Wednesday, August 16

Early Review: The Treatment

The Treatment
CL Taylor

Published By: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 19, 2017
Date Read: August 7, 2017
Genre: YA - Thriller
Source: ARC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 284
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35261805-the-treatment 

From Goodreads:
Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed meets Never Let Me Go in the pulse-pounding YA thriller from the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of The Escape.

“You have to help me. We’re not being reformed. We’re being brainwashed.”

All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She's not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she's almost relieved.

Everything changes when she's followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something sinister about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.

Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets.

Before it’s too late.

The Treatment was a book that I hadn't really heard all that much about, until I was at YALC and saw that the UK publisher was giving ARCs out at their stand and I thought that it sounded pretty good. Now, I'm not much of a thriller reader... to be honest I'm an absolute big baby and thrillers usually creep me out a lot. Saying that I have read a few YA thrillers and although I find them a bit touch or go I have found a few that I have really enjoyed so thought that I would give The Treatment a go.

I've never read anything by this author and with The Treatment being her YA debut I have to say I am impressed. CL Taylor writes YA really well. She really embodied the essence of the teenager that she was writing and I found it so believable and easy to read. My attention was grabbed and I really enjoyed reading Drew's story.

Drew's story was quite a unique one and as a psychology teacher I really enjoyed the psychological elements to this. I really liked the fact that the treatment was created by psychologists and based off psychological research. Although naturally I was very critical of these elements the author pulled it off really well. It was accurate and wrote in a way that anyone who didn't have any psychological knowledge could follow it easily, which is really quite impressive as psychology can be confusing and complex.

As I said, thrillers aren't my usual go-to read and this is definitely not going to ever be one of my top reads of the year. Not because it's not a great book, it is, but just because it's not my usual genre. It really kept my interest and I was interested all the way through and really couldn't wait to see how it was all going to end.

The Treatment is a good YA thriller that any fans of thrillers will no doubt absolutely love this book. I enjoyed it and will definitely be on the look out for others from this author.



Wednesday, August 9

Review: Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare
Non Pratt

Published By: Walker Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2017
Date Read: June 18, 2017
Genre: YA - Contemporary Romance
Source: Featured in Illumicrate Subscription Box
Format: Paperback
Pages: 383
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25458747-truth-or-dare
From Goodreads:
A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian's "writer to watch" Non Pratt, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Holly Bourne. How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? Claire Casey hates being the centre of attention. But if it means getting Sef Malik to notice her, it’s a risk she’s happy to take. Sef is prepared to do anything to help his recently disabled brother. But this means putting Claire’s love – and life – on the line. Because when you're willing to risk everything, what is there left to lose?

Truth or Dare is a book that I couldn't wait to get my hands on from the moment I first heard of it. Non Pratt is one of my all time favourite authors. I have loved every single thing that she has wrote and she is definitely one of my auto-buy authors. I was dying to read Truth or Dare and when it was featured as the Illumicrate box in May 2017 I couldn't contain my excitement.

Truth or Dare is the story of Claire and Sef and their willingness to do whatever it takes to raise the money needed to help the care of Sef's recently disabled brother. Claire hates being centre of attention but she as she volunteers reading to Sef's brother and sees the progress that could be destroyed if he has to move centres she is willing to do anything to help. Plus, she gets to spend all of her time with super hot Sef it's a win win. But when Sef starts taking dangerous risks is it all worth their lives?

I really liked Truth or Dare. I particularly loved that we get to read the events from both Claire and Sef's points of view. First of I loved Claire. She is such a sweet and caring character and I seriously think we need more people in this world like Claire. The world would be a much greater place if people were more like her. Throughout her first half of the book I fell in love with both her and Sef. Then we got Sef's point of view and it shows just how skewed one person's point of view. You see a totally different side of Sef when reading from his point of view. I went from loving him to being less than impressed with him. By the end of the book I liked him again but this book really shows just how people can appear to be one thing when they are in fact quite different behind closed doors.

