Posts Categorized: Book Review

Review “The Scarecrow Queen” – Melinda Salisbury

March 17, 2017 Book Review 0

Review “The Scarecrow Queen” – Melinda SalisburyThe Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury
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Published on: March 2nd 2017
Published by: Scholastic
Pages: 320
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback

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This book is part of the Sin Eater’s Daughter series. You can find links to my reviews for the rest of this series below:
The Sin Eater’s Daughter (Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)
The Sleeping Prince (Sin Eater’s Daughter #2)
The Scarecrow Queen (Sin Eater’s Daughter #3)

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(summary from Goodreads)

The final battle is coming . . .

As the Sleeping Prince tightens his hold on Lormere and Tregellan, the net closes in on the ragged band of rebels trying desperately to defeat him. Twylla and Errin are separated, isolated, and running out of time. The final battle is coming, and Aurek will stop at nothing to keep the throne forever . . .

Explosive, rich and darkly addictive, this is the stunning conclusion to Mel Salisbury’s internationally best-selling trilogy that began with The Sin Eater’s Daughter.

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My Thoughts

I feel like I have been waiting for the final book in this trilogy forever! I say that, however 2 weeks ago a chunky envelope arrived through my letter box (always exciting) with this book in it and I had totally forgotten it’s release day was this month so had to speed read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince to remind myself of what actually happened pre-Scarecrow Queen so I could actually read this book!

So it really pains me to say that this book did not live up to what I had hoped it would be and I was really disappointed with how the trilogy ended. Don’t get me wrong there were some really great bits in this book, but after reading the final page I felt a bit like ‘What? That was it?’

“In every fairy tale there is a kernel of truth, and that is the truth of this one. For him, I am poison. I am his death. And I will deliver.”

The first two books in this trilogy are told in first person POV; Sin-Eaters Daughter from Twylla’s POV and Sleeping Prince from Errin’s, which worked perfectly. But in Scarecrow Queen, which is told from both Errin/Twylla POV this doesn’t really work.

One main problem for me is that the other main characters aren’t really with Errin or Twylla much in this book so they basically become background characters. I really wanted more of Silas and Leif in this book then I got. Also I struggled with the alternating POVs because instead of alternate chapters it was more like a big chunk of Errin and then a big chunk of Twylla with so much time between each characters POVs. So much happens to Twylla in the time we are with Errin and vice versa and I just felt like we missed out on so much good stuff because of this.

“I’m tired of taking people’s sins on myself.
I’m tired of running away from everything.

The beginning of this book is deliciously creepy. Aurek is a pretty dark person and does some horrible things to Errin, which don’t get me wrong I was totally sorry she had to endure them, but at the same time I love me some bad guys who actually do bad things (rather than just making empty threats) and I love that Salisbury took it in that dark direction. However I was really looking forward to seeing Errin’s struggle to return to normal life once she was free from Aurek and has to deal with the aftereffects of the physical and mental violence that was inflicted on her. But instead she just carried on as she was. I was hoping for a little damage, some struggles and ultimately Errin’s recovery from her traumatic ordeal.

I also kinda struggled with Twylla in this book and at times she was just a bit too ‘all about me’. She gave this impressed that she just expected that everyone should listen to and agree with her opinions and do what she said and didn’t like it when they didn’t agree with her. I really liked her in the first and second books but in this book she just felt totally different, like she was turning into some of the characters she herself hated in the first book and I just found it really hard to connect with her. Plus the whole Twylla/Merek dynamic that was built up in the previous two books just kind of disappeared in this book and I found it so hard to figure out who they were meant to be to each other.

“Scarecrow queen. Nothing but a dupe, alone in a field, hoping to keep the crows at bay.”

As with any YA Fantasy/Dystopian trilogy the first two books build up the tension and then in the third book we finally get our characters fighting back and taking on the bad guy. Pretty standard right? In this book we get a whole load of build up, and then like 40 pages before the end of the book it all finally kicks off. I was literally checking how many pages I had left the entire time worrying because no way could everything that needed to happen actually happen in just 40 pages. For me it just felt a bit rushed and I felt like I was left with a lot of unanswered questions and didn’t get to see how things ended for many of the characters.

“Sometimes he sounds so wistful and lonely that I forget for an instant that he’s a monster, lulled by his soft voice and his hands in my hair. Until he turns my face to his and I see him, and I recall exactly what he is, and the look in my eyes reminds him that he might control my body, but he can’t control my mind.”

I have loved Salisbury’s world from the start. The history, the traditions, the magic… just everything. Thankfully her amazing world building skills are still in this book and I just loved immersing myself in it all again. The writing was well paced and compelling and I loved the first 60% of this book for it’s dark and creepy nature. It was just the last 40% which started to slip a bit for me and didn’t quite keep to the level of awesome that other fantasy trilogies have with their endings. I just needed more from it.

