Posted in other bookish posts

Happy UK Renegades Release Day! Pick a side: Anarchist or Renegade?

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Renegades is a new novel by Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless. The Lunar Chronicles is a sci-fi fairytale retelling of many different fairytales, set in the future, and Heartless is a re-imagining of the story of the Queen of Hearts. While The Lunar Chronicles mainly features out heroes, Heartless tracks the development of it’s villain. So Meyer has experience writing both heroes and villains, but with Renegades she explores more of the mechanics of both.

Meyer writes Renegades from an interesting perspective. We follow the main character, Nova, who is loyal to the Anarchists. As part of that and her ultimate-revenge plan, she infiltrates the Renegades and pretends to be one of them. Her duality allows for the reader and for Meyer to explore both the Anarchists and the Renegades. Through this exploration we begin to peel back the layers – Renegades aren’t as good as they make themselves to seem, and not all Anarchist’s are evil. It truly is a discussion on what makes you ‘good’ and what makes you ‘bad’ and a lot of that owes to circumstance. While the bad actions cannot be excused, we learn to sympathise with our characters and the hands they have been dealt.

I was asked where I would line myself: would I want to be a Renegade, or an Anarchist? And for me, there’s no clear answer. While I don’t like the destruction and death of the Anarchist’s I appreciate their need for wanting to express their freedom, that they shouldn’t be persecuted for who they are. However, I drift away at them crushing constitutions and institutions without regard for everyone else: the Anarchists soon began to drift from wanting equality to then wanting dominance. Then there are the Renegades: they look good on the outside, the typical superhero characters and there is a lot I love and appreciate about them. But still, not all is as it seems.

So I’m going to leave myself in the gray area with that one but I’m wondering – what side would you chose?

Posted in book reviews

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn’t know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it’s his last chance to get out there and make an impression.

Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it’s time to run.

Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love…

Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not and History Is All You Left Me.

I recently read History Is All You Left Me, in which I expected a heartbreaking book about first love, heartbreak, grief. What I got was . . . meh. Didn’t really like it . . .

So what do I do? Yeah, I decide to read this. (Emer, I blame you – your masochist ways are infecting me).

And well . . .


Once again, I was DUPED! I was hoping this would be everything that I wanted from History Is All You Left Me. I expected to fall in love with these characters, with their relationships. To want to root so hard for them that I didn’t want to finish the book because I didn’t want them to die. . .


Yeah. That didn’t happen. I couldn’t wait for them to die so this would be over with. IT WAS SO PAINFULLY SLOW. It draaaaggeeeeddddd out. Nothing hardly happened. It was boring. And don’t get me wrong, while I did like the main charachters (forgot their names oops) and was slightly sad when they died, I didn’t cry over it. I didn’t feel like I got punched in the gut and had my heart ripped out. It was an, oh, that’s sad. . .

Do I just have no emotions??

I think that, although I liked these characters, it was hard to root for them. Sure, I wanted them to be able to have the experiences that they never got to have. To live a long and happy life. Ultimately it comes down to me feeling unfulfilled. There last day wasn’t this whole great big “carpe diem”. There were some brief, flickering moments – and this had a hell of a lot of potential to be exciting but it wasn’t. They just spent most of their time doing . . . well nothing really.

I don’t know how I’d spend my last day (very morbid to think about) but this just seemed ?? like ok. I was expecting so much more than you just walking around the city.

That’s the problem. This book set out to be profound. To comment on life/death, to live every moment like it’s your last, seize the moment etc….it just made me extremely freaking paranoid of everything. Like you could literally die at any point and noPE. I’M ALREADY PARANOID ENOUGH THANKS.

Also . . . this book had no logic??? The world-building??? So this is a different version of our world, or the future? How do they know peoples deaths?? To me it seemed like they told people they were going to die -> people tried to avoid death -> the actions they took to avoid said death is what caused it. So if they were never told, would it have happened?? Fate or coincidence??

