Wednesday, October 18

Review: Inferno (Blood for Blood #2)

Inferno (Blood for Blood #2)
Catherine Doyle

Published By: Chicken House
Publication Date: January 7, 2016
Date Read: August 26, 2017
Genre: YA - Romantic Thriller
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25022128-inferno

From Goodreads:
Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather in the second installment of Catherine Doyle's Blood for Blood series.

Sophie's life has been turned upside-down, and she's determined to set things right. But Nic, the Falcone brother who represents everything she's trying to forget, won't give up on their love - and it's Luca's knife she clutches for comfort. Soon another mafia clan spoils the fragile peace - and with her heart drawn in one direction and her blood in another, Sophie's in deeper than ever.

"There is light and shade in all of us, pain and hardship, and some of us rise from it while others are darkened by it."

After devouring Vendetta, I was so glad that I had book 2 waiting for me already because I absolutely needed to know what was going to happen. I loved Vendetta and I couldn't wait to see what was happening with Sophie, Nicoli and Luca. I already has such high expectations and Inferno surpassed them all. I couldn't put this book down. Every second of it was phenomenal.

Sophie's life was turned upside down when the Falcone boys walked into her life. Now, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Sophie is determined to keep her distance from them. But a part of her just can't help herself. As she gets dragged in to the mafia fights even deeper than she already was, Sophie's life is in danger... but so is her heart.

Inferno was far more superior to Vendetta. Vendetta had set the foundations for this story to be even more dangerous and explosive than it already was. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the story. I just couldn't believe what was happening and when the big twist hit I was sat with my jaw on the floor. I never ever saw it coming and I couldn't believe it. Catherine is such a fantastic author and she spins her tale expertly in this installment of the amazing Blood for Blood series.

In Vendetta, I already liked Luca but I also really liked Nicoli... I never expected to start disliking Nicoli but I did. The things he did in this book made me start to hate him slightly. He's still a great guy but he's caught up so much in the mafia family business and that will always come first for him. The more I read, the more I fell head over heels in love with Luca. He is so amazing and he values life and peace and Sophie above all else. I just love him.

Inferno was faster paced, full of action, intrigue, mystery and danger and I couldn't stop reading. I devoured this book in pretty much one day and I just loved every single second of it. It was even better than Vendetta and I'm now left reeling needed book 3 like right now. If you haven't read this series, it's a definite must. You won't be disappointed.

"You're a bright spark, Sophie. I don't want anyone to snuff you out."



Wednesday, October 11

Review: Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1)

Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1)
Catherine Doyle

Published By: Chicken House
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Date Read: August 20, 2017
Genre: YA - Romantic Thriller
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24638201-vendetta

From Goodreads:
When it comes to revenge, love is a dangerous complication.With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.

"There is beauty everywhere; even in the dark, there is light, and that is the rarest kind of all."

Vendetta is one of those books that I've had sat on my shelf for years and I just never picked it up. I can't really explain why. The book sounded really good and interesting but for some reason I just never picked it up. Even when I did pick it up, after friends told me how amazing it was, when I picked it up from my shelf I was not sure whether I wanted to read it or not. Vendetta is a romantic thriller/mystery which is not typically my kind of book but once I started reading Vendetta I could not put it down.

Sophie is a normal girl, living in her small town when her life changes forever. When five mysterious brothers move into town Sophie is automatically drawn to them. I mean who wouldn't be, they're gorgeous and Italian. But the closer Sophie gets to them the more secrets comes out... not only about them but about her own family too. Can Sophie survive falling in love with a dangerously secretive boy?

Vendetta was utterly thrilling. Considering I thought maybe it wouldn't be my kind of book, I was just completely captured by this amazing storyline and incredible characters. I was swept away in Sophie's story with Nic and Luca and the other characters. I could not put this book down as I needed to know what was going to happen to them all.

Sophie is a great character to follow in this storyline. She is determined to find out the mystery surrounding the brothers and although she has next to no regard for her own safety I could totally understand why she acted the way that she did. I really liked the Falcone boys too. I really liked Nicoli but my heart lies with Luca. He's a bit of an ass but I just feel like there's so much more to him that we will come to see in the other books.

