Thursday, 8 November 2018

Announcement: Book Bloggers Secret Santa!


Hi Everyone! So Christmas is fast approaching and I really enjoy hosting the Book Bloggers Secret Santa every year so I can't wait to do it again!

I have not had as much time this semester to read  or blog due to college but am so looking forward to having some time off at Christmas to read and relax. 

I really love the book blogging community and feel that this is the perfect way to help make friends with bloggers, increase that sense of community and also fill you with tat warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give someone a gift you know they will love! 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Review: Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks

Publication Date: 8th October 2013
PublisherSchwartz & Wade 
Source: Won

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Queen Bee Chloe is going to make Toni suffer for whatever transpired between Toni and Chloe's boyfriend, Oliver, over the summer. From day one of eleventh grade, she has Toni branded as a super slut, and it isn't long before things get so ugly that Toni fears for her safety. What's a scared, powerless, and fed-up teenager to do?

 Guided by Cassandra—a girl with some serious problems of her own—Toni decides to stop playing the victim and take control. Cassandra has been experimenting with witchcraft, and together they cast a spell on Chloe that may actually cause her death. Could Toni have really made such an awful thing happen?
So this book has been on my bookshelf for the LONGEST time and by that I mean....since 2013! I have decided that I am going to focus more on trying to read the books that have been on my bookshelves for a long time and not buy any more books until I can bring my TBR pile down a little. Any progress is good progress right ? 

I had very little idea what this book was as I was going into it, which was probably a good thing. Although the book did not blow me away, I did enjoy it for the most part. 

The story revolves around Toni, our main character who over the summer kissed the boyfriend of the most popular girl in school. As she now returns to school, she returns to cold shoulders from everyone, snide remarks and bullying behaviour from Chloe and her group of popular friends. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Review: Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Publication Date: October 2nd 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher

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The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

Big thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full review. 

This is my first Neal Shusterman novel, and after reading Dry, I think I will definitely have to pick up more of his novels! I went into the book with average expectations, and wow this book blew me away. The novel was so engaging, gripping and will leave you thinking about it long after you've turned the last page. 

The novel centers around the "Tap-Out" where the water has stopped flowing for this town as the resources have run out. The novel shows us the affects of this water crisis through the eyes of Alyssa, her younger brother Garrett, neighbour Kelton, runaway Jacqui and Henry. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Review: Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: August 1st 2018
Source: Review Copy

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Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum ... and her mum's depression. When Stevie's mum's disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father's 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz's parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie... As Stevie and Hafiz's friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

 Big thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my full and honest review. I had not heard about this book until I read the press release and once I did, I was extremely excited to read it. 

The novel is told through the dual narrative and perspective of our main characters, Stevie and Hafiz. Although leading very different lives and coming from very different backgrounds, both Hafiz and Stevie are struggling through issues which ultimately bring them closer together and help solidify their friendship. 

One of the aspects I loved about this novel was the way in which is highlighted and also delved into the issues the main characters are currently facing. Stevie, named after her mothers hero Stevie Nicks, has been moved to Lewes after the death of her father. Stevie is a carer for her mother who, since the death of her husband, has developed an extreme anxiety disorder and depression which prevents her from working and often times leaving the house. Stevie faces huge challenges living in such poverty to not only survive but also take on the parental role and be the carer of her mother. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Review: The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2013
Source: Borrowed from library

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We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...

Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

So as you may know if you follow me on my Twitter or Instagram accounts, I recently re-read The Knife of Never Letting Go for the first time since I read it first six years ago! I loved the novel even more the second time around and finally had the motivation to continue with the series, and hopefully finish it this summer. Now after reading The Ask and The Answer I know that I immediately need the third book right now! 

The Ask and The Answer was not only the perfect sequel to what was an amazing introduction the the series, but also completely flipped the readers emotions and thoughts that they had gathered in the first book. In the sequel we encounter a completely new side to the story as Todd and Viola have now been captured by the Mayor and held captive. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Review: Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

Publication Date: March 10th 2016
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Borrowed

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Denizen Hardwick is an orphan, and his life is, well, normal. Sure, in storybooks orphans are rescued from drudgery when they discover they are a wizard or a warrior or a prophesied king. But this is real life—orphans are just kids without parents. At least that’s what Denizen thought. . . . 

On a particularly dark night, the gates of Crosscaper Orphanage open to a car that almost growls with power. The car and the man in it retrieve Denizen with the promise of introducing him to a long-lost aunt. But on the ride into the city, they are attacked. Denizen soon learns that monsters can grow out of the shadows. And there is an ancient order of knights who keep them at bay. Denizen has a unique connection to these knights, but everything they tell him feels like a half-truth.
 If Denizen joins the order, is he fulfilling his destiny, or turning his back on everything his family did to keep him alive?

So this is a book I have seen so much buzz and chatter around since its release two years ago! I was so glad to finally pick it up so that I could see what all the hype was about. 

I was really looking forward to reading this novel as my interest was re-instated after seeing the recent publication of the third novel earlier this year. This series had taken the internet and my Instagram by storm! I really enjoy a gripping and adventurous middle grade novel and had not read one for a while, the final Percy Jackson book not included. This book also has one of the best first sentences I've ever read: "Looking back, it had been a mistake to fill the orphanage with books."

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Review: Release by Patrick Ness

Publication Date: 1st May 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review Copy from publisher

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Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume's Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It's a big day. Things go wrong. It's intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches...

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It's a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won't come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

 Huge thank you to Walker Books for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full honest review. I have read some Patrick Ness novels before (see reviews here!) and highly enjoyed them. I also had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Ness at Dept Con a few years back. Going into this I expected to enjoy it but was actually surprised to find myself loving it even more than I had anticipated. I will say that there is some sexual scenes within the novel, so would recommend it for older teens. 

The novel completely hooked me. I have not been reading very much this year up until last month, as you can tell from the review barren wasteland my blog has become. But this novel completely gripped me from the get go and I sped through in 2 days because I could not put it down!