Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland | Book Review

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| Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him-at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl-she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. |

Rating: 3/5

Review: I haven’t read a contemporary YA book in maybe a year? So don’t ask me why I suddenly decided to pick Our Chemical Hearts up, because I actually haven’t the slightest idea!

I do know that after the first 100 or so pages I thought I was falling for this book. I was really enjoying all the film references. A great one was right near the beginning when Henry, the protagonist, was observing his love interest, Grace, and decided she had “a stride I could only accurately describe as Mad-Eye Moody-esque”.

Then a little later Henry and Grace break in to an abandoned train station. They go down these spiral stairs to the flooded basement, sit on the last dry step, and feed the fish living there bread. Henry describes it as feeling “a lot like the trash compacter scene from Star Wars”.

I was seriously loving these cute scenes! And best of all I understood the references!

Also at the beginning I found both Henry and Grace’s quirkiness interesting and a little bit relatable. Like Grace describes her favourite colour as Alice in Wonderland’s dress blue and gets a little frustrated Henry isn’t specific about his favourite colour in return. I can relate to this because my favourite colour is the old antique gold of well worn necklaces. And I also find it frustrating that no one ever has a specific shade in mind when they say something vague like purple is their favourite colour. And I’m like yes…but which purple?

But then, around page 120(ish), I started to fall out of love with this book. Which is fitting I guess because that’s kind of the message of the book. That love doesn’t last forever. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.

Grace has been through a traumatic experience that ended with her boyfriend dying. Naturally she’s a little closed off and doesn’t want to spill every emotion to Henry. So Henry and his friends decide to spy on her?! Not once either, but twice! Which I found super gross.

And while Grace doesn’t want to open up, Henry is kind of the opposite. At one point he’s talking about his collection of broken bowls and why he likes them and Grace dismisses him by saying it’s only slightly less creepy than collecting cabbage patch kids. This pissed me off because ok fine if she doesn’t want to share but she shouldn’t shut down other people like that.

Our Chemical Hearts basically continues on and on in this way. With Grace and Henry repeating the same behaviour over and over. Spying, dismissing, arguing, making up, letting each other down. And I just lost interest. I even stopped taking notes whilst I read. And note taking is something I always do whether or not I decide to review a book.

But for Our Chemical Hearts it seemed pointless. So officially my last notes were from about page 170/171. After that I just forced myself to finish as quickly as possible.

Overall, though, I don’t want to be too negative. The first half was fantastic and the whole book in general has a great attitude towards important themes like first love, death and family dynamics. There’s plenty here to think about and reflect on. So I would highly recommend it to those who find themselves drawn to contemporary YA more than any other genre. I’m pretty sure Our Chemical Hearts would be exactly your cup of tea.

Have any of you read Our Chemicals Hearts? What did you think?

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My Most Anticipated 2018 Books

I realised a few days ago that I never posted my most anticipated books of 2018 list!! And it’s already mid February *whoops*. This was such a fun list to put together too so I have no idea how i forgot about it? Though getting it down to just 8 was a bit of a nightmare (it was 10 originally because The Cruel Prince and Everless were included but they’re already out now). I considered doing a winter or spring most anticipated list to make it easier but I think it’s more fun to look at the whole year at once. So below are my chosen books. I’ve also included each one’s synopsis so you don’t have to bother clicking links to find out what on earth I’m rambling about. But of course that means that if you’re not caught up on the series mentioned, then avert your eyes and scroll on past!

8) The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson

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| Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to the Extinction Trials. In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win. But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other… | 

Ok so firstly I know this is already out but I thought I’d still include it as I haven’t read it yet. And I’ve been waiting a long time for a book that could *mayyyybe* be the next Hunger Games for me. I love any story where there’s trials and where the characters will do anything they can to survive. And I can also appreciate the synopsis saying so little! It’s intrigued me enough but still I’m going into it knowing nothing. Which is honestly my favourite way to experience a new story.

7) Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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| When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first. A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other|

This just sounds like everything I could possibly want from a fantasy…Queens! Magic trials! Legends! A bounty hunter! A rebel captain! Violence! Danger! Seriously it has everything and I’m SO excited to get my hands on this gorgeous book!

6) The Death Of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

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| On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person, but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. |

Does anyone know if this is the official cover? Because if it is I’m a fan! So dark and creepy! And that synopsis already has me seriously intrigued and I just know I’m going to read it as soon as I can! I’ve loved every one of Ruth Ware’s books that I’ve read so far so I know this one will not let me down. I do actually have her last book, The Lying Game, still to read. And luckily I stumbled across a copy at my library so I’m pleased I still have some of her writing to keep me going till this one’s released!

