Book Review: Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Book Review: Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Release Date:
April 4th 2019
Publisher: Ink Road
Pages: 375
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this at NYALitFest
Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Review

book cover - 2019-04-03T110806.863Last year I read Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman and completely fell in love with the characters and the beautifully written tale. When I heard Summer Bird Blue was going to be published in the UK I snapped up a copy straight away. The story follows Rumi, a young girl who loses her sister in a car crash. Her mother, consumed with grief sends her to live with her aunt in Hawaii over the summer and there Rumi has to learn to cope with her grief and find the music that was so important to her and her sister.

This is such a unique, beautifully told story about family, friendship and grief. The story very much focuses in on Rumi as she tries to figure out how to live her life without her sister. It was well executed and I enjoyed seeing Rumi make friends with next door neighbour Kai and find a way back to the music that she loves so much.

Starfish was a five star read for me and part of the reason for that was the realistic characters. The characters in Summer Bird Blue are very realistic and well fleshed out, but I didn’t connect with them in the same way I did with Starfish. I really enjoyed the story, but it didn’t take my breath away like the previous book.

The story is incredibly emotional and I love the beautiful Hawaiian setting. I also loved that Bowman could so easily have introduced a romance between Rumi and Kai and instead have them remain friends. The story touches on a lot of incredibly important issues – not just grief but finding yourself, relationships and what it means to be a family. It isn’t a particularly light book, the story is quite a heavy one, but it’s executed extremely well.

While I really enjoyed it this book just didn’t blow me away, but I know Akemi Dawn Bowman fans will be overjoyed to read another gorgeous book from her. If you’re looking for a story that will keep you turning the pages but will also give you a lump in your throat, you should definitely pick up Summer Bird Blue.

3 stars

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Mage – Garth Nix

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Mage – Garth Nix

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Synopsis

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .

Thoughts

41951611I CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK. Garth Nix is definitely an author that I don’t talk about enough on this blog – but that’s all going to change now. I’d pretty much credit Garth Nix and J.K. Rowling with my love of reading. I read the Abhorsen Series when I was young and that pretty much started my life long love with fantasy. Shade’s Children is one of my absolute favourite books and I’ve read Sabriel so many times my copy is barely still in one piece. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to a couple of signings that Garth Nix has done and he was always lovely and my signed copies are some of my most prized possessions. I’m so excited to read his first take on adult fantasy and this story just sounds brilliant. This has definitely become one of my most anticipated releases for 2019 and I’m obsessed with the cover. Angel Mage is publishing October 1st 2019 from Gollancz.

Interview: Adrienne Young Author of Sky in the Deep

Interview: Adrienne Young Author of Sky in the Deep

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Release Date:
April 1st 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.

Synopsis

grhwoigwPart Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Interview

1. For those who haven’t read Sky in the Deep yet can you sum it up in three words?

Stark. Brutal. Emotional.

2. What inspired you to write a book about Vikings?

The original inspiration for SKY IN THE DEEP was the sibling story, but after I started writing it, it began to take on this very Nordic vibe. I really loved the direction it was going but hadn’t really planned on it. It was like a kind of surprise even to me.

3. What was the writing process like for the book, and how did it compare to writing The Girl the Sea Gave Back?

I wrote SKY IN THE DEEP in a feverish sprint, so inspired by the characters that I literally worked around the clock until I had a draft of it. It was a really fast, easy story for me to tell which is not how it always goes and TGTSGB is a great example of that. I really struggled with SEA for a lot of reasons and had to push through a lot of challenges that I didn’t meet with SKY. It was really difficult at times but I feel like I definitely came out the other side as a stronger writer. 

4. How much research did you do whilst writing the book?

I did a ton of research to build this world, and that’s actually one of my very favorite parts of the creative process. I get lost in that stage and often find myself struggling to decide what to use because I find it so interesting. I had an entire notebook full of notes for SKY and could have gone even further with it because I was just really enraptured by the culture and history I was studying. 

5. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

To hang in there! I felt very alone when I was younger and also very misunderstood. If I could send a message to myself at sixteen, I would tell myself to hold on, that my time is coming.

6. What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

I absolutely loved BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough. It’s a historical-inspired novel in verse and I was taken completely by surprise at how much I was impacted by it and I am constantly recommending it to people. 
 
7. What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a new YA fantasy called FABLE that is coming out in the US fall 2020! It’s a very different world from SKY IN THE DEEP but there is a lot in that story that I think SKY readers will love. 
 
