3 July 2017

REVIEW:The Secret Story of Us

by Jessi Kirby

Pages: 288
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 1st August 2017
ISBN: 9780062299468
Received From: HarperTeen


When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. 

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living


Holy moly on toast this was a good book! So this book was WAY WAY down on my TBR pile because it's not out for several months (well when I read it anyways) BUT I was struggling to get into anything after Ariadnis gave me all the feels! Which is what lead me to reading this book a bit earlier than planned and I do not regret a thing because I think this is just what I needed to get me out of my book hangover. 

The Secret History of Us is a beautifully written story that is emotionally charged to the max. It follows Olivia (also known as Liv) after a near fatal car crash as she wakes up in the hospital having no memory of the last 4/5 years of her life! However, with the crash being so brutal her family and friends are uncertain how much Liv can cope with while she recovers and they choose to try and keep her in the dark about certain things. The book is about Liv finding a way to rediscover who she is and how the new (or in fact old) version of herself fits into her present. 

This book gives me so many feels! However, instead of gushing I'll put my serious hat on and try and do this right. I'll start with the ONLY thing that I could find fault with when it came to The Secret History of Us and that was its predictability. There wasn't all that much under the surface and it did follow YA writing 101 in the sense it was very much how you would expect a YA to be written, following all the right twists and turns and leaving us all mushy by the end. HOWEVER I kinda liked that! Which I know isn't like me and I'm always saying 'it was too predictable' but after a couple of books that didn't give me my happily ever afters it was nice to read something that left me with a smile on my face and not tears. 

Don't get me wrong this isn't a sugar coated story in the slightest and my heart broke for Liv at times but there was something familiar about the writing that made me super happy! The Secret History of Us was like a big hug that made me feel all warm inside as it's familiarity reminded me WHY I love YA so much. The characters felt real, the story was inane at times and yet believable and above anything else I could imagine every sense perfectly as the author painted the most beautiful of pictures with her words. Which leads me to the writing itself which was effortless! I read it a matter of hours because each word flowed into the next like butter. 

Overall... well, I'm still swooning a little so just read the book when it comes out August 1st and join me in my little love affair with The Secret Story of Us

9 June 2017

REVIEW: City of Heavenly Fire

by Cassandra Clare

Pages: 733 paperback
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: May 28th 2014
ISBN: 1406332933


Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series. 
Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming. 
Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him - must they journey to another world to find the chance?


I have this thing about ending, I don't like them! For instance if I don't read the last book in a series it never ends... I swear there is logic in there somewhere. However, I recently received a copy of Tale From The Shadowhunter Academy (Walker Books) and I couldn't very well read that without having read City of Heavenly Fire, so after googling what happened in the last book because it was like 3 years ago I read it I sat down and finally finished The Moral Instruments series. 

City of Heavenly Fire follows our favourite shadowhunt's and Simon as they prepare to finally put an end to Sebastian's reign of terror. However, it is never quite that simple and as they prepare for their biggest battle yet their friendships are tested, relationships pushed to their absolute limits as the safety and survival of the shadowhunter race falls on the shoulders of our favourite tattooed characters. 

Okay so I will admit I still think The Mortal Instruments series could very well have concluded after City of Glass making it like the perfect trilogy ever! However, putting that opinion to one side this also made a spectacular conclusion to the series. It took a little while to jog my memory on a few things but once I did it all came flooding back and I remember that I felt the story had gotten a little lost in the penultimate book but City of Heavenly Fire felt more like the books I fell in love with. Jace's sarcasticness was on point, Alec's stick up his ass was a bit more bendy than normal, Izzy was her hot worrier self, Simon broke my heart and as always Clary proved she is just as much a part of this world as anyone else. It is these characters in which I stuck with this series (even with the break) and I was so so so happy that in the end they got an ending that felt true to the story. 

City of Heavenly Fire is heartbreaking at times! Although sometimes that's just how a story as to unfold. After all, if everything ended happily ever after it wouldn't be staying true to the characters. Personally I was captivated by this book and I didn't want to put it down - which is saying something because its one BIG ASS BOOK! There was not a part in the story that lulled and it flowed effortlessly from start to finish. I'm a little sad that this is where the story ends, however I know I've got Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy sitting on my nightstand ready to go. 

Overall I really was happy that I decided to get back to this series! I don't like endings but I know this isn't the end of this story. With hopes of a cameo from these kick ass protagonists in other books to the fact we have Shadowhunters on Netflix I know I'll still get my demon hunting fix. If like me you haven't read the last book, due to the fact big books are scary or maybe there are other people with irrational fears of endings (I hope i'm not the only one) I do recommend seeing the series through. It will break your heart but as always, Magus will wiggle his magic fingers and fix it again.  

