Thursday, November 5

Review: The Secret Fire (The Alchemist Chronicles #1)

The Secret Fire (Alchemist Chronicles #1) 
CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

Published By: ATOM Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2015
Date Read: September 20, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: For Review from ATOM Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 424
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From Goodreads:
French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

The Secret Fire was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. I have never read anything by either of these authors previously but after meeting CJ Daugherty at this years YALC I couldn't wait to read her books. I am such a big fan of Fantasy books that I knew that this one is the one that I needed to read. The Secret Fire absolutely blew me away.

Set in both England and France The Secret Fire follows two teens as they put together a mystery that links both of their families together. They must race against time in order to save both of their lives.

I absolutely loved every moment of this book. From the moment I started the book it was fast paced and action packed. I was hooked right from the start and I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved both Taylor and Sacha and I couldn't read fast enough for need to know what was going to happen to them.

The Secret Fire has really shown me that I need to read the rest of the books by these two authors because they are just phenomenal authors. The Secret Fire utterly blew me away and I cannot wait to read the next instalment in the series and where the story is going to go from here.

Thursday, October 29

Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Date Read: September 4, 2015
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: For Review from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 648
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From Goodreads:
The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

"She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows..."

Queen of Shadows is probably THE book that was my most anticipated book for the entire of 2015. Ever since I got my hands on an ARC of the first book Throne of Glass a few years ago I have been obsessed with this series. It is my favourite YA Fantasy series and nothing can quite compare to my love for it. To say I was excited for this book was a total understatement and I know there is a lot of mixed views for this book but I have to say: I FREAKING LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF IT!!!!

Queen of Shadows is a game changer. Completely and utterly... nothing in this series will be the same after this one... in the best way possible. From the very first page of this book I was completely and utterly hooked. I couldn't put it down but at the same time I was trying my very very best to take my sweet time with this one as I never wanted it to end. Sarah J Mass is amazing. She has firmly held her place as one of my favourite authors of all time. She is a literary genius and no other YA fantasy series can quite live up to the awesomeness of hers.

When you look at the difference in the characters from the first book and this one you couldn't compare them. They are totally different characters and nothing alike... but I adore that. It shows how much they have all grown. I've seen so many other readers complaining about this fact but I think it is completely realistic. Nobody could go through what they did and not have developed and changed and come out the other side different. It would be unrealistic for them not to.

Queen of Shadows changed everything. So many things happened in this story and it broke my heart... yet I loved every moment of it. It made this story that much more exciting and amazing. I understand why some people really didn't like it. The fact that the romance of it changed somewhere that not many people would have wanted it to go. But I think people need to remember that this story is way bigger than the romance. It's about Aelin becoming a Queen... it's about her taking back her kingdom and ruling her people as she always should have been. To me the romance is just a secondary storyline to that. It doesn't matter who she ends up with as long as the characters end up happy.

Yes, the love triangle changed completely in this book but I loved that. I am still holding onto my hope for Aelin and Chaol to work out but if it doesn't thats ok too. I am still Team Chaol deep down and I think I always will be, but my god I fell so hard for Rowan in this one. He is just amazing and sweet and beautiful and I adored him. Yes, I would have liked Chaol and Aelin to work out in this one but they have both changed into different people right now and that's ok. That's not to say that they won't work out and grow back together in coming books. We still have 2 books to go and anything can happen!

Queen of Shadows completely and utterly blew me away. It was the perfect instalment to the perfect series and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. Sarah J Maas is a Queen and she breaks my heart so completely but makes me love every moment of that heartbreak. I genuinely cannot predict what the heck she will have happen next but I can't wait to go on that journey with my favourite characters and find out. Is it time for book 5 yet? I'm sat here with bated breath waiting for it... maybe it's time for a whole series re-read while I wait.

"You make me want to live. Not survive, not exist. Live."

