Monday, 11 September 2017

I Heart New York - Lindsey Kelk

I Heart New York – Lindsey Kelk

Let me paint a picture for you, it is a gloomy, wet Sunday, not quite cold enough to put the heating on, but chilly enough to dig out the slipper boots from under the shamefully dust ridden bed. Settled down nice and cosy on the sofa, with very little to watch on TV until X Factor starts at 8pm. The choice of picking up a quick, fun read springs to mind. After a scroll through Amazon Kindle and spying one of my favourite authors Lindsey Kelk’s selection of books, and a title containing one of my favourite cities. I Heart New York seemed the perfect match for the day.

Angela’s running from the world’s worst wedding for a new life…
Fleeing her cheating boyfriend clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane - destination NYC.
Holed up in a hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBFJenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, she’s dating two sexy guys and writing about it in her new blog. But it's one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it's another figuring them out for yourself …
Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?

To my delight, I Heart New York is the first book in the ‘I Heart.. .’ series, a series I shamefully have not encountered until now. I Heart New York was a fun, easy read. It was just what I needed to read to pass the time on my Sunday, and already it has me hooked enough that I am set to buy the next book in the series as soon as this is posted.

A Singles Girls To Do List, another of Lindsey’s works has been an all-time favourite of mine. So I should have expected no less from picking up this series. Maybe it was the similarity in my age to that of the character in the book. But without knowing it, I needed to read a novel about someone finding themselves again. Seeing a character uncover an inner strength they never really knew they had inside them. Angela, was a brilliant protagonist from start to finish. We see her grow as a person; grow with confidence, passion and her career. All things maybe a few of us hold ourselves back from doing from fear of failure or the fear of the unknown. Angela was the definition of, it is never too late to change what you hate, to change the path you feel you have been dealt, as at the end of the day, you are the one in control. So essentially live the life that you want to live.

I Heart New York was filled with an array of characters, from Jenny Lopez at the hotel, a fun vibrant character, who really helped Angela come out her shell. There was also Gina, Jenny’s friend from the hotel and old flat mate, as well as Vanessa and Erin too. A great group of girls who not only had fun with each other, but also all became a support system for Angela, as well as towards each other as well. They each had their own hang ups to bear and battles that they are fighting through. But it was great to see the fun they all had together, and really made you feel a part of the group.

A Lindsey Kelk book would not be without its love interests, all of which I am going to be very brief about, but let’s just say I am happy with the choice, and my gut went that way the entire time. Lindsay just knows how to get them right all the time. I say that, things could all change in book two…so I could end up eating my own words….But for now. Yes!

Overall, I Heart New York, is a fun, light hearted novel, about one girls journey from one crappy situation, and just how she goes about changing that, and getting over that. It is 100% a girly series, but a great pick me up, and leaves you feeling empowered at the end. It is funny, relatable, and just one bumpy ride at times. But will have you wanting more as soon as you finish. Bring on book two!

I have given this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

History Is All You Left me - Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left me is the first book I have read by Adam Silvera, and it certainly will not be the last. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, I had seen a few reviews, but nothing to really spoil the journey I was about to experience. I was actually quite grateful that this was the case.

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.

History Is All You Left Me is an amazing contemporary novel. We follow the journey of Griffin, who is dealing with his grief and slowly piecing together his history with his ex boyfriend and best friend Theo, to see just how we have gotten to this point. I have to say within the first few chapters of this book Adam Silvera’s writing had me instantly feeling for these characters. I knew nothing really of Theo, and yet there I was, upset and with a lump in my throat with the memory of him through Griffin. This was something I noticed Adam did a lot through this novel. You may not know much about a person, but you felt for them and deeply.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, this book is sad. For someone who knows what it is like to deal with grief, or those who can imagine what it is like. Even those who have experienced love loss, or heartache at what could have or should have been. This book will have you feeling all of the feels. You could be laughing one second or revelling in the cuteness of a moment, to suddenly having it all snatched away from you, with what felt like a fist straight through the chest to feel that heartbreak and sadness. Extreme to say maybe. But it will get you, every time.

