Friday, 12 April 2019

Review: The Near Witch by V.E.Schwab



Goodreads: The Near Witch

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 


If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. 

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.



My Review:

The Near Witch is enchanting, magical and wonderfully eerie! That cover too! *heart eyes*

Descriptions of the Moor and the village were so lush and vivid, they felt realistic and believable. The plot was good, the pacing was just right and the main character Lexi was my favourite! There was a sense of the unknown throughout The Near Witch that is unsettling (in the best way) and you can never fully relax with the next disappearance right around the corner.

I particularly enjoyed the witches Magda and Dreska, I want a full background history novel of them please! Cole was interesting and I couldn't decide whether to trust him at first, the other villagers were believable and I could imagine the small village where they live.

The Near Witch was a fairy-tale read featuring a sense of unease, eerie events, mysterious strangers and a few morals thrown in for good measure. It was a great novel and I'm so glad that I had the chance to read it! I would recommend to fans of fairy-tales, magic, ghosts and romance.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

[Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!]

Friday, 22 March 2019

Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Goodreads:


Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…




My Review:

"Gamblers and cheaters, drunks and magicians. Champagne or opium, girls or boys, cards or dice, dream or nightmares: at the Palais Royal, you picked your own delight - or poison." 

[4 stars]

Enchantée was a delight to read. Initially I was intrigued by the concept - magic, France, the 18th century, romance and balls. What more could you want? 

Camille and her sister Sophie were both likeable and believable. I was rooting for them and hoping that everything would work out positively! I truly felt like I was on the journey with them in France. 
Lazare was an angel, he was caring, funny, romantic and ambitious. I loved him! It was also great to see diversity in his representation! Even the secondary characters were entertaining, in particular I enjoyed Chandon and Rosier. 
The villains in this novel are painted out fairly obviously towards the beginning which was a shame as I would have liked to see some unexpected twists. There are a lot of characters that Camille meets, so keeping track of everyone was a bit difficult at first but I soon got the hang of it. 

The plot was good, it was interesting and kept me engaged whilst reading it. I did have a break in the middle as I had reading assignments for uni, but it was relatively easy to jump back into this world. I really enjoyed the little French vocab moments, this made it seem more realistic in the setting and I liked learning new phrases! The descriptions of the setting were wonderful and helped immerse me within the story. I enjoyed learning about the different kinds of magic, especially the dress that seems alive! This was wonderfully creepy. 

The ending felt very much like a fairy tale ending where everything is wrapped up nicely. I'm guessing this is a standalone novel and that was refreshing in the sense where there was no cliffhangers or wondering in which direction the story would go next. 

Overall, Enchantée was as the title suggests enchanting and the descriptions are lush and vivid. I would recommend this novel to anyone interested in France, especially the French Revolution, magic, romance and adventure. 

[Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with a free copy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Holiday Books


Hey guys! :)

Booked a very spontaneous holiday leaving tomorrow, so thought I'd share some of the books I'm taking with me because one of the best things about holidays is allllll the reading time!

Here are the eBooks I'm going to take with me:



I'm also going to take physical copies of Daughter of the Pirate King, Red Rising and The Queen of the Tearling. I may also pick up one or two at the airport as well. I'm thinking something contemporary/romance. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

I hope everyone has a great week and I'll be back on the 6th September :)



Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Goodreads: 
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed--and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth--especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.




My Review:
When I first started this, I only intended to read a few opening pages so that I could get a feel for the story and style, however I was instantly hooked! I just couldn’t stop reading! The writing was so lyrical and poetic and just marvellous. I was enchanted by this world and all of the characters, you can almost feel the crackle of fire and crunch of snow.

I am familiar with some of Novik’s work, I’d previously tried Uprooted a few years ago however I DNF’ed that, so maybe I need to give it another whirl now that I know Novik’s writing style and character development etc. I also know it’s a favourite among the book blogging community.

Plot: 
The plot was interesting, there were twists and turns and the story can be very gritty in areas, it’s not afraid to look at the bad aspects of the character’s lives, from abuse, violence, threats, betrayals, but it also shows the lightness with magic, hope, laughter and families. I felt like the writing was overly descriptive in some parts, and found myself skimming towards 3/4s of the book, where I felt it could have been made much shorter. I’m very happy with how everything ended and I’m glad it’s a standalone!

