Wednesday, June 20

Review: Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2)

Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2)
Vic James

Published By: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: September 7, 2017
Date Read: May 26, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 453
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36058467-tarnished-city

From Goodreads:
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power.

Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.

New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?

"She used to think 'courage' was a reckless, slightly stupid thing. She understood it a little better now. It was doing what was right, even when every shred of self-preservation screamed against it."

Wow! There are literally no words that I have right now to describe what I have just read. I really enjoyed Gilded Cage, the first book in this trilogy and was really looking forward to continuing with Tarnished City. I in no way expected to love Tarnished City as much as I did. I was completely expecting this book to be a case of 'second book syndrome' but I couldn't have been more wrong. In my opinion Tarnished City surpasses the first book by far. I loved it so much more and couldn't put it down.

Following the shocking climax of Gilded Cage, Tarnished City follows Luke as he becomes a 'condemned' and his sister Abi as she runs away from her family and joins a rebellion knowing she will stop at nothing to save her younger brother. But Abi finds that saving Luke may not be the most important thing. As she learns more and more about the skilled and the prestigious Jardine family, the more she is determined to stop them. But can she stop them and save her brother?

I adored Tarnished City. Absolutely adored it. I found it a little slow to begin but it quickly picked up and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. In Gilded Cage, I fell in love with Abi and Luke's family and even thought some positive things about all three of the Jardine brothers. Tarnished City changes everything that you think you know about these characters. There were so many twists and turns and at times I was sat reading with my mouth agape as I just couldn't believe what was happening. Especially as we drew closer and closer to the end. This book completely shocked me and I was completely heartbreaking.

Gilded Cage was already a deceptively dark series but I really didn't think it could get much darker. I was completely and utterly wrong. Vic James is such a genius author but I'm also a little scared and intimidated that something this dark and disturbing can come from her imagination. She writes this series in such a perfect and amazing way. She slowly draws you in to this incredible (yet terrifying) fantastical world and then just breaks you and shocks you in every way possible.

Tarnished City was absolutely incredible. I loved every single moment of it and although it made me cry and broke my heart I was left in complete awe of this incredible book. I am now counting down the days until Bright Ruin, the final book in the trilogy is released. Luckily, I don't have to wait much longer. This entire series is just so addictive and I really urge anyone who hasn't read it to give it a go. It's so unique and different from any of the other series I have ever read, and I have loved every single second of this series so far. Roll on July so I can see how this series is going to end.

"Only dull people have plans, Luke. 'Go here. Do this. Hope other people do that.' It never works. No, clever people embrace possibilities. Seize opportunities."


Saturday, June 16

Review: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
Vic James

Published By: Macmillan
Publication Date: January 26, 2017
Date Read: May 13, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 405
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26168646-gilded-cage 

From Goodreads:
In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . .

"She didn't do people, dammit. She did books. A world of difference."

Gilded Cage was a book that was recommended to me while I was at YALC 2017, so as Vic James is going to YALC this year I thought it was about time I gave it a shot. Honestly, before going into this book I didn't really know anything about it other than it was a YA Fantasy and as it's my favourite genre that's all I needed. Gilded Cage was nothing like what I was expecting... in the best way possible. I absolutely loved every single second of this book. It is the most unique and intriguing fantasy I've ever read - and I have read a lot.

Gilded Cage is a YA Fantasy that's light on the fantasy elements (although they are still definitely there and an integral part of the story), and focuses more on the inequality between people and the horror of this fantastical world. Gilded Cage is much much darker than I expected and right from the get go I was completely captured by the story and the characters and I couldn't put it down.

Gilded Cage follows one main family as they go into servitude for the powerful elite. I really enjoyed every character and I loved seeing it from their different points of view. It really gave so much more of an insight into the world having it from different characters. I especially loved that there was some chapters told from the perspective from the 'villain' Jardines. I actually loved those chapters the best.

Gilded Cage is a very slow burning book and the story and relationships between the characters develops very slowly. Usually in books like this if they're too slow I end up giving up. However, there was just something about the story, world and characters in this book that truly captured my attention and kept me reading. Gilded Cage was fantastic. It's intriguing, mysterious and full of secrets and lies. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series. I just know it's going to be fantastic! I highly recommend if you haven't read Gilded Cage yet to give it a go. You won't be disappointed.

