March – July Wrap Up

Hello! I haven’t done a wrap up in ages so I figured I’d make this month’s an all in one  to share what books I’ve been reading over the past few months and my thoughts on them. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ *

Honestly, this book started off being a five-star read. It had the perfect mix of atmosphere and intriguing characters, especially the protagonist Catherine (aka the Red Queen) as she was such a likeable character and I was really invested in her story and her journey to becoming the Red Queen I know (and love) from Alice in Wonderland. However as the story continued I felt like the plot and characterisation both became a bit inconsistent and I was left disappointed with the ending. Still I really enjoyed the first half of the book and I found the relationship between Catherine and Jest to be sweet if a little quick.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A new favourite! Stolen Songbird is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far and it was such a fun and compelling story. It’s about a young girl being kidnapped and taken to an underground kingdom of trolls which are creatures I don’t think I’ve ever read about before, especially not in a romantic context. It had all of my favourite guilty pleasure tropes, an arranged marriage, political intrigue and a slow burning hate-to-love romance and I just loved it so much. I immediately bought the rest of the series and I can’t wait to continue on.

Losing It by Cora Cormack ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I picked this up on a whim at a charity shop a while ago after recognising the author’s name and decided to give it a go and I was really pleasantly surprised. I usually hate the teacher-student romance trope but I honestly didn’t mind it in Losing It. I liked Bliss as a main character and the plot had the perfect mix of humor and romance that I haven’t read in a while. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot of fun and I’m really glad I picked it up. However, I don’t think I’ll continue on in the series as the next book is about Cole who I actually really disliked in the book so I’m not that interested in his storyline but maybe if I see it for cheap I might grab it anyway.

Dreadnought by April Daniels ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ *

I actually quite liked this book but I don’t know if I’ll be doing a full review due to some comments made by the author that I found after reading Dreadnought.

Haven by Rebekah Weatherspoon ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆*

I requested this after hearing a lot of hype on twitter and to be honest I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The romance felt very fast paced and instant and I was more interested in what happened to the protagonists brother in the woods and the mystery surrounding his murder rather than reading about Shepard. I did enjoy the banter between Claudia and Shepard though and I liked how the book explored Claudia’s recovery process. I’m interested in reading more of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s work as I’ve heard a lot of great things and I really liked her writing style and characterisation in Haven.

Play With Me by Alisha Rai ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Again, another twitter recommendation! I actually really liked Play With Me. The two protagonists were each others first loves and had an intimate and long term relationship that eventually unraveled and Play With Me explores a chance reunion that gives them both the opportunity so see just how much the other has changed and possibly continue their relationship where it left off. I enjoyed the fact that it focused on two ex’s reuniting and gave us a lot of backstory to their relationship as it made their interactions more believable and interesting to read about. It’s quite a quick read so I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun adult romance.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long! I knew I’d love it but I just always avoided picking it up but with the film coming out I just really wanted to read it and I’m so glad I did. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a cute book, it’s so much fun and a great summer read. Simon is an easy character to like and I feel like Becky Albertalli’s writing YA characters so well that there was something relatable within each of the characters. I was slightly underwhelmed with how the blackmailing storyline turned out but that’s one of my only gripes and I’d 100% recommend picking this up.

Alice by Christina Henry ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Another Alice in Wonderland retelling! This, however is a lot darker than Heartless, it’s actually quite a brutal and gory take on the classic Alice tale and Christina Henry’s interpretation was so interesting to read. In this book Alice has been a patient at an ‘asylum’ after being found bloody and beaten muttering about a rabbit after going missing in what is considered the ‘bad’ part of the city. We then follow Alice’s subsequent escape years later alongside another resident, axe-murderer Hatcher as they’re forced to hunt down the evil known as the Jabberwocky. It’s honestly such a unique take on Alice and I definitely think more people should read it (though do check out the trigger warnings beforehand). I can’t wait to find out where the story goes in the sequel as the book ends on a really intriguing note.