I really enjoyed reading Truth or Dare. It was fast paced, emotional and amazing. I couldn't put it down and I found myself getting through the book super quickly. Non's writing was one again stunning. I don't think it's possible for Non to write a book I don't like. It's still not my favourite. Nothing can quite beat Trouble for me, it still remains my favourite Non book but Truth or Dare was right up there are one of my favourite books of the year. I highly recommend this amazing book for everyone.

"Be careful not to confuse a beautiful face with a beautiful heart. Not everyone is blessed with both."


Friday, August 4

Early Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Lauren James

Published By: Walker Books
Publication Date: September 7, 2017
Date Read: August 1, 2017
Genre: YA - Sci-Fi
Source: Bought at YALC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 290
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32601841-the-loneliest-girl-in-the-universe

From Goodreads:
Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Lauren James is an author that I hadn't read anything by until I saw her speak at YALC in 2016. Immediately I bought her books and fell head over heels in love with them. When I heard that her new book was going to be sold early at YALC I was so excited. If there was one one book I wanted to buy at YALC, it was The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James. I just knew it was going to be amazing. And it was... but so much better and more surprising than I ever could have imagined.

Romy Silvers is the lone surviver on her spaceship. She is the first person to ever be born in space and with both of her parents having perished along the journey, she is a 16-year-old commander. She is on a mission to find Earth II, a new planet in which to start a new colony of people. But the only communications she has is with NASA, until she hears that there is a newer, faster ship on the way to her with a new commander, a boy called J. Their only communication is via email and Romy finds herself falling in love with him. But is everything as she expects and what will happen when their ships finally do connect?

Oh. My. God!! There are no words for me to be able to describe how utterly phenomenal this book is. It was stunning and beautiful. I am already such a big sci-fi fan. My favourite books are fantasy book or books set in space so this is the perfect type of book for me. I loved every moment of it and I thought I had it all figured out. Then Lauren throws the most enormous twist that I ever expected in. I was literally sat there slack jawed just repeating WHAT?!?!?! all the time. I literally could not believe it.

Lauren James has quickly climbed the ranks up and sealed herself near the top of my favourite authors of all time. Anything she writes, I will read. Her writing style is just beautiful and flawless. I love everything about it and as soon as I start reading, I can't stop until the book is finished. I also absolutely adore than in all of her books she has scientists in there. I mean can you get anything cooler than that?

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe was not what I expected... it was a million times better. So many times when I'm reading I already know what is going to happen so to have a book that really surprises me is utterly amazing. I loved every second of this book and I am left wanting more. I really hope that there may be a sequel in the works because it is absolutely stunning. If there is one 2017 release that you read this year made sure it is this one.



Wednesday, August 2

Early Review: Fireblood (Frostblood #2)

Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
Elly Blake

Published By: Hodder and Stroughton
Publication Date: September 7, 2017
Date Read: July 27, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: ARC from Hodder Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 408
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33784283-fireblood

From Goodreads:
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past....

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax - which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.

"Lady Ruby, you already have. You've melted my icy heart."

Fireblood was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 and there are no words to explain just how excited I was to receive an ARC of it from the wonderful people at Hodder Publising. I am still so beyond excited that I have read this absolutely phenomenal book. Frostblood, the first book in this amazing series, was one of the next debuts and starts to a fantasy series I have ever read and I had such high expectations for the follow up. When I have such high expectations for a second book in a series I am usually disappointed as I usually find second books in trilogies to be a stepping stone just leading to the next book. Fireblood is absolutely the opposite of this. I was totally blown away and I would go as far as to say this is one of the best books I have read this year to date.

Elly Blake is one of the most talented fantasy writers I have come across. Right from the start of the book I was just completely sucked into the story and the characters and I just couldn't stop reading. I loved every single second of this book and it was just utterly stunning. She made me fall in love with the characters I already loved and made me love the newer characters too. I'll be honest and say I was a little bit nervous about this book as the blurb sounds very love-triangle eske but I needn't have worried. If you are worried about this I urge you to just read the book. It's not how you expect it to play out.

Ruby is such an amazing lead protagonist. I love her and she goes through quite an emotional journey in this one. I loved experiencing it all with her, from her discovering another fireblood, called Kai, to her confusing feelings to her sorting through everything. I loved experiencing every step of it with her and although I am 100% on Team Arcus, I love Kai. He is a sweet guy who just wants to best for everyone.

