Wednesday, October 17

Review: In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Date Read: August 15, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 592 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987568-in-the-afterlight

From Goodreads:
Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

"The thing is...what they don’t tell you about forgiveness is this—you don’t give it for the other person’s sake, but your own."

After devouring Never Fade, the second book in the amazing The Darkest Minds trilogy, I couldn't wait to read the third and final book of Ruby's story. I have just been completely taken away by this series and I was dying to find out how it was all going to play out. I have to say though In the Afterlight is most definitely my least favourite book in the series. I was really disappointed in this one.

In the Afterlight picks up where Never Fade left off, with Ruby and what is left of the Childrens League in hiding trying to shut down the camps. Honestly, I found the first half of this book so slow and boring. It took me so long to read this book as I was just bored and couldn't find any motivation to actually read this book. The first 200 or so pages are so slow-going and it wasn't until after that that it picked up a bit. After that I started to enjoy it so much more and honestly thought the end of this was a perfect ending to the series.

In the Afterlight has a very open ending but I honestly loved that. It made sense to me that not absolutely everything was wrapped up. After everything that happened in the series it wasn't realistic that everything would be wrapped up nicely and I thought it was perfect. I most definitely shed a few tears at the ending of this book. It was very emotional and perfect.

I have really enjoyed this series and I am really excited that there is a follow-up that had just released. Due to me struggling with this one though I am going to have a break before reading The Darkest Legacy. If you love YA Dystopia novels I highly recommend this series. I really enjoyed it and I am so glad that I finally read it. A brilliant ending.

"I love you. With my whole heart. My whole life, however long I'm lucky enough to get, nothing will change for me."


Saturday, October 13

Review: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Date Read: August 8, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 560
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987582-never-fade

From Goodreads:
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

"Oh, I'm sorry, apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue."

After finishing reading The Darkest Minds I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen in the next book. I couldn't help but jump straight into Never Fade and I actually loved it way, way more than the first book. I couldn't put Never Fade down and couldn't read this one fast enough. It is far, far superior to The Darkest Minds in my opinion.

Never Fade picks up right where book 1 left off, following Ruby as she joins the Childrens League and is seperated from Liam, Chubs and Zu. Ruby is sent on special ops in order to help their cause but when she is sent on one to find Liam and bring back important information that he is carrying everything Ruby knows and believes is put into question. Can she really find Liam and then leave him again? And is the League everything that she believes it to be?

I loved Never Fade and I mean... LOVED IT! I really enjoyed The Darkest Minds but honestly that was nothing compared to this book. I couldn't put Never Fade down. I was so captured by this book, particularly by the new characters. Right from the start I absolutely loved Jude. He is such a sweet kid and he was most definitely the relief from all of the serious heart-wrenching goings on. With Vida, it took me a while to like her. Initially I didn't like her or trust her at all but the more I read the more I started to like her. Especially, when she meets Chubs, I loved their relationship.

Never Fade was a major journey for so many of the characters in this book. These characters are not the same ones as we met at the beginning of The Darkest Minds. They have developed into stronger and more intelligent characters throughout the two books. Ruby is so much more kick-ass and I loved seeing her taking charge and embracing her powers in order to save Liam. I really missed Zu in this one though. Although in the first book she didn't speak at all her presence was really missed in this one.

Never Fade was action packed and fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved every single second of this book and I cannot wait to get started on the third book to see what happens. I'm also hopeful that we will get some answers as to what happened to cause the disease. Roll on book 3. This was a stunning follow-up and my hopes for book 3 are exceptionally high.

"I think I'm losing it—I don't know what's happening, what happened, but I look at you, I look at you, and I love you so much. Not because of anything you've said, or done, or anything at all. I look at you, and I just love you, and it terrifies me. It terrifies me what I would do for you."

Wednesday, October 10

Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1)
Alexandra Bracken

Published By: Quercus
Publication Date: November 17, 2016
Date Read: August 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 528
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32987594-the-darkest-minds

From Goodreads:
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

"They were never scared of the kids who might die, or the empty spaces they would leave behind. They were afraid of us-the ones who lived."

The Darkest Minds is a book that has been on my radar for so long. I have tried listening to the audio edition of this book about three times in the past few years and never made it past the first few chapters. Not because the book wasn't good or I didn't like the narrator just because I end up listening for a little while and then not finding much time to listen. After seeing the movie advertised I decided it was time for me to finally read this book and I am really glad that I did. I really enjoyed reading The Darkest Minds.

