June Wrap Up!

June Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-07-21T161904.113
My super late wrap ups continue with all the lovely books I read in June!

Copy of book cover (1)
1. What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts
This is a little book that packs a punch, following a ghostwriter who delves into the secrets behind Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It was twisty, exciting and I really enjoyed this one. Full review for my stop on the blog tour can be found here! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (26)2. The Boy With the Porcelain Blade – Den Patrick
I thought it might be time for a reread of one of my favourite series. I raced through this dark and addictive fantasy story. It was so fun to return to a world that I love so much. Lucien is probably one of my favourite characters of all time, and I definitely think this is an underrated series. Looking forward to continuing my reread with books two and three. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (31)3. The Colarado Kid – Stephen King
This was a fascinating little novella, the first in Titan’s Hard Case Crime series. It was the perfect read for a Sunday afternoon and I ended up reading it in one sitting with the story winding you in deeper and deeper. It’s written very much like an old detective tale and was a really fun read. I really liked that there’s no clear resolution at the end, and it’s left quite ambiguous. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (32)4. Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
This was absolutely not for me. I was in the mood for a light and fluffy read and thought I might give it a go but I really struggled to finish it. Both the main characters were horrible and when they weren’t making each other miserable they were screaming at each other or treating the other like a possession. I also felt the whole plot was so dramatic and over the top, definitely won’t be continuing this series. (1.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (2)5. Maresi – Maria Turtschaninoff
This is a series that I’ve wanted to read for a while and I’m so glad I finally picked up the first book in the series – I completely fell in love! This is such a beautifully written tale and I adored the cast of characters and the stunning island they called home. I cannot wait to continue into book two, and if you want to read my full thoughts my review can be found here! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (34)6. The Wolf – Leo Carew
The Wolf is pretty much my idea of a perfect book. The story of two warring kingdoms and their leaders who will stop at nothing to win. It was a thrilling read and I loved the high stakes, the political intrigue and the devious tactics the characters use to try and gain the upper hand. The Spider is definitely high on my TBR list for next month because I need to know what’s going to happen next. (5/5 stars)

book cover17. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
I’ve been reading more and more thrillers recently and so I’ve been guessing plot twists more frequently. However the twist in this one completely blew my mind. Every time I made up my mind how it was going to end it went in a completely different direction. This is one of those super fast paced, dark thrillers that will have you on the edge of your seat. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (33)8. The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
I saw this book mentioned on BookTube and thought it sounded like a quick, engrossing read. For some reason I struggled to connect with the story. It was well written and interesting but it ended up taking me ages to finish it and I found myself kind of slogging through it. I think because the book is so short you only really get a snapshot of the world and the magic, and I struggled to get to grips with it. (2.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (35)9. The Tall Man – Phoebe Locke
This was kind of giving me Slender Man vibes and I thought it sounded like just thing I was in the mood for. I love those mysteries where you never quite know if it’s supernatural or not. It follows several different timelines and perspectives, which can at times be a little confusing. It is a quick and dark read though, one that I think thriller fans will really enjoy. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (36)10. The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg
This is a bit of a difficult one for me. I really really enjoyed this book. It’s a brilliant science fiction tale about an AI who works in a fantasy theme park. She’s there to help guests in any way, but when she starts to develop emotions things quickly spiral out of control. It was a terrific read but I think I had built it up in my head a bit too much, so even though it was really good I still felt a little disappointed. That’s probably just me though! (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (27)11. An Illusion of Thieves – Cate Glass
This was definitely the surprise read of the month. I picked this up on a whim and ended up completely adoring this epic fantasy with a fantastic mix of characters. The plot was exciting and I raced through this and I’m already desperate for more. This will easily end up on my favourite books of 2019 list. (5/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in June! If you’ve read any of them I’d love to know what you thought and also what your favourite June reads were!

Book Review: The Furies – Katie Lowe

Book Review: The Furies – Katie Lowe

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-07-20T203615.102
Release Date:
May 2nd 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 384
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

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.

Review

book cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250The Furies is without a doubt, one of my favourite books of 2019. This story is dark, full of rage and absolutely engrossing. I completely fell under the spell of this book, and I never wanted it to end. The story follows Violet, a young girl sent to private school after the death of her father and sister in a car accident. Desperate to find any form of friendship she falls in with a group of girls named Robin, Alex and Grace. Violet joins their secret study group with a member of the faculty, learning all about ancient rites and the school’s history as site of witch burnings. The girls believe they can harness the magic, take revenge on those who have wronged them, but with so many secrets who do you believe, and more importantly who can you trust?

This books has echoes of The Craft and I loved the blending of mystery/thriller with just a hint of the supernatural. I adored Katie’s writing style, it kept sucking me in deeper and deeper until I was racing through the last few chapters of the book, desperate to know how it was going to end. I often find with mysteries that I guess the ending quick early on, but every twist in this book completely surprised me. I also really liked the setting too, a remote coastal town in England. It felt like the perfect dark and grey setting for this eerie and haunting tale.

