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Thursday, July 27, 2017

June's Reflections - Reading Wrap-Up

Sorry this is another -really- late wrap-up! Although not all of the late-ness is my fault this time. I was on holiday two weeks ago and when I came back I was all set to sit down and get this wrap-up done, but low and behold no internet! Hopefully it will be back at some point this weekend so I can get some post done! Anyway here is what I read during June:


3 - 3.75 Stars

Guarded (The Silverton Chronicles #1) by Carmen Fox
Wanted (Forest of Dean #1) by K.A Jones
Trusted (Forest of Dean #2) by K.A. Jones   
Fallen Flame by JM Millar
Toxyc by M.S.L.R
Keeping Hope (Beautiful Broken Girl #2) by Rachael Tonks
Princess Thorns by Stacey Jay
Reviving Bloom by Michelle Turner

4 - 4.75 Stars

Forever Evermore: The King Trilogy
King Hall (#1)
King Cave (#2)
King Tomb (#3)
by Scarlet Dawn
Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
Beautiful Broken Girl by Rachael Tonks

5 Stars  

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
Add on Goodreads


Only the one five star in June but it was a surprise five star which made it all the better. See my review for The Lovely Reckless here. What was your most recent five star read?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Alaska (Wolfstate #1) by Bella Johnson

Synopsis from Goodreads
After Chloe Pryce's final careless mistake, she's forced to move from sunny California to live with her father in rural Alaska. Where Chloe is greeted by the town's finest and fiercest boy; Grayson Holtz. But Polar, Alaska has it's own fair share of dark secrets and Chloe - well she's about to get caught up in it all...
First Published May 29th 2013
Series: Wolfstate Chronicles Book 1
Source: Bought (Kindle Edition)
My Book Review
(4 Stars)
So yes slight spoiler but, this is a another werewolf book and yes it follows some of the very well known tropes which come along with the werewolf theme. However, I have read my fare share of this kind of book and this one has somehow caught my attention. I normal rate a predictable 'just-another-teenage-werewolf-romance' around the three star mark, this kind of stories I find to be an enjoyable light read but Alaska has managed a 4 star rating as I think this might be a story which stays in my memory slightly longer than the others, it was by no means perfect but it just had a little bit ... more.
I think the two main things that I liked about this book were; firstly we get an unique and challenging location, I find that I so many werewolf stories are set ' in a small town near a woods' or 'in the back streets of a city', where the weather is constant with a were timely rain showers thrown in for effect. But this book -if you hadn't worked out!- is set in the cold rugged and rural Alaska. I liked how we got to see Chloe's realistic fears and apprehensiveness about living somewhere so different from where she is used to. From her fear of being alone at night in the wilderness to her reluctance to drive even on the nicest days. Over all I just liked that weather plays such a life changing aspect of the Alaskan people and it was interesting to see Chloe adapt to that culture.   
The second thing for me has to be the relatability of Chloe's character. One thing that made her relatable was those first friendships that she creates, when she first arrive at school in Alaska reminded me of my first years of secondary. The sadly realistic shallowness of them and the way that Chloe is drawn to first people who are friendly towards her only to realise that they aren't the best of friends to have.
As I said there were a few things that I would have liked to change about this book. Firstly, I have to admit Chloe's family situation did have to remind me of Bella's from Twilight, with the eccentric mother and the partially absentee cop dad - who is trying hard now that she is living with him.   Secondly, although we do get some interaction between Chloe and some of   Grayson's friends, I would have liked to see more interaction between Chloe and members of the pack (and maybe some of the rival pack), and to know more about the politics of the packs in Alaska.
Overall, this book has somehow stuck out for me within the 'same-y-same-y' werewolf subgenre, and I wish we were getting more book following Chloe and Grayson as they (and those around them) cope and adapt to the changes that take place at the end of this book. To anyone who is a fan of the werewolf genre who is search though those 'same-y-same-y' werewolf books in the hope of gem, I suggest you try this one. 

