February Book Haul!

February Book Haul!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-24T181442.944.png
There will come a time when I am able to post my wrap ups and my book hauls right at the end of the month and not near the end of the following month. Today is not that day obviously because I have my February book haul for you all. It’s actually a massive haul so I’ll try and keep it short and sweet on each book. As always I’ve split it into books I bought and books from publishers!

From Publishers:

1. Sleep – C. L. Taylor
book cover - 2019-03-24T181054.124I’ve really been getting into adult thrillers and loved Fear by C. L. Taylor. I’ll also be participated in the blog tour for this in April!

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

2. The Ruin of Kings – Jenn Lyons
ruinThis is book one in an all new fantasy series so I’m incredibly excited to read this one.

There are the old stories. And then there’s what actually happens.

Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised.

Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things things, too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins.

Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin isn’t destined to save the empire.

He’s destined to destroy it . . .

3. Slayer – Kiersten White
slayerA kick ass story set in the Buffy universe? Sign me up!

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

4. The Year After You – Nina de Pass
bosdfsrThis emotional and beautifully told stories was one of my favourites in February and you can check out my full review here!

New Years’ Eve, San Francisco. The most promising party of the year ends in a tragic accident. Cara survives. Her best friend, Georgina, doesn’t.

Nine months later, Cara is struggling, consumed by guilt and grief. Her mum decides that packing her off to a Swiss boarding school will be the fresh start Cara needs. But Cara knows that swapping sunshine for snow won’t make a blind bit of difference. Georgina is gone, and nothing will bring her back.

On the plus side, up in the vertiginous Alps, Cara’s old life feels a million miles away. At Hope Hall, nobody knows about her past. And she intends to keep it that way. But her classmates, Ren and Hector, have other ideas. Cara tries to keep her distance, but she’s drawn to the offbeat, straight talking Hector, who understands her grief better than anyone. Her new friends are determined to break down the
walls she has so carefully built up. And, despite it all, Cara wants them to. 

The closer Cara grows to Hector, the more Georgina slips away. Embracing life at Hope Hall means letting go of the past; of her memories of that fatal New Year’s Eve. But Cara’s quite sure she doesn’t deserve a second chance.

5. The New Boy – Paula Rawsthorne
book cover - 2019-03-24T181004.342I loved Shell by Paula Rawsthorne so I’m incredibly excited to reading her newest release!

When new boy Jack starts at Zoe’s school, something about him makes her nervous – he’s so perfect, he can hardly be real. But Zoe is soon swept up in how charming, popular and handsome he is. Soon, they’re dating and he’s everything she dreamed he might be – kind, attentive, full of romantic gestures. Eventually, though, the cracks start to show and Zoe wonders whether she was right all along. Is Jack too good to be true?

6. Master of Sorrows – Justin Call
mosThis was another incredible new fantasy series that I just adored. You can check out my stop on the blog tour here!

You have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned through tragic circumstances, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world.

But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?

What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?

Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.

Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.

Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become . . . 

7. Bloodwitch – Susan Dennard
book cover - 2019-03-24T180811.629I’ve had Truthwitch on my TBR for ages so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to binge the series and I am absolutely loving it so far.

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past. 

8. Emily Eternal – M. G. Wheaton
book cover - 2019-03-24T180649.748This sounds like such a brilliant science fiction read and you can check out my stop on the blog tour in April!

Meet Emily – she can solve advanced mathematical problems, unlock the mind’s deepest secrets and even fix your truck’s air con, but unfortunately, she can’t restart the Sun.

She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

9. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
book cover (70)I was so excited when this arrived because I loved book one in this intense and gripping duology!

Sequel to STATE OF SORROW by best-selling fantasy author Melinda Salisbury.

Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything…

Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn’t the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she’s fought for.

10. The Near Witch – V. E. Schwab
book cover - 2019-03-24T180513.572V. E Schwab’s first book has been republished and I was so excited when it arrived in the post. I went to see her talk about the process in Glasgow and it was such a brilliant read.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

11. The Cold is in Her Bones – Peternelle Van Arsdale
book cover - 2019-03-24T180421.958This story sounds so dark and gripping I honestly can’t wait to pick it up. I’m also completely obsessed with the cover!

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

12. Holy Sister – Mark Lawrence
Untitled design (80)I made the most ridiculous noise when I received a copy of this. Mark very kindly sent me a signed copy and it’s now officially my most treasured book. I read this book in one day and it’s all kinds of brilliant – a review will be coming very soon!

