Book Review | Remix by Non Pratt

30369794Best friends Ruby and Kaz have been looking forward to Remix for months. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life; Ruby is tired of hearing about it, and wants her friend back. Three days. Two friends. One festival. Zero chance of everything working out. 

I love being in the mood for contemporaries, and finding one that is just right for you. Because Remix was perfect for me, exactly when I wanted it.

First offs, I loved the characters. Ruby and Kaz had a dual narrative throughout the book, and I liked how it switched back and forth – sometimes, there was only one sentence of one of them before it went back to the other. It was so interesting reading about best friends who have started to keep secrets, because the reader has the knowledge behind both characters that they don’t have of each other. I’m not always a fan of dual narrative books, but this was done so well. Each character had their own distinctive voice, and it was just written stunningly.

The plot was also really interesting. Throwing the characters together in an enclosed space like a music festival is always a way to get good dynamics going between them, and Non used this to her advantage. The festival felt so real!

There was so much going on in this story, and quite often that can be overwhelming, but Pratt balances it really well. Each character had their own relationships and troubles going on, and I thought that they all got an equitable amount of screen time; there was never really a moment when I wanted us to stop focusing on one character and move onto another. In this way, it felt very much like real life, as there was so much going on but it wasn’t too much at all.

Three of my favourite characters were Lee, Owen, and Lauren, who were three side characters. Lee and Owen were in a relationship, which I thought was really interesting as Non wrote about the deterioration of the relationship, often not a plot that happens to secondary characters. And Lauren was a character I initially wanted to not like, because I am one who normally roots for the main character and she was a love rival for Kaz’s love interest. But, she was such a lovely, likeable character, and out of all of them probably the character I a) related to the most, and b) would most like to be friends with!

Non chose to write about female friendship rather than romantic relationships, and I really appreciated it. I am a person who values strong friendships, and I thought that the dissection of Ruby and Kaz’s friendship was a perfect focus point for this book. It was written really well, and is one that I think I’ll keep coming back to when I want to try and explain how much I love my friends!

One of the main reasons I didn’t give this book 5/5 is because there was a scene that I felt was very unbelievable. SPOILER PARAGRAPH Basically, Ruby sleeps with the main singer of her favourite band. As much as I liked this being a plot idea, and her realising the “you should never meet your idols” kinda thing, I just thought it was so unbelievable that to begin with I thought it wasn’t actually going to be the lead singer! I get why it was put in… but just too far-fetched for me. END SPOILER PARAGRAPH

There’s so much to talk about and unpick about this book that I might end up doing another review/blog post about it in the future, but it had everything I wanted: great, 3D characters, a great plot and setting, and a fantastic writing style. Non Pratt is an emerging writer, but definitely one to watch and I will be reading many more books of hers.

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads
Personal source: bought from YALC


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne 

22533460

Advertisements

Book Review | Midnight Sun by Trish Cook

36044933Katie has an illness which, if she was exposed to sunlight, would kill her. She spends her days studying, playing guitar, and watching out for Charlie Reed – a super hot guy, who passes by her window every single day. One night, she happens to meet him at the train station, and something Katie has never had the chance to experience begins to form between them. 

God, this book. THIS BOOK.

The concept seemed really cool, but basically this just felt like a cheap rip off of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (which was a 3.5* read for me anyway).

The main character, Katie (who is played in the new film by one of my least favourite actresses, which probably didn’t help Midnight Sun’s cause before I started reading) was such a typical Wattpad YA heroine. She was good at everything she attempted (seriously, even if you’re pretty good at beer pong you don’t get it in every time…), the love interest fell for her straight away, and she somehow still had a best friend although they barely seemed to talk and fell out constantly.

The plot was predictable: the main character has an illness where she can’t go outside*, she stalks a boy for a decade before meeting him, they fall in love, and… I’m not going to spoil the ending.

(*I didn’t think this was a real illness until I googled it.)

I thought that there was room for so much more than what happened but basically this was just a romance. She goes to hospital once, seemed to talk about nothing but boys and the sun with her best friend and her dad, and although I felt some sympathy for her, it was hard to because she was so fucking annoying.

