Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Little Wrecks by Meredith Miller

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Little Wrecks
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In this haunting and explosive debut, Meredith Miller explores the truth behind three girls on the cusp of adulthood, and all the shocking realizations that come under the guise of growing up. Perfect for fans of I’ll Give You the Sun and Girl in Pieces.

Ruth, Magda, and Isabel are different from everyone else. They can see beneath the seemingly perfect, cookie-cutter exterior of their small town of Highbone, Long Island. They know that below the surface, each house is filled with secrets, indifference, and violence.

These girls refuse to become willing participants of these fake lives. Instead, they are determined to fight every condescending comment, every unwelcome touch, and every lie they’ve been told.

When the opportunity to commit the perfect crime appears, the girls finally start to see their way out of Highbone. But for the first time, Ruth, Magda, and Isabel are keeping secrets from each other. As they drift apart, the weight of reality starts to set in. These girls can’t save each other. They might not even be able to save themselves.

“Darkly atmospheric and brutally honest, Little Wrecks depicts girls becoming women in a society that devalues both.”—Mindy McGinnis, author of Female of the Species

Little Wrecks by Meredith Miller

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

Little Wrecks “They want to steal his weed and turn his life upside down,”

This was a YA story about three girls who stole some pot and then didn’t know how to sell it on.

Firstly, I’m not sure what time period this book was set in, but all the cars had cassette players, and nobody had a mobile phone, so it obviously wasn’t this decade!

This story had three main characters, Isabel, Magda, and Ruth, and at times I had trouble knowing who the story was following as it was written in third person. Isabel was a bit of a rebel, and liked to get revenge on people, Magda had a younger brother who she cared about and a mother who had run away, and Ruth was sick of her mother’s string of boyfriends.

The storyline in this was mainly about the girls stealing some weed from a dealer and getting him in trouble with the people who supplied the weed. This was a little odd, especially as the dealer in question was supposed to be a friend of theirs, and once they’d stolen it they then didn’t know how to sell it on, so they didn’t really benefit from the theft at all. We also had storylines about Isabel stealing from a cop, someone going missing, and a sexual assault, but I found the story a little odd, and had trouble following what was going on at times.

The ending to this was okay, but I did find this to be quite an odd story overall.

6.25 out of 10

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Midnight at the Electric
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire -- and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life -- Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Midnight at the Electric “Maybe now would be a good time for me to pre-apologize. I’m not really a get-to-know-each-other kind of a person. I’m not charming or anything. I’m, like, the opposite of that.”

This was a YA story about a girl leaving for Mars, who finds an old relatives letters and reads them.

Adri was quite a prickly character, and she really didn’t seem to like being around people much at all. I did understand her need to find out how things ended though, and I was pleased that she began to appreciate people a bit more towards the end of the book.

The storyline in this was about Adri going to stay with a distant cousin whilst training to go live on Mars, and finding some old personal letters in the room she was staying in. These letters then gave us the stories of Catherine - who lives in Oklahoma in 1934, and Lenore - who lives in England in 1919. Catherine was worried about her younger sister who had dust pneumonia, and Lenore was coming to terms with her brother’s death during the war, and hoping to travel to America to meet up with her childhood friend. I did find these interlocking stories quite interesting, and I found myself wanting to know what happened next, there was something missing for me though.

The ending to the story was okay, and I was pleased that we got to find out what happened to each of the girls, and how their stories tied together.

6.5 out of 10

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Andrea Portes is back with a fast-paced, super-fun spy novel, told in her signature snarky, voice-driven style.

What is a hero? Paige Nolan knows.

Edward Raynes, the young man who exposed America’s unconstitutional spying techniques, is a hero, even if half the dum-dums in the country think he’s a traitor. Or her parents, journalists who were captured by terrorists while telling stories of the endangered and oppressed. They were heroes, too. Were. . . or are—no one has ever told Paige if they’re still alive, or dead.

Not heroes? Anyone in the government who abandoned her parents, letting them rot somewhere halfway across the world. And certainly not Paige herself, who despite her fluency in five languages and mastery of several obscure martial arts (thanks, Mom!) could do nothing to save them.