They came against her as a child. Now they face the woman.

The ice is advancing, the Corridor narrowing, and the empire is under siege from the Scithrowl in the east and the Durns in the west. Everywhere, the emperor’s armies are in retreat.

Nona faces the final challenges that must be overcome if she is to become a full sister in the order of her choice. But it seems unlikely that Nona and her friends will have time to earn a nun’s habit before war is on their doorstep.

Even a warrior like Nona cannot hope to turn the tide of war.

The shiphearts offer strength that she might use to protect those she loves, but it’s a power that corrupts. A final battle is coming in which she will be torn between friends, unable to save them all. A battle in which her own demons will try to unmake her.

A battle in which hearts will be broken, lovers lost, thrones burned.

13. Lord of Secrets –  Breanna Teintze
book cover - 2019-03-24T180245.092This beautiful fantasy sounds so good and is next on my TBR to read!

Magic is poison. Secrets are power. Death is . . . complicated.

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He’s friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages’ Guild – and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can’t get much worse.

So when a fugitive drops into his lap – literally – and gets them both arrested, it’s the last straw – until Gray realises that runaway slave Brix could be the key to his grandfather’s release. All he has to do is break out of prison, break into an ancient underground temple and avoid killing himself with his own magic in the process.

In theory, it’s simple enough. But as secrets unfold and loyalties shift, Gray discovers something with the power to change the nature of life and death itself.

Now Gray must find a way to protect the people he loves, but it could cost him everything, even his soul . . .

Books I Bought:

I’m still on a bit of a book buying ban so I’m pleased that I only bought four books!

14. Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus
I read and loved One Of Us Is Lying so I picked this up straight away. It was a really great read and I’m so looking forward to reading what Karen M. McManus writes next!

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.477Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

15. The Fever King – Victoria Lee
book cover - 2019-03-24T175742.540I saw this on Amazon First Reads for only 3.99 so I obviously had to snap it up regardless of my book buying ban!

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

16. A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven
shameI received an ARC of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven at YALC one year and ended up absolutely adoring it so when I heard the sequel had been released I went straight out to get a copy!

Funnier. Ruder. Angrier. Izzy O’Neill is back in the hilarious sequel to The Exact Opposite of Okay. 

It’s been two months since a leaked explicit photo got Izzy involved in a political sex scandal – and the aftershock is far from over. The Bitches Bite Back movement is gathering momentum as a forum for teenage feminists, and when a girl at another school has a sex tape shared online, once again Izzy leads the charge against the slut-shamer. This time she wants to change the state law on revenge porn. 
Izzy and her best friend Ajita are as hilarious as ever, using comedy to fight back against whatever the world throws at them, but Izzy is still reeling from her slut-shaming ordeal, feeling angry beyond belief and wondering – can they really make a change?

17. Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
Untitled design (10)I’m pretty sure everyone has this massive book on their February book haul. I got my copy signed at NYALIT fest so now I just have to work out how to read it without getting a dead arm.

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

So those are all the books I picked up in February! Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read any of them and definitely let me know which books you’ve picked up recently!

Adventure-A-Thon TBR!

Adventure-A-Thon TBR!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-21T125807.484.png
March has been a bit of a rubbish reading month for me and I’ve read hardly anything these past few weeks. To try and kick myself back into gear I’m going to participate in the Adventure-A-Thon. This is a fab readathon run by My Novel Thoughts and you can find out more about it here!

The readthon is running from the 25th to the 31st of March and features a choose your own adventure map. Whichever team you choose is the one you earn points for by completing the reading challenges.

Fantasy+Adventureathon+Map.png

I have gone for Team Dragon and I’ve chosen a bunch of books I’m really excited to read for this readathon that will hopefully help me out of this slumpishness. I usually find readathons help me to push myself and read quite a few things!

book cover - 2019-03-21T124821.7941. Fellowship: Read the group book.
The group book was chosen via Twitter and it’s A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. I’m so excited about this because it’s long been on my TBR so now I’ve got no excuses and can get reading!
book cover - 2019-03-21T124644.6982. Cliff: Read a book with a nature word in the title
The creators said you could use pretty much anything for the nature word so I’ve gone for Other Words for Smoke, smoke being my nature word because this gorgeous book arrived yesterday and I am dying to read it.

