Why did I pick it? Having recently delved into contemporary YA fiction I thought I’d take it one step further and try something else in the genre.
What I loved about it I can’t hide the fact that my “teenage years” are well and truly behind me, if I’m ID’d it positively makes my week these days. However I did love reliving those fond feelings of friendship and new romance through Emme’s relationships with Brendon, Kylie and the other students.
I had initially thought that this would be a “fluffy” high school drama kind of book, and in some ways the earlier parts were. So it was great to see how Emme deals with her grandparent’s illnesses. It’s not something I have personal experience with but it did add a depth to the story which I wasn’t expecting.
What I loathed about it I couldn’t help but find Emme a little irritating and I didn’t really warm to her as much as I usually do with main characters. Saying that though I don’t think I would warm particularly well to me at that age either so who knows!
For me, this is teenage life circa the year 2000. By which I mean the modes of communication are strictly landlines and mobiles, ah I remember it well! I’m not sure in what decade the book is set but I found it difficult to believe that this is set in the present. I’m pretty sure the teenagers I know don’t even know what their landline number is let alone use it. Add to that the lack of social media and other forms of “chat” and the result is a little jarring with today’s teenage culture.
Thoughts Overall I enjoyed the book, it’s not a genre I would usually pick up and I don’t think I will in the near future, but saying that the story was entertaining and enjoyable and I am glad I had the opportunity to try it....more
I pretty much knew I had to give this a go after reading the line “beautiful French knife thrower“. I read a lot of romantic fiction and they often all blend together with similar storylines, this however, sounded COMPLETELY different, you could say the temptation was too much!
What I loved about it
I wasn’t disappointed either. The storyline was fresh and completely different from anything I’ve read recently and certainly lived up to the synopsis.
The book dove straight into the action whilst still setting the scene, which I thought was great. It had me gripped from the first chapter and really set the tone for the rest of the book.
I loved how feisty Evangeline’s dialogue was and the touch of humour throughout, it made for some lovely heartwarming scenes, the “travelling” scenes in particular.
Gibb was a fantastic leading man and I liked that unlike most leading men, he is flawed from the beginning, again it added to the uniqueness of the storyline.
What I loathed about it
With the originality came some little niggles. As I read a lot of novels set in this period I’m used to the society “rules” that the protagonists are usually bound by, this didn’t seem to be the case with this novel, so some of the believability of certain situations was a little lost for me, which was a shame.
I thought the author could have made more of some of the plot points. I’m a sucker for a drawn-out romance and the build-up, but I didn’t get that between the two main characters here. The secondary plot point of finding lost relations also seemed over and neatly rounded up too quickly for me, it missed the element of suspense just a little.
This was my first book by Raven McAllan but it won’t be my last, “The Rake’s Unveiling Of Lady Belle” has caught my eye and it sounds just as original....more
Why did I pick it? As a general rule, I do not read contemporary YA fiction, ever. In fact, it’s only recently that I picked one up, and even then it was by accident as I hadn’t read the blurb properly. This one, however, was mentioned and raved about SO MUCH on Twitter by the YA reading community that it almost seemed like I HAD to read it… so, ever the sheep that I am, I did!
What I loved about it It’s unusual these days that I put life on the back burner and read a book from cover to cover in a day or two, but for this book, I did just that. I couldn’t help it; In the car on the way to work (not driving obviously!), on my lunch break, whilst cooking dinner (badly of course!) I was devouring the next chapter of this book. The author does a great job of keeping you guessing and teasing you just enough that you have to keep going, I loved that the most. The anticipation, the thrill of not knowing until the very end.
Apart from the main “Who killed Simon” plot point there are lots of friendship and family relationships developing throughout, which kept the story moving as you slowly delved deeper into the mystery. It’s told from each of the main characters POV’s and this added to the mystery and really helped to flesh out the characters as you started to learn more about them as you tried to decide whodunnit
What I loathed about it Nothing, I honestly didn’t, and I rarely say that. Anytime that it felt like the story might be getting a bit monotonous, BAM! A twist came and moved the story on.
I wanted to hate the stereotypes because really, this book RUNS on stereotypes, but I didn’t. Even though they were all classic high school characters, they were all flawed in a variety of different ways, which made them interesting and relatable rather than annoying.
Thoughts It’s like a Dan Brown novel for YA readers, a mystery/thriller that keeps you guessing right to the very end, and whether you guessed right or not, you won’t really care as the ride it so enjoyable.
Why did I pick it? Having read the synopsis I put in a request for this. I was going through a bit of a YA fantasy slump at the time and I hoped this would break me out of it.