The characters in this book are brilliantly written, all of them so deeply flawed and human. Everyone had their own battle to fight, or their own issues to work through. With the addition of grief in itself just being that darkened cherry on top of a pretty craptastic cake. But this is what you will love about these characters. They are all so real and all so flawed, you will find a way to relate to them.

History Is All You Left me is a story following love, loss and friendship within a circle of boys. Who all find their own way of trying to deal with heartache. Jumping between present day and the past or ‘history’ as it is known. To tell the story that is needed to be said, needed to be resolved in order to move on and come to terms with what has happened. Such a complex story unfolds, with a web of relationships all weaving together, and yet all circling around that singular character, Theo. Revelations are made, and twists and turns were unexpectedly thrown in as serious curve balls you would not expect. This really is one massive emotional rollercoaster, and yet one you don’t want to stop.

I would say if you are looking for a good contemporary, with brilliant characters and to which is beautifully written. Drawing you in even deeper as each chapter passes. Then I would seriously suggest this book. The writing style is brilliant and the story flows perfectly, even when jumping between varying time lines. I can honestly say, I am now looking forward to the next book I pick up from this author and what other journey he has planned for me.

I have given this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Hex - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

This is the first book I have read by this author, and it is the author’s first debut English novel. When I saw reviews and comments stating this author’s writing style had similarities to that of Stephen King, along with the seriously creepy blurb, I just knew I had to read this. I wasn’t disappointed. I read this book in one sitting, in less than a day. I had been hooked right from the get go.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she's there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiralling into a dark nightmare.

The story Hex is told from varying viewpoints of people who live in Black Spring. We have Steve Grant, a doctor working at a school. Whose family were outsiders and moved to Black Spring 20 years ago. Tyler, Steve’s teenage son, and actively involved in Project OYE (Open Your Eyes) with a group of other teenagers. Robert Grim a member of Hex, an organisation in place to keep track of the Black Spring witch, and ensure she is shielded from the outside world, with no risks of exposure. Then finally Griselda Houlst, a widowed butcher’s wife who idolises and worships the witch. I found it so interesting seeing each narrative within this story, so many different views and opinions. Parents merely wanting to protect their family and some going to such extremes in doing so. A teen wanting his freedom back and a man trying to ensure a town remains safe. You were really able to become involved within the story and paint the picture of a town that essentially ran off rules, regulations and out right fear. I felt at moments as if I was watching a horror movie, bracing myself for the jump scares with each page I turned.

Within the first few pages of this book I was a bit confused, with the appearance of ‘Gramma’ as the Grant family called her. At first I thought it was actually a family member until the mention of a cloth covering her face and her being stood in the corner of the room, which made it question how unusual this would be to greet a family member who had come to visit. I found the interactions to be quite funny, and I thought maybe the blurb was far scarier than what the actual book may be. However as the book continues, it soon shifted and started to become much darker. I only realised how much of an affect the witch had on me, when I finished the book and went to turn off the light to go to bed. I had this instant fear that she would be in my room, at the end of my bed. That was when I knew that this novel had sucked me in so much that I was fearful of such a character, which is not so easily done to me. I am always able to disassociate myself from any book I read, so credit to the author there for bringing this character to life with his words.

The novel did take a slight dip in the middle, and I’m still not so sure how I feel about the ending of it all. But the writing and the premise in this book was brilliant. Knowing this was translated from Dutch and the town names had been altered too again is a credit to the author. There were some really emotional pull at your heart string moments in this novel, to which I never realised how invested I was in characters. I almost felt a bit cheated at points due to how invested I was, if things were not heading the way I had hoped for them. This book is dark, incredibly dark. But it made it all that much grittier to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see how it will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love a good scary story, especially one involving witches. Learning the history of the town, and the witch and what has led them to this point was fascinating. But then also seeing how barbaric council members were, in what is essentially a modern day era, was terrifying.

I would say if you like the works of Stephen King, and you like a good horror story. I would say pick this up. It is certainly a book I will tell others about, and I would even say would be a perfect book for the autumn/ winter time when Halloween comes around. What better way to scare you silly than this.

