We Are Not Okay: Review an Q&A with Natália Gomes!

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When I first heard about We Are Not Okay, I was really curious to read it!

It was marketed as four female voices with unique stories to tell, and the short snapshots about each character sounded really intense and interesting. So when an opportunity to review an advanced reader copy came up, as well as to quiz the author, I jumped at it! 

Thank you to Harper Collins Publisher HQ for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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If only they could have spoken out.
Lucy thinks she’s better than the other girls. Maybe if she’s pointing fingers at everyone else, no one will see the secret she’s hiding.
Ulana comes from a conservative Muslim family where reputation is everything. One rumour – true or false – can destroy futures.
Trina likes to party. She’s kissed a lot of boys. She’s even shown her red bra to one. But she didn’t consent to that night at Lucy’s party. So why doesn’t anyone believe
her?
Sophia loved her boyfriend. She did anything for him, even send him photos of herself. So why is she the one being pointed at in the hallways, laughed at, spat at when it was him who betrayed her trust? Continue reading

Book Review: Romanov by Nadine Brandes // An Anastasia Retelling

Reasons to Read Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Hello book lovers!

Fun fact about me: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I don’t know why, especially when I used to love history at school, but it’s just not the kind of book I find myself reaching for.

A fantasy book based around historical events, however? I’m ALL OVER THAT.

I was immensely excited when I came across Romanov, not only does it have THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER that basically had me stroking it every five minutes, but it is also based around the history and myth of Anastasia, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. When Nicholas II was forced to abdicate and go into exile with his family, who were later slaughtered, rumors began circulating that Anastasia had somehow survived. Alas, history has now proved this is not the case, but the story still continues to fascinate and capture the hearts of many (including mine since watching the famous animated film and studying Russian history at ALevel!)

I was so excited to see how a YA novel would take on this topic, incorporating it with magic and mysticism, especially considering the role of Rasputin in history as a family friend and holy man who had a ‘mysterious’ hold over the family.

So, did mixing history and magic make for a good read? Find out below!

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Bullet Point Mini Reviews // Water Outages, Arranged Marriages & Mystical Wars!

Mini Reviews

Hello book friends! I hope ye are fairing well. 

I feel like I’ve been devouring books at a fast rate lately, gobbling up stories like they’re my last meal for the next month, desperate for more characters and more amazing worlds.

Yep, I am a book glutton. 

Anyway, as much as I would love to write reviews for every book I read, alas, this thing called time is against me, and I am a pawn to its whims.
Still, I’ve read so many good books lately that I couldn’t let all of them go without giving the nod to AT LEAST SOME OF THEM, and others, I really just wanted to share with you!

So read on for my latest adventures!

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Book Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon Book Review

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (a favourite author of mine), was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. It contains all my favourite things after all:

1) Lots and lots of pages…!
*My arms are so much stronger after reading this, no lie.*

2) DRAGONSSSSS!

3) Complex female character narrators (yay!) with the bonus of an f/f romance *fist pump for diversity!*

I counted down the months, weeks then days until I finally got my hands on this 830 paged beauty, and when its gorgeous cover was in my hands, I disappeared from the internet and dived in!

So, did it live up to my expectations? Eh, I’ll be honest with you – it didn’t. :/ Read on to find out why!

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ARC Review: The Quiet at the End of the World // A Fabulously Twisty Read!

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I am quickly learning that when it comes to the author, Lauren James, you should always expect the unexpected!

After reading The Loneliest Girl in the Universe a couple of months ago and being thoroughly impressed with it, even considering I’m not a big science fiction reader, I was extremely excited to pick up James’s newest offering, The Quiet at the End of the World.

Lauren’s new book was certainly a rollercoaster, and I haven’t read a novel that has kept me guessing this much in a VERY LONG TIME.

Thank you to Walker Books for providing me with an advanced reader copy at their book blogger event! This did not in any way impact the thoughts in my review. Continue reading

Discovering (and Loving!) My First Brandon Sanderson Novel: Elantris

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson Review.pngI think anyone reading this post will agree that we all read a lot of books. The difficulty comes when there are SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS TO CHOOSE FROM!

There are some authors that you hear about, again and again, tagged along with endless superlatives, and yet somehow never get around to reading despite your best efforts.

Brandon Sanderson has always been one of those authors for me.

I’m a huge high fantasy fan and Sanderson’s work has been recommended to me since I started blogging 6 years ago. After seeing so many glowing reviews for a variety of his novels, I purchased Elantris because it was a stand-alone and I had far too many series on the go at the time.  Afterward, I was told that it wasn’t the best of his works to start with, and so there it sat on my shelves for, you guessed it, 6 years. HOWS THAT FOR PROCRASTINATION?!?

Fast forward to 2019 Becky tackling her backlist, and all I can say is that if this isn’t one of Brandon Sanderson’s best, I can’t WAIT to dive into to all his other books, because I enjoyed this immensely!

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Mini Reviews: YA Books I’ve Been Devouring Lately!

Mini Reviews

Hello, readers!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season by eating too much, sipping on bubbly and just maybe, rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. 😉

If you’re anything like me, you’re currently in that post-Christmas but pre-New Years bliss where time slows down, you end up staying in your pajamas all day, and even forget what day of the week it is!

All of this, of course, is very condusive to quality reading time, and I’ve been zooming through an interesting mix YA books, some of which were noteworthy enough for me to share with you!

SO LET’S DO THE REVIEW THING *FIST PUMP*

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Book Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

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Shadow of the Fox was my first Julie Kagawa book, and it did not disappoint.

