Book Review: Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Synopsis:radio-silence-cover

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.


I received an e-copy of this book courtesy of HarperCollins UK, Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

So finally,  it has come.

The review of my favourite book of last year and my favourite read for a very, very long time. Why it has taken me so long to review it, I don’t really have an answer to that; I could only suggest the fact that this book was such an incredible masterpiece that has stayed seared in my brain for so long after reading it that I could not even begin to fathom words that would do it justice. And I still cannot, but this post is going to be a crude attempt at doing so.

let-me-list-my-feels

And feels there were. I am pretty sure I actually cried for a good portion of the story, but with good cause.

Oseman crafted such realistic, diverse and relatable characters it really didn’t take long for me to become attached to them with no way of turning back. And I loved every single one of them.

Frances was a brilliant protagonist (and it was also great to see that she, unlike many other YA protagonists out there had a very supportive, unicorn-onesie-wearing mother in her life to care for her), I think she portrayed the struggles of teenagers in Britain’s sixth forms remarkably well. I mean, with the first-hand experience of how attending one of said institutions feels like – I can definitely confirm that a good percentage of the ‘smart’ individuals definitely have multiple crises a week…

Which in turn leads me to my next point. I honestly feel like thanking Oseman for her realistic take on the British (and probably global) education system. It was not sugar-coated in the slightest – there was failure, it was also shown how easy it is to be deemed a failure; especially by relatives when following a path in life that they do not quite approve of or not wanting to follow a path that they do… This book also dealt with the pressures put on students by the schools themselves, which of course do not help at all when trying to deal with the whole ‘life’ thing whilst being told that it “only gets worse in the real world” whereas, in all fairness, the hardest years will probably be over once school and university for those who want to attend it are over and done with.

Back to the characters, their relationship was so bloody refreshing. A book based solely on the ideas of friendship is rare, especially where there is potential for some romantic chemistry to occur. I mean Frances was bisexual and Aled identified as asexual, so there was basically no reason for them not to get together other than the fact that their relationship was entirely platonic. THANK YOU SO MUCH BOOK GODS FOR FINALLY ANSWERING MY PRAYERS FOR AN AUTHOR WHO FINALLY UNDERSTANDS THAT TWO TEENAGERS OF OPPOSITE SEX CAN BE FRIENDS WITHOUT WANTING TO GET INTO EACH OTHER’s PANTS AT ONE POINT OR ANOTHER.

Their friendship was honestly flawlessly written, whilst still possessing flaws – there were fights and disagreements but it was clear that there was a lot of platonic love between them, and paired with understanding and a general love of similar things – they made a wonderful pair.

This book was definitely not an easy read, with the aforementioned reflections on the education system – but also with the general works of being a teenager and trying to find yourself whilst simultaneously losing yourself in the process whilst trying to overcome all the other hardships that life will throw in your way such as familial issues, and general not knowing what to do which comes quite often as a teenager in present-day society which inadvertently pressurises us to get our metaphorical shit together and adult slightly before we are actually ready to in a lot of cases. I mean – deciding what I want to do with my life at 16? No thanks… I’d much rather not, but unfortunately, there is just no escaping it.

I loved every single thing about this book, down to the way in which it was written, the style was easy to read and made the 470 page book shrink down into one sitting of just over an hour and a bit…. The transcripts were a brilliant addition, and I honestly felt as though I could hear Aled speaking when reading them. The concept of Universe City was truly brilliant (have I used the word brilliant enough in this post??) and whilst it definitely made me cry towards the end, I appreciated the messages which it carried.

Also, may we talk about how bloody realistic and relatable this book generally was? Oseman honestly did a brilliant job, and I think that is partly due to her age – there were honestly so many points during the novel at which I simply felt like saying “same” or “that’s me and so and so” and I honestly don’t think enough books have gotten that sort of reaction out of me, so huge HUGE kudos to the brilliant author.