5) The Queens Of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

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| The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes. The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted. Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided. | 

I’ll be honest, what originally caught my attention was the gorgeous cover. It’s so simple, but so powerful! Then of cause the idea of three sisters, who are all very different, battling for a crown is honestly everything I could want. And of course that tagline, “blood will have blood”, just has me shouting YASSSS!!

4) Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

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| After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever. 

If you’ve seen my favourite books of 2017 list you know that Caraval was included and that I really thoroughly enjoyed it! I was so shocked to find out it was Stephanie Garber’s debut book and so I’m super excited to see how her writing improves and how she builds on this brilliant story.

3) Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J Maas

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Can I just take a moment to whine about the fact there’s no title and no synopsis yet *sobs* I NEED this book now pleasssse! October is SO far away *more sobbing*

2) To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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| Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? |

I only actually found out about this book a few weeks ago. And that’s only because Readers First brought it to my attention. I have no idea how it slipped by me?! But I’m glad I know about it now because I LOVE LOVE LOVE pirates and sirens…especially if they’re wicked!

1) A Court of Frost and Starlight (ACOTAR #4) by Sarah J Maas

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| Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court. |

Oh. My. Goodness. I cannot accurately explain just how excited I am for this book!!!!!!!! It’s easily my most anticipated. And for those of you that are as excited as me and have preordered it, have you filled out the form on SJM’s website to get the Night Court pin?

So there you go, the 2018 books I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on! Are you excited for any of these? Or is there another book, that I haven’t mentioned, that you’re anticipating? Let me know below!

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The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda | Book Review (No Spoilers)

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Rating: 4/5

Review: So I’ve seen the reviews for The Perfect Stranger and they’re fairly mixed. With a lot people who have read the author’s previous book, All The Missing Girls, being left disappointed. Lucky for me I haven’t read Megan Miranda’s other adult thriller so I was left impressed with this latest book. I mean wow, to me The Perfect Stranger was a super twisty and drama filled read that I spent the past two afternoons thoroughly enjoying.

It’s about a journalist, Leah, who moves to rural Pennsylvania to live in a cabin in the woods with her roommate, Emmy. It all goes wrong pretty quickly though. A woman who looks just like Leah is found half dead at a nearby lake and then Emmy goes missing. All that’s worrying enough right? But there’s more! Emmy doesn’t have a phone or family or any other friends or any digital footprint. So the police start to suspect that she doesn’t even exist! I mean wtf would you do if the people, who you needed to help you, started to not believe you?!

The Perfect Stranger jumps right into all this good stuff and had me hooked after only a couple of chapters. It managed to keep me hooked right the way through too! The main reason for this being Miranda’s writing style which has just the right amount of detail. And with each chapter she increases the suspense and adds more layers to the original mystery. There are some “red herrings” though that do try to throw you off but that just added to the fun for me.

Leah, the main character, handles this terrifying situation amazingly well. In fact, she handles both her unfortunate past and herself well too. She’s honestly a brilliant and complex character and I’m so happy that we see the whole story from just her perspective. However, you do have to be patient. The author keeps Leah’s past mostly a mystery and only reveals small snippets at a time of what happened to her. But by the time the story starts getting closer to the climatic end, she’s a fully developed character who I’m sure most people will be happy to cheer on.

Speaking of the end, I can happily tell you that it is immensely satisfying. All the mysteries that have built up over the course of the story are explained. All the characters’ secrets and motives have been revealed. Which is great, because I personally cannot stand to be left in the dark when it comes to thrillers. I don’t read them to guess at what might have been going on. I read them specifically for the worthwhile and rewarding twists.

Overall, The Perfect Stranger is a perfect thriller. The type that you NEED to free up a whole afternoon and evening for, get cosy in bed/on the sofa with a cup of tea, and just relax with.

Have any of you read The Perfect Stranger or All The Missing Girls? What did you think?

(Huge thank you to Readers First for providing me with a copy of The Perfect Stranger to review)

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The Girl Before by J P Delaney | Book Review (No Spoilers)

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Rating: 4/5

Review: Ok so let me start by saying that if you love to hate the characters in the thrillers you read then The Girl Before is the book for you!

It follows Emma and Jane, on two separate timelines, as they rent and live in an extremely minimalistic house at One Folgate Street. There’s all sorts of silly rules they must follow. Like no curtains are allowed or rugs or pictures or plants or books (*GASP* I know!) or bins or flat pack furniture (poor Ikea) or anything really. Just the very basics are allowed.

