Friday, 23 September 2016

{Review} The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

29852514Posted by Donna
Release Date: November 3rd, 2016
Finished Date: September 21st, 2016
Publishers: Corgi Childrens
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 384
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The Review: I really enjoyed Everything Everything last year when I read it even though I wasn’t blown away by it like many people as but I did love how unique the story was and I definitely enjoy it enough to want to read more from author Nicola Yoon. So as soon I heard about The Sun is also a Sun I knew I had to read and so I dived in straight away.

The Sun is also a Star is a story told over one day about two characters coming together during the day where their lives are about to change. The story is told from Daniel and Natasha’s point of view but also from different strangers the characters meet or know. I enjoyed Daniel and Natasha’s point of view but honestly I didn’t like the other chapters that featured the other people such as the security guard or Daniel’s brother and many more. If I’m honest I took me away from the two main characters story and I was reading the story for them. As much as I liked both characters at times they felt a little flat. Their chapters are quite small and with all the different points of view I felt I couldn’t connect to them as much as I would have liked because of all the jumping around. 

What I really liked about the story was how diverse the characters are and I loved to see the different cultures that were in the book. Daniel is Japanese-American and Natasha African-American. It is freshing to read about two different characters with different beliefs and ways coming together in a YA novel. 

The story itself was sweet but I do think the one day story has been done a few times now and I guess I just enjoyed them more than this. That’s not to say this book is bad. I can guess at how many people will love it but for me I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping. But I’d still look out for more books by the authors in the future. 

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

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

{Review} Die for Me (The Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

9742373Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Finished Date: June 3rd, 2016
Publishers: HarperCollins
Genre: YA, Paranormal 
Source: Bought 
Format: eBook 
Pages: 357
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

In this incandescent debut, newcomer Amy Plum has created a powerful paranormal mythology with immortal revenants. The Paris setting comes enchantingly alive as a relentless struggle between good and evil takes place in its streets. Rich with romance, atmosphere, and thrills, Die for Me will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel.

The Review: I decided a few months ago that I was going to try and complete of some the series that I’ve never finished, so Die for Me was top on my list because I really loved the first two books in the series when I read back when they released, so I started from the beginning again and it was definitely a good choice.

Die for Me story follows Kate and her sister moving to Paris to live with their grandparents after the death of their parents. While her sister Georgia has no problem making new friends, Kate is the opposite. She’s still struggling with her parent’s deaths and completely shuts out the world. Her days consist of reading in a cafe until one day she meets Vincent – an attractive 19 year old who doesn't appear to be as he seems. Not only does Kate fall head over heels for Vincent but as she gets to know him, she knows he's hiding a deadly secret and it’s one she intends to find out regardless of the consequences.

I really enjoyed Die for Me the first time reading it and I definitely enjoyed it all the more the second time around. It still surprises me how much information I forgot so doing the re-read was definitely worth it. I did feel that the story started off a little slow but once I read more it started picking up. I have to say I’m really not a huge fan of ghost stories but while the Revenants aren’t exactly ghosts they are the undead so ghosts is probably the best way to describe them. I have read a few books before on the ghosts but I never really enjoyed them. They’re always just okay. But Die for Me however couldn't help but love it as it was a completely new take and Amy Plum made this story her own and I truly loved the concept it. I also loved the French influence that Amy Plum brought to the story. I loved reading about Paris and what it has to offer. I could easily imagine myself standing in the middle of Paris on a cold day looking at all the famous landmarks.

What also made this book for me was the characters. I loved every single character and the humour that they all brought to the story. The boys were all completely swoon worthy and Kate was really likeable too. Although Kate and Vincent’s romance is a bit of on insta-love I could put that to one side because I was enjoying the story so much.

Overall, I think Amy Plum has done a fantastic job of introducing something fresh and new to the supernatural book world and I’d definitely recommend you read it.

This is an update version of my first review which you can read here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

{Review} The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

28509179Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Finished Date: September 18th, 2016
Publishers: Mira Ink
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 480
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

The Review: YA contemporary is one of my favourite genres so when I found out Jennifer L. Armentrout – one of my favourite authors – was writing one I was completely ecstatic. She always writes good stories that have amazing characters and smoking hot love stories and The Problem with Forever is no different. If you liked Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limit series or Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series then this book will be perfect for you. And if I’m honest, there just isn’t enough of these stories around so I’m really hoping that JLA decides to write more. 

