Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Review - A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland




Title: A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Pages: 368
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 5th September 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Esther Solar's family is . . . unusual. Her father hasn't left the basement in six years. Her brother is terrified of darkness.

Esther isn't afraid of anything - because she avoids pretty much everything. Elevators are off limits, as are open spaces, crowds, family pets, birds, needles, haircuts, dolls and mirrors.

But when Esther is pickpocketed by her cocky old classmate Jonah Walker, Esther and Jonah become surprising friends. Jonah sets a challenge: every week they must work their way through the world's fifty most common phobias. Skydiving, horse riding, beekeeping, public speaking, reptilehouses - they plan to do it all.

Soon their weekly foray into fear becomes the only thing that keeps them tethered to reality, and to each other. But each is keeping a secret from the other, a secret that threatens to rip them apart.


 











My Review:
 
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and NetGalley*





Esther Solar's family is cursed. Everyone has one big fear - her twin brother, Eugene, is terrified of darkness, their father has refused to leave the basement for six years, and their mother is scared of bad luck. Esther doesn't know what her big fear is yet, but she keeps a list of things to stay away from (her semi definitive list of worst nightmares).
One day Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah, a former friend who she hasn't spoken to for years. He discovers her list of phobias and vows to make Esther face one item from the list every week.
Will Esther be able to make it through the fifty items on her list?
Will she discover her one great fear?
Are the Solar's really cursed by a man Esther's grandfather met who claims to be death?


A Semi Definitive List of Worst Nightmares was a fun, intriguing read.
I really liked the characters in this. Esther was likeable but imperfect. She was very close to her twin brother Eugene, but had drifted apart from her parents which was sad.
The plot was interesting and held my attention. I found myself smiling several times. I particularly enjoyed the stories Esther's grandfather had told her of the times he had met the man who claimed to be death.
The writing style was engaging and easy to follow. I liked the references that were included.


Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.





Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Review - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi




Title: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Pages: 315
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 7th June 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader's wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel - the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.












My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Books (UK) and NetGalley*





Effia and Esi have never met but are sisters. Their lives go in different directions - one marries a slave trader, the other is sold into slavery.
Homegoing follows Effia and Esi's families for several generations and as they live their lives across different continents.


Homegoing was an emotional, thought-provoking read.
I enjoyed following Effia and Esi's families and seeing what happened to them, most of which was sad.
Reading the parts about the slave trade was upsetting. It's terrible to think that it actually happened.
The writing style was easy to follow and in a way I liked that we only saw snippets of each character's life, but I also wanted to find out more about them.
There were a few times where I forgot who was related to who.


Overall this was an unique, enjoyable read that I would recommend.  
  



Monday, 20 November 2017

Promo Post - Bad Bloods: November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson







Blurb from Clean Teen Publishing: 
 

The Young Elites meets Red Queen in this action-packed dystopian fantasy series that has readers calling it “addictive,” “masterful,” and “a story of murder, secrecy, and unlikely friendships.” 
 


Her very existence is a crime… Seventeen-year-old Serena isn't human. She’s a bad blood, and in the politically corrupt city of Vendona, bad bloods aren’t allowed to live. When Serena is aided in an escape moments before her execution, a revolution is sparked. While on the run, she’s forced to put her trust in a man she knows little about. 


Daniel will do anything to stop the twelve-year war that has killed so many of his own. When Serena falls into his life, he sees the opportunity to fight back and stop the eradication of all bad bloods. But there’s more to Serena than meets the eye. They share a connection to his tragic and mysterious past, and the two of them united together might just be Vendona’s only hope. 
 


United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.
 
 
 


Buy Links:  
 
 











Excerpts from November Rain:


Excerpt 1:


“I’m here to say goodbye,” I blurted out, speaking over my deafening thoughts.
            He blinked, startled, and I knew I had yelled it at him, but his expression softened as he stepped closer to me. He took another step, and I couldn’t move. He even reached out and touched my hand, wrapping his fingers around the flower until it was in his grasp instead of mine. “You keep saying goodbye,” he said, “yet you keep coming back.” He tucked the white flower behind my ear.
            “I know.”
 
