Wednesday, 23 November 2016

{Review} Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

30320053Posted by Donna
Release Date: February 21st, 2017
Finished Date: October 23rd, 2016
Publishers: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 423
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

The Review: As soon as I heard about Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas it immediately captured my attention because it’s not often you come across YA fantasy books that are stand-alone and in my opinion there really should be more.

The story is about Feyra who is twenty third in line for throne but one night at a banquet someone poisons the guests leaving Feyra their next Queen. As Feyra tries to understand what really happens that night as well as trying to rule her new Kingdom – one she’s never had interest in – she must decide if she’s willing to sacrifice her freedom for her kingdom.

Long May She Reign was an interesting YA fantasy book. If I’m honest it’s more like a mystery/fantasy book as the story was more centred on Feyra’s journey to discover the killer and their motive for doing so. And with Feyra never having of planned to become Queen she also needs to learn everything about becoming one and how to rule and learn fast. Her interests are with experiments and being in her laboratory but now she has people to look after and a killer to stop. Feyra was very likable and it was easy to relate to her. She’s also thrown into this world of politics and it was an interesting journey. One that in my opinion was a lot longer than it needed to be. I think this story would have been more enjoyable if it weren’t so long as I did start to lose interest in the middle and it didn’t pick up until the end. 

I do wish the story had a much strong romance to it. It’s there but it’s such a slow burning one that I started to lose interest in it. When it did happen it was enjoyable enough. 

In all, Long May She Reign was an interesting read – one that was enjoyable but not amazing. I think it definitely could done with some improvements to have helped make this story.  

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

Sunday, 20 November 2016

{Feature Post + Giveaway) Bookworm Candles & Crafts: Exclusive Products

                               
A few weeks ago I told you about Bookworm Candles & Crafts, a UK based company who create bookish themed merchandise such as candles, wax melts, jewellery and even some cosmetic products such as soap and bath bombs. If you missed the first post - CLICK HERE for more information. 

I will be working along side Danielle, the creator of the company and for the next few months, we will be showcasing some of her exclusive products. Each month will feature a different item and by doing this we hope to make you more aware of some of the amazing bookish products you can purchase. 

The first exclusive product that we will be showing you from Danielle's store and it's: November's Limited Edition Candle which is Rifthold (Throne of Glass themed.)

Rifthold is inspired by the captain city of Adarlan and where we first meet Adarlan's infamous assassins. This candle smells of honeyed apples, emerald roofs and of course glass towers. In beautiful shades of emerald and mint green and with all of the signature touches that Bookworm Candles & Crafts add to all of their candles.

The charm is of course a castle and no Rifthold castle would be without a gorgeous glass bead to match. The band has been crocheted in emerald wool and the button has an amazing emerald heart. This candle weighs approximately 250 grams and will burn for 30 hours!

With the Rifthold being an exclusive candle, it is priced at just £9.00 and only available for the month of November. So be quick, there's not much time left before this candle will be gone!

Donna's thoughts: Rifthold is without a doubt a must have product for any Throne of Glass fan! If you've read the books you know how much Rifthold plays a huge part in the series and honestly, the books just wouldn't be the same without it. This candle reflects everything there is about Rifthold, from the scents being uses, to the colour, the charms - everything down to the little details to the glitter on top of the candle. When I smell this candle, it makes me think of Rifthold and Celeana's journey but, more importantly it makes me want to fall in love with Throne of Glass all over again but this time I'll have Rifthold burning beside me!

You can purchase Rifthold here: Buy on Etsy
and for 10% off all orders use the code: BOOKPFORLIFE10

***************
The second product we have to show you is a NEVER before seen product and it's not available in Bookworm Candles & Craft's store until 1st December! So you are getting the very first sneak peak of one of her upcoming releases which is:
 Manon Blackbeak (Throne of Glass themed.)

For those of you who know Manon, or even if you don't, Manon Blackbeak is half Ironteeth witch, half Crochan. She is the heir to the Blackbeak Witch Clan and Wing Leader to the Thirteen. She is also the rider to the Wyvern Abraxos and owns a sword named Wind-Cleaver. 

