Wednesday, July 17

Early Review: The King (Wicked Trilogy #3.6)

The King (Wicked Trilogy #3.6)
Jennifer L Armentrout

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Date Read: July 14, 2019
Genre: NA - Paranormal Romance
Source: eARC from JLAnders Reviewers
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41142454-the-king

From Goodreads:
As Caden and Brighton's attraction grows despite the odds stacked against a happily ever after, they must work together to stop an Ancient fae from releasing the Queen, who wants nothing more than to see Caden become the evil Prince once feared by fae and mortals alike.

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me, or who has followed me for a while, how much I absolutely adore Jennifer L Armentrout. I have absolutely adored her and her work since I read her first release back in 2011 and I still get ridiculously over-excited about a new book from her 8 years later. So you can imagine my excitement to receive The King for review. The Wicked Trilogy is one of my favourite series of hers, me loving fantasy/paranormal series way more than contemporary books, so I absolutely couldn't wait to dive back into this incredible world.

It's been a while since I read anything in this series and sometimes that worries me as I have the worst memory. One thing that is so brilliant about Jennifer's storytelling abilities is that she gives you little hints about what has happened previously to jog your memory, without it feeling repetitive. Within just a few pages of this novella I remembered what had happened previously and was once again sucked into this incredible world. I couldn't read this one fast enough.

The King was incredibly difficult to put down and I read it in one sitting. I loved every single moment of it and just when I thought I couldn't be surprised any more, Jen surprises me once again. I love the characters of Brighton and Cadan and I honestly couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen to them. I absolutely loved going on this journey with them and once again I was left dying for more. This novella brings out all of the feels. One moment I was so incredibly happy and swooning over what was happening, the next I was completely heartbroken and crying. Only Jen can do this to me.

The King was a perfect instalment to the Wicked Trilogy and it just made me want more and more. I loved every moment of it and highly recommend these novellas for anyone who is a fan of the series. A definite must-read and I cannot wait to read more.


Wednesday, July 10

Review: A Good Girls Guide to Murder

A Good Girls Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson

Published By: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: May 2, 2019
Date Read: May 26, 2019
Genre: YA - Thriller / Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40916679-a-good-girl-s-guide-to-murder

From Goodreads:
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

A debut YA crime thriller as addictive as Serial and as page-turning as One of Us Is Lying.

YA thrillers are far from my go-to genre. I'm a huge lover of YA books but I never really enjoyed thriller/mysteries all that much. But after absolutely loving the recent releases from Karen M McManus I decided it was time to broaden my horizens and try to read a few more. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder is a fun, unique addition to this genre and I really enjoyed it.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder is wrote in such a unique way and that was one of the things that I loved most about it. This book follows the story of straight-A student Pippa who decides to complete her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) on the crime that rocked her town five years ago when popular school girl Andie Bell was murdered. But as Pippa gets deeper into what actually happened she starts putting herself in danger.

One thing I loved about this book was that half of the book was wrote as an EPQ Production Log. As a sixth-form teacher I found this really interesting and actually preferred these parts to the actual narration. I was always looking forward to those parts so much more so we could hear what else Andie had got up to in the weeks before her death. I find this split in story-telling to give this book an edge that others in this genre don't have. The production log became your way of seeing what Andie had done and the narration was more what was going on present day with Pippa researching it. It was a really unique way to write this book and I loved how the narration and the production log came together to give you an overall view of what happened. It was a really great way to write this story.

I was completely taken by surprise by this book. I really enjoyed it and the more I read the more I couldn't put it down. I was completely gripped by it and I was dying to find out what had actually happened all those years ago. A Good Girls Guide to Murder was Holly Jackson's debut novel and I think she did an absolutely superb job. I will definitely be looking out for other books by her in the future.

YA thriller/mysteries are never going to be my favourite genre but I really enjoyed A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. I thought it was absolutely fantastic and one I will definitely be keeping this one on my shelf to read again in the future. If you're looking for an intriguing and fun read then I highly recomment this one. It was great.


