Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas!

This review was written in August 2015, back when I had first read Throne of Glass, and was one of my first book reviews. I’ve left it untouched, seeing as these were my original thoughts after Throne of Glass, but it’s a bit cringeworthy. Ignore baby-review-writing Katie.

Ok so I am going into this knowing that everyone and their mother has read this book, I am so late to this party. I had unusually high expectations as a result and was almost ready to be disappointed. I wasn’t.

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Review: Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

In Everything, Everything we met Maddie, a girl who has a severe immune system deficiency and cannot leave the house in fear of her having a allergic reaction to something and dying and Ollie, a boy who lives both by his own rules and in fear of his fathers ongoing rage at the way his life has ended up. After 18 years of reading and boredom for Maddie, Ollie moves in next door. Maddie very quickly becomes obsessed. So does Ollie. And that spells trouble.

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Whats going on?

Hi guys,

So I have been cross-platform blogging for like 3 years now, and I have reviews all over the place. Literally, all over the place.

I’m trying to create a centralised system for all my reviews, and I’m using this wordpress to host it all.

What does that mean? I’m going to posting a TON of reviews over the next couple of days, and I sincerely apologise for the spam.

Once it’s all done we (*I) will never have to worry about where to find one of my reviews again!

Thanks for your patience,

Katie

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo!

Once again I have left writing a review for a first book until after I have read all the books. Sigh. I’m going to have to try and channel past-Katie for this review, let’s see how it goes.

There are no spoilers in this review!


 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in her Grisha trilogy, a series I have long been unhurried about starting because of the plethora of mixed reviews. Some people love it, some people hate it, everyone seems to agree it’s not as good as Six of Crows. But I’m a stickler for the rules, and when everyone started raving about Six of Crows, a spin-off duology series which takes place in the same universe as the Grisha trilogy, I knew I had to read these first. In case, you know, I was spoiled or something.

Shadow and Bone follows Alina, a girl who lives in a world were there are normal humans and then there are the Grisha, people with special abilities who always seem to be beautiful and graceful and wealthy. Alina and Mal, her best friend (who is a guy, yes, you can tell where that storyline is going) are in the first army, the normal human one, whereas the Grisha inhabit the second army (and are altogether more cool, with their matching outfits and what-not).

Our story starts when Alina is readying to cross the fold, or the Un-Sea, a rip in the land the separates West Ravka from East Ravka, and is crawling with nasties and darkness. Many people don’t make it through, and sure enough Alina’s friend Mal is attacked. Only when he is she explodes with light, driving the monsters away and saving her friend.

It turns out Alina is Grisha afterall, and a special unheard of kind of Grisha at that. A sun summoner. The opposite to the Grisha’s ruler, the Darkling.

I’m trying to convey as much sarcasm as I can, even though I’m not entirely sure how much I was underwhelmed by this first book when I first read it. I know I was disappointed though. There was something about the characters, and I just didn’t connect at all.

I’m saying all this now, in complete honesty, because it all changed after I read the second book. There was something missing with Shadow and Bone that Leigh completely fixed in Siege and Storm, and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Overall I gave Shadow and Bone three ice creams when I first read it, so I’ll stand by that now.

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Well, there you go. I had to be honest about Shadow and Bone though it killed me to put this series down. If you are thinking about reading Grisha DO IT! It’s an amazing series, seriously one of the best fantasy series I’ve read. It doesn’t pick up, at least for me, until the second book, but the first one is so short it’s definitely worth it!

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard, has been a massive success. Lots of my friends love it. It’s a bestseller. There must be some reason for this, but I can’t quite work out what it is.

It follows the story of Mare, a red. In this dystopian fantasy there are two races of people, the reds and the silvers, defined by the colour their blood runs. The silvers, who have all sorts of special powers, rule over the reds. Mare, like all reds on their 18th birthday’s, is about to be conscripted to the army to fight a war against the ‘lakelanders’, a neighbouring nation, just as three of her brothers were before her. Then she manages to get a job at the silver palace, saving her from the war. There she manages to shock the silvers with the fact she, a lowly red, can wield lightning abilities.

There are two guys as well. Well, maybe three. Most of my problems come from how predictable this book was. It wasn’t an boring read, nor a badly written book. It was enjoyable enough, but utterly predictable. Until the end. But even that couldn’t redeem it for me. The back of the book says ‘fans of divergent, the hunger games and graceling will love this’ and it was literally like a mash-up of these books. It has unique elements, like the idea of a dystopian book in which human kind has actually regressed with technology because of a nuclear war, but these background points, which I actually found rather interesting, were glossed over.

And the romance was so unnecessary to me, I just wanted to ignore that it was even happening. I would have preferred strong friendships, which would have sufficed for the plot if you ask me.

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Overall, I’m giving it 3 ice creams. I definitely enjoyed elements of this book, but others were very much the norm for YA books; the love triangle, the sacrifice, the face of the rebellion. It was all a little much for me. Maybe 5 years ago when I had just finished the Hunger Games, not now when I have become jaded at the amount of YA dystopian that follow the same paths. Give it a try, a lot of people obviously love this book series. I’m not sure that I am curious enough to continue on to Glass Sword, only time will tell.

Waiting on Wednesday: #Famous by Jilly Garson!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly tag hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases!

This week I want to discuss #Famous by Jilly Garson, a book which follows a very modern love story.25116429.jpg

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

I love cute contemporaries as much as I love the use of social media in books, so I’m really excited to see how this works out!

