The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Review 3/5

Overall Impression: A self-indulgent exploration of the well-known Dracula mystery in which the vampire has become oddly obsessed with hunting librarians.The Historian by Elizabeth Kostiva

The Historian has sat on my shelf unread for over seven years. Yeah, that’s pretty shameful! I picked up my battered copy for a whole 20p at a hospital book sale, unable to resist the fancy swirling writing and menacing blood droplets on its cover. Having been struck down with a seriously evil case of tonsillitis this week, and having already binge watched all of the Outlander Season 2 TV series, I decided it was time to pick up this neglected tome of a book and show it some love.
The best way I can sum up this novel is that it was a good, entertaining book…until suddenly it wasn’t.

 

To you my perceptive reader, I bequeath my history…
Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor.’ Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

Continue reading

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Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray Review 5/5

Overall Impression: A spellbinding second installment of The Diviners series which captivates and enthralls.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray“For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning.”
The Diviners by Libba Bray is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2015, heck, it’s one of the most fun and entertaining books I’ve read in years! So naturally, I was looking forward to the release of its sequel with unabashed excitement, hoping with all my heart that it would be just as good. Well, I am happy to report that it was as awesome as, if not better than The Diviners and I lapped up every beautiful word. LIBBA BRAY IS QUEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNN and I bow down to her epic writing skills!
I would like to thank the lovely people at Atom Books for giving my a free ARC of Lair of Dreams in exchange for an honest review.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s a media darling. It seems like everyone’s in love with New York City’s latest It Girl – their ‘Sweetheart Seer.’
But while Evie is enjoying the high life, her fellow Diviners Henry DuBois and Ling Chan will fight to keep their powers secret.
A malevolent force is at large, infecting people’s dreams and claiming victims in their sleep. At the edge of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans of nightmare proportions…

There are many, many reasons I adored Lair of Dreams, but the first reason has got to be Libba Bray’s writing. Continue reading

The Diviners by Libba Bray Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A compelling supernatural murder mystery with vibrant characters and gorgeous creeptastic imagery.

I bought this book (mostly) on a whim, having only The Diviners by Libba Brayever read one review of it. The cover was so beautiful I couldn’t resist, especially as the copy I found second hand was a hardback in brilliant condition. After scanning the blurb and finding it was set in 1920s America with a supernatural twist, I couldn’t resist. I’m so glad that I took a chance because this novel was SO MUCH FUN. It’s the most entertaining story I’ve read in a long time. I feel like it took me back to the basics or reading, because instead of tackling big themes or moral messages and crashing through boundaries it focused on the most important thing, telling a damn good story, and whisking the reader along for the ride.
If you’re looking for a good book and something a little bit different, The Diviners will definitely suit your needs! Continue reading

Everafter by Elizabeth Chandler Review 2/5

Overall Impression:  A disappointing end to an otherwise enjoyable series.

(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed Everafter by Elizabeth Chandlerby an Angel series, Everlasting click here.)

I’m so sad that this book series has finally come to an end. *Sniff, sniff.* I’ve been following along with each installment for a while now – pretty much since I started this blog 3+ years ago and so many things have changed since then that I can’t help feeling a little bit nostalgic! I’ve always cited this series as my guilty pleasure, but unfortunately, book six the final novel in the series was a real disappointment for me. And thinking about it, I think it links back to how much I’ve changed since I started reading this series. My reading tastes are different, I’ve read a lot more widely and I’ve grown up. Sadly, this has made the faults of this book excruciatingly clear.

This review is spoiler free if you’ve read the previous books in the series! Continue reading

House Rules by Jodi Picoult Review 4/5

Overall Impression: Thought-provoking, engaging and entertaining.