SPOILER PARAGRAPH I want to talk about the ending because it pissed me the fuck off. A) it was super cliché – dying with her mum coaxing her to heaven? Pur-lease. B) she spent her dying moments, not with her dad or best friend who have supported her for her life, but with a boy she’s known for like 6 weeks. Like… wtf girl. She just said goodbye to her dad & friend on the beach and left? Ugh. I felt some sympathy and admittedly, yes, there was some beautiful writing, but COME ON HOW STUPID. Also, the author clearly loved her characters, but there were two letters which wrapped things up nicely. I’ve read books like How I Live Now by Sally Nichols which deals with the MC dying really well, and let me tell you, this was drawn out too much into ‘I really don’t care’ territory. END SPOILER PARAGRAPH

ALSO there was a scene where they went on a train and the conductor shouted ‘all aboard’ before they got on. Has this author never been on a train before?? This legit doesn’t happen?? What a weird detail to include.

Probably the only thing I loved was Charlie. He was such a sweetheart, and just an adorable, cliche, YA book boy. Yes.

Basically though, this book annoyed the shit out of me & now I’m glad I can be rid of it from my shelves forever. The only thing I liked about it was Morgan who was Katie’s best friend and the only character who seemed to have a brain. (Tbf her dad did too, but was so underdeveloped he could’ve been written out completely.)

TL;DR: don’t waste your time with this book.

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads
Personal source: bought from The Works


If you liked this you might also enjoy: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Related image

Book Review | The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

36628816Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself. – edited from Goodreads

I was super excited to read this book, as although it’s Jennifer Mathieu’s debut novel, it has been reprinted following the success of Moxie (which I absolutely loved, although for some reason didn’t review – that will be coming soon!). However, The Truth About Alice, for me, fell flat.

I enjoyed reading only some of the POVs from which this story was told, and there were about 4 or 5 of them. Some were engaging, like Josh, and some just weren’t really that interesting at all. I also thought the differing POVs may not have lent themselves brilliantly to this novel – I would have preferred maybe only 2 or 3 if there were differing POVs at all.

The idea of course interested me because it’s about feminism and it’s also YA. I think it’s a novel about looking beyond what you believe a person to be to what they actually are, and for that reason I think it’s really important.

Alice was an interesting, complex character to whom terrible things happened, and I think it really shows how society today turns against someone if they make just one mistake. Alice was shunned because of a rumour, not even truth in the matter, and it was heartbreaking to watch all of her friends turn against her.

Mathieu writes about feminism in a way that no one else does – raw, and from a teenage perspective. Moxie was just incredible, and I will definitely be reading anything else she brings out. So overall, this book fell flatly compared to her most recent novel, but for a debut, it really explores new territory (it was published in 2014) and although the way it was told didn’t meld well with me, the ideas behind it, and of course Mathieu’s writing, were really brilliant to read.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads
Source: eARC from NetGalley


~*NEW SECTION*~

I’ve decided to add a “if you liked this…” section to each of my reviews, so if you enjoyed the book I reviewed, another one by a different author is listed below (and along with my review, if I’ve written one!).

If you liked this, you might also enjoy… The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed [review]

Image result for the nowhere girls

Book Review | The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

36039165Lucy Moynihan was run out of town because she accused the popular guys at school of gang rape. Everyone knows that. And no one ever speaks of it. 

The Nowhere Girls are every girl. But they start with just three: Grace, Rosina, and Erin. Together, they form the Nowhere Girls, and decide to avenge the rape of a girl silenced because she spoke the truth. 

I have wanted to read this book for so long and when it was £2 (!) on Amazon, I bought it straight away and devoured it as soon as it arrived.

The topic of this book is something that drew me straight away. I love stories about girls who band together to speak up for injustice (like Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu) and it’s happening more and more in everyday life too (eg #MeToo). I really value authors writing about feminism and standing up for justice, and this was such a brilliant book about it!

The characters are interesting and diverse, of different races and sexuality, and I especially loved how we got to look at all of them. Reed writes in four different points of view – Grace, Rosina, Erin, and Us. “Us” was probably my favourite, and I wish Reed had written more from this because it was just such a stunning portrayal of people. It seemed to jump in and out of different girls’ heads, telling us things that the narrator knows but no one else does, sometimes not even the characters themselves.

