Wednesday, March 13

Review: Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)

Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)
Joelle Charbonneau

Published By: Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Date Read: February 10, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
Pages: 107
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35230411-forbidden-fruit

From Goodreads:
See the secrets of Eden’s twisted legacy from a new perspective with this short story set in the world of bestselling author Joelle Charbonneau’s Dividing Eden.

Graylem was born to expect a life of thievery, but superior swordsmanship and a desire for something better had long fueled his dreams to become a member of a noble family’s guard.

But when his sister Deevana’s latest scheme forces them to leave their home—and all memories of their life in Blackthorn Keep—behind, they chart a southern course towards a new life in Irae, by way of the magnificent Garden City. Disguised as northern nobles, they quickly find themselves caught up in the mysterious politics of Eden’s royal family—and infatuated by its newest member, the beautiful seeress Imogen.

A member of Eden’s guard offers Graylem the chance to prove his worth, but his brutal trial for entry into the guard is waylaid by the appearance of Prince Andreus and Princess Carys. Graylem may be a simple man, but when he sees the royal siblings conferring in secret, he knows that all is not well in the Palace of the Winds—and before long, he learns that whatever darkness is lurking in the city’s walls could mean devastation for his family… and for Eden.

Dividing Eden was a book I read so long ago, and I loved every moment of it. I have been a big fan of Joelle's since I read her amazing YA Dystopia series, The Testing. When I heard of her writing a YA Fantasy, I knew I'd love it, and I did. For some reason I just never continued this duology when the second book released. Now, as part of my 2019 Series Catch-Up Challenge, I finally decided to finish this series. Before diving into Conquering Eden, I decided to read this novella that sits between book 1 and 2.

Now, since it's been quite a while since I read Dividing Eden, and the fact that I have a pretty crappy memory, I don't really know who these main characters from this novella actually are. Saying that though... I really enjoyed this short story set in the world of Eden. I was quickly taken away on this journey with Graylem and his sister. It did a great job of reminding me of factors within this world that I had forgotten and so I am super glad that I read this novella before diving into book 2.

Forbidden Fruit was a fast-paced and intriguing novella that I highly recommend reading before book 2. It left me so excited to get started on Conquering Eden and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen to these characters next. I highly recommend this incredible series and I can't wait to see how it all ends.



Wednesday, March 6

Review: Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret
Karen M McManus

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: January 10, 2019
Date Read: February 9, 2019
Genre: YA - Thriller / Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 327
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40099425-two-can-keep-a-secret

From Goodreads:
Ellery's never been to Echo Ridge, but she's heard all about it. It's where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen's murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and Ellery's family is still haunted by their loss.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen's death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother's remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge's upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm's brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.

Ellery and Malcolm both know it's hard to let go when you don't have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

Two Can Keep A Secret was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Now, if you'd have told me last year that a YA thriller/mystery type book would be one of my most anticipated releases then I'd have probably laughed at you. This is not my usual genre at all... but there is just something about Karen M McManus' books that calls to me. I just love them. Last year I read her debut One Of Us Is Lying and I devoured it in a matter of days, I couldn't put it down. I had the exact same reaction to Two Can Keep A Secret. I loved every single second of it.

Two Can Keep A Secret follows the story of twins Ellery and Ezra as they go to live with their grandmother in the tiny town of Echo Ridge. Somewhere they have never been and a town with many secrets. Homecoming Queens seem to go missing in this town. It started with Ellery and Ezra's aunt Sarah... then five years later homecoming queen Lacey's body is found and now the threats are starting again. Can Ellery, Ezra and her friends work out what's happening before another girl goes missing?

I absolutely adored everything about this book. Right from the start I was completely obsessed with this town where all these girls go missing. The storyline and characterisation is absolutely perfect! I adored Ellery and her 'true crime' mind. Maybe because I am obsessed with watching documentaries on serial killers and trying to understand why they do what they do. I just associated with her straight away and couldn't help but judge every character that she came into contact with.

Two Can Keep A Secret is told from the perspectives of two main characters, Ellery and Malcolm, the brother of Lacey's ex-boyfriend and suspected killer. I love books that are told from more than one perspective. I feel like we get so much more of an insight into the story this way rather than just seeing what one character thinks. I loved both of their perspectives which was amazing as often in dual-POV books I always end up preferring the perspective of one character but I actually loved both of them.

Two Can Keep A Secret is filled with mystery and intrigue and I couldn't read it fast enough. After evert chapter I'd changed my mind over what I thought was happening and who could be the killer or killers. I loved that Karen kept making me second guess everything and even still the ending was not what I was thinking at all. I love books that surprise me as often I've guessed the big twist or big reveal but with both of Karen's books I haven't had a clue! That to me, shows how incredible of a storyteller that she truly is.

I loved every single moment of Two Can Keep A Secret and after that ending I'm hoping that Karen might even write a follow-up. I'd love to read more of these characters. If you're a fan of thriller or mystery type books that I highly recommend this one. And even if you're not... well I thought I wasn't and I adored it. Give it a go! I promise you won't be disappointed.