Fireblood was utter perfection. It has flirtation, romance and action. I loved the journey through this book. There are so many twists and turns and some of them I never saw coming. I was so shocked at parts and I am still in awe of this amazing book. I highly recommend that everyone read this amazing series. I absolutely cannot wait for the final book of this series. It needs to be in my hands like... yesterday. I loved every moment of it.

"You're my home."

 

Tuesday, August 1

Wrap Up: July 2017


Hey Guys,
Can you believe July is over already? July was such a busy month for me so I didn't read quite as much as I'd wanted to. I headed to London twice this month, one to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on stage which was absolutely incredible and then again for a 3 day book convention. It was utterly amazing.

Book Haul:

My book haul is absolutely enormous this month as not only did another Zoella book club round come out but I also gained so many books at the book convention. Due to this my book haul section is split into different sections this month:

Hardcopies - Zoella Books:


After the Fire by Will Hill
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Girlhood by Cat Clarke
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary B Schmidt
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Hardcopies - YALC Haul

Bought


Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by VE Schwab
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren Jame
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James
Pantomime (Micah Gray #1) by Laura Lam
Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1) by Sarah Tolcser
Defy the Stars (Constellation #1) by Claudia Gray
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Mafiosa (Blood for Blood #2) by Catherine Doyle
Because You Love To Hate Me (Compilation)
Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh
A Monster Calls Deluxe Edition by Patrick Ness

ARCs



The Fandom by Anna Day
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsey Cummings
The Treatment by CL Taylor
I Am Traitor by Sif Sigmarsdottir

Books Read in July 2017:


A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by VE Schwab - 5 Stars
A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by VE Schwab - 5 Stars
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by VE Schwab - 5 Stars
No Filter by Orlagh Collins - 3 Stars
Fireblood (Frostblood #2) by Elly Blake - 5 Stars

Reviews Posted in July 2017:



2017 Challenges Update:

This year I am challenging myself to:
  • The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge
  • The 2017 Debut Author Challenge
  • The 2017 'Continue a Series' Challenge
  • The Zoella Book Club Challenge

The Totally Doable 2017 Reading Challenge

I am so happy with my progress in this challenge so far this year. Like last month rather than selecting books for the categories I just read what I wanted and then saw if any of them fit.

This month I read one more for this challenge, which was start a new series. I read A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab, which is book 1 in the Shades of Magic series.

Challenge Total: 11/12










The 2017 Debut Author Challenge


This month I read No Filter by Orlagh Collins

Challenge Update: 4/5

The 2017 'Continue A Series' Challenge


This month I did finish a series, however it was a series that I started this year so I am not counting it towards my challenge.

Challenge Update: 3/5

The Zoella Bookclub Challenge

I didn't read any Zoella books this month. Her new round has now been released but I am not adding that to my challenge yet. I'm gonna try and read these ones first.

Challenge Update: 7/16

Top 3 Books of July 2017:


What did you read this month?
  

Wednesday, July 26

Review: The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3)

The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3)
Elizabeth May

Published By: Gollancz
Publication Date: June 15, 2017
Date Read: June 17, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20946405-the-fallen-kingdom
From Goodreads:
My name is Lady Aileana Kameron.

First the fae murdered my mother. Then they destroyed my world.

Then one of them killed me.

Now I'm fighting for more than revenge.

The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series.
Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her.

Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion.

"He loved you so much that when you died, he might as well have died with you."

The Falconer series has fast become one of my all time favourite series of all time. I read the first book when it first released and then within one month I re-read it and completed the rest of the series. I just adored every single second of it and The Fallen Kingdom was the perfect ending to such an amazing series.

The ending of The Vanishing Throne broke me. It was so unbelievably emotional and heartbreaking and I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Fallen Kingdom to see how it was going to end. In The Fallen Kingdom Aileana has to get her memory back as she doesn't know who she is or what sort of power she harnesses. The only chance to save the world from the fae is to travel into the dangerous territory of The Morrigan, the more brutal faery of all time. One thing is for certain not everyone will survive this last battle.