One thing that actually had me bouncing with excitement was the fact that this book was actually set in my home town’s surrounding area. The descriptions of the highstreet and its cobblestone streets rang a bell whilst reading, but it didn’t fully click why it was a little bit too familiar until I found out Oseman’s origins. This in turn left me a wee bit inspired and with hope that I too may be able to create similar wonderful things with my writing if I stick with it… so I guess this is a huge personal thank you for her from me too.

I could easily continue, but I feel as though it would be boring and many of the next points would be bordering on spoilery, so I am going to end my review here. I hope that many of you who read it will choose to embark on the journey that this book provides, because it truly is an extraordinary one that I will likely never forget.

My Rating: More than 5 / 5 Stars

“And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

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Book Review: Blue Waters – India R. Adams

Synopsis:blue waters cover.jpg

“The blue water I sank through was angelic, quiet, peaceful…”

Whitney is a vivacious, highly spirited 17-year-old girl. Her motto, “Live life to the fullest” is derailed when the young man, who’s captured her attention, turns out to be the son of a drug tycoon- the same that provided the drugs that killed her brother. Whitney believes she simply need to heal from her first heartache, not knowing she is a part of a devious trade, one against human rights, and she has been… since the day age was born.

Blue Waters is the first Novella in a Tainted Waters, and begins a story of deception, corruption, self-discovery, and love with all that it demands you sacrifice…

“There was a beauty in dying that day…”


I received a copy of this novella courtesy of India’s Productions via NetGalley  in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, if someone told me I would fall completely and utterly in love with a person’s writing and characters in a mere 112 pages, I would have laughed in their face and told them it was impossible… this novella proved me wrong.

In one hundred and twelve incredible pages India R. Adams weaved a complete masterpiece, from her descriptions, to the way in which the beginning related to the end (I honestly love books which seamlessly achieve that) and the characters were so wonderfully thought out I had no complaints.

Can we just talk about the phenomenal quality of the writing, this particularly unsettling quote is still stuck in my head to this day whenever I think of the novella: “There was a beauty in dying that day…”.I just think that it has such an eerie effect and it was honestly perfectly chosen for the scene in which it was written.

Whitney and Crash had undeniable chemistry, but what pleased me the most was the character-fricking-development that they both went through. Honestly, for such a short novella, Adams achieved much much more than some authors could in 500 pages. There was no insta-love (unless one counts as an undeniable attraction as insta-love, but I did find that the relationship actually developed instead of going straight to “oh I love you so much and I can’t imagine my life without you despite meeting you, oh – about five seconds ago”), there was no love triangle, the “star-crossed lovers” thing actually worked for once in my life. Even the supporting characters were developed past empty husks of names, I mean, one of the Russian mafia men made me laugh a ridiculous amount – honestly, what more could I ask for.

Filled with snark and sarcasm, this  book seemed as though it would turn out to be a rather light read. wrong wrong wrong.gif

Yeah, no. By the end, I had probably cried enough tears to fill a bathtub, the story tugged at my tearducts in the same way that it played with my heartstrings, which was to be quite frank, a lot.

Adams kept the intrigue of the plot up with numerous plot twists I had not seen coming, I thought those added immensely to the entire effect that the book had on me and definitely engaged me greatly throughout.

Honestly, the only negative thing about the book was the fact that it inevitably came to a close, however I am going to read Black Waters (the sequel) in the very near future, as I am irrevocably in love with India’s work and cannot wait to return to the world of this novella, I’m also particularly excited about it as I have heard that any minor plot-holes in this novella were perfectly filled in in the next one.

I would not hesitate to say that this book was the best novella I had ever had the chance to read, and I’m hoping that Black Waters either tops this, or comes a close second.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“There was a beauty in dying that day…”

ARC Review: The Deviants – C.J. Skuse

Synopsis:the deviants cover

When you set out for revenge, dig two graves

Growing up in the sleepy English seaside town of Brynston, the fearless five – Ella, Max, Corey, Fallon and Zane – were always inseparable. Living up to their nickname, they were the adventurous, rowdy kids who lived for ghost stories and exploring the nearby islands off the coast. But when Max’s beloved older sister Jessica is killed, the friendship seems to die with her.