Saturday, March 2

Wrap Up: February 2019


Hey Guys,
Happy Spring!!! I'm so happy to see the end of the Winter. Can't believe it's March though. How fast is this year going already?
Anywhoo.... here's my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland
War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard
The Orphanage of Gods by Helena Coggan
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
Queen of Air and Darkness (Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

Illumicrate:



E-Books: 


Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5) by Joelle Charbonneau
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa

Books Read in February 2019:


 Storm (Paper Gods #3) by Amanda Sun - 2 Stars
Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus - 5 Stars
Finding the Light (Balance #4) by Janelle Stalder - 5 Stars
Forbidden Fruit (Dividng Eden #1.5) by Joelle Charbonneau - 3 Stars
Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2) by Joelle Charbonneau - 4 Stars
Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1/Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo - 4 Stars
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa - 4 Stars
How was your month in books?

Wednesday, February 27

Review: Storm (Paper Gods #3)

Storm (Paper Gods #3)
Amanda Sun

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Date Read: February 2, 2019
Genre: YA - Paranormal
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
Pages: 304
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18134015-storm

From Goodreads:
After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro's deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.

Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo's volatile ancestry and quell the ink's lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they've ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.

Storm is a book that has been on my TBR for so long. I read the first two books years ago and really enjoyed them and for some reason just never got around to reading the final book. One of my reading challenges for 2019 is to complete some of my ongoing series so I picked this one up as part of it. I really wish I could say that I loved Storm as much as I did the other books... but I just didn't. I can't really pinpoint anything specific that stopped me loving this book, I just didn't enjoy it quite as much as the others.

Storm is an enjoyable read and I am so happy that I finally picked it up and experienced the ending of this utterly unique and magical series. Storm picks up where Rain left off with Katie and Tomo trying desperately to control the ancient magic that is consuming them both. One thing I enjoyed about this book was that is delved a little more into the history of the powers and I found that really intriguing and interesting. I do genuinely love the mythology base of this series and I love the characters as well. It actually is quite an addictive storyline.

I really did enjoy Storm but for me, the pacing was a little off. There were times within this book where I couldn't read fast enough. I was so consumed by this story and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen... but then the pacing would slow down majorly and at times I lose interest. These two extreme feelings happened often, just as I'd be dying to read more, the pace would slow and I would be bored. It seemed that the further that I got into the book, the more my mind was wandering and I just didn't wanna continue. I almost DNF'd this one but I forced myself through my struggle due to my love of the mythology and characters.

I am so glad I pushed through as I really enjoyed the ending. It was a really satisfying ending for the characters but honestly, I feel like this book could have been half the size that it was. Paper Gods was a great series, and I am so glad that I read it. Am I likely to re-read it? Probably not but that's okay. We can't love and want to re-read every book series, otherwise I'd never be reading new ones. I did enjoy Storm but compared to the previous books, I just felt like something was missing. If you're a fan of mythology based books, I definitely recommend this one but if you're loving fast-paced books, the third one may be a struggle.



Saturday, February 23

Early Review: Finding the Light (Balance #4)

Finding the Light (Balance #4)
Janelle Stalder

Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Date Read: February 9, 2019
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: eARC from Janelle Stalder
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43799065-finding-the-light

From Goodreads:
When the path you are on comes to a fork, which way do you turn?

Loyalties are being tested by the fate of one young girl.
Hope French has found herself in the fight of a lifetime, with two sides determined to either destroy her...or save her?
Angels and Demons will come to a head for the first time in centuries.
Now she has to decide who she can trust, and what her true destiny really is while learning to adapt to her new surroundings.
With so much against her, Hope must reach inside to find the ancient power that lies there, waiting to be unleashed.

The only question left to be answered is whether it will be for the good, or evil.

Janelle Stalder is one of my all-time favourite authors. I have been such an enormous fan of hers since 2011 when she offered me a copy of her debut novel, Eden, for review. I read it one sitting and couldn't believe how amazing it was. Especially considering it was her first novel. Since then I have devoured each and every novel that she has released and I am always left bugging her for when the next one will release. The Balance series is, in my opinion, her best series to date. So when she asked me if I wanted to read Finding the Light early, I was practically jumping up and down with excitement.

Finding the Light picks up right where The Dark Princess left off, with Hope at the school for Angels, where everyone thinks she will be the safest. But when the attacks on her life don't stop, Hope doesn't seem to be safe anywhere. Can she find out who is after her when she is stuck on an island full of angels?

I freaking adored Finding the Light. It was without a doubt the best one of the series to date. I know, I know... I always say that but Janelle just blows me away with every single book. She is without a doubt one of my favourite authors of all time and she could literally write anything and I would buy it no matter what it was about. When I started reading this book I was like I'll try to finish it in a few days... three hours later I was done. I couldn't put it down. Not for a single second. It was so addictive and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.

