Saturday, August 17

Review: Winters Snow

Winters Snow
Carrie Hope Fletcher

Published By: Sphere
Publication Date: January 19, 2017
Date Read: July 15, 2019
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit / Romance
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33800977-winters-snow
From Goodreads:
An exclusive On the Other Side novella featuring the characters Vincent Winters and Evie Snow


Prove yourself worthy.
Prove yourself true.
Fight like you didn't
and she'll come to you.

Evie Snow was the love of Vincent Winters' life, and of every lifetime he would ever live, but they didn't get the ending they wanted. He never stopped loving her though and he never, ever, forgot about her.

Suddenly Vincent has the chance to right an old wrong and to finally prove himself worthy of Evie's love - he just needs to get to her first.

As Vincent begins the journey of a lifetime, he learns more about love than he ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, he may also find his way back to the only woman he ever truly loved . . .

After finishing On the Other Side I just needed more from these characters. So you can imagine how excited I was to see that not only was there a follow-up novella but that it was from the perspective of my favourite character, Vincent. I fell head over heels in love with Vincent in On the Other Side and honestly I fell even more in love with him in this one. My heart absolutely broke for him knowing all of the regret that he lived with after losing Evie.

Winter's Snow was a beautiful conclusion to On the Other Side and I just loved seeing what happened when Vincent came to his 'door'. It was lovely to see him fight for Evie in the afterlife and there was nothing I wanted more but to see him defeat his demons and get his happy-ever-afterlife with Evie. My one gripe is that I wish it was much, much longer. I could have read Vincent's perspective for forever.

If you enjoyed On the Other Side I highly recommend you pick up Winter's Snow. It was a beautiful conclusion and I enjoyed every second of it.

"Twenty-eight isn’t a special age for most. There are no special greeting cards for being a year closer to thirty. And yet twenty-eight had always been special to him because that was when he had met Evie."


Wednesday, August 14

Review: On The Other Side

On The Other Side
Carrie Hope Fletcher

Published By: Little Brown and Co
Publication Date: July 14, 2016
Date Read: July 15, 2019
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit / Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33785086-on-the-other-side

From Goodreads:
Your soul is too heavy to pass through this door,
Leave the weight of the world in the world from before

Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It's the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she's become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won't open.

Evie's soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it's too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, she may also find her way back to the only man she ever truly loved . . .

Powerful, magical and utterly romantic, On the Other Side will transport you to a world that is impossible to forget. A love story like no other, it will have you weeping from the sheer joy and beauty of it all.

"The colours of her heart represented the deeds she'd done, both good and bad, but the faint smell of treacle told her that, overall, she had a sweet heart."

On the Other Side has been sat on my shelf unread for years. I can't really explain why I didn't read it before now but after seeing Carrie was going to be attending the book convention that I'm attending this year I thought it was about time I started it. I am so glad I picked this up. This book is absolutely stunning. I loved every single second of it.

On the Other Side follows the story of Evie. Evie has just passed away surrounded by her husband and children but when she reaches the door to her personal heaven she finds it locked. Evie has been holding three secrets close for her entire life, and in order to get into her own personal heaven she must release these secrets. As she goes on the journey to make her soul lighter, Evie has to relive her past, including revisiting the love of her life who she was separated from years ago.

I absolutely adored this book. It is the most beautiful, inspiring and gorgeous book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is such a swoon-worthy romance but with a divine sadness throughout the story as well. I can't tell you which part I loved more. You have elements of this book that are present day, and then some in the past where you relive Evie's past with her. I absolutely loved every single second of it. Evie is such a fantastic character to travel through this story with but I can't say that she is my favourite character. I loved Vincent too much! He was just the perfect most romantic main guy in a book ever. Right from the moment we were introduced to him I was grinning like an absolute idiot while reading. I just loved him.

Carrie Hope Fletcher is a multi-talented individual. I have seen her perform in musicals and I absolutely adore her in them as she is so fantastic. I don't know what I was expecting from her novels but honestly it is so well written. It usually takes me about 50-ish pages to get into a book but that was not necessary here. Right from the very first page I was absolutely in love with this book. On the Other Side really reminded me of the early Cecelia Ahern books. I love Cecelia's early work and so that's such a positive thing to me. It's a beautiful romance with a hint of magic and I just adored that.

On the Other Side is without a doubt one of the best books I've read so far this year. I loved every single second of it and I just cannot wait to read Carrie's other books. They are just beautiful and quite simply breathtaking. It made me feel all of the emotions. I laughed, I cried and I fell in love. This book was absolutely magical and one I will read again and again.

"You were my single greatest adventure."


Wednesday, August 7

Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree
Samantha Shannon

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Date Read: July 13, 2019
Genre: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 848
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29774026-the-priory-of-the-orange-tree

From Goodreads:
A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.