*All books marked with an asterisk were sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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REVIEW – Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

wintersong-by-s-jae-jonesWintersong by S. Jae-Jones
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ | 5 Star Rating
Goodreads | Wordery | Author’s Site
Published by Titan Books – Out Now! 
This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

 

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. – Goodreads Description

Wintersong is the best book I’ve read in a long time and it’s instantly become one of my favourite books ever. It’s such a perfect mix of fantasy, romance and intrigue that it was impossible to put it down. This book is loosely based on/ inspired by the film Labyrinth (which I watched only recently) and to be honest I enjoyed it so much more. Jae-Jones writing instantly draws you in with gorgeous prose and an almost ethereal style that it makes you feel as if you’re reading something completely unique and new.

Our protagonist Leisl (Elisabeth) is a young girl in historical Germany who lives with her family in a small village inn. Leisl is basically the caretaker of her two siblings, virtuoso Josef and romantic Kathe as her mother looks after their inn and her father drinks away the family’s finances. Another member of the household is her grandmother, Constantine who is a big believer in the old tales surrounding their lands of Goblins and fairies that she passes on to both Leisl and Josef. Leisl’s belier only goes so far however and this lands her in trouble when she forgets to be careful of her choices and makes a mistake concerning her sister. One day in a cat and mouse game with a creature known only as the Goblin King,  her sister Kathe is kidnapped to be  his bride and Leisl is forced to go the the Underground – the world of the goblins, to get her back. However Leisl realises she recognises the Goblin King from her childhood and is forced to relive her past and expose her deepest secrets in order to find a way to recover her sister and return her to the world above.

Honestly this book is so incredibly beautiful and dark that you can’t help but be drawn into it’s seductive story. Leisl such an interesting and multi faceted character that I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in as she struggles with the choices she is forced to make. I also read on the author’s twitter that the sequel will explore her bipolar disorder that is hinted in the first book which I’m really intrigued and hopeful for as that would be amazing. She’s an incredibly strong woman and her relationship with the Goblin King whilst extremely dark is utterly addictive. I just loved this book so much and I can’t wait for more people to read it. I’m also counting down the days to the sequel in 2018 which I will definitely be pre-ordering ASAP. I highly recommend picking this book up and a huge thanks to Titan Books for the review copy.

Thanks for reading! P.S This is basically my February Wrap Up as it’s the only book I read that month. 🙂

REVIEW – Defender by G. X. Todd

defender-by-g-x-toddDefender by G. X. Todd
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ | 4 Star Rating
Goodreads | Book Depository | Author’s Site
Published by Headline – Out Now! 
This book was sent to me for review by the publisher.

 

In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens to the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road.

The moment locks them together.

Here and now it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice. Those who do, keep it quiet.

These voices have purpose.

And when Pilgrim meets Lacey, there is a reason. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Defender pulls you on a wild ride to a place where the voices in your head will save or slaughter you. – Goodreads Description

Defender is a post apocalyptic thriller that explores the idea of the voices that
we all have in our heads becoming sentient and the repercussions that has on the world. The world has essentially been destroyed and civilisation has collapsed as some of those sentient voices have driven their hosts to violence and mayhem. Defender focuses on two types of people, those with voices and those without and Boy Scout, one our our two protagonists has a voice whilst our other protagonist, Lacey doesn’t. Boy Scout has been on his own for a while until he comes across Lacey on the side of the road one day. Boy Scout has been travelling and surviving on his own whilst Lacey hasn’t left the relative safety of her grandmothers home since she was a child when the apocalypse first started. Obviously their fates collide once Laceŷ manages to convince Boy Scout to let her tag along on his journey so she can find her sister though things obviously don’t go as smoothly as they hope.

This book is so fast paced and exciting that I kept thinking about it every time
I had to do something else. The contrast between the two character voices
were so distinct and interesting, G X Todd manages to write two amazing and
equally interesting protagonists without slacking on the plot. There’s also an
interesting mystery aspect to this story as their are unknown villains and a
possible conspiracy to be unveiled which I found really intriguing as the
author only allows little clues to keep you guessing. To be honest, one of my
favourite genres is post apocalyptic/survival novels and this book combines
both aspects in a really interesting way. It felt like a combination of The
Walking Dead and Mad Max in novel form and I’m really excited to see where
the story goes, especially after that cliffhanger ending. I definitely recommend picking this up if you’re looking for something fun to read. Thanks to Headline for the review copy!

