Thursday, 30 April 2015

Anticipated May Releases 2015


I can't believe April is over! Time is flying past which also means more incredible books for us! May has a lot of hot new YA releases, it was incredibly difficult to narrow down a list of a couple that I am most excited for but I managed it! Here's my list of my most anticipated releases for May!

#1 - THE LAST SUMMER OF US by Maggie Harcourt

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Publish Date: 1st May 2015

Genres:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Three best friends who go on a road trip towards the end of summer. Sounds amazing! I love the idea of this book and absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!

Goodreads: Here

#2 - SAINT ANYTHING by Sarah Dessen

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Publish Date: 5th May 2015 

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A new Sarah Dessen book! I am a huge fan of hers and her book Lock & Key is my all time favourite contemporary read. Her books are so full of emotional and beautifully written, she is an auto-buy author for me!

Goodreads: Here

#3 - THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Publish Date: 12th May 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Romance

This has such a super-intriguing synopsis! 18 year-old Khalid takes a new bride each night, only to have her executed at sunrise. But a volunteer bride comes up with a plan to end his life only to discover he is not exactly all he seems to be. There are diverse themes which instantly had my attention and I've been hearing nothing but great things!

Goodreads: Here

#4 - THE NOVICE by Taran Matharu 

The Novice (Summoner, #1)

Publish Date: 5th May 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Demons

Though technically, I am currently reading this book as I was lucky enough to get an early copy, this is still going on my list because from the moment I heard about this book, I was sold! This was a Wattpad sensation and that really fascinates me! An awesome Fantasy novel about summoning demons. (My inner Supernatural fangirl side freaked out a little.) Cannot wait to share my thoughts about this one!

Goodreads: Here

#5 - A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Publish Date: 5th May 2015

Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Romance

This one is an obvious pick. EVERYONE is talking about it and copies are already in the wild! I'll be meeting Sarah in May for her ACOTAR UK tour and I cannot wait!

Goodreads: Here

#6 - THE LOST AND THE FOUND by Cat Clarke

The Lost and the Found

Publish Date: 7th May 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

I have adored Cat Clarke's previous books A Kiss in the Dark and Undone so I rushed off to find out about her newest upcoming release and I cannot wait to read it! Cat writes realistic and emotional stories that really hit you right in the feels and leaves you breathless! 

Goodreads: Here

#7 - THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY by Keren David

This is Not a Love Story

Publish Date: 7th May 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this book and from what I've heard, it's one to look out for! Set in Amsterdam (TFIOS memories anyone?) we follow the life of Kitty who is trying to move on after the unexpected death of her father. Sounds like a perfect read for me!

Goodreads: Here 

And finally, one I've already read and loved...

#8 - BETTER LEFT BURIED by Emma Haughton

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Publish Date: 1st May 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

LOVED THIS ONE. Emma's books are so gripping and get your hearts racing! Really glad I got to read an early copy and it was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015! You can check out my review too!

My Review | Goodreads: Here


And that's my list! Of course there are so many more I'm anxiously awaiting to get my mitts on but this post would be way too long!

What books are you most looking forward to this May?

Any on my list catch your eye?

Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Friday, 24 April 2015

REVIEW: Better Left Buried by Emma Haughton

22815671I received a copy of this book from Usborne for free, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect the content of my review in any form.

Author: Emma Haughton
Published by: Usborne on May 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 297
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | Hive | Kindle

Summary:

Brother dead.
Best friend missing.
House ransacked.
Stalked by a stranger.
Attacked in the street...

...and Sarah has no idea why.

She never knew her brother was hiding a dark secret when he died. But now his reckless actions have led the wolves to her door. And the only way out is to run.




So I'm going to attempt to keep this review as spoiler free as possible because to be honest, revealing even a fragment of the story might just ruin the element of surprise and that suspense! We don't want that. Does that tempt you enough to pick up a copy yet?


So last year, I picked up Emma's debut Now You See Me (you can find my review of it here) and I really enjoyed that one! Emma's writing is highly engrossing, precise and gritty. She projects that teenage voice in her books perfectly through her words. Her plots and twists are mindblowing and vastly impressive. I didn't think it could get any better but then she proved me wrong!