I also adored the explorations of female friendships in this story, particularly highlighting toxic friendships. It was fascinating to see the relationships develop between the group, and particularly how they evolved as tensions ran higher. The Furies is an insightful and entertaining story, and one I definitely still think about even though I finished it a while ago.

The Furies is an engrossing tale of witchcraft, murder and friendship. If you’re looking for a fast paced tale that will keep you reading well past midnight, you absolutely have to pick this one up. I loved every second of this book and I’m dying to read more from Katie Lowe.
5 stars

Book Review: What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts

Book Review: What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-06-14T113115.655
Release Date:
13th June 2019
Publisher: Red Door Books
Pages: 256
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

It is possible that since this book’s publication you will have heard that I have died in ‘suspicious circumstances’. Obviously I hope that will not be the case, but I believe it is worth taking the risk in order to get this story out there.

Why would one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood’s biggest star?

Only once he is living and working among the world’s richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake.

The ghostwriter must face the dark underbelly of the tech industry. He must face corruption and manipulation, come to blows with people who will do anything to remain at the top of their game and uncover the dark truth behind what it really means to be an influencer . . .

What Lies Around Us takes the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers and reveals who is really running the world. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media?

Review

Copy of book cover (1)I read and loved The Secret of the Italian Gardner by Andrew Crofts a while ago, so when I was contacted about What Lies Around Us I jumped at the chance to read it. If it’s possible this book was even more gripping and addictive and I could not put it down.

Andrew is a British ghostwriter and is contacted out of the blue by Roger, a Silicon Valley tech giant about ghost writing a new book. The book isn’t about him, but about a leading actress of blockbuster films and reality television. So why is Roger so interested in getting this book published? He’s willing to pay a million dollars for Andrew to write it, but he’s very specific about what he wants. As Andrew gets to know his subject a devastating set of events occur and Andrew begins to wonder is it mere coincidence that he was writing the book – or has somebody planned this?

This might be a small book but it really packed a punch! There were so many mysteries going on and I just had no idea how it was going to end. When I turned the last few pages I was so surprised. The plot is brilliantly executed and definitely kept me guessing.

The characters are really fascinating and Andrew really gives you the opportunity to get to know them – Roger the seemingly nice business man with ruthless ambition, Jo-Jo the beautiful actress with her perfect husband and family. As the story goes deeper the curtain is peeled back to see there’s so much more going on underneath.

I loved the gorgeous setting of the story – it really came to life in this book. I also really liked the writing style and found myself wanting to read more and more just to find out how it was going to end. I ended up reading the book in two sittings because I just couldn’t get enough. The story focuses on a whole range of themes but is most notably about power and ambition, and just what you’ll do to get it. The story also broaches the subject of social media and the influence it has on the world – I found this aspect really interesting and overall thought it was a thoroughly engaging read.

If you’re looking for an exciting, fast read, What Lies Around Us is a must read. It’s an engaging, thought provoking thriller and I’m so looking forward to reading more books from Andrew Crofts.
4 stars

Book Review: Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

Book Review: Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-06-13T234235.009.png
Release Date:
January 10th 2019
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in Sainsbury’s
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Echo 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.

Review

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.477I really enjoyed Karen M McManus’s debut novel – One of Us Is Lying, so I was excited to give her new book a shot. The story follows twins Ezra and Ellery who are sent to live with their grandmother whilst their mother is in rehab. The small little town is famous for the murder/disappearance of two Homecoming Queens – one of which is the twin’s aunt. Whilst getting acquainted with the town strange things start happening and the mysterious killer claims to have returned – but will Ellery be able to uncover the truth about her aunt’s disappearance?

Two Can Keep A Secret is the sort of book you take on a plane ride or pick up on a quiet afternoon to while away a few hours. You start off reading a few pages and it immediately sucks you in – hours later you’re still sitting there, desperate to know how it’s going to end. That was definitely my experience of reading this book. It’s a twisty, turny read and definitely lots of fun.

I really liked the setting in this story, the creepy little town filled with secrets really gave me Riverdale kind of vibes and I loved that the twins take jobs in an odd, creepy theme park. The characters are interesting ones too although at times I did feel like they could be more fleshed out. The story gives us alternating points of view between Ellery and Malcolm, a local boy who ends up involved in the mystery. Both characters give interesting perspectives and I liked seeing things from different points of view, particularly as the intensity heightening and the mystery was revealed.

The story is a multi-layered one and there are quite a lot of themes and ideas within the novel, covering topics like family, friendship, understanding yourself and lots more in between. It’s an engaging story that’s executed well. I enjoyed the overall story and definitely felt surprised at some of the shock twists. One or two of the twists were a little predictable but even though I knew what was coming, I still enjoyed the way it was revealed and tied into the rest of the story.

If you’re looking for a fast paced and engaging read, Two Can Keep a Secret should definitely be on your list. If you’ve read One of Us Is Lying, I’d absolutely recommend picking this up because this will definitely be a new favourite in the YA-thriller world.
4 stars

Interview: Katie Lowe – Author of The Furies

Interview: Katie Lowe – Author of The Furies

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-05-02T093817.573.png
Synopsis

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.

