Archive | March 2013

Book Review: Change by Soraya Lane

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Riley has been shipped off to her distant Gran after the tragic loss of her twin sister Claudia. Out in the middle of nowhere woods, Riley is thrust into the presence of Hunter. He’s big, strong and commanding. Then he tells Riley the stupidest thing she’s ever heard: She’s actually a shape shifting leopard and not just any leopard but the next in line leader as her Grandmother Sophia is the current matriarch. There’s more, Hunter is also her chosen mate. Being seventeen just isn’t what it used to be.

Everyday Riley spends most of her time with Hunter. Learning to shift, communicate as leopards and the best part of all: see her sister Claudia in her new form as a spiritual guider. Yet these lessons aren’t just for fun, there is an enemy that plagues Riley’s new people. She’s got to stay focused in order to figure out if she can step up when the time comes and if Hunter is the only one for her. What happened to silly high school drama?

This is an interesting self-published young adult book. I found the cover intriguing and the premise…slightly interesting. For those that are looking for another hot and heavy supernatural romance, then this is the book for you! There is passion, sparks and a strong physical connection that can’t be denied.

I did enjoy learning about this ‘leopard world’. Is it similar to Twilight, yes it certainly is. I know there are readers out there that are looking for another book that is similar and I believe this would work well for that market. Personally I need a bit more from my Young Adult books. Lane knows what her target audience wants and I do feel she’s delivered the goods. I’m curious about where and how this series will develop but I’m not going to searching it out. 

For more information about the author and about the book, please click the cover photo to be directed to Soraya Lane’s website. 


A Change of Direction

It is with great sadness (but not hopelessness) that I announce that AshleyiSee will be moving from London, England to Seattle, WA.

It’s long, and it’s complicated. Please bear with me in regards to my posts. There will be plenty for March but things might be altered for April.

Many thanks for all your love and support. Regular posting will return once I’ve been re-settled.

Books are universal. Thank the heavens.

This is only my end in London for now, it’s time for Seattle to get some proper book time.

I hope you’re ready.



Vintage YA – March – The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

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Written in 1979 originally in German, this wonderful tale of adventure and fantasy is perfect any age. I chose The Neverending Story because of the movie. Have to be honest about this. I was a HUGE fan of the film growing up, even those it was the first movie that made me cry during the same scene every time I watched it (the loss of Artax – sob). When I learned this movie was based on a book I couldn’t wait to read the original.  

The Neverending Story is just as its title suggests – a story that doesn’t end for our main character Bastian Bathalazar Bux. Pudgy, short and grieving over the recent loss of his mother, this story begins as any other – hiding in a old bookshop from school bullies. However, this bookstore isn’t like any other for it holds The Neverending Story. A large book covered in copper-coloured silk with two different snakes forming a circling by biting each other’s tails.

Nicking it from the shop Bastian hides away in the school attic. The hours fly by as he’s whisked away into Fantastica (the version of the name is different as it’s translated. I’m sticking with my printed version but it’ll always be Fantasia in my mind). It’s a world filled with creatures the likes no one has ever heard or seen before. The world is ruled by the Childlike Empress, she is dying and she sends for Atreyu, a great warrior who will do whatever it takes to save his world. He embarks on an adventure that neither him nor Bastian could ever imagine.

 Yet the story doesn’t end there. When a happy ending is in sights for Fantastica, Bastian enters the book and starts his own adventure by wishing as his heart contents. However, there are rules within Fantastica and Bastian will have to learn what it means to find what one wants from within if he’s going to find his way home to the real world.

I really loved book, I did. Every chapter starts with a big beautiful picture that has a letter of the alphabet. The book can be described as being in two parts: the first part follows the movie (mostly) and the second part follows Bastian’s adventures and struggles within Fantastica. The writing is a joy. Ende is magical with words that describe this world filled with imagination. The characters are engaging, vibrant with plenty left for one to picture within. For those that love the film the first half is wonderful but unfortunately the second half is slightly disappointing and a bit too long.

Nevertheless I am thrilled to have read this book. Watching Bastian process and evolve into such a different character is not what I expected. It’s the core of the book, a simple story about a boy that needs to learn to love himself after losing his mom. The Neverending Story is a book that every reader wants to happen to him or herself. To find a story that one can get literary sucked into. To connect with characters and discover things about oneself, it’s a grand escape novel. It’s a book that changes Bastian for the better and at the end of the day, when readers are young, isn’t that what we want books to stand for? 

Book Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

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Annah has been waiting over three years for Elias to return to the Dark City. She’s survived alone, taking care of herself but never forgetting about her twin sister Abigail. She’s never forgiven herself for leaving Abigail behind in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Her twin, her other half, her only family left in this Unconsecrated filled world. When finally Annah decides to leave the Dark City, on that day she sees her again, Abigail.

There’s also a horde of Unconsecrated and they’re coming and they’re unstoppable. Fighting against the dead Annah is saved by Catcher and taken to an island. It’s the only safe place left in the world. Reunited with Abigail – now Gabry, along with Elias, Annah is faced by the overwhelming notion of being trapped on the only space left not taken over by the dead. Her sister and Elias are now strangers, and Catcher is a force not to tempt despite mutual feelings growing between them. In a world where the dead don’t stay that way, how can Annah see the light in living?

I have to be honest; I wasn’t a fan from the first half. It is so much grimmer than the other two books. There is almost no hope left in this world. The fear is frightening. To imagine being stuck on an island that is a façade of safety. Where being a woman is more dangerous when it should be a blessing.

However, as I progressed through the book and pushed through the blah romance (I’m a bit over it, it’s just too…easy I guess.) I saw the bigger picture. I saw how much stronger of a character Annah is than her sister Gabry from the previous book. She’s an excellent role model. She’s brave and fights for what’s right and stands by her morals no matter what others say. She never stops going, moving, trying to survive and at the end of this series that’s the best lesson we can learn from what Ryan has written.

This series is not for those that are easily scared or hate romance. There’s so much more to these stories of characters interconnected through love and loss. I wanted to be scared by these books because I hate zombies and Ryan is brilliant at always making sure I never forgot that they will keep on hungering. For a series that will keep you turning pages wondering how everything will end, this series will keep you up at night.