Manon's scents are spiders silk, burnished gold and hope which gives you a soft and floral smell representing her Crochan heritage. In beautiful shades of yellow and gold with all of the signature touches that Bookworm Candles & Crafts add to all of their candles. 

Manon comes in a exclusive red tin and the charm is of course wings which represent her leadership of the Thirteen. The band has been crocheted in grey flecked wool and has a leather cord braided into it. 

This candle weighs approximately 250 grams and will burn for 30 hours!

Donna's thoughts: When I asked Danielle why she created a Manon candle her answer was simple. She said "Manon believes that she was born heartless and I don't think that's the case. I think Manon has a huge heart. She's loyal and brutally honest. Her love for Abraxos is second to none and I love that. I wish I was one of the 13. And by creating this candle I wanted to show you her softer and more loving side - her Crochan side."

Without trying to spoil the books for anyone who hasn't read it, I honestly 100% agree with Danielle and seeing this candle in person and seeing how beautifully it has been created, you can see much love Danielle herself has put it to this candle to you show you - the fans - who we believe Manon really is.  Her scents compliment each other and it has a unusual scent but ones that's soft and floral. If I'm honest, it makes me love Manon that much more - seeing her softer side in person. 

Manon will be available from Bookworm Candles & Crafts Etsy on 1st December! And for 10% off all orders use the code: BOOKPFORLIFE10

***************
And finally, we wanted to tell you about Bookworm Candles & Crafts monthly bookish box. November's was the very first bookish box which was sent out to all customers and was a massive success. 
November's theme was "I Claim You to Whatever End' (Throne of Glass themed). 
Included in the box was:
*Dorian Candle Tin: Scents of glass chips, petite grain and book pages
*Carranam Soap Bar: Cucumbers, carrots and aloe smelling like wind, fire and soulmates
*An assassins keep bath bomb: Sweet almond oil and gold
*Celaena Chocolate Addiction Lip Balm: A lovely chocolate lip balm made with cocoa butter
*Badge Selection: Three in total 
*And finally Chaol's Amethyst Ring: He gave this ring to Celaena in Throne of Glass which she wore until Heir of Fire.

Donna's Thoughts: This was the first ever bookish box that I purchased and it didn't disappoint at all. I was really impressed with the selection of items in the box because it wasn't just a candle - there is a huge variety of products and ALL of these items are exclusive products and aren't even available to purchase in Danielle's store. This is what makes this box extra special. Knowing that the items are all crafted especially for this box! It honestly felt like Christmas had come early for me - as a massive Sarah J Maas fan, I just knew I wanted this box no mater what it contained. It's hard to pick out a favourite item but Chaol's ring feels pretty damn special! 

Unfortunately November's box is no longer available to purchase however December's box is and it's Christmas at Hogwarts - Harry Potter themed! And it's only £16.50! 

You can purchase Christmas at Hogwarts here: Buy on Etsy
and for 10% off all orders use the code: BOOKPFORLIFE10

So you've had an exclusive look at some of the amazing products that Danielle has to offer and not only that, we're going to give you a hint at for January's Bookish box! 
Hint: It'll be a royal selection. 
Can you guess? 
Let us know in the comments if you've figured it out! =) 


And not only that but we're are offering ONE winner the chance to win the MANON BLACKBEAK candle (See the picture to your left)
 Enter by completing the rafflecopter form below. A winner will be announced on 4th December! Good Luck! 

Bookworm Candles & Crafts Contact details: 
Etsy Store: www.bookwormcandlescraft.etsy.com
Instagram: Bookwormcandles 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

{Review} What Light by Jay Asher

32293957Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 20th, 2016
Finished Date: October 24th, 2016
Publishers: My Kinda Book
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

The Review: I’m always on the lookout for festive reads and while I’ve read a few I wouldn’t say any of them have left a great impression on me so far. However, if you are looking for the perfect festive read then What Light is definitely the book I would recommend you read this Christmas.