Couldn’t, that is, until she’s approached by Madden Carter, an undercover operative who gives her a mission—fly to Russia, find Raynes, and discover what other government secrets he’s stockpiled. In exchange, he’ll reopen the case on her missing parents. She’s given a code name and a cover as a foreign exchange student.

Who is a hero? Not Paige Nolan, but maybe, just maybe, Liberty is.

Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars


Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me “She’s alive.
And my father’s alive.
And I will find them.”

This was a story about a teenage spy, whose famous journalist parents had gone missing.

Paige was quite a witty and funny character, and it was hard not to find the things she did amusing, especially when she was going on about how much she hated guns, and pretty much removing them from anyone who had them, even when they were a lot bigger than her.

The storyline in this was initially about Paige’s missing parents, but then became about Paige being recruited as a spy and sent to Russia. There were some amusing moments, and Paige was quite funny, but I just lost interest as the book went along, and really struggled to stay focused, especially when the mystery over Paige’s parent’s disappearance was put on the back burner.

The ending to this was okay, but it seemed like the ending was set up for a sequel in which Paige would actually go after her missing parents.

6.25 out of 10

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.
Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

  Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back, #1) “Eric Thorn (@EricThorn) followed you”

This was a YA contemporary romance story about a girl with agoraphobia, and a pop star, who fell in love over twitter.

I felt really sorry for Tessa in this story, her agoraphobia seemed really bad, and it was totally ruining her life. I really liked Eric though, even if he was catfishing her.

The storyline in this was about Tessa being a fangirl for Eric Thorn, and Eric setting up a fake twitter account from which to contact her, after her hashtag #EricThornObsessed got to the top of the list of trending topics. It started out as him calling her out as a leach, and ended up with him falling slowly in love with her as they conversed in direct messages over twitter. We also got a bit of mystery over the cause of Tessa’s agoraphobia, but it was the romance that really sold this book for me, as Tessa and Eric were just so adorable!

The ending to this left us with a massive cliff-hanger! I can’t quite believe the crazy turn this story took at the end and I can’t wait for the second book now, I really need to know what happened!

8 out of 10

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A sweeping fantasy, by the bestselling author of The Testing, about two royal siblings forced to compete for the crown.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option: to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Dividing Eden (Dividing Eden, #1) “The council will create a series of trials for our prince and princess to participate in that will decide the true successor to the Throne of Light.”

This was a YA fantasy story, about a set of twins forced to compete for the crown.

I liked Carys, and I liked how much she looked out for her brother Andreus. She seemed to go above and beyond the call of duty to keep him safe and to keep his secret hidden, and it was clear how much love she had for him. Andreus on the other hand seemed a little weak and easily swayed for me.

The storyline in this was about Carys’ and Andreus’ father and older brother being killed, and the queen being unable to take the throne leaving twins Carys and Andreus as next in line to rule. However, because both had equal right to the throne, they had to take part in a Trial of Succession – fighting against each other to see who would who would be the next ruler, which was especially brutal because it pitted sibling against sibling, and because they had no other option. I liked how Carys tried to find a way for them both to survive the trials though, and continued to have her brother’s best interests at heart right the way through the book. I also thought the pace was pretty good, and I liked that things kept happening to keep the story interesting.

The ending to this was quite eventful, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next book.

7 out of 10

Friday, 2 June 2017

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children’s and NetGalley.
One Of Us Is Lying
Blurb (from Goodreads):
One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

One Of Us Is Lying “A sex tape. A pregnancy scare. Two cheating scandals. And that’s just this week’s update. If all you knew of Bayview High was Simon Kelleher’s gossip app, you’d wonder how anyone found time to go to class.”

This was a YA murder-mystery story, about a dead teen and 4 possible suspects.

The characters in this were all okay, but I didn’t particularly love any of them. They were all lying about something as well, so the title didn’t make much sense!

The storyline in this was about a boy (Simon) dying after drinking water laced with peanut oil, whilst in detention with 4 other students. Simon ran a website which posted gossip (think Gossip girl) and had juicy secrets about all 4 of the kids in detention, meaning that they were all suspects in his murder. The pace in this was quite slow though, and I was ready for answers a lot sooner than we got them. I also guessed who was behind Simon’s death way before it was revealed.

