Friday, May 18

Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell

Published By: Macmillan Publishing
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Date Read: April 8, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 464
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22369653-fangirl

From Goodreads:
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.

Without Wren, Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

"To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one. "

Fangirl is a book I have had on my shelf for so long. I got it at YALC 2014 and honestly I've heard so many amazing things about this book. The hype was so crazy at YALC that year and I was so excited to experience this incredible book. Although I did read it 4 years later, I was still so excited and I had such high expectations of this book... Honestly, I'm quite disappointed. Fangirl definitely didn't live up to my expectations.

Fangirl follows Cath and Wren, twin sisters who are headed to college and it's their first opportunity to be different people. Wren hits the party life hard and Cath is the one left behind. Hiding behind her books and her fanfiction writing, Cath is completely on her own for the first time in her life. Cath has to decide whether she is ready to open herself up to new friends or not.

Fangirl was an okay book. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy it. I enjoyed reading Cath's story and I really associated with her so much. Rather than going out socialising she wanted to stay in her room reading... that is so like me it's unreal. But I don't know... I was just expecting more. I had heard this book was phenomenal and I was expecting to be completely blown away but I wasn't. It's an enjoyable book but it's nothing extraordinary, it's just like any other contemporary novel in my opinion.

Okay, I have a confession to make... I absolutely HATED the fanfiction parts of this book. I'm ready to hide from all the super fans now. I honestly enjoyed the main story with Cath and Wren and all the great characters but I was so bored with the fanfiction. I skipped past all of the bits at the beginning of each chapter and even the pages and pages of the fanfiction she had wrote and was reading out loud, I just skipped past it completely. I just felt like it wasn't necessary for the story and it really didn't add anything of value. Maybe it's just me... I personally don't really 'get' the whole fanfic stuff. I'm not into it and don't really understand that whole 'scene'.

Fangirl was a cute story and it was enjoyable. I will definitely pick up another of Rainbow Rowell's books in the future as I did enjoy Fangirl. It just wasn't what I was expecting. If you're a fan of cute books with a dash of romance, I would recommend this book. And if you're a fanfic reader and love it, you'll probably love this book a whole lot more than I did.

“I’m not really a book person.”
“That might be the most idiotic thing you’ve ever said to me” 



Wednesday, May 16

Review: The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)

The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Date Read: April 7, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909838-the-mirror-king

From Goodreads:
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

"No matter the masks we wear, we always end up together."

The Orphan Queen was one of those books that sat on my shelf for forever and then when I read it I couldn't put it down. I loved every moment of it so naturally I had to dive straight into the sequel. The Mirror King is the final instalment in this amazing series and I loved every single moment of it.

The Mirror King follows Wilhelmina's journey back home and trying to fight the wraith that is destroying the kingdom. Wil must rise up to be the queen that she has always been destined to be, but can she protect her kingdom not only from the wraith but from the other kingdom being led by the one who has her heart.

The Mirror King was such a wonderful ending to such a fantastic series. I loved every moment of it and I didn't know how Jodi was going to wrap everything up in just this one follow up but she did it perfectly. This is the first series I have read of Jodi's and I was completely blown away. I will definitely be reading more of her work as I have loved every single moment of this incredible fantasy series.

The Mirror King had a bit of a slower pace than The Orphan Queen and it took me a little bit longer to finish than the previous book. Once the action got started though it really picked up and I really couldn't put it down. There was so much going on in this book and I really couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The Orphan Queen series is most definitely one of my favourite series and one I will most definitely re-read time and time again. I loved every moment of it and I am sad that the series is over. I'd have loved to see what happens to the characters next. If you love YA fantasy series that have a hertstopping romance and action-packed storyline this series is definitely for you. I recommend this series to everyone.

"I want every part of you. The nameless girl. The Ospray. The vigilante. The queen. Wilhelmina, you have a hundred identities and I love every one of them."


