24 March 2017

REVIEW: Crooked Kingdom

CROOKED KINGDOM
by Leigh Bardugo


Pages: 536 paperback
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
ISBN: 9781780622309
Received From:  

Summary 


Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off the most daring heist imaginable. 
But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're fighting for their lives.  
Double-crossed and badly weakened, they're low on resources, allies and hope. 
While a war rages on the city's streets, the team's fragile loyalties are stretched to breaking point.  
Kaz and his crew will have to make sure they're on the winning side... no matter what the cost.


Review

"Crows remember human faces. They remember people who feed them, who are kind to them. And then people who wrong them."

AAAHHH!!!!! I've read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom back to back and now I have no idea what to do with my life. I do not make this statement lightly and I have NEVER made a statement like this before but I think this duology is of Harry Potter standard. Yep there we go, I said it, Leigh Bardugo is (in my humble opinion) a J.K Rowling level story teller! I have no regrets... but I should probably stop swooning for a moment and get on with it so here is my review;

Crooked Kingdom follows straight on from the end of Six of Crows with our group of misfits making an enemy of one of the most powerful men in Ketterdam. They start the book separated, defeated and lost in they own city but it isn't long before Kaz puts his devious brain to use and comes up with a plan that might just be his most ambitious and dangerous yet! In Six of Crows we saw the crows take on an impossible task but the dangers they came up against are nothing in comparison to what waits for them on the streets of a city they call home. There is more adventure, more risks, more heart break than ever before and their luck might just be running out. 

"Ketterdam is made of monsters. I just happen to have the longest teeth."

Like with my review of Six of Crows I'm not going to go into great detail because I stand by what I said before, that Leigh Bardugo has a way of taking me by surprise! I can not predict what is going to come next and this book is no different. Crooked Kingdom is a story about friendship and loyalty. These characters will do whatever they have to for each other and even when some seem to come across as selfish you know their hearts are always with their crew. 

Overall this book is insanely good! I didn't think it could beat Six of Crows but (at least in my opinion) it was more captivating that its predecessor. Crooked Kingdom BROKE MY HEART! We got to see more of the characters we had grown to love, seeing sides of them we didn't know existed. It is the perfect ending to an incredible story and I couldn't recommend these books more if I tried! 


"No matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together - knives draw, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting."



22 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #11



WINDFALL
by Jennifer E. Smith


Pages: 320
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509831708


Summary 

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 
At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 
As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

PUBLICATION DATE:
4th of May


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






20 March 2017

REVIEW: Six of Crows

SIX OF CROWS
by Leigh Bardugo


Pages: 491 paperback
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: 29th September 2015
ISBN: 9781780622279


Summary 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: 
Break into the notorious Ice Court(a military stronghold that has never been breached) 
Retrieve a hostage(who could unleash magical havoc on the world) 
Survive long enough to collect his reward(and spend it) 
Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first. 

Review

Okay so I'm starting this review with a confession... I have never read a Leigh Bardugo book before. I know, I know, it seems impossible these days but for some reason they have never made it to the top of the TBR pile. HOWEVER, back in October I went to an event in Manchester because one of my favourites Rainbow Rowell was there and I got my first inkling of how awesome Leigh's books really were. So fast forward to now and I fully understand the hype! Six of Crows blew my mind and I could not put it down! I fell in love with the characters and the world Leigh created and I am now ready to pack up my life and move to Ketterdam!

Lets not get ahead of ourselves though, for those of you yet to read Six of Crows these are the basics; Six of Crows in told from multiple POV as a rag-tag group of misfits take on an impossible heist. Their mission if they choose to except is to break into the impenetrable Ice Court, retrieve a very important hostage and make it out again. Throughout the book Kaz and his crew are encountered by a whole host of unimaginable obstacles, one of them being each other, as they try to complete their task and bring home a reward that will change their lives forever. 