8. And lastly could you recommend a great book you’ve read recently?

I recently read FINALE, the conclusion to Stephanie Garber’s CARAVAL series and it was amazing!

About Adrienne:

 

16640489YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK (9/3/19) & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

A Game of Booksathon TBR!

A Game of Booksathon TBR!

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I’m starting this a little late as I only just discovered this brilliant Game of Thrones themed readathon from Noura over at Perks of Being Noura. I love all things Game of Thrones so I thought this would be the perfect readathon to challenge myself to get some of those great big fantasy tomes off my TBR.

The readathon runs the whole month of June and you can find out all the details here. There are 11 prompts as well as the option to read the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I’m skipping this because I’ve read the series a few times).

I’m hoping I don’t burn myself out reading too many fantasy books but a lot of these I can use for multiple prompts, and I can always swap them out for something shorter – here goes!

The Game of Thrones: First book in a series/trilogy
Lost Gods – Micah Yongo
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House Targaryen: Book with a mythical creature/dragons
Stormtide – Den Patrick
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Daenerys: Book featuring a strong female character
The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang
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Westeros: Book set in a fictional place
The Wolf – Leo Carew
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House Tyrell: A book with a green cover or a plant on it
The Girl King – Mimi Yu
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House Stark: A book with family dynamics or siblings
The Deathless – Peter Newman
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House Lannister: Book with a red cover
Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff
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House Greyjoy: Book with pirates or a story set at sea
These Rebel Waves – Sarah Raasch
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House Baratheon: Book with a king/queen or royalty
Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan
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A Clash of Kings: Read a sequel
Soul of the Sword – Julie Kagawa
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Wildlings: Read a paranormal book
Perfectly Preventable Deaths – Dierdre Sullivan
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So those are the books I’m hoping to tackle for the readathon. If you’ve read any I’d love to know what you thought of them (and which ones to prioritise). If you’re participating I’d love to know what you’re planning to read!

 

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag!

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I really enjoyed doing the end of the year freak out tag at the end of 2018 so when I spotted this mid year post from Priyasha at Books and Co I thought I would give it a go!

Screenshot 2019-06-02 at 12.23.37I honestly have no idea how it can be June already. I’m happy to say I’m doing okay with my 2019 Reading Challenge – I am hoping to push myself to read 150 books but we’ll see how that goes. My other challenges (get my Netgalley to 80% and buy less books) aren’t going as well, but we’ve still got another six months of the year to go.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019
This is such a hard question because I hate just picking one book, but I really loved Aurora Rising.
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2. Best sequel of 2019 so far?
It’s got to be The Wicked King – that book almost killed me.
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3. New release you haven’t read yet but really want to?
I picked up a copy of Finale when it came out but I haven’t got the chance to pick it up yet.
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4. Most anticipated release for the rest of 2019?
There are so many that I’m excited for – Angel Mage by Garth Nix is definitely one of them but I think it’s got to be Crowfall – I’m dying to find out what happens!
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5. Biggest disappointment?
For this it’s definitely Vassa In the Night. I thought this was going to be a gorgeous story and I really didn’t get on with it at all.
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6. Biggest surprise?
This is definitely Daisy Jones & The Six – it’s really not the kind of book I would normally read and I picked it up on a whim but I absolutely loved it.
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7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you)?
I really fell in love with Shadowscent by P. M. Freestone. It was a cracking debut and I’m so excited to read more from her.
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8. Newest fictional crush?
I don’t really do fictional crushes so for this I picked my favourite couple – I loved the romance between Lyra and Vesper in A. G. Howard’s Stain.
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9. New favourite characters?
I love Nick and his friends in One Word Kill – Simon, Mia, John and Elton are a great bunch and I love watching them save the world.
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10. Book that made you cry?
So far I don’t think any books have made me cry but I definitely had a lump in my throat reading As Far As the Stars.
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11. Book that made you happy?
I was so happy reading The Princess and the Fangirl. I love Ashley Poston’s characters and it was great to see Darien and Elle from Geekarella make an appearance.
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12. Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?
I don’t think I’ve actually seen any movie adaptations so far. I am currently watching the TV adaptation of Good Omens though and it’s brilliant.
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13. Favourite review you’ve written this year?
I was really pleased with my review of The Familiars. It’s such a beautiful book and I really wanted to do it justice.
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14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year?
I received a copy of Perfectly Preventable Deaths and I honestly just love that cover!
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15. Books you need to read by the end of the year?
I honestly have a list as long as my arm but I would just like to try and get my TBR down a good bit (like that will ever happen), but I really want to read Night Film!
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This tag was so fun! I’m not sure who has done it and who hasn’t so if you’re interested in doing it consider yourself tagged! 