Vendetta was an incredible start to a new series. I loved every single moment of it. I couldn't put it down and I found this book just so thrilling. It will take you away into the mystery and danger of everything and leave you wanting more. This is a definite must-read.

"I knew I couldn’t trust my illogical heart, and that meant I had to do everything in my power to stay away from him so I wouldn’t have to."


Wednesday, October 4

Review: Roar (Stormheart #1)

Roar (Stormheart #1)
Cora Carmack

Published By: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Date Read: August 9, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29939048-roar

From Goodreads
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

"What might seem a careless phrase for one can cut deep as a blade for another."

Roar is a book that I have been dying to read ever since I first heard about it. Cora Carmack is one of my all time favourite authors. I have loved every single one of her books that I have read and when I heard that she was releasing a YA fantasy series I could not have been more excited. Fantasy is my all time favourite genre and I couldn't wait to read Cora's fantasy story. Roar is one of the best YA fantasy books that I have ever read. I loved every single moment and couldn't read it fast enough.

Aurora is the princess of Pavan, and heir to the Pavan throne. Her whole family are talented Stormlings, powerful with the power to protect people from the vicious storms. But Rora does not have any power and when she is betrothed to a powerful Stormling she believes the marriage is the answer to all of her dreams. She can still take her throne but have a partner who will help her protect her people. But when she comes across a group of hunters, people who were not born with power but gained it anyway, Rora realised that marriage is not her only chance. Going undercover as Roar, she joins the team of stormhunters and she is going to find out more about herself that she has ever known.

Roar was utter perfection. I loved every single moment of it. Cora is a total natural for writing fantasy books. I often find that with a lot of fantasy series, I don't like the first book as much because I can find them a little bit slow with all the world building that is required in a start of a new fantasy world. I did not find this in the slightest with Roar. There wasn't a single slow moment in this book. Right from the start I couldn't stop reading this book. It was absolutely phenomenal.

Roar/Rora is one of my favourite characters that I have ever read about. I loved that she's not the strongest person in the world. It was refreshing for me. She is highly intelligent but because she has been shielded for the majority of her life, she is quite weak but very head strong. I found this so refreshing because so many of these series have a main character who is already really strong and kick-ass but what I loved so much about this book was that I got to experience and see Rora become strong and kick-ass as the book went on. I adore her.

Locke is without a doubt my favourite character in this series. He is so stern but with such a sweet and soft side. I fell head over heels in love with him the more I read this book. I just wanted he and Rora to get together so so bad. I loved him, and his whole band of stormhunters. They were such a fantastic band of characters for you to get behind.

Cassius is one of the more... interesting characters for me. He is bad.... but then I do think he has a good side as well. He is very manipulative and secrative but I do think that there is another side to him and a reason behind his behaviour. I am really looking forward to seeing this progress more in the following books.

Roar was one of the best books I have ever read. I loved every single moment of it and I cannot wait to read more in this series. If you like YA fantasy this one is an absolute must-read. You will be blown away, your heart will be stolen and you will be wrapped up in heart-melting romance and amazing magic. A definite must-read and one of the best books I've read so far this year!

"Feeling this way, the way I do about you, Roar, it's scarier than any storm I've ever faced."


 

Sunday, October 1

Wrap Up: September 2017


Hey Guys,
Can you believe September is over already? This year is going by so damn fast. September was a bit of a slower reading month for me as it's a crazy busy work month for me each year. Anyway here is my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:




Bought:

Golden (Heart of Dread #3) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Frostblood (Frostblood #1) by Elly Blake
The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu
The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu
The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

For Review:

Otherworld (Otherworld #1) by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

E-Books:


For Review:
Books Read in September 2017:


Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern - 5 Stars
Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare - 5 Stars (Re-Read)
Poise (Balance #2) by Janelle Stalder - 4 Stars

Reviews Posted in August 2017:

2017 Challenges Update:

This year I am challenging myself to:
  • The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge
  • The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
  • The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge
  • The Zoella Book Club Challenge

The Totally Doable 2017 Challenge



I finished this one last month.


