After hearing so much hype about Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath & The Dawn duology on booktube (plus, I’m obsessed with the new UK covers!) I decided it was about time that I read something by her! Flame in the Mist is her latest release which Goodreads calls ‘Mulan meets Throne of Glass.’ I’ve also heard a few people say that it’s a mash-up retelling of Mulan and 47 Ronin, and on both occasions, ‘Mulan’ is the only thing I’m interested in, so I was looking forward to some cross-dressing shenanigans. However, as you’ll already noticed by my star-rating, I found myself a little disappointed. I think this was mostly because I’d read another ‘Mulan’ mash-up retelling recently – though this time it’s ‘Mulan meets Pitch Perfect’ – in Riley Redgate’s Noteworthy, which was A++
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC e-book
When you write about someone winning the lottery, there are certain places that your mind goes. The winner spends frivolously on a yacht and a robot butler, runs into trouble with credit card companies, and after losing a significant chunk of cash, realises that they should channel their inner Ellen and pay it forward to the deserving public.
That’s pretty much what happens to Teddy. ‘Windfall’ does nothing new with the plot of rags to riches. More dramatic things could have happened in regards to his big spends, but in the end, it works out fine for him. He’s got tons of cash. The end.
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family
Published by: Puffin
Maddie and I have wanted to start reading more Middle Grade recently, so we decided to start with some of our favourite books from when we were tweens! Cathy Cassidy was a complete staple in my reading life when I was 11-14. I loved her(!) and Scarlett was the first of her books that I read, so I decided to start here.
Scarlett follows an angry girl who is misunderstood. She’s been booted from one school to the next and lives with her single mother who’s a little tired of Scarlett’s antics, so she sends her to live with her dad. But Scarlett’s dad started a new family…in Ireland.
I have an individual review for the first book in this series, and if you’ve read that, you’ll know that I struggled to get through it. HOWEVER, I decided to continue reading for a few reasons:
- To support a UKYA author!
- To support my library (since I sources all 5 books from local libraries!)
- Because the author admitted her mistake in letting main character Ally get rescued by boys in the first book and said it got better in a Feminism in YA panel I attended earlier in the year.
- I believed there was a good story to tell underneath some of the sillier elements.
In the end I’m pleased that I gave this series a second chance, because much to my relief it did get better. Night School even turned into something I would recommend to fans of Ally Carter and Jennifer Lynne Barnes. It has it’s issues, and I think some of the general concept for the series is confused and completely unrealistic, but taken with a pinch of salt it’s pretty fun.
The It Girl by Katy Birchall
Genre: Contemporary, Comedy, UKYA
Published by: Egmont
This is another book that follows the geeky/awkward girl struggles through secondary school trope made popular by Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series. Any regular reader or watcher of Heart Full of Books will know that Maddie and I adore Geek Girl, and The It Girl is supposed to have a good sense of humour, so we both thought we’d give it a go! If nothing else, at least we’ll be supporting another UKYA author, right?
Another witchy read, this time Hexed, which had a bit of hype on booktube when it was first released. I decided to finally pick it up after months of it being on my shelves because the sequel came out quite recently. Again, the characters were pretty typical for the genre, all that was missing was a southern belle. However, there were some curve balls that made this story different to what else you might’ve read.
You would not believe the amount of time that this book has just been sat on my TBR gathering dust. The cover that I own is not great, so I can’t say I was particularly looking forward to reading it to begin with. Then I read Rebel Belle, which was super fun, so I thought, why not give Hex Hall a try?