Now years later, only Max and Ella are in touch; still best friends and a couple since they were thirteen. Their lives are so intertwined Max’s dad even sponsors Ella’s training for the Commonwealth Games. But Ella is hiding things. Like why she hates going to Max’s house for Sunday dinner, and flinches whenever his family are near. Or the real reason she’s afraid to take their relationship to the next level.

When underdog Corey is bullied, the fearless five are brought back together again, teaming up to wreak havoc and revenge on those who have wronged them. But when the secrets they are keeping can no longer be kept quiet, will their fearlessness be enough to save them from themselves?


I received a proof copy of the novel courtesy of (then) Mira Ink / HQ Stories in exchange for an honest review. 

How do I even begin to describe this book? It was mind-blowingly remarkable. I’d easily place it in the best few books I have ever had the chance to read.

It was so broad in the topics which it covered, wrapped in so many plot-twists I had NOT  seen coming –  I honestly spent the whole book trying to figure out what was going to happen next, I don’t think I have come across a book which had me guessing for the entirety of it in a very long time. It covered a wide range of issues teenagers in present-day society face on a daily basis in an incredibly genuine way, the book was incredibly dark at parts,  so much so that my heartstrings still ache thinking about it, but it also had spells of happiness and metaphorical sunshine – and isn’t that a realistic representation of life?

The characters were absolutely perfectly written and fleshed-out, it felt like I was there with them the entire time; as though they were actual people I knew. Huge kudos to Skuse for getting the teenage voice to sound as authentic as it did; all the while making sure that the reader felt engaged with their lives and everything that happened within them. I also found that the friendships within this book were exceptionally realistic, Skuse showed both the ups and the downs of teenage relationships in a really beautiful and thought-provoking way.

I could not put it down, so of course I read it in pretty much one sitting and still cannot shake the feelings with which it left me. I was/am incredibly hung up on the ending, it was the PERFECT conclusion, and by now, most of you should realise that I do not take or say those words lightly. It concluded the story in a way that had me sitting there in complete shock (whilst crying, because multitasking of that sort is a thing that is possible apparently). If I were to choose an appropriate image to summarise my expression upon reading the last sentence it’d be this:

crying shock.gif

 It would be hard to describe the full impact of the ending without spoiling anything, but I would definitely say that it was as unpredictable as it was amazing.

I have no complaints about this book whatsoever and while this was my first read of Skuse’s novels, it is definitely not going to be the last for I am incredibly curious as to the quality of her other books  in comparison to this one, and man, did she set the bar high.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

(I’d give it 6 if I could)

“What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

-The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas. 

2015 End of Year Survey

So the year is nearly over… And I don’t know where it has gone, I mean they say that time flows fast when you’re having fun… and sure, this year has been quite a bit of fun (a topic for another post perhaps?) but surely… it shouldn’t already be December 31st?

Anyhow, I’ve seen a few people do the 6th Annual End of Year Survey for this year, an idea that was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner – and I thought I would give it a go!


2015 Reading Stats:

Number of Books Read: 78/50

Number of Re-Reads: Three

Genre You Read The Most From: YA Romance (although that splits into Fantasy and Contemporary really)


Best In Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Well, isn’t this a tough cookie to start on? I will have to cheat, and split it into two sections. My utmost favourite contemporary read would have to have been Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling… it was such a wonderful novel, thought-provoking and beautifully written I couldn’t possibly pick any other book for this position. My other choice (from the Fantasy genre) would be Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout… because JLA… no other reason – well actually there’s a few, why don’t you read them here.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?   