Wednesday, October 28

Waiting on Wednesday

Starflight (Starflight #1)
Melissa Landers

Published By: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: February 6, 2016
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi
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From Goodreads:
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world--and each other--the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

I absolutely loved Melissa's other YA Sci-Fi series Alienated and so I am so excited about this new sci-fi series. It's bound to be great as she is such an amazing author. I'm super stoked for this one.

Monday, October 26

I Still Haven't Read...

This weeks pick...

Descent Series by SM Reine

#0.5 Death's Avatar
#1 Death's Hand
#2 The Darkest Gate
#3 Dark Union
#4 Damnation Marked (Haven't Got Yet)
#5 Dire Blood (Haven't Got Yet)
#6 Defying Fate (Haven't Got Yet)
#7 Paradise Damned (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

Thursday, October 22

Review: The Wizard Returns (Dorothy Must Die #0.3)

The Wizard Returns (Dorothy Must Die #0.3)
Danielle Paige

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Date Read: August 27, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
The Wizard left Oz in a hot air balloon—or did he? This digital original novella is the third installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and exciting New York Times bestseller Dorothy Must Die.
Dorothy Gale is back . . . and she's not the sweet little heroine of Oz anymore. She's power-hungry and vicious, and she leaves a trail of destruction beneath her spike-heeled, magical shoes. But she wasn't always in charge. There used to be a different ruler of Oz. Someone who also came from the Other Place, and who stole power for himself. They called him the Wizard.
The story goes that when a young Dorothy revealed the Wizard as a fraud, the man behind the curtain fled Oz in his hot air balloon. But in The Wizard Returns, he wakes in a field of poppies to find out that not only had he never left, but that he has no memory of who—or where—he is. As he undergoes a series of tests to uncover his memories, he finds that the very girl who threw him from the Emerald Palace is in control. And that Oz may be his destiny after all.

The Wizard Returns is the third novella in the Dorothy Must Die 6-part novella prequels. The first two prequel novellas completely hooked me to the series and I really enjoyed them. This one, although it was good, wasn't amazing. I had loved the first two but this one bored me a little bit. It took me quite a while to get through as I wasn't all that interested in it, but I needed to read it so I can continue.

The Wizard has always been a selfish man, only thinking of himself. In this novella the Wizard is put to the test to see if he has changed and cares about anything, namely Oz, more than himself.

I guess because I have never really been a fan of the Wizard I wasn't that interested in his story. I had loved the previous 2 novellas but I actually liked their characters. The first one about Dorothy, and as much as this series may have changed my opinion of her, at the time of reading (before Dorothy Must Die) I liked her and wanted to know what happened to her. And then I adored Jellia, whose story was in the second prequel novella. The Wizard... well he's a bit selfish and I don't much care for him so I didn't much care for this novella.

I really enjoy this series and I am really looking forward to reading more. In this series I will be tackling the second novel first before the other prequel novellas. As amazing as these prequel novellas are I feel like they also spoil aspects of the main series and so are better read in publication order. I can't wait to read the next one.

Wednesday, October 21

Waiting on Wedneaday

Rebel of the Sands
Alwyn Hamilton

Published by: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: February 4, 2015
Genre: YA - Epic Fantasy
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From Goodreads:
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Ever since I got the preview of this book at YALC in July I have been dying to get my hands on this book. It's just going to be awesome and I know it's the kind of book that I will love. And now, look at that cover! It's just gorgeous. I need my hands on this book like NOW!

Monday, October 19

I Still Haven't Read...

This weeks pick...

Halo Series by Alexandra Adornetto:

#1 Halo
#2 Hades (Haven't Got Yet)
#3 Heaven (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

Saturday, October 17

Review: The Witch Must Burn (Dorothy Must Die #0.2)

The Witch Must Burn (Dorothy Must Die #0.2)
Danielle Paige

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Date Read: August 16, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
There’s a new Wicked Witch in Oz—and her name is Dorothy. This digital original novella is the second installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and exciting New York Times bestseller Dorothy Must Die.

Dorothy Gale is back . . . and she’s not the sweet little heroine of Oz anymore. She’s power-hungry and vicious, and she leaves a trail of destruction beneath her spike-heeled, magical shoes. But behind the scenes, there’s someone else pulling the strings. Someone who doesn’t want fame or glory—just control.