I absolutely love Hope as a character. She is such an interesting character to read about. With her being part angel, part demon she is struggling with whether she is good or bad and I love seeing her on that journey of self-discovery. She definitely goes through a journey of self-discovery in this one and I loved experiencing that all with her. I have to say though, as much as I love Hope, my favourite character in this book is without a doubt Cillian. He is just utterly perfect! A gorgeous demon who will do anything and everything in his power to protect Hope at all costs... I couldn't help but love the parts told from his perspective the most. While reading I was literally a real-life heart-eyes emoji.

Finding the Light was utter perfection. It's such a game changer in the series and I couldn't believe what I was reading. Some of the twists and turns I never saw coming at all and ended up sitting there with my mouth gaping unable to believe what had just happened. Another sign that Janelle is such a superb storyteller. In a lot of books I tend to guess some of the twists and turns, this one I didn't guess any of them!

I absolutely adored every single moment of Finding the Light. I couldn't read it fast enough and then I was left reeling at the end, dying to get my hands on the next book immediately. If you're a fan of YA Paranormal then this is a must-read that you have to add to your TBR. It is one of the most incredible books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and I will be counting down the days until the next book releases.



Wednesday, February 20

Review: Rise (Paper Gods #2.5)

Rise (Paper Gods #2.5)
Amanda Sun

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Date Read: January 28, 2019
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25214707-rise
From Goodreads:
A long, long time ago, before the world was as we know it, Izanami and Izanagi came into being. Two of the first of the ancient gods of Japan, they crafted the world from ink and their own imaginations. Izanagi wants, more than anything, to be with Izanami—but one moment of pride could tear them apart forever.

Yuki and Tanaka have been friends for as long as they can remember, but lately deeper feelings have been bubbling beneath the surface. How do they navigate the transition from friendship to true love without destroying the powerful bond between them?

Set a millennia apart, can these two couples, living parallel love stories, find their happily-ever-afters?

It's been quite a while since I have read the first two books in the Paper Gods series and honestly I don't remember a whole lot other than I really enjoyed them. As part of my challenge to catch up on my unfinished series I decided to pick up Rise, the novella that takes place between Rain and Storm. I am so glad that I decided to pick this novella up as it did a really good job of reintroducing me to this series and joggin my memory of what had happened.

Rise tells the love story between two of the Kami from centuries ago and also the love story of two friends, present day, of Kate's. I really enjoyed reading both of the love stories and it kept me interested all the way through. I am a totally hopeless romantic and I absolutely love a good love story so I was bound to enjoy this one as there was two.

Rise is a cute little read that sets the scene for the third book in the Paper Gods series. I cannot wait to get started and finish this series. I know it's going to be awesome.


Wednesday, February 13

Review: Renegades (Renegades #1)

Renegades (Renegades #1)
Marissa Meyer

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Date Read: January 27, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 552
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421168-renegades

From Goodreads:
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone... except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

"Heroism wasn’t about what you could do, it was about what you did. It was about who you saved when they needed saving."

Renegades is a book that has been sat on my shelf for what feels like forever. I bought it immediately when it released as I was so intrigued by a superhero book. It wasn't until it came out as a group read in my Goodreads group that I finally decided to pick this one up. To be honest, I wasn't completely sure how I was going to feel about this one. I tend to be a bit of hit-or-miss with Marissa Meyer books. I absolutely adored her Lunar Chronicles books but then I didn't even finish Heartless. I am so glad to say that for me this one was a hit! I loved it and couldn't put it down.

I'm a huge fan of the whole superhero/villain thing but I haven't actually read a lot of superhero books. Renegades was the first one and I loved it. There were some very cliche tropes in there but honestly the world building and characterisation was so brilliant that they didn't bother me at all. I loved the history of the heroic Renegades and the villainous Anarchists. I loved even more that this was told from the perspective of two people: one Renegade and one Anarchist. I loved that we got to see it from both sides.

Right from the start I was heartbroken for Nova and I loved having her as a narrator. She is such a fantastic character as she is a villain... with heroic tendencies and I loved that. Pretty much the whole cast of characters were brilliant and I loved them all. Adrian was just such a beautifully sweet guy and I loved the concept of a budding romance between a Renegade and and Anarchist. I cannot wait to see where that goes in the coming books. I love that not everything is black and white in this series. It isn't as clean cut as the Renegades and the Anarchists but there is quite clearly good and bad on both sides. And those sides become more and more blurred the moree you read on. I absolutely loved that about the series and there are characters on both sides that I love... and hate!

Renegades was fast-paced and action packed and I couldn't get through these pages fast enough. The ending completely left me reeling. I couldn't believe what was happening and I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book. I throughly enjoyed every moment of this book and I hold out the hope that book 2 is going to be just as good. If you love books about superheroes then I highly recommend that you check out Renegades.

"If people wanted to stand up for themselves or protect their loved ones or do what they believe in their hearts is the right thing to do, then they would do it. If they wanted to be heroic, they would find ways to be heroic, even without supernatural powers."