"Millmoor changes people, Luke Hadley. But what most folk never realize is that you get to choose how."


Wednesday, June 13

Review: I Was Here

I Was Here
Gayle Forman

Published By: Simon and Schuster UK
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Date Read: May 10, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288


From Goodreads:
Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

"It’s an act of bravery to feel your feelings."

I Was Here has been sat on my bookshelf for so, so long as have Gayle Forman's other books. I am so ashamed to say that I Was Here was the first Gayle Forman book that I have read. I don't really know why I waited so long as I really enjoyed this book. What an incredibly beautiful, uplifting and emotional novel.

I Was Here follows the story of Cody. Cody's best friend Meg, the one with the perfect life who is outgoing and popular, kills herself and suddenly Cody is thrown into this new world of Meg's life and she is stuck with the guilt of not having seen the problems her best friend is going through. Cody finds herself with new friends and finding out about a life that she never knew Meg had. What could have driven her to suicide?

I have read a few books regarding the incredible sensitive issue of suicide before and honestly hated them. For me, they need to be realistic and handled in a sensitive manner and others I have read just haven't managed to do that. Due to this I was quite nervous coming into this book, but I needn't have worried. Gayle Forman handles the incredible sensitive issue of suicide wonderfully. It was such a real depiction of depression and suicide and I loved that instead of it focussing on a depressed character wanting to commit suicide it took place after the suicide and focused more on the effects that it has on the people left behind. I Was Here is definitely a story full of grief, the guilt the people left behind has and ultimately them healing.

I Was Here is wrote beutifully. It is such an emotive story and I really enjoyed every moment of it. I am so glad I finally picked this book up as it's such a beautiful, moving tale. I will definitely be looking out for Gayle's other books and picking them up. If you haven't read this book and tend to enjoy stories that are real, raw and emotional then this is the book for you. I highly recommend this incredible novel.

"Forgivenesss: It's a miracle drug. It's God's miracle drug."


Saturday, June 9

Review: The Belles (The Belles #1)

The Belles (The Belles #1)
Dhonielle Clayton

Published By: Gollancz
Publication Date: February 8, 2018
Date Read: April 6, 2018
Genre: YA -Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 434
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37759491-the-belles

From Goodreads:
I am a Belle. I control Beauty.

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle's powers can make them beautiful.

Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle - the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater - and far darker - than she ever imagined.

When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life, and change the world forever.

"Don’t be fools. You can’t have both. Who wants love when one can be powerful?"

WOW! There are seriously no words right now that could explain my complete and utter love for this book. The Belles was definitely not what I was expecting whatsoever and I have never been so happy be that in my life. The Belles was so much better than I ever could have imagined. I loved every single second of it.

The Belles follows the story of Camille, one of the Belles, the esteemed girls sent to bring beauty back to the world. Camille is living in a world where everyone is born with gray skin and hair like straw. All but the Belles. The Belles job is to use their power to do as they are told and perform beauty treatments on the people. But Camille doesn't always follow the rules. For aren't rules there to be broken? But as Camille does her duty as the 'favourite' Belle, she discovers things that make her question everything she has ever known.

The Belles is such a stunning, beautiful and thought-provoking novel. One that really questions just what beauty is, what it means to be truly beautiful, and how far people will go to be the most beautiful. The Belles was nothing like I was expecting. When you look at that gorgeous cover you expect this to be a beautiful, happy novel but what I found is The Belles is a deceptively dark tale wrapped up in a beautiful exterior.

This is the first book I've read by Dhonielle Clayton and I am completly blown away by it. From the gorgeous writing style, characterisation and world building to this dark yet intriguing tale of beauty I loved it all. The Belles really surprised me. The twists and turns really threw me and as I got towards the end of the novel I was actually gasping aloud because I couldn't believe what had just happened. As someone who has read hundreds upon hundreds of books, that hardly ever happens anymore. I thought I was done being surprised and compeltely amazed by YA novels but Dhonielle did it with this beautifully unique novel.

The Belles is without a doubt one of the best novels I have read so far this year. I loved every moment of it and I couldn't put it down. I pity whatever book I pick up next because it is going to be impossible to beat what I have just read. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in what I know is going to be a heart-stoppingly amazing trilogy. I really cannot reccommend this book enough. Even if you think this isn't the sort of book you'll like I urge you to give it a go. I promise you, I was in the same position when I started it but I was completely blown away. You will not be disappointed. The Belles is just phenomenal.