book cover - 2019-03-21T124740.3463. Toad: Read a book with green on the cover.
Now this isn’t a fantasy book but I’ve really been enjoying dark mystery/thriller type books recently and I didn’t have that many books on my TBR with green on the cover so I’m going for All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehforth. The cover shown here isn’t very green but the ARC is!
grhwoigw4. Fate: Read a book set in the past.
For this I’m going for Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. I’ve heard some really terrific things about this book and I’m really excited to dive in.

book cover - 2019-03-01T142202.5255. Bewilder: Read a book with a plot twist
For this I’m going for The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman because even from the synopsis I’m getting witchy, twisty vibes. It’s one of my most anticipated releases so I hope it lives up to the hype!
book cover (85)Journey: Read a book over 500 pages.
This also isn’t a fantasy book but I don’t know if I’d make it through a really hefty fantasy book over 500 pages in time for the readathon. I’ve seen some rave reviews for Night Film by Marisha Peshl so I think it’ll be the perfect gripping read to keep me going.
book cover - 2019-03-11T210836.240Powder: Read a book by the fireside.
I don’t have a fire but the creators said you can use candles or a fire on Youtube or something to create the same effect. I’m at a bit of a loss for which book to go for for this one – I have two I’m really excited to read – The Graces by Laure Eve or Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly. They sound brilliant so if anyone has any thoughts definitely let me know which one to read!

So that’s my TBR for Adventure-A-Thon. If you’re participating definitely let me know what’s on your TBR and if you’ve read any of these which ones I should start with!

February Wrap Up!

February Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-17T114811.362.png
February was a great month and I managed to read fifteen books despite it being the shortest month of the year. It was a pretty mixed lot with some books I really loved and a few I was more than a little disappointed by. I’m not going to go too much into them because there’s quite a few books to get through!

book cover - 2019-03-17T114531.3091. The Calling – Cate Tiernan
This is the seventh book in the Sweep/Wicca series and I’ve been having such a good time revisiting this series. I’m so pleased that I still love them as much as I did when I read them the first time. It’s such a fun and addictive series and I really enjoyed this instalment as Morgan and the gang travel to New York and unravel secrets from her past. (4/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T114313.4972. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is a series I haven’t revisited since I first read it as a teenager so I thought it might be fun to listen to the audiobook version. After struggling with the narrator in the edition I was listening to I found another on Scribd and I really enjoyed it. It was great to revisit a book I really loved and I’m looking forward to continuing the series. (4/5 stars)

vassa3. Vassa In the Night – Sarah Porter
This was a fairyloot book quite a long time ago and I recently heard someone talk about it because it’s a reimagining of the story of Baba Yaga. I love the cover design and thought it would be a great atmospheric read but it really wasn’t for me. I struggled with the writing style, I didn’t like the characters and I found the plot a bit chaotic. (2/5 stars)

4. Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom – P. M. Freestonebook cover (39)
Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom is the first in an all new fantasy series in which the magic system is made up through scent. It was a brilliant read and one of my favourites of the month. It ended on such a cliff hanger and I’m dying to read book two. You can check out my review here, and my guest post from P. M. Freestone here! (5/5 stars)

book cover25. The Familiars – Stacy Halls
I love historical fiction that focuses on witches and I ended up completely devouring this book in one day. It was a dark and beautiful told story based on real events in history. It’s a book I still think about even though I finished it a while ago. I ranted a bit about how much I enjoyed this book here, so you can check that out if you want to know more. (4.5/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113810.1376. Queenie – Alice Munro
This was a short piece of fiction about a young girl who goes to stay with her sister that ran away with their neighbour. It really delves into the relationship between Queenie and her husband and was quite an emotional and powerful read. It’s a really quick read and it’s definitely one that makes you think about the nature of relationships.(3/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113823.2377. And Of Clay We Created – Isabelle Allende
This was another piece of short fiction based on the real events of a volcanic eruption that happened in Columbia in 1985. 23,000 people died and the story follows the media outpouring about a little girl trapped in a mudslide caused by the eruption. It’s a very heart wrenching piece and it really made me think. (3.5/5 stars)

blood and sand8. Blood and Sand – C. V. Wyk
This was another book that I got in a subscription box and was really intrigued about this gender bent re-imagining of Spartacus.  I found this book quite difficult to rate because I wanted to love it, I loved the idea and I enjoyed the plot but it was much more romance focused than I had hoped it would be. I wanted Attia to spend more time reclaiming her home than developing her romance with Xanthus. I still want to continue the series but I was a little disappointed overall. (3.5/5 stars)

