Poison Princess surprised me. I was expecting a decent and entertaining apocalypse story to keep me busy for a few evenings. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did or devour it as fast.
The story started out with an insanely creepy prologue setting a dark tone from the start. Putting this at the start of the book was a smart move because the next 10% of the book is actually the worst part of the story. Evie is the stereotypical all-American girl: rich, popular, blonde, cheerleader, hot boyfriend. After such a promising prologue I was a bit worried that I'd be let down.
When the apocalypse (the Flash) did happen that's when everything got awesome! Yes, there were some stupidly cliched eye-rolling moments and a completely unnecessary and ridiculous romantic plot, but I enjoyed the overall journey Evie went through and her struggles to survive after the Flash.
The writing was consistently good throughout with a great cast of characters bringing the story to life. I'm kicking myself for not reading this sooner!
Poison Princess is the first book in Kresley Cole's Arcana Chronicles where there are five books to date. I'm pumped that I now have a new well written series to jump into!
You know a book is good when you read the entire thing in one sitting without realising. It was dark and gritty, dealing with themes you don’t always find in YA books.
Last year I read Monster by CJ Skuse and it was a rollercoaster of fear. The Deviants was similar in the sense that it started out fairly civil but then, a “thing” happened and before you know it you’re sucked into this twisted maze of tension.
Ella was the perfect main character for this story. She’d been through far too much hurt in her life and it made her jaded and slightly twisted herself. You rooted for her even though she wasn’t perfect and did some horrible things to other people.
The format was unexpected: each chapter ends with an unknown character asking Ella a question. I kept guessing as to who it was Ella was speaking to until the very end (that plot twist!).
CJ Skuse has a fantastic talent at creating terrifying, real villains. The type of people who most certainly exist in this world — and that’s what makes them even scarier. The Deviants wasn’t an easy book to read. It was raw and real with some fairly graphic scenes, and the characters go through so much (it’s a bit hard to say what without spoilers).
CJ Skuse will now be my go-to author for YA suspense! I’m (im)patiently awaiting her next book.
Thank you so much HQ Young Adult for sending over an advanced reading copy!
Sulu was always one of my favourite Star Trek characters so how could I resist reading a book about him? Still bitter that we didn't get a Captain SulSulu was always one of my favourite Star Trek characters so how could I resist reading a book about him? Still bitter that we didn't get a Captain Sulu spin off!...more
Abusive, creepy, controlling men that everyone finds irresistible? No thank you.
I don't care if he's an angel - he could work in a fucking soup kitcheAbusive, creepy, controlling men that everyone finds irresistible? No thank you.
I don't care if he's an angel - he could work in a fucking soup kitchen 50 hours a week and he'd still be an asshole - Patch was a disgusting 'love interest'. If you could even call him a love interest. He takes advantage of her body and her mind, but it's okay, he's dreeeeamy.
I'm so tired of unhealthy relationships being portrayed as normal and okay - especially in YA.
And then, let's not forget that this was essentially Twilight with angels instead of vampires. It's been almost 10 years since I read Twilight, but even after all this time the similarities were eeriily uncanny.
Kindred Spirits is straight up adorable! Essentially a love letter to Star Wars, it is doThis review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.
Kindred Spirits is straight up adorable! Essentially a love letter to Star Wars, it is done in true Rainbow Rowell fashion: slightly awkward characters and snappy dialogue.
At just 62 pages, there’s a surprising amount of character development. I got to know Elena inside and out, but not once did I feel like I was being pelted with character facts; it was gradual and natural.
Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, I highly recommend picking Kindred Spirits up – it will only take 20 minutes out of your day and you’ll walk away with cute and fluffy feelings in your heart....more
From the description it sounds a bit corny and that's because it is a bit corny, but that's what makes it perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun. It was exactly what I thought it would be: quick, fun, and cute. The friendships were cute, the boys were cute, the girls were cute, and even the island was cute. I can see this being made into an adorable rom-com soon.
The plot was simple and predictable, so don't go into it expecting a ton of twists and insane drama. There weren't ulterior motives, no insane reveals that made your jaw drop - Sing just went from point A to point B and I loved that. It was so refreshing to have a straightforward standalone story with a straightforward happy ending.
I'll be honest, this was a total cover read. I fell in love with the minimalistic cover and we're still very much in love. We may even buy a house together soon.
Like many other readers, I pictured Taylor Swift as the lead surrounded by her squad.
So, put on your best sunglasses, sit under the sun, and open up Sing. I guarantee you'll soak up a good time!
Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Children's for giving me a copy to review through NetGalley!