The ending to this was okay, and I was pleased that the truth came out in the end.

6.5 out of 10

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and NetGalley.
The Names They Gave Us
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the acclaimed author of When We Collided comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters--in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp--one for troubled kids--Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Names They Gave Us “We don’t want you to worry,” my mom says. “Surgery is scheduled for Monday morning.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl whose Christian faith was tested when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.

Lucy was an okay character and I felt really sorry for her and her family. Going through a breast cancer diagnosis must be super hard, and to have to face it twice felt really unfair, and I could see why she stopped praying for a while.

The storyline in this was about Lucy’s mom asking her to be a counsellor at a camp for troubled teens instead of at her parent’s church camp, and Lucy doing it because she knew it would make her mom happy. We also had Lucy’s faith being tested by the diagnosis and a bit of a romance storyline, with Lucy’s boyfriend Lukas ‘pausing’ their relationship at such a hard time for her, and Lucy finding another romantic interest at Camp Daybreak. The pace in this was so slow though! After the initial getting to camp was over, it was just day-to-day camp activities, very little romance, and even Lucy’s mom’s cancer seemed to take a back burner which was surprising for me as it felt like it should have been the main storyline.

The ending to this was a big disappointment for me as the story seemed to just leave us hanging, and it didn’t feel like a proper ending at all.

6 out of 10

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

House of Furies (House of Furies #1) by Madeleine Roux

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
House of Furies (House of Furies, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
An all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

House of Furies (House of Furies, #1) “They come here because they are evil. Irredeemable. They come here to die.”

This was a YA horror story about a house where evil people were drawn to die.

Louisa was quite a strong character and she stuck things out at Coldthistle House to try and help Lee, and even though she was afraid.

The storyline in this was about Louisa being tricked into going to Coldthistle House to become a maid, and finding out that the place wasn’t as innocent as it looked. Instead she found out that evil people were drawn to Coldthistle House, and that the owner Mr. Morningside then found ways to off them. There was one person who Louisa met on her way to Coldthistle House, Lee, who Louisa didn’t believe to be evil though, and she stuck around to try and save him from his possible fate. This was an enjoyable story, although I didn’t find it to be all that creepy, and would probably say that it was quite light on the horror.

The ending to this was okay and had a bit of action.

6.25 out of 10

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Romancing the Throne
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Scandal, secrets, and heartbreak abound in this juicy, modern girl-meets-prince story—perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jennifer E. Smith.

For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne...and more than one path to happily ever after.

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

Romancing the Throne “I love you. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But I don’t know what to do – I’ve never felt this way about anybody.”

This was a YA story about two sisters and a prince.

Charlotte was quite loud at times, and didn’t seem to be shy about voicing her opinion, even when it led to embarrassing scenes. I didn’t like how much she held a grudge either, especially against her sister who was like her best friend!

The storyline in this was set in an alternate world where there was a King of England, which was a little weird! Charlotte was dating Edward (the Prince), but she broke up with him, and got quite upset when her sister then began dating him. This was an okay story, but it did feel quite long, and I didn’t really like it when the sisters were arguing.

The ending to this was a happily ever after.

6.25 out of 10

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Eliza and Her Monsters
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea's biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

With illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums and snippets of Wallace's fanfiction, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Eliza and Her Monsters “I didn’t make Monstrous Seas to be a phenomenon – I made it because it was the story I wanted. I make it now because there’s something inside of me, crushed around my heart, that says I must do it. This is what I was put on Earth to create, for me and for my fans. This story. This is mine, and it is my duty to bring it to the world.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who authored on online comic series.

Eliza was quite a quiet and private girl and seemed to like not being the centre of attention. I did feel sorry for her in the way her parents didn’t seem to understand who she was or what she was doing at all though, and kept pushing her to leave her computer and find ‘real’ friends.

“I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they’re still my friends. They don’t just hold Monstrous Sea together. They hold me together.”