Interview

1. What three words would you use to describe The Furies?

Oh, that’s such a good question! I’d probably say it’s a dark, eerie, and angry book – more so, in some ways, than I’d originally intended…!

2. What was the writing process like for the book, did it come together quickly or more gradually?

I think the best word for it is probably “feverish.” I had the first chapter – the dead girl on the swing, with no known cause of death, and the narrator, who accepts responsibility, but doesn’t regret what she did – before I had anything else. I wrote that, one afternoon, in my pyjamas – and then shelved it, not really knowing where it was going.

A couple of months later – on Valentine’s Day, actually – the characters, and a rough outline of the plot, fell into place. For the next seven months, when I wasn’t at work, it was all I thought about. I was completely absorbed in the world of the book, until one day, it was done. Coming back to the real world was a bit of a shock, honestly. I missed it.

3. What was the hardest part about writing the book?

The thing I’ve always struggled the most with – but found the most fascinating about really good fiction – is plot. It’s still the thing I find hardest to do. I’m pretty good at coming up with a beginning, and an end – but working out how to get from one to the other is hard.

For me, the only way through is a sort of constant, obsessive rewriting – which eventually results in a (hopefully) fairly pacy plot, but which is also spectacularly unproductive. I think there are about 120,000 words of The Furies which didn’t make it into the book that I eventually sent out into the world.

4. Reviews for The Furies have been amazing – what does it feel like to have such a big buzz around the book before it’s even released?

Honestly, I’m waiting for the knock at the door, or the phone call telling me there’s been a terrible mistake. Writing is obviously a pretty solitary activity, so when one person reads your work and says they like it, it’s a thrill. Having this kind of buzz before it’s even published… It’s so far beyond what I could’ve hoped for that it all just seems like a dream I’m yet to wake up from.

5. What was your inspiration for the story?

It was a combination of things. I knew I wanted to write a book about teenage girls, because… Well, they’re fascinating. That period of life – I remember it so vividly, being filled with so much potential, and so many new thrills… So I wanted to explore that. And the idea of witchcraft has always been fascinating to me – less for the magic and spells than the idea of women standing outside of the culture, in the face of persecution, and even death. It’s a powerful idea – and I think it’s why witchcraft is seeing such a boom in today’s culture. 6. Now that The Furies is about to be released, what are you working on next?

I’m currently knee deep in a novel about memory, psychiatry, and ghosts – which is still too much of a mess to say much more about, but… It’s getting there. And I’m also about to start my PhD at Birmingham – in the very appropriate topic of female rage in literary modernism and contemporary women’s writing.

7. Finally could you recommend us a good book you read recently?

Oh god, there are so many! The last brilliant book I read was Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, which I finished a couple of days ago. It is exactly as good as everyone’s saying it is.

About Katie:

Katie Lowe_Dearest Love Photography_Copyright 2018_160860Katie is a writer living in Worcester, UK, whose debut novel The Furies is set to be published by Harperfiction (UK), St Martin’s Press (US) and eight other territories worldwide.

A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Katie has a BA(Hons) in English and an MPhil in Literature & Modernity. She is set to return to Birmingham in 2019 to complete a PhD in English Literature, with her thesis on female rage in literary modernism and the #MeToo era.

A massive thank you to Katie for answering the questions! The Furies is released May 2nd from Harper Collins – find it on Goodreads, BookDepository and Waterstones. 

Blog Tour: Sleep – C. L. Taylor

Blog Tour: Sleep – C. L. Taylor

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-04-09T230402.137.pngRelease Date: April 4th 2019
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

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…

Review

book cover - 2019-03-24T181054.124I have only read a couple of books by C. L. Taylor but she is fast becoming my absolute favourite thriller writer. I read The Fear and thought it couldn’t possibly be topped but I was absolutely wrong. Sleep is dark, twisty and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. I ended up reading the last hundred pages in the wee hours of the morning because I just had to know how it was going to end. I am officially blaming this book for causing sleepless nights.

After a tragic accident Anna takes a job at a hotel on the island of Rum – an incredibly remote place in the Scottish highlands. Soon after starting some guests start to arrive and her safe haven becomes a nightmare. All the guests have something going on under the surface but one in particular has come to the hotel with a particular mission in mind: to murder Anna.

C. L. Taylor has this way of writing such fascinating and life like characters. I really felt like Anna was real and she was a really interesting protagonist to follow. Sleep is incredibly fast paced and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen from one moment to the next. Taylor always seems to bring something completely new to the thriller genre.

One of the things I particularly loved most about this book was the setting. I’ve never been to Rum but in this novel it is portrayed as an incredibly remote and barren landscape, giving the entire novel a tense and claustrophobic feel. The story was well executed with plenty of moments I didn’t see coming.

If you love psychological thrillers or you’ve read some of C. L. Taylor’s other books this is definitely not to be missed and I’m definitely already calling this as my favourite thriller of the year.
5 stars
Sleep_BlogTourP1.jpg

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!