Thanks for reading! 

P.S I’m sorry if this a bit of a rushed/messy review as I just wanted to get it up ASAP but haven’t really been able to write much recently due to problems I’ve mentioned in my previous post.

October – January Wrap Up

So since I’ve been taking a break from blogging I’ve obviously read quite a few books that I haven’t spoken about so I figured I’d just do a huge wrap up rather than posting small individual ones (as I really didn’t read a lot per month). I’m trying to get back into regularly posting now as things have been hectic these past few months so try to bear with me. You also may notice that I haven’t been reading a lot of books and that’s because I’ve been having vision problems that are making it hard to read and I’m currently having that looked at to see what the problem is. I have been trying to listen to audio books though but I just haven’t been able to get on with the narrators so feel free to recommend some good audio books if you know of any. Thanks for reading this long paragraph and sticking with me! (BTW sorry if this is a bit slap dash as I just really wanted to get this posted.)

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-by-m-r-careyThe Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An original and exciting  apocalyptic novel that takes the typical zombie lore in a completely different direction. Melanie is a young girl who knows nothing of the world outside of the school she lives in, every day she is taken from her cell, strapped into a wheelchair and taken to class. This continues on and on and slowly Melanie notices things are changing, her classmates seem to disappear randomly and things are tense in the compound. i just had so much fun reading this book, it’s fast paced and exciting and just so easy to read. I loved the character development of both Melanie and the people around her as they accept the world that they live in. I really liked this and I can’t wait to see the film.

bones-and-allBones and All by Camille DeAngelis ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This book is kind of a magical realism take on cannibalism, i know that sounds really strange but it’s such a good story. Maren and her mother have to move every few months, every time they settle down for too long Maren ends up eating somebody. Yes, eating somebody. On her eighteenth birthday Maren wakes to her mother gone, leaving only enough for her to get by, she’s been abandoned. This leads Maren to search for the father she’s ever known and possibly the answer to her cannibalistic problem. Maren is such an interesting character and I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a sort of anti-hero as she struggles to control her urges. It’s definitely not a happy story (note – cannibalism) but it’s so interesting to read. I loved following Maren’s journey as she is thrust into the real world after being protected by her mother her whole life whilst also trying to be a normal teenage girl. It’s definitely an underrated novel that I think’s worth a read.

faithful-placeFaithful Place by Tana French  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Another great addition the Dublin Murder Squad series! This time the story focuses on Frank, an undercover officer who we met in the second book. I enjoyed his story a lot more than I thought I would and Frank quickly grew on me despite my issues with him early on. Faithful Place focuses on the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Frank’s first love and the resurfacing of her suitcase in the rundown house they used to meet in. I had an inkling to the plot twist early on but I still really enjoyed it and I loved the dynamic between Frank and his family, it came across as really authentic. I can’t wait to get around to the next book as this has quickly become one of my favourite series.

172-hours-on-the-moon-by-johan-harstad172 Hours on the Moon by Jonah Harstad ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)

172 Hours on the Moon is a science fiction YA horror novel about 4 teenagers who all win a trip to Mars on the first space mission since the moon landing. The book focuses on the different perspectives of the people involved in this mission as well as the teenagers as they prepare for this mission, it also has interesting pictures and mixed media aspects to add to the reading experience. To be honest after hearing how terrifying this book was supposed to be I was slightly underwhelmed. It’s creepy but not terrifying as I’d hoped, I think I expected a more exciting reveal to all of the secrets and hints to what lay on the moon. Despite this it was a fun book and the ending went a totally different way than I was expecting.

defender-by-g-x-toddDefender by G. X. Todd ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’m going to be writing a full review ASAP. Quick thoughts though – this book was so action-packed and fast paced that I genuinely couldn’t put it down. It has so many unexpected twists and turns that you never know what may happen next so you have to keep reading. It’s set in a post apocalyptic world and was a really fun read. More in my review!

