Waiting on Wednesday#8: The Wicked King – Holly Black

Waiting on Wednesday#8: The Wicked King – Holly Black

BOOK REVIEW (38)

Synopsis

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Thoughts

book cover (13)This week for Waiting on Wednesday I thought I would rant about how much I am dying to read The Wicked King by Holly Black. For those who aren’t familiar this is the second instalment of The Folk of the Air, the first book being The Cruel Prince. The Cruel Prince has had tons of buzz and pretty much every blogger and booktuber has said how much they love it. I read it in one sitting at the start of the year and it’s still definitely one my favourite books of 2018. I am simply dying to know what is going to happen next and so many people have received ARCS and have been given copies at events that I feel like I might be one of the few people who haven’t read it yet. This is definitely going to be one of the first books I pick up in 2019 and I’m hoping it is going to be worth the wait!

The Wicked King is publishing January 8th 2019 from Hot Key Books.

Book Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

Book Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

BOOK REVIEW (37)Release Date: 8th March 2018
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I received an ARC copy of this at YALC

Synopsis

Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has…

Review

Contemporary YA can be a bit of a hit or miss for me but I thought The Exact Opposite of Okay had a really intriguing premise. After just a few chapters I was completely hooked on this funny and fascinating book. It is without a doubt my most favourite contemporary read ever.

book cover (12)This book is fun, clever and deals with a lot of important issues. (I mean what more could you really ask for?) Izzy is a teenager who is hoping to be a script writer when she’s older. She’s a comic and she’s hilariously funny. When a website surfaces claiming she is a ‘world class whore’ and highlights all the details of her sex life, Izzy is made to feel ashamed of her sex life and struggles to deal with the hateful comments. The book really delves into issues around slut shaming and the differing ways that men and women are treated regarding sex.

I loved everything about this book. I know a lot of the time people will say ‘oh this book is so funny’ but honestly I was laughing so hard at some moments that my boyfriend had to come and check that I was okay. The book is written as if Izzy is writing entries in her blog and I really liked this style. It’s also peppered with references to music and pop culture and they made me love this book even more (especially Dumbledore the dog).

This book is fresh and original and features such a fascinating protagonist. Izzy is sarcastic, brave, stubborn and brilliant and she’s definitely one of my new favourite characters. I loved that the book explored her relationships with her grandmother as well as her relationships with her two best friends, Ajita and Danny. I absolutely flew through this book because I just couldn’t put it down. It deals with important issues in such an interesting way and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Laura Steven writes next.
5 stars

Book Review: SLAY – Kim Curran

Book Review: SLAY – Kim Curran

BOOK REVIEW (36)Release Date: 3rd May 2018
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Meet SLAY – SLAY do two things and they do them well: they play killer music and they slay killer demons.

When Milly, the lonely daughter of a world-famous opera singer, arrives home to discover that her mum has been taken over by something very evil, she finds herself in mortal danger. But the last people she expects to rescue her are the hottest boy band on the planet…

Enter SLAY: playing kickass gigs in the spotlight, and saving the world from demons in the shadows… Suddenly, Milly’s on the road with JD, Tom, Niv, Zek and Connor, racing against the clock to stop the demons who killed her mum… One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a hell of a show!

Review

This is the kind of book that I didn’t know I needed until I read the blurb. JD, Tom, Niv, Zek and Connor make up SLAY, the biggest boy band on the planet (think One Direction). Their fans love their music and the way that they play pop up shows in remote parts of the country. What they don’t know is that the band are secretly demon hunters, ridding the world of those demons possessing humans. When Milly’s mum is taken over by a demon and the band steps in to help, it sends both Milly and the band on a rollercoaster ride.

book cover (11)This book was so fun and exciting. It’s a quick read and I’d definitely recommend it for getting out of reading slumps. It’s that perfect light and fast paced story that’s perfect to while away a few hours or take on holiday with you. The concept was such a fascinating idea and Kim Curran does an excellent job of giving us the chance to get to know the five band members and Milly as they kick ass and save the world. It’s really interesting to see the characters develop, highlighting their friendships and their relationships with Milly as she joins them on the bus.

The book is action-packed with plenty of quick, exciting fighting scenes and there’s some funny moments too (Milly learning to fight is my particular favourite). The book also features quite a bit of Aztec mythology which brought a really interesting layer to the story and is something I really enjoyed about this story.

This is the kind of story that I could see being turned into a really fantastic TV series. It’s fun and heartwarming and this is only the beginning. The band are jetting off to Tokyo in book two and I for one cannot wait!
4 stars

Book Review: Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody

Book Review: Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody

BOOK REVIEW (35)Series: The Shadow Game #1
Release Date: 17th May 2018
Publisher: HQ Stories
Pages: 459
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review

Synopsis

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

Review

I must admit that I bought a copy of Daughter of the Burning City (Amanda Foody’s debut novel) last year and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I’ve heard amazing things and after reading the blurb for her newest book I knew it would be right up my alley.

book cover (10)Ace of Shades follows Enne Salta as she travels to the famous City of Sin in search of her mother. Enne is a proper young lady, well trained in etiquette and manners, but as she delves deeper into the underworld of New Reynes, she’s not sure how much of herself she’s willing to lose.