"You have to decide for yourself. It is you who must live with the outcome."


Wednesday, June 6

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5)

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Read: April 28, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 229
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36156268-a-court-of-frost-and-starlight

From Goodreads:
Months after the explosive events in A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre, Rhys, and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can't keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated--scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Please Note: There may be spoilers from the previous books in the series.


"I love you. More than life, more than my territory, more than my crown." 

A Court of Frost and Starlight was a book that I have been dying to get my hands on and when it got delivered to my house early by a few days (EEP), I couldn't help but dive right in. I loved A Court of Frost and Starlight so much. It was, in my opinion, totally perfect. A Court of Frost and Starlight was a lot shorter than the previous books, with it being a novella, and honestly there is less action in this than the previous novels in this series. Some will probably complain about this and say that it was a let down but I went into this book completely expecting there to be less action.

A Court of Frost and Starlight is definitely a bridging novella, as I was expecting it to be. It gives us a little taste of what Rhysand and Feyre are up to after the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I loved seeing what happened to them and how they were dealing with the after effects of ACOWAR as I felt like ACOWAR could have gone on for longer and explored the after effects of the war a little bit more. I also loved how this was an introduction to the new novels with new narrators. I loved catching up with all the characters that I came to love and I loved seeing the dynamics between Cassian and Nesta. This was definitely a book that was more about the relationships between the characters and setting the scene for the next book.

A Court of Frost and Starlight was a lovely novella to bridge the gap between the old trilogy and the new one. I am super excited to see this series continue with other characters being the narrators. It was way shorter than I would have liked. Even with it just being more about the relationships between the characters rather than the world and the action I would have been totally fine with that and experiencing more along with these characters that I love. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. It cannot get here fast enough.

"What you two have, Rhys... it's the legends, the lies, they spin us when we're children. About the glory and wonder of the mating bond. I thought it was all bullshit. Then you two came along."


Friday, June 1

Wrap Up: May 2018





Hey Guys,
Can you believe it is June already? I mean seriously where is the year going? It's disappearing so damn fast. Well, I had a pretty awesome month. It was my birthday in May so I got many books as gifts. I also went to see one of my favourite musicals of all time in Manchester. Anyone who knows me knows that besides of books Musical Theatre is my favourite thing. I just adore them. So here I am going to see the incredible Miss Saigon. It was just so stunning and I cried my eyes out... naturally.

Next month, I'm going to see two, yes TWO musicals. I'm so excited. I'll be enjoying Matilda the Musical and Thoroughly Modern Millie in the coming weeks. WOOP!


Okay now on to my month in books. I had a pretty great book month too. I got tonnes of fantastic books as I started buying my YALC books, and I have read quite a lot too. From now for the next two months my goal is to just work on my YALC books so I've made a brand new TBR Jar with my YALC titles in.

Book Haul

Hardcopies:


Eve of Man (Eve of Man #1) by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher
Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Five Years From Now by Paige Toon
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
King's Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard
Alice (Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry
Red Queen (Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry
Lost Boy by Christina Henry
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

E-Books:

Bought:


Yumi (Flame in the Mist #1.75) by Renee Ahdieh

For Review:


Giant Days by Non Pratt
Moonlight Seducation (de Vincent #2) by Jennifer L Armentrout
The Beasts Heart by Leife Shallcross

Books Read in May 2018:
  

The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhionelle Clayton - 5 Stars
I Was Here by Gayle Forman - 4 Stars
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James - 4 Stars
Moonlight Seduction (de Vincent #2) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 4 Stars
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James - 5 Stars
Clean by Juno Dawson - 4 Stars

Reviews Posted in May 2018:


Top 3 Books of May 2018


What books did you get/read in May?

Wednesday, May 30

Review: Beautiful Broken Things

Beautiful Broken Things
Sara Barnard

Published By: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: February 25, 2016
Date Read: April 27, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 328
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25437747-beautiful-broken-things

From Goodreads:
I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble


Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.

"I was sixteen, and I honestly believed I was due a love story."