7 June 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #22

by Callie Bates

Pages: 400
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781473638723


It's been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father's rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she's come to love as a father.
Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again... but this time by her father's mysterious righthand man. 
Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble. 
But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna's veins. Now she must decide which side she's on, and whether she'll use her powers for mercy... or revenge. 
A bold and gorgeous fantasy featuring a brilliant heroine on the cusp of womanhood, The Waking Land is the first of a trilogy that will delight fans of The Red Queen, Six of Crows, and Court of Thorns and Roses.

JUNE 29TH 2017

What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 

1 June 2017

REVIEW: The Battlemage

by Taran Matharu

Pages: 439 hardcover
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
ISBN: 9781444924275


After the thrilling cliffhanger at the end of book two, we rejoin Fletcher and his friends in the ether, where they must undertake a mortally dangerous quest, all the while avoiding capture by enemies and facing foes more terrifying than anything they have yet encountered.

But this is nothing compared to what truly lies ahead for Fletcher, as his nemesis, albino orc Khan, is on a mission to destroy Hominum and everything and everyone that Fletcher loves.

Epic battles, dramatic revelations and breathtaking drama await in the third and final book in the New York Times bestselling Summoner series.


**Spoilers for those who haven't read the first two books**

So here we have it, the final chapter in the Summoner books and oh my cheesus is fit a lot into its pages! There was action, there was drama and I'm happy to report there was more demons than ever before. I don't think I have ever fallen in love with a series so fast (excluding HP) and even though the last battle broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces it ended beautifully... there were tears.

The Battlemage starts where The Inquisition ended with Fletcher, Othello, Sylva, Cress and Alice stepping through a portal into the orc part of the ether as a last ditch attempt to save themselves from the white orc and his army. Throughout this book we see our heroes pushed way beyond their limits as they try to survive the ether that had left Lovett paralysed, take on the Kings father and his corrupt nobles, while having to prepare for the biggest battle of their lives. Friendships are tested, old faces make their final appearance and Fletcher finally finds where he belongs.

Okay so lets get this out the way first, the reason in which I didn't give this 5 stars. Don't get me wrong I still loved this book and I completely understand why curtain things needed to happen for the progression of the story. However, my favourite thing about these books was the friendship between Fletcher, Othello and Sylva and without giving too much away there was a part of this book were that was lacking and I missed it!

Moving on for that small set back I did really enjoy this book. There wasn't a moment throughout this book that wasn't packed to the brim with action and drama. It had me sitting on the edge of my seat at times hoping for a happy ending and above all else it stayed true to the series. It answered all the questions left open in The Inquisition like with what happened to Blue, Jeffrey's betrayal and most importantly what the hell is going on with Ignatius and the whole bathing in lava thing? I mean, I like a hot bath as much as the next person and/or demon but time and place little guy!!

Overall though I was so happy with the way in which the series ended. I know the information in this review is a little sparse but spoilers and all that. Personally I wish there was more on Fletcher as I want to know what happened after the last page but at the same time I felt it ended perfectly, making it a well crafted trilogy that I honestly believe will stand the test of time. So that's that guys, all three books.... I really hope that if you haven't read them you are going to because as far as YA fantasy goes it has everything and has very quickly (and easily) become one of my favourite series.

**I received this book as an ARC from Hachette Children's Books to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.** 

31 May 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #21

by Wendy Laine

Publisher: Entangled Publishing


Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why. 
Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself. 
To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

JUNE 5TH 2017

What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to! 

30 May 2017

REVIEW: The Inquisition

by Taran Matharu

Pages: 417 paperback
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: May 5th 2016
ISBN: 9781444924244


On trial for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must face the Inquisition who will decide his future - the process is gruelling, lead by those who will do anything to see him suffer and haunted by ghosts from the past with clues to Fletcher's tragic origins.  
But Fletcher has little time to dwell on these new revelations when the king announces a deadly challenge to the graduating students at Vocans. One that involves entering Orc territory to complete a risky mission. With loyal demons by their sides, commoners and nobles, dwarves and elves must overcome barriers of class and race and work together to triumph. The reward: a fortune in gold, the safety of an empire and PEACE. 
With the entire empire watching, Fletcher has much to prove, but there are those out to get him and it soon becomes clear that there's a traitor in their midst, trying to thwart the mission and create unrest within the Empire.  
With everything stacked against him, Fletcher must use everything in his power to fight his way to victory.