With a blurb full of things like DRAGONS, and SCROLLS and MISCHIEF, where could it go wrong, really?!? This diverse read takes place in a beautiful Japanese setting which is utterly immersive, beautiful and unique.

Thank you to HQ young adult for giving me the opportunity to review a copy!

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A single wish will spark a new dawn.
Every millennium, one age ends and another age dawns…and whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers holds the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish. The time is near and the missing pieces of the scroll will be sought throughout the land of Iwagoto.
The holder of the first piece is a humble, unknown peasant girl with a dangerous secret. Demons have burned the temple Yumeko was raised in to the ground, killing everyone within, including the master who trained her to both use and hide her kitsune powers. Yumeko escapes with the temple’s greatest treasure – one part of the ancient scroll. Fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan. Yumeko knows he seeks what she has and is under orders to kill anything and anyone who stands between him and the scroll. Continue reading

Spoiler Free Review of Kingdom of Ash // Ft Me Basically just Rambling & Flailing with Emotion

Reviewing Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Well guys, here we are. The conclusion to the epic, loved world-wide Throne of Glass series. It’s been a journey.

It started with an assassin, it ended with a queen. Eight action-packed, kick-ass feminist books to rattle the stars.

I wasn’t an instant fan of this series, book 1 was pretty terrible (you can read my sarcastic, somewhat cutting review here, it’s kind of weird to look back on!) but these books, despite their faults, have steadily built a unique and complex world with a vast array of kick-ass characters I have become utterly invested in. Each book was better than the last; filling a YA fantasy void in my heart I had long been waiting for.

So, how did the finale stack up? Let’s break it down!

*Please be aware that although this post is spoiler free for Kingdom of Ash, it will have spoilers for the other books in the series if you have not read them yet. You have been warned!*

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“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …” Continue reading

5 Reasons I Couldn’t Stomach The Price Guide to the Occult (Plus, 5 Reasons You Just Might Like It?)

5 Reasons I didn't like The Price Guide to the Occult

Oh man. The disappointment of this book. I can’t even handle it.
The thing is, I thought this was a slam dunk for me because:

a) GORGEOUS COVER. Doesn’t it just make you want to pick it up and stroke it immediately?
b) I love stories about witches, curses and forbidden spellbooks and I rarely find a book focussing on these things that I dislike.
c) The author’s debut book was SUPER POPULAR and highly praised.

Um, well I hate to be the one to burst everyone’s pumkin, but while The Price Guide to the Occult may look cute on the outside, it’s kinda rotten, smooshed and disorganised on the inside.

Not only was this my first 1-star read of the year, but it’s also the first ARC I’ve ever disliked. So while I’m thankful to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review, I am unfortunately unable to say much that’s positive about this novel. However, I am going to do my best to both outline the issues I have with it, and also highlight some reasons why you might get on better with it than I did!

*TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains self-harm and child abuse and I will be discussing it.*

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So, what’s it all about?

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Book Review: Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon

Review Rosie Loves Jack

The publishing industry has come on in leaps and bounds when it comes to putting diverse books on the market, certainly the Young Adult section of the store anyway *SO PROUD, sniff*, but one area that is still overlooked is learning disabilities. So I was super excited when I received an advanced reader copy of Rosie Loves Jack from publishers in exchange for an honest review, a contemporary love story following a protagonist with Downs Syndrome, which is something I have never had the chance to read before! A somewhat ambitious tale for a debut author to take on perhaps, but I have to say, she does a pretty good job!

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they’re split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down’s syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.

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Why You Need to Read ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ IMMEDIATELY // A Review

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Oh my god guys. Oh. My. God. This book, SLAYED MY HEART. It squidged and bruised and punched it, and then turned it into joy confetti. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?! Thank you universe for putting this little miracle of a book in my path.

I feel so lucky to have received an advanced reader copy of Only Love Can Break Your Heart from publishers because it is 100% the best book I have read all year, and I have a feeling a lot of people will be talking about it (in between uncontrollable sobbing). The thing is, it looks like such a sweet little unassuming book, BUT DON’T BE FOOLED. Inside is hidden treasure folks, shiny awesome desert treasure. Continue reading

Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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Based in the same setting that Albertalli created in Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda (and therefore one of my most anticipated reads of the year), Offbeat follows Leah, one of Simon’s best friends who is a self-confessed misfit, and in her own words, the school’s ‘resident fat Slytherin Rory Gilmore’. What can I say? Leah is a girl after my own heart. Well, mostly. Continue reading

5 Reasons I Gave The Rest of Us Just Live Here 5 Stars | A Review with Buffy Gifs!

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a book that’s been on my to-read list since before it was even published. Reading the blurb, it felt like it was written for me. Every sentence had me doing a little fist pump and a not entirely dignified flail. Plus, Patrick Ness is a wizard with words so you, know, IT HAD TO BE GOOD RIGHT?

The thing is, once I actually got my hands on the book, I started to feel dread that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, so it became a kind of ritual when picking my next read to go along my bookshelf, give the gorgeous cover a little stroke, and then move on, picking something else. Well this summer, I thought, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I WILL BE A STRONG BOOKWORM. So I gave myself a little pep talk and opened the first page, and well. I’m so glad I did because it lived up to ALL the expectations.

So let’s get some blurb up in hither and we’ll talk about 5 reasons I gave The Rest of Us Just Live Here 5 stars!

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Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe Review

Scythe is a book I was instantly interested in as soon as it came out. First of all, MAJOR COVER LOVE. But secondly and more importantly, the concept of the dystopian world sounded so gripping and psychological chilling that I couldn’t resist giving this one a go! When I saw additional review copies being released prior the Thunderhead (book 2) coming out I overenthusiastically put myself forward. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy!

Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Continue reading