Book Review | The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

34045334Ami lives with her mother on Culion Island, and whilst no one ever wants to come there, she is happy. That is, until Mr Zamora arrives from the mainland and throws the island into chaos. Being ‘Untouched’, Ami is forced to leave the island. It’s not long before she meets a honey-eyed girl named for butterflies who wants to help her get home before it’s all too late. 

I absolutely adored Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl of Ink and Stars and I loved this book as well! Kiran writes young voices incredibly well – sometimes I feel like “oh, this is a bit young,” but then I remember that the narrator is actually a twelve year old girl and it’s suddenly so realistic!

The topics of the books – from leprosy to butterflies to friendship to family – were really interesting, and whilst I didn’t learn much I also learnt a lot at the same time, considering I knew barely anything about leprosy, for example, before reading this book.

The writing style is beautifully poetic, as was Millwood Hargrave’s debut novel. The descriptions of the islands she writes about are so vivid that sometimes I feel like I am actually there. Amihan was a brilliant narrator and a really feisty girl, and I adored her and Mari!

The reason why I didn’t mark this as 5/5 is down to a couple of reasons. The first is the homosexual undertones – I have felt this in both of Millwood Hargrave’s novels, both of which are narrated by girls who make very close friendships with other girls. I feel like these could both turn into homosexual relationships, and Millwood Hargrave’s writing is so frickin’ beautiful that it could really be turned into a stunning piece of romance. Whilst I completely understand why it’s not a romance, considering how young the protagonists are, some of the language used to describe the relationships and the friend of the narrator could be considered romantic!

The second is my reaction after reading (which actually has no bearing, I guess, on the book itself?? but I wanted to write about it). Whilst The Girl of Ink and Stars left me reeling and wanting to shove this book into everyone’s hands, The Island at the End of Everything left me slightly in love with Amihan, but with nothing else, really.

Having said all that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book when I was entranced in the world, and I’m sure it’s one I will re-read in the future to just be back on the island. Millwood Hargrave has some really great diversity in her books too which is a great boost especially considering the target audience (MG) and I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone.

Rating: 4/5

Source: Bought from Waterstone’s


Book Review | Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

ourchemicalheartsHenry has gotten through life just fine, thank you. No scandals, none of his name in the paper. Until, that is, he met Grace Town.

Grace is unusual. She dresses in boy’s clothing; she has a cane; she talks when she wants to and who she wants to; and Henry is absolutely infatuated. Grace is a mystery, a ball of string to be unravelled. Henry wants her to be his, and he is going the right way about it. 

But Grace isn’t all that Henry wishes she could be. Something he is going to find out. 

I really loved Our Chemical Hearts. I thought that the story was really beautiful. Krystal Sutherland also has a great talent for writing; it was, overall, a complete pleasure to read. Continue reading

Pro-Review Writing Tips | III: Generic Hints and Tips

It’s the finale of my trio of posts! I’ve also written posts on writing the review and writing the book description if you would like to check that out!

Since I’ve been writing reviews for quite a while, I’ve amassed what, I think, are some pretty good tips that I like to use. Some I use every time I write; some on occasion; and some are very rare, and just in the back of my mind.  Continue reading

Pro-Review Writing Tips! | II: Book Description

Last week, I wrote about the writing process of book reviews. This week is writing a book description!

It’s worth saying that not everybody puts a book description in if they choose to write a book review. Some people like to incorporate it into their review part way through, and some, like me sometimes, copy and paste from Goodreads or Amazon.  Continue reading

Book Review | The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (and a discussion of “Tumblr” poetry)

32334098the princess
the damsel
the queen
& you. 

Amanda Lovelace explores love, loss, healing, empowerment, forgetting, and remembering in this debut collection of poems. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Poetry 2016, her poems have touched hearts across the world. 

Sooooooo…. I have mixed feelings about this book. Continue reading

Book Review | Who Let The Gods Out by Maz Evans

33892790When Elliot wished on a star to save his mum, he didn’t expect a constellation to crash into his dungheap. He certainly didn’t expect to spend his day releasing Thanatos, the evil Daemon of Death. They need the noble King of the Gods and his wondrous steed! …they get a chubby Zeus, and his high horse Pegasus. They’re going to need a lot more if they’re going to save the world. 

This book was Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month, and I am so happy I picked it up! It was a really cheery, funny little children’s read. Continue reading

Pro-Review Writing Tips! | I: The Writing Process

Slight disclaimer: I am by no means the world’s best reviewer. However, I have reviewed a lot of books in my time, and I thought I would share some of my tips of how to make your reviews rock. Or, at least, be mildly interesting.

This is one of three different blog posts in the mini series (they’ll be going up in the next few weeks). This one is (as you have seen) about the writing process of the actual review; then we get onto how to write a rocking book description; and finally just some final hints, tips, and pieces of advice to be a kind and considerate, as well as good, reviewer. Enjoy!  Continue reading

Book Review | Gemina (Illuminae #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

24909346Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

-from Goodreads Continue reading

Book Review | Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

51wpm7kpqil-_sy344_bo1204203200_Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

I think I enjoyed this book. I gave it 4/5 on Goodreads, but I would imagine it’s more like 3.5/5. That isn’t saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, but I think there’s a fair bit I want to discuss!  Continue reading