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

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.

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!

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

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 fiancĂ© 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

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)

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Review: All Rights Reserved (Word$ #1) by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks ("Sorry" is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She's been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can't begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she's unable to afford.

But when Speth's friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family's crippling debt, she can't express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech--rather than say anything at all--she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth's unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.


My review:

Veryyyy interesting premise, I read the excerpt and was instantly hooked and had to find out more! It was a great dystopian concept that felt new, I hadn't seen this idea around anywhere else before. It does have the classic trope of 'outsider girl takes on corrupt man in charge' but overall I enjoyed this book. 

I liked how it progressed and I didn't see certain things from happening. I didn't like a certain characters death but I suppose I guess why it had to happen. The ending was interesting because it felt full circle and set things up nicely for the second instalment. The concept of paying for words was so scary but felt realistic and I could definitely see how people could end up in debt with all the Instasuits going around. I loved the new tech aspect with the 3D printing food, buildings etc!

Speth... I liked her and I can see why she made some of her decisions, it was frustrating at times and her willpower is definitely stronger than mine! I don't know how she could know what everything was worth, including gestures and things but obviously she has been brought up in this world so knows the rules. Not making any kind of error made it seem less realistic tbh!

Silas Rog was an interesting character but what were his motivations? Was he just power-hungry or what? How did he get into his role and become that powerful? Did I just miss something? Why does everyone do as he says? I want to know more about him and his backstory as I don't believe a villain can be a villain just because, there must be a motivation behind everything. 

I didn't like a certain someone having a hint of romance, I don't think it needed to be added at all and made the character seem like a complete Mary Sue. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would definitely read the next one!

3/5 stars.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Top 5 Most Anticipated YA July 2016 Releases

Top 5 Most Anticipated YA July 2016 Releases

1. And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White. Released on: July 7th 2016

“No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she'll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.”

2. Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watts. Release on: July 25th 2016
These Royals will ruin you…
From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.”

3. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab. Released on July 5th.

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.”

4. Torn (A Wicked Saga #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Released on July 19th.

Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same.

Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her.

Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him?

But as the Fae Prince begins to close in on Ivy, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.”

5. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott. Released on 26th July 2016.

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl," (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

So there we have it! These were my top five most anticipated YA July releases and I CANNOT WAIT! What are you looking forward to being released this July? 

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