Predicting Five Star Reads!

Predicting Five Star Reads!

BOOK REVIEW (19)
Today I thought I would try something a little different and make a list of books I think are going to be five star reads. I thought it would be interesting because after I’ve read them I can make a comparison post and see if I was right! So here goes with ten books I’m predicting to be five star reads:

Untitled design (62)1. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
This has been on my TBR for SO LONG and I don’t even know why. I love Leigh Bardugo but for some reason I haven’t read Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom yet. It baffles me because I know I’m going to love them. I’m hoping this post will definitely force me to read this duology, and I would especially love to get to them before King of Scars comes out in January.
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2. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor

I definitely think I’m going to give Muse of Nightmares five stars. Strange the Dreamer was on a whole other level of five star reads so I have no doubt that this is going to be just as full of magic and that beautiful writing that pulls you into the city of Weep.
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3. Vengeful – V. E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab is definitely my favourite author of 2018. Prior to this year I hadn’t read any of her books. I’ve since read City of Ghosts, Vicious, Warm Up and I just recently started The Dark Vault. I loved all of them so so much and I’ve seen so many people saying Vengeful is a brilliant read.

Untitled design (63)4. And I Darken – Kiersten White
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of my all time favourite books and so when I saw someone talking about Kiersten White’s And I Darken I pretty much ordered a copy immediately. For some reason I still haven’t read it yet but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a five star read. I read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein last month and it was a five star read, so I have high expectations.

Untitled design (67)5. An Ember In the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
I think I’ve been living under a rock because I’m the only person that hasn’t read this series yet. I own this book and A Torch Against the night and I’ve read so many rave reviews and seen so many booktube videos of people gushing about how amazing this book is that I have no doubt I’m going to absolutely love it.

Untitled design (68)6. The Court of Broken Knives – Anna Smith Spark
I recently went to an event with Anna Smith Spark, Cameron Johnston and Anna Stephens and Anna talked about this series and she also read an extract that sounded amazing. It sounded like the perfect high action fantasy series and that is definitely up my alley.

Untitled design (28)7. Sea Witch – Sara Henning
I have tentatively put this on the list because I know it has received some mixed reviews but from the premise it sounds like a five star read. I know it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid fairytale but from the point of view of the Sea Witch. It has a gorgeous cover and it sounds like a really atmospheric read so I’m hopefully going to pick this one up soon.

Untitled design (64)8. Illuminae – Jay Kristoff and Ami Kaufman
This is another one that I swore I was going to get to in 2018. I have a month and a bit left but it’s fairly likely I won’t get around to it in that time. I am also interested in listening to this on audiobook because I’ve heard many people say the audiobooks are perfect for this because it’s told with lots of different formats like interviews and letters and things. I think it sounds like a really phenomenal read and if I don’t read it in 2018 it is the highest priority for next year.

Untitled design (66)9. Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
I love dark fantasy series and this is one that I have been meaning to read for a while. I know Two Dark Reigns came out fairly recently so I’m hoping that maybe I can binge read the series at some point soon. Again I’ve seen quite a few people rave about this and it sounds really intriguing.

Untitled design (65)10. The Girl King – Mimi Yu
This is a recent addition to my TBR that I got at YALC and honestly I’m so excited to read it. The cover is just gorgeous and the tagline is This is coming out in January of next year and honestly I am just so excited to read it. “Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal. All hail the Girl King.” This is coming out in January of next year and honestly I am just so excited to read it.

So those are the books I’m predicting will be five star reads. What are some books you think will be five star reads for you? And if you’ve read any of these let me know what you rated them!!

 

October Wrap Up!

October Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW (17)
October is one of my favourite reading months. So many spooky books come out and it’s dark and cold outside and all I want to do is huddle under a blanket with my cat and a good book. Somehow in the month of October I managed to read sixteen books and one short story – I’m not even sure how that happened. I participated in a readathon which I think really helped and also quite a few of theses were on the shorter side. I’m going to keep it brief about each book because quite a few of them have featured in readathon wrap up posts or have full review posts up already.

Untitled design (59)1. A Blade So Black – L. L. McKinney
This Alice in Wonderland retelling was quick paced, action packed and so much fun. I raced through it and it’s definitely one of my favourite Alice retellings that I’ve ever encountered. I participated in the blog tour for this and you can check out my extract from the book here. (Rating: 4/5 stars)
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2. The Woods Vol 1 – James Tynion IV
This is the first instalment in a graphic novel series about a school that disappears into another realm. Full of strange monsters and dark and creepy sequences I thought this was an interesting start, although it didn’t grip me as much as I hoped that it would. (Rating: 3.5/5 stars)
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3. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
This was the biggest surprise of my October reading. I adored this book. Dark and creepy, this story was so atmospheric and unfolded in such a clever way. It was the perfect Halloween read and it is definitely going on my favourites list. (Rating: 5/5 stars)
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4. Vicious – Victoria Schwab
I finally read Vicious and it was so amazing. Victoria Schwab is pretty much the Queen of books, everything I’ve read by her is magnificent and it just makes me want to read everything that she’s ever written. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (58)5. Warm Up – Victoria Schwab
In the back of my edition of Vicious there was a short story entitled Warm Up, which shows another EO and his encounter with Eli. It was pretty short but I enjoyed the chance to see Eli from another perspective and of course to read more of Victoria’s writing. (Rating: 4/5 stars)
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6. Daughter of the Siren Queen – Tricia Levenseller
I absolutely loved the first book in this duology and was really excited to dive back in. This one is a bit darker than the previous book and definitely felt a lot more intense and high stakes. It was a brilliant read and I highly recommend these books. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (7)7. One Of Us Is Lying – Karen McManus
This YA thriller is incredibly popular so I was looking forward to picking it up and seeing what all the fuss is about. The story is quick paced and enjoyable and there were more than a few twists that I didn’t see coming. I fell the ending was a little unbelievable but it was still a really fun read. (Rating: 3.75/5 stars)

Untitled design (16)8. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
Katherine Arden is one of my favourite authors so I was really excited to see how she writes a Middle Grade novel. Honestly I absolutely loved this. Ollie is a brilliant protagonist. The story is dark and creepy with plenty of adventure. It’s a perfect autumn read and I’m so glad I picked it up. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (26)9. The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
I haven’t read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender but I know lots of people adore that book. This is the authors newest release and honestly I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting a very atmospheric magical read but I didn’t really connect with the characters and the story fell a bit flat for me. (Rating: 3/5 stars)

Untitled design (57)10. The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe
It wouldn’t be Halloween without reading some Edgar Allan Poe! This is a set of three stories featuring Dupin, one of the earliest detectives who uses logic and reasoning to discover who did the crime. The stories were interesting and I enjoyed the big reveal of how the crime was committed but I definitely prefer his more Gothic and creepy tales. (Rating: 3/5 stars)
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11. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White
This is my first book by Kiersten White and certainly not my last. I love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so to read this reimagining from the point of view of Elizabeth was just a dream. I loved the characters and I think White did a brilliant job. (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (12)12. Strange Ink – Gary Kemble
This has got to be one of the most original concepts I’ve ever read. The story follows a man who wakes up one morning with a tattoo he has no memory of getting. He chalks it up to too much alcohol but as more and more tattoos keep appearing and he becomes wrapped up in their mystery, he discovers he’s actually part of a much bigger plot. This book was so fascinating and I couldn’t put it down. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (53)13. The Missing Girl – Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is relatively new to me, I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle earlier in the year. I thought I would try my hand at some of her short stories. This little Penguin Modern Classic features three of her tales full of eeriness and that unsettling feeling. This is another one that is definitely perfect for Halloween. (Rating: 3/5 stars)