Better Left Buried was spellbindingly brilliant. The writing was flawless and invigorating, I was glued to the pages and found it difficult to put the book down! The emotions I felt whilst reading was evidence of just how honest and captivating her writing style really is, because she breathed life into her characters. I really felt like I could connect with them all.

Sarah is our protagonist whose older brother recently passed away from heart failure. But when a strange man who goes by the name of Jack begins to stalk her, and her best friend suddenly becomes distant and leaves town, Sarah unearths a few buried dark truths about her brother's life before he died. And they're secrets that endanger the lives of her loved ones, including her own.


Yes, it is as good as it sounds! Maybe better! The pacing of the story was on point, it didn't drag nor did it feel like everything was happening too quickly. I loved Sarah, she was the mix between a kick-ass heroine, that seems to be a growing trend, and just an average person getting on with life. It was refreshing to have that kind of realism and read about a character whose problems don't involve the world getting dominated by a corrupt government, or that she has to lead a war. Sarah and her family are dealing with a huge loss and I could feel that loss myself. It was that good.

I also loved Jack! I thought his mysterious and intense personality really kept me hooked and I'll say this now, you will have doubts possibly every few pages. Emma also really knows how to start off books with a bang! The way the plot unravels is incredible and thrilling and ingenious! There are heart-stopping moments where I felt like I was going to go mad from the suspense! You'll definitely feel like you're tipping over the edge of your seat.


So all in all, I loved this book so much! It had the most brilliant ending, so perfect and beautiful and full of feels! EMOTIONS OVERLOAD. I was left craving for more and I so desperately hope there is a sequel because I just don't feel ready to let go of the characters yet! This is definitely one to look out for guys, it's a brilliant book and really does UKYA proud! One of the best books I've read this year so far, and probably in my life! Emma is just a wonderful lady and I can't wait to read her next masterpiece!

Thank you Usborne for the review copy!

Rating:
Gold Wreath

Stunning.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

BLOG TOUR: Mortiswood Kaelia Falling by Gina Dickerson #Promo


 ABOUT THE BOOK

Mortiswood: Kaelia Falling is the second book in the Mortiswood Tales series...

Losing those she loves and learning she’s The Chosen One catapulted Kaelia’s life into the fast lane. Having battled Dybbuk demons, discovered an unexpected ally in the form of a Vallesm, and ventured through Niflheim, her adventure is far from over.

Determined to fulfil her destiny as the one who will destroy The Salloki, Kaelia still has many obstacles to overcome. As secrets rise to the surface and Kaelia’s powers contin
ue to evolve, she is not the only one fighting a battle...

Can Calix find a Rosealrium bloom in time to stop Cadence’s transformation? What exactly is the truth behind Bran’s connection to the goddess Hel? And will Kaelia finally uncover what happened to her mother?

One thing is certain, Kaelia is not the only one who is evolving...



The story began in the first book of the Mortiswood Tales series,
Mortiswood: Kaelia Awakening

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gina Dickerson lives by the Thanet coast on the north-eastern tip of Kent, in the UK, with her family and playful Siberian husky. She is a full-time author and writes romantic suspense with a twist, horror, and fantasy because her characters refuse to play nice and wind up with more than a few bone-rattling skeletons in their closets.

She is the author of the magical fairy tale, The Penning Christmas Curse published by Limitless Publishing, the murderous romantic suspense novel Unveiling Christmas, the twisted short story collection, Underleaf, as well as the fantasy, adventurous romance series, Mortiswood Tales. She has also written fashion and shopping columns for a local newspaper.

When she’s not writing, Gina loves rummaging in vintage clothes shops, taking way too many photographs, and leafing through fashion glossies.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

UKYA Day: I ❤ UKYA



Hooray Hooray, it's UKYA Day!

This special day is hosted by Lucy over at Queen of Contemporary. Check out the awesome schedule she has planned for the day here, it's amazing!

This is my first UKYA Day as a book blogger and I couldn't be happier! So now, to commemorate this rather exciting and special day, I was asked if I could contribute a post about UKYA so I thought I'll bring you a post about why I love UKYA.

Story time.