Book Review: Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence

Book Review: Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence

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Series:
Impossible Times #2
Release Date: May 28th 2019
Publisher: 47 North
Pages: 222
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The author kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance.

It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel.

When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally.

Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.

Game on.

Review

41771517Limited Wish is the second instalment in the Impossible Times series. The first – One Word Kill was a completely addictive story and I couldn’t put it down. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of Limited Wish and I picked it up straight away. After just a few pages I was completely sucked in again and this time the stakes are even higher.

Limited Wish picks up not long after the events of One Word Kill and drops us right into the action of Nick at Cambridge University. The story follows Nick as he attempts to figure out what’s causing the time echoes that are happening around him, and solve the problem of a paradox. The story is full to the brim with action, adventure and excitement.

Mark Lawrence has yet to write a book I haven’t completely loved and Limited Wish is definitely one of my favourites. I loved returning to the characters we met in the first book – Nick and his gang as they attempt to stop the bad guys, both in real life and in Dungeons and Dragons. There’s all brilliant characters but I particularly love Simon and Mia. It’s fascinating to see the characters grow, particularly after the events of the first book in the series.

The story is full of science, time travel and mathematics. It’s incredibly well plotted and feels realistic whilst also featuring future selves, time travel and a whizz kid mathematician. I loved the mix of science fiction with teenagers just trying to make it through a party and talk to girls. It was such an enjoyable read and I definitely didn’t want it to end.

Limited Wish is full of heart and you’ll definitely grow attached to the wonderful characters. The fast paced plot also kept me guessing and there were quite a few twists that I definitely wasn’t expecting. This is absolutely a new favourite and if you haven’t had the chance to pick the series up yet, now is the perfect time. Book three in the series Dispel Illusion is coming in November so you’ll definitely want to be all caught up by then – this series is one you don’t want to miss.
5 stars

April Book Haul!

April Book Haul!

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I’m managing to squeeze my April book haul in on the last day of May – hopefully I’ll catch up on reviews and other posts at the beginning of June! April was another great haul month and I have sixteen new books to rave about!

Books From Publishers:

1. The Kingdom – Jess Rothenbergbook cover - 2019-04-03T110403.651
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

2. My Secret Lies With You – Faye Bird44127681
Three close friends… Two unforgettable summers… One girl’s deepest secret…

Alys appeared last summer, and then she vanished without a trace.

Ifan fell in love with her. Hannah hated her. And Marko regrets what they did.

This summer Cait is new in town, and a girl has been reported missing. Cait needs to uncover the truth. What happened last summer? And who is Alys?

3. The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Postonbook cover (43)
The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after. 

4. Beauty Sleep – Kathryn Evans42243323
Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope – Laura was frozen until she could be cured.

But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past… 

5. A Dress For the Wicked – Autumn Krause40220881
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

6. The Furies – Katie Lowebook cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex – led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.

While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals – warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology – the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society – Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance – is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.

7. The Fandom Rising – Anna Day42768840
The heart-pounding sequel to THE FANDOM!

‘I cannot recommend The Fandom highly enough.’ LOUISE O’NEILL

Nate’s time is running out. Violet and Katie re-enter The Gallows Dance to rescue him, but when a rogue fanfiction writer emerges online – determined to put the dys back into dystopia – Alice is the only one with the power to save the story …

8. King of Fools – Amanda Foodybook cover (44)
Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

9. As Far As the Stars – Virginia MacGregor35657726
How do you change what’s already written in the stars? 

Christopher is the sort of guy that no one notices, yet when Air catches sight of him making intricate paper birds in the airport, she can’t look away.
 
But their worlds are about to collide in ways they never expected. Someone they love is on Flight 0217 from London Heathrow. And it’s missing.
 
Convinced that her brother was on a different flight, Air drives them hundreds of miles across the country, on a trip that will change their lives forever.
 
But how do you tell the person you’re falling for that you might just be the reason their life has fallen apart?

Books I Bought:

10. Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson29589074
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. 

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

11. The Quiet At the End of the World – Lauren James32716442
How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

12. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid40554141
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

13. Red Country – Joe Abercrombie19042297
They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . . 

14. Hunted – Megan Spooner24485589
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

15. Release – Patrick Ness31194576
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

16. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncanwicked saints
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

So those are all the books I picked up in April! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, and definitely let me know which books you’ve picked up recently!