forgive-me-leonard-peacockForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I’ve had this book for a while and picked it off of my bookshelf on a whim one day when I was looking for a stand-alone book to read and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how this book turned out. Leonard is a teenage boy who decides that the only option for him is to kill his ex-best-friend turned bully and then himself. But first, he has to say goodbye to the few friends he has and it doesn’t exactly go the way he expects. As expected this is a sad yet sometimes funny story that focuses on the struggles of a teenage boy as he has to deal with things that no child should have to deal with. This is my first Matthew Quick novel and I own a few others and after this I can’t wait to pick them up. Definitely look up potential triggers for this book though as it does deal with some sensitive subjects.

you-know-me-wellYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You Know Me Well is one of the cutest and loveliest books I’ve read. It tells the story of two gay teens, Katie and Mark as they deal with their respective relationship problems and how they help each other after meeting at a gay club during Pride. I love stories that focus on friendships and I think this book kind of took the ‘whirlwind romance’ trope and applies it to the friendship between Mark and Katie. As mentioned though there is a little bit of romance in this book as both of our protagonists are dealing with crushes that they really want to work out, Katie on her best friend’s cousin and Mark on his lifelong best friend. This book deals with a lot of different topics such as unrequited love, toxic friendships and just generally being a teenager whilst also being a fun and light read which I really liked. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something quick and easy to break up you’re reading.

a-monster-callsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is genuinely one of the most beautifully told stories I’ve ever read. I read from the edition that featured the illustrations and tied with Patrick Ness’ writing it definitely made for an emotional read. A Monster Calls is about a young boy called Connor who is visited by a tree monster at night and in the weeks that follow the tree monster tells him three stories that change everything. I absolutely loved this book, as always Patrick Ness writes beautifully and the story is wonderfully told. I just loved it and I think it’s an important read for people of all ages. I also went to see the film adaptation in the cinema and it’s just as amazing as the book.

everything-everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A really sweet and lovely story about a young girl who hasn’t been able to leave the house for most of her life due to severe allergies and what happens when a new family (and boy) move next door. This was such a quick read as Nicola Yoon’s writing is so addictive and the romance is so compelling that you just have to find out what happens. I haven’t read a lot of romance based YA in a while but this has definitely made me want to pick up more which is great seeing as I received Yoon’s newest novel, The Sun is also a Star for Christmas.

sherlock-holmes-and-the-disappearing-diamondSherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I posted a full review here as part of a blog tour.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Blog Tour/Review – Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn

sherlock-holmes-and-the-disappearing-diamond

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ | 4 Star Rating
Goodreads | Book Depository | Author’s Site
Published by Scholastic – Out Now! 
This book was sent to me for review as part of a blog tour.

John Watson has barely settled into his new school, Baker Street Academy, when his teacher announces a trip to one of London’s top museums, home to the world’s most famous jewel. But it’s been stolen! When police catch the thief it seems the case is closed. Can Sherlock Holmes uncover the mystery behind this extraordinary gem?

Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond makes a much loved classic story readily accessible to a new generation. The story begins with a young John Watson moving to a new school called Baker Street Academy and befriending two fellow students Martha Hudson and Sherlock Holmes. Obviously a mystery needs solving but that is only one of the most interesting things about this book (though it is very interesting), a really compelling part of the story is the layout. The story is told in mixed media format, some parts of the story are told in blog entries, others in comic format and some are just different articles involving the mysterious diamond case. There are different styles and tid bits to discover on each page and I really liked it.

I especially loved how fun this book was and I can imagine it will be very popular among young children and it’ll probably create a new generation of Sherlock Holmes fans. The art is fun, the writing is fun and even the style of the book is fun. It’s just a really entertaining story. I love the modernisation of the Holmes story and how Sam Hearn brought new and exciting things to the classic lore to entertain the readers. It won’t only entertain children though, I reckon a lot of older fans will enjoy the story too as it frequently references the original ACD canon and fan favourite characters such as James Moriarty make appearances. It’s just a really quirky and lovely book and I definitely recommend picking it up for yourself or a younger reader.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!BSA-BLOG-TOUR-03 (1).jpg

REVIEW – The Girls by Emma Cline

the-girls-by-emma-clineThe Girls By Emma Cline
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ | 4 Star Rating
Goodreads | Book Depository | Author’s Site
Published by Penguin Random House – Out Now! 
This book was purchased with my own money.