I never knew what UKYA was up until last year, when my interest for book blogging hit an all-time high. I began mass-following book bloggers, authors and publishers on Twitter and tried keeping track of all book related news and it was then I came across Lucy's blog and YouTube channel. I never knew booktubing was a thing up until that point and I was really amazed that people around the world actually shared their love about books so openly and with so much passion.

Then I discovered #ukyachat, a fun Twitter chat hosted by Lucy where I got to meet tons of new bloggers, readers, authors and fans who were just like me - book crazy! I loved the experience and have joined in almost every chat since.

When I read about Project UKYA, something inside me clicked. So I dug a little deeper and discovered a whole new side to books and publishing. When I first heard about UKYA, my initial thoughts were 'oh right, they're YA books published by UK publishers, right?'

Wrong.

UKYA books are written by Authors born or currently residing in the UK (direct quote from Lucy herself!) and that fascinated me. I never once thought about the background information behind a book, whether it was UKYA or USYA or so forth. So as an aspiring writer, who lives in the UK, I was truly impressed by Lucy's passion and the work she does to promote UKYA books and authors. I realised there is a certain lack of publicity for UKYA, and like me at the beginning, most readers don't even know what it is.

Here's another tidbit.

Just the other day, I was scrolling through Goodreads when I came across a comment that really got to me. What was the comment you ask?

'UKYA Authors are bland.'

I shit you not. I was so maddened that someone could say such a thing, to so easily label off all UKYA authors just like that. And from obvious point of view, you could tell they read a few books that didn't work with them and immediately they thought it was okay to label all of UKYA as bland.

This comment made me realise just how important promoting UKYA is, that it deserves more recognition and love. More people need to know more about it to stop these kinds of judgmental comments. I most certainly wouldn't want people to immediately cut my book off of their TBR list just because they found out I am a UKYA author. I would feel like hell.

Let's move onto the more happier side of things! 

Going back, I don't regret the decision to support UKYA and reading more UKYA books. I don't regret becoming a book blogger. I found a community I fit into, I've made friendships that would last lifetimes, I've discovered whole new sides to blogging, publishing and writing. To be part of such an incredible community really melts my cold heart because everyone is supportive and so friendly. There is great diversity within UKYA that I love so much.

Let's move onto books! I read and discovered so many brilliant titles since discovering UKYA. There is so much out there, you have no idea!




1761764821933437The Blackhart Legacy trilogy was one the first few series I stumbled upon when discovering UKYA. I haven't had much luck with finding a good book about fae. Fantasy is my favourite genre, though finding an Urban Fantasy novel that I liked was proving to be rather difficult. But then I met and fell in love with Banished. Liz de Jager was also someone completely alien to me, all I knew was that she wrote this amazing book I now loved. And now she is one of my most favourite author's, a friend and someone I talk to quite a bit and we share a lot in common! When I met her, I felt so at ease opposed to my usual social awkwardness and that's a plus for me! It's incredible!




The Night School series was also new to me and after seeing it around on Twitter, I decided to host my own reading marathon specifically for this series. I binge read all 4 books that were currently out and devoured them within a week, and let me tell you. It was the best decision I had ever made. This series is now my all-time favourite, the books claimed the top spot in my list which had remained the same for years. Never in a million years would I have guessed that would happen. CJ is such a lovely woman and I instantly fell in love with her writing and characters. Again, she is someone I've met twice now and both times, I felt like I was speaking to someone I've known forever. That's what I love about UKYA authors!

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Non wrote one of my favourite novels - Trouble. This was also one of the first books I picked up when hearing a lot of buzz about it in the community and I was not disappointed. The book deals with teenage pregnancy so well and Non did an outstanding job in keeping the reader sucked in and entertained, all the while dealing with a serious topic that certainly needs more coverage in the book world. I absolutely love her writing and witty and charming characters she so deftly crafts. Her debut was one of the best and she's also one of the loveliest people ever! I cannot wait to read her future titles!




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UKYA covers so many topics and there are so many books out there that deal with certain real-life situations really well. One of these was Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth. Told over the course of 7 days, the book deals with teenage bullying with honesty. It was raw and moving and on-point. Eve definitely doesn't sugarcoat anything and it's such an important book that tells you a story between a victim and a bully. It truly makes you question as to who the true victim is and I think this is a book that the world really needs. Eve really outdone herself with this incredible novel!




