Review: Contagion by Teri Terry.

Title – Contagion
Series – Dark Matter #1
Author – Teri Terry
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 464 pages
Publication Date – May 18th 2017 by Orchard Books
ISBN – 9781408341728
My Rating – ★★★★/5

“Callie is missing. Her brother Kai is losing hope of ever seeing her again. Then he meets Shay, a girl who saw Callie the day she disappeared, and his hope is reignited.

Their search leads them to the heart of a terrifying epidemic that is raging through the country. Can Kai and Shay escape death and find Callie?”

I received a copy of Contagion from Hachette New Zealand to review. I’ve read a few of DBMCI7fVoAA2i6cTerry’s books so I was really excited to read her new book.

The start of this was unexpected. I know the tag line was something like ‘not everything can be cured’ but I didn’t think it would be so obvious at the beginning of the book. I can’t say too much without giving things away. This might be a difficult book to review because I don’t want to spoil things…

There was one thing I thought was really obvious from the start of the story. That was the cause of this virus or whatever it is and why it was spreading so fast. Well, not why it was spreading so fast because I don’t even know what the virus is or how it happened. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be to talk about. It was obvious to me who patient zero was. Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. But of course no one else could figure it out. You’ll understand if you’ve read the book. What I don’t understand why how Shay and Kai were so oblivious to the path the virus was taking. I understand how they wouldn’t have figured out the cause.

I liked Shay and Kai. Some things they did annoyed me but I can’t say what those things were because spoilers. I did think they “fell in love” kind of fast but then I don’t do the whole love at first sight thing so…

I wasn’t really sure what to think of Callie. I felt bad for what had happened to her but I also thought her decision at the end of the book and what she did was really selfish. I don’t know how many people had already died in Contagion and now even more may die. Well, more people probably will die. I can understand her motivations but there’s only a small chance she’ll even find the person she’s looking for. So, really selfish decision.

I really enjoyed Contagion and all the mystery in it. I still have some questions about the virus that I’m hoping will be answered in the next book which I can’t wait to read.

I’d definitely recommend Contagion if you like mystery, diseases and lots of death. Oh and cover-ups. I almost forgot about that.

*Thank you Hachette New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer.

Title – Letters to the Lost
Author – Brigid Kemmerer
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 393 pages
Publication Date – April 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Children’s
ISBN – 9781408883525
RRP – $16.99 NZD
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Juliet has always written letters to her mother and now that her mother is dead, she leaves the letters at her grave. It’s the one thing that’s helping her to cope.

Declan is the kind of guy you don’t want to cross. One day, while he’s doing landscaping at the local cemetery for community service, Declan finds a letter and can’t resist writing back.

Soon, Declan is sharing his pain with a complete stranger. Except Juliet and Declan aren’t strangers. And when real life interferes with their letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that may have the power to tear them apart.

I received a copy of Letters to the Lost from Bloomsbury Australia to review. This is theDBCMnD6UwAEVOpr second book by Kemmerer I’ve read and I have enjoyed both of them.

I don’t read a lot of contemporary. Or I didn’t used to. I’ve slowly been reading more lately. I think I might have to start reading contemporaries more often.

Anyway, I liked both Juliet and Declan. I was hoping they would end up together eventually. They seemed to have a lot more in common than they thought. They connected over the loss they’ve both experienced in their lives. And they were honest with each other, the way they haven’t been with the people they’re closest to. But then I guess it’s easier opening up to a stranger sometimes I guess.

There were a couple of secrets that came out about both Juliet and Declan’s families. Somehow, instead of making things worse in their lives it helps them. Which is a good thing. But usually when secrets come out they do more damage than good. I won’t say more here other than I really felt for both of them. Especially Declan.

I enjoyed the friendship between Declan and Rev. Rev’s family were really great too. I felt like they were more like brothers than friends. And the way Rev could get through to Declan when no one else could was great.

Letters to the Lost has been one of my favourite contemporaries. Not that I’ve read a lot. But for 2017 this is definitely one of the top ones I’ve read. I didn’t want to put it down. If you love contemporaries and a little romance then I recommend getting a copy of Letters to the Lost.

*Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Fatal Crossing by Lone Theils.

Title – Fatal Crossing
Series – Nora Sand #1
Author – Lone Theils
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 288 pages
Publication Date – May 1st 2017 by Bonnier Publishing Australia
ISBN – 9781760406530
My Rating – ★★★/5

“When a picture of two Danish girls who disappeared on a boat bound for England in 1985 surfaces in an old suitcase, journalist Nora Sand’s professional curiosity is immediately awakened.