All the Rage was probably one of those books, not by the fault of the author or the book itself… it was simply the best example of

it's not you it's me

syndrome.

Which was a shame… but I guess it has to happen sometimes. Read my review of it here.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

I’ll probably have to take a bad turn on this, and say Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List… it is my lowest rated book of the year at a generous 2.5 Stars, and I was so disappointed with it because I generally don’t tend to have problems with books in that particular genre and somehow it just wasn’t what I hoped it was going to be – so this is probably the most surprising disappointment of 2015. Read my review of it here

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? 

This would have to be Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout, my review (as well as my constant gushing in real-life conversations) made quite a lot of people either put this book on their TBR or even read it, as it was the case with two of my best friends whom I all-but threw the book at having finished it.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015? 

The best series that I started in 2015 would have to have been The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski – I have yet to review the book  but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The best sequel of 2015 for me is Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout – another book I have yet to review. The series ender that I enjoyed the most was Tempting the Bodyguard by JLA… again…

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Stuck between two lovely ladies, who both produced books which had me enraptured and their names are Jennifer Donnelly and Heidi R. Kling!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t usually read historical fiction… I was put off since I read a particular series (which ironically I cannot remember the name of right now) when I was seven or so, and since then I haven’t read A SINGLE historical novel (unless you count the Infernal Devices in which case please don’t because Shadowhunters and history aren’t in the same book in my brain, buddy). That is, until These Shallow Graves came along, and boy it was great and I will definitely try to read more historical fiction next year. Read my review of it here!

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Murder Complex is the answer to this one, it was probably the most action-packed novel I had the chance to read this year. Read my review of it here

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

There are quite a few of my 2015 reads that I will most definitely be re-reading in 2016. For example Glitch by Heather Anastasiu (because I want to continue the series), The Edge of Never, The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. We’ll see if any more get added to the list!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?  

red queen  cover

It’s just so pretty, and I have an edition where the blood is 3D so…

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Mercedes Ayres from Firsts. I read the book quite recently, which probably adds to this, but her character will probably stay with me for a looong while.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?  

Probably Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar or This Raging Light by Estelle Laure. Both authors had incredibly captivating styles!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Vain by Amelie Fisher, because it handled the things I forget to think about sometimes, living in a very economically developed country… All The Rage by Courtney Summers, and Paint my Body Red by Heidi R. Kling. Boy, I’m cheating in these questions…

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?  

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare himself… and I probably wouldn’t have read it had it not been required by school for another few years.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

Don’t make me choose! I’m going to make it my goal for 2016 to put up a page on my blog with my favourite passages because the amount of trouble I’m having right now is ridiculous. But it would probably have to be:

“This is what we do. We make tea, and read books and watch people die.” from the Way We Fall by Megan Crewe

Because let’s face it, it describes every single fandom perfectly.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Unleashed by Kathryn Taylor at 46 pages

Longest: Night World, No. 3 by L.J. Smith at 732 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

DEFINITELY The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins… because my mind was absolutely blown to tiny splinters whilst reading.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Katy Swartz and Daemon Black from the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout… and a few of her other couples too.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Lucille Bennett (from This Raging Light) and her sister Wren because honestly, they cared for each other so very much, and it was beautiful and heartwarming and it made me slightly jealous for not having as good a relationship with my brother as these two had.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: 

I wasn’t planning to prioritise the Frigid Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, but a ginger bookworm recommended it to me, and so I read it sooner than I probably would have, and I’m really happy that I did, because both books are amazing!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? 

Geoffrey Bass from Ryan Revisited… as well as all of JLA’s boys that I hadn’t met before this year.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

I didn’t read many debuts, which is slightly weird, but I would have to say Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?   

More Than This by Patrick Ness takes the cake for this one… The world in this novel was so intricately and beautifully woven it could not be more perfect.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?  

Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout… Yes, there is a lot of her on this list but I cannot help myself. Either this, or The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Literally the majority of the books I read this year made me cry at one point or another, so I cannot pick one and therefore won’t pick at all.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

the dead list cover

Definitely this one, seeing as JLA released it online (on Wattpad of all places) and it was amazing to see her raw writing – which didn’t disappoint.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Either Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan, or Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling. They were probably the ones that made me turn on the waterworks more than a few times, at full power…

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

DEFINITELY (gosh I love it when a question is easy to answer) The Library at Mount Char. Those of you who have read it, will know exactly what I’m talking about.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Oooh, there was a series that had my blood boiling in a bad way and that was The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano… another book that made me mad, but this time thankfully in a good way was Firsts – and I don’t think I’m completely alone on that one.


 

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

This year I met many lovely bloggers with equally lovely blogs – my favourite book blog (that contains written reviews) would have to be Kim’s over at By Hook or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff because she posts really honest, quality reviews.
Of course I would be lying if I didn’t like my best friend’s book blog too because although she is just starting out there’s potential for it to be something big, and amazing.
I also discovered what has now become a perfect way to waste time, and that is Christine May’s Booktube over at Polandbananasbooks.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Definitely my review of The Chemical Garden series because I feel it is the most me… which can’t really be a bad thing. Also, my reviews of Oblivion and Paint My Body Red because they were the most fun to write.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?  

Why do I go MIA? (and some tips for the unlucky souls who take exams). It was the most-commented on, non-review post and was also very relevant to my situation at the time (and also in the upcoming months) which was why I wrote it.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I haven’t had the chance to participate in any of those, perhaps because I am scared. But also because I simply don’t know how to participate, or what is best to participate in. And then there’s the fact that author signings are a rare occurrence in the UK and might happen once in a blue moon.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

In reality, I’d say the majority of it, but when we zoom in on things I am most proud of it was probably when the authors of Oblivion and Paint My Body Red recognised my work and tweeted about it! Of course, there was meeting some of the blogging community whom I’ve been talking to which was also amazing.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? 

Time… or lack there-of. Juggling school and exams and social life (although who am I kidding, I don’t own one of those) has been quite difficult, but I am somewhat managing it and therefore proud of my valiant effort.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Definitely my review of Oblivion by JLA – it reached circa 60 views in a single day!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My review of Paint My Body Red… Or any of the posts I enjoyed writing really which are mentioned above.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? 

Bookbridgr! To all UK and ROI bloggers, this place has some really good review copies up for grabs! There’s also been Society6 on which you can find some bookish themed stuff, like blankets, pillows, t-shirts etc. etc.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

goodreads challenge

Yes… Yes I did. And Goodreads makes me feel very good about it!


Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?  

This will definitely be finishing A Banquet of Consequences because I think that’s long overdue.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? 

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare! I can’t wait to return to the world of Shadowhunters. Also, The Power by JLA.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I would have said Firsts, but of course I was lucky enough to have early access to the book and so don’t have to wait until January when it is released. So my answer to this one will be The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? 

Torn by JLA, the second book in A Wicked Saga.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?   

Definitely be more social and talk to more people in the blogging community, get rid of my fears when it comes to communication.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: 

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, despite the fact that the protagonist is largely unconventional, it is a good read if you go in with an open-mind.


 

So this is it I guess, my 2015 Survey and I will be looking forward to do this again next year!

 

ARC Review: Oblivion – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis:oblivion

Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…


 I received a copy of this book  from Hodder & Stoughton via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

I literally screamed the moment the postman came on a dreary Wednesday morning (Dear Mr. Postman, and my neighbours, and family – if you’re reading this I am sorry for any damage to your ears that may have occurred)

When Jennifer announced that she would be releasing Lux in Daemon’s POV, I honestly didn’t know what to think… I’m usually put off by any form of novella when it comes to series I’ve actually enjoyed (The Selection novellas I’m looking at you) and so I was mentally troubled for a while (read: 5 seconds) before I found myself clicking request book anyway – because Jennifer has never ruined a book before – so my expectations were pretty high. Plus, who doesn’t want more Daemon?

no, no, that wasnt a question

Of course we all want more Daemon

So I began reading it right away. And boy…  was I glad I did despite having three books to finish already… and a mountain of revision to do.