9. The Last – Hanna Jamesonbook cover (38)
This was a fascinating look at a world in which nuclear bombs have caused the end of the world, but what happens when a group of people staying in a hotel survive? It was quite slow paced and definitely more of a character driven book but it was a really fresh perspective on this type of tale. (4/5 stars)

bosdfsr10. The Year After You – Nina de Pass
This YA debut is a beautiful story about grief, loss and forgiving yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. It was set in a remote boarding school in the snowy Swiss alps and I fell in love with the characters, the story and the setting. If you’re looking for a gripping and moving tale this is definitely one to try. You check out my full review here! (4.5/5 stars)

12. Master of Sorrows – Justin Callmos
This is the first in an all new fantasy series that I completely fell in love with. It has so many things that I love, the magical academy trope plenty of action and adventure and it was just such an exciting read. This is a series I will definitely be continuing. You can check out my stop on the blog tour here! (5/5 stars)

Untitled design (40)13. The Glass Spare – Lauren DeStefano
Quite a long time ago I read Wither by Lauren DeStefano and I loved it. The Glass Spare has been on my TBR for quite a long time so I finally decided to pick it up and I did have quite high expectations because I loved her previous series. I struggled a little with this one because I found the pacing a bit off and it felt a little repetitive. I did still enjoy it and will look to read the next book in the series, but it won’t be a priority. (3/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.47714. Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus
Thrillers are something that I don’t read an awful lot of but have found myself rather enjoying them recently. I read One Of Us Is Lying last year and did quite enjoy it so I decided to pick Two Can Keep A Secret up. While I did really enjoy this it didn’t really feel like anything new (in fact it reminded me quite a lot of the TV series Riverdale), but if you like twisty and fun thrillers this is definitely one to pick up. (4/5 stars)

book cover - 2019-03-17T113618.75215. Rogue Protocol – Martha Wells
This is the third instalment in The Murderbot Diaries series. These novellas are fun and fast reads, following the adventures of Murderbot as he tries to uncover mysteries and not get caught in the process. I’ve had mixed feelings about this series because some of the books have been a little slow but overall I really enjoyed this third instalment. (3/5 stars)

So those are the books I read in February! Let me know some of the books you read in February below!

What’s On My Netgalley Shelf?

What’s On My Netgalley Shelf?

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-03-11T211453.369
Welcome to a new feature on The Bibliophile Chronicles! One of my reading goals for 2018 was to try and get my Netgalley ratio in a better state as currently I’m not anywhere near the recommended 80%. I struggle with ebooks as I sometimes get migraines when reading from screens but that doesn’t stop me from seeing books I’m dying to review and requesting them.

I thought I could do a feature every few months about what’s on my Netgalley shelf and hopefully hold myself accountable a bit more. My current feedback ratio is 48% so the next instalment of this feature should be an improvement on that. I’m just going to mention some of the books on my shelf and if anyone has read any of them definitely let me know what you thought so I can get reading them!

Current Stats:
Feedback Ratio – 48% 
Approved – 90
Feedback Sent – 41
To Read – 43

1. Ash Princess & Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian
Yes I have requested both Ash Princess and Lady Smoke and I haven’t gotten around to either of them yet. I even now have a physical copy of Ash Princess and still haven’t read it yet so please if you’ve read it let me know if I should make this a priority!

book cover - 2019-03-11T210645.722Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

2. Last Bus To Everland – Sophie Cameron
I read Sophie Cameron’s Out of the Blue and gave it five stars so when this popped up I immediately requested a copy. If it’s anything like her first book I know I’m going to love it.

book cover - 2019-03-11T210746.085Brody Fair feels like nobody gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and definitely not the girls in the projects set on making his life miserable. Then he meets Nico, an art student who takes Brody to Everland, a “knock-off Narnia” that opens its door at 11:21pm each Thursday for Nico and his band of present-day misfits and miscreants.

Here Brody finds his tribe and a weekly respite from a world where he feels out of place. But when the doors to Everland begin to disappear, Brody is forced to make a decision: He can say goodbye to Everland and to Nico, or stay there and risk never seeing his family again. 

3. Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly
I absolutely love retellings so this really drew my attention. It also has such a stunning cover!

book cover - 2019-03-11T210836.240Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.

Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Evoking the darker, older versions of the Cinderella story, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses her trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption, and a new definition of beauty.

4. The Furies – Katie Lowe
This was getting lots of attention on Twitter and I love books with culty/witchy vibes so I was really excited to read this but I just haven’t gotten around to picking it up yet.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250In 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.

5. Dracul – Darce Stoker and J. D. Barker
Dracula is one of my all time favourite books so anything relating to Bram Stoker’s classic is pretty much a must read for me. I was really fascinated with the idea of this book but haven’t really heard much about it so far.

book cover - 2019-03-11T211247.937Dracul reveals not only the true origins of Dracula himself, but also of his creator, Bram Stoker . . . and of the elusive, enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a 22-year-old Bram Stoker has locked himself inside an abbey’s tower to face off against a vile and ungodly beast. He is armed with mirrors and crucifixes and holy water and a gun – and is kept company by a bottle of plum brandy. His fervent prayer is that he will survive this one night – a night that will prove to be the longest of his life.

Desperate to leave a record of what he has witnessed, the young man scribbles out the events that brought him to this point – and tells an extraordinary tale of childhood illness, a mysterious nanny, and stories once thought to be fables now proven true.

So those are some of the books currently on my Netgalley shelf. Let me know which ones I should be getting to and what your Netgalley feedback ratio is like!

Book Review: Shell – Paula Rawsthorne

Book Review: Shell – Paula Rawsthorne

BOOK REVIEW (93).pngRelease Date: January 4th 2018
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Pages: 416
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.75/5

Synopsis

What if you thought you had died, only to wake up to find that your brain and eyes had been transplanted into someone else’s body?

When Lucy, a teen diagnosed with terminal cancer wakes up cancer-free, it should be a dream come true. But faced with a life she didn’t choose and trapped in a new body, Lucy must face the biggest question of all . . . How far would you go to save the one you love?

Review

book coverThis book was so freaky. Imagine waking up in someone else’s body, but with your personality and all your memories? All your friends think you’re dead and you have to pretend to be someone else. Could you do it?

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and I couldn’t think of a better celebration than this fantastic retelling. This book is quite fast paced, developing quickly as Lucy adapts to her new life in a new body. I really like Lucy as a main character, she was flawed and at times difficult, but that made her all the more realistic. I also found her parents really complex and fascinating, attempting to understand their motivations and looking at how far they will go to keep their daughter alive.

Shell touches on a lot of different themes, doing what’s right, finding yourself, friendship, bravery and family are just some of them. These really help to hook you in, and I definitely felt for Lucy and her struggle to keep going despite everything she’s been through. She has to make a lot of tough decisions, but the book is all the more intense and gripping for that reason.

Shell definitely also has some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. The ending is quite a surprise and definitely gives you some food for thought. At times I found the book pretty dark and gory, but also dramatic and addictive. This is a superb modern retelling, and if you’re looking for something different to read, or you’re a fan of Mary Shelley’s version, you definitely need to give this a try.
4 stars

2018 Wrap Up!

2018 Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (70)
Now that January is here and I’ve finally managed to pick my favourite books of 2018. You can check that post out here, if you want to know what made the top fifteen. After deciding I thought it would be fun to do a little wrap up just to look at my reading over the last twelve months.

So in 2018 I read 142 books.

One of my reading goals for this year was to read more books. In 2017 I read 91 books so I was hoping to up it to 100. I’m so pleased I managed to completely blitz this challenge and read way more than I expected.

Breaking down what I read:

Review copy/ARC: 66book cover (56)
Backlist: 20
Newly Purchased: 37
Re-read: 19
I’m not particularly surprised about this as I tend to reach more for review copies and the titles I’ve most recently bought. I’m definitely going to aim in 2019 to read more of the backlist books on my shelves. (We’ll see how that goes!)

In terms of genre I read:

Non-Fiction: 3
Graphic Novels: 4
Poetry: 1
Science Fiction: 14
Crime/Thriller: 13book cover (57)
Classics: 7
Historical Fiction: 10
Contemporary: 19
Horror: 10
Fantasy: 61

There’s no surprises that fantasy was by far the most popular. I did plan to read more contemporary books in 2018 so I’m pleased by the 19 on the list and that’s definitely something I want to continue in the new year.