I absolutely loved this book. I thought the world building was really solid, the story started a little slowly but it really ramped up until I was racing through the final few chapters. I really appreciated the originality of this book, the City of Sin has the different mafia groups and dodgy dealings, but also magical talents, acrobatics and plenty of secrets.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much was the really terrific characters. I loved Enne, she has a tremendous amount of character development as she goes from polite lady to a strong and determined heroine. Likewise I loved Levi, who on the surface seems like any other gang lord and conman but is so much more.

The book definitely throws you right into the action and there’s plenty of big shock reveals and action packed scenes. This book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018, and I’m so glad that it lived up to the hype. I’m now off to read Daughter of the Burning City and lament that King of Fools will not be released until 2019.
5 stars

November Wrap Up!

November Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (34)
November was another great reading month and I read some really terrific books. Now that December is here I’m hoping to squeeze in another bundle of books before the end of the year and make my Goodreads Challenge. In November I read 11 books so let’s dive into what they were!

book cover (6)Harley Quinn: Mad Love – Paul Dini & Pat Cadigan
This is a new novel which describes Harley Quinn’s origin story and really dives into the famous Batman villain. Harley Quinn is one of my favourite characters from the DC Universe so I jumped at the opportunity to read a book written by Harley’s co-creator Paul Dini. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. (5/5 stars)

book cover (7)Dracula – Bram Stoker
I started rereading this around Halloween but didn’t finish it until the first week in November. (It’s huge!). Dracula is one of my favourite classics and I find I enjoy it even more each time I reread it. It has that sense of nostalgia and familiarity that I love. Beautifully written with a compelling story, I couldn’t give Dracula anything less than 5/5 stars.

Untitled design (51)Skyward – Brandon Sanderson
Skyward was my first real outing in a Brandon Sanderson book (I read Snapshot a few months ago but it was only a novella). This was another magnificent read that I just couldn’t put down. I’m definitely now itching to read more from Brandon Sanderson. I participated in the blog tour for this book so if you want to know more of my thoughts you can take a look at that here! (5/5 stars)

Untitled design (93)Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa
Shadow of the Fox was another book that was my first time reading a book by a much loved author. This story is so exciting and engaging and again I’m definitely excited to read more from Julie Kagawa. I also participated in the blog tour for this one so the full review for Shadow of the Fox is here if you want to know more!

book cover (8)Glass Town Wars – Celia Rees
The lovely Andrew over at The Pewter Wolf ran a giveaway for this book and I was lucky enough to win one. This is the newest book from Celia Rees, an author that I completely loved growing up. I enjoyed this one though I found it a little slow in the middle and it didn’t grip me in the same way that Witch Child or Pirates did. (3.5/5 stars)

book cover (9)Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – J. K. Rowling
This old thing. I love J. K. Rowling and I love the Harry Potter world and everything that goes along with it. I did enjoy this book, it was quick paced and it was nice to be back in the world of magic and adventure but honestly this book felt like it was filler. I read it in one sitting but I’m now not even sure I can remember what happened it in and it’s definitely my least favourite of Rowling’s books so far. (3/5 stars)

Untitled design (86)The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
My time reading books by Shirley Jackson has been a bit of a mixed bag. I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle and I gave it 3.5 stars. I read The Missing Girl and gave it 3. I really want to love her work because she writes these strange creepy stories but I hadn’t found one I loved yet. I picked up The Haunting of Hill House after watching the Netflix show and I loved this one. It was everything I was hoping for. It was completely different from the TV show and it is my favourite Shirley Jackson book by far. (4/5 stars)

Untitled design (72)Illuminae – Ami Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING. Illuminae was one of the books I listed on my five star predictions post. Was I right? ABSOLUTELY. I loved the way this was told, it was gripping, a fresh perspective and had the best kick ass characters. I ran out to buy Gemina and immediately started it (I finished it in December but it was brilliant). I can’t believe it took me so long to pick it up because it is definitely a new favourite. (5/5 stars)

Untitled design (97)Mirage – Somaiya Daud
Another book that I adored! (Told you November was an excellent reading month!) I raced through this fresh mix of science fiction and fantasy. I loved the characters and the complex layer of the story. I still find myself thinking about this book and I’ve recommended loads. I’m desperate to read book two and if you fancy reading my full rather rambling review of Mirage, you can check that out here. (5/5 stars)

Untitled design (90)Girl Squads – Sam Maggs
This was a surprise piece of book post that arrived from Quirk Books which tells the story of twenty female friendships from around the world. The stories were really fascinating and it was lovely to read stories of women building each other up and reaching their goals. I did find the narrator a little on the annoying side but overall this was an enjoyable read. (3/5 stars)

Untitled design (76)Grace and Fury – Tracy Banghart
My last read of the month was a quick and fast paced story in which women are treated like second class citizens. The story follows two sisters and it has very Handmaid’s Tale esque vibes. I read it really faced and I enjoyed the differing POV’s between each sister. Some of the plot points felt a little too convenient, but overall it was a fun and interesting read. (4/5 stars)

November was such an excellent reading month! So many of the books I read were 5 star reads and honestly what more could I ask for? If you’ve read any of these let me know yours thoughts and if you had any favourite books in November definitely let me know what they were!

