Review: Counting Stars by Keris Stainton

23592240Counting Stars by Keris Stainton
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: ???
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating: ★★★★
Where To Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

Happy Book Birthday to ‘Counting Stars’! To celebrate, let’s review!

The basic premise is a bunch of people live in a house together, and you get to know about their lives. Sounds simple, right? That’s where you’re wrong. Each character has their own dilemma and, as a reader, trying to deal with five at once was tricky, but rewarding. Set in Liverpool, this book is perfect for anyone 18 or over, as I’d say this book is like a hybrid between YA and new adult fiction, which comes from the characters being 18 or over, and therefore having slightly more mature situations to deal with.  Continue reading “Review: Counting Stars by Keris Stainton”

Review: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder

fire studyFire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Fantasy, Adventure
Published by: MIRA Ink
Pages: 441
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5 stars
Poison Study (#1) | Magic Study (#2)
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

There is no doubt that this was an epic finale to a trilogy. Yelena really did come in to her own, and harness the power she possessed since ‘Poison Study’. However, I must admit that ‘Fire Study’ was my least favourite of the series, even though it was still excellent and to say ‘least favourite’ makes it sound a lot worse! Continue reading “Review: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder”

Review: You’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher

You're the oneYou’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Penguin
Pages: 372
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: 
Goodreads | Amazon

‘You’re the One that I Want’ was only my second New Adult book. I found it under the ‘Chick Lit’ section of the bookshop, however, due to the age of the characters moving from nine years old to twenty seven, its safe to say that the majority of the novel happens when the three main characters are in their teens.

I love Gi. I found her when she first started making videos on her channel, ‘Giovanna’s World’ and like to catch up with her blog posts for Hello! Magazine. She’s so bubbly and fun, and her personality really diffused into this novel.

There was nothing difficult about the writing style. I didn’t feel like I needed to be twenty seven to enjoy it. It was written exactly how a teenager, and how I imagine a university grad, would write and feel. It really just made for a quick and fun read that didn’t have me questioning the origins of the universe.

The novel focuses on Maddy, a bride to be, and Ben, her best friend but not her groom. These are the two perspectives of the novel, however we also get to experience the groom’s speech, written by Robert, the final point in our love triangle (or self-proclaimed love tripod.)

Main problem: will Ben pipe up at the altar and claim Maddy for himself?

After the first scene of the wedding, when Maddy is contemplating her romantic decisions, we are rocketed back to the past, when all three characters are nine years old. Until they are twenty one, we get to see the relationship develop between Maddy and Robert (who become a couple at sixteen) and Ben and Maddy (a relationship that never quite got off the ground.) I loved how Gi waited until they were twenty-one to get serious, because teenage relationships are meant to just be fun. It felt completely natural that Maddy and Robert would stay together if they didn’t have a reason to separate.

Only they did. Cue Robert doing something stupid. This led to the relationship between Ben and Maddy intensifying.

The one thing with this love triangle was that the novel knew that’s all it was focused on. I wasn’t annoyed by the backwards and forwards of will she love me or won’t she because I knew what I was getting, unlike in YA novels, when a love triangle is thrown at you for no reason. Also unlike with YA novels, I never knew which guy I preferred. They both did questionable things to Maddy, but both seemed to really care for her.

When they grew up some more, however, I thought that the relationship between Robert and Maddy was a compromise for their true feelings. It felt like they were staying together because they didn’t know how to be with anyone else. Of course, when their relationship went back to normal, I went back to shipping them, but a little piece of my heart would always tug towards Ben and how he drew the romantic short straw.

I really loved the ending of this novel. It wasn’t a cliched ‘speak now’ wedding, with lots of gasps and treachery. It was real. The epilogue gave me a good sense of closure for the three characters, and recognised that your first love doesn’t have to be your only love (even  though it was super cute that that was how it worked out for Gi and Tom, the most adorable couple ever.)

Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Like I said, I knew what I was getting, and was ready for it. It captured me for the entire time I was reading it and had me immersed in the lives of Maddy, Ben and Robert. I look forward to reading Gi’s debut novel, ‘Billy and Me’ in the near future!

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family
Published by:
Format: ebook
Where to Find:
Goodreads | Amazon

‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell fits more perfectly into the ‘New Adult’ genre of literature. Due to there being no characters in the book between the ages of 15-20, ‘Young Adult’ may have been an understatement.

However, the fact that the characters were parents didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book, although I felt I couldn’t relate to the characters as well because I hadn’t experienced a lot of what they were going through…like marriage. (It’s unfortunately impossible to propose to book characters.)

The story follows Georgie, a mother of two that has a time consuming career of writing scripts for TV shows. That was super interesting to read, as I never really imagine the people behind the jokes of sitcoms. Georgie is married to Neal and it’s safe to say their marriage is on the rocks because of Georgie’s job and the strain of having kids. (Wow, family life suddenly seems way more difficult than I thought!)

Although this is all quintessential to the plot, the really interesting idea is that Georgie has a phone in her present that can connect to a phone in Neal’s past. Through this magical device, she is able to talk to a younger Neal, who is contemplating proposing to Georgie. As anyone would, older Georgie takes this opportunity to smooth over younger Georgie’s mistakes and put right her relationship with her husband.

This doesn’t quite go to plan.

The scenes where Georgie was on the phone to younger Neal were quite repetitive. They’d follow the pattern of younger Neal, not knowing older Georgie’s downfall’s, convincing her that he loves her while the older Georgie tries to convince him that they’re not right for each other. I could read about this struggle once, but three times was kind of a push.

There are also parts of the book that are flashbacks to Georgie and Neal’s relationship at its roots, when they were first getting to know each other. These were the cutest parts, but as we were only reading from Georgie’s perspective, we didn’t get to see that Neal really really liked Georgie, though he wasn’t very good at showing it.

In a way, their relationship was unequal from the start, with Georgie thinking that she loved Neal more than he loved her, and with Neal thinking the other way around. The problem was definitely communication. They definitely needed to talk more. Thank goodness for this magical phone! If only Georgie would stop being so negative about herself.

The other problem with time travel is messing up the future. Georgie was under the impressive the phone worked in a ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Meet the Robinson’s’ system but really, we were looking at your classic ‘Prisoner of Askaban’ contingency system, where every action is predetermined to make the future. Nice one.

All is resolved at the end, which is nice for the McCool family, but in my opinion, the whole book could have told the same story in a lot less pages, with less emphasis on Georgie’s life and more emphasis on her ability to fix her broke relationship (successfully, I might add!) For this reason, I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars, because although I liked it, the characters were much older than me. I couldn’t sympathize with them well and the story felt a little drawn out. Nothing to make me stop reading completely, but nothing like ‘Fangirl’.