Synopsis

California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life….

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever.

My Thoughts

I picked this book up randomly on a shopping trip one day and I went into it completely blind and I’m so glad I did. This book was such an amazing ride and really impacted the way I think about some things. The incidents written about in this book seem somewhat based on the Manson family and the murders they committed, the musical cult leader and the ranch and other things are pretty identical to the real events. It almost feels like Emma Cline created a character to insert into the Manson family to act as a fly on the wall. Evie, our protagonist is an amazing character, flawed and sometimes unlikable but underneath it all a decent person who is desperate for some form of affection which leads her to getting involved with a group she wouldn’t normally associate with. She is initially drawn in by Suzanne, a wild, carefree girl who Evie instantly falls in love with and in some aspects you can understand why. Suzanne is Evie’s complete opposite in some aspects, she’s wild, carefrree and doing what she wants with her life without the societal expectations and responsibilities that bind Evie.. Emma Cline perfectly describes the pull that Evie feels from this unique group of people who seem to want her to be a part of them, it’s like a really messed up family and the tight familial bond is something Evie has always wanted.

The cast of characters is like those in most books in that they’re varied and interesting but they come with a slightly sinister twist as from the beginning you know what they are capable of doing and you can’t quite get attached to them because of this despite growing to like them. It was interesting to read about the different relationships between the members themselves and also their relationships with Russell, their leader. Some of the characters really intrigued me such as Roos and her son and I wish we were able to find out more about them as individuals before they were captured under Russell’s spell. The Girls is one of those books where you just want to reach into the pages and snap them all out of it as you can see how easily they’re being manipulated whilst they’re unable to. I also enjoyed the snippets of older Evie as it gives the reader a chance to understand how much Evie was changed by the cult and how it changed her life forever.

I was slightly disappointed with the ending though which is why I gave it 4 stars as I really wanted something to resolve the plot or at least give Evie some closure. Despite this I did really enjoy this book and Emma Cline’s writing is addictive and engrossing, I’ll definitely pick up whatever she writes in the future!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

REVIEW/BLOG TOUR – Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe

girl hearts girls

Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ |  5 Star Rating
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Twitter
This post is a part of the blog tour for this book and I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check out the other stops in the tour at the end of the post!

Synopsis

 An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, from Michigan. They began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together was the first in a series of vlogs documenting their long-distance relationship. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on.

My Thoughts

Girl Hearts Girl is a wonderful coming-of-age story about Lucy Sutcliffe’s (who you may know from the youtube channel Kaelyn and Lucy) journey from a shy young girl who worried about coming out to the amazing youtuber she is today. It tells you the story of how Lucy came to terms with her sexuality, her university experience and how she got to know Kaelyn online before they finally met.

Lucy writes in a simple but lovely way that was really enjoyable to read and I think a lot of people will find easy and entertaining to read. Though this book is aimed at a younger audience Lucy doesn’t speak down to the reader or simplify her (sometimes difficult) experiences, she tells her story truthfully to try and find common ground with the reader and relate to their experiences. I really connected with her description of anxiety and the toxic friendship she had with a boy named Rex as it’s something I’ve been through and I think she captured the difficulty involved really well. This book allows you to  experience Lucy’s life alongside her and go through the motions with her from her younger years in primary school to her long distance realtionship with Kaelyn. It was also great to see the little insights into how she met Kaelyn as I’ve been to subscribed to them for a few years and love their channel.

I just think this book will make a lot of difference to a lot of kids as its a non-fiction, realistic experience of how she dealt with her own anxiety and sexual orientation that I haven’t really read before, especially aimed at such a young audience. It will hopefully help a lot of kids love themselves and be able to reach out which I think is a really great thing and something I wish was available when I was younger. I’m glad something with such a happy ending is available within a market over saturated with such sad endings for LGBTQIAP+ people and I definitely recommend picking this book up if you’re looking for an uplifting read.

