Monday, 25 June 2018

Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Publication Date: January 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Publishers
Source: Borrowed

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Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

 So this was a book I had seen EVERYWHERE around a year or two ago. Probably one of the biggest PR campaigns I'd ever seen around a novel to be honest. I'm not usually one to read hyped up books, mostly because I often feel that the hype surrounding it will make it read as not as good to me because I'll be constantly waiting to reach that level of "wow" in the novel. 

So when I found the opportunity to read this, I decided to give it a go. I am very glad that I did. I'm not usually a big reader of adult mystery novels, my last one being Before I Go To Sleep- which I also enjoyed, but after reading and loving this maybe I should change that. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Review: Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Publication Date: February 8th 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

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Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. and very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body, that she realises that she is in fact... dead. But what is she supposed do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family – her parents and her twin brother start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity - to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time...

 Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my full and honest review. This book was featured on my Most Anticipated 2018 Releases post which I posted back in January. I was extremely excited for this book and was so happy to be approved to receive and advanced copy of it.

The premise of this novel centers around our main character Lily, waking up on the side of the road looking down at her own body and realizing she is dead. Lily is then able to see the affect her death has had on the others in her life including her family, boyfriend, friends and her killer. Although this plot premise has been done before in many cliche ways, Phyllida Shrimpton brings the story line to life with her own wonderfully entertaining fresh spin on it. 

Friday, 4 May 2018

Review: The Never Dawn by R.E Palmer

Publication Date: 21 November 2017
Publisher:  FrontRunner Publications
Source: Received a copy from the author 

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All his young life, Noah has longed to see the sky he's only heard about in stories. For over one hundred years, Noah's people have toiled deep beneath the Earth preparing for The New Dawn - the historic day when they will emerge to reclaim the land stolen by a ruthless enemy. 

But when Rebekah, the girl of his forbidden desire, discovers a secret their leader has been so desperate to keep, Noah suspects something is wrong.

 Together, they escape and begin the long climb to the surface. But nothing could prepare them for what awaits outside. 

 Thank you to the author for contacting me and sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my full and honest review. 

So I went into this book not having heard anything about it before, and looking for a new exciting dystopia to pull me out of my recent sci-fi and dystopia lag where I just haven't been enjoying any. Unfortunately, although I enjoyed some aspects of this novel, it just didn't hit the spot for me. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Publication DateJanuary 16th 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series(The Androma Saga #1)
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

[ Goodreads ]          [ Book Depository ]

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

Thank you to the publishers for offering me a copy of this novel in exchange for my full and honest review. I went into this novel not knowing much about it, except that Sasha Alsberg, a booktuber who I have watched for many years, was one of the co-writers and that it was set in space! So naturally, I was semi- excited going into this book.....little did I know what was to come.

Also preface, there will be slightly spoiler-ish mentions in this review so if you have not read the novel and would not like to be spoiled, do not read on. If you don't care about spoilers or have read the book, please continue!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Review: The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

Publication Date: April 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Borrowed from Library

[ Goodreads ]          [ Book Depository

Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. 
When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever.

Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. 

 I first heard about this book at Dept Con where the author was reading from one of his other novels We Come Apart, which he has co-written with Sarah Crossan. I felt his writing style sounded really interesting and wanted to read more. I was excited to pick this novel up in my local library. 

The novel overall was really enjoyable. I felt it sort of reminiscent of another novel I had read previously, Trash by Andy Mulligan . Although I found The Bombs That Brought Us Together much more enjoyable. The story revolves around our main character Charlie, who lives in the strict rule filled Little Town. One day, a refugee from Old Country called Pav moves into the same apartment block and they immediately strike up a strong friendship which is tested when Old Country troops invade. 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Most Anticipated 2018 Releases

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed 
(January 2018)                             (Goodreads)

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a "suitable" Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she's only known from afar. There's the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya's last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear? 

Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton
(February 2018)                              (Goodreads)

Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. and very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body, that she realises that she is in fact... dead. But what is she supposed do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family – her parents and her twin brother start falling apart. And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity - to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time...

Almost Love by Louise O'Neill (Adore Louise- Can't wait for more of her work to be released!!)
(March 2018)              (Goodreads)

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.
Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job.
But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt. Isn't it?

Clean by Juno Dawson  (April 2018)  (Goodreads)

'I can feel it swimming through my veins like glitter ... it's liquid gold.'

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she's hit rock bottom.
She's wrong. Rock bottom is when she's forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady.
As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all ... 

It's a dirty business getting clean ...

The Invasion by Peadar O'Guilin (Sequel to The Call)
(March 2018)                                     (Goodreads

In a world where teenagers are trained for the most horrific 3 minutes of their lives, Nessa and Anto have both survived their Call, but fate has a cruel way of rewarding them. Nessa is branded a traitor as no one believes that someone like her could survive the experience. She's thrown in prison and eventually sent where all traitors are sent - back to the horrifying Greylands, but this time there's no way home. Anto is packed off out of the way to join the militia. Ireland is being invaded and the enemy are building their army from the very people defending it. However, Anto can't get Nessa off his mind, he knows in his heart that she's innocent and he'll go to any length to rescue her. The final chapter in this thrilling and fast paced adventure with the power of true love at it's very core. 

See my review of the first novel, The Call Here!

The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont
(March 2018)                                             (Goodreads)

In this luminous volume, New York Times bestselling writer Julia Pierpont and artist Manjit Thapp match short, vibrant, and surprising biographies with stunning full-color portraits of secular female "saints" champions of strength and progress. These women broke ground, broke ceilings, and broke molds--including

Maya Angelou - Jane Austen - Ruby Bridges - Rachel Carson - Shirley Chisholm - Marie Curie & Irene Joliot Curie - Isadora Duncan - Amelia Earhart - Artemisia Gentileschi - Grace Hopper - Dolores Huerta - Frida Kahlo - Billie Jean King - Audre Lorde - Wilma Mankiller - Toni Morrison - Michelle Obama - Sandra Day O'Connor - Sally Ride - Eleanor Roosevelt - Margaret Sanger - Sappho - Nina Simone - Gloria Steinem - Kanno Sugako - Harriet Tubman - Mae West - Virginia Woolf - Malala Yousafzai

Releases without covers: 

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman   (January 2018)    (Goodreads)
For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.
Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

When the surface breaks by Louise O' Neill (May 2018) (Goodreads)
Louise O'Neill's reimagining of The Little Mermaid. The book is set beneath the sea, off the Irish coast, featuring a young mermaid, Gaia, who dreams of being human but could face a heavy price for her aspirations.

How Do You Like Me Now?  by  Holly Bourne  (June 2018) (Goodreads)
The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties. 

Releases without info: 

Girl Thursday by Joanna Nadin (April 2018)

I loved Joanna's Rachel Riley series so I'm really looking forward to this YA book. I adore the simplistic cover too!

What books are you looking forward to in 2018? Let me know below!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Best Books I Read in 2017

Hi everyone. As the year comes to a close, I thought I would share my favourite novels of 2017. I hope that 2018 brings you happiness. 

As a result of huge college work amounts and various other busy activities in my life in the past year, I only managed to read 30 books which is even less than last year. Although I read fewer novels, I feel like I discovered some greats this year, 

I really enjoyed all of the books mentioned on this list and you can see my full reviews of them linked below. 

Lets jump right in to my list of the best books I read in 2017;