Wednesday, October 30

Review: Postscript (PS, I Love You #2)

Postscript (PS, I Love You #2)
Cecelia Ahern

Published By: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Date Read: September 25, 2019
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44358774-postscript

From Goodreads:
It's been seven years since Holly Kennedy's husband died – six since she read his final letter, urging Holly to find the courage to forge a new life.

She’s proud of all the ways in which she has grown and evolved. But when a group inspired by Gerry's letters, calling themselves the PS, I Love You Club, approaches Holly asking for help, she finds herself drawn back into a world that she worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly, Holly begins a relationship with the club, even as their friendship threatens to destroy the peace she believes she has achieved. As each of these people calls upon Holly to help them leave something meaningful behind for their loved ones, Holly will embark on a remarkable journey – one that will challenge her to ask whether embracing the future means betraying the past, and what it means to love someone forever…

PS, I Love You is one of my all time favourite books of all time. I read it when I was 16 years old and I absolutely adored it. I would even give it credit for my writing on this book blog now. I was never that much of an avid reader until I picked that book up and it made me fall head over heels in love with books and reading. Fastforward 12 years, and I honestly had mixed emotions when hearing about a sequel. 16-year-old me was squealing with excitement at the possibility of returning to this story and the characters I loved so desperately, but current day me was skeptical. PS, I Love You is one of my favourite books ever but I thought did it really need a sequel? I was just praying that it wasn't going to be an unnecessary continuation of such an emotional and perfect book and I was really scared of it ruining my love for the first book if it was. I needn't have worried. Postscript is such an emotional, stunning and beautiful read.

Postscript follows Holly several years after the first book and she is moving on with her life after grieving and mourning the loss of Gerry. When she takes part in her sisters' podcast about bereavement and details what Gerry had left behind for her, she finds herself being thrown into something she never could have ever expected. She is contacted by a group of terminally ill people wanting to do what Gerry did for Holly for their family. Reluctantly Holly agreed to help them and finds herself thrown back in time... will she be able to help these people without getting too attached?

One thing I absolutely adored about this book was although it was about Holly and you see Holly going through an emotional journey herself, it is not just her book. It is about these moving and heartbreaking stories of the friends she makes and their relationships with their loved ones. I grew so unbelievably attached to these characters and you know it's not going to end well as they are terminally ill... that's the point of the story. But even knowing that, it didn't stop me falling in love with their stories and my heart absolutely broke into pieces when the inevitable happened.

Postscript is such a beautiful and important book to read. It's moving and so thought provoking. Unless it's happened to you personally you don't really appreciate how hard it is to have a loved one terminally ill. It was so heartbreaking but at the same time uplifting to see these people go through this journey of not only accepting that they're going to die but to do something positive to help their family deal with the repurcussions of their death. It made me appreciate every single moment of my life and the time we have with loved ones.

Postscript is beautiful, heartbreaking and poignant. I still feel like it wasn't quite as magical as the first book but I really enjoyed it. The first book will always take the top spot in my heart but this was beautiful. I never expected a sequel to PS, I Love You when I read it years ago and if I could have wished for one... this is what I would have wished for. It was beautiful, moving and magical and made me fall in love with Cecelia Ahern all over again. An absolute must read.

"Death is there at our fingertops all the time and we choose not to go to it and it chooses not to take us. Death doesn't push us; death catches us when we fall."


 

Wednesday, October 23

Review: The Oracle Queen and The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.1/0.2)

The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns #0.1)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Date Read: September 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39325041-the-oracle-queen

From Goodreads:
A short story from Kendare Blake's bestselling Three Dark Crowns universe, The Oracle Queen tells the story of the last queen born with the gift of sight. . .