The Problem with Forever is an emotional story about two teenagers who have terrible pasts after being in a group home together but found strength in one another during the dark days. Years later they are reunited and given a second chance but can they overcome the past and move on with their future?

I always love stories that can pull me in from just reading a few pages and The Problem of Forever did that. I was about two chapters in and I just knew I was going to love this book. From the get go your pulled into an emotional and dark story that was honest, raw and sad. It’s not all sad though. It’s also a story full of hope and about creating a future that was better than the past. Not only that but it has an amazing love story that is tangled up in all the hurt so prepare yourself for an emotional ride. 

I loved Mallory as a character. She was fantastic! She’s a survivor and she is trying to move on from her past. She does struggle but she also tries to push herself. The events from her past have left her feeling like she can’t speak up so she’s a very quiet person but like I said she’s trying to change that. She’s been in therapy and found ways to cope with her issues. But now she wants a future and she pushes herself to have a better life. I really came to respect her for trying, even though at times she fails, she still continues to try. But I found once she found Rider again that was a big turning put for her. She found the one person again that always believed in her no matter what and accepts her for who she is.

Rider was also a fantastic character. He and Mallory both handle things completely different and while Mallory’s issue affect her where she can’t talk, Rider seems to have no hope for himself. I felt sad for him at times. He’s such a protective character. He’ll do anything for Mallory or for the ones he cares about. He realises that this second chance they’ve been given is a good thing. He doesn’t want to lose any moments especially seems they’ve been apart for so long. I really admired Rider’s strength. He’s really is an amazing and supportive character. 

The secondary characters were second to none and I’m totally shipping a story for Hector and Ainsley. Seriously their story cannot be left that way. I need more! I loved how JLA added something personal about herself in this book as well – Ainsley’s medical condition. I have to be honest when I say I didn’t know anything about it before now and now I’m aware of it, I’m glad I am. I don’t want to say to much as it’s something Ainsley discovers herself throughout the story so I want you to experience it for yourself. But it’s an interesting one.

In all, The Problem with Forever was without a doubt one of my favourite YA contemporary stories for 2016 and at just under 500 pages somehow this book still wasn’t big enough. I urge you all to read it because if you haven’t guessed by now it is amazing! 

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

Monday, 19 September 2016

{Review} A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

23766623Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016 
Finished Date: August 24th, 2016
Publishers: Bloomsbury 
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Source: Bought 
Format: Paperback
Pages: 624
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people - nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand's dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

The Review: After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses last year like everyone else I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the series A Court of Misty and Fury. However I started seeing early reviews of the book and it put me off. So I waited. Then I started hearing more things about the book and still I waited. I guess you want to know why I waited? Well I finished ACOTAR knowing that Feyre and Tamlin were together, safe and somewhat happy. I was excited to see what the next story would bring but hearing things about a possible break-up? I was so not happy! I refused to believe it and tried to hide from the book because at that point I was firmly Team Tamlin. But certain bookish friends kept feeding me pieces of the story and so, what can I say? Curiosity got the better of me and I finally felt ready to read ACOMAF. And my gosh I was honestly lost for words after. 

A Court of Mist and Fury is really Feyre realising she is more than she thinks she is. She was weak as a human and now she’s been turned into an immortal – fae like Tamlin and Rhysand, she’s no longer weak. Even though Tamlin tries to keep her that way. Tamlin still looks at her as unbreakable and will do anything to keep her safe even if that means keeping her from developing her gifts, trying to keep her busy with their upcoming wedding or even by the worst means possible, locking her inside the house so she cannot leave. I understand why Tamlin did the things he did but it doesn’t mean it was right. If only he’d listened to Feyre more or could really see that she was becoming a shell of a person after what happened with Amarantha under the mountain, then she wouldn’t have felt like she needed to leave. 
After Rhysand saved her at the end of ACOTAR and she now has to spend one week of the month with him. Through their magical link he created with Feyre he can connect with her at any time. So when Feyre simply can’t take no more at The Spring Court, without realising it, she calls out to Rhysand and he takes to The Night Court away from Tamlin. It’s there that Feyre starts to heal and starts to become a stronger person. Rhysand doesn’t make her hide away, he confines in her, lets her help him sort out problems with the upcoming war and more importantly he trusts her and includes her in things whether that be with his court, family or just normal day-to-day stuff. 
The main reason I was so adamant that I wasn’t going to read ACOMAF was because I’m really not a fan of relationship changes. But I really shouldn’t have doubted Sarah J Maas because Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship is developed over time and at times you don’t even realise what’s going on and before you know it you’re swooning over Rhys too. He creeps up on you and then it’s like Tamlin who? I could sit and talk about Rhys for hours and hours – the things he does in this book, the things he revels, the way he is, it’s honestly no wonder why Feyre and Rhysand belong together. 

