Wednesday, March 27

Review: Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1 / Grisha #1)

Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone #1 / Grisha #1)
Leigh Bardugo

Published By: Indigo
Publication Date: July 31, 2014
Date Read: February 22, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22819449-shadow-and-bone

From Goodreads:
'I've been waiting for you along time, Alina,' he said.
'You and I are going to change the world'


The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the world of the kingdom's magical elite - the Grisha. Could she be the key setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a man of seductive charm and terrifying power. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina's childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can't she ever quite forget him?

"I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world."

Shadow and Bone has been on my 'TBR' for what feels like absolutely forever. I remember seeing it everywhere and seeing everyone raving about it. As it's a fantasy, which is my favourite genre, I knew this would be something that I would absolutely love... but for some reason it just remained sat there on my shelf unread for years. Fast-forward to 2019 and my Goodreads group selected this series as our group series readalong and it was really the motivation that I needed to finally pick up this book. And I am now totally kicking myself for not reading this sooner because it's awesome!

Shadow and Bone follows the story of Alina, an orphan who is suddenly thrust into the glamorous world of the magical Grisha, when she is discovered to have a very rare and coveted power. Now Alina must learn how to live in this new, beautiful world that can also be very deadly. Who does she trust? And can she really leave her old life behind, along with the boy she has loved forever?

This book is just incredible! I remember thinking that because so many people were loving this book that I wouldn't get the hype or it wouldn't live up to those expectations but honestly from the moment I opened Shadow and Bone to the very last page I was completely in awe. This is the first Leigh Bardugo book I have read and honestly, I am such a fan now. Her writing style was wonderful. I was just taken away on this incredible magical journey and I couldn't put it down until I was finished.

I am so glad that I finally decided to read Shadow and Bone. It has some of the most amazing characters I've ever read about. They are so realistic and there's so much more beneath the surface with each of them. I was totally taken away and in love with one particular character, I'm not saying who because I hate spoilers, and then they turned out to be tricking Alina and lying to her and I honestly felt that betrayal and heartbreak myself because I was tricked along with her. To me, that is a sign of phenomenal characterisation and storytelling.

Shadow and Bone is one of my favourite reads of the year so far and I am so excited about continuing this series. I can't wait to see what twists and turns Leigh is going to shock me with next. I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this series but better late than never! I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone and I have no doubt I will continue to love this world, storyline and characters with the next book. If you haven't picked this up yet, I highly recommend that you do!

"I'm sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now."


Wednesday, March 20

Review: Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2)

Eden Conquered (Dividing Eden #2)
Joelle Charbonneau

Published By: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Date Read: February 17, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35270739-eden-conquered

From Goodreads:
The electrifying conclusion to the Dividing Eden series by the New York Times bestselling author of the Testing trilogy, Joelle Charbonneau..

The Trials of Virtuous Succession have ended. Prince Andreus is king—and Princess Carys is dead.

But even as he’s haunted by what he did to win the throne, Andreus discovers that his dream of ruling only brings new problems. The people love his twin even more in death than they did when she was alive. The Elders treat him as a figurehead. And worst of all, the winds of Eden are faltering.

But despite what everyone believes, Carys is alive. Exiled to the wilderness, Carys struggles to control the powers that have broken free inside her. And as she grows stronger, so does her conviction that she must return to the Palace of Winds, face her twin and root out the treachery that began long before the first Trials started.

The Kingdom of Eden is growing darker with each passing day. Brother and sister, former foes, must decide whether some betrayals cut too deep to be forgiven—and whether one will wear the crown or both will lose everything.

Dividing Eden was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. I loved Joelle Charbonneau's YA Dystopia series The Testing, and was so looking forward to her take on a Fantasy series. I really enjoyed Dividing Eden and couldn't wait to see what happened next. Eden Conquered has been sat on my kindle for so long and I can't really explain why I didn't read it before now. I am so glad I finally picked it up as Eden Conquered was such a fantastic ending to this series.

Eden Conquered picks up right where Dividing Eden left off, with Andreus as king and Carys on the run. Right from the start of the book I was totally taken away on this journey with Carys and Andreus. I loved that it was told from the perspectives of both, so we got to see what was happening with both characters. I loved this so much because they were in two different places and going through very different troubles so it was really nice that we weren't 'out of the loop' or forgetting about any of them. Carys and Andreus are two absolutely fantastic characters and I actually loved seeing how much they both developed throughout this book. The characters at the end of this book are definitely not the same people that they were at the start of this series... and I think that's a very good thing. There is nothing better than being able to experience the change and growth that they go through individually.

Joelle Charbonneau is such a fantastic author and I absolutely loved every moment of this book. I was totally enamoured by the fantastic world building, characterisations and storyline that she expertly weaved in this book. I couldn't put the book down and there were so many twists and turns that I just wasn't expecting at all. I was definitely kept on my toes right the way through this amazing book and I am so glad I read the finale of this great series.

Young Adult Fantasy is without a doubt my favourite genre and the Dividing Eden series is a definite must-read for any fans of this genre. It is absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this series. It is filled with action, intrigue, a war for the crown and a dash of romance... everything I adore in a fantasy book. My one wish is that Joelle would write more in this series about some of the other characters. Here's to hoping for a spin-off series.

"The orb is a beacon and they are coming. Like moths to a flame. And when it arrives everyone will burn."


Wednesday, March 13

Review: Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)

Forbidden Fruit (Dividing Eden #1.5)
Joelle Charbonneau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Wednesday, March 6

Review: Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret
Karen M McManus

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

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

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

And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Saturday, March 2

Wrap Up: February 2019


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

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


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

Illumicrate:



E-Books: 


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

Books Read in February 2019:


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