For a chance to win a copy of Girl Hearts Girl click here! Also I definitely recommend checking out the other stops in this blog tour which are listed below.

GHG Banner

Thanks for reading! 🙂

May Wrap Up

I read a total of 6 books in May and I absolutely loved every single one of them so it was a great reading month for me! I’m a few books ahead in my Goodreads reading challenge so I’m hoping to read just as many if not more in June. Sorry if these reviews are a bit rambly I’m trying to get used to writing them again! To find out more about each book click the title link for the Goodreads page as these are just my thoughts. Anyway, the books I read were –

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

This was a beautifully written book with relatable and easy to love characters that I just connected with from the outset. I enjoyed Lou’s character, especially her relationship with her sister as sometimes books don’t really get how up and down that can be and sisters always seem to be the best of friends. I just thought it was a really sweet story but I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable with the ending as there have been a lot of discussions of ableism surrounding the book which I (coming from a place of privilege) can’t really comment on. I do really want to see how they’ve transferred this book to film though so I may have to go see it. I also really want to check out the sequel.

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)

It’s been so long since I’ve read a paranormal book and I’m so glad I chose this one to re-introduce me to the genre. This book has such a great cast of characters from the hilarious Alexia to the resigned Professor Lyall and I enjoyed every single one of them (with the exception of Conall at times). Gail Carriger has a way of writing that just can make you laugh and cry within a span of a few sentences and I love how witty Alexia’s character is. Soulless was just a really fun read and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something a bit different from your usual reads.

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Unsurprisingly this book was just as good, if not better than it’s predecessor Soulless and I loved it from start to finish. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers but the introduction of Madame Lefoux’s character was just what the series needed to bump it up to 5 stars as she bought a different type of humour and intrigue to the book. Again I wasn’t a huge Conall fan but I can look past that just so I can read more about Alexia’s adventures and watch her character grow even more than she has from the previous book.

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Another great book from Gail Carriger and definitely a great addition to the series. I enjoyed how this book explored Alexia’s independence from Conall as well as her relationships with both Madame Lefoux and Floote. I also liked how Professor Lyall’s character was explored in more detail as we went from Alexia’s POV to his and I’m really curious to see what happens with Biffy! I can’t wait for the next book to arrive as I’m in love with this series so far.

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

LWTO was such a engaging and interesting book that gripped me immediately. The combination of the historical setting of 1950’s America with the endearing romance between the two protagonists meant that both girls had different prejudices to deal with. Within this book Sarah has to face all of the racism thrown at her by classmates and teachers and society in general, the pressure from her family and her crush on Linda whilst Linda has to deal with her internalised racism, abusive past and the fact that she’s falling for Sarah and somehow this brings them both closer together. I’ll admit that Sarah was my favourite out of the two but I really appreciated how fully Robin Talley fleshed out these characters and really gave them a chance to shine.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Amanda was an amazing character and If I Was Your Girl was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while. I loved Meredith Russo’s writing and the way she made Amanda such a realistic and loveable character just made me love her immediately. With some books the authors focus so much on the protagonist that other characters get left behind but Meredith Russo didn’t make that mistake, all of her characters had individuality and I loved the different types of relationships Amanda formed with each one of them, especially with Grant (the LI). The romance was sweet and cliché but in the most positive way possible as they respected each others boundaries and genuinely liked each other, I’m so sick of the ‘bad boy’ character that appears in a lot of fiction and treats their girlfriend terribly and Grant was the complete opposite of that. The ending was sad but I appreciated how the author didn’t make that seem like the end for Amanda and I’d love if she wrote a sequel.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

 

April Wrap Up/Half Bad Trilogy Review

Hello! During April I managed to read 3 books and all of those books were part of the Half Bad series by Sally Green so this wrap up is also kind of a series review. Sorry for any errors as I’ve been trying to finish this for ages and I wanted to get it up as soon as possible. Anyway, enjoy!