**Spoilers for those who haven't read The Novice**

So if you haven't guessed this week is all about the Summoner Books! The Inquisition is the second book in the series and carries on a year after the end of The Novice. It is just as captivating as its predecessor and with such high expectations after book one it did not disappoint. 

The Inquisition starts with Fletcher and Ignatius in jail, where he has been since the Tournament a year ago. The trail is right around the corner and Fletcher doesn't know what to expect, but a year is a long time and he is ready so seal his fait. With the help of old friends and some new Fletchers trial unravels in the most unexpected of ways but that is just the start of the dangers that face our misfit group of friends. Throughout the book we follow Fletcher, Othello and Sylva as they are pushed to their limits and tested further than anyone thought possible when sent into the heart of the Orc Jungle. 

I'll be honest after The Novice I didn't know how Taran Matharu was going to keep up the pace. More often than not sequels fall short of the books before them and I was worried this might fall into the same trap. However, I am glad to report than I was mistaken!! The Inquisition keeps up the same level of adventure, the same intense relationships and most importantly still left my jaw on the floor with all its unexpected plot twists. 

Throughout this installment we get to know more about Fletchers past, most importantly where exactly that little naked baby in the snow at Pelts gates came from. As a reader we get to see the inner workings of the Elves and Dwarves in more detail and finally understand why the King (up until this point) is such a bastard towards the other races. One of the things I love most about these books is that as much as it is fantasy there is a strong message within its text that translates to the real work. The strong emphasis on inclusion and not judging people by how they look on the outside is heartwarming and the fact that it takes just one person to see someones worth no matter their race, colour, gender is a strong message I wish more people today remembered. 

Overall I adored this book just as much as The Novice and even though it may have included one of my pet hates (cliffhangers) I wouldn't change a single word. This book sets up nicely for the final installment of the Summoner series and I can't wait to find out what happens next. 

29 May 2017

REVIEW: The Novice

by Taran Matharu

Pages: 416 paperback
Publisher: Hodder
Publication Date: January 2016 (First published May 5th 2015)
ISBN: 9781444923995


When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help. 
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.


Okay so confession time, I am guilty of judging a book by its cover and when Hachette sent me an early copy of the final book in this series, The Battlemage, I kind just ignored it because it didn't look like the kind of book I would enjoy. HOWEVER, when I was putting in away I decided I might as well read the back and honestly? I went straight out and bought the first two books. I wasn't expecting to like this book but the characters and the story are so well thought out and polished that I fell right into the pages and didn't want to leave. 

The Novice is the story of Fletcher, a fifteen year old boy from a little village where he isn't regarded as anything special. However, when his little mountain town of Pelt opens its gates to trade one day the town plays host to a most unsuspecting guest. Rotter is an old army man and from his days in the military he has a whole arsenal of unique things to sell, one of these things being the diary of a late Battlemage. It is this diary that opens Fletchers eyes to what he could truly be and when one thing leads to another he finds himself enrolling at Vocans Academy, a school for those with the ability to summon demons. From this point Fletcher is thrust into a world he never imagined he would be a part of and in the middle of a war between the races no less. With dwarves, elves, humans and orcs all at each others throats it is make or break time for Fletcher and his new friends. Can Fletcher be anything other than a blacksmith from a small town?

There is something about this book that hooks you in from page one! With strong Middle Earth vibes and Hogwarts feels The Novice has easily become one of my all time favourite fantasy books. It is filled to the brim with twists and turns, characters that make you smile and others than make you want to slap them. You get to see Fletcher become something he never thought he could be, important. It is one of those books that I don't want to say too much about in fear of spoiling it for those of you who haven't read it yet but here is what I will say. I haven't loved a friendship like this since Hermione, Ron and Harry and the story kept me guessing from the very beginning. The world of demons Taran creates in enthralling and kept me hooked from the first page right up until the last in book 3. 

Overall this book in beautifully crafted and unique. There isn't a moment throughout the whole book where you aren't cheering Fletcher and his misfit group of friend on and the relationship between Ignatius and Fletcher made me smile from start to finish. I adored this book and if you haven't read this series yet what are you waiting for? Be gone with you and read The Novice!! 

REVIEW: Darkmere

by Helen Maslin

Pages: 368 paperback
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 6th August 2015
ISBN: 9781910002346
Received From:  Chicken House


A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer.

Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together - but instead, she's drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house. And whose curse now hangs over them all.