The Fallen Kingdom was utter perfection. I loved every single moment of it. It was utterly incredible. Right from the first page I just couldn't stop reading. Aileana is so unbelievably kick-ass in this book. Throughout the whole series we have really seen all the different sides of Aileana. From the girl who is fuelled by rage and seeking revenge, to the vulnerable Aileana after she has been abused by the fae to this incredibly powerful girl who will do everything in her power to defeat the fae. I loved seeing every side of her and to experience it all along with her.

One thing I love the most about this series is the mix between fantasy, steampunk and historical romance. YA Fantasy is my favourite genre of all time but I don't really read steampunk or historical fiction and this series just opened my eyes to how much I'm missing out by not reading them. The Falconer series really sucks you in and I enjoyed every second of it.

I am so unbelievably sad that this series is over. The Fallen Kingdom is the perfect ending to the series but it is definitely the most heartbreaking of the three. Not everyone survives and it's so hard reading the parts where someone dies. It may be me being totally naive, but I really wanted the whole team to survive. I seriously sobbed so hard reading this book. I haven't cried that much at a book in such a long time. It totally broke me.

Elizabeth May has firmly sealed herself as one of my favourite authors and I will definitely be reading anything else that she writes. It's hard to believe that this series was her debut because it is so cleverly and intricately planned and wrote perfectly. I seriously loved it so much and I am hoping and preying that she decides to write a spin-off series because I am so not ready to say goodbye to these characters and this truly phenomenal series.

The Fallen Kingdom was perfect. If you're looking for a book that is a mixture of many genres and that will take your breath away and steal your heart then look no further. This is the series for you. So what are you waiting for? Go read it!!

"One day, you’ll tell people the story of the faery king and the human girl. And how he watched from afar as she lived out twenty thousand human days. And if she listened closely during winter, when the wind was cold and the nights were longest, she could hear him whisper that he cherished her so much he was willing to give her the world."


Wednesday, July 19

Review: The Last Piece of my Heart

The Last Piece of my Heart
Paige Toon

Published By: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Date Read: June 14, 2017
Genre: Adult - Chick Lit
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31573350-the-last-piece-of-my-heart
From Goodreads:
When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture ... Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

Meet Bridget, a successful travel journalist with ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog into a novel. But, after numerous rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition: Nicole Dupre died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel, and the family need someone to finish it. Bridget is just thankful to have her foot in the publishing door. But as she gets to know Nicole’s grieving family, and the woman behind the writing, Bridget’s priorities begin to change.

Paige Toon has forever been one of my favourite authors. Ever since I read her debut novel, Lucy in the Sky, back when I was in college I fell in love with her writing, her characters and her story. Her books inspired my love and passion for books so it's probably down to her books as to why this blog exists for me to be writing this review. I have read every single book she has ever wrote and I can't put into words how much I loved this book.

Bridget has had many relationships. She's fallen in love over and over again and lost a piece of her heart in every single one of them. When she rekindles her romance with her first love he persuades her to travel around and see all of her past boyfriends to ask them for the piece of her heart back. It would make a wonderful book idea. But when Bridget can't sell the idea she is given another job. To ghostwrite the sequel of a bestseller after the author tragically died. Now she is living in Cornwall and spending time with the deceased author's grieving husband and small child. As Bridget grows closer to them both Bridget's travels and her blog and her boyfriend seem a million miles away.

I loved this book. I mean LOVED it. I already loved Bridget before I read this book. She was featured in two or three of Paige's previous books and I already adored her as a character. In The Last Piece of my Heart I loved Bridget even more. You see different sides to her and I just felt like I went on this emotional rollercoaster along with her.

I loved every moment of this book. The romance, the emotion... everything. It was one of the most perfect books I've ever read and it is right up there rivalling Lucy in the Sky as my favourite Paige Toon book. Lucy in the Sky is still up there as my favourite but this one was very very close. If you love a good romance book I cannot recommend Paige's books enough. They are totally perfect and well worth the read.