The story follows Sierra and her family who run a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. However every Christmas they have to move all the Christmas tree’s to California where their lot is set up for the Christmas season. So every year they pack all their stuff up and try to sell as many tress as possible before going back home. Sierra tries to never get attached to anyone in California because what would be the point – she’ll be going back home to Oregon in a few weeks. But when she meets Caleb – the boy with a troubled past – Sierra can’t help but want to break her rule of getting close to someone in California. 

This was the first book I’d read by author Jay Asher and honestly, once I started it was so hard to put it down that I actually read it in two sittings. It’s just the type of story you can cuddle up with on a winter day with a cup of hot chocolate and mini marshmallows and just get lost in the character’s world.  

Sierra is a lovely character. She’s very sweet and always tries to be honest with people. She’s a very reliable character and doesn’t sway from what she believes in even if that means getting in trouble with her parents. But ultimately she tries to follow her heart and do what is right for her. Now Caleb is such a swoon-worthy character however he does come with baggage that unfortunately effects the way people treat him or see him. But deep down he tries to give the less fortunate families something to look forward to at Christmas and that’s by buying them Christmas trees. I thought this was such a lovely idea and very thoughtful even if some people didn’t appreciate it at times. I guess you can call Caleb a little misunderstood. What I love was how Sierra didn’t listen to idle gossip – she took Caleb at face value and trusted her own feelings. And the results of that were pretty amazing. And I also loved that the book ended with good feelings – even though it was a little open – it still left me believing these two characters got the same happy ending. 

In all, What Light is definitely this year’s Christmas book to read! Go buy it! 

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

Saturday, 29 October 2016

{Review} Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

31201539Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 28th, 2016
Finished Date: October 17th, 2016
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK  
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 294
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
For fans of The Hunger Games

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.

The Review: If I’m honest I hadn’t heard about Nerve until it arrived on through my letterbox one morning and by then the movie was just about to release, so I was definitely intrigued at that point to read this book. I’m always looking for new books that are compared to some of my favourite books and with being compared to The Hunger Games then yes, I’m reading it.

Nerve is a book about an anonymous game of dares which are broadcast live online. You can either be a player or a watcher and people from all around the world take part in dares which if they complete, they win prizes. Vee who is tired of being labelled as boring by her best friend decides to sign up to be a player and there is she teamed up with Ian. As first the dares are embarrassing but pretty simple but then they suddenly take a dangerous turn. Will Vee be able to complete the ultimate dare and win?

I have to say I’m a little disappointed. This book for wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was very young and had where I was expecting a dangerous and thrilling read, I guess you could say I feel a little underwhelmed by it. I was definitely expecting the dares to be better than they were – they vary from singing to asking a guy to buy you a coffee, ask a stranger for a condom and participate in a five-minute interview. These were not good dares. I think I was just expecting something a bit darker, although admittedly towards the end it does pick up but still my overal feeling was a bit meh.

I did like Vee but I wish she would stop comparing herself to her best friend so often. If anything I liked Vee more than Sydney. Now I did like Ian – of course I would. 

Overall, Nerve didn’t really hit all the right spots for me but I’ll probably still watch the movie as I can compare the two. 

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

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

{Release Day Post + INT Giveaway} The Bound (Ascension #2) by K.A. Linde

26047687The Bound (The Ascension #2) 
by K.A. Linde
Release Date: October 25th, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 
Author Website: K.A Linde
 
Cyrene Strohm is a Queen’s Affiliate, a high-ranking official of the court of Byern, with power and privilege to spare. But she’s also a keeper of dangerous secrets: like the fact that she holds the heart of the King, and that she possesses magic in a world where magic no longer exists.

Determined to discover what this means and how to use her newfound abilities, Cyrene sets off for the distant land of Eleysia. An island nation where Affiliates are strictly forbidden from entering.

But the journey is perilous, and the destination may mean utter ruin, as Cyrene comes to learn that everything she’s been told her whole life – about her court, her homeland, and even herself—are bound in a beautiful lie.