 
 
 
 
Excerpt 2:
 
“Let me help you—” I began, but she dodged to the left.
            I cut her off.
            She stepped forward, leaning too far to the right in a limp. “Get out of my way.”
            I didn’t respond. The police would catch her if she kept running, and I wouldn’t lose another blood to Vendona’s massacre.
            “I will kill you,” she promised, baring her teeth.
            “I know.”
            She paused at my words, and her hesitation was the only weapon I had.
            Before she could react, I stepped forward and raised my arm. When she ducked, I swung my leg out and my foot collided with her injured leg. She hit the pavement with her head.
            I cringed but bent down to haul her up. She was a rag doll in my arms—an angry rag doll—but a rag doll, nonetheless.
            She screamed as she reeled back to hit me, but I dragged her into Shadow Alley and pushed her against the bricks. “Shut up,” I ordered, kneeling down to put my lips near her ear, “and you might live through this.”
 
 
 






Author Bio:




Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox. 

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of the Timely Death trilogy and the Bad Bloods series. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching KDramas in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side. 




Visit her blog for writers and readers at 
 





Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway - Mad Magic by Nicole Conway


Mad Magic by Nicole Conway
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Mad Magic is a beautifully dark and rich Young Adult fantasy from Nicole Conway, bestselling author of the Dragonrider Chronicles.

Josie Barton is a high school student living in terror. Invisible creatures torment her everywhere she goes, constantly getting her into trouble at school, and even haunting her apartment. But just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse . . . she meets the guy from across the hall.

Zeph Clemmont is a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a curse that threatens to end his life. Survival means he will have to swallow his pride and trust Josie with all his darkest secrets.

With the help of a gun-slinging shaman and the enigmatic Prince of Nightmares, Zeph and Josie are only a heartbeat away from defeating one of the most diabolical faerie villains their world has ever known.











EXCERPT:


WHAT IS MAGIC?
“Magic is like water. It’s required for all things on this earth to live and it cycles through the world to be reused over and over again. Some things, even some people, soak up more of it than others or require more of it to live. Children are usually more attuned to it than most. They soak it up like little sponges.” Each word from his lips carried a weight I could feel hanging in the air. “Any being on earth is capable of using it, although humans lost interest and forgot how to do that a very long time ago. Most of them can’t even see it or feel it anymore. Their minds have turned to things of metal. It can be that way for faeries, too. In fact, a lot of us have fallen from our former glory to be fed by the machines of the modern world.”
A strange, wild hunger rose up in me so suddenly it made my body stiffen. If magic was real, then surely it had something to do with all the strange things that had been happening to me. I needed to know more—I needed to understand.
“Where does it come from?”
“The moon.” He paused, holding a liquor bottle in each hand as he turned to look me in the eye. “Or at least, that’s what the old songs say. No one knows for sure. But magic is raw energy that we can use as we choose. Even a small amount can accomplish miraculous or even terrible things.”










Author Bio
 
NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married and has one son as well as a cat and a dog. She enjoys blogging, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family.










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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Review - The Dark Intercept (The Dark Intercept, #1) by Julia Keller



Title: The Dark Intercept (The Dark Intercept, #1)
Author: Julia Keller
Pages: 320
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: 31st October 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

When the state controls your emotions, how hard will you fight to feel free?

In a radiant world of endless summer, the Intercept keeps the peace. Violet Crowley, the sixteen-year-old daughter of New Earth’s Founding Father, has spent her life in comfort and safety. Her days are easy thanks to the Intercept, a crime-prevention device that monitors and provokes emotion. But when her long-time crush, Danny Mayhew, gets into a dangerous altercation on Old Earth, Violet launches a secret investigation to find out what he's hiding. An investigation that will lead her to question everything she's ever known about Danny, her father, and the power of the Intercept.

Much like the device itself, The Dark Intercept might get under your skin.
 