Glinda of the North brought Dorothy back to Oz for a reason. And in The Witch Must Burn, a young maid is about to discover that a witch who says she’s Good might be the most dangerous kind of Wicked.

The Witch Must Burn, the second novella in the 6-part novella series for the Dorothy Must Die series, was amazing. I really enjoyed this and as bad as it sounds I feel like I'm enjoying these prequel novellas more than the actual book. I just love the back story and seeing what happened to the characters before Amy arrived in Oz.

As much as I'm enjoying these more than the actual novels I am glad that I have read them in publication order as this novella definitely would have spoilt one of the twists in Dorothy Must Die. The Witch Must Burn follows Jellia, the head ladies-maid of Princess Dorothy of Oz. Although this is definitely Jellia's story I saw this more of a back story of Glinda as we saw a lot more of Glinda than we did in Dorothy Must Die and learnt a lot about her.

I really enjoyed this novella it was interesting and my favourite character of the series made a very welcoming appearence, Nox. I am so happy Nox was in this so obviously I was going to like it. I really like that the author of this series wants to give us a lot of back-story for the key characters in the series.

The Witch Must Burn was emotional and fast-paced and I really loved reading it. The more I read of the novellas the more I can't wait to continue this series. It's going to be awesome! Now roll on novella number 3 The Wizard Returns.

Thursday, October 15

Review: Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Danielle Paige

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Date Read: August 15, 2015
Genre: YA - Fairytale Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 452
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From Goodreads:
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado - taking you with it - you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a yellow brick road - but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm - and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

"My fellow Ozians - in times like these, the Wicked will rise."

Dorothy Must Die was one of those books that I couldn't wait for. I read the first prequel novella way before this released and loved it and I really couldn't wait to read this one... but for some reason after I bought it it just sort of sat there on my shelf for ages unread. After finishing Dorothy Must Die I really wish I had read it sooner. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to continuing the series.

I knew that Dorothy Must Die would be a book that I would love. I absolutely adore retellings and I love The Wizard of Oz and the musical Wicked so what could go wrong? Personally I wouldn't call this series a retelling. Yes it is based off The Wizard of Oz but it's really more like a sequel. There's some major twists on the classic story that has everything from a retelling but it's really the story of what happened next. What happened after Dorothy returned to Kansas? Well... she returned to Oz of course because why wouldn't you want to be back in the exciting land of Oz.

I really enjoyed this book. I know Dorothy is our villain but I didn't really see her as that evil. Yes, she does some awful things but the more I read the more I just looked at her like a bit of a spoilt brat rather than evil or wicked. Dorothy is most definitely being manipulated by the real evil - Glinda in my opinion. I loved reading this book it is full to the brim with twists and turns I didn't see coming, it's exciting and full of intrigue and I couldn't wait to see what would happen.

Amy Gumm is our heroine and I loved her. I really felt like she was out of her depth a little bit throughout this book but can you blame her? A small unpopular girl from Kansas thrown into Oz... but not just any Oz; a dying and scary Oz. I'd be out of my depth too. But then she meets the best character in the book. Nox! Oh, Nox... I am slightly in love with our brooding, bad-tempered Witch, Sorcerer, Warlock... whatever he wants to be called. He wasn't in Dorothy Must Die quite enough for me and I hope we see more of him in book 2 because he is most definitely my favourite character.

My very small issue with the book is I felt like it was too long. It's not the biggest book I've read but the more I read the more I was ready for the book to be over which is a shame. I mean, it isn't drawn out or anything like that all of the pages are very necessary to the story but my interest just started to wane a little and I kind of felt like I'd been reading this book for forever.

The ending of Dorothy Must Die is explosive. Danielle Paige shocked us once again with a twist and I am super excited about carrying on with this series. I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to find out what happens next to Amy, Nox, Dorothy and the gang.

"Magic can't exist without goodness. Goodness can't exist without Wickedness. And Oz can't exist without magic."