Friday, May 11

Review: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Katherine Tegan Books
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Date Read: April 3, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 391 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18081228-the-orphan-queen

From Goodreads:
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

"I wasn't concerned, but I was thinking that the fastest way to get your mind off him and on me would be to tell you something truly appalling about him."

Wow! There are literally no words I have that can ever explain my love and adoration for this book! I am a huge fan of YA Fantasy. It's my favourite genre and I read so many of them but I have never come across one that has stole my attention and heart so fast. This is my first Jodi Meadows novel and I am sad I haven't read her stuff before now because this book was absolutely incredible.

Jodi Meadows is such a fantastic author. She weaves an incredible spell with her storytelling. Right from the very first page I was completely taken away with this storyline. I could not put this book down and that really is a testament to her fantastic storytelling, world building and characterisation. I read a lot of YA Fantasy books and I usually find the first book in a series quite slow in terms of the storyline as a lot of it is taken up by worldbuilding. I don't know if it's because I  read the prequel novellas first but I did not find this was the case at all with The Orphan Queen. This is one of the most unputdownable books I have ever come across.

I absolutely loved following Wil's story. She is such a fantastic character and the more I read the more I fell in love with her. She grows so much throughout the course of the book and goes from a princess who is listening to others about what to do to get her kingdom back to a queen who will fight for what she believes in. Seriously all of the characters in this book are incredible. I loved them all... even the king who I didn't like in the prequel novellas at all, I saw a different side to him and started to like him.

The Orphan Queen is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated fantasy novels. There's a lot of hype around so many YA Fantasy novels and I just never really hear much about this one but I felt like this is one of the best ones out there. I loved every single moment of it and I would definitely say it's probably my favourite YA Fantasy book so far.

If you're a fan of fantasy books that have incredible characters and are filled with action and romance then this is a book you do not want to miss. I will most definitely re-read this one over and over and I cannot get enough of it. I can't wait to continue and see what is going to happen next. I highly recommend any fantasy fan to read The Orphan Queen.

"They loved me, and that love doesn’t go away just because they’re gone"


Wednesday, May 9

Review: The Orphan Queen Prequel Novellas (The Orphan Queen #0.1 - 0.4)

The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen #0.1)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Epic Reads Impulse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Date Read: March 31, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909758-the-hidden-prince

From Goodreads:
Tobiah Pierce knows he is a spoiled, sheltered prince, and he's tired of it. His only chance for freedom is if his cousin, James Rayner, passes the trials to be one of his bodyguards. But when Tobiah takes a rare opportunity to escape a courtly celebration and he witnesses a horrible—and magical—crime, he must make a momentous decision: return to the ignorance and comfort of the palace, or risk everything to discover the truth?

The Hidden Prince is the first of four prequel novellas that offer existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the complex city of Skyvale, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the heart-pounding fantasy of the Orphan Queen series.

I'm quite ashamed to say that prior to starting The Hidden Prince I had never read anything by Jodi Meadows before. I was just about to start The Orphan Queen when I discovered that there was four prequel novellas and decided that I would read them before jumping in to The Orphan Queen.

The Hidden Prince is such a great introduction to this world and story. I really enjoyed reading the start to Tobiah's story and I already really love his character. This novella was an interesting start and it definitely grabbed my attention. I am very intrigued and I can't wait to see what is going to happen next. I am so happy the rest of the novellas are already released so I can jump right in to number two.



The Glowing Knight (The Orphan Queen #0.2)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Epic Reads Impulse
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Date Read: April 1, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909806-the-glowing-knight

From Goodreads:
Tobiah Pierce is ready to break free of his princely role—he's sick of the bodyguards that always trail him and is uncertain about the new girl at court, Meredith Corcoran, who his parents keep pushing toward him. When Tobiah's beloved tutor seems to be embroiled in a dangerous situation deep within the city, Tobiah jumps on the opportunity to throw off the royal restrictions and chase after him. But what happens in the narrow alleys and shadowy corners proves he doesn't know anything about the people he cares about—or the city he must one day rule.

