Review: Unveiling Venus by Sophia Bennett

Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This was such a lovely and enjoyable continuation to Persephone’s story! I didn’t think it would be possible to enjoy the sequel as much as I did Following Ophelia, but here we are! There’s passion and scandal and, of course, art. What’s not to like? Continue reading “Review: Unveiling Venus by Sophia Bennett”

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Review: Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron

Note: We were sent this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Sophie Cameron’s debut really is something special! I’m calling Carnegie and Waterstones Book Prize nominations for next year! It’s about Jaya, whose father is a Wingding, someone who is obsessed with the angels falling to their deaths all over the world, and as such has hauled their family to Edinburgh in search of the next angel. Jaya then, in secret, comes across a rose gold and pink angel who unlike all the other has survived the fall, and with the help of two new friends tried to help her get back home.

Continue reading “Review: Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron”

Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

More Than We Can Tell is a companion novel to Letters to the Lost, following the main secondary character, Rev and a new character, Emma. It’s not necessary to read Letters to the Lost, but it does add to the charm of this book that you get to find out how Juliet and Declan are getting on now. I wish all books by the same author happened in the same universe, it’s such a sweet idea!

Rev was severely abused when he was a kid. His father contacts him for the first time in a decade and it brings back all of his traumatic feelings. It’s pretty descriptive and will almost definitely be triggering. He’s also dealing with his parents taking on a new foster kid and feeling helpless to stop aggressive reactions.

Continue reading “Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer”

Winter Kindle Book Haul!

Because most of the books I read on my Kindle are ARCs and I’m getting them from the Document tab, I forget that I’ve got some other great already-published books sitting on my digital shelves. These are all books that I’ve bought in the last couple of months and really want to be reminded of so, and hopefully make up a Kindle TBR for 2018.

Replica by Lauren Oliver

We received a copy of Ringer from Hodder and Staughton, which was extremely generous, but it made me want to kick myself for always choosing something else over Replica when I came across it in a Waterstone’s Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Price deal. (Isn’t that always the way, the moment you decide to buy something, it’s full price?) After giving up on a bargain physical copy, I finally spotted this for 99p (!!) and although I’d love to add the pink-and-orange cover to our shelves, a digital copy will have to do. It’s a book from two different perspectives that you read one after the other, and after reading Truth or Dare by Non Pratt, I’m really interested to see how that narrative style will work out in this more paranormal genre. I’ve also heard people compare it to Stranger Things, which I love, so we’ll see!

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

After reading Love, Hate and Other Filters, I’ve really wanted to find more books with Muslim protagonists, and since hearing Ayisha Malik talk about the relationship between  the Islamic faith and dating at YALC, I’ve been super curious to pick up her book that’s described as a muslim Bridget Jones. I’m hoping that this one will be a lot of fun and introduce me to some perspectives I haven’t read from enough.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne 

I read a sampler of this that I got at YALC and have been really intrigued to continue. When I saw this come up for 99p during it’s release week, I couldn’t resist, and seeing as I’ve got the rest of Holly’s stand alones of my Kindle, it only made sense to add this yellow beauty to my e-editions. It’s about a girl called Audrey who analyses the behaviour of guys in relationships on screen and it sounds wonderful, if a little didactic. I loved the Spinster Club series, so fingers crossed this one is also a hit.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Any #OwnVoices story, I want to jump on top of right this second. Although I normally go for any other letter in LGBTQIA+ than ‘G’ – because it’s the most represented of these underrepresented groups and I want to show the others more love – Adam Silvera is one of these authors I’ve only heard good things about and I feel like the last person to jump on the Silvera band wagon. This is going to make me cry, I’m sure of it, since it’s about Griffin grieving the loss of his boyfriend, Theo, but sometimes I like to punish my heart.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Corodova

Speaking of LGBT+, this one has a bisexual main character, I’m pretty sure. It’s witchy and spooky and Latinx, all the things I need more of on my TBR (although I’m thinking this one is a book that would fit way better with Bee’s reading aesthetic!) I’ve found a lot of Alice and Wonderland comparisons, which isn’t a story I’m fond of, but it has some great ratings on Goodreads, so hopefully, I’ll be one of them.

 

Review: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

I read this is practically one sitting, and it’s been so long time since I did that! It’s also been ages since I’ve read a YA thriller, so it’s been a books of ‘the first time in forever’s. Bad Girls With Perfect Faces was unexpected, with its lyrical writing style and detailed characters. Unfortunately, I felt like it took way too long to get started – the thriller element didn’t start until roughly 60% through the book!

This is the story of Sasha and Xavier, who are best friends, and on Xavier’s birthday they go to a club and run into Ivy, Xavier’s toxic ex-girlfriend. Sasha’s in love with Xavier, so obviously she’s not best pleased, and tries to catch Ivy in the act of cheating.

Continue reading “Review: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten”

Bee’s Star Rating Statistics 2017

I’m writing this on December 9th. This year, I’ve been keeping track of my reading on a spreadsheet, because I wanted more details than what Goodreads would provide. So far this year I’ve read 211 books, and I can’t see myself reading too much more. I’m not going to take out books re-reads like Maddie did, because that would take way too long! But the numbers won’t add up precisely because I didn’t rate things I read for university or that I DNF’d.