Monday, July 8

Blog Tour: The Thunder Girls



The Thunder Girls
Melanie Blake


It’s the 1980s. Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita are ordinary girls with extraordinary lives. They are better known as eighties pop sensation The Thunder Girls. This girl group is dominating the pop scene, their faces on every magazine cover, millions of fans worldwide, constantly at the top of the charts.

Until one of them brings the band’s dream run to an abrupt end.
Three of their careers are over – and so is their friendship.

Fast forward thirty years. Their old record label lands a bombshell by asking them to reunite for a series of huge concerts. These would be the gigs of a lifetime with a pay check to match – some need it more than others – and old wounds leave deep scars. A lot has happened since The Thunder Girls were ruling the charts. Addiction, breakdowns, bankruptcy and divorce have led them far from the lives they once lived.

If they are to move forward, the past needs to be laid to rest – but there is more to this reunion than meets the eye. Each Thunder Girl is hungry to revive their past success, but what they don’t know is that someone is watching their every move – and is determined to stop them succeeding – in the deadliest way possible.

The Thunder Girls is a page-turning tale of friendship, betrayal, revenge and murder. It’s the perfect read for readers who miss the bestselling blockbusters of Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran and will take you on a thrilling ride back to the days of shoulder pads, glamour and original girl power.
These four girls have been to hell and back - and some of them are still there.

~ My Review ~

The Thunder Girls isn't my usual kind of read. I'm very much a YA reader but I've been trying to broaden my horizons and when I was asked if I was interested in reviewing this book for the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. I'm a huge fan of thriller/mystery type books and hearing this book was a thriller/mystery based around a girl band, I couldn't say no. This sounded right up my street... and I was not wrong. I really enjoyed The Thunder Girls, it had me gripped right from the very start.

The Thunder Girls follows the story of a legendary 80s girl group, whose career abruptly ended when one of the girls decided to go solo. Thirty years later, they're all thrown back together to revive their former glory. But someone is after them. Can they all survive this comeback?

The Thunder Girls is the debut novel by Melanie Blake and I was so surprised to learn this was her first novel. It does not in any way read like a debut. The storytelling is so superbly done, it reads like someone who has been honing their craft for years. I really liked that about this book. It grabbed my attention right from the start and I couldn't put this book down. I was continuously guessing and I didn't trust any character at all. It definitely kept me guessing right from the start and I was surprised by the ending as well. I love books that can surprise me as I often figure things out early on and the fact that I didn't with this one made me enjoy this book all the more.

The Thunder Girls was a fantastic debut, and one that I definitely recommend. Melanie is clearly very knowledgable about the music business and I learnt a lot from reading this book. It really gives you an insight into that business and I loved that. I was completely taken by this story from the start to the very end. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Melanie's future books. If you enjoy books that keep you guessing, this is definitely a must-read for you.



About the Author
Melanie Blake was born in Manchester (the only survivor of twins). Up to the age of 6 she had a relatively ‘normal’ childhood. Then everything changed. 

Melanie’s father got involved with an extreme religious group which meant family life would never be the same again. Almost overnight, most TV programmes were banned and music posters and toys, which were considered false idols, were destroyed in front of her young eyes. 

Melanie’s mother was a cleaner who worked all hours for little pay. She’d take Melanie with her on her cleaning round, letting her read library books while she worked. This is how she discovered the woman who inspired Melanie to change her life – Jackie Collins. 

Melanie found other ways to escape by sneaking over to neighbours houses and immersing herself in 80s TV classics such as Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing and her absolute favourite – Top Of The Pops. Little did she know, one day she would be working on that show, which would open so many doors for her future career as a top music manager. 

Now a multi-millionairess, Melanie is living her dream – from living off food bank handouts, wearing second hand clothes, being told by her teachers she’d never amount to anything and being homeless – to living in her own mansion. It’s the ultimate rags-to-bitches story – they say write what you know, and The Thunder Girls is a tale Melanie has lived and breathed from the ground up. She hopes that somehow, the late, great Jackie Collins knows that she inspired Melanie to follow her dreams. She also hopes that Jackie would have enjoyed reading The Thunder Girls as much as Melanie enjoyed writing it.