I feel like it is my duty to thank Jennifer L. Armentrout for not disappointing me with her books – this one perfectly complimented the Lux series.

The plot, although known to me, may as well have been a completely new adventure. I absolutely loved Daemon’s narrative – it was wonderfully… guy, and added even more feels to scenes which had already made me spill buckets of tears when written in Katy’s point of view. Finding out his inner thoughts and feelings, especially when he was being a complete and utter, smart-mouthed, dick (pardon my French) to Katy – it was nice to see that beneath it all he still cared… A lot more than he let on at first (the denial was strong in this one)  but he cared and it was all very heart-warming and cute, to the point where I’m pretty sure I gave my best friend (a fellow member of the Armentrout Army) a bruise from slapping her with the book multiple times whenever something happened – I’ve had to apologise so many times in this post already, but I am sorry (and grateful that you chose to read it at home where I would be safe from any revenge-filled, excitement fueled assault).

I also feel as though this book had resolved a lot of the ambiguity regarding some of the scenes in Obsidian – it (for the most part) became VERY clear why certain things happened the way they did.

All in all, I really loved getting a look at the inner clockwork of Daemon’s brain – and will be definitely looking into buying the ebook to read on to the next two books (and hopefully JLA will release the entire series in the beautiful alien’s POV because I’m pretty sure my fangirl heart will not be content stopping in the middle of a series) as I’d really like to see some more of the development that I know Daemon goes through later on in the series, as well as some more conversations with Matthiew (and perhaps all the other Luxen) as I felt that whilst he was in the original books, we didn’t really see him in a very favourable way like we do quite clearly in this one.

If you haven’t read the Lux series by the wonderful Jennifer L. Armentrout, you totally should. Although in my personal opinion this particular book could be read as a stand-alone – I can almost guarantee that you will want more at the end of it, in which case there are all these wonderful titles to check out if you do want more Katy and Daemon.

My rating: Solid 4.5/5 Stars

I spent most of Sunday listening to Dee and Kat talk about books and how book boyfriends were universally better than real boyfriends while they sat in the living room. And since I was a guy, maybe not human, I really wanted to disagree with that statement, but once they started listing the attributes of some of those dudes… There was no way anyone could compete with that”

Daemon

 

Book Review: Paint My Body Red – Heidi R. Kling

Synopsis:paint my body red cover

The world isn’t just black or white. Sometimes it’s red…

They think I’m next. That I’ll be the seventh kid to step in front of a train and end my life. With the rash of suicides at my school, Mom’s shipped me off to my dad’s Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” They think I’m just another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the tracks. They don’t know my secrets…or what I’ve done.
I wasn’t expecting Dad to be so sick, for the ranch I loved to be falling to bits, or for Jake—the cute boy I knew years ago—to have grown into a full-fledged, hot-as-hell cowboy. Suddenly, I don’t want to run anymore, but the secrets from home have found me…even here. And this time, it’s up to me to face them—and myself—if I want to live…


I received an advance reader edition of this book from Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

***SPOILER FREE***

When requesting this book, I really didn’t know what to expect – and now having read it- it certainly beat all of my expectations. Kling expertly created a tale full of palpable tragedy, dealing with difficult subjects with a lot of tact and intelligence. Of course, from reading the synopsis, we are aware that this book will hold a lot of potentially triggering content (that being suicides of several teenagers) but there are also other topics which I have to commend Kling for writing about, because it couldn’t have been easy to describe some of the scenes within this book and the end result is wonderful and touching.

all aboard the feels train

You will definitely need tissues during your adventure with this particular book – I swear down on the Easter Bunny (yes I have a thing for mentioning the Easter Bunny) it could make Chuck Norris cry. Or even a mountain… or any other inanimate object for that matter.