I have given this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Court of Wings And Ruin - Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin has been one of the most hotly anticipated releases for May. It is the third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and a series of which I have absolutely loved. To say I have been excited for this release is an understatement, to which I have been stuck in a yearlong reading slump, where I physically have not been able to even bring myself to pick up a book and read it. So if anyone was going to snap me out of it, it would be Sarah J Maas herself. This won’t be the longest review, as I will aim to keep it as spoiler free as possible for those of you who may have found this and are considering reading it. But let’s begin.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.
ACOWAR brings us right back to the beginning again, the Spring Court. We see just how much it has changed since we were last there, how characters have evolved and manipulated over time as power has been restored and orders shifted. It was interesting to see how I now saw the Spring Court myself. Book one I was always pro Spring, and hated any outside influence trying to change that. As the series went on however, I soon shifted. With a whole different outlook on the procedures and the people that are running the court. Sarah J Maas was able to execute this whole series in a way that Feyres thoughts and feelings about a place almost felt like my own, she was able to draw me in that much, that I felt that connected to the story.

ACOWAR brought us many new characters that we were able to learn about, the history of Prythian and what led to where we are today, rivalries, enemies, friendships, love loss. We explored so many vast backgrounds and stories, and news ones were made at the same time. There was so much depth within this book, so much detail. You could just easily sink your teeth right into it.

It was one emotional rollercoaster of a journey; many different parts of the world were seen, different courts, all so varying in their beauty. I absolutely adored the adventure we were taken on.  I say it was an emotional book, there were points where I had to put the book down, catch my breath and brace myself for what was about to come next. It takes a lot for a book to affect me in such a way and it very rarely happens.

Sarah J Maas was able to tie up a lot of characters stories, leaving us all as satisfied as we could be. She has also let some areas open, which I can only assume will be linked to her future projects surrounding this incredible world.

If you like fantasy, adventure, romance, humour and so many varying things all contained into one book series. I would 100% recommend picking this up, as much as I would with any of this authors work. She is a beautiful writer, painting such an amazing world and story that just slides off each page of the books that she rights. You will always find yourself lost within her world. I would happily escape to Velaris, and stay there for as long as I could as we all need an escape from reality some times.

I have given this book a 5 out of 5 star rating.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Absentee Blogger...

Hello from the other side.....

So for those of you who follow my blog, or just enjoy a good read. I would firstly like to apologise for my lack of presence on this book blog.It has been a while.

2016, for lack of a better word has been a pretty rough ride. A lot has happened, a lot has changed, a lot to grieve and miss especially. Overall, just a lot to adjust and adapt to. To say i am quite possibly in the biggest reading slump would be an understatement. Reading has always been my escape. To get away from the world, and plant myself into someone else's, digging those roots in and refusing to leave it. However, my head space has just not been with it and even though i miss it every day, no matter how many times i pick up a book, i find myself putting it straight back down, not even passing page 1. I know i will get there one day, that even though you never truly heal and the pain will never really go away, you simply learn to live with it and move on.

This may seem like a random post, but i just wanted to assure you, that this blog will still be here, and i am working on getting back to reading. In the mean time my unread book pile is ever growing from all the pre orders long forgotten ordered and spontaneous purchase i still seem unable to stop myself from. So i'm sure there will one day be a sudden bombardment of reviews, you will soon want nothing more than radio silence again.

Sorry again everyone and have a lovely day wherever you are in the world!


Sunday, 8 May 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I am going to find it very hard to review this book, mainly as no words can really express just how much i loved it, but also as i am going to attempt to contain no spoilers. An impossible feat, so this may be a shorter and more vague review than usual.

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

The second book starts off 3 months after the first, the dust settling after Amarantha’s demise, and we see Feyre a shell of the person she once was. Clearly still struggling with the events that took place under the mountain, we follow the challenges and consequences Feyre now faces. Her nightmares, guilt and conscience slowly starting to eat away at her.

The Spring court is still shown to be as beautiful as ever, with the same faces of Tamlin and Lucien. It is clear to see how a lot has changed since the last book, to which even i found myself surprised to feel how i did about certain characters and the way they were acting and the choices they made. We have a new character to the Spring court too in Ianthe, a high priestess in Prythian. A support for Feyre she may be, at no point have i trusted her. Full of power, and clear charm, there is something very scheming about this character. 

