The supernatural aspect of the movie was almost believable. It is not pink, or fluffy, but moody, dark and boarding on the side of bizarre! No real explanation is given for how they get these powers, and the end is satisfyingly ambiguous, which in my opinion is always good.

Overall, I would recommend going to see this movie. It has awesome special effects, a good narrative and well developed characters, but with a warning it is a little dark and weird.


Let me know in the comments below if you have seen Chronicle and what you thought of it?!

Thank you for reading,

Love Rie x

The Host by Stephenie Meyer – Book Review

I must confess. I started reading this books with negative preconceptions about its quality. Downloaded on a whim from an Amazon gift card it has been on my list of books that I should read, as it was from the author of the infamous Twilight series. Yet my best friend, Sam Crossley, had warned me this is the only book he hasn’t finish. But, me being me it just made me want to read it more! So I pushed it up to the top of my reading pile, with his warning ringing in my ears.
Summary courtesy of Amazon: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie’s thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

On first impressions this science fiction book appeared to have potential for an interesting series of books, never mind just one, but I soon discovered why it often became unfinished. This book is too long. I made a comment on Twitter about how I was struggling and with a comment from my old English teacher I stuck at it and was rewarded in sorts.
This was a pure emotional rollercoaster. In my last post I commented how I am an emotional soul (no pun intended) but this had me in a steady stream of tears falling down my cheeks while finishing the final chapters last night.
The romance this book promised to be was easily the least interesting part. An impossible love triangle and the power of all consuming love… blah blah blah. It was too similar to the Twilight series in this respect, with Wanda hopelessly doomed to be the next Bella. Although the endings are very different the themes of the conclusions are almost identical which left me wanting more, or just something different from Meyer.
Overall this book had the foundations to be something so much more, but I did manage to finish this roller coaster ride of emotions, and I think by the end I began to enjoy it.

Thank you as always for reading,
Love Rie x

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong Review

This collection of short stories from 14 female supernatural authors has rekindled my love of short stories. Since reading the Kindle All Stars: Resistance Front collection I have gone back to novellas and full length novels and forgotten the magic of reading anthologies such as these.

This one is dedicated to “Smart Chicks everywhere” and defiantly appeals to the young adult (YA) female reader, but no reader will feel alienated by this smart collection of stories that give bite size introductions to necromancers, vampires, were wolves, mind readers, clairvoyants and much more.
Summary courtesy of Amazon:  A collection of fourteen original teen paranormal short stories from some of today’s best selling YA talent, united with the common theme of road trips, and edited by best selling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The theme of road trips I feel is applies lightly to this collection, a theme which I had forgotten until I re-read the introduction of the book before writing this review. Despite this a collection needs a theme and this does work well in a few of the stories. 
Stand out favourites include “Gargouille” by Mary E. Pearson, a supernatural themed love story that is beautifully written, and “Bridge” by Keri Smith-Ready a ghost themed poem that I really enjoyed, and don’t be put off as its a poem as it was a great read!
The contributions by the authors where also a real treat. Melissa Marr’s “Merely Mortal” appealed to my other interest of business and PR & marketing (which is by no means the main focus of the story but something that stood out for me), and Kelley Armstrong’s “Facing Facts” which links in at the end of the latest Darkest Powers book with a really interesting twist that I loved.
Overall this is a great collection that I have enjoyed curling up in bed early every night to read. It has introduced me to some young adult authors that I can’t wait to read more from. 
Thanks for reading,
Love Rie x

Kindle All-Stars Presents: Resistance Front

I recently managed to get my hands on a really exciting Kindle book, Resistance Front a little early so I could pre-read and let you all know what I think. 

A creation by Bernard J. Schaffer, Resistance Front is a collection of sci-fi, fiction, fantasy, horror short stories (which he calls “speculative fiction” a term I was unfamiliar with before) all by independent authors. You can find out more on the collections website.

I came across this book relatively blind to its motives and tone but I am so glad I got the chance to tell you guys how great it is! 

Released today this book is a great price at just 86p, with all profits going to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. 

As you will know I love anything fantasy-fiction and this collection has really opened my eyes up to a host of other authors to look out for. So rather than giving you a very long a tedious intro to all the stories I will point out some of the ones to look out for.

The ones I enjoyed reading the most:
  • Color Forest by Robin Reed
    I think this has to be my favourite story in the collection. I have never read anything like this before, and it can be best described as a utopian/dystopian fictional tale of a color changing forest. It may not be the most dramatic or action packed short story, but after I finished the book and began to make notes about what I wanted to say in this post, this was the one story that stuck in my mind despite it being relatively early in the book. Its comments on the nature of relationships, commitment and marriage in particular had me thinking and was a pleasure to read. 
  • A Certain Doorway by Keri Knutson
    This book is very different in comparison to my other choice. Yet I enjoyed it equally, I just really want to read more. I saw the end as a real cliff hanger, defiantly one to look out for. 
  • A Gene Priest by B Throwsnaill
    The topic of this one is defiantly a thorny issue and I think you can tell that by the title. Genetic modification and religion are always a potent mix. Ethical issues up to the hilt and a thoroughly good read. Yet I couldn’t help but think: ‘I hope this is an accurate prediction of our future’.
The ones I found a bit weird:
  • Wheelchair Fight by Matt Posner
    I didn’t really like the action of Fight Club either, so maybe not my cup of tea. This was defiantly a bit weird and I’m sure my face would have been a picture when I finished this short piece. 
  • The Shroudmaker by Angela McConnell
    Really did not see the end of this one coming! I enjoyed reading about the skills of Shroudmaker’s but the ending really threw me.
  • Burden of an Innocent Lady by Dwaipayan Regmi
    This was one of the only ones where the writing style was my only hang-up. I felt that the style was just really impersonal and I didn’t really connect with it despite its powerful narrative. 

Overall I give the book 4/5 – it is a great collection of short stories for a very reasonable price by I have to admit I did skip some whilst reading.

Don’t have a Kindle? Details of the paperback release will be given on Facebook and Twitter soon. 

Thanks for reading, 

Love Rie x

The Lovely Bones (2010)

Director: Peter Jackson

Studio(s): Film 4 Productions & WingNut Films.

Distribution: Paramount Pictures & DreamWorks Pictures.

Run Time: 135 mins.

Rating: 6/10

I was naturally excited about the release of The Lovely Bones. The book was a poetic yet emotional roller coaster and I was looking forward to how this was going to be portrayed on the big screen. However as with most books that are made into films, I left the cinema disappointed at the result.

During the transition from Alice Sebold’s novel to the big screen, it appears that the narrative was lost to the gore of the kill, and the subsequent CGI representations of limbo. The swirling colours and blurring lines of reality became hard to follow as the movie progressed, not made any easier by the confused teenage narration of the protagonist.

However the emotional turmoil of Susie Salmon’s 14-year-old mind was not sacrificed. I am known as a bit of a crier at a tense moment, and I did not let my companions down. The grief of the Salmon family was both gripping and hard to watch, and I found myself willing her family to get justice for her.

This did not do anything to take the edge of my disappointment of the portrayal of the after life, which I felt was destroyed by the computer generated effects. Susie’s heaven became something more fitting to a sci-fi than a drama, and I feel this took the edge of its effect.

I did not find the novel frightening or tense in the way the movie pretended to be. The glory of the narrative was the connection between Suzie and her family after her life was stolen away from her, it was not the act and disposal of her body. I feel that the demand for blood, gore and tension destroyed the factors that made the novel outstanding.

I’m sorry to rate it just a 6/10!!

Rie xxxx