Before she knows it, she is mixed up in the case of a serial killer serving a life sentence in a notorious prison. The quest to discover the truth about the missing girls may be more dangerous that she had ever imagined…”

I received a copy of Fatal Crossing from Bonnier Publishing Australia to review.

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Fatal Crossing has been translated from Danish. I don’t think I’ve read a lot of books that have been translated into English. I can only think of one off the top of my head. I found it hard to get into this at the start because there were some things that I didn’t think needed to be part of the story and I did end up skipping all the parts with what people were eating.

I thought the flashbacks into Nora’s past were unnecessary, especially the parts about what happened with a guy, but after seeing on Goodreads that this is the first book in a series (well, there’s a sequel out but it’s in Danish so I can’t read it) it makes sense why it was part of the story. Even though I was more interested in the photo and the missing girls.

When I was drawn into the story and the mystery around the photo, I really enjoyed the book. It may have had a slow start for me but the second half of the book had more action, especially at the end!

Speaking of the photo and what happened to the two girls in it. Wow. I was not expecting that at all. I don’t want to say anything here about what happened because I hate spoiling books for other people. But I love books where I don’t see the ending coming.

Even though Fatal Crossing took me a while to get into I did end up enjoying it and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book. I’m hoping it will be translated into English one day.

If you like mystery books with very surprising endings then I recommend finding a copy of Fatal Crossing.

*Thank you Bonnier Publishing Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Pieces of You by Eileen Merriman.

Title – Pieces of You
Author – Eileen Merriman
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 333 pages
Publication Date – May 29, 2017 by Penguin New Zealand
ISBN – 9780143770473
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Rebecca has recently moved to a new city. Lonely and trying to make new friends, she decides to go to a party. And that’s where things start to fall apart.

Then Rebecca meets Cory and he helps her piece her life back together. Before he shatters it all over again…

I received a copy of Pieces of You from Penguin Random House New Zealand to review.

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I haven’t read many books set in New Zealand so when I saw Pieces of You  was by a New Zealand author and set here too I had to read it.

Pieces of You focuses on some heavy topics, like sexual assault and cutting. I thought the author handled both well. But I’ve never experienced either personally. I had friends who used to cut themselves in high school so I do understand some of the reasons behind it.

I found this book really addictive and I didn’t want to put it down. I’m not going to judge Rebecca for the choices she made because I’ve never been in the horrible situation she was in at the start of the book. But I will say that I don’t agree with her reasoning. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m not going to say anything else about it. Other than what she did at the end, I thought that was amazing.

I kind of thought there was something going on with Cory, with all the sick days he was having, like depression or something. But it wasn’t really mentioned. I really liked Rebecca and Cory together so what happened came as a complete shock. I’ve actually been thinking about it since I finished the book. Cory has stayed with me for a couple of days now.

I was confused why Rebecca thought that being from Dunedin was a bad thing? I don’t think Dunedin is hicksville but that’s how Rebecca put it in one sentence. I’ve never been but I know people who live there. Maybe it was just because Auckland is a city? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t say Dunedin was hicksville…

Anyway, I really enjoyed Pieces of You. It was so addictive and I also loved that I’d been reading about somewhere I’ve actually been to for a change. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other YA books by Eileen. Hopefully she’ll write more.

*Thank you Penguin Random House New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray.

Title – A Million Worlds With You
Series – Firebird Trilogy #3
Author – Claudia Gray
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 432 pages
Publication Date – November 1st 2016 by HarperTeen
ISBN – 9780062562548
My Rating – ★★★★/5

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite’s hands. She’s been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud from the first time she travelled to another universe. Now, Marguerite has learned Triad’s true plans and they could mean the end of hundreds of universes.

Paul has been at Marguerite’s side, but when Triad attacked him they changed him. Now, he’s angry and haunted by tragedy. Paul’s struggling to overcome the damage Triad did to him. And despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake and the risks have never been higher. Triad have unleashed their ultimate weapon – another Marguerite, evil, psychologically twisted and always one step ahead.

I received a copy of A Million Worlds with You from HarperCollins New Zealand toDAYmIy9V0AEZjq6 review. This is the last book in the Firebird trilogy.

I loved the first two books in this trilogy so I was looking forward to finding out how the story would end. Although at the same time I didn’t want it to end. When I first read A Thousand Pieces of You I was completely hooked within the first couple of chapters. I’d read books about time travel before, and I love books about time travel, but I don’t think I’d ever read anything about dimension travel before.

Marguerite goes on another trip through the dimensions in this book. But this time she’s not just trying to save the people she loves. I thought Triad, and what they were doing, was crazy. I mean, yes it’s sad when someone dies but this? Wow. I don’t even know what to say about what they were doing. The first two books had been building up to what Triad were doing and why they were so focused on their endgame.