Historically, baby queens born with the sight gift were drowned. This had been the practice for hundreds of years, so long that few were even born anymore, as if the Goddess knew it would be a waste. It is a harsh sentence, but necessary, for it is well-known that in a queen the sight gift will run strong. Strong enough to drive her mad.This is the tale the last sight gift queen to be allowed to live. She was overcome by paranoia and false visions, driven past the brink by the phantom thoughts of others in her head, so she set upon the capital with bloody ruin, murdering whole houses, whole family lines without trial. Or at least, that is how the tale is told. This is her story.

I read the first book of the Three Dark Crowns series last year and really enjoyed it. It was one of those that I liked but the other books just sat unread on my shelf for ages. After a friend suggested we read the rest of the series together so we can discuss it I jumped at the chance. After finishing book 2 I decided to pick up the prequel novellas.

I really enjoyed reading The Oracle Queen and I ended up reading it quite quickly. I absolutely love the world of this series and so to go back in time and see one of the other queens I found it really intriguing. I loved the oracle queen right from the start and I was completely on her side. I know from the previous books in this series how she is known as the queen who went crazy and I was so intrigued to see how she got to that point and what happened to make a seemingly normal, thoughtful ruler go the lengths explained in book 2.

This was a completely addictive read and I was so attached to these characters. I was actually super sad that it was only a novella. I could have easily read a full length book on these characters, they were so intriguing. The Oracle Queen made me hate the Arrons family more than I already did. They are so manipulative and awful and I can't even explain the amount of pain and horror I felt for the poor oracle queen.

I would highly recommend reading The Oracle Queen. It actually adds so much insight into the history of this series and I can't wait to see whether this links in to the main series. Roll on book 3.





 The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.2)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Date Read: September 21, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36042137-the-young-queens

From Goodreads:
Three black witches, born to a descending queen. One would rise to become queen in her place. Perhaps the strongest of the three. Perhaps the cleverest. Or perhaps it would be the girl born under the best shield of luck.

Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella - three young queens born to fulfil their destiny - to fight to the death to win the crown. But before they were poisoner, elemental and naturalist, they were children, sisters and friends . . . Discover the origin story of the three queens of Fennbirn in this exclusive e-novella from Kendare Blake, bestselling author of the New York Times bestselling, Three Dark Crowns.


After completely devouring the first two books and the first novella in this series I absolutely couldn't wait to read The Young Queens. The Young Queens follows the early years of our three sister queens, Katharine, Arsinoe and Mirabella. I did enjoy this novella but I found that it had a much slower pacing than the first novella.

I thought I would actually love this novella much more than The Oracle Queen as it was following the characters that we already knew and loved and although there are parts of this story that I loved to see I just found myself super bored. I really liked seeing how Arsinoe and Katherine's placed were switched and how Carys ended up being outcast but other than that honestly I was a little bored.

In my opinion, you could miss this one out. It doesn't particularly add anything of much value to the series. It was still enjoyable and I can't wait to continue with this series.


Wednesday, October 16

Review: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2)

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2)
Kendare Blake

Published By: Macmillan Childrens
Publication Date: September, 21, 2017
Date Read: September 15, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 450
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34567771-one-dark-throne

From Goodreads:
The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, the elemental sister once thought to be the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must confront the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

"Don't be ridiculous, boy. You cannot kill what is already dead."

I read the first book in this series, Three Dark Crowns, back in 2016 and really enjoyed it. There were certain things I wasn't crazy about but I did really enjoy it. I can't really explain why I didn't continue the series when One Dark Throne published in 2017 but I just never ended up picking this one up. Fast forward 3 years and a friend of mine read the first book and then suggested we buddy read One Dark Throne together and I took her up on it. It was a great chance to get back into the series. I am so very glad I did as I really loved this book. In my opinion One Dark Throne is even better than the first book and I am so excited about continuing this series.