The Darkest Minds follows the story of Ruby, one of the few children that have survived the IAAN disease. The children that survived have powers, and they are put into camps and worked to the bone in order to stop them from using their powers. After 6 years in the worst camp of them all, Thurmond, Ruby finds herself on the outside and not knowing who to trust. Ruby finds herself on the run with a group of other kids searching for East River, the only place kids can live safe and free.

I loved the storyline of The Darkest Minds. I am a huge fan of YA Dystopia series so this one was definitely a good book for me. I loved the background of the disease that killed the kids and how the government responded to the dangerous kids that were left. I have read so many dystopia series that are set a few years after the apocolyptic thing has happened so I really enjoyed being able to see what and how things had happened first-hand.

I loved so many of the characters in this series. Ruby is our narrator and I really enjoyed experiencing all the goings-on through her eyes. I've seen a lot of people complain about Ruby as a character and state that she was too naive and stupid and too trusting to people but I loved her. I mean, yes she is naive and believes people when she probably shouldn't but in my eyes she was 10 years old when she was put into Thurmond and she didn't really grow up much in her time there. So although she is 16 when everything starts happening I see her more like a 10 year old in a 16 year olds body.

I loved some of the secondary characters too. Chubs is probably my favourite, he was just amazing and I loved how much he changed in this book. From the untrusting companion to the one who believed in Ruby the most by the end. Chubs' best friend Liam gives us the romance element of the novel and I was so on board with this. Liam is just adorable and sweet and I just loved him and Ruby together.

The Darkest Minds was a fast-paced, non-stop journey and I really enjoyed every single moment. I couldn't read this book fast enough. I loved the world building, the characters and the writing style. My one complaint isn't actually anything to do with the story itself but more so the UK edition has so many spelling and grammar errors in it. Now usually I can read past these fine but there was so many of them and I found them so distracting. It really affected my enjoyment of this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Darkest Minds and I can't wait to see what is going to happen. The ending is so sad and really tugged on my heart-strings. I can't wait to read Never Fade and see what is going to happen to these characters that I love.

"Ruby, give me one reason why we can’t be together, and I’ll give you a hundred why we can. We can go anywhere you want. I’m not your parents. I’m not going to abandon you or send you away, not ever."


Saturday, October 6

Halloween Challenge: October TBR


Hey Guys,
So since October is my favourite month and Halloween my favourite holiday I am challenging myself this month to read as many Halloween-y books as I can. Now due to work I am being realistic and have picked out 4 Halloween-eske books to read. These are the books I'm hoping to read in the next 3 weeks.


Have you read any of them?
Which should I start with?
Any other recommendations that I just MUST read?




Wednesday, October 3

Wrap Up: September 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe it's October already? WOOHOO!! October is my favourite month... why? It's Halloween. My favourite holiday of the year. I can't wait. Anyway, September was a pretty shitty month reading wise for me... It always is as I'm still getting used to the demands of my new teaching timetable for this year but I'm hoping I will get some more awesome books read this month.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire LeGrand

For Review:

Roar by Cecelia Ahern

E-Books:

Bought:


For Review:

 


Books Read in September 2018:


Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand - 4 Stars
The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in September 2018:

Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Perez
The Dark Princess (Balance #3) by Janelle Stalder
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood
Red Queen Novellas (Red Queen #0.1/0.2) by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand
The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout


Top Book of the Month:

As I've only read 3 books this month, rather than a top 3 I am just going to share my favourite read of this month which was.....





What did you read this month?
What was your favourite?
Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, September 29

Early Review: The Darkest Star (Origin #1)

The Darkest Star (Origin #1)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Published By: Tor Teen
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Date Read: September 9, 2018
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi
Source: ARC from JLAnders Reviewers
Format: E-Book
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34221193-the-darkest-star

From Goodreads:
When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen...but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she'd only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head...

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.

"I can think of a lot more interesting things to do in a tiny, dark space that would pass the time."

There are no words to explain just how excited I was to finally have this book in my hands. I am such an enormous fan of Jennifer L Armentrout. I have read and adored every single book she has wrote but my anticipation for The Darkest Star was very different than for her other upcoming books. Back in 2011 when I had just started this blog I was offered the chance to review a book by an author I'd never heard of. That book was Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout. I accepted but wasn't sure what my thoughts would be as I didn't like 'alien' books. 4 hours later I had read the entire book and was dying for more. I was lucky enough to recieve ARCs of the entire Lux series and it still to this day remains one of my favourite series of all time. So when I heard that there was a spin-off, I could not cope with my excitement. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it but I was also a little nervous... I had such high expectations for this book and was worried it wouldn't live up to them. It did! It surpassed each and every expectation I had and just completely blew me away.