ACOMAF isn’t just about Feyre and Rhys, although they are a huge part of it but it’s also about the upcoming war and developing the story more. There’s a lot going on and I can’t wait to see what happens next. And I definitely think my lesson is learned – never doubt Maas again!

Friday, 16 September 2016

{Review} The Wizard's Heir by Devri Walls

26809866Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: November 20th, 2015
Finished Date: March 28th, 2016
Publishers: SuperStorm Productions
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Source: For Review
Format: eBook 
Pages: 270
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 
 
Tybolt’s a Deviant, a hated race immune to direct magic in a world where Wizards ensure survival. But when he loses his entire family to a spell-made storm he joins an elite group of Wizard hunters, organized beneath the new non-magic wielding king.

Now eighteen, he spends his days capturing Wizards. But the nights are his, reserved to feed the starving villagers of Eriroc under cover of dark. There’s always more people in need than he can help, and one of these days he’s going to hang for theft from the royal kitchens.

Although Tybolt and his fierce partner, Auriella, have imprisoned many Wizards, the one partially responsible for the storm that killed Tybolt’s family is still out there: Alistair. When an old informant claims to have information regarding their elusive prey, everything changes.

In a cruel twist, Tybolt realizes he isn't who he thought he was at all. How can he save himself, the people, and those he loves while keeping his secrets safe? Can he hide his true nature and allow the corrupt king to remain on the throne?

Or will he have to unveil himself and risk possible execution to save them all?

The Review: Tybolt’s a Deviant, a hated race immune to direct magic in a world where Wizards ensure survival. But when he loses his entire family to a spell-made storm he joins an elite group of Wizard hunters, organized beneath the new non-magic wielding king.
Now eighteen, he spends his days capturing Wizards. But the nights are his, reserved to feed the starving villagers of Eriroc under cover of dark. There’s always more people in need than he can help, and one of these days he’s going to hang for theft from the royal kitchens.
Although Tybolt and his fierce partner, Auriella, have imprisoned many Wizards, the one partially responsible for the storm that killed Tybolt’s family is still out there: Alistair. When an old informant claims to have information regarding their elusive prey, everything changes.
In a cruel twist, Tybolt realizes he isn't who he thought he was at all. How can he save himself, the people, and those he loves while keeping his secrets safe? Can he hide his true nature and allow the corrupt king to remain on the throne?
Or will he have to unveil himself and risk possible execution to save them all?
The review
The Wizard’s Heir is a new offering from Devri Walls – author of the amazing Solus Series – so I was expecting big things from this…….. and I was not disappointed!
I love a good fantasy read and this was definitely up there with my favourites. We have a young boy who witnesses his mother and sister dying caused by a storm that not only decimated the land but was wizard made. A strange man takes him from the only home he had and deposits him in the care of wizard hunters who train him to capture any wizard he comes across. Following the ‘fracture’ things have become bleak for the residents or Eriroc, food is scarce, poverty is rife and a now 18yr old Tybolt is thankfully more fortunate than others, he shares his fortune though, with the people who have nothing; buying some vegetables for a child caught stealing food, helping a mother with a few children…. The list goes on as he does all this selflessly.
The wizard who started the storm is in a dungeon deep beneath the city but there is one who has always eluded the hunters and Tybolt would like nothing more than to get his hands on him as one of the few he deems responsible for the death of his family. With the help of Auriella -his partner in hunting- he gains information that could lead him to Alistair. The thing is, what do you do when everything you have ever known about yourself becomes lies, when the woman you love is taken from you and instead of the hunter….you become the hunted?
So, this was really good! I love this author and she knows how to write fantasy - believe me. Tybolt is the kind of character that you feel for immediately, we witness his family falling apart and the way it was done really pulls on those heartstrings. He turns into a fine young man and someone that is very admirable to those around him. Romance comes by the way of his crush on his partner Auriella, we can see they are made for each other but as it always goes in books…. They need to realise it themselves. Auriella was a very good match for him, I love a kick ass heroine and this is what we get from her but whilst she is hard on the outside, she does show a vulnerable side also.
The storyline has it all - in my opinion – we have awesome characters, great world set up and so easy to read. I loved the hidden heritage of Tybolt, it was a major part of the story and really kept things interesting because once discovered, it turned everything on its head. I also like a story that has a thin line between the good and the bad, where a little twist here and there can change a viewpoint and give something else. I really liked how the magic was used in this, obviously everyone thinks it’s the source of all evil but it’s a matter of perspective. We get a lot of action by way of wizard hunting, bullying, kidnapping, extortion, magic, chases on horseback and all out anarchy! Which makes for a super exciting read. The pacing was perfect and I found it really hard to put down. This definitely seemed like a stand alone book because everything is sewn up really well for a very satisfying ending. 