Wednesday, July 3

Wrap Up: June 2019


Hey Guys,
Can you believe June is over already? I sure can't. I had a super slow reading month this month due to some additional work stuff I had to do but here is my month in books...

Book Haul




Bought:

When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher
A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Gifted:

Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer
Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Illumicrate

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura
Birthday by Meredith Russo


Books Read in June 2019:



Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer - 4 Stars
The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccareli - 5 Stars

Review Posted in June 2019:


Favourite Book of June 2019:

As I only read two books this month there is no top 3... but here is my favourite book of the month...
How was your June?

 

Wednesday, June 26

Review: The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad Trilogy #2)

The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad Trilogy #2)
SA Chakraborty

Published By: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Date Read: May 18, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 619
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39988431-the-kingdom-of-copper

From Goodreads:
Return to Daevabad in the spellbinding sequel to THE CITY OF BRASS.

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabadand quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her familyand one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the maridthe unpredictable water spiritshave gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad's towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

"You don't stop fighting a war just because you're losing battles."

When I finished reading The City of Brass I intended to go into a different series as I didn't own the second book of this series. But no matter how much I tried I just couldn't get into another book after reading it. This world of Daevabad was still in my head and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. So, naturally, I had to order the second book and dive straight in. The Kingdom of Copper was everything I could have wanted and more. It was utter perfection and I couldn't put it down.

The Kingdom of Copper is set five years after the events of The City of Brass and I was super surprised by this. I guess I was expecting it to pick up right where The City of Brass left off but honestly after a few chapters it makes perfect sense why this time jump happens. The Kingdom of Copper is just as fast paced and action packed as the first book and I loved every single moment of it.

SA Chakraborty is fast becoming a favourite author of mine. I am still completely gobsmacked that The City of Brass was her debut novel. It was so perfectly crafted and read like someone who had been writing for years. I was a little worried that The Kingdom of Copper wouldn't live up to the first book and suffer from 'second book syndrome' but I had absolutely nothing to worry about. SA Chakraborty spun her magic perfectly yet again and I was completely obsessed. I couldn't read this book fast enough and I actually loved this one even more than the first one.

The Kingdom of Copper was, in my eyes, complete perfection. It was most definitely a game changer and I changed my mind on so many thing in this book. Characters that I absolutely loved in the first book showed a different side to them and I started to rethink my blind love of them. Others that I hated and disliked showed a softer side and I started to love them... and I loved that. Usually in series once I've made my mind up about a character I don't change it but in this series I changed my thoughts and views on them so many times. I love to read books where the author really makes you reconsider things and think about things a bit more and that is what happened in The Kingdom of Copper.

The Kingdom of Copper was brilliant. It's a pretty thick book yet I read it within a week (that's like super good for me considering I teach full time). I could not put it down and now I am counting down the months, weeks, days until I can get my hands on the final book of the series. This has fast become one of my favourite fantasy series and I know I'll read it again and again and again. It has everything that I love in a book. A new world, magic, intrigue and a dash of romance. I loved it and recommend this book to everyone!

"Because a lost little girl from Cairo thought she was living in some sort of fairy tale. And because for all her supposed cleverness, she couldn’t see that the dashing hero who saved her was its monster."


Saturday, June 22

Early Review: Call It What You Want

Call It What You Want
Brigid Kemmerer

Published By: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: June 27, 2019
Date Read: June 15, 2019
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44320201-call-it-what-you-want

From Goodreads:
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

Call It What You Want has been on my TBR since I first heard about it last year. Brigid Kemmerer is one of my all time favourite authors and I just couldn't wait to get this in my hands. There are no words to explain my utter excitement when I got a copy of this from Bloomsbury Publishing. I just had to dive in right away and I was not disappointed.

