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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Review: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

43287829. sy475 Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)
Tahereh Mafi 
Release Date: April 4th, 2019
Publishers: Egmont 
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Source: For Review
Pages: 368
Goodreads: Add to TBR
 
The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her?

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

The Review: Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely adore the Shatter Me series. I’ve been a massive fan since day one and so, I was more than happy to hear that the author had decided to write more books in the series. Defy Me is the fifth instalment and it definitely had a lot of expectations to live up to. The previous four books were nothing short of amazing and I was eagerly excited to see what the next instalment would bring.

After the events of Restore Me, Juliette and Warner are now in the hands of an enemy who claim to be long lost family. Being kept imprisoned and weak, being put through experiments is all a part of the test. But Juliette and Warner’s bond is stronger than ever even though they are apart but they are unable to escape without outside help. So it’s down to Kenji to try and rescue his friends in time. 

Defy Me was a good instalment and it’s one I’m glad I read, however without sounding to negative this book was a little repetitive. I kind of felt like I had go back to the start of the series where Juliette is locked up and weak. It had very much the same feeling and I honestly hate seeing Juliette like that when she is such a strong character. I was just waiting for the story to progress but I guess you could say this book kind of felt like a filler book. Not much really happens until the end. 

Kenji has always been a character I have loved and I was very excited to hear we would have his point of view in the story.  It makes sense why she would add in his point of view because so much is happening behind the scenes when Juliette or Warner aren’t present. This book very much felt like Kenji’s story.  While I love him, I love Juliette and Warner more so I would much prefer the author to focus on them more. 

One thing that the author never fails to deliver on is shocking revelations and yes, there is plenty to keep you on the edge of your sit throughout Defy Me. And we finally find out the truth about Warner and Juliette’s childhood. And it was definitely worth the wait. I adore soulmate stories so their story was perfect for me.

While Defy Me wasn’t my favourite from the series, it was still very enjoyable and one that still kept me turning the pages.  I was so very happy to be back with my favourite characters and I cannot wait to see how this series ends in Imagine Me. 

Thank you to Egmont for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 


                                                                      Rating: Liked it - 3.5 flowers 

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) 
Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: January 1st, 2019
Publishers: Bloomsbury UK
Genre: Fantasy, Re-Telling, YA
Source: For Review
Pages: 496
Goodreads: Add to TBR 
 
In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin. 

The Review: I’m a huge fan of Brigid Kemmerer’s work. From her paranormal books to contemporary books, everything I have read by her I have always really enjoyed, so as soon as I heard about A Curse so Dark and Lonely I just knew I had to read it and I honestly couldn’t contain my excitement when a review copy turned up and I literally dived straight in to read it. And once again Brigid wow’s me because this definitely didn’t disappointed.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely is a YA fantasy re-telling of the classic Beauty and the Beast with a modern contemporary twist. It follows a teenage girl named Harper who has Cerebral Palsy while trying to look after her struggling family. It’s when she is trying to help her brother that she is kidnapped and taken to another world called Emberfall, a world that has fallen under a deadly curse and she may be the key to breaking it.  

The characters of this story are really likeable. Harper is an interesting girl that after all her struggles in life, remains strong through the story. She doesn’t let her Cerebral Palsy stop her from doing the things she loves and refuses to be judged on her condition. We honestly need more refreshing YA characters like her and she was a pleasure to get to know. 

Rhen is also immediately likable. It takes a while to really find out who is he because he’s so used to hiding behind the curse that has affected his whole life and he is suffering because of how much his people are suffering. I really loved the banter between him and Harper. I’m always a sucker for true love stories and this really hit the spot. 

And then we have Grey. A character that became a friend to Harper but who is also hiding so much. I’m so glad we will get to find out what happens with him because how this story ends was something I definitely wasn’t expecting. It was a very good twist! 

I thoroughly enjoyed A Curse so Dark and Lonely and will eagerly look forward to reading more. I’m so glad Brigid decided to write something like this because there is always room for more fantasy books and Brigid has fit right in. 

Thank you to Bloomsbury UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 


                                                                       Rating: Really liked it - 4 flowers

Sunday, 2 December 2018

{Feature Post} Bookworm Candles and Crafts: Candle of the Month


Happy December! We can officially start counting down for Christmas. We are back this month with another Candle of the Month deal for you by Bookworm Candles and Crafts. So today I am sharing with you December's  candle of the month where you can buy the candle of the month for at a fantastic discounted price of just £5.
December's offer of the month is
Weasley Sweater.