#Famous is released;

14th February 2017

it took me the longest time to realise that it releases on Valentines day. Opps!

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Some of my favourite things are badass female characters and space, so you can imagine my excitement when I read the synopsis for this one;

30269126Empress
Rhee, better known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

I also love the ‘thrown together to save the world’ trope (you can probably tell) so this book sounds right up my street. The publishers have likened it to the Lunar Chronicles and Red Rising, which is also very exciting.

I also seen some talk of diverse PoC characters, and the author is Filipino, so thats also something to look forward to!

This will be the first of two books, with the second hopefully published in 2018.

Also that cover is so amazingly beautiful!

This releases on;

7th February 2017

so not that long to wait in the scheme of things. I’m about to go and put this one on my never ending wishlist.

[Goodreads]

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine in which you discuss your most highly anticipated upcoming releases!

TTT: 10 Halloween Reads for People Who Dislike Horror!

It’s Halloween and you want a Halloween-y read. But every year you are forced to remember then when it comes to horror you can’t handle anything scarier then watching Stranger Things in broad daylight with three other people. Sigh.

But fear not! I, too, have this affliction, and after writing last week’s Top Ten Tuesday list of Scary YA books that I will probably never go near for fear of nightmares, I have decided to write a list of some not-totally-scary YA thrillers and light horrors.

Disclaimer: We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to these things, so I’m going to try my best to explain how scary I believe they are, but in the end I can’t be 100% sure how scary they will be to you.

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken!

10576365.jpgThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is the first in a YA dystopian trilogy. A strange plague like illness has swept through all under eighteen-year olds with many dying suddenly. Those children lucky enough to survive aren’t so lucky after all when its discovered they have changed and now have special abilities and the government take them away from their families and put them in camps for the ‘public’s safety’. There they are colour coded by how dangerous their powers are and forced to work long hours on menial labour so they are too beaten down to rebel.

Ruby was 10 when the illness first killed a girl in her class. Before she knew it she was one of the only ones left. When Ruby reaches the camp she manages to ‘convince’ her tester that she is a green, a low ability, low threat kid who could be mostly left alone. And for 6 years Ruby mostly is. But she knows that her ability to convince people to do what she wants them to do isn’t a green trait but an orange one, the second most dangerous kids in the camp, and is living in constant fear she will be found out.

And then Ruby gets out, and finds the world outside isn’t quite the one she remembered.

Cue the road trip music.

I read this book in a day last week, once I had gotten into it there was no putting it down. It was one of those books where I had picked it up a few times and gotten a chapter or so in but not found all that amazing and then put back down. If you’ve been doing this then PICK IT BACK UP. There’s a cut off point, a scene like 8 chapters in (that I won’t reveal for fear of spoiling you) and I could actually hear the shift in my brain, something clicked, and suddenly I was so into the book. That was it for me; I was hooked.

I did find Ruby annoying at times, but you know what it was okay- it wasn’t unbearable or anything. Ruby and I are clearly different people who would make very different decisions but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment I found in this book, maybe it added to it because I was often surprised at the way Ruby dealt with things; she can be unpredictable and I like that.

Also there’s this guy called Liam… who is basically one of the best male characters ever. I love him already and we are only one book in. He’s just not an overbearing possessive asshat nor is he a really cute shy poetry writing guy. He’s like in the middle, and I love that he is so different (YA always seems to have one or the other, why?) it was really refreshing.

The whole cast of characters was refreshing really. Here are kids with real issues and real emotions and different personalities and they where all so well rounded I felt like I knew them by the end of the book. Ahhh, I’m all over the place. Can you tell I liked this book and have no idea how to express that in words?

Bottom line: look I have done dystopian before, I read the hunger games like everyone else in 2009 and liked that and recently I’ve read dystopian-like books like The Lunar Chronicles which is like sci-fi fantasy more so then dystopian really but I’ve had bug problems with this genre before. I didn’t get on with Divergent as hard as I tried and all the other dystopian novels I’ve tried to read, like Angel fall and Matched, I didn’t really like enough to continue on the next book- but I am back in business now; The Darkest Minds has saved me from my fear of dystopia and cured my avoidance of them. I will 100% be reading Never Fade (finally made it to the second book of a dystopian series, yay for me) as soon as I can get my hands on it.


I’m giving this 4 ½ ice creams, it’s been given an extra half because of its curing abilities and the enjoyment it gave me. The characterisation was great, the storyline is intriguing and I can’t wait to see what happens next! (though to all you people who’ve read it already my heart also hurts like someone is gripping it when I think about the ending, thanks for that).

Waiting On Wednesday: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

So I’ve been doing a little digging recently on Goodreads, trying to keep up with listing for Top Ten Tuesdays, and I found this book and was instantly hooked by the synopsis;

25752041Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

If you know me, you’ll know that close friendship groups are kinda my thing, and this book definitely sounds like it has the ‘unseeming gang of friends thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, trying to save the world’ thing going on.

I also love when an author chooses a unlikely narrator for their story, we have so many high fantasy books from the point of view of royalty or magic wielders, etc., it’s such a refreshing change to see what this book will be like from the point of view of someone who is on the fringes of high society, but is also an outcast.

Now I’ve got you all excited, here’s the release date;

6th June 2017

I’ll be awaiting the cover reveal in the mean time!

[Goodreads]

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine in which you discuss your most highly anticipated upcoming releases!