One Dark Throne is fast-paced and action-packed. Two things that I love. One of my issues with Three Dark Crowns was that I felt like there were pacing issues. I remember getting a little bored in the middle and I worried that that would happen again with book 2. I needn't have worried. There was no pacing issues in this book whatsoever. I was completely gripped from start to finish and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

One Dark Throne was incredible. I forgot my love for the world building in this series. It's just such a dark and intriguing world and I love the history of three queens always being born and fighting to the death for the crown. It's just brilliant and something that I love reading about. I don't know what it says about me that I love reading things where people are fighting to the death but oh well. I really enjoyed reading more about the three sisters and I honestly changed my mind about all of them throughout this book. Once I decided I liked or disliked one of them within minutes there would be something happen that made my doubt myself and change my mind. Even now after finishing the book I can't really decide my thoughts on them.

This book was full of intrigue, violence and of course death. I mean it does have the word 'dark' in the title, what were you expecting? There was so much happening towards the end and so many twists and turns I am left with so many questions and I have already ordered books 3 and 4 so I can finish off the series. This was definitely my favourite book of the series so far and I can't wait to read more. One Dark Throne was a fantastic instalment in this YA Fantasy series and I highly recommend it to any fantasy fans. Roll on book three.

"And because . . . you have always been the most important person to me. Everybody has that, I think. And for me, it will always be you."

 

Wednesday, October 9

Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published By: Oneworld Publications
Publication Date: October 22, 2015
Date Read: August 16, 2019
Genre: YA - Sci-fi
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 602
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25877135-illuminae

From Goodreads:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

"She is catalyst.
She is chaos.
I can see why he loves her."


I have seen so much about this book over the last few years. Honestly, everywhere I looked online this book was being raved about. However, I was really skeptical about reading it. I'd previously read one of Amie Kaufman's books and not really liked it, so it kind of put me off trying this series. Add to that the fact that this book isn't told in normal narration, it really put me off. Fast forward a couple of years and I read Aurora Rising and it completely and utterly blew me away! It was absolutely stunning so I decided maybe I should give this one a go. Well, it's time for me to go back on everything I said about not liking books wrote in letters/documents etc because I could not put this book down! It was absolutely incredible.

I am already a huge fan of sci-fi books. I absolutely love them and so the storyline was already something that I was intrigued by. Illuminae is without a doubt the biggest surprise of the year for me as I was not expecting to love this one quite as much as I did. I loved every single second of it and I seriously could not read it fast enough. I was absolutely flying through the pages. This book was so damn addictive and really difficult to put down.

Illuminae is honestly one of a kind. The storyline is fantastic and the way it's told it completely addictive. I've read books told in letter format before and while I enjoyed them I just kept thinking how I'd probably have loved it even more had it been told in prose. That is not the case with this book. It is genius and perfect told in this format. I honestly bow down to Amie and Jay for writing this story this way because it is unique and incredible and pretty damn clever for them to have done. I loved every single moment.

Illuminae is one of my favourite reads of the year to date. It was fast-paced, action-packed and it was so very emtoional. I can't believe just how stunning this book is. In both story and aesthetically. I just love everything about this book and cannot wait to read the other books in the series. If you're a fan of YA sci-fi I highly recommend you try Illuminae. You won't regret it. It truly is out of this world!

"I should have told you I loved you every day. I should have given you the stars."

Wednesday, October 2

Wrap Up: September 2019


Hey Guys,
Can you believe it's October already? I can't believe how fast this year is going. It'll be Christmas before you know it. Well, here's my month in books.

Book Haul:

Hardcopies:


Bought:

Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake
Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4) by Kendare Blake
Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern

Illumicrate:

Kingdom of Souls (Kingdom of Souls #1) by Rena Barron

E-Books:

Bought:


 The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns #0.1) by Kendare Blake
The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.2) by Kendare Blake

Subscription Boxes:

Illumicrate:


 Books Read in September 2019:


The Burning Shadow (Origin #1) by Jennifer L Armentrout - 5 Stars
One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake - 4 Stars
The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns #0.1) by Kendare Blake - 4 Stars
The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.2) by Kendare Blake - 3 Stars
Postscript (PS, I Love You #2) by Cecelia Ahern - 4 Stars

Reviews Posted in September 2019:


Top 3 Books of September 2019:


How were your September reads?