2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Hello all! ICYMI, I have decided to change this blog from a review site to a general bookish site. Don’t worry, the reviews will keep coming, but I am also going to be posting bookish stuff in general. 

During June, the 6th month of the year, the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag does its rounds. I don’t think I’ve ever participated before, but this year I’ve decided I want to.

Somehow, I have already read 53 books this year, so I unashamedly had to use Goodreads to help me answer these questions!  Continue reading

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Book Review | To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

34499221With the hearts of seventeen princes underneath her bed, Princess Lira is known as the Princes’ Bane. She’s the most ruthless siren of them all, but when all begins to go wrong, Lira is transformed into the thing she hates most of all: a human. With one goal in mind, Lira finds Prince Elian – in order to steal his heart.

Prince Elian prefers to be known as Captain Elian, the Siren Killer. He and his band of loyal misfits roam the seas, killing sirens and searching for the power to win the war against land and sea. But just how many deals will he have to make to succeed at his task? When Lira asks to join his expedition, Elian knows something isn’t quite right about her, but just how much can he really trust her? 

The blurb of this book kept begging me to read it, and I was so excited when I finally got around to picking it up. A siren murderess and a prince on one ship? Who doesn’t want to read that?!

I frickin’ loved the sirens, to start with. Most of my experience with sirens (hah) comes from Homer and classical mythology, so I loved how they were reworked in this really dark turn of a story. They were ruthless and barbaric, and just absolutely fascinating how they worked. I think the connection they had with the hearts was written really well, how important they were made out to be.

I just absolutely love it when mythology and world building is done well. Christo’s world building was done brilliantly (although I wish there had been a map!), and she really made me believe that this was a world that could exist somewhere. I loved that each country/state had its own kind of trait – like being the centre of invention, or war, or romance. It kind of reminded me of the factions in Divergent a little, but with less fighting between them.

The war against land and sea has long been one that people have written about, but Christo really put a great turn on it. Also, the Sea Queen was a fantastically murderous character. She was so frickin’ ruthless! (And I don’t know about anyone else, but I was getting major Disney’s The Little Mermaid Ursula vibes.)

The whole structure of this book was really well put together and Lira and Elian were both such great characters. Where can I find me an Elian? (But seriously, though.) Their romance was done so well that I didn’t even realise they were changing towards each other at first! This is enemies-to-lovers done at its best, my friends.

I feel like the only let down, for me, was the plot. This was a book very much propelled by characters, and although I was of course interested in their quests, I just loved “being” around the characters and reading their conversations and interactions. That’s not saying that the plot wasn’t good – I think it was, and it featured just about everything I love about plots – but the characters were for me the main focus, and I think that Chriso loved her characters a lot and it kind of showed. The plot was good, but it didn’t get me as excited as just reading Elian and Lira and Kye and Madrid banter with each other.

Overall though this was a great read – the characters were absolutely fantastic, and the idea of the whole book was a brilliant new spin on the Little Mermaid. I never really liked the Disney film as a kid, but I couldn’t help but borrow some of the cartoon’s imagery to help bring the characters to life in my own head.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Source: borrowed from the library. Thank you for NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I actually read this book from the library because it was easier for me at the time. As always, though, my opinions are my own! 


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… Labyrinth Lost by Zoradia Cordova [review coming soon]

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Book Review | Ink by Alice Broadway

32827036Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora’s father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all. – from Goodreads

I thought that the premise and, indeed, the execution of Ink was such a brilliant idea. I love that this is a really tattoo-positive novel, too.  Continue reading

Book Review | The Glory by Lauren St John

28162817Alex is a classified young deliquent. Sent by her mum and stepfather to Camp Renew, a boarding school in America, across the Atlantic. 

Will is a would-be vet, currently flipping burgers and wishing that he could take care of his father and his horse, Shiraz. 

The Glory is a 2000 mile endurance race across four states over the USA. Both Alex and Will have signed up for the race. Now all there is to do is win. 

I really, really loved The Glory. It was such a brilliant story!  Continue reading

Book Review | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

34200289Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine? – Goodreads

This book was… interesting.