Characters: 
There are multiple POVs in this novel, I think there were around five or six, and understandably this sometimes made it confusing on which I was reading from at the time, and I had to flip a few pages back to work it out. I enjoyed all of the different voices as they showed different aspects of life in this world.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend if you enjoy fables, magic, and great character driven stories.

4/5 stars.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Heng

Goodreads: 
In this debut set in near future NYC—where lives last 300 years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die. 

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.




My Review:

'"Did you know the latest SmartBlood clots in less than a millisecond? DiamondSkin that will withstand not just the force of a car... but a fall of eighty floors."' 

I first heard about Suicide Club months ago and was definitely intrigued straight away, a world where people can live forever and an underground rebel group? Sign me up! I then saw that the first five chapters were posted on The Pool’s Bedtime Reading section, which is a great way to find new books! After reading those five chapters I was instantly hooked and needed more!

You’re thrown into this seemingly perfect world where people are living longer, called ‘Lifers’ thanks to new technology and it’s not unusual at all for someone to be over one hundred years old and still look youthful. The descriptions of this new tech was interesting! I loved hearing about the DiamondSkinTM and ToughMusTM Replacements that you could get. 

I enjoyed the characters a lot, and the switching POVs between Lea and Anja helped me see more into their very different lives. Lea is a high-powered executive working in health tech that has it all, whilst Anja is a waitress living with some dark secrets. They felt very believable and had both good and bad traits, so the characters development arcs from beginning to end were realistic. 

Towards the end I became emotional; it was the little precious moments that got to me. Some might say it was expected, however I didn’t see it coming. At one point I had to put the book away, otherwise I would have been a blubbering mess on the train haha! Suicide Club is a whirlwind of emotions and it’s definitely worth adding to your TBR list!

Ultimately, this book is about what it means to really live your life to the fullest extent. You can have all of these extensions of life, tougher hearts and rigorous wind pipes and special blood but if you’re not enjoying yourself and having to live by strict rigid rules such as, No Running, No Fast Food etc etc. are you really that happy to go on as an Immortal? Suicide Club makes you think about what's important to you in your life. 

I loved this book and its characters and I want to know more about their lives please! 

5 out of 5 stars. Would recommend to everyone!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Waiting on Wednesday


Hey guys! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating! :)

Mine this week is:



Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.


In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.
~

How amazing does this sound?! That cover is beautiful too! I CANNOT wait till it comes out in November 2018! 

What's on your Waiting on Wednesday? 



Monday, 20 August 2018

Review: VOX by Christina Dalcher

Goodreads:
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, 
VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.


My Review:

‘“There’s a resistance?” The word sounds sweet as I say it.
“Honey, there’s always a resistance. Didn’t you go to college?”’
 


As soon as I heard the premise of VOX, I just knew I HAD to read it as soon as possible. Imagine a world where females can only speak one hundred words a day and should they go over this limit, they’ll suffer horrific electric shocks. VOX is a dystopian delight that should be recommended reading for all, especially fans of Atwood and Alderman.

The plot was interesting, I was constantly finding any spare minutes reading this in queues, whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, and of course, in bed. There were a few unanswered questions regarding the ending and characters that I NEED to know!! Be warned, this is definitely an adult book featuring profanity, sex etc. Side note - I hate it when authors use ‘my sex’ but this is just personal preference. 

The schools brainwashing of the children with religious propaganda about purity etc. and gifting treats to girls for speaking zero words all day felt very scary but believable. This world felt so real and I was completed absorbed in it for a day or so after finishing.

I feel like the story was just a bit too long as it focused a lot on the neurolinguistics plot and dawdled in other areas. There were some techniques and linguistic terms that I didn’t completely understand but I personally don’t think it hindered the story in anyway. 

Jean is our main protagonist and she’s highly intelligent and angry, so so so angry. I enjoyed the little moments where she wasn’t perfect and resented the men in her life because this felt so real and honest. 

The secondary characters, Patrick (her husband), her colleagues Lin and Lorenzo, and her old school friend Jackie were all interesting but not gripping, I didn’t enjoy those moments as much. Reverend Carl and Morgan were THE WORST. Patronising, belittling and sexist, they believed in this Pure movement so rigidly. 

Overall, this book is a warning. 

3/5 stars.

(I received this book free in exchange for an honest review)


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