As some of you may have noticed, my project for this month has been a brand new Instagram account! I’ve set up this bookstagram purely to share beautiful images of my books and connect with more people who enjoy reading and may benefit from my reviews.
With that in mind, here’s my first collaboration post to bring my blog and bookstagrams together!
Today’s bookstack features a selection of the white/cream/beige books that I own. As Britian is currently enjoying (or suffering) a heatwave I thought these crisp, clean covers could make some good summer reads. Here’s some quick-fire reviews and thoughts on those I have included!
I loved the first two books in the Rebel of the Sands series so I was really excited to jump into the concluding novel as soon as I could get my hands on it. The novel picks up almost immediately after Traitor to the Throne finishes so we are thrown straight back into the action. One of my favourite things about this series has been the pacing. It’s been great fun from the start of book one to the end of book three and Alwyn always seems to perfectly balance the fast paced action sequences with well timed rest periods which usually let us explore the world she has created for us. This leads me nicely to the world building. I mentioned in my review for Traitor to the Throne how much I enjoyed the step up in world building and how we got to see further reaches of the Sultan’s realm. This continues into Hero at the Fall and the details allow me to feel that these cities are tangible places that I could visit, although I’m not sure I’d want to what with wars and battles going on in the streets. I’ve always loved Alwyn’s writing style and her descriptions make it so easy for me to ‘direct the cast’ in my imagination. I cannot wait to see where she takes us after this smash-hit debut series.
Author: Giovanna and Tom Fletcher (Debut YA novel alert!! Debut as a writing duo alert!!)
Published: 31st May 2018
⭐️4.5 / 5
Eve of Man is the debut young adult novel for power couple Giovanna and Tom Fletcher, and their first novel as a writing duo marking the beginning of a new trilogy of YA books. Before reading this I was sceptical, as I’m not the biggest fan of dual narrators and I wasn’t sure how the writing would flow and blend owing to the differing writing backgrounds of the authors. Giovanna has predominantly written women’s fiction up until this point whereas Tom has found his feet in children’s picture books, middle grade novels and short stories. These styles are worlds away from YA, and in the case of this novel it wasn’t as simple as one author making the transition into a different genre, but two. However, I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found and I’d definitely place this book high on my list of favourite reads this year.
I’m more than a little obsessed with this series at this point. I honestly don’t know how I was so late to the party in reading this.
The Scarecrow Queen is the third and final instalment of Melinda Salisbury’s series The Sin Eater’s Daughter. If you’ve read my reviews for books one and two you’ll know I’m a bit of a fan. I panicked a little bit when I flicked through this book because my pet peeve is switching POVs every few chapters and I could feel it coming owing to the fact the previous books left us with two equally important protagonists that both have a voice. Whilst Melinda did do this and switch POVs between Errin and Twylla I loved the way she did it in much larger chunks rather than ricocheting between the two every chapter, which would have left me reading only out of loyalty to the series and the characters that I needed to know what happened to. This technique did mean that there was a lot that happened to the protagonist that wasn’t narrating that chunk by the time we got back to them which caused some overlap and some gaps that we had to work hard to fill in ourselves but I don’t feel that impacted the story or my enjoyment of it. The split narrative worked well because it allowed us to see what was happening on both sides of the revolution as one protagonist remained with the rebellion and one was unfortunately imprisoned so we could see the ramp up to the final battle from different angles which I loved. The narrative of this book somehow managed to take even darker turns than the previous instalment with the Sleeping Prince, Aurek, employing some really disturbing methods of torture and war tactics. As horrific as his character is, I really enjoyed it and love that Melinda is not afraid to make her ‘bad guy’ truly disgusting and dark and twisted. There’s nothing better than an antagonist who you can hate with all of your heart.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead in the form of fangirling over a character pairing
This is the second instalment in Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin Eater’s Daughter series. This is the first book in a long time that I ran through in one sitting. After immensely enjoying the first book in the series, I was initially disappointed as this novel seems to drop Twylla from the narrative completely and instead picks up with an unknown character. All I desperately needed to know was how Twylla was getting on after the events of her story and instead we move to a struggling village in a neighbouring part of the realm and follow Leif’s younger sister Errin. I was not happy. However I was far to quick to judge because she became one of my favourite fictional characters to read about in 2017. She is young, snappy and hungry (name that musical 😉) to survive the changes in the world she sees around her. After Leif’s departure from their newly broken family home, Errin is forced to give up her trade as an apothecary to care for her sick mother. She must resort to illegally making remedies, poisons and other lotions and potions to pay for her survival and to ensure the villagers don’t turn on her mother who is looking increasingly like she is possessed by something sinister. She has grown up in a society firmly rooted in fact and science, which is the polar opposite to what we have seen with Twylla. However with their world facing the reawakening of the Sleeping Prince, a being of legend, Errin’s people are not able to place as much surety in science as they are used to. Errin must watch her family life and the society she has always known and loved crumble before her and watch her neighbours take up some of the odd practices of the devout citizens in the part of the world we know through Twylla. The only constant in Errin’s new life of despair is her strange friendship with the mysterious Silas. Enter my favourite couple of the series.