Weasley Sweater candle is the perfect Christmas themed candle and even more perfect for you Harry Potter fans. Who doesn't love Harry Potter!

This magical Christmas sweater themed candle smells juniper berries, pine and warm cotton which gives it a great festive feel to it. And looks so pretty with it's silver glittered tinted wax top. 
It is available from today throughout the whole of December but there is only a limited amount of these so make sure you’re quick.
Unfortunately rep codes will not work with this candle but if you wish to purchase any other items while purchasing the Book Blogging candle you can use this special rep code: BLOGGERS20 for 20% all other items.  You can purchase it here: https://bookwormcandles.co.uk 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

{Feature Post} Bookworm Candles & Craft: Candle of the Month


We are back this month with another Candle of the Month deal for you by Bookworm Candles and Crafts. So today I am sharing with you November's candle of the month  where you can buy the candle of the month for at a fantastic discounted price of just £5.
November's offer of the month is
BOOK BLOGGING


The Book Blogging candle is apart of Just a Little Bookish Range by Bookworm Candle and Crafts which will have six candles and have new and improved candles.  

Book Blogging has a warm yummy scent that smells like vanilla and banana. Perfect for those cozy nights in blogging! 
It is available from today throughout the whole of November but there is only a limited amount of these so make sure you’re quick.
Unfortunately rep codes will not work with this candle but if you wish to purchase any other items while purchasing the Book Blogging candle you can use this special rep code: BLOGGERS20 for 20% all other items.  You can purchase it here: https://bookwormcandles.co.uk/


Keep your eyes peeled for December's candle of the month!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

{Blog Tour} The Haunting of Violet Gray by Emily Sadovna

The Haunting of Violet Gray
Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 31st, 2018
Publishers: MG Publishing 
Genre: YA Paranormal 
Pages: 306
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 

A dark tale of witch craft, time travel and conspiracy 

Witchcraft
Cat is inexplicably drawn to a beautiful mansion where she is seduced into the heady world of modern witchcraft. Opening herself to magic, her mind reveals the impossible. Cat becomes plagued by the paranormal happenings of the house and the desperate whispers of a long-dead girl.

Time Travel
Cursed with the gift of astral travel, Cat discovers a witch’s journal which anchors her mind to the summer of 1940. She witnesses events that lead to a secret occultist ritual.

Conspiracy
Can Cat piece together the clues before the sun rises at the Mabon feast? Can she prevent a repeat of the disastrous ritual? An event so scandalous and deadly it remained a state secret for over eighty years. What terrible price must be paid to stop it happening again? This time, on a devastating scale, engineered for the Twenty-first Century.

Emily Sadovna’s Favourite Halloween books.

With the autumn evenings drawing in, Halloween is the perfect time to cozy down with a good book. Here are my favourite books to revisit over Halloween:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. 
I heard a story of how Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron were stranded in their villa near a lake with a storm lashing down on them where Byron challenged them to write a scary story. That was where Frankenstein came into fruition. I adore the darkness and tenderness of the story. The idea of man attempting to over-rule nature and harnessing the power of the storm to make life and witnessing the heartbreaking consequences of his ambition is compulsive reading for me. 

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore. 
I studied this for my A Levels. There was something about it that haunted me and stayed with me my whole life.  A woman driven is to insanity by the oppression of a controlling man, seeking solace in the arms of an otherworldly woman trapped behind the wall paper who later frees her mind from her own dark reality. I have long been fascinated by alternate realities and the fine line between sanity and madness. 

The Shining by Stephen King  
I read this as a teenager then went on the become addicted to his books as well as James Herbert. I have never seen a ghost, but I have never doubted their existence. I once went on a ghost tour of Dudley castle where I learn that ghosts are like memories of people trapped with in the walls of the houses they occupied or died in. The way the vast empty hotel wakes and gradually consumes Jack is chilling. I can’t forget REDRUM, you might see a homage to this in my book. 

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James 
This is a recent discovery. I was toying with a similar name so I wondered if the contents had any parallels. It was a creepy, gothic story, like mine, set in dual times. Again the house seduces and begins to consume the main protagonist. 