The Darkest Star follows the story of Evie, a human living in a world where the Luxen are out and living among them. When Evie meets Luc she has a strange sence of deja vu. She feels like she knows him but she has never seen him before. As Evie spends more and more time with Luc, her world starts unravelling. She learns of the secrets and lies and has to discover just who she really is.

The Darkest Star is without a doubt the best book I have read so far this year. It was absolutely perfect! I had missed being in the world of the Luxen. I have read the Lux series about 10+ times, and although I will always love re-reading it there is nothing like the feeling of having a new book set in that world and experiencing it all for the first time. I could not read The Darkest Star fast enough. I originally sat down to read a chapter or two and the next thing I knew 4 hours had past and I was 70% of the way through. It was gripping and unputdownable.

Evie is such a fantastic character. I immediately loved her and loved experiencing everything through her eyes. She goes through such an important journey of self-discovery throughout this book and that journey was something she didn't even know that she needed to go through. The more I read, the more I loved her. One thing I always love about JLA's characters is that when something impossible happens to them they don't just immediately accept it... they actually have a reaction that any sane, normal person would have if this had happened to them. That reaction doesn't happen enough in the majority of YA books. Although I adored Evie, I would have loved to see events from Luc's point of view as well as he is just fantastic.

I wasn't sure how I was going to take to Luc being the main character in this book. In the Lux series, he was just this insanely creepy little boy but I absolutely loved him in The Darkest Star. Luc is most definitely the comic relief in this book. He is snarky and sarcastic and I loved that. He was the perfect mix of the sarcastic bad-boy and the super sweet, loving guy. I loved that there were two sides to his personality.

The Darkest Star was everything I could have wished for and more. It was utter perfection and my favourite read of the year. I am a little sad that I finished it so damn quickly because the wait for book 2 of this series is going to kill me. I loved everything about this book. It filled my heart to the brim and I just couldn't read it fast enough. Jennifer has done it again. Every time I think she can't write something better than what I've already read from her she proves me wrong with her next release. The Darkest Star will stay with me for a long time and I can't wait to read more of Luc and Evie. I couldn't recommend it more.

"Alive and so damn beautiful that it sometimes kills me a little each time I look at you."


Wednesday, September 26

Early Review: Sawkill Girls

Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand

Published By: Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Date Read: September 8, 2018
Genre: YA - Horror
Source: ARC from Harper 365 at YALC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 447
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38139409-sawkill-girls
From Goodreads:
Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.


Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

Sawkill Girls is a book that I hadn't heard much about before getting given an ARC of it at this years YALC. When offered the chance to read and review this book I looked it up and jumped at the chance to read it. Sawkill Girls is drastically different from the sort of books that I usually read but it sounded creepy and fantastic. I couldn't wait to read it and I actually really enjoyed this book. Much more than I thought I would.

Sawkill Girls follows three very different girls all living on Sawkill Rock, a small coastal island. When girls start going missing regularly, Zoey and Marion are determined to figure out what happened to them, especially after Marion's beloved sister is one of the victims. But Val does everything to try and shake them off because she is hiding a dangerous secret. There is something else on this island... something that has been taking girls and with every feed he is getting stronger. Can Val, Marion and Zoey band together to destroy the monster and save everyone else? Or is the monster fated to escape and take over?

Before picking up Sawkill Girls I had read a lot of YA Fantasy books and really wanted to read something a bit different. Sawkill Girls was just what I needed. It's unique and different from anything that I have read before and it is one of the most gripping books that I have ever read. Right from the start I couldn't put this book down. I had sat down with the intention of just reading a chapter or two to see what it was like and the next thing I knew I was a good 150 pages. I was completely taken in by this unique and mysterious story.

Sawkill Girls in the first book I have read by Claire Legrand and I will definitely be picking up more of her work in the future. I enjoyed everything about this book. Her world building and characters were fantastic and the more into the story I got, the more I couldn't put it down. It's such a fantastic storyline but the characters really make this book. There are so many important and diverse aspects of these characters and I loved that. I was just rooting for them all to come out well and Claire wrote this book and her characters so emotively and it worked perfectly.