I didn’t go into A Million Worlds with You with many expectations because I didn’t want to be disappointed. But, I did have one. Well, I didn’t expect it but I really wanted it to happen. I wanted Marguerite and Paul to end up together or in a better place than the were at the start of this book. I don’t believe in the whole destiny/fate thing that Marguerite and Paul did but I really liked them together.

I’ve loved every book in the Firebird trilogy. All three books were full of action, amazingly written worlds (I loved the Russiaverse) and just so addictive. I’ll definitely be reading more of Gray’s books.

*Thank you HarperCollins New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: Release by Patrick Ness.

Title – Release
Author – Patrick Ness
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 288 pages
Publication Date – May 4th 2017 by Walker Books
ISBN – 9781406331172
My Rating – ★★★/5

Today, everything in Adam’s life is going to fall apart. But he doesn’t know it yet. Relationships in his life will change. Adam will change. Maybe Adam will find freedom in the release.

Time is running out. Across town a ghost has risen from the lake and leaves a trail of destruction in her wake.

I received a copy of Release from Walker Books Australia to review. I haven’t read a lot of DAJcPvzUIAAL7ddbooks by Ness but I think the Chaos Walking trilogy is still my favourite.

I’m going to just say this now. I loved Adam and his friends. His story made me angry at time (which I’ll get into soon) and I enjoyed reading about him. But the ghost? I just don’t get it. I hoped it would make sense at the end of the book but I was just left confused. I guess I must have missed something… I just didn’t get why the ghosts story needed to be told? And it wasn’t just the ghost. The whole other story was confusing. But like I said, I liked Adam’s chapters.

So the part of Adam’s story that made me so angry was his family. They’re religious and I think they knew about Adam but they had this don’t ask/don’t tell policy that I thought was ridiculous. Like, if they didn’t say anything it would just go away and they could “pray away the gay.” What?! I cannot get my head around that. The worst part, as if all that wasn’t bad enough, was that Adam’s family had him thinking that the love he felt for a guy in his life was wrong and he didn’t deserve to be loved in return. What kind of family screws their kid up like that? I really don’t understand some people.

I would have liked to see what happened to Adam a couple of months after the ending of the book but I guess I’ll have to live with how the book ended. Which was weird because of the ghost.

I liked Release. It’s not my favourite of Ness’s books but I didn’t hate it. I was just really confused. But if you’re a fan of Ness then you should definitely check it out.

*Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.

Review: The Possible by Tara Altebrando.

Title – The Possible
Author – Tara Altebrando
How I Got It – From the publisher
Publication Date – June 1st 2017 by Bloomsbury UK
ISBN – 9781408885765
RRP – $18.99 NZD
My Rating – ★★★★/5

Thirteen years ago, Kaylee’s birth mother, Crystal, was given a life sentence for killing her son in a fit of rage. Crystal once had fifteen minutes of fame when she was a teenager for supposedly having telekinetic powers.

Kaylee is living a normal life with her adoptive parents and hardly ever thinks about Crystal. Until one day, a woman knocks on her door and asks to interview Kaylee about Crystal. Was all the telekinesis stuff fake, or does Crystal actually have powers? Does Kaylee have powers too? And if she does, will she follow her birth mother’s dark past?

I received a copy of The Possible from Bloomsbury Australia to review.

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I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started this book. I kind of went into it thinking this telekinesis stuff was all crap. But then I thought what if this is like Matilda? Because anything in fiction is possible. So I decided to keep an open mind.

It took me a while to get used to how this story was told. Like, Kaylee’s memories would sometimes interrupt whatever was happening in the moment. It was kind of annoying at the start but as I got used to it the less it bothered me and I eventually got used to it.

So at the start I did think all of the telekinesis stuff wasn’t real and that Crystal made it all up but then there was all of Kaylee’s memories and the things that happened around her and I wasn’t so sure anymore. I’m a very skeptical person so I didn’t know what was going on… And after the ending I am even more confused.

I found Kaylee very annoying. She was apparently in love with someone she didn’t know and had never even talked to. And according to her, he was in love with her too and just didn’t know it yet. What?? Kaylee went to school with the guy so she knew of him but she didn’t actually know him. There’s a huge difference. Then there was one of her best friends, Aiden, and the way he just shut Kaylee down when she mentioned these powers (even though I was skeptical) or how when she wanted to meet her birth mother and he was against it for some reason. He drove me crazy!

That makes it sound like I didn’t like The Possible. Annoying characters aside I really did enjoy this. I loved the mystery surrounding the telekinesis. And that ending!

If you enjoy a good mystery that leaves you questioning what the hell is going on then you should definitely find a copy of The Possible.

*Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.