Now I know what you're thinking... if you follow my blog or follow me on social media you'll know that I am not a big lover of YA Contemporary novels. I'm a fantasy fan through and through but there is just something about Brigid's books that makes me love them no matter what genre they are. I have devoured almost every single book Brigid has ever published and adored all of them. She is just such a fantastic storyteller and has this amazing talent of developing these multi-dimensional characers that I love so much. Usually I need a good strong magical or fantasy-eske storyline to keep me going in books but with Brigid's books I just don't. I love her storylines and characters so much that that is enough. Nothing else is needed.

Call It What You Want did not disappoint. I loved every single moment of it and fell head over heels for these characters. One of the things that I loved about this book was that a lot of the drama that happens it's because of the parents and it's the kids that are dealing with the fallout. I loved this as I felt like it was so unique and different from other contemporary books. I also loved that both of the main characters are flawed and make mistakes... it's usually one of them in contemporary books so to see the two main characters matching in this I thought was just fantastic.

As usual I adored every single second of this book. I will never be bored of Brigid Kemmerer's books they are just phenomenal. It's not my favourite of her books... that space is reserved for her fantasy book (obviously) but I thoroughly enjoyed Call It What You Want and I can't wait to read more from Brigid. I'd absolutely love her to write a companion novel about Connor so I will wait and see. If there's one contemporary novel you're going to read this year make sure it's this one.



Wednesday, June 19

Review: Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)
VE Schwab

Published By: Titan Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Date Read: May 6, 2019
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 470
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34397653-our-dark-duet

From Goodreads:
Kate Harker is a girl who hunts monsters. And she's good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows -one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim's inner demons- Kate must face a monster she thought she'd killed, a boy she thought she knew and a demon all her own …

"Because she knew a secret: there were two kinds of monsters, the kind that hunted the streets and the kind that lived in your head. She could fight the first, but the second was more dangerous."

Our Dark Duet has been sat on my shelf unread since it's release in 2017. I absolutely loved the first book in this duology and I absolutely couldn't wait for the second book to be released. But then when it was I just got busy and never got around to reading it. In preperation for YALC 2019 and as part of my Series Catch-Up Challenge I finally picked up this absolute gem of a book. I loved Our Dark Duet so very much and although it broke my heart slightly it was such a perfect conclusion to this duology.

Our Dark Duet is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Honestly, VE Schwab is fast becoming one of my very favourite authors. I just adore everything that she writes. Her writing style has a sort of poetic beauty to it. Everything I have read of hers just resonates so deeply with me and Our Dark Duet was no different. This story is a fantasy story full of monsters on the surface but when you dig deeper it's really about that difference between human and monster and the fine line between good and evil. It's such a deep and meaningful message of what it is to actually be a decent person and to make those good choices rather than the bad. I just adore this story so much.

VE Schwab's characterisation is just so on point. Kate and August are some of my very favourite characters of all time. They're just so multi-dimensional and when you look at them in this book, the difference from those characters we met at the start of This Savage Song is unbelievable. They have both changed so much due to the horrific things that they have gone through but they still come together to hope they can be a good person regardless of what they have done. I just adore both of them. Through these characters' actions is the question of whether anyone can be all bad or all good... because often there is no black and white. It's a mixture of gray.

Our Dark Duet is a dark book. It's a story set in a world of monsters... we know that's not a very happy place and honestly it's such a bittersweet ending to this series. I loved every single second of it and even though the ending completely and utterly broke my heart it was such a beautifully perfect ending for this series. It doesn't tie everything up.... but that's okay. It gives you the one thing that these characters have been fighting for since the beginning... hope!

Our Dark Duet was everything I could have wanted and more for the finale of this stunning duology. I could not have wished for a more beautifully written book and this is one I will read over and over again and I know it will still move me even though I will know what is coming. I cannot recommend this series enough, so if you haven't yet read it... well what are you waiting for? It's utter perfection!

"You might not want to fight your monsters, August. But I'm fighting mine."