Book Review: The Unadjusteds – Marisa Noelle

Book Review: The Unadjusteds – Marisa Noelle

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-14T223658.642
Release Date:
November 1st 2019
Publisher: Write Plan
Pages: 314
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository.  Amazon.
Source: The author kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Silver Melody lives in a world where 80% of the population has modified their DNA. Known as the altereds, those people now possess enhancements like wings, tails, and increased strength or intelligence. Although Silver’s parents created the nanite pill used to deliver these genetic modifications, Silver is proud of her unadjusted state.

However, when the president declares all unadjusteds must take a nanite, Silver has no choice but to flee the city with her father and some friends to prevent the extinction of the unadjusteds.

With Silver’s mother in prison for treason, Silver’s father is the unadjusteds’ only hope at finding a cure. But time is running out as Silver’s father is captured by the president’s almost immortal army. Vicious hellhounds are on Silver’s trail, and her only chance to recover her father involves teaming up with a new group of unlikely friends before all humanity is lost.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-14T223454.977As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I was dying to know more. The concept really intrigued me – a world where the majority of the population have altered their DNA? It was such a fascinating idea. When I picked up the book I completely fell in love with this world and these characters, a unique and engaging tale, one that is perfect for fans of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Emily Suvada’s This Mortal Coil.

The story follows Silver Melody, a young girl living in a dystopian future where the majority of people have taken nanite pills to alter their DNA. Silver’s parents are the inventors of these pills and after some people die from taking them Silver’s mother refuses to make them and is taken as a political prisoner. When President Bear announces that all unadjusteds are now required to take nanite pills, Silver knows she has to flee, but with a price on her head and hellhounds closing in on her – will she survive?

The Unadjusteds throws you in right in the middle of the action and doesn’t stop till the very end of the book. It’s a fast paced read and as the tension mounted I found myself turning the pages quicker and quicker to find out what was going to happen next. The ending was a bit of a surprise but the cliffhanger has definitely made me hopeful that their might be a sequel in the works.

The world is really fascinating in The Unadjusteds and I loved seeing all the genetic modifications. Fairy wings, impenetrable skin, invisibility and everything in between. I also really liked the mix of politics and action, it added another layer to this cleverly executed story. It also really delves into the themes of technology and greed – with nanite pills curing so many known diseases, humanity takes it one step further by beginning to alter their DNA – but at what cost?

Silver is a really interesting main character, she’s strong willed, determined to succeed and sticks by her beliefs to remain unadjusted. I really liked her as a protagonist and I enjoyed seeing her character develop as she tries to survive. There is also quite an interesting love triangle in the story, it’s a nice addition to the story without taking away from the main plot. It was fascinating to watch Silver attempt to understand her feelings on top of everything else that’s going on. She’s certainly a powerful main character, and one I was rooting for the whole way.

If you’re looking for a fast paced, fresh take on the dystopian novel, The Unadjusteds should definitely be your next read. A compulsively readable book that will definitely leave you wanting more from this world.
4 stars

Backlist Bookathon TBR!

Backlist Bookathon TBR!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-14T013018.610

I saw this readathon pop up on Twitter and thought it sounded like a really fun way to really kick off my reading for 2020. The readathon is lasting a month, starting on the 15th of January. I’m trying to do this as well as read all the books on my January TBR, so I’m not sure I’ll hit all the prompts, but I’m going to try my best. If you want to find out more about the readathon, you can check out the Twitter here!

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224236.808
Read a title published before January 2020

I got The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware for Christmas and I’m dying to read it so figure this would be the perfect opportunity.

Copy of book cover (50)
Read an older anticipated release 

Bloodchild by Anna Stephens was pretty much my most anticipated sequel of 2019 and I have no idea why I haven’t picked it up yet. Definitely a high priority.

book cover (49)

Read a book that’s been on your TBR at least six months
Finale by Stephanie Garber has been on my TBR for ages and I still haven’t gotten around to it yet so I would definitely love to get to this one.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224212.909

Read a book you have been avoiding because it’s an older backlist title
I’m not avoiding it but I couldn’t think of a book I was avoiding. Stormtide is a book I really want to get to so thought I would pop it in here.

book cover - 2019-04-03T110151.500
Read, reread or completely unhaul a book you’re still not sure you want on your shelf

For this I’m going for Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh – I’ve heard kind of mixed things and I’m not sure if I’ll like this one so I’d love to get to it and know for sure.

book cover - 2019-04-16T211642.383
Read a book you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to for some reason – no excuses this time!