This week’s train read/commute book has really stollen my heart…
In the week of my one year anniversary of moving to London it was so lovely to wrap myself up in a book that reminded me of my roots, even the slightly odd and alternative ones 😉
Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Published: 1st September 2016
⭐️ 5 / 5
This is another novel I decided to read after attending Victoria Aveyard’s event at Waterstones Piccadilly (read about it here). Laure Eve was one of the authors that appeared alongside Victoria, and the more she talked about her own book the more I realised just how much it was up my street. I was NOT disappointed!!
The Graces is about a mysterious family from the small town that the protagonist, River, has just moved to. This simple statement immediately presents some intriguing plot points that drive the book; River is not her real name – we never find out what her real name actually is, only that she feels more comfortable and more herself being known as River. As well as her name being mysterious it’s also unclear where the small town she has just moved to actually is, nor do we know why she has moved there until the final thirty pages or so. The town has a lot of Americanisms in the feel of the high school but it also screams of the kind of small town I grew up in. I’m from Devon and the feel of home is dripping from every page, which makes a lot of sense considering Laure grew up in Cornwall. As much as both sides of the border hate to admit we are certainly very similar in our intriguing ways, especially when is concerns our mythology and our varied histories.
I have wanted to read this for a very long time and I’ve finally squeezed it in as this weekend’s commute book! It was a little different to what I expected and I have mixed feelings on it, but here’s what I thought.
Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: 5th July 2012
⭐️ 3 / 5
This one’s been on my TBR for longer than I care to admit. It’s been sat on my bedside table for the better part of eighteen months, even moving from the bedside table at ‘home home’ to uni halls and now to my flat…it’s always been next on my list but somehow another book has jumped in front and I don’t quite know how I let it happen.
Not long into starting Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I realised it’snot quite what I signed up for. I tend to steer clear of high fantasy but this certainly dips in and out of it which is not exactly what I expected. Obviously it’s clear from the blurb that there’s an element of fantasy but at some points we go completely off-kilter and it took me a while to work out what was going on. I found it hard to get through the large chunks that I would class as high fantasy but once it started to make a bit more sense, it was much easier to handle and tolerate. If you’re like me and not really a fan of this genre then I suggest giving this a try because by the end of the book I’ve found myself somewhat converted – or at least on my way there.
Good morning! Happy Monday (or not…we all have a grudge against this day of the week). Today I’m going to give you some book-spiration by telling you about the exciting YA event I attended in central London last week. It’s given me a couple of extras for my TBR (when doesn’t this happen…?) and hopefully you’ll see something you like too. I have read some of the books I’m about to mention here, and I will post reviews as soon as I can. For those I haven’t read, I will read and review those as quickly as I can. Until then…let’s get on with it!
I have some very exciting news for you – I have been selected as an advocate for Samantha Shannon’s best selling series, ‘The Bone Season!!’ As such I am now privy to some exclusive promo material to share with you ahead of publication in March 2017.
In the spirit of avoiding spoilers for those who want to keep them to a minimum, here’s your first look at book 3 via a handy link – THE SONG RISING prelude