Continue reading “Bee’s Star Rating Statistics 2017”

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost is all about Juliet, who leaves letters on her mother’s gravestone as a way to process her grief. Declan is the boy who’s doing community service and stumbles across her letter. He reads it and decides to write back. The pair then communicate through letters and emails, without ever telling each other who the other person is. What’s tricky is that they go to the same school, and while Declan figures out Juliet’s identity, she’s still in the dark.

Continue reading “Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer”

Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

This book had been on my wishlist for a long time before I bought it, and I’ve owned it for six months without picking it up. I’ve been hyping it in my head as a book I was going to fall in love with, and the sad reality is, I didn’t.

I wasn’t what I thought it was going to be mostly. I thought I’d signed up for a mystery in an unsettled, backwards little town, but the girl who goes missing gets focalised chapters too. So you know where she is/what’s happening to her and that complicated things. So the whole mystery element was void!

I liked some elements. Like the budding relationship between Petey and Finn, for example, but it wasn’t enough to drive me through the story. There were some passages that were beautifully written but I found a lot of the descriptions sounded like something I’d heard before. Considering how many great things I’d heard about the writing, I have to admit I was surprised by how purple it…wasn’t.

‘Bone Gap’ couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be magical realism or not, so in the end you get this odd fairytale vibe that’s doesn’t feel modern but isn’t working through tropes either. It was a strange story, and one I’ll probably re-read in 10 years time and like a lot more, but reading it now and comparing it to my expectations was really not a good idea.

Maddie’s Star Rating Statistics 2017

I’m writing this post on December 3rd. On this day, I’ve read 205 books (so says my Goodreads challenge). Taking away the books I’ve read for university, reread from previous years and DNF’d (which I did for the first time this year!) I’ve read 126 books. 

Of those 126 books, I thought it would be interesting to go through and see if I can figure out anything about my star rating system. For all of you that love statistics, this post is for you! (and the others will just have to wait until tomorrow, mwhaha!)

Here’s how 126 books breaks down into star ratings, and click the images if you’re interested in our reviews:

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2 books

 I’m taking it as a really good sign that I only gave two books a one star rating this year because it means for the first time ever, I’m actually putting books down that I don’t care enough about to finish! Hopefully next year, I’ll have improved and be past even giving one star ratings but have bigger DNF list.

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21 books

This has become a much more common rating, as I’m really trying to make more differentiation in my 3 stars ratings (but we’ll get to that in a minute…) These are books that I wanted to keep going with, for the hope that they’d really wow me in the last fifty pages, despite losing hope the more pages I turned. There are still things to like in 2 star books, it’s just not…enough. Still, I’d definitely recommend these books to others hoping they’d like what I liked and more.

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57 Books

Oh, the three star rating. This is by far the most common because I can easily find things I like and don’t like so much. A three star rating doesn’t have to be the perfect balance between good and not great, but it feels like a category where books fall by default. I try and open every book assuming that it’ll be a three star read and if it does nothing to convince me it should get a lower or higher rating, I’ll leave it there.

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31 Books

There’s something really special about four star books for me. It’s a rating that means I had an absolutely wonderful time when I was reading and I fell in love with so many aspects of the book. Maybe it’s a rating that’s very influenced by my environment (or how many three star books in a row I’ve read before them!) It also means that if I reread the books, there’s the potential for them to increase to a five star rating if I can fall in love with them all over again.

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15 books

A five star rating is reserved for absolute favourites, books that I can see myself reading over and over again, books I wish I could read again for the first time, ones that make me laugh, cry or make me burst with any strong emotion. They’re the books I want to buy multiple copies of and shove into the hands of everyone I know. They’re the gems that remind me why I love reading and why I always will.

So, there you have it, there’s my star ratings break down for 2017 and a sneaky peak at two of my favourite books of the year! Look forward to Bee’s statistics coming soon. Let me know what the most common rating you’ve given this year and if you think you’ve read more 4-5 star books this year than the last! 

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Review: Keeper by Kim Chance

I devoured Keeper in one sitting, letting go of any reservation that this was a paranormal story which was mostly what I read in 201, and instead of thinking ‘oh no, this is exactly like this book’ I let myself be transported to when I first discovered YA and read romances like Hush, Hush, Fallen and Beautiful Creatures.

Keeper is a nostalgic YA mash-up. It feels a little odd to be reading it in 2017 because my reading tastes have changed so much, but you all know I’m a sucker for witches, I love Kim’s YouTube channel and I wanted to support the book. It’s a little trope-y but the secondary characters leap of the page and the ending definitely has me invested in a potential sequel. Thinking too critically would definitely spoil my enjoyment of it, so I tried to ignore the romance entirely and focus on the ‘discovering new worlds’ element, which was incredibly well-paced to begin with, but I think things got a little out of control by the end.

If you too are feeling like you want to re-experience your old reading tastes without having to re-read and potentially change your opinion on an old favourite, then Keeper is perfect for you. Alternatively, if you’re new to the supernatural genre, then Keeper could be your new favourite!