Crowfall by Ed McDonald was one of my high priority reads for 2019 that I didn’t get to – definitely looking to remedy that as soon as possible.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224151.097
Read the book that’s been on your TBR the longest

Truthwitch probably hasn’t been on my TBR the longest but it has been on there quite a while and I would love to get started on this series because it sounds amazing.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224134.920
Read a book you’ve been avoiding that intimidates you

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I loved The Handmaid’s Tale so so much and I’ve sort of been putting this off in case I don’t like it, because honestly I think it will break my heart if I don’t.

Copy of book cover (43)
Re
ad a book you’ve been avoiding because of mixed/bad reviews

These Rebel Waves by Sarah Raasch. I’ve heard mixed things, some saying it’s not quite what it makes itself out to be. I’ve never read anything by this author so I’d be interested to finally get around to this one.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-13T224224.847
Read a book that was a gift or recommendation you’re not sure you’ll like

I was gifted a copy of The Family Upstairs and I’m not massively into crime fiction so I’m not sure if this will be for me but I’m excited to give it a go!

So those are the books I would love to get to for Backlist Bookathon. If you’re participating I’d love to see your TBR, and if you’ve read any of these I’d love to know what you thought. 

2019 Reading Survey!

2019 Reading Survey!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-12T160123.694
This was a really fun survey I did in 2018 so I thought I would bring it back again for 2019. I originally got this from the lovely TV Addicted Bookworm!

Number of books read: 108
Number of rereads: 7
Pages Read: 33, 990
Genre you read most: Fantasy


Copy of book cover (40)1. Best book you read in 2019?

This is definitely the worst question, there are so many books that I really truly adored so I find it difficult to pick just one, but one of the read stand outs for me was Sanctuary by V. V. James. It was a brilliant story and I can’t wait to reread it.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-12T155755.8442. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?
I must admit to being a little disappointed in From the Earth to the Shadows by Amanda Hocking. I totally loved the first book in the duology and gave it five stars, but this ended up only being a 3 star read.

Copy of book cover (59)3. Most surprising book you read (in a good or bad way)?
This has to be Daisy Jones and the Six. It’s definitely not the kind of book I would normally pick up it was an amazing read and I’m so keen to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo now.

Copy of book cover (56)4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?
It would probably have to be Night Film by Marisha Pessl. That book completely blew me away and I’ve recommended it to so many people. It has something for everyone and it was just such a clever story.

Copy of book cover (27)5. Best series you started in 2019?
An Illusion of Thieves is probably one of my favourites. I got completely swept up in the world and I’m dying to read more of the series. Book two comes out in a few weeks and it’s number one on my priority list.

Copy of book cover (12)6. Best Sequel?
For me the best sequel has to be Limited Wish by Mark Lawrence. I totally adored book one and didn’t see how he could possibly top it, but Limited Wish was a terrific read from start to end. I just have to get cracking on Dispel Illusion now!

Copy of book cover (90)7. Best Series Ender?
I once again didn’t manage to finish that many series in 2019 (one of my goals for 2020 is to get reading those final books), but I really loved The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I thought it was great end to the series and definitely lived up to the hype.

book cover (98)8. Favourite new author you discovered in 2019?
I think it would have to be M.W. Craven. I read both The Puppet Show and Black Summer last year and I’m definitely going to be picking up more of his books in the future because they are definitely some of my new favourite crime reads.

wicked saints9. Favourite cover of 2019?
I am completely obsessed with the cover for Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. I adored the story within too but I really thought the cover was stunning.

book cover (41)10. A book you can’t believe it took you so long to pick up?
This has to be The Poppy War. It’s been sitting on my shelf since it was first released and I never bothered picking it up. I decided on a whim to give it a go and devoured it in a few days and it was an instant five star read, only wish I’d picked it up sooner.

Copy of book cover (6)11. Which book made you cry in 2019?
As Far as the Stars by Virginia Macgregor. It was such a heartbreaking and beautifully told story.

book cover (45)12. Most action packed/unputdownable book you read in 2019?
I found Aurora Rising really action packed and difficult to put down. It was such a great adventure story and I’m dying to know what happens next.

