ARC Review: The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

20518854 The Heart Does Not Grow Back | Fred Venturini | Picador –  Macmillan | Stand Alone | Source: Review (Netgalley) | 320 pages | Adult | Sci-Fi 
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
ISBN13: 9781250052216
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“EVERY SUPERHERO NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE…

Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise?The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.”

Review:

To say I have been eagerly anticipating this books would be an understatement. As soon as I heard the title and the synopsis, I knew I wanted this book. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of an E-ARC on Netgalley! I happy to report that even of hyping this up for so long, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

The Heart Does Not Grow Back follows the story of Dale Sampson, a young introvert who is trying to navigate the minefield of high school and life. One day a tragedy occurs and it becomes apparent that he has the ability regenerate limbs and organs.

I loved this novel from start to finish. It was a combination of all things from character development to the actual logistics behind Dale’s condition. The book is essentially asking what you would do. It is so interesting to see everyone’s reactions and moral compasses on the go. You definitely have a chance to see the darker side of human nature in this one, people’s justification for what their actions. You have a sudden realization that not everyone is as kind hearted as you think.

A small commentary on characters. Apart from Doc, I didn’t get along with any of them Doc is someone that you always feel for. He has a persistent need to seek redemption and sees Dale as his only chance. We have all had a friend like Mack. I personally thought he was a leech. I hated every other ounce of him. He is one of those friends that everyone has and no one will get rid of. At times he really was a good friend but at other times he truly was the worst thing for Dale.

Dale as a main character was quite complex. He did have a need to help people and even wanted to. His motivations were distorted and his chronic need for someone and crippling loneliness made his decisions for him. He is also turns out to be selfless when it comes down to it. All this added up to an amazing character to follow!

The ending to The Heart Does Not Grow Back is nothing I could have called and absolutely brilliant. What occurred was a true act of defiance and selflessness and I loved it.

Probably one of the vaguest reviews I have ever done but I would hate to spoil this for you. If you want a superhero novel with a difference, an intriguing set of characters and to questionable modern day motivation, this is the one for you!

Goodreads Average: 4.09/5 (out of 116 ratings)

Extras: 

There are so beautiful quotes in this one! Here are some I Instagrammed:

 

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Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless | Hannah Harrington | Harlequin Teen | Stand Alone | 5 Stars | Source: Netgalley | 288 pages | Young Adult | Contemporary 
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.”

Review:

Speechless follows the story of Chelsea – someone who can’t save a secret for love nor money. One day she lets a secret out that has serious repercussions. at this point she decides to take a vow a silence as she believes that when she opens it brings nothing but sadness.

I initially was not keen on Chelsea (this is the whole idea – you are not supposed to like a rat.) She is your typical Queen B sidekick. She lacks a mind of her own and follows her groups actions and thoughts without question. She is unintentionally cruel and never thinks of how her rumours harm people. This changes though towards the middle of the novel. She sees the error of her ways and karma hits her hard. She grew up and matured beautifully before our eyes.

in terms of plot I have to say I wasn’t to keen to start with. Her vow of silence initially came off as childish for me. But it’ s effectiveness shines through in the end stories unfolded that no words could ever explain. secondary characters made this. Sam was the perfect love interest, Asha the noble and new found best friend and the crew from the diner made the backdrop.

There are some fab messages in this novel. Forgiveness, redemption and the fact that every action always had an equal and opposite reaction. The insults and stick Chelsea receives is cruel and tear jerking and the ending is perfection.

I urge fans of novels such as Before I Fall. A fab coming of age novel!

Goodreads Average: 4.01/5 (out of 7.119 ratings)

 

ARC Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #3) Spoiler free!

Hier of Fire | Sarah J. Maas | Bloomsbury Publishing | Throne of Glass #3 |  Source: Netgalley (Review) | 556 pages | Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 11th, 2014
ISBN13: 978-1408839126
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis (This review is spoiler free but this synopsis won’t be! You have been warned!):

“Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?”

This review is spoiler free for all of the series.

Review:

I started this series a few months ago and I have been eagerly anticipating the next instalment even since I put down Crown of Midnight. When I was approved on Netgalley for Heir of Fire, I could not have been happier!

Heir of Fire jumps straight in and starts just as Crown of Midnight finishes and quite seamlessly so. This instalment is a little bit different compared to the rest. We have a bucket of new characters. We have some of Celeana’s relations which proves to be quite interesting. We also have some new POV’s that have come to light. From the start of the series we know that a conflict is brewing. Seeing these from the POV of new kingdoms make the read all the more exciting!

A lot of revelations have come to light in the previous books both in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. Although all of them are not answered, they are explored making even more of them come to life. It is so cleverly done.

Heir of Fire is book 3 out of 6 in the Throne of Glass Series. I truly think that this series is still running strong and the series definitely comes in to its own in this instalment. It is by far my favourite. At times it is so much darker, stakes are higher and Celeana is getting stronger. To say she is my favourite YA heroine is an understatement. You can’t help but root for her through out!

I hate to tell people that they are missing out since we all have something to read. But if you have not started this series, it is definitely a must if you have a soft spot for YA fantasy!

Goodreads Average: 4.6/5 (out of 1,577)