The storyline in this was about Eliza being the author of an online comic, which was really popular. She then met a new boy at school who was a fan of the series, and wrote fanfiction about it, and we got a bit of a romance building, even though Eliza didn’t tell him that she was really the author of Monstrous Sea. The romance in this was quite slow and sweet, but I really hated the way Eliza held back such a major secret, especially when her new boyfriend, Wallace, opened up to her about something really important.

“Wallace won’t forgive me. How can anyone else?”

The ending to this was okay, and I was pleased that things worked out okay in the end.

7 out of 10

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads): 
Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problem run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Over time, Feather’s mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather’s starting to uncover when her mum’s life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?

Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

Wishbones “I ate to survive. I ate to numb the sadness, to give me the strength to face another day.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl whose mother was morbidly obese.

Feather was a loving girl, and it was obvious how much she cared about her mother. I thought her attempts to help her mother lose weight were well-meant, even if she didn’t understand that her mother wasn’t quite as motivated as she was.

The storyline in this was about feather trying to get her mother to lose weight after being in a diabetic coma. All the way through the book was an air of mystery though, over what exactly it was that her mother was hiding from her, and why other people seemed to have more of an insight into her mother and her problems than Feather did. The pace in this felt quite slow though, and I did want answers a lot quicker than we got them.

The ending to this had a few shocking revelations, and I was pleased that we finally got some answers.

6.25 out of 10

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.

Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.

With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process.

The Gauntlet by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Gauntlet (The Cage, #3) “The wolves are strong. But the rabbits are clever.”

This was a YA sci-fi story, and the end to the series.

I liked Cora in this story, and I liked how she kept in mind what was best for her species as a whole. It was pretty brave of her to face the gauntlet the way she did, especially knowing that no other human had ever managed to beat it.

The storyline in this was about Cora trying to take on the gauntlet in order to prove humanity’s intelligence. We also got quite a lot of fighting going on between species, a couple of heroic deaths, and some sneaky twists thrown in, and I thought the pacing was better than the previous books too. The trials in the gauntlet were done well, and I liked that they weren’t too obvious either.

The ending to this was pretty good.

7 out of 10

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Scattering (The Outliers #2) by Kimberly McCreight

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Children's and NetGalley.
The Scattering (The Outliers, Book 2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The nail-bitingly tense sequel to THE OUTLIERS by New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight.
“Wylie, trust your instincts.” The line goes dead…
Wylie may have escaped the isolated camp in the woods, but she is far from safe. The only way to protect herself is to understand her strange abilities as an Outlier, fast. But allowing herself to read other peoples’ emotions isn't just difficult, it's dangerous.
And Wylie isn’t the only one at risk. Ever since they returned home, Jasper has been wracked with guilt. He can’t let go of the blame he so desperately feels, especially when someone has been taunting him with reminders of it. Wylie and Jasper would do anything for each other, but is their bond is strong enough to overcome demons from the past?
Amid this uncertainty and fear, Wylie is confronted with a choice. She was willing to do whatever it took to help Cassie, but is she prepared to go to the same extremes for complete strangers… even if they are just like her?
New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight raises the stakes in the second book of this heart-pounding series about secrets, betrayal and a group of people are blessed – or cursed – with an incredible power.

The Scattering by Kimberly McCreight

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Scattering (The Outliers, Book 2) “We are all Outliers. Every last one of us. And I might have suspected as much before, but now I am sure.”

This was an interesting sequel, and I liked it more than the first book in the series.

Wylie was a strong character in this book and she didn’t give up, even when things looked really bad. I also liked the way she tried to help people other than herself, and stood firm in her beliefs too.

The storyline in this was about Wylie ending up admitted to hospital and meeting a whole group of other outliers like herself. She then escaped the hospital and went on a hunt for more information, learning more and more about what was going on along the way. The pace in this seemed better than the first book, and things moved along nicely, the mystery aspect was also done well, and I liked the little twists we got thrown.

The ending to this held a bit of a surprise, although I had wondered if Wylie’s beliefs about a certain person were really true.