I am so glad I got the chance to review Sawkill Girls. It's definitely not the type of book I normally pick up but it has opened my mind to trying a few more books that are out of my reading comfort zone. Will I read Sawkill Girls again? Probably not. It's not the kind of book that I would enjoy reading over and over but that's nothing to do with how incredible this story is, it's just the kind of book that's so mysterious and I wouldn't read it in the same way now knowing how it ends. Although it's not one that I personally would re-read, I highly recommend it to everyone. It's such a fantastic book and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.


Saturday, September 22

Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) 
Victoria Aveyard

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: February 12, 2015
Date Read: July 21, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22369406-red-queen

From Goodreads:
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control

"The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind."

Red Queen is one of those books that I was absolutely dying for and just never picked up. After it was selected as the group read for my book club I finally read this book and I honestly don't know why I didn't pick it up before now. I really enjoyed Red Queen, it's the type of book that is right up my street.

Red Queen follows the story of Mare Barrow. Mare is a Red girl who finds herself working at the palace of the powerful Silvers. But Mare could be in danger as she is a Red with the power of a Silver. Suddenly finding herself pretending to be long-lost Red royalty Mare finds herself caught in a world of lies and danger. Can she escape with her life... and her heart in tact?

Red Queen is the perfect mixture of fantasy and dystopia. Anyone who knows me knows that I adore those two genres. Fantasy is my fave genre of all time but I also love a good dystopia. This series is a mixture of the two and I adored that. It has fantasy as it's core with the magic of the Silvers but with hints of how her life was 'before' there is definite themes of a dystopia / post-apocalyptic feel. The world building in this novel was fantastic and I just couldn't stop reading.

The characters in Red Queen were fantastic. I absolutely loved following this story through Mare's perspective. She is a fantastic loving character who will do absolutely anything to protect her family and friends. She isn't the brightest character in the world and is a touch naive but I loved her. Her heart is in the right place and she learns a lot throughout the novel.

Red Queen is full of twists and turns that I did not see coming at all. I was well and truly kept on my toes and couldn't believe what was happening. I really enjoyed every single moment of this book and I cannot wait to read more of this series. If you're a fan of fantasy novels filled with magic, intrigue and danger then this is definitely the book for you. An explosive start to what I know will be a fantastic series.

"Cal betrayed me, and I betrayed him. And you betrayed us both, in a thousand different ways. I choose no one."

 

Wednesday, September 19

Review: The Red Queen Prequel Novellas (Red Queen #0.1/0.2)

 Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1)
Victoria Aveyard

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Date Read: July 17, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25005214-queen-song

From Goodreads:
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Red Queen is a book that has sat on my shelf for so long, unread. After finally deciding to pick up Red Queen I decided that I would read the two prequel novellas first. I always love reading prequel novellas before the series as it gives me an insight into what is to come and I also get to up my reading challenge. It's a win-win.

Queen Song is a really cute story and I did enjoy it. As I'm reading this prior to Red Queen I didn't know anything about this world at all or who any of the characters were, yet I really enjoyed it. I really liked Coriane and felt so deeply for her and what she was going through. It was so heartbreaking seeing her spiralling down into depression and insanity and for a novella to get you to feel for this character so much in such a short time is a really good sign.

I really enjoyed Queen Song and it has made me really interested to see what is going to happen with the other characters. I can't wait to read Red Queen after this intriguing and thrilling novella. 



Steel Scars (Red Queen #0.2)
Victoria Aveyard

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Date Read: July 17, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25362018-steel-scars

Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

Following Queen Song, I was actually really excited to start the second prequel novella, Steel Scars. I was honestly really disappointed in this novella. It didn't grip me as much as the first prequel novella and honestly, I found it really boring.

Steel Scars is clearly a backstory to someone who I am sure will be a very important character in the series but reading this before Red Queen made me confused and bored. I just didn't really want to read it. There were so many times I wanted to abandon this novella but I forced myself to continue. I am looking forward to reading Red Queen but maybe this novella would have been better read after the first book, not before.


Saturday, September 15

Review: A Sky Painted Gold

A Sky Painted Gold
Laura Wood

Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 5, 2018
Date Read: July 16, 2018
Genre: YA - Historical Romance
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 356
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39709339-a-sky-painted-gold

From Goodreads:
Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.

