Review: The Girl’s Guide to Summer by Sarah Mlynowski

If you love travel, or have been on a similar European tour, then this will feel like a Travel Diary and send you right back to your own adventures.

As someone who likes the idea of travelling but knows it’s definitely not for me, I have to admit I was bored at times. This is also from someone who loves DCOMs where travel is a huge part. (I’m talking Cheetah Girls 2, the Lizzie McGuire Movie, etc.) And let’s not forget my obsession with the old Mary-Kate and Ashley films. ‘When in Rome’ and ‘Winning London’ are pure classics. My favourite place the girls went to was probably Monte Carlo, only because I love the film ‘Monte Carlo’ and it reminded me how much I needed to rematch it. So, it’s not like I can’t enjoy travel stories, but this wasn’t the right one.

I don’t think the girls went through any character development. The ones that were in relationships ended up single and the girls not in relationships, found one. That was the only change. Personality wise, and friendship wise, they still seemed to be the same as page one. The friendship in general, though probably realistic, felt very imbalances. Leela had double standards and I wish the disconnect they were having could have been more of the centre rather than this Jackson guy who Leela kept calling a ‘Man Whore’….um no. You don’t get to judge someone based on how much sex they have! And they’d never even met! So, that was annoying.

I really liked what was going on with Sydney’s mother back home – her being agoraphobic and Sydney becoming the primary carer – and I would have much preferred to know more about that than their summer holidays. It felt like the most unique part of the story was happening outside of what we were being told.

I feel like their travels become a little dull, and kept hitting the same note. They’d struggle with money but somehow get through it, meet up with really kind people and sort of pick them up as they went along. (Even though there was this weird kissing contest that seemed to present itself at random times…) But there were no real stakes. We didn’t see the consequences of anything bad happening, so any sort of tension was completely lacking. Sydney and Leela had a few hiccups but nothing to stress over. I guess that’s because they were building this whole ‘perfect summer’ vibe, but maybe one instance of them having nowhere to sleep because they couldn’t afford it rather than some rich guy who fancies one of them coming in to save the day.

However thee final page did seem to suggest some kind of companion novel sequel about what was happening to one of Sydney and Leela’s other friends at the summer camp she was a counsellor at, which sounds 100% more up my street, so in the end, I’m glad I read this, so I could get the Easter eggs for the second book!

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Review: Contagion by Teri Terry

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

Teri Terry is one of my favourite writers. I’ve read everything she’s written bar the sequel to Dangerous Minds. Contagion is the start of a new series, and since Slated is one of my all time favourite dystopian stories, there was a lot to live up to. And what’s the number one thing we always end up saying about high expectations? It’s pretty much our motto… Continue reading “Review: Contagion by Teri Terry”

Review: The Witch Hunter and The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker

24886378cover87575-mediumThe Witch Hunter and King Slayer by Virginia Boecker
Genre: Fantasy (Historical)
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 409, 400
Format: e-book, ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★

Not quite Holly Black, not quite Sarah J. Maas, not quite Robin LaFevers, and not quite Kristin Cashore but somehow all those ‘not quite’s add up into something pretty special. I was really excited to read The Witch Hunter because I think it was one of the book that came out at BEA last year, an my friend Lea really loves it. It sounded like something I’d enjoy and I did! Then I received the second book King Slayer from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Continue reading “Review: The Witch Hunter and The King Slayer by Virginia Boecker”

Review: Book Of Lies by Teri Terry

25370363Book Of Lies by Teri Terry
Genre:
Paranormal
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 352
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★★.5
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really love Teri Terry’s writing. The Slated Trilogy was such a standout read for me in 2013, and the whole series brings a new voice to the dystopian genre. Then, last year, I read Mind Gameswhich had the same techno-fantasy vibe as my favourite book of all time, Fearsome Dreamer.  So, I had expectations when it came to Book Of Lies and they were definitely met! It was a great reading experience, and really made me appreciate the previous books of Terry’s I’ve read.  Continue reading “Review: Book Of Lies by Teri Terry”

Review: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

25787863This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating: ★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

I requested this book from NetGalley because I was in the mood for a short book, preferably a contemporary, that could be read in as few sitting as possible. This book delivered on all of those fronts. It was exactly the kind of book you need to get out of a reading slump! There are a lot of wonderful things about ‘This Raging Light’, and some parts that left me in the dark. Let’s discuss. Continue reading “Review: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure”

Review: Cleo by Lucy Coats

cleoCleo by Lucy Coats
Genre:
Mythology, Adventure
Published by: 
Orchard Books
Pages: 320
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating: ★★
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

I was first interested in reading ‘Cleo’ because of its obviously Egyptian themes. I’ve only read one other book on the subject, ‘The Red Pyramid’ by Rick Riordan, and was interested to see how another author transformed the mythology. To place Cleopatra in a YA setting sounded like an excellent idea, and I was looking forward to being immersed in the land of sand, gods and temples. But, (I know, I know, why does there always have to be a but?) I had a few issues with the execution. Let’s discuss!

Continue reading “Review: Cleo by Lucy Coats”

Review: Shattered by Teri Terry

shatteredShattered by Teri Terry
Genre: Dystopian
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 402
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★★
Series: Slated (#1), Fractured (#2)
Where to Find: GoodReads | Amazon

As a finale to a trilogy, this book was something incredibly different. It wasn’t ‘Mockingjay’, and it wasn’t ‘Allegiant’. It wasn’t wild, it wasn’t action-packed, but the calm after the storm of ‘Fractured’. I didn’t know what was going to happen to Kyla, and where she was going to go, but I sure was pleased with were she ended up.

Plot and Pacing
As I said, this was the most mellow of the three books. We found out about Kyla’s past life in ‘Fractured’ and now it was just about seeing what she’d do next. The answer? Find her birth mother.  Continue reading “Review: Shattered by Teri Terry”

Review: Mind Games by Teri Terry

18664167Mind Games by Teri Terry
Genre: Techno-fantasy, girl vs government
Published by: Orchard Books
Pages: 448
Format: ARC E-Book
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

If I was going to compare this book to any other, it would be Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve, because of the similarities in world-building. So, if you like your fantasy books to have a more technological feel, then this is the book for you. And if you’re read Slated by Teri Terry, you’ll be able to recognise similarities between the main characters. Continue reading “Review: Mind Games by Teri Terry”