Copy of book cover (80)13. Book you read in 2019 you’re likely to re-read in 2020?
I read Ninth House and loved it but it was quite a complex tale so I think I might have to reread it before the next instalment comes out so I can remember everything.

Copy of book cover (30)14. Best book from outside your comfort zone?
I really enjoyed Aphrodite Made Me Do It. It’s a poetry collection and not something I would typically pick up but I found it a really beautiful and inspiring read.

Copy of book cover (56)15. Shortest and longest book you read in 2018?
Shortest book was Quick by Mark Lawrence (a short story at 12 pages) and longest was Night Film by Marisha Pessl at 624 pages.

book cover116. Book that shocked you most?
The Silent Treatment by Alex Michaelides, it has a shock twist you will never in a million years see coming.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.25017. Best debut you read?
Without a doubt The Furies by Katie Lowe. This has become one of my favourite books of all time and it was such a compelling story.

book cover (39)18. Most vivid world building/setting?
I loved the world in Shadowscent: Darkest Bloom, it had such a unique and interesting magic system.

Copy of book cover (58)19. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?
The Princess and the Fangirl. It was so nice to see the characters from Geekarella again, the romance was SO CUTE and I loved all the geeky/fandom references.

book cover (49)20. One book you didn’t get to in 2019 that is first priority in 2020?
I really need to get to Finale by Stephanie Garber, honestly can’t believe I haven’t read it yet.

21. One thing you hope to accomplish in 2020?
I want to work on using Instagram more, I would love to read more books and also get better at scheduling posts in advance.

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-05T203428.948

22. A 2020 release you’ve read already and recommend?
The God Game by Danny Tobey. A dark and sinister mystery about a group of kids who start playing a game that can kill you. It’s like an episode of Black Mirror and complete unputdownable.

 

Book Review: The Deathless Girls – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book Review: The Deathless Girls – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-11T144551.170
Release Date:
September 19th 2019
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 304
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this book in Waterstones
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…

Review

book cover - 2019-05-01T094307.932When I first heard that Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s YA debut would be based on the Brides of Dracula I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book. I love Dracula and all things related, and his brides are characters are definitely characters I would love to see more of. The story follows twin sisters Lil and Kizzy as their lives are ripped away from them and they become slaves of the vicious Boyar Valcar. As the harsh reality of their new life sets in they hear about the infamous Dragon, a bloodthirsty ruler who takes girls as gifts. When Kizzy is taken to the Dragon, Lil along with the help of her new friend Mira, must fight to save her sister.

The Deathless Girls is a really beautiful and engaging take on the Brides of Dracula. It’s a compelling tale and I found it so easy to fall into this story of evil rulers and bloodthirsty monsters. I had sort of expected this story to be about the lives of the vampires, but instead it is focused on the story that leads to them becoming the deathless girls. It wasn’t quite what I had thought it was going to be, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Hargrave’s writing is incredibly beautiful and I’ve really enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read previously – The Deathless Girls is no exception. It’s a cleverly plotted tale and I really liked going on this adventure with the characters. I similarly thought the characters were really interesting and complex – Kizzy is the beautiful one is often in the limelight, with Lil being in her shadow. I liked seeing the dynamics between the two sisters and watching them grow as characters as they race to the Dragon’s castle.

I’m not particularly a big romance person but I really enjoyed the romance in this story. I thought it was really well executed – the tentative, nervous beginning of the relationship to something much stronger. The Deathless Girls has some dark themes and also explores quite a wide range of topics. It’s a clever and intense story, one I think a lot of readers will really fall in love with. If you’ve read Hargrave’s other works too I think you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.
4 stars

Book Review: Blood Countess – Lana Popovic

Book Review: Blood Countess – Lana Popovic

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-09T231125.490
Release Date:
January 28th 2020
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Báthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancé, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too.

Review

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-09T230850.338As soon as I heard the premise of this book I was dying to read it. A YA historical novel about Elizabeth Bathory? Where do I sign up!? Blood Countess is the gripping tale of a young girl named Anna Darvulia, who’s life becomes tangled with that of infamous Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Starting out as a scullery maid in the castle, Anna quickly becomes her chambermaid and friend and as they spend more and more time together Anna finds herself completely under the spell of the countess – but how much of what Anna sees is an act and Anna soon learns Elizabeth will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

This dark, addictive story is one that I completely flew through. It’s a very compelling story one of love, friendship, murder and revenge. Popovic sets quite a quick pace and the story definitely ramps up the tension as the plot thickens. I loved the vivid 17th Century setting, Popovic’s writing really brought the time period to life and I fell in love with the isolated castles and ornate ballrooms of this story.

