Sunday, 12 January 2020

Review: Birthday by Meredith Russo

Publication Date: May 2019
Publisher: Usbourne Publishing
Source: Borrowed from library

[ Goodreads ]


Meet Morgan and Eric: born on the same day, at the same time and bonded for life. 

In this moving dual narrative, we meet them every birthday from the age of thirteen, as Eric figures out who he is, as Morgan decides to live as her true self, and as they realize they are inextricably part of each other.

 **I Just want to preface this review by saying that after I read the book, I discovered the article on the authors domestic abuse and abuse allegations. This has made me remove my purchase link to the novel and in the review I will be discussing the book as a piece of work and not the author.** 

*Trigger warnings in this book eating disorders, trans and lgbtq hate speech and bullying, self harm, body dysphoria, homophobia, violence, alcohol abuse, grief 

This book was one I had wanted to read last year but never got round to it. I've been in a great reading mood so far this year so found it at my local library and picked it up. This book very much gripped me from beginning to end and if I sum it up in a word: wow. 

The characters in the book completely make the book for me. The novel centers around Eric and Morgan, two "boys" who share a birthday and an amazingly strong friendship. Morgan is hiding a secret burden, she is a trans woman but is scared to let anyone know. Over the course of the novel we see Morgan struggle as she tries to oppress her gender, lashes out in violence, substance abuse before finally accepting that she is a woman and works towards self acceptance and approaching others . 

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Top Books of 2019

2019 has come to an end. It was definitely A YEAR, but not one for reading.. I only managed to read 33 books as I started a new job, moved out and had a lot of other stuff going on that just left me with very little time to get to much reading. But what I did manage to read, was fantastic!

Check out some of the amazing and wonderful books I read this year. Reviews I have posted will be linked and I'll give you 3 reasons why I loved each book - Let's go!

 Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Review Here)

Okay, this year I finally hopped back on the Cassie Clare fan-club. I read the entire The Infernal Devices series and finished The Mortal Instruments series.

Clockwork Princess was a fantastic read because:

#1 The couples - this book provides some great couple and relationship development for so many. From Charlotte & Henry, Gideon and Sophie and our ever loving Jem/Tessa/Will love triangle

#2 Be still my Jessa shipping heart

#3 Thinking about the epilogue still hurts. If you wanna feel pain? Read a Cassandra Clare book

 Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Review Here)

Okay, this book had been on my TBR for years and I finally got round to reading it. Boy, was I in love with this book.

#1 The mystery romance was so gripping to read about

#2 This book actually had me laughing out loud. There were so many hilarious incidents and parts that I still find myself thinking about

#3 The characters were so three dimensional. Honestly I loved reading about every single character and wanted them to come out of the page. I could honestly read a book about each and every side character. I now need to read everything Becky has and will ever write.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Publication Date: September 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Own
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6

Goodreads  ]             [  Book Depository  ] 

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

 Okay so, if you don't want to be spoiled for the previous Cassandra Clare books released before CoHF please leave, read the Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments and then return!

Spoilers ahead!

Character development Clary used to be so lost and helpless but is now badass. She really has come into herself and become more comfortable in the Shadowhunter world in the last couple books, especially since City of Lost Souls. Jace has also changed a lot, especially since City of Lost Souls. After being controlled by Sebastian in CoLS he had retreated into himself due to the guilt over his actions in that time but this book sees him become more open to accepting help from his friends. Jace finally begins to acknowledge that sometimes he has to let them help, and that they have all become his family. The Clace relationship also was so well written in this book as we see them become closer and stronger.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Review: Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Publication Date: April 2015
Publisher: Balzer + ray
Source: Borrowed from library

[ Goodreads ]           [ Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Okay so I have NO IDEA why I put off reading this book despite the rave reviews...I completely regret it. So a preface to this review, if you have this book on your TBR- move that into currently reading ASAP. 

This book was the most heart warming, funny, happy, marshmallow fluffy book I've ever read. It completely captivated me from the first page and I sped through the book in 2 days. And that's pretty impressive as I was super busy but made the time to read the book because I just needed the joy in my life. 

The book focuses on Simon, an "in the closet" teen who finds himself becoming closer and close to a boy called Blue through email. Reading about their relationship and how much closer they were getting was so well written and cute. I loved how Albertalli portrayed their closeted emotions and the inner ups and down turmoil they were feeling in terms of self acceptance. Their conversations were totally adorable and I actually found myself re-reading their emails after I finished the book. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Review: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

Publication Date: September 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Source: Borrowed from library

[ Goodreads ]         [ Book Depository

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

So I know y'all gonna hate me, but I've never read a Holly Black book before this one! I know, I know... I picked this book up from my library because I've heard a lot of hype around holly Blacks books and thought this would be a great spooky read for October. 

So this book takes place in a world where vampirism is a disease that had spread throughout some places in the world. The infected people and vampires are quarantined into "Coldtowns" where they are cut off from society. These coldtowns are broadcast on TV 24/7 as a reality TV show for the population. The novel kicks up a gear when Tana, our main character, has to enter a Coldtown. 

Friday, 25 October 2019

Review: The Invasion by Peadar O'Guilin

Publisher: David Fickling Books
Publication Date: March 2018
Source: Purchased
Series: Greylands Book 2 (Book 1 Review)

[ Goodreads ]           [ Book Depository ]

After so much danger, Nessa and Anto can finally dream of a happy life. But the terrible attack on their school has created a witch-hunt for traitors -- boys and girls who survived the Call only by making deals with the enemy. To the authorities, Nessa's guilt is obvious. Her punishment is to be sent back to the nightmare of the Grey Land for the rest of her life. The SĂ­dhe are waiting, and they have a very special fate planned for her.

Meanwhile, with the help of a real traitor, the enemy come pouring into Ireland at the head of a terrifying army. Every human they capture becomes a weapon. Anto and the last students of his old school must find a way to strike a blow at the invaders before they lose their lives, or even worse, their minds. But with every moment Anto is confronted with more evidence of Nessa's guilt.

For Nessa, the thought of seeing Anto again is the only thing keeping her alive. But if she escapes, and if she can find him, surely he is duty-bound to kill her...

 So if you haven't read the first book in this series, The Call, you should stop reading this blog post right now and go read it - then come back!

This series takes place in an Ireland unlike the Ireland we know now. After a civil war between the Irish population and fae-like creatures called the Sidhe, Ireland has now been cut off from the rest of the world. After losing the war, the Sidhe now punish the population by "calling" teenagers to their banished land, the Greylands, where they revel in torturing them. 

This series is absolutely breathtaking. For a series that is only 2 books long, it packs a punch that would take other series 6-10 books! The characters are completely three dimensional, the writing style is gripping with a masterfully told story. Heart-pounding action and expertly told horror. Perfect reading for Halloween

Thursday, 24 October 2019

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 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 that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you give someone a gift you know they will love!