Challenge Total: 12/12










The 2017 Debut Author Challenge


Unfortunately I was unable to read any other debuts this month.
Challenge Total: 4/5
The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge

Unfortunately, I was unable to do anything else for this challenge this month.

Challenge Total: 3/5


The Zoella Bookclub Challenge 


Unfortunately I didn't read any more for this challenge this month.
Challenge Update: 7/16
Due to me only reading three books this month there is no Top 3 for September. 
What did you read this month?

Wednesday, September 27

Review: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Hodder and Stroughton
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Date Read: August 4, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 400
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23308087-flame-in-the-mist

From Goodreads:
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

"I believe the stars align so that souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen."

Flame in the Mist is a book that has been on my radar for so long. From seeing that absolutely stunning cover to reading the amazing blurb I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I'm usually a wait-till-the-paperback kinda reader but when I saw the stunning hardback when I was at YALC this year I couldn't resist but get it. I absolutely adored every single second of this book.

Flame in the Mist tells the story of Mariko, the daughter of a wealthy samurai, who is on her way to meet her betrothed, the son of the Emperor. On the way her convoy is attacked with the men trying to kill her. Mariko survives, disguses herself as a boy and plans to infiltrate the Black Clan, the group who tried to kill her. But as she infiltrates them, Mariko finds things about the Black Clan that she never would have guessed. She also finds that it's the only place that she is appeciated.

I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with this book. Right from the start I was captured by the amazing world building, characters and writing style and I just couldn't read this book fast enough. Flame in the Mist is the first book that I have read by Renee Ahdieh. I own her other books but have yet to read them. I am now totally and utterly regretting that choice. I absolutely adored her writing and storytelling in this amazing novel that I cannot wait to start reading her other books as well.

I absolutely loved everything about this book. Mariko is such an amazing character to follow through this book. I loved her. This book is full of amazing feminism but not in an obvious way. I love that Mariko fights the inequality of how women are seen by posing as a male and it really comes out about how unfair it is how women are treated in this samurai-led world. I really loved this as sometimes when I'm reading books that show feminism I feel like it's sometimes overpowering the story... however that is absolutely not the case in this book. It is just an added layer to the already phenomenal world. Mariko is such an amazing strong-willed, kick-ass and totally intelligent character and I absolutely loved her. Okami is one of our other main characters and I am totally in love with him. To start, he is a uptight, total asshole but the more I read of this book, the more I realised how amazing he truly is and I adored the relationship between him and Mariko.

Flame in the Mist was utterly amazing. I was totally taken away on this adventure filled with action, magic and Japanese mythology. I loved every single second of it and I am dying to get my hands on book 2 already. Especially after that shocking ending. If you love fantasy books set in different cultures with lots of magic, intrigue and a dash of romance this book is definitely for you. A must read.

"To me, you are magic. My heart knows your heart. A heart doesn't care about good or bad, right or wrong. A heart is always true."

Wednesday, September 20

Review: No Filter

No Filter
Orlagh Collins

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Date Read: July 23, 2017
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368


From Goodreads:
This is the story of THAT SUMMER … the one when everything changes.

Emerald has grown up in a privileged world – the beloved daughter of a wealthy family, friends with all the right people, social media addict. But Emerald's family has secrets – and when Emerald finds her mum unconscious on the bathroom floor, no one can pretend any more. Now she's being packed off to stay with her grandma in Ireland while her mum recuperates and her dad just works and works and works.

Grandma's big, lonely house is set back from the beach, and there's no phone signal or wifi. It's going to be a long summer ... Until she meets Liam.

When you're falling in love, it's hard to tell someone everything. Even if you've got nothing to hide any more. And when secrets and lies are all you're used to, how do you deal with real love – brave and true – with no filter?