After completely devouring The Hidden Prince, I couldn't wait to read more and start The Glowing Knight. I felt like this novella was a little bit more slow-paced than the last one but that didn't really take anything away from my overall enjoyment of it. 

Once again I loved seeing things from Tobiah's point of view. He is such a sweet and strong character who will just do anything to see things put right in the kingdom... even if it endangers his life. Although this novella was a bit more slow-paced I could see the storyline picking up and getting a little bit more dangerous and intricate. I cannot wait to read more of Tobiah's story.


The Burning Hand (The Orphan Queen #0.3)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Epic Reads Impulse
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Date Read: April 1, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909812-the-burning-hand

From Goodreads:
Tobiah Pierce is no longer simply a prince. He wanted to be more and do more after he watched his tutor's brutal murder and uncovered a plot that threatens the safety of Skyvale. With the help of his cousin, James, and the guidance of a girl who knows her way around the city's rooftops, Tobiah is gaining confidence in his new role. He can no longer be just a witness to the evils occurring in his city, but is he willing to risk his reputation—and maybe even his life—to make things right?

Once again, I couldn't wait to jump into the third prequel novella about Tobiah's story before the events of The Orphan Queen. The Burning Hand really upped the anti and the danger in this incredibly addictive story. After seeing the brutal murder of Professor Knight Tobiah is more determined to see justice.

I really loved every moment of this novella. Jodi has done such a fantastic job of having these novellas stand alone but also come together as if it could be put together as a full-sized novel. I love that about them and I cannot wait to read the final novella.

 The Black Knife (The Orphan Queen #0.2)
Jodi Meadows

Published By: Epic Reads Impulse
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Date Read: April 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22909818-the-black-knife

From Goodreads:
Tobiah Pierce has been beaten and broken and has lost two people he cares about. His worst enemy knows his deepest secret. What he thought he knew about his family has fallen apart. And his parents push harder than ever for him to court Lady Meredith. But with the imminent threat of firefly, the newest and deadliest version of a magical drug, Tobiah doesn’t have time to sort through his problems. If he doesn’t act immediately, firefly will suffocate the city and everyone in it.

Reading The Black Knife was a very bittersweet experience for me. I have absolutely adored reading Tobiah's story and although I couldn't wait to find out how it all ended I was super sad because that means his point of view is over. I have absolutely loved reading his story. I am so glad that I read them before starting The Orphan Queen as I feel like I will have so much more of an insight into his character going forward.

The Black Knife was massively action-packed and once again I read it super fast. I loved every moment of it. I really wish these novellas could be put together in a print version for my bookshelf as I have loved reading them and I know I will enjoy reading them again and again. I absolutely cannot wait to get stuck into The Orphan Queen. I am so excited to read it but also super sad as I know it's not from Tobiah's point of view. I have loved being inside his head and I can't wait to see what he gets up to next.


Friday, May 4

Review: All About Mia

All About Mia
Lisa Williamson

Published By: David Ficklin Books
Publication Date: Fabruary 2, 2017
Date Read: March 30, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 360
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32615725-all-about-mia

From Goodreads:
One family, three sisters.
GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student.
AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion.
And MIA, the mess in the middle.

Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends – not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers.
When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves.
But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control – boozing, boys and bad behaviour – and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.

All About Mia is a book that has been on my shelf for what feels like forever... and after reading it I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I freaking adored this book! Everything about it was incredible. It's such a real and raw story of family relationships and it shows everything... the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mia is the middle child. She has always grown up with two perfect sisters and she sees herself as the disappointment. She doesn't have a 'thing'. Not like Grace's intelligence and Audrey's athletic ability. When suddenly Grace turns up with a shock announcement, Mia spirals even more out of control. But could this shock announcement be the thing that can bring the sisters back together?