My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley*




 Violet Crowley lives on New Earth which was founded by her father.
Everyone on New Earth, as well as those unlucky enough to be living on the ravaged Old Earth, have an Intercept chip implanted at their elbows. The Intercept uses emotional memories to prevent crime, something not everyone agrees with.
Violet knows that Danny Mayhew, her friend and the boy she loves, has a secret. He keeps travelling to Old Earth and Violet has to know why.
What is Danny hiding?


When I read the premise for The Dark Intercept I was really excited to see where it would go. However, I ended up disappointed.
Violet was an okay character but I didn't like how obsessed she was with finding out Danny's secret. He told Violet to trust him, but she had to go and invade Danny's privacy and stick her nose into his business. I found her reason for deciding to finally do some snooping a bit weak - she was fed up of waiting and just HAD to find out. It would have made more sense if Violet hadn't known about Danny's not-so-secret trips to Old Earth, and then discovering them she decides to find out what he's doing.
The writing style was alright but I lost interest several times.
The plot was okay. If it wasn't for the twists I didn't see coming then I would be giving this a lower rating.


Overall this was an okay, disappointing read.
 

 


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Review - There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins




Title: There's Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Pages: 306
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Release date: 26th September 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Over a year after her parents sent her away from Hawaii to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, Makani Young is still adjusting to her new life. She's made a small group of close friends and even flirted with romance, but her past in Hawaii is still hard to forget. 

And then . . . one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders. Makani doesn't know who's next on the list. Between this, and a secret scorching relationship with the school weirdo, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally. 











My Review:

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan*




Makani Young used to live with her parents at Hawaii, but after an incident they sent her to Nebraska to live with her grandmother.
Makani has made a small group of friends, but worries they will find out about her past.
Then students from Makani's school start being murdered in gruesome ways.
Who is the serial killer?
Who is the next victim?


Hmm. There's Someone Inside Your House was . . . underwhelming.
None of the characters really stood out for me. Makani was okay but I didn't feel like I connected with her.
The plot was average. There were lots of deaths - more than I expected. The killer was revealed halfway through which was unusual and I think this took away from the suspense for me.
Makani's secret wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting.
I wasn't a big fan of the romance.
The writing style was easy to follow but I lost interest once or twice.


Overall this was an okay but disappointing read.

 



Thursday, 2 November 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway - Rage of the Dragon King (The Chronicles of Fallhollow, #2) by J. Keller Ford


Find the tour schedule here.





Rage of the Dragon King (The Chronicles of Fallhollow, #2) by J. Keller Ford
Publication Date:  October 24, 2017
Publisher:  Month9Books
 

David and Charlotte paid their dues. They traveled to another realm, battled the Dragon King, recovered the all important magic key to the mage tunnels, and found the heir to the throne of Hirth, as promised. Now it's time to go home. There’s just one problem: the powerful crystals needed to activate the tunnels have been stolen…and David’s parents have mysteriously disappeared along with them. Guess who’s not going home to Havendale anytime soon.

Eric Hamden, squire extraordinaire, survived the poisonous knick of a shadowmorth’s blade, rescued the king of Hirth from the bowels of the dragon's lair, and confronted a heartbreaking betrayal that nearly got him killed. Still reeling from the news, Eric sets his sights on a daring rescue only to wind up in a prison of his own with David and Charlotte at his side. But rescues come in strange ways, and before they know it, the three end up in David's hometown of Havendale...and Eric gets a quick schooling in Modern Life 101. He'd rather fight a dragon.

With secrets, lies and betrayals meeting them at every turn, David, Charlotte and Eric soon discover that Havendale isn't the sanctuary they'd hoped for. Even their best-laid plans can't prepare them for the danger that stalks them. This time, no amount of magic or prayers can save them. War has been declared, and in the final battle, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice. Let the battle begin.








Purchase Links:


TBD | iBooks 







Other Books in the Series:




 







About the Author




 
J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and wandered the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind and oozes out in sweeping tales of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.
When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters and traveling. She is a mom to four magnificent and noble offspring and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.
Published works include The Passing of Millie Hudson, a paranormal short story that can be found in READING GLASSES. IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING is her debut novel and the first installment in the Chronicles of Fallhollow Trilogy. Book 2 in the series is slated for Fall 2016.














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