An Ember in the Ashes was one of my favourite books from the past few years so it's only natural that I counted down the days to the sequel. In fact, I found out my local book shop had it stocked a couple days before the UK release date, so I frantically ran over and recruited the bookseller to help me find it. Poor guy must have thought I was insane - I don't think I even brushed my hair I was so desperate to get my hands on it. Well, that wonderful man found the ONLY copy they received and IT WAS MINE.
For some reason I cannot possibly fathom, the UK edition doesn't include a map.
Siobhan was lovely and sent me bunch of photos of her map-abundant Canadian edition and I am forever in her debt.
I was so eager to continue Elias and Laia's journey I started reading straight away. Surprisingly, the first 100 or so pages didn't excite me the way Embers did. I started to get a bit worried. Would this sequel pale in comparison to such a strong debut?
BUT, after I passed the 150 page mark and got over the map snubbing I got that same thrill I did when reading Embers.
We got some pretty awesome fight scenes and great character development.
AND THEN we got the mother of all MOTHER FUCKING PLOT TWISTS.
Okay, it probably wasn't as shocking as I'm making it out to be but I never pick up on hints or foreshadowing so I was legitimately shocked.
My actual face:
While I think An Ember in the Ashes is the stronger novel overall, A Torch Against the Night was still a fantastic follow up. I can't wait until the third one (2018?!?!).
Sabaa Tahir, I bow down to you and your wonderfulness.
An Ember in the Ashes has been hovering on my to-read list ever since it's release about a year ago. It got a lot of praise, a lot of hype, and it's all totally warranted. It even earned a spot on my 'favourites' list.
Laia's grandparents are murdered and her brother taken prisoner; her only course of action is to join the resistance against the empire to save her brother. Elias is a soldier for the empire, but wants nothing more than to desert.
Here is a 100% accurate reenactment of my reading progression:
At first, I was pretty into it.
Then I was really into it.
Then I couldn't stop reading
And now it's over.
Seriously, go read this. It's a fantastic fantasy story with great character development and it will keep you from sleeping because you can't imagine going to bed without finishing the story. (Amazon US / Amazon CA / Book Depository)...more
I am so surprised that I genuinely enjoyed this, genuinely was invested in the story and characters. I read Throne of Glass and didn't like it. I readI am so surprised that I genuinely enjoyed this, genuinely was invested in the story and characters. I read Throne of Glass and didn't like it. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses and thought it was mediocre. But after reading ACOMAF, I *finally* get the SJM hype. ...more
Stealing Snow was one of my most anticipated reads for 2016. A retelling of The Snow Queen by2.5/5 This review can also be found at Dana and the Books
Stealing Snow was one of my most anticipated reads for 2016. A retelling of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen sounded so exciting and exactly what I needed, but I can't help but feel a bit let down.
Danielle Paige's technical writing style is wonderful. She's whimsical, magical, not overly wordy - everything I love in an author - but the story itself fell flat for me.
I think the main problem for me was that I couldn't figure what this story wanted to be. Was it a romance? Was it a fantasy? Was it a heist story? Was it a coming of age story? Was it an overthrow-the-throne story? Instead of focusing on one or two of those, we got a tiny bit of everything which made it feel underdeveloped and thin.
The first few chapters, which took place at the mental asylum, I found pretty decent. However, they could have been outstanding if a bit more time was spent developing Snow. She seemed too 'sane' to be constantly kept in an institution with her only illness being that she sometimes bites people. We also meet Bale, her boyfriend, at this institution who snapped her wrist after their first kiss. Despite the abuse, Snow vows to save him when he gets dragged into the magical realm of Algid.
Onto the boys.
There were WAY too many boys. I'm all for romance in books, but I couldn't see how the three boys moved the plot forward to feature so strongly. First Snow loves Bale, then she loves Jagger, then she loves Kai (all within the first 90 pages), then she loves Bale again, and then she loves Jagger. The love-rhombus was far too prominent in the story and took too much time and focus away from the actual plot.
Kai seemed unnecessary to the story progression. Cutting him out may have put the focus back on Snow and her journey and make it less cluttered overall.
Snow is supposed to be bringing down the King and working on her powers, yet she fawns and gushes over boys throughout the story.
"I was going to be his robber girl."
This was the quote that made me lower my rating down to 2.5.
Instead of spending pages on the romance, we should have been given insights into how Snow developed and mastered her powers. She seemed to have got the hang of how to manipulate snow and ice so quickly that I was sure I had accidentally skipped over a chunk of pages. One page she was struggling, then next she was able to perfectly control the snow.
The phrase "for a beat" or "after a beat" was used too many times throughout the book. Enough for me to notice the repetition.
Now, that was a lot of negatives so I come bringing a basket of positives!
I probably will carry on with the next book as I am curious what will happen to Snow. I'm a sucker for Throne Battle stories and this certainly fits the bill.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a fan of Danielle Paige's writing style. I do believe I'll give her Dorothy Must Die series a chance because I have heard fantastic things about that series. I have a feeling that series shines a bit brighter than this one.