Lisa Williamson was an author that I hadn't really heard of pre-YALC a few years ago. I heard her chatting about her debut novel, The Art of Being Normal, and I rushed out to get it. I loved that one just as I have loved this one. She is such a fantastic author and she really spins these incredibly raw and real stories in such a heartwarming and touching way. She is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I absolutely adored so many of the characters in All About Mia. Mia is such a perfectly flawed character and I loved that. In so many books there's always the main character who hardly does anything wrong so it was so refreshing to read from the perspective of someone who is spiralling out of control. I really felt for Mia and although I didn't agree with her actions, and was often thinking 'no, don't do that' I really couldn't put the book down as I needed to see how it would all turn out.

My one gripe about this book is Mia's parents. They irritated me so much. They have two 'perfect' daughters and they're always going on about their achievements so when Mia started spiralling out of control I was practically yelling at the book 'why can't you see she is craving your attention'. Honestly I completely understood her actions and I was completely blaming the parents. They did redeem themselves in the end but man they irritated me throughout this book.

All About Mia is a beautiful, heartwarming and touching story about family, sisterhood and friendship. I seriously loved it so much. It was just incredible. I could not put this book down and devoured it in less than a day. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Lisa Williamson comes up with next. I would recommend this book to anyone!


Thursday, May 3

Wrap Up: April 2018

Hi Guys,
Can you believe it's May already? Seriously... how fast is this year going? It's flying by so fast. Well here is my wrap up of my bookish month of April.

Book Haul

Hardcopies:


Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken
The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton

E-Books
Bought:
  

 Okami (Flame in the Mist #1.25) by Renee Ahdieh
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows

For Review:


How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
Books Read in April 2018:


 The Glowing Knight (The Orphan Queen #0.2) by Jodi Meadows - 3 Stars
The Burning Hand (The Orphan Queen #0.3) by Jodi Meadows - 3 Stars
The Black Knife (The Orphan Queen #0.4) by Jodi Meadows - 4 Stars
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows - 5 Stars
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows - 4 Stars
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 3 Stars
How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne - 5 Stars
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - DNF
Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard - 4 Stars
A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5) by Sarah J Maas - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in April 2018:


Top 3 Books of April 2018:


What books did you get/read in April?

 

Wednesday, May 2

Non-Review: The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves #1)
Sally Green

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: May 3, 2018
Date Read: March 29, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Illumicrate
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39127492-the-smoke-thieves

From Goodreads:
A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

The Smoke Thieves was a book that I was umming and ahhing about reading for so long. I previously read Half-Bad by Sally Green and I was of the very unpopular opinion as I didn't like it. I mainly didn't like the writing style which was why I was so unsure about reading this one. However, after seeing some ARC reviews stating that the writing style and everything was very different to Half-Bad I decided to give it a go. I mean, the storyline sounded amazing. Honestly... I wish I had gone with my initial instinct and stayed away from this one.

I wanted to like this book so so much. YA Fantasy is my favourite genre of all time and I seriously can't get enough of it. Add to that, the fact that the premise of this book is so utterly fantastic I really wish I loved it. Unfortunately I just didn't. I only made it around 70 pages into this book.

The Smoke Thieves is told from the perspective of five of the characters. For me this was just way too many. Honestly, I do think some authors can pull off so many points of view but with this one I felt like it was stretched a little bit too thin. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and as soon as I was getting to know one of them, BAM you were in the head of another. It just felt totally disjointed to me and if I can't connect with the characters then I have a really hard time caring about what's going to happen to them. Due to this, although I was very intrigued about the premise of this story, I just found myself getting really bored and not wanting to read it.

I am really disappointed that I didn't enjoy this one more and I know there will be masses of people who love it! I wish I was one of them but I am starting to realise that maybe Sally Green books and me are just not a match. I will most likely be staying away from her books in the future. I am really sad I didn't like this one, and maybe I'd have grown to like it more had I continued, but personally I'd rather spend my reading time reading something I enjoy, rather than struggling through and ending up in a reading rut.