A Sky Painted Gold is a book that I had seen all over twitter for a while and it just looked so interesting. Now this book is not my usual kind of read whatsoever. I am more of a paranormal / fantasy reader and this book being a contemporary with a historical twist is nothing like the books that I usually read but I couldn't put it down. I loved every second of this stunningly beautiful book.

A Sky Painted Gold follows the story of sixteen-year-old Lou. Lou has done everything with her older sister so when her sister gets married she feels a little lost and alone. Who is she without her sister? Suddenly she is caught in a whirlwind adventure with the new rich family who has come to Cornwall for the summer. But as she falls head over heels for their lifestyle how will she manage when they leave at the end of the summer?

This is the first book by Laura Wood that I have read and I loved every single second of it. Laura has the most beautiful writing style and I just couldn't stop reading. Everything about this book was just beautiful. The story, the world building, the characters... everything. The writing is just so stunningly lyrical and I enjoyed it so much. Lou was such a great character to experience this beautiful story through. At the beginning she was a lost little girl... by the end she is a mature young woman ready to start her own individual life. She grows so much as a person and learns that it's okay to be different from everyone else and to just be yourself.

A Sky Painted Gold was one of the best books I have read so far this year. Considering it's a book that I don't usually read I was completely hooked. Right from the start to the very last page I couldn't read it fast enough. I read this book in one sitting as I just couldn't stop reading. This book is filled to the brim of English countryside, the importance of friendship, being yourself and just a touch of heart-stopping romance. I wish there has been a little bit more romance in it but the entire book is just beautiful and moving. I highly recommend it.



Wednesday, September 12

Early Review: The Dark Princess (Balance #3)

The Dark Princess (Balance #3)
Janelle Stalder

Publication Date:
Date Read: August 18, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32735559-the-dark-princess

From Goodreads:
Prophecies are simply words written by men of the past. What truth do they hold?

When the monsters from childhood dreams suddenly appear in real life, Hope French doesn't know what to believe. Is she going crazy? Should she tell her mother?
And when strange people start coming around, showing up at her high school and at her home, the small world she's known with just her mom, and good old faithful Cat, suddenly gets a lot smaller. Truths from the past are coming to light, threatening the very core of Hope's beliefs.

Every path in life is chosen, not predetermined.
Or is it?

"I would give my life to protect you."

The Dark Princess is a book that I have been dying to get my hands on for so long. Honestly I don't really read many indie/self-published books any more but Janelle Stalder's work is the exception. Every single one of her books I have devoured in just a few days. They are so incredible I just can't put them down and The Dark Princess was no exception. It was absolutely incredible.

Now, I was a little bit confused at the beginning of this book but that is completely my own fault. It has been so so long since I read the previous book that I had completely forgotten what had happened. Within a few pages of The Dark Princess I went back and re-read the ending of Poise and from that moment I was completely taken away with this incredible book.

The Dark Princess follows the story of Hope, a teenage girl who has unexplainable things happening to her, like monsters from a fairytale attacking her in the dark. Soon Hope is taken on a crazy journey with the utterly gorgeous demon who seems to always be around protecting her. Hope is suddenly questioning everything she thought she knew about her life and her family but one thing is uncertain... will she survive the attacks before the person behind them is found?

The Dark Princess is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year so far. One thing I was not expecting was for this to be my favourite book of the series. The first two books of the series followed Vivian and Caleb, Hope's parents, and I was so in love with their story I was a little bit sad when I realised that this book was following the point of view of their daughter, Hope. However, the more I read the more I loved Hope's story and I ended up more invested in her story than that of her parents. I loved every second.

Janelle Stalder is without a doubt one of my favourite authors of all time. Her story-telling, world-building and characterisation is just jaw-droppingly amazing in every book. I absolutely adore her work and this series is one I could read over and over a million times and never tire of it. I felt this way about The Dark Princess. Janelle just hooked me in right from the start and I just couldn't put the book down. Through twists and turns I was constantly on the edge of my seat unable to read fast enough to see what was going to happen to these amazing characters that I love so much.

The Dark Princess has everything you could possibly want in a book. It's filled to the brim with mystery, intrigue, action and romance. I loved every single moment and will be sat here dying for book 4 for the coming months. Guess it's time to start re-reading the series from the beginning again. If you're looking for one paranormal romance series to read this year make sure it is Janelle Stalder's Balance series. You won't be disappointed.

 "Never thank me, Vivian. Don't you know by now? I'd do anything you ask of me. Anything at all."