Beautiful Broken Things has been sat on my shelf for so long. I remember buying it when it first came out after hearing amazing things about it, I even got it signed by Sara at YALC a few years ago, but for some reason I just never picked it up. I thought it was about time that I picked it up and gave it a go... I am so glad I did. I enjoyed this book so much. Beautiful Broken Things completely surpassed all expectations I had of this book.

Caddy is the 'safe' one. She is the one of her friends who doesn't go out and likes to stay home reading and studying while they go out partying. But then she meets Suzanne. The wild child with a troubled past who brings Caddy out of her shell more than anyone else ever could. Soon Caddy's life seems to be spiralling out of control and she doesn't know how to make it stop... or if she even wants to.

I really loved the characters in this book. Sara Barnard certainly knows how to spin a fantastic tale. Right from the start her writing style completely captured my attention and I couldn't put this book down. It was a beautiful story with a hint of tackling some really important issues. Sara tackles some mental health issues in this book and she does it beautifully. Having just before picking this up read a book with characters with depression and absolutely hated the depiction of them, Beautiful Broken Things portrayed anxiety, depression and suicide in such a realistic and raw yet sensitive way. This book is in no way dark, as you would expect a book with a character suffering from depression to be.  So many books that try to tackle issues like this end up being about depression, rather than about the people, but not this one. It was more focused on the character's life and she just so happened to have depression and I loved that about it.

I loved how refreshing this book was. YA Contemporary is such a majorly popular genre and I have read so many of them. You always know there is going to be a romance in it and that is just not the case. Don't get me wrong, I love a good romance in YA books but it was so refreshing to find a YA book that IS centred around love... just not romantic love. It portays the love between friends and I absolutely adored that.

Beautiful Broken Things really took me by surprise. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I was taken away on this rollercoaster story and I really couldn't put it down. I was so impressed with this debut novel I will definitely be reading more from Sara in the future. If you haven't read this before I highly recommend that you do.

"But people we love come and go, Caddy. That doesn’t mean we loved them any less at the time."


Friday, May 25

Non-Review: All the Bright Places

All The Bright Places
Jennifer Niven

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: January 8, 2015
Date Read: April 18, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 378
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30626177-all-the-bright-places

From Goodreads:
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

All the Bright Places is a book I have had on my TBR for what feels like forever. I have heard such amazing things about this book and I was super excited to finally read it. Honestly... I didn't really like it that much. It is in no way a bad book. I liked the characters and the writing style, it just didn't have the 'must-read' quality that I'm looking for in books.

This is the second book about suicide that I've tried to read and didn't enjoy. It's already a really horrible subject matter to read about and honestly this made me feel a little bit uncomfortable. I didn't find the story very realistic if I'm honest and although the writing style and characterisation was good, it really affected my ability to enjoy this book. I got to about 52% and then I just had no motivation or want to continue the book.

I will definitely pick up one of Jennifer's other books because her writing style was fantastic. Unfortunately this one just wasn't for me.


Wednesday, May 23

Early Review: Moonlight Seduction (de Vincent #2)

Moonlight Seduction (de Vincent #2)
Jennifer L Armentrout


Published By: Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Date Read: May 17, 2018
Genre: Adult - Romantic Suspence
Source: eARC from JLA
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36301030-moonlight-seduction

From Goodreads:
The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.

"You trying is pretty much like me trying not to eat the last cupcake in the fridge. It's not real successful."

Everyone knows how much of a huge fan of Jennifer L Armentrout I am. I have devoured every single book that she has wrote and loved pretty much all of them. There were no words to describe just how excited I was to have an ARC of Moonlight Seduction drop itself in my inbox... on my birthday no less. Like I literally could not ask for a better birthday present. I absolutely loved the first book in this adult romantic suspence series and really couldn't wait to read more.

Moonlight Seduction follows the store of Gabe. Gabe whom I had already fallen in love with from his hilarious antics in the previous novel. Gabe is such a great character and I found that although I knew him well from Moonlight Sins (I mean he doesn't have a small part in that book at all) there were so many different sides of him that came out in this novel. I really loved following him on this story and seeing the history, the present and the possible future of his relationship with Nikki.

Moonlight Seduction was such a fantastically written novel. Right from the start it grabs you back into this mysterious and seductive world of the de Vincent brothers. I mean is it a paranormal series, is it a pure romantic suspence... is it both? I've finished the second book of the trilogy and I'm still not 100% sure that there isn't something supernatural going on and I love that about this series. Usually by the time you're halfway through the first book you know what's going on but with this one you don't. It definitely keeps you on your toes.