The present tense, omnipotent narrator was an interesting choice, but I’m glad that Reed branched out and made it. It was fascinating to read, not least because I’ve rarely read from a perspective like this, but because it allowed us to jump around without it feeling jarring. There were of course certain POVs I liked more than others, but I think that that really shows the scope of a great writer.

Overall, I was completely gripped and I adored this book. It’s one of those books that gave me tingles down my arms when I thought of the characters and the injustices in this world faced by women all over the place. It’s one that I really think doesn’t get talked about enough in the bookosphere, and I would really like it to be far, far more!

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Amazon

Book Review | A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

34609221Hazel and Daisy have left England and set out to Hong Kong for the mourning period of Hazel’s grandfather who passed away. When they arrive, Hazel just looks forward to spending time with her family and her father in particular. But when they reach her home, she has a very nasty surprise. Before she can even get over this, tragedy strikes, not once, but twice. With criminal gangs, new maids they’re not sure they can trust, and a wholly different culture to what the Honourable Daisy Wells is used to, this might be the Detective Society’s most challenging case yet. 

I absolutely LOVE the Wells and Wong series. It’s such a brilliant series, and in all honesty, it just keeps on getting better.

This one takes place in Hong Kong, which is a place I’ve never been to myself, and I loved learning about the different culture. Stevens has researched very thoroughly, and she took a research trip there herself, so I feel like what she says can be trusted. It felt like I could see and hear Hong Kong, and the descriptions were so rich, as per!

I don’t want to say too much about the case itself, (spoilers!) but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing. The stakes in this one seemed to be very much higher than what they used to be, and how Stevens will top this I do not know! (She will find a way.) I didn’t work it out long before Hazel and Daisy themselves, so it was a case that had me guessing all the way through as well.

Basically, I just loved this book. Hazel and Daisy are two of my favourite literary heroines, and Robin Stevens honestly just keeps on getting better. I thought that the ending might have been a bit of a cop-out, but to be honest, it’s the best ending that there could be in order to finish the book appropriately. Overall? It was brilliant, and I would highly recommend this book and all of the others in the series.

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Amazon

Book Review | Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

33784373After the tragic events that occurred in London, Audrey Rose and Thomas have travelled to Romania to attend a prestigious medical school. Love is brewing, Audrey Rose and Thomas are finally able to learn together; but death has followed them everywhere. With bodies turning up drained of blood, Audrey Rose is wondering if the rumours are true: that Dracula has arisen from the dead… 

I. loved. this. book.

After ripping (heh) through Maniscalco’s first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper, I knew that I was going to love this one. I wouldn’t say that it is better than Jack, and although I think that I actually preferred that one, this certainly does not suffer from second book syndrome.

Why did I enjoy book 1 more? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think it’s the excitement. Audrey Rose was suffering a great deal throughout this book, battling depression and grief, and I feel like she didn’t have this weight in book 1. This is no criticism to the author, because it gave a different feel to the book and gave scope for so much character development. It just gave a very different tone to the book, but I liked this far darker version. I think I would like to reread both back to back and come back to this part of my review in the future!

So let’s start with the plot. Whilst I guessed the murderer right at the beginning, I was actually left questioning my decision the entire way through, and that’s what you need in a murder mystery novel. Maniscalco throws in so many red herrings and new ideas that you really are left guessing. She dug up an old myth, and I felt like it was really fascinating how she interweaves history and turns it into this incredible book.

The characters are, of course, brilliant. Audrey Rose and Thomas – ugh, can they just get married and have cute babies already?! I loved the diversity that Maniscalco managed to incorporate despite the time period it is in. I thought that Audrey Rose’s reaction was quite appropriate too – I thought she might have been more shocked, considering lesbianism in the 1800s wasn’t exactly able to be as open as it is nowadays, but she stayed completely true to her character in her response to it.

I think that’s something I really like about Kerri Maniscalco’s writing – her consistently. I find that some writers really exemplify their characters after they find what streaks readers enjoy, but she has managed to mingle character development and consistency throughout both of the novels.