What I loved about it It has flavours of other YA novels, a need to save the heroine’s family, an evil queen, a fierce skilled fighter for a heroine. For me, it had flavours of The Sin Eaters Daughter, The Jewel & most obviously The Throne of Glass series. Sometimes these similarities are an issue for me but the storyline was so fast paced and sufficiently different in places that it didn’t cause me to roll my eyes when yet another YA fantasy trope came up.
This being the first book I’ve read by the author I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be so fast-paced and action-packed. Considering it’s a first book A LOT happens and it ends on such a cliffhanger that I almost suspect Dorothy Dreyer is being deliberately cruel to her readers!
The characters are well developed and although Tori is a mix of many YA heroines I’ve already grown to love, you certainly find yourself rooting for her. The initial relationship building with Bram was a great addition to the storyline and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
What I loathed about it I never thought I would say this, as I tend to moan more when nothing happens, so I guess you can’t win. But because so much does happen, it means that the time spent on world building and fleshing out of the characters motivations isn’t as detailed as I would like. That being said, Phoenix Descending is book 1, so there is plenty of time for that!
Thoughts A familiar storyline to fans of fantasy YA but with enough differences and pace to make it an enjoyable and exciting read. It certainly got me out of my slump!...more
Why did I pick it? Having read the first in the trilogy, The Bear and the Nightingale, I was looking forward to reading the second instalment. I had enjoyed the first one, but I think because it was so different from anything I’d read previously I was a little unsure what to make of it. That wasn’t the case for this one, I was pretty sure I knew what I was getting and I couldn’t wait to start it!
What I loved about it The PACE! The Bear and the Nightingale could be slow at times but this one kept up a steady pace from the off. Coupled with the gradual building of suspense there were times when I couldn’t put it down.
This second book really grew Vasya as a character. It reminded me of Game of Thrones in a sense, where subtly, and over the course of the book, the younger characters start to mature and grow into themselves. This was certainly true for Vasya and I look forward to seeing her character develop further in the third and final book.
The world building in this book is incredible. Although it’s something I’ve come to expect from any good fantasy novel, I felt that in this second book Katherine Arden took it to another level, with a mixture of Russian Fairytale references and her own interpretation of the empire we know from history.
What I loathed about it Very little! If I had one niggle it was that sometimes the use of the Russian fairytales needed some prior knowledge, as they were often brushed over. It didn’t hider the story that much, but when new characters were introduced, especially the mythical ones, I didn’t always understand who/what they were....more
I’m a big sucker for retellings. After loving a recent Beauty and the Beast retelling I thought this would be a fun one to pickup. In the month of September I participated in the Blogger Book Nook Challenge to read “something new”, and as Kathleen was a new author for me I thought it would be a good one to pick up for the challenge!
What I loved about it
I’ve been having a bit of a book slump recently and I loved that this was a short and pleasant read, it really helped get me back into the swing of things. As I mentioned before I love a retelling and this one was a very quirky version with werewolves and a completely different family dynamic than you get in a usual Cinderella story.
What I loathed about it
I think to call this a retelling is maybe a tad misleading. What makes Cinderella for me, is that you feel the hopelessness of her situation. In this story it’s not quite as pronounced, Ella has a whole host of supportive family members and extended family friends to help her get by, so it’s a little difficult to feel that any situation is truly bleak for her.
I loved the fact that Ella was a shifter and I was looking forward to seeing how this played out. But other than the fact shifters can’t have children and therefore she can’t marry the prince, it was pretty much a mute plot point, which I was a little disappointed about.
I really enjoyed the story, I just wanted more. More shifting, more angst and more adventure!
Why did I pick it? I’ve read a book by Charlotte Betts before, The Apothecary’s Daughter. and although it was some years ago now I remember enjoying it. In fact, according to my Goodreads account I gave it 5 stars. So when this title came up for review I jumped at the chance.
What I loved about it Firstly, I loved the setting. I read the book whilst in Italy and thought the descriptions of everyday family life in Pesaro was lovely. I especially loved the dialogue between Alessandro and his family.
I usually say that it’s the predictability of a book that I dislike, and although this book was predictable in places I loved that on occasion, it took what you thought and completely turned it on its head. Moments like this make a book for me.
What I loathed about it Ok so yes, the predictability has to be mentioned, but to be honest, it was such a fun read I really didn’t care!
I’m not a massive fan of books that take historical figures and use them within a story, unless your Phillippa Gregory and that IS the book. However, Caroline of Brunswick is not someone I know a huge amount about and so it was easy to dismiss this.