Untitled design (56)14. Spellbound – Cate Tiernan
This is the sixth instalment of the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I loved these books as a teenager and so I am revisiting them slowly. I love the blend of magic in these books and the sense of nostalgia reading them again. These books are pretty short and really quick so they’re perfect for reading in a single sitting. (Rating: 5/5 stars)
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15. The Last Namsara – Kirsten Ciccarelli
This is the first book in a YA fantasy featuring a whole host of magic, folklore and DRAGONS. It’s a really exciting book and I loved the blend of action and romance that this story has. (Rating: 4/5 stars)

Untitled design (54)16. The Caged Queen – Kirsten Ciccarelli
The Caged Queen is the second book in the Iskari series. This book follows a different character – one we meet briefly in The Last Namsara. This book was much more focused on politics and intrigue and I ended up loving it even more than the first book in the series. You can see my stop on the blog tour here! (Rating: 5/5 stars)

Untitled design (22)17. Sleeper: The Red Storm – J. D. Fennell
Sleeper: The Red Storm is the second in the series that features Sleeper agent Will Starling. I loved the first book in the series so I was so excited to dive back into this mixture of historical fiction and spy thriller. Bursting to the seams with action, explosions and fighting, The Red Storm is a fantastic new instalment to the series and I’m already dying to find out what happens next. You can take a look at my full review here! (Rating: 4/5 stars)

So that’s all the books I read in October! What did you read in October? And if you read any of these let me know what you thought!

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books

BOOK REVIEW (13)
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the back list books I want to read. I literally have tons of books in this category so I could probably have done a top fifty, but managed to whittle it down to 10.
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1. The Glass Spare – Lauren DeStefano

I really loved The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano so I was desperate to read this book when it came out. I bought a gorgeous hard back edition and it has been sitting on my shelf for ages waiting to be read.

Untitled design (42)2. Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer
Sleeping Beauty is my favourite fairy tale so I’ve always meant to read Spindle Fire and I have a beautiful signed copy that I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I’m hoping the winter months might be the perfect time to inspire me to read it.
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3. Forest of A Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao

I got this in a FairyLoot box and have heard so many people rave about how amazing it is. It has the most beautiful cover and I love a retelling so it definitely sounds right up my alley. I definitely hope I’ll get to this one soon.

Untitled design (44)4. Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
I bought this a few months ago in my local bookshop because it sounded like such a good creepy read. I saw quite a few people read it as part of Halloween readathons and say it was absolutely brilliant so I’m definitely putting it near the top of my TBR pile.

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5. Daughter of the Burning City – Amanda Foody

I bought Daughter of the Burning City at YALC last year because they had copies for sale slightly early. I was so eager to read it and I still haven’t gotten around to it. I read Ace of Shades and it was one of my favourite books of the year so far so I have no idea why I haven’t picked this up yet.
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6. The House of Shattered Wings – Aliette De Bodard

This is another series that has been on my TBR for quite a while and it sounds so so good. An urban fantasy with angels and war? Sign me up. It’s a series that I’ve not heard many people talk about, which is perhaps why I haven’t been so eager to pick it up but I’m definitely going to have to get around to it soon because it sounds amazing.

Untitled design (46)7. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerrie Manascalco
I had never planned on picking these books up because I wasn’t sure I was going to like them but after stumbling across a copy of the first book in the series I thought I would give them a shot because so many reviewers have given it a really high star rating. It seems like it might be quite a quick read so perhaps I’ll manage to squeeze it in this month!

Untitled design (47)8. Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas
This series is textbook Nicole. I read The Assassin’s Blade and the first two books in the Throne of Glass series and loved them. Kingdom of Ash just came out and somehow I’ve still only read the first two, despite buying each one as soon as it comes out. Someone please help me, I think I have a book buying problem.
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9. Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton

I read Rebel of the Sands earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I’ve been meaning to continue the series as I couldn’t resist picking up the rest of the books in the series. I should really just spend a weekend binge reading these beauties because I know so many people love them.

Untitled design (49)10.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
I’ve read Strange the Dreamer and I’m about to start Muse of Nightmares but I’ve never read Laini Taylor’s earlier series, despite owning all of them. I love her beautiful writing style so I’m sure I’m going to absolutely adore these, I just have to get a move on!

So these are the back list books that I really need to get around to reading. Have you read any of these? If you have what did you think? And if there’s any you think I should prioritise definitely let me know!

Birthday Book Haul!

Birthday Book Haul!

BOOK REVIEW (8)
Today I’m posting my birthday book haul. My birthday was actually in September and I got quite a few gift cards but I was holding off for a few books that were being released in October before I used them. I got some amazing books and I’m so excited to read them!

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1. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor
The first book I knew I was going to pick up was Muse of Nightmares. I loved Strange the Dreamer so much and I’m super excited to dive into this. It’s massive so I’m hoping for plenty of beautiful writing and intense moments.

Untitled design (25)2. Spinning Silver – Naomi Novik
I’ve heard so many people ranting and raving about this book that I just had to pick it up. I’ve never read a book by Naomi Novik so I’m excited to dive into a new fantasy authors writing.

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3. Daughter of the Siren Queen – Tricia Levenseller
I read Daughter of the Pirate King earlier this year and absolutely fell in love with the characters. I’ve been holding off to get a paperback version of Daughter of the Siren Queen but I couldn’t resist any longer. I’ve already dived in and loved the ending to this duology.

Untitled design (26)4. The Price Guide to the Occult – Leslye Walton
I’ve never read Leslye Walton’s other book (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender) but I had heard good things about this and thought it would be the perfect Halloween read. It also has a stunning cover so I had to pick it up. I’ve since read it and thought it was okay – it wasn’t really what I was expecting and I ended up giving it three out of five stars.
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5. These Rebel Waves – Sarah Raasch
I’ve been loving sea/pirate related books lately so when I saw people getting this in their Fairyloot I had to pick it up. I’m so excited to read this because it sounds amazing. Reviews for it have been a little mixed though so I’m looking forward to seeing what I think.

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6. Sea Witch – Sarah Henning

I’ve read a few Little Mermaid retellings this year so I just had to pick up Sea Witch. This is another one that I’ve heard really amazing things about so I’m hoping I’ll be able to dive into it in October because I’m dying to find out what’s in store.

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7. A Secret History of Witches – Louisa Morgan

This is a book I didn’t know too much about but I saw it was onsale for £1 and it was about witches and that was me sold. I love a good witchy story and I think this will be perfect for reading in the winter months.
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8. Our Dark Duet – Victoria Schwab

I’ve become a bit obsessed with books by Victoria Schwab so I’m trying to complete my collection. So far this year I’ve read three of her books and I’m definitely hoping to squeeze in a few more before the end of the year!

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9. Pendragon – James Wilde

As a child I always really loved stories about King Arthur so when the publisher kindly sent me Dark Age – book two in this King Arthur series I immediately ordered Pendragon. I can’t wait to binge read these gorgeous books.

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10. The Wicked Deep – Shea Earnshaw
OH MY GOD THIS BOOK. I picked it up because I’d heard people say it was a good story and very atmospheric but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love this. It was so dark and creepy and such a well written plot. It will definitely be on my favourite books of 2018 list.

Untitled design (32)11. The Last Magician – Lisa Maxwell
This is another one that I picked up kind of on a whim. I don’t know too much about it but I’ve seen a few booktubers give really rave reviews about it so I’m hoping I will really enjoy it too. I know the sequel has just come out so at least when I do get around to reading it I won’t have to wait too long to pick up book two.

Untitled design (33)12. Vengeful – V. E. Schwab
Who is surprised to see this on this list? Absolutely no one. I picked up Vicious and pretty much didn’t put it down the entire time I was reading it. It was an amazing read and has definitely solidified Victoria Schwab as one of my new favourite authors. I haven’t picked up Vengeful yet but I am going to be very very soon and I hope I love it as much as Vicious.