Saturday, July 08, 2017

WEE REVIEW: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Synopsis from Goodreads
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?
Series: Standalone
Source: Bought
My Wee Review
3.5 Stars
This wasn't quite what I was expecting when I originally heard about this book. I was expecting a sleeping beauty re-telling but instead we get an entirely different fairy tale. I loved how many 'tradition' fairy tales are mentioned or hinted at, though out this book. 
Although I did enjoy this book there were a few things which a bit confusing. The prologue was the first part which confused me, I think that this was meant to give a bit of context and background to Aurora's story but it just didn't make much sense to me until I got a few chapters in the main story. The second aspect which confused me was that the main character is called Aurora, however it is her mother who is sleeping beauty! (I thought traditionally it was sleeping beauty herself who was called Aurora?).
Despite this confusion early on in the book I did enjoy this book, it gives of the whole fairy tale vibe perfectly, with the mysterious forest, the fairy blessings and curses  and the evil queen. Although thankfully no damsel in distress.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

June Book Haul

So another month over and it's JULY already (where is this year going?!). Anyway only three books to share with you guys today, I had hoped to have a few more books than that to share but some I have ordered/ requested haven't arrived yet.
However, the books that have arrived: so firstly I decided to splash out and get the paperback editon of Paper Princess, I read the kindle edition of this book a few months back and loved the whole series, so I just needed it on my physical bookcase; the other two books are the sequels to The Naturals which I read back in May and just had to keep reading.
So thoses are the book I have bought (or more accurately, the book that actually arrived) in June. What books did you get in June, any newer releases (these are all been around a few years!)?

Monday, July 03, 2017

Series Review: Schrodinger's Consortium Duology by Tonya Kuper

Anomaly by Tonya Kuper
What is This Book About?
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

Original Review for Anomaly
This book is fast paced and a easy read. One of the first thing I liked about this book was, that although there seems to be a lot said in the summary, a lot of that happens quickly meaning that we have a lot of the story which we are left to guess at. I also liked that although we get the trope of a teen girl finding that the world around her wasn't as she thought, this wasn't the only revelation that she gets during the book. The book starts with quite a bit of mystery surrounding Reid and Josie's older brother, but through the book Josie slowly gets answers mean after initial bombshell there are aftershocks as well. I like the banter between Josie, Reid and Santos and also the interaction between Josie and her younger brother. I really don't understand Josie's parents at all in this book hey just don't seem to care! The ending of this book was predictable in some ways but there were also a few unpredictable moments that I enjoyed. We are left with the promise of another book, which I can't wait for to find out more about the wider conflicts happening around Josie. (see my original post from 2015 here).

Re-read Review (3.75 stars)

It has been almost two years since I first read this book, and to be honest I didn't really remember that much about it, so it was almost like reading it for the first time again only my reading tastes have slowly changed (as it does over time).

Look back at my review from the first read, I think this time around I enjoyed Reid's sarcastic humour in the chapters from him point of view more. I still like the interactions and batter between Reid, Santos and Josie and am still non the wiser on Josie's parents and their lack of care. This time I was more aware of the flatness of the minor characters, for example Josie has a small group of friends at school and although we only get a few pages with them they just have no personalities. However, this books final twist still came as a surprise, had completely forgotten about that!

Favourite Quotes 
“Nerds don't know they're nerds. I know I'm a... well, I prefer to be called a dork, thank you.”
"'Well,' he whispered, drawing me towards his side, 'some things, some people, are worth making sacrifices for.'"

Enigma by Tonya Kuper
 What is This Book About?
Worst. Road Trip. Ever.

Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys.

The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.

My Thoughts*

I really wanted to love this book, I loved the first book when I first read it a couple of years ago, and have been waiting patiently since for this sequel. I re-read the first book just  before reading Enigma, and I have to admit it wasn’t as great as I remembered it, but I held out hope that with a few extra years the author would have developed and grown as a writer and as such the sequel would be better than the first. Sadly that wasn’t the case for me.
Enigma picks up Josie and Reid’s story just a few days after we leave them in a hotel at the end of Anomaly. As the blurb explains the two of them decide to join Josie’s mum and brother at the Hub, and hope to root out the traitor they believe is feeding information back to the Consortium. With the Oculi’s ability to cSohange their ability to change their appearance the traitor could look like anyone! Mean that Josie has to constantly suspect everyone and it also leads to the consistent need to check that someone was in fact that person, it reminded a bit of Marvels Jessica Jones and also Vampire Diaries (season 4). I like this aspect of the plot as it keep you on the lookout for hints of the traitor in everyone’s actions.  Another thing I loved about this book was the pop culture references, it reminds you of Josie’s ‘roots’ and inherent geekiness.
However, the second part of this book just felt a bit rushed and lack any kind of world building, maybe this was because of the decision to make this a duology instead of a trilogy. If felt as though one moment Josie and Reid were searching for the mole, the next it was over. I couldn’t connect with any of the newly introduced secondary characters they didn’t really have strong personalities, and I felt as though the short lived attempt at a love triangle was a bit unnecessary.  
So a bit of a mixed opinion of this book, although there were some good aspects which I enjoyed, however I couldn’t connect with other parts and the second part of the book just felt too rushed for me.

*based on eARC received via Netgalley