Book Review: The House Swap – Rebecca Fleet

Book Review: The House Swap – Rebecca Fleet

BOOK REVIEW (33)
Release Date: 3rd May 2018
Publisher: DoubleDay
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me this book to review

Synopsis

‘No one lives this way unless they want to hide something.’

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget.

Review

The best suspense thrillers are the ones so twisty you never see it coming, and that’s definitely how I felt about The House Swap. After a tough few years Caroline and Francis are offered a house swap and they accept immediately. The house they come to seems completely empty but as they spend time in this new house Caroline discovers that the person they have swapped with might be much more than they seem.

book cover (5)This book was so dark and intense. It kept me hooked from the first chapter and I honestly couldn’t put it down, staying up way too late on a work night in order to find out what was going to happen next. The book is very atmospheric, building the suspense slowly and really making you second guess yourself.

I absolutely loved the plot of this book, it was different and original and extremely well executed. I really enjoyed Rebecca Fleet’s writing style and found this to be a really enjoyable and entertaining read. Caroline and Francis are really fascinating characters and I really liked seeing them react to this sinister situation.

I love a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing and that was definitely how I felt about The House Swap. I had no idea what was going to come next and there were plenty of twists and turns. If you’re looking for a thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, look no further than The House Swap.
4 stars

Books I Want To Read Before the End of the Year!

Books I Want To Read Before the End of the Year!

BOOK REVIEW (32)
It’s getting to that time of year! How scary is it that 2018 is almost over already? With a little over a month to go before January 1st I still have a ton of books I want to read, and my TBR is no shorter than it was in January. I thought I could make a slightly ambitious list of books I’d love to squeeze in before 2019 begins!
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1. City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty

This has been on my TBR for ages and I know the sequel is coming out in 2019 so I would love to get to it before the end of the year. It sounds like such a brilliant fantasy book that I know I’m going to love it.


book cover (1)2. Gemina – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

So recently I did a post where I predicted books I thought would be five star reads and one of them was Illuminae. I picked it up as part of Tome Topple and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve already picked up a copy of Gemina so I definitely have to continue on with this series ASAP.
state sorrow
3. State of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. Favourite author? Check. Book sounds amazing? Check. I suppose I’m hyping it up a bit in my head but I’m hoping to bite the bullet and read it really soon.


book cover (3)
4. To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
Little Mermaid inspired book? Yes please. I met Alexandra at YALC this year and she was really nice and signed for forever so I definitely want to get to this ASAP because I have a beautiful signed copy calling me from my unread shelf.
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5. Ash Princess – Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess is a book that caught my eye a few months ago and I actually have a Netgalley ARC of it to read too. I’ve heard mixed things about it but it sounds like it would be up my alley so I’d love to get to it soon.


book cover (2)6. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

With me reading and loving Illuminae so much I’m really interested to read Nevernight so I thought I would add this to the list. I know so many people love this series and it has been on my TBR for ages so this is definitely a good excuse to dive in.

Untitled design (98)7. Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
I saw lots of people reading this over Halloween and I really hoped that I would get to it then but it just didn’t happen. I’ve actually never read anything by Seanan McGuire so I’m hoping this will be a good introduction to her work because I really want to try her Wayward Children books.

book cover (4)8. A Shiver of Snow and Sky – Lisa Luddeke
This is another one that I can’t believe I haven’t read yet. It’s a gorgeous book and it sounds incredible – someone please tell me off if I don’t get around to reading this soon because book two is already out and I haven’t even read the first one.
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9. Circe – Madeline Miller

I bought a stunning hardback copy of this when it came out earlier in the year but for some reason I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. I’ve heard some really amazing things so perhaps I can binge read it over the Christmas holidays.
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10. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Another Netgalley E-ARC that I also have since bought a copy of. I’ve seen so many people give this four and five star reviews and I’m honestly so excited to read it. It’s actually a little bigger than I thought it was but I’m really hopeful I can squeeze it in before the end of the year.

So those are the 10 books I’d love to get to before the end of the year! I’m probably being a bit over ambitious because I have review books for January to tackle in December too, but I thought it would be fun to include this in my end of the year wrap up and see how many I ticked off the list! If you’ve read any of these do let me know what you thought and if there’s any you think I should prioritise first!