The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

"We may be small, and we may be young, but we will shake the world for our beliefs."

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a book that has been on my radar ever since it was first announced. I am a huge fan of fantasy books, especially ones with dragons. So when I heard about this book I couldn't wait for it... and then when I saw the cover I was totally in love. I absolutely love the cover of this book. I enjoyed The Priory of the Orange Tree but honestly my feelings about the book as a whole are mixed. I was a little bit disappointed and unfortunately it just didn't live up to my expectations.

The Priory of the Orange Tree follows many characters in different parts of this world. I love that there was many characters to follow and it gives you a deeper insight into what is happening. You have characters at court in the East. This follows through to the South where the Priory is situated. You also have characters in the West who are directly in opposition to those in the East. It was really complex and interesting. My one issue was that there was so many characters and so much going on that I spent most of the first part of this book not really grasping who was who. All perspectives were wrote incredibly similarly and so I spent a few minutes at the start of each chapter asking myself 'who is this again?' This did get much easier the further I got through the book and I did end up really enjoying the different characters and seeing what was happening with each of them.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is the first book I've read from Samantha Shannon and she is such a fantastic author. I really enjoyed her writing style and it was super easy to read (after I'd got over the confusion with who was who). I think this writing style really helped me get through this book as I was so intimidated by its size. One thing I think worked really well was the fact that it was split into six smaller parts. This helped me get through the book as instead of being stuck about how enormous this book was and how much I had left to read, I focused more on how much of that part I had left.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a good read. I was so excited to read it and I did enjoy it. The further I got through the more excited I was about getting to the end as I could feel it building up to something big. Unfortunately, after finishing the book I just felt a little... deflated. I was really disappointed in the ending. It was building up to this epic battle and I was so ready for it. And then it was just over in just a couple of pages. I read over 700 pages building up to this moment for it to just be over super quick. I was so disappointed. It felt pretty anti-climactic to me. In addition to this, the majority of the characters got a good ending... except one. There was one particular character who I didn't feel like she had an ending. If you asked me what happened to her... I couldn't tell you. It was left very strangely for one character and I have so many questions about what happened to her. Considering this is a standalone novel, I wanted an actual ending for all of them.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is a good fantasy book. It's full of magic, action and intrigue. If you're a fantasy fan you'll enjoy this book. Will I read it again? Probably not. It's a huge book and the ending just fell a little flat for me. Saying that though, I'm so glad I read it and I did enjoy the majority of it.

"Some truths are safest buried. Some castles best kept in the sky. There's promise in tales that are yet to be spoken."


Saturday, August 3

Wrap Up: July 2019


Hey Guys,
Can you believe that it's the end of July already? This year is just flying by so fast. I had a pretty awesome July, spending a weekend of it in London for the Young Adult Literature Convention and it was amazing. Anyway here is my month in books...

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

Take a Chance of Me by Beth Garrod
Fireblood (Frostblood #2) by Elly Blake
Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton
Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood
Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virture (Montague Siblings #1) by Makenzie Lee
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) by Makenzie Lee
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher
Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake
Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud
The Tesla Legacy by KK Perez

ARCs:

The Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle #1) by Adam Silvera
The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves #2) by Kristina Perez


 E-Books:


For Review:

The King (Wicked #3.7) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Bought:

Winter's Snow (On the Other Side #1.5) by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Subscription Boxes:

Illumicrate

Fairy Loot


Books Read in July 2019: 


 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon - 3 Stars
The King (Wicked Trilogy #3.7) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
On the Other Side (On the Other Side #1) by Carrie Hope Fletcher - 5 Stars
Winter's Snow (On the Other Side #1.5) by Carrie Hope Fletcher - 3 Stars
The Everlasting Rose (The Belles #2) by Dhionelle Clayton - 4 Stars
Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard - 4 Stars
A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in July 2019


Top 3 Reads of July 2019





How was your July?

 

Wednesday, July 31

Review: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)
Kristen Ciccarelli

Published By: Hachette
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Date Read: June 29, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 421
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36130547-the-last-namsara

From Goodreads:
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

"The old heroes were called Namsara after a beloved god, he said. So she would be called Iskari, after a deadly one."

The Last Namsara was a book that I had seen the cover all over social media but I had just never picked it up. After Kristen Ciccarelli was announced as an author that was going to be attending this years YALC in London I finally looked into this book and knew that it would be a perfect book for me. I was completely obsessed with this story right from the very start. I mean within the first page dragons were mentioned and for me that's always a good sign. I love fantasy books and I love books with dragons!

The Last Namsara is full to the brim with a new, original and unique mythology and I absolutely loved that. I loved finding out all about the Namsara and Iskari. I love any mythology in books but when it's a totally new one I get super intrigued about it. I was completely taken away with this incredible mythology base and I just loved it. Kristen is such a fantastic author. Right from the start I loved the characters and the world and I just couldn't put the book down. It often takes me about 50-ish pages for me to truly get into a book but that did not happen with this book. Right from the start I was completely enamoured with this story.