The writing style put me off at first. It was quite staccato-ed, and although I guess that was the point of it, it was difficult to understand. However, it definitely grew on me. It really gave Eleanor such a unique voice, that eventually I was thinking in that way of talking too.

The plot was difficult, because there were many subplots all combining into an almost coming-of-age/discovering yourself story. It was, actually, really quite nice to read and I liked that there was a mystery of what was happening, what Eleanor’s past had been about.

I also liked that Eleanor was different, but still appreciated. It was, I suppose, a bit wish-fulfilling, because of course if you’re not liked, you’re not liked – people aren’t secretly harbouring a friendship with you (sorry, but it’s true). So, whilst I did like this plot point, of Eleanor discovering that ~she does fit in after all~, it was really tricky to actually believe in it.

That is what is so strange about this, I guess; it is so unbelievable, overall. I figure that the book was really good. I was gripped the entire way through, I really loved it and was thinking about it for days afterwards, but overall? It was so unbelievable. Well, not all of it; just some of it, I guess. It was just difficult for me to understand, perhaps, especially because this was definitely an adult novel and despite the fact I am legally an adult, in actual fact, I definitely am not.

I think that this book will become a new best seller, because it is wholly unique and wonderful in its own right. I really loved reading it, and it was the right book for me at the right time in which I was reading it, but all in all I don’t think that it’s a new favourite of mine, in the grand scheme of things. However? Overall, I would definitely recommend it, partly because of just how different it is.


TITLE: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
AUTHOR: Gail Honeyman
GENRE: Adult
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: HarperCollins // 2017
NUMBER OF PAGES: 299
ISBN: 9780008172114
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: ARC sent by NetGalley
RATING: 3.5/5

Book Review: Sex Criminals Vol. 3 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky

26631602When Jon and Suzie have sex, they can stop time. Literally. And when they stop time, they rob banks.

As you do. 

But it seems that they’re not alone and the self-appointed Sex Police want to stop them from doing what they’re doing. And that’s why we have Sex Criminals: Volume Three. 

Sex Criminals is really weird. Like, the premise is weird. The writing is weird. It’s just weirdContinue reading

Book Review | Windfall by Jennifer E Smith

32048554Alice doesn’t believe in luck – at least, not the good kind. But she does believe that she is in love; with her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday, she buys him a lottery ticket as a joke – but to their astonishment, he wins $140 million and changes everything. 

At first it seems like a dream come true, but it quickly spirals into more of a curse than a windfall and Alice begins to wish she could take the ticket back. But she knows that you can’t change time, better than anyone. Will she and Teddy ever find their way back to each other? 

I really enjoyed this novel. I think it’s a really feel-good YA, and I got through it so quickly which was an added bonus. It’s a real dreamy book – both in the way of winning the lottery, and the way it was written! I felt so relaxed reading it, although I was completely unable to put it down. Continue reading

Book Review | The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

32187354Grace is a teenager. She also has Asperger’s, and a unique way of looking at the world. With her horse and her best friend, she has everything that she needs. But then Grace kisses Gabe and her home starts to change… and the world doesn’t look the same anymore. Everything begins to fall apart, and Grace has to pull it back together again. 

loved this book. It’s a brand new YA novel about a girl with Asperger’s – and I think it might be the first I’ve read about Asperger’s (I’ve read from the POV of someone with Autism before). I want to read more about Asperger’s and autism (is that capitalised) though. The State of Grace however was a great way to start! (And it’s #OwnVoices!) Continue reading

Book Review | Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

30145677A girl locked in battle between Love and Death. A book with a paradise too good to be true. And a castle with a Beast and his servants. 

Belle is captive in the Beast’s castle. She’s befriended the inhabitants – Lumiere, Mrs Potts, Cogsworth, Chip – but she still feels lonely and trapped. Then Nevermore appears in the library. It’s a book full of possibilities – perhaps too many. As Belle begins to spend more and more time within the pages, cracks begin to appear, and she finds that she might have to choose between the Beast and the book. 

What a lovely book! Lost in a Book is actually titled: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, and it’s a tie-in to the new film. I think there’s a few like this around at the moment, some called “Twisted Tales”, but thankfully this was not (that) twisted – I mean, apart from the whole Beauty and the Beast story as a whole… but that’s for another time!  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