“And that, my girl, is the secret. Quake all you must on the inside. But on the outside you must be stone. And you never know; with enough practice it might become the truth.”

Ok, spoiler time. Don’t read if you don’t want know! You have been warned! View Spoiler »

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Final Thoughts

I am gutted to say that this final book was a disappointment for me, but at the same time I would definitely recommend this series. The world building is incredible with so much detail, and the story compelling and one that I couldn’t put down.

Re-Readability: Yup

I would recommend this book to fans of: fantasy worlds, magic, rebellions, worlds with histories, worlds with legends, books with amazing world building

Have you read The Scarecrow Queen?

How did you feel about the trilogy ending?

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Review “Riot” – Tillie Cole

March 6, 2017 Book Review 0

 Review “Riot” – Tillie ColeRiot by Tillie Cole
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Published on: March 7th 2017
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 352
Series: Scarred Souls #4
Genre: NA Romance
Format: eARC

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This book is part of the Scarred Souls Series. You can find more of my reviews via the links below:

Raze (Scarred Souls #1)
Reap (Scarred Souls #2)
Ravage (Scarred Souls #3)
Riot (Scarred Souls #4)
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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

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My Thoughts

Getting to the final book in this series is a bittersweet moment and I was so honoured to be gifted with an ARC, although it has been absolute torture to not be able to talk to anyone about it for the last 4 months!!! As you can probably imagine, the first time I read this book I sped through it so fast just wanting to read it and know how it ended for these characters. Since that first time I have read this book another 6 times, because it is just THAT good.

If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series I would seriously recommend that you do so before reading Riot. The way the books build on each other and how the characters connect throughout all four books is so incredibly well done, and I’d hate for anyone to not get the full experience of this phenomenal series.

“I had fucked up. He knew. He knew I had noticed her. He’d told me he’d find a weakness. And after all these years, he finally found one.”

Tillie Cole has always had a talent for writing non typical characters and making us feel the opposite of what we think we should feel for them. She has made me feel sympathy for a character that she had spent the 3 previous books making me hate. She’s made me fall in love with killers and torturers who maim and kill for revenge and pleasure but I still love them! How does she do it? I don’t know, but one thing I know for sure is that life would be a whole lot darker without Tillie’s scarred characters in it.

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Review “Kings Cage” – Victoria Aveyard

March 2, 2017 Book Review 0

Review “Kings Cage” – Victoria AveyardKings Cage by Victoria Aveyard
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Published on: February 7th 2017
Published by: HarperTeen
Pages: 528
Series: Red Queen #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback

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This book is part of the Red Queen series. You can find my reviews for the rest of the series below:
Red Queen (Red Queen #1)
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)
Kings Cage (Red Queen #3)

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The Story(Summary from Goodreads)

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

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My Thoughts

So, me being the idiot that I am totally forgot that this series was a 4 book series, so picked up this book thinking that it was the last book in a trilogy and stayed up until 3am to finish it. Then at 3am finished the book and realised it was in fact a 4 book series and spent the next few hours wide awake because I needed to know what happened next!

I came a little late to this series which meant that I was able to read Red Queen and Glass Sword together, therefore no agonising wait between books for me. Until I finished Glass Sword which had possible the most amazing ending which has kept me desperate for the past year. This book was no different and yet again I have been left a desperate puddle in need of the forth and final book in this amazing series!

“Love makes you weak. And she’s right. I learned that before I even knew you.”

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Blog Tour: “Embody” – S.E.Hall

February 20, 2017 Book Review 0

Blog Tour: “Embody” – S.E.Hall

Blog Tour: “Embody” – S.E.HallEmbody by S.E.Hall
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Published on: January 29th 2017
Published by: Self Published
Pages: 337
Series: Full Circle #1
Genre: NA Romance
Format: eARC

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This book follows on from the Evolve series, you can find reviews for the series below:
Emerge (Evolve #1)
Embrace (Evolve #1)
Entangled (Evolve #2.5)
Entice (Evolve #3)
Endure (Evolve #4)
Embody (Full Circe #1)

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

I’m not “damaged.” No horrible childhood or demons in my past I’m trying to outrun. In fact, my family is ideal — funny, supportive and filled with couples that all follow “our” golden rule:

Find her. Protect her. Love only her, with everything you are, every day, for the rest of your life.

So why is it the mere thought of a monogamous relationship, more than one night with the same woman, sends me bolting in the other direction?

Because I hadn’t met Bellamy Morgan yet.

When I do cross paths with her, everything starts to slowly make sense. Why men change overnight — suddenly blind to all women but her, happy to hold her purse and watch corny movies.

Just one problem — she’s my little sister’s best friend.