21936988Did I mention I love Fantasy? Especially YA Fantasy. I read one of the greatest Fantasy books this year, one I'll definitely be remembering for the rest of my life. It was one of my most anticipated novels of 2015 and it increased my love for Fantasy even more! What's the book? It's none other than, The Sin Eater's Daughter by a very talented, Melinda Salisbury! I had no idea what to expect, and that was a great thing. Most of my favourite fantasy books are USYA and Mel's book proved that UKYA Fantasy is just as good, if not better than USYA! I really loved it.




And there are so many more authors and books that I've grown to love. So you see, I am very thankful for UKYA for introducing so many wonderful titles that brought me an equal amount of tears and joy, and for the wonderful authors who work hard to give us the best possible reading experience possible with their stories and writing.

UKYA Extravaganza, an event curated by Emma Pass and Kerry Drewery allowed me to discover even more great authors and books. But not only that, bloggers too! Readers and book lovers and 35 authors came together in one place and it was such a remarkable experience! The UKYA community do so much to promote UKYA as much as possible and it's truly admirable. I'm getting all tingly and emotional just thinking about it!

You can read about my experience at UKYA Extravaganza here.

There is just so much I love about UKYA, I'd be here forever if I listed down all the reasons. I'll conclude by saying a huge thank you to Lucy, because without her blog and Project UKYA, I never would have discovered this incredible community I am now a part of. There would have been a huge lack of amazing titles I would have missed out on, and I'd never have made so many good friends. I wouldn't have met and known so many fabulous authors! I am well and truly grateful.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (2) - The Invasion of the Tearling


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by BreakingtheSpineThis is where you can talk about your most anticipated novels that are soon to be published.




Hello, and welcome! 

I've only ever done one of these 'Waiting on Wednesday' meme's but due to my recent surge in motivation, I thought I'd commit to posting one at least once a fortnight. So I bring you one of my most anticipated releases that I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on! (Hint: It's related to the book I chose for my first WoW meme blog post.)

THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING 

23548155Author: Erika Johansen
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #2
Release Date: 16th July 2015 (UK) | 9th June 2015 (US)
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | B&N

Summary:

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling - and that of Kelsea's own soul - may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.


THANK YOU UK FOR KEEPING THE COVERS BEAUTIFUL AND MATCHING.
Just look at that masterpiece! I noticed that the first book in this trilogy, the US cover was very impressive and I loved it more than the UK edition. But now...

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See what I mean? 
I'm not sure what happened with the US edition, because that first book was beautiful and it's a shame because I was expecting book 2 to be even better!

So anyway, yes, The Invasion of the Tearling is the follow-up to The Queen of the Tearling, one of my most highly anticipated novels of last year, and I read it and fell in love with the world and characters and the writing! Book 1 sort of set the foundation so I'm expecting a lot more from book 2! Kelsea is growing on me and I can't wait to see how she handles the dangerous situation she had thrown herself into! Also, the first book lacked in magic but book 2 holds promise! I can't wait for this one! If you haven't started this series yet, YOU NEED TO RIGHT AWAY.

You can find my review of Book 1, The Queen of the Tearling here. (Fair word of warning, it's quite long!)

What's your upcoming anticipated release?

Let me know in the comments!


Sunday, 5 April 2015

REVIEW: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

17756559Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Girouz on 4th March 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Links: Goodreads | Wordery | Hive | B&N

Summary:

As a general's daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin's eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him - with unexpected consequences. It's not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.




I have been fantasizing about reading this book for so long that I feared I would hate it and find a load of disappointments. To have finished reading it now and feel appeased, I was literally floating in the air with happiness. Satisfaction? Check.

This book bypassed any expectations I had with its wondrous world building and plot. With its tantalizing and poetic writing that rivals even Claudia Gray, I was sucked in within the first few pages. 2 to be exact. The prose and metaphors just meshed so well together, I could have cried. It was that beautiful. I wish I could re-live that first experience of reading The Winner's Curse over and over because I was left breathless by it.