7 out of 10

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Contagion (Dark Matter #1) by Teri Terry

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.
Contagion (Dark Matter, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Don't miss this startling first book in a breathtaking new trilogy from Teri Terry, queen of the teen psychological thriller and author of the bestselling Slated trilogy! URGENT! An epidemic is sweeping the country. You are among the infected. There is no cure; and you cannot be permitted to infect others. You are now under quarantine. The very few of the infected who survive are dangerous and will be taken into the custody of the army. Young runaway Callie survived the disease, but not the so-called treatment. Her brother Kai is still looking for her. And his new friend Shay may hold the key to uncovering what truly happened. From the author of the international sensation Slated comes the first book in a powerful new story of survival and transformation; love and power.

Contagion by Teri Terry

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

Contagion (Dark Matter, #1) “They say I’m sick, and I need to be cured. But I don’t feel sick. Not any more.”

This was a YA sci-fi story about a mysterious killer flu epidemic.

Shay was an okay character, and I liked Kai too. Callie was also an interesting character, and it was bad what she had gone through, I understood her frustration when she wasn’t able to communicate with anyone too.

The storyline in this was about Shay remembering seeing a girl who had gone missing a year ago (Callie) and contacting her brother Kai with the information. We then got a storyline about a disease known as ‘Aberdeen Flu’ spreading across Scotland and then the UK and causing masses of deaths. Parts of Scotland were under quarantine, and Shay and Kai were caught up in it, trying to help those dying, and trying to work out the source of the disease. The pace in this was pretty slow though, and the second half seemed to drag quite badly.

The ending to this was a cliff-hanger.

6.25 out of 10

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Grit by Gillian French

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long.
Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers of E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic Maine town.

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering—especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.

But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share. Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make—all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Grit by Gillian French

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Grit “We may not have been friends anymore, but Rhiannon was my age, sixteen last summer, and one way or another, she never came home again.”

This was a contemporary story about a girl whose ex-best friend had gone missing the year previously.

Darcy was an okay character, and I thought it was really unfair the slut-shaming she had gone through. Everyone seemed to think that she was sex mad, which wasn’t the case at all, and she even got turned down for a job because of it!

“Sorry, honey pie, this is a family business.”

The storyline in this was about Darcy working picking blueberries over the summer with her sister and cousin, and there was also a storyline about her ex-best friend Rhiannon going missing the previous summer. The mystery in this was very low key though, with a lot more emphasis on Darcy’s day-to-day life, and her reputation than what had really happened to Rhiannon. We did get a bit of romance, and a storyline about Darcy being nominated for Bay Festival Princess, as well as a bit of a competition going on to see who could pick the most blueberries, but it all felt a bit like people picking on Darcy.

“It’s not fair and it isn’t right, but it’s always, always harder on the girl.”

The ending to this tied things up pretty well, and I was pleased that at least part of the mystery was solved.

6.5 out of 10

The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye

I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The gorgeous and darkly compelling sequel to The Crown’s Game—perfect for fans of Red Queen and Shadow and Bone.
Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.
Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.
For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.
With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game, #2) “I’ve told you before, magic comes tied with many strings.”

This was an interesting YA fantasy sequel, which picked up where the first book left off.

Vika was much more likeable in this story and really showed her true colours. Pasha seemed more serious about his role and becoming Tsar, but Nikolai was definitely changed, to the point where he was almost unrecognisable.

The storyline in this was about Pasha being challenged for the throne, Nikolai behaving badly whilst governed by some evil energy, and about magic being made public and people burning red-haired people as witches after seeing Vika’s magic. The story was enjoyable, but it did drag a bit in places, and once again the romance didn’t feature heavily at all.

The ending to this tied things up nicely, which surprised me as I thought there would be another book to come.

6.5 out of 10

Monday, 15 May 2017

Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski #Giveaway

Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.
After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.
As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.
Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.
Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.
“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.
“We are the only ones.”
Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”
“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”
“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.
“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”
“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”
“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.
“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”
“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”
“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.
“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.
“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.
It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

Author Bio:
Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend...and any five minutes she can find). When she's not writing or working, she's scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.