Review: But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure

33805263But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Orchard Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★.5
I requested this book having no idea that it was a companion to Estelle Laure’s YA debut, This Raging Light. This book focuses on Eden, and what happens to her when she wakes up from a coma after the tragic accident at the end of TRL. Because it had been a year since I read the first book, it took me a while to clock on to the fact that I already knew who Eden was, to a certain extent, but what I loved the most was how both she and I got to know her better as the book went on, and as she discovered new meaning in life. But Then I Came Back focuses on some of my favourite things: ballet, mystery and contemplation of the afterlife. I’m fascinated by books that touch on these subjects individually, so to find one that fit them all together was delightful!  Continue reading “Review: But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure”

Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey

33154647Defy The Stars by Claudia Grey
Genre: Sci-fi
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 420
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★

I feel the same way about Defy the Stars as I do the Star Wars franchiseI thought it was a fun romp through space but I wasn’t invested much more than that. I will say that Defy the Stars is probably the best sci-fi YA I’ve read, and it’s not normally my genre, so to even say I enjoyed it means a lot.

I’m also not a fan of ‘love is the ultimate rebellion’ as the tag line, because I don’t think this story is primarily a romance, and thank goodness! That being said, let’s get onto the review.

Continue reading “Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey”

Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

34373364Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published: Macmillan
Pages: 320
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★.5

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.

Continue reading “Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith”

Review: One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton

31322309One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 288
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★

As the last weekend in the UK was obscenely hot by normal standards, my mind instantly gravitates towards ice-cream, sunglasses and contemporary romances. One Italian Summer gave me that the exam-free vibe (that’s still out of reach for another month, *crycry*) and made me crave a European holiday. (Soon, soon!)

Keris Stainton’s last YA release, Counting Stars really impressed me for it’s representation of teenage life, and I felt One Italian Summer had the same strengths, which was a really good sign. Continue reading “Review: One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton”

Review: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

33806020Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publisher: Canongate
Pages: 368
Format: e-book
Rating: ★★
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If there’s ever a reason to pick up a book, it’s to find out why half the characters are spontaneously combusting without rhyme or reason. The quirky plot drew me in, but the voice drew me out.

Mara Carlyle is our narrator. She’s hyper aware of the this role, calling chapters ‘things you should know’ and the like. I can forgive the story telling being dramatic – hey, not everyday is it that someone blows up in front of your face – but there was something about the narration that felt a little over the top. Maybe it was the humour, a joke gone too far. Not in the crude sense, where you just start gritting your teeth because something fun became something prejudice, but where every humorous moment, or observation is drawn out with one too many examples.  Continue reading “Review: Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer”

Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer

31305531The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer
Genre: 
Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 384
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn is a story about a girl who finds out she’s pregnant and can’t remember having sex. She has a long term boyfriend, and a memory of kissing someone who was very much not her boyfriend, but that’s it. I was really drawn to the book because of the premise. I knew it would take a religious turn, what with the virgin birth thing, but I didn’t know that it would offer a general commentary on the ridiculousness of the media and how they write whatever they like, without sources or a sense of sympathy for those they harm. Continue reading “Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer”

Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

31671570A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
Genre:
Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 666
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic (#1) | A Gathering of Shadows (#2)
Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

I have been in love with this series for a year, and the time has finally come: the release of A Conjuring of Light. I also don’t want this to be a spoiler review and that’s going to be hard so I’m just going to do what we always do on Heart Full of Books when it’s a book we really liked and make a list. I’m going to do this slightly differently and work through some of my thoughts whilst I was reading, let’s go!  Continue reading “Review: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab”