Posted in book reviews

Chasing Red – Isabelle Ronin (Red, #1)

They said she was going to be my ruin…
Then let her ruin me.

Caleb Lockhart has everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until a chance encounter with a siren in a red dress changes everything. Until he meets the woman he dubs Red.

Veronica Strafford’s past makes it hard for her to trust anyone. Now, kicked out of her apartment, she reluctantly accepts Caleb’s offer for a place to stay.

Caleb feels intensely drawn to Veronica. And, for the first time in his life, he really wants something—someone. Too bad Veronica’s heart might just be the one thing Caleb can’t win.

Thank you Netgalley/Sourcebooks for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I do like Chasing Red, don’t get me wrong. I first red it on Wattpad, and this published version has changes/differences to do with Veronica’s past – I do like these changes, as in the Wattpad version they were just – far fetched? Yeah. A bit out there and confusing.

Anyways, the writing is good but the problems lie more within the plot line. There isn’t really much plot or action at all? And I in no way mean that as a sort of pun towards Caleb/Veronica but really?? Most of the book just revolved around them trying to resist sleeping with each other and their other various relationship issues. I mean…it was okay, but wasn’t really entertaining enough. And then, about 83% of the way into the book the drama and plot begins to unfold with the “fork in the road” conflict with Beatrice-Rose and Veronica realising it’s time for her to stop running and fight.

This no doubt leads into the sequel. However, I feel like a lot of this book could have been cut down and Chasing Red/Always Red could’ve remained together as one book. This one really just felt like a really looooooooong lead up to the sequel.

Caleb was probably the most developed character. Where as with Veronica, it really took until about the 98% mark for her to have some sort of development. I just feel like throughout this all there was too much back and fourth on the personality. Yes, this goes with Veronica and her uncertainty, but as a reader it can get boring reading about someone for like 300 pages going “should I? Shouldn’t I?” Then the whole *drama* happened and this all worsened and ugh!

I did also quite like the female friendships. They were there for each other and didn’t put each other down and that was cool. But their friendship just mainly seemed to revolve around the men in their lives and not about them??? I think every conversation they had was about Cameron / Theo / Caleb or being interrupted by a man. So yeah. It’s nice to see friends being supportive, but maybe show that women can talk about other things apart from clothes and boys??? For example – Kara is a boss. And that’s kick ass. She came into this book as a fiery business woman but that quickly went downhill, soon enough she was just another girl with *boy drama* and it was sad to see her reduced to ONLY that. So yeah. These girls and their friendship had their strengths but I’m only hoping this can also be developed in the second novel.

So I overall give this 2 stars. I’m tempted by 3, but I can’t really see enough reasons for that much of a high rating.

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Posted in book reviews

A Semi-Definite List of Worst Nightmares – Krystal Sutherland

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love.

 

Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for this in exchange for an honest opinion!

I was considering putting a quotation at the beginning of this review but I highlighted so, so, so much while reading this novel that I wouldn’t know what one to pick. I love Krystal Sutherland’s writing style. Her dialogue is witty and painfully honest. The characters feel honest and it’s easy to connect – for example, Esther’s casual inner commentary like “well, this isn’t going to go great,” just felt so honest, and real. I don’t really know how to explain – but it gave Esther such a strong voice. Sometimes it almost read like reading a recap of an event from a friend.

Once again, much like with Our Chemical Hearts, I like the way mental health is discussed. It isn’t romanticised at all, but rather shown to be a real and painful thing that effects everyone in different ways, but all of it horrible. It shows that you shouldn’t be afraid to speak about it but this novel deals with the fears of coming out with it.

I do think sometimes though it felt a bit dismissive – it was constant questioning of “do they have mental health issues? Is this a magic realist world? Should I be concerned she believes in this stuff?”

So yeah. I don’t think the line between it was always clear. Turns out, this does have some paranormal elements?? I think?? Like I said – I’m still not really sure and I’m not sure how to feel about that. I’m one of those people with books like these that I want it to be defined – is this actually elements of the paranormal or just straight contemporary with a “wacky” character?

That’s also what’s great about this – the book kind of makes fun of itself. Several times Esther is called out because of how she is a “special snowflake” and she admits she wants to be one. While this is only a small dig at itself, because in the end it becomes to have a much greater relevance and heavier meaning towards plot/character development towards the end of the novel.

“You being scared of cornfields and alines doesn’t make you some special snowflake.
Everyone’s fear sounds the same in their head.”

“How dare you, I am a special snowflake.”

Everything did tie in nicely. I don’t feel like anything was added as a “filler” and that in the end everything made sense. You could see the links connecting things together.

On the other hand, I think more of these “links” should have been explored further. I.e the absentee parents and domestic abuse. Yes, this was semi-resolved towards the end and the realisation that “parents are human too” I feel like it should’ve had more to it.

There’s a lot of interesting discussions in this novel. There’s the obvious ones about mental health and how it can take over your life, and how people just want to fix it for you, but it’s not always that easy etc. But it also takes on interesting discussions about fear and what it means to live.

“It’s like a broken bone, you know? You can’t keep walking on it and expect it to heal.”

“Is this the surreptitious Esther Solar acknowledging the existence of mental illness and not just behaving like I’m cursed?”

That’s also what I love about this: the views uttered by the characters on mental health and how to deal aren’t always perfect. They can say harmful things and their outlook can sometimes be negative and wrong, but the great thing about this is the character development. These then negative opinions have been challenged / developed and I think that’s a beautiful thing. It’s showing that even if you’ve got it wrong before you have the chance to listen and to learn and to grow. The novel does this without ever feeling preachy.

Overall, I really liked it and I’m a definite fan of Krystal Sutherland.

Posted in book reviews

The Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee (The Thousandth Floor, #2)

Thank you to Netgalley / HarperCollins / Edleweiss for this book in an exchange for an honest opinion!

New York City, 2118. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a beacon of futuristic glamour and high-tech luxury… and to millions of people living scandalous, secretive lives.

Leda is haunted by nightmares of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’s afraid the truth will get out – which is why she hires Watt, her very own hacker, to keep an eye on all of the witnesses for her. But what happens when their business relationship turns personal?

When Rylin receives a scholarship to an elite upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being here also means seeing the boy she loves: the one whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.

Avery is grappling with the reality of her forbidden romance – is there anywhere in the world that’s safe for them to be together?

And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who’s arrived in New York with a devious goal in mind – and too many secrets to count.

Here in the Tower, no one is safe – because someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, you’re always only one step away from a devastating fall….

 

What is it with this series that keeps drawing me in???

It’s several things really – I love the mashup of genres this has. It has elements of a mystery/thriller, combined with that classic teen drama, filled with those archetypal characters you’d see on shows such as Gossip Girl. On the surface, it probably sounds a bit of a mess – but somehow it all comes together in a combination that works? Not to sound like a broken record, but yes, like beloved show Gossip Girl.

The Dazzling Heights is a fantastic sequel. It continues on the story of the Thousandth Floor not to long after it left, and we’re thrown back into the mess of things. We are dumped in the middle of the drama and the characters – some new – and how they’re coping and using what happened at the end of the first novel in living their lives.

The characters develop – like Leda – and you get to see a more humane side of them. You see others being given opportunities they’ve never had before and it’s interesting in seeing them cope. Others cross dangerous boundaries and it’s so dramatic waiting for them to be caught.

This novel started off with a very strong sense of direction and plot that then unfortunately died out after that first chapter. It’s hinted at about three more times all the way through, before it’s dramatic climax at about 87% into the book. This was disappointing and I feel like we should have had more of this throughout the whole novel, and not just towards the end. It was too quick to end when it had only just started and that was disappointing. And although this quick ending will no doubt have consequences in the third novel, I feel like it was wasted and this books sense of purpose was ultimately lost.

Having said that – this book did deal with the aftermath of events in book one. While, like I said, the overarching plot wasn’t well-developed and ended before it even began, each character had their own subplot. This was good – it was nice seeing how everyone dealt and the actions of each character, and seeing how they now interacted after everything had passed. It made it tense – with all these deep dark secrets between them – and who would snap first. But some relationships took a turn for the unexpected.

I wish other characters – such as Cord – had larger parts in this book and were developed more. Cord, even though he’s not a main character, is my favourite. I love him and Avery’s relationship, and I liked having more of that. Others like Leda and Watt . . . so much dodgy history between them, but seeing their relationship come to develop was interesting.

So yes, I did really enjoy this one – it was a good sequel. I think it’s up to par with the first one, which in a way, disappoints me because I was hoping for this one to blow me away. But still – with the quality matching the first, which was very good, I can’t complain too much because at least it’s consistent.

My only other problem with this is adding in another point of view character whose only objective, for the subplot of another character, was to come between them. I didn’t care for this new character. They were just there to stir the pot, and while, with how this book ended I have no doubt they’ll be stirring up trouble in the third book this still didn’t make me care about this person. Their point of view should’ve been given to a character already established. Also – while the first had problematic elements of characters being drugged and taking advantage of, this one dealt with a student/teacher thing. While it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, I was still unhappy with the way it was ultimately dealt with. I’m just happy all the characters weren’t happy with this relationship and that it was condemned – just not enough.

So while there was a lot explored in this – there is still a lot more to come out and be explored that I can only hope will happen in the third. For example, all the drama between Brice, Rylin and Cord to come to light. But overall, this was very pleasing second novel, and if anything it seems to have paved the way for a really exciting third, and what I can only hope will be the novel that will ultimately blow me away with the shock / wow / drama factor.

Three very good stars

Posted in other bookish posts

Reaction to V.E Schwab’s Shade of Magic news!

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This post will contain spoilers for the Shades of Magic trilogy.

My first thought?? AHHHHHH.

Honestly. I am SO excited for this. The Shades of Magic trilogy, soon to be series, is one of my favourites. I absolutely love the world, the characters and the writing so I am really excited to see more of that being explored.

I’m anxious about the new characters – will I love them as much as I did Kell, Lila, Rhys, Alucard and Holland? Will I have the same connection? Schwab said that they will still be prominent – but will it still be the same??

So many questions. I hope to God we finally get more of that backstory about Kell and the story about the initials – I WANT TO KNOW. Frustrated me to no end when Kell passed up that chance. . . but now it seems there’s hope??? I WILL CROSS MY FINGERS.

Also there will be a timejump of about 5 – 10 years. What will Lila be doing – still a pirate? And Kell?? How is he coping? And Rhys – how is he doing, now that he’s King?

ALL THE QUESTIONS. I HAVE MANY.

And then not to mention the other book she mentioned – A FEMALE ASSASSIN IN A FUTURISTIC NEW YORK CITY. THIS SOUNDS SO FREAKING COOL AND I AM HELLA THERE FOR IT. CAN I HAVE IT NOW??

Posted in general posts, other bookish posts

Anticipated Releases of 2017! Part 2!

Here I am, sitting here on my bed, thinking about all the upcoming books that are being released in the next month or so. Not too long ago I wrote an anticipated releases post, and that has my most-most anticipated. So basically the books I’ve been really, really, really excited for, but as time goes on I’ve found myself looking more forward to these books. So here they are!

  1. Dazzling Heights – Katharine McGee

I read the Thousandth Floor last year, after it came out. I really, really enjoyed it. I found it exciting and fun. It was filled with such drama – petty drama at times – and it was just brilliant. It was mindless fun. And I liked that. Ultimately literature aims to entertain and please and this certainly did that. And that ending . . . dramatic! It left on a bit of a cliffhanger – with everyone’s worlds colliding, and a death, and it was so suspenseful and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds in the second novel.

2. The Empress – S.J Kincaid

This book messed with my mind so much. I’m still not sure what happened and who I’m supposed to trust?? I hated this. One part of me, a large part, thought the twists and turns got so ridiculous and that it was getting sloppy. Like, really? It’s just too much and it’s getting confusing and the book doesn’t make sense. The other part of me was LIVING for this. I really liked the constant tonal shifts and how people would be deceptive. It was like YAAAS. It kept me on the edge. I liked it. That’s why I can’t wait for this, with everything that happened in the Diabolic I can’t wait to see how it all plays out – essentially it’s a refreshed story….but I can’t wait to see how the implications of the first book play out in this and how the characters grow. Will everyone end up murdering each other??? Probably.

3. A Semi-Definite List of Worst Nightmares – Krystal Sutherland

I loved Krystal Sutherland’s Our Chemical Hearts. It was funny and raw and just so real. It dealt with toxic relationships and how to say no and to let go of that. The characters were flawed and complicated and said wrong things and made bad decisions but this is what made it more real. It mirrored real life. It took these discussions of grief and toxic relationships, and while sometimes it was over dramatised and could be too romanticised, ultimately it dealt with it well. It offered a real world point of view that wasn’t perfect but made sure to translate something to the reader: it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to sometimes be selfish. Its just – there’s too much to say and this isn’t the place. But this is why I can’t wait to read this – because I’m so interested to see where Krystal Sutherland takes her next and I love her witty writing.

4. Shadowblack – Sebastien de Castell

The first book to this was so weird and random but also SO FREAKING FUN. It was a breath of fresh air really. I just really enjoyed it, and how unique the world felt. So I’m definitely excited for the second one.

5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Virtue and Vice – Mackenzi Lee

THE HYPE SURROUNDING THIS BOOK IS MAKING ME HYPED. I’ve heard SOOOO many good things about this from so many people in my Goodreads friends list so obviously I want to read it and to be able to join in on the discussion.

6. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Alexandra Bracken

TWO WORDS: ALEXANDRA BRAKCEN. That’s enough to sell me on this book. The Darkest Minds trilogy is one of my favourites, and I really loved and enjoyed the Passenger duology too. Therefore, I will obviously be reading this and I’m excited to see how she transitions from writing YA to middle grade.

7. It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne

HOLLY BOURNE IS FREAKING FABULOUS. Her novels on mental health and feminism and friendship are the BEST. I love her and she’s a role model – therefore, once again, it’s quite obvious that I’ll definitely be reading this.

 

For now – that’s the list I can think of. There are so many other books that I am side-eyeing to read, and I possibly don’t have time to mention them all, but these are the few coming out September/October time!

What books coming out in September are you ready and waiting for?? Tower of Dawn??? Me too!!

Posted in book reviews

Crystal Storm – Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, #5)

An epic clash between gods and mortals threatens to tear Mytica apart . . . and prove that not even the purest of love stands a chance against the strongest of magic.

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

“Now brush your hair, lift your chin and pretend you are the most powerful person in the room.”

Yaaas, I really liked this one! I loved the change in relationship dynamic with Magnus and Cleo. While they could hardly stop arguing and disagreeing for two seconds, there was something about the angst and the tension that was just soooo good. I just loved seeing them explore that side of their relationship – and what was better, was the fact that things didn’t work out easily or perfectly.

I liked Lucia a bit more in this one. I feel like Lucia really does have multiple personalities. This is not in a way where her character develops or changes organically in different situations, it’s more that she’s just mashed together and the author can’t decide whether Lucia is going to be softhearted, cold hearted, a bad ass, a raging sociopathic bitch – and honestly the constant change is annoying and giving me whiplash.

I’m confused by some characters motivations. Maybe I wasn’t paying proper attention but what even was Olivia at the end? I’m confused.

That ending – it just felt rushed. This whole book has been fairly fast paced, but this was just too extremely fast and it felt like so much was packed into about the last 30 pages. The upside with this though, I guess, readers will be going to the next novel with all the hundreds of questions left to answer.

But I did really like this. Like I said, it was fun and fast paced and other characters – like Amara – were just so interesting. They’re not necessarily characters I love, but with Amara you have to kind of take a step back, especially as a woman, and see where she’s coming from. That is one thing I like about this – powerful women (Nerissa, Lysandra, Lucia, Cleo). It just sucks half the time they’re killed/overshadowed by the males and their needs to be “manly”.

Also – can we please protect Felix at all costs??

Posted in book reviews

Frozen Tides – Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms, #4)

Plans are laid and the players are determined…but nothing can prepare these unlikely warriors for what the elemental gods of Mytica have in store.

Cleo: Reeling after a shocking realization about Magnus, the golden princess must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a queen.

Magnus is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he has what it takes to rule his people.

Jonas: The defeated rebel leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to become a pawn in the dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

Lucia: Heartbroken and blind with fury, the betrayed sorceress allies with the awoken fire god, who also seeks revenge.

In Mytica’s darkest hour, four crystal orbs will determine who will die…and who will live in glory forever.

 

Some sought revenge against their enemies with the edge of a sword. Her plan for vengeance began with the edge of a smile.

 

Oh my god?? I actually really, really, really liked this one?? Like don’t get me wrong – it’s still trashy. I’m still in shock that Jonas has some how managed to stay alive. He makes some of the most stupidest choices ever. He has such luck – but those around him? Yeah, not so much.

I can’t really put how I like this series. It’s so bad BUT so good. But the writing is improving, the characterisation and the plot has improved and I’m just left like ????

It’s very addictive and I haven’t been able to stop reading. I will be moving on to Crystal Storm immediately, where a massive book hangover will probably follow.

Just

AHHHH.

That’s me. That’s my feelings.

Also I really adore Fenix. He’s so sassy. And I’m beginning to really love Magnus. Jonas is stupid but I appreciate him too. Lucia was SOOO annoying in this one but she improved towards the end.

Is it just me that thinks the ages are stupid though? I always forget that Cleo is 16 and everyone else is a similar age.

But anyways,

ON I GO TO CRYSTAL STORM. WOOO.

Posted in other bookish posts

Upcoming Releases That I’d Sell My Soul For

I bet that as soon as you read the title of this blog post a book came to mind. Several come to my mind, but there’s a few in particular that are right at the forefront. While I do have a lot of anticipated releases in which the release date is a painful distance away in the future, and the wait is tense, there’s a couple in which I am dying to get my hands on as soon as possible and devour.

This first novel that I’m going to mention is obvious. If you know me at all, you know that The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is one of my favourite books of all time. Yep. It’s so good that it’s been awarded that title. It’s truly phenomenal and I love it desperately. That’s why I cannot wait to get my hands on her latest release, Circe. As soon as I finished The Song of Achilles I looked for more novels from her and now, with a release date in sight, April 2018, I have one. But it’s just so far away! And with the publisher sending out copies of the novel, I. am. dying.

Just . . . just look at it!

 

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Beautiful, right? And that’s not even the final cover! I NEED THIS.

 

Now enough fangirling and freaking out about Circe. If I had another token to get any release right now, it would of course have to be Throne of Glass #7. Honestly . . . I want to be back with Aelin! And Dorian! And Aedion! And everyone else! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AND I WANT TO KNOW NOW! Okay . . .  that sounds very bratty, but !!! THE ENDING OF EMPIRE OF STORMS JUST !!!

*breathes*

So yeah. They are they two books that I’d sell my soul to have right now.

What books what you sell you soul for?

 

Posted in book reviews

The Hawkweed Prophecy – Irena Brignull

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches – but everyone knows it won’t be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.

The Hawkweed Prophecy, to quite simply put it, was a mess. What started off a strong and intriguing dark fantasy quickly faded away to nothing but a badly written fantasy/romance. This book had the potential to be a great fantasy with great female characters, as it started off so.

Where to begin? First I must talk about the structure and how this novel switches between perspectives suddenly. There’s no prior warning. Nothing. One minute you’re reading something from one persons point of view; and then someone elses the next! This heavy juxtaposition between the perspectives was dreadful – it was confusing and I often got lost on whose point of view I was in and why. Honestly – the meaning was lost. I read the same scene over and over again from many different point of views. I wouldn’t mind if it served a purpose, but it did not, and instead it felt long winded and dragged out.

OH THE LOVE TRIANGLE / INSTA LOVE. Poppy literally meets Leo, and then the next day she’s invited him into her house alone. When he leaves, she brings his mug up to her lips and places her mouth where his just was.

I just ? ? ? no.

Oh and Ember. As soon as she meets him she’s instantly in love and of course Poppy then thinks it was her destiny to bring these two people together. Sure. Ember has never seen a man before, Leo’s the first, so? It’s not like she had much to compare him with? Not to mention that Sorrel, in her own twisted way, has an infatuation with him.

And Leo . . . well boy can’t make up his mind, can he? One minute he’s making out with Ember and then running to Poppy saying how he’s desperately in love with her and how she’s his true love. . . and then he’s making out with Ember again. HE. CAN’T. MAKE. UP. HIS. MIND.

To me it’s like the author can’t actually decide what she wants. It’s just a mess – one minute it’s going in a solid and clear direction, and then any development or characterisation that’s been made is out of the window. It’s like every time the author sat down she changed her mind but didn’t want to backspace what she had written. UGH.

Oh and the female characters. Petty? Check. Stupid? Check. Stereotyped? Check. I mean of course we have to have a mean girl. Of course we have to have the whole “special snowflake” thing. And Ember . . . I just. The author promotes her prettiness as what was it . . . being fair haired and pale? Don’t hold me exactly to that – the characters were so boring and bland they all began to blend together as one.

WHAT WAS THE PLOT? No, seriously. I’m asking you. It started off strong with a classic-switchero, and of course, THE PROPHECY. But was soon taken over by the mindless “romance” scenes and Poppy and Ember continually moaning about how they don’t fit in, while Raven is just being a weirdo and an abuser to her daughter.

Side note: I really loved Ember’s and Poppy’s friendship to begin with. I think it started off too quickly – but I liked the companionship and comfort they found in each other and the dell. But that soon faded away to nothing but petty jealousies and hate. Sometimes the touch of sisterhood would come back but then the moment was robbed by thoughts of Leo.

Anyways – back to the lack of plot. Yeah. It kept disappearing. I think if this book had focused more on that then it would have been better. I did like how we saw Poppy actually practice, and it wasn’t just on a whim of “hey! look how good I am at this thing I’ve never learnt before!” but still. It wasn’t great.

Oh and the PARENTS. I mean they were all shitty. Especially Poppy’s father. He blamed Poppy for something, that wasn’t her fault, making her feel guilty and worthless all because he didn’t want to out himself and his secret. So he used his daughter to get what he wanted and basically punished her for the thing he knew he shouldn’t have. Make sense?? I am trying not to spoil too much.

ANYWAYS – much like the plot, I am going off track. But yeah. Moments where the plot was put back in I was like WOO we’re getting somewhere only to be robbed of it like two pages later. I’m not happy about this.

The writing was okay, even if the writing structure was not.

OH! ALSO. THIS WITCHCRAFT. It’d be nice to actually understand how the spells work? Like one minute they have to chant and then spells happen? Other times, like in the duel, they just hold out their hands and blast? Then they talk about only some can shape shift BUT THEN WE GET TONS THAT CAN SHAPESHIFT? Other times we have to use ingredients for spells?? HOW DOES THIS ALL WORK? TELL ME. MAKE ME UNDERSTAND. I just don’t think the system was properly explained and there was NO excuse for that. While Poppy was inexperienced, and Leo had nothing to do with the witch world, the rest of the narrators did. So there’s no reason why this could have been clearer.

Oh. The world-building. For starters, I was confused with what time period we are in. Secondly, and maybe I wasn’t reading clear enough, but where is this set? America? Some made up town? WHERE? How come no ones accidentally walked into this hidden forest place that’s just outside town that looks like it came from the 1400’s? Does magic protect it? WHAAAT? TELL ME.

I am silently screaming in frustration.

Oh and the ending. Throwing out these plot twists of HAHA, but it was obvious?? Like ?? It’s not like it was subtly hinted at so if you didn’t come out and give that explanation for it it would be a pile of shit?? I’m just surprised the characters didn’t figure it out sooner. SO. OBVIOUS.

But yeah. I think that’s it. Maybe. That’s all my important points – if I were to nitpick further I could possibly run out of characters.

So overall, I liked the idea. It had a strong start and sometimes was strong in plot, but for the most of it it wasn’t. Rather it favoured a dodgy love triangle, poor characterisation, and lost sight of the point of the whole novel. I doubt I’ll be continuing on with this series, but I am a curious person . . . so I’ll probably read the second one. . .

Posted in book reviews

If My Moon Was Your Sun – Andreas Steinhofel, Nele Palmtag

Did you hear the story about Max, the boy who kidnapped his grandfather from a nursing home ? You didn’t see it on the news? Well, let me tell you about it.

Max lives in a small town, much smaller than yours. His grandpa is losing his memory, but still remembers quite a bit. You can imagine how they hurried, Max and his grandpa, followed by old Miss Schneider, who insisted on coming along. Why were they in a hurry? Because everyone was after them. Max had skipped school to rescue his grandpa, and they were just starting out on what promised to be one of the best days of their entire lives.

A touching story about dementia and the special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, with full-color illustrations and a read-along CD audiobook featuring twelve classical pieces for children by Georges Bizet and Sergei Prokofiev.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review!

I don’t usually read children’s books, unless me nephew, Roman, 2, comes up to me and demands for me to read them. Usually I get a page or two before he runs off and picks out another one. That’s about all.

But tomorrow my other nephew, Joshua, 6, is going to sign up to receive his first library card. Josh likes to read – the other day I sat while he read Aladdin at me. And that got me thinking about all these books out there, waiting and ready for him to discover. I’ve been a reader all my life, and all I can do is hope and gently encourage him for having that same passion.

If My Moon Was Your Sunis written in such beautiful prose. It may be a children’s book but it was deeply thoughtful and beautifully written. It’s not too over the top; it’s simple, easy to read and understand, while at the same time encouraging intelligence of the reader and for them to think. For young children, whose minds are open to so much information, it’s important to treat them like they’re smart and they’re not stupid. This book does exactly that; it engages in a conversation.

You closed your eyes, you breathed deeply in and out, and in no time at all you felt rooted and alive.

This book tells the tale of a young boy, Max, breaking his Grandfather out of the Nursing Home. This is written with the view of a scared boy whose afraid of losing his best friend, his protector, his Grandfather. It’s from a boy who wants adventure. It’s about loving.

“That someday I’ll ask, do you remember? and you won’t remember anymore.
And that someday . . . someday you will forget how much you love me.”

“Max. Don’t be afraid. You don’t need to be afraid of anything, my boy.”

So this small book is beautiful, and I love the message of loving and comfort it sends through via the relationship of Max and his Grandfather. I don’t think I got the best reading experience that I could have as I didn’t listen to the audio BUT having said that, the book was still amazing without it. Also, I can’t forget to mention the illustrations that were simply BEAUTIFUL. They were done with just enough detail and childlike manner that they suited the atmosphere and the theme of the book PERFECTLY.