I started reading Darkmere almost two years ago but for some reason couldn't get into it. However, when I was having a bit of a clean I found it at the back of my bookshelf and thought I would give it another go. WHY DID I EVER STOP READING THIS?!?! I don't know what was wrong with me back in 2015 but I was obviously having a bad week because Darkmere is insane! I was hooked from the first chapter and by the half way mark it had me properly spooked. So as my mother always says, better late than never, here is my review of Darkmere

This book follows two very different girls at very different times as they find themselves at Darkmere Castle. Firstly, and predominantly, Kate. Kate unsuspectedly finds herself part of the cool group at her new school but when the hottest boy at Denborough Park invites her to spend the summer with his friends at his castle (yes I said castle) she doesn't realise her life is about to get flipped upside down. Secondly we have Elinor, a young woman who through unforeseen evens finds herself lady of Darkmere Castle decades before Kate and her friends are even born. Both girls have to discover the hard way the true nature of their lords of Darkmere and in hand find themselves on a path that will interlink the past with the present as both Kate and Elinor fight for their lives and the lives of the people they hold most dear. 

There is a real sense of the past repeating itself with this book and I found it rather clever the way in which the writer connects these two girls and the people around them. There is a strong and rich history to the foundation of this story and a mix of characters that you will either love or hate! However, the thing I liked the most about this book was the way in which the castle spoke to its inhabitance, the way the deeds of the past affected the people of the present and how both set of characters unwittingly became one. 

There was a real spook factor to this book and you will not find me visiting any castles or isolated beaches any time soon! The story was compelling and had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. It had me wanting to know what was going to happen next, hoping for a happy ending and at one point wanting to give Leo a mighty good slap. Overall though this is one of those books that was thoroughly entertaining and would recommend it to anyone! Although maybe not is you plan on reading this book on the beach... I probably wouldn't recommend that at all.

26 May 2017

REVIEW: One Italian Summer

by Keris Stainton

Pages: 288 paperback
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
ISBN: 9781471406386
Received From: Hot Key Books


It's been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie's dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer's here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy - but what's it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms - the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was ...  
With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again - gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with - or so she thinks. What's going to happen this time? What's more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky - Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn't know how she fits in any more.  
Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?


This book made me so happy I don't even know where to begin! It is the perfect book for summer with its picturesque backdrop of Rome and it's will they won't they romances. One Italian Summer is the first Keris Stainton book I've read and if this is anything to go by I'm off out to get the rest of her books right now! It was effortless and charming from the very start and I didn't want to put it down.

One Italian Summer is the story of Milly, the middle child in a family thats holding on by its finger tips. After their fathers death Milly, Elyse and Leonie have to find a way to live with the heartbreak of loosing the most important man in their lives because as much as it feels like everything is falling apart life keeps on going. However, with a family wedding this summer the girls get whisked away to Rome, where family comes together, love interests are around almost every corner (normally kissing someone else) and Milly and her sisters have a chance to really heal.

This book got me right in the feels guys! I mean I'm a proper daddy's girl so any book like this was going to choke me up but there was something about the way in which Keris Stainton writes that drags you into the page and makes you feel every word. There was a genteelness to One Italian Summer that felt effortless to read and the characters are all so incredibly captivating that you couldn't help but fall in love with them right along side Rome.

One Italian Summer feels like a movie, you can imagine the ups and downs, the will they wont they romances and the sadness behind the characters all playing out on screen in glorious technicolor. Maybe it's just me but when a book translates like that when reading I find them all the more engaging, which is a testament to the writer. The story is full of highs and lows, a wedding, nights under the stars, ice cream and even a mini road trip that will make you swoon.

Overall this book is one of my all time favourite summer reads, I would put it atop of any must reads  list for the beach and with the sun now finally starting to show its face it is the perfect time do crack open One Italian Summer and immerse yourself in Milly's story. You wont regret it! 

24 May 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #20

by Sarah Mlynowski

Publisher: Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408343869


Sydney Aarons is leaving her Manhattan townhouse for a summer backpacking around Europe with her best friend, Leela. They're visiting London, France, Italy, Switzerland and everywhere in between - it's going to be the trip of a lifetime. 
BUT... The trip gets off to a bad start when Leela's ex-boyfriend shows up on their flight out of JFK. When they touch down in London, Leela Instagrams their every move in the hope Matt will come and find them... Which he does, along with the most gorgeous guy Sydney has ever seen. 
Will Sydney's summer fling last the distance? And what will happen when they all head home?


I'm actually super excited about this one as it actually just landed on my doorstep a few days ago. I have a few books ahead of it on the TBR pile but I'll hopefully get around to it soon :) P.S. I now have a blog Instagram!!! Go check it out <3

What is your #WaitingOnWednesday this week? Comment below as I'm excited to see what everyone else is looking forward to!