So yeah. Maybe you’d think this book shouldn’t need to have this sort of logic as it’s a commentary on seizing your last day and living life with no regrets, but I found it hard to get on board with this idea without some sort of explanation. JUST GIVE ME MORE DETAILS.

Oh and the random POV changes . . . I DON’T CARE. GOOOOO AWAAAAAY.

So yeah. . .

Didn’t really like this…


2 stars.

Posted in book reviews

Been Here All Along – Sandy Hall

“Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee and having his choice of colleges. They do not include falling head over heels for his best friend and next-door neighbour, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do . . .

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong . . .”

Not bad, not bad all. I quite liked this book. It was cute, and I liked the sort of slow burn romance between the two main characters.

The ending came suddenly. Abrupt. It felt like the book was just cut off. One minute I’m reading then BAM acknowledgements, and I’m like – is that it? That’s how you’re ending it? And I guess, it was good. It was happy. But it felt . . . eh. Everything seemed to happen all at once, despite their being a long build up. And this book was only 240 pages, but it did feel longer.

This book did other little nice things such as handle learning disabilities and providing support for those coming out as gay.

Other than all that though, this book didn’t really overwhelm me with it’s awesomeness. It was just a cute, quick and fun read.

3 stars.
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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee (Guide, #1)

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.



It was such a fun read. I love Monty. He had such glorious sass. His character development was AWESOME. He went from being a TOTAL scoundrel to only *slightly* a scoundrel and learnt to defend and accept himself and YES YES YES.

Percy also. I loved his stance towards his illness. I thought this was really well done. And it makes me want to scream at all these idiots in this time because IT ISN’T CAUSED BY DEMONS!!! AHHH.

But oh my god, I think Felicity was the STAR. She was a BADASS. She was so smart and witty and caring and fun and I LOVED HER. I’m so happy this series will be continuing on with her.

But overall, I really freaking enjoyed this. It was an adventure, it had romance, it was sassy and witty, and just all around a great freaking read.

Posted in book reviews

History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

I’m not really sure what I thought of this one. I guess, as always with hyped books, that I expected a lot more from this. I thought this book would rip my heart out of my chest and stamp onto, shattering it into a million pieces. But it didn’t. I can even say that I felt that sad. Maybe I don’t have a heart?

But I didn’t really care for Griffin’s relationship with Theo. Yeah, it was cutesy at times, but I couldn’t look past the fact that to Theo Griffin’s mental health was a cute ‘quirk’. I thought Theo’s treatment of Griffin in over areas where shitty as well. So I guess it was hard for me to be like “omg I ship this so hard” to then being sad over the fact that this OTP would NOT be endgame.

So I really don’t know. It was good. The writing was nice. I liked the change between history/present. But I can’t say this is a book that in a couple months I’ll be like “wow, that book was so good.”

Am I heartless??? Ahhh


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Batman: Nightwalker – Marie Lu (DC Icons, #2)

The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: BATMAN by the # 1 New York Timesbestselling author Marie Lu.

Returning home from his lavish eighteenth birthday party, Bruce Wayne stops a criminal’s getaway – disobeying the police and crashing his car during the chase.

Sentenced to community service in Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, he encounters some of the the city’s most dangerous and mentally disturbed criminals. Among these, Bruce meets the intriguing Madeleine who has ties to the Nightwalker gang that is terrorizing Gotham City.

She’s a mystery Bruce has to unravel but can he trust her? The Nightwalkers target the rich, and Bruce’s name is next on their list.


Okay . . . I couldn’t resist using that gif, I mean, how could I??

I really liked this book (the first one this year, breaking my streak of 1 stars). As stated before reading, I’m not really much of a fan of Batman. However, this book !! I LOVE YOU BRUCE YOU ADORABLE CREATURE.

I do. I love him. These DC Icons series are all about setting up these characters on their heroes journey/seeing them become the hero, and I love watching Bruce do this!! I was cheering for him, not being able to wait, excited for what he was going to become. Usually when I see Batman (specifically the Ben Affleck version) I just roll my eyes and continue on (not you Christian Bale. You were alright). But yep, this is the Batman I’m stanning.