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My Thoughts

I LOVED this book. Like head over heels loved this book. I don’t think it hurts that I was a massive fan of the Evolve series which featured one of my all time favourite group of characters and this book follows JT, who just so happens to be the son of one of my favourite couples from the Evolve series. It’s not necessary for you to read the Evolve series before this book, but in my opinion you absolutely should.

Going into this book you should know it’s very alpha male, so if you are not a fan then maybe stay clear. But if you are then prepare yourself because you will LOVE JT. Reformed manwhore he is the double of his father which made me love him from page one. Known as the player in his family we quickly learn from his POV that there is more to him and I really felt for him when his sister and friends doubted his ability to actually have feelings for a girl rather than just want to sleep with her.

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Review “The Memory Book” – Lara Avery

February 9, 2017 Book Review 2

 Review “The Memory Book” – Lara AveryThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
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Published on: January 26th 2017
Published by: Hachette
Pages: 357
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

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My Thoughts

This book packed an emotional punch so strong that I haven’t been able to find the words to describe it for a whole week!

Going into this book you know it’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns. It’s a hard topic to write about but Avery does it which such talent and sensitivity that you’d think she’s been writing for the past fifty years, not the past five. I also found the illness that Avery chose to focus her story on quite refreshing. Since The Fault in Our Stars I feel that we have gotten a lot of books about young people fighting cancer, all of which I have loved, but still it was refreshing to read Avery’s book about Niemann–Pick type C (an illness I had never even heard of before).

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Review: “Traitor to the Throne” – Alwyn Hamilton

February 2, 2017 Book Review 2

 Review: “Traitor to the Throne” – Alwyn HamiltonTraitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
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Published on: February 2nd 2017
Published by: Penguin Books
Pages: 512
Series: Rebel of the Sands #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.

Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.

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My Thoughts

Being approved for an ARC of this book is possibly one of the best bookish things to ever happen to me. I BEYOND LOVED the first book and must have read it at least 10 times since it’s release, so getting an early copy was a dream come true!

My favourite thing about Rebel of the Sands was the world building, it was phenomenal! I didn’t think it could get any better but this book just kept on giving us more and more of this incredible world Hamilton has created. The history, the creatures, the myths, the magic, the places; Hamilton’s talent really shines in this book and I envy her world building talent.

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Review: “The Last Beginning” – Lauren James

January 27, 2017 Book Review 0

 Review: “The Last Beginning” – Lauren JamesThe Last Beginning by Lauren James
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Published on: October 16th 2016
Published by: Walker Books
Pages: 352
Series: The Next Together #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback

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This book is part of The Next Together series. You can find more of my reviews via the links below:
The Next Together (The Next Together #1)
Another Together (The Next Together #2)
The Last Together (The Next Together #3)

The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Sixteen years ago, after a scandal that rocked the world, teenagers Katherine and Matthew vanished without a trace. Now Clove Sutcliffe is determined to find her long lost relatives.

But where do you start looking for a couple who seem to have been reincarnated at every key moment in history?

Who were Kate and Matt? Why were they born again and again? And who is the mysterious Ella, who keeps appearing at every turn in Clove’s investigation?

For Clove, there is a mystery to solve in the past and a love to find in the future.

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My Thoughts

I loved the first book in this series, I loved seeing all the different versions of Katherine and Matthew throughout history and watching them fall in love over and over again. It was magical. It’s sequel, although I enjoyed it, has me a little bit conflicted mostly due it it’s main character Clove.

I don’t know what it was about Clove, but I just didn’t connect with her. Firstly, she just kept making such stupid decisions. Time Travel 101, you don’t tell people that you are from a different time and you don’t tell them about their future. Everyone knows that! Instead Clove breaks the rule, tells people information they should not be knowing and then acts really surprised when things go wrong. Like “I told him that the love of his life was going to die and he had to let her. I don’t understand why he saved her?” Cut to me face palming and yelling at my book! So yeah, I didn’t like Clove, but the rest of the book, well that was AMAZING!

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Review: “Frostblood” – Elly Blake

January 13, 2017 Book Review 2

Review: “Frostblood” – Elly BlakeFrostblood by Elly Blake
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Published on: January 10th 2017
Pages: 384
Series: Frostblood Saga #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

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My Thoughts

All I knew about this book before going into it was that it was about people with the power of Frost and Fire who were enemies. I didn’t even read the description, that was all I needed to want to read this book, and I’m so glad I did read it because it was everything I imagined it to be. The history and origins of the Frostbloods and Firebloods was fascinating and I can’t praise Blake enough for her imagination and creativity to create something that feels so real.

Ruby was a great MC and had a lot more depth than other MCs in YA Fantasy these days. She was a very resilient character and survived through a lot of horrors by the hands of the Frostbloods, but she still had a certain vulnerability to her which made her real and very likable. You could see the reasoning behind every one of her thoughts and decisions and it never felt like she did or said something just for the sake of drama or dragging the story on.

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