And I leave you with my favourite quote from the story:
The Summer We Danced is bursting with rom com vibes.
After being publicly dumped by her rock star husband, Pippa retreats to the small town she grew up in to make a fresh start. Of course it's not going to be that easy. There's a man, there are many feelings, and there's a dance studio in trouble!
I read a wide variety of genres—if I had to choose I'd say sci-fi was my favourite— but even I need a break from spaceships and interplanetary travel. And when I do, I always go for super-cute feel-good stories.
Fiona Harper didn't let me down! The small English town was the perfect setting for this adorable story and Pippa was great leading lady. And the classic movie references scattered throughout the pages was just icing on the cake.
As for the plot, it was totally predictable and I'm happy for that. I wanted a happy ending, I didn't want 403842 plot twists and secrets. That's not how real life works.
One of my pet peeves in novels is children—I generally don't like small children as characters at all. However, Lucy was pretty cute and I didn't find myself inwardly groaning every time she appeared on the page. So I'd call that a characterization success!
Unfortunately, it was a bit slow to start off. I found myself not too invested in the first 50 pages or so and got distracted rather easily. Not much happened plot wise during those pages so once I passed the point and the plot showed up, I did read the rest of the novel quickly.
Thank you so much to Harlequin Mira for sending me a copy!
It was my intention to write a more coherent review, but after months of not doing it I'm just pasting the notes I took while reading/directly af1.5/5
It was my intention to write a more coherent review, but after months of not doing it I'm just pasting the notes I took while reading/directly after finishing. So I apologize for the slight stream of consciousness style review.
So much instalove. She met him. He was cute. They baked a cake together and of course she loves him forever and ever and can't live without him. Literally.
Also, Akinli's creepy candle wax burn was so ridiculously creepy. Seriously, GTFO of this book.
It felt more like a generic high school romance than a supernatural love story.
No plot happened except Kahlen's instalove with Akinli. Then, suddenly a crisis was crammed into the remaining 40 pages. Seriously, 80% of the book is boring. Would have actually been better as a novella, not enough substance for the full 325 pages it is.
Of course, MC falls into a depression a-la-Bella Swan for years when she can't be near him because it's just too much to be separated from her one true love that she's known for just a few hours.
And then there's the personified Ocean who switches between talking to them like the sirens are employees and then talks to them like they're BFFs. It was pretty weird at times.
While reading, this was hovering between 2 and 2.5 stars, but the last few pages were so worthy of eyerolling that I just had to lower the rating.
Where was the world building? Yes, it was based in the contemporary world, but there were still elements that the reader was supposed to accept because Cass didn't bother to explain it at all. How did the sirens originate? How did they come to be? It felt like the author didn't want to look up mythology and said, "They just do, kay?"
Would have been so much better without the romance at all. This could have been a fantastic 'girl power' story with the sirens as the focus and the dynamics of their friendship and the tragic job they must perform. The shipwreck scenes included were so brief, but they could have been so powerful. Instead, we got a creepy romance at the forefront with two dimensional supporting sirens in the background. Padma's story could have been SO good.
The 'crisis' included just felt so out of place, so disjointed and random, that it actually took away from whatever story there actually was.
The only positive I have is that this is a standalone and this story won't be dragged on any longer. The cover is also really pretty so two positives!
Thankfully, I checked it out of my library....more
I never thought I'd get to count down the days to another Harry PotteSpoiler free review! This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.
I never thought I'd get to count down the days to another Harry Potter release.
I was understandably hesitant about a sequel, but I'm relieved after having read it. It was everything I could have hoped for and not at all what I was expecting - seriously, not at all - but it was perfect. It was the type of story I play within my head when I have too much time on my hands. I was super lucky to be able to go into the story completely spoiler free and it definitely enhanced the twists and just everything.
I'm not going to comment on the plot or characters. I want others who wish to go in blind like I did to have that chance, and I don't want to be the one who spoils it for them.
Instead, I'm going to talk about feelings.
I remember the sinking sensation I had right after finishing Deathly Hallows for the first time - though that was enhanced by a combination of no sleep (midnight release party) and also being an eighteen-year-old-girl who just had her emotions ripped out and then torn apart by the lovely Ms Rowling. It lasted for days. It was a unique experience to have grown up with Harry and be just a year older than him during the Battle of Hogwarts. The end of Deathly Hallows essentially marked the end of my childhood.
Now, I'm a twenty-seven-year-old and those feelings have been ripped to shreds yet again.
Post Potter Depression.
But it's worth it.
Harry Potter has always been the most important book series to me since I first read them in 1999 - I reread the books every year, sometimes more because of reasons - so I'll gladly take the punches Rowling continues to throw at me.