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13. Shiver Box Set – Maggie Stiefvater

My boyfriend also bought me a box set of the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve never read these but I know they’re pretty much classics of the YA genre and so many people love them. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading them but I’m very much looking forward to it.

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14. Delirium Box Set – Lauren Oliver

Similarly I also got a box set of the Delirium books by Lauren Oliver. I’ve actually never read any of her books despite owning a couple so hopefully having the complete set of Delirium books will push me to pick them up!

So that’s my birthday book haul! Have you read any of these, if you have let me know what you thought and if there’s any you think I should prioritise!

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

Book Review (18)
Series:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Release Date: 15th April 2014
Pages: 355
Publisher: Scholastic Books
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this from my local Waterstones.

Synopsis

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Review

So I’m going to be honest and say that I picked this up after all the buzz around the Netflix movie. I hadn’t seen the film and this book sounded as far out of my comfort zone as it was possible to get, so it was a pleasant surprise when I loved the book and the movie as well.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has really touched my heart – it’s such a sweet and cute story and I think it’s wonderful that it’s getting so much recognition at the moment – recognition it really deserves. Lara Jean is a really fantastic character, she’s so adorable, she lives in her head spending more time imagining things than living them. She’s relatable and shows an immense amount of character depth in this book.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the family dynamic. Lara Jean and her sisters have lost their mother at young age, and so are incredibly close. It was really fascinating to watch their relationship change and grow, especially as Lara Jean has to deal with her sister moving to the other side of the world. Kitty is my far my favourite character, she’s hilarious, wild and the best kind of character.

The book is obviously cheesy and a little over the top but it will honestly give you all kinds of warm feelings. Whilst I normally prefer much darker and more action packed books, it was really nice to read something fluffy and light. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the perfect summer read, and I’m so looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see what happens next to Lara Jean and Peter.
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Waiting on Wednesday #2 – Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Waiting on Wednesday #2 – Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Book Review (15)

Synopsis

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.

But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Thoughts

 Welcome to another waiting on Wednesday! I am dying to get my hands on a copy of Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. It already has so much buzz around it and I’ve seen a ton of five star reviews for this book on Goodreads already. It sounds like it’s going to be a heart stopping wild ride of a book and I can’t wait until release day. It also has such a stunning cover that I can’t wait to have on my bookshelves. I have a request in for a Netgalley copy of this so I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I might get approved. If not Girls of Paper and Fire is releasing November 6th from Hodder and Stoughton and I will be running out to the shops to pick up a copy then!

Book Review: The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Book Review: The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

Book Review (13)
Series:
The Hazel Wood #1
Release Date: 30th January 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 359
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Review

As soon as I read the synopsis for The Hazel Wood I was dying to read it. Dark fairy tale stories? a mystery surrounding a reclusive grandmother and her creepy estate? Count me in! I really enjoyed reading The Hazel Wood but it didn’t turn out quite how I expected it would. It was dark and unsettling and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up the next instalment in the series.

The first half of the book I absolutely fell in love with. I loved the mystery surrounding the Hazel Wood. Where was it located? What was really behind the gates? There were so many questions and these creepy fairy tale characters kept appearing which made me desperate for me. At this point I felt the book could easily have been a five star all time favourite read, but for some reason as soon as Alice reached the Hinterland I felt the book fell a little flat. I felt like the story was racing towards the end and Id didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy it.

The story is a slow burner, but I enjoyed the little hints and clues that led up to Alice finding her way into the Hazel Wood. Alice was an interesting main protagonist, although she was pretty unlikeable and I felt some of her actions were a bit questionable. What I did really love was Melissa Albert’s writing style, I thought her writing was really beautiful and I loved completely absorbing myself in world of this book.

Despite being a little disappointed with the second half of the book I still think this is a really great read. It’s dark and enjoyable definitely gave me some serious Alice in Wonderland vibes. If you love your fairy tales with a bit of a twist, this is bound to be right up your street.
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