Sounds weird so far right? But it gets worse. Because multiply people have died mysteriously here!

Not that I realllly cared. Because the two main characters are horribly unlikable people. I *should* feel for them because they’ve both been through a lot already and now they’re living in this strange house.

Emma, who was the previous renter, moved to One Folgate Street because she is still suffering after a traumatic break in and needed a place that made her feel safe. And Jane, who is the current renter, suffered a stillbirth only recently and so she wants a fresh start somewhere completely different. But still, I just didn’t feel much for either of them.

In fact, now that I really think about it, every person in this book is rather unlikable, nauseating, the exact type of people I wouldn’t want to be around for more than five minutes. Especially Edward, the landlord, who somehow has both women falling over themselves to please him and accommodate his weird and obsessive and narcissistic behaviour. He was honestly a constant awkward cringe in my eyes.

Also, I have to mention how much I hated the abomination that is the house too and was really hoping it’d be destroyed or burnt down or something. It’s full of this futuristic technology that does things like set the shower temperature and judge what lighting is required. Oh and it will turn off appliances if it’s questionnaires aren’t answered by the tenants in a timely manner! Basically it has wayyy too much control over it’s tenants lives. Who could possibly put up with that?!

But that was part of the fun for me. I love reading about characters I don’t like (or even hate). Characters that I can’t relate to. I enjoy hoping they’ll all fail at some point. That’s how I felt about everyone in The Girl Before. And there was so much emotion in each chapter and between all the characters in this book that it felt like anything could happen at any moment. It kept me on edge the entire time I was reading.

It helped as well that the chapters are all short and fast paced. They alternate between Emma and Jane so we never get too much of one side of the story and not enough of the other. And both points of view were equally enjoyable which is something I was surprised by. I usually always favour one over the other. But both Emma and Jane were heading towards equally exciting big reveals and their own shocking twists. None of which I can write about because I want you to go into this book not knowing much, like I did. Because where’s the fun in knowing exactly what’s going to happen?

So overall I will just say that The Girl Before is definitely worth checking out if you like quick and thrilling reads!

Have any of you read The Girl Before? What did you think? Or do you have a great thriller you read recently and would recommend?

(Huge thank you to Bookbridgr and Quercus for providing me with a copy of The Girl Before to review)

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My Top 10 Best Books Read In 2017

It’s only the 19th of January but I feel like I’m so behind haha everyone else seems to have already posted their best/worst/most anticipated lists! But I struggled SO much with deciding on just 10 favourites AND I’ve put them in actual order (which took me an AGE as well) counting down to my absolute favourite of 2017. I imagine those of you who know me will have already correctly guessed which book is my no 1 of the year…

(Please be aware that I’ve included the synopsis for each book on this list so, if you don’t want to be spoiled, do not read the ones included for books that are number 2 or 3 in a series)

10) Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

| Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world. |

10th place was one of those real struggles I was just talking about because I almost put Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls here. In the end I obviously picked Crooked Kingdom, mainly because Leigh Bardugo had improved the story and characters SO much since Six of Crows. Six of Crows was so average in my opinion and I didn’t feel much of a connection to any of the characters or what they were trying to achieve. That all changed in book 2 though! Especially because we got to see these glimpses into all the character’s pasts. I loved the banter between them all too and seeing different relationships develop within the group. The various schemes were believable. As were their reasons for being “bad”. And I REALLY enjoyed the last 100 pages. The twists definitely made it my favourite section of the entire book. And Ketterdam was a wonderfully dark setting that I thoroughly enjoyed.

9) The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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| Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough? |

The Darkest Part Of The Forest was the first book I read on my holiday to Iceland this year and they just fit so perfectly together (the book and the location, I mean). See every tour guide I encountered told me stories about their “hidden people”, couple that with reading about Holly Black’s faeries, and I swear my imagination was running wild for two weeks straight! It was brilliant! Plus The Darkest Part Of The Forest was pretty dark in a lot of places, which I enjoyed very much. There’s nothing I like better than wicked and dangerous and tricksy faeries! And I loved all the bargaining the locals did with them too!

8) Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V Snyder

| About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…|

Poison Study was sort of a slower paced/less fun version of Throne of Glass. But not in a bad way! It’s just more serious, mainly because Yelena has been through A LOT! She’s tough though and refuses to accept her fate. The bad things she’s experienced or is still experiencing just push her to work and train harder. Also the poisons were fun. As were the few twists. And what’s great is I got the whole of the Study series for Christmas so I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of them this year. Hopefully they only get better and better with each book!

7) Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

| You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers mini biographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story. |

Princesses Behaving Badly was honestly fantastic. It’s written very simply so you don’t need to know these women already in order to understand their stories. They each get a chapter that explains all the exciting parts of their life and then, I have to admit, you’re left wanting more! I think I must have written down the names of at least half of the women because I want to do further research on them. But it really is just brilliant getting to hear about these great women of history whose stories are quite often forgotten about. And sadly this is the only non-fiction book that made my 2017’s best of list. But I plan on making a huge effort to read more in 2018 so hopefully more will be featured on my blog in the future!

6) Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber 

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| Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever. |

So I only found out recently that Caraval is Stephanie Garber’s debut book?! And it was SO good! Which makes me super excited to see if her writing manages to get even better! But anyway, back to Caraval…I loved basically everything. I loved Scarlet and Julian and the magic and the whole idea of the game and finding the clues. And the twists at the end! And the map is BEAUTIFUL! Honestly I just want more stories set in this world asap please!

5) The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

| Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, grey skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. |

The Woman In Cabin 10 really sucked me in VERY quickly! I had a feeling I’d like this though because I thoroughly enjoyed In A Dark, Dark Wood, also by Ruth Ware. Plus my family love going on cruises (and so do I) and I’d never read a fiction book set on a cruise. So really everything was in place for me to love this. And love it I did! I can’t really say much else though because it’s better going in not knowing much to be honest. But if you like Ruth Ware’s other books you’ll definitely love this one too.

4) The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

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| In a place like no other, on a mystical island in the shape of tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of oracles. Kamikuu is admired far and wide for her otherworldly beauty; small and headstrong Namima learns to live in her sister’s shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is chosen to become the next Oracle, serving the realm of light, while Namima is forced to serve the realm of darkness—destined to spend eternity guiding the spirits of the deceased to the underworld. As the sisters serve opposite fates, Namima embarks on a journey that takes her from the experience of first love to the aftermath of scalding betrayal. Caught in an elaborate web of treachery, she travels between the land of the living and the Realm of the Dead, seeking vengeance and closure. At the heart of this exquisitely dark tale, Kirino masterfully reimagines the ancient Japanese creation myth of Izanami and Izanagi. A provocative, fantastical saga, The Goddess Chronicle tells a sumptuous story of sex, murder, gods and goddesses, and bittersweet revenge. |

The Goddess Chronicle was the second book I read on my holiday to Iceland. And it was FANTASTIC! The writing style and story just drew me in immediately. It was a bit weird at times, which I enjoyed to be honest. The overall story is based on the Japanese tale of Izanagi and Izanami and so is perfect for anyone, like me, who enjoys retellings of myths and legends. And now I’ve been left wanting to read more Japanese mythology! So if you have any recommendations of where I should start then please let me know in the comments below.

3) The Power by Naomi Alderman

| In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who lounges around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly. This extraordinary novel by Naomi Alderman, a Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and Granta Best of British writer, is not only a gripping story of how the world would change if power was in the hands of women but also exposes, with breath-taking daring, our contemporary world. |

I enjoyed The Power so much that I can barely think of the words to express my feelings for it. It was just SO GOOD! It’s set in our world but women have the power to hurt/kill men through electricity they can send out from their fingertips. So we get to see what life might be like if women were naturally more physically powerful than men. And I can honestly say I enjoyed all the characters. They all had such unique experiences that I never got confused about whose perspective I was reading from. Be warned though some of the incidences that happen are hard to read. But in my opinion everything that happened was important to the overall story. Put The Power at the top of your tbr NOW, you won’t regret it!

2) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

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| Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. |

Oh. My. Goodness!! This book was such a huge surprise. I mean I thought I’d like it because I loved The Darkest Part Of The Forest earlier this year. But it was SO much better than I expected. The faeries were so much more nasty and creepy and beautiful in The Cruel Prince and I was truly thrilled! Read my full review here.

1) A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J Maas 

| Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. |

A Court of Wings And Ruin being my favourite book of 2017 will probably be no surprise to a lot of you! I just can’t get enough of these characters (especially the Court of Dreams characters) and this world and the magic and the creatures. And honestly it took every ounce of will power I had not to just sit and read this all in one sitting (I managed to savour it for at least a week). If only it was longer!! Though to be honest even if it was a 1,000 pages I’d still moan it wasn’t long enough! Oh and whose heart stopped whilst reading page 666?! Sarah J Maas is so cruel! I love it haha

Were any of these books one of your favourite reads of 2017? Or is there any books you can recommend to me based on the ones in this list? I’m always looking to add amazing books to my tbr!