Thoughts An enjoyable and light-hearted page turner that I really enjoyed whilst on our Italian Adventure....more
Why did I pick it? I actually bought the kindle edition waaaaay back in December 2016 when I saw the good reviews and the fact it was currently on sale at a bargain 99p I’m sorry to say it was downloaded and added to my massive TBR list on Goodreads and forgotten about. A few months ago I then started to see a few people in book chats mentioning how much they’d loved it and when I spied the sequel on display at my local library I knew now was the time to give it a try.
What I loved about it This being my first VE Schwab novel I wasn’t sure what to expect, although I had very high expectations for the novel and knew I was in for a treat.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what made me love this book so much, as it wasn’t one or two stand out things. It was the whole thing rather than individual elements. I guess you could say that it was the way the book made me feel rather than what actually happened, does that even make sense?!?
I really loved the quirkiness of it all the most. The premise that monsters are created through acts of evil and that they have effectively taken over is so whacky, and yet, ever so slightly too close to the truth you can’t help but think it’s closer to reality than you’d like it to be.
The characters themselves were so lovably flawed as well. As we are told that monsters are “created” it was fun to see how characters like August dealt with ordinary situations and emotional states, made difficult to deal with considering the fact he hasn’t “lived” all that long.
What I loathed about it In the same way I struggled to think of a specific reason I loved it, I’m struggling to dislike anything, not even a niggle. But I didn’t give it 4 stars so there has to be SOMETHING right?!?
Well ok, if pushed I would say that the unique premise of the book meant I struggled a bit at first to really get a sense of the world, the rules, and what the hell was actually going on. VE Schwab does a great job of helping with this, but I would say I was a good 30/40% of the way through before I fully “got it” but once I did, there was no way I was putting this one down!
Thoughts This book and its sequel have absolutely BROKEN me. I’m almost afraid to get started on A Darker Shade of Magic now. I think I need a break to mentally prepare myself first!...more
I saw the author talking about the book and to be honest she had me at “descendants of the Little Mermaid” As a massive fan of all things mermaids I knew I had to read it.
I was a little unsure though. Up to this point, I’ve been generally disappointed by “mer” based fiction and have stopped at the first book in pretty much every popular series going. I was hopeful this series wouldn’t be one of them.
What I loved about it
I loved the depth the author went to in crafting the backstory, history and culture of the mer, the glossary at the end is a testament to the detail she’s gone to and it really added to the story for me.
Although there is a love story I liked that it wasn’t the sole storyline of the book, if anything, friendship and family were equally important and it made a refreshing change.
What I loathed about it
For me only two things niggled me. The first was some of the sea based puns, it’s one of the reasons I disliked other series so much. Thankfully they were used sparingly and less often as the book progressed.
Secondly, and a minor spoiler here sorry! The whole “mer with legs” situation. I loved it, it made for perfect storytelling, allowing Lia et al to move seamlessly from land to sea throughout the book. BUT the idea that mer maintain their leg form by remaining permanently “aroused” since a “legged” state is required for mer procreation, was a little weird if I’m honest.
At first, I was unsure but once the story got going and I got to understand the characters a little more I couldn’t put this book down. I was even reading it in my lunch hour, which usually means I’m hooked. The story itself is short but well written and I thought the pacing was spot on. It’s the first in the series and I look forward to reading Submerge, the second, soon. ...more
From reading the synopsis I could just tell that the author was clearly a massive YA fan. With a protagonist who's obsessed with YA fiction, loved knitting and hot paranormal love interests it was a must... it was basically me minus a few years!
What I loved about it
It's like a YA fan fic. I loved all the references to YA. Reading about some of the things book obsessed Phoebe did sometimes made me think, yep BEEN THERE! The author really does get what it's like to be a YA book obsessed teenager and I loved reliving the experience through Phoebe.
What I loathed about it
My only dislike was the jump to novels, it did add some context, I get that, but a third of the way through I started to skip them, it pulled me away from the main plot which I cared more about. That's not to say they weren't interesting, if they ever became novels in themselves I might even read some of them, I just didn't want to read snippets every now and then.
Bookishly Ever After is one of those books which always puzzles me. You know the books, the ones you pickup and realise 20% of the way through that nothing is happening outside of the mundane... but you can't put it down, you're hooked on something you just can't put your finger on, and you keep reading goddammit!
For some reason, despite a "will they won't they" plot that could have easily come to a finale within a few chapters, the author managed to turn a short story into an entire book. I think this was partly down to the character development, most of whom were strong stereotypes but rather lovable, I actually cared what happened so I continued to read their story.
I probably won't read the second book, I mean I did enjoy this one, but I've had my fill I think.