I also liked how there wasn’t a huge jump between books #1 and #2. I feel like, again, this can be a huge mistake some writers make, especially when it’s a book following a debut, and also when lots of readers have had a lot of time between two books. I took a while to find my feet again in Hunting Prince Dracula, but I think that that’s partly because it’s been a year (??) since I read book 1.

Maniscalco set us up brilliantly for book 2, though. The setting was so delicious! I cannot explain how much I loved the setting for this book. It was chosen so well, and I feel like it really helped the book along and to be far more creepy than it could have been!

Overall, these are incredible books and I highly, highly recommend them. I zipped through both of them, and I cannot wait for book 3! I’m excited to see what mystery Maniscalco aims to write about next. I think that it’s a really great concept for a book series – unsolved mysteries that are explored by a really plucky, strong female character.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Wordery

Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Image result for the one memory of flora banks review

img: goodreads

Be brave.

With only those two words inked on her hand, Flora loses her short term memory each day. The removal of a tumour took some of her memory with it. Until the day she kisses Drake; the first memory to remain in her mind since she lost it. 

Determined to try and regain her memory, and convinced that Drake is the key, Flora travels across the globe to follow him – and her memories. 

So, Flora forgets everything that she is told. It kind of reminds me of the Silence from Doctor Who; she writes things on her hands, has a journal that she reads when she forgets, and yet. And yet. She goes on a trip across the world because of a BOY. *sigh* Continue reading

Book Review | The Crown by Kiera Cass

26150713In the final installment of the Selection series, Eadlyn has her own Selection to manage, as well as the unsettlement in her kingdom. With her twin having eloped, her mother desperately ill and her father by the bedside, Eadlyn has a lot to manage just on her own. 

Oh. My. Days.

I DNF’d this book, and I hardly ever DNF books. I think this is the first book I’ve DNF’d all year, and I’ve read over one hundred books. Argh.

The original trilogy was actually pretty great. But then this duology (or books 4 and 5, depending on which way you look at it) came along, and… it sucked. I’m sorry! But it sucked.

I really dislike Eadlyn. She was spoilt and really extreme- she’s either all in, or there’s nothing there at all. I didn’t feel anything in the Heir, apart from a desperate need to save some of the poor Selected boys from their time in the Palace. Aside from disliking Eadlyn, the characters of America and Maxon have completely changed! All right, so America is ill and Maxon loves her, but Maxon also loves his country, so would he really just abandon it with a snap of his fingers? (Answer: no.)

These books just felt like Kiera Cass was trying to drag the books out, kicking and screaming. I think they should have ended after The One, perhaps with a small novella/epilogue to show what happened. (Oh wait. We had that…)

So… I totally DNF’d this, and looked up the plot of what happened online. I was satisfied that Eadlyn ended up with my favourite character, but other than that I was WTF-ing when I read the summary, so I’m glad I didn’t finish the book otherwise I may have thrown the book across the room, which would have been a bit of a bummer as it was on my phone, and I’m kind of attached to that.

And… that’s my rather angry review. If you haven’t started this series, I would suggest reading the original three books, and then if you really want to, trying the last two. But to be honest, just look up the plots on Wikipedia.

Rating: 1/5 (DNF)

Goodreads
Source: borrowed an eBook from my library

 

Book Review | Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman

How to summon success, banish drama, and raise hell with your coven. 

Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman introduce you to witchcraft for the modern witch in this handy little guide. From everything to finding your colours, banishing toxic friendships, and how to handle truly terrible Tinder dates, the girls show you how you can be a badass witch in the modern era with spells, rituals, and just a whole lot of empowerment. 

I’ve recently become really interested in witchcraft, so this book has come at the perfect time for me! It’s a really simple, and plain gorgeous, little guide to the modern witch.  Continue reading

Book Review | Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Dee is a cloverhand – someone who can see faeries. When she finds herself irresistibly drawn to beautiful, mysterious Luke, Dee senses that he wants something more dangerous than a summer romance.

But Dee doesn’t realize that Luke is an assassin from the faerie world.

And she is his next target. – from Goodreads

Having read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which I really enjoyed, I was looking forward to Lament. However, it wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Continue reading