Now for the fangirling! Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias and Wylan are all incredible characters that have just as many weaknesses as they do strengths, which in hand makes them completely and utterly and imperfectly perfect! When I first heard about Six of Crows it felt very much like it was all about Kaz but when you read it its about every single member of this crew and the struggles they go through to get to the end of the book. While reading I couldn't help but smile and then cry and then roll my eyes and maybe once or twice scream but that's because the story got to me. It got into my head and my heart and I needed to know what came next. These characters WILL get into your heart and that is the sign of a great story but also a great writer. 

I'm not going to go into all that much detail about the story because I think the thing I loved most about Six of Crows is that fact I could never predict what was going to happen next! The plot twists and turns so often you sometimes wonder which way is up and the surprises come out of nowhere which keeps the reader on their toes from start to end. 

Overall I couldn't get enough of this book! If you haven't read it yet then what are you waiting for? It has everything you could possibly want from a book, it has adventure, star-crossed lovers, dark undertones, humour and a story that will blow your mind. I can not wait to read the second book Crooked Kingdom and get a whole lot more of Kaz Brekker!

17 March 2017

REVIEW: Frogkisser!

FROGKISSER!
by Garth Nix


Pages: 384 Hardback
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Publication Date: 28th February
ISBN: 9781848126015
Received From:  Piccadilly Press/Hot Key Books

Summary 

Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father. 

Review

Okay so this is actually a tricky one to review because there were moments that I really loved but at the same time I felt I was a bit old to be reading it. This is my first Garth Nix book and I can see why everyone adores his books, it had a sense of whimsy about it that constantly kept a smile on my face and even though I felt a little old reading it I couldn't help but notice the nostalgia it bought when reading Nix's take on a fairytale. 

Frogkisser! Is the story of a princess, a princess that instead of being saved by a prince leaves her kingdom behind to become her own savour. Princess Anya's quest starts out as a simple one, to save her sisters "true love" and undoing her evil step-step fathers sorcery. However, once outside of the castle she discovers her quest is much more complicated, it isn't simply about one spell but hundreds and to save her kingdom Anya will have to find the strength to lead her people. 

I am a massive fan of fairytales, I love the magic and the romance and the hidden messages. However, I will be the first to admit that they have one rather obvious trait that connects them and that would be the prince coming to rescue the princess as for some reason she can't do that herself. The thing I love about Frogkisser! is that there are many princes's and many knights but it's Anya who has to save herself. There is a strong message to this book and that's quite simply no matter how hard things seem you have the strength to be anything you want to be if you fight for it. 

Overall I did enjoy this book a great deal and it's one that I think a lot of younger readers will enjoy! There is a strong message, there is magic and whimsey and an emphasis on friendship that made me smile from start to finish. Yes, okay, I struggled a little with the writing style as it is for a younger reader but that doesn't take away from what a good story it was. It is a beautiful book and I recommend it completely. 








15 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #10



GEEKERELLA
by Ashely Poston


Pages: 320 
Publisher: Quirk Books


Summary 

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. 
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again? 
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. 

PUBLICATION DATE:
APRIL 4TH


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






13 March 2017

REVIEW: Passenger

PASSENGER
by Alexandra Bracken


Pages: 496
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Publication Date: April 7th 2016
ISBN: 1786540002
Received From:  Quercus Children's Books


Summary 

In one devastating night, Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles but years from home.


Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods - a powerful family in the Colonies - and the servitude he's known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can't escape and the family that won't let him go. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveller who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods' grasp. But as they get closer to their target, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

Review

Holy Moly! So I love the fact I get to read books and tell you lovely lot what I think but jeepers the books I've been reading so far this year have completely screwed with my emotions and Passenger is no different! This one had me engaged from the very beginning and I was excited to see where it was going to take me. I laughed, I smiled, I cried and I came very close to throwing it across the room at one point. So without further ado here's my review of Passenger by Alexandre Bracken.