The fresh, funny and poignant debut novel from Orlagh Collins, a bright new voice in YA fiction. Authentic, down to earth and sweepingly romantic all at once, No Filter is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

No Filter was a book I hadn't heard of until I saw the list of authors going to YALC and thought that it sounded like a super cute read. When Bloomsbury contacted me asking if I would like to review it, I jumped at that chance. No Filter was a super cute romance that was just what I needed at the time of reading it and I enjoyed it.

Emerald is horrified when she discovers that she is to be spending the summer with her grandmother  in Ireland but when she meets the intriguing Liam, her summer starts looking up. Liam is the only one she can confide in and she finds herself dreading having to go home at the end of the summer.

No Filter is the debut novel of Orlagh Collins and I enjoyed it. I really liked the characters of Emerald and Liam. Emerald shows signs of an addiction to social media and I really enjoyed the back story of teens being addicted to things like Instagram and the amount of distress that can cause. Liam was super sweet and I found myself just loving his points of view throughout the book.

No Filter is not the best book I've ever read in my life and there were elements that irritated me a little. No Filter is told from the points of view of both Liam and Emerald which I enjoyed but the narration seemed a little jumpy to me. For example, you'd be reading Emerald's point of view and she mentions plans with Liam in 3 days time and the next moment it's jumped to that day. I kind of felt as if they didn't have lives seperate from each other. Like nothing happened to them in their life in those times they were apart and I found that a littel irritating.

Overall, No Filter is a super cute, flirty romance and I enjoyed it. It's a good read and the perfect book for if you're wanting a break from a different genre.



Wednesday, September 13

Review: A Conjuring of Light (Shade of Magic #3)

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Date Read: July 19, 2017
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Gifted from Donna from Book Passion for Life
Format: Paperback
Pages: 666
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31671570-a-conjuring-of-light

From Goodreads:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED...

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

"Bad ideas are my favourite kind."

A Conjuring of Light was without a doubt the best book of the series. The Shades of Magic series is one that has just completely and utterly blown me away and I couldn't have asked for a more amazing and satisfying ending than I got in A Conjuring of Light. It was a rollarcoaster of emotions and at one point I didn't know how this story could ever end well, but VE Schwab did it superbly.

The battle is upon us. The Black King is in Red London and he wants to rule everything. How can you fight a shadow? Especially one that can infect the minds and bodies of almost everybody in the city? In order to fight, Alucard Emery and his crew must leave London and sail the seas in the hope to collect a legendary item that just might help them defeat the Black King.

I loved this book so much. I was a little worried about starting this one straight after A Gathering of Shadows, especially after I felt that that one took me forever to read and I just wanted to finally get through it. But I needn't have worried, because although A Conjuring of Light was longer than the other books, I read it the quickest of the three. It was absolutely stunning. I couldn't put it down. It was fast paced and held my attention so much, I read around 60% of it in one day.

VE Schwab has sealed herself as Queen of Fantasy. Her storytelling is so superb. She really has written such an intricately designed world and she executed everything flawlessly. There were points in this book where I was so worried about how it would end, because I really couldn't see how all of my beloved characters were going to get out of this, and save the world that everybody loved. But I should have just trusted Victoria because she clearly knew what she was doing and she ended this series perfectly. She even did the impossible... made me love a character I had previously disliked, if not hated.

If you'd have said to me when I was reading the first book in this series that I would end up loving Holland, I would have laughed in your face. I hated him! But a lot of this book was looking back on Holland's past and explaining why he was the way he was, and I found myself sympathising with him so much. He had been through so much crap in his life and I really just wanted to hug him. VE Schwab could have easily left Holland's back story out of this book and focused more on the other charaters and events happening. I am so glad that she included it, as to me, it gave the whole story such an added depth. It made me love Holland and his story just utterly broke my heart.

A Conjuring of Light was pure fantasy perfection. I cried, I laughed and I went on such an adventure with these characters. I loved every moment of it and I truly believe that this is the best fantasy series I have ever read... and I've read a lot. I cannot praise this series enough. I just adore it so much and I know it will be a series I will re-read over and over again. If you haven't already read this series, I highly recommend that you do. It will make you laugh, swoon and cry your heart out... and it is worth every single second of your time.

"Love and loss, are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be."