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Book Review (No Spoilers)

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| Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. |

Rating: 5/5

Favourite Quote: “I can see why humans succumb to the beautiful nightmare of the Court, why they willingly drown in it”

Review: After reading the fantastic The Darkest Part of the Forest last year it feels like I’ve been craving more Holly Black faerie stories forever. I’ve seriously been desperate for more nasty and creepy and beautiful hidden people stories. Stories of them being wicked!

So when I heard about The Cruel Prince I just knew I’d need to get my hands on it as soon as possible. And thank you so SO much to Readers First for providing me with a copy a little early so I could review it. And it was actually the last book I read in 2017 and it was a damn good way to finish off my reading year!

The Cruel Prince starts as a book about a mortal girl surviving being horrifically bullied by immortals. But then slowly builds into a royal battle for the crown. There’s secrets and lies coming from every side and you’d never guess the twists and turns the plot takes!

And the action starts so quickly too! By the end of chapter 2 there’s been multiple murders and a tournament to become a knight has been mentioned. Stinging faerie ointment has been smeared in our main protagonist’s eyes to give her True Sight so that she can see through glamours. Oh and she wears a necklace of rowan berries so she can resist enchantments.

If none of this sounds like the kind of book you’d like I urge you to at least go out to a book shop and read the first dreadful (in a good way) chapter. I’m pretty sure it’ll have you hooked immediately, like it did me. I really didn’t expect the faerie nastiness to get going so quickly!

And if, even then, you’re not feeling it you can still admire the GORGEOUS map which is very pleasing to the eye! I love all the beautiful illustrations. Especially the mermaids and the person riding a frog (both are actually featured in The Cruel Prince).

Overall I was hooked from about page 5 and I’m certain that if you like Holly Black’s previous stories (or faerie stories in general) then you will find yourself quite thrilled by The Cruel Prince!

Have you read The Cruel Prince yet? What did you think? And if you haven’t, what’s your favourite Holly Black book?

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Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson | Book Review

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| Scarred by a brutal attack, Kate Priddy never does anything bold. Until, in an attempt to take control of her life, she accepts an apartment swap offer from her cousin Corbin Dell, and moves from London to Boston. But soon after arriving, Kate makes a terrifying discovery: Corbin’s next door neighbour, Audrey Marshall, may have been murdered. Far from home and emotionally unstable, her imagination playing out her every fear, who can Kate trust? |

Rating: 2/5

Review: So this book just kind of left me feeling gross. The blurb on the back lets you believe the whole book is about Kate. It’s not. In fact it’s more about the disgusting men around her who are all either stalkers or murderers or liars or a combination of the three.

Kate is great though. She’s bravely swapping flats with her second cousin, who she’s never met, and plans to live in Boston for the next six months. I say bravely because not only has she never been to America but she’s had a horrific past experience with a previous boyfriend that’s left her with bad anxiety and severe panic attacks.

In fact she has a panic attack within the first couple pages. She’s in a taxi, stuck in traffic and inside a tunnel. And I have to admit this part is written very well. I felt myself start to feel more and more uncomfortable as Kate battles her rising panic.

The rest of the book is not so well written in my opinion. Or at least it’s not what I wanted it to be. The POVs start changing frequently between Kate and a few men who were either involved in the neighbour’s murder or knew her. And all these men are suspicious and creepily entitled, which is super annoying. I signed up for a thriller NOT a whodunnit mystery.

Plus the story keeps jumping back in time so we can witness for ourselves these blokes spying on girls changing, spiting in their food, looking at them through windows, or killing girls so “that he could finally give her what she deserved”. Plus the word “whore” is thrown around a lot and at one point it’s implied that girls secretly like to be watched by strangers?!

Overall this didn’t spook me at all. Not once did I get any kind of creeps or chills or unsettled feelings. It was mostly boring. Probably 100 pages too long. And in fact it left me feeling mostly angry because of how these men view women. Still through all this I kept reading because I wanted to know what the “big reveal” would be. But there’s no twist! I was SO mad! I’d read through all the arsehole behaviour only for the ending to fall flat…

So on that note does anyone have a thriller they can recommend to me that is creepy and has a satisfying ending? No pressure haha I won’t blame you if I don’t like it!

 

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