I really liked Madeleine too. She was awesome. As was Dianne. S0 was everyone else, to be fair.

Anyways, I just thought that was a really great introductory novel into Bruce Wayne/Batman. It was nicely plotted and paced, intense, and had developed characters. It was kept short at 288 pages and I’m absolutely fine with that. Quality over quantity – I think a few novels could learn that lesson.

I think sometimes though this book was trying to be really smart, but really you could see what direction it was going in, because it was obvious. Just wanted to shout at Bruce to hurry up and figure it out for himself. With that said, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book, but rather added to the suspenseful nature of the book as you wait to see Bruce figure it all out.


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The End of Oz – Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die, #4)

In this high-octane fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to save Kansas and make Oz a free land once more.

At the end of Yellow Brick War, Amy had finally defeated Dorothy. Just when she and the rest of the surviving members of the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked thought it was safe to start rebuilding the damaged land of Oz, they realized they’ve been betrayed—by one of their own. And Dorothy might not have been so easily defeated after all.

In the fourth installment of the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, the magical Road of Yellow Brick has come to the rescue, and whisked Amy away—but to where? Does the Road itself know where she needs to go to find the help that she needs?

Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you.

Me @ this book


Because wtf?? This series started off fabulously. I absolutely loved Dorothy Must Die. I found it fun, intriguing, and fresh. Despite me having no interest in Oz, I liked it. And then the series just went down hill, particularly with the third book, but mostly with this one.

Firstly – did this get proof read? There were so many punctuation mistakes. This is a piece of published work for gods sake, it is just ridiculous. So that also added on to the feeling that I had that they wanted to stretch out this series as long as possible, not really giving a shit about the quality anymore.

What happened to you Danielle Paige? It was always my impression that people got better with time, with practice. But everything new from you, I haven’t really liked. Stealing Snow was one of the worst books I have ever read.

So I am thoroughly disappointed in this. The writing was extremely juvenile. It had some witty dialogue that was enjoyable, but often times it began to fall in to the categories of “trying to hard” and “cringey.”

The whole plot/storyline of the parallels and link between Dorothy and Amy could’ve been really interesting and emotive but it wasn’t. There has been three other books to set this up (I haven’t read the novellas) and it still felt rushed.

Also the whole added pov. I’m not going to say whose it was . . . but oh my god. That’s where I got the word juvenile from. So terribly written. And this could’ve been a chance to get readers to be on board, but NOPE. Just bratty. Although there were moments where a peak of deeper characterisation and background peeked through – THEN ULTIMATELY SQUASHED. Sure, it was to show that this person was killing that part of themselves, but still. It wasn’t done as well as it could’ve been.

I still quite love Nox. I liked Madison. Amy was good.

I think this would be about 1.5 star because at times the story was good and ultimately I was satisfied with the ending (I think it’s the best I could’ve hoped for at this stage).

But for now I am just so done with Danielle Paige.


wait no . . .


still not quite right. . .




Posted in book reviews

Brother’s Best Friend for Christmas – Amy Brent

He was my first. My everything. My brother’s best friend.
Filthy-mouthed, tattooed, arrogant, womanizer.
Tyler knew how to melt my panties… and my heart.
But he disappeared when I needed him.

Now years later, he’s back for Christmas as my brother’s friend and business partner.
Sitting at my parents’ dining room table,
Undressing me with his eyes.
I can’t forget the night he took my V-card.
And I wonder what harm would it be to replay that scene now…

It’ll be just one more night.
I’ll finally get over him and move on with my life – once and for all, right?

Now that Santa’s making my wish come true,
I can see my whole world turning upside down.
Turns out this is the hottest mistake of my life.
And screwed has never felt so good!


I don’t know where to start really??? Maybe with I can’t believe that I actually read this?? I mean, I should’ve expected it really. The cover art basically says it all . . .