Kestrel is one of my favourite type of character. She can think for herself, she's smart and she's not afraid to risk a little to gain a lot more. She's the type of person who wouldn't give up hope if she were to be thrown into a den of lions, she would fight til the very end. Yet, at the same time, she's so human and has her weaknesses and flaws, hobbies you wouldn't expect her to have. She loves music and thrives to become a musician. Her strong will to rise above everyone's expectations of her was certainly admirable and a strong point. Her development was incredible as she molded into a confident woman.


As the daughter of a reputed general, she's faced with a tough predicament to either join the military or to get married. Things get worse when she buys a slave off the auction market. The boy - Arin - who is rumoured to be able to sing tempts Kestrel to sway and pay a huge price for him. But it brings upon a curse, perhaps not one that is written down, but she pays dearly for it later in the book. And during this time, she is entangled within a bittersweet love for the slave. Romance does not overtake the plot. Far from it. It's very political based yet enthralling. The world was just vivid and outstanding.

There were intense moments, so heartbreaking and wistful it tugged at my heartstrings. I loved the emotions I felt whilst reading, no doubt thanks to the beautiful writing. The ending left me in tatters, Rutkoski really knows where to strike and get you right in the feels because I was left yearning and desperate to know what happens next.


I had no outstanding issues with this book. I adored it. But what I would love to see is perhaps a novella about Arin and his past. Perhaps this is covered in Book Two who knows? I just want to hear his entire side of the story because a lot of the time, I felt anger towards him yet I felt like I shouldn't have. I love his character and I want to understand his reasons for the actions he took so they can be justified.

Ahh, so good guys. I really enjoyed this one! A definite favourite and I highly recommend. (Especially non-fantasy lovers.)

Rating:
Gold Wreath

Stunning.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

March Wrap Up & Recommendations 2015


So March was a really poor reading month for me, I don't know why or what went wrong. I guess I was in a bit of a slump, or more like trying to get out of one. I read a horrifying SIX books. Uch. It was a pretty hectic month although the books I did manage to read were pretty good! Also, I'd like to add that I will now be listing which books from the pile I've read, I would recommend to you guys at the end!

OKAY. LET'S GO.

THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE
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AUTHOR: Julie Berry
MY RATING: 4 STARS

Sent to my by Hot Key and Piccadilly Press, I really enjoyed this one! A great fun read with fabulous characters and mystery!

UNDER MY SKIN
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AUTHOR: James Dawson
MY RATING: 5 STARS

Another fabulous title from the reigning Queen of Teen, James Dawson! Hot Key have published another brilliant creeptastic book that I adored about a girl called Sally who decides to get a tattoo. Said tattoo ends up being able to speak and possess her body! SO COOL. And that gorgeous cover and the sprayed edges are to die for!

THOSE ABOVE
Those Above cover image
AUTHOR: Daniel Polansky
MY RATING: 2 STARS

Not exactly what I was expecting if I had to be honest. I was let down by this one though it had a promising synopsis. It was okay in parts and a few characters really intrigued me and kept me reading but it just didn't work for me unfortunately.

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
All the Bright Places cover image
AUTHOR: Jennifer Niven
MY RATING: 5 STARS
LINKS: Goodreads | Wordery | B&N

This is the book that made me cry. It ripped me apart and cracked my cold heart. It was so raw and moving, I was touched and devoured the beautiful writing and story with it's fantastic characters. A perfect book surrounding mental illness. I will never regret reading this one.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Beauty and the Beast cover image
AUTHOR: Ravinder Randhawa
MY RATING: 4 STARS

This was truly a fun and entertaining read! Diverse characters and plot, a really great contemporary for those dull days! Great Asian culture and funny references. Really enjoyed it!

THE STORYTELLER
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AUTHOR: Antonia Michaelis
MY RATING: 5 STARS
LINKS: Goodreads | Wordery | B&N

This is definitely a contender for the most heartbreaking and emotional book I've read. Set in Germany this is a story about Abel and Anna. Abel is known for his drug dealing, he is super secretive about his personal life so when Anna's curiosity gets the better of her, she gets tangled up into the dark mess of Abel's life. The ending rivals ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, the writing just as beautiful and poetic. I read this after Niven's novel, which was the worst idea possible. It literally killed me.
Such a good book guys. So so so beautiful. I cried.




23582973All the Bright Places cover image 13741785


What books did you read this month?

Have you read any of the titles on my list?

Let me know in the comments below!