Wednesday, October 14

Waiting on Wednesday

Truthwitch (Witchlands #1)
Susan Dennard

Published By: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 5, 2015
Genre: YA - Epic Fantasy
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From Goodreads:
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

I haven't read anything by this author before but I am a huge fan of fantasy books and this one sounds so awesome. Plus, some of the bloggers that I follow and trust their opinions completely absolutely loved this book. I think this is gonna be a book very much right down my alley. Cannot wait for this.

Monday, October 12

I Still Haven't Read...

This weeks pick...

False Memory Series by Dan Krokos:

#1 False Memory
#2 False Sight (Haven't Got Yet)
#3 False Future (Haven't Got Yet)

Have you read this series?

Sunday, October 11

Wrap Up: September 2015

Hey Guys,
Sorry it's late but this is my wrap up for the books that I read in September 2015. September was a very slow month for me due to work and only read 3 books this month. Because of this the vlog for September will me merged with Octobers.

Books Read in September 2015:

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Mass - 5 Stars
The Secret Fire (Alchemist Chronicles #1) by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld - 5 Stars
Flirting with Maybe by Wendy Higgins - 4 Stars

Reviews Posted in September 2015:

There's no Top 3 this month as I only read 3 books this month but my favourite book of the month is...

October TBR:

Thanks to everyone who voted for my October TBR. The poll for my November TBR will be up next weekend.

That's it for this month. 
What did you read?

Saturday, October 10

Review: Every Last Breath (Dark Elements #3)

Every Last Breath (Dark Elements #3)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Date Read: July 31, 2015
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

"With every breath I take, I will always love you."

I have been so looking forward to Every Last Breath for over a year, after all it is Jennifer Armentrout and the final book in the Dark Elements series. I'll be honest and say that I was nervous about this one after all the boy Layla was to end up with a fan majority vote and it made me nervous. Not because the boy I loved more might lose but because I felt like the decision being taken out of Jen's hands would make this book not very JLA-like.

I am an enormous fan of Jennifer Armentrout and I have been ever since her very first release back in early 2011, but I have to be honest and say I was really disappointed in Every Last Breath. I struggled to get through a lot of it and had it been a book by anyone else I probably would have DNF'd it, but I just wouldn't do that for a JLA book.

Every Last Breath was always going to be a difficult read for me. Although I had a team I was very much in love with both boys so no matter what happened one of them was going to be hurt and therefore, no matter who Layla chose my heart was going to break... I just wasn't prepared for how much. I'll be honest and say that I was expecting the outcome of the love triangle... I knew it was going to happen but that doesn't mean I liked it. It's not the outcome of the vote and the love triangle that I didn't like about this book but more about the way it was handled. I really ended up disliking Layla and I have never disliked a JLA heroine before and it makes me super sad.

Click the Show/Hide button to see spoilers.

If I am being honest I really wish the reader vote had never happened. I feel like the outcome would have been the same but the way in which it was handled would have been different, and I think that would have made the book a lot more enjoyable for me. To me Jennifer Armentrout books have a feel to them, something that is special for Jen's books and for me this book did not have that JLA spark. I feel like if the vote had not happened and Jen was left with her characters to do with as she wanted then this book would have been much better and I would have loved it. Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed the action of this book but the emotion and relationships and everything felt very non-JLA to me.

Every Last Breath makes me sad. I wanted to love it so much and even though I still liked it, it was just a disappointment to me. I now will more than likely not re-read the series which sucks because one of my favourite things to do is re-read JLA series. I am sad I didn't like this book but the emotion was off, to me one of the characters personalities completely switched from the other books and I felt like I was reading a different character and some of the actions really make me dislike one of the main characters. I'm super sad about it but I know JLA's next book will be amazing. I just hope that she doesn't do the whole 'reader poll' thing again and her publishers let Jen write it as she wants to. That's when JLA books are the best.

"You are so beautiful, Layla. And if I could pick one thing I could stare at for the rest of eternity, it would be you."