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

Thursday, 15 September 2016

{Blog Tour} Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3) by Sara Raasch

28960209Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 20th, 2016 
Finished Date: August 6th, 2016
Publishers: Harper360 UK
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 496
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this shocking and action-packed fantasy—the highly anticipated final book in the New York Times bestselling Snow Like Ashes series.

Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, Meira jumps at the chance.  But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms.  To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control-- and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels.  But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner.  But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

The Review: This series fast became a favourite of mine when Snow Like Ashes released a few years ago. Since then I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final book in the series because I was just dying to know how it all ends and if my favourite characters got the happy ending they deserved. Frost Like Fire was a great finale and it was much better than Ice Like Fire which I’m definitely glad for. So if you felt a little disappointed with the sequel, don’t worry people Sarah Raasch delivers a worthy ending.

I’m not even going to try and recap this book because there is so much going on that I don’t want to spoil it for you. But as you can already guess the book picks straight up from that major cliffhanger in Ice Like Fire and everything for Meira, Mather and Theron gets worse before it gets better. You’re thrown into their world of danger, magic and politics all so they can try and save their own kingdoms as well as their people.

Meira has come so far in such a short time. She’s always been a strong character, never one to back down but we did see her struggle in the sequel with everything that had happened but now she’s determined to win and save everyone she loves. She forces herself to become better, even stronger and learns how to use her magic conduct correctly and safely so she can defeat Angra – especially when the final outcomes relies on her. With her being the Queen it really can’t fall on anyone else’s shoulders. Mather also has a much stronger presences in the story, not only with his own chapters from his point of view but he starts to realise that he is needed just as much as Meira. Even though I do ship Theron more I do appreciate the bond that Meira and Mather have and it’s one that’s continued to grow over time. I can see how and why she turns to Mather when she needs him after Theron’s betrayal.

Now my only real complaint about the story was I wasn’t overly fussed with the new chapters from Ceridwen’s POV. Was it needed? Yes but maybe just not so much. I understand that all three characters have their own reasons for fighting Angra but I wanted the story to focus more on Meira, Mather and Theron really.

In all, I really enjoyed Frost Like Fire. It was a great conclusion to the series and it left me happy for the characters and while I’m happy I got to see their ending, I’d still be happy to read more from this world and from them. Or even a spin-off series maybe? Who knows! My fingers are crossed!

Thank you to Harper360 UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

{Review} The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows

22909838Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Finished Date: December 22nd, 2015
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 480
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. 

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

The Review: The Mirror King is the sequel and final piece to Jodie Meadow’s The Orphan Queen. I really enjoyed The Orphan Queen when I read it last year, even though I had a few issues with the story I did enjoy it enough to dive back into this world with the sequel.

The Mirror King starts where The Orphan Queen ended and Wil, the lost princess who has hidden magic gifts that she needs to use in order to heal Tobiah after he was shot by Patrick. Wil’s magic has grown and the aftermath of her creating the wraith boy is now her responsibly to keep him tame under control along with trying to find Patrick and prevent him from doing any further damage. 

Wil is a great character and as she has grown over the series you can really see what type of Queen she will be when she finally has the chance to reclaim her kingdom. It’s in her blood to protect as many people as possible including her Ospreys. I love how willing she is to sacrifice everything for everyone else. 

Wil and Tobiah’s relationship is a tricky one but one that I was constantly rooting for nonetheless. Wil is conflicted with her relationship with Tobiah because she dislikes him as the Prince but definitely has feelings for him when he’s Black Knife. Me, I like Tobiah/Black Knife any way shape or form. It was definitely interesting reading about their relationship and I have to admit it’s probably the main reason for me enjoying this series so much. 

The Mirror King was a great sequel – one that is jam packed with action, suspense, magic and danger and of course I can’t forget the slow burning romance. If you love YA fantasy then I’d recommend adding this series to your TBR lists. 

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