The Graces by Laure Eve
I was recommended The Graces and I zipped through it. It’s set in Cornwall, an area buzzing with magic and myth as well as being a cool hangout. Laure blurs the lines between magic, the discoveries of adolescence and coping with real and raw issues. We see a girl find herself with the help of a family of beautiful people with power. Then the story takes a dark and unexpected turn…

The Spell Book of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
You are thrown into a party, like many I went to as a teenager, and I am sure still go on. That night everyone lost something, some things more significant than others as the story unfolds the main characters uncover lost secrets. The web expands and connects and takes twists and turns you can’t guess. I like unpredictable stories.



Author bio:
Born in Essex, Emily Sadovna grew up near Oxford. Trained in fashion journalism, Emily’s career began as a window dresser and freelance stylist. Later, Emily launched her own deli and catering business and learnt the art of chocolate making. She went on to qualify as a food and nutrition teacher at a secondary school and now teaches primary school children to cook in afterschool clubs. 
Emily’s pen name originates from her Polish grandfather. Her imagination derives from a line of formidable women all with wonderful stories to tell. She lives with her husband and their two daughters on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire. The Haunting of Violet Gray is her first novel. 
instagram: EmilySadovna 
Twitter @EmilySadovna

Monday, 8 October 2018

{Review} Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich + UK Giveaway

39088507Posted by Laura (Guest Reviewer)
Release Date: October 9th, 2019
Finished Date: October 2nd, 2019
Publishers: Penguin
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, YA
Source: For Review
Format: Hardcover 
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
From the show's creators comes the groundbreaking novel inspired by the Broadway smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today's going to be an amazing day and here's why...

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family's grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn't invisible anymore--even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy's parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he's doing can't be right, but if he's helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He's confident. He's a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

The Review: “Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you and when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found.”

Having been constantly obsessed with the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack and watching YouTube videos of the cast singing on repeat. I was overjoyed to receive a early copy. As I don’t see myself visiting Broadway anytime soon. As much as I wish I was. 

So the novelisation of The Broadway show is the closest I’ll get. From the first page I was pulled into this fabulous story and all its characters had me gripped. 

I read this book in two sittings and was so sad when I had no more pages left to read. It’s official I’m Dear Evan Hansen trash, I’m even more in love than before. 

Thank you to Penguin for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

{Blog Tour} The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) by Kristen Ciccarelli

40873495Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Finished Date: September 19th, 2018
Publishers: Gollancz
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: paperback
Pages: 400
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. It was a magic they cherished - until the day a terrible accident took Essie's life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax - the heir to Firgaard's throne - was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa's people had suffered. Roa made him a deal: she'd give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax's promises go unfulfilled. Roa's people continue to suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises - an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

The Review: The Caged Queen is the second book in Kristen Ciccarelli’s Iskari series and this time around we have Roa and Dax’s story and don’t worry, this book features some very interesting old stories that keep you captivated from start to finish.

The starts only a few days have passed since the events of The Last Namsara so as a reader you really don’t miss out on anything. I was so pleased when I finished The Last Namsara I had this book ready and waiting for me because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Both characters are in the first book so, it was nice to already be familiar with them. Dax is Asha’s brother and Roa is Dax’s new wife. They married to join their forces together to overcome the Dragon King. I really wasn’t sure what their story would bring. There is a lot of miscommunication between the pair and as a lot of history to uncover as well. They each don’t know if they can trust the other and both having to play a role made for a lot of drama and suspense to the story while you could see that these two characters deeply character for one another.

What made this book for me was that we got chapters from the past from when the characters were younger. It made me understand their friendships and relationships with each other as well with Roa’s sister Essie. It made me root for these characters all the more, I wanted them all to have that happy ending that they all deserved. But I also love how each characters story is linked with the other. Even though Asha and Torwin aren’t a big part of this story, they stories are still entwined and brings the story all together.

I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole time while reading this book because it’s just so captivating and compelling. The authors writing is so addictive that I wish I’d savoured this book more but it was simply impossible to put down.

The Caged Queen is a fantastic follow up to The Last Namsara. These books are definitely a favourite of mine and I’m dying to hear news on the third book because I just can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Thank you to Gollancz for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 
 
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