As expected, I fell in love with this book and I read it in just a couple of days. I absolutely cannot wait to read Devlin's book and hoping with everything in me that it's going to include Nikki's amazing, boisterous and hilarious friend Rosie. I just know it's going to be amazing. If you love romantic suspence books then I highly recommend you pick up the de Vincent's series. I have never been a fan of romantic suspence/thriller type books but I just love these ones. They're definitely worth the read.

"There's no wrong time to tell someone you love them."


 

Friday, May 18

Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Date Read: April 8, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 464
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22369653-fangirl

From Goodreads:
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Without Wren, Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

"To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one. "

Fangirl is a book I have had on my shelf for so long. I got it at YALC 2014 and honestly I've heard so many amazing things about this book. The hype was so crazy at YALC that year and I was so excited to experience this incredible book. Although I did read it 4 years later, I was still so excited and I had such high expectations of this book... Honestly, I'm quite disappointed. Fangirl definitely didn't live up to my expectations.

Fangirl follows Cath and Wren, twin sisters who are headed to college and it's their first opportunity to be different people. Wren hits the party life hard and Cath is the one left behind. Hiding behind her books and her fanfiction writing, Cath is completely on her own for the first time in her life. Cath has to decide whether she is ready to open herself up to new friends or not.

Fangirl was an okay book. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy it. I enjoyed reading Cath's story and I really associated with her so much. Rather than going out socialising she wanted to stay in her room reading... that is so like me it's unreal. But I don't know... I was just expecting more. I had heard this book was phenomenal and I was expecting to be completely blown away but I wasn't. It's an enjoyable book but it's nothing extraordinary, it's just like any other contemporary novel in my opinion.

Okay, I have a confession to make... I absolutely HATED the fanfiction parts of this book. I'm ready to hide from all the super fans now. I honestly enjoyed the main story with Cath and Wren and all the great characters but I was so bored with the fanfiction. I skipped past all of the bits at the beginning of each chapter and even the pages and pages of the fanfiction she had wrote and was reading out loud, I just skipped past it completely. I just felt like it wasn't necessary for the story and it really didn't add anything of value. Maybe it's just me... I personally don't really 'get' the whole fanfic stuff. I'm not into it and don't really understand that whole 'scene'.

Fangirl was a cute story and it was enjoyable. I will definitely pick up another of Rainbow Rowell's books in the future as I did enjoy Fangirl. It just wasn't what I was expecting. If you're a fan of cute books with a dash of romance, I would recommend this book. And if you're a fanfic reader and love it, you'll probably love this book a whole lot more than I did.

“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me” 



Wednesday, May 16

Review: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Date Read: April 7, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909838-the-mirror-king

From Goodreads:
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

"No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together."

The Orphan Queen was one of those books that sat on my shelf for forever and then when I read it I couldn't put it down. I loved every moment of it so naturally I had to dive straight into the sequel. The Mirror King is the final instalment in this amazing series and I loved every single moment of it.

The Mirror King follows Wilhelmina's journey back home and trying to fight the wraith that is destroying the kingdom. Wil must rise up to be the queen that she has always been destined to be, but can she protect her kingdom not only from the wraith but from the other kingdom being led by the one who has her heart.

The Mirror King was such a wonderful ending to such a fantastic series. I loved every moment of it and I didn't know how Jodi was going to wrap everything up in just this one follow up but she did it perfectly. This is the first series I have read of Jodi's and I was completely blown away. I will definitely be reading more of her work as I have loved every single moment of this incredible fantasy series.

The Mirror King had a bit of a slower pace than The Orphan Queen and it took me a little bit longer to finish than the previous book. Once the action got started though it really picked up and I really couldn't put it down. There was so much going on in this book and I really couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The Orphan Queen series is most definitely one of my favourite series and one I will most definitely re-read time and time again. I loved every moment of it and I am sad that the series is over. I'd have loved to see what happens to the characters next. If you love YA fantasy series that have a hertstopping romance and action-packed storyline this series is definitely for you. I recommend this series to everyone.

"I want every part of you. The nameless girl. The Ospray. The vigilante. The queen. Wilhelmina, you have a hundred identities and I love every one of them."