My average length of book was 345 pages with the shortest book being Warm Up by V. E. Schwab (15 pages) and the longest Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (744 pages).

My average rating was 4.0, which definitely shows how many amazing books I’ve read this year that the average rating is so high.

2018 was a brilliant year for books and I’m so excited to read and review more brilliant stories in 2019!

Best Books of 2018!

Best Books of 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope whatever you’re up to today you’re having a wonderful start to the new year. I FINALLY managed to whittle down the books I read to a top 15 (honestly I really tried to make it 10 but it wasn’t possible), so I thought I would share my favourite books of 2018. All of these were five star reads for me and I would highly recommend them all. Because there’s quite a few I’m only going to have a sentence or two to sum up of why I loved them.

1. The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Ardenbook cover (53)
The epic conclusion to this gorgeous fantasy series absolutely broke me in the best way – Katherine Arden does not disappoint.

2. The Illuminae Files – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
The biggest surprise of 2018 – a crazy space adventure told in a completely unique way, I could not put this down.

3. Mirage – Somaiya DaudUntitled design (97)
Danger and doppelgangers abound in this new fantasy debut. A gripping adventure and I’m already dying for book two.

4. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
By far the most atmospheric book I read this year. Witches with sinister intentions and twists you’ll never see coming.

5. The Sisters of the Winter Wood – Rena RossnerUntitled design (96)
A lush fairytale – esque story about two sisters and their shapeshifting abilities. One told in prose and one as a story, this tale is beautifully told.

6. Darksoul – Anna Stephens
Anna Stephens returns with this dark and brutal instalment in the Godblind trilogy. Addictive and full of action, I raced through this story.

7. City of Ghosts – V. E. Schwabbook cover (54)
My first Victoria Schwab book was a definite favourite. Ghosts and adventure in the heart of Edinburgh, this middle grade is definitely a lot of fun.

8. Show Stealer – Hayley Barker
This blazing sequel to Show Stopper by Hayley Barker instantly made it onto my favourites list. The stakes were even higher and I loved the political intrigue featured in this book.

9. A Sky Painted Gold – Laura WoodUntitled design (75)
Definitely my favourite book of the summer – A Sky Painted Gold is a gorgeous historical fiction story with beautiful writing reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.

10. Ravencry – Ed McDonald
The Blackwing series continues with this second instalment that I absolutely adored. Galharrow will forever be one of my favourite characters.

11. Witchsign – Den PatrickUntitled design (61)
Den Patrick is back with an all new series full of magic, danger and dragons. I mean what more do you need?

12. The Smoke Thieves – Sally Green
A new epic fantasy series reminiscent of A Game of Thrones with lots of political intrigue and magic. It was a great start to the series and I’m eager for more.

13. Ace of Shades – Amandy Foodybook cover (10)
Casino families, magic and crime all feature in this new series from Amanda Foody. This book features magnificent characters that you can’t help but love as well as a unputdownable plot.

14. Between the Blade and the Heart – Amanda Hocking
Kick-ass Valkyrie demon slayers? Yes please. This was my first Amanda Hocking book but it definitely will not be the last.

15. The Cruel Prince – Holly Blackbook cover (55)
Who doesn’t have The Cruel Prince on their favourites list? This gorgeous book features a dark and brutal world where two human girls are brought up amongst the fae.

So those were the best books I read in 2018! I’m so excited to see what 2019 brings. If you’ve read any of these definitely let me know what you thought of them and I’d love to know what your favourite books of the year were.

Blog Tour: The Girl In the Broken Mirror – Savita Khalan

Blog Tour: The Girl In the Broken Mirror – Savita Khalan

BOOK REVIEW (29)
Release Date:
29th March 2018
Publisher: Trokia Books
Pages: 288
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The author kindly contacted me to participate in the blog tour and sent me a copy to review.

Synopsis

Jay’s creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with ‘they lived happily ever after’. But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. A powerful moving gripping story which explores themes of family, loyalty and culture clash but is ultimately about hope and understanding.

Review

This is an incredibly moving story that I found difficult to put down. I picked it up early in preparation for the blog tour and found myself still sitting in the same spot a few hours later, absolutely gripped by this emotional tale.