I am a complete and utter sucker for any kind of positive character development, and this book contained so much that I was puking rainbows everywhere whilst internally screaming with joy. The empty shell of a girl that we are presented with at the very beginning of the book flourishes into a beautiful, strong-willed young woman after her arrival at the ranch and the change was fantastic to read about – especially when Paige herself noticed it at several points along the way.

Speaking of the ranch, I found the bonds she created there amazing, especially  with a gorgeous mustang named Scout (yes… yet again – I do not know what it is about me and animals in books) which made incredibly sad at one point during the book (all I’m going to say is that she thankfully doesn’t die but something else does happen)…

And of course her relationship with Jake, who I found really helped Paige find herself in the whole situation that she was going through. Thankfully unaccompanied by the ever-present in YA Fiction nowadays insta-love – the evolution of their connection was incredibly well written, and very real in those circumstances.

This book will definitely stay with me for a long while, I think it was one of the best books I have read this year – my emotions were rocket-high and I was turning pages like a mad-woman trying to find out what was going to happen next. Therefore I definitely think that fans of well-written, original contemporary romance which deals with some very real and common but unspoken issues, should definitely give this book a go and I cannot wait to hear their thoughts on it!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“We cannot control the wind , but we can adjust our sails”

-Paige’s Father

Book Review: Ultraviolet – R.J. Anderson

Synopsis:ultraviolet cover

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.
This is not her story.
Unless you count the part where I killed her.
Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori — the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?

 

 


***One Slight Spoiler Ahead***

So the first time I read Ultraviolet I was around 11 years old and had bought the book using one of my annual Waterstone’s gift cards (because pretty much all my family has been aware of my bibliophilia for years now). Needless to say I really enjoyed it, and had come back to it, time and time again which left my paperback copy looking a tad, uhm…. well-loved to say the very least. Albeit loved is exactly the word for it, as I enjoyed the story immensely and cannot say I regret reading it time and time again.

One thing I’d have to say about it, is that it hooked me straight away, before the book had officially begun; as it drew me in upon reading the blurb which is simply 

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her.

in the edition of the book that I possess. Which in my opinion, is still one of the best blurbs I’ve had the chance to come across, it is short, striking and gives just enough away (or so we think) to intrigue the reader into reading more.

The characters within the beautifully designed covers were also incredible – I empathised with Alison, I found her story heartfelt in all its tragedy, love, and confusion – I don’t think I’ve ever read a story quite like this one before either, so Anderson really did a great job at creating the plot, as well as merging and bending genres together to create her own, amazing and beautiful tale which flowed much like poetry in all its grand description.

I loved the journey of self discovery which Faraday enabled Alison to go through…. *sigh* Faraday, let’s just say I wasn’t aware that aliens could be that good-natured, or good-looking or just generally so awesomely bad-ass until I read this book

meowth heart eyes

Even Meowth agrees

which I later followed up with the Lux series by one of my favourite authors, Jennifer L. Armentrout (if you haven’t read her books, I suggest you go and put them on your TBR right now.)

Gosh, Alison and Dr. Faraday’s love story was beautiful and tear-inducing in a tentative, bittersweet way. The ending was something else entirely, and I think it set up the second book very well (but that is a title for discussion at a later date as I think I need to return to it again to be able to give it justice). I was glad to find it wasn’t a case of complete insta-love and that it gradually blossomed from infatuation into something on a much deeper emotional level.

If you’re a fan of science-fiction, or into finding out about strange and wonderful psychological phenomenons with the protagonist themselves (as you may already know I love books with confused main characters as it’s nice to explore their world as they see it, as whenever that happens I too am often as confused as them), I would definitely recommend reading this book and I do hope you love it as much as I did, or even more.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

“I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose.”

Alison Jeffries