5 Fun Facts about The Ascension Series by K.A. Linde.

1. The idea for the Ascension series came when I was reading a non-fiction book called Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman. I was reading about a French mistress in the 17th century who was beautiful, intelligent, a strategist, an advisor, linguist, etc. She was so much more than her beauty, and she helped the King rule. That was when I decided I wanted to write about a world where women were highly valued for their intelligence and achievements. Thus the Affiliate program came about.

2. Two maps are included in The Bound that I actually drew myself. One shows the entire world of Emporia and the other is a country level map of Eleysia.

3. There are three characters in The Bound that are based off of people I know in real life. Ahlvie was inspired by a college friend of mine who was always wild and adventurous and knew how to have a good time. Matilde and Vera are based off of two sisters I lived with when I worked on the presidential campaign in 2012.

4. The prologue was actually the last chapter that I wrote. As with The Affiliate, I wrote the entire book before deciding whose point of view I wanted to open the book with. The prologues in these books set the stage for a major point that comes back full circle by the end. Sometimes it helps to see the entire thing before realizing who will be speaking.


5. There is an epic love story in this book! When the romance begins, I always envision the scene from Sleeping Beauty where the prince and Aurora are singing Once Upon A Dream. So that is the song I listened to on repeat while I wrote their romance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio of K.A Linde. 

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series and the All That Glitters series as well as seven additional novels. She grew up as a military brat traveling the United States and even landing for a brief stint in Australia. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia. An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. currently live in Lubbock, TX, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.        

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

{Blog Tour} Gemina (Book 2: The Illuminae Files) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

29364863Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 13th, 2016
Finished Date: October 9th, 2016
Publishers: Rock the Boat 
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 672
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review: Gemina is the highly awaited sequel to Amie Kaufman’s & Jay Kristoff’s YA sci-fi series The Illuminae Files and for me Gemina was so much better than Illuminae. I loved Illuminae but I loved Gemina even more so, well done Amie & Jay! 

At the end of Illuminae we see the survivors of the Hypatia heading towards the people on Jump Station Heimdall. They will be with them within a matter of days and of course they will be telling them know about the Kerenza invasion. Now Gemina starts right after Illuminae ends and shows us what is happening at the space station through a new set of characters. Both Gemina’s and Illuminae’s stories are tangled all up together because ultimately they all have the same enemy and if they want to defeat them then they’re going to need to work together. 

I know some people aren’t fan of when each book is about new set of characters but I really love it and Gemina was definitely better for it. Even though Kady & Ezra’s stories aren’t over they are involved in Hanna and Nik’s so even though we’ve come to love them we still get to see them but, it’s just through Hanna and Nik’s eyes. 

Now Hanna and Nik are great character and I really did love getting to know them. They’re both strong characters with different backgrounds but somehow they just work together. The banter from their conversations was simply hilarious at times. As a reader I felt like I was their listening to their conversations and it was so much fun. Their stories are completely different especially with the dangers that surround them on the space station that their stories aren’t dull for one minute. I found their story more intense and felt it had a lot more action and generally just felt like a stronger story. Maybe that’s because Illuminae was the opening story and now with Gemina the story is much more developed. Also Ella was a great secondary character. She’s so much fun and brings so many laugh-out-loud moments but it wasn’t all LOL moments and there was some pretty intense and sad scenes that left me in shreds while reading. And there is one MAJOR character from Illuminae that for some reason I was very happy to see in Gemina – I’ll say no more! 

The end of the story is left on a cliffhanger – sorry people – but although there is some conclusion to some parts of the story, the major ones unfortunately are left waiting until the release of final book in the series. I don’t know about you but I’m excited to see what comes next. I’m looking forward to getting to know the new characters. 

In all, for me Gemina was a much stronger book and definitely my favourite out of the two books so far. 

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

Monday, 10 October 2016

{Feature Post} Bookworm Candles & Crafts

                               
Today I have a very special feature post for you and I'm excited to share it with you. It's going to feature a newly opened UK bookish merchandise company. 