Untitled design (95)This book covers a lot of difficult topics such as suicide and rape, so this is by no means a light read, but it is a beautifully written tale that stays with you long after you’re finished reading. The book follows Jaya – starting with the morning after she is raped and then jumping back to the events leading up to that night. The story really hones in on different cultures and Jaya’s attempts to be both English and Indian and in particular keep to the traditional Indian beliefs.

This is a gripping story that really looks in depths at relationships, between friends as well as between mother and daughter and I found it such a fascinating insight. The characters were wonderfully written and I definitely became attached to Jaya. On more than once occasion this book brought me close to tears and I think that’s a mark of a very powerful story.

Previous to 2018 contemporary YA was not something that I read all that often but recently I’ve found myself picking up books in that genre more often. This is a really excellent piece of contemporary YA that I would definitely recommend. It might be a hard hitting read, but it is most definitely worth it.
4 stars
Girl in the Broken Mirror blog tour

Book Review: The Lost Witch – Melvin Burgess

Book Review: The Lost Witch – Melvin Burgess

BOOK REVIEW (43)
Release Date: 2nd August 2018
Publisher: Andersen Press
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can – creatures, voices, visions. Then strangers visit Bea and tell her she is different: she has the rare powers of a witch. They warn her she is being hunted. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help. All Bea wants to do is get on with her life, and to get closer to Lars, the mysterious young man she has met at the skate park. But her life is in danger, and she must break free. The question is – who can she trust?

Review

Growing up I really loved Melvin Burgess’s books. I’ve read Bloodtide and Bloodsong more than a few times so when I heard he was writing a story about a young teenage girl who discovers she has magical powers I added it straight to my wish list. I must admit that after reading it I was a bit disappointed and it didn’t really live up to my expectations.

book cover (18)I found the pacing for this book to be quite off, the first few chapters were incredibly slow and I had to put the book down for a week and go back to it – which isn’t really something I do. I then felt the later chapters that had quite important scenes in them completely raced through and I didn’t get enough detail.

I really liked the Norse mythology elements and the way that Burgess wove that into the world building and the magic the characters could do. I also found the characters really interesting, Bea has some tough decisions to make about her future and I enjoyed seeing her develop as a person and own up to her mistakes. I also really liked Silvis, the one character who seems to really want to help Bea survive. The writing style felt very different to other Melvin Burgess books I’ve read and although I enjoyed it I definitely preferred the style of his previous books.

The book also deals with some pretty difficult topics such as abuse both physical and mental, rape, murder and blaming the victim which came as a bit of a shock as it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. The book is certainly a dark one and was a bit of  a struggle for me finish. If you’re interested in witchy stories that touch on difficult issues, this could be just the book for you but for me it was big disappointment.

3 stars

August Book Haul

August Book Haul

Book Review (5)
I say every month that I’m going to buy less books because my TBR is out of control (it’s in the high hundreds) but looking at this book haul I have another massive bundle of books to haul. So let’s dive in!

390990671. Labyrinth of the Spirits – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I nearly screamed when this appeared through my letterbox. This mammoth book is the next in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, and it was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I’m planning a full reread of the series in September because it’s been a while since I’ve read the others. Labyrinth of the Spirits is coming September 18th from W&N.

2. Anarchy – Megan DeVos40214283 (1)
I was on the blog tour for this gorgeous Dystopian novel and Megan kindly wrote me a guest post which I will have up again soon. I’ve heard terrific things about this book and it was massive hit on Wattpad before it was traditionally published. I can’t wait to see what’s in store! Anarchy is out now from Orion Books.

234034023. A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab
I recently went to an event at Waterstones with V. E. Schwab, Christina Henry and Sarah Maria Griffin. I had a copy of Vicious with me but I ended up picking this up to get signed also. So many people adore this book so I’m hoping it lives up to the hype.

4. Darksoul – Anna Stephens36896810
This was another book that I was absolutely dying to read. HarperVoyager kindly sent me a copy and I tore through it in a few days. It gave me such a book hangover and now I’m so upset I need to wait so long to find out what happens to my favourite characters. You can read my full review over here!

401703115. Sleeper: The Red Storm – J. D. Fennell
This is the second book in the Sleeper series from J. D. Fennell. I really loved the first one and was featured on the blog tour, so I was so excited when this came in the post. Even more exciting was to find I was quoted inside! Sleeper: The Red Storm is publishing October 25th from The Dome Press.