Asha was such a fantastic main character to follow this story with. She really goes on such a major journey of self-discovery. All of her beliefs and thoughts are challenged and honestly the character that we are left with at the end is not the same character we began with. She grows into a better person and I loved following that story with her. The Last Namsara is one of the most emotional fantasy books I've ever read. I read a lot of fantasy and get completely taken away in the politics and the fantastical elements of these new worlds but never have I been so emotionally connected with the characters and storyline than I was with this book. I cried and laughed and loved all along with Asha and I loved every single moment of it.

The Last Namsara was everything I could have wanted for this book and more. I loved every single moment of it and I can't wait to continue this series. This is such a brilliant and complex world and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen next. If you're a big fan of fantasy, I highly recommend The Last Namsara. It was, in a world, purely magical!

"The story of a girl who hunted dragons to soothe the hurt in her heart. The story of the dragon who changed her."


Wednesday, July 24

Review: Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1)

Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep #1)
Adrienne Young

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Date Read: May 27, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34726469-sky-in-the-deep

From Goodreads:
Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

"This kind of bond is formed when a soul is broken. It’s formed through pain, loss, and heartbreak. They’re bound by something deeper than we can see."

Sky in the Deep isn't a book that has been on my radar for very long. I remember seeing the cover of it around a while ago but I never looked into it that much. It wasn't until I was looking up the authors who are going to YALC 2019 that I looked it up. When I saw it was dubbed 'wonder woman meets Vikings' I was sold. I couldn't wait to read this book and I loved every single second of it. I can't believe I haven't read this one before now.

Sky in the Deep is the perfect book for me. It's a fantasy book filled to the brim with mythology and action and a dash of romance too... I mean what else could I possibly want in a book? I am such a huge fan of YA Fantasy books but I absolutely adore book with Gods and mythology elements in them so considering this has both I knew I was going to adore this book and I did.

The world building in this book is honestly... perfection! I was completely sold from the very first page and couldn't put it down. I was completely obsessed and drawn into this incredible world of the Akhi and Riki and their Gods. I loved that we kind of saw both sides of this 'feud'. We saw it from the Akhi's view and what their Gods believed but also from the Riki's as our main character began to learn more about them. I loved every single moment and devoured this book in a day.

Sky in the Deep was everything I could have wanted in a book and more. It was utterly just brilliant. Adrienne Young's story telling was fantastic and I can't wait to read more books by her in the future. If this is anything to go by I am going to absolutely obsess over them! Sky in the Deep was kick-ass, action packed and just utterly brilliant. If you like books with a strong female lead then you will adore this book because Eelyn is the most fierce independent and loyal character I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Sky in the Deep was phenomenal and may just well be up there with my favourite reads ever. If you're a fantasy fan I highly recommend you read this one. I promise you won't be disappointed. I can't wait to read the companion novel.

"I could still see a young Eelyn standing on the beach turned into the wind, a sword in one hand and an axe in the other. I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new."


Wednesday, July 17

Early Review: The King (Wicked Trilogy #3.6)

The King (Wicked Trilogy #3.6)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Date Read: July 14, 2019
Genre: NA - Paranormal Romance
Source: eARC from JLAnders Reviewers
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41142454-the-king

From Goodreads:
As Caden and Brighton's attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me, or who has followed me for a while, how much I absolutely adore Jennifer L Armentrout. I have absolutely adored her and her work since I read her first release back in 2011 and I still get ridiculously over-excited about a new book from her 8 years later. So you can imagine my excitement to receive The King for review. The Wicked Trilogy is one of my favourite series of hers, me loving fantasy/paranormal series way more than contemporary books, so I absolutely couldn't wait to dive back into this incredible world.

It's been a while since I read anything in this series and sometimes that worries me as I have the worst memory. One thing that is so brilliant about Jennifer's storytelling abilities is that she gives you little hints about what has happened previously to jog your memory, without it feeling repetitive. Within just a few pages of this novella I remembered what had happened previously and was once again sucked into this incredible world. I couldn't read this one fast enough.

The King was incredibly difficult to put down and I read it in one sitting. I loved every single moment of it and just when I thought I couldn't be surprised any more, Jen surprises me once again. I love the characters of Brighton and Cadan and I honestly couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to them. I absolutely loved going on this journey with them and once again I was left dying for more. This novella brings out all of the feels. One moment I was so incredibly happy and swooning over what was happening, the next I was completely heartbroken and crying. Only Jen can do this to me.

The King was a perfect instalment to the Wicked Trilogy and it just made me want more and more. I loved every moment of it and highly recommend these novellas for anyone who is a fan of the series. A definite must-read and I cannot wait to read more.