half badHalf Bad ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I really enjoyed this book, it was a pretty good start to the series and definitely made me want to read on. It focuses on Nathan who is the only half-black, half-white witch in the world which is a struggle as black witches are being hunted and his white side is the only thing keeping him alive, as well as the fact that his father is the most powerful black witch to ever exist. It’s a fun if slightly cheesy urban fantasy book and I couldn’t put it down once I started. It also ends on a great cliffhanger so I had to go out the next day and buy the rest of the series.

half wildHalf Wild ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book was just as good, if not better than the previous book and maintained the fun, fast paced atmosphere that Green created in the first book. I loved the twists and turns both with the romance and Nathan’s own gifts and how Green really got to grips with Nathan’s internal struggle. Without spoiling anything Nathan builds a few new relationships in this installment (familial and romantic) and I just really enjoyed seeing another side to Nathan that these relationships brought out. I just really loved this one and I was really excited to continue on with the series which leads me to…

half lostHalf Lost ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆  (2.5)
This was a huge letdown for me if I’m being honest and it actually upset me a bit seeing how Sally Green followed the typical tropes when it comes to writing LGBT characters.Up until the ending I was loving the book and if there hadn’t been a huge U-Turn at the end then this would have been a 5 star read. I’ll try not to spoil anything but sadly Half Lost just fell short of my expectations and Sally Green really let me down with the way she ended this series. I have a lot more feelings on this subject, especially due to how her treatment of Nathan and Gabriel ties into what other writers have been doing with their characters but for now I’ll just say  that I’d give the last book a pass if you were hoping for an ending that these characters deserved.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Mini Reviews #5 – My Everything, Vanishing Girls and The Mirror World of Melody Black

Hello! I’ve received quite a few review copies since starting this blog and haven’t had a chance to share my thoughts on all of them so I figured I’d do another ‘Mini Reviews’ post to share some of quick opinions on them. All of these books were sent to me via bookbridgr in exchange for honest reviews. I hope you enjoy!


my everything

My Everything by Katie Marsh  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5)
This was actually a fairly good book and definitely not what I was expecting. My Everything centres around a woman named Hannah who is left caring for 32 year old husband Tom who recently suffered from a stroke. The thing is, Hannah was planning on leaving Tom the same day that he had his stroke. This obviously leads to a lot of internalised struggle as Hannah is torn between leaving her ill husband or trying to make their marriage work. I actually liked Hannah and I really empathised with her but ultimately I just didn’t like where the story went in terms of the Tom/Hannah relationship. I did enjoy the writing and the plot up to a point though as it was actually quite fluid and entertaining. As I said though the ending wasn’t what I wanted and I really disliked Tom’s character so that’s why I gave it 3.5 stars.

Vanishing GirlsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was my first Lauren Oliver book and it definitely made a good impression. Twins, Dara and Nick haven’t really spoken since an accident that left Dara scarred and their relationship severely damaged. On their birthday however, Dara goes missing as well as a 9 year old girl. This leads to Nick investigating as she suspects the disappearances are linked. Vanishing Girls is such a gripping novel, Lauren Oliver writes dysfunctional relationships and thrillers so well that I didn’t see any of the twists coming and I just enjoyed every second of it. I did prefer Dara’s perspective over Nick’s however as I found her character a lot more likeable (and far less judgmental) which is one of the reasons I didn’t give this 5 stars. Another reason was the ‘romance’ which I just found generally a bit strange/unhealthy. I really want to read more Lauren Oliver books in the future though because I loved her writing style!

mirror world of melody blackThe Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5)
As with Vanishing Girls this was the first book I read of this author and again it’s definitely made me want to pick up more. This book is about a woman named Abby, a journalist suffering from bipolar disorder who finds her next door neighbour dead. This event is the kickstarter for a lot of the events in the book as Abby deals with what she saw and with how her actions affect the people around her. For me Abby was so easy to understand and relate to and I found her character so interesting. I can’t say much without spoiling the plot but it’s such a complex  and heart wrenching read that I couldn’t put it down and I definitely recommend picking up a copy.


Thanks for reading! 🙂