6. Catwoman: Soul Stealer – Sarah J. Maas29749098
I ordered a copy of this from Waterstones and then ended up getting a copy in my August Illumicrate also. I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman and thought Marie Lu’s Batman was okay so I’m excited to find out how Sarah J. Maas handles Catwoman.

401273697. The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey
The author kindly reached out to obtain a review for this gorgeous book and as soon as it arrived I picked it up. I’m almost finished it and I’m enjoying it so much. This paranormal fantasy is such an addictive read. She kindly signed it for me too so I can’t wait to add it to my favourites shelf!

8. Cold Iron – Miles Cameron30344847
This was another blog tour that the publisher kindly sent me a copy for. I’ve never read anything by Miles Cameron but really enjoyed this original fantasy that plays on the themes of the traditional farm boy turned hero trope.

377158599. We Sold Our Souls – Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix writes these fantastic stories that are just perfect for Halloween. I so loved My Best Friend’s Exorcism so I can’t wait to get stuck into this one. I might even save it for closer to Halloween so I can have a bit of a readathon. We Sold Our Souls is coming 18th September from Quirk Books.

10. Impostors – Scott Westerfield37825397
This is a new book set in the world of the Uglies series. I’m really excited to read this as it has been a long time since I read the Uglies books and I’m looking forward to diving back into Scott Westerfield’s writing. Impostors is coming 11th September from Scholastic.

2555860811.  A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir
I honestly picked this up because I’ve heard such amazing things about this series and it was a gorgeous hardcover that I couldn’t resist. I have (but haven’t read) An Ember In the Ashes so I’m hoping now I have another in the series it will guilt me into reading them.

12. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han15749186
I think everyone bought a copy of this book in August. I picked mine up from Waterstones and read it really quickly. It was fun and light and I’m definitely planning on picking up the rest of the books in the series.

3601629713. Falling Creatures & The Magpie Tree – Katherine Stansfield
I have been admiring these beautiful covers on Twitter when the publisher offered me the chance to review them. This historical fiction series seems very mystery focused and I’ve read some really terrific reviews about them. Falling Creatures is out now and The Magpie Tree is coming 19th November from Allison & Busby

14. Smoke and Iron – Rachel Caine38471929
Allison and Busby also kindly sent me the next instalment in Rachel Caine’s Great Library series. I’ve really been enjoying this fast-paced series and I’m looking forward to finding out what the fourth book in the series has in store!

4089199815. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
This book has had so much buzz on Twitter already and I’ve seen a few bloggers say they read it in one sitting because it was so addictive. I was planning to read it a bit closer to the publication date but I’m probably not going to be able to hold off that long. The Silent Patient is coming 7th February 2019 from Orion Books.

16. What Was Lost – Jean Levy40488637
It gets to this time of year and I get really in the mood for psychological thrillers and creepy tales, so when I got offered the chance to review this debut from Jean Levy, I jumped at the chance. It sounds dark and creepy and absolutely what I’m in the mood for. What Was Lost is publishing 13th September from The Dome Press.

3660454517. The Familiars – Stacey Halls
This book is absolutely gorgeous. I love books about witchcraft (I love love loved The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown), so I cannot wait to read this story of two women accused of being witches. This is another one that I know I won’t be able to hold off reading! The Familiars is coming 7th of February 2019 from Bonnier Zaffre.

18. The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood – Susan Elliot Wright40493757
This was a surprise piece of book post that sounds like such a fascinating read. I’ve seen a few reviews already but they have been mixed so I’m excited to see how I find it. It’s described as ‘An urgent and important novel of love, loss, tragedy and daring to hope again.’ The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is coming 21st February 2019 from Simon and Schuster.

3922753719. Killer T – Robert Muchamore
I received this book through ReadersFirst. I read the first impression and thought it was really intriguing so I’m excited to see how the rest of the book plays out.  The publisher had people dressed up in lab coats at this year’s YALC so that definitely made me excited to read it. Killer T is coming 6th September from Hot Key Books.

20. The Mermaid & Mrs Hancock – Imogen Hermes Gowar37678008
There’s a little second hand bookshop in Pitlochry that I just adore and I go in every time I’m in the area. I popped in during August and I found an ARC of this beautiful book. I’ve heard amazing things about it so I quickly snapped it up and I can’t wait to read it!

So that’s my slightly ridiculous August book haul. Which books did you buy in August and have you read any of these? If you have, what did you think?