Somehow over the years I have acquired quite a few House Rules by Jodi PicoultJodi Picoult books. I never actually buy them myself; it’s like there’s some some kind of weird magnetic force that wills them towards me free will be damned. This puzzles me somewhat because they’re not my normal type of books. Vampires? Nope. Dragons? Nuh-uh. Wizards? NO WIZARDS, SERIOUSLY.
But, the world is conspiring against me and obviously feels I need more Picoult in my life. Whenever I pick up this author’s books it’s always with an element of trepidation, because while they’re often full of complex moral dilemma’s and tragedy, they can sometimes also be slow going, repetitive and unsatisfying. I’m glad to say House Rules fit better into the former category, so maybe the universe is right after all! So, I bet you’d like some blurbity, blurb? Your wish is my command. 🙂

When Emma Hunt’s son is diagnosed with Asperger’s, she knows she will do anything to help him.
She expects other people not to understand.
She expects the stares and whispers.
She even expects trouble with the police.
But she doesn’t expect Jacob to be charged with murder.
And when all the hallmarks of your son’s condition – his tics, his inappropriate actions, his inability to look you in the eye – can be read as guilt; when you cannot put your hand on your heart and swear he is innocent…
How can you expect to help your child then?

One thing you can always expect from Jodi Picoult is a quality well researched story that pushes moral boundaries, and House Rules was no exception.  Continue reading

Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A lighthearted YA read with an intriguing mystery.

(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandleran Angel series, Evercrossed, click here.)

The Kissed by an Angel series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and I don’t have many. I am less patient when it comes to the paranormal-romance genre these days and far more scathing, but this series even three years after I first started it still manages to tug at my heart-strings.
Everlasting is definitely one of those books where people look at the cover and frown thinking ‘Really?’
Yes members of the public, really.
Something about this author keeps me coming back for more. Everlasting is the fifth and penultimate novel in the Kissed by an Angel series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Kissed by an Angel series, this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any spoilers for Everlasting.

For Ivy, miracle’s are real. After all, it was a miracle this summer when she survived a near fatal car crash. And it was a miracle that Tristan, her boyfriend who died a year ago, returned to earth as an angel. But Ivy knows better than anyone that miracles come at a price. Even though Tristan has come back to Ivy, life is far from perfect. He’s a fallen angel – and he’s trapped in the body of a wanted murderer. With Tristan on the run from the police, Ivy’s not sure she’ll ever get her happy ending.
And when it becomes clear that darker forces are at work, it seems there’s more at stake than either Tristan or Ivy realise. Will they ever be safe together? Or has Ivy finally run out of miracles?

I love Chandler’s writing style, she is remarkably natural with her storytelling. Even though it had been a year  Continue reading

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff Review 5/5

Overall Impression: Astoundingly honest, raw and insightful.

There’s nowt so queer as folk, as Gil the father of the main protagonist in Picture Me Gone would say, and he sure was right.
I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this novel. I had originally seen Pretty Books mention it over on her blog, and although I had never heard of the author the beautiful cover beckoned to Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff1me. A couple of weeks later my highly classified informant at my favourite second hand bookshop, knowing I had a love of YA literature, tipped me off that they had a new batch of brand new rejected review copies coming in. The YA doesn’t tend to sell as well at the shop and I also got in early, so I pretty much had the pick of the bunch. I rifled though the four or five massive boxes and found Picture Me Gone among them. I knew that it was a reasonably new release from 2013 (the current RRP is £9) and although I had plenty of other books to be getting on with I couldn’t resist. I bought it for a sneaky £2.49. It’s probably the best £2.49 I’ve ever spent. 🙂


Mila has a gift.
She can read a room, a person, a situation – and tell if you’re happy, or pregnant, or having an affair.
When her father’s best friend, Matthew goes missing, Mila joins in the search.
She sees clues no one else notices, facts everyone else overlooks.
But the answers refuse to line up and Matthew refuses to be found.
Is there something Mila has missed?
Something closer to home than she ever imagined?

I’m going to try hard not to give too much of this book’s plot away because I think it’s better that you go in blind, as I did. It’s YA contemporary (I wasn’t even sure of that until I started reading, the blurb is a bit elusive) and follows a young girl named Mila on a road trip across America/Canada with her father in search of his missing friend. In this way I would also class it as a mystery. The odd thing is if someone had described the storyline of Picture Me Gone to me I wouldn’t of had any interest in reading it, this is definitely one of those books you can’t prejudge. Continue reading