Passenger follows the lives of two different characters as their lives become unexpectedly entertained. Protagonist number one is 17 year old Etta Spencer who's life to this point has revolved around her love and passion for music, namely her violin. Protagonist number 2 is 18th century pirate Nicolas Carter who has worked his whole life to prove his worth and earn is right as a captain of his own ship. However, one night changes everything and this 21st century girl finds herself upon Nicolas's ship in the 1700's. Throughout the book the pair start on an adventure to save Etta's mum from the powerful and morally questionable Ironwood family. But as they make their way through the centuries will they be able to hold onto the lives they have worked so hard to build and still save Etta's mum or will time unravel around them and leave them in more danger then ever before?

I think the thing that makes this book so amazing is Etta and Nicolas. They are both so unbelievably strong willed and independent that you can't help but rout for them from the very beginning. The fact that they come from two very different times adds this unique flare to the story that had me smiling from ear to ear. Etta is stubborn and raised in the present where women have as much right to the world as men and the power to do anything they put their minds to. Nicolas was born the bastard son of a slave woman and has had to fight every second of his life for people to look past his parentage and the colour of his skin. However, together they have this amazing bond that strengthens both of them. It doesn't feel like the male protagonist coming to the girls rescue (although that does happen from time to time) it felt like a partnership. They were equals and I adored it. 

As for the story I've never read anything quite like it! I don't get to say this often but it was completely unique for me and I can not wait to crack open book two, Wayfarer. There is this enchanting fantasy woven into the story that delves into the history of our world while staying current and new. It had me wanting to know what was coming next and the writing style flows from page to page seamlessly. I can't say much more because I don't want to spoil it for those of you who haven't read it yet but I will say it had me on tender hooks from the very first chapter. 

Overall I loved this book. It was funny and shocking and made me smile! It has everything a good YA needs from strong protagonists, interesting story arcs, time travel and a book boyfriend to die for. Seriously, where can I get myself a sexy, fiercely protective pirate named Nicolas? If you haven't read this one yet then what are you waiting for? Wayfarer here I come!!




P.S. Because this did come out a year ago I know a lot of people have already read this one but I still don't want to give anything away just in case you haven't gotten around to it. So instead I found the perfect gifs to show my reactions to the last two chapters of Passenger and for those of you who have read it I'm sure these are all you will need to understand the turmoil I was in. 





 

8 March 2017

Waiting On Wednesday #9



DOING IT! LETS TALK ABOUT SEX
by Hannah Witton


Pages: 320 paperback
Publisher: Wren & Rook
ISBN: 1526360039


Summary 

Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships - with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself - is a crucial part of being a teen. It's not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with.

PUBLICATION DATE:
APRIL 6TH

From fairytales last week to sex this week the books I'm excited for so far this year are so varied and it makes me so happy! This is another one I have on my kindle so will hopefully have a review for you around publication date but the hype around this book is real! #DOINGIT

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






3 March 2017

February Round Up

BOOK OF THE MONTH
Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake 




Mini review

Three Dark Crowns is exciting and easy to read. The characters are three-dimensional and easy to connect to. I would recommend this people who love fantasy, strong woman protagonists and old world magic. To me this felt like a nod to folk lore in a completely contemporary way and I couldn't put it down. 


Gif review 

CLICK HERE
for my review of Three Dark Crowns

&

CLICK HERE
for the Q&A I did with Kendare Blake as we chat about Three Dark Crowns



WHAT I READ IN FEBRUARY

8. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (5 stars)
9. Ariadnis by Josh Martin (4 stars)
10. Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (DNF)
11. The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby (5 stars)
12. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)
13. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (5 Stars)
14. Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (3 Stars)


WHAT TO EXPECT IN MARCH 

Reviews 

Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Geekerella by Ashely Poston



1 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #8



TOWARD A SECRET SKY
by Heather Maclean


Pages: 368
Publisher: Blink
ISBN: 0310754747


Summary 


Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.


PUBLICATION DATE:
APRIL 4TH 2017


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