The thing that really made this story for me is the characters. Anna is a fascinating protagonist, she’s a kind and loyal girl – she’s trying to provide and protect her family and it’s so interesting watching her fall under the spell of the Countess, attempting to justify her actions and understand who she is under the surface. Similarly Elizabeth is a brilliant character, she’s deeply flawed, manipulative and power hungry. Blood Countess really gives you the opportunity to delve deep into the two characters and get to know them. It made for a truly addictive and exciting read, and one I enjoyed from beginning to end.

Blood Countess is a gripping, bloody tale with brilliant characters and plenty of atmosphere. If you’re looking for a binge-worthy story you won’t be able to put down, this is definitely one to pick up.
4 stars

Waiting on Wednesday: One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Waiting on Wednesday: One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-07T222031.961
Synopsis

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

Thoughts

Copy of book cover - 2020-01-07T221455.371Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday! This week I’m talking about the newest release by Karen M. McManus. One of Us Is Next is the sequel to One of Us Is Lying, the YA thriller that so many people loved. I’ve read both One of Us Is Lying and her other thriller Two Can Keep A Secret and while they weren’t my favourite reads of all time, I found them both to be quite addictive page turners. One of Us Is Lying isn’t the sort of book I would have thought would have a sequel, so I’m quite looking forward to reading it and finding out what direction she takes the story in. If you enjoy twisty turny stories with big shock endings, her books are definitely worth a read. One of Us Is Next was actually published yesterday on January 7th, so the book is out now from Penguin Books!

2020 Reading Resolutions!

2020 Reading Resolutions!

BOOK REVIEW - 2020-01-07T220004.876.png
I did a post rounding up the resolutions I put in place for last year and thought it might be fun to do it again this year. I didn’t manage to complete all my resolutions last year but I’m hopeful 2020 will be better!

Screenshot 2020-01-07 at 21.48.57
1. Read 120 books

In 2018 I managed 142 books so I thought for 2019 I would up it to 150 – I ended up only reading 108, a new job and less commuting time meant I wasn’t getting as much reading time each day. I’m setting my Goodreads Challenge at 120 which I’m hoping is doable and maybe I’ll even manage to read a few more than that.

2. Read more backlist books
Being a book blogger it often feels like you are always focused on the new and upcoming releases and my current TBR is massive so I would really love to read more of my backlist titles and get to some of those titles I just haven’t gotten around to yet. I’d love to really focus on finishing some series that I’ve started and just haven’t finished yet.

Screenshot 2020-01-07 at 21.52.42
3. Catalogue and reduce my TBR

This was partly a resolution for last year but I would love to have a spreadsheet tracking all the books I currently own and work out how many I have that are unread and reduce that number by the end of the year. I know it will be in the hundreds so I would love to maybe bring in a few less books this year and really knock that number down. I’m midway though cataloguing at the moment, so completing the first part is definitely achievable!

Screenshot 2020-01-02 at 22.23.06
4. Improve my Netgalley Ratio

I think I’m always going to struggle with getting my Netgalley ratio higher – it’s currently sitting at 46% and I have three reviews to submit for books I’ve read. I would love to end 2020 with it at least about 60%, if not at that sought after 80%.

5. Revamp my blog and post more frequently
This isn’t so much a reading as blogging resolution but I would love to give my blog a spring clean, maybe create some new logos and work on making sure to post at least a few times every week as I often find if things get hectic my amount of posts drop and I’m determined that won’t happen this year. I would also love to get better at posting more frequently on Instagram too.

6. A pound a book
I saw a few people talking about this on Twitter but I’m thinking of having a money jar and putting £1 in every time I read a book and this would be money put aside to buy new titles, instead of me buying books whenever, I could only get a book when I had enough in the jar. I’d love to stick to this but I know it probably won’t happen. I might even let the money accumulate and then go on a shopping spree in December!

So those are my 2020 reading resolutions. If you’ve set any resolutions I’d love to know what they are and if you have tips for achieving any of these I’d love to know that too!