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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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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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

Book Review: The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson

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The first thought I had when I read the blurb for this book was UM, YES PLEASE.
A once in a lifetime European trip? Complex friendship dynamics and angst? GIMMIE. So many thanks to Walker Books for mailing an advanced reader copy so it could find its way into my grabby hands!

Riya and Abby are:
Best friends.  Complete opposites.  Living on different continents.  Currently mad at each other.  About to travel around Europe.
Riya moved to Berlin, Germany, with her family for junior year, while Abby stayed behind in their small California town. They thought it would be easy to keep up their friendship—it’s only a year and they’ve been best friends since preschool. But instead, they ended up fighting and not being there for the other. So Riya proposes an epic adventure to fix their friendship. Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun. But two small catches:

They haven’t talked in weeks.
They’ve both been keeping secrets.
Can Riya and Abby find their way back to each other among lush countrysides and dazzling cities, or does growing up mean growing apart? Continue reading

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Review 5/5

Overall Impression: A story about one girl’s struggle to stand up and speak the truth in a world of police corruption, racial inequality and classism.

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasThe YA community has been awash with praise for Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give, which follows young Starr, a girl from the hood who becomes a witness to a white policeman shooting her unarmed black friend. Can you say big, heavy HEARTBREAKING topic? I was concerned with how a YA novel would be able to tackle such a charged and current issue – but, I shouldn’t have fretted dear bookworms, because this was a respectful, honest, heartwarming tale, and well, I’m sorry to bore you but, I feel EXACTLY the same way as the majority of the blogosphere so you’re just going to have to put up with gushing about this novel like everyone else!
Thank you, Walker Books for the ARC ahead of the UK release date. Much appreciated!

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community.
It could also get her killed.

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Series Review: Why The Darkness Rising Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong was a Letdown

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5+ years ago I read and devoured the Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong, a series about teens who discover they have a variety of supernatural abilities and find themselves caught between people who want to manipulate their powers for their own purposes. Not a new concept – but oh was it executed well! I am not the type of reader that usually gobbles up a series in one go… but I got through all 3 books in a week. Afterwards, I was left with that satisfying yet hollow feeling you get when you finish a truly outstanding series and realise there are no more books.

However, I soon discovered there would be a follow-up series, The Darkness Rising, set in the same world but in a different town with different characters. Because I found the first series SO addictive, I decided to wait until all the books were out so I could binge read them, and here we are! Unfortunately, The Darkness Rising Trilogy wasn’t as good as it’s predecessor, so here’s the bullet point, bookish low-down so you can decide for yourself whether this series is for you!

So let’s start with the positives first. This series has some pretty cool things going for it:

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