Who else like myself wants all the bookish merchandise from candles to bookmarks to well anything we can get our hands on? I know you all do! But being in the UK where a lot of the sellers are from another countries has its downside because shipping costs are so expensive, but I’ve recently discovered a new company who are UK based and that means us UK’ers can finally get more involved with the bookish merchandise.

And this company is: Bookworm Candles & Crafts which is a UK based store created by owner Danielle Robinson where she brings to life all your favourite bookish scents through handmade candles, melts, soaps, jewellery, badges and bookmarks.

Danielle kindly agreed to visit the blog today and tell you all about her amazing bookish products which she has for sale on her Etsy store. She’s also here today to show you her newest addition to her store and for all you Sarah J Maas fans, you might want to keep reading. And so I’m going to ask her a selection of questions that I hope you will all enjoy and give you the opportunity to get more familiar with her work and products so here we go.

Q1: Hi Danielle, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to start making handmade items for book lovers like ourselves? 
What inspired me to start this venture initially wasn't actually books, well I guess it was a little. I've worked in the perfumery industry for nearly 20 years and was doing a course in London and was traveling two hours so it gave me the chance to read, at the time I was re-reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas for the hundredth time! I went into my course with my head full of the story and we had to smell over 200 raw fragrance ingredients and I smelt pine wood and thought so this is what Rowan would smell like! And it kind of went from there. I've always been artsy and did jewellery design at college. I also did a course on creating natural body products and soaps and an aromatherapy course, so combining all these elements and of course my book obsession bookworm candles and crafts was born. 

Q2: How long has your store been open? 
My store has only been opened since July this year so we are still very new. 

Q3: What’s your favourite product to make? 
Oh gosh I love making them all. I would probably say our soaps though. I love creating the bases and adding in all the things that make the soap beautiful like our Gryffindor soap. We have added in coconut and Argan oil and poppy seed so using our soaps are a pleasure. 

Q4: Can you recommend a first time customer an item to purchase?
I would recommend our candle tins. They are slightly cheaper so for a first time purchase they are great, and they are super cute too. 

Q5: Are there any benefits for customers who purchase homemade items rather than store bought items?
I think it's essential, but I may be a bit bias. My few is when you buy handmade you are buying something individual and you are supporting a small, possibly local, business too. Take our character candle jars, each piece is handmade from the painted lid and artwork to the charm and the crochet band and book button. All our scents are chosen by me and put together individually too.

Q6: Are all your products from your favourite books? 
Yes they are and I've got so many too, I love Sarah J Maas, Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare and of course JK Rowling just to mention a few. 

Q7: Do you take custom requests from customers? 
 Yes we are happy to take custom orders, obviously it would be our interpretation of character, location or event. 

Q8: Can you tell us about your newest addition to your store? 
Oh our newest product is fab and so much fun it's a selection of mini candles tins, like a pick a mix! Basically it's a choice between a individual tin, 3 tins and 6 tins in a certain book and you can pick and choose from characters, locations and events. So for instance, we have a selection in A Court of Mist and Fury and there are 18 scents you can choose from so, you can pick just 1 tin or 3 tins or 6 tins. Or you could be really daring and let us pick them for you and surprise you. 

Q9: Can you give us a clue to what other products might be coming our way soon? 
We have so much in the pipeline and I'm so excited, we have more characters coming from different books. We are also expending our body line with a few new products and our badges are growing all the time.

That's amazing! Thank you for stopping by today Danielle. And you guys aren't already won but I know you are, but still just take a peak at Danielle's Etsy store (link below). She had so many amazing products to offer and her new A Court of Mist and Fury tins start from as little as £3.00! So go and show your support to a this UK seller. 

💗Free Worldwide Shipping for the month of October when you spend over £35.00💗

Bookworm Candles & Crafts Contact details: 
Etsy Store: www.bookwormcandlescraft.etsy.com
Instagram: Bookwormcandles