But look. There was hardly any real plot other than the fact her family is completely nuts and needs to go to family counselling. They hired a PI to follow her!!! NOT OKAY. Her brother was so freaking controlling and possessive over her and a complete and upper hypocrite. Tyler and whatever the main characters name was, I think it’s Amber, had hardly any plot development. Just !! I must all of a sudden believe that they’re in LUURVEEE. But??? I wonder if these two sat down for more than two hours and talked if they would still like each other then.

To suggest that all books in this genre have no substance to them but the spicey spicey stuff (#mature 19 year old) to them would be rude af. Because books can have the heat and have good plot and good, well developed characters.

This just wasn’t one of them.

In my book group we have a “trashtastic” saying coined by Emer, meaning that you know books are trashy but enjoyable anyway despite their glaring faults (See Lux series for reference) but are enjoyable af that you don’t give a shit anyways.

This just wasn’t one of those.

Let’s not tell anyone I read this. I’m trying to forget that I read it.


Posted in book reviews

All the Crooked Saints – Maggie Stiefvater

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.


loved The Raven Boys, and hated Shiver (I DNF’ed that after a couple of chapters) so I was always on edge about whether or not I would like this one, as it’s been so hit and miss for me with Stiefvater’s writing.



My friend Emer also summed up what she thought of this book in her review, and I 100% agree with her.


You could take any chapter of this book and make it the beginning. That’s all this felt like. A bunch of half-d0ne beginning chapters. No development at all, the ‘plot’ building was non-existent until the last few chapters, and even then it was painfully slow and tedious. The ending felt rushed (although it felt like it took FOREVER to get there) and I’m not really sure what the hell happened.

The prose didn’t make sense. Often I sat debating over the meaning of sentences, to realise THERE WASN’T ANY. Just what was written DIDN’T MAKE SENSE and had NO RELEVANCE. UGH. It was just a throw up of words on a page arranged to trick the reader into thinking they’re reading something good and intelligent. GUESS WHAT? WE AIN’T ALL STUPID.

So yeah…to say I didn’t like this is a bit of an understatement. I didn’t like the writing, the plot, the characters (they were all so dull and felt the same, and I was forgetting who half the characters were / merging them all into one), the story. Nothing.

So I’m sorry Maggie…this one wasn’t for me…hopefully the Ronan Novel will be better



Posted in book reviews

Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Bernard

When I was wild, you were steady . . .
Now you are wild – what am I? 

Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with the boyfriend Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. Especially when the police arrive on her doorstep and Eden finds out that the boyfriend is actually their music teacher, Mr Cohn.

Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts.

As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.

  • so I’m kind of laughing at myself right now because I just realised reading this back through I was calling Eden “Edith”. Oops, I mean, I guess that shows something right???

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Let’s just say it shall we? I liked this. I did. I liked the themes explored – adoption, fitting in with a new family, the struggle with being stereotyped. There were some interesting discussions going on and I was glad to see representation for this in a way I have never seen before. A pair of adopted sisters who know they’re adopted and love the new family they’re in, no actual ‘relationship’ drama was surprisingly refreshing (like yay – I ship this and they’re happy together #winning), young carers, conversations around opening up and learning to become trustful. It’s great, it really was. Yet . . . it was a bit dull. I feel like it wasn’t explored enough, and fair enough the main focus is on the story of Edith being upset/confused/conflicted about finding out her best friend ran away with their teacher, but it still could’ve done a bit better on expanding the sub-plots. I thought it was great when we finally got scenes like that – like the screaming match between Valerie and Edith in the car *might* have made me tear up.

Also this book felt surprsingly long. It seemed to just draaaag. And the whole time I was shouting at Edith to just tell. I rememember being around like 39% of the way in and was like “Okay this back and fourth should I – shouldn’t I and will she – won’t she has been going on long enough now” but nope. And (view spoiler). So yeah. I just felt as if this book should have been shorter than it was because it really did start to feel formulaic. Like present day scene / things that now meant something different I knew the truth / present scene (usually included an argument / her texting Bonnie being #conflicted). It just felt like it took forever to get somewhere.

But it wasn’t terrible. I did like it – I’m just sad it wasn’t better.