Rhysand is back in A Court of Mist and Fury too, keeping up the bargain that was made with Feyre, of a week a month to be spent with him at the Night Court. It is strange how my feelings toward him changed, i disliked him greatly in the first book, and when i saw him pop up in this book i inwardly groaned ‘ugh not him again’ but i have to say, i take that all back. I LOVE Rhys! We learn a great deal about his character in this book, meeting his circle, and learning a great deal about the Night Court, not all is at it seems. The sarcastic banter and with the bond between him and Feyre had me laughing out loud at so many points, i just couldn’t get enough. I loved the detail and depth that was put into learning everything about the Night Court too. All the new characters we are introduced too and the stories behind them as well, were all so deep and moving. Beautifully crafted by Sarah.

Sarah J Maas has no shortage of imagination when creating the world’s she does. Weaving together all these intricate worlds with nothing more than the words she puts onto paper. Within the first few paragraphs you are instantly sucked back into the world from her last book. Hooking the reader right back into the storyline. I could barely put this book down when i started it, i read it within 2 days, and it only took that long as i had to go to work.

A Court of Mist and Fury, is full of self discovery, action, betrayal and romance. Curveballs are thrown left, right and centre in this book, and at one point my jaw dropped as i was so in shock. I never expected to like the characters i did, nor dislike characters i once loved. This book threw everything i felt about A Court of Thorns and Roses into the air, and left me scrambling to put everything back together again. It was brilliant. I think i loved this book a lot more than i did the first, which tends to be a common theme with me and Sarah J  Maas novels. I always think the last book i read was the greatest of them all, until the next one. So i can only imagine just how brilliant the third and last book in this trilogy is going to be, and i simply cannot wait.

If you like fantasy, if you like Sarah J Maas, if you enjoy reading a book that you simply get lost in and then feel devastated to have finished it and want to read it instantly again. Then pick this series up. I cannot speak highly enough of this series, or of this author. Friends i have recommended to this series, and her Throne of Glass series, have not regretted me forcing them to pick up and read her books. I am sure you will feel the same.

I have given this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy from Cassandra Clare, following on 5 years from The Mortal Instruments City of Heavenly Fire book. I do have to say, that i highly recommend, if you haven’t already, reading the Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series before picking up Lady Midnight. There are a lot of references in this book, and characters history that will really be better understood and the significance of them, if these previous series have been read.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadow hunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s Brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadow hunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Lady Midnight is set 5 years after City of Heavenly fire, and after the cold peace was set in motion. The cold peace was the result of the war, where as a harsh punishment, Fairies were blamed. This resulted in them being cut off, where no help was to be given and no association with Fairies was to take place at all.

We follow our main protagonist Emma Carstairs, at the LA Institute with her parabatai Julian and the rest of the remaining Blackthorn family. Emma is a great protagonist; she is an incredibly strong, bad ass character, but also caring and funny. She has a sass about her that makes her endearing and completely likeable. Emma is a completely dynamic character that is brilliant within this story. Her relationships with the Blackthorn family and Julian, and the responsibility thrown at them to raise the younger siblings, really adds a depth to this story. It really was what helped to make this book as great as it was.

There were a lot of plot lines that were being set up within this first book, which will undoubtedly grow throughout the next books. Some complex romantic interests beginning to develop too, which you can already tell are going to be a major factor in future books.
I did find that this was a slow starting book for the first 100 pages; however this was predominantly filled with character and location building. But from there this became a completely action packed book, something was always kicking off or going down, you were sucked into conspiracies by trying to guess ahead, unravel mysteries and puzzles, the book was deep and so complex with so many sub plots that you couldn’t help but be gripped.

I honestly feel this is one of Cassandra Clare’s best works, with each series her writing develops, and in Lady Midnight this couldn’t be more prevalent. It is a great start to a new series, with even more brilliant and dynamic characters, as well as a few visits of past characters too. Lady Midnight is a great read, and full of action, sass and humour. When turning that last page you are left hungry for more, and in desperate need of book two.

So if you are a fan of The Mortal instruments and The Infernal devices, amongst other works of Cassandra’s, then this book really will not disappoint, and you should pick it up and give it a read.

I have rated this 4.5 out of 5 stars